Flowing from the jungle-filled mountains above Puerto Vallarta, the Rio Cuale cuts right through the heart of this majestic city. Before emptying into Banderas Bay, this river provides several unique activities to "Puerto Vallarta" s visitors. One of the most overlooked sites in Puerto Vallarta is Isla Rio Cuale, a natural island in the middle of the river near the citys downtown area. Though Isla Rio Cuale is only six blocks long and one block wide, there is much to do and see any time of year. Though Isla Cuale might not receive much more than passing mentions in travel guides, the island has become an integral part of Vallartan culture. It is believed the island was created many years ago after a strong rainy season caused the river to overflow and sediment to collect in its center. As Puerto Vallarta developed in the mid-20th century, the island came to serve as the unofficial center of the citys casual pedestrian culture. Bridges were constructed off nearly every side of the island, connecting Isla Rio Cuale to several of the citys most desirable neighborhoods. Today, the island boasts numerous shops and restaurants, an archeological museum, a popular nightclub, miles of peaceful trails, amazing scenery and one of Mexicos largest public markets the Rio Cuale Flea Market. Besides being a distinctive tourist destination, the island and its unspoiled nature serve as an urban oasis for the citys residents. On the western side of the island, bordering the bay and Insurgentes Street, you will find the incredibly popular Rio Cuale Flea Market. With two stories of vendors selling everything from locally-made leather goods and blankets to pottery and jewelry, this market is the best place to find a bargain in Puerto Vallarta. As you browse the stalls, feel free to try out your best bargaining tactics. You might be surprised to find that most sellers are friendly and receptive. After you have finished shopping at the flea market, you can dine at one of the small cafes located nearby on the islands western shore. While the western side of the island seems to match the energy and excitement of the city, the eastern end of Isla Rio Cuale serves as a quiet sanctuary. The narrow paths that wind through the trees are perfect for bike riding and peaceful strolls. Local families are known to relax and picnic in the shade of Isla Rio Cuales large trees. As the island also serves as a refuge for plants and animals, tourists often try to spot the families of iguanas that reside in the treetops. On the easternmost tip of the island, you will find the Centro Cultural Cuale a popular destination for outdoor performances, film screenings and art classes. In the middle of the islands botanical garden, you will find the Museum Rio Cuale a charming archeological museum devoted to local cultures. If possible, try to visit the museum on a Tuesday at 1 pm when the director offers her free weekly lecture in English. If you are more interested in the recent history of Puerto Vallarta, stop by the John Huston Plaza the citys dedication to the director of Night of the Iguana. Credited for putting Puerto Vallarta on the international tourism map, Huston and his film are revered to this day, several decades after its release. With a handful of narrow suspension bridges connecting Isla Rio Cuale to the mainland, getting to the island is considered by many visitors as one of the most exciting activities. Beyond Isla Rio Cuale, you will find the Zona Romantica a popular place for upscale dining and entertainment and the Downtown Puerto Vallarta neighborhoods. The island also connects to El Malecon, the citys famed boardwalk along Banderas Bay. Besides being at the heart of the action in Puerto Vallarta, Isla Rio Cuale is often referred to by locals as el lugar mas bonito (the most beautiful place in Puerto Vallarta Travel). Come experience the market and the cafes, but stay for the natural beauty and solitude.
Does your idea of the perfect vacation include snow-capped mountains, heart-stopping vertical drops and challenging moguls? If so, an Aspen ski vacation just might be your perfect wintertime getaway.Aspen, Colorado is one of the world's premier ski resort towns. When snow falls on the more 4,500 acres of sprawling terrain spread over four main mountains, Aspen explodes in a white-capped wonderland of skiing and outdoor fun for all ages and abilities.Aspen was originally a small mining town, until a small group of visionaries and entrepreneurs realized the potential and value of the town's other inexhaustible resort--the snow. Since then, the sleepy hamlet of Aspen has grown to become one of the best destinations for ski vacations worldwide. The first step to creating this now bustling recreational nook came in 1947. It was then that an Austrian entrepreneur named Friedl Pfeifer partnered with Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth. The trio established would be the first of a number of Aspen ski vacation resorts, and opened what was known then as the world's longest chairlift. Following the success of this inaugural venture, more Aspen ski vacation resorts and hotels were opened, and the town grew to the Aspen so many skiers love today.The main attraction of Aspen, and its undisputed claim to fame, has got to be the four majestic mountains. Located in Colorado approximately 215 miles southwest of Denver, 75 miles southeast of Eagle, and only minutes from Aspen's Sardy Field (ASE), the four mountains distinctly highlight a terrain particularly suited to various levels of skiers.The Aspen Mountain, also known as Ajax, is best suited to seasoned skiers. As Aspen's main attraction, the Ajax boasts more than 3,200 vertical feet on 700 skiable acres.The Aspen Highlands are another huge bonus for those taking an Aspen ski vacation. Situated adjacent to the Aspen Mountain, the Highlands provide a respectable level of skill for novices, plus terrain for intermediate skiers. A number of Olympic medallists spend their time at the Aspen Highlands.Another gem of the Aspen ski vacation scene is the Buttermilk. Known for being a smaller, novice-oriented mountain, the Buttermilk has a lot to offer skiers of all skill levels. It features the Aspen's longest terrain park and is home to the ESPN Winter X Games of the World. Held at the end of January, the ESPN Winter X Games are a huge tourist draw.The largest of the four Aspen ski vacation mountains is Snowmass. Novice, intermediate and advanced skiers flock to Snowmass for the thrill of taking on the more than 3,000 acres of ski terrain. Challenging slopes and spectacular views make Snowmass a great choice for your Aspen ski vacation.Regardless of your skill level, you will find your winter wonderland among the four majestic mountains of Aspen.
As one of the Caribbeans less-crowded resort destinations, many travelers might think that Curacao lacks the excitement of the regions more popular islands. However, even if you visit Curacao in the tourist off-season, you will find plenty of events and activities throughout the island. Here you will find not only a description of some events taking place in upcoming months, but also an overview of activities available year-round. The month of April features several small festivals and events throughout the island, each devoted to elements of Curacaos uniquely Caribbean culture. The 9th of April features the Harvest Parade a celebration of the islands folkloric groups in the town of Otrobanda. The following week boasts a four-day celebration in honor of the Snoa synagogue, the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. This year, a full schedule of events and performances have been planned to mark the structures 275th birthday.At the end of April, visitors can participate in the 41st annual International Blue Marlin Release Tournament a unique fishing competition devoted to the preservation of this treasured species. Meanwhile, the fishing village of Boca Sami hosts a two-day sailing regatta event complete with live music, local food and plenty of Caribbean fun. If sailing and fishing dont excite you, take part in the island-wide celebration on April 30th also known as Queens Birthday. On this holiday, you cant beat the festivities located in the Punda Market region of Curacaos capital Willemstad. During the same week, you can also find plenty of live entertainment and great cuisine at the International Food and Family Festival.The month of May might be one of the best times to visit Curacao. From great resort deals to some of the best events anywhere in the region, Curacao is one of the Caribbeans best early summer destinations. Celebrating its 20th year on the island, the Curacao Jazz Festival has drawn visitors and performers from throughout the world. The two-day festival puts a unique island spin on the traditional jazz festival, offering some of the best live music anywhere in the Caribbean. The final week of May also features the popular Curacao Dive Festival, a favorite of experienced divers and amateurs alike. With event sites throughout the island featuring guest speakers, presentations, film viewings and once-in-a-lifetime dive opportunities the Curacao Dive Festival is a must for anyone interested in exploring the majestic underwater treasures of the Caribbean. Whether you plan to travel to Curacao in the next few months or later in the year, there are always plenty of activities for any type of tourist to enjoy. One of the islands most popular attractions is the Curacao Seaquarium, a sprawling oceanfront complex famous for its open-water system that constantly pumps seawater into the holding tanks. Another family favorite is the Dolphin Academy Curacao, a truly distinctive program that allows guests of all ages to swim and interact with dolphins. As Curacao is known worldwide for its excellent scuba diving and snorkeling sites, you will certainly want to spend some time underwater. Equipment rentals and dive operators are available year-round, so you dont have to worry about finding a tour during the off-season. Furthermore, the weather always seems to be perfect. You can enjoy Curacaos sunny, sandy beaches nearly every day of the year! Curacao is also an excellent shopping destination, regardless of season. The capital of Willemstad is full of quaint shops selling everything from jewelry and handmade souvenirs to exquisite Caribbean artwork. Like the islands more crowded neighbors, Curacao also has a number of luxury shops and high-end duty free shops. The most impressive of these is the renowned Harbor Duty Free Zone, the largest duty free shopping area in the Caribbean. This 57-acre complex houses an incredible display of clothing, perfume, jewelry and much more all at prices far below American outlets. When you make a purchase in the Harbor Duty Free Zone, you dont even have to worry about carrying it around for the rest of your trip your goods will be transferred directly to your flight or shipped to your home! When planning their Caribbean vacations, many travelers seem to forget about Curacao. However, if you want to escape the crowds and visit some of the best events, find the most picturesque dives and uncover the finest shopping in the Caribbean just remember that there is always plenty to see and do in Curacao.
Isnt it great that lots of things can be achieved from home these days? For instance, I never have to visit a bank for deposits and withdrawals.Yes, youre right.This is the age of technology. Some simple tasks such as ordering pizza from your laptop or having roses delivered to your wife is quite possible with the click of the mouse.Also, one thing thats possible these days is online hotel booking.Hence, I can book those ideal lodgings from the comfort of my couch with a notebook computer on my lap. I dont deal with a misleading brochure and an irritable desk clerk.Have you ever used online hotel booking as your method of reserving a room? I got to know about this back in the late 90s. Suddenly, I became enlightened. I love the possibility of seeing the hotel online. There is no more guessing or gambling. I can know where I and my family will be sleeping.You can get a variety of hotel pictures during online hotel booking. Do you want to know exactly what the rooms look like? Then, there is no problem. Its also feasible for you now to get a glimpse of the view from the hotel.With the aid of your computer, its now possible to see the actual quality of your hotels location. I know you probably surf the internet daily and therefore wont have problem with online hotel booking.Preparing for a huge vacation? Have you gone through all the hotel options available? if youre interested in online hotel booking, then simply open your favorite search engine and type in your destination.However, you must get ready for lots of results. Just scrutinize the various hotels before actually reserving a room in one of them.Check out their ratings, view, and prices. This is the ideal way to book an hotel in this day and age of technology. One of the benefits of online hotel booking is the money you save. If youre tired of being ripped off for reserving your room at the wrong time, then let online hotel booking reveal the available rooms and prices.Youll get the variation in costs due to season and date. Its recommended that you get your ideal hotel ahead of time and book early.This is how you can save lots of money. When the time comes, others may come in and pay more for getting the rooms at a wrong time.Online hotel booking does not only make the whole process simple but also help you get the right hotel at the best price.
Fiji is probably one of the few places you would name when you are asked what tropical exotic destination would you like to visit.It is also not as many of us had first thought, just an island. Do you realize there are 333 islands that go to make up Fiji, and they are all different. Fiji is in fact an archipelago, and it stands at the crossroads of the South Pacific. The main island which is called Viti Levu sees the arrival of nearly 100 international flights every week, with most of the tourists arriving , and then taking a short flight of between 7-10 minutes or longer up to an hour to take them to one of the many offshore island resorts.Where you go, and what you do is very much up to you. You can find real excitement or peace and quiet. You can surf the Cloud Breaker at Tavarua, scuba dive the White Wall, snorkel over giant rainbow gardens of soft coral.You can fall in love with the smiles and welcome of the people, the hollow log drums beating a welcome, wear flowers in your hair, and be like the local people. If you want to you can just float in the calm turquoise waters of a lagoon, or just idle your day away in a lush tropical rainforest. Yes it does rain, and heavily too!!A Fijian rainbath is a joy in itself, when the tropical downpour begins, rush outside with everyone else and feel the warm torrential rain, enjoy it, because it never lasts for long.The choice of island resorts is incredible from Matangi Island and Horshoe Shaped Beach, Namenalala Island, Vanua Levu and the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands resort, to Taveuni Island the soft coral capital of the world, Vatulele Island Resort, The Wakaya Club, The Yasawa Islands, to name a few.Go there, experience it, you only live once and Fiji is the place to live it.