Saturday, November 29, 2008

International Passport Control and Customs

When you travel abroad or even to a neighboring country on the North America continent you will have to pass through the customs department. Typically once your airplane lands or before you cross the border you will need to declare anything that you are carrying into or out of the country.

You should always have your passport with you as well as some documentation for any expensive products which you may be carrying with you. When you initially arrive in your destination country you can request a special form that is used to declare what items you may have already purchased from home and are merely carrying them with you. If you can not prove that you have purchased your items in your home country then you may possibly have to pay a duty fee for those items or even worse you may have to leave them at the airport. It is always a good idea to take copies of your receipts for those items with you or some proof of insurance on your expensive goods.

You will be required to declare all of the things that you have purchased on your trip from countries abroad. There is a limit to how much you can spend without penalty and that limit will vary depending upon which country you visit. You can ask ahead of time what this limit is so that you will be prepared to pay a duty should you find that you spent too much.

You are not allowed to take some things with you on your flight overseas. The rules have been changing continuously since the airlines as well as the government have tightened all security efforts. The basic standards are no uncooked food, weapons or unvaccinated pets will be allowed through customs.

If you do need to take your pet with you make sure that you have some kind of proof about their vaccinations being current. You should also avoid taking any kind of illegal substances with you since the penalty can be severe in some overseas countries.

You will also want to make sure that you have a doctor’s prescription for any kind of prescribed medications that you are hand carrying with you on your flight. If you do not have the correct paperwork you may not be allowed to take your prescription drugs with you.

Anything that is made with natural products such as seashells or natural fiber products such as hay will not be permitted through customs. Living organisms can sometimes survive in these products and overseas transport of them can cause serious problems in the ecosystems.

Traveling should be an enjoyable, rejuvenating experience. Know the rules before you go so your trip will be hassle free. It is not about what you see as much as what you discover, experience and remember for the rest of your life.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Natural Beauty of New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country with a diverse geography. There are glaciers, mountains and even volcanoes which make up the landscape of the islands of New Zealand. The beautiful mountains are almost always topped with snow caps accentuating the beauty of the rivers and lakes of this region of the world.

New Zealand also boasts a diverse culture with both indigenous and immigrant population. There are cities which thrive in the New Zealand Northern Island and small communities which lay off of the beaten paths on the smaller New Zealand islands.

There are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy in New Zealand. You can take advantage of the wonderful natural scenery and go on a guided tour of the mountains or glaciers or you can kayak the beautiful rivers of the area watching for the wildlife.

New Zealand is the home for many varieties of whales, dolphins and a vast selection of interesting birds. Typically, you will want someone to show you where to see these wonderful animals although you can venture out on your own if you so wish. Cave diving is an especially popular sport for those who are looking for a new means of adventure. You can have a guide teach you the basics and then experience the adventure for yourself in a short period of time.

Once you have explored the natural beauty of New Zealand you may want to venture into the cities of Auckland and Wellington for shopping, dining and partake of their various cultural events.

New Zealand is home to several large cities including Auckland. Here you will find museums and shopping malls along with all of the great traditional food of New Zealand. Maori culture is also shown in exhibits located in the local museums of Auckland and featuring an abundance of ancient artifacts and modern information on the lifestyle of the Maori.

Auckland offers traditional entertainment as well and includes casinos and sightseeing tours of the area. If you wish to see all of Auckland in one trip then you will definitely want to visit Sky City. Sky City is an enormous glass tower which overlooks the entire city.

If you want to experience the natural beauty of New Zealand without all of the hassle then you may choose to visit one of the smaller islands. Stewart Island is a pristine picture of New Zealand forests at their prime. The island is mostly undeveloped and is the home of the famous New Zealand bird the kiwi.

You can sit back and enjoy the aurora australis on this small island making it the perfect spot for a camping adventure in New Zealand.

New Zealand Travel and Vacation Links

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Join the Jet Set in Acapulco, Mexico

You would be hard pressed to locate anyone who has not heard of Acapulco, Mexico. This popular Mexican town is the birthplace behind Mexico’s growing tourist industry. Prior to the creation of Cancun this town represented the ultimate location for beach related fun and excitement.

As an experienced traveler and writer of my adventures people always ask me if the magic is still there in Acapulco and I have to reply with a large “Yes”. This famous Mexican resort has much to offer the traveler in the way of luxury accommodations.

The town was once a small fishing village that comprised a natural harbor which was isolated by its surrounding jungle. Today is appears that its beaches extend indefinitely in all directions making Acapulco one of Mexico’s more popular beach resorts. The city may not be as modern as other resort areas nearby but it has managed to retain its charm and excitement with its abundant supply of cliff divers, it glamorous four star hotels and its modern disco nightlife.

Acapulco at one time was considered the Mecca of the jet set crowd. Many people can recall the movie made in the 60’s with the same name and featuring the King of Rock – Elvis. These are the same fans who now have been returning every year for 30 years now in support of their previous life style.

Since Acapulco is now the number two vacation resort in Mexico a visitor can find some real deals on their purchases at the local markets. For the most part the prices are lower then one would find in other areas of Mexico.

Would I return to Acapulco for a vacation? You bet I would! Here you can enjoy the endless beaches with their warm white sand or perhaps you would like to visit one of the charming restaurants located in the hearty of the city. If the nightlife is your passion then you have come to the right place as Acapulco is the classic nightlife capital of Mexico.

When driving around the city you must remember that within Costera Miguel Aleman which is the main street of the city the house numbers mean nothing what so ever. It is not unusual to find house number 200 residing directly next to house number 4201 while house number 1999 may be several miles further down the road. This makes it very important when obtaining addresses to get the beach name as well.

Yes without a doubt Acapulco is worth the time and effort to schedule a visit. It is an older resort and represents the classic Mexican paradise. Have a great time there.

Mexico Travel Links

Akumal Mexico Villa for Rent

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Beaches of Cozumel

The island of Cozumel lies just off the coast of the Riviera Maya and offers you an incredible getaway for your vacation. You can easily visit the island on day trips by using the ferry service from other areas like Cancun, Puerto Aventuras and others. However, you can also choose to stay on the island. The town of San Miguel is home to numerous hotels, while the island is dotted with numerous resorts for your enjoyment.

You will enjoy some of the most amazing beaches in the world, as well as pristine jungles and even Mayan ruins on the island. Most of the sandy beaches are located on the eastern side of the island, looking out over the open Caribbean. The other shores are rockier, though you can find secluded beaches and inlets for exploration.

Palancar Beach – The beach offers white sand and easy access to the ocean. You will also find scuba and snorkeling gear for rent, as well as beach chairs and a restaurant for your dining pleasure.

Playa Sol – This beach is one of the most popular on the island. Horseback riding, scuba and snorkeling, a swimming pool, restaurant, Jet Ski rentals and more make this a great place for fun in the sun. This is one of the more crowded beaches on the island, as well.

San Francisco Beach – Snorkeling equipment is available for rent, and a restaurant is available for dining. You will also find that this is a perfect beach for family oriented fun and games in the sand.

Villa Blanca – Located just outside of San Miguel, this beach is another popular beach on the island. Numerous diving equipment rentals are available nearby. However, if you are looking for seclusion, this is not the beach for you.

Playa Bonita – This beautiful beach offers you beach chairs and a restaurant for your enjoyment. If you are looking for a smaller crowd of tourists, this is a great option.

Play Punta Moreno – The beach here is more secluded than others surrounding the island. You will find a great place to relax in the sun and splash in the waves, with few interruptions or other tourists.

Numerous other beaches exist on the island. However, one note on the eastside beaches – during the summer, these beaches are home to nesting sea turtles, making them much more secluded. Treating the turtles and their nests with respect is important.

You can see the lights of Cozumel from our house for rent in Akumal.

More Cozumel Travel Links.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Top Travel Destinations in Mexico

Cities like Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, and Puerto Vallarta have made many people realize that you can travel to Mexico with little problems or trouble. More importantly, these cities, as well as Los Cabos, Mazatlan, and Veracruz allow for the perfect couples or family retreats during vacation time.

When you want to travel to Mexico, Cancun is one of the top destinations. Located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun provides several lagoons and sand bars, as well as gourmet restaurants, shopping attractions, and several ways to enjoy the ocean.

Cozumel is another popular place to travel in Mexico. Cozumel is well-known for being the largest island of the Mexican Caribbean. The Palancar Reef and the ocean floor around the island are perfect for divers, skin divers, and cruise ship guests that travel to Mexico for fun and sun.

The white sandy beaches of Acapulco are just one of the reasons why millions of people travel to Mexico each year. A sanctuary for the rich and famous, Acapulco is known for the glitz and glamour that it provides.

Guadalajara, which is second largest place to travel to in Mexico, is a largely economical and political city. It is also full of beautiful and historic buildings that display the history and culture of Guadalajara.

Two of the fastest growing places to travel in Mexico are Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Originally a haven for pirates, Los Cabos each offer a different type of environment for guests to enjoy. Cabo San Lucas has stylish hotels and condos with a number of sport fishing and water sports. San Jose del Cabo, however, is a quieter environment filled with beaches, golf, and shopping galore.

Puerto Vallarta has everything that you need when you travel to Mexico. It has multiple restaurant, golf, tennis, mountain biking, snorkeling, scuba diving, horseback riding, and everything that you need to do while enjoying your time and travels.

Also a popular tourist location, Veracruz is also one of the oldest cities. Activities like the country’s Carnaval, local museums, the open-air markets, and much more provide plenty of things to keep you busy while on your trip.

No matter where you go or what you do, when you travel to Mexico you can have as relaxing, active, or cultural experience as you like. You can also visit historic buildings, listen to the music, and enjoy the beauty of any area of Mexico.

House for Rent in Akumal Mexico

Travel Links Mexico

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Restaurants of Akumal, Mexico

A Candid Review of Akumal's Eateries

We take a look at all the places to eat in the town of Akumal, Mexico. All are owned by locals who also operate them. These are just our opinions... other people's opinions may vary!

Lol-Ha on Akumal Bay
Our favorite! The Beach Bar has a large palapa style outside dining area surrounded by palms with a great ocean view and cool ocean breeze. The menu offers a wide selection of well prepared foods. For more elegant dining, the main dining area offers a beautiful indoor dining room and a full menu. Their breakfast is a delight. The staff are friendly and helpful. Friday Happy Hour is a Local's Favorite. The Lol-Ha Pizzeria offers freshly baked pizzas. Located on the right just inside the arch in central Akumal.

La Buena Vida, "The Good Life"
This restaurant has a gorgeous view of Half Moon Bay. The shrimp tacos are wonderful! The beach bar has swings instead of bar stools. A fun “night life” place that rocks from Happy Hour to closing everyday. Wednesday is karaoke night. Dining on the beach or upstairs in the dining room. They have a gift shop across the street with some fun stuff for sale. It's located on the beach road in the north of Akumal.

Cueva de Pescador, "The Cave of the Fisherman"--Freshest fish in Akumal! Pescador is a seafood restaurant offering local fresh seafood caught by their own boats daily. Grouper, Red Snapper, Boquinete (a local favorite), Atun (Tuna) and Dorado (Mahi Mahi) are usually available depending on the season.It is owned by Carlos DanĂº, a professional fisherman in Akumal since 1982, who for a fee will take you fishing and cook your catch for dinner! We have fished with Carlos several times. Always fun and inexpensive compared to the States. Book fishing trips at the resturant. Located on the left in the center of Akumal.

Turtle Bay Bakery & Cafe. They bake their own breads, cakes, cookies and pastries daily. Come early for the best selection. Their breakfast is a treat. Open for breakfast andlunch. Dinner in the high season. Located in the center of Akumal behind Cueva de Pescador.

La Lunita, an intimate beach cafe serves contemporary style Mexican cuisine. Indoor or beach seating. La Lunita is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the winter. Dinner only summer and fall. It's located in Hacienda Las Tortugas condos on Half Moon Bay in north Akumal.

Que Onda! specializes in Italian cuisine and is personally attended by owners.. Enjoy fresh pastas made daily in house and a nice selection of Italian wines. Enjoy dining in a beautiful garden setting and with an illuminated pool. Que Onda is located in a tropical garden setting at the north end of Akumal near Yal-ku Lagoon.

Loncheria Akumalito is a small breakfast/lunch bar located next to Super Chomak Grocery. It is inexpensive with simple, delicious meals.

Lucy's Kitchen Shrimp Tacos and handmade gormet ice cream. Located by the basketball courts on the left before you go through the arch.

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Akumal Mexico Travel and Vacation Links

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