Why Travel to Guatemala, Central America?

Whether it is an obsession with a certain destination or simple curiosity about the culture, what makes tourists want to visit certain places such as with the exotic and culturally diverse destination of Guatemala? Located in Central America set amidst the borders of the Honduras, Mexico and Belize, Guatemala has long been a popular vacation destination for adventure enthusiasts. The lush country is also popular among expats and is a prime real estate choice for those looking to own a second home or a retirement destination.

The mountainous country is as rich culturally as it is historically and is known for its historical Mayan Ruins. Visitors to Guatemala generally include tourists who enjoy lush natural terrains providing the ultimate playground for adventure travelers who enjoy exciting expeditions, activities and more. Other visitors to Guatemala include archaeologists, students and scholars with an interest in the anthropological aspects of the region.

Among the various things to do and to include during your visit to Guatemala is a visit to the Mayan Ruins of Tikal or El Mirador both of which are quite interesting. The beautiful Central American country also features beautiful beaches, hiking, zip lining tours, fishing junkets, jungle adventures and much more. While visiting Guatemala check out the Pacaya Volcano which is popular among climbers and hikers.

The country of Guatemala is known for its unique and color textiles and hand-made products. There is a local market known as Chichicastenango which features vendors and artisans with exquisite hand-made artwork, fabrics and much more. This is one of the top things to do while visiting the country and an opportunity to view an excellent selection of artisan quality goods.

The Pacaya volcano is one of the top attractions for hikers and adventure travelers. Active since 1965, the Pacaya volcano can be hiked with a guide or alone depending on the season. When traveling with a guide you have the optimum opportunity for experiencing the best of Guatemala. Guatemala City is the capitol of the country of Guatemala and is the main gateway with tourists flying directly into the La Aurora International Airport.

Vancouver Travel Tips – Jericho Beach Park

Jericho Beach Park – Things to do

Jericho Beach Park is located in a quieter area of Vancouver, nearing the University of British Columbia. You get to that area of town by taking West 4th Avenue west toward the UBC Campus and then stopping near or at Alma Streat. One thing that really makes this park stick out is that it is not really a commercial area so if you want somewhere nice to have a picnic without all the fast food joints and clubs then this is certainly it.

There are loads of things to do is this area including:

(1) Swimming. Although the water isn't the greatest and even though swimming outdoors is Canada without a thermal wetsuit might only be adviseable for about 8 weeks a year there are still a lot of people in the water at Jericho Beach during the summer months.

(2) Investigating the beaches at low tides. All kinds of plants, crabs, and fish get left behind when the shores recede each day and there are often kids out there taking a look and learning about the local flora and fauna.

(3) On numerous occasions I have seen people fishing off the docks and crabbing. I do not know if they are doing so legally so check to see if a license is required. Legal or not however they are very successful as crabs seem to get caught with every launch.

If you aren't interested in the above activities there are other things to do in the area, including (4) kayaking, (5) wind sailing, and (6) tennis.

For nearby accommodation there is a hostel nearby for backpackers (see my reviews of Jericho Beach Hostel) or stay in the Shaughnessy area (there's a Holiday Inn). Parking is paid in this park so be sure to factor that cost into your day.…

Traveling to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Falkland Island/Islas Malvinas

Located off the coast of Argentina, more British occupied Falkland Islands is a barren, isolated island popular as a stop for those on Antarctica cruises. The real draw to the islands is its diverse wildlife.

Wildlife

The island has five different breeds of penguins alone. In addition to penguins, the Island is popular for sighting sea lions, albatross, a variety of sea birds and seals.

Getting There

The Falkland Island is remote and fairly inaccessible. Despite being closer to Argentina than Chile, there are no direct flights to the island from Argentina. The only way to access the islands international airport in Mount Pleasant on East Falkland is either through Puntas Arenas, Chile (via Santiago) or from England on a military flight that makes a quick stop at Ascension Island on the route. The airfare costs approximately $1,000 roundtrip (return flight) from Chile, on LAN airlines, alone, and only fly’s on Saturday. A sample airfare from NYC to Mount Pleasant (via Chile) was approximately $2,300 as of January 2020.

The Island

The main city on the Island is Stanley, the only place on the island where amenities such as a bank can be found. Accommodations must be booked prior to entering the island and there are not many budget options. Because of the extreme weather during the Southern Hemispheres winter (and lack of wildlife) it is not really worth visiting the islands other outside the months of October through March. The best months to go (and also the most expensive) are November, December, January, and February.

Tours

There are two major tour companies that organize trips on the Falkland Islands from the United States, but Adventure Life, located in Montana offers the better deal for just Falkland trips without any additional cruise added on. Even so, an eight day wildlife tour on the island started at $3,050, including accommodations, some meals, tours on the island and internal flights on the island.…