Posts Tagged ‘trips’

Hacking Barbados – 3 Day Itinerary

by admin

Barbados Beach

The east Caribbean island of Barbados is full of non stop picturesque beaches, rolling hills, colonial architecture, and rum distilleries and shops.  With accommodations and restaurants to suit any taste, along with the warm and friendly Bajan people to bring you a welcoming feeling, this sophisticated tropical island with a long, rich history is recommended for travelers of all types.   Here is a 3 day ambitious itinerary to visit the best sites Barbados offers:
Day 1
  • Hotel – Stay in a location that allows you to access the east and west coasts of the island easily.  The Hilton hotel is in an amazing location on the southwest point of the island.  You could also stay in an Airbnb rental near there if you are looking for more budget friendly options.
  • Scooter Rental – Rent from Demario’s Cycle World in Bridgetown if you’re traveling solo or with one companion.  The rental cost is approximately $55 USD/day and will even deliver to you for $20 extra.
  • Granny’s Restaurant – This is a legendary local restaurant located in Oistins.  Definitely try the macaroni pie and stewed beef.
  • Cutters – Drive out towards the east coast and stop at Cutters for the best rum punch you’ll ever have.
  • Crane Beach – This picturesque beach is surrounded by cliffs with The Crane Hotel overlooking.  Go to the south side of the beach and walk along the cliff path to find a point to jump off into the ocean.
  • Bottom Bay Beach – Located about a 10 minute drive from Crane Beach.  Many travelers consider this the top beach on the island.  Walk down the beautifully landscaped steps to reach this palm tree fringed cove and true paradise.
  • Foursquare Rum Distillery – Drive 15 minutes back west to reach the rum distillery, which is located on an old sugar plantation dating back to the early 1600s.  If you reach here after closing time, the caretaker is usually open to take you on private tour if you offer him a nice ‘tip’.  The distillery has an impressive setup and uses green technology to protect the environment.  Make sure you try their line of rums, including Doorly’s XO.
  • Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry – The big thing to do on the island on Friday nights.  There are many local restaurant shacks lined up one after another serving amazing fish (mahi-mahi, flying fish, tuna, swordfish) and all types of local food in an informal setting with Reggae and Calypso music playing in the background.
  • St Lawrence Gap – The best nightlife scene is located in the ‘Gap’.  This 1.3km stretch of road located 5-10 minute drive west of Oistins is full of restaurants and lively nightlife with local musicians and DJs.
Day 2
  • George Washington House – This restored plantation house from the 1700s was visited by George Washington in 1751.  It is worth a visit if you’re into the historical significance, but skip if you have already seen other restored colonial homes.
  • Cuz Fish Stand – Beach shack serving amazing fish and cheese cutters (only $9BBD) on the beach on the west side of the island.  Be prepared for a long line.
  • Jamaica 246 Restaurant – If Cuz Fish Stand is closed or too long of a line, go around the corner to this authentic Jamaican restaurant.  Try the curry goat or jerk chicken.
  • Carlisle Bay / Brownes Beach – Beautiful picturesque beach with calm bright blue water and white sand beach.  Looks like something off a travel agency poster or calendar.  Spend a couple hours here taking in the majestic views, while enjoying the warm water and sail boats on the horizon.
  • Mount Gay Visitor Center – Located 10 minutes drive north of Brownes Beach.  Mount Gay is the world’s oldest rum brand started in 1703 and named after Sir John Gay, who managed the company owned by John Sober (not making this up).  The tour is about 45 minutes long, and even though you don’t get to walk through the distillery, you get to sample many of their rums and is worth the visit.  Definitely try the XO rum.
  • Brighton Beach – Another picture postcard beach located 5 minutes drive north of Mount Gay Visitor Center.  On the north side of the beach there is a tide pool with warm crystal clear water that the locals play in.  On the south side of the beach, check out Weisers Bar to cool down with a couple of rum punch drinks.
  • TML One Love Bar – Popular rum shop and karaoke bar in Holetown (located 15 minutes drive north of Brighton Beach).  Stop here for a very strong rum punch, cheap local beers, and local atmosphere.
  • John Moores Bar – Another popular rum shop full of local characters and tourists located right on the beach north of Holetown.  Go here for amazing sunsets while sipping on long aged rum.
  • Shakers Bar & Grill – Highly rated local restaurant.  Make reservations ahead of time if going on the weekend.  Steak, ribs, and fish dishes are all excellent.
Day 3
  • Harrisons Cave – One of Barbados top tourist attractions. Tour the subterranean cavern on a tramway and view the crystallized limestone, flowing streams and waterfall.
  • Hunte’s Gardens – Unique and beautiful gardens built up in an old sink hole by horticulturist Anthony Hunte.  Anthony if very friendly and will personally give you a tour of the gardens while telling you about the history of the island.  Definitely worth a 30 minute visit.
  • Bathsheba – Soup Bowl – This east coast beach in the small town of Bathsheba is known as famous surfer Kelly Slater’s most favorite beach in the world.  Named for the foamy surf found here, it is home to many surfing competitions.
  • Morgan Lewis Windmill – Drive 20 minutes north of Bathsheba to reach the only intact sugar windmill in Barbados.
  • St. Nicholas Abbey – Located a few minutes away from the windmill, this mansion was built in 1658 and is one of only three Jacobean mansions left in the Western Hemisphere.  This former slave and sugar plantation is also home to an active steam and rum distillery.
  • Sandy Lane Brunch – If you splurge on one thing on the island, this brunch should be it.  Priced at $160 USD/person and located in a beautiful beach front setting at the luxurious Sandy Lane hotel on the west coast of the island.  Make sure you make a reservation and bring your appetite for the huge buffet that includes dishes such as whole roasted pig, made to order steak and lamb chops, king crab legs and lobster, and amazing desserts such as the vanilla creme brulee and bread pudding.
  • Mullins Beach – One of the most popular beaches on the west coast of the island.  Another white sand and crystal clear blue water beach with a bar with an amazing view.
  • Brown Sugar Restaurant – If you still have room left after the Sandy Lane Brunch, head to Brown Sugar for some of the best Barbados and Caribbean cuisine on the island.

31 Travel Instagram Accounts To Follow NOW

by admin


Where do you find your inspiration for travel?  Most travelers like myself are visual people and get drawn to their next destination when they see an exotic photo or video.  I couldn’t wait to touchdown in Rio for the first time after seeing pictures of the Ipanema beach scenery and views from the Christ the Reedeemer statue.  Instagram, which is not so slowly becoming the most popular social media network, can allow you to scroll through a never ending display of eye candy to motivate any wanna be traveler.  Here are 31 of the best travel related Instagram accounts to start following NOW:
  1. @passionpassport – A community of travelers, storytellers and photographers inspiring you to travel the world through unique and eye catching photos
  2. @natgeo – National Geographic’s motto is “Life is an adventure” – enjoy the ride and the world through the eyes of the National Geographic photographers in this account
  3. @natgeoadventure – Features the world’s best outdoor adventurers and photographers
  4. @natgeotravel – Showcases the best travel photographs from around the world
  5. @tourist2townie – Non-Stop World Traveler who counts relationships formed over countries visited. He’s always on a new adventure immersing himself in the local culture and learning the language
  6. @wonderful_places – This Instagram account seeks to send you mindblowing photos of places around the world
  7. @everythingeverywhere – This account is run by Gary Arndt, who was the 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year. He’s been perpetually traveling since 2007 with over 100 countries and all 7 continents visited
  8. @stephbetravel – Steph has lived all over the world and continues to travel the globe.  Her amazing photos showcase her spontaneous and adventurous lifestyle
  9. @thepointsguy – Brian Kelly is THE go to resource on frequent flier miles and hotel points.  He’s traveling the world almost nonstop on first class while teaching mile hackers how to rack up points
  10. @timothysykes – Timothy Sykes is probably the most interesting character on this list.  He runs a penny stock trading ’empire’, while constantly posting photos of his dream vacations he turns into reality on a weekly basis
  11. @topdecktravel – Posting pics of epic trips around the world on a daily basis
  12. @uncornered_market – Daniel Noll is a travel & life evangelist. He connects people to life-changing experiences through his photography of interesting local people and cuisines that tell stories not found anywhere else
  13. @matadornetwork – Instagram account of the web’s largest travel magazine.  Showcases breathtaking photos of every part of the world
  14. @paulodelvalle – Traveler, influencer, and storyteller through predominantly photos of his base – Rio de Janeiro
  15. @samhorine – Sam Horine is a New York City-based iPhone photographer, who takes you on a private journey of the Big Apple through amazing shots of the cities hidden gems
  16. @kardinalmelon – Definition of #colorgasm.  Hatice Korkmaz brings on a global trek through bright colors and jaw dropping travel photos
  17. @theblondeabroad – Kiersten is an award winning solo travel and style blogger from California, who features travel tips, fashion, festivals and photography from around the globe in beautiful settings.  Makes you want to pack your bags and run away with her
  18. @tuulavintage – Jessica Stein is a travel and personal style blogger from Sydney.  Provides inspiration for all woman on where to travel next or what to wear on your next beach excursion
  19. @lucylaucht – Lucy Laucht is a Brit in New York by way of Australia.  She’s a photographer, writer, and serial wanderluster who will inspire any cube dweller to pack their bags and hit the road tomorrow
  20. @leeabbamonte – Lee is living the dream.  He’s the youngest American to visit every country in the world.  He is a nonstop traveler and shares photos and stories of his trips around the globe
  21. @luxuryworldtraveler – Compilation of #eyegasm photos for the VIP traveler
  22. @travelandleisure – The world’s leading travel magazine provides a compilation of awe inspiring travel photos from all corners of the planet
  23. @bucketlistvacations – Like the name of the account, showcases amazing destinations around the world to your list of accomplishments in your lifetime
  24. @earthpics – Amazing pictures of places, people, animals, and nature from around the world
  25. @afarmedia – Official accounts for one of the world’s leading travel magazines.  Provides content, inspiration, and advice to connect with and serve the world’s best travelers
  26. @gmr83 – Travel junkie with an iPhone showcasing eye catching photos from his trips to exotic destinations
  27. @treyratcliff – Trey’s travel photos are mind blowing creations from his adventures around the world.  Every one of his photos is screen-saver worthy
  28. @airbnb – The leading marketplace for booking unique accommodations around the world opens the door to the world’s most interesting places to stay through their official account
  29. @jetsetchristina – Brush off this girl’s shoulders.  She’s a San Francisco blogger with the tastes of the finer things in life.  Follow her jet-setting and bottle popping adventures overseas through this account’s photo journey
  30. @ms.luxuryworldtraveler – Self proclaimed passionate hedonist, she travels the 5-star world circuit while journaling and posting jealous inducing, colorful photos from around the globe
  31. @followmefaraway – Goal of this account is to get you to drop everything and go to your dream destination tonight or to just help get you through the day with inspiring photos

Hacking Trinidad in 3 Days

by admin

Maracas Beach

Trinidad is not your normal travel destination like its sister island Tobago, where all the tourists flock to the beaches and resorts.  It’s a gritty, melting pot mostly known for its high energy Carnival with soca music, calypso, and non-stop parties.   Trinidad is covered in undeveloped beaches, waterfalls, nature watching, and many other outdoor activities.  But with the high rate of violent crime and safety concerns, many tourists choose to skip over this destination.  Even with this in mind, the culture, people, party atmosphere, food, and nature scenery makes it a destination you can’t pass up.
Here’s the 3 day whirlwind tour you can complete over a long weekend in Trinidad:
Day 1
  • Maracas Beach – The best beach in Trinidad.  Located approximately 20 minutes drive from Port of Spain.  Rent a beach chair, grab some Carib beers, and Bake and Shark and you’re in paradise.
  • Richard’s Bake and Shark – Located on Maracas Beach.  There are a plethora of other Bake and Shark copycats on the beach, but Richards is the only one with a long line and locals recommend.  The shark meat sandwich with homemade bread and amazing sauces and toppings keep this place serving over 2500 sandwiches a day.
  • Las Cuevas Beach – 10 minutes east of Maracas is Las Cuevas.  Another beautiful place to enjoy a Carib beer and watch the locals play soccer on the beach.
  • Blanchisseuse Beach – 15 minutes east of Las Cuevas you will arrive at the fishing village Blanchisseuse.  Supposedly there is not much of a fishing atmosphere left as the majority of the villagers now live off their government checks (according to the locals) and choose not to fish any more.  The beach is still pristine and beautiful and a can’t miss.
  • Queen’s Park Savannah Market – Queens Park is a large Savannah surrounded by architectural gems (magnificent seven) of years past.  After a long day of beach trekking, nothing is better than a local smorgasbord filled with everything from roti, jerk chicken, homemade ice cream, fresh tropical juices, and doubles.  I tried the yard fowl roti, cow heel stew, tamarind juice, and coconut ice cream and would return every night if I had the chance.
  • St James – With your adrenaline pumping from the anticipation of first night in Trinidad, it’s time to check out the local ‘rum shop’ experience in Trinidad.  The neighborhood St James is most well known for the local rum joint Smokey and Bunty, which was closed due to a recent fire, but there are plenty other rum shops to choose from.
  • Ariapita Avenue – After sampling local rums and beers in St James, head over to Ariapita Avenue, which is loaded with local dance clubs and bars.  All of the locals go ‘liming’, which is the term used to go hang out and socialize.  All of the locals and soca music carry a high energy and keep you from crashing from a long day of exploring.
Day 2
  • Paria Beach and Falls – Get some coffee in you to push away your hangover and start on an early trek to this amazing hike.  The trail head is located on the other side of Blanchisseuse (about 50 minute drive from Port of Spain).  You definitely need a local to show you the way as it’s 4 miles each way of winding trails before you come across a secret cove, the untouched Paria beach full of turtle egg mounds, and then onto Paria falls at the end of a trail off of the beach.
  • Bake and Shark – On the way back from the falls, stop at Maracas beach again to sample one of the other amazing bake and shark shacks (unless you can’t pass on Richard’s for a second time).
  • Fort George – This vintage fort is the perfect place to watch sunset with the breathtaking view overlooking the entire city of Port of Spain and ocean.
  • Paprika – For a higher end, local party atmosphere, check out this eclectic restaurant turned nightclub for top 40 and soca mix to early morning hours.
Day 3
  • San Antonio Green Market – Located 15 minutes from Port of Spain in Santa Cruz.  Open from 6am-1pm Saturdays and 8am-1pm Sundays every week of the year.  Come eat a local, healthy breakfast from many different food and produce vendors.  Don’t miss the authentic Venezuelan food here.
  • Macqueripe Bay – Head west to Chaguaramas for a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters.  The view from above the beach is amazing.
  • Angostura Rum Factory – One of the Caribbean’s leading rum producers and the world’s market leader for bitters.  Tours are held during the weekdays in which the highlight is being able to sample most of the rums they produce.
  • Femmes du Chalet “Breakfast Shed” – Great local food for a cheap price.  No frills attached atmosphere.
Local Food to Try
  • Roti
  • Doubles
  • Pelau
  • Black pudding (blood sausage)
  • Phoulourie
  • Souse
  • Black eye peas and rice
  • Pastelles
  • Oil down
  • Callaloo
  • January-May dry season is best time to go for weather
  • Rent a car.  Taxis are harder to come by and motorbike options are limited
  • Violent crime is high every year.  Be careful of the areas you traverse to
  • Visas not required for stays of 90 days or less
  • Carnival is the most famous time of year to go
  • English is the official language
  • The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, also known as the TT (pronounced teetee)
  • Tap water is safe to drink
  • Purchase a prepaid SIM card and GSM phone from Digicel or bmobile stores for as little as TT$100