Categories
Africa Blog Guide South Africa

Best Time to Visit South Africa

South Africa is a country that offers almost everything to a tourist and a traveler, with a large scale of flora and fauna, jungle safari’s, Cuisine, one of the oldest culture and traditions to learn about and the vibrant capital famous for its nightlife. It is a country known for its warm hospitality and has its place cemented on every Tour and travels page.

It is located at the southernmost point of Africa. It is surrounded by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Lesotho. Famous for its homegrown wine and chakalaka (A Traditional Dish of South Africa) Contrary to the belief that Johannesburg is the capital, South Africa has 3 capitals, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein. It one of the largest exports of gold and is one of the strongest economies of Africa. Its inhabitants are of mixed race and it is a multi-ethnic society with a huge variety of religion culture tradition and languages, unlike other African countries which are dominated by colored individuals. this country is often described as a rainbow nation due to its diversity especially during the time of apartheid.

Although, South Africa got independent in 1910, It wasn’t till 1931 that it was fully independent of the British empire. Nelson Mandela was the first black president of this country and ended apartheid through negotiations in South Africa and bringing in peace to a racially divided nation and fighting for human rights around the world.

Apart from the wild animals and vast deserts, it is famous for its cuisine which is heavily meat based. Its most popular sport is soccer, rugby and cricket and soccer is its national game. FIFA 2010 was hosted in South Africa.

The top ten reasons to visit South Africa –

Budget

It is easy on the pocket for a budget traveler, there are many hostels and guest houses and thus a backpacker’s paradise and for travelers who want to relax, there abundant of resorts around the country with luxurious services

Natural beauty

South Africa is famous for its scenic wonders like Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Apartheid Museum, Castle of good hope, Mandela house, cape point, Sabi-Sabi, Cape Peninsula. It is a destination for all age groups and preferences.

Adventure

The Adventure capital of the world, it is an adrenaline junkie’s wish list with over 100 adventure sports and places there is something for everyone from mountain walks and hot air balloon to shark cage-feeding and spotting a lion.

Diversity

It is one of the only African countries which honor’s its tradition and immigrant culture. It has 11 official languages. It is the ultimate combo of nature, culture, heritage, adventure, wildlife and the colorful vibe.

Wildlife

The favorite destination for animal planet, it is the only country to have the big 5 lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo, the name was termed by African hunters as these animals are the toughest to hunt on ground and then there is whales, penguins, meerkats, hyenas and birds.

History

For the history and heritage enthusiasts, you could discover the n national’s struggle for freedom and the role of Nelson Mandela, Thomas Nkobi, Hector Pieterson, Steve Biko and many others. An inspiration for many.

The top attractions are

  • Cape Town and Cape Peninsula
  • The Winelands
  • Durban
  • Johannesburg
  • Soweto
  • Wild coast
  • Robben Island

South Africa is a year-round destination due to its unique geography, varies regional climatic conditions and wildlife opportunities the cape generally has a beautiful weather with dry and hot in its summer months while the best time to visit for viewing the whale in between Early July to Mid-November, The Climate of South Africa is usually dry and little bit sunny, it falls in the temperate zone very close to the equator and extreme weather conditions are rare. The climate is highly influenced by its ocean which is surrounded at 3 sides

Different Season in South Africa From Jan – Dec

South Africa has a beautiful temperature with a lot of sunny and dry days. There are various factors for this like altitude and oceans. temperature is dropped around 6*C for every 1000 feet you go up. Indian ocean is on the east coast which is warm, Atlantic on the west which is relatively cold. It usually has dry and wet seasons in most parts of the country exert the western cape. Johannesburg is the weather is usually mild due to its high altitude sunny in the day and cool in the night.

There are four major seasons in South Africa

Spring

Spring is from Sept to November, the change over from winter to spring is windy till the rain starts. it is around 25-30 degree celsius in the day and nights are cooler and thus a light jacket is ideal for this time. It is the ideal time to visit places around cape town. Spring is also a good time for wildlife enthusiast who wants to go on safari as nature is dry and animals can’t hide easily. Ziplining is considered one of the ultimate adventures of South Africa that allows you to enjoy morning sunrises and the rugged terrain

Summer

Summer starts from December until February. Major parts of the country experience rainfall during this time, Temperature is around 25-30 degree celsius and can go up to 40 degree celsius with a dry and hot day and slight showers in the evening. This is the ideal time for trekking or travel around the cape This is the ideal time to relax at the beaches. The country is known for its long beaches and beach sports

Fall

Fall starts from March till May, the grass turns yellow and brown and trees shed their leaves, this is ideally the best time to visit as there is very little rain over the country and it is warm but not too hot, nights are cool but not very cold. This time of the year many tourists flock the country for its large Festivals organized over the course of wildflower festival, whale festival, International Documentary Festival and many more. It is the ideal time to also view the nature with the dreamy and picturesque landscape with beautiful ochers and wine color in nature and fantasy looking settings, perfect for the photographers.

Winter

The winter period is from June to August. Lloudy days and minimal rain and cold nights and snow occasionally. Minimum temperature is -5C and maximum is 25C. July is the wettest month of the year and due to the winter, the wind is cold. A must visit is the sardine run around the southern coast of Africa where billions of sardines wash up the shore.

Though South Africa is not famous for its snow due to its varied climatic conditions and elevated height at some regions, there are few spots where you can see the city turn into a white winter land, Eastern Cape’s inland towns Hogsback and Sutherland is ideal spot to witness snow in winters. Winter is the budget season to visit, due to its less crowd it is perfect to go in winters as u can easily get tickets for parks and roam around in big groups. Booking of hotels and flight tickets are very easy due less tourist traffic.

A brief description about month/season

South Africa is situated in various climatic conditions. There are areas with Mediterranean and with deserts and even tropical climate. The temperature of all these places vary place to place and it is the opposite of the seasons in the northern hemisphere of the continent.
Spring in South Africa is one of the most visited and beautiful places in the world, it is a country where the variety of landscapes and activities are endless. In Regions located away from the coast, they have good winds in spring, unlike the winters.

The average temperature in September is 12C with maximum 26*C and lowest 7*C, Octobers are slightly warmer in days and pleasant in evenings with maximum temperature at 28*C and minimum around 14-15*C. By November spring starts to end and is a trans period to summer with temperatures rising to 29-30*C with the minimum in nights of 16*C.

Summer Starts at mid-November and the temperature starts to rise by December. dry heat through the day and warm nights. Although the largest amount of rainfall falls in the summer season.

Further ahead of cape town, places like Stellenbosch temperatures will be slightly higher. This is the time living near the sea is good and there is a slight breeze. One must be aware of strong winds while planning a trip as strong winds will not give you the right tan. Newborn animals are the best spot during this season. It also the ideal time for seeing animals in the open as water is scarce and all the animals come during the day to drink water. Post the first rains the scenic nature turns green and its low season resulting less crowded parks, it is also the best time for bird watching and migratory birds as it is the ideal climate for them. Higher altitude areas are generally hotter and the shores of Lake Malawi are very hot.

To have the best out of the country the ideal time to visit is between December and January as it is during this time that maximum of the festivities and events are organized. During this time, the weather too is much pleasant. The days are warm with the temperature going to a maximum of 20 degree celsius. The nights too during this time aren’t much cold. It’s all pleasant and cozy, making this time the ideal for planning a vacation. The kick start of autumn with the leaves starting to turn pale and the winds starting to chill, this season is the host for the wild flower festival as well. The blooming of the wild and the unusual flowers magnifies the beauty of the season.

Also, winter is a very pocket friendly season. With less tourists pouring in at this time, this season is ideal for all the enthusiasts who wants to explore the place to it’s core and not let the entire trip burn a hole in their pockets.

Though there is no written rule on what time one should visit the country, and what is the perfect time to visit. The country has numerous things to offer to it’s travelers throughout the year. So, depending on every individual’s requirement one can visit the country. The only time one should avoid going to this country is during the time of excessive heat periods. The temperature spurs up to it’s extremes and there are chances of one not being able to adapt to the extremes. o have the best of the visit, one must be sure at what he is expecting out of the trip, and based on that one must opt for what season to prefer.

Every season has beautiful and picturesque landscapes to offer to every individual, so one will never be disappointed with the country no matter what time of the year it is.

Categories
Attractions Blog Tanzania

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tanzania

Tanzania is an East African country just south of the equator. it was formed a sovereign state in the year 1964. It is bordered by Uganda, lake Victoria and Kenya in the north, Indian ocean at the east, towards south there is Lake Nyasa, law, Zambia, Mozambique, and Burundi Rwanda and Lake Tanganyika on the western side.

Tanzania was formerly known as Tanganyika, Meaning Tanga (Sail) and Nyika (Arid Plain). It is one of the largest countries on the continent and a hidden tourist jewel. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak and the lowest bed is Lake Tanganyika. Tanzania is famous for its natural wonders its most famous national park in the Serengeti and largest lake is the Lake Victoria.

Tanzania is known for its sunbathe getaway, paradise island of Zanzibar, UNESCO listed stone town, snorkeling and diving at the spice islands and mafia islands which has a gorgeous coral reef and opportunity to witness the white whale deadly sharks and many more.

Tanzania is often visited by youth for its adventure activities like safari tours and mountain climbing. As well as by couples and middle-aged people for its scenic beauty and historical places. It is famous for its wildlife, it has the largest animals per sq kilometre in the world with about four million animals and a quarter of the country is occupied with national parks and Nature reserves and Protected areas.

The capital of Tanzania is Dodoma and Dar Es Salaam is the commercial capital. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and safer than its other African countries which have prolonged issues and civil wars. The main currency is Tanzanian shilling, although Euros and US dollars are widely accepted. Visa on arrival is provided and one should have a YLF certificate.

Tanzania’s main source of income is agriculture and tourism, there are many plantations growing tea and coffee, tobacco cotton and nuts. it is a third world country with a fast-growing economy. Tourism provides business to the country because of nature and national parks with and historic places. Popular animals in this country are crocodiles lions(famous for climbing trees), leopards and hippopotamus. The country is a home to a various mineral resources which are often plundered by powerful MNC’s over the world at cheap rates.

History

Tanzania is supposed to be one of the oldest inhabited areas on the planet earth. Fossils have been found over 2 million years old. It is believed hunter and gathers of caustic and Khoisan ancestry resided and populates the place. The banter tribe emigrated from Western Africa and settled in Tanzania over two thousand years ago.

Vasco De Gama Was the first European to explore and reach Tanzania in 1498, Portuguese Traders traded with Tanzania but were driven out by Arabs. Tanzania has a long history with Arabian countries and his a presence if them even until today.

In recent times Imperial Germany Great Britain and Belgium have ruled and managed the city till 1961 when it was independent of Britain forming the Republic of Tanzania. It joined hands with Zanzibar in 1964 and other offshore islands.

Culture and diversity

It is believed that one-third of the population is Muslims with a majority of Sunni Muslims. Swahili is the official language of Tanzania along with English. it is also known to have more than 200 languages with different dialects and accents. The traditional dialect in Kiunguja.

Arabic is also important language due to its old Islamic tradition. The German language also has preceded in the city but on a decline. Tanzania used to be part of east African Germany. There are a lot of migrated workers from Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka Bangladesh and Indonesia due to which Gujrati, Hindi, Tamil and Bahasa Indonesia are among the popular languages. English is spoken throughout Tanzania.

The food is varied and has influences from Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Europe. it is known for meat-based spicy food. Nyama Choma is the popular dish served usually with rice. Tanzania is also famous for its locally brewed beer, Chaggar beer, and Banana beer.

Climate

Tanzania has a varied climate from humid and hot in low lying areas to dry heat in the day and cooler nights. Tanzania’s weather is not classified under summer and winter instead it is classified as dry and wet seasons. It has two rainy seasons from October to December know is the mango rains (Pre- Monsoon Showers) and from March to May (Summer Showers). In High altitude areas like Kilimanjaro, temperatures fall below freezing level, There is a hot and humid temperature in the coastal areas with an average temperature of 30c Sea breeze makes the weather pleasant during June to September which is also the ideal time to visit as the temperatures are bearable.

Top Tourist Attractions In Tanzania

Tanzania is famous for tourism it was founded in 1964 from two separate nations states, it is home to Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest mountains and home to one of the most popular desert safari, it has white sand beaches and unforgettable camping sites amidst nature. Elephants and lions in nature with the wild dogs and migratory birds in one place. There are even voodoo relics and rock painting in caves. Tanzania is Picturesque country tailor-made for safari enthusiasts to explorers, a photographers dream venue and just as it is for all the cultural and history lovers. Tanzania has something for everyone of all ages

1. Mount Kilimanjaro ( Mountains of Greatness)

The mountain is located in the north of the country on the border with Kenya. it is part of Kilimanjaro national park near mocha town and is a UNESCO world heritage site It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, it is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, one of the highest mountains in Africa roughly 5,895 meters above sea level. It is known as a major camping and climbing destination. It is the highest free-standing peak as well highest accessible point. For hikers, this is adventure of lifetime, roughly around 30,00 people attempt to climb this peak annually.

The mountains snow caps have diminished in the last few years and has lost 70% of its snow in this last 100 years and shall be ice-free by 2050 thus is it is a must visit by every tourist. the vegetation of this peal varies drastically and it has rain forest, moorland, alpine desert and an artic summit. the animals found in this park are Tree hyrax, red duiker, cape buffalos elephants, blue monkeys, hushbabies and leopards making it to the list of rare and endangered species of the world.

2. Serengeti National Park

It is a vast ecosystem in east-central Africa spans around 30,000 square kilometers. the name has been derived by the people of Maasai and it means endless plains. it is located in the north of Tanzania and goes up toll south of Kenya. it has a number of protected areas which are maintained by the government. these regions host a number of mammal migration and are the most important natural event in the world and are popular African safari destination. It is the largest national park and attracts many tourists every year. the best months to visit are between December and June and off seasons are April to July.

3. The Zanzibar beaches

Zanzibar archipelago consists of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. it is a major holiday destination known for its beautiful beaches Once a part of British empire today Zanzibar is a region of Tanzania. It used to be trading center between East Africa and East Asia is one of the most famous tourist attraction for white whale and scenic beaches and cultural sites like the stone town. The island has one of the best beaches in the world and loved by surfing enthusiasts, it surrounded by Indian ocean with clear turquoise water and known for its white sand. A family and youth based destination to visit the colorful history of sultans place traditional architecture and luxurious beach resorts, while the youth can spend time in surfing, and snorkeling.

4. Mafia Island

It is located in the popular southern circuit of Tanzania and Zanzibar and it famous for lagoons and has earned Marine and Wildlife Protection status It is part of Spice islands, smaller to Pemba. It was once a trading point between East Africa and East Asia, today it draws divers and snorkelers from around the world to the undersea world protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park.The best months to visit for diving are October to march but the best weather is may to October. a number of birds and fish species are seen in the area, it is a breeding ground for green turtles which are close to extinction.

5. Pemba Island

It is the northernmost island in the Zanzibar archipelago. Famous for its scuba diving and visual appeals. Pemba’s terrain is hilly and lush green grass and mangroves lined on the coast, There are many un-named desert islands around Pemba for scuba diving The city of “Chake-Chake” is the heart of Pemba and base for scuba divers. It is seldom visited by tourists compared Zanzibar.It is a major wood clove producer and well known for its medicine and magic. This island on Indian ocean is famous for its voodoo practices. A relaxed and offbeat location compared to many tourist attractions in Tanzania is a paradise for adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiasts, Families flock up the island during January to enjoy the weather and stay at beach houses.

6. Stone Town

It is located on the western coast of Unguja it is a Unesco world heritage site the year 2000 and cultural heart of Zanzibar with influences of Arabs Indians Persians and Europe in its architecture.

There are number of places worth visiting in this town
Darjani bazaar: It is market known for its sale of spices and meat added by some craft based goods
Anglican Cathedral: This cathedral was built on the slave market which at one point was the biggest on the island by a British abolitionist.The architecture of the cathedral has many European gothic and Islamic details.

7. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro was formed after a volcano erupting two to three million years ago which collapsed and formed a crater. it has received its name from the Ngorongoro Crater. There are large number wild animals like crate lions, buffalos, cheetah, blue wildebeest African leopard, waterbucks, and crocodiles. the most famous animal in this area is the black rhino, Approximately 25,000 large and small animals reside in this crater. Lake Magadi is a large lake home to many flamingoes.

8. Ruaha National Park

It is one of the least accessible parks in Tanzania in the middle of the country and is famous for vast lands and untouched beauty, The park is named after the hehe word “Ruaha” which means river. the park is famous for wild dogs, Lion, Elephants, Cheetah, Giraffes, Zebras, Impala, and jackals. Due to its lack of visitors, Many people have not explored this national park well and is a must visit if you are traveling to Tanzania Next time.

9. Lake Victoria

The largest freshwater lake in Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Bird spotting is popular expertise in this place, It is told to be Africa’s tropical lake and second largest freshwater lake in the world. It is the headwater of the popular river Nile which runs through Africa. It is also the most dangerous lake due to its weather and annually 5000 people die around this lake.

10. Dar Es Salaam

The commercial capital famous for its lavish nightlife is a cultural hub. It means Haven of Peace in Arabic.Nightlife and restaurants are a must visit, it is a place majorly run and resided by the youth as it is the commercial capital of Tanzania. The following places are must visit in “Dar Es Salaam” – National Museum & House of Culture, 
Askari Monument
, Botanical Gardens
, Mbudya Island
, Kunduchi Wet ‘N’ Wild Water Park and Oyster Bay

Categories
Argentina Attractions Blog

8 Must Visit Argentina Beaches

Argentina is known for its tango, culture, elegant architecture, wine, scenic beauty and soccer. It is also known for historical figures like Che Guevara and his revolution, Benito Quinquela Martín and Diego Maradona.

It is situated in the southern part of South America bordering on Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and chile, on the eastern side. Its name is derived from Argentinos, first discovered by Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century, they thought Argentina was the land of silver and settled.The longest continental mountain range in the world Andes are in South America and share a significant part in Argentina. Argentina’s capital is Buenos Aires and it is located on the eastern side of the country. It is the largest city and capital  boasts the mighty iguana falls in the subtropical north to the glacier Perito Moreno in the south. It is a vast natural wonderland. It boasts one the highest peaks of Andes and its home rich wetlands.

It is also the second largest country in South America and dominates major part of the southern continent.

It is the third largest economy in Latin America and second largest in South America. The national animal of Argentina is rufous hornerois. Around 10% of the worlds flora are found in Argentina and they have a world famous cattle industry because of the amazing grasslands. It has a large area of forests with wildlife like the puma, coypu, panther, and many more.

Argentina also has beautiful beaches that are very popular with locals. Whether you are in Buenos Aires for business or pleasure you have to visit the beach once. The country offers a plethora of gorgeous scenery, wildlife, and colonial culture and delicious cuisines and vibrant small towns. The country has diverse landscapes beaches and extreme temperatures. It has one of most beautiful waterfalls and wildlife diversity. The Iguazu falls is part of Argentina and a must visit place. The Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in North and South America often called highest non-technical climb on earth because of its height.

History

The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin word for silver, Argentum. The original European settlers believed the country was full of silver. Before the arrival of Spaniards, few Amerindian groups lived in that region, they were nomads and hunter gathers.

Spaniards arrived in Argentina in 1516, It was under the rule of Spain till 1816. Argentina experienced internal conflicts post Spanish rule between liberals and conservatives. In the past years, it was the first country to be the richest nation in Latin America. Many Europeans shifted to Argentina in the 20th century in search of new hope and wealth. Argentina became a democratic nation in 1983.

Culture and Diversity

Tango is the greatest achievement of the Argentina for the outside world, a steamy and erotic dancing style that’s been often compared with making love in the vertical position. Tango was usually performed in brothels depicting the prostitute and her partner. It originated in the early 1800’s and has its influences of African/ Native American / European cultures.

Tango Dance is performed with Tango music which has its origins in Jazz. It is a type of music which has a combination of classical composers as well as folk composers. In the year 2009 it was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

Argentines are also very passionate about football (soccer). If you love the game or are a fan of the Argentine football team, then you should try to witness the magic at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberty the national stadium of the team. Diego Maradona, Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Angelo De Maria to name a few.

Argentina is famous for its Literature, cinema, music, and arts with a vibrant and edgy culture with influences of Latin America and Europe making it one of most distinct cultures of the world. Some Famous people are Leopoldo Lugones, Ernesto Sabato, Guillermo Kuitca, Leon Ferrari, Axwell.

Buenos Aires the capital had a rich cultural heritage and was one of the wealthiest countries in the world a few centuries ago. but in recent years it has lost its heritage, Art, and cultural Significance since the repressive military Junta took on its hands to remove daring forms of expression in 1970. The last 2 decades have been relatively good for the county as they are gaining a peaceful environment and artists are given chance to express their art forms. With Influence from Americana and European countries the Art, Music, Cinema sectors are getting high boosts an opportunity to work and showcase Argentine cultures and traditions on a global scale. cinema has also played an important role . some of the famous films on the global scale are: Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens, 2000), El Secreto De Sus Ojos (The Secret In Their Eyes, 2009), Relatos salvajes (Wild Tales 2014).

Argentina populations are of European origin mostly from Spain and Italy, Small Fragments of populations are Mestizo, Amerindian. The national language of Argentina is Spanish while English is widely spoken.Roman Catholics are the highest in the country followed by Muslims and Jewish. Apart from these Asians have a precedes in the country major in the capital and neighboring countries like Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru have immigrated to Argentina and established themselves as important communities.

The Climate of Argentina

Argentina has a temperate climate, cold in winter and hot and humid in the summer, the deserts of Cuyo records a temperature of 50*c and are extremely hot and dry in summer and cooler in winter.

Top beaches in Argentina

Anyone travelling to Argentina from November to March should consider going to the beach as it is is the warmer months of the year. Argentina has a host of beaches , beautiful with the perfect landscape drop around. There some great places to cool off the summer hear. Family getaways and adventure/Urban beach resorts, There is beach for every one in Argentina.

1. Mar De Plata ( The Happy City)

It was built in built in 1874 it is one of the oldest and largest beaches in Argentina. It is the the original and most lively beach resort in Argentina , once a glamorous beach in the early 1900’s it declines eventually and has become a tourist destination not only for the rich but people for all budgets. Every summer serious crowds of international local communities descend on the sand soft. Mar del Plata to get some tan and enjoy the beautiful beach and then hitting the restaurants for local cuisine and bar by the night.

Activities like scuba diving, fishing, sailing, and golf are present near the beach. Today Mar del Plata has become an interesting city with beautiful architecture and cultural attractions and is crowded though the majority of the season. Off Season visitors still get to witness the beach calm and shall love it for its scenic beauty and peaceful waves. As a Tourist, if you are looking for a peaceful spot then this beach might not be the best option for u. It is a lively coastal town for a wonderful beach vacation.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”6117″ title=”Hotels in Mar del Plata” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

2. Pinamar and Cariló – Popular family vacation

Pinamar is a wonderful and exclusive combination of wild pine forest and beaches. it is a popular vacation spot for Bueno Aires residents. it is around 3-hour drive from the capital. and offers great and less crowd compared to other beaches. there are boutique and luxury hotels and spas. Windsurfing, jet skiing, wake boarding, and fishing are just a few of the adventure based sports that one try out.

Carlo in next to Pinamar and known for its luxurious retreats, a vacation here is treating you and u never know u might be having a beer with the elite crowd like Leo Messi. Both the places are serene and peaceful.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”6128″ title=”Hotels in Pinamar” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

3. Las Grutas

The name derives from Spanish language meaning “The Caves”, that comes from erosion of the sea on the cliffs that separate city from the beach. This beach lies on the Atlantic coasts near the sleepy town of Las Grutas, A remote beach spot for the last one century, it is becoming popular beach destination and worth traveling the extra mile for it. the beaches have whiter sands and warmer waters than its northern countries. it is a mere three-hour drive to Puerto Madryn via San Antonio Oeste, Patagonia’s premier wildlife park which features Elephants, Seals, Sea lions, and Penguins.

If you prefer a quieter getaway to an untouched land of dirt and crowd then Las Grutas is the best place for you.You can find many studios and homestays and boutique hotels in Las Grutas for your stay. The cuisine of this place is different compared to the other Argentinian states and is a must try.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”1467016″ title=”Hotels in Las Grutas” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

4. Pehuén Có – Best natural beach for adventure traveler

It is a tourist town located in the coronel Rosales district in the south of the province of Buenos Aires a short distance from the cities of Punta and Alta and Monte. The name Pehuen-Co comes from the Mapuche Language, it is famous for Latin Short American Film Festival. This beach is famous for the adventure traveler. it is one of the best beaches in Argentina known for its sandy coastlines, It is located 90km off the port of Bahia Blanca, this part of the Argentine coast is ideal for intrepid travelers.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”1513730″ title=”Hotels in La Punta ” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

5. Villa Gesell

A beautiful city surrounded by picturesque sand dunes and deep blue ocean water. The City of Gesell is young at heart and and is one prime tourist destination. Apart from the beautiful beaches, the city has amazing and most soothing relaxing spas, which lets one ease off. This coastal city is famous for it’s adventure tourism, along with the visual treat this city providers to its travelers. The major adventures this city offers are dune buggies, surfing and also visiting to the nearby forest. To keep the spirit of the night alive, this place has a plenty of discos and bars to lit the night.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”6174″ title=”Hotels in Villa Gesell” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

6. Necochea

To talk about this magnificent city, there are beaches like Costa Bonita, Las Grutas, Bahia de los Vientos and Quequen Beach. Though the area doesn’t attract much tourism, but the exciting beaches of the city are a must try. And if one needs an escape from the beaches, 4*4 excursion in one of Argentina’s largest dune strips comes to the rescue. Also, the city offers exciting cycling and hiking trails.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”6122″ title=”Hotels in Necochea” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

7. Monte Hermoso

The most family oriented destination in Argentina; the amazing climate of the place makes it stand out from the others because of the amazing effect of the sea breeze. Which basically implies that the climate in the place has cooler summer and warm water provides a pleasant beach experience. The perfect weather hence makes the place perfect for windsurfing. The other attractions of the place include soccer and fishing.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”1476642″ title=”Hotels in Balneario Monte Hermoso” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

8. Mar de Ajo

This age old city was founded almost two hundred years ago, and it has today developed as a strong tourism industry in the 1930s. The city with amusing beaches has popular fishing pier as well. The place also reconcile with the tragic ship sank in the year 1888, which has been memorialized today as a local monument with extravagant amplified proportions.

[tp_hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”6116″ title=”Hotels in Mar de Ajo” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”” city_label=”Mar del Plata” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false]

9. Lake Correntoso

This splendid lake is situated near the Villa la Angostura in the Patagonian Lake District. The water of the place is pretty cold, which gives a chill to the traveler. This picturesque and delightful lakeside beach offers the traveler with the perfect respite after one undergoes a prolonged day at hiking through the wilderness of the stunning Patagonian. The individuals who prefer to keep the cold waters at the bay, can opt for a kayak or can just haze on the sand along with other local holiday makers.

So, the beautiful city of Argentina is the perfect house to numerous beaches some of which are the finest in the world. One gets the full fledged experience of calmness in the vicinity of nature. The beautiful beaches, relaxes ones mind and soul and energizes the spirit, making one feel more energizes and refreshed.

If you are planning your next beach vacation, then give Argentina utmost priority to loosen your senses and soul into the most mesmerizing experience with Mother Nature.

Categories
Blog Costa Rica Guide

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

Located in the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is beautifully border lined by both Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Having a total area of 19,730 square meters; the country is approximately similar in size to West Virginia. The vast hub of some of the rarest plant and animal species of the world; Costa Rica have more than 500,000 plant and animal species- from micro insects to the giant anteaters; which henceforth makes the country one of World’s most biologically diverse countries.

To add more to it, it has been claimed that almost 4 percent of total earth’s species resides in this heavenly abode. The country protects one quarter of its wild land with the help of law. The country undoubtedly makes its mark as an ideal destination for one and all. This ‘rich coast’ stands apart from its neighbors on numerous trends including sustainable tourism, surfing, farm-to-table restaurants and much more. Also, the infrastructure of the country is developed by keeping an equilibrium with the green energy like wind energy and hydro energy.

So, the country is a perfect blend of ecology and history residing together in a peaceful and family oriented culture where one can easily center oneself on a yoga mat or surfboard, the descending bat-filled caves or the misty volcanic peaks, biking or biking; the only limit a tourist has in this country is the return date!

The main source of the country’s income is tourism. To add more of a wow factor to its beauty and serenity is the fact that ever since the country attained democracy; that was back in 1949; there is no army in the country since then.

With just a marginal existence on the globe i.e. 0.03 percent of the surface, the country proudly shelters 4 percent of the biodiversity in the entire world. Of the total land, 26 percent is composed of the conservation and naturally protected territory.

Apart from tourism the country is also a great center for investments and thus offers amazing potential for the establishment of many multinational companies; all credit to the outstanding academic level of the natives and also, the political stability of the country and higher standards of modern services.

Geography

The country is majorly centered to rugged highlands ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The Central Mountain Range, The Guanacaste Mountain Range, and The Talamanca Mountain Range are the centric ranges extending throughout the country. Apart from mountains, the country also has several active volcanoes. The coastline borders both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean; also there are numerous streams and rivers which are a tourist hub attracting rafters from all over the world.

Being a tropical destination; the country’s look and landscape go a continuous change throughout the year and hence the country is always in a constant state of renewal. So, every time is the right time to visit this lush green country. One should tailor their trip based on their interests to have a fuller experience which will be satisfied beyond one’s imagination.

With a tremendous diverse landscape, the land is fledged will lush green vegetation amalgamated with stunning flora. The jungles, beaches, and wide climate zones and a wider array of terrain all come together to shape up this beautiful country the way we all see it today; also it all further leads to making the country the best playground for all the adventures ranging from wildlife viewing to rafting to hiking or maybe just relaxing next to the beaches and soothing the soul.

This country has something or the other interesting and exciting discovery to uncover no matter what the season is. So, every time is the right time to visit this country to go the beaten path and receive endless rewards.

The Wildlife

Whatever one has seen or read on animal planet, Costa Rica is the place to come close to almost all of those species. The beautiful scarlet macaws can be easily sighted making their flight. And, one cannot miss out the sight of keel-billed toucans, the mangrove swamp, the white-faced Capuchin and the howler monkey making his haunting calls. The blue morpho butterflies amid the orchid-festooned trees are certainly a treat to the eyes. And to dive into the colorful tropical fish, rays, sharks, dolphins, and whales all come together to become a reality to any conservationist’s dream.

Outdoor Adventures

Costa Rica offers a dizzying suite of thrilling outdoor adventures in every possible shape and size. The sun-dazed afternoon at the beach, the squeal-inducing rush of the canopy zipline; the country offers adventures for all. The hikes and the brisk high altitude trail of the country along with the rushing white-water rapids and the warm water all come together to offer the best to the traveler. The vast and diversified national parks let the visitor enter into a world with a perfect blend of both rainforest and cloud forest. The volcanoes add more to the vistas. So, the country is the most splendid platform for every individual to experience nature at its best and to replenish the soul.

One should note that the busiest times in the country are during Christmas and New Year’s and also on the week leading up to the Easter Sunday; also known as semana santa. So, if one wants to enjoy nature to its core and to have a true bliss it is advisable to avoid going during these times.

Climate

Being a tropical lush destination, the country undergoes a constant shift in landscapes throughout the year, and hence there’s a constant state of renewal. So, no matter how many times one visits this place, the country always have something new to offer. And, every time is the perfect time to visit this place and get amused at its richness and the huge variety is has to offer. Hence, one should tailor his trip based on the interests and thus have an experience like never before.

No matter what season one goes in, there is always exciting to unfold and to get awestruck at. The country definitely is something of the beaten path where the traveler gets endless rewards throughout the journey.

Seasons in Costa Rica

There are two major seasons in Costa Rica which are the dry ‘summer’ (verano) which stretches from January to April and the rainy ‘winter’ (invierno) which is from May till December. These two seasons further corresponds to the tourism high season and low season. Peak season is often used to describe the time period between the two weeks from just before Christmas which prolongs until after the New Year. It is during the peak season only when special higher prices are in effect because of the holidays.

The terms dry and rainy are aptly used to describe the beach destinations of Guanacaste and Nicoya which are in the northwest corner of the country. The remaining pacific side and most of the central mountains follow a much similar pattern but with more precipitation than in general.

The east half i.e. the Caribbean half of the country doesn’t have much strong seasonal variation and the area tends to remain rainier throughout the year. To the contrary, during the month of September and October, when the rest of the country is experiencing heaviest rain of the year, the Caribbean beaches are dry, warm and sunny.

The seasons experienced in the country are reverse to the U.S. and Canada as during December till April when the north is blanketed in snow, Costa Rica enjoys perfect and pleasant summer. The rainy/wet winter months are often coined as “green season” in order to attract more tourists.

The Dry/High Season: December through April

Yes, definitely the dry season. Even February when the peripheries are all blanketed in snow, this place surely looks like summer. The most attracting highlight of the high season is the amazing weather. Throughout the season the country experiences lesser rain and surprisingly in areas like Guanacaste and Nicoya, it’s downright arid. Adding more to the season, wildlife is easier to spot as the entire wildlife concentrates towards the shrinking water sources and also, the deciduous trees shed off their leaves hence thinning the camouflage and make the sight of the wildlife more prominent.

The other reason why summer is the ideal time for the Northern and European travelers is that the country provides them an escape from the snow, cold and dark at home. The extra hours of sunshine and the warm beaches have an extra appeal when one is knee deep in slush. Also, the arctic storm drive ocean swells southward and thus the surf is bigger and much more reliable in the season.

The only disadvantage of the season is that the season is tourist high season which means it becomes harder for the tourist to get reservations and the place is relatively crowded which makes the prices spur up instantly. Starting from Christmas till the end of first week in January and the Easter week, the jeopardy of every traveler is doubled. As the place is too full fledged with a lot of international travelers and the beaches are over flooded with tourist. So, if you want to enjoy the place to its core; it is advisable to avoid going during these times.

But, for those who enjoys crowds to the most, this period serves as the ideal one to them. Because of the extensive crowd every place and everything is running till extended hours. The bars and nightclubs are more lively and energetic as there is an amazing audience for live music and other amazing performances, which certainly doubles up the charisma of the place.

The Rainy/Low/Green season- may through November

The winters; also coined as the low season has been dubbed as the “Green Season” by the country’s tourism industry as it definitely makes a better first impression of the season than being referred to as “rainy”. The travelers are much aware that this time doesn’t need any add ons to make it appealing as during this season the prices are already halved, the crowd is very thin and the rain forested slopes of the mountains starts getting drenched. And the perfect sunny days around the beach aren’t at all unusual now.

Best Time to Go

Undoubtedly, the high season for tourism at Costa Rica runs from late November to late April, which perfectly coincides with the extreme chill of United States, Canada and Europe.
Also called the dry season, this time is the best to enjoy the unadulterated bliss of nature to its extreme. The tropical beaches are prettiest and undoubtedly a visual treat to the eyes and the soul. The lesser amount of rains adds up to making this season as the perfect time to visit the place. Tourism is at its maximum tilt during December and first week of January and the prices are a little high. So, with proper pre planning including the reservations of the places, this is the ideal time to enjoy the major attractions to its fullest.This is the time when everything is green form the rains of the bygone season along with clearer blue skies.

The local tourism operators often call the green season as an apt euphemism. As, it is during this time frame when even the arid brown and barren Guanacaste is all flourished and is richly lush and verdant. To experience the flourishing of nature, the replenishing of the flora and fauna; the green season is the ideal. And to add more to it, the prices during this time are negotiable and already reduced with easy access to all the places without much of crowd; also the rain is limited to just a few hours in the daytime.

The only drawback of the season is the rugged roads with muddy slippery blotches which makes it a little difficult and impassable without the help of a four- wheel- drive. Also, because of the rains many lodges shut down during the season and it also seems a little dark sometimes. The nights are a little prolonged with the sun setting at around 6:00 pm year round.

Categories
Blog Nicaragua Things to do

Things to do in Nicaragua

One of the largest countries in Central America; Nicaragua has a diverse landscape and it covers almost 129,494 square kilometers with extensive range of climate, topography and regions. With a majority of area which is still undeveloped, this country offers a tremendous variety for the traveler to enjoy. The wide array of experience which ne can indulge in starting from hiking through the rain forests and jungles, to the discovery of deserted beaches, to diving in the untouched reefs, climbing on the active volcanoes, to surfing onto the perfect beach. This place certainly has a lot to offer to every individual. Just, take the time off your schedule and explore the unexplored natural majesty.

The country is also termed as “the land of Lakes and volcanoes” is majorly divided into three regions- the north central mountains, the pacific coast and the Atlantic coast.

The Northern Mountains- A Natural Wonder

The cloud covered forest is the hub of opportunities for eco tourism and varied jungle adventures. Residing at a level of almost 300 ft above the sea level; the forest is home to cedar, mahogany and pines, which are further covered with beautiful orchids and moss thus making the place ideal for hiking, bird watching and also horseback riding. This naturally rich area has some of the breathtaking scenic trails and also mountain lodges which makes one fall in love with nature again.

Some of the major places in the northern mountains are Chinandega; which is the regional capital. It also caters as the base point for numerous scenic expeditions. This agriculture center land offers many fascinating volcanoes, beaches and scenic beauties to the traveler. The common folks here boast of their talents in pottery, leather and stone craftsmanship. The place also has some of the finest local cigar factories. The city also rests on history of legends and lore.

The region has breathtaking surroundings of the place with majestic mountains and waterfalls; this place is a central hub of majestic flora and fauna.

The north region is comparatively poorer than the rest and it undergoes major drought, poor soils and acute deforestation as well. The place has an extensive variety of almost 150 species of birds, numerous orchids and many medicinal plants, henceforth making this place ideal for howler monkeys and other exotic animals.

Central Pacific region – A Colonial Treasure

This region boasts of an amazing wealth of diverse beauty ranging from the country’s tallest volcanoes to the treasured archaeological ruins, to the crafts and folklore of some of the most authentic colonial cities. The regions are easily accessible and can be reached out easily form the nation’s capital city. The region also produces most of the country’s cheese and milk, as cattle rearing is an age old profession of the city.

The area has not yet lost its Wild West vibe yet. Burly hikes, horseback treks and petro glyphs are still prominent in the region. The region is sparsely populated than the pacific region; the residents of the region can be easily outnumbered by their cattle. This region is off the beaten path, so even one may not find tourists even for miles in most of the towns. The mountains of the region are still unexplored and the continuous discoveries till date of the chontal statues implies to the grandeur of the mysteries this area retains till date.

Atlantic Coast – A Region Untouched

This region is definitely Nirvana for nature lovers. This area consists of the major demographical area of the country and in the least populated region which definitely makes this place one of its kind. The region dominates almost 46 percent of the country’s land and has stretch-out beaches for more than 205 miles. This place is totally different from the rest two regions be it in terms of culture, societal or linguistic. The primary mode of transportation here is via rivers. The city also has world class fishing, scuba diving and eco tourism, which are on a constant spur, making this region outshine the rest.

The bluefields is one of the most beautiful Atlantic coasts. The wide rivers with small jungle canals add to the beauty of the place. The plentiful availability of seafood along with dancing and reggae bars adds more to the place. The exotic combination of white sand, coral reefs, mangroves, coconut palms, jungles and rainforest makes this place one of its kind. This forgotten tropical bliss offers great diving, snorkeling and sun bathing to the travelers.

Top things to See and Do in Nicaragu

The place has faced the trauma of some of the highly destructive earthquakes and the prolonged years of political and civil unrest has caused a poor fate to this beautiful and diversely rich country. After many years of slumber, the country is reshaping its future again. With lots of expats showing keen inters tom moving in and buying properties there, this beautiful and wonderful country is getting better now. So, here are a few things one can see and do to have the best in Nicaragua:

Admire Colonial Granada

The place known for some of the best preserved colonial architectures, this place is very popular among the travelers. The place has also undergone some of the recent investments in tourism. The magnificent buildings at Plaza de Independencia, hikes a nearby volcano. One should not forget to try out the delicacies at Kathy’s Waffles, Garden Café and also the Vigoren stalls in the park.

Relax in San Juan del Sun

This place has been a massive hit among the surfers and the backpackers. The beaches here are located in perfect settings and enclosed by prehistoric volcanic hills. Here, one can easily find a lot of options for cheap bars and hostels which makes it a massive hit among the youngsters. The place also offers as a ground for constant party. With easy and affordable stay options, this place undoubtedly makes it to the list of must visit places.

Go Fishing

Since the area has tremendous amount of beaches to it, both the Caribbean and the pacific border shores are pretty popular in fishing. Even off the coast one can easily find myriad of fish- some of them even goes up to about 200 lbs.

Go Surfing

Because of the year round waves and warm water at the area, the places serve as an ideal destination for surfing. The presence of many surf schools in the region offers tuitions and equipment hire to those who need. At a mere payment of 10 USD per day for board and $25 USD per hour for lessons one can easily enjoy surfing around the towns of Rivas and San Juan del Sur.

Kayak around Las isletas

Las Isletas is a chain of small and beautiful islands located on a lake near Granada. The place provides one with the opportunity to experience some if nature in a pretty calm and relaxed setting. Generally, a two hour trip round the place generally costs $33 USD.

Visit ‘old’ Leon

Dating back to the 16th century, the ruins of Leon Viejo is a short trip from Leon. This place is a must have for all those to gets excited with history. This World Heritage Site has been listed by UNESCO and is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in America. This is the only place in the entire country to see and learn about the country’s founding colonial past. The amusing murals and graffiti around the city talk about the chivalric pas of the political war between the Sandinistas ans the Somozas. Also, the Museum of the Revolution is a must visit place to bring the history back to life.

Attend the San Sebestian Festival

In honor of San Sebastian; the city’s patron saint, every year near the end of January, the people in Diriamba hosts a huge celebration. The festivities runs from 17th to the 27th of January, includes colorful parades and a huge feast along with a plethora of traditional music.

Surf down a Volcano

A young and active volcano of the country- Cerro Nergo, offers the tourists an amazing chance to board down the graveled slopes through an organized tour. One gets the wonderful opportunity to hike up to the top, which almost takes an hour. This half day affair costs about 30 USD, and one needs to be prepared for a climb uphill and get dirty.

Explore the Masaya Markets

The city of Masaya is known for the two craft markets known as the Mercado Municipal and the Mercado de Artesanias. Every Thursday night the market features the “Night of Revelry” which includes dancing, music and local food.

Enjoy the Corn Islands

Onto the Caribbean coast, the corn island is undoubtedly a vacation retreat. The major centre of attraction of the place is scuba diving, snorkel, to fish and to relax. There is a provision of smaller boats which takes one between the different islands. Certainly the best chill out spot in the country, the place is less crowded yet pretty popular.

Hike up a Volcano

Hiking up a volcano is a major activity of the country. The challenging hike up the volcanoes is worth the amount and one in a lifetime experience. The victorious trek up the volcano is makes it one of its kinds. Some of the most popular volcanoes are Cerro Negro (volcano boarding), Telica (famous for sunset hikes), San Cristobal (the longest and hardest) and Momotombo(second hardest).

Explore Managua

The capital city and the hub of many beautiful buildings and museums; this city owns the dilapidated ruin of once a wonderful cathedral which was destroyed in Earthquake. The city also houses many art galleries and museums. So, if history excites you then this place is a must visit to relive history.

Hiking at Miraflores

This beautiful place located in Esteli in the Northern region; this national park is a must visit for the travelers. The wanderlust; this place is full of beautiful cloud forest, surrounded by small farms and over rivers and waterfalls. One might barely encounter any other tourist. It’s like being the owner of the entire jungle. One can go on a one day long or multi day treks based on personal preferences to the park; this place never fails to amuse the travelers.

The multi day trip to the place let’s one stay with the local host families and thus come closer to the natives. Certain programs have been initiated to let one learn or teach farming. One day trek costs almost $15 USD and it starts from 7 am till 4pm in the evening. To add to a noble cause; all the money collected from the tours goes directly to the communities who are a part of the entire trek stretch.

A visit to Ometepe Island

This extra ordinary island is formed by the joining of two volcanoes. The major activities around the island include hiking the volcano, cycling and kayaking. With cheap food and accommodation this place is worth trying out for a few days to unwind the zest in you. The walks up the volcanoes are quite stretcheous and takes almost a day; but worth the walk.

Hang out at Lake Apoyo: Lying on the crater of the Apoyo volcano; this lake is a beautiful setting with crystal clear water ideal for swimming. One can even consider fishing, sailing or going on a hike. This place certainly is an ideal getaway for a couple of days to ease off and relax the mind and soul.

Apart from the above mentioned list there is a lot of Adventure Travel which one can try out being in the city. This place is ideal for those who are young at heart and are always up for an adventure. The few adventures one can try out are listed below:

  • Scuba and Snorkeling
  • Canopy Tours
  • Surfing
  • Sandboarding down the Cerro Negro
  • Sport Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Extreme Adventure (Mountain biking, skiing down the side of volcano)

The country which has re-built itself after facing the wrath of many hazards and natural disasters, this country is worth a visit. This place is easy on everyone’s pocket; So, all the adventure enthusiasts, pack up your bags and gear up for your next adventure to this amazing country.

Categories
Blog Guide Sightseeing USA

National Parks in Florida

Planning your next vacation? Florida has many beautiful national parks offering primitive sites with amazing views and an ethereal glimpse of nature that should not be missed in a lifetime. These national parks offer a wide range of fun-packed experiences whether it is camping, snorkeling or just historic site seeing.

Each national park in Florida has its own exclusive element where you can delve into the reefs, wildlife, and history. The weather is best from November to mid-April, most of the parks are open whole year but during wet summers, some tend to close for a brief period.

Here is a must-try list of best six national parks in Florida that you should include in your itinerary immediately.

1. Everglades National Park

This national park is one of a kind. Everglades National Park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States which is a 1.5 million-acre subtropical and tropical habitat. It was established in 1947 to retain the biological diversity and is home to alligators, Florida panthers, the American crocodile, 350 species of birds and many other species, giving you an extraordinary view of wildlife and ecosystems.

Best time to visit

Every year over a million people visit this national park specially in from December to March when temperature is low, making it the ideal time for camping as there are lesser bugs.

Directions

This Park is huge and in contrast to most of the other National Parks, the Everglades has three entrances in three different cities. The first main entrance is  Homestead Entrance, the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is located at this entrance, as well as  Royal Palm and Flamingo. The second one is Miami Entrance referred to as the Shark Valley Visitor Center which is closest to the Greater Miami Area, Florida. And the last one is the Everglades city entrance called the Gulf Coast Visitor Center closest to Naples, Florida in the west.

Things to do

For having the best experience of Everglades, it would be advised to either rent a boat as most of the park is only accessible by water .Visitors like to take a walk on the boardwalks and trails along the main park road to join in ranger-led events. If you like biking, you must visit the Snake Bight Trail near Flamingo and the Shark Valley. Long Pine Key and Flamingo campgrounds offer great sites for camping along with the facility of drinking water, grills, rest rooms and tents. There are several walking trails in the park like the Pineland trail, Pahayokee Overlook and Mahagony Hammock trail which vary in hiking difficulty, making them attractive spots. Along with these,

Everglades National Park offers fascinating wildlife view, and if you are lucky, you may also get a glance of exquisite birds or alligators. This park is a famous spot of fishing too.

2. Big Cypress National Preserve

The 720,000-acre Big Cypress National Preserve has a similar wildlife and terrain like the Everglades National Park, but this park custom made for camping and hiking. The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp back the prosperous marine estuaries along Florida’s southwest coast. This amazing National Park is massive, diverse and accommodates a blend of tropical and temperate plant communities that are central to a diversity of wildlife including the Florida panther.

You can visit Big Cypress with your own vehicle or take a walk, exploring the scenic drive and a lot of the viewpoints and boardwalks.

When to Visit

People like to visit mostly in dry winter months. Although hiking in this national park is pleasant in all seasons. Programs and activities begin November go through April.

Things to do

Hiking lovers can explore the southern terminus of the  Florida National Scenic Trail which is located in Big Cypress in the winter season. You can also explore Turner River Road that runs alongside Turner River and expect to see alligators, birds, turtles, fish, and wildflowers. Other recreational activities like hunting and camping are famous too. The Loop Road and the  Tamiami Trail are acclaimed for wading and walking.

3. Biscayne National Park

Located in South Florida, Biscayne National Park is the largest marine park in the National Park System covering 172,971 acres and safeguarding the southern section of Biscayne Bay, including a rare combination of aquamarine waters mangrove shorelines and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Almost 95% of this National Park is forest and the bay has broad mangrove forest. Simply rent a boat and enjoy the beautiful park; boat rentals are widely available.

This national park is considered one of the most fascinating parks in the whole country. It consists of four primary ecosystems: the southern expanse of Biscayne Bay, the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys, a narrow fringe of mangrove forest along the mainland shoreline and the beginning of the third-largest coral reef in the world

Things to do

There are many things to do for the whole family, counting guided ranger walks, fishing, boating, diving, snorkeling, paddling, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, etc. With a guided boat tour, this park is ideal for saltwater fishing, you can catch lobsters, crabs, snapper but a lot of species are protected so it is better to take fishing awareness classes first and keep yourself informed.

Also, if you are looking for something intriguing, spearfishing is also allowed in this park. Other than fishing, visitors also find snorkeling and scuba diving in the park. You can find many shipwrecks that are amazing dive sites; Biscayne national park is home a minimum of five shipwrecks.

This National Park is also famous for sightseeing. Outside the park boundaries is the Key Biscayne where you’ll find the alluring and historic Cape Florida Lighthouse which has been there since 1825.

4. Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park lies almost 68 miles west of Key West in the  Gulf of Mexico, established in the year 1976. With seven small islands, this 100- square mile national park is mostly open water. It is the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, archipelago’s coral reefs and abundant sea life and the huge number of species of bird life that frequent the area. It is accessible only by boat or seaplane. The center of attraction of this park is Fort Jefferson, an enormous but incomplete coastal  fortress which is the biggest brick structure in the  Western Hemisphere and is buildup of more than 16 million bricks.

It is estimated that on an average about 63,000 visitors annually visit the Dry Tortugas National Park. It is difficult to visit the park with private boat considering the distance that is why most of the visitors come by ferry or seaplane from Key West.

Climate change has shrunk some of the seven islands. The Dry Tortugas is classified as a borderline subtropical-tropical ecosystem. It anchors species that do not commonly breed in and are not ordinarily found anywhere else in the continental United States or the water body enveloping it.

Birds

There are 299 species of birds in Dry Tortugas National Park making this park one of the top birding destinations in North America, however out of the 299 only 8 species nest generally inside the park. During the month of April, birdwatching exercise increases as many migratory bird species pass through the park. Even if you are not an ardent birder they are an eye-catching extension to the amazing scenery.

Snorkeling

During the summers, the water in this park is exceptionally clean and clear, making it ideal for snorkeling as compared to diving in most of the keys. As the park is away from the land and sits in a guarded area, the reef has not been harmed by humans. In comparison to rest of the state, it has more sea life too.

Diving

This national park is considered as one of the most divergent diving sites in the United states where you will see rare nighttime creatures like octopus and basket starfish.

5. Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore bluster the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on Florida’s east coast almost 24 miles of pristine beachfront was created on January 3, 1975. Canaveral is essentially a conservationist beach containing 58,000 acres of barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock and pine flatwoods and as a protected area will continue to be as it is today. It is a  United States National Seashore based in  Brevard County and  Volusia County in the  East Central Florida. The best and accomplished aspect in the park is actually man-made -a 35 feet high mound of oyster shells constructed by Native Americans referred to as Turtle Mound which summit gives a splendid view of the lagoon, ocean and the island. It represents an amazing illustration of a comparably stable barrier beach supported by a dynamic lagoon system.

Along with hiking, visitors can spend time in watching turtles and finding out many of the archeological assets in the park. Recreational activities include fishing, canoeing, surfing, sunbathing, swimming, camping, sightseeing and boating. This beach has almost hundred and fifty recorded archeological acquisitions, largely consisting of sea fossils. As wildlife is more accustomed to cold weather, that is why this national park is considered great to be visited in winters and on top of that its location in Central Florida is an added advantage. You can get into the National park either by a plane or drive a car.

In summers the temperature goes up to 90’s and its hot and humid while in winters the temperature remains 60-70 degrees and weather is mild. However, in January and February the temperature can go down to freezing point. The hurricane season starts from June and goes through November and would be most affluent in the month of August and October.

Canaveral National Seashore has a huge, diversified and alluring range and variety of sea and terrestrial animals. The park provides habitat for fourteen species of federally-listed endangered animals which is the second greatest number in the whole National Park Service. These include seven reptiles- Loggerhead sea turtle, Green sea turtle , Leather back sea turtle, Kemps’s Ridley sea turtle, Hawksbill sea turtle, Eastern indigo snake, Atlantic salt marsh snake and Gopher Tortoise; four birds- Bald eagle, Wood stork ,Florida scrub jay and Arctic peregrine falcon and three mammals- West Indian Manatee, Southeastern beach mouse and Right whale.

6. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is a United Nations  National Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida, established in 1988 and extended in 1999.It is named after for the primitive Timucua people  (Timucua Indians) who lived along northeast Florida’s waterways. Considered an ecological time capsule of Old Florida, the essentially undeveloped land comprises of 46,000 acres of wetlands, habitats, city, county, state, salt marshes, coastal dunes, hardwood hammocks and federal land. It is one of the most beautiful national parks in the south and also the most ecologically significant one.

History

The Timucua-speaking tribes who had 35  chiefdoms throughout northern Florida and South Georgia Archaeologists believe their culture had remained originally consistent for more than 1000 years. But that is before the Europeans arrived, after that the Timucuans handled badly and the tribe faded by 1800.

The preserve is huge and entirely free making it ideal to explore openly and settle in for a complete weekend. Visitors take a ferry to reach the preserve which is located on parcel separated by St. Johns River.

When to visit

The best time to visit this national park would be mid-October to April as the weather is cool then and bugs are less. And for the Kingsley Planation’s living history garden, May to September would be the ideal time. Also in those months, you can view American bald eagles, wading birds, and pink-hued roseate spoonbill.

What to do

The four trails of the  Theodore Roosevelt Area located near the Fort Caroline National Memorial give a glance of old Florida, walking on these trails would be give a spectacular and worthy view. This park is considered a great spot for hiking as well.

If you are planning a trip soon, this detailed description of each National park would give you a clear picture.

Categories
Blog Guide USA

Best Time to See Northern Lights in Alaska

With winter almost here, are you hunting for places to visit? Well, your search ends now! Winter is the perfect time for paying a visit to Alaska to see the glorious northern lights. To fully enjoy the glory and magnificence of this heavenly display, you have to stay under the ever-changing lights and silently watch them curve and curl, slide and glimmer.

Terry Onsager experienced the spectacular view of the Northern lights or Aurora in Northern Norway. Basically, it is the best place to see these lights. You can also follow his footsteps or you can make your own track, it is up to you. The best time to see these auroras is between winter and spring season. It will be a thrilling moment to see the auroras with your own eyes. The cause of this wonderful phenomenon is that the solar particles are blown towards the earth’s magnetic field more than 60 miles above the earth’s surface.

What Are Northern Lights

Polar lights or Aurora Polaris are a natural occurrence actually found in both the northern and southern hemispheres that can be a truly wonderful experience. The Scientific name of Northern lights is Aurora Borealis. Aurora region is the most active place in Alaska in Arctic region. Tourists are very enthusiastic when they see the nature’s divine light show in the night. The lights are so heavenly vibrant it is like that God is doing the show of light. You can see them in some areas such as Greenland or Alaska in the most of nights throughout the year. The colors and the different patterns of the lights and their shapes make you feel that you are in a space.

How The Northern Lights are Formed

On the surface of the sun when solar activity exhales a cloud of gas, the Aurora is born. It is an electrostatic phenomenon. This is called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) by all the scientists. The collision takes place with the Earth’s magnetic field. This magnetic field is actually invisible. If you are able to see the shape of this it is like a comet with a long magnetic tail stretching the earth in the opposite direction of the sun.

When a collision of coronal mass ejection takes place with the magnetic field, it results in complex changes to happen in the magnetic tail region. These changes then produce currents of charged particles, after which they flow with lines of magnetic force towards the Polar Regions. These particles are enhanced in energy in Earth’s higher atmosphere. When oxygen and nitrogen atoms collide with these particles, they just produce stunning auroral lights.

The color of the gases is different. Yellow-green light is the most common color because of excitation of Oxygen atoms. Blue and violet lights occur because of ionized molecular Nitrogen. At lower altitudes, you will see vivid red color because of excited molecules of oxygen and Nitrogen. These three are the basic colors.

Pierre Gassende in 1621 named these Northen lights as Aurora Borealis. He first thought that it is a bright sunrise because it has a reddish pink color. But after some scientific research, it was clear that these are Northern lights and appeared in the deep dark. Scientists again said that “Aurora is really so beautiful, but the invisible flows of these particles and magnetism going on the same time can also be the reason of damaging of our electrical power grid and satellites which are operating in space too.” This is the reason why scientists are so eager to know the physics of Aurora and these solar storms so that we are able to keep our technology safe and secure.

Best Time to See Northern Lights in Alaska

To fully enjoy the glory and magnificence of this heavenly display, you have to stay under the ever-changing lights and silently watch them… curve and curl, slide and glimmer.

Terry Onsager experienced the Northern lights or Aurora in Northern Norway. Basically, it is the best place to see these lights. You can also follow his footsteps or you can make your own track, it is up to you. But the only thing you need to know that when to go.

Late in summer is also a good time to spend your vacations in that place. But the best time to see these auroras is between winter and spring season. Really, it will be a thrilling moment to see these auroras with your own eyes. Here are some suggestions to plan the trip according to the best time to see northern lights in Alaska.

  1. If you are ready to view this amazing aurora lights and plan a trip for the same then you should not plan this trip in the middle of the summer. There is absolutely no sense in doing this. You need complete darkness to see these lights and during summer it is less in places in the auroral zone. The sky should be clear all around. Spring and winter time is less cloudy than autumn in the northern auroral zone. That is the reason you should plan your trip between December and April. You may be able to see these lights clearly during these months.
  2. Coincide your trip time with the new moon. Make sure that you are away from city lights when you want to see northern lights. It needs complete darkness. Dress warm and plan to watch from 10 PM to 2 AM. Although an active period of these lights can occur at any time during dark hours. This period is about 30 minutes of duration and if the activity is very high then it may occur every two hours. These lights have irregular occurrence. It may occur randomly or not at all.
  3. You can get an idea or updates from aurora forecast institute i.e. Geophysical Institute about how active these northern lights are in your place. This is just an amazing experience to see these lights live. Don’t miss the opportunity at all.
  4. Being aware during the peak winter season, when all around weather is coldest and nights are darkest then waking up at midnight will definitely not waste your time. You will see the real heaven on the earth. Just believe that your time and money will be totally worth it. You can also make your trip in late summer season i.e early September.

And finally, if you don’t want to move from your place and also want to experience these lights then there is an option made available to you by The Canadian Space Agency. This agency offers you a live feed of the skies above Yellowknife, in their territories.

Best Place to See Northern Lights in Alaska

You always want the best for your kids. So, why not start by providing them the best view of the Northern lights? Following are the key places to see the aurora lights at their full glory. You can plan the visit as per your convenience.

1. Fairbanks

Although you can probably see northern lights all over the state, the utmost reliable place is Fairbanks. Up and inland, Fairbanks geographically comes under the “auroral oval,” where auroras are seen more often. You can also go outing for several hours north from there, generally offered by operators like Northern Alaska Tour Company. You can take a trip and enjoy the heavenly feeling to the fullest. This tour can also take you to areas like Murphy Dome or Chena Lake.

2. Denali National Park

Denali National Park situated between Anchorage and Fairbanks, also known for the highest mountain peak in North America. It is a perfect place to see the Northern Lights. It is only a 3-hour drive south of Fairbanks, you can spot the auroras out here. Because of lack of light and less pollution, it is a wonderful destination for a marvelous Northern Lights view. Best way to see the northern light in this area is to book a lodge around this park because these lights occur in a random fashion and may not be visible daily. Many lodges give you the facility to ring a wake-up alarm when these lights appear.

3. Anchorage

Although Fairbanks is the best place to see the Northern Lights, one more place can also get a wonderful show, that is Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. If you are going to Anchorage then Salmon Berry Tours offer an overnight and multi-day tour to Talkeetna and Fairbanks too. They provide transportation facilities so that you can enjoy your experience without any hassles in the way.

4. Brooks Range

Another option is that you can book a multi-day stay at Iniakuk Wilderness Lodge. This remote lodge is 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 200 miles north of Fairbanks. It’s a low-profile lodge so no disturbance of city lights is here. It’s a fabulous idea that you spend the whole day in snowshoeing or dog sledding. At coldest and darkest midnight heavenly lights are waiting for you to dance with you. Trust me, it will be a fabulous and unbelievably awesome day of your life.

5. Nome

Nome is another place to see the Northern Lights. In this visit, you can get a chance to dog mush and also watch some of the World’s best racers. There are various things to enjoy like snow machine races, bar game tournaments, basketball, craft fairs and art shows apart from viewing the Northern Lights. These Northern lights are not seen every night but when it is seen the experience is just breathtaking. The local residents will be more than thrilled to help you out and guide you through your journey.

6.Coldfoot

Coldfoot is basically known as a truck stop because previously it was served as a truck stop. This is also a perfect place to view the auroras. It is a town of 10 in the Yukon region in northern Alaska. Arctic Circle Aurora Fly & Drive Adventures will make your visit to Coldfoot worthwhile and also keep you in a cozy, comfortable tour van to see the beauty of these lights.

7. Barrow

Barrow, a small town, is situated on the very top of the country’s largest state is just about 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. You can see the aurora show by simply looking out of the window. Mind you, the temperature drops to negatives here! In this town, you can also enjoy its native culture where dog sledding is a traditional game and fun to participate. You can take a flight from Anchorage to reach Barrow.

8. Sweden

Best viewing locations for the Northern Lights in Sweden are Abisko, Kiruna, and Swedish Lapland. These areas are scientifically proven as an ideal spot for viewing the Northern Lights due to a unique microclimate.

9. Finland

Best Viewing locations in Finland are Kakslauttanen, Luosto, Utsjoki, Nellim, and Ivalo. Upon arrival in the Hotel Aurora, you’ll be given an “Aurora Alarm” that starts to beep whenever the northern lights are seen.

10. Iceland

When you leave the hot and happening nightlife of the city and head out to the open area of Þingvellir National Park you can easily spot the Northern lights. Moreover, as long as you’re outside Reykjavik you can view them from almost anywhere in the country.

Conclusion

Sometimes it is misunderstood that the glow of city lights are actually northern lights, but in reality, Aurora starts with greenish bands moving towards the east-west direction, then sometimes changing into undulating waves. They create green, greenish-yellow, dull blue, or some time even blood red curls of color. Previously it was a myth that these lights had supernatural powers, and more than this some thought that these lights are actually the dancing spirits of the dead.

Well, call it whatever you want, there is no denying that it is a paradise on the earth. It’s a nature’s gift to Alaska. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Northern Lights with your own eyes. So plan this winter to see the magic of God’s creation and enjoy this beautiful journey to see the Auroras. It does not matter whether you call them the northern lights or aurora borealis. Watching these beautiful green dancing bands of light in the sky is really an amazing experience that you must have at least once in your lifetime.

Categories
Blog Puerto Rico Things to do

Things to do in San Juan

San Juan the largest city situated on the island’s Atlantic coast. San Juan is a capital of Puerto Rico. It has the widest beach fronts the Isla Verde resort strip, known for its bars, casinos, and nightclubs. Cobblestoned Old San Juan has colorful Spanish colonial buildings, El Morro and La Fortaleza: 16th-century landmarks, massive fortresses with wide ocean views and last but not the least is the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade.

History

San Juan was founded in 1521 by Spanish colonists, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico (means a Rich Port City). After Santo Domingo, it is the second oldest European-established capital city in the Americas Dominican Republic.

Planning to visit San Juan?

San Juan is a beautiful capital city with soft sand beaches, various cultural attractions. It is a terrific place for your vacations. Enjoy the life in beachfront luxurious hotels and resorts in San Juan and neighboring districts. Historic forts, royal architecture, excellent dining, museums, and much more, are just a walking distance away from downtown San Juan.

Best Time to visit San Juan

Mid of April to June is the best time to visit Puerto just after the winter season and just before the rainy summer. Spring season is also very pleasant to visit here.

Things to do in San Juan

Discover Old San Juan’s Architecture

While it’s tempting to hotfoot it to the various destinations in this unique city, you just feel amazed to see the Spanish-influenced architecture of Old San Juan, a historic micro-peninsula of firmly join grid streets just in between the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay. In the surrounding of original Spanish city wall, cobbled stone streets with ballast from Spanish galleons, churches, boutiques, plazas, bars and much more things to see.

Iconic Headland Fort (El Morro)

Built for more than 200 years of a span to dissuade Puerto Rico’s seaborne invaders, El Morro a real crown of grand San Juan, located at the northwestern side of the Old San Juan peninsula. In the earlier 16th century, this was undertaken by both the military of Spain and America. This UNESCO World Heritage Site becomes a national monument in 1961. After some renovation was done recently lighthouse and the water battery give a royal view to the visitors.

Relax On White Sandy Beach (Ocean Park)

Enjoy the days at one of San Juan’s best beaches and see the beauty of the landscaping. Just grab a table of Pamela’s restaurant and enjoy the food with beautiful sunset view and also see the stroll of local residents at the seashore. In totality, it is relaxing day at the beach.

Local Vibe in Santurce At The Plaza Del Mercado

Take a walk around this pretty old-fashioned local market for an authentic breakfast of fried munchies and fresh juices. La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce opens not long after sunrise in a recently renovated market hall. Here local seller selling fresh bananas, plantain, etc. At night, you can enjoy salsa dancing with mojitos and local beers. You can also go for the bright cafe-lined square. All the local residents are gathered here and enjoy the dance party.

History Of Rum: Discover At Casa Bacardi

Casa Bacardi is the rum giant’s flagship factory and spiritual home since the Bacardi family left Cuba to Puerto Rico in 1936. You can travel by a short ferry and taxi ride from for Casa Bacardi. It offers three types of tours a historical tour, a rum tasting and a mixology session. The Bacardi Visitor Center features its ‘Cathedral of rum’ interior. It is basically designed to reflect Cuban villa houses with an interactive history that includes a film, audio guides and a chance to nose rum ingredients.

The Museum Of The Sea: Explore Maritime History

A real treasure hidden in the crisscrossing streets of Old San Juan, the old-fashioned Museo Del Mar displays a private collection of the maritime art object from all over the world like; Titanic memorabilia, various documents, models, coins, and finally the largest collection of life-saving rings in the world. The museum also documents San Juan’s own seafaring history, with a collection related to Christopher Columbus’ landing on Puerto Rico in 1493.

Enjoy Local Cuisine At Verde Mesa

Nightlife at Old San Juan’s offers you a variety of tastes, and Verde Mesa is one of the most famous restaurants in the city. It is a complete package of food, theatre, and stylish art surroundings at one place. Start the meal with an herbal mixed liquid. After that, a variety of combinations of seafood, fish, vegetarian delights which is fully organically produced are provided. All the food is served gracefully and garnished with flowers. Overall it is very enjoyable.

Museo De Las Américas: Explore The History Of Caribbean Art

Museo de las Américas, previously housed the former military barracks of Old San Juan. There is much to discover, starting from African and indigenous South American culture to present Puerto Rican appearance and characteristics. The national music scene is well represented. A large room is fully dedicated to local heroes and for unique instrumentation.

Enjoy Drinks at El Batey

El Batey is located just opposite to the grand El Convento hotel. It is one of San Juan’s longest-living bars which started about four decades ago. El Batey and its throwback jukebox give you a feeling of Old San Juan. Enjoy relaxing on a bar stool, just Rock up and enjoy the drinks. El Batey is absolutely a must!

Taste Coffee (Locally Developed) At Hacienda Pomarrosa

Hacienda Pomarrosa is situated at the highest mountain of Puerto Rico’s that is Cerro Punto. It is the place where coffee cultivation takes place. It has a coffee farm with peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Owner of these farms Kurt Leger and his son guide the visitors about the history of coffee. They also lead the walk around the lush green coffee farms. This visiting tour also includes various production floors to see the actual production of coffee.

San Juan Attractions

Old San Juan

It features almost 500 years old history of Old San Juan, with historic forts and Spanish royal architecture and various scenes. It is the second oldest city in the Americas. The seven-square-block area contains more than 400 royal buildings of 16th- and 17th-century. Presently many shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, and other public buildings are running here. The real masterpiece of Old San Juan is the Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, commonly known as El Morro. Other attractions are Castillo de San Cristóbal, Fortaleza, the San Juan Cathedral, and various museums.

Cemetery of San Juan

San Juan Cemetery is just adjacent to El Morro and high above the ocean. It is so beautiful. It is well-known for elaborate gravestones; statues; and a circular, red-domed prayer place dedicated to Mary Magdalene. The whole cemetery is a very peaceful place.

Cathedral of San Juan

The San Juan Cathedral begun in 1540 is one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas. It is also one of the oldest buildings in San Juan. The interior is very old-style but it appears great. The body of the renowned Spanish explorer named Ponce de León has laid here in a marble tomb since 1913.

La Fortaleza

At present La Fortaleza is the current official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. It was built in between 1533 and 1540 to protect the haven of San Juan. The structure is known as Palacio de Santa Catalina. La Fortaleza is the oldest governor’s residence and still used in the Western Hemisphere. Almost 150 governors have lived or stayed here. The building is renovated many times and now it is the mixture of 16th century and 19th century.

Museum Of Puerto Rican Art

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is one of the main attractions of San Juan, and it plays a prominent role to show the Caribbean culture. The building has now two portions the Older and the newer. The older portion of the building displays the museum’s permanent collection. The newer portion is basically a five-story structure containing a multi-story atrium, a theater, a sculpture garden, and also a popular restaurant. There is also a space for various workshops and exhibitions to be organized.

San Jose Church

Iglesia de San José was built in 1532 by Dominican friars. It was the earliest demonstration of Spanish Gothic architecture in America. This church is not very big in size but with a modest front elevation and domed interior. This gives this church an airy feel. More than 300 years back, the great Spanish explorer Ponce de León was buried here. Finally, his body was moved to the San Juan Cathedral in the year 1913. The 18th-century Puerto Rican artist, José Campeche, is also buried here.

Puerto Rico Art Museum

This museum was Founded in 1984, It shows the work of Puerto Rico’s finest artists of the modern day. Frequently changing exhibits the museum has a collection of modern paintings, island-made prints, posters, and sculptures. Located inside Sacred Heart University in the Barat building, the museum can be difficult to find. Because exhibits change very frequently, you should always be in contact with the museum or latest website before visit the same.

Plaza Las Americas

Plaza Las Americas is a modern indoor shopping plaza. It is the place to come and enjoy some shopping. When you are done seeing all the culture, enjoying the beaches, and are fed up with the heat of San Juan you might want to escape from all these. Plaza Las Americas is the right place for you. This is not the place to find traditional Puerto Rican Momento or ornaments. In fact, this is a large mall with various US chain stores, American restaurants, latest fashions, movie theaters, much more. It is supposed to be the best mall in Puerto Rico.

Places to Eat

Pikayo

Pikayo is a fine dining restaurant. The food is exquisite. It is famous for creative fusion dishes. It is a late night restaurant. Opening time of this restaurant is 6.30 PM.

Buns Burger

It is the perfect restaurant for the kids You can build customize burgers, hot dogs fries, onion rings, shakes and much more including contemporary dinner. It is a cozy restaurant. The opening time is 11 AM.

Casa Cortés

It is basically a coffee shop. Casual snacks are served. In every preparation there is chocolate in it, anyone can wonder how they use chocolate into meat dishes but it is just awesome. This is a favorite place for kids too. Opening time is 8 AM.

Cocina Abierta

It is famous for different styles of cocktails. If you are visiting Puerto Rico this place is a must visit. The ambiance is just amazing and the food is really excellent. Opening time is 8 AM in the morning.

1919 Restaurant

It is the best organic food restaurant. It has a beautiful ambiance, good service, and the best vegan meals. Opening time is 6 PM.

Summary

Overall, San Juan is very famous and beautiful tourist destination in Puerto Rico. Its central location is the best to start with. It is the busiest cruise port in the Caribbean. It really gives world-class attraction to cruisers and also a rich cultural experience. Actually, we can say that San Juan is a cultural center of Puerto Rico which celebrates numerous festivals and events annually. Local residents are always celebrating something in San Juan. Visitors are also welcome to join these celebrations and enjoy the vibrant culture. It is a true place for happiness. Whether it is a ground of El Morro or playing on beaches, whether you are dancing salsa or enjoying the food, everything you do is extremely lively in San Juan.

Categories
Attractions Blog USA

Top 12 Jacksonville Attractions

Jacksonville is a big city situated in northeastern Florida where the St. John’s River meets in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a regional business center that also has many museums and cultural gifts. Swimming and surfing are popular activities at nearby barrier island beaches like Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach. Jacksonville is also famous for various enthusiastic sports events like Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacksonville Sharks and much more. Championship golf courses in the area like headquarters of the PGA Tour and Ponte Vedra Beach’s TPC Sawgrass.

History

Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States (840 Square meters). It was previously called Duval Street. The new name Jacksonville was after General Andrew Jackson- the first military governor of Florida. Isiah Hart, who was the founder of Jacksonville, named two of the city’s first streets after his daughter’s name, Laura, and Julia.

The Mayport Ferry connects Jacksonville’s beaches to Amelia Island areas and the Fernandina Beach. The St. Johns River flows north instead of south. Jacksonville was listed as one of the top five upcoming cities in America in Good Morning America (2006). With unique shops and dining experiences in the eclectic Five Points area is basically named for its landmark five-way intersection.

Planning to visit Jacksonville?

Jacksonville is the perfect and best-suited destination for your vacation. From the 1,100 miles of shoreline to 80,000 acres of parks and trails, it has world-class art and museums, and various enthusiastic sporting events.

Best time to visit Jacksonville

The popular time to visit Jacksonville is from March to July and November to December. It is an ideal time to enjoy a visit to Jacksonville with your family and friends. A Jacksonville Jazz Festival was organized and there is a free concert by famous international jazz artists in various indoor as well as outdoor locations.

Jacksonville Attractions

Beach, Friendship Fountain, Museum, Zoos, and gardens these are some of the attractions are so engrossed in Jacksonville’s culture. They are really impossible to ignore. Some of them are really revolved around the waterway, the great St. John’s River that keeps life flowing through Jacksonville. It is so difficult to list some of them.

1. The Beach

Jacksonville is just incomplete without discussing its natural, beautiful and one of most well-known attractions- the beach. Jacksonville’s public beaches cover approximately 20 miles across the Atlantic coast. Beaches are open all time 24×7. Jacksonville Beach is famous for its 1000 foot fishing pier.

2. Jacksonville’s Riverside District

Jacksonville’s historic Riverside-Avondale is one of the most well-preserved historic neighborhoods in the United States, with more than 5000 historic buildings. Riverside-Avondale was listed as one of the top ten neighborhoods in the U.S. by the American Planning Association. It is the closest thing will find to Greenwich Village in Florida, as stated by Financial Times.

It has numerous attraction like weekly Riverside Arts Market, the Cummer Museum of Art, Gardens, and Five Points. A section of the Riverside is famous for its diverse shopping and lively culture.

3. Museum of Contemporary Arts

The Museum of Contemporary Art at Jacksonville is the Southeast United States’s one of the largest contemporary art galleries. It is across the street from the significant Hemming Plaza in downtown, the city’s first park. MOCA is next to the downtown Jacksonville library in the former Western Telegraph Office building. It was opened in the year 2003 in partnership with UNF.

4. The Museum of Science and History

Jacksonville Children’s Museum is now known as The Museum of Science and History. It has seven permanent exhibits, a new, modern planetarium, and a specialty revolving exhibit. Past exhibits contain Dinosaurs, Ice Age Mammals, and Dinosaurs of the Deep, both of which include cartoon. It is a must visit place in Jacksonville especially for children.

5. Friendship Fountain

Friendship Fountain has witnessed many proposals of First Love. Jacksonville local residents trust that this fountain has special powers. Whether it is true or not but no one can deny the beauty of Friendship Fountain. Friendship Fountain was World’s largest constructed fountain in 1941. In the year 2011 some renovation was done and a new improved look given to the fountain and surrounding area. After that, the Fountain is now secured for decades to come.

8. Jacksonville Landing

The most important part of Jacksonville is the St. John’s River. It is actually the recognition of Jacksonville. We can say that it is the lifeline of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Landing is such an amazing place to walk alongside its waters, pick a boat ride, have dinner, do some shopping and enjoy other activities too. The Landing is also a popular place for Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacksonville shark games and hundreds of special events each year.

9. Downtown Art Walk

The first Wednesday of each month between 5 PM and 9 PM whether rain or shine, a downtown art walk takes place in Jacksonville’s over a 15 block radius. It came into existence just a few years back but now art Walk turned into one of Jacksonville’s finest attractions. It features more than 30 galleries including live music, food, drink, and work with local artists.

10. Fort Caroline National Memorial

Fort Caroline National Memorial is a part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Reserve, which is managed by the National Park Service. Fort Caroline which was established in the year 1564 was the first French colony in the United States. It has around 6000 years of human history. It is a must-see destination for Jacksonville for visitors especially for those who are interested in history. The Timucuan Reserve also has Kingsley Plantation which has a collection of well-preserved early 19th-century plantation.

11. Jacksonville Gardens and Zoo

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is famous for over 2,000 animals around 110 acres. It also hosts seasonal and other special events. It was previously located in Springfield in early 1910s. It is situated on Jacksonville’s Northside. It is an interesting place to watch.

12. EverBank Field

EverBank Field was previously known as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and Alltel Stadium. It is the permanent place of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars play 10 home games in the stadium in each NFL season. Headquarters of Jaguars is also inside this stadium. EverBank is also a place for a famous annual Florida-Georgia game and for other annual events like concerts and outdoor sporting events too. It is a capacity of approximately 73,000. EverBank Field is situated in the heart of downtown in Jacksonville.

Things to Do at Jacksonville

Outdoor Activities

Jacksonville has the largest urban park system in the country, with more than 75,000 acres. Miles of untouched beaches, woodlands, waterways, and marshes are there to enjoy outdoor activities. You can also explore Northeast Florida’s sole ecosystem by hiking or biking besides nature pathways. You can spot hundreds of local bird species in the surroundings. An evening camping is also there to enjoy under the stars in any of the exquisite parks. Following outdoor activities can be enjoyed at Jacksonville any time

  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Zoo & Wild Life
  • Birding
  • Camping

Water Activities

Jacksonville is a place of a natural water wonderland. From a royal St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, marshes, beaches, and lakes, there is lots of fun for everyone while enjoying the water activities in Jacksonville. Various fun filling activities are

  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Peddle boarding
  • Surfing
  • Cruising
  • Boating
  • Diving

Art & Culture

Jacksonville is a very renowned world-class arts and culture destination. The local art and music can be enjoyed at the festivals and events. Various types of music from classical to rock and roll is very popular among local residents and visitors, whether it is performed in Veterans Memorial Arena or in historic Florida Theatre or the Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall.

Basically Jacksonville Jazz Festival is the almost the second largest festival in the U.S. Lots of art material can be found at this place, be it a Renaissance masterpieces at the Cummer Museum or contemporary works at MOCA. Art lover can also visit local galleries to support up-and-coming artists. Jacksonville is a place of Artists. Everywhere or in any place tons of art is available in public places also. Visit Jacksonville Main Library or can view one of the local artists as they created a masterpiece. Now, that can be seen in the Yates Garage in –

  • Galleries & Museums
  • Museums celebrating Jacks History
  • Live Theatres
  • Music
  • Various events including Jazz Festivals

Sports Activities

With the ability for tailgating and a real passion for all sports, local residents of Jacksonville have honed the art of the sports celebration and welcome all visitors to participate in the fun. In Jacksonville football is all time undisputed king. Some more popular games are –

  • Jaguars of Jacksonville
  • Sharks of Jacksonville

Golf Activities

You can also enjoy golf in the morning in pristine public and semi-private courses designed by experts of the game. You can also enjoy your lunch by locally caught fresh seafood by the Intracoastal. All afternoon you can explore and enjoy the beauty of natural beaches. Outing at night, you can visit the craft breweries of the Jax Ale Trail, and enjoy one of the finest dining scenes in the Southeast.

Shopping Activities

Shopping Time!! Jacksonville offers lots of shopping points for any taste. Walk through San Marco and Avondale areas to visit trendy boutiques. You can discover vintage treasures in Southside areas and the eclectic Five Points. You can also enjoy various local markets places for local handmade art and craft. If you want to have fun with shopping mall you can join Avenues Mall or the outdoor shopping mecca the St. Johns Town Center.

  • Shopping at Malls
  • Downtown Shopping
  • Beach-side shops
  • Farmers’ Market
  • Boutiques
  • Places to Eat
  • Restaurant Orsay

Serves Seasonal French food & creative cocktails in the dining room of Orsay with luxurious seating arrangements will relax you to your core. It opens at 4 PM and provides Late-night Food and Happy hour drinks.

Biscottis

The convivial bistro serves small plates of sandwiches, salads, and brunch in a historic brick-lined space. It opens in the morning 10.30 AM and serves Late night food too.

Taverna

It serves basically Italian food like brick-oven pizzas & seasonal Italian & Spanish dishes in a cozy accommodation. It opens at 11 AM in the morning.

Julington Creek Fish Camp

It Serves Seafood. It is a relaxed, elegant spot for seafood with a Southern twist. It also has a full bar with a view of the river. Opening time is 11 AM in the morning.

Black Sheep Restaurant

It is a full bar serving craft beers & cocktails with casual dining hall plating locally sourced Southern chow. It opens at 10.30 AM daily.

Maple Street Biscuit Company

It basically provides breakfast and lunch. It serves biscuit sandwiches & Southern sides for breakfast & lunch. Dinner is only on weekends. It opens early in the morning 7 AM.

Metro Diner

It is a local diner chain which serves classic American breakfast and lunch fare in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Opening time is 6.30 AM in the morning.

Green Erth Bistro

It is a health-focused cafe for Middle Eastern kebabs, wraps and spreads. It also has vegan options in a warm and comfortable space.

Southern Roots Filling Station

It serves coffee, vegetarian breakfast, and lunch & also bulk organic foods. It is a good option for vegetarians. It opens at 8 AM in the morning.

Summary

Undoubtedly Jacksonville is the best place for visitors to enjoy everything including outdoor activities, water activities, sports, shopping and many more events. Jacksonville, the largest city in the continental U.S. is really the perfect place to experience a new face of Florida. The waterways, parks, zoos and ecological preserves in Jacksonville give you an opportunity to feel the real existence of nature and also relax in nature’s lap.

In Jacksonville, the versatility of life can be seen. From natural beauty to a modern and vivacious city filled with fine dining options, luxurious hotels, world-class museums, electrifying events, cool and cozy nightlife, a fashionable Downtown and unique historic districts, thrilling sports of Jacksonville Jaguars, sharks and much more. Jacksonville is the place with entertaining options for visitors of all ages.

Categories
Blog Switzerland Things to do

Things to do in Lake Geneva

The beautiful Geneva Lake is a crescent moon shaped lake which is situated on the northern side of the Alp mountains and is shared by France and Switzerland. It is one of the largest lakes in Europe. The name Lac leman comes from ancient Greek word Limenis that means “port’s lake.”

Lake Geneva is basically divided into three parts

  1. Haut Lake – It is the upper lake and part from the Rhone Estuary.
  2. Petit Lac – This Lake is narrower and shallow part of the lake in the South-west, from Yvoire Promenthoux next penguins to the exit in Geneva.
  3. Grand Lac – or the large lake is the deepest basin and the largest width of the lake.

Lake Geneva is one of the largest water bodies in Switzerland; its northern shore runs around 95 kilometers and the southern shore around 72 kilometers which is around 45 miles in length.
The lake shores are absolutely beautiful and many sites near the lake can be visited. It is situated around 12,200 feet above the sea level.

There’s so much to do in Geneva Lake and the nearby places. Some of these known and lesser known places are listed here.

Planning to visit Geneva lake?

Geneva Lake and the adjoining places will absolutely blow your mind, there is just so much to do and so much to see, it is one of the most beautiful places you’ll come across in the whole of the Switzerland.

Best time to visit

You can visit Geneva city almost throughout the year, although summer is the most favorable time to be in Geneva.

June to August – This is the best time to visit Geneva Lake, although rain is common around this time most of the time it’s sunny. As many celebrations take place during this season it also becomes the most crowded months as the place is filled with tourists.

September to November – It is the beginning of winter at this time, but not very cold. The temperature ranges from 10 to 14 degree Celsius. This is the best time to travel if you’re on a budget as there is hardly any rush during this time of the year. Hence the hotel prices go down and are budget friendly.

December to April – The temperature goes below zero degrees. But people who are looking for some adventure sports like skiing can come in this time of the year as The Alps are Snowcovered. You need to book your hotel and plan well at least two to three months in advance.

May to June – This time is spring season in Geneva; the temperature can range from 15 to 20 degree Celsius.

How to reach Geneva Lake

Geneva is well connected through air, train, and bus.

Rail – The Swiss Federal railway station serves the Geneva train station and has trains to all the main cities like Bern, Zurich, and Basel approximately every half an hour.

Road – Geneva’s coach station is closed to the railway station and serves around 20 European countries.

Air – Geneva airport connects almost All European carriers as well as a few daily Trans – Atlantic flights. The local connections connect Geneva with Zurich, Bern, Lugano with many other European capitals. Also, international airlines are British Airways and Air France.

Places to visit and things to do

Here we have listed out all the things you can do in Geneva Lake and nearby place you must visit.

1. Geneva Lake

The beautiful, stunning and the picturesque beauty of this lake attract thousands of tourists to this place each year. You can have a lovely walk along with your friends and family and also have the cruise or boat ride to enjoy the breezy round. You see the beautiful and snowy Alps in the background and vineyards and villages that are alongside the lake, the beautiful mountains make the perfect backdrop. The water is very clear and wonderful for swimming during summer months and climbs on the massive obstacle.

The whole City, especially on a sunny day, comes together to the lake to enjoy the beautiful sunrise at 6:00 am every day during the sunrise festival and enjoy the live music.

One of the main attractions the lake is famous for is the Jet D’eau, it’s a giant fountain in the middle of Lake Geneva and is also one of the most iconic fountains in the world. The massive fountain can be seen from miles away. There are many lakeside food stalls where you can have a wonderful meal.

2. Black point estate

This place is situated on the southern shore of the Geneva Lake. You can take a 45 minutes boat ride to reach here. It is one of the oldest mansions on Geneva Lake and was built in 1888 as a summer home for Conrad Seipp. It has been open for public since 2007. There are 13 bedrooms and you can take a guided tour which will take you back in time. People who are interested in history and architecture will love this place. It runs across 60 acres of area and has a Queen Anne style of architecture; you can see the post-civil war-era furniture here.

Black point estate is listed in the National register of historic place s in the year 1994. The estate with its sure line is preserved by the Geneva lake conservancy. You have to climb around 100 steps to reach the main ground. The house is mainly restored to its original condition. So it’s worth it to come to this beautiful historic property with a great, fairly calm back-story.

3. Geneva lake museum

The Geneva lake museum is a replication of Lake Geneva’s Main Street from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. You get a brochure here that briefly explains the different rooms. Have a look at the beautiful artifacts.

The museum takes you through town’s history of the Native Americans of the 20th century. There are many interesting displays. The place shows Lake Geneva’s Rich history and close ties to Chicago. There’s a lot to discover at this museum, this place is truly fascinating.

4. Tristan Crist magic theater

The Tristan Crist magic theater is located on the 609 W main streets in downtown of Lake Geneva. This theater features a world-class magic, illusion and comedy performance of about an hour.
You are going to be amazed by all the magic tricks, it’s like as if you’re off to magic land. Your kids will remember this place throughout their lives. It’s going to entertain people of all age groups and for sure you’ll exit the theater dazzled and impressed.

5. United Nations Organization

The United Nations organization at Geneva is at Palais Des Nations building and is the second largest office site of the United Nations. You can walk in the rooms were many important historical negotiations took place.
You can have a one hour guided tour which helps you to discover the building, the group tours are available in around 15 languages. There is an art collection which has over 2000 international works of art, also the famous “The Rebirth sculpture” by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

There is serpent bar which is the perfect place to have organic food and drinks and click a lot of selfies. Not only is this place wonderful to visit the Chambers were historic treaties were made but also as a purely artistic level, you are going to consider this visit a quality one. Be sure to see the broken chair sculpture which is outside the main entrance.

6. Bigfoot Beach estate

The Bigfoot estate is a state park on Geneva Lake. There are plenty of trails, a small beach, and very nice campsites. The place gets packed on weekends. There are picnic tables where you can enjoy with family and kids. It is very interesting to know that Bigfoot Lake was the original English name of Lake Geneva.

7. Grand Geneva Resort: The Mountaintop

The mountaintop at Grand Geneva resort is the name for the ski resort; there are mountain slopes perfect for skiing, a well-organized ski shop, and a restaurant. The staff is friendly. Come here on a weekday and it will be absolutely perfect as very few people are there, so you have the whole mountain for yourself.

8. Rivera Beach

The Rivera Beach is located at Wrigley drive in Lake Geneva, it’s a kid-friendly area best to spend time with your family and friends. The white sandy beach, the crystal clear Waters, and the beautiful views can be seen across the lake. The beach is quite clean, you can have a swim or have a subtle walk, sunbathe and just relax.

9. Safari Lake Geneva

Be sure you don’t miss out on this one. The Safari at Lake Geneva helps you to see the animals from around the world. The tour lasts for around one hour and you get a cup of feed for the animals. Many of the animals approach the vehicles, and you can feed them and get really close and even pat them. You’ll see Arabian Camel, sheep, yaks, bison, zebras, miniature horses, blackbuck antelope, Pekin duck, apple yard ducks, greater rhea, and many more exotic varieties of animals. Tour runs every hour just make sure to reach 10 minutes before your tour starts.

10. White River Country Park

The white River country Park opened in 2014 and has nearly 200 acres area and 2 miles of frontage along the white river. You can have a picnic with family here; enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing or have a long Walk on the trails.

The two pedestrian bridges which are the latest addition to the park that runs across the white river helps you explore the trails and the natural areas of the park.

11. Yerkes Observatory

The Yerkes Observatory was established in 1897 on Geneva Lake. It runs across 77 acres of land. You can visit the tour Yerkes on Saturdays throughout the year and have a look inside the 40-inch refractor and the 90-foot dome, which is the largest lens-type telescope in the world. Yerkes also has a museum and gives a huge opportunity for learning.

12. Wilmot mountain

With around 120 skiable acres of area and 23 trails, Wilmot Mountain can offer an affordable and fun trip to the whole family. You can enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and tubing here. A children’s learning center offers group lessons according to family needs. Tubing is highly recommended as it doesn’t require any lessons and you can race down the hills and watch snow fly by.

13. C.E.R.N

It’s the European organization for nuclear research also known as CERN is an organization that operates the largest particle physics lab in the world. But don’t worry you really need not be a scientist or even a science buff to visit this place. The organization is pushing the boundaries of human knowledge, you’ll learn about many things that affect your day to day life, go on a day trip and you can see the biggest machine ever made by mankind.

Places to eat

There are many places to eat in Geneva, here are a few of them listed according to the budget you might have.

1.Cheap Eats

  • Great eggs – looking for a delightfully delicious breakfast? Do visit here and enjoy breakfast wraps, burritos, omelets.
  • Champ sports – it’s a modern-day sports bar. You can enjoy live music every Friday night. Their specialties are BBQ chicken, tacos, burgers, wraps. Perfect place to have lunch or dinner when on a budget.

2. Moderately priced places

  • The next door pub – The place is amazing, the pizza here is absolutely fantastic, apart from pizza the place is also known for ribs, burgers, lasagna, and pasta.
  • Simple cafe – They have a very creative and healthy menu; frittata, veg burgers, sandwiches are recommended. Nice place to have breakfast or lunch.

3. Fine dining restaurant

  • Geneva ChopHouse – An upscale restaurant located on the lodge of great Geneva resort. Lobster Mac n cheese, lamb chops, steaks are delicious with a glass of red wine.
  • Baker house – This is a fabulous place to visit, the rooms are furnished in Victorian style. Ravioli, beef-shot ribs, salmon are amazing. Don’t Miss out on the Sunday brunch which offers a great variety of food. Although higher side of the price it’s absolutely worth the visit.

Just take a break from the regular hectic life and take out time to admire the beauty of Lake Geneva. Have a relaxing vacation. There is so much to do! Enjoy the sunset with your loved ones over the lake and the picturesque beauty the place offers. Have a recreational experience. Lake Geneva truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.