What to Do on a Trip of a Lifetime to Mexico

Whether you’re planning a round-the-world trip or donning your backpack for the very first time, Mexico should be on your list of must-visit destinations. The country is famous for tequila, fantastic food, Mayan ruins, deserts, excellent hospitality and beautiful beaches. And everything is at a very affordable price including some of the best beachfront homes in Mexico. Some come to relax or honeymoon while others for the adventure or to practice their Spanish. Whatever the reason, Mexico won’t disappoint.

 

The Best Things to Do in Mexico

Planning a trip to Mexico is difficult because there are just so many things to do and new experience to have. The beaches are some of the best outside of the Caribbean and crystal clear water makes a perfect spot for snorkelling and scuba diving. You can head to the resort areas of Los Cabos or Cancun for a relaxing vacation at an all-inclusive or find a vacation rental with a view. Or head along the coast to the smaller towns for a more local experience.

Next are the ruins. Mayan ruins are all around the country including pyramids, settlements and temples of which some have a very gruesome history. Check them out and learn about the unique culture that lived here and their practices of human sacrifice. Other awesome things to do include whale-watching, exploring some of the islands, heading into the desert and soaking up the atmosphere in the colonial towns.

 

Where are the Best Places to Visit?

 

Mexico is a huge country taking up about 20% of the landmass of the United States making a lot of ground to cover. The most popular destinations for those taking a holiday around the coastal areas are to places like Los Cabos, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Fewer take the time to visit some of the areas on the interior and miss out on colonial towns and ruins. Let’s look at some of the less explored parts of Mexico to visit.

Mexico City, in the Valle de Mexico or Valley of Mexico in the central part of the country, is the economic and cultural centre of the nation. Highlights include museums, both Aztec and Mayan ruins, colonial buildings along with beautiful gardens and public spaces. The shopping district is unlike any other in Mexico selling the very latest accessories and fashion. Despite the humongous size of the city, it’s not that difficult or overwhelming to visit as most attractions are clustered in three or four districts. And any negative reputation for safety isn’t as bad as you may think after the government began cracking down on crime.

 

Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts

Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts

 

Tulum shares a stretch of the Caribbean coast and has some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches. Tourists often come to relax in the high-end resorts and spend a few days lounging on the beaches soaking up the sunshine. Head a little away from the town, and you’ll find an ancient Mayan city that once acted as an important port. The complex has a series of ruins with the main building, a castle, sat on the cliff. Head to the north of Tulum Beach and you’ll come across plenty of other ruins, including the ancient Mayan city of Coba. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also worth visiting on a day trip from Tulum.

 

Off the Beaten Path

Perhaps you want to visit the lesser-explored parts of Mexico. After all, it’s big enough, and if you know where you want to go, you’ll have an incredible experience with warm and friendly locals.

San Miguel de Allende is in the central highlands of Mexico and is one of the prettiest colonial towns in the country. Spanish baroque architecture dominates the facades, and an active arts scene makes San Miguel a cultural centre. Expect cobblestone streets with lots of churches, such as the neo-Gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel and the Templo de San Francisco church. Most visitors typically spend a few days in the pretty town for the architecture, culture and the cooler climate.

San Pancho, or sometimes referred to as San Francisco, is a seaside town on the central Pacific coast. Beaches are quiet and many of the visitors are yoga enthusiasts. Apart from joining a yoga class, you can also visit the Punta Monterrey inside the jungle or follow the trails to very secluded beaches. You won’t find as many tourists here giving you a more authentic Mexican experience.

 

How to Get Around Mexico

 

The fastest and easiest way is to fly. Domestic flights connect major cities and depart on regular schedules making it convenient to get from one side of the country to the other. Alternatively, if you want to get to the smaller towns, especially in the interior, you’ll need to use the chicken bus. A chicken bus is a minibus taking passengers around the country with fares costing very little. This is the preferred method for visitors who want to slow travel around Mexico or are on a budget. You can also use the ferry or boat services to get from one destination to the next along the coast.

 

The Ingredients for a Trip of a Lifetime

 

What makes Mexico so special as a travel destination is its diversity, culture and your ability to get off the beaten path at affordable prices. You’ll see beaches, Mayan ruins and colonial towns or replace your wardrobe in Mexico City while enjoying their delicious food on a daily basis.

 

Tulum ruins Mexico

Tulum ruins Mexico

What to Pack for the Trip of a Lifetime to the Niagara Falls

Travel is a wonderful way to broaden your horizons and enjoy more of what life has to offer. There are some truly wonderful places to explore and experience.

A great example of this kind of destination is the glorious Niagara Falls. Whether you stay on the Canadian or US side this place is simply breathtaking. Quite like anything you are likely to have experienced before. It really is a trip of a lifetime, so you really should prepare for it carefully.

 

Treat yourself to a nice hotel

If you possibly can book a hotel like the one you will find at marriottonthefalls.com. You are only going to do this once, so it really is worth splashing the cash if you can and staying somewhere with a view of the falls. Being able to get a bird´s eye view of them really is the best way to appreciate the sheer majesty and size of this stunning natural wonder.

At night, you are in for a real treat when the falls are illuminated and you get to take in the entire vista from a comfortable, luxury hotel room. It is a sight you are never going to forget, especially if you are lucky enough to be staying there when one of the falls fireworks shows is held.

 

 

Pack for all weathers

Before booking go online and check what the weather conditions are likely to be like during your stay. This will help to inform your decision about what type of clothes to pack.

In the summer months, the weather is normally quite warm. However, there is a good chance that you will experience days where it rains and there is a chilly wind blowing. Therefore, even at that time of the year, it is wise to pack at least one lightweight jumper, sweatshirt, a pair of long trousers, some closed in footwear and a coat that will keep you dry.

 

TIP: Here’s a practical guide to visiting the Niagara Falls.


The right footwear

The falls are very busy most of the year. This means that you are potentially going to be spending a bit of time queuing for the tours and attractions. Therefore, you really do need to take comfortable footwear, which has been properly broken in. You really do not want to have blisters or bleeding feet. If you plan to take a tour that involves a lot of walking you really do need to be wearing something sturdy and comfortable. You are going to clambering about a bit, so need something that supports your feet properly.

 

A good waterproof coat

Some of the tours like the boat trips take you right to the foot of the falls. Here you will be sprayed by the mist, so a good waterproof comes in handy. The tour operators do provide plastic ponchos, which will keep you reasonably dry. However, they do not do much to keep you warm. For this reason, a waterproof coat is always a good idea. Just make sure that it is lightweight enough to stuff in your backpack when you do not need it.

 

The right visas and documentation

Potentially, you can explore the Niagara Falls from both the US and Canadian sides. If you want to do this you need to take the right documents with you and remember to carry them with you on the relevant days. You can find out what documentation you are likely to need from this FAQ page.

 




TIP: Go on a helicopter ride above the Niagara Falls, you won’t ever regret it 😉

 


 

Five unforgettable nights out in Vienna

Austria’s beautiful capital has an amazing culture, historic architecture and some truly wonderful cuisine. Being a little off the mainstream tourist trail, it feels a good deal more authentic than the likes of Paris or Rome, wonderful spots though they are.

Once you have spent the day exploring the city, you are left with the question of how to while away the evening. Vienna has a great nightlife, and as you will see from our top five things to do, if night clubs are your thing, that is definitely an option worth exploring. But we have come up with some slightly more left field options, too. See what you think.

 

Five unforgettable nights out in Vienna

 

1) Go to the opera

Let’s be honest, Vienna is probably most famous for the number of classical musicians who called it home, most notably Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. If you are ever going to give the opera a try, this is definitely the city to do it. The State Opera House in the centre of the city is a sight to behold in its own right, and tickets sell quickly. The best plan to avoid disappointment and get the best price is to buy online before you go from a site such as viennaoperatickets.com.

 

2) Hang out at the Café Drechler

Vienna has a strong café culture, and this little spot is one of its best known. Standing right on the Naschmarkt, it is impossible to miss. The venue is an eatery by day, serving local fare, and was redesigned by Terence Conran in 2007. On Thursday and Friday nights, it has a DJ and is favoured by Vienna’s young movers and shakers.

 

3) Dinner on the wheel

Visiting Vienna with a special someone? Treat him or her to a slap up meal and the best view in town on the big wheel and you will be certain to impress. A dinner for two cabin is yours for an hour and a half, and you will be treated to a three course meal, two bottles of wine, a champagne aperitif and after dinner coffees. OK, at €345 per couple it is not cheap, but for a special night out, it is hard to beat.

 

4) Sink a few at Titanic

We promised you some old school suggestions too, and you can’t get much more so than Titanic. Probably Vienna’s most famous nightclub, it was founded in the 1980s and has a strong, loyal following from those who like to party hard till the sun rises. The music is eclectic, with a leaning towards electric and techno. They also have a restaurant that serves a wide range of fare.

 

5) Explore canal culture

The Donau Kanal has become the hangout of choice for those looking for excitement and adventure, at least in the summer months. There is always something happening, including a number of free festivals and music events. A perfect spot to sit back, watch the world go by and just go with the flow.

 

I am also sure that Vienna would be a perfect St. Valentine’s city.

The Croatian Coastline – A paradise of 1.000 islands

The Croatian Coastline is awesome. There is no doubt about that. Anyone, who has ever been there will totally agree on that for sure. Why? Because it has an imcomparable beauty to it, which you won’t find at any other place. At least not exactly like that. The coastline of Croatia is full of wonderful bays, beaches and islands you need to visit. I have been at the Croatian coastline for about 2 weeks once and it left me speachless sometimes.

You can not imagine the water colour, if you have not seen it yourself. Usually you would only expect a water colour like that in paradisaic places on other continents like Asia, Australia or South America. But Croatia definitely is an exception in this case. I could not imagine any other place within Europe, that has such a beautiful coastline like Croatia has.

The water colour is light blue and crystal clear. Really beautiful to look at. Besides that you have such a nice view onto the islands. Croatia has more than 1.000 of it. For such a small country in comparison, this is quite a lot. And they look really beautiful. In the back of every beach and along the whole coastline you find georgous mountain ranges from where you have a fantastic view onto the coastline as well. We had an apartment up the hills in Omis (a small town in Dalmatia), which had such an awesome view. If you are ever in that area, I recommend you to get an accommodation up the mountains/ hills. You will love it.

 

 

What’s also really nice about the coastline of Croatia are the numerous beautiful bays you can visit on a road trip. I recommend you to get a leased car anyway. It’s the best way to get around. All the bays you will see are just perfect. Most of them are quite hidden, very small and pretty quiet. Sometimes it is even hard to reach them, because you have to drive down some very weird roads. But it’s always definitely worth the journey. Trust me.

You will also be amazed how clean every beach in Croatia is. I don’t know why, but it’s very good. You won’t see any rubbish. At least we didn’t. At some beaches and bays you also find some kind of blown up air castles/ air playgrounds in the water where kids can play on. Really cool. Even I went on one, one time. It’s good fun, even though it’s not meant to be for adults. But as you might know, all men are just little kids jailed in big bodies 😉

 

 

 

The last thing that really fascinated me as well was, how many beaches Croatia has. It’s unreal. It seems like every 100m you find a beach. Of course that’s not the truth, but it definitely seems like it. And I loved that. So whenever you are doing a road trip or you just explore the coastline, you always have the opportunity to go for a quick swim. So nice!

In general I can only highly recommend to visit this coastline, because it is just fascinating and really, really pretty. Maybe you will really not find anything better within Europe…

 

 

*This article was written by Christian “Volle” Vollmert, a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. He wants to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus he really wants to show how much personal development as a human being comes along with it!

Iceland’s Three Greatest Natural Highlights

In terms of natural beauty, it is very hard to top Iceland. This spectacular Nordic island nation is unlike anywhere else on the planet and boasts a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and much more. It is also one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive Northern Lights.

Iceland is somewhere that everybody should visit at some point in their lives and especially nature lovers. The best way to see the highlights will be to book with advent holiday organisers, like Exodus. Here are the three must-visit natural highlights on the island:

 

Blue Lagoon

Listed as one of the 25 wonders of the world, Blue Lagoon is a geo-thermal spa encircled by ice and snow. It is one of Iceland’s most visited attractions and it is easy to see why. It is a natural attraction that has man-made features built in, such as a swim-up bar and walkways around the site. Swimming in the gorgeous warm waters whilst being surrounded by ice and snow is a surreal yet luxurious experience and the rich mineral content is great for your skin.

 

 

Great Geysir

Located to the south-west of the island, The Great Geysir is a magnificent geyser that has been active for over 10,000 years. It is the most famous geyser in the world – this is also part of Iceland’s famed “Golden Circle Tour”, which is highly recommended. Eruptions here can shoot boiling water some 70 metres high into the air and this is a truly breathtaking sight to behold. These eruptions can be infrequent, but the nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every few minutes and can reach around 30 metres high, so be sure to check this one out as well.

 

Gollfoss Waterfall

This epic waterfall is located in south Iceland on the impressive Hvítá river (it is also part of the “Golden Circle” tour). It is fed by Langjökull – the second biggest glacier in Iceland and the water drops a full 32 metres across 2 stages down into a dramatic canyon with walls 70 metres high. In addition to the constant wall of mist that this creates, visitors are often treated to a rainbow on sunny days. The views that this creates are out of this world and the type of vistas you only see on postcards.

Iceland boasts some of the world’s rarest and most dramatic natural scenery. This can be found throughout the island, plus it also has a handful of inviting towns and welcoming locals to add to its charm. What have I visited in Iceland?