Posts for Destinations Category

Best Free Things to Do in Boston 2022

Destinations - Ross French - May 12, 2022

Best Free Things to Do in Boston

Boston is no doubt one of the most popular and historic cities globally. A lot of travelers from around the world visit this city each year. Needless to say, they enjoy every minute of their stay. It is because there are so many things to do in this city. And the best part is that many of those things cost nothing. This article will talk about some of the best free things to do in Boston.

List of the finest free things to do in Boston this year

1. Taking a walk along Freedom Trail

Let’s be clear; your Boston trip will remain incomplete if you don’t walk the Freedom Trail. Since 1951, the trail has been there, covering 16 historic places and stretching around 2.5 miles. The trail looks beautiful because of the red bricks and offers a fantastic insight into the city’s rich history.

You can listen to an audio podcast about Boston while walking for a more fulfilled experience. However, it’s best to opt for an organized tour if you really want to learn about the place in-depth. An average walk along the trail takes a few hours. Nonetheless, it could take longer provided that you visit all the historical sites.

Walking casually and becoming familiar with a place’s history for free – what more could one ask for?

2. Opting for free beer tours

Free beers? Really? Yes, you heard it right. A brewery named Sam Adams in Boston offers free beer tours. The brewery gets its moniker from the famous American statesman and a Founding Father of the US – Samuel Adams. Sam Adams offers free beer tours from 10 am to 3 pm (on Monday-Thursday and Saturday), and 10 am to 5:30 pm (on Friday). It sounds like a dream world to the beer enthusiasts, right? But remember that persons below 21 won’t get any free beers. They are, however, free to take a tour of the brewery and learn about its history and the beer-making process.

Charles River

3. Visiting Castle Island

Going to Castle Island is among the most fun free things to do in Boston. Situated in South Boston, Castle Island is a famous tourist spot for a castle/fort that’s located there. The fort is known as Fort Independence, and guesses what? Ironically, the fort was initially used as a state prison.

Apart from the fort, the 22-acre island has scenic beaches and excellent running trails. Also, you would find a picnic spot here.

Visiting the old fort and diving into the ocean of history costs no money. So even if you’re a budget traveler, you would face zero problems. But remember, the fort area mostly remains crowded. So you won’t get any solitude if that’s what your heart desires.         

4. Hiking in Blue Hills

The Blue Hills might seem a bit far if you don’t have any access to a vehicle. However, you should not have any trouble reaching it if you do. This gigantic 7000-acre park has one of the best trails available in the city, stretching about 100 miles. Plus, it provides the visitors with a splendid view of the surroundings. So, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that the trail is perfect for some hiking.

Besides hiking, you can participate in a plethora of adventurous activities like boating, skiing, rock climbing, etc. Also, remember that summer weekends usually remain busy. So, reach the park early to experience a tranquil atmosphere.

5. Embracing your inner bookworm at Brattle Book Shop

If you love the smell of book pages, you’d surely love the Brattle Book Shop. Residing near the Boston Common, this family-run book shop sells old books and postcards, maps, etc. Impressively, this place is home to over 250,000 items. Operating since 1825, Brattle Book Store is among the oldest bookstores in America. Apart from having basic old books, the store boasts many first edition, rare, and antique books. Therefore, if you live and breathe books, Brattle Book Shop is a must-visit place for you.

6. Enjoying a free Harvard tour

We mean, who doesn’t know about Harvard? It is one of the most reputed and famous universities in the US and the entire world. And naturally, this historical place has a lot of stories to tell. If you wish to listen to those stories and learn about the place in-depth, you can opt for a free university tour. Students are the ones who organize these tours, charging zero cost from the visitors. So it secures its place in the list of free things to do in Bostonby default.

The tour includes a walk outside and around the campus and Harvard Yard. Plus, a guide will inform you about many valuable things regarding Harvard during the walk. You would also get a sneak peek into the life of a Harvard student. Overall, it’s an excellent, free-of-cost educational tour that’s definitely worth a try.

7. Getting close to the marine life at New England Aquarium

An aquatic life enthusiast will undoubtedly love the New England Aquarium if you are an aquatic life enthusiast. In fact, visiting this aquarium is among the most beautiful free things to do in Boston. The Boston Public Library offers free passes for up to four visitors from September-June. However, there is a slight catch. The library provides free passes only to those who possess a BPL library card.

Apart from Boston Public Library, several other libraries in Boston often give discounts on New England Aquarium tickets. While not free, they can be of great help if you’re on a tight budget. Besides the magnificent collection of marine creatures, there is a café and a gift shop in the Aquarium area. After you have toured the aquarium, you can either chill in the Harbor View Café or buy a souvenir from the gift shop as a memento.

8. Opting for some stargazing

If you have a knack for knowing the unknown, you’re in for a treat. Stargazing is a great activity that allows us to explore what’s in the sky. Luckily, the Coit Observatory in the city is perfect for your visit. This observatory will enable visitors to engage in stargazing without charging even a penny on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm (in autumns and winters) and 8:30 pm (in springs and summers). You could use their telescopes and binoculars and explore the night sky. However, as is normal, the event occurs outside. So it’d be best if you could dress up accordingly.

9. Witnessing the Skinny House

Residing in Hull Street, the Skinny House is an extremely famous building, and seeing it yourself is one of the best free things to do in Boston. If you were unaware, this “skinny” house came into being right after the Civil War. The story behind the construction is quite funny. Joseph Euestus – a soldier in the war – was supposed to share the land with his brother. However, he found that his brother had grabbed more than his obtainable half of the land when he returned. Joseph constructed this narrow ten-foot-wide, four-story house intending to block his view to take revenge. Today, the Skinny House has become a place of interest to travelers worldwide. Its popularity has grown so massive that in 2017, the house was sold for around 1 million USD. Thus, it’s definitely worth a visit.

10. Touring the Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House is perfect for those who love to dive into history. Take a tour of the house and learn about lots of things, including the house’s past, architecture, and the functioning of the state. Established in 1798, this house is regarded as a National Historic Landmark. The volunteers here organize free guided tours having durations of about 30-45 minutes on weekdays (from 10 am to 3:30 pm). So make sure you opt for one such tour to get the best experience possible.

Conclusion

Now that you know about these free things to do in Boston start packing your luggage. Start your journey today and visit all these places ASAP. Bon, voyage!

FAQ

  • What can you not afford to miss in Boston?

Boston has so many attractions and stuff to do that travelers don’t even need to pay any money for. These include walking the Freedom Trail, taking a Harvard tour, and so on.

  • What to do to get rid of boredom in Boston?

If you ever get bored in Boston, you can opt for many things. These include a Castle Island visit, stargazing, a Massachusetts State House tour, etc. Refer to our article for more info.

Boston is best known for its baked beans. However, its seafood, Boston Cream Pie, Fenway Frank, etc., are also famous.

 

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Best time to visit New Zealand

Destinations - Ross French - May 11, 2022

Best time to visit New Zealand

New Zealand is one of those places that travelers worldwide love to visit whenever the opportunity arises. However, as we all know, New Zealand is situated in the earth’s southern hemisphere. That means the seasons are the exact opposite of what is seen on most of our planet. For instance, when we have summer in our countries, New Zealand is experiencing winter. Additionally, you might experience four different seasons in a single day! Yes, we are not kidding. It’s a normal phenomenon in the country. Because of all this, travelers from other countries sometimes get utterly confused regarding the best time to visit New Zealand. So in this article, we will talk about it in-depth.

What is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand

High Season

December-March is considered the high or peak season in New Zealand. So it’s natural that these months stay crowded and finding the right lodge becomes a problem. Plus, the prices are comparatively high. So if you’re planning for a high season trip, it’s best to book your lodge, domestic transport, and flight in advance.

Shoulder Season

March-May and September-November are regarded as the shoulder season in this country. It is because, during these months, the prices would start to drop. In addition, this is a time when you can land great deals on accommodation and flight tickets. So the shoulder season is an ideal time for a New Zealand trip.

Low Season

June-October is the low or off-season here. It is no doubt the cheapest time to travel. Everything from lodging to domestic transport to flights sees a drastic price drop. Nonetheless, the resort towns with ski fields remain expensive to stay in even during this time. Also, while most major sites stay open all year, some attractions might stay closed in the low season.

Summer Season

Emerald Lakes

December-February is the summertime in New Zealand. During this time, the weather remains warm and sunny, with an average temperature of 20°C-25°C. Therefore, you would see the streets very crowded. As we all know, these months signify the winters in most other countries. In contrast to that snowy and cold atmosphere, NZ offers bright, warm days. That’s why the summer here witnesses the arrival of many tourists from other parts of the world. The sun stays in the sky for about 12 hours each day, making the days longer and nights shorter. Thus, you get more time to explore the country.

Perhaps the best thing about NZ summers is that you can get fresh, juicy kiwis that you can enjoy while sunbathing. These kiwis taste awesome and will satisfy your taste buds like never before. Plus, the scenic views and the lovely sunshine make everything better. The beautiful mountains, gin-clear rivers, lush valleys, etc., are certainly a treat to visitors’ eyes. Also, if you like adventure, the summertime weather is ideal for paragliding, trekking, hiking, etc. So, you would never get bored. No doubt it’s the best time to visit New Zealandif you’re keen to experience nature to its fullest.

However, as we already said, this is the costliest time in this country. Everything from accommodation to flight tickets is so overpriced. So that could be problematic. But if you’re capable of affording them, it’s a great time to enjoy the nature and the races, triathlons, etc., that are organized in February.

Autumn Season

March-May is the time when autumn resides in this country. The average temperature remains around 17°C-23°C during this season. That means the weather is pretty pleasant as it is neither too hot nor too cold. These months indicate the shift of weather from summer to winter. So you would see leaves falling from the trees during these months.

The soothing atmosphere is perfect for engaging in some trekking, mountain climbing, biking, etc. You can also go camping if you want. It’s known that autumn here is the most ideal time to appreciate natural beauty. It is because the lovely weather keeps you from getting all sweaty. Hence, you would get ample chances to explore the country and its wildlife in autumn.

Plus, it is a beautiful time to walk the nice mountain trails as you won’t get tired easily. Moreover, since there won’t be any snow around you, you’d get an excellent view of your surroundings. Additionally, the red and orange-colored leaves on the trees and the ground create a vividly colorful spectacle around you. Hence, you can opt for some cycling through the parks to get an idyllic experience. Thus, it’s the best time to visit New Zealandfor outdoor activities.

As it is the shoulder season here, you could land excellent deals on flight, accommodation, etc. So keep your eyes peeled. However, the chances are catching a cold becomes higher during autumn. That’s why we advise you to dress accordingly.

Winter Season

June-August is the winter season in New Zealand. During this time, the weather becomes cold because of the significant drop in temperature (staying around five °C in some places). On average, the temperature ranges from 7°C-13°C throughout the country, while the hilly areas experience a negative temperature. You would also witness snowfalls in many places. So there’s ample scope for snow activities too. The snowy surroundings look magnificent even though your visibility will decrease.

If you’re looking for a ski vacation, look no further than the months of winter. There are plenty of fantastic mountain slopes where you can safely opt for some skiing. Apart from skiing, you can engage yourself in other snow activities like snowboarding, sledding, heli-skiing, snowshoeing, etc. If you’re seeking more thrill and adventure, try doing some winter hiking. The ice-cold temperature makes walking the trail way more difficult than other times of the year. But the beauty and tranquil vibe that the snow-capped mountains emit would make your soul happy.

In winters, you can also experience glacier tours in Mount Cook National Park, Fox Glacier, etc. Also, the month of June sees the Queenstown Winter Festival – a grand yearly event occurring in New Zealand. All the New Zealanders gather to rejoice at the country’s first snow during this festival. Every New Zealander waits restlessly for this particular time of the year. Celebrating this extravagant event with the locals is the best way to get a taste of this country’s culture. Plus, winter is regarded as the off-season here. Thus, visiting New Zealand is the best time to get the lowest prices possible. But make sure you wear a few layers of clothes to protect yourself from the cold and stinging winter winds.

Spring Season

September to November is when spring resides in the country. During these three months, the temperature stays around 15°C-21°C during these three months, and you can feel a constant cool breeze. Plus, the days are longer and brighter than in winter. Therefore, the warm weather and the lovely, cool breeze are perfect for travelers to explore the country comfortably. Furthermore, these months indicate the arrival of summer. Thus, you would see the snow starting to melt and the sun shining brightly again. Also, the trees start gaining new leaves, and your surroundings would get a more alive and greener look.

As it provides relief from the harsh, stinging winter, spring is an excellent time for engaging in outdoor activities. These include paragliding, hiking, cycling, etc. Also, you can visit the beaches and take part in adventurous water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and so on. Besides those, just like autumn, spring is the ideal time for some trekking as you won’t get exhausted and walk more. And the lush greenery is a bonus. So you would find lots of New Zealanders sunbathing and enjoying this season.

The visibility remains excellent during these months. Therefore, they are perfect for sightseeing and exploring the country. For your information, the pleasant weather decreases your baggage by eliminating the need for bulky winter attires. Instead, wear a warm, cozy sweatshirt, and you’d be good to go.

Remember, like autumn, spring is also a shoulder season here. So it is the best time to visit New Zealandif you’re searching for the best deals for a budget trip.

Conclusion

As you can see, the best time to visit New Zealand varies from person to person. Why? Because it all depends on the particular needs and preferences of the traveler themselves. As our article explains each season in detail, we hope it will help you decide your ideal best time to visit this country. Adios!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the most low-priced time to visit New Zealand?

The low season (June-October) is undoubtedly the cheapest time to visit this country.

  • What are the warmest months in New Zealand?

Both January and February are months when the weather stays the warmest in NZ.

  • What is the wettest period in New Zealand?

May to August is the wettest time in New Zealand, with the most persistent rains and lowest sunshine.

 

 

 

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The Visual Splendors Kerala Has to Offer to Tourists 

India - Ross French - April 28, 2022

Kerala is known as the “God’s Own Country.” And if we discover the state more, we get to experience why. The entire state is full of amazing panoramic beauty and unmissable places of interest. If you’re eager to give your eyes a treat, Kerala won’t disappoint you. If you’re planning to take a trip there soon, you’ve come to the perfect place. Because here, we will take a look at some of the visual splendors Kerala has to offer to tourists. So, read on. Also, check out these amazing Kerala tour packages.

List of the Visual Splendors Kerala has to offer to tourists

Alleppey

If you have never visited Venice, don’t worry. Interestingly, India has its own Venice in the form of Alleppey. This scenic town is famous all over the Indian subcontinent for its distinctive sight of backwaters. One could best enjoy this amazing view if they opt for a houseboat cruise. That way, the travelers could spend a tranquil time on their houseboat while relaxing and soaking in the natural splendor.

The relaxing environment is perfect for some peace of mind and will revitalize you. The places of interest here include Marari Beach, Sri Krishna Temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Revi Karunakaran Museum, and so on. Also, while you’re here, don’t miss the Nehru Trophy Boat Race organized on the 2nd Saturday of August. August-February is the best time to visit Alleppey for its ideal weather.

Kochi

The “Gateway to Kerala” – Kochi or Cochin is a famous tourist spot in Kerala. Being known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea,” this coastal city is historic as the initial colonialists landed on the shores. The city welcomes its visitors with stunning beaches, museums, cathedrals, and so on. While you’re in Kochi, you can visit Kerala Kathakali Centre, Bastion Bungalow, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Kerala Folklore Museum, etc.

You can also go to Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi, Paradesi Synagogue, and many more beautiful places. For your info, Kochi or Cochin stays at its best during August-February and maintains lovely weather. So come here and enjoy every aspect of the coastal city – from sceneries to food to its rich heritage.

Munnar

If you’re planning for a one-day tour, Munnar is perhaps the finest place to be. Located about 1600m above ground level, Munnar is a gorgeous hill station. Its natural beauty attracts people from all over India, especially newly-wed couples. Undoubtedly, Munnar is among the best places in Kerala for spending a honeymoon for couples. In fact, it is regarded as one of the finest romantic places on the globe.

Verdant tea gardens, the aroma of the spice plants, rolling hills, stunning lakes, etc., make this place what it is today. Anamudi Peak, Lockhart Gap, Tea Museum, Eravikulam National Park, Cheeyappara Waterfalls, etc., are among the places to visit here.

Also, there are ample opportunities for adventurous activities such as trekking, mountain biking, and so on. Plus, the weather remains charming throughout the year. So, you can visit Munnar any time you want.

Idukki

While talking about the most relaxing places on earth, Idukki must be mentioned. Encircled by lush forests and scenic hills, Idukki is a heaven for nature lovers and photographers. The aura it emits gets a boost by the spice and tea gardens here. While on an Idukki trip, don’t forget to visit places like Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Idukki Arch Dam, Ramakkal, etc. Also, you can enjoy some exciting activities like trekking, paragliding, etc. Or, you can take a relaxing nature walk and opt for some bird watching if you’re interested. If you were unaware, Idukki maintains pleasant weather from June-August and November-January. So, try to visit the place during these months.

Malappuram

Malappuram is among the visual splendors Kerala has to offer to tourists that they would never forget. In the local language, “Malappuram” means “land atop hills” and it is famed for temples, mosques, teak plantations, etc. Visit the Teak Museum, Nedumkayam Rainforest, and many more. Also, you can opt for some boating, camping, etc., and have a good time. FYI, July-September is the best time for enjoying rains, while November-February is best for escaping the city heat.

Munroe Island

If beauty was a place, it would surely have been Munroe Island. Situated between Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, this island is a paradise for an interesting canal cruise. The island gets its moniker from Colonel Munroe and is an epitome of rural splendor. From thatched homes to mangrove forests to lagoons – everything here contributes to its scenic landscape. And don’t forget the coconut trees. They make the place look all the more marvelous.

If you come here, try to visit Kollam Beach, Thangassery Light House, etc. Also, take the canal cruise at a cost of 500 rupees per head. FYI, you can find the cruise operating twice a day (9 am and 2 pm). Needless to say, the canal cruise has become one of the principal attractions here because of the once-in-a-lifetime experience it offers. So, come here any time of the year, except monsoon, and spend quality time.

FAQ

What is the best tourist spot in Kerala?

Well, the “God’s Own Country” is filled to the brim with amazing tourist spots. From Kochi to Idukki to Munroe Island – you’d never run out of such nice places here.

What makes Kerala a famous tourist attraction?

The verdant tea and spice gardens, tranquil backwaters, scenic landscapes, etc., make the state this famous.

Does Kerala allow tourists?

Yes, Kerala allows tourists just like any other state of India. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the state to temporarily disallow tourists coming from the outside. However, now tourists can visit the state again provided that they follow the COVID guidelines.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the visual splendors Kerala has to offer to tourists, don’t wait any longer. Pack your bags today and visit the places ASAP. Bon, voyage!

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Best Secret Islands around the World 2022

Destinations - Ross French - April 20, 2022

Best Secret Islands Isla Holbox

Islands around the world are among the most preferred destinations among travelers. Most people think about the famous, crowded islands when they think about going to one. However, there are plenty of unknown, beautiful isles that can compete toe-to-toe with any of the bigshots. Below, we will tell you about some of the best secret islands you can visit and spend a memorable holiday. So, read on.

Finest secret islands to visit this year

Isla Holbox, Mexico

First, we have Isla Holbox or Holbox Island. If you are a fan of wildlife, you must visit this island. For your info, this isle is residing within the Yum Balam Reserve. It is a known fact that does island is a paradise for bird watchers. It is because one can find over 150 species of birds in this area.

These include flamingos, roseate spoonbills, herons, pelicans, etc. If you come here during the summertime, you could get to see whale sharks here as well. You can reach this secluded islet by ferrying for nearly 3 hours from Cancún’s bustling shores. Once you’re here, it would almost feel like an entirely new world. Since most people still aren’t aware of Isla Holbox, it usually stays deserted. So, you can spend some tranquil time and rejuvenate yourself.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Next, we have Con Dao in Vietnam. While Phu Quoc is surely among the most famous archipelagos in Vietnam, it is also incredibly crowded. Thus, if you’re looking for some quiet time, you should come to Con Dao, located on the country’s southeastern coast. A short one-hour flight can bring you to Con Son from Ho Chi Minh City.

Con Son is the biggest and the only inhabited isle among the 16-island chain. Here, one would get mesmerized by the rising granite cliffs and clear, blue waters. Con Son has plenty of cheap hotels and eateries for tourists on tight budgets. In addition, you can visit the Dam Tre Bay Lagoon and the 19th-century beacon atop a hill. Apart from exploring the island, you can also engage in various water activities like snorkeling, diving, etc. And if you’re among the fortunate ones, you might even see the endangered hawksbill turtles during May-September.

San Blás Archipelago, Panama

San Blás ArchipelagoIf soft white sand, gin-clear waters, and bright sunlight are your principal preferences, San Blás is the place to be. The deserted isle stretches along the southernmost Caribbean coast of Panama and is a part of Comarca de Guna Yala. This 140-mile archipelago comprises a total of around 400 islands and offers a stunning view that is totally Instagram-worthy. The stunning pearl-white sea beaches and the peaceful vibe they emit make San Blás Archipelago a perfect tourist destination. So, not visiting this place would be a huge mistake.

Ulleungdo, South Korea

Situated in the middle of South Korea and Japan, this volcanic island is one of the best unknown islands today. The island got its nickname “Mystery Island” due to the “mystical energy” it emits. Most people believe the island came into being 2.5+ million years ago.

As far as we know, Ulleungdo is free from snakes, thieves, and, most importantly, pollution. Plus, you can find the 984 meter-high Seonginbong Peak, which is perfect for some hiking action. The soaring volcanic peaks, juniper trees, stunning rock formations, etc., have all contributed to the charm of Ulleungdo. Combine those with the tranquil and pristine atmosphere of the area, and you get an ideal secluded getaway.

Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Secret Islands  Robinson Crusoe IslandRobinson Crusoe? Brings back so many memories, right? And, why won’t it? Located west of Santiago, this rough islet is famous for being featured in Daniel Defoe’s novel ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ While you’re here, you can still feel the adventurous vibe of Alexander Selkirk’s wild tale we all know and adore. Some travelers believe that there’s even some treasure buried here. Tourists can explore the island or opt for some scuba diving and witness time-worn shipwrecks underwater. Despite its fame, the island remains mostly isolated. Therefore, travelers looking for some peace of mind are in for a treat.

Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

Residing in an aqua lagoon in Zanzibar, Mnemba is truly a heaven for travelers around the world. This small islet has everything you’d ever want from an Indian Ocean hideaway. The islet gives you facilities of open-air bungalows, a dive center, and so on. The clear waters are perfect for fun water activities such as kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, etc. Also, you can cruise on a dhow – a conventional Arabic boat – after sunset. Plus, take a tour of Tangawizi to learn about the mind-blowing, aromatic local spices. Trust us when we tell you that Mnemba Island will surely be etched in your heart forever.

Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Now, it’s a well-known fact that every single Cape Verde beach comes with a stunning coastline. But Boa Vista – located off the coast of West Africa – has to be the best. Those who love to kiteboard and windsurf love these huge white and golden sand beaches at Boa Vista. One major reason for this is sweeping easterlies from Africa. In addition, the gigantic windblown desert hummocks are a paradise for jeep and quad-bike outfitters. So, there’s no shortage of scope for some adventure. Also, you can collect local pottery in the Rabil town here and return home with a keepsake.

Ssese Islands, Uganda

Along the northwestern shore of Lake Victoria, you’d find one of the world’s best secret islands – the Ssese Islands. This lush archipelago comprising 84 isles is home to some magnificent white-sand beaches. While it’s true that there’s not much to do here, especially adventurous activities, you can certainly read your favorite book and relax. FYI, there are many canoes travelers can hire. But the looming risk of bilharzia makes swimming not feasible. Also, some distant islands see the occasional appearance of crocodiles and hippos. The majority of guesthouses here make bonfires at night. So you can relax, sipping a few drinks after experiencing first-hand the famed sunset of Ssese.

Penghu Islands, Taiwan

Another great choice for a secluded vacation would be the Penghu Islands. Located in the Taiwan Strait, Penghu is an archipelago containing 90 isles. These islands are known for their stunning scenery and a hint of nostalgia for locals. Penghu, aka Pescadores, is governed by Taipei and boasts the traditional Taiwanese culture to the fullest. Being far away from Taiwan’s capital Makung, it remains comparatively less crowded throughout the year.

In Penghu, you’d find oxcarts, fields with stone walls, basalt cliffs, etc. You would also find numerous ancient temples dedicated to Mazu – the sea goddess. Plus, the archipelago is known for its windsurfing facilities. So, you could enjoy some windsurfing while the bright sun rays touch your skin.

Yaeyama Islands, Japan

Talking about the top hidden islands and not mentioning Yaeyama Islands would be a crime. Located at the extreme southern end of the Japanese archipelago, these islands are about 400 km away from Okinawa Main Island. Yaeyama is known mainly for its scenic beauty, stunning beaches, amazing diving options, etc. FYI, the whole region is filled to the brim with greenery. Such lush vegetation is undoubtedly a natural gift and needs to be preserved. So, it has earned the area the designation as the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.

Furthermore, Yaeyama is famed for its rich musical tradition of dance and songs, apart from its natural splendor. Also, there are several period piece village settings here, like Taketomi Island, that will take you back in time. The primeval cultural beauty of the Yaeyama Islands would surely leave you dazzled, and you’d love every second of your trip.

Conclusion

Now that you know about these secret islands worldwide do not wait any longer. So pick up your luggage and set out on your journey. Visit any or all of these beautiful unknown isles, and you’re bound to have a lifetime experience  Good luck!

FAQ

  • Are there any secret islands in the world to explore?

Yes, there are plenty of secret islands on the planet for people to explore. That is the reason why we wrote this piece in the first place, right? Ha-ha. From Isla Holbox to Yaeyama Islands – there are so many of them. Refer to our article for more info.

  • What is the remotest tropical island?

Situated between South Africa and Argentina, Trista da Cunha is the remotest tropical island in the world. Interestingly, Trista da Cunha comprises six separate volcanic islands.

  • How do you go to secret islands?

Secret islands are secret not because the travelers are not allowed to enter them. Instead, they are secret because very few people know about them, and they mostly remain secluded. Thus, you can visit any of such islands via available means of transport like you’d do in the case of other famous islets.

 

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A Guide to Yosemite Firefall

Destinations - Ross French - April 14, 2022

A Guide to Yosemite Firefall

Travelers around the world like to gather in the Yosemite Valley to experience the surreal natural fire fall at Horsetail Fall. Why? It’s because if the right conditions are met, the sunlight will pass through the silver waters. It turns the waterfall’s color to molten orange as if it’s not water but hot lava. If you, too, are planning to witness this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon first-hand, read on. Because in this article, we will inform you about some important things about Yosemite Firefall.

How did the Yosemite Firefall get its present name?

This Firefall at Glacier point came into being from a literal fire falling from the Glacier Point’s edge. FYI, The reason why the fall is called what it’s called today has a pretty interesting history. In the year 1872, the Glacier Point Hotel owners made a memorable spectacle. They pushed a real bonfire off a cliff’s edge here. The bonfire coming down seemed like a waterfall made out of light to people looking from below. This spectacle was repeated and stopped many times throughout the next couple of years. And, by the mid-1900s, it was so well-known that travelers came here just to witness the fire falling down the cliff.

However, in January 1968, George Hartzog – the National Park Service director – bunged this practice. He did it to guard the park’s natural marvels. But, unfortunately, the large number of visitors were crushing the grass. Plus, there was the risk of fire hazards. And with that, the tale of the original Yosemite Firefall came to an end.

But five years later, a skilled professional photographer named Galen Roswell made an accidental discovery. He found a new phenomenon that resembled the Firefall event. While driving, he saw a little waterfall that looked like molten orange lava during the sunset from atop El Capitan. So he jumped out of this car and took a photograph of that natural spectacle. That photograph was the first widely-circulated color image of this natural event at Yosemite Natural Park.

Now, as people still have the memory of the actual event at Glacier Point, they gave it its current moniker. It was because it was the natural version of the falling bonfire.

Best conditions to witness the Yosemite Firefall

Surprisingly, the Horsetail Fall doesn’t catch people’s attention most of the year. While it has a striking drop of 650 meters, this little stream atop El Capitan lacks any massive volume. This shortcoming becomes clear when comparing Horsetail with other famous cataracts here, like Bridalveil. Also, as it is dependent on snowmelts and runoffs for sustenance, it fades away wholly during summers. However, its popularity skyrockets in the few weeks beginning in February. It is during this time that one can witness the once-in-a-lifetime natural spectacle. But as we mentioned earlier, whether or not you’d get to see it depends on certain factors. Here are those factors:

The ideal alignment of the sun, the fall, and the visitor

In mid to late February every year, the sun comes to a perfect position here. Thus, if you happen to be in the proper position, you will witness the magic. We will also talk about the best time and place to observe the natural effect a bit later.

Clear skies free from cloud

The natural event won’t occur if the skies are not clear. Then, the position of the sun wouldn’t matter at all. If the cloud obstructs the sunrays during the crucial minutes of the evening, it’s over. That’s the reason why most people don’t come here if there’s a cloudy forecast. Nonetheless, if the clouds part a bit and let just enough sunlight pass through them, you might be able to witness the spectacle. And, as a bonus, you’d get pink clouds that could contribute to some stunning photographs.

Sufficient amount of water in the Horsetail

Even if there are clear skies and the sun is in the perfect place, they are not enough. For effect to materialize, there must be sufficient water in the cascade. But how could you get an idea of the water flow? Well, one way is to view the Yosemite Falls webcam. Also, it would be great if you could know about the weather forecast during that time.

The Horsetail would get a fantastic flow provided that there are certain factors at play. First, some snow has to be present on the ground to supply water for the cascade. Second, the day has to be sufficiently warm so that the snow melts and the water comes running down the cliff. If that’s not the case and the weather is a bit too cold, the ridge would still light up. You’d also see a thin stream of water coming down the cliff, reflecting the sunset. But unless there’s more water, you wouldn’t be capable of witnessing the molten fire stream.

Best time to witness the surreal natural event

The last half of February sees the astonishing spectacle for about 5-10 minutes before the sunset. Nevertheless, you got to spend a few hours minimum to reach the right place at the right time. Gone are the days of quickly finding a comfy spot to see and take a photograph of the said event. It has now become an international event. So, people from all over the world come here as early as possible and set up their tripods to achieve their desired angle. So, there’s a lot of competition over positions. Thus, it’s advised to go there in the late morning or early afternoon. That way, you’d have enough time to understand the parking conditions and find an ideal place to view the natural event.

Once you find your spot, spend some quality time relaxing and witnessing the molten stream. Also, you’d get to talk and socialize with the people around you.

Best place to view the Firefall

The most famous site to experience the effect is undoubtedly the El Capitan Picnic Area. That is what the Meyers’ website says too. Also, the El Capitan Picnic Area is closest to the Horsetail Fall and costs only $30 a week to enter. So, you’d get the best viewing experience possible. You can park your car at Yosemite Falls and walk about 1.5 miles to reach the picnic area. If there’s no space to park there, you’d have to park further away. But don’t worry; from there, you can take the free shuttle operating for a limited time. The parking/traffic restrictions begin from 12 pm-7 pm during that time. So, bear that in mind.

Conclusion

Now that you know about Yosemite Firefall, it’s time for you to go and witness the cosmic event yourself. We can assure you that you’d never forget this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Good luck!

FAQ

  • When can I see the Firefall?

The Firefall can happen anytime between October and February, provided that all the necessary conditions are fulfilled. However, the last half of February is ideal for viewing it.

  • Why did they stop the Yosemite Firefall? 

In January 1968, the then National Park Service Director George Hartzog ordered the stopping of the event. It was done because of the trampling of meadows and the risks of fire hazards in the park.

  • How often does Yosemite Firefall happen? 

The spectacular natural event happens in mid to late February annually.

 

 

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