Undoubtedly the highlight of our trip. Actually, its one of the highlights of any of our trips and both my wife and I traveled quite a bit.
In the middle of the rain forest, far away from anywhere lies a luxurious unique resort. No wonder Lapa Rios was chosen by National Geographic to be one of the best 50 eco-lodges worldwide.
Nature is everywhere here. The cabins have no walls. Anything can come in.
During our stay :
While very expensive, the honeymoon deal was very good. We took at least 1 guided hike a day. Guides knows every single tree in this area and have vast knowledge on the wildlife.
All of this is accompanied by splendid food, wonderful cabins and its all green.
If its nature at its best you're interested in - its definitely for you. One of the most amazing places I've ever been to.
An astonishing gap between the luxurious all-inclusive resorts and the poor local people homes is the first thing you see in the Dominican Republic. We almost never left the resorts area.
Punta Cana is one of the most famous places for Caribbean beaches in the Dominican Republic. We also heard good stuff about Bavaro which is a around 30 minutes away by taxi.
Due to the overwhelming amount of all-inclusive 5 stars resorts we decided to book one only for the first 4 days. Then, walk around to see something we like and book the rest of our time in this absolute paradise.
Rainforest canopy zip line is one of the most famous attractions in Costa Rica. Its an experience you definitely won't forget. Such a view... And a first chance to see some of Costa Rica's wonderful wildlife. Highly recommended.
A jazz show in the Blue Note is an evening you'll probably enjoy, if you're a jazz fan. Especially ifs its Dizzy Gillespie's birthday and a bunch of geniuses gather together to perform a special concert.
Food is pretty good there, I'd recommend getting here early to have a dinner before the show starts.
Below - Roy Hargrove at the Blue Note.
We spent 8 exciting days in Costa Rica, 2 of them in Manuel Antonio, a small national park, but with many animals, mostly monkeys, rackoons and iguanas. The beaches are amazing, we brought water, fruits and snacks with us and spent the whole day on the beach, reading our books.
If you're driving a car, a few hundreds meters before the park, people will start stopping you, saying that the road is close, don't listen to them, they want you to park at their parking spot and there are much closer spots (all cost 4-6 $).
A really nice place to stay at, with a nice couple managing the place is Villas Jackqulina, it is not in the center, but if you have a car it's worth spending the night out of the city, it is not very attractive anyway :-)
Khorog is practically the only city in the Pamirs region. While nothing much is going around town, it is an OK place to rest between your dashes to the valleys of the western Pamirs. Tucked in between cliff sides and Afghanistan, Khorog serves as a convenient base to explore the main valleys that carve the western Pamirs landscape: the Wakhan valley, Shokh-Dara Valley, the Gunt Valley (in which the the Pamir Highway goes through), the Bartang valley & the Vanj valley.
The city has a decent bazaar, spots where you can have aching-slow Internet connection, travel information center - and most important of all, Khorog is your best shot at finding some travelling/trekking buddies if you are travelling alone and independently.
I decided to take a one month vacation from work and visit Burma ( also known as Myanmar). I heard the country is changing rapidly these days, and wanted to feel a bit of its atmosphere before it would be too late.
Burma is going through big reforms since 2010. From 1962 the country was under military control, but in 2010 the regime announced a new road map to democracy with a new constitution.
We arrived in Mandalay (the Finnish guy and I) at 4 am. It was surprising to see the streets at the entrance to Mandalay full by locals who carry things, make tea, or just sitting in their shops. A crowd of taxi drivers and refreshments sellers swarmed on us in the central bus station as we arrived. We managed to take our backpacks from the hands of potential taxi drivers and tunneled our way out of the station. We found two motorbike drivers who took us with our backpacks to the city center, where we continued to look for a decent bed for the night.
We arrived at Costa Rica on Thursday afternoon, after a short flight and quick stop at Al Salvador. When we went to pick up our jeep (which we ordered in advance), we were happy to discover we were upgraded, and got a specious Toyota Rav4 instead of the Daihatsu Terios we paid for. Since we landed late, we went on a short trip to nearby town called Gercia, half an hour from the airport.
Shahar is taking advantage of our upgraded jeep