Archive for travel

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 😉

 


 

Turtle Conservation Montserrat

Migrating turtles will shortly be arriving in Montserrat to lay their eggs which they do every year from April to September. This includes leatherback, green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. They main nesting season is from the beginning of July to the end of September, and the hatchlings start emerging from the beginning of September and continue until the end of December.

Turtles are an endangered species and conservation is essential to the species arrival. The adults are often killed for meat and the eggs eaten, although this is illegal in nesting season on Montserrat. Great efforts have been made with conservation on the island, the turtles’ arrival is monitored, the turtles are tagged and many of the eggs are removed and taken to a hatchery. Since the hatchery was started, a few years ago, the hatchling survival rate has increased to 75%. In the wild, it is normally only 10% as many of the hatchlings are picked off by birds and other creatures while making their way from the nest to the sea.

 

 

Research has been done on island and local people working in turtle conservation such as John Jeffers have contributed to overseas university research, assisting the researchers with their knowledge and experience.

The turtles generally lay their eggs at night, digging a chamber which can take an hour or more, before returning to the sea. Migrating turtles return year after year to the same beach to lay their eggs and many of the beaches in Montserrat are nesting sites.

Turtle Conservation Montserrat was set up in 2014 to work with other professionals in protecting the turtles. John Jeffers, who is Montserratian and has over 36 years experience of turtle conservation, trains volunteers to work with the turtles while they become involved in turtle conservation. John received an MBE for his work with turtles and is probably one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the Caribbean. The business and marketing side of the business is run by Carolyne Coleby, who has a background in tourism and conservation, and accommodation and meals are provided as part of the volunteer package.

 

The fact that the turtles lay at night, although the eggs are collected in the morning, means that volunteers have most of the day free to explore Montserrat. Montserrat has an active volcano which can be viewed from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, which also shows films about the eruptions of the volcano, as well as from Plymouth. Plymouth is accessible on tours or by boat. It is the former capital of Montserrat, was abandoned when the volcano erupted in 1997, and is now often referred to as a ‘modern day Pompeii’. It is possible to explore the environs of Plymouth such as Richmond Hill, with its abandoned hotel, by yourself and Cork Hill, another local town, is at present being rejuvenated with hopes to reoccupy at some time in the future. There are often street jams on a Friday night in Cork Hill which only started after former residents returning in March for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations started renovating the village.

The Centre Hills provide excellent rainforest and mountain hiking, with many trails that have recently been cleared. There is also plenty of opportunity for scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, quad biking, boat and fishing trips. Montserrat really is a nature lover’s paradise and is a pristine environment where you can be very close to nature. It is excellent for photography.

From April through to June, migrating whales pass the island. Scuba Montserrat, a local diving outfit, were lucky enough to see a humpback whale and her calf while taking tourists out on a recent boat trip. The whale spent some time with them and they got great videos and photos.

Liming’ is also a popular pastime. Liming is shooting the breeze at one of the many rum shops on island where you can sample everything from coconut rum to locally made bush rum as well as the usual beers, other forms of alcohol and soft drinks. There is a fair choice of restaurants and snack bars on island, including the award winning Olveston House, home of the Beatle’s manager, George Martin who had Air Studios on Montserrat, to John Ponteen’s Beach View at Little Bay which does excellent barbeques on Sundays with local fish or chicken and ribs and has a bar. The architecture is unique – John built the restaurant himself with rocks he carried there and it sometimes has hummingbirds inside, as well as lots of tropical plants. There is also a veranda out over the sea.

Beaches are generally very quiet and you may find you are the only person on the beach. There are a variety of black sand beaches which are popular, including Lime Kiln and Woodlands, as well as a white sand beach at Rendezvous Bay accessible only by hiking or kayaking and it is definitely worth a visit.

For more information about Turtle Conservation Montserrat, visit their website.

What are best travel experiences?

One of the very few travel websites I follow, RoundTheWorldExperts put up together a long list of 50 best travel experiences you definitely should try in your life.

You will find there countries like Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA … But do you know what exactly should you try there no matter what?

 

The World's 50 Greatest Travel Experiences

 

On my personal blog I wrote about all the expriences I’ve personally done from the list mentioned above. Are you wondering now which ones are they exactly? Then check my post too.

 

Which experiences are still on your bucket list and how many amazed you already? What other expriences would you add to the list? Share in the comments below:

5 things to do in Dominican republic

The other day when browsing online to decide about my next destinations I ran into an interesting article about the best beaches in the Dominican republic. You all know I am a beach babe but I also love doing other things.

Thinking about the Caribbean made me put up the following list.

 

Dominican republic beach

 

 

5 things to do in Dominican republic:

 

1. Relax

What else could be on top of my list if not relaxing? Isn’t it the main reason why people visit new destinations? To forget about the stress of their daily life? I think so. And where better to chill out than on one of the Dominican republic paradise beaches? I am sure that the Caribbean beaches will take your breath away.

 

2. Adventure sports

The island is filled with adventure sports, and you should not miss them while there. Beach bumming is great but you don’t want to come back home with 5 kilograms more, do you? Then it’s up to you to pick the right adventure for you. You can choose from snorkeling, wind surfing, horse-back riding, surfing, kitesurfing, kayaking, paragliding, parasailing, SUP, zipline in Punta Cana or even a more lazy golf. Any activity counts and you will not only burn calories, but also have loads of fun doing so.

 

3. Nature

Many tourists would not think of the Dominican republic as of a destination where you can explore the jungle and learn something about the local flora and fauna. There’s many hiking trails to choose from, such as hiking to the Damajagua waterfalls (get a car/a guide from Puerto Plata and then hike to the 27 pools set among limestone cliffs). If you have more time, also take a tour to the wild Los Haitises National Park. It’s a protected forest sanctuary with small islands located along the coast of in San Lorenzo Bay where you can observe frigate birds, brown pelicans, many reptiles and even petroglyphs in prehistoric caves Taino.

 

4. History

Visiting Santo Domingo, the capital founded in the very late 15th century is a must. Go spend some time strolling around the Ciudad Colonial – the UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the West bank of the Ozama river. You can find more than 300 historical histes here, such as many interesting museums, beautiful churches, palaces and important houses which will give you an insight into the local island history. Las Damas, Las Mercedes and El Conde are three of the most-known streets in Santo Domingo. Pay a visit to the landmarks, e.g. Basilica of Santa Maria del Menor, Fortaleza Ozama, Casa del Cordon, Museo de las Casas Reales and Alcazar de Colon etc.

 

5. Boat tours

What’s a better way to get familiar with the island if not by boat? There’s plenty of boat tours to go on and if you get a chance, take a boat to one of the little islands close by, such as Saona, Beata or Isla Catalina. You can pick a relaxing sailing trip, adventurous snuba diving trip, a fast speedboat, or even a sunset party boat. It all depends just on your mood or on your friends/family who are on the trip with you. Just make sure to have a memorable time 🙂

Holidays in Anyer Indonesia

Just a bit more than 120 km West of Jakarta we can find Anyer, sometimes also spelled as Anjer. This port is located in Baner which is former West Java in Indonesia. Before it was completely destroyed by tsunami after the eruption of Mount Krakatoa (have seen also Krakatau spelling) in 1883, it used to be a major port in the Dutch colonial era. The Dutch Government then built there the Cikoneng Lighthouse to commemorate the locals killed during the volcano eruption. The lighthouse was the beginning of the Great Post Road going 1,000 km up to the Eastern tip of Java and now the monument is still the main landmark.

Nowadays, Anyer becomes one of the top destinations to visit in Indonesia for holidays. There’s beautiful tropical fish around the island which makes it a perfect place for snorkeling or even scuba diving. And as a bonus, the deep blue sea around is very warm which adds to the pleasant underwater experience.

Tripadvisor states that the best hotel in town is Aston Anyer Beach Hotel (it’s been on the number 1 hotel position in Anyer for longer). So before you start planning your Anyer holidays, check out the best room to stay. It’s always lovely to enjoy excellent location with great private beach view where you can watch stunning sunsets to finish your busy days, right? The hotel guests can also take a swim in the clean pool or just play with kids there.

 

Aston Anyer Beach Hotel

 

And what else to do on holidays in Anyer Indonesia except snorkeling? You can always rent a water scooter or an ATV vehicle, have fun on a banana boat or relax on a slower parasailing trip. Want to chill out more avoiding aquatic sports? Then get a beach massage, play volleyball or football on the white sand or simply sunbathe taking a break.

If you are a nature lover, you can go on a trip to the Ujung Kulon National Park not that far from town. It is a protected tropical rainforest where Javan Rhinoceros and other wildlife live. Fingers crossed so you can see some!

I also suggest to check out the local souvenirs, such as ceramics, batiks, silverware, bone carvings, shell ornaments, different baskets or even beach wear.

Beach resorts in Anyer are springing up like mushrooms after the rain – from Karang Bolong in the Nort to Merak in the South. And that’s a good sign. It means that the beach town has a lot to offer to tourists and they recognize its value. Anyer is a popular beach destination also for the Jakartan families and divers.

While there, I recommend also other islands worth visiting around Anyer, such as Krakatua to observe unique volcanic landscape, or Pulau Sangeang ( Sanghyang) with untouched lush jungle and beautiful coral reefs.