Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aktun Chen Cavern in Akumal Mexico

Aktun Chen, located along the Mayan Riviera, is just 4 kilometers south of Akumal. This provides a perfect opportunity to take a day tour of the location most known for its many explored caves.

The name “Aktun Chen” means “cave with an underground river inside” in ancient Mayan language. Nearly 988 acres of rainforest surround the cave where Mayans collect the gum from a local tree called “chicozapote” as they have for centuries.

Several caves call Aktun Chen “home”, and rivers flow underground in all these caverns. The main cave has an easy walking tour that may even be an option if you need the use of a walking cane. Most who are able to walk on their own, even with manual assistance, are able to navigate the cave trails.

Indirect lighting from several openings in the cave prevents an uncomfortable experience for those who suffer from claustrophobia. Water and calcium carbonate formed the stalactites, stalagmites and natural sculptures seen there over the past five million years.

Regional and local wildlife is also easily seen at Aktun Chen. This includes white tail deer, spider monkeys, badgers, wild boars, wild turkey, iguanas and multiple kinds of birds.

When arriving at Aktun Chen’s main cave, a specially-trained guide will meet you in the reception area. The guide will then take you and your tour mates on an hour and fifteen minute tour of the 600 meters long cave system.

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to view a beautiful cenote with crisp, clear water that is 12 meters deep. Local flowers and fauna abound at this cenote, and offer an ideal photo opportunity for future memoirs.

At the end of the cave tour, a small restaurant is available for a quick bite to eat or a relaxing drink. This establishmenthas local cuisine for a unique taste of Aktun Chen.

When arriving and leaving the cave area which is surrounded and decorated with local tropical flowers. This will also offer an ideal opportunity for you to take a photo of the pretty scenery or a memorable moment with your travel mates!

Eco tours are also available at Aktun Chen, offering several chances to hike and climb cliffs, as well as explore the local rainforests. The largely untouched environment in which Aktun Chen resides lets visitors to truly experience the local wildlife and plant life in its raw and natural form.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Exploring the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico

Tulum, located 15 miles south of Akumal, was once called “Zama”, meaning “place of the dawning”. This spectacular place which sits on a cliff facing the east Caribbean shoreline offers many Mayan ruins and ocean views for a day or short visit.

It is generally accepted that Tulum was an major city in Mayan culture between 1000 A.D. and 1600 A.D. Only the wealthy Mayans lived there, where the vast views of the ocean suggest the remains of an ancient country club. However, a 20-foot wall surrounds the site to keep invaders from both land and sea from entering Tulum.

This place was one of the first Mexican towns discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors, though the high walls dissuaded them from exploring it. At that time, Tulum was the only city still thriving when it was discovered.

It was the major area of resistance during the 19th century War of the Castes, though later surrendered and signed a treaty with the Mexican government in 1935. In recent years, Tulum has become a major tourist attraction in the Mayan Riviera for those who like ancient architecture and craftsmanship.

Buildings throughout Tulum boast several columns and intricate carvings. The most famous building ruins in the city include the Temple of the Frescoes, Castillo Pyramid, and the Temple of the Diving God.

The Temple of the Frescoes is well-known for housing multiple 13th century murals which picture ancient ceremonies highly regarded by the Mayans. One such mural depicts the Mayan goddess of fertility and medicine, Ixchel, which is extremely unusual. Outside, pieces of the stucco are still painted red; it is believed that at one time the entire city was covered in this same paint.

The Castillo Pyramid is known as a scenic place offering multiple breathtaking picture sea invaders.

The Temple of the Diving God boasts a figure above the main doorway which shows a man diving headfirst toward the earth. Two similar frescoes are found at Coba in the Grand Pyramid, and are believed to reference the planet Venus. The figure may also be called “the bee god” or “the god descending”.

Tulum offers a unique view into the lifestyles and living spaces of the elite Mayan civilization members. Contrasted with the intricate carvings and superb architecture, the surrounding walls speak to the city’s resistance to influence from outsiders over several thousand years.

It is only about a 15 minute drive from our villa in Akumal to the Tulum ruins.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Enjoying the Natural Beauty of Chile is considered to be among one of the best South American countries to visit. If ever anyone wanted to discover and travel to an interesting and fascinating South America country then this would have to be the place. With its world famous Andes volcanic mountains to its ancient forest lands Chile represents a nature lover’s paradise. This county has many of nature’s best held treasures. The Torres del Paine is foremost of these places and is one of the many proofs towards the claims of fame for the nation of Chile. The beautiful Lake District tends to hold most of the enchanting forest destinations that one can experience in this remote county.

Entry into the country of Chile is actually quite easy. If you happen to have a valid passport you can quickly apply for a tourist visa for easy entry. The visa can be easily obtained provided you have complied with all the legal requirements for entry via the Chilean Embassy. Spanish is the primary language involved in this beautiful county thus it would be to your advantage to learn one or more of its more important words or phrases. Foreigners who can converse in the countries native language can always put a smile upon any of the local’s faces as well as a twinkle in their eyes.

While visiting in the country of Chile you can always rest assured that you can easily find a very good and reasonably priced place to stay for the trip. Most of the hotels and inns offer similar capabilities as those that you would find in America. The business hub of the capital city begins its operation at about 8 AM in the morning and close for a lunch break at noon. Some shops and businesses will then reopen at about 3 PM or 4 PM and will eventually end its day at around 8 or 9 PM in the evening. Finding a nice place to sit down and eat an evening meal with an abundance of fine dining is always an easy task in Chile as delicious food is considered a valuable asset. A 10 percent tip is always required in all the best restaurants within the country.

If you happen to be a fan of nature then you would certainly enjoy the chance to experience a different kind of nature trip where you can find a relaxing vacation with a chance to get in touch with the natural sceneries that are everywhere in Chile.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Mention the words “Great Golf Courses” and often the first thought which quickly comes to mind is an image of the biggest and the most successful of all golf course undertakings ever designed in the entire world – that of the Robert Trent Jones golf trail. With its 432 holes this course offers signature world class design thoughtfully blended with elegant style and contains of a total of ten different golf siteswhich go from one end of the state of Alabama to the other. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is one of Alabama’s most unique landmarks andis their crowning achievement in regards to the sport of golf.

The magazine Golf Digest has named five of the ten golf trails associated with the Robert Trent Jones golf trail for their list of the Fifty Top Golf Courses in the World.

This is a golfer’s heaven as the golf fan can play golf until they drop in any of the ten golf courses of the assembly. These include Cambrian Ridge, Grand National, Capitol Hill, Highland Oaks, Hampton Cove, Oxmoor Valley, Magnolia Grove, Ross Bridge, Silver Lakes and the Shoals. Being one of the most acclaimed golf courses within the world, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail was a important location for some of the world golf famed golf events such as the 1997-1997 Nike Tour Championship, the 2000-2002 Buy.Com Tour and the LPGA AFLAC Finals held in 1998 thru 2001. Upon researching the archives you will surely discover that many golf pros such as Tiger Woods and many international golf players had already played their sport in this nationally renowned sporting facility. And did I say that the courses have some of the lowest green fees in the USA?

If you happen to be a golf lover and you are planning an upcoming golf vacation then I would certainally recommend that you consider playing one of Alabama’s Robert Trend Jones Golf Trail courses. This is especially true if you happen to be considered as a serious contender in the sport. No golf fan would be satisfied to read about this group of courses without seeing and playing the course in person. You can experience it all as you play one of the many courses in this one of a kind golf destination. If this sounds like a funwonderful vacation that would be of interest to you then don’t wait to call your local travel agency or go to for further details concerning this exciting facility.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snorkeling in Akumal, Mexico

Akumal Bay is known for its assorted species of sea turtles which use the beaches for breeding, feeding and rearing their young. This provides an optimal opportunity to see the animals in their natural habitat, including the many different species of fish and plant life.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are perhaps the favorite activities to pursue during a trip to Akumal, but snorkeling is a less physically demanding and technical option. With a brief instruction course and a smart location choice, snorkeling is very easy for even first-time novices.

One popular location for snorkeling in Akumal is the Yal-ku lagoon. This location is an extremely rare environment where fresh water meets with salt water from the sea. The combination of the two types of water is called a “halocline” effect.

Only very specific species can live and thrive in this halocline lagoon, and the mixture of salt and fresh water supplies creates an changed appearance of the water itself. Many fish found in this area are not found anywhere else in the world, and have been shown on many travel channel specials in recent years.

Casa Cenote is a lagoon featuring mangroves and bright fish displays. Many snorkelers find the fossils in Cenote at Dosojos quite worth while for a day of exploration. Many of the fossils seen at Dosojos date back to original civilizations that once occupied the area.

Snorkel lessons are always a good idea forfirst-timers prior to going to one of these sites. Although the activity is simple, some find that they are uncomfortable with the equipment or unsure how to best view the underwater scenery while safely using the snorkel.

A fun activity for locals and tourists alike is night snorkeling. Typically, a light is used in conjunction with traditional snorkeling equipment for this activity.

Many fish which are not observed during daylight hours can be observed when snorkeling after nightfall. This is usually because they are night-feeders or resting during the day.

The octopus is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Octopuses only come out to feed at nighttime, and change color when a light is focused on them. Virtually all of the life seen at night are safe for snorkelers, so night snorkeling is a safe activity also.

Plant life and some types of fish are also luminescent after dark. This creates greenish lights shining either continuously or flashing at night – quite a view for one who is only accustomed to snorkeling during the day!

You can rent Villa Paraiso in Akumal

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island is one of the most beautiful areas in Canada, a peaceful retreat that embraces the natural beauty offered by the sea and the greenery of the nation. Although the island is quite populated and is, in fact, the most densely populated area in the nation, most of Prince Edward Island is dominated by national parklands where the environment is protected.

There are several tourist attractions on Prince Edward Island most of which feature the beaches of the island. There are several local attractions of interest to the tourist or traveler particularly the theaters which usually offer plays and musical performances throughout the year.

If you want an inland adventure consisting of the outdoors you will want to participate in the bike tours around Prince Edward Island. The area is a truly beautiful place with a picturesque coastline dotted by small boats and cottages. Bike tours provide you with the opportunity to see all these senic features up close.

The Confederation Bridge joins the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, making travel throughout the Maritimes easy and convenient. The curved 8 mile long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water, and it stands as one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century.

The Confederation Trail is popular among the cyclists who want to view the entire island by bike since it stretches from one end of Prince Edward Island to the other. The Confederate Trail was made specifically for cyclists and hikers so that you can slow down and enjoy the island without worrying about traffic.

There are dining experiences for families who have a small budget as well as restaurants that specialize in formal fine dining encounters. If you are in a hurry to have your lunch then you may wish to check out one of the great traditional seafood restaurants around the Prince Edward Island region.

There are also several four star restaurants located on Prince Edward Island. These restaurants are great for that special evening out with your family where you can enjoy fabulous food complimented by great company.

If you are visiting the Prince Edward Island to simply spend some time with your family you can spend quality time at the Victoria Park in Charlottetown. This park contains all of the traditional activities for families with children including a great pool and a tennis court. For those with teenage children there is even a skateboard park within the confines of Victoria Park. Your family will love Victoria Park and you can even visit some of Charlottetown’s historic locations while you are there.

Of course, nothing beats a day on the beach and Prince Edward Island is home to a long coastline of wonderful sandy beaches. Your family will love playing on the sand dunes that line the coast or simply lying in the sun enjoying the weather.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Diverse Ontario Canada

Ontario is the home to one of the largest cities in the world Toronto. The city is a wonderful place to visit especially since there is a very low crime rate and a huge and diverse population of inhabitants. Ontario is also home of the world famous Niagara Falls along with a host of other family orientated outdoors activities.

Toronto is the capital city of Ontario and is also the single largest city in the nation of Canada. There are plenty of shopping opportunities, fine dining restaurants, and even theme parks to keep your family active and moving while on their vacation.

If you want to see some of the history of Canada then you will definitely want to take in some of the museums located in the area. Toronto is also home to art galleries, theaters and even offers cultural activities such as ballets and operas.

The Thunder Bay area is located in the Northern region of Ontario. You will find that there are many family orientated adventures in the Thunder Bay area including guided tours of the local ecosystems.

There are several spas and saunas available in the Thunder Bay region of Ontario, as well as several parks. If you are a history buff then you will not want to miss the Fort William Historical Park. The Fort William Historical Park is a re-enactment of a fur trading village. You and your family will love learning about history in this great village and with hands on activities you will become a fur trading expert in no time at all.

The Niagara Falls area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the nation of Canada especially for families and the newly married couples who want a memorable honeymoon. Niagara Falls is open to the public in the summer months and is especially crowded in June. You can take advantage of one of the guided tours of the falls or you can enjoy the falls by boat. You will need to purchase admission tickets and you may want to take a shuttle bus if you do not want to walk for quite some distance from the parking area to the entrance of the falls.

Ontario is one of the most popular travel destinations in Canada and also one of the most diverse. Whether you want a big city adventure in Toronto or a simple vacation away from the stress of the big city in the Northern areas in the province you will love the region.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Private Villa for Rent in Akumal, Mexico

You can enjoy a memorable vacation in our private villa located directly on a white sandy beach in South Akumal, Mexico. Villa Paraiso is truly a “house in paradise” set in a lush tropical paradise usually associated with the South Pacific! The blend of brilliant sunlight, emerald and turqouis water, cool ocean breezes and lush tropical vegetation is breath taking. You walk through the garden filled with hibiscus, orchids and bougainvillea and into an authentic Mexican villa!

Our four-bedroom luxury home is decorated with rich red, green and white colors of Mexico and filled with local art. The ground floor has an open plan living and dining room area with a splendid view of the Caribbean Sea. Our colorful Mexican hand carved wooden dining table seats eight and the large fully equipped gourmet kitchen is a chef’s delight. Why not have the staff cook for you? They prepare wonderful Yucatan style food as well as Mexican and American delights!

The four bedrooms all have comfortable king size beds. There are two identical master bedroom suites with sitting areas. One of the other bedrooms has a ocean view and the fourth bedroom has a garden view. The villa is complete with a computer with a DSL connection, WiFi Hotspot, satellite TV, VCR, stereo system, a pair of two person kayaks and a large selection of books to read. The entire house is fully air conditioned.

Step out of the living room or downstairs master bedroom onto the marble terrace surrounding the swimming pool with it’s Jacuzzi and waterfall. This is the perfect place to swim, sun and relax! The sandy beach in front of the pool is a perfect place to nap or read a book in the shade of a palm tree and listen to the ocean.

Mix yourself a cocktail at the wet bar and sip it in one of the double hammocks on the upstairs terrace while listening to the waves lap on the white sand beach.

In front of the villa is a spectacular reef that runs from Belize to Cancun. This world-famous barrier reef protects the lagoon and keeps the warm crystal clear water calm and safe for swimming, snorkeling, diving and leisurely cruising around in one of our two person kayaks. The roof-top patio is a perfect place to watch the sun rise over the Caribbean or set over the jungle while listening to the tropical birds sing. The area around Akumal is home to many spectacular Mayan ruins, golf courses and world class diving and snorkeling.

You can rent Villa Paraiso in Akumal, Mexico… a tropical paradise!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nova Scotia Canada's Unique Maritime Province

Nova Scotia is a diverse area with roots in both French and Scottish cultures. There are many unique and interesting activities found in the Nova Scotia area including biking along the Lighthouse Route and rafting the wide tides.

There are several biking tours which are available in the Nova Scotia region. You will love biking across the beautiful terrain of this area and seeing first hand some of the most popular sites in the country by way of a bike. These interactive tours will offer you the opportunity to see Nova Scotia up close and become familiar with the diversity which flows within the country.

Whether you want to see the Bay of Fundy from your bike or simply wish to visit as many of the unique places in Nova Scotia as you possible can, you will definitely want to take advantage of the local bike tours.

Walking and hiking tours may not be as expansive as the biking tours in Nova Scotia but they will take you into the Canadian countryside that is typically inaccessible through other means. The tours typically end in a stay at one of the charming bed and breakfast hotels in the area which are renowned for their home like atmosphere.

The walking tours in Nova Scotia are a great way to observe the wildlife in the area as well. There are plenty of moose, birds and even bears which reside in the area.

The Bay of Fundy is one of Canada’s most interesting sights. You can experience the world’s highest tides firsthand when you take part in one of the Nova Scotia traditions of tide rafting. The change in the water level is amazing. We watched it fall over 8' while we were having lunch!

The Bay of Fundy features a multitude of diverse species of marine life including several species of whales.

There are few large cities in Nova Scotia. Instead, you will quickly discover small towns and villages dot the wonderful region which is filled with natural beauty. Halifax is the one city that is bustling with energy although the towns and villages of the area have a lot to offer as well.

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and is also home to several historic sites especially historic war sites from both the French Canadian War and WWI. The city is built upon one of the most historically valuable harbors in Canada.

There are many unique experiences available in Halifax which makes it a wonderful destination including interesting and friendly people, shops and dining experiences.

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