Category Archive: The Americas

Adventure Cruise: Discover Pure Panama with UnCruise Adventures

Last fall we sailed on UnCruise Adventures’ Safari Voyager on their Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts, and Canal itinerary. It was our first small ship adventure cruise and we’re excited to review the ship and itinerary, as well as share our tips and with you. Cruise information is historically the most searched for information on our site during the month of June, so we expect that this information is hitting you right at the time you’re making your plans and reservations for your cruise. Discover Pure Panama with us. And UnCruise Adventures. Is an adventure cruise right for you? Like all vacations, the decision to take an adventure cruise is a big one – you’ll want to research thoroughly to see if the experience and itinerary fit your cruise style. We think the following are important considerations in deciding if an adventure […]

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UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic District of Panama

Panama City has two sides – the modern, with its skyscraper banks and casinos, and the old town, the historic district, referred to as Historic District of Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded in 1519, Panama City is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. The city was hit many hard times – slave rebellion, fire, and an earthquake, before being destroyed in a pirate attack in 1671. The original site was laid out in a slightly irregular, somewhat rudimentary grid of colonial planning. The city was moved in 1673, about four and a half miles southeast and is known as Casco Antiguo or the old town. A sea wall was erected for protection from its enemies, the city had a central plaza with smaller plazas on the fringe. The streets were organized, […]

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Cruising: Pure Panama with UnCruise Adventure

This morning we head off to Panama City, via Miami and Hurricane Irma, for some city time followed by a week on the 65-passenger Safari Voyager cruising Panama. This expedition vessel will take us through the canal as well as to many of the smaller islands in the country. This trip is the first time that I’ve left the country this year, a rather unusual occurrence for me, but a lot of family things have been going on and it just hasn’t been the right time for me to take a trip farther than across the country for a few days. With house and pet sitter in place, we’re off. And what a trip it’s going to be! The first challenge will be to avoid Hurricane Irma. She’s rumbling it up in the Caribbean right now, and as I write […]

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Orient Beach, St. Martin

Earlier this year, while on a Royal Caribbean cruise on board the Oasis of the Sea, we had a port of call in St. Martin/Sint Maarten. The island is owned by two nations – France, which owns around 60% of the island, and the Netherlands, which owns about 40% of the island. During our port of call I was able to visit both sides of the island, an item on my bucket list, and I’m also considering it visiting two new countries (although, yes, I’ve been to both France and the Netherlands, I’m just not splitting hairs about this). This photo is from Orient Beach on the French side of the island, arguably the most well known of the nude beaches on the island, and is a popular stop on cruise shore excursions as well as for general island visitors. […]

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Postcard from Toronto

A week in Toronto for TBEX, followed by a couple of days to rest up and do some sightseeing and tasting. More posts to come on my stay, so a postcard will have to do for today.

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A Guide to Professional Sports in Toronto

  You may not necessarily think of Toronto as a city with a rich sports culture, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Toronto has had a sports team of some sort since the 1800s with the Granite Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club, the Argonaut Rowing Club, and the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. The Toronto Argonauts football was established in 1873 and is still around today! Professional sports in Toronto continue to develop and change, depending on the popularity of the particular sport and the success of the franchise. Here’s a quick guide to professional sports in Toronto to bring you up to speed: Hockey – If Toronto is known for one thing, it is the Maple Leafs, the most financially successful sports franchise in the country. Toronto has hosted several international hockey […]

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How to Get Married in Mexico

Destination wedding are on the rise, and brides and grooms (and their familiies) look for ways to combine a special destination with their special event, and often roll their honeymoon into that same destination as well.  Mexico, despite going through some troubling times, still remains popular for destination weddings, probably because of its beautiful weather and resort. Regulations may vary between the Mexican states, so be certain to get current information from the place where you would like to have your ceremony.  And, as with any large and expensive travel plans, you should strongly consider travel insurance. Here are some general things to know if you’d like to get married in Mexico. First off, decide if you want an official, legal wedding or merely a ceremonial one.  A ceremonial one is every bit as lovely as a legal one, just […]

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Pre-Columbian Archaeology in Chan Chan, Peru

    When it comes to Pre-Columbian artifacts, Peru is awash in them, and probably nowhere more so than Chan Chan, the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America.  The archaeological site, locate near Trujillo, dates back to the 9th century when it was built by the Chimu as the imperial capital.  At one time over 30,000 people lived in the adobe city of Chan Chan, before being conquered by the Incas. Later, Spanish conquistadors, including Francisco Pizarro, took over. Today the adobe city of Chan Chan is a UNESCO world heritage site, added to the list in 1986. Although much is being done to preserve the area, it is still threatened by the occasional tornadoes, earthquakes, rain and erosion, as well as the odd looter that thinks stealing precious artifacts is a good idea. There are also several other ruin […]

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Curacao: A Caribbean Island with a European Edge

It’s hard not to fall in love with a tropical island.  Even more so when that tropical island has the kind of energy that makes you want to stay on your Caribbean holidays indefinitely.  Try Curacao; it’s the perfect Caribbean island (a part of the Netherland Antilles) about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela and it’s Dutch, still Dutch after all these years.  The island is also part of what is commonly referred to as the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  Another plus, Curacao is out of the hurricane belt, which means no hurricanes during hurricane season translating into the fact that your vacation won’t be ruined if you visit from June to October. Curacao is not your typical island in the Caribbean either since it feels very European and, for lack of a better word, magical.  A […]

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Should You Travel to Mexico?

Current events can lead us into thinking that the world is not a safe place to travel, and whenever that happens, it makes me very sad.  For some time now, travel to Mexico has been on the wane.  For awhile it was fear of the swine flu, then fear of rampant drug activity, and now fear of the potential for violence.  If you think about all of that superficially, instead of burrowing a little deeper into the information, you may be tempted to stay home.  And that would be a big mistake. Let’s look a little deeper into the issue of visiting Mexico: There are problems EVERYWHERE in the world.  Of course you’re going to hear about crime in Mexico.  You’re also going to hear about it in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Washington DC – some of the most frequently visited cities in the […]

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