Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Travel Guide

Puerto Vallarta sits pretty along the vast shoreline of the Bahia de Bandera, one of the world’s largest bays. Set against verdant coastal mountains, you couldn’t ask for better scenery for strolls along downtown’s emblematic boardwalk or the Koala River. Most of the action centers on the cobblestone historic center, where the Koala River dramatically splits this former fishing town into two distinct neighborhoods.

The Zona Romantica south of the Koala River is lined with boutiques, intimate restaurants, and laid-back bars. It is also home to one of Mexico’s most vibrant gay zones. Here on Vallarta’s southernmost end many hotels and nightclubs fly the rainbow banner.

There are only two beaches at the city center, including the bustling Playa de los Muertos aka the Beach of the Dead. It was named after a fierce fight that took place here in the 19th century. North of the quail, you can shop till you drop at art galleries and crafts stores or marvel at the Voladores or flyers performing their dizzying pre-Hispanic ritual. The Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Cathedral wearing a jaunty crown atop its steeple stands guard over Puerto Vallarta. Built in the early 20th century, it is named after the country’s patron saint.

Vallarta’s famous boardwalk is lined with public sculptures by renowned artists such as Carlos Espino and Alejandro Colunga. The quirkiest of them are Colunga’s sculptures of six mutant alien sea creatures. Come nightfall, get things started in the Zona Centro with some beers at la Cantina, a traditional Mexican watering hole. Then move on to Mandala, a roaring nightclub where you can shake your stuff to electronic.

Marina Vallarta is one of Mexico’s largest harbors. Its waterfront restaurants serve up international cuisine and the Faro lighthouse bar has long been a magnet for Mexican celebrities. Exploring beyond Vallarta’s city limits pays big rewards, Bucerias, north along the coast is a no worries beach community with cozy hotels and a smattering of drinking halls.

Majahuitas, a remote beach cove is only accessible by boat. A quick walk through the lush jungle leads to the Majahuita Waterfall. Then there’s the ocean itself, the Bahia de Bandera offers some of the best dive sites in Mexico. The iconic rock formations at Los Arcos are a strong draw for divers as well as weekend booze cruises. You can also hop on a fishing charter, head out into the deep Pacific, and try to reel in a prize catch. Boredom is simply not an option here.

4 Forgotten Towns that Sunk Under Water

There are places on Earth that were once thriving and prosperous towns but because of forces of nature now are ghost towns. Atlantis is maybe the most well-known lost city that was said to be drowned in the deepest trenches of the ocean and never to be found. There is also Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was unluckily buried in volcanic ash and pumice because of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption. And there are also some places that are not as popular but has its own bittersweet story to tell of its drowning, so read through and find out more about our top 4 sunken towns.


Some 35 years ago, this spa town of Argentina was popular with local tourists. Lake Epecuen was once famous because of its salinity, second only to Dead Sea. The mineral-rich water of the lake is what drove people with different kinds of ailments because it is said that the healing property can cure any illness. What thought to be just temporary flooding became a permanent one with over 10-meter deep salty water covering the whole town. But after 25 years the flooding slowly receded exposing an old dead town of pure salt.


A lonesome belfry can be seen in the middle of the vast waters of Lake Resia, a lone reminder of the old Italian village of Graun. Legend tells of a bell ringing in the dead of the night during winter a nostalgic memory for this drowned town. The flooding was a result of an electric company wanting to harness more energy by combining 2 big lakes, thus creating the dam by drowning the village under it. During winter the water on the lake freezes and you can walk your way going to the bell tower for an up close inspection.


The wrath of the sea is something to be aware of and taken seriously because it can take anything that it deems interesting. This seems true with the town of Dunwich which was once a bustling port city in the borders of the North Sea. Coastal erosion took more than it should have including a market square, guildhalls, churches and graveyard. Today only a very small part of the town remains, but also has the fear of slowly disappearing underneath the raging sea waters.


Jah Mahal means “Water Palace” and its name is well fitting since it lies majestically in the man-made Lake Man Sagar. Its red sandstone outdoor walls is a beautiful contrast against the blue waters of the lake. This 5-storey hunting lodge, with the 4 lower floors submerged, seems to be a floating palace especially at night where the lights are turned on for a more dramatic effect. The submersion is a result of a dam created when the region experienced severe drought.

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Tips for a Great Trip to Rome

There are not enough superlatives in the world to describe the wonders of this great city. Here are some tips for a great trip to Rome.

Eat Cacio e Pepe
My first tip when visiting Rome is to eat Cacio e Pepe. Do it immediately and do it every day. It is a dish of pasta, pecorino, pepper, and some olive oil. You might wonder why a dish so simple can be so delicious. I have no clue too but it’s one of the best plates of food you can get anywhere in the world.

Don’t be a ‘Tourist’
Don’t just do the touristy things, there is so much more to Rome than the Vatican and the Colosseum. Explore the little neighborhoods, sit down at the Trattoria and stuff your face, and get lost for a while. Now, I am not saying don’t see the sights but if you have to see the Sistine Chapel of the Colosseum do it early in the morning before the tour buses get there or during the week if you can. Avoid the first Sunday of the month when it’s free. Yes, it may be free but the crowd might not allow you to get the best experience. You can go on a Monday morning and if you really hate to queue pay an extra 13 Euros to join a guided tour. Also, don’t panic if you don’t get inside the Sistine Chapel there is plenty of amazing views everywhere you look you will be fine.

Walk Everywhere
Rome may feel a bit big and daunting at first but it’s a surprisingly easy city to navigate. Walking allows you to stumble upon all the little magical corners that make this city so great.

Eat all the Things
Rome is a gastronomic playground, play in it. You will get an amazing Roman fair for surprisingly reasonable prices. Eat the amazing Roman style thin crust pizza, eat gelato, eat amatriciana and pasta dish with tomato pecorino and pig jowls. Now, if you are looking for the best places there’s no shortage of information online but my advice is to ask the locals because they know best. They are also some of the friendliest, most helpful people you will meet anywhere in the world.

Leave your Selfie Stick at Home
If you want to get a picture taken ask someone to take it for you, who knows you might even make a friend.

Relax…go to it
Rome is huge, don’t try to do it all. Spend a day strolling the charming streets of the trattoria, get drunk on some wine or some Negroni, go to an amazing outdoor nightclub and get weird with the locals. Kick back and watch the world go by. Your train will be late and you will not be seated at the time of your reservation just go with it. You may not see it all but I promise you will have a much better time along the way. Remember, just because it’s written in the guidebook doesn’t mean you have to see it. Let Rome see you, let it creep up on you allow yourself to not have a plan. This is a magical ancient city it deserves to be savored.

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Tips and Advice on How to Travel Europe

Europe is a diverse continent with unique cultures regardless of the country you visit. I haven’t been to every European country; however, I have been to 15 countries so I want to let you in on key tips for traveling to Europe. Depending on the city, you will find plenty of tourist attractions especially in the summer months of June through August and that is the high season with their shoulder season being late spring or early fall. If you travel during this time, you know that lines to attractions may be longer and accommodation prices may be higher but whenever you go you are bound to have a good time.

Western Europe vs. Eastern Europe

Western Europe will be more expensive than Eastern Europe so plan your budget accordingly. The UK and Scandinavian countries like Iceland or Norway are the most expensive whereas countries like Hungary or Croatia are cheaper. You can see some cool things in Eastern Europe so don’t shy away from it if it doesn’t seem as familiar to you. Many countries in Europe will use the Euro for currency.

What Should I Pack

As far as packing goes, make sure to pack the right adapters for your electronics. This is helpful if you have never been to Europe before. For shoes, I would definitely recommend some great sturdy shoes for all the walking you will do on the cobblestone streets. Also, ladies if you want to pack heels I would recommend some wedges or a pair of heels that have a thicker feel because of the cobblestone. Generally in terms of fashion, Europeans are very fashionable so it doesn’t hurt to dress up especially if you are going to restaurants or out to clubs or shows.

Security & Safety

Europe is very modern and westernized and is generally regarded as safe except for petty crimes like pickpocketing. Like anywhere, you want to keep your wallets around you and just be alert as you would in any city. So make sure to keep your purse or backpack always zipped; any wallets or phones in your front pocket; and always keep your eye up.

Getting Around

Getting around Europe is very easy and organized whether you are traveling by train, plane, bus, or car. The train system is extremely organized and comfortable and I would actually definitely recommend train travel as you can watch the beautiful countryside out the window as you go from city to city. It’s honestly so pretty and since many countries in Europe are connected by what’s called “fishing in zone” you can pass through many country borders with no need to go through customs. This feels similar to traveling across different state borders in the U.S.

Traveling by plane is pretty easy as well; there are also budget airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, Swiss Air, and many more. These kinds of airlines will offer flights for sometimes as little as two Euros but keep in mind a lot of these budget airlines are no-frills and they will charge extra fees for carry-on and a lot of times they won’t point into the main city airport. So you want to ensure that you have the right transportation to get from that airport into the new part of the city. Sometimes it may be cheaper to just book a regular ride into the main airport if that’s closer to your accommodation.


Speaking of accommodations, there are plenty of good hotels, hostels, and motels all over Europe. Hostels are very popular for backpackers all over the world and are a great way to meet other travelers. A lot of hostels can actually be really clean and nice and I recommend reading reviews to determine if they are in a good, safe location, and clean.

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Things to know before visiting Iceland

In recent times, Iceland has gained its fair share of popularity, becoming one of the most visited places in the entire world for a good number of reasons. This magnificent wonderland suits basically all types of travelers, from couples, to adrenalin junkies, to solo travelers in search of self-discovery. Iceland has an unmatched landscape unlike any other in the world, with some of the most wonderful hiking trails, hot springs, volcano peaks and of course waterfalls, almost everywhere you go. Being the popular destinations that it is, here are some tips to take into consideration before planning a trip to this place.

Travel Tip #1: Skip the Blue Lagoon

You’ve probably seen some photos on the internet of the immense beauty that the Blue Lagoon offers, but what you’ve probably haven’t heard about, is that the Blue Lagoon is a man-made structure which waters run off on Geo-Thermal power plants. The country of Iceland is popular for its vast amount of natural geothermal pools, and it seems a bit foolish to pay a heavy price for a man made pool.

Travel Tip #2: Don’t Eat Out

Iceland is already one of the most expensive places to visit, so if you’re traveling on a budget you might want to skip dining out at some of its fancy restaurants. The average meal consisting of a main dish, salad and a drink will cost you over 50$, so the smartest thing to do is hit the grocery store, as the prices there at least reasonable.

Travel Tip #3: See the volcanoes

Iceland is a home to the highest number of active volcanoes in the world, featuring about 30 active volcanoes, the country is no stranger to volcanic eruptions, as they tend to occur once every year or so. Most of the eruptions are harmless and don’t really pose a threat, instead they offer a spectacular view and once in a lifetime photo opportunity. Consider adding a trip to either one of Iceland’s most popular volcanoes sites such as: Helka, Eyjafjallajökull and Öræfajökull.

Travel Tip #4: Visit the small cities in Iceland

Even though Iceland is largely popular for its diverse nature and wild life, don’t exclude a trip to some of Iceland wonderful cities. Travelers often miss out on exploring the warm and colorful small cities in Iceland, by spending most of their time wondering in the capital Reykjavík. When planning your trip around Iceland, be sure to include cities that offer activities suitable for you, some more notable places that you might want to see are: Hvammstangi, Akureyri, Hofn and Egilsstadir which I highly recommend you visit if you’re keen on glaciers.

Travel Tip #5: Waterfall sightseeing

By now we’re already well aware that the lands of Iceland are not short from a natural wonderland and waterfalls are its crème de la crème. The country of Iceland features more than 10.000 waterfalls, each differentiating from one another but all equally beautiful nonetheless.

  • Goðafoss: Waterfall of the gods in the Northeast
  • Morsárfoss: Highest waterfall in Iceland
  • Dettifoss: The most powerful waterfall in Europe
  • Seljalandsfoss: You can stand behind this waterfall

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