Archive for beach

Why Mexico should be on top of your travel list

Fabulous Mexico is a must visit destination for keen travellers and sun seekers alike. A beautiful country full of contrasts, Mexico is packed full of surprises from the ancient Mayan temples to the powder white beaches and crystal clear waters.

 

4 reasons why Mexico should be on top of your travel list:

 

Beaches

You can find beautiful beaches across the globe but Mexico’s sands are some of the most incredible in the world. The soft sandy beaches which covet the Mexican Riviera are literally paradise on earth. From out of this world five star resorts where you can sip cocktails and watch the sunsets to hammocks strung from the trees on deserted stretches of sand, there’s a gorgeous Mexican beach destination for you.

 

Mexican Beach

 

Adventure

If spending your days lazing on a beach isn’t for you, there certainly much more to Mexico. For the adventurers there are amazing monuments to see like the Chichen Itza which is the home of ceremonial Mexican antiquity. A trip there is a definite must for keen explorers. There are lots of other amazing adventures not to missed in Mexico from the pre-Columbian architecture to the Oaxaca in the south where there are stunning markets and amazing woven rugs.

Mexico Chichen Itza

 

Amazing food

 

Authentic Mexican food is one of a kind and some of the tastiest cuisine in the world. There’s great food to be experienced in whatever area of Mexico you choose to visit. Be sure to venture out of your comfort zone and try something a little more adventurous than the traditional burrito (but those are great too!). The street vendors do some of the best Mexican food that you have to try, think lashing of salsa, spicy beans and rice so full of flavour that you’ll forever be disappointed with basmati afterwards.

 

Mexican Food

 

 

Culture

 

We all think of the stereotypical poncho and sombrero combination when Mexico comes to mind but once you visit you’ll be enthralled by the vibrancy of traditional Mexican culture. In Mexico City you’ll be able to find real Mexican music performances and enjoy a ranchera which is a traditional guitar song. Sit back with a margarita and soak up the amazing Latino vibes. If you’re planning on visiting Mexico soon, check out TrekAmerica which has some great trips exploring many different sides of a wonderfully diverse and exciting country.

 

Mexican Culture

 

*Images courtesy of iStock

Island Hopping in the Caribbean

I always wondered what one of my biggest travel dreams was. The famous Machu Picchu built by the Incas, cold Antarctica, white-sand beaches of Australia or the Caribbean? All these destinations are high on my bucket list, that’s for sure.

 

If you have been following me for a while now on my main blog, then you might know already that I am more of a beach and spa person than anything else. I truly love islands, there’s always so many cool things to do there and then you can relax in between all the those moments when you are trying to stay active! No matter how many times I try to think about, one of the best paradise beach destinations to me is definitely the Caribbean.

 

To be honest, I have not visited as many Caribbean islands as I would like to. Not yet. But I am so planning on spending at least half a year island hopping in the Caribbean as soon as I get a chance. Probably the best way to explore all the lush tropical islands with idyllic beaches would be a cruise, don’t you think? And after my first week cruise around the Mediterranean sea back in 2013, I am all about cruising now. If you haven’t been on a cruise yet, check out my article about what to expect on a cruise.

 

But just to give you my modest opinion, I can mention 3 of my very favorite islands in the Caribbean in no particular order (I could not pick as they are all incredibly awesome!)

 

A-cruise-ship-in-Port-Zante-on-St.-Kitts

1. Isla Mujeres

I fell in love with Isla Mujeres – the so called Women’s island already during my first time in Mexico back in 2011. After spending a month traveling around the Yucatan peninsula, Isla Mujeres very quickly became one of my favorite places. Snorkeling in the underwater museum, hundreds iguanas or the Southernmost tip of Mexico? They all belong to top 10 things to do in Isla Mujeres.

2. Isla Contoy

Just 30 miles North from Isla Mujeres you will find Isla Contoy, a bird and beach paradise. The island has a limited number of tourists allowed per day so you will be able to find a small part of the beach just for yourself. In addition, 152 species of birds reside on the island which was claimed a National Park in 1998 also for that reason.

 

3. St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis islands surprised me the most out of all the Caribbean islands I’ve been to. And of course, in a positive way. There is a huge difference between the two islands, but both St. Kitts and Nevis could be called one paradise. Up to old sugar cane plantations rebuilt into hotels, cheeky monkeys, fresh tasty fish with rice and beans, and not so high yet beautiful mountains? Then St. Kitts and Nevis are a place to go!

the-view-of-South-East-Peninsula-with-North-Friars-Bay-on-the-left

 

4. Aruba

One of the last Caribbean islands I’ve personally visited was Aruba in October 2014 and I was so amazed. The beach on the tiny Dutch island at the Divi All Inclusive hotel I stayed at was perfect, with crystal clear turquoise water and the best sunsets ever! Aruba is also a perfect getaway for adventure seakers. You will have so much fun on a jeep tour around the island, I promise! Just remember to bring a good mood and a smile with you. And get ready for a lot of bumps and dust 😀

Things to do on Mauritius

Seven Coloured Earths

I have traveled to more than 45 countries, and if you’ve been following me, then you know, I am all about exotic destinations where I can just lie down on the beach and indulge in the sun beams.

Yet, for some strange reason I have not had a chance to visit Mauritius.

It is definitely one of the top countries on my bucket list, though and I cannot wait to fly there for a few weeks.

Thinking out loud … Maybe I have not been to Mauritius yet because I am still single and it looks more like a perfect honeymoon destination to me. However, I am pretty sure once I get to that stage of my life when I will start thinking of having a family, I will check out honeymoon resort packages to Mauritius, no doubt.

But for now, I can only day dream of 2,000 square km small island located around 2,000 km Southeast of the African continent.

 

Palm trees, beach, sunsets and a cold drink in my hand while letting go of every negative thought on my mind. Yeah, life on a sunbed with birds singing above my head and pleasant breeze playing with my hair?

Sounds like paradise to me!

 

Seven Coloured Earths

Seven Coloured Earths

*photo credit: Moongateclimber.

Searching online, I found out there are many different things to do on Mauritius.

 

Nature and wildlife

Knowing me, you can bet I would spend the most time just beach bumming on one of the white sandy beaches and then in between visit the main spots. It seems like the nature of Mauritius would capture my eye straight away. From the tea plantations, Crocodile Park (where I could observe my mum’s favorite animal), to the Ile aux Aigrettes Nature or the Reserve and Casela Nature & Leisure Park known for its zebras, birds, lions, and also quads and zip line adventures.

The island is known for its unique wildlife species not found in other parts of the world. Before the year 1500, there were no terrestrial mammals which allowed a lot of reptiles and flightless birds to develop on the island. Now Mauritius is home for example to the cutest green and brownish ornay day gecko with red dots on it.
And have you heard of the Seven Coloured Earths geological formation in Chamarel? These surrealistic sand dunes of yellow, red and brownish colours have been the main island tourist attraction since the 1960’s and are definitely on my bucket list.
If you are into pleasant hiking, then the Mauritius mountain ranges of volcanic origin are there for you. The highest peak Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire is just 828 m a.s.l. (which is still 178 m less than the mount next to my home town Sninsky Kamen, also of volcanic origin which seems like my kind of hiking.)

The world’s third largest coral reef surrounds the island which gives its visitors a perfect reason to snorkel or dive, as well. Many other sporting activities, together with the catamaran cruises around can be done on the island.

 

Culture

Due to the history, the mixture of different cultures makes it very intresting to visit – Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, African, etc. Many colonial houses are also among the things to do on Mauritius. Tourist markets attract the island’s visitors in search of souvenirs for their family back home.

What surprised me personally is for example the sugar cane plantation which for some reason I had no idea I should expect in this part of the world. It reminded me of my visit to St. Kitts and Nevis islands in the Caribbean with many old cane plantations around that were transformed into chick tourist accommodation.

 

Luxury

 

According to Wikipedia, ”Mauritius received the World Leading island Destination award for the third time and World’s Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012.”
Luxury, luxury and more luxury – if you just need to switch off and pamper yourself, then there is no better place than Mauritius. The island is full of all inclusive four and five star hotels and it would be a great fit for my Adventure and Spa project as there are awesome spas and the island also offers many adventure activities.
I can tell you for sure now that I am going to plan a longer visit to Mauritius, stopping by at Madagascar and more countries in Africa. Until now I have paid only 2 visits to Egypt (Hurghada both times) and 1 to Tunisia, but all the other African countries are still waiting for me 🙂

The Best Mediterranean Cruise Destinations

If you’re investing a decent sum of money in a Mediterranean cruise, you’re going to want to make the most of it. You’ll want to sprawl on the sandiest beaches, take in the most awe-inspiring sights and feast on the tastiest food. It’s not quite as simple as that though; all of the major Mediterranean ports have something unique to offer, so how do you decide where to go? Your luxury cruise will necessarily be constrained by your various commitments; time, money, children, when you’re travelling etc. Assuming you have just enough time to visit one city per country here is a list of destinations to prefer on your itinerary.

 

Barcelona – Spain 

There are more picaresque locations but no other city encapsulates everything you could possibly want from a European city better than Barcelona in Spain. A huge, glorious sandy beach that neighbours a fascinating and lively city full of intriguing architecture, delicious cuisines and friendly people all within walking distance or connected neatly by metro. Gaudi’s design is the focal point, having constructed an entire section of the city in the 19th century and designed and partially built the breath-taking Sagrada Familia. This behemoth of a Basilica is still under construction nearly 200 years later and isn’t expected to be finished for another 20. Yet, even in a state of partial completion its ornate, needle-thin towers and intricate carved details are a wonder to behold.

 

barcelona

 

Rome – Italy 

The birthplace of an ancient civilisation and the home of the Catholic Church make Rome an essential destination. You almost certainly won’t have time to get round all of the city’s majestic landmarks. The Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps are all within walking distance of each other but the beauty of each will have you so fixated you won’t want to move onto the next. The Vatican is a must-see for everyone but especially devoted Catholics and those fascinated by the papal elections. The food in Italy is as good as you’ve been led to believe and gorging on cheeses, cured meats and wine is thoroughly recommended when in Italy.

Rome

 

Athens – Greece 

Greece’s capital narrowly beats its smaller coastal counterpart, Olympia. The birthplace of modern democracy winning over the birthplace of the Olympics. Athens is 2,500 years old and created Western civilisation as we know it now. It produced some of history’s greatest thinkers and in the Ancient Agoria you can visit the ruins of Athens’ political centre where Socrates and Plato held council. Above, the Acropolis looms. High upon the hill, this collection of iconic, alabaster structures necessitate a pleasant stroll up quaint, tree-lined streets. The Parthenon’s instantly recognizable 46 columned façade is impressive both in stature and history, stretching up nearly 14 metres and back over 438 years before the Christian calendar began. Despite not being immediately accessible from the port of Piraeus (you’ll require a taxi, bus or subway), it’s still an essential destination.

 

athens

 

Dubrovnik – Croatia 

Croatia might be a surprising inclusion into the best cruise destinations in the Mediterranean. Nestling on the eastern European coastline left when Italy’s ‘boot’ broke away from the mainland, it’s an idyllic but oft overlooked port of call. The city hasn’t escaped UNESCO’s attention, the international organisation added Dubrovnik to their World Heritage List in 1979. Having largely survived earthquakes and conflicts as recently as the early 90s, the ‘Pearl Of The Adriatic’ is a well-preserved, walled city from the late medieval era. The sensibly named ‘Old Town’ features ancient architecture worth your investigation, preferably on foot through charming cobbled streets. Buildings here date back as far as the 1300s. One such is the Franciscan Monastery and should be on any visitor’s ‘to do’ list. Other historic attractions range from the Dubrovnik Cathedral, Dominican Church, Sponza Palace and Church Of St. Blaise to the Rector’s Palace.

 

dubrovnik

 

Every destination in The Mediterranean is worth a visit and will yield delightful and unique experiences. No cruise would be complete without the inclusion of these four ports though.

Around the world – sunset at Seven Commandos Island, Palawan, Philippines

sunset at Seven Commandos Island in Palawan in the Philippines
sunset at Seven Commandos Island in Palawan in the Philippines

sunset at Seven Commandos Island in Palawan in the Philippines