Monthly Archives: April 2016

Places to Go Parasailing

Parasailing is an adventurous, fun-filled pursuit, primarily performed in a recreational manner. Though competitions do exist, it is essentially a joyride, taken solely to enjoy the vistas on offer from high up. Obviously, the best destinations to explore parasailing as an adventure sport are seaside towns, which will offer you a bird’s-eye view of the coastal settlements as you are whisked along on a wave of excitement. The more attractive the vista, the more pleasurable the experience.

Keeping that in mind, here are some stunning places where parasailing is a much-desired activity.

Best Parasailing Destinations in the World

Miami
The state of Florida is home to countless fantastic parasailing destinations, but Miami takes the cake thanks to its beautiful skyline. Enjoy the view of the famous skyline used in several movies and TV shows, as you float at a height of 400 feet. There are several parasailing facilities in Miami, including one near the Miami Seaquarium, one on Dodge Island, and several in Miami Beach

Key West
Another of Florida’s parasailing hotspots, Key West, just like Miami, offers stunning views of the sea and the cityscape. Smathers Beach and the Key West Bight, situated on the southern and northern coasts of Key West, respectively, are the best destinations for parasailing enthusiasts. Tandem trips cost from USD 29 to USD 49 according to the time of the day; the rates are the lowest in the morning. For a fun day out at the beach, Key West is the perfect destination!

Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beach offers a view of some wildly popular places from some wild angles. You can see the Sugarloaf Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, and even catch a glimpse of the Maracanã stadium. The colorful view of Rio is really worth every cent.

Cape Town
Cape Town is primarily renowned for its paragliding opportunities from Table Mountain, but parasailing in its neighboring waters is equally thrilling. Cape Town’s astounding cityscape and mountainous, yet coastal, location combine to provide a splendid view from high above. Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town’s western region is the prime location for parasailing trips, and solo and tandem trips will cost you approx. USD 50 and USD 60, respectively.

Goa
Probably the most well-known Indian tourist hotspot after the Taj Mahal, Goa’s stunning beaches and nightlife attracts thousands of foreign and domestic visitors. Its beaches, such as Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna, are excellent places to parasail, and Goa’s charming and eloquent towns are excellent places to relax and explore. Parasailing here, would cost around USD 25, usually even lower than that.

Sydney Harbor
Who can resist the temptation of seeing the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge from above? Seeing these two buildings is amazing enough at ground level, but from 400-500 feet up―mindblowing! Parasailing avenues are open at Manly Wharf, in Manly Cove, at prices starting from AUD 65 if you are going in a group of 8 or more. Solo trips cost about AUD 95.

Kerala
Termed as “God’s Own Country” due to its astounding natural beauty, Kerala is home to several aquatic activities. Kovalam and Alappuzha are the main centers of parasailing, with the depreciation of the Indian Rupee allowing foreign nationals to enjoy this activity for as little as USD 30-40.

Great Lakes
No, you won’t actually be seeing the lakes from that high up, but the Great Lakes have always been a famous tourist attraction, and make for fantastic parasailing vacation spots. Throw in a drive through scenic Michigan or Wisconsin, and you have something that nobody would want to miss. Almost every lakeside city in these two states has parasailing facilities. Mackinaw City is arguably the best bet, with parasailing trips held on the eastern lake shore of the City for about USD 70 for solo trips.

Hawaii
The archipelago of Hawaii is probably the most famous beach destination in the world, and for good reason. It is a veritable treasure trove of scenic locations, crystal-clear waters, and fantastic beaches. It is a great hub of various aquatic activities. Most islands have this facility, but the ones on the Big Island, Honolulu, and Maui are particularly popular. But having soared the heights, don’t forget to plumb the depths and go diving right afterwards!

Phuket
One of the recently popularized seaside vacation hotspots, Phuket is perfect for the weary traveler looking to relax and the water-loving thrill seeker looking to conquer the clear, blue waters. Parasailing is, surprisingly, not that popular here, but there are numerous options for those who want to try it. Patong Beach is the best bet, with rides costing between USD 25-40.

Best Scuba Diving Destinations

The sea has always been a subject of great fascination and awe for mankind. No matter how deep we explore the saline waters, the ocean never seems to come to an end. Through the ages, humans have figured out ways and means to reach the bottom of the sea, and to explore and exploit its hidden treasures. However, the excitement and curiosity to know about and be a part of the underwater realm does not just end there. With the passage of time, diving became one of the most favorite recreational activities of adventure seekers, and sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving gained impetus. Today, scuba diving has become one of the greatest underwater adventures sought by adrenaline junkies, so much so that scuba diving tourism has occupied a veritable place in the world tourism industry.

World’s Best Scuba Diving Destinations
If you are planning to go on a scuba diving vacation in the near future, here is a list of some of the best destinations in the world that you can consider.

The Red Sea, Egypt

One dive underneath the surface of the Egyptian Red Sea, and all you can see is a huge variety of marine life all around you. This is one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, landlocked on all the four sides by a desert, thus, making its water a little saltier than that of other water bodies. You can experience a fantastic swim with the dolphins and sharks, which keep on circling the walls and wrecks in the depths. The variety of colorful corals and sponges in the reefs look absolutely astonishing. A scuba diving experience in the Red Sea can, thus, leave you absolutely overwhelmed.

Bali, Indonesia

Considered to be the ‘Jewel of Indonesia’, the island of Bali is undoubtedly one of the most exotic holiday destinations in the world. And that is certainly true when it comes to a scuba diving vacation as well. Bali also displays an absolutely stunning biodiversity; however, the most sought-after underwater attraction for the divers flocking here is the Mola mola, the giant ocean sunfish, which is the world’s heaviest-known bony fish. Bali boasts of some of the world’s best scuba diving instructors and diving spots.

The Cayman Islands

Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, comprising three islands, viz. the Grand Cayman, the Cayman Brac, and the Little Cayman. All these three islands are world-famous scuba diving destinations, where divers tend to flock in large numbers to swim with stingrays. These islands also boast of remnants of shipwrecks in their depths, which attract scuba divers in large numbers. Plus, there are infinite opportunities to swim along the deep walls and encounter strange marine animals.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Situated off the Costa Rican shore, Cocos Island is an uninhabited island, except that there is a permanent ranger station over there. The waters that surround the island are known for their populations of large marine animals, including dolphins, rays, and hammerhead sharks. The island also features one of the richest reefs of the southeastern Pacific, abundant with colorful species of marine fauna. In 2007, Cocos Island was designated as one of the ten best scuba diving spots in the world by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Cozumel, Mexico

Literally meaning Island of the Swallows, this Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea is another world-renowned scuba diving destination. The primary attractions of Cozumel for scuba divers, who flock on the island from all across the globe, are extensive communities of coral reefs. In fact, the island’s natural geography is such that the coral reefs have been automatically protected from the open ocean, thus, preserving a variety of species that they have. Moreover, the divers can go as deep as 3,000 feet in the sea and explore the numerous awe-inspiring tunnels, caves, and caverns, besides the breathtaking marine life.

Galapagos, Ecuador

This archipelago of volcanic islands boasts of as many as 62 scuba diving sites, and is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you crave for big animals, then the Galapagos Islands is definitely your place. You can actually swim along with massive whale sharks, turtles, moray eels, and eagle rays; not to forget the stars of the show―the hammerhead sharks, which appear in large schools over here. You can also see actual one-on-one encounters of the hammerhead and whale sharks, especially during their migration period (May to October).

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

This is, by far, the most iconic scuba diving destination in the world. With nearly 3,000 individual reefs and over 350 different species of corals, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on our planet. Furthermore, it is so immense that it is home to some 1,500 different species of fish, and six out of seven species of sea turtles found in the world. In a nutshell, it is a diver’s paradise, and definitely does not have any close rival. So, if you want to get a kaleidoscopic view of marine life, scuba dive into the Great Barrier Reef!

Half Moon Caye, Belize

If you are looking to do a wall dive, then the Half Moon Caye is the perfect place for you. Once you begin diving downwards, you will be intrigued by seeing the variety of marine life that the Caye shelters. There are numerous tunnels and swim-through, crammed with a variety of sponges and monster groupers. The most noticeable sightings are those of eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, barracudas, moray eels, and the rosy razor fish.

Palau, Micronesia

The tourism industry of Palau focuses mainly on scuba diving and snorkeling on the islands, which boast of an extremely rich marine environment. Palau features more than 700 coral species, over 1,500 fish species, numerous blue holes, absolutely stunning walls, and enchanting coral reefs. As if that was not enough, the waters also contain some historical World War II wrecks. So, if you are looking for a wholesome diving experience, with a bit of historical hysteria, Palau is “the” place on earth.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a blooming scuba diving destination, which has come to the forefront recently. For divers who wish to witness and experience the diversity of marine life, Papua New Guinea is the location. Within the deep waters surrounding these islands, you can see everything from small fish to huge whales to expansive coral reefs. The major highlight of the scuba diving sites, located around these islands, is that deep water is only a couple of feet away from the beaches, so you don’t have to go too far, in order to take your dive within.

The ones which are mentioned above are just a few of the numerous amazing scuba diving spots around the world. Many more are yet to come to the forefront. So, what are you waiting for? Get going to experience the most fulfilling adventure of your lifetime!

Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean

It does, indeed. After spending all our living span being bogged down by gravity, it sure is a welcome change to be floating in the depths of the sea, exploring a completely different world. And speaking of the marine world, what better place than the Caribbean? None, without a doubt.

Which is why, we bring you a list of places that are perfect for snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. And believe me, we’re not just talking about viewing some gorgeous corals here; we’ve got stingrays, dolphins, whale sharks, and the likes.

Remember, the best time to be in the Caribbean is the dry season from December to April. The weather during these months is calm and breezy, making it perfect for snorkeling, diving, or simply lazing around.

Best Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean

Isla Mujeres, Mexico
How about an up, close, and personal encounter with the biggest fish in the sea? Yep, come to Isla Mujeres between June to August every year, to witness a massive whale shark congregation that is sure to have your wits floored. In fact, even before you take a dip, you’ll be able to witness hundreds of dorsal fins skimming the surface―a truly awe-inspiring sight indeed. Plus, there are also chances of spotting some dolphins and manta rays, along with the native flamingos on the shore. The island is located in the Yucatán Peninsula, in the southeastern corner of Mexico.

Stingray City, Grand Cayman
Stingray City is located in the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman’s North Sound. It is within a natural channel that passes through the barrier reef and consists of a string of sandbars. Stingrays happen to be the gentle inhabitants of the sea, and are a delight to have around. More so, if you’re carrying some treats in the form of squids. The drama that follows, is something which needs to be experienced first hand, as the stingrays’ antics always manages to keep you spellbound. And the best part? You can get here all year round.

Cayo Diablo National Park, Puerto Rico
Keeping Fajardo in eastern Puerto Rico as your hub, Cayo Diablo is a 20-minute boat ride away from the town’s shore. It lies on the fringes of the Atlantic, yet is very much in the Caribbean. This area is famous for Elkhorn and Staghorn coral, with a jagged limestone periphery. However, nestled in these depths are some rather extraordinary sea turtles. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is probably the only place in the Caribbean that offers such close encounters with sea turtles.

Bonaire
You may have heard of Bonaire, located off the northern coast of Venezuela, as a premier diving destination, but it holds true for snorkeling as well. Off the coast of its capital city, Kralendijk, a wide variety of corals and colorful fish await you in the warm waters here, along with some sea horses as well. Klein Bonaire is an uninhabited island further off the coast of Kralendijk, around which you will find filefish and queen angelfish. Windsock is also a popular snorkeling venue, with people spotting barracuda, tarpon, or even turtles.

The Bahamas
The joy of swimming alongside dolphins probably is one of life’s finest and most subliminal experiences. Even if you’ve had the opportunity to swim with captive dolphins, you ought to make a trip to the Bahamas, where you’ll be gliding next to an Atlantic Spotted dolphin. The thrill is comparable to none. And while you’re in the Bahamas, don’t forget to check out Dean’s Blue Hole, where you’ll be jolted to discover that you can go from a depth of 5 feet to a jaw-dropping 600 feet in a matter of a few laps. And while you’re doing that, don’t forget to spot some turtles, dolphins, and porpoises.

Cancun Underwater Museum, Mexico
Mexican Caribbean’s biggest attraction remains the Cancun Underwater Museum, with hundreds of sculptures placed underwater off the coast of Isla Mujeres and Cancun in southeastern Mexico. Yes, we do know about the one in Grenada as well, but frankly speaking, one simply needs to dive, rather than snorkel there, as the clarity of the water can be quite low on most days. Coming back to Cancun, the 450 sculptures here are also by the same artist who created the Grenadian versions―Jason deCaires Taylor. The museum is a part of the Cancun National Marine Park―a wonderful sight, which offers a memorable journey of exploration.

Belize
Belize is a country on the northeastern coast of Central America bordering Mexico on the south, and offers fantastic sites for snorkeling. 11 miles off the coast of the southern town of Placencia lies Laughing Bird Caye, a fabulous snorkeling spot suitable for all levels of expertise. This is where you’ll find a vast expanse of reef species, including parrotfish, yellowtail snapper and barracuda. Also on the agenda is Shark Ray Alley, a part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is home to several Nurse sharks, as well as Southern Stingrays. The locals promise great visibility and close encounters at a depth of just eight feet, which makes it a must-visit snorkeling spot in the Caribbean. You may also wish to visit Ambergris Caye, the largest island of Belize located northeast of the country. Here, you can take a dip off the Lighthouse Reef to snorkel around the edges of the famed Blue Hole, which is Belize’s premier diving site.

Dominica
Many tend to confuse this tiny island in the Lesser Antilles with the Dominican Republic. Dominica is a small nation with a big reputation as a snorkeling hotspot. Champagne Reef is located near Pointe Michel, a small town on the southwest coast of Dominica, south of the capital, Roseau. The area gets its name from the effervesce emanating from fissures in the seafloor, giving the impression that one is swimming in a bottle of bubbly. But that’s not all―you also need to be on the lookout for parrotfish and lobsters. Scotts Head, in the southern most tip of Dominica is a stellar diving spot, but it does hold some thrill for snorkelers too. It’s past the capital city of Roseau, just over an hour’s drive away. This ancient volcanic crater has a veritable wealth of marine plants along its walls, and you certainly don’t need to dive to see it.
So, this was a round-up of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean. But as we mentioned before, any place is a great place to hit the sea when you’re on any of the gorgeous islands here. Do make sure that you tick these off your list.

Vacation Ideas for December

wishfulwednesday-key-west-florida-942012-154432_horiz-largeThe most awaited December vacation is soon to arrive and I know people reading this article are eagerly waiting for it to come. So, where have you decided to go this December? Different people will prefer to take up different vacation spots, depending on their preferences. Most snow lovers would prefer heading towards the northern hemisphere for a power-packed adventurous vacation, while some might visit the scenic spots in the southern region to enjoy the warmth there. Whatever be your vacation plans, it is imperative that you turn that vacation into something that will be really, really memorable; something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. While there might be many who have already finalized their vacation plans and zeroed in on the places to visit, as well as the ways in which to spend the holiday season, there might be many who have not yet fixed an itinerary. It is for all of them that this article comes through. It’ll give you several ideas on the kind of vacations that you can plan and the spots that you can visit. Need some vacation ideas for December? Read on.

December Vacation Ideas

Different people with different tastes. So while some might enjoy beaches, others might love the mountains. While some might be couples looking for a honeymoon spot, some others might be single looking for silent places to relax. It is while keeping all these different tastes and needs in mind that the following list has been compiled. Hope you find what you’re looking for in this list.

Cruises – A Dream by the Sea
Cruises have got to count as one of the best out-of-the-world experiences. That blue-green ocean on all sides while you relax on board? Heaven. No wonder cruise vacations are a dream come true for many. They constitute as one of the best vacation ideas for families as well as couples and singles. So book your cruise now and enter the world of dreams. Be a part of the various recreational activities on board and enjoy the versatility that they offer. Enjoy the exotic cuisine and the world-class living amenities. Try your luck at the casinos and delve deep into the melodies at the music programs held on board. I’m sure you’ve started visualizing your cruise holiday. So go get your cruise reservations right now.

► Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line are some of the popular cruise lines that you can choose from for your December vacation.

Snow Spots – The Magic of White
Places with snow have a charm of their own. Pristine white and absolutely breathtaking. These spots should be on your list if you love the quiet surroundings that snow-peaked mountains and valleys offer. It’s not just the quiet solitude that draws people to these snowy regions, there are several adventure sports that are offered as well. Sports like skiing, ice skating and sledding are some of the most popular ones. When choosing places for a vacation of this nature, the states located in the northern United States and Canada would be a good option to choose from. Especially if you are looking for a snow-packed vacation and want to try some adventurous activities like skiing.

► Colorado is an ideal vacation spot for snow lovers – the Arapahoe Basin located there offers ample opportunities for snowboarding and skiing. Other great vacation spots for snow lovers include Alaska, Lake Tahoe in Nevada, etc.

Beaches – Golden and Sunny Tidings
Imagine that expanse of the beach – the brown toasty sand under your feet, the feel of warm sea water advancing and receding from the web of your toes, the smell of sea in the air, the sound of seagulls somewhere in the background and you taking a much-needed tan. I would never, ever leave the place! It’s no wonder that many who want to include the element of recreation and relaxation in their schedule love visiting beaches. The beach is such a versatile spot, have you noticed? Families, couples, singles – any and everyone can find exactly what they are looking for at the beach. Spending some amount of time at the beach is one of the best ways to refresh oneself from the busy or the mundane rut that our lives sometime settle into. After the relaxing is well underway and one needs to indulge in some adventure activities like surfing, snorkeling and deep sea diving, there are scores of options for those as well.

► Some of the best beach places to visit in December are Florida, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico, West Indies, Greek islands, etc.

Vacation Ideas for Christmas
Christmas as a holiday usually promises a whole lot of enjoyment anyway. So wherever you are, you are going to enjoy it. However, many people like to travel somewhere and have a more memorable Christmas vacation. For all those people, the above mentioned options are all favorable vacation ideas for Christmas. But apart from these, you can enjoy a boat ride in a lake of your choice with your entire family and have yet another great Christmas vacation. You can also head towards December vacation destinations such as Australia and visit the Great Barrier Reef or Gold Coast and have a warm Christmas this year. Or else, if you are looking for Christmas vacation ideas in the USA itself, then New York with its big city appeal is also be a great option. Making it one of the best family vacation ideas in December.

Here’s hoping that these vacation ideas for December will have provided you with several options and choices, and that you will have a clearer idea of how and where to spend your vacations. In conclusion, all that’s left to be said is that both, Christmas and December vacations promise equal opportunities for fun. So whoever you’re with, and more importantly, wherever you are, just make sure that you make the most of it. Happy vacationing everyone!