Posts for Travel Tips Category

Scuba Diving in Cenotes: A Few Tips to Consider

Travel Tips - Amanda - September 9, 2020

scuba diving in cenotes

A cenote is a natural pit. They are natural sinkholes. In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the Central American nation, we can see a lot of cenotes. Yucatan Peninsula, a low, flat land with almost no surface streams or rivers. The physical structure is a sign of the geological past of the region. Thousands of years ago, the Yucatan Peninsula was a coral reef in the bottom of the sea. While there is little surface water today, the Yucatan is currently home to three of the most extended subterranean water networks in the world. Cenotes form due to the collapse of the limestone bedrock. When the upper surface fails to stand, the crystal clear groundwater below the limestone bedrock rises from below. As a result, the cenotes form.

For many years, these cenotes, spread all over the Yucatan Peninsula, have become popular scuba diving spots for divers. These caverns made by nature are the dreams of every diver. Approximately 6000 cenotes are present in this Latin American destination. These cenotes offer some of the most beautiful waterways in the world for scuba divers. Therefore, we have made a list of tips for scuba diving in cenotes for all the scuba divers who want to witness this surreal experience. Continue Reading

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5 Great Alternatives to a Cruise Vacation

Travel Tips - Amanda - August 19, 2020

You want a luxury vacation but the last thing you want to do is board a floating petri dish with 3000 strangers. But how else do you attain several delicious dining options within walking distance of your room? What other alternatives make it possible to visit multiple destinations after booking just one trip? Fortunately, depending on what aspects of a cruise you find most appealing, you have several stellar options.

5 Great Alternatives to a Cruise Vacation

Sail a Smaller Boat

Is the ocean calling you? Answer the call on a smaller vessel. Go whale-watching and island hopping on the Adventuress luxury catamaran. You will be much closer to the marine life and never have to wait in line to go ashore for excursions. Charter a multi-day private cruise exclusively for your group of up to six people. The rooms and common spaces are beautifully appointed so you can enjoy the luxury of an extravagant cruise liner but savor a more intimate, personal experience.

Visit an All-inclusive Resort

Perhaps you crave the pampering of a cruise: a salon down the hall, massage therapists at the ready, multiple dining options each day and a selection of pools and hot tubs. Get all that and more at an all-inclusive resort. You can choose a family-oriented facility or one that caters exclusively to adults. You never have to leave the property to have a good time, as most resorts offer a wide variety of activities, eateries and shops. If you do want to explore the surrounding area, expeditions are available.

Ride a Train

Part of what makes a cruise great is that you can visit so many different locations in one trip. You can do that without getting seasick or confining yourself into a windowless interior room. Ride the rails with a pre-packaged tour. If you prefer, design a route to suit your interests and spend as many days as you want at each destination. Book a sleeper car and wake up each morning in an exciting new locale. Or travel during the day, and never miss a moment of the picturesque scenery passing just outside your window.

Explore on a Tour

Part of a cruise’s appeal is that the cruise line takes care of so many things for you; all you have to do is choose which cruise to take and select an excursion or two while in port. Other types of guided tours offer similar convenience, in similarly exciting places. Complete a walking pilgrimage such as the Camino de Santiago, or cycle from one winery to the next in the Napa-Sonoma region of California. Traditional motor coach tours can take you just about anywhere in air conditioned comfort, along with entertaining and educational commentary from local guides.

Sightsee in a Walkable City

Find a luxurious hotel suite in the middle of a fascinating city and use it as your hub for exploring. Find a metropolis like Manhattan or San Francisco, where attractions are within walking distance or reachable by public transit. There are dozens to choose from in the U.S., eliminating the need for a passport or a 12-hour flight. Beach paradise, cultural and historical mecca or foodie utopia — there is a city for every interest, and some that satisfy all three.

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Haida Gwaii: The Ultimate Fishing Destination

Travel Tips - Amanda - August 17, 2020

fishing destination

People who are in search of a fishing destination should visit Haida Gwaii. Fishing is a universal sport in Haida Gwaii. The place, which was formerly known as Queen Charlotte Island, is excellent for fishing all year round. Haida Gwaii is an archipelago located in Northern British Columbia, Canada. The migratory path of fishes such as chum, coho, Pacific salmon crosses this landmass first while traveling from Arctic feeding grounds to Pacific Northwest. Haida Gwaii offers both saltwater and freshwater fishing to their tourist.

The Haida people are one of the oldest traceable people who are living there for around 11000 to 13000 years. Salmon fishing is seasonal, but one can visit the place to catch other fishes all year. Some of the fishes that one can catch are rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, or Dolly Varden inland. One can also go to the ocean to catch halibut, lingcod, and red snapper. Many anglers often fill their small boats with water to catch a halibut. These fishes are enormous, so be very careful while fishing.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is a known place among Canadian people. The Haida National government and the Canadian government maintain this park. This is the only place in Canada that is protected from seafloor to mountaintop, holistically. The site has over 20 species of whales and dolphins, 750000 seabirds and various endemic land mammals such as North America’s largest black bear. Haida Gwaii also has a very rich history.

Tourists who want to visit the place should know that it has no roads and trails. The only way to go around the park is by sea, which makes it attract very few travelers. Although there are sailboats available, people who want to experience the wilderness should opt for kayaking and camping.

How to reach Haida Gwaii?

To visit this fishing destination, one has to take a flight from Vancouver’s South Terminal Airport to the Masset’s on Haida Gwaii. Then one has to take a 15-minute helicopter ride to the lodge. This helicopter ride will make you witness a stunning view.

Weather and Rainfall

Compared to other countries, Haida Gwaii has a moderately cold temperate all year with 7-degree Celsius. The place is known to witness a lot of rainfall annually. The rainfall is around 1578mm. Make sure you carry proper clothes and gear to protect yourself from the rain and cold. Canada is known to have powerful winds that can make Haida’s wakes reach a height of 35 meters.

Where to stay and what to do?

There are various hotels, cabins, and lodges available in Haida Gwaii. But people who want to stay in a fishing resort should opt for Queen Charlotte Lodge in the Naden harbor. This place is fantastic to stay with fishing buddies or family. They provide excellent facilities and accommodation to their customers.

Apart from fishing in the Pacific, Haida Gwaii also has other things to offer. There are many hiking trails, kayaking, camping, and many tours are conducted to learn about Haida’s history and culture.

Should I carry my equipment?

Traveling thousands of miles to go fishing can be a tough job if you have to carry your equipment. Queen Charlotte Lodge has a vast fleet of boats available for the tourists to hire. They also provide various fishing reels and rods. There are two types of packages available, guided and self-guided.

Highly trained staff make sure that all the anglers are working correctly for people who choose self-guide. There is a “fishing master” that keeps track of people who go fishing on their own with Zodiac’s help. Although you are supposed to have more adventure when you choose a self-guided tour, they are less likely to catch fishes.

On the other hand, people who opt for guided tours go straight to the Pacific with some of the most experienced salmon fishermen. Every season these fishermen spend about 1000 hours on the water that makes them skillful. You are more likely to catch fishes when you take a guided tour.

Which places should I visit?

Many people are not aware of Cape Freeman. This place is very remote, and hardly people visit the beach. Although fishermen suggest that one should only stay for an hour or else, they could get stuck because of the weather and tide. Just over the horizon lays Japan that seems closer than Canada.

SGang Gwaay is a UNESCO work heritage site that is protected by Haida watchman. If you are lucky, then you can taste the delicious halibut prepared by the locals.

When is the best time to visit?

In May, June, and July, the place has 18 to 20 hours sunlight, and between July and mid-August, the temperature stays between 60 to 70 degrees.

Can I get wildlife spotting?

People can witness as many as 20 species of whale and dolphins in this area. Sea lions and otters are prevalent, and one can observe them playing in the water. The famous Haida’s black bear can also be seen in this place.

Haida Gwaii is a bird watcher’s paradise. There are over 750000 birds here that one can see. But most rare of them all, Haida Gwaii northern goshawk lives here. But according to a survey, only 20 adult birds are alive. Visit this place if you are wildlife enthusiasts and want to take some of the best photographs.

Haida Gwaii only allows 12 people at a time to step onshore. The locals are very protective of their land, and they respect the rich historical background. Tourists who are very much interested in fishing should go there and book a guided tour. This is the best fishing destination for all fishing enthusiasts. Make sure to book and plan your trip six months to a year prior. Also, try to do as much study about the place before visiting. This will help you find the best place to say when to visit and cover other essential factors.

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Guide To Avoid Travel Scams

Travel Tips - Amanda - August 2, 2020

Travel Scams to Avoid

Traveling can be an addiction to many of us. Going to a new destination, meeting new people, learning about their culture and food can be an extraordinary experience. But when we travel abroad or to an unknown destination, there are chances of us getting scammed. This article discusses travel scams to avoid when you’re going somewhere new.

Ten scams to avoid when you are traveling

Here is a guide that talks about travel scams to avoid in 2020.

1. Currency Exchange

Exchanging currency is essential while traveling. Make sure to exchange the money before your trip. Visit only trusted currency exchange counters such as airports, banks, western union, etc. Please do not fall for locals who approach you by saying they have the best exchange rate.

2. ATM Scams

Many people in the ATM would offer help when your cash gets jammed. Make sure not to share your details with them. Only visit ATMS of reputed banks and do some research beforehand.

3. Charity Scam

Most of the tourists, the spot has people scamming you in the name of charity. Many people create a fake name of NGOs and forms to get money from you. Be very cautious before signing any piece of paper. If you want to give money to a noble cause, first do some research.

4. The Shell Game

This is a popular way of scamming people. We often see people doing a card trick. If they get it right, we pay some money. Then the person will say if you guess the trick, you’ll get money. But you will not win, as it is a scam and keep on betting money.

5. Child Beggar Scam

We often see a woman carrying a baby and begging. But this has turned into business nowadays. Ignore them until they leave. Or you can buy them food instead of giving money.

6. Pickpockets

This is a common way one can lose their valuables. Someone will bump into you and then walk away. After a while, you’ll notice your valuables missing. Try avoiding crowded places and keep your valuables in a more secure place apart from your pockets.

7. Taxi Scam

Taxi drivers often take a longer route to reach your destination. Try to avoid paying the extra money by booking a cab from a taxi booking application. You can also look into Google maps to get the shortest route.

8. Overpriced goods

When we go street shopping in tourist places, the vendor charges extra money for the items. Make sure you do some research before visiting and bargain to get a great deal.

9. Free products

Most of the time when someone offers free products, it’s a scam. They charge more money later for it. Try to avoid trying anything for free.

10. Friendly guide

The locals who help you when traveling can lead you to a scam. They often help and offer to take you to their shop and sell items at a higher price.

The above-mentioned points are a few travel scams to avoid when you are traveling to your next destination.

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Plan Your Family Trip to Sydney

Best Destinations, Travel Tips - Amanda - May 21, 2020

Planning for a long overdue family holiday? If you prefer a mix of urban vibe and nature, Sydney is the ideal place to be as the fun options that will keep you and your family inspired and entertained in Sydney never run out. Fly to Sydney for some quality family bonding time! Here’s the top five activities on our to-do list for Sydney:

1. Taronga Zoo

Situated on Sydney Harbour overlooking the views of the iconic Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, the Taronga Zoo is one the best places for your kids to explore Australian wildlife in Sydney. The zoo is frequented by tourists every year, amounting to about 1.5 million visits a year. With an area of 28 hectares, it has been home to a variety of animals for the past century. Expect to meet the feisty and vivid flora and fauna of Australia! The zoo has different zones, such as Tiger Trek, Elephant Trail, Serpentarium, and more. Say hello to lulling koalas, slithering snakes, high-spirited chimps, waddling penguins while you venture forth into the zoo. Besides the meet-and-greet with adorable animals, you and your children can engage in other activities, such as rope climbing and an intimate session called Pat a Pet with a friendly, petite animal. You may even end up returning home with a rabbit or guinea pig!

Opening Hours: 9:30 am – 4:40 pm

2. Sydney Tower

Standing tall at 250 metres, Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in the city and offers stunning views of the cityscape. Although the tower is standing at a staggering height, it only takes 40 seconds in the double decker lifts to ascend to the top. In the indoor observation deck emerges the panoramic view of the sprawling city, including the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, towering skyscrapers and radiating roadways. At this height, the Blue Mountains which are 80 km away also fall onto your horizon. Be sure to check out the 4D cinema for some visceral sensory experience. Your ticket to the tower already includes entry to the cinema and shows run every 10 minutes. There is a rotating restaurant where you can treat your family to a buffet. It takes 80 minutes for a full rotation. As one of the most popular attractions of the city, the tower becomes packed over weekends and holidays. Go on weekdays if you want a less obstructed view!

Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

3. Luna Park

Sitting on the lower North Shore at Milsons Point, Luna Park is a heritage-listed amusement park. The park is a great destination for your children, as you are guaranteed a fun-filled day. The entrance is a giant grinning face. You can enter the amusement park for free. Once inside, you can buy tickets for different rides. Alternatively, if you are the thrill-seeking type, it’s completely fine to walk around and grab some snacks along the way. If you totally love rides, buying unlimited ride passes online beforehand is your best bet. Before buying, you may want to check the maintenance schedule and the restrictions of age and height. There are a variety of rides you can explore. Some highlights include Wild Mouse (a roller-coaster), the ferris wheel, Supernova (a mid-air 360° spin on a giant tower), Happy Swing, etc. During winter or some holidays, the amusement park will have some thematic arrangements. There may be a pop-up ice skating rink or Halloween embellishment.

4. Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is an UNESCO heritage site, perfect for a cultural day for a family getaway. The island has a long history of ship building, among other wartime stories hidden beneath its modern surface. Among the other tales and origin stories of the island, its darker side is it used to be a reform school for girls for a period of time. An institution called Biloela, literally meaning black cockatoo, was an orphanage for girls who had committed petty crimes to rehabilitate themselves.To discover the heritage of this quaint island, join a tour to learn all about the early settlement history in Sydney. It can be a fun yet educational outing for your kids! If you are going around the New Year’s Eve holiday, there’s no better spot for the fireworks display than this island. Book accommodation ahead of time to secure a place!

The entry to the island is free. To go to Cockatoo Island, take a public ferry from Quay Circular or Bangaroo.

Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Visitor Centre)

5. Water Sports at Bondi Beach

Sydney’s iconic beach, the Bondi beach, is a popular weekend getaway for locals and a must-go attraction for tourists. Particularly if your children love water sports, the Bondi beach is the perfect place to be. Surfing is almost a national sport here in Australia. This beach is an ideal starting place for beginners, as the waters are not rough in the area. You can also go to surf companies and join their class to learn surfing with your family. Besides surfing, other exciting options include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkelling, skiing, etc. There are companies around that offer courses to get you started. If you and your children prefer soaking up the sun or building sand castles, the long white sand beach has got you covered! Spend half a day at Bondi beach for some quality family time!

Explore Sydney’s endless discoveries that lead to moments of joy and growth as a family! Choose Cathay Pacific as your carrier for its award-winning inflight service, safety and quality reassurance. Book a flight now and embark on a heartening family trip soon! Cathay Pacific fly you to your desired destination ensuring you land well-rested, so that you can delve into your trip right away. Are you ready for the trip now? Plan it ahead of time to get the most out of the city!

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