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Central America Caribbean » Jamaica April 20th 2019

When making a travel plan, the place that you will put up for accommodation makes a huge difference. This is an aspect that not just affects your overall holiday experience but also shapes the overall cost of the vacation. Hence booking a proper place of accommodation is more than imperative. Having said that it needs to be pointed out that the conventional concept of booking a hotel room for the purpose is slowly getting replaced by the idea of booking villas for a stay. Villas are large palatial accommodation (more often like a sprawling bungalow) that has been converted to accommodate the living for guests and travelers to that place. These villas are a great option for staying if booked at an early period when the tourism seasons are not at its peakFor more informat... read more
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So as the Canadian winter has decided to go on and on and on and on with no sign of Spring other than the date on the calendar it was high time we got out of the chilly climes for a week, and so it was back to Belize...debated hard on whether to return to Placencia (as we loved it there) or to try somewhere new, and at the 11th hour we decided on something new: Caye Caulker! Just a week getaway to relax, get some sun, catch up on some reading and more importantly to get back to the Belikin beer and burritos, giddy up! It's a bit of a hike for one week but well worth it; again as in Placencia there were no big resorts, very laid back atmosphere, great food and the ... read more
View from our perch...
Nurse Sharks behind our boat...
Greetings from Caye Caulker


For our last day in Fortuna it was a full one! We started out by heading to Fortuna Waterfalls, apparently just a short walk down the road. Fortunately we brought 'Sammy the carolla', because it would have been quite a hike! Before the hike that is actually quite a large and well groomed park. There were many steps going down the waterfall to swim - they say about 500 but there must have been much more on the way up for all the complaining from our little friend, Scott. Probably the most complaints this whole trip. Maybe something to do with the temperature of the water? Scott didn't swim, but he did wander about in the shallow pools below the main waterfall. There were a couple of schools of pretty big fish to scare off, so ... read more
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This morning we got up and went to Arenal National Park for a hike on the lava flows. We were given the choice between an easy hike about one hour, or a hard hike about 2 1/2 hours. We knew we could do the long hike so that’s what we chose. The trail meandered around a lake where we spotted chestnut mandibled Toucans, Oropendolas (they make the strangest sounds... hard to describe), herons and 30 other species of bird we couldn’t identify. We also saw beetles, leaf cutter ants and a scorpion! It was over 30°, there was significant elevation, and humidity was near 100%, but Scott persevered. The views of the top were worth it, and as promised we did walk on the lava flow. It was around 1230 when we got to lunch, and ... read more
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After a dreaded 5 AM wake up, we got Tiffany and Alexa to the airport successfully. Apparently they had no problems, their plane was on time, and they’re now enjoying the relative cool of Canada, including a fresh layer of snow at home.It was about 2 1/2 hours to Fortuna and we had most of the day ahead of us, so we decided to try the local hot springs. They naturally mix with the river so there’s different temperature pools so going to the hot springs in a tropical country isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Options range from free public pools to high-end and swanky. We opted for high-end and swanky. It was expensive but it was very nice and apparently the only place where the water is not treated - just routed through seemingly ... read more
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This would be our second day at altitude (about 3000m) and slightly cooler temperatures. Such a relief! We enjoyed the lovely breakfast buffet orchestrated by a very French head chef. He pleased the crowd of mostly seniors and very serious bird watchers. We had come to the right place?! With our tiny bit of advice we started onto the trails in search of a brightly coloured Quetzal, the star of the area. Sadly we never did spot one but Scott and Alexa managed a pretty long hike in the forest. Aside from arguing over the best sticks and who had the next turn to hold them, the hike was great! Many things were spotted like yellow birds and blue birds and black birds with orange beaks. There were lots of fruit trees, clouds and views from ... read more
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We were sad but ready to leave Charlie’s - I mean sure we were all burnt and covered in bumps but we were becoming pretty attached to that pool. The kids’ swimming really making progress and a lot of delight when the cows would arrive in the next door pasture. So we all piled into “Sammy the carolla” and we started off for the mountains. The first part of the drive was pretty straightforward windy, twisty roads full of aggressive passers. But then we turned off on our road to Sagevre River and things started to feel a little hairy. Steep inclines. Uneven roads and nary a few inches of passing room. But beautiful country, too. After about an eternity and 8 kilometres we arrived! Our Airbnb was part of a larger hotel / spa. They ... read more
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The beach today was such a success we decided to do it again (except for the sunburns). Tiffany decided to rent a surfboard and hang 10! She insisted she didn’t need a lesson and to her credit she did get up a couple of times. For some reason the waves this day were far bigger than previous days. This made for challenging surfing but very fun boogie boarding. After a pizza lunch it was, of course, back to the pool. For dinner was, can you guess? Rice and beans. Was early to bed as we had to get up early the next day for a departure into the mountains. It was Jen’s turn to read some BFG which doesn’t really make the kids sleepy as they get very excited. For those of you that don’t know ... read more
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Central America Caribbean March 29th 2019

Started the day at the Melia Panama Canal with Howler Monkeys greeting us at sunrise. Did sound right creepy and I was glad we knew about them ahead of time. Mike went with Beny, one of the tour guides, a nature expert, on an early-morning walk to look for birds and animals. Mike was also trying out his new camera. He got a picture of the Nocturnal Monkey and several birds. Beny has a camera with a lens that's about a foot long and also knew what he was looking for/at. Howler monkeys: look like a double chin but the hyoid bone, what becomes in men the adam’s apple, huge, just to amplify the sound. Low calorie, high fiber diet of green leaf. Rather than marking their territory, they howl to avoid fighting. All about energy, ... read more
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Today we decided we had enough of tours and busy touristy places, as well Charlie had Helped us rent some boogie boards so we decided to stay on the beach. Our suite came complete with beach umbrella and some beach chairs so we dragged them all down to the ocean side. We got the kids under an umbrella digging holes in the sand and gave the boogie board a try. The waves were perfect and we had it down in no time. It was quite a bit of fun. Alexa didn’t take much convincing to get on the boogie board but Scott took some cajoling. Both kids were going 20 or 30 m by themselves by the end. The adults all somehow got burnt to a crisp. Jen is convinced the sunscreen is defective, but I ... read more
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