Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls are all marvels of the natural world. But one of nature's greatest spectacles lies in one of the planet's most remote areas.The majestic Na Pali Coast of Kauai is a spectacular wilderness area that the typical tourist will never see. Located along Kauai's remote North Shore, the Na Pali Coast is an awe-inspiring 6,175 acres; and although it has been converted into a state park, and remains as isolated from civilization as it was many centuries ago. Practically inaccessible to vehicular traffic, the Na Pali Coast is ideal for adventurous hikers and campers. However, to truly appreciate the unmitigated view of the famous and breathtaking cliffs, your best bet is to travel by helicopter or boat.If fate allows you to cruise the 15-mile stretch of Na Pali Coastline, you will witness an awesome view of the stunning 4,000-foot cliffs. The area was named for these rugged cliffs, as "pali" is the Hawaiian word for "cliffs". As you near the coastline, you will see these cliffs rising abruptly from the Pacific Ocean, occasionally giving way to gaps and revealing wide stretches of golden sand, deep jungle valleys and the mysterious sea caves between.Winter is the best time to go on a cruise up and down the Na Pali Coast, as that is when the humpback whales frequent the Kauai waters. If you take a chartered ship, your captain will likely know exactly where these wonderful sea creatures can be seen. Truly fortunate sight-seekers will have the opportunity to take pictures and enjoy a spectacular show by these playful dirigibles of the deep as they perform with sea turtles, dolphins and other oceanic creatures.Humpback whales can be measure 40 feet in length and can weigh up to 85,000 pounds. The fifth largest of the world's greatest whales, humpbacks are seen only in Hawaii over the winter months. Federal law protects these breathtaking creatures, so their population is rising. Plan a tour of the Na Pali Coast during humpback season, and you're sure to witness a fantastic spectacle of nature.Na Pali boat tours are not necessarily restricted to the coastline. Both Hanakapiai and Kalalau Beach (named one of America's Top 40 Beaches by the National Geographic Traveler) are well-known Na Pali Coast State Park destinations. You can also visit the famous arch of Honopu, or the stunning fringing reefs of Nualolo and Milolii.Depending on your itinerary and how adventurous you feel, the tour options you choose can be as wildly exciting as the Na Pali coastline itself. Most boat companies launch their charter tours from west side harbours. However, you can choose to sail from the quaint town of Hanalei if you choose to charter one of the smaller companies. Cruises to Ni'ihau are also available, providing you the opportunity to stop for a bit of snorkeling and scuba diving.Tips to Successful Kauai Whale Watching:* Choose a professional boat company, with a captain who knows where to find the whales and more importantly, respects the safety and environment of the whales* Catamarans, cruise vessels, sailboats and rubber zodiac rafts are all good choices for whale watching* Bring your camera so that you can preserve this incredible sight forever. You could be in for a wet ride, especially if you'll be riding in the bow area of the boat. Consider bringing waterproof, disposable cameras.* Binoculars give you a closer observation of whale behavior, but they can be tricky to use if the water is rough. Your best bet for binoculars is to choose a pair with 8 x 40, or 7 x 50 dimensions.* Keep a keen eye. You could see spinner dolphins, sea turtles, albatross and other sea birds and animals, in addition to humpback whales. Pay attention and see what you can spot in the air and in the water.* Dress accordingly. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Remember, you'll be in a boat, so be prepared to get wet. Wear your beach clothes, and bring a towel. If you decide to bring extra clothes to change into, make sure you keep them in a waterproof bag.* If you are prone to motion sickness, be sure to take homeopathic or non-prescription motion sickness prevention medication at least one hour before getting on a boat. Your trip will likely include the North Shore, where winter waves can swell to 10-30 feet, so the ride can get very bumpy at higher speeds. Medicated motion sickness treatments can make you drowsy and you don't want to miss a thing, so consider a non-medicinal alternative. Dry bread, crackers, ginger, papaya and avoiding alcohol can help reduce nausea.Traveling is a great way to witness nature's most impressive sites firsthand, but the truly adventurous travelers go to where others only dream of. When planning your next journey, plan on cruising the Na Pali coastline with humpback whales. It will be an experience you'll never forget.
The stunning Garden Route runs from South Africas most popular tourist destination, Cape Town, for 800 km along the scenic coastline between this city and Port Elizabeth. The area enjoys a Mediterranean maritime climate and the trip is regarded as one of the worlds truly classic coastal drives.As you drive along the well-forested coastal plain, youll find freshwater lakes, lovely lagoons filled with water birds, indigenous forests of giant yellowwood trees and fields covered in colourful wildflowers. Its easy to see why visitors are drawn to this beautiful region year-round. One of the highlights of a drive along the Garden Route is a stop at the sleepy coastal town of Hermanus near the southern-most tip of Africa. The town is situated next to a 12-km path that runs along the cliff top, right next to the ocean. From May to December, pods of Southern Right Whales swim to within 20 metres of the cliff as they travel along the coast.The more adventurous traveller can try some heart-stopping shark cage diving, sea kayaking, abseiling, scuba diving, sand boarding, and paragliding. Those looking for something more relaxing to do can visit the vineyards in a nearby valley and do the short drive to the southernmost tip of Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. You will have to drive inland to visit Oudtshoorn, which was built in the early 1800s, in the centre of the Klein Karoo, a semi-desert area wedged between the coastal mountains to the south and the spectacular Swartberg mountain range to the north. The town was the world capital of the Ostrich feather industry during Victorian times, and many grand houses from that era are still standing today. Theres plenty to do in Oudtshoorn you can try riding an ostrich at an ostrich farm, take a tour through the magnificent Cango Caves that stretch for kilometres throughout the mountains, visit the vineyards, and even stroke a Cheetah at Cheetahland.Back on coast, the Garden Route takes you to George, located on a 10-km plateau that runs from the majestic Outeniqua Mountain to the Indian Ocean. Besides enjoying whale watching, surfing, swimming, scuba diving and paragliding, youll find three of South Africas top golf courses are also located here. The Fancourt Golf Estate is especially popular, with an 18-hole course designed by Gary Player, a golf academy, exclusive hotel and conference centre, restaurants, and numerous sporting facilities.Further along the coast toward Port Elizabeth is the town of Knysna, also a very popular tourist destination. This laid-back town is situated between a lush indigenous forest, home to the last of the forest-dwelling elephants in Africa, and a beautiful lagoon teeming with birds and other wildlife. The oysters grown in this unpolluted lagoon are among the tastiest in the world. The closest beach is in nearby Buffalo Bay, a favourite spot for fishing, surfing and swimming, as well as whale and dolphin watching. The entire area surrounding Knysna, with its incredible biological richness and beauty, is a paradise for the eco-traveller, with plenty of places to camp, hike, canoe, kayak, and observe the unique wildlife. At Plettenberg Bay, there are ten important nature reserves as well as marine reserves. The endangered Southern Right Whale calves in the bay from July to December, and seals and dolphins live here all year round. In the bay you can snorkel and scuba dive on unique soft coral reefs, and on the beach youll find a wide range of water sports on offer, including fishing, surfing, swimming and sailing. Nearby, there are superb hiking and mountain biking trails, horse riding, kayaking and canoeing in scenic Natures Valley and Stormsriver.Your drive along the Garden Route ends in Port Elizabeth, on the shores of beautiful Algoa Bay.
Orlando is world-famous for its huge theme parks and water parks, but they can get very crowded, so its best to get there before 8.30am, or go after 4.00pm in the afternoon. Youll still have plenty of time if you go late afternoon, since most are open until 10pm or later, depending on the season. Be sure to plan your day at the park ahead of time, and take plenty of water and sunscreen.Sea WorldAt this popular theme park you can feed dolphins, seals and sea lions; visit a man-made Arctic ocean, with seals, polar bears, beluga whales and walruses, and take a moving walkway through a naturalistic snowy Antarctic habitat, with more than 200 penguins. You can also get close to sharks, eels, and barracuda; and visit new dolphin mothers and their calves in the popular Dolphin Nursery.Wet N WildWet N Wilds new water ride, Brain Wash, has a 53-foot vertical drop into a 65-foot domed funnel, where you are bombarded with light, sound and video, as you swirl around the funnel before you finally make your escape. And an exciting new raft adventure joins the popular Surge, Bubba Tub, Black Hole and The Blast. Children love the Kids Park, featuring smaller versions of the adult rides.Discovery CoveHere the focus is on interacting with dolphins, birds, and marine life, and the big attraction is a swim with a bottlenose dolphin. You will have to make a reservation to visit this popular park, since attendance is limited to 1,000 guests per day. Go for a snorkel among thousands of rays and tropical fish, then visit the huge, free-flight aviaries, where you can feed and touch hundreds of tropical birds.Islands of Adventure Universal StudiosInnovative rides and attractions are scattered throughout this Universal theme park: Marvel Super Hero Island where Super Heroes battle diabolical Super Villains; Suess Landing with its Dr Suess characters; Lost Continent, a land of heart-stopping adventure; Jurassic Park where dinosaurs co-exist with humans; and Toon Lagoon where everyone gets soaked on wild water rides.Magic Kingdom Disney WorldThere are seven lands here, surrounding the Cinderella Castle, where you and the kids can visit imaginary lands of adventure take ride on a magic carpet, plunge down waterfalls, hurtle through space or visit the all-time classics Its a Small World, The Haunted Mansion, and the Pirates of the Caribbean.Universal StudiosThis huge entertainment park has over 40 computer animated rides, and the worlds largest movie studio outside of Hollywood. Dont miss the popular Nickelodeon studios and the movie sets. At the CityWalk theres lots of entertainment, top restaurants, nightclubs and shops, in fact something for everyone.Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard BeachBoth of these water parks have big water slides, a pool at the centre, a huge play area, and a lazy river, where you can take a relaxing tube ride around the park. Typhoon Lagoon is the worlds largest wave pool, where waves can reach six feet tall and you can surf here after hours. At Shark Reef you can snorkel with sharks, rays and tropical fishes.Kennedy Space Centre Visitor ComplexA visit to Florida wouldnt be complete without taking a daytrip to NASAs launch headquarters, just 45 minutes from Orlando. Here you can tour launch and landing facilities, take a close-up look at huge rockets, train in interactive simulators, and even meet an astronaut. Try to time your visit to coincide with a launch or landing.Busch Gardens AfricaThis theme park, about an hour from Orlando, has more than 2,700 animals and is one of Americans largest zoos. There are also many exciting rides and attractions: SheiKra, the worlds highest vertical dive coaster; Gwazi, the southeasts fastest double wooden roller coaster; Rhino Rally, Scorpion, and Edge of Africa.Hot air balloon rideThe perfect ending to your exciting Orlando holiday would be an unforgettable early morning hot air balloon ride, with one of Orlandos many ballooning companies. These fantastic tours usually finish with a delicious champagne breakfast and certificates and photos for all.
"El Prat", Barcelona's international airport, is one of the main gateways into the beautiful country of Spain. It is extremely close to central Barcelona, only fifteen kilometers via a direct route on the C246 freeway in the direction of Castelldefels. No matter what the day or the season, this is a quick and easy run.Many travelers no longer insist on going to Europe in the summer, since so many bargain flights are available all year long. In conjunction with cheaper flights, hotels and resorts in popular tourist areas offer similar bargains. A combination package of airfare, hotel and ground transportation (car rental, train and bus passes, or limousine service) offer savings that are very attractive.Getting around Barcelona and its airport can be very easy. You can choose any number of ways to travel to and from Spain; usually the way you choose is dictated by your budget. Here are some tips to help you get around easily, enjoy your stay, and keep within your budget.There are many types of transportation available, and they are all very convenient to the arrival gates. Some modes of transport may need prior booking, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. The first mode of transport you can choose is to rent a car. Whether your planned stay is short or long in duration, a car is a very good choice. Most short stays tend to be business trips, and in that case, time is usually very valuable. If you rent a car, you can get your car and go directly to your hotel rather than going by a schedule or waiting for someone to pick you up. In addition, if you have to visit clients out of town, you have the ease of a car at your convenience. If you are travelling on vacation, a car rental is also a good choice, especially if you are travelling with family or friends. The expense of a car rental, when divided by a number of people is not so great, and you have the advantage of visiting spots that you may not be able to get to by train or bus.The next kind of transport to consider is a taxi. If you prefer to have someone else do the driving, you can get a taxi and just relax and enjoy your surroundings as you travel the 15 minutes into Barcelona. From Terminals A,B and C, just look for the taxi stands. The taxis at Barcelona airport are a distinctive white with red stripes, so it is easy to spot the taxi stands. The fare to Plaza Catalunya is about EU16, and to Sagrada Familia about EU19. There is a EU.90 surcharge for each piece of luggage. There are special taxis in Barcelona for people with handicaps. If you want more information about taxi service at Barcelona airport, call 932.235.151.Another transportation option to consider is public transportation. Look for the many signs in the airport that direct you to the trains. The train service runs from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. You will take the Mataro Line, Sant Station, to Plaza Catalunya or to the Arc de Triomf. Buses leave from the front of Terminals A, B and C. For the trip to Plaza Catalunya, take the Aerobus (A1), This bus runs on the same schedule as the trains.Of course, you always have the option of hiring a private limo service. This may range from a Mercedes, which you may want to treat yourself to if you are on your honeymoon, or some other special trip, or just feel like spoiling yourself, to a thirteen passenger van service for a large group. These types of limos or vans are also available for in city touring or into the countryside. They are available with a bilingual guide, if you like. this kind of a dream trip is only available with a four hour minimum rental.For more information on any of these services, you can visit the information booths conveniently located in the airport lobby. Services such as hotel bookings, transportation and sightseeing services can be easily arranged before you even leave the airport.
Providenciales Island is known to all as Provo, and is less than ninety minutes flying time from Miami, and is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, being only a short hop from the International Airport, although it has its own direct flights from the USA.. It has an almost perfect temperature for a holiday destination being around 83 degrees Fahrenheit on average with about 35 inches of rain per annum. The hottest months are September and October, but the constant easterly trade winds offset the heat at this time of year which can rise to 95F and keep things reasonably cool.The Turks and Caicos islands are located in Eastern Standard Time, and are around nine hours flying time from London, and are a totally different world from many other Caribbean Islands.It is worth hiring a car if you are going to Providenciales, and also make sure you get an up to date map. You can pick a map up at the Tourist Information Stand just to the left of the baggage arrivals. A car, even a small one will enable you to get to many of the beaches and restaurants on the island, and be in control of when you want to go, and when you want to leave.Be aware that car rental isnt cheap but will be worth every dollar.It is also sensible to bring with you some snorkelling equipment because the undersea sights at Providenciales are just superb, and it would be less than sensible not to take the time to swim amongst the marine life.You will easily find on the map two good places which are Coral Gardens and Smiths Reef.The Coral Gardens can be easily found on the map, just off Lower Bight Road on Penns Road.Park in front of the resort and walk down. The reef is protected and cordoned off with buoys, but go round the buoys and you will see a huge number of fish, and perhaps even a reef shark, but certainly parrot fish, and very often sea turtles to swim with.The water is deeper at Smiths Reef and it is quite a lot harder to get to. Drive towards Turtle Cove and follw the road the Yacht Club Resort and Sharkbite Restaurant[Well worth a visit]. Go left at the T junction and after parking, walk away from the marina until you see the rock cairn. Swim out to the second and larger reef, and watch out for boats, which perhaps spoils Smiths Reef..The real beauty of your own car of course is the independence it gives you, and you should visit the beautiful beach at Sapadillo Bay off Chalk Sound Road. It is worth driving right down the road just to see the huge houses, as well as the stunning views.Take the car to the southwest point of "Providenciales Island" .. Here you will find a very isolated and empty but beautiful beach. It takes a little finding, just head towards the Blue Hills, and stay on the main road going past Da Conch Shack, then pass a school on the right until you reach a major road to the left. By this time you will be praising the new map you bought at the airport!! Stay on that new road until the end, and there you will see three tracks. With a decent car you can take the left hand one, and this leads to the beach. If you walk along the beach around the corner until you get to a cave to explore and you will pass a rock absolutely covered with pelicans.There are a lot more things to see and do on Providenciales Island, superb hotels especially on Grace Bay, and there are many who feel that this part of the Turks and Caicos is as good as the Caribbean gets.For more information go to http://www.caribbean-vacationspots.com/pages/Site-Map.html