Honeymoon coming up? Try Costa Rica

Why Costa Rica is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

There are plenty of amazing honeymoon destinations all over the planet that you and your spouse can choose from, but Costa Rica is definitely considered one of the very best. In fact, many people consider this country the perfect honeymoon destination, so you should definitely consider it if you’re in search of a tropical getaway. Continue reading to learn why.

Unplug and Reconnect with Nature

A lot of couples who go on their honeymoon want to really unplug from the busyness of life, especially after they spent months, or even a year or more, planning their wedding day and dealing with all of that stress.
Costa Rica is a prime destination for unplugging and escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can book a vacation rental right in the middle of the jungle, such as the luxurious accommodations at Villa Punto de Vista, so you can really focus on each other and your new life together.
Costa Rica
In addition to unplugging from your devices and other electronics that distract you in your normal day-to-day life, you should also book your honeymoon in Costa Rica if you are a nature loving couple that enjoys exploring the great outdoors.
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On top of its gorgeous beaches, you can check out the country’s lush rainforests that are filled with exotic wildlife. And you can even take eco-friendly tours and hike to see amazing volcanoes and waterfalls. With so much to do, you definitely won’t get bored and you’ll certainly be able to feel connected to nature again.

Relax on a Beach

During your honeymoon, you may want to just relax your cares away. Again, you’re all done with the stress of planning your big day, so now it’s time to reap the rewards and to really enjoy each other’s company.
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Costa Rica’s beaches are the perfect place to honeymoon if you love lying on the sand and getting a tan while sipping on sweet, fresh juices. You can also dive into the water and explore the marine life beneath the waves. In fact, there are many opportunities to go snorkeling and diving throughout Costa Rica, so definitely get some gear and head out for some unforgettable experiences.
 

Friendly Locals and Amazing Culture

Finally, many couples love honeymooning in Costa Rica because the locals are very friendly, accommodating, and helpful. They’re really social, gentle people, and they’re also very polite, so they enjoy interacting with tourists and assisting you in any way that they can. Plus, the local cuisine is delicious and the local culture is unique. So if you are looking for a destination where the locals will make you feel welcomed and at home, Costa Rica is a great choice.
There are many great reasons why Costa Rica is one of the top vacation destinations on the planet, so it is no wonder that so many couples also choose to make it their honeymoon destination. If you are in search of a unique, peaceful, and naturally beautiful place, definitely consider it for your own honeymoon. 

Seafood for Travellers – From Panama to Japan

If you are a fan of food, there are certain countries that you have to visit. For example, no self-respecting foodie can label themselves a foodie without tasting the food on offer in France. Italy and Spain are two other countries you have to experience if you are a food lover. If you are a seafood lover, the same principle applies. Throughout the world, there are seafood havens that don’t compare to anywhere else due to their freshness and their love of the cuisine. For all the seafood enthusiasts, below you will find the places you need to stop off as soon as possible.
seafood for travellers around the world
Tom O’Malley
 
Enjoy!
 
Monterey, California
 
America is not normally synonymous with seafood because American cuisine is more about hot dogs and hoagies. But, there are places in the US that take seafood seriously, and California is one of those places. Among the many diamonds in the rough, Monterey is the jewel in the crown because it offers the best seafood in the state. It is that simple! For the best seafood in Monterey, and some of the best in the world, just follow the link. There are far too many eateries to mention in one post, so a guide is your best option.
 
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Top 5 Places For Backpackers To Visit In Mexico.

Mexico is one of the favorite destinations of travellers around the globe, having some places that can be considered a mochilero´s dream but wait… what does mochilero mean? Mochilero is that traveller who seeks adventure and travels light, in other words, a backpacker.
That being said, we got into the backpacker mindset and after putting some thought and a couple of disagreements along the way, got to what we think are the top 5 places for backpackers to visit in Mexico without a specific order, it goes like this:

Mexico City:

 
This megalopolis is a backpacker´s dream, why? Because it has plenty of amazing places to visit such as the UNESCO® World Heritage Sites of Xochimilco and Teotihuacan Pyramids under a very reasonable budget and many other fun things to do for free in Mexico City like strolling around the city historical center, Chapultepec Park, Coyoacan, museums, street performances, parks, museums, art galleries and did we mention the amazing street food? Everything happens in Mexico City.

Mexico City´s Palace of Fine Arts
Mexico City´s Palace of Fine Arts

Los Cabos:

These are basically the twin cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo which are separated by 19 miles. Both cities are every surfer´s dream and we know that surfers are kind of the original backpackers, right? With amazing sceneries, pristine beaches and marine life, it is hard not to fall inlove with it. You can take an all day snorkeling trip or even go bar hopping, there are enough Los Cabos excursions at very reasonable prices for a world class tourist destination.
for very reasonable prices for a world class tourist destination.

Panoramic view of Cabo San Lucas
Panoramic view of Cabo San Lucas

Puerto Vallarta:

This west coast city is a well know treasure and has something for everybody; from a romantic historical center with cobblestone streets to striking views from up and above, fresh seafood right on the sand and upscaled all inclusive hotels. The City´s Malecon (a promenade with amazing sculptures and live performers and street vendors) is where you´ll find most of the action throughout the day. We highly recommend you to visit Marietas Islands, since it is a protected area only gets a number of visitors every day and you can get to snorkel, paddleboard, kayak or just relax in what it´s also known as “the mexican Galapagos”.
 

Street heading to the Pacific Ocean in Puerto Vallarta
Street heading to the Pacific Ocean in Puerto Vallarta

 

Oaxaca:

Oaxaca has many amazing beaches but the city of Oaxaca De Juarez takes the cake for us. The city historical center is an architecture jewel surrounded by mountains, the Monte Alban archaeological site is a few miles from the city and the food and off the beaten path activities are just amazing. Please, try to schedule your trip to Oaxaca during July so you won´t miss “La Guelaguetza” fair, one of the most traditional and colorful feast within Mexico. Did we mention that the distilled spirit known as Mezcal comes from Oaxaca?

Monte Alban Site and Oaxaca de Juarez in the background
Monte Alban Site and Oaxaca de Juarez in the background

Merida, Yucatan:

If the first thing that comes up to your mind when you read Yucatan is Cancun, then you are missing it big time. For many years, Merida also known as “the white city” has been the heart and soul of the peninsula, it is a vibran city with a quaint colonial historical center and a great amount of culture. There are museums, theatres, cenotes and archaeological sites like Chichen Itza are very close, also some less known mayan cities such as Uxmal. Everywhere you look is beautiful and charming and a jewel for backpackers who want to get out of the hustle and bustle of Cancun.

Governor´s Palace of Merida Yucatan
Governor´s Palace of Merida Yucatan

So, there you have them, 5 places for backpackers in Mexico that we are sure will suffice your need for adventure, culture, amazing food and breathtakingly beautiful sceneries while meeting your budget expectations. 

Travelling in Mexico: What to See in Two Weeks in Mexico?

Let’s go Mexico…

Two weeks is barely enough time to get to know Mexico but you can certainly give it a shot. It’s a big place and there’s plenty to see so you’re better off making an itinerary that includes plenty of relaxation (you’ll be on vacation after all) and sightseeing.
Depending on what you want to see and how to spend your time there’s a lot of options available to you. As with anything else you need to do your own research and find out what you want to do.

Where to Go

You could always just spend two weeks lounging around the pool at a hotel in Cancun or Puerto Vallarta but that just seems excessive, Mexico has a lot more to offer. You could start of in Mexico City for example (DF to locals for “Distrito Federal”) and finish up at the Riviera Maya for a more relaxing end to your journey.

Mexico City

Built in a dry lake bed the city is surrounded by mountains and is absolutely worth visiting. The country’s financial, educational and cultural focal point, the capital is Mexico’s beating heart. It’s the world´s largest Spanish speaking city, and largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere, it’s got New York beat by a couple of million people. Get a room at a hotel in the Centro HIstórico and venture out, you won’t regret it.
The Zocalo, the largest plaza in Latin America with the Metropolitan Cathedral to the left and the Palacio Nacional
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Photo by: David Jones https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidcjones/16567268140
You’ll be just a short walk away from the Zócalo, the Templo Mayor and adjoining museum, the Palacio Nacional and the Metropolitan Cathedral; every one of them places you should visit.

The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan

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Photo by: MCAD Library https://www.flickr.com/photos/69184488@N06/11861652506
Just 30 miles northeast of the city you’ll find Teotihuacan, an ancient city that is now Mexico’s most visited archaeological site. Taking a walk down the Avenue of the Dead on your way to the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon is a unique experience. To put things into perspective think about this: The empty city and the pyramids were discovered by the Aztecs centuries after their original builders had already gone.

Riviera Maya

Take your pick: Cancun, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, no matter where you end up you’re all but guaranteed to have a great time. You should definitely make time for a visit to a cenote of which the Yucatan is renowned for, guaranteed to take the edge of the tropical heat and a great day trip to boot.
 
Talking about cenotes you of course have to also talk about the Mayans. It is called the Riviera Maya after all and you would be remiss not to visit at least one of the many archaeological sites that dot the peninsula. Chichen Itza and Coba are your best bets for impressive pyramids but the site at Tulum, which lacks a proper pyramid of its own, more than makes up for it with uniqueness.
In the end this is all just scratching the surface. There are a myriad more things to do and see in Mexico and it’s all waiting for you. Find out where you want to go, maybe its Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen or Los Cabos, what you want to do and take a chance.
 
 
  

The World’s Hardest Cycling Competitions

Some people head abroad for pleasure, others for business. But there are a select few who travel to the farthest reaches of the planet to find the toughest cycling competitions known to man. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Then this article is for you.
From the harsh mountainous trek of La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica; to the Tour Divide that spans from Colorado to New Mexico, these global events are perfect for the intrepid adventurer.
A quick warning before we begin though: the events below will test even the most seasoned rider. These races are not for the faint of heart, so be sure to attempt them at you’re your own risk.

The Tour de France – France

The classic and probably most prestigious competition on our list, the Tour de France is actually much more difficult than it may look. Cyclists travel 2,140 miles over 21 days at an average of 25 mph. This includes mountainous climbs, gruelling time trials and seemingly endless stretches- no wonder Lance Armstrong called it a “contest in purposeless suffering” in his first autobiography.

Tour de France - Purposeless Suffering!
Tour de France – Purposeless Suffering!

La Ruta de los Conquistadores – Costa Rica

Billed as “more of an adventure than a race” by its organisers, which no doubt refers to the event’s title ‘The Route of the Conquistadors’ (early Spanish explorers), this quest is one that should only be undertaken by the bravest of mountain bikers.

Ruta de Los Conquistadores - Costa Rica
Ruta de Los Conquistadores – Costa Rica

The organisers also call this event “the toughest race in the world”, and for good reason too. It’s the original three day fat-tyre stage race, during which cyclists will have to endure the tropical climate of the Costa Rican jungle over five separate mountainous regions, from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. At least it finishes on a beach!

Race Across America – US

You thought the Tour de France was tough? Trust us when we say you haven’t seen anything yet!
Clocking in at nearly a thousand miles more than the aforementioned tour, Race Across America sees its competitors pass through 12 different states. It’s worth pointing out that this is a race, it isn’t broken up into different stages, this is one continuously gruelling challenge, with no pre-planned rest stops.
Because it’s a non-stop competition, riders must finish in a specific time, with teams having only nine days to finish the entire course, and solo riders receiving a slightly more generous 12. This means that in order to even have a chance of finishing you’ll need to ride up to 350 miles every day. Most solo riders end up only having 2 hours of sleep over the intense 12 day period, so it’s highly advisable to enter as a team if possible.
Registration is now open, so head on over to the RAAM site to take part if you think you’ve got what it takes.

Trans Pyr – Spain

The Alps may be Europe’s most popular mountain range, but it’s the Pyrenees where you’ll find the cyclists looking for a real challenge.
This coast to coast race allows brave mountain bikers to properly take in the charming Spanish scenery from amazing heights. During the eight days spent traversing the rough edges of the jagged mountains, cyclists will climb over a total of 66,600 feet; which in comparison is the same as ascending Mount Everest twice and still having nearly 9,000 feet to travel. If you’re an avid mountain biker looking to test your stamina, skill and resolve, then this race is for you.

Tour Divide – Canada/US

Two American races in one post? That’s outrageous! We hear you, but the reason the US features so prominently on this list is because of its sheer size and dynamic landscapes. This of course leads to some pretty outstanding bike routes; take the Great Divide for example.

The Great Continental Divide by Bike
The Great Continental Divide by Bike.
Source:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Yourcelf

The world’s longest off-pavement cycling route takes rider over 2745 miles of beaten track, through the mountainous valleys of the Canadian Rockies all the way to the border of New Mexico. The fastest the grand tour has ever been officially completed in is 15 days; if you think you could beat that, you better be prepared to brave the American wilderness in all its glory, encountering forest fires, mountain lions and steep rocky outcrops. We recommend taking a team along with you, this is not one to go at alone.
That’s it for our selection, but what do you think? If you’ve competed in a tougher race before, or know of a competition more demanding than any of the above, sound off in the comments section below and let us know.
About The Author
This article was written on behalf of Merlin Cycles, one of the UK’s longest established online bike shops and mail order cycling specialists in operation today. 

Cancun Activities to Make Your Visit Worth Every Penny

Cancun Activities to Make Your Visit Worth Every Penny

cancunHonestly, if you’re planning on going to Cancun, you should just get up and book your flights already; it really is a great place to get away from it all. Cancun isn’t always the cheapest of destinations to get to, however, so it’s important that you do as much as you can while you’re out there to get the most bang for your buck.
That’s where we come in. As seasoned veterans of travelling, we’ve got a few hints and tips up our sun bleached sleeves, and we’re ready to pass them on to you. To make sure you make your visit to The Glittering City worth every single penny, here are our suggestions of what to do and where to go.
The Tourist Zone
As a tourist, your first stop is almost destined to be Cancun’s Tourist Zone. It stretches for about 15 miles along the island, and has absolutely loads of stuff to do, such as visiting Laguna Nichupté – a completely gorgeous lagoon. It’s pretty enough to just sit in and while the hours away, but there’s also a whole host of shops and restaurants on the waterfront, not to mention golf courses and opportunities to take part in