Un-Cruise Adventures Debuts Costa Rica & Panama Adventure Cruises in 2016

December 12, 2014 on 12:55 pm | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Central America, Costa Rica, Cruise Boats, Panama | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowUn-Cruise Adventures expands to Costa Rica and Panama with the 64-guest Safari Voyager sailing weeklong adventure cruises beginning in October 2016. A new brochure completed in December 2014 details new itineraries in Costa Rica/Panama and the Galápagos Islands.

The Safari Voyager will sail 29 one-way cruises between Costa Rica and Panama on an Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves itinerary from October to April. Weeklong voyages depart from San José, Costa Rica or Panama City, Panama, and include a full transit of the Panama Canal, water sports adventures, jungle explorations, wildlife encounters and island time.

“We’re exploring further south along the West Coast of the Americas,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “Costa Rica and Panama are ripe with adventure opportunities, wildlife and natural beauty.”

Areas visited in Costa Rica include Isla Tortuga, Curù National Wildlife Refuge, Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park and Golfo Dulce. In Panama, visit Granito de Oro islet in Coiba National Park, Gulf of Panama Islands and transit the 48-mile canal.

Carrying water sports equipment and featuring a custom EZ dock kayak launch platform, guests aboard the Safari Voyager enjoy included kayaking, snorkeling, skiff excursions and paddle boarding. Knowledgeable expedition guides and local experts lead excursions in water and ashore often searching for wildlife such as colorful fish, humpback whales, sloths, macaws, iguanas, hummingbirds, monkeys, caimans and other creatures.

Adventure activities are included and are a focus of the trip. Guests may explore mangroves of Golfo Dulce by skiff or kayak; watch for sloths in Manuel Antonio National Park; relax and snorkel on the palm-lined beach of Isla Tortuga; cruise around the small islands in the Gulf of Panama; and take a jungle hike in Corcovado National Park keeping eyes peeled for monkeys, anteaters and birds.

A new 24-page Costa Rica/Panama and Galápagos brochure is completed and posted online; hard copies may be ordered on the company’s website. Itinerary details, photos, trip extensions and information on trip inclusions and adventure activities are included in the brochure.

Winter holiday departures in Costa Rica are scheduled for Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, 2016 and include one extra night pre-cruise in a hotel. The inclusive cruise includes all activities; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; exercise equipment and a massage for wellness; transfers; and all port charges, taxes and fees. Rates begin at US$2,995 per person, double occupancy. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@un-cruise.com.

About Un-Cruise Adventures

Un-Cruise Adventures’ boutique yachts and small ships carry 22-88 guests on voyages in Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, coastal Washington, British Columbia, Galápagos Islands and Costa Rica & Panama. Un-Cruise Adventures, under the parent company of InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Inc., is a member of Trusted Adventures, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and to giving back to the places visited.

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GAIA Riverlodge Named By The Smith Hotel Awards as Top 10 Eco Resort‏

November 29, 2014 on 3:01 pm | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Belize, Central America | Comments Off



 

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowGAÏA RIVERLODGE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 ECO RESORTS BY THE SMITH HOTEL AWARDS

Nominated by hotel lovers around the world

San Ignacio, Belize – GAÏA Riverlodge, a celebrated ecotourist destination in Belize, is thrilled to unveil its recent recognition as a Top Eco Hotel by the Smith Hotel Awards. After careful review of nearly 25,000 votes globally, a panel of expert judges named GAÏA Riverlodge to its short list of top ten Eco Hotels in the World.
Tucked away in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and surrounded by the Five Sisters waterfalls, travelers seek out this hydro-powered destination for adventure and to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of Belize’s culturally rich landscape.
In a recent series of environmental initiatives, GAÏA Riverlodge is also one of the only five properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified. The hotel prides itself in upholding the highest standard of sustainability and recently developed a fresh vegetable garden on-site, where guests can now enjoy hyper-local cuisine at GAÏA’s acclaimed restaurant.
“We are so honored to be part of such a distinguished list of hotels,” says Daniel Lighter, owner of GAÏA Riverlodge and Matachica Resort and Spa, its sister property in Belize. “To be listed as a top eco hotel in the world reflects not only our sincere dedication to our guests but also our commitment to preserving Belize’s natural beauty.”
Mr & Mrs Smith is an award-winning hotel website, booking service and free-to-join travel club, specializing in finding the world’s most inspiring boutique hotels. Boutique-hotel lovers around the world were asked to vote for their favorite hotels, which enabled Mr & Mrs Smith to curate a list of the global top ten.
The selection criteria for the best eco-friendly hotels are those that are wholly committed to conserving, protecting and enjoying the environment, have an ethical approach, strive to minimize their carbon footprint, and does this all while enhancing the guest experience.

Please visit www.gaiariverlodge.com :


Experience Belize’s Garifuna Culture on Garifuna Settlement Day

November 28, 2014 on 4:57 pm | In Beachbooker, Belize, Central America | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowHamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort
CONTACT: Dana Krauskopf
TEL: 571-405-7664
EMAIL: Dana@hamanasi.com
WEB: www.hamanasi.com

November 19 is a day to commemorate the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize through re-enactments, tradition food and a full day of festivities

HOPKINS, Belize – More than 200 years ago, the Garifuna (also Garinagu) people were deported from their homeland in St. Vincent by the British to the coast of Central America. Derived from the original 2,000 Garifuna people who settled in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, the Garifuna culture has remained an important part of the area’s modern history. On November 19, travelers will witness and participate in festivities celebrating the Garifuna forefathers’ arrival. This celebration will be fueled by music, drumming and dancing competitions, customary fare and, of course, plenty of rum.

Located off the beaten path in a cultural hub of Belize, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort offers guests a unique cultural experience with the Garifuna people. This eco-resort is located near one of the last remaining Garifuna villages in the world, a community struggling to preserve its endangered customs. On November 19, Hamanasi and the entire village will provide a unique food and culture festival not to be missed.

Villagers awake at daybreak, don traditional clothing, then jump into boats and make their way along the shoreline. The boisterous crew stops at local sites, blowing conch shells to herald their arrival at each beach, then march along the sand while beating drums, shaking sisera, singing and dancing. Hamanasi Resort guests greet the Garifuna with local rum and cassava bread while dancing along. The festival would not be complete without local cuisine, so prepare to dine on native dishes like ereba with lasdusu (cassava bread with gravy), hudut (mashed green and ripe plantains with a fish coconut stew), tapou (fish and root vegetable soup) and bimecacule (sticky sweet rice).

Throughout the year, Hamanasi guests can experience fresh, local Garifuna cuisine created by the resort’s award-winning culinary masters. Cassava, fresh coconut milk, plantains, local herbs from the resort’s organic garden and freshly caught fish are just a handful of the ingredients used in Garifuna cooking. The resort also offers a Belizean Night every Thursday, when local drummers and dancers entertain Hamanasi guests prior to a Belizean-themed dinner, showcasing traditional dishes from the four major cultures represented in Belize: Kriol, Mayan, Garinagu and Mestizo.

To find out more about Settlement Day, visit the Belize Tourism Board website. For rates and information about Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, visit www.hamanasi.com

About Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort:
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort is nestled between sandy beaches and lush rainforest on Belize’s central coast. The boutique resort embodies casual elegance with displays of Belizean hardwood furniture, locally crafted art, fresh Caribbean fusion cuisine, and a warm, welcoming staff. Customer service is a high priority at Hamanasi; employees undergo an extensive training program and share a true sense of pride and ownership in the resort.


Five New Trips for 2015 – Active China, Nicaragua, Cycling‏

November 18, 2014 on 3:17 pm | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Central America, China, Nicaragua | Comments Off



Home General 160 600Great Wall, Dynasties and Rivers

http://www.adventure-life.com/tours/great-wall-dynasties-rivers-4253

Experience some of the main highlights of China on an active trip designed for those who want to explore on the move. Hike the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, as well as through rural villages in the rice terraces of Longshen.

Bike through Beijing hutongs, Xi’an’s ancient city wall and along the picturesque Li River, and kayak the Yulong River.

See the Forbidden City and Summer Palace in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, and encounter the people and lifestyle of various ethnic groups found in China. Experience the diversity of China on this active trip.

Discover Nicaragua

http://www.adventure-life.com/tours/discover-nicaragua-3600

When tourists were discovering Costa Rica in the ‘80s, Nicaragua was in the midst of a revolution. In the last decade, however, Nicaragua has invested heavily in its tourism infrastructure. In 2013 Nicaragua hosted over one-million travelers and tourism is now the second largest industry in the country. Also, interestingly, a report from Interpol ranks Nicaragua as having the lowest crime rate in Latin America.

Competitive Cyclist Spend $250 Get $50Adventure Life’s Discover Nicaragua trip visits the highlights of Nicaragua including the modern urban city of Managua, the historic El Castillo, the active Cerro Negro Volcano, geologically-impressive San Jacinto Mud Pots, the colonial city of Granada, and the relaxing and active adventure haven of Ometepe Island.

Guided Bike from Glacier to Yellowstone National Park

http://thecyclinghouse.com/trip/glacier-yellowstone/

The Cycling House is offering a new trip in 2015 that will ride from the pristine Glacier National Park (including the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road) along the Rocky Mountain Front and to the granddaddy of them all — Yellowstone National Park. This is an all-inclusive, fully-guided and supported, camping trip that will cover 65 – 90 miles per day with daily elevation gain of 2,000 – 6,000 feet.

Park City Mountain Bike Camp

http://thecyclinghouse.com/trip/park-city-mountain-bike-camp/

Park City, Utah showcases some of the best single-track mountain biking in North America. The International Mountain Bike Association designated Park City as a gold level (that’s the highest designation an area can get!!). The resort village of Park City is only a short drive from Salt Lake City making it one of the most accessible mountain bike areas in the country.

Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop OnlineThe pristine trails wind their way up through the Aspen groves above the resorts and make their way down some of the most pristine, fun, buff single-track you can imagine.

The area has 400+ miles of trails, and our camp will hit the best of the best!

Cycling in the Dolomites

http://thecyclinghouse.com/trip/dolomites/

Are you ready to delve into the rich history and breathtaking scenery of the Italian Dolomites?

Come with the Cycling House and experience some of the most beautiful and challenging climbs you’ve met to date, all under bright blue skies and high alpine meadows. We’ll climb many of the routes made famous in the Giro de Italia, including Stelvio Pass, Passo Gavia and Mortirolo.

But it won’t be all work and no play! We’ll also be encountering plenty of that hospitality Italy is so famous for during our two quaint hotel stays during the week. We’ll be trying lots of local and authentic Italian foods, and drinking lots of local wine…er…recovery drink. This trip offers a chance to explore the Dolomites in a way that you will never forget.


Book Star Clippers’ 2014 Holiday Sailings and Receive a $500 Onboard Credit, No Single Supplement and Extra Perks‏

November 13, 2014 on 3:26 pm | In Adventure Travel, Central America, Sailing | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowTravelers looking to get away from the hectic holiday season this year can take advantage of perks on Star Clippers’ 2014 Christmas and New Year’s Caribbean cruises. In celebration of the season of giving, the tall ship cruise line is waiving single-supplement fees on select itineraries on Royal Clipper and Star Clipper.

In addition, two guests in the same cabin are eligible for complimentary champagne and sweet treats, as well as a $250 per person onboard credit or free massage, depending on the departure date.

“Star Clippers guests are like family, and there’s no better time to have a family celebration than at the holidays when it’s simply magical onboard,” said Mikael Krafft, owner and president of Star Clippers. “With these special offers, we’re making a holiday under sail a more accessible option for travelers this season.”

The single supplement waiver is available on three itineraries: Royal Clipper’s and Star Clipper’s Christmas sailings, both departing Dec. 20; and Royal Clipper’s New Year’s sailing departing Dec. 27.

Guests sailing in double occupancy cabins are treated to other benefits including complimentary champagne and sweets on all three sailings; a $250 per person onboard credit on Royal Clipper’s and Star Clipper’s Dec. 20 Christmas sailings only; and a complimentary one-hour massage in the ships’ Captain Nemo Lounge and Spa on Royal Clipper’s Dec. 27 New Year’s sailing only.

Royal Clipper sails a seven-night Windward Islands Christmas cruise roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados, with calls at Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Cabrits and Roseau, Dominica; Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; a Christmas Eve call at Basseterre, St. Kitts; Christmas day at Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes; and a call at Fort de France, Martinique.

Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop OnlineTo add to the festivities, renowned Austrian entertainer Peter Grimberg will be onboard Royal Clipper’s Christmas sailing, bringing his unique blend of pop music, jazz, rock and roll, and comedy. Grimberg, who will perform in English, tours his musical comedies throughout Germany and Austria.

Rates start at $1,932 per person, cruise-only for Royal Clipper’s Dec. 20 departure.

Star Clipper also sails a seven-night Leeward Islands roundtrip itinerary from St. Maarten departing Dec. 20. The ship calls at Charlestown, Nevis; Cabrits; Terre de Haut; Christmas eve at Deshaies, Guadeloupe; Christmas day at Falmouth Harbour; and Gustavia, St. Barts. Rates start at $1,872, per person, cruise-only.

Royal Clipper’s New Year’s itinerary explores the Grenadine Islands with a seven-night roundtrip sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados. Calls include St. George’s, Grenada; Tobago Cays, Grenadines; and New Year’s Eve at Bequia, St. Vincent. Guests can then start the New Year with a beach day at Fort de France, followed by a call at Marigot Bay, St. Lucia. Rates start at $1,932 per person, cruise-only for the Dec. 27 cruise.

These offers are available for residents of the US, Canada, and Latin America. Other restrictions apply.

To request a brochure, call toll-free 800-442-0556 or email brochures@starclippers.com . To make a reservation, contact a travel professional. For information, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551 or visit www.starclippers.com  to view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of Star Clippers’ tall ships.

Keep up-to-date on the latest Star Clippers news by visiting us on our blog at www.starclippersblog.com  and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Belize Carrier Tropic Air Launches Evening Flights to Cancun

November 11, 2014 on 10:41 am | In Airlines, Beachbooker, Belize, Cancun Cozumel Yucatan, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico | Comments Off



Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop OnlineBelize-based airline Tropic Air has launched evening flights between Belize and Cancun, Mexico. Tropic’s flights between Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport and Cancun International Airport on Tuesday and Saturday evenings supplement the carrier’s current daily flight between the two cities.

Passengers on the evening flights can connect with Tropic service to Belize cities including San Pedro and Ambergris Caye. The flights also allow for connections with flights from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Air France, Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN, Aeromexico, Air Canada and Westjet, said Tropic officials.

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowThe increased access via Cancun also provides island-hopping Caribbean vacationers with increased options for extended Caribbean vacations. With its multitude of cays and offshore islands that feature magnificent beaches, national parks and charming beachfront towns and one of the world’s longest coral reefs, Belize is a natural choice for regional travelers, as Tropic Air also provides extensive service into and round Belize.

Long considered by Americans an exotic and off-the-beaten path warm-weather destination, Belize is in the midst of a tourism boom.

The country hosted 238,400 visitors between January and August 2014, a 10.9 percent increase over 2013. Belize also recorded 527,037 cruise ship visitors between January and June, a robust 36.9 percent increase over 2013. The totals have “exceeded forecasted numbers for this quarter,” said Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officials. Airport arrivals are up nine percent for the first nine months of 2014, while overnight stays are up by 11 percent.

Belize is also poised for significant tourist arrivals growth in the next few years. Last year Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans to build a $50 million cruise destination on two adjoining islands in southern Belize. The Norwegian development will reportedly include a floating pier, an island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, a marina, a transportation hub for tours, a lagoon for water sports and a beach area.

The development will be environmentally friendly and include art, music, cuisine and items linked to the country’s Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna cultures.  Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com

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HILTON OPENS ITS FIRST HOTEL PANAMA

November 10, 2014 on 3:12 pm | In Panama | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowThe new Hilton Panama in the heart of Panama City, Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ first property in the country, opened its doors in August, just in time for the celebrations of the Panama Canal Centenary.

The 347-room hotel enjoys a privileged locations with panoramic ocean views on a prominent intersection on the Panama Bay, minutes from the historic Casco Viejo and within walking distance of the financial district and many of the city’s finest restaurants.

Designed by BA-HAUS / KNF, the Hilton Panama combines a pleasant and upscale atmosphere with chic furnishings, intricate patterns and local elements.

The hotel is part of a 70-story mixed-use complex with offices, shopping and entertainment. Guests can choose from six restaurants or enjoy a range of treatments at The Spa at Hilton.

For business travellers, the Hilton Panama provides more than 23,000 square feet of flexible meeting space featuring 17 meeting rooms, including a ballroom for nearly 800 guests offering panoramic views of the Panama Bay.

www.hiltonworldwide.com

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Tulemar Resort Invites Guests to Celebrate Turtle Hatching at the Annual Turtle Festival

November 10, 2014 on 3:04 pm | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowTulemar, in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is a 33-acre gated resort known for occupying some of the area’s most distinguished luxury vacation rentals and exclusive amenities that combine for a unique guest experience. Next weekend, Tulemar invites guests to a different kind of unique, taking place at the Annual Turtle Festival in the small beach town of Matapalo, a mere 25 minutes from the resort.

Matapalo Beach is one of the country’s most popular nesting areas for three species of sea turtles in Costa Rica. Every year, from July to December, hundreds of Pacific Green, Olive Ridley, and Hawksbill sea turtles hatch along the pristine Matapalo coastline.

To commemorate the hatching, every November a turtle festival is held, with turtle patrol tours, music, traditional Costa Rican foods, dancing, and contests.

Dave Houck, owner at Tulemar Vacation Homes comments, “We’re thrilled to promote the festival releasing turtles in Matapalo. It’s one of those unique opportunities that so many of our guests look for, to witness the splendor of nature and celebrate with traditional Costa Rican customs.”

Houck also emphasizes the hard work of the volunteers during the long process leading up to the release of the turtles; the Association of Volunteers for Services in Protected Areas (ASVO), hosts volunteers from around the world who assist in providing for the protection and care of turtles and their eggs, keeping them safe from predators and human looting. He states, “from creating the refuges, to building nests for the eggs, to cleaning and patrolling the sites, there is a lot of hard work that goes into protecting these wonderful creatures. It’s an experience we love our guests to be able to see.”

This work has been a success, with an average of eighty per one hundred eggs hatched from the thousands that are laid on the beaches of Matapalo annually.

“We love to keep our guests informed on these kinds of events that are for a worthy cause and an enriching experience,” concludes Houck.

The Annual Turtle Festival will take place November 15 and 16 at Matapalo Beach; to learn more about the festival and vacation rentals nearby, visit http://www.tulemar.com


First Ramada Hotel in Guatemala

November 6, 2014 on 10:24 am | In Central America, Guatemala | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowThis opening provides North American travelers with a familiar brand when traveling in one of South America’s increasingly popular exotic countries. – Brian Major, TravelPulse South American editor

Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,590 hotels and part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, today announced the opening of the Ramada Tikal Isla de Flores, the brand’s first property in Guatemala.

The launch of this full-service hotel, which features pools, a bar and restaurant and is conveniently located near Lake Petén Itzá, coincides with a significant milestone for the Ramada brand – its 60th anniversary.

Part of a two-year development agreement with Ivers Trade, Inc. to bring four Ramada properties to Guatemala, the newly constructed property plays a key role in Wyndham Hotel Group’s strategy to grow the Ramada brand throughout Latin America.

“We are happy to partner with Ivers Trade, Inc. and to announce the launch of the first Ramada hotel in Guatemala,” said Paulo Pena, president and managing director of Latin America and the Caribbean for Wyndham Hotel Group. “Ramada is a globally-recognized hotel brand and this new property reflects our commitment to growing our brands throughout the region by providing travelers with the brands they know and trust.”

The Ramada Tikal Isla de Flores features two swimming pools, including a family-friendly children’s pool; a modern fitness center with dressing area and showers; bar, snack canteen and tobacco shop; and medical, laundry and babysitting services.

The hotel is less than one hour from top destinations including the YaxHa and Tikal ruins and the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Facilities include private parking, onsite dining, a conference center for up to 180 people, and free Wi-Fi Internet access – all within easy access of South Side Beach.

Ramada properties are high-quality hotels that feature attractive accommodations for the mid-market traveler. Started in 1954 as a small 60-room motel off of Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona, over the last 60 years, the Ramada brand has grown to become one of the most well-known hotel chains in the world, with more than 820 locations throughout over 50 countries. In Latin America, the brand is present in key markets including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Suriname.

Read more Travel News at www.travelpulse,.com

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GUATEMALA INVESTS IN COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM

October 28, 2014 on 12:11 pm | In Central America, Guatemala | Comments Off



The Guatemala Tourist Board (INGUAT) is investing in the promotion and development of the country’s community-based tourism offering through a training programme for local guides in different communities of the interior. The tourist board aims to have 200 qualified Community Guides in 10 communities by 2015.

The communities targeted include Carmelita, Cruce de dos Aguas and Uaxactun, in the northern Peten region, where guides will be trained to offer visitors a more authentic experience within the Maya Biosphere Reserve, learning about the culture, traditions, gastronomy or crafts of the local people.

This initiative will generate employment and contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas in the country.

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