Montezuma, get lost to find piece with Mother Nature

My boyfriend and I traveled around Costa Rica for three weeks. One of my favorite spots is Montezuma. It is a lovely town located at the Pacific Ocean.

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TRAVEL TO MONTEZUMA – COSTA RICA

  1. AIRPLANEto San Jose Airport (airlines such as American Airlines or Lufthansa flight there)

From the airport to Montezuma

  1. BUSfrom San Jose to Puntarenas (it takes about 2 hours and it costs £3.4/3 €/$4.9)
  2. FERRYfrom Puntarenas to Panquera (it takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes and it costs £1.2/1.5 €/$1.7)
  3. BUSfrom Panquera to Montezuma (it lasts around 1 hours and it costs £1.6/2€/$2.3)

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Once we arrived in Montezuma we looked for a place to stay. Because we didn’t book a hostel in advance, there was hardly anything to find. Most of the hostels were booked out… But after the day relaxing at the beach, we found a great hostel – Luz en el Cielo Eco B&B/ Hostel – with our private cabin. We had to spend a little more money as we planned though.

LUZ EN EL CIELO ECO B&B/ HOSTEL

Prices from: £48.6/61.5€/$70 per night per room in private cabin.

The next morning the hostel owner recommended us to visit a waterfall nearby. So we did. We walked through the jungle until we could hear the water running. And we were stunned as we reached it, because in front of us there was a three-stage waterfall! We enjoyed the cold water in the heat of the sun.

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But we didn’t rest for long. We wanted to reach the next stage of the waterfall and so we hiked up the rocks. On top of the first waterfall there was another one. And because it was a little bit hidden, there were not many people beside us. After swinging with a rope into the water and relaxing some more we went all the way up to the very top. We followed the river until we returned to Montezuma.
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Now we were hungry and had a tasty meal at a family owned restaurant (many restaurants here are small and family owned). My boyfriend ate the typical Costa Rican meal with rice, black beans, eggs and fried bananas. I had a Nacho salad with lots of Guacamole, tomatoes and cheese plus some fresh watermelon juicy.

MONTEZUMA RESTAURANTS

Prices in average: £3.2 to £15.8/4€ to 20€/$4.6 to $22.8

Suggestions: Playa de los Artistas, Cocolores and Puggo’s

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Since we spent that much money for a room the first night, we decided to sleep at the beach the second night. With an improvised camp we made it through the night and were the witnesses of the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. We took a long walk along the beach and had to say good bye to the beautiful and peaceful town Montezuma.

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Montezuma is a small place worth for its nature and beautiful landscapes. Visiting wise that is all there is to do but it is totally worth it. It is a peaceful place where you get in real contact with nature.

beachWith a stunning speedboat ride over the Pacific Ocean we reached our next destination. It was the perfect start of our Trip through Costa Rica.

Goa, India – take a note

Goa is a state located in the South western region of India. It is by area the smallest state of India and the fourth smallest by population. With beautiful beaches Goa is one of India’s richest states and it was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure. It was also ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population.

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Panaji is the state’s capital and Vasco da Gama, named after the Portuguese navigator who discovered India, is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in 1498 and conquered it after. Goa is a former Portuguese province and it was not until 1961 that it was annexed to India being no longer Portuguese overseas territory.

Mão de Deus Church
Mãe de Deus Church

Goa is visited by a large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its clear water beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It also a wide variety of flora and fauna making the landscape even prettier.

Tomorrow Manuel, a Portuguese student and traveler, shares his experience with us about a place he has truly enjoyed and even went back a second time! Don’t miss out!

“Goa was the place where I felt for the first time the real meaning of peace. It was the first time I was in a very different reality but felt comfortable with it.”

Manuel Ribeiro

Country: India

Country’s capital: Goa

Official language: Konkani

Currency: Rupee (1€= 73.5 INR ; £1 = 94.4 INR ; §1 =67.6 INR )

Population: 1,817 millions

Total area: 3.702 km²

Lyon, France – take a note

Lyon is a city in east-central France. It is France’s third-largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the seat of the metropolis of Lyon, and the capital of both the department of Rhône and the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

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The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in the days Lyon was famous for being an important place for the production of silk. Since the late 20th century, it has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France and in the world.

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It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival, Fête des Lumières, which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights.

This Friday Kathrine tips about Lyon will be posted! Kathrine is from Lyon so she wanted to write about her home town to make sure everyone who goes there has the best out of it! She is a young traveler who enjoys life as if each day was the last! The best way to do it is by travelling as much as she can because traveling is the only things that makes us richer, wiser, happier and healthier – all at the same time!

“Lyon is a place wort visiting, due to its beautiful architecture, but it’s also an awesome city to live in, due to its atmosphere.”

Kathrine Jaffre

Country: France

Country’s capital: Paris

Official language: French

Currency: Euro (£1 =1.41 euro §1 = 1.11 euro)

Population: 484.344 inhabitants

Total area: 47,95 km²

Guinness, Green & Great People – Hello Dublin!

Dublin is a great city to visit if you don’t have long vacations. A weekend is enough to visit the main points of the city. I personally went there on a weekend trip and I did it again later so I guess this is enough to show you how I recommend visiting Dublin.

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TRAVEL TO DUBLIN – IRELAND 

From England:

  1. AIRPLANE ROUND TRIP FROM £9.99/13€/$14 (all flights) – Ryanair from London or Birmingham – England TO Dublin– Ireland (duration: 1 hour)

From the airport to the center

  1. TAXI FROM £20/25€/$28 (duration: 25 minutes)
  2. BUS FROM £4.6/6€/$6.7

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You can also get there by boat and then taxi to the center but if you book in advance flying is easier and cheaper. The first time I went there due to St. Patrick’s flights were a bit expensive and I did not book in advance so the boat ended up being the option taken.

I visited Dublin for the first time during St. Patrick’s. The city was very crowded and everything was slightly more expensive but I will give you the general prices for hostels and flights and not the ones during St. Patrick’s (17th of March). I went there with a friend and we stayed in a hostel. They offer a variety of cozy hostels just above their bars and restaurants in the city center which is a perfect spot to visit all the main attractions by foot.

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Our hostel offered a free guided tour which I recommend: guides are super nice and they explain everything to you! You get to walk through all the main touristic points which makes it easier to then select what do you want to see.

HOSTELS AND HOTELS

  1. Oliver St. John Gogarty DORMS FROM £11/14€/$15.50This is the one I stood at the first time I went there and the one that offers free guided tours and also an welcome drink. It is right in the center but condition are suitable only for those who need a room just to sleep and plan to stay all day out since you do not have much of your own space but I guess that is any hostel!
  2. Abigails Hostel DORMS FROM £8.5/11€/$12.20This is the hostel I stood at the second time. In my opinion is more comfortable and offers better conditions than Oliver does. It has a big variety at breakfast (food lover here!) and the rooms look newer, bigger and nicer. Location wise is pretty much just as good as Oliver as it lays right in front of the river Liffey that runs in the center of the city.
  3. Herbert Park Hotel **** FROM £99.60/129€/$144                                                                                                      This is a nice hotel if you are looking for a high quality and modern place to stay. It is a bit further from the center but if you are not on a budget it offers great quality service with a wide range of facilities and only a 15 minute taxi drive from the center.

From our free guided walk tour we choose to visit Trinity College, the post office, the castle, the Viking museum, Guinness Store House, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the City Hall. We arrived on the 16th of March at night and we stood for three days – 17, 18 and 19. This was plenty of time to visited all we wanted and there was also free time for souvenir shopping. We also did a Viking tour in a car that goes on the water at a certain point which was a lot of fun!

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On the night we arrived we had dinner at an Irish restaurant which had Irish live dance and music at dinner! The menu was a typical Irish food menu that included their famous Irish stew which I recommend trying!

ARLINGTON HOTEL full dinner menu with live dance: £26/33.95€/$37.80

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Trinity College is world known for being one of the best colleges and it has a classic style making it very pretty. The refectory looks like Harry Potter’s eating room and in fact the students also wear long back gowns which means when it’s full looks just like in Hogwarts!

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Castle

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Post Office

Guinness Story House is very nice experience! They take you through all the process of making the beer and you even get free beer!

At least one night I think is mandatory to get the feeling of what is like to be in an Irish pub – so much fun!! I am studying in England where I did not enjoy the night life. Being from Portugal I thought maybe I didn’t like it becayse it is very cold but I was wrong! Dublin is quite cold also and rainy but the nightlife is unforgettable! Most pubs have live music with great singers and everyone is so nice making you feel welcome at any door you go in!

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Lido, Venice – where romance meets art in a beautiful landscape

Venice is one of the most romantic and charming destinations of the world. Although, during the summer, the sultry weather and the crowded places make the city less attractive, especially for tourists looking for relaxing holidays. Lido of Venice is the perfect destination to combine beach holidays and cultural events. Lido is the beach of Venice: a long and narrow piece of land between the city of Venice and the Adriatic Sea.

It is very easy to get there: from the airport of Venice or the train station you can simply take a steamboat (Vaporetto) that will bring you to Lido in around 20 minutes.

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Vaporetto number 1 leaves every 10 minutes from the centre of Venice and the trip to the Lido takes around 15 minutes.  If you want to reach the Lido by car, you can take a ferry from Venice that will bring you there in 45 minutes.

TRAVEL TO LIDO, VENICE

  1. AIRPLANE to Venice Marco Polo Airport (airlines such as Monarch Airlines or British Airways flight there)
  2. WALK– Marco Polo, Venice Airport to S.  Zaccaria (Pieta) A (duration: 10 minutes)
  3. STEAM BOATFROM £5.40/5.60€/$6.30 – S.  Zaccaria (Pieta) A TO Lido (duration: 20 minutes)

If you do not have your own car, the easiest way to move around Lido is by bus, but it is also possible to rent a bike and enjoy a suggestive ride in the seafront.

TRAVEL IN LIDO, VENICE

  1. BUSFROM £1.15/1.80€/$2 (75 minutes of use)
  2. RENT A BIKEFROM £3/3.70€/$4.3/hour to £7/8.7€/$10/day (per 1 bike)

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Last summer I spent one amazing week in Lido of Venice, and, even if I’m from the north of Italy myself, the beauty of this place surprised me.

The Lido offers an amazing view of the city of Venice that is particularly beautiful at sunset. The atmosphere is very friendly and there are different places where you can relax and spend your time.

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Last summer I spent one amazing week in Lido of Venice, and, even if I’m from the north of Italy myself, the beauty of this place surprised me.

The Lido offers an amazing view of the city of Venice that is particularly beautiful at sunset. The atmosphere is very friendly and there are different places where you can relax and spend your time.

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I particularly like the Pachuka beach, situated in North area of Lido. This beach includes an open space with a special area designed for people who want to enjoy the sea with their dogs, called “Bau beach”. Pachuka restaurant offers wide range of Italian seafood and live music at evening time.

RESTAURANTS SUGGESTIONS:

  1. Ristorante Ai Murazzi – prices in average:£30/38€/$43
  2. Al Covoprices in average: £30/38€/$43

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Alberoni beach, situated in the opposite part of the Lido, is also very beautiful. This is the perfect place for swimming because of the clearness of the water: it is considered the best beach of Lido. At Alberoni beach is also possible to take part of different activities such as SUP (Stand Up Paddle), windsurf and kite surf.

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Another place I really like, especially for the happy hour, is the suggestive café at the airport Nicelli. Inside the small airport of Lido there is a lighting space designed to enjoy a 40s atmosphere while drinking a cocktail. If it’s your first time in the North of Italy I strongly suggest you to try Campari Spritz cocktail, a typical aperitif that Italian people use to drink before dinner.

Nicelli price/quality: £15/19€/$21

If you are at Venice Lido you must also try malcotti: characteristic soft bread that is perfect with Nutella.

  • The bread can be bought in pretty much all local bakeries. The cost is very similar to regular bread (about 40 pens each). Sofia suggests buying the Nutella at any grocery store and then take it to the beach for the best afternoon snack!

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Lido of Venice is not only famous for good food and nice beaches, but also for cultural reasons.

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Every year, from the end of August until the beginning of September, Lido of Venice hosts the Venice Film Festival, an international event that brings Hollywood celebrities to the Venetian lagoon. Last September I lived an amazing experience: seeing Johnny Depp during this glamorous event. I think that Lido of Venice is an underestimated holiday’s destination that offers a range of activities and wonderful places to visit.

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HOW TO GO TO THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

Usually people see the stars of the Venice film festival just from the outside of the theatre (you can see them walking on the red carpet, and they come close to you) but if you want to buy the ticket to see the film festival you can find them online and they cost around £40-£48/50-60€/$56-$68 (it depends on the seat and the time you book).

New Orleans, Lousiana, USA – take a note

New Orleans is an american city located in the state of Louisiana and it is the largest city of this state. It is considered to be one of the world’s most fascinating cities – here you will find a unique mixture of culture, food and music. It is also one of America’s most culturally and historically-rich destinations.

New Orleans has many major attractions. The famous French Quarter and Bourbon Street’s notorious night life are just two examples. There is also the St. Charles Avenue, home to many famous must sees such as the historic Pontchartrain Hotel and the 19th century mansions.

As listed in recent travel guides, New Orleans is one of the top ten most visited cities in the United States.

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“New Orleans is the witchcraft city, you can actually feel the energy in this city, and it’s very mysterious, with plenty of voodoo and witchcraft shops and people reading palms and cards on their little stands on the street .”

Filipa Alexandra

Country:United States of America

Capital: (united states capitol) Washington D.C. ; (state of Louisiana capitol) Baton Rouge

Largest City: (united states largest city) New York 8,491,079 habitants ; (Louisiana largest city) New Orleans, 343,829 habitants

Official language: American English

Currency: Dollar (£1 =1.54 USD)

Population: 378.715 habitants

Total area: 907 km²

President: Barack H. Obama (2009)

Ålesund, Norway – take a note

Ålesund is a town in Møre og Romsdal county, in Norway. It is part of the famous district of Sunnmøre, and the center of the Ålesund Region. It is a sea port and it is also the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district. It is also famous for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.

In the past 13 months the highest temperature was 30.0 °C on the 2nd of July 2015 and the lowest was  -4°C on Christmas day, the 25th of December 2014.

Alesund port
Alesund port

It is an amazing place if you want to be closer to nature, breath pure air and enjoy sceneries that you cannot see anywhere else.

The actual centre of the city is very beautiful and calm. When you walk close to the sea, you see the fisher’s man on their boats with all the catch of the day to sell. They are very friendly and approachable and talk about their lives a little bit.

Vanessa & Alex

Vanessa and Alex beautiful journey in Ålesund will be posted tomorrow so keep an eye for an amazing 4 day trip suggestion of what to do and see in Ålesund, Norway.

Country: Norway

Capital: Oslo

Largest City: Oslo, 915,000 habitants

Official languageNorwegian

Currency: Norwegian krone (£1 = 12.4 NOK)

Population: 45.033 habitants

Total area: 98,78 km²

Sovereign: King Harald V (1991)

Prime Minister: Erna Solberg (2013)

Tokyo, an unforgettable experience

Claudia Canovai is a young Italian girl who is passionate for travelling. She has visited many different continents and cities but the one place she wanted to talk about was Tokyo where she did a semester abroad of university. She studies literature in Rome, Italy but decided to adventure herself for some months and went study in Japan! During this adventure that she truly loved she also got the chance to do some tourism in Tokyo, a city who made her fall in love!

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While visiting Tokyo, what she enjoyed seeing the most and she truly recommends everyone to visit is Meguro River during sakura season, as well as Ueno park, in Taito. Sakura season is the period of cherry blossoms in Japan which is truly magical as the trees turn pink.

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When your belly starts asking for food the place she says is a must try is 35 steps bistro. It’s an izakaya in the heart of shibuya which is one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

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Roppongi and Shibuya are considered the most famous night out places. There are amazing clubs and bars open all night long. The streets are always incredibly full of people walking and dancing and having fun. You can meet anyone from Japanese to foreigners, from business man to crazy people dressed up as manga characters or baby dolls. The life of this two places gets crazy at night.

When asked about interesting and curious things she found she Tokyo she said right away “I could talk forever”. In Harajuku people go out dressed in the most different ways. Shibuya crossing is the most crowded crossing of the world!

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In Roppongi hills there is a huge statue of a spider which is kinda scary . Love hotels are a peculiarity of Japanese culture. lovers go there and pay only for the time they need. And the rooms are decorated with different themes such as under the sea, hello kitty, into the jungle etc.

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“Tokyo is a city that surprised and that I definitely want to go back to! Especially the surroundings have a lot of magical natural beauty that makes you fall in love with the Japanese culture. I look forward to go back someday!”

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Tokyo – take a note

Our first place to be featured on the blog is the big city of Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, “Eastern Capital”), the capital of Japan.

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Tokyo was ranked first in the “Best overall experience” category of TripAdvisor’s World City Survey (the city also ranked first in the following categories: “Helpfulness of locals”, “Nightlife”, “Shopping”, “Local public transportation” and “Cleanliness of streets”). The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo ranked first in the world in the Safe Cities Index.

Tomorrow Claudia Canovai‘s experience of exploring Tokyo will be posted! She is an Italian traveller who has been a bit all over and Tokyo is one of the places that as Claudia says “it won a special place in my heart!” So don’t miss out her adventures there! For now here are useful notes to take of the beautiful capital of Japan.

Country: Japan

Capital: Tokyo

Largest City: Tokyo, 37.217 million

Official language: Japanese

Currency: Yen (£1 = 181.5 JPY)

Population: 13,35 million

Total area: 13,572 km2

Emperor: Akihito (1989)

Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe (2012)

Hello World!

This blog was made thinking about those who love travelling and always look for the best places to go whether on a budget or not, with a few days or a lot of time, it doesn’t matter! Here you will find first hand tips from places all over the world and from people who have been there themselves!

Here you will find a travel blog made by you and for you!

My name is Carolina Lopes and I created this idea since I am a passionate travel myself and wanted to create a space where we could all make our trips even better by sharing with each other the best of our experiences!

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photocredit: @amapforsunday