Be Inspired

The Meaning Behind The Aldabas In Cartagena de Indias

Nov 03 2020
  • By: Lola Méndez Many architecture fanatics and door lovers have been enamored by the beautiful ancient door knockers, known as aldabas, which can be spotted around Cartagena, Colombia. Long before electronic doorbells were invented, door knockers were used to alert a homeowner of the presence of a guest. The fancy door knockers which adorn the city’s façades are more than just aesthetically pleasing—they reflect the city’s complex colonial and social history. Cartagena was colonized in 1533 by the Spanish empire. The door knockers came along with colonization. In Spain, the type of aldabas used on a door symbolized the social status, wealth, and career of those who lived in the home. This tradition of specialized door knockers was carried over to many of the lands the Spanish stole including Cartagena, Colombia. Many of the intricate knockers use the likeness of various animals—each which has a different meaning behind it. A sea creature, such as a fish, sea horse, or a mermaid, was used to symbolize that the homeowner is involved in an ocean-related trade. An iguana-shaped aldaba means that the dwellers were either of the Spanish royal family, nobles, or in close cahoots with the monarchy. Some of the dramatic door knockers are shaped like human hands which also have significance. The hand knockers were for those in the clergy as it’s meant to be the hand of the Virgin Mary of Fatima. A lion head door knocker meant it was a military household. Cartagena was a fortified city so many residents were involved in the military. After the Spanish stole the land they protected it from pirates and other colonial powers. For instance, the first home in Cartagena of Simón Bolívar aptly features an aldaba shaped like a Lion. Bolívar was Venezuelan and known as “the Liberator” of Latin America as he was involved in helping countries gain independence from Spain. Bolivia is named after him and he served as the president of Gran Colombia which was a union of Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. Beyond the symbolic shape of the aldaba the size, intricacy, and material also determined Cartagena’s social hierarchy. Any passerby could guess the wealth of the homeowner based on the aldaba that adorned the door of their residence.  Many of the original aldabas can be seen in the colorful Old Town section of Cartagena where the wealthy have always resided. You’ll notice that in this neighborhood the wooden door frames are significantly larger and consist of a smaller door within the main door. The large doors were installed in the luxurious homes of wealthy Spanish colonizers who’d enter their residency on horse or in a carriage. The small doors were reserved for enslaved people or servants who had to enter the house on foot. It’s still common to use an aldaba, but today homeowners stray away from tradition and choose whatever symbol they’d like regardless of whether they’re a prince or a merchant. You may come across an owl or a bearded man’s face utilized as door knockers across the colonial port city. Big knockers remain quite fashionable.   Are you planning a trip to Colombia? Let Barefoot Journey’s take the stress out of planning a trip, we’ll take care of everything. With knowledge from a network of local experts, we’ll custom design an itinerary just for you with all the best to see, do, eat and drink. Book your next trip today! 
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A Guide to the Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Mérida, Mexico

Jun 18 2020
  • by Lola Méndez The capital city of the tropical and historically rich Yucatán Peninsula happens to be a place where vegans can happily feast on plant-based Mexican dishes. Keep a lookout for traditional Yucatecan dishes that can be vegan such as panuchos. Wash them down with typical drinks including chaya water horchata. Mérida is an ideal vacation spot with the perfect combination of long stretches of white sand beaches with turquoise waters, ancient Mayan archaeological sites, and a town center packed with museums, churches, and more. Here’s where you can find the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Mérida, Mexico.   Tacos Né If you only have time for one vegan meal while you’re in Mérida for a weekend trip, make your way to this fully vegan taco stand. It’s only open Fri-Sun from 5:30-10:30 PM so plan your meal accordingly. There are several varieties from which to choose including seitan carnitas, soy sausage, chorizo made from amaranth and oats, chimichurri veggies, and more. You’ll regret it if you don’t do the package deal of 5 tacos for 60 pesos. Top off your tacos with loads of toppings and add vegan cheese to any taco for 10 pesos.    Monique’s Bakery y Cafeteria de Alta Nutrición This beautiful outdoor garden eatery isn’t strictly vegan but has a gigantic selection of plant-based foods including items that are hard to find in Mérida such as vegan pizza and pancakes. They also have some mock meats including fake-fish tacos. Monique’s Bakery is known for her baked goods so be sure to try her sourdough or other vegan-friendly breads and desserts. Wash your delicious vegan meal down with homemade kombucha made of local herbs and ingredients like guanábana. You can find other vegan-friendly fermented foods at Monique’s including sauerkraut and yogurt. The joyful atmosphere draws an eclectic crowd, be sure to check their calendar of events to see if any festivities are happening while you’re in town.   Maiz, Canela, y Cilantro   This family-owned restaurant isn’t a vegan establishment but they’re always able to make a vegan-friendly rendition of their lunch “menu of the day.” Eating here feels like being welcomed into a local’s home with a keep-sake decor and a sweet cat roaming around. The menu always comes with homemade vegetarian soup and drink, usually a fruit liquada or horchata. The main course is always freshly made with rotating selections of Mexican staples such as grilled nopales, rolled tacos, and stuffed squash. The complimentary chips, salsa, and beans are made in-house and without manteca de puerco (pork fat).   Avocado Vegetariano This enormous vegetarian restaurant on the outskirts of the downtown area serves up massive portion sizes. As the name alludes, almost everything has avocado on it! You can order vegan versions of everything from an excellent platter of chilaquiles, a typical Mexican breakfast food with tortilla chips cooked with tomato sauce and covered in toppings, to bagels. Dine indoors in the air-conditioned space during a hot summer day or enjoy the fresh breeze out in the lush garden seating area.   Nümen  For upscale vegan dining in Mérida head to Nümen. This modern restaurant is fully-vegan and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are plenty of Mexican dishes such as mushroom tacos al pastor, fajitas, and stuffed portobello mushrooms. You can also enjoy vegan versions of foreign dishes including curry bowls, risottos, and burgers.   LoQueHay Café LoQueHay means ‘what there is’ which refers to their rotating nightly themed set menu. It’s the most centrally-located vegan restaurant in Mérida and is nestled within a romantic interior terrace at Hotel Medio Mundo [1]  . Every night there’s a different selection of vegan dishes from Mexico, India, Italy, the Caribbean, and more. To nosh on local specialties, dine in on Tuesdays for Yucatecan food.    Where to Find Vegan Cold Treats in Mérida The city is filled with options for water-based icy treats. On almost every corner you can find vegan-friendly palettas made of traditional flavors such as corn, strawberry, and coconut. For creamy and delicious all-natural vegan ice cream head to Casa Pipí Cucú . Pola is a great spot for vegan sorbets with unique flavors such as wine-infused varieties and avocado. El Colón Dulces is the most famous spot in Mérida for ice cream and they have a few water-based flavors. You can enjoy delicious vegan smoothie bowls made with coconut milk at Kadus Café .   Browse the Selection at Local Markets  The best way to get to know the local vegan options of any place you visit is to go on a vegan food tour that includes a stop at the market. The Frutas y Verduras México plant-based tour visits the iconic Mercado Lucas De Galvéz with chef Erin Gómez Danielson. She’ll show you various stalls that whip up vegan-friendly plates and introduce you to the region’s produce as you buy ancestral Maya ingredients to prepare a home-cooked meal. During the gastronomy experience, you’ll enjoy a juice made with local fruits from Senior Domínguez, taste vegan tamales made with black-eyed peas wrapped in massive leafs to avoid plastic, and polcanes. After the market tour, you’ll be welcomed into Erin’s home, Casa Misterio Merida , where you’ll prepare a hearty plant-based meal in her kitchen.   The monthly Cero Basura Yucatán market has several food vendors with some vegan-friendly options such as tamales, portobello and nopales tacos, lentil empanadas, and more. The Slow Food Market in Mérida is held every Saturday from 9 AM - 2 PM with stalls selling food made from scratch stretched across a few blocks. Here you can pick up Monique’s Bakery’s artisan bread, vegan tamales, tacos, kombucha, and more treats that are all homemade. If you’re not in town for the weekly event don’t fret. You can pick up vegan treats at the market and eatery Café Orgánico such as vegan quesadillas and flan. Around the corner is C+ Natural which is also a health food shop and small café and another excellent spot for vegan quesadillas.   Other Mérida restaurants with vegan options include El Apapacho , Talula Bar Natural , Manik Bal , and Ya'axtal Ecotienda .  
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Electric-powered boats are the future of eco-friendly marine tourism

Jun 11 2020
  • By: Lola Méndez As travel begins to resume after coming to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic it’s critical to make responsible tourism decisions to preserve the environment for future generations. Our planet's waterways are suffering due to fuel-powered boats. When 30% of carbon dioxide from burning boat fuel dissolves into the ocean acidification and algal blooms increase, the ocean warms, and sea levels rise. When oceans absorb carbon dioxide chemical reactions produce hydrogen ions making the water more acidic. This reduces the level of carbonate ions which seashells and coral skeletons rely on to form and repair.  In the remote region of Raja Ampat, Indonesia MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge   is using emission-free boats. The region is home to 1,300 types of fish and 75% of the Earth’s hard-coral species—all of which are at-risk due to fuel-powered liveaboard boats, tour boats, and cruise ships. “Boat fuel, plastic, trash, destruction of coral, and fishing are fatal for marine life,” Mahasti Motazedi, the founder of MahaRaja, says. She doesn’t allow boats or fishing in the water surrounding Dokri Island.  At MahaRaja, traditional Papuan wooden longboats—painted in Motazedi’s signature color of bubblegum pink—are equipped with climate-friendly motors. “Electric motors are the best way to limit the impact on marine life. We chose Torqeedo to reduce fuel pollution as their motors are light, portable, and quiet which limits disturbance to the marine life,” Motazedi says.  Electric outboards reduce carbon emissions by 30% to 95% according to Dr. Christoph Ballin, Torqeedo CEO. The Puck Ampat is a 26-foot long boat for six passengers with the Torqeedo Travel 1003 motor, made for hour-long trips up to six miles. The Puck Tiga is a 72-foot long boat that can transport 12 divers for two hours for trips up to 12.5 miles with the Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 motor. Motazedi’s holistic approach to sustainability has revitalized the coral reef. “Our reef is a natural nursery for marine life. We’ve seen a growth of 400% in measured species, over 20 new species, and a steady increase in the number of juveniles since September 2018,” Motazedi says.  Similar to when solar panels were introduced to the market, the cost of the electric motors limits accessibility. “Frequent usage means the higher upfront cost is rapidly offset. The total cost of ownership is lower than burning dirty fossil fuels so it’s a climate win, health win, and economic win,” Dr. Ballin says.  Motazedi aims to equip neighboring villagers with Torqeedo motors and a solar charging station. “I hope we can have electric motors at Arefi Village so we won’t need fuel anymore, which we can barely afford,”  Bernard Rumbewas, the Papuan director at MahaRaja, says. Limited mobility prevents villagers from being able to take their children to schools on a nearby island. Rumbewas is hopeful boat operators will take responsibility for their carbon footprint. “It’s very important for the people of Raja Ampat to preserve the land and the ocean our ancestors transmitted to us for the next generation,” he says. He was thrilled to hear electric engines are positioned to become mainstream as Amsterdam has outlawed petrol and fuel-powered boats by 2025. Electric-powered boats are the future of eco-friendly marine tourism.     Lola Méndez is an Uruguayan-American freelance journalist. She writes about sustainability, travel, culture, and wellness for many print and digital publications such as CNN Travel, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, and more, in addition to her responsible travel blog, MissFilatelista.com . She's a full-time globetrotter who travels to develop her own worldview and has explored over 60 countries. Passionate about sustainable travel, she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on Instagram , Facebook , and Twitter .  
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Cusco: charming, captivating, beautiful.

Jan 03 2020
  • If you are planning a trip to Peru it is guaranteed you will spend some time in Cusco. The city is the former religious and administrative capital of the Inca Empire and is your gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. This aside, Cusco is a truly beautiful city, you will not want to miss spending 2-3 days wandering the cobblestone streets, stumbling across historical sites, beautiful restaurants serving fresh, flavourful food and soaking in the beautiful views of this charming city.  If you are making your way to Machu Picchu or you are planning an Inca Trail hike, most people will recommend arriving in Cusco a couple of days before you leave on your adventure, to acclimate to the new altitude, during which time you should go easy, especially if you are not used to this environment. Locals recommend drinking coca tea, or chewing the leaves to help with headaches and to clear your breath. You can also visit your doctor before leaving and obtain a medication that will help with the sickness. Either way, it will hit you, so be prepared.  If you are only planning on being in Cusco for 2-3 days, here is a list of some things that will keep you entertained and leaving the city feeling mesmerised by its beauty.  Wander through Plaza De Armas  Cusco’s main square, Plaza de Armas, marks the centre of the city and is home to two must-see buildings, the Cusco Cathedral and the Church La Compania de Jesus. Not only that, the square is vibrant and bustling with people, local vendors and will often host gatherings, events and festivals. Take a seat in the square and enjoy watching people go by and soak up the views of the city on the horizon.  Take in the views  Cristo is a large statue of Christ descending his arms outwards, similar to the statue you will find in Rio. The eight metre statue was a gift from Arabic Palestinians who sought refuge in Cusco after World War II. The statue sits upon a hill offering panoramic views of Plaza De Armas and surrounding Cusco city.  Eat and be merry Cusco has a thriving culinary scene. With an array of restaurants offering Peruvian food as well as Italian, Japanese and the most exciting vegetarian and vegan food, you will not want to miss checking out some of these renowned locations right at your doorstep.  Green Point Vegan Restaurant  High quality vegan and vegetarian food, made with fresh and flavourful ingredients. Enjoy at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fallen Angel  Authentic Peruvian food, exceptional service and a quirky setting. Enjoy the spectacular decor, delicious food and unique cocktails.  Carpe Diem Combining Italian flavours with a touch of Peruvian style, this Italian restaurant offers homemade pasta, unique pizza toppings and a goats cheese gnocchi which will have you craving more.  Ceviche Seafood Kitchen  If you love ceviche, you cannot miss visiting this restaurant nestled in Plaza De Armas and offering five types of ceviche and local seafood specialties. Jack’s Cafe Specializing in Australia style breakfast and a popular hangout for travelers. You’ll find all the breakfast favourites here including eggs and bacon, pancakes and french toast.  LIMO Peruano Nikkeo An absolute must visit if you are a foodie and lover of Japanese food. This restaurant reaches new heights with its focus on fresh and crisp flavours and exceptional service.    Explore San Pedro Market  If you only have a short time in Cusco, you must fit a visit to San Pedro Market into your itinerary - it is an experience for all your senses. You will find locally made souvenirs, fresh ingredients and delicious food to indulge in as you walk the busy aisles.   Dance your heart out  After you finish dinner and cocktails at one of Cusco’s favourite restaurants, chances are you’ll want to go dancing, right? Head to Mama Africa, one of Cusco’s most popular places to dance the night away. Playing a mix of Latin and western music, this venue attracts local and tourists and will have you dancing into the early hours of the morning.  Feed your chocolate craving  Chocoholics be warned, Peruvian’s know their chocolate! For the best experience and the opportunity to taste test all there is on offer, head to Chocomuseco. There are locations throughout Cusco offering a huge variety of artisan chocolate, chocolate tea and best of all, the most delicate, velvety hot chocolate to ever hit your lips.  Discover the 12-Angle stone  As you are walking through Cusco, keep your eye out for the 12-angle stones, lining the streets. Yes, stones, it sounds rather boring however to this day it is still unknown how the stones were cut with such laser sharp lines and how they slotted together, making these walls very special.  Are you planning a trip to Peru? Let Barefoot Journey’s take the stress out of planning a trip, we’ll take care of everything. With knowledge from a network of local experts, we’ll custom design an itinerary just for you with all the best to see, do, eat and drink. Book your next trip today!  
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10 of the world’s best cocktails to make from home

May 13 2020
  • If you’re anything like us then you’re probably dreaming of that first glorious cocktail on the lakes of Italy or the beaches of Croatia post quarantine. Until then, why not make your own international happy hour? To celebrate ‘International Cocktail Day’ this 13 May, we invite you to take a trip around the world with some of the best international cocktail recipes! These delicious alcoholic drink recipes will help you whip up classic cocktails from all over the globe. From the margarita of Mexico to the sangria of Spain, here are 10 of the world’s best cocktails you can enjoy from the comfort of home – until the day you’re able to order these drinks in their rightful home!   1. Aperol Spritz – Italy One sip and you’ll be instantly transported to the sunny shores of Italy – where it was first created! This iconic cocktail is said to have been invented in, and has held onto its place as one of the world’s best cocktails for over 100 years. Have one in the late afternoon to really channel aperitivo hour vibes. Ingredients:  3 parts prosecco 2 parts Aperol Splash of soda water Garnish: Orange slice How to make it:  Pour all ingredients into a wine glass with a handful of ice and stir until fully blended. Garnish with a fresh orange slice then kick back and enjoy!   2. Piña Colada – Puerto Rico For those that are missing the piña coladas… then why not make one at home! This delicious, creamy cocktail is like summer in a glass and was created by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. He is said to have experimented for several months in 1950’s before he captured the tropical flavours of Puerto Rico in a glass. Ingredients:  120ml pineapple juice 60ml coconut cream 60ml white rum  Wedge of pineapple and maraschino cherry, to garnish  How to make it:  Pour all the ingredients plus a handful of ice into a blender, and pulse until smooth. Once you’ve got a good consistency, pour the mixture into a tall glass and garnish with a sweet wedge of pineapple or a maraschino cherry. Delicious!   3. Pimm’s – England Since we can’t be physically in the UK to get our Pimm’s fix, or try any bars here (I was so pleasantly surprised to find it at the Little Cayman Beach Resort), the next best thing is to make your own at home! What would an English summer be without a refreshing Pimm’s Cup?  Ingredients: 200ml Pimm’s No. 1 600ml lemonade Cucumber, sliced Chopped fruits (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, orange slices) Mint sprigs Lemon wedge How to make it: Fill a jug with ice then pour over the Pimm’s and lemonade. Give it a good stir to blend, then add the fruit, cucumber and mint sprigs.    4. Mojito – Cuba A favourite cocktail of Ernest Hemingway, this Caribbean classic is one of Cuba's greatest legacies, along with cigars and Communism. This sweet, minty, citrusy cocktail is as Cuban as can be, and while the exact origins of the cocktail are unknown, it has been traced all the way back to 1586, as a medicinal drink for pirates who sailed to Havana in search of gold. The most famous place to have a mojito is La Bodeguita del Modia, a bar in Havana, but until we can get there, we’ll happily sip away mojitos at home. Ingredients:  60ml white rum juice of 1 lime 1 tsp granulated sugar small handful mint leaves, plus extra sprig to serve soda water, to taste How to make it:  Muddle the lime juice, mint leaves and sugar in a jug, making sure the mint is well crushed. Pour the mixture into a tall glass, add a handful of ice, then pour over the rum and stir. Top it up with soda water, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!   5. Sangria – Spain So you’ve probably had a few glasses bottles of wine to pass the time while stuck in lockdown (let’s be honest haven’t we all?). Now you can go one better with a glass of sangria, the beloved wine punch of Spain and one of the world’s best cocktails. There are endless recipe variations, with ingredients ranging from simple red wine to white wine to cava, a Spanish sparkling wine. But if you’re looking for an easy yet delicious sangria recipe to make at home, we’ve got you covered. Get the tapas ready and get to it!   Red Sangria recipe Ingredients: 750ml bottle light red wine 100ml brandy Diced apples, pears, oranges 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 chopped 200g red berries, chopped (strawberries and raspberries will work) 3 tbsp caster sugar 1 tsp cinnamon Ice How to make it:  Put the chopped fruit in a bowl, then sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon, and stir to coat. Cover the mixture, pour in the brandy and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Next, stir the fruit mixture to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Fill a large jug with ice, then tip the fruit mixture into the jug with the wine. Stir it all together, splash in the sparkling water, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.    White Sangria recipe Ingredients: 750ml bottle crisp white wine (Sauvignon Blanc adds a nice complexity, Pinot Grigio works too) 100ml brandy Diced apples, peaches, lemon and lime (sliced into rounds) 1 cup of strawberries (sliced) How to make it:  Put the chopped fruit in a bowl, pour in the brandy and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Fill a large jug with ice, then tip the fruit mixture into the jug with the wine. Stir it all together, splash in the sparkling water, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.    6. Margarita – Mexico If you’ve ever been to a bar, you’ve probably had a margarita, or two. Who’s counting anyway? It’s a blissful blend of tequila, citrus juice, cointreau (or triple sec if you don't have cointreau handy). It pairs perfectly with those tacos and nachos we can’t stop making constantly, even after Cinco de Mayo. We love this deliciously citrusy drink that everyone can now make at home.    Ingredients:  35ml Reposado Tequila 20ml Cointreau 35ml fresh lime juice ice cubes lime wedge, to garnish How to make it:  Pour the tequila, cointreau and lime juice into a cocktail shaker or a blender. Add a handful of ice cubes and shake vigorously (or blend) for 10-15 seconds. Take a glass and dampen half the rim with water, then dip it in salt. Strain the tequila mixture into the glass, and garnish with a lime wedge. Salud!   7. Ireland: Irish coffee At the end of a long St. Patrick's Day (or indeed at the beginning!) there's nothing quite like an Irish coffee as a little pick-me-up (Also works wonders in these isolation work from home days…) this classic beverage is known globally and appreciated by all whiskey and coffee lovers. Ingredients: 1 cup freshly brewed coffee 1 tbsp of brown sugar 1-2 shots of Irish whiskey Whipped cream How to make it: Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.   8. French 75 – France Sure you could drink a mimosa or even just a glass of sparkling wine. But we’re here to turn it up a notch with a French 75, the elegant cocktail of France and one of the world’s best cocktails.  Ingredients:  50ml gin Champagne, to taste 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp sugar syrup lemon zest ice How to make it:  Pour the sugar syrup, lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker or a blender, then fill up with ice and shake (or blend). Strain the mixture into a champagne flute, top up with champagne, and then stir gently. Garnish with a slice of lemon zest and toast to your classiest cocktail yet!   9. Caipirinha – Brazil If you like mojitos, you’re going to love the caipirinha, the funky Brazilian cousin of the mojito. Instead of using rum, a caipirinha is made with cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, a rum-like liquor with a peppy sugarcane juice kick.  While no one knows the exact origins of the cocktail, it was thought to have been created as a home remedy during the Spanish flu outbreak in the early 19th century, as the limes provided a good dose of Vitamin C. Pairs perfectly to our current situation … We’re not doctors (and definitely don’t condone this drink as a remedy for any flu) but we think it can’t hurt to enjoy a caipirinha or two at home. Next stop – caipirinhas on the beaches of Rio! Ingredients:  200ml cachaça 6 tbsp golden caster sugar 2 limes, chopped into wedges, plus extra lime wedges to serve (optional) crushed ice How to make it: Put the lime wedges and sugar in a jug, then use a muddler (or improvise) to crush them together. Try to get as much juice out of the lime wedges as possible and mix it with the sugar to create a syrup. Take the lime peel out, then pour the syrup and cachaça into a glass, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge for an extra citrus buzz.   10. Pisco Sour – Peru Both Peru and Chile claim rights to the creation of the Pisco Sour, but most accounts agree that it’s Peru’s national drink – and although we can’t head to Peru right now to try this world famous cocktail, we can make it in our own kitchen first! Ingredients:  50ml Pisco 1 egg white 50ml sugar syrup 50ml lime juice few drops of Angostura bitters lime slices, to garnish (optional) How to make it: Pour the Pisco, sugar syrup and lime juice into a blender or cocktail shaker with the egg white and add a handful of ice. Blend for 10 seconds or shake vigorously for 30 secs, then strain into glasses. Add a few drops of Angostura bitters to the top of the cocktail, then garnish with a lime slice and enjoy the frothy goodness.   AND THE ODD ONE OUT - Sake Bomb  This psychotic combination of Japanese rice liquor and American beer was first dreamed up during the American occupation of Japan after the Second World War. If you’ve never had a sake bomb, you can either consider yourself as having missed out or, alternatively, greatly privileged. Sake bombs, typically comprised of cheap beer and cheap sake, are unpleasant, both in taste and consumption method. If you wish to subject yourself to a sake bomb, see below:  You will need American beer at room temperature, chopsticks and a shot of rice liquor. Balance the shot about your beer using your chopsticks. Then start pounding the table while repeatedly shouting "sake!" The force of your fists will shift the chopsticks and send the sake tumbling into the beer.  Ichi…ni…san…sake bomb! Consume immediately and pray for mercy. You might be extremely puzzled and wondering why the Japanese would invent something that subjects sake, a delicious and often holy beverage, to such a strange practice. The answer is, they didn’t. …most Japanese think the West is crazy for wasting sake by dumping it into beer and righteously so. Basically, it would be like doing a Chardonnay bomb and let’s be honest how many oenophiles do you see doing Chardonnay bombs? The origins of the same bomb are mysterious, but there seems to be a consensus that the drink – or drinking ritual, depending on how you look at it – did  not  originate in Japan, and is basically never practiced there.   Have you tried making any of the world’s best cocktails at home? Let us know your favourite cocktail or where you wish you were enjoying a cocktail to celebrate international cocktail day! 
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Miami’s 7 Best Cocktail Bars

Sep 04 2020
  • by Lola Méndez If bouncing in the club isn’t your ideal night out in Miami, don’t fret, there are plenty of gorgeous cocktail bars where you can party in the city. These are seven of Miami’s Best Cocktail Bars.   Nikki Beach Nikki Beach has been a quintessential South Beach place to party. They serve up excellent creative cocktails that you can sip on while lounging on luxurious day beds and enjoying Miami’s picturesque beaches.    Jaguar Sun This tiny cocktail in downtown Miami continues to pull in awards for their celebrated cocktails. Jaguar Sun offers modern tropical cocktails as well as a classic martini cocktail list.    Spanglish Bar The chic Spanglish Bar in Wynwood offers creative cocktails. The Cafetera Old Fashioned poured from a coffee jar and Spanglish and Chill, a tequila-based cocktail with sweet vermouth infused with strawberry, tangerine, lemon and pink pepper, served in a bag topped with caramel popcorn and chicharrón powder.   Kuba Cabana One of Miami’s newest bars is Kuba Cabana which brings the taste and sounds of Cuba to Doral. The unmistakable Cuban flair means plenty of rum cocktails including classic daiquiris and more with many specials for weekday happy hours.   Lapidus Bar If you prefer your cocktails with a hearty dose of opulence head to Lapidus Bar inside The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach. The swanky bar celebrates the spirit of Miami with vintage cocktails inspired by the city’s history and characters.   The Broken Shaker For handcrafted cocktails look no further than The Broken Shaker . Mixologists created infusions with garden-fresh herbs and spices to craft memorable concoctions. The menu of craft libations rotate weekly.   Sugar Located on the top floor of a high rise in Brickell City Centre, Sugar will help you reach new highs. The rooftop lush garden bar has spectacular views of Miami and delicious drinks. 
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5 reasons to travel to Papua New Guinea

Aug 24 2020
  • by Lola Méndez We can’t help but daydream about the bucket list destinations such as the Melanesia Island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Few North Americans have seen this majestic place themselves. 2018 saw 94,627 tourists with only 9% from North America. If you’re looking for a million different journeys, PNG is the place to go once it’s safe to travel overseas again. Here are five reasons to travel to Papua New Guinea.   1. Unparalleled cultural diversity  PNG is home to 1,000 distinct tribal groups making it one of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth. Tribal culture remains intact and each community is unique. Visitors have the chance to learn about the rich cultural heritage through community-based tourism. Don’t miss the chance to attend a sing-sing. These colorful cultural shows bring groups together to showcase traditional songs, dance, and dress and are held frequently throughout the year.   2. Breathtakingly beautiful nature Adventure travelers will love to explore PNG’s lush landscapes and underwater world. The dense forest covers mountains down to the coastline’s volcanic fjords in the Oro Peninsula. There are endless opportunities to witness rare wildlife including the world’s largest butterfly, Queen Alexandra. The island’s incredible biodiversity includes many spectacular birds. Thirty-eight of the known 43 species of bird of paradise can be seen in the country with their spectacular plumage. Travelers who don’t have room in their itinerary to trek into the jungle can visit  Port Moresby Nature Park to get a glimpse of rescued wildlife such as birds of paradise, hornbills, and tree kangaroos.  Snorkelers and divers will find some of the  world’s healthiest coral as they visit many sunken WWII ships while hammerhead sharks and manta rays swim by. Vibrant neon reef walls of hard and soft corals are homes to thousands of fish from tiny technicolored nudibranchs to beloved clownfish.    3. Impactful tourism The country is experiencing under tourism and is unspoiled and uncrowded. PNG receives very few tourists a year and is mostly untouched by modern ways of living even though there have been foreign expeditions for nearly a century. It’s one of the world’s last frontiers.  PNG offers mindful travelers the opportunity to impact local people directly through tourism spending. Villagers collaborate with resorts such as  Rondon Ridge ,  Tufi Diver Resort , and  Karawari Lodge to create immersive cultural tours that allow them to share their way of life with visitors and provide income for their community. The resorts work with the villages to help their economy, as opposed to disrupting it, by creating employment opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have. Travelers spent a total of $205.9 million in 2018, an average of $4,773 for North American travelers.    4. Visa on Arrival For many nationalities, tourist  visas are available on arrival for 30 or 60 days for no fee at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby. Your passport must be valid for six months from the date of departure from PNG back home and have at least one blank page. You must have an exit flight to enter the country. There aren’t any required vaccinations and the country is rabies-free.    5. Widely-spoken English As a result of Australia colonizing PNG, English is widely spoken. This benefits travelers who are English speakers as it makes it easier to get around and engage in conversation. There are also at least 852 different dialects spoken in the country.
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Conserving the Coral Reef Ecosystems Surrounding Little Cayman

Aug 06 2020
  • The Cayman Islands are a dream destination for snorkelers and divers. Our sea is home to many fascinating aquatic creatures including vibrant corals, colorful parrotfish, and lionfish. When we spot these beauties underwater, we have the  Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) to thank. The nonprofit was founded in 1998 to protect coral reefs in the region. For over two decades they've worked tirelessly to conserve the coral reef ecosystems surrounding Little Cayman. Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, CCMI’s Director of Research and lead of the 2025 Reef Resilience and Restoration team, shared the progress of 20 years of reef monitoring during a recent virtual Reef Lecture. By documenting patterns and making regional comparisons the team’s findings have supported efforts to conserve the health of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Their efforts are being celebrated by Mission Blue which declared Little Cayman a  Hope Spot . Coral reefs are  critical ecosystems for islands such as Little Cayman which rely on  healthy reefs for tourism. Globally, coral reefs are threatened by human activities that impact the environment including pollution and overfishing. Dr. Goodbody-Gringley explained that increasing sea temperatures have led to  coral bleaching .  “Today the average coral cover across the Caribbean is somewhere hovering around 10% which is a drastic decline from that initial 75% in the mid-1970s,” Dr. Goodbody-Gringley said. Her team does frequent surveys to assess the area’s coral and fish by using a 10-meter area of coral reef and counting and identifying every single coral and fish species in the area. They track each specimen's length, width, and height to assess health status.  Some things they’re looking out for are signs of disease, indications of bleaching, and parrotfish bites. The collected data shows there's been a rise and fall over the last two decades. The good news is that there hasn’t been a statistical decline in coral cover. “We started in 1999 at around 24% coral cover overall and we’re now hovering for the last five years  around 20% coral cover ,” Dr. Goodbody-Gringley said. There hasn’t been much change since 2013 meaning that the coral has been quite stable for the last seven years. There has been no change statistically in the amount of fish in the area. Little Cayman’s reefs are resilient but not immune to the threats that have tormented other Caribbean reef ecosystems. Dr. Goodbody-Gringley reports that there has been a significant shift in the dominant species on the reef. In the early 2000s, the predominant coral species were large, massive corals. “Some of these coral colonies are the size of a VW bug,” Dr. Goodbody-Gringley said. “We’ve seen a major decline in the predominance of those types of corals towards smaller boulder corals.” Currently, stony coral tissue loss disease is an issue at Little Cayman’s reefs and much of the northern Caribbean Sea. The disease first popped up in Florida in 2014 and rapidly spread down the Florida reef tract. It affects a variety of species and causes a loss of tissue making it appear as if the tissue is sloughing off the coral. The mortality rate is high. If you come across reefs that you may be impacted report it to the  Department of Environmental Health . CCMI is working with them to track the outbreak and develop strategies. To support CCMI’s efforts to preserve Cayman’s biodiversity may  make donations here . While visiting the island you can be mindful of your plastic consumption, use reef-safe SPF, ask for reusable straws and swim out to reefs instead of using  fueled boats where possible. Dr. Goodbody-Gringley said these little things make a difference.    “As a collective whole, if we all make these small changes it has a large impact.”
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Where to Practice Yoga in Costa Rica

Jul 30 2020
  • Costa Rica is a wellness destination with a blossoming yoga scene. Antonio Corrales Dobles is a Costa Rican acro-yoga teacher in San Jose. He’s been teaching yoga for a decade and has seen a recent increase in yoga among Ticos and foreigners. He shares that yoga “is becoming more popular and growing every day.”    “The Costa Rican community is committed to personal transformation, regenerative living, and positive social and environmental impact. You'll find us at the organic farmer's market, sharing a cup of fair-trade Costa Rican coffee, enjoying some live music, and participating in yoga classes,” expat yoga teacher Toby Israel says. Israel offers regular yoga classes and leads yoga and other wellness workshops around the country.   There are several yoga studios in the capital city of San Jose but the easiest way to keep up with your yoga routine while traveling in Costa Rica is to stay at properties that offer classes on-site. Here’s where to practice yoga in Costa Rica.   Rancho Margot   Rancho Margot is a magical place for practicing yoga in secluded mountains. The sustainable farm stay is chemical-free which creates a healing environment that allows you to deeply unite with nature. The open-air yoga shall is located next to a roaring river and surrounded by a lush jungle canopy. During a morning practice led by Israel, I caught a glimpse of a vibrant King Fisher flying by while I was in a warrior asana.  Complimentary yoga classes offered daily at 7 AM and 4 PM for overnight guests. Professionally certified yogis from around the world lead Hatha or Vinyasa flows. Visitors can drop-in to the yoga sessions for $15.    The Retreat   Twice-daily yoga lessons as a part of guest packages at The Retreat . The open-air yoga studio offers panoramic views of the quartz mountains. At 8 AM there’s a flow class that borrows elements from Ashtanga and Hatha practices. The afternoon class at 4 PM is restorative—practitioners hold poses for extended amounts of time to reap healing benefits.  Professional yoga teachers from around the world lead the practices at The Retreat. Specialty courses include aerial and antigravity yoga. One-on-one classes are also available. Outside guests are welcome to drop-in on the yoga classes for $30 per lesson.   Cala Luna   Tamarindo’s leading wellness hub, Cala Luna , offers guests a fitness experience daily including three complimentary morning courses throughout the week. Private classes are available for a fee. The yoga flow is usually Vinyasa or Hatha style.  The open-air yoga-shala is surrounded by dense jungle where monkeys roam freely and the tropical wind carries the scent of exotic flowers into the shala during Savasana. There are occasionally yoga retreats at Cala Luna, typically in September and October.   Blue Osa   Blue Osa is one of the most popular places for yoga in Costa Rica. The center is self-described as a place for “learning, self-study, and transformation.” Blue Osa offers yoga courses led by trained teachers year-round in addition to meditation, breath-work, and mindfulness classes. The curriculum offers many styles of yoga such as Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative, Anusara, Jivamukti, and more. Guests who join the program with the Spa and Best of Costa Rica packages will enjoy one complimentary yoga class per day at 4 PM. Those who seek a more immersive experience to deepen their yoga practice will want to book the Private Yoga Retreat which allows guests to work one-on-one with a yoga teacher for their entire stay and enjoy twice-daily classes. Blue Osa also offers comprehensive Yoga-Alliance accredited yoga teacher training throughout the year. The transformational teacher training courses are offered at 200-hours or 300-hours that prepare new teachers to lead safe and intelligently sequenced yoga classes.    Selina   Those on a budget need to look no further than the Selina hostel chain which offers yoga classes at all 10 of their locations in Costa Rica including San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, La Fortuna, Puerto Viejo, Tamarindo, Nosara, Monteverde, and two locations in Santa Teresa. The yoga practices are usually a Vinyasa style.  The beach locations are most popular for those who can’t resist an afternoon yoga session as waves crash nearby and salt lingers in the air. Jungle yoga is also very popular as you might just spot a sloth spying on you as you strike a tree pose. It’s best to reserve in advance either at the reception or the Selina app. Outside guests are welcome to join in. Fees for the classes depend on the location but are usually around $5 or less. 
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Sage advice for solo travelers from our favorite sustainable travel influencers!

Jul 09 2020
  • Solo travel is one of the most rewarding experiences. You get to build an itinerary around exactly what your heart desires. We asked some of our favorite sustainable travel influencers for their sage advice for solo travelers. Here are their top 10 tips.   1. Arrive during the day “It’s always best to plan your flights so that you arrive during the day. This way you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the area when people are around. In my opinion, it’s worth the price difference no matter how tempting it may be,” Devorah Walker of Walk With Ms. Walker says.   2. Designate a "backup" in case of an emergency “Since I usually travel alone, my dad is my backup on everything in case of an emergency. He has access to a Google Drive that has copies of my scanned passport, credit cards, insurance card, and other important papers for my house and car. I also added him to my checking and savings accounts, and he has all of my passwords. I share all of my flight and hotel itineraries with him too, so at least one person has a rough idea of where I am,” Brianne Miers of A Traveling Life says.   3. Set clear intentions for your trip "Having a clear intention provides parameters that will simplify decision-making and prevent brain-drain. What you hope to do and what you hope to get out of it. Adventure? Relaxation? Education? It's important because we need our brainpower to travel consciously since our world is currently set up in such a way that sustainable choices are often the less convenient choices to make," Bonnie Culbertson of Earth Regarded Travel says.   4. Research local laws and culture in advance “Learn and respect the laws and culture of wherever you’re traveling to. Research, learn and be mindful to not assume that the world operates just like home. There have been too many unfortunate cases of those jailed abroad or participating in culturally ignorant behavior. When you’re traveling solo and you violate a law or disrespect a culture, you have no allies to bail you out,” Yoli Ouiya of YolisGreenLiving.com says.   5. Learn some of the local language before you travel  “Whenever I travel, I aim to learn at least some basic words of the local language before I go, with apps such as Duolingo. I've found being knowledgeable of the language on the ground useful for both getting me around new destinations and making me feel safer traveling alone because I know enough to understand the situation I'm in and be able to communicate with local people,” Steph Dyson of Worldly Adventurer says.   6. Make sure your phone has service “Get a local or international SIM card with Internet access: This helps a lot, especially when you don't speak the local language or get lost,” Elaine Villatoro of Live More, Travel More says.   7. Utilize reusable menstruation products “If you haven’t switched to a reusable menstrual cup yet, you’re missing out! Never buy another box of pads or tampons again. Practice using a menstrual cup at home to get the hang of it and then bring it with you on your next trip,” Ashley Renne of Hey Ashley Renne says.   8. Turn to social media to make travel buddies “Joining local Facebook groups will help you make friends and connections within the community. It's also a nice opportunity to see and do things with people you might not want to do solo,” Tara Tadlock of Silly Little Kiwi says. “As a solo traveler, I recommend checking out Facebook groups and trying to connect with like-minded people before I visit a destination. I use groups like Girls Love Travel or Pebble Pod ,” Malou Morgan of Skip to Malou says.   9. Eat in restaurants and cafes owned by locals “Spend your money supporting local businesses and putting money into their community. This is a great way to meet locals who are enthusiastic about you trying their traditional food and learn more about their culture whilst traveling. Try to avoid international food chains like McDonald’s where your money doesn’t enter the local economy,” Charlie Marchant of Charlie on Travel says.   10. Connect with locals “As a solo traveler, you can gain great insight into a place and culture simply by connecting with locals. During my travels, I seek out social enterprises, businesses whose core values revolve around the positive social and environmental benefit of the local community, and through discussions with founders or employees, I find myself becoming informed and educated on local developments, with insider tips on the nooks less-traveled, Bianca Caruana of The Altruistic Traveller .
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All the best things to see and do in the Amalfi Coast

Jan 02 2020
  • The Amalfi Coast is arguably one of the most breathtaking stretches of coastline in the Mediterranean. Here, the mountains plunge into the sea and the pastel-coloured houses line the coast leaving you with the most enchanting views, something you will never forget! If you are planning a trip to Italy, you do not want to miss out on seeing one of the countries most memorable destinations.  Here are some things to see and do when you visit the Amalfi Coast.    Explore Positano, Sorrento and Amalfi  If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast, chances are you will be staying in either Positano, Sorrento or Amalfi. Either way, ensure you plan a day trip to explore each of these uniquely different towns. Ferries run from town to town on the hour, when you arrive head to the local marina or information office to obtain a map and timetable.  Amalfi Amalfi is the biggest town in the Amalfi Coast. When you arrive in Amalfi, make your way to the main Piazetta and walk up the stairs of the Amalfi Cathedral. Get lost in the Valle delle Ferriere, a nature reserve behind the town of Amalfi featuring stunning waterfalls, old ruins and unique flora. Enjoy a seafood lunch at Trattoria de Gemma, Ristorante Lido Azzurro or Ristorante Lo Smeraldino. Finish the day with a cocktail on top of the Hotel La Bussola and take in the incredible views.  Positano  Positano is most definitely one of the most upscale areas of the Amalfi Coast. Here you will find luxury hotels, award winning restaurants and designer brands. It is also host to those incredible views you will have seen on any poster promoting the Amalfi Coast, with the white and blue umbrellas lining the pebble beach front, a majolica-tiled dome and beautiful architecture rising up the steep slopes gazing out over the ocean. If you are looking for a five star restaurant and you’re not concerned about the price tag, visit Terrazza Cele. Not only is the service exceptional and the food perfection, the views are phenomenal. Make sure you make a booking as this place is very popular.  Other than, shopping, eating and drinking, make sure you get yourself down to the pebble beach and enjoy a lemon spritz as you enjoy the views that surround you from every angle.  Sorrento  Sorrento is one of the more popular towns to base yourself if visiting the Amalfi Coast. It has the same sophisticated vibes as Positano with a slightly lower price tag. Enjoy lunch at Bagni Delfino, a five star restaurant overlooking the Marina Grande where you will enjoy local, fresh seafood. After lunch, make your way through the winding cobblestone streets to Piazza Tasso where you can shop or sit back and enjoy an espresso or aperol spritz at one of the surrounding cafes. If you’d rather enjoy a day by the water, there are multiple locations along the waterfront where you can hire a beach chair and just stay still for the remainder of your day...you are on holidays after all.    Capri Boat Tour  Capri is an island off the coast of Amalfi. It is known for its beautiful coastline, luxury hotels and designer shopping. There are a number of different boating companies which will take you on a full day trip to Capri to explore the island.  You’ll make some stops along the way to explore beautiful caves and coves and enjoy the breathtaking views. The captain might even stop the boat in the middle of the ocean where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and enjoy floating around. One of the best known natural sites of Capri is the Blue Grotto, a cave bathed in the shimmering light of the sky refracted through the sea. This is the most popular Grotto and is usually very busy, especially during peak season however there are others that are less well known and are as equally beautiful. Talk to your captain about which site is best to visit to avoid the crowds.  When you arrive in Capri you will arrive in at Marina Grande. You can get a bus or funicular to the charming Piazetta, Capri’s most famous square. Here you will find designer stores, cocktail bars, cafes, newsagents and a tourist information office. If the lines for the bus or funicular are too long (in peak season, chances are they will be) there are a number of lovely cafes and bars right off the marina. Ristorante e Pizzeria L’Approdo and Ristorante Lo Zodiaco both serve fresh seafood dishes and piping hot pizzas. Ask for a table outside and enjoy people watching as you re-hydrate with a signature cocktail.    Path of the Gods Hike  There are many hiking tracks carved into the dramatic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast. One of the most popular hikes is the Path of the Gods, along a mountain ridge high above the sea. If you are looking to burn off some of the pasta and wine calories, this hike has you covered. Not for the unfit, this 6.5km hike between the towns Bomerano and Nocelle is an easy trail to follow and you do not need a guide. You will enjoy the most stunning views of Amalfi, from a very different angle. Depending on where you are staying, buses depart a couple of times a day dropping you at the beginning of the trail. Barefoot Journey’s can build this into your itinerary, we’ll give you the time and place to meet, all you need to do is show up and be ready to get sweaty.  Day trip to Ravello  Take a break from the water and enjoy a day trip to Ravello, set 365 meters above sea level, this iconic town is known for its beautiful gardens, far reaching views and indoor and outdoor concerts. There are many beautiful sights in Ravello including Villa Rufolo, a building within the centre of town looking over the front of the cathedral square. Or, for one of the most beautiful views in the world, visit Villa Cimbrone, an elegant hilltop lodging in a medieval manor with perfectly manicured gardens and fine dining options. This quaint town nestled in the mountains of Amalfi will keep you mesmerised all day long.    Beautiful climate, stunning views, exceptional food...what isn’t to love about the Amalfi Coast? Let us help you plan your trip, we’ll take the stress out of everything. With knowledge from a network of local experts, we’ll custom design an itinerary just for you with all the best to see, do, eat and drink. Book your next trip today!
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Everything You Need to Know About La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jun 25 2020
  • By: Lola Méndez The brightly hued façades of the La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina draw tourists from around the globe. The area has an international reputation for being dangerous but with these tips, you can safely visit. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting La Boca.   History of the neighborhood La Boca is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Argentina. The area’s name means ‘the mouth’ in Spanish and is a geographical reference to the proximity of the mouth of the Matanza-Riachuelo River. La Boca was an important shipyard and major port for Italian immigration which is still apparent today through the area’s architecture and cuisine. In the 1950s local artist Benito Quinquela Martín began to paint exterior walls in various bright shades. aimed to revive the practice of early Italian immigrants painting their homes with bright colors. The  Museo Bellas Artes de La Boca Benito Quinquela Martín is a museum in Quinquela’s former home which features much of his artwork.    Touristic activities The touristic area of La Boca has become quite kitschy. There are life-sized figures of important Argentine historical characters such as Evita Peron greeting tourists from balconies, a gigantic mural that depicts the history of the area, and endless stalls of inexpensive souvenirs along the cobblestone street, El Caminito . The ‘little walkway’ has been an official open-air museum since 1959. It’s still worth a visit to stroll the colorful streets and snap photos and enjoy a street performance. Be sure to check out Casa Amarilla which is a replica of the home of the founder of the Argentine Navy, Almirante Brown, who was Irish. To make sure you don’t miss any of the attractions, hire  Liz, a local  porteña and a certified tour guide . There are almost always couples performing tango in the area. The powerful dance originated across the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay. Don’t forget to leave a tip! If you have time, browse the contemporary artwork at  Fundación Proa .  The local soccer stadium,  La Bombonera , is where the Boca Juniors team holds matches. This is the stadium where the Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona played. You’ll see the team’s colors of blue and yellow all over the neighborhood.    Safety tips  La Boca is an economically disadvantaged neighborhood with a high level of crime. Only visit during daylight hours when tourist police patrol the area to protect tourists from petty theft and pickpockets. As always, be smart about your valuables. Only bring your phone or camera out to take a picture and keep your money somewhere secure like a money belt rather than a tote bag or in your back pocket. Never leave your possessions unattended. Most locals will advise you to take a taxi to and from the destination. It’s not advisable to wander around outside of the touristic zone on your own.  BA Cultural Concierge ’s local tour guides Juan and Nestor can take you inside artists' homes, to hidden family-owned restaurants, help you spot street art, and share fascinating stories about unknown historical landmarks.   Are you planning a trip to Argentina? Let Barefoot Journeys take the stress out of planning a trip, we’ll take care of everything. With knowledge from a network of local experts, we’ll custom design an itinerary just for you with all the best to see, do, eat and drink. Lets starting planning your next trip today!      
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Eco Hotel Spotlight - Baker's Cay Resort

Jul 02 2020
  • by Lola Méndez Tourists are eager to be ethically conscious during their travels and are willing to pay 33 percent more if their trip had ethical components. Our new monthly feature will highlight eco-hotels we’ve had the chance to personally visit and vet. These properties prove that traveling with environmental sustainability at the forefront doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice an idyllic resort experience, comfortable amenities, or upscale experiences. Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The beautiful property offers 200 guest rooms and suites equipped with balconies. The property has two swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, and a restaurant. The gorgeous property serves as an incubator for Hilton’s sustainability efforts. Green efforts at the eco-conscious accommodation include furniture built from responsibly harvested wood, canvas laundry bags, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash from LATHER . Additional toiletries are packaged in recycled materials and soy inks. Key Largo is the dive capital of the world and you can see incredible coral reef and aquatic life within the nearby John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park . Guests can protect themselves from sunburn and coral from bleaching with Steam2Sea sunscreen available at the towel station.  JustWater plant fiber water bottles are placed in each guest room and water refill stations are available throughout the property. Guests may purchase reusable aluminum bottles with bamboo lids which benefit the efforts of the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF). Staff can coordinate visits to CRF, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center , and The Sea Turtle Hospital . Dreaming of your next getaway? Let Barefoot Journeys take the stress out of planning a trip, we’ll take care of everything. With knowledge from a network of local experts, we’ll custom design an itinerary just for you with all the best to see, do, eat and drink. Lets starting planning your next trip today!  
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