As our lime green kayaks slid across the top of the glassy black water of the Rio Negro, the only sounds were the occasional splash of our paddles, the chorus of exotic birds exuberantly greeting the morning, and the distant, droning roar of red howler monkeys. A mother and baby grey dolphin swam playfully around us and a flock of colorful screeching Macaw parrots flew across the sky.
There are several rainforests around the world, but certainly the first ones that come to mind are in South and Central America. The Amazon basin in South America covers more than two and a half million square miles and the Amazon is the world’s most well-known rainforest. It runs 3,000 miles from the Andes to the sea. The Amazon is also the longest river on the planet, the second being the Nile.
Belize is located in Central America and is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize is a diverse country with many cultures and languages, known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems. On the coast, there is a swampy coastal plain with mangrove swamps; while the south and interior offer hills and low-lying mountains. All this, along with the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world, makes Belize one of the most diverse and exciting countries to send your clients on a fun-filled holiday.
The latest tourism statistics for the first quarter of 2018 indicate that Belize’s popularity as a must-visit destination in Central America continues on an upward swing, as they continue to set unprecedented records. For the first time ever, there were over 55,000 overnight visitors during the month of March, representing an increase of 24.8% over the same period in 2017. Cruise ship arrivals also registered an upward trend during the first quarter. There were 143 cruise ship calls and almost 400,000 cruise passengers arriving in Belize, representing an increase of 4.6% more visitors than 2017.
If you tell someone you’re going to Veracruz, they may ask, “What is the name of your ship?”
There’s no cruise to Vera. Veracruz is the Mexican state that borders the Gulf of Mexico. It isn’t the typical Mexican resort area and not easily accessible. Few natives speak English.
Ruler 18-Rabbit fashioned Copan’s enchanting Forest of Tree-Stones after gods. He envisioned them during his drug-induced trances. One of the “tree-stones” resembles the multi-armed, Hindu god, Vishnu. Emerging from another is an ancient bearded Chinese man. The Mayan people did not have beards. Considering the distance from Copan to Asia, these two stelae are amazing. It makes you wonder how, even with the drugs, 18-Rabbit could have conceived such visions.
Honduras’ Maya ruins at Copan approach amazing. Couple that with the Bay Islands’ landscape of mountains, rivers, jungle and aquamarine translucent waters, it is an archeology junkie’s dream and a diver’s paradise.
What is “Sabrosura?” It’s a local word used in the magical country of Colombia to express a feeling of positivity and joy. And it’s this word, this feeling, that the Colombian government has embraced to launch their new ad campaign aimed at attracting visitors from around the globe.
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Except for my family, there are few people with whom I like to travel. Lately, I have done many solo trips. Sharing experiences is much more rewarding.
Last fall, I reconnected with an old friend, Gail Goldman. In high school, we used to do a lot together including going to modeling school. She learned perfect posture and I fell down the stairs with my diploma. After high school, we drifted apart.
Now we are great pals again. I invite her to join me on a trip to Peru which includes the Plains of Nazca and an Amazon cruise. She quickly accepts even though she isn’t quite sure where Peru is. Although Gail has traveled, the outdoorsy stuff has eluded her. She asks me to check out her most appropriate clothes for the trip.
There’s more to South America’s largest country than Rio’s carnival and the golden sands of Copacabana. Along the coast north of Rio stretch the beaches of Pernambuco, punctuated by its lively capital of Recife. Between Rio and Recife, beautiful Salvador is filled with Colonial buildings and sits close to some of the continent’s finest diving waters. Inland is the gold-washed colonial capital of Ouro Preto and the city of Belo Horizonte, filled with art deco buildings and modernist landmarks. Help your clients plan their itinerary to include some of these places they may not have heard of.
Chile is the kind of destination that boasts a surprising variety of landscapes and tourist options. To begin, the country is located between the Andes and the Pacific. It is one of the longest countries in the world and very narrow with only about 112 miles from border to border. With a magnificent coastline, the country also borders Argentina, Peru