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The Balmy Bahamas


Made up of over 700 small islands and cays, the Bahamas are a great Caribbean island destination spot for travelers.
These islands are located east of Florida in the United States and North of the country of Cuba and make up their own English-speaking country. Tourists from around the world love to visit the Bahamas, and it is a popular travel spot for honeymoons and weddings.

The Bahamas are one of the most prosperous countries in the world because of their success with tourism and with financial institutions. Recently, urban renewal programs have been launched to keep the island safe and high-end for travelers. The country as the third highest per capita income in the West and is the most successful country in the Caribbean. The climate in the Bahamas is beautiful and comparable to the Florida climate enjoyed in cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Although the islands are highly susceptible to hurricanes, they usually have a very tropical and pleasant weather, influences heavily by the waters of the Gulf Stream.

If you are traveling to the Bahamas from the United States, the closest island is Bimini, known as the gateway to Bahamas. Here, they cater to tourists. Andros Island, which is to the south of Bimini, is the largest island in this chain, and the largest city on the island is the capital, Nassau, which is located on the island of New Providence. Other larger islands in this chain include Eleuthera, Cat Island, San Salvador, Crooked Island, Exuma, Acklins, and Long Island.

A number of great festivals take place in the Bahamas, so you can enjoy things like the Crab Fest on the island of Andros and the Puneapple Fest on the island of Eleuthera. This is also the birthplace of the rhythmic musical genera junkanoo, which is played heavily at festivals. Rake and scrape, calypso, and hymnals are also important in these islands.

If you decide to travel to the Bahamas to visit one or more of the great islands, you will have a variety of activities from which to choose. There are water sports like sailing and jet skiing to help fill your days, or you can relax on the beautiful sandy beaches near the clear ocean water. A variety of tourist attractions and tours can also be a part of your Bahamas vacation. Be sure that you book your trip well in advance to get the best prices and to be sure you have the chance to do everything you want to do while traveling in this Caribbean paradise.

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Dominican Republic Geography

Dominican Republic Geography

The Dominican Republic Geography is greatly diverse; ranging from barren semi-desert plains to lush green valleys of tropical rain forest. The Dominican Republic geography is bestowed with a wide array of plant life. Most of the visitors of the Dominican Republic are fascinated by the glorious golden sand beaches along its coast lines.
The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo City (or Santo Domingo de Guzman). The Santo Domingo City is located in the southern area of the “Hispaniola” (an island in the Caribbean). Santo Domingo de Guzman is the largest city of the country. The Dominican Republic geography is two-thirds of the Hispaniola Island, while the other one-third of the Hispaniola Island belongs to the country of Haiti. The city of Santo Domingo was once a single city within the National District province. Now, it is divided into two regions, the Province of Santo Domingo and the Distrito Nacional.
The Dominican Republic consists of three main mountain ranges. These mountain ranges are: the Cordillera Central (or the Central Mountains), the Septentrional Mountains and the Eastern Mountains (Cordillera Oriental). The Cordillera Central or the Central Mountains cover the central portion of the Hispaniola Island and stems in the country of Haiti. The highest elevation of the Cordillera Central is more than ten thousand feet or three thousand meters above sea level. Its highest peak is found in the Antilles, Pico Duarte of which is regularly covered in snow during the winter season. The Septentrional Mountains spans parallel to the Cordillera Central and divides the Cibao Valley and the coastal plains of the Atlantic. The Cibao Valley has gold mines that made the Spaniards and Christopher Columbus back to the island after the discovery of America. The Eastern Mountains is the shortest and the lowest of the three mountain ranges. It is located in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic geography.
The southeastern part of the Dominican Republic geography is mostly covered with rolling plains. These rolling plains cover the surrounding area of the capital city, Santo Domingo. However, the land of the western part of the Dominican Republic geography is fairly arid. This part of the Dominican Republic geography is populated by thorns shrubs and other verities of cacti. Like the other islands in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic geography is not suitable for wild animal habitat. The country has no natural poisonous spiders or snakes.
The Dominican Republic is one of the countries in the world that has contrasting environment. It is a country where you can find rocky cliffs and mountain ranges alongside with the lowest point valleys of the Caribbean; a country wherein you will find spreads of rain forest and fertile valley to arid environments with lots of cacti population.

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Hitting The Links In Aruba

Hitting The Links In Aruba

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Source: Flickr


Though much of Aruba is dominated by an arid landscape, there are still several stretches of green ideal for one of the world’s favorite pastimes.
Despite the fact that the small island of Aruba has fewer golf courses than some other Caribbean destinations, the sport has long been a popular activity for locals and visitors alike. Beginning golfers and children can participate in lessons and golf clinics at a number of sites, while true enthusiasts can enjoy an 18-hole gem designed by one of the world’s leading architects. As you enjoy the sites in Aruba, consider taking a break to hit the links amongst some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.

The finest of Aruba’s golf courses – Tierra del Sol – rests amongst the picturesque desert beauty of the island’s northwestern coast. Designed by world-renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tierra del Sol is notable for its harmonious integration with the natural landscape. With fairways weaving through patches of cacti and impressive rock formations, the course offers players a golf experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. One of Tierra del Sol’s signature holes – the perilous 3rd – lies atop an imposing cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Tierra del Sol is also known for its vibrant wildlife, including lizards and salamanders that spend their days basking in the sun and a community of elegant egrets that inhabit the salty marshes of the 14th hole.

If that isn’t enough to lure you to the championship-caliber links at Tierra del Sol, the course has plenty more to offer its visitors. Regardless of season, the greens fees include the use of high-tech golf cart equipped with communications systems. In addition to serving as both caddies and scorekeepers, the carts allow golfers to order food and drinks from the clubhouse while on the course. Before heading out on this challenging course, novice golfers and children may want to take advantage of Tierra del Sol’s half-day golf clinics. Offering several hours of instruction and priced at just $45, the package even includes a free lunch in the clubhouse.

Another great place to work on your skills while visiting the island is Aruba Golf and Leisure. With a 300-yard driving range, an 18-hole putting green complete with a chipping area and affordable club rentals, Aruba Golf and Leisure provides everything you need to enjoy a relaxing Caribbean afternoon. As the practice facility is open daily from 7am to 11pm, Aruba Golf and Leisure serves as a great way to unwind after a day of shopping or sightseeing. Much like Tierra del Sol, the site also offers golf clinics throughout the day. These reasonably priced lessons typically last an hour-and-a-half and include a voucher to the neighboring House of Cheng Restaurant.

The newest course in Aruba is the charming 9-hole spread known as The Links at Divi Aruba. Designed by celebrated Caribbean golf course architects Karl Litten and Lorie Viola, The Links at Divi Aruba chose to incorporate paspalum grasses – one of the best surfaces for seaside golf courses. Set amongst the luxurious resorts of Oranjestad, nearly every hole makes use of shimmering natural lagoons and incredible Caribbean scenery. When you’ve finished your round, you can enjoy a luxurious meal at the on-site restaurant Windows or visit the bistro for a quick snack.

Located near Aruba’s second-largest town – San Nicolas – the Aruba Golf Club is a simple 9-hole course that has been a local favorite for years. What the course lacks in distance and difficulty, it makes up for in scenery. Residing in the undeveloped countryside on the far side of the island, Aruba Golf Club allows golfers to enjoy a relaxing round while admiring the cacti, waltzing goats and endless Caribbean horizon.

For those that enjoy golf on a smaller scale, Aruba’s Adventure Golf and Fun Park can’t be missed. Holding the self-proclaimed title as the world’s largest miniature golf course, Adventure Golf and Fun Park also features attractions such as paddleboats and other water toys. Located in central Oranjestad, the park has long been a favorite destination of both local and visiting families.

While Aruba is still in the process of becoming a premier golf destination, there are plenty of great courses to visit for a relaxing day in the sun while in Aruba. Furthermore, as most of Aruba’s golf sites are family-friendly, you won’t find a better active pursuit to unwind after a day experiencing the sites on of one of the Caribbean’s most exciting islands.

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A Guide to Taking Your Dream Bahamas Cruise!

A Guide to Taking Your Dream Bahamas Cruise!

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Source: Flickr

The Bahamas is arguably the most popular cruise destination for U.S. travelers, and is especially popular with first-time cruisers from the U.S. Only 75kms from mainland USA, the outer islands that make up the group can be reached within a matter of hours. This makes the Bahamas an excellent choice of location for a short Bahamas cruise break of two, three or four nights away from home.
Some 700 islands make up the archipelago of the Bahamas, of which only around 50 are inhabited. Cruise lines generally focus on just two Bahaman ports – Nassau and Freeport.
Nassau is Bahamas’ capital, and is located on the island of New Providence. It is a beautiful compact city that is easy to explore inside a day’s shore excursion. The city’s charm is in its architecture – and of course its people. Late 18th century and early 19th century colonial buildings stand as reminders of Bahamas’ British past. Parliament Square in downtown Nassau offers a unique perspective on the city’s architecture, watched over, as always, by a grandiose marble statue of Queen Victoria.
But Nassau is not just about history. It has a vibrant modern side too. Quality shops, fine restaurants and golden beaches, up onto which the inviting warm transparent waters of the Caribbean lap, are all there to be sampled. Activities such as snorkeling, diving and passenger submarine rides make for an exciting time in this tropical paradise. The nightlife in Nassau is buzzing too, with casinos and nightclubs offering the best of Bahamian life.
A Bahamas cruise to Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama offers tropical paradise that is very close to home. Easily accessible on a two-night Bahamas cruise, Freeport is a city that welcomes cruisers and tourists with open arms. Duty-free shopping is one of the biggest draws of Freeport, and the city itself features a 10-acre international bazaar – a real shopping paradise in the tropics!
The nightlife in Freeport is world-renowned. Casinos, nightclubs and live entertainment in Freeport are amongst the best in the Caribbean, and make for a great night out when you’re on a Bahamas cruise.
For travelers looking for a Bahamas cruise of a longer duration than four nights, some cruise lines offer special extended cruises, several of which incorporate a port call at a private island owned by the cruise company.
Bahamas cruises generally depart from ports in Florida. Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and Miami port are the big three which offer cruises to the Bahamas. So, if you’re looking to take a short romantic break, or just fancy a change of scenery for the weekend, why not get yourself down to Florida and book a Bahamas cruise. Bahamas cruises are reasonably priced, and I guarantee you that the experience will be one that lives long in the memory…

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About the county (4)

About the county

Standing Rocks
Source: Flickr

Italy, the birthplace of pasta and pizza provides a wide range of choices for artwork lovers to experience. A temperate climate exists here with very hot summers and not so cold winters. The weather is the best in spring and autumn with pleasant temperatures and scenic views. At that time of the year, the place isn’t crowded much and things can be enjoyed in leisure. Incase of emergency call 112. For fire call 115 and for ambulance call 118.

Culture

Italian is widely spoken and is the official language. English isn’t very familiar to the locals. Family ties are of utmost importance here and hence social courtesies mean a lot to the locals. There is a great impact of the Roman Catholic Church on the culture here. There is a high content of chlorine in tap waters, so bottled water is recommended for staying fit during the trip. Since Italian is spoken on a wide scale, it is highly recommended to learn few common Italian phrases which can be of great use. Social gatherings call for formal wear, but one can dress in casuals otherwise. At some religious places, sleeveless shirt and shorts are frowned upon. So they are better avoided. Purses and wallets should be well guarded and in case of any theft, police should be informed about the incident.

Site Seeing

The first thing to check out is the leaning tower of Pisa, where Olympics originated. At places like museums and art galleries, photography, especially flash photography is restricted. Check out the ticket counter for more information. Italy should be majorly discovered on foot for a thorough viewing of all the beautiful buildings and monuments. Coaches and trains are a good option to get to a tourist spot.

Shopping

Shops here are open from 9am to 8pm, closed for lunch. Quality of goods is great although the prices are very less. Items like crystals, lacework, leather good, and jewelry can be bought at the stores. Remember to hold on to the receipt. Tipping of 10% is customary along with the service tax levied on the bill. Italy is famous for top designers of the world, so do buy clothes and accessories to update your wardrobe. Cruises have formal gatherings in the evening, so ensure to buy a cocktail dress or some formal wear, though casuals can be worn at other times.

Electricity

The voltage used is 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency.

Getting there

Alitalia is the national airline of Italy. Many other flights connect to Italy from USA, Canada and Australia and there is big competition to attract passengers giving a wide range of offers to travelers. Rome airport is located 26 km away from the city and it takes 45 minutes to get there from the airport. Trains connect directly to Termini Station from where one can take taxi to get to their destination. Duty free shops, bank, car hire and restaurants are the other services provided at this airport. Milan has another famous airport here, which is at a distance of 45km away from the city.

Brindisi, Ancona, Naples and Venice are the major seaports of Italy. Italian State Railways connects many European cities. But, Eurostar provides the fastest train service.

If choosing to drive, don’t forget to carry international driving license and international insurance certificate. Roads connect Italy to France, Austria and Switzerland. Many coach services are provided from the neighboring countries.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco
2. 2liter of wine and 1liter of spirits (over 22 per cent) or 2liter of fortified or sparkling wine
3. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette; 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract (if over 15 years of age)
4. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract
5. Gifts not exceeding €89.96 (if entering from an EU country), €175 (if entering from a non-EU country).