Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Costa Rica natural beauty

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracie. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranked 62nd in the world in 2010, and is cited by the UNDP as one of the countries that has attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels.The country is ranked 3rd in the world, and 1st among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.
In 2007 the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021.According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the "greenest" country in the world. More information on

          On his final voyage to the New World in 1502, Christopher Columbus came ashore on Costa Rica's Caribbean coastline (near Limon) and the indigenous Indians presented him with an offering of gold.The lure of riches in the Americas was a strong magnet for European adventures of-the-day, but those that ventured to Costa Rica were confronted by an inhospitable landscape of coastal swamps and hostile Indians tribes - and most did not survive.The Spanish persisted, and by the mid-16th century a few small settlements were successfully established; Cartago was declared the capital, and the colony was ruled by a governor appointed by the Spanish empire’s regional capital of Guatemala.Unlike neighboring colonies, Costa Rica was slow to grow, and remained a collection of subsistence farmers for the next two centuries. With very few exports of real value, it quietly remained off the radar screen of the Spanish Crown.After the overthrow of the Spanish King by Napoleon, Costa Rica and others declared their independence from Spain in 1821. Then, Costa Rica, as well as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the United Provinces of Central America, but that federation quickly dissolved, and Costa Rica became an independent state in 1838.
          Juan Mora Fernandez (the first head of state) encouraged the cultivation of coffee, and over time the powerful coffee barons helped finance a political revolution that would change the country forever.Over the next century an assortment of presidents and ambitious military dictators came and went, but for the most part, Costa Rica avoided the chaos of bloody coups, rebellions and citizen revolts endemic to other Central American countries.In the mid-1900s, democracy was the order-of-the-day, but when the United Social Christian Party refused to leave power after losing the 1948 general election, civil war was in the wind.The opposition in that brief 40-day uprising was led by Jose Mar¡a (Don Pepe) Figueres Ferrerhe, and in the end he founded a new republic; banned the Communist Party; women could vote; blacks gained citizenship; and in a brilliant stroke of governing he abolished the armed forces and established a term limit for all future presidents. When Don Pepe died in 1990 (a justifiable national hero to this day) his innovative leadership had earned Costa Rica an enviable international reputation as a peaceful, stable democracy in a region of instability.Today, driven by agricultural products (especially coffee), and strong tourism and technology industries, Costa Rica enjoys a high standard of living, and remains the true success story of Central America.


Most of Costa Rica is dominated by the Sierra Madre mountains, literally fractured into individual ranges and valleys by violent volcanic eruptions over eons of time. And speaking of volcanoes, the country's most active one (cone-shaped Arenal), located in the Tilaran Mountains erupts in some measure almost everyday. To the southeast, the Poas, Barva, Irazu and many other volcanoes form the Central Mountain's most spectacular landforms, while the higher Talamanca Mountains front its southern border with Panama. 

Stone ball

          The heavily-forested northern plains (to the south of Lake Nicaragua) stretch eastward along the San Juan River, then push southward through the rain forest edges of the Central Mountains, and on to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean coastline.Costa Rica's beach-covered Pacific coastline is quite narrow, and indented with many small bays, as well as the Gulf of Dulce and the Gulf of Nicaya, both protected by hook-shaped peninsulas. In the west, those beaches rise abruptly into the coastal hills of the mountains.Many dozens of rivers drain the land; the Chirripa, Frio, General, San Juan and Tempisque are indicated on the map above.Of all of the vacation destinations on the planet, Costa Rica is certainly one the most exotic, as it offers unparalleled natural beauty, fiery volcanoes, misty cloud forests, thick jungle rain forests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism activities. 

In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of simply gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches, plenty of sunshine, and more than its share of world-class sport fishing, snorkeling and surfing venues.The most popular nature attractions include a litany of volcanoes, including Arenal Volcano, which almost daily produces a spectacular show of lava, rock and stream; the active (and viewable) crater in the Poas Volcano; summit tours of the stunning Irazus Volcano; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; Osa Peninsula and the Corcovado National Park, and the Caribbean flora and fauna of the Tortuguero National Park. 

The single most-visited place in Costa Rica is the capital city of San Jose; it serves as the main entry point into the country, and its mixture of traditional Spanish architecture, museums and theaters are first rate. Limon, on the Caribbean coastline, hosts cruise ships from around the world and some fabulous markets and shops along its seawall.Of all of the countries in Central America, Costa Rica has historically been the friendliest and safest. Costa Rica's tropical climate is pleasant throughout the year, with prevailing trade winds helping to cool down much of the coastal areas. 

          March through May are the hottest months, while somewhat cooler temperatures are the norm, during December, January and February.As usual in mountainous countries, temperatures vary by elevation. In Costa Rica, the average high temperature in the elevated Central Valley (I.E. San Jose) is near 72° F; in the lows 80s along the Caribbean coastline, and approaching 90° F on the Pacific coast.The country receives copious amounts of rain, with an annual yearly average near 100 inches (250cm). The heaviest amounts fall along the Caribbean coastline in the form of afternoon showers.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Belize ...Time for the Adventure


"If the end of the world had any ends, British Honduras would certainly be one of them."

                                                                                                     Aldous Huxley

            Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a democratic constitutional monarchy, and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Although Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.

              With 8,867 square miles (22,960 km²) of land and a population of only 333,200 people (2010 est.), Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America, and the third lowest in the Americas after Guyana and Suriname. The country's population growth rate of 2.21% (2008 est.), however, is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species, and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place within the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.Belize is culturally unique among its Central American neighbours; it is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage

Belize Totem

            As a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, however, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American nation with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).
           From the beautiful azure waters of the Caribbean, to the Maya Mountains and the Pine Ridge, Belize has an adventure for everyone. Spectacular caves, winding waterfalls, virgin tropical rainforest, and hundreds of limestone caves make for exciting vistas. Belize is home to many ancient Maya ruins and temples that will entice you to learn more of their history. 

Maya Temple

            Zip lining through the forest, cave tubing through Maya caves, scuba diving and snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef, sailing the cayes, parasailing, or just hiking through the jungle, you will find a wonderful, unforgettable journey awaiting you in Belize. More information on


             Belize has the amazing Belize coral reef system, the second largest in the world and this hemisphere's longest, running offshore, and many cayes (islands of coral sand) are surrounded by astounding reefs to snorkle or scuba dive. The reef lies one-half mile east of the Ambergris Caye shoreline and runs the entire 25 mile length of the island. 

Blue Hole
              This has made San Pedro Town the dive and water sports capital of Belize and Central America. The Great Blue Hole, Turneffe Islands, Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Mexico Rocks, Lighthouse Reef, and many other diving areas are all only a short boat ride away from this coconut palm lined island.

              Belize has an delightful variety of plant and animal life. With a large percentage of the country's land under protection, the hundreds of bird species, exotic tropical plants, monkeys, manatee, crocodiles, and thousands of colorful fish thrive and are a highlight of any vacation to Belize.

              Walk the beaches, learn our history, talk with our people, have your wedding or honeymoon but most of all relax and enjoy your time in Belize.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fiji Voice of Nature



Fiji Islands is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 2000 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its more immediate neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, France's New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north.
               Fiji has had inhabitants since the second millennium BC. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji. Fiji was a British colony up until 1970; British occupation lasted almost a century. Because of the abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources, Fiji is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm.

                Fiji has a significant amount of tourism and many people go to the Nadi and Denarau islands. The biggest sources of international visitors by country are Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Fiji has a significant amount of soft coral reefs, and scuba diving is a common tourist activity. Fiji enjoys a typical tropical climate, with a trade wind blowing across the islands to cool things down during most of the year. Maximum summer temperatures average 88°F (31°C), with the winter average not far different at 84°F (29°C). Rain can be expected at any time of year. The driest months are April, May, June and October.

More budget resorts are being opened in remote areas, which provides more tourism opportunities One of the world's more exotic destinations, Fiji is a tropical paradise in the South Pacific, made up of 322 islands nearly two thousand miles (3,219km) east of Australia. More information on

Visitors to Fiji should be careful not to offend local sensitivities. Wearing bikinis and swimming costumes is fine at the resorts but not when visiting villages or shopping in town. A sulu (a sarong that can be worn by men and women) is useful as a wrap-around so no offence is caused when wearing shorts or sleeveless tops away from hotels or resorts. Topless bathing and nudity in public is forbidden. A popular excursion for visitors to Fiji is a visit to one of the traditional villages. Guests in villages should show respect and avoid wearing hats, as they are a sign of disrespect, and remove shoes before enterin.
               Diving has become a major activity in the Fiji archipelago, which is encircled by a huge reef. Divers are drawn to its shallow, translucent lagoons, steep drop-offs and world famous soft corals. Combined with warm waters and 130-foot (40m) visibility, this makes Fiji an underwater paradise.
Click here to find out more!

             Some of the best dive sites are in Yasawas, Mamanucas, Nadi and the Coral Coast. Kadavu, Vanua Levu, Tavanui and the Lau group of islands also offer some interesting options. This vast number of sites ensures divers will see a great selection of marine life, caves, corals and reefs. The directory at provides good dive resort information, while information for everything from PADI courses and dive operators to good snorkeling spots is also available. Fiji is definitely a destination to put on any diver's list of places to visit.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

More than a holiday... A personal discovery

              Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres (560 mi) east of Madagascar. In addition to the island of Mauritius, the Republic includes the islands of Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. Mauritius Island is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion 200 km (120 mi) to the southwest and the island of Rodrigues 570 km (350 mi) to the northeast. 


             The island of Mauritius is renowned for having been the only known home of the dodo. This bird was an easy prey to settlers due to its weight and inability to fly. It became extinct less than eighty years later.
             Recreational activities in Mauritius are quite varied to support the local tourism industry. Water sports are facilitated as the island is surrounded with coral reef, providing plenty of relatively shallow and calm water. Activities such as deep sea fishing, surfing, windsurfing, water-skiing, cruising in yachts and even submarines are some of the many water based recreations available. Although it seldom breaks, Tamarin Bay is one of the world's most famous surfing spots.More information on

             Land-based leisure activities include golf, tennis, skiing, sea diving, deer hunting, quad & mountain biking, abseiling, zip lining, horse riding and trekking. However, all these are most often practiced only by the elite.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seychelles explore paradise on earth

           The Republic of Seychelles comprises 115 islands occupying a land area of 455 km² and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million km² in the western Indian Ocean. It represents an archipelago of legendary beauty that extends from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and which lies between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa.  Of these 115 islands, 41 constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while a further 74 form the low-lying coral atolls and reef islands of the Outer Islands.

           The granitic islands of the Seychelles archipelago cluster around the main island of Mahé, home to the international airport and the capital, Victoria, and its satellites Praslin and La Digue.  Together, these Inner Islands form the cultural and economic hub of the nation and contain the majority of Seychelles’ tourism facilities as well as its most stunning beaches. More information on

          This section provides comprehensive information about the geography, climate, history, society, government, people, language, religion, culture, cuisine, recipes, arts, architecture, folklore, flora and fauna of Seychelles, and the 6 island groups that, together, make up Seychelles’ Inner and Outer Islands and lastly about investing in Seychelles.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Zealand wild nature

New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori language name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, commonly translated as land of the long white cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica)
         Travel to New Zealand and discover wilderness and cosmopolitan cities, breathtaking landscapes and fascinating Maori culture. From the North Island to the South Island, has New Zealand travel information covered. Browse outdoor adventures, shopping and restaurants, book your New Zealand accommodation and transport and get ready for the holiday of a lifetime!

Sustainable New Zealand
NZ has 14 national parks and a massive one-third of its land area is protected. Its wildlife sanctuaries are at the forefront of species management and numerous companies have already achieved carboNZero certification. More information on

Amazing Australia

Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the northeast and New Zealand to the southeast
             Drenched in sunshine and glowing with affable charisma, Australia is an enticing land of vast beaches, pulsating cities and reams and reams of bushland. One of the country's greatest lures is its sense of space; a beach, patch of tropical forest or piece of sandy desert all to oneself is an easy reality. This, the world's largest island, encompasses a range of stunning landscapes, from barren deserts to tropical rainforests and rugged mountains.
             Australia has an abundance of unique animal life - cuddly koalas, bounding kangaroos and wallabies, darting dingoes, and ungainly emus - while the hulking form of Uluru (Ayers Rock) soaking up the reds and oranges of the outback's fiery sun, is the country's most iconic image.
            Glossy Sydney and arty Melbourne provide much for the city-lover; Brisbane is gateway to the tropical northeast with sandy stretches including Surfer's Paradise further south; restful Adelaide is perfect for a few days' rejuvenation, while Perth is young, brash and alluring; and Cairns is the stop-off point for one of Australia's top attractions, the Great Barrier Reef. More information on