Posts for Central America Category

8 Reasons to Visit the USA this Spring

Central America, North America, South America, Travel Blog - Ross French - March 10, 2017

USA

The USA has a diverse climate, ranging from hot and humid to below freezing point. Many travellers who plan to visit America need to be well-informed about its varying climate. However, the spring months between March to May is a perfect time to visit the US.

Since each geographical region in the US is different, visitors can experience a generally mild and pleasant climate in all regions during spring time. In the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, spring is mild and beautiful. In the Central Plains region of Kansas and Nebraska, spring is short and pleasant, and in the Southeast states like Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, spring time is awash with colourful blooms.

Here are 8 great reasons to visit the USA this spring. Choose the most compelling reason, plan a trip well, take our travel insurance, and go have your spring adventure.

1.Portland Rose Festival – Portland, Oregon

Portland’s weather in April, May, and June brings spring showers to the city, which is why it is an ideal place for roses to thrive. Every year, the city of Portland celebrates spring with their signature festival, the Portland Rose Festival. Known as the “City of Roses”, you also get to see and smell thousands of rose varieties all-abloom at the International Rose Test Garden. In April, Portland also hosts the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, where visitors get to see 40 acres of tulips and daffodils in bloom in an event which also includes food, wine, and pony rides.

2.Historic Sights and Beautiful Beach – Cape May, New Jersey

Recognized as one of America’s best beaches, Cape May is a historical seaside town in New Jersey. Being one of the oldest resort towns in the US, the town is dotted with Victorian architecture and it is also a top bird-watching location. Spring is the best time to relax in this beach town, before the summer residents and holidaymakers descend.

3.National Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington, D.C.

From late March to early April, the country’s capital Washington, D.C. is awash with wonderful cherry blossoms. This is why the city celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival every year. The mild weather is also perfect for bike rides, moonlit river cruises, and walking around the city where many attractions are free, including the National Archives and the Capitol building.

4.Yosemite National Park – California, USA

Spring time is the perfect season to view the stunning waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. Since warmer weather are starting to melt the snow, you will encounter the gushing falls at its most powerful as you hike through snow-free Yosemite Valley and Hetch Hetchy, which are already snow-free by April. The tourist crowd has not arrived yet, so you get the feeling that you have the vast park to yourself. Weather in the Yosemite Valley is quite variable, though, and lightning-caused fires may sometimes occur. To protect yourself from these calamities, it is best to get proper travel insurance coverage before visiting the park.

5.Post Mardi Gras – New Orleans, Louisiana

When the revellers of Mardi Gras have come and gone, New Orleans still has a lot of fun. Springtime is the best time to visit with its cool weather and list of music festivals and outdoor concerts such as the French Quarter Fest. It is also great to walk around the city and see its best sights by foot. Spring is also crawfish season. You haven’t experienced New Orleans if you haven’t tried boiled crawfish!

6.Santa Fe, New Mexico

The weather in Santa Fe can get extremely hot in the summer, so spring time is an ideal time to visit and appreciate the city’s sweeping view of the desert and its artistic and cultural vibe. This city of art and culture is also an ideal place to visit if you’re into old churches, and interesting architecture.

7.Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is bordered with 1 million acres of forest land, and many people visit this place for its stunning skyline and sandstone colour palettes, which range from burnt orange to mustard yellow. Summer time is stifling hot, but March to May has ideal temperatures. The place is in full bloom with stunning desert flora, and it is an ideal time to engage in outdoor activities.

8.Great American Road trip – Skyline Drive, Virginia

America is known for its vast, scenic highways, and while there are many beautiful highways in this great country, one of the best routes to drive through in spring is 105 miles (169 kilometres) of Skyline Drive, which stretches through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Spring adds blooming flowers to the landscape. The National Park hosts the yearly Wildflower Weekend to showcase its more than 1,000 species of plants.

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Enjoy the Best Amalgamation of Beach Vacation and Yoga Retreats in Mexico

Central America, Travel Blog - Ross French - February 16, 2017

yoga training in Mexico

Mexico is an exotic location that offers many opportunities for tourists to not only explore the beach, food or local cultures, but also blend them all with health oriented activities. Yoga training in Mexico is soon going to become an attractive idea for vacationers looking amalgamate yoga teacher training with pleasurable travel experience. The grace of having yoga along with the majesty of the Mexican ocean breathes new life to your senses. Yes, the perfect combination of a vacation and education.

Yoga is the perfect way to rejuvenate your soul while toning your body. So, why not make your next vacation an ideal combination of yoga and relaxation.

The Retreats

Yoga training in Mexico will begin in the morning at most retreats. Starting with Morning Meditation and Pranayama also recognised as breathing techniques, the other sessions follow. The classes are usually done in the mornings, to replenish your soul completely. Once the class is over, you can take the afternoon to explore Mexico and its Picturesque locations.

Successive yoga classes in the morning will teach you methods of deep relaxation and then take you step by step through various Asana. You will find that the sessions are building blocks, making slow progressions to allow you to find your alignment and posture in every movement. Yoga is an art form that connects one deep into their soul. The idea is to bring your mind, body and spirit under one unison.

While you do these postures, they are explained with detailed attention. It is important to hold and be slow as you begin, so your body develops strength in each posture. Yoga training in Mexico will be about your personal time; it is only right that you do justice to process. The classes are meant for all levels. As your body is guided through the progressive movements, your understanding of these poses increases with every level.

Yoga teacher training and Mexican Culture

The yoga training programs are pecially designed for professional yogis who aspire to teach yoga to others. The 26- 33 days these last depend on which style or branch of yoga you wish to study. Yoga has eight predominant styles ranging from Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Karma, Hatha, Sivananda, Iyengar and Bikram yoga. All have a different path and channelling energies. The Mexican culture highly supports the learning of yoga and hosts many retreats for student travellers to come down and exchange with the community. Ananda Healing Center, Comunidad Om Shanti, Yandara Yoga Institute, Paraiso Yoga, Horizon Yoga for Women, and Red Buddha Yoga & Wellness are amongst some of the more successful Yoga training in Mexico you can find while on vacation.

The rest of the time, do plunge into the blue Pacific and enjoy the tranquilness of the ocean. Try the local food and delicacies. The Mexican culture has a deep-rooted sense of Dance & Music, do not once miss the local street jam and food. Treat yourself to a vacation that leaves lasting impressions of happy memory in your heart and mind forever.

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Travel Trends in 2017 – Places to Explore

Africa, Central America, Travel Blog - Ross French - February 7, 2017

Travel Trends in 2017

The tourism industry has seen a massive boom in the recent years, and travel has indeed become a lifestyle statement. As an increasing number of people hit the road this year either solo or with their family and friends, here are some travel trends in 2017. Continue Reading

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When it Comes to Honeymoons, Montego Bay is A-Okay

Central America - Ross French - December 18, 2013

When I was looking for destinations to have a honeymoon to remember, Jamaica was always at the top of my list. From its easy going reputation to the raving reviews from friends and family who had been there regularly, it was hard to imagine anywhere else as even an option. Sure, anywhere in Polynesia was on there as a ‘dream’ destination but they just weren’t realistic, being too far away and a little out of our price range as non-trust fund newlyweds. Bora Bora would just have to wait until I was rollin in it later in life (or the next life).

Married in August, my wife and I had two options for a resort honeymoon – leave right after the wedding, as was tradition, or hold off on the honeymoon until the cold weather months. While we did like the idea of having a honeymoon later as a kind of winter escape vacation (we are Canadian after all!), you’re not really newlyweds if you put it off for a few months, and isn’t that kind of the point of a honeymoon?

Such a great bed!

Such a great bed!

We opted to go right after the wedding and as was apparent by those on our flight from Toronto to Montego Bay, we weren’t the only ones who felt this way. Every couple we talked to got married on the same day and had the hallmarks of the recentness of it – the girls all had fake nails and the guys were fiddling with their wedding bands. Everyone was tired and everyone was looking forward to just having a good time in paradise.

And paradise it was.

Being put up at the Secrets Wild Orchid meant we were in one of Jamaica’s newest resorts and incredibly close to the airport, which was key for maximizing the good times as fast as possible. Others on our flight were heading to further away locales, and since it was during the summer and not the winter peak season, they had to transfer on a bus rather than fly direct (in the case of Negril, it was a few hours extra!). Instead, we had a 15 minute bus ride, quick check in, welcome champagne and amazing room that I still wake up and wish I was in.

Another benefit to it not being peak season? Things were a bit more relaxed at the resort as there were fewer guests. What this meant was the dress code, which normally at resorts with a la carte dining options is strictly enforced, was overlooked and allowed for bums like myself to eat without dressing to the nines. It also meant getting a chair by the ocean didn’t require you to wake up at dawn and camp out all day and normal services like drink delivery on the beach was done for almost everyone. Plus, the jerk chicken man was always on hand and there was never a line – how could you beat that?

Such a gorgeous beach and it was never full. Off season rocks.

Such a gorgeous beach and it was never full. Off season rocks.

Because we went with Air Canada Vacations for our holiday, we got to meet with a representative from the company that provided us with a list of excursions available to us at a reduced rate. Some were pretty good deals, such as going out on the catamaran or waterfall hikes, but with only six full days of relaxation to be had, we wanted to make the most of enjoying the resort.

One day I will have my own jerk chicken man...

One day I will have my own jerk chicken man…

The only issue we had with the holiday came at the very beginning of the trip, which was delayed almost six hours without a reason being given. Arriving at the airport at 7 am for a 9 am departure, we didn’t actually leave the terminal in Toronto until well after 3 pm, effectively cancelling one day of our honeymoon. We inquired a few times as to the reason for the delay and no reason was given – I understand it’s an unpleasant part of the job to have to be the bearer of bad news when it’s something out of your control and you might not even know the answer to, but it doesn’t help the situation to be impatient to your already frustrated guests. We were given about $20 to use to get food while waiting, and offered a slight discount off our next holiday with Air Canada Vacations, which was a nice gesture that we appreciated, but I couldn’t help but feel if it had been handled differently at the outset, less discontent and animosity towards the flight attendants would’ve occurred.

With all this in mind, we had a great time on our honeymoon in Montego Bay and would recommend every aspect of our trip to others looking to do something similar. It’s exactly what you need after hectic months of planning and a memorable but stressful wedding day. While I’m not much of a lay on the beach and do nothing kind of guy when it comes to travelling, a change of pace is nice and it was perfect for a honeymoon.

And don’t forget the jerk chicken. Oh man do I miss that…

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5 Best Foods to Try on a Holiday in Mexico

Central America, Destinations - Ross French - September 24, 2012

Tacos al Pastor

Mexican dishes are widely known for their richness in color, spices and flavor. The food is a mixture of Middle Eastern, Spanish and native Mexican styles of cooking with delicious native Mexican spices. When you’re looking for Mexico vacation packages, remember, Mexico will not only be awesome and sunny, but you can stuff your face with delicious foods as well! With that in mind, there are certain Mexican foods you don’t want to miss out on during your vacation:

Tacos al Pastor

1. Tacos al Pastor
It is also known as Sheperd Tacos and it is without doubt, one of the tastiest taco dishes. It is a combination of beef, chicken or pork that is superbly spiced. A spit is used to prepare this and on an open fire. Once the meat is well cooked, it’s served with Salsa, onions, lime, pineapples, cilantro and small tortilla chips. This is definitely worth a try when on holiday.

2. Torta Cuban
These are different types of tortas, majority are spread with mayo sparingly, beans and avocados. They are a Cuban classic with a Mexican twist. The Torta Cuban is also known as Cuban sandwich and it basically means that you will find all types of meat on the sandwich.

3. Enchiladas Verdes
There are so many different types of enchiladas you can choose from, picking the one that appeals to your taste buds best. Green enchiladas for instance are corn tortillas stuffed with chicken. They are then smothered with some green salsa, crema and sprinkled with white cheese. Though it sounds simple, the resulting food is simply delicious. When visiting Mexico, you should be on the lookout for places that are popular for making enchiladas and selling them at an affordable cost.

4. Pozole
For the majority of people who visit Mexico, this is often highlighted as the best food. It is also the oldest Mexican dish. It has been passed down through generations from the well famed Pre-Columbian tradition. Made from hominy, it is stewed for several hours together with pork, chicken or any other meat. Once everything is cooked, it is simmered for a couple more hours to get tender. When serving, it is spruced up with onion, lime, lettuce, oregano and chilies.

5. Tacos Campechanos
This is what is known as ‘country style’ food. This type of taco can come with almost anything in it and this is what makes it a great choice. It is a mixture of different types of meat including the well known Mexican chorizo. It comes with different types of veggies and these can include cactus, nopales or onions as well as salsa and mashed potatoes. To spice it up completely, add some lime and salt to it.

Whether you’re into solo travel or with family and friends, make sure to indulge in local dishes no matter where you are.  And remember that lime is what completes the food. In essence, unless the food has lime, it probably isn’t Mexican.

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