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Sampling The Delights of New Mexico

Across the country, there are few states that offer as much natural beauty and charm as New Mexico. While shows like Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul have focused their attention on the state’s vast arid deserts and sleepy suburbs, you have to see it to understand how grievously they do it a disservice. New Mexico is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, with breathtaking views that could give The Grand Canyon a run for its money. With some of the country’s most glorious national parks and two UNESCO World Heritage sites, there’s a damned good reason why they call it the land of enchantment.

Here are a few suggestions for enjoying this beautiful and diverse state.

Take a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque

Image by Flickr

 

There are few experiences that give you the unique and thrilling perspective of a balloon ride and Albuquerque balloon rides are a great way to view the diverse terrain New Mexico’s largest city. As the world slowly shrinks away beneath you, and you float into the Heavens it’s an incredibly meaningful experience alone or a moment of unparalleled romance if you’re riding with a partner. You’re sure to be awed by the silvery flourishes of the Rio Grande glistening in the sun and marvel at the magnificent Sandia Mountains.

 

Walk in the footsteps of the Pueblo peoples at Chaco canyon

Chaco Culture represents the synergy of ancient culture and national heritage about as well as any of the country’s best National Parks. Wandering through the remains of the ancient buildings at Chaco Canyon (the construction of which began in the mid-800s), the scale and complexity of the architecture is awe inspiring and humbling. Chaco’s unique architecture is uncommon for its time, because it was built according to a plan that pre-dates modern high rise apartment blocks.

When intact, the structures of Chaco consisted of hundreds of rooms, stacked several stories high. In fact right up until the 19th century, the buildings at Chaco held the record for being the largest in North America.

 

Be awed by the Bisti / De-Na-Zin badlands

Image by Max Pixel

 

If you love to travel off the beaten track, then prepare to be dazzled by one of the most unique and beautiful locations on the planet. When you enter the 41,170 acres of this undiscovered treasure near to the Chaco National Park, looks like you’ve stepped off a spaceship onto the terrain of some vast and mysterious new planet.

Its geology is as diverse as it is stunning, alternating between grasslands and wondrously bizarre rock formations in a landscape of white, gray and red.

 

Plunge into the mystery of the Carlsbad caverns

When sulphuric acid dissolved in the limestone beneath the Chihuahuan desert, it resulted in these astonishing underground rock formations. A range of guided tours are available which are well worth considering, however we’d still recommend coming back just to meander at your own pace in the cool depths, marvelling at the incredible beauty and diversity of the caverns.

 

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A Vacation Idea When You Know You Deserve A Little More

 

Some people make it a point to be extravagant every time they plan a trip. They stay in the best hotels, visit exotic locations, and seek the rarest forms of recreation. This is an incredible feeling, but most people must put a little extra planning into a trip in order to make it memorable.

Many people do however, arrive a point in their lives where they realize that they need more out of a hard-earned vacation. After all, this is what is at the heart of enjoying a break, an escape, and an adventure. Enjoying a trip more means taking every aspect of hard work out of the equation. Truly memorable trips are just that because of one key thing. There should be no hard work at all!

The reason many people insist on certain luxuries when they travel is to eliminate the sweat factor. Pursuing unique amenities is best enjoyed when a person knows that they have earned something special. Finding something truly special when it comes to travel means going beyond standard fixtures of luxury. It means zero effort in all forms of planning and arranging. It also means luxury that is ultimately private and personal.

If someone wants a truly exceptional and carefree travel experience, they seriously need to consider letting their vacation cares go by hiring a concierge service. This type of service is a bit different than the concierge found at a hotel’s front desk. It is a service that takes custom travel information and designs an experience where the client doesn’t worry about a single thing. All travel, dining, recreation, and festivities are the concern of the service.

Best of all, a concierge travel service allows clients to stay in luxury vacation villas ranging from penthouses to modern mansions. Groceries are stocked, private security is on-site, the pool is prepared, and there could even be a chartered helicopter waiting to go anywhere. The villa is completely private, and the client doesn’t have to lift one finger during the stay.

This is true luxury! It’s not about brands, expenses, and bragging rights. It’s about a person having the satisfaction of knowing that a true vacation reward was earned and experienced. A truly luxurious vacation happens when a concierge team does the work. Consider this option the next time a window opens to take the trip of a lifetime.

 

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

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Take A Hike: The Best Mountain Getaways In The World

If you are looking to getaway, there are all sorts of places that you could choose to visit. From stunning lakes, to beautiful beaches, to gorgeous gardens and serene cities. The world has a lot to offer, and we’re about to make it peak.

Mountain ranges offer a lot to a traveler – an exhausting hike, adrenaline filled climbs, relaxing walks and incredible vistas and panoramic views. Mountains are a once in a lifetime experience and the more that you can visit, the better.

Health reasons might put you off visiting something like Everest, or K2 – which are reserved for the adrenaline junkies! It doesn’t matter though, there are still plenty of places to visit in the highlands of the world that won’t put you at risk!

Let’s head to Italy – and the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Tyrol. It’s away from the modern world and you cannot get in with a car – in fact, you’ll have to travel to the getaway via a cable car. The resort itself is completely car free and very eco-friendly. If you need to getaway from the stresses of modern life, Vigilius is where you need to head to. You’ll be able to take in the Dolomite mountain range, untouched forests and clear springs. In fact, the fresh water of those springs is said to have healing powers! If that doesn’t work out, head up to the local church – which has been there since the 13th century – to complain to the Almighty. Head to http://www.vigilius.it/en for more info.

Another untouched destination? You’ll need to head a bit further out. Wildflower Hall in the Indian section of the Himalayan mountain range is one of the best resorts in the world, and it’s up a mountain! It looks like it was designed in a fairy tale and feels very much like an antique. If you’re an adrenaline junky, you can find a lot to enjoy – from climbing, to trekking to white water rafting. After all the excitement, enjoy some spa treatments and soak up the unique views.

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Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is among the most famous mountains in the world. It’s not exactly a resort, but it’s certainly a climbable mountain. You might need a guide on some of the harder routes,https://blog.alienadv.com/Climbing-Mt-Kilimanjaro-Guide, but the so-called ‘Coca-Cola route’ shouldn’t be too taxing, demanding more from your patience than anything else.

Sparkling Hill resort  is something to get you started in mountaintop resorts. It’s one of the best in the world and you’ll be there multiple times throughout your life. Overlooking Lake Okanagan, there is a lot to take in, but you can also enjoy the inner workings of the resort – which has a stunning indoor pool with access to the vistas of the range. Like Wildflower, Sparkling Hill contains a spa, so you can get out and hike – while taking a step back when you get back. The natural beauty on offer in this part of British Columbia cannot be matched.

For your next getaway, get out – but get up. Mountains offer some of the best experiences in the world.

 

 

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The Four Seasons of Canada

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It doesn’t seem that controversial to call Canada one of the most beloved countries in the world. Sure, it’s not the perfect haven that a lot of people make it out to be. But there’s no doubt that it’s an incredible place, especially when you’re looking at it in the context of geography, events, and general vacationing.

One of the greatest things about Canada is that there isn’t really a bad time to visit. Sure, there are times where it will get bitterly cold during the winter in certain places, but winter in Canada opens up so many possibilities when it comes to activities! It’s an absolutely breathtaking country, a place that needs to be seen at several points throughout the year if you really want to appreciate its beauty and breadth of things to do.

 

 

Pixabay

 

We’re going to take a quick look at Canada across all four seasons. This isn’t a competition, mind you; we’re not here to pick the best season in which to go. More than anything, this article highlights that there basically isn’t a bad time to head up to Canada. Let’s start with our current season!

 

Summer

Summer is the most popular time to visit Canada – which seems to be true of pretty much any vacation spot on Earth! One of the reasons that summer is particularly attractive is the wealth of outdoors activities that Canada offers. June, July, and August might be a more expensive time to travel, and you’ll certainly have to deal with a lot of fellow travelers pretty much anywhere you may choose to go. But that shouldn’t sully the experience too much!

 

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Urban locations remain popular throughout the summer, and Toronto is no exception. The average peak temperature in July is about 80°F, or 24°C. So it’s pretty warm, but you’re certainly less likely to get the punishing heatwaves that other urban environments across the world see, including London and New York City.

It remains comfortably warm for most of the season, rarely getting scorching – in fact, the temperatures are perfect for festivals and other outdoor events, of which there are loads in Toronto. You can read more about some of the most popular ones at http://bloor-yorkville.com/annual-events/. If you don’t fancy throngs of people and music, then you should consider hitting up one of the national parks in the area. As with national parks in other Canada locations, they’ll all be free to visit in 2017! You just need to ensure you get yourself a pass.

 

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Montreal has its fair share of incredible summer events, too. The largest pyrotechnics competition in the world takes place throughout July and some of August – the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. Beginning in the mid-80s, the competition has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. There’s also the Montreal Fringe Festival to consider. As its name suggests, its a festival specializing in ‘fringe’ entertainment and performance. You can read more about it at https://montrealfringe.ca/. In short, its a festival of performances in which randomly selected applicants are allowed to perform what they want on stage, censorship-free. Obviously, this means that it can sometimes be very child-unfriendly – it also occasionally means you’ll see something both baffling and terrible. Still, it’s worth a look!

 

Pixabay

 

Autumn

When it comes to vacationing, autumn is probably the most underappreciated season. You’ll hear more people talking about vacationing specifically in the other seasons than in autumn. But considering the unique visual beauty that autumn brings, as well as its perfect temperatures for those who don’t like it too hot or too cold, it’s no wonder that autumn is pretty much the perfect time to travel – especially when you consider the fact that prices are often lower in these months.

If you want to see something truly incredible in Canada during autumn, then perhaps the best place to see is Yukon. Yukon has the smallest population of any territory in Canada, which might be one of the reasons you may not have heard much about it when looking up locations to visit in Canada. But Yukon has incredibly pristine nature that has to be seen to believed at any time of the year – but especially in autumn, when a fuller variety of color can be observed. You can read more about the various activities available in Yukon at http://yukonhiking.ca/. Hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking – it’s all here. Autumn is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of aurora borealis from Yukon, too.

 

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Montreal is a particularly popular destination for autumn travelers. One of its greatest attractions is the annual Magic of Lanterns event, which takes place of the Montreal Botanical Garden. You can read more about it over at http://provincequebec.com/montreal/magie-of-lanterns/. Anyone with even a passing interest in Chinese culture and art should definitely check it out. It’s a perfect destination if you’re going with your family, but the sheer number of brightly colored Chinese lanterns that light up the night sky at the event will wow people of any age.

 

Winter

A lot of people already have a fairly good idea of the plethora of things available for them to do when it comes to Canadian winters. Many others will have a slightly more parochial take on the whole thing – they’ll think only of skiing! And, of course, there are few, in any, countries out there with better ski seasons that Canada. The skiing resorts in Quebec have to be experienced first-hand. Perhaps the most notable are the facilities of Mont-Tremblant, which you can read more about over at https://www.tremblant.ca/things-to-do/skiing. Some of the best skiing slopes in North America – perhaps even the world – are housed right here.

 

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Ottawa, the capital city of Canada (Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario, a province in Canada – some people get the two confused, which is made easier by the confusing fact that Ottawa is also in Ontario!), is an essential winter visit. The first three weekends of February are home to the annual Winterlude celebration, which features performances, elaborate ice sculptures, and ice skating. In fact, Winterlude features the Rideau Canal Skateway – the world’s largest skating rink! You can read more about Winterlude over at https://www.ottawatourism.ca/ottawa-insider/winterlude/. However, if you’re in Quebec for the Mont-Tremblant skiing, then you may be able to make your way to the Gatineau version of Winterlude!

Of course, if you’re going to Canada in winter, then you need to be prepared for the cold. Summer may be milder here than in many other places, but winter is a bitter beast. Territories like British Columbia have more moderate winter temperatures, but even that place will probably be a little colder than you’re used to! So make sure you and your fellow travelers come prepared.

 

Spring

Is there a country on Earth that doesn’t have a beautiful spring? You’re basically going to have an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to picking a place with overwhelming natural spring beauty in Canada, but we can get the ball rolling with a suggestion in Vancouver. Vancouver has some incredible foliage, and its cherry blossoms definitely beat the cherry blossoms you’ll see in France and the U.S. (As for the ones in Japan, we’re not so confident about that!) In fact, there’s the annual Cherry Blossom Festival for those who want to behold the true power of the Canadian springtime. https://montrealfringe.ca/ has more information about this beautiful event.

 

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Back in Ottawa, one of Canada’s most pleasing spring visual feasts comes in the form of the Ottawa Tulip Festival. There are few things that are more ‘spring’ than tulips – and if you’ve got millions of them in the same place, how could you resist giving them a look? You can read more about the festival at http://www.tulipfestival.ca/. There’s fireworks at night, live music, and parades to enjoy – though, with all of those tulips across such a wide area, you won’t have trouble finding a place that isn’t quite so busy and noisy if you’re not in the mood for such festivities!

Toronto in spring means many things, but perhaps the best place to visit during the spring is Niagara Falls. Okay, so technically it’s outside Toronto, but if you’re visiting Toronto then getting to Niagara Falls is very easy, as it’s pretty close by. If you need a break on the drive, however, there’s Royal Botanical Gardens. This place features some of the best green space in the entire country – and it should go without saying that it’s particularly stunning when spring really comes into bloom as May starts turning to June.

 

Pixabay

 

While spring doesn’t touch the brutal chill that winter can bring, it can still be fairly chilly, especially during March. The average temperature seems to hover around 32°F (or 0°C!). So you probably shouldn’t expect to be able to spend a lot of time just wearing a t-shirt when you’re outdoors – leave that for the summer months and bring a jacket with you during the spring!

 

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It’s A Wild Ride Going Up And Down The Colorado Mountains

Colorado is state of total natural beauty. The countryside differs so much from its southerly neighbors; you’d think you were in Canada. But perish the thought, because if you’re from Colorado that might seen as blasphemous. However, there’s no denying it, the mountainous passes, the fast-flowing and still lakes and rivers, are prime spots for sports fishing. Colorado’s landscape is perfect for going hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing and just about any natural activity you can think of. There’s only so much you can do on holiday before the time runs out. So here are some of the most popular things to do, if you want an unforgettable adventure, in the state that’s song, is ‘Rocky Mountain High.’

 

Snowbound

Vail Mountain Resort is great for a family trip or individuals looking to for an adrenaline fix; The mountain is distinctive in the fact that, rather than other skiing trips, the further south you go, the higher the peaks are. The town up north from the snowy peaks is like a miniature city, with every single thing relating to skiing and snowboarding being catered for. The great thing about so many small businesses offering you the best in safety and sporting equipment is that you don’t need to bring anything with you. VistaBahn Ski Rentals have greatly streamlined skis for the advanced, and wide, short skis for beginners. If you book in advance, you get a 20% discount and better still if you bring along your own boots, you’ll save a further $7. There’s are adult, kids, performance, sports and demo packages to choose from, and the minimum amount of time required before your discount is valid is a 24-hour booking in advance.

 

Image credit – Wesley Fryer

 

Flowing down the mountain

Departing from Durango, you will be guided north of the town where you’ll be standing at the lower part of Animas River. You’ll go through the safety precautions along with a first aid kit and how to use the items in it should something go wrong, and your guide will teach you how to paddle and how to sense which way the raft is heading. You’ll flow down class II and III+ style of rock formation, swerves, dips and slow and rapid flowing sections. You only need to be four years of age, and above to participate, so it’s great fun for the family or a group of friends. Halfway through the 4-hour course, you’ll stop off for a rest and a light picnic in the serene nature that surrounds you. Then it’s quickly back on the horse, and you’ll flow down towards the beautiful reservation lands of Southern Ute and returning to Durango.

 

Photo source – RobertKane123

 

Zip-line if you dare

Many zip-line tours in the world have a beginning and an end line fixed to a man-made platform. However, this particular zip-line is fixed to a 6500 feet high cliff, that peers over the vast dark green woodland. Somewhere in those trees, is the finish where you’ll whip past the leaves and branches and end up on a massive tree stump as your landing zone. Obviously, this isn’t for the faint of heart, but the local guides are there for support and will help to calm your nerves long enough to get fixed into the harness. It’s initially quite bizarre when you think of traveling over the landscape at almost 30mph after a 1.5-hour tour, but in the end, it’s an incredibly rewarding.

 

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A Walk On The Wild Side

Posted in travel, travel ideas, travel info, travel tips
on June 22, 2017

For serious travelers, going away is less about sun and more about culture. Such people wander around and speak to locals. They eat the food, speak the language, and always choose to head to local points of interest over sitting by the pool. But, there’s one cultural factor even the most avid explorers often forget; the animals.

Seeing animals indigenous to your destination can take travel to a whole new level. Of course, how much you gain from that experience depends on the way in which you choose to see them. Wherever you are, you’ll have the option of visiting a zoo. But, as this article on https://www.thedodo.com shows, these are far from your best options. Besides which, there’s no guarantee the animals you see there come from the country you’re visiting. Instead, you might want to look a little further afield. That’s why we’ve put together a list to help you get to grips with the nature of a place.


SAFARI

There’s no way we could write this list without mentioning safari. If it’s wildlife you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than this. As well as seeing the animals of a country, you’ll get to see amazing natural landscapes. So, this has appeal, even if seeing animals isn’t your goal.

Bear in mind that safaris rarely come cheap. If you’re considering this option, it’s worth ensuring you get the most for your money. And, nowhere is better for that than Kenya. As the options on sites like http://www.kenyatraveltips.com/safari-in-kenya show, this is the ultimate safari destination. You could opt for a three-day safari, and use the rest of your time to explore other wonders Kenya has to offer, such as the Ngong Hills. Or, you could go all out with an eleven-day option. If you’ve never experienced safari before, this may be worth doing. You’ll be a seasoned pro in no time.

 

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VOLUNTEER

Nothing beats making a difference when you travel. And, when it comes to animals, there are some incredible volunteer opportunities which would allow you to do just that. This is an option with endless benefits. You’ll gain real satisfaction from the work you do, and you’ll get to know those animals in a way you would never have otherwise.

As we’re considering experiencing animals of certain cultures, some options are better than others. You could volunteer with pandas in China, or orangutans in Indonesia. It is important to note that your volunteer placement will form the basis of your holiday. Ensure that’s a commitment you’re willing to make before you sign up to anything!

 

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EXPLORE

If you’re not willing to give your whole holiday over to your wildlife seeking pursuits, keep things simple. Exploring a place is all it takes to see the nature around you. If you’re walking around anywhere, be sure to keep an eye out. While you may have to go off the beaten track to see the really amazing creatures, you should see plenty of natural life when walking down the street!

 

 

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Five Ways To Splash Out On Luxury Travel This Summer

Posted in summer, summer trip, travel, travel ideas, travel tips
on June 21, 2017

There’s no better time to treat yourself than when you’re on vacation – let’s face it, when we’re travelling, most of us have the ‘Go big or go home’ philosophy. Of course, everyone’s definition of a ‘big’ trip is different – maybe you want to travel through India for two months, or perhaps you want to do the Inca Trail in Peru… or maybe you want to have the vacation of a lifetime by really spoiling yourself. If that last one sounds like you, read on for some vacation ideas.

 

Visit A Foodie’s Paradise

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One way to really treat yourself when you’re on vacation is with food. In our everyday lives, we often don’t have much time to cook in the evenings, and we definitely don’t have the time or available money to go to restaurants as much as we’d like. Whether you want to go to Michelin starred restaurants in Paris or try out curried goat and plantain in Jamaica or jambalaya in New Orleans, make incredible food a focus of your trip and you can’t go wrong.

 

Go For A Cruise

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Is there anything more luxurious than going on a cruise? If you really want to relax when you’re on vacation, a cruise is probably what you should go for. With everything provided for you, all you have to do is go where you’re pointed and decide which luxury restaurant you should have dinner at that evening. You can experience a lot of different cities with your daily excursions, and be able to make friends with a lot of different people from all over the world among your fellow cruisers.

 

Try Out Island Hopping

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One of the best ways to explore the world over the summer is to go island hopping. Whether you want to go between the Greek islands or islands like Koh Samui off the coast of Thailand, one thing’s a dead cert: you’ll be able to experience a multitude of white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, a range of amazing sea food dinners, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

 

Travel In Real Style

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If you really want to treat yourself, it could be time to trade in those air miles for a first class trip. If you’re flying to Australia, it can get cramped and unpleasant, and first class seats are best for people with long legs in particular. If you really want to make your trip special, you could consider hiring a private plane via Jettly – not only will you get incredible service, but it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity

 

Go For Somewhere A Little Different

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One of the best ways you can treat yourself is by going somewhere that isn’t already irretrievably marred by the footprints of millions of holidaymakers who have already been there – so why not go for something a little different? Try out the glorious natural sights of the Galapagos islands or Dominica, or the beach paradise of Kiribati – it takes a long time to get to, but it’ll be worth it in the end for a vacation that’s truly different from anything you’ve experienced before.

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