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South America

Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: All You need To Know.

There is absolutely no mistaking the Bond that exists between man and a mountain gorilla when you get up-close and personal with the gentle apes happily living in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. One would mistake the way ascending and descending into the jungles of Bwindi “The small path to hell” but this is a small road that widens into paradise when getting up close and personal with Humans closest relatives.

So What’s a Mountain Gorilla?

A mountain gorilla scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla Standing at averagely 4-6 ft tall and averagely weighing about 300-485 lbs (136 to 220 Kgs). Uganda and Rwanda has a total of 1070 Mountain Gorilla occupying the montane and bamboo forest jungles of Central & East Africa’s volcanic mountain slopes ranging from an altitude of 2,200–4,300m above sea Level (7,200–14,100 ft), mountain gorillas are listed on the ICUN Red List as endangered species.

Mountain Gorillas live in the most extreme harsh environment with two populations found in protected areas of central eastern Virunga ranges along the chain of the Virunga Volcanoes and the 331 sq.km protected Bwindi impenetrable rainforest national park. Mountain Gorillas can be seen in Bwindi and Mgahinga Uganda, in Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo.

And so, What does it take to see the mountain Gorilla in Uganda and Rwanda as a once in a lifetime wildlife experience? Ok lets see. A number of Destination management companies in Uganda like Gorilla Walking Safaris would happily organize you an amazing gorilla trekking Trip in Uganda and Rwanda with a combination of Spectacular wildlife Safaris.

Let’s look at more insights for an ultimate Gorilla Trekking Safari.

Where do mountain gorillas live?

Mountain gorillas in Uganda find their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and the Virunga conservation area a country boundary for Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Half Of The worlds mountain Gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable National park with 17 gorilla families habituated for Human presence and trekking while the Mgahinga has one gorilla family and Virunga national park has 8 gorilla families habituated for human presence.

What time of the year is best time to trek mountain gorillas?

ALL YEAR AROUND IT IS. Gorilla Trekking is absolutely possible almost all the12 months in a year, The Choice is for the traveler’s holiday time and preference. During the dry Safari months starting Mid-June, July, August, September and October are the Perfect for the ground are less slippery when trekking. The rainy seasons of mid mid March, Apirl and may come with own advantages of clear air and less congestion but absolutely good too for Gorilla Trekking safari.

What are the costs for a gorilla permit?

Its either gorilla Habituation experience or Gorilla Trekking!! How much does it cost? Gorilla permits apparently Cost $700 per person in Uganda for Foreign Non Residents and $ 1500 per person in Rwanda for the same. While Foreign Residents pay $600per person in Uganda and pay $1500 in Rwanda. Gorilla Habituation costs $1500 per person and only possible in Uganda only

When does one book a gorilla permit?

Gorilla Trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda Requires a permit purchased and booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda development Board. This is a pass to trek into the Jungles for an upclose encounter. It is recommended to purchase the Gorilla permit least 3-4 Months in advance so as to be certain of availability. Last Minute Gorilla Trekking permits are possible but not guaranteed. Considering as part of the Gorilla Conservation and sustainability, each Gorilla Family is allowed a max of 8 guests and not more. This means booking ahead of time would come in handy.

What About gorilla habituation experience?

Gorilla habituation Experience is an extended time for trekking Mountain Gorillas. This allows you start early and stay more with the Mountain Gorillas for about 4 hours. This is also an act of habituating one of the families for human presence and requires you to stay longer. Normally this is a new Gorilla Family being prepared for human presence. This also apparently costs $1500 per permit and always limited unlike the $600 per permit trekking permit

What is the Gorilla trekking age limit

Gorilla Trekking age Limit is 15 years for both Uganda and Rwanda. However, if a child is approaching 15 years and surely wants to trek Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, A parent writes a consent letter to Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda development Authority in approval to take responsibility for anything that happens to the child while on a Gorilla trekking safari.

What is included and Excluded in a gorilla Permit cost?

The Gorilla permit Cost includes: Gorilla permit, Park entrance fees, Government taxes, Ground transport, Full-time English speaking Ranger guide & Escorts.

The Gorilla permit Excludes:Porters if any, Emergency stretcher, Alcoholic drinks, Ranger Guides tips, Flight Fares, Other personal expenses

How long time do I spend with gorillas?

Gorilla Trekking is allowed 1 hour when you finally find them while Gorilla Habituation allows 4 hours with the Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The hike to find the Gorillas can last 30mins to several hours depending on the gorilla family movements.

What to Bring for Gorilla Trekking/Packing List 

  • Nice Gripped Walking/hiking shoes
  • Warm Clothing for the Bwindi sector
  • Insect repellants for bugs
  • Sun Screen
  • Sun glasses and hat to protect from direct sun
  • Rain Jacket and/or ponchos in cases of Rain
  • Long sleeved shirts, blouses to protect from thorny bushes
  • Long pants, Socks or gaiters (protection from Safari Ants)
  • Binoculars if you like
  • Backpack for carrying small luggage
  • Gloves if you want (But Not necessary)

What are the gorilla trekking do’s and Don’ts during a Gorilla Trek?

  1. Do not throw rubbish in the park
  2. Maintaining the required 7 meters distance from mountain gorillas
  3. Disable your camera Flash
  4. Speaking at a low tone or keeping silent
  5. Avoiding direct eye contact with the Mountain gorillas.
  6. Staying within a group
  7. Do not feed gorillas
  8. Keeping calm when a mountain gorilla charge

What if I fail to see gorillas?

Trekking Mountain Gorillas present 99% chances encountering them. On record while in Bwindi, Very rare cases where travelers fail to see mountain gorillas, A second chance to trek visit gorillas the next day is given to trek again without a single pay. This is however different if a traveler fails to see gorillas due to physical unfitness or sickness, No refund is reimbursed as this isn’t the fault of the respective park management.

If there is any greater feeling in adventure and wildlife encounters in Africa, Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is simply exceptional, Being close to the gentle giants feels real different and special and of course a once in a lifetime wildlife encounter.

Want to be part of such a awesome life changing journey? Let’s talk Meaningful journeys.

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South America

Facilities and amenities that keep your stay memorable

When you decide to travel, you wish to get all the things perfect and provide best value for the money you are spending. When you are travelling with friends or family you also wish to spend a valuable time without any hassle during your stay. Thus choosing the right hotel is more important to make your trip a memorable one as any uncomfortable thing happens might spoil your entire trip. 

There are many different types of hotels and resorts that are available in the coorg and you need to choose the best one that provides the great comfortability and amenities. Every guest including us expects the hotel to provide all the luxurious amenities that keep our stay comfort while we are away from home. This includes right from the personal desk to the play station and bathroom, everything you mention should be there. 

When you wish to go to the hill areas such as coorg, then you need to get all the facilities that make you enjoy the scenic beauty and warm you stay with safe and security features. 

Here in this article, we discuss some of the facilities that are provided by the Coorg Wilderness Resort

  • Rooms that are comfortable

The hotel provides the best rooms that can be occupied by family and friends with the basic amenities including separate bathroom with shower, comfortable bed, lockers and other features. The hotel provides different room types to have a look at the scenic hilly view with your loved ones. The room contains comfortable king sized bed that can accommodate three adults. 

Free WiFi is a luxury and vital feature the guests expect during their stay. Almost every one of us has the smart phone and laptop with us and children would love to have the cartoon to be played in their room. The WiFi facility provided by the resort helps you to keep yourself updated while you are staying in the hotel and adds a convenience measure that is appreciated by the guests and visitors. 

This is a unique facility that is offered by the hotel as most of us might find difficult to the change of climate and other aspects that disturbs our body during our stay. Thus the hotel provides a inhouse doctor facility for all the guests staying in the hotel. These ensure to have a safe and secured stay with the hotel. They also provides child care facilities, facilities for guests with disabilities, first aid services, and doctors are always available on calls. 

  • Housekeeping and room services

The hotel provides excellent housekeeping and room services for the guests staying in the hotel. We all love to be in a clean surrounding as this adds to the experience of your stay. The resort offers daily housekeeping as the best amenity for the guests and ensures that their accommodations are maintained clean, comfortable with attractive features there by allowing them to enjoy their stay and make it memorable. 

  • Entertainment and play zone

Another great facility provided by the hotel is the indoor and outdoor gaming zone for adults and kids as well. This ensures that the guests relaxes themselves by playing with their family or friends during their stay and thus remain relaxed without the daily routine tensions on their mind. While for the travellers with kids, the place also provides the kids play areas that keep the kids occupied and allow the adults to enjoy and relax themselves. For children, there are board games, and outdoor games that allow them to enjoy while the adults may still require a little time to enjoy their stay knowing that their kids are safe. 

  • Fitness and activity centres

The hotel provides excellent gym and fitness centre that is available in the resort all 24/7 for the fitness lovers. The guests need not skip their daily routine gyming or fitness workouts while they are away from their home and can still remain relaxed doing these with the lovely scenic beauty around them. 

Another important thing you need to look is the excellent dining features and outlets that are provided by the hotel. The hotel contains restaurant where you can enjoy your dishes with your loved ones and it also contains lounge to relax and a coffee shop to keep you active. The kids menu is also available and so you can stay relaxed without of thinking of what to feed to your child during your stay. Furthermore, the hotel also contains banquet halls to enjoy your dinner. 

The hotel also provides excellent amenities that keeps your stay memorable including thermal screening, bonfire to enjoy wit family and friends, fireplace to keep you warm in the hilly region, barbeque dinner facilities, bar, and other features. 

The hotel also provides excellent services including laundry service, luggage assistance, doctor on call, paid airport and railway transfer, ticket or tour assistance, sightseeing car facilities, concierge, dry cleaning services, and gyming facilities. 

  • Facilities for business people

For people who wish to have their business calls and working options during their stay the hotel provides fax services, conference rooms, free WiFi facility, printer facility and other features. 

Other facilities provided by the hotel include:

  • Contactless check in options
  • Wake up call facility
  • Ironing services
  • Wheel chair options for the disables
  • Swimming pools
  • Business centers
  • Activity centers to keep you busy all the time and make use when you are bored
  • Smoke alarms 
  • Kids play area
  • Indoor and outdoor zones
  • Safety and security features
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Seating areas in lawn

Conclusion

With several feature on the board, excellent facilities that are provided by the Coorg Wilderness Resort keep the guests comfortable and relaxing during their stay. These will also ensure the safety of security of the guests during their stay and with all the above amenities that are exclusive; the hotel is the best place to stay when you travel to coorg.  

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South America

Easy Road Trip Food Ideas (+How to Protect Your Interior)

Whether for business or pleasure, when you hit the road, you will eventually need to eat. But how do you find the best and classiest venues or choose the right takeout, packed lunches, or snacks for the road?

Read on to learn everything from what kinds of foods to bring in a rental car to deciding on restaurants when in an unfamiliar location. We will also cover tips about how to eat safely in a car and what to do if you accidentally create stains or interior damage in your vehicle.

The Best Road Trip Snacks

Often, people default to sugary, salty, and savory treats that may be fun to eat but aren’t very easy to consume while driving. Dusty residue and sticky hands can get over the interior of your vehicle, and some snacks may force you to drink more water or stop more regularly for bathroom breaks.

While many people just assume that packaged snack foods are more convenient for the road, there are plenty of ways to eat clean even while traveling.

Some healthier and easy-to-clean options for road trip snacks include beef jerky, which provides a healthy punch of protein without creating crumbs or residue, and hard-boiled eggs, which if you peel ahead of time, are also easy to eat and don’t make much mess.

Protein and granola bars are good alternatives, though you should try to both avoid those full of unnecessary sugar and those that are overly dry and crumbly. Carrots, snap peas, grapes, and celery sticks are also healthy and don’t make too much of a mess.

If you are going on a road trip with older children or adults, spreads like hummus, peanut butter, and cream cheese can pair well with crackers and bagels. These snacks are good for younger children too, though you should stick to bringing them out during gas station stops and lunch breaks to avoid messes.

Some healthy snacks can also create a big mess. If you want to bring foods like pistachios and other uncracked nuts, make sure you have a container for the shells.

Stopping for Food When on the Road

Depending on the nature of your trip, you may want to take a more leisurely drive or get to your destination as quickly as possible. When is it best to pack a lunch, and when should you plan to sample the local cuisine?

As a general rule, you should take a break every two hours from driving, for at least 15 minutes. You could always use one of these breaks to stop for food. While you don’t want to eat out on your entire trip, it usually isn’t a problem to eat out once or twice every couple of days, depending on the length of your trip.

However, if you don’t have another driver to switch off with, it isn’t a good idea to drive after a big meal, as it can make you feel lethargic and drowsy. Because of this, it’s a good idea to save your meal stops for later in the day or at the end of your trip if you are driving solo.

Finding Good Restaurants When Traveling

If you have decided to stop for a bite, then you have to determine where exactly you want to eat. Of course, you can always default to the bland, typical fast-food chains that you are familiar with, but why miss the chance to try something off the beaten path? Even if you are looking to move on quickly, there are ways to find good niche restaurants while traveling.

One of the best ways to check along your route in advance so you can look up reviews and focus on local restaurants. You can also use your cellular data as you get closer to your nightly destination to look up good places to eat. If you are stopping at a hotel or to get gas, you can also ask the locals if they have any recommendations.

The more specific you are about what you are looking for (ethnic food, pizza, sandwiches) the more likely you will find unexpected good eats.

There are also some apps and sites that specialize in gathering reviews, though you do want to be careful as often they don’t adequately portray the quality of food. Yelp, Dine, and OpenTable are some options you can use to find good restaurants. The Roadtrippers app also shows you food spots on your route.

Handling Messes and Spills Inside Your Car

Whether you are traveling with kids who leave grubby fingerprints on nice leather seats or your takeout container has burst open, you will likely have to deal with cleaning the interior of your car, especially if you’ve eaten a lot of food inside it.

First, you should have a plastic bag to carry trash. Empty it regularly so you don’t have discarded wrappers and peels floating around your car. 

Next, you should always bring window cleaner, dashboard wipes, and possibly even a small handheld vacuum cleaner with you on your trip.

Bring separate wipes to use on your car and people’s hands. Make sure you have more than you initially think you will need, just in case. If food is spilled, have people other than the driver focus on cleaning them up. The driver should not be cleaning while driving. If you need to, pull over to handle a mess.

You can bring along a stain remover for car seats and clothes. If food or vomit gets on plastic or glass, it can usually be easily wiped off.

Parents who are traveling with kids should make sure they have easy access to cleaning supplies, extra clothes for children, diapers, paper towels, and large resealable plastic bags. You should also pack paper bags children can use to vomit if they are prone to car sickness.

Be careful when eating on the road. The driver should try to only eat at rest stops, and switch off with other drivers if they really need to munch. Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and can cause accidents on your vacation.

Deborah Goldberg researches and writes for the auto insurance comparison site, 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com. She enjoys providing driver safety advice and travel tips to her readers. 

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South America

The Ultimate Smart Car Travel Guide

On your next vacation, wouldn’t it be nice if someone or something else could do some of the thinking for you? Smart cars are becoming more clever than ever, and from easier parking, lower fuel costs, and easy city travel to improved navigation and satellite connection, we will go over some of the main tips for getting the most out of your smart car while traveling.

Prepare For Your Trip With Your Smart Car

One of the best things about smart cars is that you can use them to program and plan out routes ahead of time. But there are some other things you should make sure you take care of before your trip to maximize your use of your smart car.

Before you leave, make sure that everything is charged properly, and check that you have the best insurance for a smart car. Smart cars can have slightly different insurance needs, though usually, they need liability at a minimum, the same as other vehicles do. 

You might be wondering, “Are smart cars cheap to insure?” Insurance costs for smart vehicles can vary, and sometimes their premiums can be lower than premiums for non-smart cars. 

As a general rule, this is because smart cars are often cheaper than other cars, making them cheaper to replace. In addition, lower maintenance costs and safety measures also can add to your insurance discount.

Make sure that you look into what the cheapest insurance will be before you leave on a trip, and think about getting roadside assistance coverage if an accident or breakdown occurs on the road. Also, make sure you know how to change a tire yourself if you get a flat.

Plan Your Route

If your car is primarily electric, you will also need to know exactly where you can charge it. This is important for hybrid vehicles too. In addition, it’s a good idea to use your car’s location rather than your smartphone’s location when planning a trip. This maximizes your EV trip planning feature if you have one.

Make sure your route is showing you all your charging points and double-check the steepness, weather patterns, and traffic on your chosen route through another source as well.

In addition to checking where you can charge, you can also look into getting solar panels to charge an electric car. Solar inverters can help you along your trip, though you will want to plan out stopping points where you can rest and enjoy your surroundings while your EV recharges.

Think about stopping at places to camp and take in the view or explore the surrounding areas for as long as it takes your car to recharge. You could also plan day trips around major cities where there are charging stations, while passing on those locations that might be fun but don’t have charging available for your vehicle.

Pack Lightly to Save Space in Your Car

Smart car owners will also want to pack maps and other navigation tools just in case their car has issues with navigation, though this isn’t likely. Pack easy to access compact snacks, and try to avoid messy open containers or lots of complicated equipment.

As far as luggage and clothes go, you will want to err on the side of “less is more.” Smart cars are notorious for their small size and compact space. You want to bring as little luggage as possible. In addition, when planning your route, you will want to emphasize well-kept roads and avoid meandering mountain and country paths.

Smart cars can often handle a lot more non-city streets than people give them credit for. Consider taking some longer spins out onto the countryside before you attempt a full car trip, just to see how it handles.

During Your Trip

The biggest issue with a smart car is that many of the smaller ones cap at 90 mph and may struggle with keeping up with traffic even at the 70-80 mph range. Most of them will be able to merge on and off of highways just fine, but it’s a good idea to stay alert and be careful at interchanges.

Be careful with steep inclines and avoid routes with heavy snowfall. If you are carrying a lot of luggage in your smart car, or extra passengers, you may have trouble getting above 40 mph, depending on your vehicle and the incline. So be ready to take things slow and have alternate routes planned.

If you do find yourself on a single-lane road with bigger, faster cars piling up behind you, pull over when you have an opportunity to and let them pass. Be patient and willing to take it easy and wait for a few moments if you need to.

Stay Focused on the Road While Driving a Smart Car

Long stretches of the road can hypnotize and bore drivers. No car is ever fully driverless, no matter how smart or capable the artificial intelligence is. Always make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings and bring gum or caffeinated beverages to keep yourself awake. Try playing loud music if you are dropping off.

If for any reason you are struggling with focusing on the road or staying awake, pull over to rest for a little while. It is better to be safe than sorry.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy a road trip with a smart car or a tiny electric vehicle. Whatever your car’s specs, do your research beforehand. Your car can do a lot for you, from helping to plan routes to driving itself at short stretches, but in the end, you have to be the brains behind your vehicle.

Beyond these tips, most other rules for preparing your car for a road trip still apply with smart cars. Check your tires beforehand and make sure the oil is changed. Fill up your windshield fluid and consider washing your car before and after your trip.

By taking the time to prepare beforehand, you will be well able to have a fun, safe, and relaxing road trip in your smart vehicle. If this is your first time using your smart car’s navigation system, try to do some test drives in your area first.

Deborah Goldberg writes and researches about driver safety for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance101.com. She is passionate about consumer protection and legal transparency for car owners.

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South America

Going away for a week? 5 Reasons to Rent a Car for Your Road Trip

A lot can happen in a week, especially when it comes to a road trip. Why worry about running up the mileage on your car when you can rent one? 

The beauty of renting a car for a week is that you don’t have to worry about depreciating your own car. You can even get car insurance for a week to ensure that you’re covered should something happen to the rental. 

You have enough worries as it is while you prepare for your trip. There are so many questions swirling around your head. Where are you going to stay? How far is your destination? Who are you bringing along? You don’t need to worry about whether you should bring your car. 

Whether you’re going to the East Coast, the West Coast, or whether you’re going to the Midwest, renting a car has so many benefits. Let’s look at some of those benefits for your weeklong trip.

#1 – No Worrying About Maintenance

Renting a car takes a lot of pressure off of you to do maintenance. All you have to do is return the car when you’re done with it. If you travel in your own car, you run the risk of having to pay for required maintenance like oil changes, changing the tires, etc. Using a rental instead of your car can end up saving you money and time.

If you rent instead of using your car, there’s a good chance that the rental will be in better condition for cross-country travel, and you wouldn’t need to worry about maintenance. The probability that the rental agency where you rented the car already paid for the required maintenance is pretty high as well.

Renting will not only save you money, but it will also slow down the depreciation of your car. 

#2 – No Worrying About the Depreciation of Your Car

On average, cars depreciate by 15% after the first year of purchasing. That can add up over time, especially if you’re considering trading in your car for another in the future. To keep as much of its value as possible, rent a car for week-long road trips.

It’s inevitable. Cars depreciate as time goes on, but you can slow down the process when you choose to rent. Make sure you have a safe place to store your car while you’re on your road trip so that it doesn’t get damaged by anything or anyone. 

Finding a car rental doesn’t have to be hard. Just do some research and find which rental is perfect for you. Hopefully, that will persuade you to not use your own car and not have to deal with depreciation.

Still not convinced about whether to rent or use your own car? When you choose to rent, there’s a good chance that the rental might have better gas mileage.

#3 – A Rental Car Might Have Better Gas Mileage

Another benefit of renting is similar to what was discussed earlier. The rental might be in better condition and might have better gas mileage. Gas prices fluctuate all the time, and depending on the kind of car you drive, you can easily pay up to $40 to $50 every time you stop for gas. Renting a car with better gas mileage than your own car will save you money.

If it can be helped, avoid gas guzzlers like trucks and SUVs. These types of cars will definitely cost you a lot of money in the long run. Depending on how often you stop for gas, larger vehicles might cost you time and energy as well.

Do yourself a favor and do your research before you rent. Make sure the car that you’ve chosen has great gas mileage.  

#4 – Rental Car Insurance Covers Repairs

Rental car insurance coverage is best because should something happen to the rental, you won’t have to pay out of pocket to fix it, which is perfect for your weeklong road trip. Check your car insurance policy just to see if coverage for rental cars is included. If not, then the rental agency where you got the car will more than likely have insurance you can pay for. 

Some credit card companies also offer insurance for rental cars. Check with your credit card company and see if you can get adequate insurance through them.

Get rental car insurance for your rental. Accidents happen, so it’s good to make sure you’re protected. It’s good to rent so that your car doesn’t get damaged or totaled. 

A rental doesn’t come home with you, but your own car does. No one wants to drive a beat-up car. Save yourself some regret and heartache and choose to rent.

#5 – Your Car Might Not Be Equipped for a Road Trip

Let’s face it. Sometimes our cars are not meant for cross-country travel. Sometimes they’re just meant to be driven to work, to the store, and back home again. And that’s okay. 

That’s the beauty of renting a car. You can go to places that you might not normally be able to go to. The car you rent might be better equipped for a weeklong road trip.

Think practically about whether your car can make the trip. Even if it can, you may still want to rent. It’s risky business going on vacation with your own car. Anything could happen, especially if you’re going from one side of the country to the other.

Renting a car for your road trip is such a smart move, whether you’ll be traveling to cities or more remote areas. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, repairs, or depreciation, and the car you’re renting might have better gas mileage. There are so many pluses to renting. 

As stated above, please do your research and make sure you’re renting the right car for you. Try to avoid massive vehicles. Protect your car at home before you set out. 

And, most of all, have fun. Enjoy your weeklong road trip whether you’re going on your own or with friends and family.  

Peyton Leonard writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. Peyton enjoys providing her readers with advice on preparing for road trips, saving on car insurance, and avoiding accidents. 

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South America

Things to Do on Honeymoon in Jamaica

As honeymoon destinations go, Jamaica tops a lot of lists. And it’s not hard to see why – its perfect white sand beaches and friendly locals make a compelling case.

But Jamaica has so much more to offer than that. So whether you’re planning a honeymoon (or a familymoon – a honeymoon that includes your kids), consider the following suggestions. Do so, and your holiday will be a thrilling one.   

Experience Dunn’s River Falls

There are few things more romantic than a spectacular waterfall. And in Jamaica, none are more impressive than Dunn’s River Falls. Standing 180 feet above its gorge, it’s enough to just marvel at its beauty.

But this waterfall is composed of a long series of limestone terraces. As well, the water flowing over them is shallow enough for fit individuals to negotiate. Because of this, it’s possible to climb the waterfall in about an hour and a half.

Once you’re finished, an onsite restaurant offers a place to refuel and refresh. Or you could just head back to Beaches Ocho Rios, as this popular all-inclusive resort is only a few miles away.

Go Rafting on the Martha Brae River

Imagine drifting down an emerald green river, with the dense Jamaican jungle surrounding you. If you go rafting on the Martha Brae River, that’s exactly what you’ll encounter. Now, this isn’t some chintzy tourist trap – celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth II, Chuck Norris, and Usain Bolt have gone down this river.

As you slip over these tranquil waters on your bamboo raft, your guide will talk about the surrounding area and the legend of Martha Brae. At the end of your ride, tour a herb garden that contains species that are native to Jamaica.

Chill Out on Seven Mile Beach – and at Beaches Negril

But at some point, you’ll want to do some serious relaxation. Planning weddings takes a lot of effort, so you and your new spouse deserve a break. In Jamaica, there is no better spot to chill than on Seven Mile Beach.

One of the best all-inclusive resorts in the country – Beaches Negril – can be found here. And it’s no wonder – with some of the softest, whitest sand in Jamaica, Seven Mile is prime oceanfront real estate.

When you’ve gotten your fill of sun, sand, and surf, head back to your suite. If you didn’t finish it on the first day, enjoy more of the complimentary champagne that Beaches provides all Honeymooners. And if you haven’t, order flowers + breakfast in bed for the following morning. Imagine the surprise on your spouse’s face!

Let Jamaica’s Charm Win You Over

From its people to its natural wonders, Jamaica offers a warm welcome to honeymooning couples. If relaxation, exciting activities, and unforgettable memories are what you’re after, you’ll find it here – and at Beaches’ all-inclusive resorts. Beaches recently asked guests what their favorite drink is at the resorts and they’ve got their hands on the cocktail recipes for each! So whether you fancy a Frozen Bob Marley, a Miami Vice or a Purple rain, below are the recipes so you can make one at home!

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South America

Under-the-Radar Activities to Check out in San Francisco

People who have never visited San Francisco before often have a certain idea in mind of what it will be like. They may envision riding the cable cars, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, strolling Fisherman’s Wharf, and ending the day with dinner in Chinatown. There is nothing wrong with participating in any of these activities; after all, these San Francisco tourist attractions are popular for a reason.

Both tourists and locals sometimes forget that they have numerous other options available to them when it comes to interesting things to see and do. This blog covers three lesser known attractions that people may want to add to their San Francisco to-do list.

Lilac Alley

The Mission District of San Francisco is home to the well-known Balmy Alley that gives street artists a place to play their music to passers-by. Taking a stroll in the artsy area can be a fun way to spend the evening. However, even people who have visited Balmy Alley multiple times are not always aware of Lilac Alley nearby.

Lilac Alley provides a unique view of the back doors and garages of several area businesses. What makes the back view interesting is the painting and graffiti that covers much of it. Some paintings reflect intricate street art, including Mayan gods, geometric patterns, and cartoon characters. The view is something that visitors definitely would not see in some of the more touristy areas of San Francisco.

Take a Hike at Mount Sutro

People sometimes express surprise and delight when they see Mount Sutro for the first time because they did not expect to find a mountain-top cloud forest in California’s fourth-largest city. Eucalyptus trees abound on Mount Sutro, as does a low-level fog for much of the year. Visitors can get to Mount Sutro via several forms of public transportation, which avoids the problem of looking for a place to park.

Whether local to the area or visiting San Francisco for the first time, people should plan to wear comfortable, well-fitting hiking shoes or boots for their time at Mount Sutro. They will travel over many muddy paths, but the effort will be worth it when they come upon some of the most peaceful landscapes San Francisco has to offer.

Visit Some of the City’s Most Interesting Museums at No Cost

Everyone loves to get something for nothing, and they can do that when visiting one of the handful of museums in San Francisco that do not charge an entrance fee. For example, the Wells Fargo Museum shows exhibits from the earliest days of the nationwide chain of banks. The stagecoach dates to the 1850s, and museum employees are happy to teach guests how to use it.

The Cable Car Museum displays help people learn how the city’s huge cable car system works. Another option is to visit Randall Museum to discover more about animals native to San Francisco.

In a city of nearly a million people, it seeks there is always something new to discover about San Francisco. The joy of discovery could even be worth a return trip.

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South America

5 Reasons Why LA Is A Great Travel Destination In Autumn Season

Los Angeles is one of the most popular and beautiful cities that you can visit. There are hundreds of things that you can do and make the best of every moment spent. However, the peak season to visit the place is in summer. That’s why from the month of May to July, almost every place is crowded. Moreover, it also makes the vacation time-consuming and expensive. 

Therefore, to save yourself from the crowd and enjoy a budget-friendly vacation, you should visit LA during the autumn or fall season. 

But that’s not the only reason that you should visit this place. There are a few things that you can witness only during the autumn season. 

So, do you want to discover what those are? Keep on reading! 

How often do you get an opportunity to pick your own fruit? It’s a once in a blue moon opportunity that you can get. Autumn is the season of picking apples in LA. Especially if you visit Oak Glen, you’ll find yourself surrounded by delicious fruit. So, you can pick apples straight from the tree and bake pies or create cider drinks. Moreover, you might also get a chance to pet a donkey or pony leaving the place. 

  • Enjoy Autumn Fall By Visiting Botanical Garden

Autumn is one of the most peaceful times that you can experience. The splashes of color all around you elevate the season’s vibes. You can visit botanical gardens or even plan a small picnic with your family to enjoy a rare combination of weather and family love. Not to forget, you’ll definitely get some Insta-worthy moments to capture.

  • Get Mesmerized While Whale Watching

This place is famous for its beaches and sea. You can always go there to enjoy a warm sunbath and play in the water. But in addition to this, you shouldn’t miss out on the Los Angeles Whale Watching experience. Autumn is the perfect time for you to capture the Dolphins and Blue whales with your camera. Just imagine how amazing it would feel to be surrounded by water and watch the whales sing their famous songs/tales.

  • Relive Childhood In Pumpkin Patch 

Is autumn without pumpkins even an autumn season? No, right? That’s the reason why you must visit the pumpkin patch and relive those childhood memories. You can spend your whole day enjoying a walk in the pumpkin patch. If you want, you can also pick a few pumpkins for the upcoming Halloween and let the kid inside of you do its magic. 

  • Sneak Around Other Spooky Places

Talking about Halloween, how about the idea of visiting spooky places while listening to the scary stories? The best way to enjoy this adventure is to plan a trip with your friends. You all can create new memories and laugh out loud at the old ones while being surrounded by the “ghosts.”

To Sum It All Up!

LA is a great travel destination for every season. You can plan a vacation at any time of the year. But keep in mind that every season has its own charm and beauty. Autumn represents the beauty of adulthood and a connection with childhood. So, if you want to get indulged in the beauty of nature, schedule your vacation now. 

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South America

9 Incredible Places to Visit in Mexico in 2021

When it comes to Mexico, I am deeply, over the heels, unapologetically in love. From the turquoise waters of the Yucatan to the charming colonial pueblos to vast and scattered remnants of ancient, mysterious civilizations; Mexico has it all. I could be wrong, by my gut feeling, ever since I was a young pup, was that Americans really underestimated its Southern neighbor. When most Americans think of Mexico their thoughts jump to tacky cruises or similarly ports of call that the aforementioned booze/food fest cruises stop off at. Growing up in the 90s in particular, Mexico really brought to mind tequila shots and souvenir towns, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mexico today has so much to offer it is impossible to even skim the surface from an article or two. While violence and the drug cartels steal the headlines, Mexico really has a lot more going on with it than meets the media sound bite.

For me, Mexico continues to be a place I go to every chance I get and always find something new. So quit waiting, find some frequent flyer miles, and check out some incredible places to visit in Mexico in 2017.

Mexico City

Once thought by many as a giant, prowling squalor of a city in decline, Mexico City has really turned a new page and become a mega-metropolis for cities around the world to envy. From fine dining and hipsterish cafés in Condesa and Polanco that rival clique spots in New York City, to revitalization of colonial architecture that had long been obscured by pollution, Mexico City is going through a new renaissance. It even has some ancient archeological sites at your fingertips, from gems right in the current city center (Templo Mayor) to huge sites such as Teotihuacan a short drive away, these sites are revealing new mysteries as they are being excavated. While many people forgo Mexico City when visiting Mexico for the beach or colonial pueblos, Mexico City is definitely a place worth a trip by itself.

Oaxaca

Probably my favorite state in Mexico, the state of Oaxaca has it all. From the colonial city of Oaxaca City that has some of the best cuisine and moles of Mexico to the long list of surfer beach towns that have been left widely untouched by mass tourism, Oaxaca would be my first choice of places to visit in Mexico. It isn’t as easy to get to as some other major ports of call (Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, etc), but is well worth it.

Puerto Escondido

In the state of Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido has become home to a community of expats who wish to keep things a bit more chill than the other large beach towns. It offers great surfing but with a more medium sized city in Mexico to call home.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a great beach town that also has more of small town atmosphere. But don’t let that fool you, it still has some amazing cuisine and restaurants and Havana-style nightclubs. Known as a gay vacation spot in Mexico, it has a pretty relaxed open fun, atmosphere. It also has many direct flights from the USA and is only a couple of hours to the city of Tequila (Yes, that is right).

Sayulita

Sayulita is a coastal village on Mexico’s Pacific coast and is only an hour bus ride from Puerto Vallarta. The picturesque village is surrounded by an exquisite landscape, being backed by the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, and doesn’t give out a resort-y vibe at all, as it only has Airbnbs, and boutique hotels. If you are into surfing Sayulita would be a nice little fit as the you can walk to the beach in a couple of minutes from the surf. It is a paradise for those in their 30s/40s if you want to ball out and rent a hacienda with a pool and in-house chef to cook up some homemade Mexican cuisine. You can also rent a golf cart to get around. Ha.

Morelia, Patzcuaro, & Uruapan

This three towns are basically the mainstay of the Michoacan state; and they are breathtaking. From the colonial charm of Morelia and Patzcuaro to the lush jungles and avocado plantations of Uruapan (the Avocado capital), these cities are some of my favorite spots of visit in Mexico. You won’t find many tour buses here, as such; they retain a ton of local feel to them. Patzcuaro was even named Pueblo Magico – Magic City – and for good reason, as it is cited as one of the top 100 Historical World Treasure cities by the United Nations.

Tulum

Nowadays the secret is out about Tulum. It has one of the most picturesque Mayan ruins posited on a seaside bluff as well as being home to Mexico’s famous cenotes – beautiful, limestone sinkholes you can scuba dive and snorkel in. Tulum really is an idyllic little town, with an increasing draw of cafes, galleries, and other spots that attract the hip crowd.

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has been the go to spot for years for many, especially Europeans, who want to bypass the Mega-resorts of Cancun. Playa del Carmen still has its fair share of resorts and definitely an appreciative amount of tacky tourist shops, however, it is has a vibrant nightlife scene and hotels are spread throughout the area. If you are looking to stay in something less sleepy but still misses on the major tackiness of some of Cancun, Playa is your jam. It also have some great diving spots and you can reach the amazing diving of Cozumel from here and the turtle filled beach/waters of Akumal.

San Miguel de Allende

Walking through the streets of San Miguel de Allende you may think you traveled back in time. It is an irresistibly charming colonial town with vibrant colors and art galleries galore. You can feel the historical Mexican spirit in this place. One of my favorite things to do is to explore the markets, which offer a range of everyday items to fresh ingredients.

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South America

3 Day Weekend in Charleston: Suggested Itinerary

With its colorful buildings, vibrant foodie scene and sandy beaches, Charleston is one of the dose destinations that has a bit of everything and is perfect for a long weekend. The city also happens to be just a two-hour flight from New York, so if you live in the Big Apple like me, it’s an easy trip if you can’t get much time off work. 3 days in Charleston are enough to cover the best things to do there and eat at some of the city’s best restaurants. Plus, the weather is much milder down in the south, with plenty of warm sunny days!

If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Charleston, here’s my suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Historic Downtown, Waterfront & Rooftops

On day one I’d suggest getting acclimatized by walking around the downtown area. Charleston is small and easy to explore on foot.

Start by strolling through Joe Riley Waterfront Park, which has two fountains and waterfront views. Once you’ve walked through the park, head to Rainbow Row, which is an iconic row of colorful Georgian-style houses that date from 1748 to 1845. This is the cutest spot in Charleston for Instagram photos so don’t be surprised if you have to wait your turn to grab a photo.

Joe Riley Waterfront Park

From there take a walk to Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, which was built in 1771 as a commercial exchange and custom house. This historic building has functioned as many things over the last two and a half centuries, including a commercial exchange, custom house, post office, city hall, military headquarters, and museum. Admission to the building includes a guided exhibition of the top two floors of the building and a 25 minute guided tour of the cellar, known as the Provost Dungeon. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children age 6-12. Children under 6 enter for free.

If you interested in learning about Charleston’s dark history of slavery, you can visit the Old Slave Mart Museum nearby, which is a building in the French Quarter where slaves were auctioned before the Civil War. The self-guided tour is a sobering experience and takes less than an hour, where you’ll read informative posters about South Carolina’s slave history.

Afterwards make your way to Historic Charleston City Market – a large indoor market that spans four city blocks and dates back to the 1790s. Here you’ll find lots of different vendors and stalls selling artisanal products.

By this point you’ll probably be feeling like it’s time to rest for a while, so I’d recommend visiting the rooftop at The Dewberry Charleston hotel, called Citrus Club. The stunning rooftop terrace is the highest in Charleston and offers incredible views over the city. Make sure to wear smart casual attire though, and note that collared shirts are required for men.

For dinner, grab some Southern cuisine at one of Charleston’s acclaimed restaurants. There are so many great options, but Pearlz, Magnolias and Husk were all recommended to us by locals. We ate at Husk, which is housed in a Victorian-era home and serves locally sourced Southern dishes with a modern twist. The food was excellent and so were the cocktails!

Duck confit at Husk restaurant Charleston

Day 2: Hit the Beach and watch the sunset at Shem Creek

Folly Beach is very popular, although our Uber driver warned us against it just because the traffic can get really bad on weekends. If there’s no traffic the journey should take 20 minutes but at peak times he told us it can take over an hour to get there and back.

We therefore opted to go to Sullivan’s Island, which is a little bit closer to the city. It’s still a great beach and there are several great restaurants just a 5 minute walk away. I’d definitely recommend getting food and drinks at Poe’s Tavern, which is named in honor of the poet Edgar Allan Poe. Poe’s is relaxed but fun, serving burgers and American fare on its busy outdoor patio. The Bloody Mary cocktails here are great and are basically a meal in a glass!

Sullivan's Island beach Charleston South Carolina

If you do decide to go out to Folly Beach, there are numerous great dining options there, including The Crab Shack, Lost Dog Cafe, Rita’s Seaside Grille and Jack of Cups Saloon.

After soaking up some sun on the beach, drive to Shem Creek and watch the sun go down at Tavern & Table. This waterfront restaurant has both indoor and outdoor bars with scenic views of historic Shem Creek. The menu features lots of small plates which are ideal for sharing – my favorite of which was the Burnt End Mac & Cheese! From their mains I also really loved their Ahi Tuna Bowl.

Tavern and Table in Shem Creek Charleston

Day 3: Plantation Tour

On day 3 in Charleston you could visit a plantation. There are several plantations in the area, including Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, and Middleton Place. Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place are rather close to each other, so it would make the most sense to drive out and visit these two at the same time.

Plantation in Charleston South Carolina

Located about 15 miles northwest of Charleston, Middleton Place is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States. Occupied by the Middleton family for several generations, the plantation spans 110 acres and is designated a National Historic Landmark. Through self-guided or guided tours, you’ll learn all about the Middleton Family as well as the generations of slaves who lived, worked and died at Middleton Place. A tour called “Beyond the Fields: Enslavement at Middleton Place” facilitates a conversation about slavery in American history. Admission to the plantation costs $26 for adults if you buy your tickets online, or you can buy them at the gate for $29.

Founded by the Drayton Family in 1676, nearby Magnolia Plantation also has very beautiful gardens and was selected by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens”. In addition to the house and gardens, the plantation site now features a nature tram, zoo, cafe and gift shop. Boat tours depart throughout the day, taking visitors on Manolia’s old flooded ricefield along the Ashley River. Admission to the plantation costs $20 for adults, $10 for kids and children under 5 are admitted for free.

Once you’ve driven back to the city it’s time to try out another restaurant. With so many great ones in the downtown area, you’re spoilt for choice. We ate at an Italian restaurant called Le Farfalle, where we ordered the Octopus Carpaccio and the Whipped Ricotta.

Octopus Carpaccio at Le Farfalle Charleston

However, I also had my eye on Chubby Fish, FIG, 167 Raw Oyster Bar and Fleet Landing. If I go back to Charleston I’ll definitely be trying those out! Many restaurants in the city have been featured in well-known food magazines and several restaurants in Charleston are winners of the James Beard Award, including FIG, Husk and Rodney Scott’s BBQ.

Where to stay

Hotel Indigo Charleston South Carolina

Charleston has plenty of nice boutique hotels in the historic downtown area, although they tend to be more expensive and don’t have pools. I’d recommend staying just across the water in Mount Pleasant so you have the option of relaxing by a pool if it gets too hot.

Hotel Indigo – I stayed at Hotel Indigo in Mount Pleasant – a boutique hotel with a palm tree lined pool. It’s only a bridge away from Charleston, so it’s easy to get in and out of the city. Book your stay at Hotel Indigo here.

Shem Creek Inn – Located in Shem Creek, this hotel is right next to popular eateries such as Tavern and Table and Red’s Ice House. The pool is right on the water and many of the rooms have views of the creek. I love that Shem Creek Inn offers special packages to entice customers including things like free koozies and a six pack of craft beer! Book your stay at Shem Creek Inn here.

The Dewberry – If you’re looking for style and luxury, The Dewberry is one of the best hotels in Charleston. The airy guest rooms feature hardwood floors, leather wingback chairs, Irish linens and bathrooms wrapped in Danby Vermont marble. Plus you’re only a short elevator ride away from Charleston’s best rooftop bar, Citrus Club. Book your stay at The Dewberry here.

Emeline – Located in Charleston’s historic district, Emeline is a chic boutique hotel featuring a wood-fired eatery, café and coffee shop, courtyard and fitness center. Rooms are tasteful, with thoughtful touches such as Amber Wood Red Flower bath amenities, custom embroidered linens, plush towels from Matouk and custom ceramic bath accessories designed by local artist Susan Gregory. Book your stay at Emeline here.

Getting Around Charleston

Rainbow Row Charleston

The best way to get around Charleston is by renting a car but since we were only there for 3 days we opted to get around by Uber and Lyft. Maybe we’re just spoiled living in New York but we found that there weren’t many cars in Charleston and we were often waiting a long time for a ride. We soon learnt it’s best to ride with Lyft and pre-book a ride in advance to ensure that a car comes when you need it.

If you plan to rent a car from the airport, Priceline and Hotwire are good sites for finding cheap rentals.

When to visit Charleston

Husk Restaurant Charleston exterior

Charleston experiences mild winters and hot summers. Spring runs from March to June and is the best time to visit, when the flowers are in bloom and the weather is warm and sunny. Summer is more tropical, with thunderstorms occurring in the afternoon. Autumn is also a nice time to visit, when Charleston experiences clear blue skies, sunshine and crisp, cooler evenings. Winters are generally mild but there’s still the chance of the odd snow shower in December and January.