Top 5 Stunning Beaches in Turks and Caicos Island

The Turks and Caicos Islands are known for some of the best beaches in the world due to their light and soft sand, lack of solid rock or dark-coloured sand and gravel, and their brilliant and colourful water. The azures, aquas and turquoises of the shallower depths contribute to the unique Turks and Caicos water.  Below is a list of five of the most pristine beaches of the Turks and Caicos Islands:

1. Grace Bay Beach

The lovely powdery white sand Grace Bay Beach 

Enjoy the sand, sea and sun at the world-famous Grace bay beach. Grace Bay Beach is located on the northeast coast of the island of Providenciales. This pristine beach is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the recipient of many designations, awards, and accolades.

The entirety of Grace Bay is excellent and breathtaking, with clear turquoise water and soft white sand and no rocks, seaweed, or pollution. An extensive barrier reef is located about a mile (1.6 km) offshore, protecting Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic, which helps to keep the water at the beach calm and safe.

Grace Bay Beach is home to nearly all of the large and luxury resorts on Providenciales, and much of the boat and water sports traffic that takes place near Providenciales occurs in the shallow waters between the beach and the barrier reef.

Grace Bay is famous for many things, and exploring nature is one of those. Here you can relax and unwind while soaking in the warm Caribbean sun. While at Grace Bay Beach, you can spend the day trying out various water sports like paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing, and more. There are also opportunities to go sailing, scuba diving, and snorkelling.

2. Leeward Beach

Leeward Beach, also known as Pelican Beach or Sunset Beach, is an extension of the famous Grace Bay Beach and is approximately a six to eight-minute walk from The Atrium Resort. Leeward Beach is one of the finest beaches in the Turks and Caicos. It is famous for its warm, clear and bright blue water and is loved for a quiet and calm atmosphere, comfortable conditions for relaxation, and provincial coziness. This beach is an ideal condition for spending quality family time. The beach is perfect for diving, snorkelling and swimming. Vacationers can sunbathe, have picnics in the shade of trees and enjoy hiking. This place is suitable for teaching surfing and sailing.

3. Mudjin Harbour

The stunning scenic Mudjin Harbour beach is the top attraction on the island of Middle Caicos. Surrounded by dense forests and rocky cliffs, it is known for its white sand, deep blue waters and impeccable cleanliness. You can have a spectacular view of the neighbouring islands, submarine plates, and the endless ocean that opens from its shore.

The high limestone cliffs, white sand beach, Dragon Cay, caves, and breaking surf of this natural attraction come together to create what is often said to be the top landscape in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

4. Long Bay Beach

Long Bay is an incredible three-mile (4.8 km) long beach on the southeast side of Providenciales. The water at this well-visited coast is breathtaking turquoise, with shallow depths leading off for a very great distance off the beach. Like nearly all beaches in the Turks and Caicos, the sand at Long Bay is white with perfect consistency.

The beach is a kite surfer and kiteboarding paradise. The constant eastern trade winds create the perfect conditions for kiting, and the shallow depth allows kiters to stand when they’re not ripping across the water, which is excellent for beginners and pros alike. Long Bay Beach is also the top coast for horseback riding.

5. Governor's Beach

The picturesque Governor’s Beach on the island of Grand Turk is stunning! Beautiful white sand and varying shades of blue/turquoise water. This little cove of paradise is only a stone’s throw from the cruise terminal, and on days when cruise ships are in port, you can find many passengers swimming and snorkelling here. Beach vendors sell souvenirs, and cold drinks and bathroom facilities are available at this beach.

Hiking Corcovado National Park the Crown Jewel of Costa Rica

Corcovado National Park is the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system. Located on the remote Osa Peninsula in southwest Costa Rica, Corcovado protects the largest remaining expanse of primary rainforest on the Pacific coast of Central America. It has been described as “one of the most biologically intense places on the planet” by the National Geographic Society. The park hosts 2.5 % of the world’s biodiversity and 25% of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and is truly the most spectacular activity on the Peninsula.

Hiking at Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica is open to the public and can be visited on a day trip or an overnight trip. However, all visitors must be accompanied by a certified guide, through the national park or in the Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez area. 

There are four ranger stations inside the park: Sirena, San Pedrillo, La Leona, and Los Patos, with hiking trails winding from each one. Los Patos, La Leona, and San Pedrillo stations are located on the edges of the park, while Sirena is in the heart of the park, connected by walking trails to La Leona and Los Patos.

The El Tigre trail in the east is another entrance into the park.  However, it is not connected to any of the ranger stations and thus is only accessible for a day hike.

Sirena Station

Sirena station is surrounded by secondary rainforest and thus attracts lots of animals to its trails. As you traverse, you’ll spot monkeys, sloths, coatis, caymans, and varieties of birds, and if you are lucky, you might even spot an endangered Baird’s Tapir.  The trail is 17.7km, is a moderately challenging route and is excellent for backpacking, camping and hiking. The view of the pacific and jungle is breathtaking and must be captured. 

The Jungle trail of Sirena 

San Pedrillo

San Pedrillo station isn’t as rich in wildlife, but what it lacks in fauna, it makes up in flora. It is a primary rainforest area where anyone hiking in Corcovado National Park will discover hundred-year-old trees and unique plants and learn lots about the ecosystem in the park.  It is a 3.1 km loop trail near the Bahia Drake Puntarenas and is moderately challenging and takes about an hour to complete. Excellent for walking and hiking.

The Lush rainforest 

La Leona Station

La Leona station, located on the southern side of the park, doesn’t have as many trails as the other two, but it is possible to hike up Leona Creek to get away from the beach and explore the forest habitat. It is an easy hiking and running trail that completes in 2 hrs and 30 mins.  Day Tours take visitors to La Leona station. You will travel by car to Carate, then walk through the forest and along a beach path to reach the ranger station. Once there, you’ll explore the area near the station and get ready to head back. 

The beach path to reach the ranger station 

Los Patos Station

Los Patos station is reachable via La Palma community from Puerto Jimenez or an 8-10 hour hike from Sirena station. It can only be done on overnight or multi-day treks. Los Patos lies within a montane tropical and cloud forest and has several trails opened to the public. It is said to offer lots of opportunities for wildlife spotting. 

 

El Tigre Trail

And finally, the El Tigre trail. While not a station itself, the El Tigre trail starts outside the park with a steep 1-hour climb and then levels out into a variable, up and down terrain. In total, the 8 km loop takes about 7-8 hours.

Overnight at La Sirena Ranger Station

La Sirena Ranger Station is the only place guests can stay overnight in Corcovado National Park. When arriving at La Sirena Ranger Station, you’ll need a guided certified agent. Your guide will help you arrange transport to the park entrance. There you’ll hike around 8 hours into the park from a place called Carate, at the end of the road on the East side of the Osa Peninsula. If you take ground transport, Carate will be where you’ll be dropped off the bus or taxi, from there you have to hike into the park for around 1 hour to a Ranger Station called La Leona. At that Ranger Station, they’ll check that you’re with a guide and have park permits.

From La Leona Ranger Station, it is another 6-7 hour hike, but if a VERY fit and fast hiker, it can be done in 5 hours.  The hike begins very early to arrive in La Sirena in the afternoon. You should bring at least 3 litres of water with you, and bring food to snack on. You should also wear good comfortable shoes and lightweight, breathable clothes. In the rainy season, it can rain anytime, so get rain protection for yourself and your gear.

Sirena is the only ranger station that offers overnight lodging. It offers basic accommodations,  five dormitory-style rooms, each with two bunk beds and one single bed. Sheets and towels are not provided. Private rooms are only available if space permits; otherwise, you’ll share a bedroom with other guests. Shared bathrooms have cold water showers, and electricity is only available for a few hours. The dorm capacity at Sirena Ranger Station is 70 individual beds divided into three rooms. To ensure availability, it is always best to reserve in advance.

In wrapping Up: You may access the Corcovado National Park by hiking from Carate. However, you will set this up through a travel agent or guide. From, Carate, you’ll start your hike into the park, which is around 3.5 km to the first Ranger Station, La Leona, where you’ll enter Corcovado National Park.

Claro River Trail 

Top 5 Most Luxurious Beach Hotel in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is the stronghold of tourism in the Dominican Republic, attributed to the island’s booming number of visitors. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest and most diverse Caribbean country, situated just two hours south of Miami, less than four hours from New York, and eight hours from most European countries.  Punta Cana is blessed with some of the Caribbean longest white sand beaches and tropical coastline with gorgeous coconut palms and is considered the destination for rest by the sea.  Here, the Atlantic ocean meets the Caribbean sea causing Punta to offer some of the best beachfront all-inclusive resorts and boutique hideaways. Continue reading below for Punta Cana’s top five most luxurious beach resorts. 

1 Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a secluded sanctuary located along the tropical coastline of Punta Cana in Provincia La Altagracia.  Its delightful design suits and exclusive Caleton Beach Club endorse Eden Roc Cap Cana as a resort of utmost and intimate privacy.  The three restaurants on-site overlook the lagoon by the pool or the beach and offer a range of different culinary experiences.  The Salaya Spa offers a wide range of luxury treatments with a touch of the island’s native traditions and fragrances. The Spa offers a wide range of opportunities to find beauty, balance, and complete well-being.

The gorgeous view from the bungalows 

The kids and family-friendly Eden Roc at Cap Cana offers thirty-four spacious free-standing suites, each with a private swimming pool and gazebos. It offers a KoKo kids club for ages 4 to 12, located on a lagoon resembling a massive treehouse equipped with kid-friendly games and a mini spa.  A stay at this Luxurious resort would run you about US$800 per night.

2 Tortuga Bay Hotel

Tortuga Bay is the only AAA Five Diamond property in the Dominican Republic featuring 13 beachfront villas with stunning designs by Dominican designer the late Oscar de la Renta in a classical tropical fashion.  It was renovated by Markham Roberts in 2017 and curated to enhance guests’ experience. Here, you’ll explore five miles of white-sand beach, 45 holes of championship golf designed by Tom Fazio and P.B. Dye, a Six Senses Spa, a tennis centre, and a 1500-acre ecological reserve with 12 natural springs. Tortuga Bay has a formal Caribbean style that is friendly and unfussy. Discretion, serenity, and impeccable service will define your stay.  A stay here can be cheap as US$650 per night. 

3 Casa de Campo Resort & Villas

The jaw-dropping Casa de Campo Resort & Villas

Casa De Campo Resort & Villas lies on the south-eastern coast of the Dominican Republic in La Romana, an area well-known for its stunning beaches and tropical natural beauty. You can venture just beyond the shores to discover the idyllic beaches of the Catalina and Saona islands. The stylish rooms and suites feature contemporary design elements, such as monochrome furnishings and natural stone tile floors, and all include a private patio or balcony. The villas offer the utmost luxury, with three to ten bedrooms (all with en suite bathrooms). All villas have their own private pool, a landscaped garden area, a Jacuzzi, and a kitchen, where a chef will prepare your breakfasts fresh each day. 

The Garden Villas include maid service, while Classic, Exclusive and Oceanfront Villas offer both maid and butler service. This private, gated resort stretches over 7000 acres and is home to three championship golf courses, an exclusive beach club, and a private white-sand beach. And is just about four miles from La Romana International Airport and 47 miles from Punta Cana International Airport. It will cost you around US$850  per room, per night.

4. Iberostar Grand Bavaro

Iberostar Grand Bavaro leaves nothing to be desired.

The all-inclusive Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana is an adults-only paradise set along the world-famous beaches of the Dominican Republic, located in the Bavaro district just 6 km from Dolphin Island Park and 24 km from freshwater lagoons. Cap Cana Marina and Playa Juanillo are both 25 km away.  It’s a Luxury fest with an exquisite lobby, marble bathrooms, bathrobes, and slippers in your room. Outside, the Caribbean breezes will accompany you as you stroll amidst the Greco-Roman architecture on your way to the white sands and azure waters of the famous Playa Bavaro Beach. Great pools and gourmet restaurants put a luxury stamp on this adults-only hotel. Punta Cana International Airport is the nearest airport, about 19 km from Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel. The cost per night can range from US$450 to US$650.

The hotel’s outstanding architecture meets an excellent beach location.

5 Excellence Punta Cana

The welcoming view of Excellence Punta Cana

Nestled among palm groves on a 30-mile stretch of white-sand beach, Excellence Punta Cana is a romantic adults-only resort that comes highly recommended for its excellent service. The classic colonial design of 461 guestrooms will provide you with all you need for your next luxurious getaway, from world-class service to premium amenities throughout your stay, unlimited premium drinks and reservation-free at gourmet restaurants. Unwind on the resort’s breathtaking stretch of white-sand beach and sip on a premium cocktail, compliments of the beachside wait service. Treat yourself to a relaxing, renewing and refreshing treat at the on-site spa that offers indulgent treatments from hydrotherapy to couples’ treatments. It is very not so expensive too US$380 to US$450 per night.  

The Magical Excellence Punta Cana 

COSTA RICA, THE JEWEL OF CENTRAL AMERICA

costa Rica occupies 0.035 per cent of the world’s landmass but contains five per cent of its biodiversity with twelve thousand species of plants and animals.  These species dwell among Costa Rica’s picturesque rainforests, volcanoes, mountains, beaches, mangrove forests, and cloud forests. The country landscape has fascinated travelers for centuries, establishing it as a popular tourist destination known as one of the premier destinations to experience high-altitude tropical cloud forests and nature conservation. The country has seven provinces, each with its own characteristics:

Limón

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imón is spread across the country’s eastern half and holds the Caribbean coast and an array of attractions. Limón extends over 3,547 square miles of humid lowlands and lush mountain slopes and is bordered by a long Caribbean coastline, making it the country’s fourth-largest province. Within that area lie gorgeous beaches and several protected areas, among them Tortuguero National Park, the Parque Nacional Manzanillo, and the Playa Puerto Viejo. Limón is a cultural giant that befits its tropical climate, with strong indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, and Chinese influences interacting amidst enchanting landscapes.

The gorgeous Manzanillo 

The tropical white sand beach of Limon (Punta Uva)

Guanacaste

The lovely Coast of Samara in Guanacaste,  beautifully shot by Robin Canfield on Unsplash 

The country’s northwest corner belongs to Guanacaste province, famous for its beaches and holds more hotels and tourism infrastructure than those of other regions. Guanacaste became part of Costa Rica in 1824 when its inhabitants voted to join the country in the so-called Annexation of Nicoya. Like Limón, the peninsula is bordered by a long coastline, with an array of beaches washed by the Pacific Ocean’s warm waters.

The stunning Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste 

The Picturesque Samara Beach 

 Guanacaste stretches eastward from the coast to the misty peaks of several volcanoes, such as Rincón de la Vieja, Miravalles, and Tenorio Volcano National Park. Between those peaks and coast lies a vast savannah that has been a cultural cradle for countless centuries. Guanacaste was once the territory of the Chorotega Indians, whose heritage can be found in its traditional cuisine, handicrafts, and folklore.

The lovely Rio Celeste at the Tenorio National Park 

Puntarenas

The beautiful greenery of Manuel Antonio National Park

Stretching to the south of Guanacaste is Puntarenas, the largest province which comprises the rest of the country’s Pacific coast, one of its principal ports, and an array of national parks. The Manuel Antonio National Park is one such park, a combination of tropical forests, beaches, and the aquamarine sea. Another is the country’s largest Corcovado National Park, to the south, which is one of the country’s biologically richest areas.  Puntarenas also holds the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Capuchin monkey at Manuel Antonio National Park 

 

Squirrel monkey  at Corcovado National Park

Alajuela

The Alajuela, known by Costa Ricans as the “City of Mangos”.  It has rich farmland, and a warm climate, that facilitates the cultivation of tropical fruit. Alajuela province covers 19% of the national territory and holds popular natural attractions such as Poás Volcano National Park, one of the country’s most visited sites. 

The Botas Lagoon at Poás Volcano National Park

To the north lies the Arenal Volcano National Park, known for its active volcano and nearby are Tabacón Hot Springs and Lake Arenal. A little farther to the north is Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve, a great spot for bird watching.  Alajuela also holds some prime examples of Costa Rican culture, such as the painted oxcarts of Sarchí and the bits of history preserved in the Juan Santamaría Museum, named after its national hero.

Tabacón Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano

Cartago

Cartago was the first city established in Latin America by the Spanish conquistadores in 1562, once the heart of colonial Costa Rica.  Cartago was Costa Rica’s original capital, but after it was severely damaged by an earthquake, the seat of government was moved to San José. In Cartago, found the Ruins of Santiago de Apóstol, a church that was under construction when an earthquake hit in 1910. Other historic buildings include the original library, the Colegio San Luis Gonzaga, Quircot Church and the Pirie Building.  

Historic ruins in Cartago (photo by Emmanuel Appiah on unsplash)

To the north of the city towers Irazú Volcano, the country’s highest Volcano. The slopes are covered with the vegetable and dairy farms for which Cartago is known. The province also holds Tapantí National Park, Turrialba Volcano National Park, and the Guayabo National Monument, one of the country’s largest and most important archaeological sites.

Irazú Volcano (photo by Juliana Barquero on Unsplash)

Heredia

While it may be one of Costa Rica’s smallest provinces, Heredia has no shortage of treasures. Just north of the city of Heredia, a town called Barva, for example, holds a picturesque collection of colonial houses. The province’s natural assets include the vast wilderness of Braulio Carrillo National Park, the smaller protected areas of the adjacent Sarapiquí region, and Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Reserve, near the country’s border with Nicaragua.

Tunnel entrance at Braulio Carrillo National Park

Besides Heredia’s grand wealth of colonial and natural sites, it also holds one of the principal coffee production regions in Costa Rica. The city’s picturesque coffee farms are attractions in their own right and hold both an important economic and cultural role in the nation’s history.

El antiguo fortín in Heredia

 

San José

San José is the country’s transportation hub, from where travelers can easily reach its other provincial capitals and natural attractions. It is thus a convenient point of departure for exploring Costa Rica’s varied and beautiful regions. The Costa Rican capital is also its smallest but most densely populated province. It is home to nearly 1.5 million inhabitants and day visitors.  And consequently, the country’s most diverse province.

Its people share a friendly nature that visitors are quick to note. San José is surrounded by hills and mountains covered with a verdant mantle of coffee farms and forest patches that counterbalance the urban sprawl and hustle-bustle. As the capital city, it has the country’s best museums and various architectural gems, such as the National Theater.

Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

Make this golden destination your next place for Vacation, Baecation, Staycation and top of your bucket list to explore.  You will not regret choosing this lovely, secluded, and sustainable destination of greenery, gorgeous beaches plenty adventure and eco-friendly places to stay.     

Gorgeous Cheap Clean Boutique Hotels in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been the destination of choice for many eco-tourists for decades due to its rich, attractive biodiversity and abundant wildlife that has been a sucker for many who wants to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Therefore, it is time for you to make Costa Rica’s miles of shoreline and acres of untouched rainforest part of your bucket list.  The area is packed with so many eco-friendly and sustainable lodging, from hilltop jungle to surface chic beachfront resorts. Here is a list of the top 5 clean, cheap and beautiful boutique hotels in Costa Rica that you will love as much as I do. 

1. Oxygen Jungle Villas and Spa Resort

The Oxygen Jungle Villas is a lovely glass bungalow tucked away in the Uvita tropical rainforest. It is an adult-only boutique hotel that has a refreshing feeling of the sound of nature from the private jungle paradise.  Located just 5km from Playa Hermosa beach and features an infinity pool, sun decks, spa treatments, Indonesia architecture along with free wifi.

The natural beauty of the villa is exceptional, with an incredible staff and a spectacular view from the swimming pool.  There is also a beautiful trail and waterfall in the forest to enjoy, which really makes your stay at the beautiful oasis magical. 

2. Rancho Pacifico

The Rancho Pacifico is a stunning 5-star boutique hotel in the middle of nature, located on 26 acres in the rainforest overlooking the incredible Whale’s Tail in Uvita. With a phenomenal staff, beautiful rooms, excellent amenities and a breathtaking view from the rooms and lobby.  The resort’s five suites and five villas feature zen-like modern architecture, contemporary furnishings and natural gardens in an estate-like setting. 

The hotel is about 500 metres above sea level and surrounded by a jungle with many different trees, birds, butterflies, flowers and other wildlife located right outside of your room. 

3. Tifakara boutique Hotel and Birding oasis

Located in La Fortuna, Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis is a short drive from Arenal Volcano and Tabacon. It is a true jewel in the rainforest, a secluded property with 11 private bungalows with views of the mountain.

The Tifakara Boutique Hotel is a short walk from La Fortuna Waterfall and the Chato Volcano and is certainly worth the visit. The property consists of a nice pool and hot tubs, which came in handy after hiking the volcano and waterfall.

4. Cala Luna Boutique Hotel

Cala Luna is a serene wellness-focused 31-room boutique retreat on the outskirts of bustling Tamarindo. It has an organic beachy ambience, a large pool, lounge, and restaurant, that serves as the hotel’s social centre. It also consists of an intimate spa and yoga pavilion tucked away in a jungle-like surrounding. 

The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens and offers laid-back luxury with fantastic personal service.  It is a wonderful choice for honeymooners, couples, friends or families looking for peace and relaxation from a vacation. 

5. Gaia Hotel and Reserve

Gaia Hotel and Reserve, located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is the only 5-star boutique hotel and resort in the area, with 22 luxury rooms. It provides guests with breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest and wildlife. And, of course, this exotic resort will not fail to impress. It creates an ambience of natural relaxation and supreme luxury at its finest. Bright, peaceful rooms greet you with abundant sunshine, designed to create a seamless flow between the modern comforts indoors and the natural splendour just outside. Gorgeous wood floors lead from serene bedrooms with plush king-sized beds, past stylish bathrooms offering enticing 2-person Jacuzzis, and out to a fabulous separate living room. 

Guests can enjoy guided nature tours and hikes, ziplining, vehicle tours, dolphin watches, surfing lessons, whitewater rafting, and so much more!

Costa Rica is meant to be preserved as a beautiful, secluded, and sustainable destination.  Here, visitors enjoy lovely tropical beaches, grand adventures, the wonders of nature and scintillating culture. Costa Rica has all the necessary components of an ideal vacation or holiday and all types of accommodation to suit each visitor’s style and budget. 

Hiking the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica

Hiking has long been described as one of the largest segments of nature-based tourism, and more and more people are taking part in hiking activities in different geographical locations. In mountain regions and protected areas hiking is normally the most important recreational activity. It can provide important tourism revenues for the local population. In recent years several rural destinations have put huge efforts into facilitating hiking and thus taking advantage of tourists’ increasing demand for destination experiences in nature and activities promoting their health and well-being. Perhaps hiking is an activity with the potential to stimulate both mental and physical health and well-being.  Costa Rica is one such destination that offers some of the best natural reserves for trekking.   The Famous Monteverde Cloud Forest is one such place.  Established in 1972, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has largely been considered one of Costa Rica’s most treasured places.  Its biodiversity is remarkable. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Photo by Jan Weber on Unsplash

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he Monteverde cloud reserve is located 5.5km from the town of Santa Elena. It consists of 6 main trails, some of which are short and only take about 10 minutes to complete, while others are about a mile long. The trails are about 13km in total and make up 3% of the park.  The rest are protected areas that are only accessible by scientists and researchers. 

The forest is one of the most popular places for hiking in Costa Rica. The trails are well-marked, easily accessible, and relatively flat. There are some steep inclines on the Roble and Chomongo trails.  However, hiking all trails should take 4-5 hours to complete.  Upon arrival, the staff at the front entrance will explain the different trails and the best one to take.  You can see a picture of a map of the trails below. 

The first loop of the trail went up to Sendero Bosque Nuboso A and then B to the continental divide, where you can take in the breathtaking view of the pacific ocean and Caribbean sea found at the end of the Sendero Ventana.  From here, walk down part of Sendero La Camino, unto Sendero Roble and Sendero Chomongo, to complete the first loop. The trials for this loop are very well maintained, outline and signage make it easy to find your way around.  

The second loop is the most challenging. There are some steep inclines on the Roble and Chomogo trails.  In this loop, you’ll go up Sendero Wilford Guindon trail which meets Sendero Puente, onto the incredible 300ft tall canopy suspension bridge through the cloud. The bridge is super high and long and holds ten people at a time. The height of the bridge is not too bad if you are a person that is afraid of heights, and the view from the bridge is really beautiful to take in. From the bridge back to the trailhead along Sendero Camino, from that trail, you can hike along Sendero Tosi to the waterfall and then walk back to the entrance along Sendero Cuecha to complete the third loop.

on your hike, depending on the time of year, the top of the continental divide would be covered in clouds and can be very windy toward the eastern side. It will be mostly mist and cloud, hence the name “Cloud Forest.”  You might not see anything as the entire forest around you would be draped in clouds. On a clear day, you can see far to the east and the west.  There are lots of vibrant flora and fauna to see.  Gorgeous flowers sprung from the foliage with their petals dripping from the mist.  You’ll even spot coati, birds, and other creatures just hanging out on the trail or in the trees around. The weather can be different in some parts like the Sendero Tosi, with a warmer temperature, little mist and sunlight gleaming through the trees.  

Photo by Christopher Austin on Unsplash 

Things to Know

  • You have the option of hiking the forest as a self-guided or a guided tour.  
  • There is no parking available at the entrance of the park, but you are allowed to park in a well-marked lot that is found along the road to the reserve. 
  • Shuttle service is provided to transport you from the parking lot to the reserve and back when complete.  It is about $6USD to cover both parking and shuttle service. 
  • If you don’t have a personal car, buses head to the reserve from the Nacional in Santa Elena at 6:15 am, 7:20 am and 1:15 pm.
  • The Restrooms are only at the entrance, but none on the trails.   
  • The reserve is open every day from 7 am -4 pm. 
  • The entry fee is $25 US per person and  $12 US per child from 6- 12 years. 
  • Take along with you a rain jacket, it is likely to rain, and it can be pretty cold, so you might want to wear something warm.  

The Best 5 Eco-Friendly Villas in Costa Rica

costa Rica is an inspirational wanderlust destination that all travellers from all over the world should explore. The Central American country has everything from tropical forests, picturesque beaches, incredible wildlife, volcanoes and misty forests. When planning a trip, the first thing that comes to mind is where to stay. Costa Rica has so many luxurious places to stay, in every kind of accommodation there is a range of activities, with something for every taste.  Here, I put together five (5) of the best eco-friendly villas that you’ll surely enjoy.   

1. Allegro Papagayo All-inclusive Resorts

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he exquisite family-friendly Allegro Papagayo Resort consists of 300 rooms with breathtaking views of the ocean that feature everything you are looking for during your vacation.  It offers unlimited meals and drinks as well as a variety of onsite activities, including beachside sports and adventure activities.  The resort is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica. 

It provides the best in adventure and tranquility, depending on your mood. Here, you can participate in all-inclusive activities like swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, aerobics, kayaking, beach soccer, and water polo.  At night there’s live entertainment with a disco,  so you’ll have a lot of activities to keep you entertained. They also offer child supervision.  

2. Fiesta Resort

Surrounded by the exotic natural beauty that Costa Rica is known for, Fiesta Resort in Puntarenas offers a family-friendly getaway with plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation. The beachfront property overlooks a unique dark sand beach in some of the area’s most popular attractions, including the capital city of San José, making it the perfect place to discover all that Costa Rica has to offer. Here, you’ll enjoy soaking up the sun on the sprawling beach or taking in the view of the ocean from the pier. There are many activities to try out, like mixology classes, karaoke nights, foam parties by the pool, and Costa Rican coffee classes. The younger guests can have a fun time at the on-site kids and teen clubs. The resort serves some delicious local and international meals at the resort restaurants, where you can sit and watch the sunset over the coast as you sip on drinks from the pier bar. The rooms are spacious with convenient amenities. 

Staying at the Fiesta Resort makes an easy tour of Costa Rica’s natural attractions, including Tortuga Island, Monteverde National Park, Arenal Volcano, and Manuel Antonio Beach. The hotel tour desk will assist with booking tours. The Palo Verde National Park is just mins away, and you will also love to explore it. 

3. The Lapa Rios Lodge

The Lapa Rios Lodge is a super spectacular eco-lodge with 16 thatched and spacious bungalows immersed in the thick lush jungle on the hillside of the last tropical rainforest on the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado National Park.  Each bungalow has a large private deck complete with seating, sunbeds, and a hammock. It is so ideal for watching the sunsets. 

Its interior design of wooden floors, bamboo furniture, large beds, spacious bathroom with a magnificent view over the Pacific ocean and the lush green forest create a simple, fresh and romantic atmosphere. 

The Lapa Rios is built on a steep hill in the jungle with no babysitting services, and as such, parents may not want to take children under the age of 5 years. 

The picturesque Lapa Rios isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny.  For someone who enjoys nature, this would be ideal for you with lots of wildlife to enjoy, such as howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaws, toucans, etc

4. Nayara Springs

The Nayara Spring is a romantic, Peaceful, and jungle-setting adult-only lodge set at the base of the Arenal Volcano at La Fortuna. It offers a quiet natural surrounding at an affordable price and is a great honeymoon spot in Costa Rica. 

The hotel consists of 16 villas, each with a private garden, an outdoor shower, and a terrace with a Jacuzzi fed by natural hot springs. Each room also features air conditioning, a TV, and WiFi throughout the entire property. Because of Nayara’s jungle setting, birds can be heard from almost anywhere on the property, providing a relaxing soundtrack to your stay.

While the resort emanates a soothing vibe, the décor provides a punch of colour and personality. The villas feature an eclectic mish-mash of décor, with zebra-print footstools, crystal chandeliers, and vibrant woven hammocks adding flair to the charming resort. While the Springs has two restaurants, guests can dine at any of the three restaurants at the Spa & Gardens, as reservations for all dining at Nayara are recommended. 

5. Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas

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he secluded award-winning resort is perched high in the jungle overlooking the incredible Nicoya Peninsula and the coastline of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.  Casa Chameleon is a luxury adult-only hotel offering an idyllic Costa Rican retreat infused with culture, experiences, and traditions.  It offers an immersive, adventurous, and romantic setting, with access to beaches with warm waters for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, 1,000 acres of tropical hills, forests, and valleys to explore on foot, horseback, or cycle.

It features 21 private villas that offer a mesmerizing view of the ocean and surrounding rainforest, all of which can be experienced from the impressive private saltwater plunge pool that is the perfect place for sundown.  The decor and ambience of the resort create a feeling of home. It’s an experience that is both curated and comfy.  Each of the villas has its private plunge pool and views of the Guanacaste coast, with handmade international additions of ornate Moroccan lights and furniture from Indonesia. 

5 Picturesque Place In Costa Rica

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osta Rica is a natural paradise, the birthplace of eco-tourism, and a leader in sustainability.  It is known as one of the most stunning biodiversity places in the world when it comes to nature.  Golden beaches, abundant wildlife, vast protected spaces and warm weather, and happy people are some of the things that define Costa Rica.  Costa Rica is home to dense jungles, active volcanoes, streaming rivers, impressive waterfalls, and endless adventures.  The lush green and vibrant island nestled between the Caribbean sea and the pacific ocean is a beautiful country for sightseeing and a nature hub.  Here is 5 of the most picturesque you must see in Costa Rica: 

1 Manuel Antonio National Park Beaches

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he Manuel Antonio National Park is a small popular park located on the central pacific coast of Costa Rica. It has a rich biodiversity, with plenty of activities for everyone.  The park has two main beaches inside: The Espadilla Sur and the Manuel Antonio Beach, which are about a 30-minutes hike from the main entrance of the park.  Both are very picturesque with a spectacular view and brightly coloured sunset. The magnificent part of the beach is the greenery of the forest that comes together in one place, which makes it a perfect sight to capture. 

The park opens from 7 am-3 pm, but is closed on a Tuesday. 

2 La Fortuna/ Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna, the popular destination in Costa Rica, is pleasant and delightfully tucked away into the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here, you can explore the beautiful town with its quaint shops, colourful central parks, and the backdrop around the region’s picturesque volcano.  The beauty and versatility of this town offer everything for the adventurers, cultural, backpackers and honeymooners alike, is a fortune that you’ll enjoy.  Grab your camera, and enjoy the beauty, fresh air, friendly people, and beautiful scenery. 

 

3 Monteverde and the Cloud Forest

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he Monteverde cloud forest will astonish you with its beauty, bounty, and biodiversity.  Hiking this green natural oasis would be the pride and joy of all nature lovers.  Monteverde is a small town in the mountain ranges of Costa Rica, just about a 3-hour drive from San Jose, and is one of the top recommended places you must experience in Costa Rica.  It is a forest with a difference, one you will not experience or see elsewhere. 

The forest was called cloud forest because of the tiny veil of cloud below the canopy.  The consistent inflow of the warm, moist air from the Atlantic ocean ascending the mountain creates the perfect conditions for the cloud forest. It keeps the forest covered in a warm and moist shape, with 100% humidity year-round. 

Hiking is a popular activity that takes place at the Cloud Forest. The highest trail sits at an elevation of 1250 meters, and the altitude of the mountain is 1800 meters.  Due to the preservation of the natural habitat, the number of visitors allowed inside the reserve is 450 per day. However, only 250 are allowed to explore the trail at any point during the day.  The forest opens from 7 am to 4 pm every day so reach from early to be able to capture the breathtaking view from above.  The forest covers about 328 hectares when discovered in 1973. Today it is approximately 10500 hectares and famous for the different flora and fauna.  

4 Irazu Volcano National Park

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he Irazu Volcano is the highest in Costa Rica. It is easily accessible and close to the city. The park has five volcanic craters and a breathtaking view that attracts lots of local and international visitors.  The beautiful mountain settings, low vegetation, and wet weather make the national park foggy most of the time.  In the dry season, you will see from its top both the Pacific and Atlantic ocean or even the lake of Nicaragua from using a telescope.  You can stroll around the volcano and observe the amazing craters and capture the stunning scenery,  But be prepared though because it is cold there. 

5 Rio Celeste ( Tenorio Volcano National Park)

Rio Celeste is located about halfway between Liberia and La Fortuna in North Central Costa Rica, just a 1 1/2 hours drive from either town.  It is a magnificent blue river in Tenorio Volcano National Park, with a huge waterfall plummeting into the gorgeous turquoise pool below. 

Rio Celeste is one of nature’s paradises that you must witness with your own eyes to really feel the unimaginable beauty the crystal-clear turquoise waters hold. The Pictures you see are a replica of what the natural wonder looks like.  However, to see it for yourself would be indescribable and mind-blowing,  just to see the creation of nature itself without the construction and contamination of mankind. The sparkling blue against the jungle green, with a variety of wildlife, is a place that would give an ecotourist that overwhelming feeling in all of their senses. 

The months of October and November are the rainy season with a consistent shower of rainfall that affects the colour of the water.  The dry season around December to April is a perfect time to visit the picturesque Rio Celeste Fall and also tour the Tenorio Volcano National Park. 

To conclude, Costa Rica has been for many years a place that attracts a lot of eco-tourists, thanks to its rich biodiversity, abundant wildlife, peaceful conservation areas, sparkling blue waters and stunning volcanoes and national parks. Think of the next place for vacation and adventure. Costa Rica is the perfect place you will enjoy. 

Things To Do In Punta Cana

punta Cana is the most visited and beloved tourist destination on the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic, situated on the east coast of the island. It is where all your tropical dreams come true.  It offers about 30 miles of gorgeous beaches known as the coconut coast and redefined vacationing in the Caribbean and the concept of all-inclusive.  Enjoy swimming in the clear turquoise water walking on the pristine sand that ranges from coral white to honeycomb gold, framed by a lush tropical landscape.  

The coconut coastline is so charming to explore and is just a step away from the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. Along the bewitching coastline of Punta Cana, you’ll find a variety of resorts and hotels to fulfil your travel wishes, from adults-only romantic hotels to fun family-friendly resorts with waterparks to luxurious and exclusive. It is one of the few destinations in the world with the largest number of hotels that offer the all-Inclusive model. 

Punta Cana is one of the most affordable destinations for a vacation in the Caribbean, where luxury travellers can choose from a variety of exclusive resorts voted amount the best in the Caribbean. Budget-minded tourists can enjoy an unforgettable vacation of quality service. Punta Cana is a Caribbean wonderland, a place of natural beauty, fun adventures, and relaxation, the kind of place you dream of when you close your eyes on a cold winter day. 

 

What is there to do on a Punta Cana Vacation?

punta Cana is more than just its world-class all-inclusive resort, gorgeous beaches, and incredible weather. During a vacation to Punta Cana, it is recommended that you visit the most historic and picturesque countryside of the lush Dominican Republic and enjoy the Eastern National Park. It is a protected natural reserve where you can enjoy some of the natural wonders, such as its great marine and terrestrial biodiversity, as well as some archaeological remains of the Tainos that can be found in the incredible caves at the park.

Take a trip to the Arena Gorda Beach, the ideal place for horseback riding by the beach while admiring a different view of the Caribbean finest. Or enjoy Bavaro Beach with its clear warm blue waters and lush palm trees.  You’ll have a wonderful time exploring small oases such as Isla Saona, highlighted for its idyllic reefs and coastal lagoons.  

The gorgeous Isla Saona 

The Beautiful Playa Arena Gorda Beach and the Bavaro Beach 

Punta Cana is the quintessential water, sun, and sand escape. There are lots of water activities, such as diving, catamaran sailing, sailing sports, swimming with Dolphins, and getting a massage on a floating island. Any and everything is possible on an all-inclusive trip to Punta Cana. 

You can enjoy sporting activities such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, wakeboarding, fishing, among others. You will also find excellent golf courses and other regular sports like tennis, basketball, and volleyball on the beach!  

 

There is so much to see and do in Punta Cana, a visit to the fantastic Ojos Indigenas Ecological Park, for hiking while learning about the cool local vegetation. And take along swimwear because you will want to enjoy a bath in the 3 of the 12 lagoons there.   The young at heart can explore Scape Park for some adventure of ziplining and caving expeditions.

The Lush Lagoon at the Ojos Indigenas Ecological Park 

The Adventurous Scape Park 

Lastly, you can’t visit a destination and don’t try out its delicious local dishes. You may want to try the Mofongo made with bananas and pork cracklings and the La Bandera or “The Flag”,  the country’s traditional lunchtime meal made with rice, beans, and meat, which is excellent for its flavor and colour.  And you know what is exciting: Jamaicans can escape to this magical island, visa-free, that’s right! Visa-free.

The lush green Coconut Coast 

Spring Break Vacation on a Budget

After months of enduring the cold weather and studying, spring is fast approaching. What are your plans for spring break?  Spring break is that time that allows you to relax, recharge, unwind and boost your mental health.

High inflation causes a lot of price increases, and as such, some of us are on a tight budget and looking for cheap spring break destinations. Here are a few budget destinations for spring break vacation that can provide the most exciting and unforgettable 2022 spring break trip.

 

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun Mexico, which is situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, the border of the Caribbean sea, spring break takes place at Riviera Maya, Mexico’s eastern point.  A spring break idea ends when you discover what Cancun offers.  If you’re someone who likes to catch a bit of history during your stay in Cancun, then consider visiting the Mayan sites nearby the hotel zone.  To the beach enthusiast, you can find lots of beach parties and a variety of water sports.  Nightlife breaker, there are many famous nightclubs located nearby. You can also hop on the famous Cancun Booze Cruise.

Photo by Tanja Cotoaga on Unsplash

Adventure breakers Cancun has something for you, from a horseback ride through caves to completing a zip-line canopy tour. To have fun in the sun, visit ‘Wet n Wild’, the only water park in the area.  If you need a heart-pumping adventure, then don’t miss the Jet-skimming over the beautiful Caribbean sea and experience a magical 360-degree maneuver.  

Nassau, Bahamas

Photo by Isaw Company on Unsplash

Spring break in Nassau is gradually becoming the ultimate idea of all spring break trips among Caribbean spring break options. It offers the best of both worlds. Spring break in the Bahamas offers non-actions and partying for those breakers who want fun and excitement.  It is calm and peaceful, with lots of unique places to relax after a difficult semester.  There are lots of picturesque white-sand beaches with clear turquoise waters, perfect for a beach vacation.

Jamaica

You simply can’t go wrong with Jamaica as a spring break choice. Jamaica is like the heartbeat of the Caribbean with a top-notch culture, cuisine, and vibrant people. With Jamaica, you will have a spring break filled with parties, relaxation, and a whole lot of vibes.  There are many activities from climbing waterfalls, ziplining, bobsledding, swimming with dolphins, beach parties or watersports. The options are endless, and it is less expensive. 

Curacao

Curacao offers a spring break away from the crowded beaches.  After all, it is called spring break for a reason. It is time to relax and unwind, and Curacao caters to all that on a budget.  Stay at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort, and enjoy a secluded and fun spring break away from the crowd. There are a lot of things to choose from, such as sun tanning between the cliff jump at the Playa Jeremi, one of the many relaxing beaches in Curacao.

Photo by Jorgen Hendriksen on Unsplash 

Go hiking at the Christoffel National Park, the island’s highest point with its colourful flora and fauna at every turn. You can also go scuba diving alongside Dolphins at the Dolphin Academy and learn more about the local wildlife.  You’ll fall in love with Curacao with its colourful buildings and blue ocean backdrop. 

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Caribbean, and it’s all about the beach, with tall swaying palm trees scattered along 21 miles of some of the whitest and finest coral sand beaches in the world.  There are lots of events and activities for entertainment, from sipping Pina Coladas on the beach to casinos and going to clubs.

Photo by John Prefer on Unsplash 

Punta Cana provides that perfect atmosphere for a resort-type spring breaker. A majority of the resort in Punta Cana is all-inclusive, which allows for a carefree vacation with plenty to explore on the island.   It is an undeniably breathtaking Caribbean island to enjoy, and budget-friendly too.