Friday, August 10, 2007

Really Adventurous Surfing in Fiji

The Lau Islands

If you are an adventurous soul, Fiji is the place to indulge. An archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited, and 522 islets, Fiji has an unspoiled, unique environment of utmost beauty and pure repose. If you're a surfer, you must have known already that the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific is the personification for Surfing. Frequented by uncrowded Waves, Fiji has some of the finest and most consistent breaks on the planet.

For the really, really adventurous at heart, head to the south of Fiji. On the south east are a group of islands called the Lau group. They are known as the forbidden isles and it takes a lot to be able to venture into these islands for a proper permission is required. These Islands have a rich resource of wave potential but mainly for the experienced surfers who know their limitations. Most reefs can only be surfed at high tide and are open to extreme weather patterns that can provide a very challenging experience.

The Lau Islands (also called the Lau Group, the Eastern Group, the Eastern Archipelago) of Fiji are situated in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of the Koro Sea. Of this chain of about one hundred islands and islets, about thirty are inhabited. The Lau Group covers a land area of 188 square miles (487 square km). While most of the northern Lau Group are high islands of volcanic origin, those of the south are mostly carbonate low islands.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Urban City in Costa Rica

San Pedro in the San Jose Province

Costa Rica is known for it's beaches, forestation and wildlife. But contrary to the popular belief, in the midst of this paradise lies a vibrant and bustling metropolis. San Pedro, which is located in San Jose province, is known for its top-notch commercial development, numerous universities and centers of higher education, and its active night life. It is one of the most urbanized and busy places in Costa Rica.

San Pedro is known in Costa Rica as the Cradle of Higher Education as it is home to the University of Costa Rica as well as other university-level centers, such as the Universidad Latina and the Universidad Americana. The canton can boast of 99% literacy, compared with 95% in Costa Rica at large. One good reason for staying here is that this is a great place to learn Spanish. With numerous language schools that even provide accommodations, these places are a great help for those who plan on working or staying for an extended period of time.

Also at the heart of the place is the Mall San Pedro, a shopping center with tattoo parlors, movie theaters, food courts, video game shops and clothing stores that all flairs with the authentic latin appeal that only Costa Rica can give. Near the mall is the Fuente de la Hispanidad, a large fountain in a major street intersection that caters to the country's cultural heritage. An important landmark in the area, the place is also adjacent to lines of intricate cave-like rock formations facade of the Mall San Pedro.

Another known feature of the San Pedro metropolitan area is Calle de la Amargura, a four block long street near the University of Costa Rica, which is the hot spot for partying. La Calle, as it is often called, is a home to many bars, restaurants, nightclubs and discos like Terra U, La Villa, Tavarua, Caccio's and Mosaikos, which are known for being very active everyday (except Sundays). Its proximity to the university and its young, economical inactive students makes this area offer food and drinks for relatively low prices.

Despite the hustle and bustle apparent, San Pedro nestles at the heart of Costa Rica's lush valleys surrounded by verdant green volcanic mountain ranges. If the downtown city gets too busy, then San Pedro's beautiful suburbs offer the perfect peaceful and quiet rest you needs to get away from the urban humdrum. It has a lot of accommodations to suit every budget ranging from luxurious hotels to reasonably priced villas or apartels. The soothing suburban air and the green succulent backdrop provides a very suitable place to go and relax.

A Latin American city boosting with culture and spirit, the climate here is near perfect with a spring-like temperature throughout the year. Located just a few miles away from San Jose, where a bus to anywhere in the country is always available, it boasts wonderful, warm and friendly people, surreal adventure that awaits and scenic environment ready to awe. Offering stunning and picturesque panoramas of nature and countryside, San Pedro is the perfect place to savor a travel to Costa Rica.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Planned Trip to Guanacaste

Planned Trip to Guanacaste
With stunning beach shoreline, breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, wonderful mountain ranges and chain of volcanoes and lush, dense forests which play host to a fabulous array of exotic plant and wildlife, Guanacaste is the perfect destination for the active soul who is looking for an adventure. With several tasks in mind, like trekking, hiking, horseback riding, surfing, snorkeling and windsurfing, I came up with a planned trip to Guanacaste—a guide on how to spend my vacation. Mostly, my planned trip is a crash between a quiet time out from the hustle and bustle of city life and the eagerness to explore nature at it's finest.

Daniel Oduber International Airport will be my entry point since Liberia is my first stop. Liberia is also home to an expo that takes place in the month July, celebrating the Annexation of Guanacaste on July 25, 1824, and I want to witness this event. Since the event is taking place in the plaza in front of the church, restaurants are at reach. I also choose Liberia as the first stop because the place is en route to such beaches as Playa del Coco, Playa Hermosa, or the Papagayo peninsula, and that American fast food restaurants in the food mall located at the city's main crossroads and the 24-hour Subway sandwich shop located down the roads are at hand.

Next stop will be in Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park is located just to the northwest of Liberia. Located along the park's many kilometers of hiking trails are such volcanic wonders as hot springs and bubbling clay pots as well as numerous waterfalls and rivers, this scenary is something i look forward to. Though the Nicoya Peninsula is home to a lot of beautiful beaches and one of the most popular tourist destinations, during the rainy season from April to November most of the roads can get quite impassable due to rivers washing them out. So the plans of going out and spending time again on a beach will have to wait for a venue which entails less hassles.

I am madly drawn to wildlife and nature—hiking, trekking and the like. And since Rincon de la Vieja, an eco-adventure hotspot is only hours of car drive away from Liberia, it is my next destination. The dense lush forestation and plethora of wildlife and insect species is simply irresistable. I might do a round robin on Costa Rica’s most stunning national parks; the Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja, the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, the Parque Nacional Guanacaste and the Zona Protectra Miravalles. Horseback riding trails in the country is definitely on my list, as well as a canopy tour, for visiting Rincon de la Vieja entails an exploration of the largest and last remaining tropical dry forest in Central America. Another attraction would be the active volcanoes, with its stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape, boiling mud pots and fresh water volcanic lagoon. Of course, I wouldn't want to miss the white water tubing or relaxing dip in the therapeutic sulfur hot springs near the Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

Nature trip will be continued in Monteverde, which boasts to be Costa Rica’s most beautiful cloud forests. In addition to that, the area showcases a plethora of unique and exotic animals and plants. It is home to resplendent quetzal, ruby red poison dart frogs, over 300 species of orchids and the rare and endemic golden toad. With an almost mystical environment due to the cloud cover in the area, the region's lush and dense place with unparallel greenery is very inviting.

Other must see stops I would stop at would be the Isla Santa Catalina, Playas del Coco or Playa Ocotal, where an abundane of marine life is apparent and the Marino las Baulas National Park, where every year hundreds of leatherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

To Tamarindo Airport is the last flight. The place attracted me because it is busy and energetic town. I'd settle for the cheaper and more crowded hotels, because I want to learn as much as I can, about the culture and the way of life in every place that I visit. Since Tamarindo is a crowded place, it would be fun watching people enjoy their time out, basking in the sun. And then i would try and experiment on water based activities—swimming, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking and surfing. The more people I would encounter, the more strangers I meet, the more varied outlook and ideas I will encounter, the more understanding of the culture i would get.

The idea of spending time in Guanacaste coast is to stretch along the warm waters of the beaches while enjoying a gorgeous sunset, to witness nature in its purest form while exploiting the warmth of basking in the wilderness, to learn about culture and another country. With this in mind, and the places on a target schedule, the trip would be definitely worth it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Galapagos Travel with Children – Fun for the whole family!

Galapagos Travel with Children – Fun for the whole family!

Traveling to the Galapagos can be fun for kids as well as adults. An incredible vacation destination, here you get the chance to meet some of the world’s most rare and endangered animal and bird species up close and personal. These islands are a great place to take children as they can get to learn a lot about nature from a young age and appreciate these islands for their incredible habitat.

Galapagos Travel with Children – Cruise tours

The best way to see and experience all that the Galapagos Islands has to offer is via a cruise tour. These tours take place aboard a cruise ship, which takes you and your children to the various Galapagos Islands to see the unique animals and birds that live there. These tours also let you enjoy a whole host of activities as well as provide comfortable sleeping arrangements and meals. Children under 7 are not allowed on most cruises.

Galapagos Travel with Children – Activities to enjoy

As you and your children travel the Galapagos you can enjoy a whole host of activities including diving, snorkeling, trekking and bird watching. Most cruise tours provide their guests with activities to enjoy on each island. These activities correspond with the particular attractions on that island. For example on Isla Floreana you can explore the lava fields, while Isla Genovesa, the bird watching is excellent. Gardner Bay on Isla Espanola is known for its great swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Galapagos Travel with Children – What to carry

When traveling to the Galapagos with children it is important to bring a few things along with you so that you can help you child enjoy this wonderful national park even more. Snacks are important to carry when you tour an island as kids often get hungry quite easily and on many of the Galapagos Islands there are no food stalls around. Do carry a swimsuit that offers protection from the sun and make sure you child has on plenty of sun block. Also make sure they wear their life jackets at all times on board the cruise ship. Bring your child’s snorkeling gear along with you as in many cases snorkeling equipment is no available for smaller children.

A camera is also a good idea so that you can capture those special moments to share of your trip. Binoculars are a good idea as well for kids, so that they can spot penguins, dolphins and whales swimming alongside the boat as well as catch sight of the many different bird species that live in the Galapagos.

Books, pencils for coloring and drawing, journals and travel games are some other suggestions to prevent boredom as you and your children sail from one island to the next. Also carry any medication your child needs as well as some over the counter drugs in case of seasickness or headaches.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tahiti Surf – A Super Place for Surfing

Tahiti Surf – A Super Place for Surfing

A fantastic vacation destination, Tahiti is a superb place to visit especially if you enjoy water based activities. Aside from some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world, Tahiti is also renowned for its excellent surfing. One of the most common beach activities, the surf breaks and swells in Tahiti are top class and entice surfers from all over the globe. A great experience for all to enjoy, surfing in Tahiti is fun for everyone.

Tahiti Surf Destinations

There are several places to go surfing on Tahiti Nui. These Tahiti surf destinations are known for their first-rate swells and breaks. On the northern coast you can find some good surfing at Point Venus and Matavai Point, while in southern Tahiti the best breaks are located at Fisherman’s Point and Papara. All easily accessible, the waves here attract surfers from all over. For the more keen surfing enthusiast, a good idea would be to head out to Tahiti Iti. On the southern coast here some excellent breaks can be found at the Big and the Small Pass.

Tahiti Surf Schools

For those who do not know how to surf or need to brush up on their surfing skills and techniques, there are a number of Tahiti surf schools, in which you can enroll. The surf instructors here are seasoned local surfers with plenty of experience, and who understand the waves and conditions here well. Several surf schools can be found all across town in the capital of Papeete. These schools are an excellent resource and usually have their own surf shops as well from where you can rent out a surfboard and other surf gear like wet suits, board wax, etc.

Tahiti Surf Season

For the enthusiastic surfer, there are two surf seasons in Tahiti. The first surf season is from October to March, while the second surf season lasts from April to September. During the October to March season the waves are smaller but are more consistent, while in the April to September period the surfing is world class with powerful hollow waves to ride. This is the best time to come here, if you are an experienced surfer.

Tahiti Surf ChampionshipsThe ideal destination for the competitive surfer, Tahiti offers some truly world class surfing at Teuhupo'o. Meant for professionals only, this beach plays host to the Billabong Pro Championships in May here annually. An international event, with pro surfers attending from the world over, the waves on Teuhupo'o are the biggest and toughest on Tahiti to ride!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rarotonga – Cook Islands


Rarotonga derives its name from the words ‘raro’ which means down and ‘tonga’ which means south, as this island is the second southern most of the Cooks. A historically important Polynesian island, Rarotonga today, is home to the Cook Islands capital of Avarua. The most developed of all the islands, banks, ATMs, internet cafes and a hospital can all be found here. Avarua is the best place to stay on the island, with Muri Beach on the eastern coast acting as the activities hub.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Viti Levu

Viti Levu

Covering an area of 10,400 sq km, Viti Levu or Great Fiji is the largest of the Fijian islands. Viti Levu is also the administrative, political and industrial hub of the country. The fifth largest island in Oceania, around 75% of Fiji’s population can be found living here.

On Viti Levu you can also go kayaking or rafting through the Namosi Highlands, or if you prefer, just head out to Natadola Beach along the Coral Coast to spend a relaxing day at the seashore.

The great thing about staying on this island is that plenty of hotels and resorts can be found all over the place.