What You Must Know Before Travelling to Granada, Spain

What You Must Know Before Travelling to Granada, Spain

Situated in the southernmost region of soulful Spain is Granada. Dramatically set in the Sierra Nevada mountain foothills, the city is one of the popular tourist destinations in Spain and for good reason.

The setting in the middle of four rivers with the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains as backdrop is a sight to behold. When winter comes, the snowy mountain peaks boasts a majestic view while also serving as a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.

While Granada is primarily a Catholic town, it was once under Muslim rulers for eight centuries. Knowing about this captivating period in the region’s history not only provides a glimpse of the past but also explains the distinctive, harmonious mix of these two cultures and traditions featured in Granada.

What You Must Know Before Travelling to Granada, SpainGranada, globally known for its Moorish heritage, has an impressive display of Moorish architecture and art. Among the most well known is the romantic and historic fortress known as the Alhambra Palace where the Nazari Dynasty, last Spanish Muslim Kingdom rulers, once lived. The complex of palaces, set at the foot of the country’s highest mountain peaks, features dreamy sights of gardens, fountains, plains, and an overview of the entire city.

If you travel to the east of Alhambra, you will come across Palacio de Generalife. The former summer palace and residence of emirs in the 13th and 14th centuries is now home to glorious gardens and well-laid grounds perfect for a leisurely stroll.

What You Must Know Before Travelling to Granada, Spain

A visit to the residential district of Albaycín with its narrow meandering cobbled streets and alleys. Here, you can observe traditional Andalusian architecture harmoniously blending with Moorish architecture. Many have described the charming district as an outdoor museum.

All over Granada, there are many monuments and landmarks that are well worth visiting. Catedral de Granada, a Roman Catholic Church that spans 65 meters wide and stands 115 meters, is hard to miss. The Renaissance Cathedral boasts stunning architecture and history that makes it a must-see when you are in Granada. 

Tips to Travelling in Granada

Here are just a number of tips you should keep in mind:

Book Your Flights Early

If you are flying from across the world to Spain, it pays to book in advance. There are plenty of last minute travel deals that can be tempting but don’t bank on this if you are taking a transatlantic flight. Your best bet on getting the best price is booking well in advance especially if you’re choosing a budget airline.

Save Up On Accommodation

There are many places to stay in and around Granada for every budget. But if you are travelling alone or as a couple, an option you can explore to save up on accommodation is couch surfing or booking through Airbnb. There are plenty of locals who open up their homes to tourists for a price way lower than hotels would charge. Another perk of staying with a local host could is gaining insights about the city and getting tips that are not usually published online. You could also connect with other vacationers like you.

Do you prefer some privacy? Youth hostels are an option. You get your own private room for a small price. While these places are not equipped with anything luxurious, many offer free breakfast and WiFi. Since you will most likely be out and about all day, this

Prefer to stay at hotels? Booking early could save you a bit of cash especially if you’re planning to go during peak season. Booking in advance for a festival and other popular events also mean that you have more options. The closer you are to the actual event date, the more likely it is that your first few accommodation choices will be fully booked.

Go for Tapas

Tapas are a vital part of the Spanish life. When in Granada, do not miss out on enjoying free tapas when you order a round of alcoholic drinks from casual dining restaurants. The free small plate can range from a few olives and breadsticks to hamburgers to generous servings of paella. Now, this is something you can find in many areas of Spain but Granada is one of the best places you can enjoy free tapas.

Granada Walking Tours

Granada is oozing with cultural and historical spots that are best explored on foot. There are quite a number of free walking tours in Granada that will let you explore the most important landmarks in the city. Through the capable local guides who have intimate knowledge about the city, you can learn significant stories on the sites you will be visiting. Tips or donations are accepted at the end of these entertaining and educational walking tours.

Eat like a local

The Spanish usually eat a small breakfast and have a heavy, hearty lunch. A pastry and cup of coffee will be less than 2€. Meanwhile, a three-course menu of the day or ‘menu del dia’ can cost you around €6 to €15. Now you will have a lot of dining options in Granada. A good rule of thumb in choosing where to eat is to make sure the restaurant has patrons. Give it plus points if the people eating there are locals. If you come across an empty restaurant, it is best for you to walk away. Take note that eating out during evenings is considerably more expensive. So keep your belly filled during lunch to avoid splurging during dinner.

Ready To Explore Spain?

CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we have you covered! Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start.

Exploring Jamaica: All Inclusive Montego Bay Travel Package

Exploring Jamaica: All Inclusive Montego Bay Travel Package

There is nothing quite like going on a tropical holiday. If getting your regular dose of sun, sand and sea is a priority, surely the Caribbean is a dream destination. And what better way than to start your Caribbean adventure in Jamaica?

 

The island nation has long been a tourist favorite with its lush rainforests, pristine sandy beaches, natural falls, impressive mountain range, and intoxicating music scene. But with a growing number of incredible all-inclusive resorts that offer everything you could possibly need, more travellers are flocking to the island.

If you come to Jamaica for the beach life, expect to experience so much more. With a vibrant cultural heritage and multiethnic society, Jamaica thrives in its diversity. People from different nationalities have called this island their home for centuries. Music is an important aspect of Jamaican culture. Well-renowned artists have brought reggae and dub music into the international stage including the music powerhouse Bob Marley. This caused a surge in the popularity of the Rastafari culture so much so that many consider it synonymous with Jamaica. Surprisingly, less than 5% locals practice this lifestyle.

Exploring Jamaica: All Inclusive Montego Bay Travel Package

The locals, resilient survivors of oppression and enslavement in the past, are warm and welcoming in nature. They believe in the power of community and importance of strong family ties. With this, it is easy to feel at home on Jamaica’s shores. While English is the official language, you will encounter locals who stick to their own linguistic style—a mix of African, Spanish, Rastafarian and English.

The traditional wear, usually handmade clothing from calico cloth, oozes with vibrant colour. A headscarf used to keep hair in place is a vital part of the typical Jamaican ensemble.

You’re also in for a culinary adventure on this Caribbean island. The distinct flavorful cuisine incorporating Caribbean spices and influences from different ethnicities is another key aspect of Jamaican culture. The ‘jerk’ technique is probably the most popular method for food preparation. A must-try is the jerk chicken, a dish whose seasonings are distributed in various parts of the world.

There are three main areas that you can explore in Jamaica—Ocho Rios, Negril and Montego Bay. The port town of Ocho Rios is situated in the northern part of Jamaica with a cruise ship harbor and luxury resorts. Negril has the best beach among the three. Meanwhile, Montego Bay is the most accessible as it is nearest to the airport.

Exploring Jamaica: All Inclusive Montego Bay Travel Package

7 Nights including flights at the 5* Secrets Jamaica Wild Orchid

 

Kick off your adventure in Jamaica with this incredible all-inclusive offer. Indulge in seven nights within an adult-only resort at the Secrets Wild Orchid. The resort features an amazing range of amenities that are at your disposal. Boasting a modern and contemporary style, the suites are designed ultimately for your comfort, entertainment and relaxation. Each room has a full entertainment system and a whirlpool tub. Find out more about this special offer here while it lasts.

Need assistance from an expert travel consultant?

Have a different Jamaican itinerary in mind? CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we can assist you! Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start

 

Top Reasons to Visit A Club Med Resort This Summer

Top Reasons to Visit A Club Med Resort This Summer

With the busy demands of modern life, setting aside time for a quick getaway or an extended vacation can be helpful in relieving stress. There are many factors to consider in taking a trip though: your timeline, your destination, and your commitments. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Quite frankly, it can be hard to get excited for your well-deserved holiday with the amount of planning needed to ensure every aspect of your trip is covered from booking flights, choosing the best accommodation for your price point, and sorting out your travel fund to building your itinerary. Hiring a highly experienced travel consultant with access to exclusive offers like CLB Global Travel can solve all of these dilemmas. You can also go for an all-inclusive travel package so you have fewer decisions to make and more time to prepare for your trip.

Founded in 1950 with the vision of an all-inclusive vacation experience, Club Méditerranée or simply Club Med has grown into a global leader in its market. This unique selling point of an all-inclusive package incorporating all of the ingredients that make for a dream vacation is what made Club Med a standout. The French company now boasts an impressive 70 premium resorts that are located in stunning sites all over the world.

Whether you want to go on a solo break, relax with your partner or enjoy a holiday with the entire family, Club Med is an idyllic choice. Their distinctive offerings have all the ingredients for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should visit a Club Med resorts this summer:

Premium accommodation

You have a wide range of accommodation options from comfortable club rooms to luxurious suites. Designed by outstanding architects and designers, the accommodations are modern, contemporary and have a unique touch depending on the location you are in. But of course, there remains a common ground. Whatever type of accommodation you choose at any Club Med resort, you can rest assured that each room is designed with the guests’ comfort and well-being in mind. Sleep in after a day filled with great activities, take restorative naps in the middle of the day, or simply spend time in your own private space. Each room also features a modern, contemporary design.

Stress-free transportation

Your journey to a fun-filled vacation should be free from any hassles. By booking with Club Med, you do not have to worry about your transportation needs. Their team will take care of flights from regional airports as well as transfers to and from your resort of choice. All the documents and information will be promptly delivered to you. All you need to do is pack your bag and be on time for your flight departure.

An Epicurean Treat

Get ready for an amazing gourmet dining experience while staying at Club Med. With resident international chefs, you can enjoy a generous selection of delicious meals at all hours. Whatever time of the day, you can indulge in an open bar with a varied selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Start your morning with a good cup of coffee, sip refreshing juice by the pool, or a drink a glass of wine or cold beer by the beach.

Relaxation at its finest

One of the things many people look for in a vacation is the opportunity to unwind. Each Club Med resort has an amazing spa that seeks to help you relax and relieve stress while getting top notch beauty and massage services from world-renowned spa partners.

No Boring Day at Club Med

There are many activities to do at Club Med. Try out circus inspired activities and get an adrenaline rush from flying trapeze. Stay active while on vacation as Club Med resorts offer the space and equipment for your sports of choice. You can play tennis, golf, archery, volleyball, football, go mountain biking, and horse riding. You can also hit the gym to keep your fitness routines. There are also live bands, theatre shows, and more entertainment options for children and adults.

A Luxury Experience For Less

Book an affordable all-inclusive holiday and save up to 20% with the Club Med All Inclusive Summer Sale available at selected premium resorts. Yes, you can have a luxurious summer without breaking the bank! This fantastic deal is available from the 13th to 30th June.

Find out about the Club Med Sale here.

 

The Masai Mara Wildlife in Kenya

The Masai Mara Wildlife in Kenya

Imagine an open savannah with constellations of acacia trees, meandering Mara and Talek rivers, and a wide expanse of small hills with gentle slopes all packed with wildlife. Well renowned for its unmatched plains scenery, abundant safari activities, and a remarkably diverse wildlife, Masai Mara in Kenya is among the most exceptional reserves in Africa and an outstanding option for African adventure holidays. While the land only comprises a meager 0.1% of the continent, it has one of the highest wildlife density regions when it comes to predatory animals. Nearly forty percent of the larger mammals thrive here.

The Masai Mara Wildlife in Kenya

The Masai Mara Game Reserve is top notch location for wildlife viewing all year round. Those who visit are able to observe not only The Big Five—elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo—in their natural habitats but also zebras, antelope, hyenas, giraffes, gazelles, warthogs, hartebeests, hippopotamus, crocodiles, and more. The birdlife is also bountiful with over four hundred different bird species that call Masai Mara home.

The reserve generally has a damp climate and features a more moderate temperature than the vast majority of Kenya. At most, you can get a 30°C temperature in the mornings. The temperature can drop to 15°C in the evenings though.

Watch out for the months of March to May and November to December when frequent rainfalls occur which could make navigation difficult during these times. The best time to visit the Masai Mara reserve in the months of July to October and December to March.

Masai Mara National Reserve: Migration

The Masai Mara Wildlife in Kenya

Masai Mara is the best location to witness The Great Migration—the largest and only surviving multispecies migration all throughout the world.

During the months of July to September, the Savannah is dotted brown and black as more than 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes migrate from Serengeti to Mara for sustenance. The movement is centred on the wildebeest migration. During the dry period in Tanzania, these creatures travel far and wide along with zebras and antelopes in search for food and water. These creatures travel back in the month of December.

The Great Wildebeest Migration undoubtedly belongs to the list of astonishing natural spectacles around the globe. It makes the already magnificent Masai Mara even more wonderful.

Where to Stay at Masai Mara

Travellers can choose from a wide array of accommodation options depending on their safari budget and personal preference. There are accommodations in various parks, reserves, and wildernesses across the Northern, Eastern Southern, Western, and Central regions of the Masai Mara Reserve.

Safari holidays can be quite expensive so plenty of lodges and camps cater to the more upscale travellers. The popular eco-lodges Base Camp Masai Mara and Ilkeliani Luxury Tented Camp are great locations to stay for high-end visitors.

For budget travellers and those who are seeking a more traditional lodging, there are campsites all throughout the park including Olpert Elongo Camp, Mara Springs Camp, Simba Camp, Olpert Riverside Camp, and Oloolaimutiek Campsite.

Staying outside the camp means that you will spend less and only spend on days that you actually visit the safari. This is a great option if you are on a more moderate budget. If you were in this part of the world to observe wildlife and explore everything Masai Mara has to offer, then you would not be spending much time in your indoors anyway.

Africa Holidays All Inclusive

What’s on your wishlist? We, at CLB Global Travel, will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you while keeping in mind every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Send an email at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your Africa holidays off to a perfect start.

A Weekend Break in Copenhagen, Denmark

A Weekend Break in Copenhagen, Denmark

Creative, culturally rich, and cosmopolitan, Copenhagen is easily one of the top travel destinations across the world. From breathtaking natural beauty to enchanting castles, there are countless reasons to visit the Danish capital.

As the centre of the Danish colonial empire, the capital city has a long and impressive history. The first settlement dates back to the eleventh century. The city is filled with cobblestone narrow streets, timeworn timbered houses, prehistoric palaces, and ancient castles. The majority of the historic sites can be found at the ‘museum island’ of Slotsholmen, nestled around energetic shopping streets, surrounded by waterways, and linked to the Indre Byen by nine bridges. Here in this little islet are the ancestries of the city and the current power base of the nation. The parliament of Denmark and the original ruins of Absalon’s Castle are located here along with the stunning Thorvaldsens Museum.

Copenhagen has grown from a humble fishing town to the centre of Denmark. The city strikes a great balance between being historic and modern. Nowadays, it is known as a cultural centre, a design hub, and a dream destination for foodies. It is also regularly ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and the happiest city globally.

Tips for Travelling Around Copenhagen

A Weekend Break in Copenhagen, Denmark

Get on a bike

Copenhagen is one of the most cycling-friendly cities in Europe. There are nearly 350 kilometres of safe bicycle lanes following the roads in the city. Each lane built above the road level as an added protective measure for cyclists. You will definitely encounter more locals biking than driving cars in the city streets.

While public transportation is efficient, cycling is one of the best ways to explore the charming city. Tourists can easily rent a bike since there are rental shops all over the city. Pro-tip: you can hire motor-powered electric bikes fitted with GPS tables for easier navigation.

Bring a water bottle

Stay environment-friendly while saving cash by not buying bottled water everywhere you go. The water in Denmark is held to the highest standards and is potable. Just refill whenever you can to stay hydrated while touring the city!

Walk

Copenhagen is a highly walkable city. Not only is walking great for the body but also for the pocket especially since taxis can be quite expensive. Many attractions and main accommodations are within reasonable distance. If you ever find yourself in need to pass time, just take a leisurely walk along the canals and parks.

Book an Airbnb or Couchsurf

The city is expensive. There is no denying that. If you want to spend more on experiences over a five-star accommodation, you may want to consider booking through an Airbnb. You can also stay with a local by couch surfing. Of course, if you follow this course to cut your expenses, make sure to plan and book way ahead of your trip dates.

Spending A Weekend in Copenhagen

A Weekend Break in Copenhagen, Denmark

If you only have a couple days to spend in Copenhagen, here are the things you must try!

Take a free walking tour

Apart from being free, these tours are an insightful way to get introduced and acquainted with a new city. The local guides are knowledgeable and personable. They can point out the main attractions along with its history and background. They may even give you tips on what street food to try or where to get drinks. There are no set fees but the guides earn from tips given by tourists.

The size of Copenhagen makes it easy to explore by foot. But if you are pressed for time, joining a guided walking tour ensures you get to see the most significant sights while knowing the stories behind them.

A grand tour of Copenhagen gives visitors a glimpse of the key landmarks, which often include the following: The City Hall, Christiansborg Palace, Nyhavn Harbour, The Royal Opera, The Royal Palace of Amalienborg, and more.

There are also free walking tours of Christianshavn. Just make sure to book ahead to make the most out of your weekend.

A Weekend Break in Copenhagen, Denmark

Spot The Little Mermaid

You cannot miss seeing one of the most recognised statues in the world. The ‘Little Mermaid’, created by Edvard Eriksen, is the main tourist attraction in Copenhagen. More than a decade old, the more than a decade-old sculpture lies atop a rock by the Langelinie promenade. Ride your bike from the city centre or take the canal cruise.

Nyhavn

The rows of vibrant and colourful buildings in Nyhavn are iconic. Nyhavn literally translates to ‘New Harbour’, is one of the most well-known areas and probably the most photographed spot in Copenhagen. The 17th-century waterfront is an entertainment district. The streets are lined with quaint cafes where you can relax and great restaurants where you can order a hearty seafood meal. In Nyhavn, anyone from locals to excited travellers can have a great time. This is also where you can book a scenic and fascinating boat tours along the canals.

Food

The Kompagnistraede and Laederstraede, known as Copenhagen’s “food street”, has a number of good restaurants where a hearty meal with a beer will not break the bank. Want to sample some street food? Head on to Paper Island which houses a large warehouse where you can find dozens of stalls selling a wide variety of cuisines including Danish and Asian food. Going fancy? Book months ahead to get a seat at Nobu—a gastronomic mecca considered as one of the world’s best restaurants. Renowned chef René Redzepi runs the two Michelin star restaurant.

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget to try Smørrebrød, a traditional dish similar to an open-faced sandwich. The buttered rye bread is topped with a combination of seafood, meats, cheese or cold cuts.

Go up the Rundetårn

The Rundetårn or round tower in English is a 17th-century tower set in central Copenhagen. Considered the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, the historical monument provides the best sprawling views of the city. You’ll have to go through a long, tiring walk through the spiral stairs leading to the top though but the reward of stunning vistas is worth it.

Roam around Christianshavn

Explore the Freetown of Christiania, one of the most distinctive parts of Copenhagen. The story behind it is quite interesting. Established in 1971 by a group of hippies, the first settlers set their own rules completely independent from the government of Denmark. There is a mishmash of homes, art shops, galleries, music venues, workshops, and organic restaurants. From here, you can take the metro to Norreport and another connection straight to the central train station.

Experience the nightlife

Spend at least a night out in the city! Danes love to drink and have a tendency to stay out in bars until the wee hours. Copenhagen has many pubs, lounges, and trendy clubs. Whether you want to dance your heart out or have cocktails with your friends, you won’t run out of choices for places to go.

Denmark All Inclusive Trip

CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start

Cleanest Village: Mawlynnong

An undiscovered paradise: Meghalaya, India

Meghalaya is a picturesque hill state in the northeastern Himalayas. Spread over an area of 22,429 square kilometres, the pine-covered mountainous state features a wide expanse of valleys, highland plateaus, and rock formations. Mostly covered in forests that make up seventy percent the state, Meghalaya is overflowing with natural scenic beauty.

Meghalaya became a full-fledged state in 1972. The name directly translates to ‘Abode of Clouds’ in Sanskrit. It is considered as the wettest region of the Seven Sister States of northeast India, the state has an average annual rainfall of up to four hundred seventy inches.

The capital city, Shillong, is 1,496 metres above sea level. Going around is fairly easy with well-connected roads accessible to most vehicles. The city has a bounty of striking natural wonders from pine groves and manicured gardens to beautiful brooks, crystal clear lakes and breathtaking waterfalls. The flora and fauna are diverse which makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Adding to the character of the city is its friendly, good-humored, and hospitable people. For travellers, few things beat the feeling of being warmly welcomed in a foreign place. The locals are among the many reasons why Shillong is an ideal travel destination.

The city is a largely Christian city. There are many cathedrals and small churches. Get an insightful experience of the church culture of the city and the Khasi lifestyle by paying these structures a visit.

While it is largely westernized, the city is considered the music capital of India where numerous prominent musicians hail from. Living up to its title, there are many musical events held here, which makes it a lively destination any time of the year.

The city also serves as an amazing entry point to the entire state of Meghalaya.

Where to Go and What To Do in Shillong, Meghalaya

An undiscovered paradise: Meghalaya, India An undiscovered paradise: Meghalaya, India

If you ever find yourself in Shillong, you cannot miss visiting the famed Elephant Falls situated right next to the city. An ultimate tourist paradise, it features three layers of waterfalls tucked in between dense greenery. Travellers can get up and close with nature and enjoy the cascading water in its entire splendour. While the Elephant Falls can be accessed any time of the year, the best time to visit is after the monsoon season when the clear water flows through in full might and magnificence.

Umiam Lake

Then find your way to another well-liked tourist spot in Shillong: Umiam Lake. The tranquil manmade lake spans an impressive 221 square meter—a size bigger than some countries. Not only does it provide water for locals but also serves as a key food source. Apart from appreciating the views, you can also get a sneak peak of the local way of life as people come and go about their daily chores. There are a number of activities to keep you engaged too. Go for a boat ride or plan a picnic. Try water skiing or kayaking. Or simply enjoy a hearty meal with a fantastic view.

Cleanest Village: Mawlynnong

Visit the village of Mawlynnong located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The village is renowned for its women-centric society. Among their well-preserved traditions is the passage of wealth and property from mother to the youngest daughter who also has the privilege of carrying the mother’s surname. The village takes cleanliness seriously so much so that in 2003, it was named as one of the cleanest city in Asia. It was also declared as the cleanest city in India in 2005.

Shillong Peak

There are a number of walking and trekking trails around. But the best would be Shillong Peak, Meghalaya’s highest peak in the Himalayas. At over 1,965 meters above sea level, it is the finest spot for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Shillong Peak offers panoramic vistas of the city and the Himalayas. Make sure to bring your identification cards though, since the area is within an air force base.

Preserving Northeast Indian Culture

Of course, we could not miss including a museum. For art lovers who need their fix even while travelling, visit Don Bosco Museum, a seven-storey theme museum with seventeen fascinating galleries focused on local indigenous people and culture. The galleries display a comprehensive collection of regional clothing, accoutrements, handicrafts, photographs, tools, and various artifacts.

Planning A Trip To India?

CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start.

Top Travel Tips for Visiting Kathmandu

Top Travel Tips for Visiting Kathmandu

The city of Kathmandu is full of life, buzzing, and busy. The streets are filled with rickshaws, mopeds, taxis, bicycles, and foot traffic bringing about a cacophony of sounds. The vistas are visually striking. Rich in historic sites, ancient shrines, longstanding temples, charming villages, and contemporary structures, Kathmandu represents a blend of ancient and modern times.

Chaotic is a term you may use to describe a metropolitan area that serves as home to two and a half million people. But fret not, because there is beauty in this pandemonium and sensory overload.

In Kathmandu, first impressions can be unreliable. Get past the dusty roads, traffic, incessant transport noise, assertive street peddlers, and you may just find yourself in the middle of an otherworldly cultural experience.

Kathmandu City Highlights

Top Travel Tips for Visiting Kathmandu

The sights to see in and around Kathmandu are plentiful. Take note, however, that Kathmandu had a massive earthquake in 2015. The infrastructure and tourists services are running normally and restoration efforts are ongoing. However, the effects of the natural calamity can still be seen in some structures.

The following are some of the sights and experiences you must not miss out on:

  • Find your way around Thamel, a bustling tourist district jam-packed with souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and accommodation. This commercial neighbourhood is crowded, lively, and exceedingly hectic. You can find almost everything that you need here from trekking gear, gadgets, clothing and mementos to fruits and vegetables. Exercise your bartering skills to avoid paying a hefty sum for your purchases. Moreover, explore the quaint streets, which offer a genuine, raw glimpse into the local life.
  • Visit the fifth-century Boudnarath, one of the world’s largest stupas. A pilgrimage destination to many practicing Buddhist, you will see monks and individuals walking ritually around the stupa. There is a Rs 250 entrance fee for foreigners.
  • Explore the monasteries located all over the city.
  • Get some exercise and climb 365 steps to the top of Swayambhunath Stupa for a rewarding panoramic view of the city. The ancient religious architecture is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. Also referred to as the Monkey Temple, hundreds of the monkeys scampering around the area. Be mindful of these monkeys as you climb the stairs to avoid any mishaps.
  • Discover Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, a designated Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979. The square, built between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries, remains the focal point of the city heritage, culture, religion and pride. Durbar Square, originally created from the palaces ancient Malla and Shah kings, means ‘Place of Palaces’ when translated literally. Foreigners must pay a hefty sum of 1,000 rupees.
  • Have a taste of local cuisine in numerous restaurants around the city. Order dal bhat (rice, lentils with vegetables or meat), momo (Nepali version of dumplings), and thukpa (hot noodle soup) that are popular local dishes.
  • Have a glimpse of the last monarchy in Nepal at the Narayanhiti Palace or Narayanhiti Durbar. The former royal palace, which served as a residence for Nepalese monarchs, is now a public museum.
  • Shop in Durbar Margh where you can find high-end, branded shops and fine dining options.

Key Tips for Visiting Kathmandu

  • The traffic can be insane. As much as possible, walk with great caution or take a taxi to go around the city. Want to remain environmentally friendly while exploring? Rickshaws are a great option too.
  • Pollution is high in Kathmandu. The city suffers from terrible transport infrastructure. Many of the streets are unsealed and dusty. Protect yourself by wearing a mask that completely covers your face and mouth. Avoid surgical masks, as they don’t offer as much shield from smog.
  • Electricity blackouts, also known as load shedding, happen frequently. Book an accommodation with a generator as much as possible. There is usually a weekly timetable for this so be sure to ask your hotel for a copy too so you can remain prepared. Keep devices charged and bring spare batteries to minimise the effect of these electric shortages.
  • The Internet speed in Kathmandu can be painfully slow. Many accommodations promise 24/7 Wi-Fi but it is not that reliable. If you wish to stay connected, purchase a local sim card with data packages of up to 10 GB.
  • Kathmandu is a safe city for solo female travellers. However, it is a conservative society. Dressing moderately is a sign of respect to the culture. Feminine hygiene products are easily available but tampons can be difficult to find.
  • The taxis rarely use the meter. It is a legal requirement that a vast majority of taxi drivers do not adhere to. The process is usually flagging down a taxi and asking them the price. Inquire at your hotel about an approximate price range so you have an idea so you can bargain. Avoid taxis that are arranged by your hotel because, more often than not, the rate will be inflated.
  • Going shopping? Kathmandu has a barter system that dates back to thousands of years ago. The prices are marked up considerably. Visit a few shops to get an overview of the price before negotiating. Hopefully, after visiting a few shops, you will arrive at one that will give you a better price. This will be a little difficult in Thamel since the demand is high. Try other markets in the city. Getting a great bargain can feel good. But of course, do not take things too far. Some tourists harass an old seller into selling at a price that is far below the actual cost. At times, a seller agrees to such prices because they have to feed their families. Barter to get a fair deal for both parties.
  • Be an eco-friendly traveller. Carry your trash with you until you find a proper area for disposal.
  • Most Nepalese do not mind being photographed. But as with anywhere in the world, some may find this disrespectful. Ask permission first especially if you are taking photos of ceremonies or of older people.
  • Try not to point with a single finger. Instead, use a flat extended hand to indicate a place.

Have you visited Kathmandu recently? Share your experience with us as well as any additional tips in the comment section!

Planning A Trip To Nepal?

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Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017

Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017

We travel for different reasons. Perhaps you want to experience an amazing adventure, a human connection, a close encounter with nature, a culinary treat, a cultural or historical education, an otherworldly attraction, or a trip to a globally renowned tourist spot.

Canada nearly has everything you can ever ask for. The Great White North has breathtaking landscapes, stunning natural beauty, multicultural cities, plentiful adventures, delicious epicurean treats, top tourist attractions, and colourful festivals. Additionally, the people are among the friendliest and warmest you could ever encounter in your life.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. There are countless reasons to visit the country anytime—but even more so now that the country is on a yearlong nationwide celebration.

There are sesquicentennial festivities in every city, town, and village all over the country. The government offers visitors free access to more than forty-five Canadian National Parks including the world-renowned Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. The biggest celebration will be held in Ottawa on Canada Day on the first of July.

Lonely Planet also ranked the country as the top destination for travellers in 2017. “Marking 150 years since confederation, the elongated birthday party promises to be heavy on bonhomie and highly welcoming to international gatecrashers,” it said in its recent publication.

We outlined some of the reasons why Canada should be on your travel itinerary for the year.

Stunning natural beauty

Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017

There are countries you visit for a specific nature spectacle. Perhaps you are visiting an otherworldly salt flat, a lush jungle, rainforest, a picturesque tropical island, or scenic mountainscape. The diversity of Canada’s landscape is unparalleled—dramactic coastlines, spectacular fjords, clear lakes, mountains, forests, arctic and desert landscapes.

The sheer scale of the Canadian Rockies, spanning through the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, is hard to match. Then there is the gorgeous island of Cape Breton and rugged mountains of Yukon.

The changing seasons bring about more of natural magnificence—glaciers, cherry blossoms, fall foliage, glistening freshwater lakes, northern lights, and vibrant forests. You will not run out of nature to explore whatever season you visit.

Many travel to Canada to appreciate its wilderness and encounter wild animals in their natural habitat. Among the most iconic wild creatures in the great outdoors are grizzly bears, moose, orcas, gray whales, wolves, and mountain lions.

Chic Cities and Urban Attractions

Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017

The energetic, multicultural cities of Canada have a distinctive personality. In a country that thrives on its diversity, you can expect to see something unique in each city. Among the perks of living in a Canadian city is that you’re never too far away from nature. You get the benefits of living in contemporary cities while having access to some topnotch natural resources.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is packed with skyscrapers, glitzy shopping centers, cultural spots, unrivaled restaurants, vibrant festival scene, and ethnic enclaves. It also serves as home to once the world’s tallest attraction—the CN Tower.

While Ottawa is considerably small, it is a great base for exploring the wilderness in Ontario. The civilized city is charming, peaceful and bike-friendly.

Vancouver beckons travellers with forests, magnificent parks, grand museums, and remarkable suspension bridge. While people here mostly live a cosmopolitan lifestyle, the city remains ethnically diverse and culturally rich. It has been repeatedly named as one of the best places to live in the world.

Montreal, second largest Canadian city, is the cultural and economic of Quebec. While it has a reputation as an Old World city, the French-speaking metropolis is also bustling with state-of-the-art buildings, internationally inspired cuisine and a lively music scene. Montreal will celebrate its 375th founding anniversary which means you get to partake in the special celebrations the government has in store to mark the meaningful event.

These are just some of the cities that should be on your bucket list.

Haven for Outdoor Activities

Those with a heart for adventure will find a home in Canada. While it is the second largest country in the world, the population is relatively small. With an abundance of natural spaces, the country has a lot of room to roam for locals and visitors alike.

There is no doubt that you will be spoilt with options for great outdoor activities—skiing, snowboarding, camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, golfing, surfing, and snowmobiling.

Exciting Events and Festivals

The Canadians know how to put on a great party and celebration. All year round, there are events and festivals that you can join. Immerse yourself in the world’s largest comedy and jazz festivals in Montreal. Enjoy summer folk festivals in Edmonton and Vancouver. Attend one of the most glamorous and largest film festivals in the world during t the Toronto International Film Festival. Join one of the most spectacular celebrations of western heritage at the Calgary Stampede, billed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Mingle with more than a million attendees of the annual Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls. And even when you attend all of these big events, you are barely scratching the surface. There is always something going on wherever you go in Canada—literary festivals, music events, cultural celebrations, food fests and the list goes on.

Fantastic Food

With rich natural resources, the people have access to healthy and incredibly fresh produce. The Pacific salmon is not considered as a delicacy but rather a staple in the local diet. Yes, Canada is not all about Tim Hortons coffee, tomato chips, poutine, bacon, and maple syrup.

As a country that takes great pride in its diversity, the food represents it well. You go to China for authentic Chinese food, or India for Indian food, or France to sample French culinary creations. In ethnically diverse Canada, you can have a taste of the world. The coexisting cultures in Canada contribute greatly to the diversity in its culinary offerings. There is a wealth of eclectic street food, international restaurants, chic café, and casual dining selections all around the country.

World-class Attractions

Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017

There are heavyweight attractions in Canada when it comes to natural spectacles. Unsurprisingly, there are 18 world heritage sites in the country.

Here’s a quick rundown of the eight cultural and ten natural world heritage sites in Canada:

Cultural

  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (1981)
  • Historic District of Old Québec (1985)
  • Landscape of Grand Pré (2012)
  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (1978)
  • Old Town Lunenburg (1995)
  • Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (2013)
  • Rideau Canal (2007)
  • SGang Gwaay (1981)

Natural

  • Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (1984)
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park (1979)
  • Gros Morne National Park (1987)
  • Joggins Fossil Cliffs (2008)
  • Kluane, Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, Tatshenshini-Alsek (1979)
  • Miguasha National Park (1999)
  • Mistaken Point (2016) Nahanni National Park (1978)
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (1995)
  • Wood Buffalo National Park (1983)

Ready to travel The Great White North?

What’s on your wishlist for your holiday in Canada? We, at CLB Global Travel, will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you. Keeping in mind every destination, sights, and experiences you are looking forward to as well as your budget and schedule. Contact me at [email protected] or call me at +44 (0) 7484 703 647 for more information or a quick quote.

The Koalas of Kennett River, Australia

The Koalas of Kennett River, Australia

There is no denying that koalas are an iconic image of Australia. So much so that seeing these adorable creatures with their furry ears and little black button nose is on top of tourists’ bucket list when they go on a trip down under.

The common misconception is that koalas can be found all throughout Australia. The truth is you are most likely to encounter koalas in the east and south coastal regions. Meanwhile, the chances of seeing these creatures when you are visiting Perth or Tasmania are slim to none.

One of the best places you can visit for koala sightings in Australia, however, is the small hamlet of Kennett River. The area, situated in Victoria along the Great Ocean Road, is home to hundreds of koala colonies. They live in dense forests as well as the more urban spots. If you are taking the famed Kennett River Koala Walk, it is not uncommon to spot a koala nonchalantly crossing the road, munching on leaves, casually jumping between gum tree branches, or relaxing in a resident’s balcony. Koalas usually rest for most of the day and become more active in the late afternoon.

The towns in and around the Otway Coast are also great spots to see these charming creatures thanks to the abundant Eucalyptus plants in the area.

Bring a good pair of binoculars to help you spot koalas in their natural habitat. Take note, however, that despite their appearance, koalas are considered wild animals and may become stressed or aggressive in case they feel threatened or cornered. Make sure not to disturb the koalas in their native habitat.

Little Known Facts About Koalas

The Koalas of Kennett River, Australia

Koalas are herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. These adorable creatures are among the most popular animals in the country. The koala interestingly got its name from the ancient Aboriginal word that means ‘no drink’ because its main water source is the Eucalyptus leaves it eats.

Want to know more about koalas? Here are ten little-known facts about them:

  • Koalas can only live in one place—Australia.
  • Koalas can eat up to half a kilo of leaves a day.
  • They store food in their cheek pouches before swallowing.
  • Koalas were nearly extinct in the 20th century due to habitat loss, disease and hunting for fur.
  • Koalas are often called bears but are not bears at all!
  • Koalas mark their territory by rubbing their chests against trees.
  • Koalas are gentle and docile animals but can be highly aggressive when frightened
  • The koala cub stays in the mother’s pouch for five months. The average lifespan of a wild koala is from 10 to 12 years
  • Koalas are excellent swimmers.
  • Koalas are fantastic jumpers. They can easily jump from one tree to another.

Other Activities in Kennett River

There are more than just koalas in Kennett River. Soak up the amazing views, observe wild animals, and enjoy viewing the diverse bird life. There is a wide range of bird species in the area including cockatoos, robins, thornbills, kookaburras, parrots, and more. Drop by the Koala Kafe, buy some bird feed and have a close encounter with beautiful birds in the area.

Kennett River also offers a pristine beach known as a reliable surf break spot. Want to find out if the surf is up? You can easily tell by looking at the available car park space. If it is full, then you better have your surfing gear ready. It is also perfect for taking an easy relaxing beach walk with a fantastic view. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the migrating whales during May to September.

Australia Holidays All Inclusive

Ready for an adventure? We, at CLB Global Travel, can arrange an all-inclusive Australia holiday for you. Call us at +44(0) 748 470 3647, email us at [email protected] or explore our latest promotions for more information. We specialize in Far East Travel but can assist with your trip anywhere you wish to go.

Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge

Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge

In Costa Rica, every single trail will lead you to a tropical adventure. With crater lakes, undisturbed beaches, rainforests and diverse wildlife, the country is a haven for nature lovers and thrill seekers.

The Sarapiqui region in the northern lowlands of Costa Rica is not among popular tourist destinations in the country. The region features large rivers, which converge in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, the largest town in the area. A lush tropical jungle surrounds the rivers. Here, scientists and students across the world come over to conduct environmental research on its diverse flora and fauna. But the reserve has more to offer than studying about the elements and creatures that call the humid forest home. The wealth of biodiversity in the Sarapiqui region makes it an idyllic spot for nature lovers.

Right outside Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is a small town known as Tirimbina. Tirimbina Rainforest Center is an internationally renowned private wildlife reserve that operates as an education, research, and eco-tourism centre. With over 345 hectares of protected tropical forest, the land hosts an extensive array of diverse ecosystems.

Avid birdwatchers will definitely find it enjoyable to visit Tirimbina. The jungle serves as home to an impressive amount of 300 bird species including White-necked Puffbird, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Broad-billed Mot Mots, Blue-gray Tanagers, and Golden Wing Warbler.

In addition, around 50 species of reptiles, 95 species of mammals, and 43 species of amphibian have been identified in the reserve.

The non-profit organisation behind the reserve is committed to delivering environmental education to the local community, international students as well as eco-tourists.

Hiking in Tirimbina

Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge

The reserve features more than nine kilometers of hiking trails nestled in the lush flora and inhabited by diverse wildlife. Travellers can enjoy great views of different habitats including cacao wetlands, riverbanks, rainforest, and cacao plantations.

There are remarkable suspension bridges all around the reserve too and one will be remiss not to explore them. One hanging bridge stretches about 860 feet long above the raging Sarapiqui River. There is also the ‘canopy bridge’ that provides an exhilarating view of the primary forest. 

You can take guided tours or explore on your own. Among the advantages of having a naturalist guide is learning about the conservation and sustainability efforts of the organisation whilst exploring the reserve.

Meanwhile, you can also set your own pace by taking on a self-guided hike through the dense forest. If you are taking this route of discovery, make sure to get a map that details important information about the trails as well as key safety instructions about exploring the forest.

The trails are well maintained, fairly easy and can be a fun activity for the entire family.

Chocolate Tour 

The tour gives visitors a glimpse of how the cacao fruit is transformed into one of the mankind’s favourite food—chocolate. The hiking tour, led by an expert guide, goes across the suspension bridge to a former cacao-growing plot.

Decades ago, the main purpose of the land is for research. But it currently serves as a means for environmental education. While hiking, the guide will talk about the natural history of cacao tree as well as the artisanal process of chocolate making.

The best part is that travellers can try different kinds of organic chocolate freshly prepared the traditional way. Whether you are a conscious consumer is concerned about where your food comes from or simply a chocolate lover, this few hours tour is perfect for you.

Accommodation at Tirimbina

The Tirimbina Lodge, nestled within the reserve, offers tourists pretty much everything they can look for in a simple accommodation. There are 15 rooms with air conditioning, private bathroom, hot water, wi-fi connection, parking area, dining options, mini library, meeting room, and laundry facilities. The lodge offers two types of rooms for guests who are non-researchers. The deluxe rooms make for a more comfortable stay than the standard rooms. Those with a reservation enjoy free access to the hiking trails and a very homey breakfast the next morning.

Travellers who have a heart for adventure and are looking to have a closer contact with nature can opt to stay at Field Station. The guests can easily visit Tirimbina’s splendid forests. Located 7 kilometers away from the La Virgen center, the accommodation is both accessible by hiking or driving through an unpaved road. The hike usually takes 60 minutes from the main offices. The Field Station can house up to 35 individuals in a bunk style rooming. There is also a full bath with shower, dining area, an equipped kitchen, and solar powered electricity.

Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge

Key Tips for Travelling in Tirimbina

  • Wear closed shoes or boots at all times.
  • Use insect repellant before hikes or any outdoor adventures to protect yourself from bug bites.
  • The weather may be unpredictable so bring an umbrella or a poncho.
  • Bring binoculars for bird watching and observing wildlife.

Visit Costa Rica

Ready to get your Costa Rica trip off to a perfect start? Let CLB Global Travel arrange everything for you. Call us at +44(0) 748 470 3647 or email us at [email protected] for more information.