Monday, May 12, 2014

Tips For Visitors Hiking To Machu Picchu

By Andreas Paschar

Hiking to Machu Picchu offers an excellent method of discovering this very old Incan city. While it was discovered over a hundred years ago and is often referred to as a lone, lost or remote city, it was once the crown of the Incan province. Hikers on the trail will see ruins along the route. The hike provides one of the best methods of understanding this ancient city's significance.

To the Incas, this city, as well as the route leading to it provided both artistic and spiritual significance. Even today, walking along the trail provides a scenic method of visiting the area to visit the location and grasp a better regard for nature as well as the architectural concepts of the Incas. Along the route, it is possible to view exotic vegetation, wildlife and of course, the ruins.

Area visitors will have three different options on their trek to see the city. The most traditional is also the most difficult path and takes four days and three nights to complete. An easier trip is the two days one night trail or the one day hike that includes only the last portion of the easier hike. It is suitable for those who might be out of shape or with little experience in hikes. Porters can be hired to haul the gear if one needs help.

Visitors are no longer allowed to walk any of the trails alone. Organized groups sponsored by officially sanctioned agencies are the most common way to visit. Currently there are 140 agencies. While one can organize his or her own group of two or more visitors, the cost is greatly increased.

Traditional four day hikes include both hand hewn stone stairs as well as trails leading through the mountains, cloud forests, rivers and Incan ruins. Visitors can see rare orchids, more than 400 bird species and occasionally an indigenous bear. The route is 26 miles and includes three mountain passes rising to more than 13,800 feet in elevation.

On the two day hike, visitors will enjoy a reasonable alternative for individuals with less time or who do not have the physical fitness to complete the classic trail. The top elevation on this portion is slightly above 9,000 feet and the climb is relatively easy. However visitors will miss several important ruins and some of the mountain scenery. Campsites are equipped with flush toilets to keep the trail more inviting to visitors.

Before beginning the hike, visitors should plan on spending two or more days in Cusco in order to allow the body to become acclimatized to the higher elevation before beginning their hike. In addition, it is important to take gear that keeps one dry and warm in case of rain or cooler temperatures. Bring comfortable but sturdy waterproof boots and a good backpack.

Making the hike will require some advance planning. At the bare minimum, when hiking to Machu Picchu, one needs to make reservations 15 days in advance. In the busy season of May through October one may want to make reservations 4-6 months in advance. Tourists showing up without reservations are not likely to be able to make the hike.

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Why Your Best Option Is To Travel From Panama To Colombia By Boat

By Eliza Mendoza

If adventure is your middle name, your bucket list probably includes traveling from North America and Central America to South America, maybe even all the way from Alaska to Patagonia. It's an epic journey that provides a range of unforgettable experiences and it's not that difficult to accomplish. Some people even do it by cycling, biking or driving down. When planning for your trip, however, you may have to consider the option of getting from Panama to Colombia by boat.

Between Alaska and Patagonia the main road is the Pan American Highway. However, this highway also includes the Darien Gap. The name for this stretch comes from the fact that it's literally a break in the highway which ends in Panama's Yaviza town and then starts again in Colombia's Turbo, less than 100 miles away.

Travelers are advised not to attempt the crossing of the Darien Gap over land. It is extremely dangerous. The road hasn't been completed here because the terrain is so inhospitable, with thick jungle and real risk of deadly tropical diseases, not to mention attacks by local wildlife. Because the area is so remote and few people set foot here, it has become a refuge for armed guerrillas from Colombia and for criminals, especially those working in the drug trade. Robberies, kidnappings and killings are very common here and travelers are often targets.

There are alternative ways to cross the Darien Gap. The easiest and most convenient is to fly. If you're very adventurous, which you probably are if you're undertaking this journey in the first place, flying may feel like a cop-out though.

A great alternative is to take the boat instead. If you're on a very tight budget, you may even be able to find opportunities where you can work on board in exchange for your voyage. More common is to book a passage on a yacht that specializes in taking travelers across. There are several companies that offer this service and the fare is usually more or less the same as what a plane ticket would have cost you.

The great advantage of sailing across is that most of the travel packages include the San Blas Archipelago in the itinerary. This remote group of islands in Panama offer you the perfect chance for a beach getaway without the crowds. Go snorkeling or diving, swim or work on your tan on the pristine stretches of sand. If you're fascinated by indigenous cultures, you'll love San Blas too because the people who live here are mostly Kuna, a unique and fascinating culture.

You may think that the crossing sounds easy enough except for the question of what to do with your bike or your car. This doesn't have to be a complication, though. Several companies offer a service that transports your mode of transport across on a cargo ship. You'll even be able to have a bicycle or a motorcycle flown across.

Finding an operator that will take you from Panama to Colombia by boat is very easy. Many advertise in Panamanian hostels but you can also look online. The crossing is usually quite safe and while it might be rough during the windy dry season, there is almost no risk of hurricanes.

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What To Expect In Your Travel To Morocco

By Jaclyn Hurley

For most tourists, Morocco is one of the countries anyone would want to visit. Even though it has a long history of Spanish and French colonization, most of its towns have dearly guarded their culture, making it more interesting. You can feel the presence of their past culture in towns like Fez, with lifestyle here influenced by the Berber traditions which existed during the original Moroccan kingdom. Notably, the geographical appearance of this country is fascinating, characterized by mountain ranges, Mediterranean coast and a stretch of empty sand of the Sahara. This gives a tourist all the reasons they need to travel to Morocco for an exciting experience in this country.

For once, you can be sure that you will have plenty of interesting scenery and other attractions to enjoy. From mountain ranges, to vast sand of the Sahara desert, you will gain enough reasons to thank yourself for visiting this country. Of importance is to understand a few aspects about the area, to avoid getting a culture shock once there.

An understanding of your destination before going can also save you from possible culture shock. An important aspect about the region you should note is the language. Arabic is the prominent language here. You are likely to hear many people throw in some words in Arabic even when addressing visitors, which they do mostly in French, English and Spanish.

However, it is a beautiful country with peaceful people and you do not have to worry about your safety as you walk around. At the same time, this is a very peaceful country thanks to the continuing political, social and economic reforms undertaken by His Majesty, King Mohammed VI. Such factors have actually increased the rate of visitors in the region.

Tourists have plenty of fun activities to take part in. One can choose to enjoy hiking at the Atlas Mountains, try their hand at fishing, visit the Mediterranean coastal beaches, or take part in Sahara excursions. Those looking for a quite time to unwind can stay in different resorts in Fez and other towns. Of importance is that people with different preferences will find something enjoyable to do in their visit to Morocco. The Moroccans are kind, hospitable and generous, making any visitor refreshed by interacting with them.

If you visit during the summer, the best places to hang around would be the coast and mountains. Avoid the desert, as it can be disturbingly hot, especially in the month of July and August. During spring, which comes around April and May, you will enjoy your time in most of the areas. The south, Atlantic coasts, the Mediterranean, and mountains experience a summer climate during this time.

It gets extremely cold in the deserts at night during winter, but they may be a favorable place to visit at daytime. Of importance is to choose a hotel that has proper heating to take care of the cold nights. Cheaper hotels may lack such facilities. Make sure to ask before checking in.

Before travelling to Morocco, take note of the Islamic religious calendar. Their religious celebrations like Ramadan can affect daily schedules leaving tourists stranded. For instance, if depending on public transport, you may hardly travel in daytime during this one month day fasting.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

The Excitement Of Sailing From Panama To Colombia

By Tracie Knight

A person can be tempted to take a flight rather than sail because it is less expensive, faster and also less tedious. Several people have given their idea of the experience of sailing from panama to Colombia. A number of people do not like the idea that the captains park for some time and spend a lot of time nursing their sea sickness. Other individuals however were in support of the idea. A tourist gave her review of a trip she took and it is written below.

I decided to take a sailing trip as opposed to the flight which may be found to be cheaper. The trip was going to cost me around thrice the amount than if I flew straight to Colombia. However I decided the money was worth it considering the fun experiences I was going to have. At first the trip was estimated to take five full days with three of them spent on the San Ban highland on the Caribbean coast.

During the trip I was able to learn a lot of things about the waters that separate panama and Colombia. One of the things I learnt is the existence of the Darien Gap which is an undeveloped swampland and forest within the province of Darien in panorama. Though many people have managed to cross this area by foot, it is not an easy task when you are sailing.

The number of people taking the sailing trip has been increasing greatly over the past years. This has made the prices of touring agents to be increased. Depending on the type of boat, the tourists get themselves paying between 500 and 1000 dollars.

Private owners provide the boats in panorama but the sailors are hired from different areas of world to operate the boats. The travelers have a great and diverse range of boats to select from at the panama dork. There are also travelling agencies available to guide them to choose the best of the best. They can however not have the pleasures of selecting the captain they prefer.

In the other months of the year apart from June the water is usually too wavy and therefore this is the best month to travel. The time that the whole trip takes is usually estimated and therefore individuals on a fixed schedule cannot plan their trip well. They are therefore advised to consider taking flights instead.

During this journey, the travelers are able to go through the island of Cormaca Kuna Yala and that of San Blas and they can take a pause to experience the beauty of these areas. They can do exiting things such as swimming through the beautiful blue waters. Fishing is also a popular activity in this area.

This tour is very much recommended for any sightseers who would love to travel and know about Colombia and Panama since it is less boring compared to taking a flight. Taking this trip can be seen as being more expensive than a flight but the experiences the tourist gets are worth spending their money on.

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