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Travel to Central America

December 21, 2018 in Blog

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Central America offers travelers the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most amazing ecological and cultural destinations. Central America is home to beautiful jungles, sandy beaches, waterspouts like surfing and SCUBA diving, and some of the western hemispheres most hospitable resort destinations.

While Central America has experienced a tumultuous past that includes colonial exploitation and violent uprisings, travelers who visit today will experience relative safety. For those visitors who choose to travel South America, each country offers a unique experience that will engage and entertain them.

Check out the following countries and attractions when you travel South America:

Belize:
By far, the most stable country in Central America, Belize was created for travelers seeking a Caribbean flavor with a mainland location. In fact, most visitors agree that Belize has more in common with islands of the Caribbean than with its more volatile Central American neighbors. Home to a 180 mile long barrier reef, Belize is a SCUBA and snorkeling enthusiasts dream.

Guatemala:
Despite its reputation for social and political repression, travelers flock to the Central American country of Guatemala in an effort to see its natural wonders. Huge volcanoes and the regions highest concentration of Mayan ruins draw visitors to this turbulent nation.

El Salvador:
With the civil war of the 1980s long over, El Salvador is now transformed into a traveler-friendly destination with huge natural volcanoes. Travelers should certainly visit places like the Montecristo Cloud Forest, which receives over 80 inches of rain annually, and the capital city of San Salvador.

Honduras:
Honduras may appear to be a true banana republic, but travel there is easy, enjoyable and inexpensive. The slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism make it particularly appealing to travelers who enjoy getting off the beaten track.

Nicaragua:
This troubled Central American nation is rebuilding after years of war. Travelers are drawn there by its wondrous natural landscapes and vast natural treasures.

Costa Rica:
Known as the most stable and ecologically stunning nation in Central America, Costa Rica is the most successful tourist destination in the region. By embracing a very progressive attitude towards the preservation of the environment, visitors who travel Costa Rica can experience the amazing natural wonders of the Central American region. With miles of beautiful coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica provides surfing and snorkeling for its guests. The rain forest of inland Costa Rica is home to monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and exotic birds as well as some rare and endangered plant species, as well.

Panama:
Except for the world famous Canal that bears the country’s name, Panama is largely overshadowed by its neighbors as a popular destination for Central American travelers. Those who do choose to visit Panama will be enthralled by numerous natural and cultural wonders that should not be overlooked. Visitors should be sure to experience the nations native birds and the thrill of off-shore deep-sea fishing.

by William

Top 8 Argentina Travel Tips

December 19, 2018 in Blog

Argentina is a popular destination, but it’s important to note on any vacation that there can be cultural, geological and meteoroligical differences when traveling abroad that could potentially ruin your entire trip. While in some places the differences can be minor, in others you could deeply offend a person by doing something you thought to be kosher. Don’t let this happen to you, below are what I believe to be the top 8 Argentina travel tips. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to leave an impression of courtesy and enjoy more hospitality from the locals.

1. The most common form of greeting in Argentina betwen friends is kissing one anothers cheeks, so don’t be caught off guard when someone makes a lunge toward your cheek. And return the favour out of courtesy if they have.

2. Once in Argentina, one of main methods of transportation is underground shuttle, or by bus/trolley bus, or taxi. Their are 5 main public ral lines, labelled A to E and services operate from early mornng to late at night on a fixed-fare basis. Buses are generally very crowded but are often the quickest means from one place to another.

3. Spanish is the offical language of Argentina, while English is widely spoken – don’t rely on everyone to speak English, you should at least get some basic Spanish down before traveling to Argentina.

4. More then 90 per cent of Argentina’s religious faith lies in the Roman Catholic church. Remember this as it does have an effect on what is kosher and what is not.

5. Argentina has 5 major airlines in an effort to make the big country smaller when traveling. Oddly enough, sometimes a flight will be faster and cheaper than say a bus or a taxi, so look into flying as a possible means of transportation for those slightly longer endevours.

6. The official currency of Argentina is the peso, bills come in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. 2 pesos are blue, 5 pesos are green, 10 pesos are brown, 20 pesos are red, 50 peseos are grey, and 100 pesos are purple/violet.

7. Tips are somewhat outlawed in Argentina, though people still expect a tip in most situations – if that’s the case 10 percent of the bill as your tip will suffice for the most part.

8. The Argentina time zone is Argentina Standard Time, which is GMT -3 hours, and GMT -4 hours in the summer. So set your watches correctly!

And the best tip of all is to plan ahead, use caution and common sense, and most of all – have fun!

Zürich-the most livable European city

December 19, 2018 in Blog

Despite having a small population (about 400,000 people), Zürich is one of the most important world financial centers, one of the richest European cities, and for years it is in the top 10 places best for a living.

This largest Switzerland’s town is located in the northwestern end of Lake Zürich and the Limmat River. It is surrounded by hills, while the highest peak Uetliberg (870m) offers breathtaking views to the city. It is also a favorite weekend resort for local people. Uetliberg is connected to the city by rail, and trains depart from the main train station every half hour (driving takes about 20 minutes).

If you’re planning to visit Zürich, you’ll be thrilled with a number of walking and cycling routes. Its famous restaurant at the Uto Kulm Hotel has high prices, so if you travel on a tight budget, a better option would be a picnic in your own direction. Nature lovers will also enjoy the lake, and walking through a beautiful Promenade, which is especially popular in the summer months.

In Zürich, you’ll be able to visit the remains of the Celtic and Roman settlements where was later built the Carolingian palace of Ludwig II of Germany. Today the square represents an oasis of peace where you’ll get a great view of the city.

Old town streets are pleasant for walking and sightseeing, while traditional cottages contain numerous cafes and restaurants.

If you are in a shopping mood, Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most famous and most expensive shopping streets in the world which stretches from the main train station to the lake. Here you can buy everything – from handmade chocolates to expensive diamond jewelry, and the two most popular department stores are Globus and Jelmoli.

Zürich West is a former industrial part of the city, which has been completely renovated in recent years and has become the center of cultural events and nightlife.

What is a Zürich Card?

Zürich Card is a city card that allows tourists to use the city transport (trams, buses, trains, boats, and cable cars) for 24 hours or 72 hours, River Limmat cruise, free entrance or purchase of tickets with a discount for 40 museums, 50% discount on tour through the Old Town, and many other amenities.

The price of the 24 hours card costs 27 francs, while the 72 hours card costs 53 francs. I highly recommend you to visit the National Museum where you’ll find a well documented Switzerland’s cultural history (the entrance is free with Zürich Card).

Antalya- The place for spending an active vacation

December 19, 2018 in Blog

Antalya region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with dozens of historical and natural sights. It’s famous for exceptional beaches and warm and clean sea that seduce millions of tourists every year. The resorts in Antalya are located close to the ancient cities Termesos, Aspendos, Side, Perge, and Olimpos.

If you’re a lover of an active vacation, Antalya will be your perfect choice. Here is the list of attractions that definitely shouldn’t be missed.

Antalya Aquarium

Antalya aquarium is located in the southern part of the city, close to the famous Konyaalti Beach. It is one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world with 40 thematic aquariums and 131 meters long glass tunnel. There’s also the Snow World with the Ice Museum where the kids can play snow bowling. Another great complex is the house of reptiles with an impressive live collection of some of the most toxic reptiles in the world. The aquarium also offers multimedia walks through the WildPark and the ocean.

Sandland

By going to another part of the city you’ll find a sandy figures museum on the Lara beach. This Sandland is the place where the festival of sand figures was held for years. They are now set up as a permanent exhibition. The figures are located under the open sky and are protected from external conditions. They can be visited throughout the year, all 365 days. There is an exhibition with the theme of legendary characters from cartoons, comics, and famous ancient and historical legends. Some of the exhibited sculptures are the Little Mermaid, the King of the Lions, the Cyclops, the Sphinx.

Manavgat

Those who like to taste the adrenaline can visit the Manavgat where was recently opened the Hip-Notics Cable Park with three lakes and ski lifts. If you’re a lover of an active holiday, then you can enjoy a number of swimming pools, saunas, and Jacuzzis. The visitors can also try water sports, play beach volleyball, table soccer or to afford a relaxing massage.

Dolphinarium

One of the new favorite Antalya’s attractions is the dolphinarium with a large aquapark. Visitors can enjoy all-day aquatic activities, play with dolphins and swim with them.

Antalya has been done a lot on the arrangement of the city itself. Lately, many parks have been built, and one of the most beautiful city attractions’ is a panoramic elevator overlooking an ancient marina in the old town of Kaleici. With all the new attractions, you must not forget about those old ones, due to which the Antalya region is visited by over 20 million tourists every year. It testifies to the enormous historical significance this city has.

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica Caribbean Travel

December 19, 2018 in Blog

If you’re considering where to go on your next vacation, try the world of great tropical adventure called Costa Rica.

A Costa Rica Caribbean vacation lets you explore active volcanoes, see wild animals, see lush rain forests up close, and swim and lounge on great beaches. Costa Rica is one of the few ultimate paradises that have been left untouched on planet Earth. There are no military bases or nuclear power plants, and Costa Rica has lots of culture. In addition, Costa Rica is a tropical climate, so there’s no winter to contend with. Costa Rica is a democratic society and is one of the most peaceful in the world. Its last civil war occurred in 1948. Since then, it has abolished armed forces and has also avoided despotic dictatorships, military coups, terrorism and any other forms of conflict so common in other parts of the world.

In addition, Costa Rica has a very friendly country. Costa Rica Caribbean travel provides a friendly, warm welcome no matter what part of the country you wish to visit.

Costa Rica means “rich coast,” but Costa Rica has far more to offer than just its coast. Costa Rica is a country of incredible natural beauty and it contains many species of animals not present in many other parts of the world. Some of these animals are very rare and can only be seen if you go to Coast Rica.

In addition, plants are very diverse and beautiful as well. There are well over 10,000 species of vascular plants and many gorgeous flowers. In addition, almost 2000 tree species have been recorded in this beautiful Latin American country. Visiting this astonishing country should give you an incredibly exciting Costa Rican Caribbean travel vacation, with such unusual and innumerable flora and fauna to view in its natural habitat.

In addition to land mammals and birds that anybody interested in ecology would love to see, Costa Rica also has approximately 835 species of fish. 700 of these are saltwater fish. Anglers and fishers should have a wonderful time fishing in Coast Rica’s clear blue waters, as they challenge themselves to see if they can catch any of these unusual fish species.

Now, let’s focus for a minute on the northwest region of Coast Rica, called Guanacaste. Most Costa Rican Caribbean travelers go there these days because of its ever-changing scenery and the many activities offered. There are many tours you can take; no matter what your interests, you should find something you like. With these tours, take a close look at all of its exotic trees, plants, flowers, animals and fish. For an experience you’ll never forget, a Coast Rica Caribbean vacation is just the ticket for you.

Whatever your interests, you should find something you like to do on your Coast Rica Caribbean travel. Some of these will depend on the region of the country you go to. In the rain forest, bird watching walks with English-speaking guides who are experts in identification themselves should let you see exotic species up close, while horseback riding provides another view of your Costa Rican Caribbean travel vacation

Another option is to take a canopy tour, which is a popular tour in every region of Costa Rica. However, to best experience Costa Rica’s precious rain forest, avoid tours that go through areas from the north towards the west. In these areas, climates are drier so that vegetation is not as lush as it is in other areas.

Avoid Travel Diseases In Mexico

December 17, 2018 in Blog

A trip to Mexico is often an exhilarating experience. There are many different sites that are exclusive to Mexico. Such sites include Mexico’s pristine beaches, various archaeological sites, and countless others. One common unfortunate experience while in Mexico, however, is the contraction of Montezuma’s Revenge, also known as Traveler’s Diarrhea. Fortunately, there are four ways to prevent it.

It is important for all travelers to understand and be aware of all potential travel diseases. Montezuma’s Revenge affects nearly fifty percent of all global travelers, who visit third world countries each year. This disease is caused by an infection in the digestive tract by the e.coli bacteria. Typical symptoms of this disease include increased weight, volume, and frequency of stool, nearly twelve loose stools a day, cramps in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and fever. When serious, this disease can lead to hospitalization. The most effective treatment for this particular disease is only time itself.

The first step to prevent begins with avoiding the water. Drinking the tap water is often times only safe for the citizens of that country because their digestive tracts are already attuned to the bacteria present in the water. It is foolish to think that you have the same digestive strengths as the locals who live there on a regular basis. If drinking the tap water is the only means for water, then you must boil it first for at least ten minutes. Even simple acts as brushing your teeth require the use of completely bacteria free water. Other precautions that travels should take are to avoid salads at restaurants and pre-opened bottles of water for these are easy ways for small amounts of tap water to enter your body.

The only way to completely protect yourself is to do everything yourself. Although cumbersome, this process means that all fruits consumed must be washed with bottled water by you and all restaurant food must be cooked in some form before consumed. It is simply not enough to inquire about the food handling process at each restaurant.

One of the easiest ways to prevent contracting Montezuma’s Revenge is to not eat from any street vendor. Although the temptation of cheap, local food might tempt you to purchase it, this food is probably the most dangerous you can consume. You have no idea how the food was prepared or even if cooked thoroughly. This food must be avoided at all costs.

The final prevention method is to avoid places that serve rewarmed food. Unfortunately, rewarming food doesn’t kill bacteria in fact, bacteria forms as food cools. Thus any rewarmed food is an almost guarantee for sickness.

Here are a few recapped tips that can help you prevent any holiday illness. When traveling, some safe items are food that is freshly prepared and served hot, meat that is cooked well done, fruits only handled by you, bread and baked goods, hot beverages, bottled water, and canned food or drinks. Avoid tap water, local ice, cold salads, buffets, food by vendors or any rewarmed food.

A trip to Mexico can be very enjoyable and the best way to ensure that is to stay healthy with these simple travel tips.

by Steve.B

The Art of Spanish Travel

December 14, 2018 in Blog

If you have a desire to see some of the best art in Spain, look no further than the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia on Calle de Santa Isabel 52 in Madrid. Among the masterpieces hanging on the walls are works from Solana, Miro and Picasso.

One of the most famed pieces of the hundreds of works hanging on the walls of the Queen Sofia is Picasso’s Guernica. That joined with the other works have ranked this museum’s modern art collection as one of the most important not just in Spain, but in all off Europe.

When one thinks of modern art, they also usually think of that art being housed in a very modern gallery. This is not the case with the Queen Sofia. The building was constructed in the 18th century. Its life was to end in the 1970’s, with a date to be demolished, but it was then declared a historic monument and preserved, then turned into a museum.

Not only is the building a place to view great works, it also offers a great view of the city. The building has transparent framed elevators that you will travel on as you go to the gallery. From the elevator, you can get a fabulous view of Madrid.

Once you step out of the elevator, your art experience is underway. First, you will encounter a selection of Solana artworks including The Circle of the Cafe Pombo, The Meeting of the Pharmacy, and The Chorus Girls. While these are more modern of pieces, the collection runs the range from the late 19th century to modern day works.

There is an ample collection of Miro in the museum, which is a very popular attraction with the crowds who come in. The collection includes Escargot, Femme, Man With A Pipe, Fleur, and Femme et Oiseau Dans La Nuit (Woman and Bird in the Night). These works were painted in the 20s and 30s in Barcelona.

Another very popular series of works in the museum are those of Dali. Included at the Queen Sophia are By the Light of the Moon from 1927, the 1945 portrait Galarina, and his 1951 and 1955 Crucifixion paintings.

Of course, many are drawn to the several Picasso pieces housed in the museum. They may not be what many would expect from a Picasso assortment. Included in this collection is his 1896 First Communion , which has a young Picasso painting in a very academic style. In addition, the 1901 Woman In Blue also shows some of his younger work.

You begin to see Picasso’s cubist style in the 1907 Las Se+¦oritas de Avignon. Eye catching is the 1937 Guernica painting, which displays Picasso’s impression of a bombing of this town.

The Queen Sophia collection is not limited to paintings. The collection also includes over 46,000 square yards of exhibition area which houses a number of pieces of porcelain, glass, pottery and other works of art. In addition, there is a library for studies and research into artworks, as well as a cafeteria once you work up an appetite from your travel through the vast halls.

by Jerry

Choosing A Water Filter For Travel

December 9, 2018 in Blog

When people travel abroad whether it is for a holiday or for business, many will pack the usual items such as toiletries and clothing. Some even purchase travel insurance. Most, though, never plan what they’ll be eating or drinking when they travel. Knowing what you’ll be eating or drinking, however, is probably more important than the clothes you’ll be bringing along. If you have ever gotten food poisoning, you’ll know what an inconvenience it is and how costly it can be. No one would enjoy being hospitalized in a foreign country during their holiday or business trip.

You may be able to avoid food poisoning by ensuring that the establishment you patronize is clean and hygienic. To further guard against it, avoid uncooked or partially cooked meals altogether. So that covers the food. What about the drink? Do you know what is in the water you drink? Many people incorrectly assume that tap water is safe to drink and is clean, clear, pure, and safe. Scientific and environmental studies have shown otherwise. Even if the water from a water source appears to be clear, clean, and safe to drink, consuming water from unknown sources or in countries where potable water cannot be taken for granted could be hazardous to your health.

The potential for harmful chemicals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc), bacteria, fungi, parasites, rust and other contaminants residing in water is growing worldwide. The kind of fresh uncontaminated water available a hundred years ago is harder and more expensive to obtain due to industrialization and a growing population. If the proper precautions aren’t taken to treat the water, drinking contaminated water can cause severe illness or disease, even death.

That’s where water filters come in. Water filters and water filtration systems have become a popular solution lately for tap water. The right filter will not only treat bad tasting tap water but will also treat contaminated water.

People take a variety of actions to treat the water they drink at home. They may:

– Install faucet filters, sink filters or a complete home water filtration system
– Pour the water through pitchers with a canister filtration systems such as Brita before drinking

All these may work well for drinkable water in developed countries where water from the tap is for the most part, safe to drink. Depending on where you go, whether you are camping or in a foreign country, taking the necessary precautions to treat your water prior to drinking is highly recommended. Boiling water does not remove the contaminants within. A portable water filter comes in very handy for such cases. For the mobile warrior, a water bottle with a built in water filtration system may do just the trick.

Not all water filters, however, are created equal. Would you trust your life as well as your loved ones with just any water filter to get the emergency water you need? Consider this, if you had to go so far as to obtain water from an unknown river or source, would the water be drinkable after water treatment? With so many water filters available, how do you know what’s best? Here are some things to consider:

– What companies or organizations endorse or use the product
– What independent studies or tests has the water company done to demonstrate the ability of their water purifier to remove contaminants
– What government bodies have approved the treatment methods
– What strict quality guidelines do they follow in the manufacture of these water purifiers
– How does the purified water taste after treatment
– How many specific contaminants does it remove
– What bacteria or fungi can it remove

All these are important questions to answer. Be sure to look closely at their product specifications. So, before you go on any trip to a foreign country, remember to pack along with you a proven water treatment system all contained within the convenience of a water bottle.

Experience the Turkish influence in the Balkans

December 7, 2018 in Blog

 Welcome to the place where civilizations meet! Welcome to the Balkans! By observing every aspect of people’s lives in the Balkans, Turkey’s cultural influence is hard to miss.

 

Going back through history, you’ll notice that five centuries long Turkish domination left the mark on cuisine, culture, music, language and even gestures in many Balkan countries. If you visited Greece, you couldn’t miss the strong Turkish influence in food and not to try ‘their’ “baklava” and “moussaka”, while sightseeing through many other Balkan countries will make you think twice whether you’re in Turkey or some other country. When we talk about Balkan music, we must admit you that almost all music hits are adaptations of Turkish songs.

Religion

The Turkish influence in the Balkans can be seen not only in these aspects but also in the aspect of religion. For example, Serbian Muslims from the region of Sandžak still keep Turkish tradition and their way of living. Women from this part of Serbia wear ‘hijab’ while men strictly respect all Islamic rules. Going through Bosnia, you’ll also see different ways of living- both Islamic and Christian. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, perfectly reflects the history and Turkish architecture, while Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, attracts tourists to visit marvelous Turkish fortress “Kalemegdan”. Since Kalemegdan is located in the heart of the city, it’s impossible to miss this breathtaking place. And…yes! The word ‘Kalemegdan’ is derivated from the Turkish language also. We guess that you also didn’t know that Belgrade had 114 Mosques while being under their boot. Serbian language and especially Bosnian has more than 3.000 Turkish words. Words like jok- no, sarma-Turkish dish, dzezva-coffee pot, kapija- gate, burek, baklava, fildzan- coffee mug, chorba-soup, can be heard on every corner.

Maybe you wouldn’t believe us, but thanks to the Turks, Europeans today enjoy the World’s most famous morning drink- coffee!  It came to Europe after the Battle of Mohacs (1526) in the Kingdom of Hungary when Suleiman the Magnificent took the win against the Hungarian army guided by Louis II (Hungarian-Lajos II). When the group of Hungarian parliamentarians went to sign a contract of peace, an unpleasant surprise was waiting for them.

How the coffee became popular?

As Turks were famous (and they’re still famous) as great hosts, they decided to serve a traditional black domestic coffee to their guests. Since Hungarians haven’t tried anything like that before, the Turkish coffee wasn’t anything else than an awful ‘black soup’ and a great humiliation. Fortunately, people have become crazy for this drink, so today Europeans can enjoy the scent and taste of this drink every day.

Travel to Frankfurt

December 3, 2018 in Blog

Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt on Main), situated in Central Germany, the fifth biggest city in Germany, is an attractive destination in Europe. Frankfurt got its name around AD 500, when the Franks ruled the area and the settlement along the Main Fort transportation route became known as ‘Franconovurd’.

The city is the financial heart not only of Germany but also of the whole European Union, playing important role in world economy. It’s been a major banking city ever since the Rothschilds opened their first bank here in 1798. Frankfurt also has a leading stock exchange.

It is home to the European Central Bank and many other banks but it also have thousands of companies, including the moguls of the German publishing industry, as well as a number of companies involved in public relations, marketing, media and telecommunications.

No other European city has so many skyscrapers like Mainhattan – a nickname referring to the exciting skyscrapers and business style. During a major event of Frankfurt, the Wolkenkratzer-Festival, skyscrapers are open to the public and spectacular laser and fireworks shows highlight the buildings at night. Frankfurt is also known as ‘the most American city in Europe’.

Frankfurt is the city with the highest percentage of immigrants in Germany: with over 51% immigrants or Germans who are the children of immigrants. It is the most diverse of all the German cities.

For tourists Frankfurt does offer some sights, some good restaurants in the Nordend, several artistic and cultural events, and excellent shopping opportunities. Sightseeing opportunities are mostly centralized in the historical core of the city, known as the Romerberg, where Charlemagne erected his fort in medieval times.

Frankfurt is also a major communications and transport center, it is well known for its airport, the fourth busiest one in Europe.

This vivid city has many things to do, one of the most important and world-famous events are the international trade fairs and trade exhibitions like International Book Fair (Buchmesse Frankfurt), ACHEMA (chemical engineering, environmental protection and biotechnology), International Automobile Exhibition (Internationale Automobilausstellung) and so on.

Frankfurt is also famous for its ‘Goethe-Haus’, the house where Goethe was born, next to the Goethe museum. The ‘Zoologische Garten’, Frankfurt’s large zoo, contains more than 400 animals. Or if you are interested in botany, you can check ‘Botanischer Garten’ which have about 5000 botanical species.

As for the weather, Frankfurt’s climate is continental. The summers are warmer and the winters can get very cold. June and July are the wettest months and the highest temperatures are in July and August. It is recommended to visit the city in autumn, or in spring.