Spring Break in Mazatlan, Mexico

Mazatlán, Mexico: Located at the base of Sierra Madre in the state of Sinaloa and by the stunning Sea of Cortez of the Pacific (also know as Gulf of California), Mazatlan is a Mexican colonial style town. This is an attractive holiday destination, especially for the people from West Coast of the USA.

Stunning beach of Mazatlan in Mexico

Stunning beach of Mazatlan in Mexico

Mazatlan Downtown and it’s historic city center are the main hot spots here.  This place is equally fun for the young crowds or the retired people or the ones in between. City’s symbol is deer. No, you won’t come across any deer but you’ll see statues and sculptures at many places in downtown.

This was my second trip to Mexico but first for my daughters. After traveling to more than 60 countries worldwide, I have to say Mexicans are some of the most humble and friendliest people I’ve ever met and talked to.

And that sunset by the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

And that sunset by the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

Although I converted some of my USD to Pesos, you can use USD or credit cards everywhere in Mazatlan. Small vendors may not accept credit cards, but they will always accept US dollars.

Time of Travel: We went to Mazatlan during my kids’ spring break at end of March, 2019. We traveled with another family friends and their kids, which made this trip extra fun for all of us. We enjoyed moderate tropical weather during our stay. It was around late 80s daytime but got a bit colder at night. It’s a good idea to carry a light sweater, especially for the kids.

Eating and Shopping: What to eat in Mazatlan? Short answer is shrimp, shrimp, and more shrimp. The quality and freshness of shrimp in Mazatlan is unbeatable. Our first lunch was at Mr. Lionso Restaurant during our city trip. The food was average here but it’s location by the beach, colorful decors, and live mariachi music make this an ideal place to enjoy weather and food. They have all the traditional Mexican food at Mr. Lionso with lots of seafood options, quesadillas, fajitas, ceviche, soup, and lots more.

Mazatlan_March20191.jpg

Since we stayed in a an all inclusive resort, most of our meals were at the resort, except for when we took excursions. Our Last dinner was at Casa Canobbio in Plaza Machado. I was inclining more towards Mexican cuisine since it was our last night in Mazatlan but the kids picked this Italian place “Casa Canobbio”. We sat outside to enjoy the live music. The food was good, nothing extraordinary but loved the atmosphere. Having a dinner in Plaza Machado on a Friday is the best, you get to be be part of an energetic atmosphere with the locals and other foreigners.

Mariachi band at Mr. Lionso in Mazatlan, Mexico

Mariachi band at Mr. Lionso in Mazatlan, Mexico

Mazatlan is known for it’s silver jewelries, and Real McCoy is one of the best (and expensive) places to shop for the good quality silver, opal, and mother of pearl. We were taken there during our city trip and I bought a silver bracelet for about $100 and few earnings and rings for friends and family. But bargain…they initially asked $450 for my bracelet and I ended up getting it for $100. Also, buy Mexican vanilla…it’s the best I’ve tasted so far. Lots of other colorful decorations like wooden bowls and Day of the Dead souvenirs are very popular too.

Our Hotel: We stayed in Pueblo Bonita Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan which is more than half an hour drive from the downtown or Centro Historico and close to an hour drive from the airport. There is another Pueblo Bonita near downtown but their Emerald Bay Resort is in the newer one in Zona Nuevo or New Mazatlan. We could see the Pacific and gorgeous sunsets over the ocean from our balcony . The best part of this resort was the sound of native birds, especially early morning. I used to wake up at 6:30am just to hear their loud chirping from the balcony.

Pueblo Bonita Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico

Pueblo Bonita Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico

Places We’ve Visited:  We had about 4 full days in Mazatlan and we didn’t rent any car. To get around the city, ride Mazatlan’s signature white open-aired taxi “Pulmonia”. Some of them have only doors and no windows while others have none. Although they are everywhere, do ask for the price before you get onto one. They are very cheap compared to US dollars and the drivers always appreciate a little tip.

Taxi in Mazatlan, Mexico, called Pulmonia

Taxi in Mazatlan, Mexico, called Pulmonia

Some places we couldn’t visit but worth making a trip would be Deer Island, Durango, and Copala. Deer Island can be done in half a day but Durang and Copala by the Seirra Madre are full day, 12-hour excursions. If you have extra few days, there is also a daily ferry that leaves Mazatlan everyday late afternoon and reaches Cabo San Lucas the next morning, within 14 hours. But if you want to stay locally, there are tons of water activities to do in Mazatlan, like Jet skiing, water-skiing, or parasailing.

Here are some of the things we did, saw, and visited while we were in Mazatlan.

  1. Centro Historico: This is a nice walking district of Mazatlan and a charming cultural center of the city. This old part of the town is a must see for any visitors.
Centro Historico in Mazatlan, Mexico

Centro Historico in Mazatlan, Mexico

      2. City Bus Tour: This was half a day tour of Mazatlan that we did on our first day there, focusing mainly on the older part of the city. The cost was $19 per person and we were picked up from our hotel around 10am and were dropped off around 3:30pm. This trip was organized with a small group of 3/4 families and consisted of little bit of walking and little bit of driving. My teenage daughter said that was her the most favorite part of this trip.

                           a. El Mercado or Mercado Pino Suarez: Our first stop of this trip on day 1 in Mazatlan is El Mercado in the Centro Historico. It’s a large indoor market place consists of countless small shops where you can find everything from fresh produce, to meat and fish, to household stuff, to Mexican handcrafts, and other souvenirs. It was a bit crowded with the locals and lots of tourist groups, but this was a great Mexico experience and a fun way to check out localities. I bought couple t-shirts for very cheap prices (2 kids t-shirts for $7). But do bargain before buying anything here.

Mercado Pino Suarez in Downtown Mazatlan, Mexico

Mercado Pino Suarez in Downtown Mazatlan, Mexico

                           b. La Inmaculada Concepcio or The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception: This grand architecture has been standing in the heart of Mazatlan since 1899 with its magnificent interior and exterior elements. There was a service going on inside the cathedral at the time we entered the building, so we couldn’t walk around and see all the details. But from its marvelous ceiling to stained-glass windows and the gorgeous alter, it’s pretty obvious why this is on the must-see list of Mazatlan.

La Inmaculada Concepcio or The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mazatlan, Mexico

La Inmaculada Concepcio or The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mazatlan, Mexico

                            c. Plaza Machado: This is the main public square and the heart of Centro Historico. It’s surrounded mainly by lots of restaurants and some old and colorful buildings, like historic hotel, theater, old book store, and other commercial buildings. It’s a trendy place in an old setting with lots of young local crowds…a great place to do some people watching.

Loved those windows and doors in and around Plaza Machado in Mazatlan, Mexico

Loved those windows and doors in and around Plaza Machado in Mazatlan, Mexico

We came back to Plaza Machado on Friday which was our last evening in Mazatlan. It was very lively with lots of people, local performers and dancers, vendors, and loud music at almost every restaurant. We came here for dinner because this is the best place to enjoy any meal in the city. You will find Mexican, Italian, and other kinds of cuisines in this square.

Plaza Machado at night in Mazatlan, Mexico

Plaza Machado at night in Mazatlan, Mexico

Taxi from Malecon Beach to Plaza Machado is about 90 Pesos and is about 180 Pesos if you are coming from Pueblo Bonita Emerald Bay Resort or that area.

3. The Lighthouse: We didn’t go near the lighthouse, just saw it from a distance. But this is the world’s natural highest operating lighthouse (515 feet above sea level).

4. Cliff Divers: This was our last stop before we were taken to souvenir shopping and to the lunch venue at Mr. Lionso. As soon as our van parked and we stepped out, one of the divers approached us to see him diving from 45 feet high rock formation to a really shallow water area. They will climb up the stairs and will dive to a water area that is only 5-6 feet deep. The divers will have to wait for the right waves and time for this stunt. But they are there all day and only have to wait few minutes to see the jump right in front of your eyes. usually a nice medium size of crowd will gather to see them, take photos with these brave men, and tip them.

A cliff diver ready to jump to a shallow water body in Mazatlan, Mexico

A cliff diver ready to jump to a shallow water body in Mazatlan, Mexico

Visitors can also climb the stairs for a better view of the surrounding ocean. Check out the beautiful mermaid statue while you are there.

Mermaid by the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

Mermaid by the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

5. Malecon and Olas Altas Beach: Few miles away from Plaza Machado, Malecon is a hustling place for the tourists as well as for the locals. The beach below Malecon is Olas Atlas Beach. The famous “Mazatlan” structure is at one end of Malecon. Few iconic statues can be seen while walking on Malecon and many street side vendors can also be found selling small trinkets in the evening.

Walking on Malecon at night in Mazatlan, Mexico

Walking on Malecon at night in Mazatlan, Mexico

6. Stone Island: This was our another half-day excursion that we booked on our 3rd day in Mazatlan. After we were picked up from our hotel, we drove thru the city in a no-window bus, and arrived at the marina about in an hour to board the catamaran. This was a fun boat with loud Mexican music, fun attendants, and cold beverages. The catamaran took us around some beautiful seascape with old rock formations and caves. Our first stop was to meet some sea lions on a giant boulder in the middle of the sea who originally migrated from California.

On our way to Stone Island in Mazatlan

On our way to Stone Island in Mazatlan

After arriving Stone Island, we were taken to our chosen activities by the beach or riding thru the island. Buggy ride with my little daughter gave us a taste of the culture of the island and the locals’ lives.

Buggy ride thru Stone Island in Mazatlan, Mexico

Buggy ride thru Stone Island in Mazatlan, Mexico

The trip was $35 per adult and $17 for a child. The price included lunch and 2 activities on the island  from banana boat, kayaking, horseback riding and buggy ride.

Stone Island beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

Stone Island beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

 

 

Advertisements

Reasons To Visit The State of New York

new-york-668616_1280.jpgPhoto by mpewny from Pixabay

You might think more songs have been sung about New York than there are people in this fascinating place. But there is one thing that anyone who has visited this state can agree, it is a helluva town. And that is the first thing that we should address, New York is a state and not just NYC as you might think. So we are going to take a look at why a tourist should visit New York, the whole state.

Attractions

If there is one thing you can say for sure with New York, it is that there are enough attractions to keep you busy for weeks. We are going to break them down into different categories to demonstrate just how broad a trip you can have in this part of the US.

 

  • Theatre

 

The first thing that a lot of people will want to do when they arrive in New York is book Broadway show tickets. The reason for that is pretty straightforward, aside from the West End in London there isn’t anywhere in the world with such a great range of commercial theatre on offer. Every show you can imagine will be available on this historical stretch of New York from the classics such as Chicago and Oklahoma to the modern hits like Mean Girls and Book of Mormon.

 

  • Architecture

 

If there is one thing that attracts the world to New York City it is the architecture. Home of the skyscraper is one way to describe this stunning part of the world. Some of the feats of engineering haven’t been replicated anywhere in the else from King Kong’s favorite hot spot the Empire State Building to Rockefeller Centre; home of NBC and Saturday Night Live. Be careful not to hurt your neck looking up at these incredible buildings and make sure you pay a visit to the beautiful memorial to the tragic events of 9/11. You will be amazed at how in such as busy city there can be this peaceful place for reflection and respect – a true testament to the spirit of New York.

niagara-falls-397831_1280.jpg

Photo by 12019 from Pixabay

Natural Beauty

As promised we aren’t going to stay in Manhattan, no we are going to explore the other parts of the state and the place to go if you are looking to get out of the city of New York is, Buffalo. Now, it might not sound like much but this is the home of Niagara Falls; the natural phenomenon that straddles the border of the US and Canada is not to be missed and is accessible by car from New York City. Niagara is the perfect example of why you should look beyond the city when it comes to New York. While there are some incredible things to see in the state’s capital, there is natural beauty like nothing else in the world just a short drive away. While visiting Niagara Falls, be sure to take a trip on the Maid of the Mist so that you can get up close and personal to hear to the thunderous roar of the waterfall.

 

5 Essentials For Camping This Summer

tegan-mierle-157974-unsplash.jpg

Picture by Tegan Mierle

The tapestry of camping has changed over the years and branched into multiple dimensions for all different travel tastes in terms of accommodation and settings that each and every person can adore. You can test yours and your families limits as a survivalist camper, rent a cushy RV and use as your accommodation while camping or take the traditional route of camping, which usually conjures thoughts of building a flat pack tent and sitting around a fire to the tunes of folk music cooking smores.

Camping is a travelling technique that can be adored by all, you just need to tailor your trip to suit you, your companions and pets.

There is an abundance of benefits you and your family/friends can gain from camping such as; large doses of fresh air are sure to knock out the kids and you after a day of hiking through one of the worlds most beautiful national parks before heading back to your camping pods. And going off the grid for a while generally does a lot of good for most, as some make the conscious decision to disconnect their electronics, take life back to the essentials and unwind from the daily stressors that are work, home life and school for the children/teens. The lack of noise pollution allows you to sit in blissful peace and quiet, reconnect with nature and escape the shrill sounds from city life.

Convincing anyone of camping to a degree is never truly difficult, with so much to offer each and everyone, what you really should be focusing on is what you’re going to take. Here are 5 necessities to get you started.

Shelter

You are likely to need some form of accommodation, (or tools that can help you build a shelter at least) to protect you from the harsh elements, mainly when weather conditions are at their extreme.

In terms of a tent, this might mean searching for something to fulfill defending you against the expected weather of where you are going to travel. For instance, a voyage up Mount Kilimanjaro will require a different shelter to the one you might need on a camping resort in Verona. Looking at waterproof options is usually an excellent place to start, but also check for windproof and UV protection materials too to shield you and your family/friends from the sun.

Alternatively, there are RV’s, cabins, Minivans, campers and so forth. You literally are spoilt for choice, it seriously just depends on your budget and the kind of experience you want to create on your vacation.

 

scott-goodwill-359336-unsplash.jpg

Picture by Scott Goodwill

Bedding

If you’ve ever slept on the hard ground before when camping, you’ll know you didn’t get the best nights sleep and longed for the luxury of a cushy surface, which is why you should pack lots of blankets/sleeping bags to keep you cosy, comfortable and warm as the night draws in and the evening becomes chilly.

Assuming you want to be well rested for your trip, pack a few pillows too. Unless you’re roughing your trip entirely with the bare minimum, a little bit of comfort from a good sleeping bag will go a long way in giving you a spritely mood and get-up-and-go attitude for your days ahead outdoors.

Knife

One too many uses available from one tool makes this a difficult item to ignore adding to your packing list for your camping holiday. For survivalists, campers on resorts, and even those camping in RV’s a knife has a multitude of uses that make this a necessary item for all, here are a few;

  • Cutting/chopping food
  • Shaping bandages from the first aid kit
  • Snapping wood from trees for a fire
  • Cutting rope and fishing wire

So don’t forget to search an assortment of knives available and consider to buy Zero Tolerance Knives. This goes without saying, but keep out of the reach of children where possible.

Food And Drink

Of course, you will need non-perishable food for your trip. This is especially true if you don’t have an electric supply to cater to fridge/freezer gadgets to keep your food fresh, which is why canned and packet food is usually a good bet. Meats will require refrigeration, so consider whether you have these facilities before you take any meat.

Ultimately, you should always carry plenty of water especially a running water supply is not available on your camping grounds. It’s great for drinks, cups of coffee, cooking with and washing things with too. If you’re attempting wild camping, it may be wise to take fresh water for your own safety, to prevent dehydration or to prevent drinking water from untested sources, such as streams.

Flashlight And Lanterns

Pack plenty of flashlights (and batteries) perhaps even solar lights to illuminate the outside of the tent at night time when you might need to journey to natures toilet.

Having a few lights handy on your person and inside your shelter will help you in a variety of scenarios at night time such as playing cards in the dark, guiding you to pick something up out of the car, or perhaps going for a nighttime stroll.

Camping lanterns, in particular, are handy as they will stand on their own and shed light in every direction. This is better when you need a stable, bright light without having to hold it consistently as you would a torch.

Yet be wary of bugs swarming to the light and keep your fly net down on your tent where possible to avoid creepy crawlies getting inside.

The prospect of camping is one that will fill you with excitement, adventure, peace, and quiet and the ability to connect better with a partner, friends, family at your own pace. However, packing the essentials for the style of trip you want to achieve is vital, to prevent your stay from becoming uncomfortable or even painful. The above items and tools are essential. However, you are able to expand on this so long as you have the equipment or vehicle to carry your extra luggage. For instance, you may wish to delve further in and look at camping pots and pans to cook with, toiletries to take. Perhaps even activity equipment such as fishing rods and bicycles, although these are not essential, they will make for a fun trip.

 

Best Outdoor Adventure Festivals in America

Are you searching for the best outdoor adventure festivals in the USA? Well, look no further because here, we’ve gathered the most popular musical camping festivals, designed to nurture the spirit of community as well as adventure in every traveler.

It’s no secret that we all enjoy the feeling of connection and community. After all, there’s not much which brings humanity together as compared to a shared experience. An outdoor adventure trip or festival tour in America will give you the appeal and spirit of togetherness in a highly concentrated form.

To make sure that you have the most enjoyable time, we have put together some of the best outdoor adventure festivals USA. From camping festivals 2019, to cool musical shows, we have a variety of ideas to brighten the hearts of every enthusiastic traveler.

  • Tasty Food in Chicago, Illinois

(Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/ilkTnuMunP8)

Chicago is popularly known for its delicious foods, for instance, visiting the Michelin-star hotels. So, if you wish to sample these tantalizing foods, take an outdoor adventure tour to one of the largest food festivals not only in the U.S.A but across the globe. Some of the exciting things which also happen here include:

  • Live music
  • Lots of family fun-filled activities
  • Public art galleries

Other crowd favorites are bakeries, Famer’s Fridge kiosks, and even Connie’s Pizza. Lastly, the place offers comfortable accommodations for all those travelers who want to stay close to the fun-filled foodie festivals!

  • Enjoy the Best Music Shows in Austin, Texas

You may not know, but west coast festivals are not the only exciting events we have in the country. The city of Austin also has some remarkable music festivals, and artists love to flock to this place. The Austin City Limits (ACL) show is one of those extraordinary events for its impressive lineup plus it’s effortlessly cool. What’s more, here, you will get a diverse collection of music, even those in Indie.

There are also exciting food and arts markets which further make this event one of the largest and most popular outdoor adventure festival. The 2016 one, in particular, is mainly remembered for its ‘superstar’ collection of artists with personalities like

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Radiohead
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Alabama Gulf Shore’s Hangout-the best of Musical Festivals

There are quite a few remarkable reasons why you should attend this outdoor adventure festival. Where else would you get chance of listening to great music from amazing and award winning artists as you enjoy the serenity of a sandy beach? Yes, this captivating festival is filled with fun and memorable moments with every single turn you take.

You’ll get to enjoy different rides, excellent foods, arts, tasty drinks, and beach volleyball. If this is not enough, take a trip down to the Gulf shores, an area filled with tons of mind-blowing activities. Once you’ve had your fun, the Beachside Resort Hotel is the best place for you to take a rest.

  • Michigan’s Rothbury Outdoor Adventure Electric Forest Festival

This hippie fest Michigan event is known for its sense of community sustainable initiatives. The organizers use it as an effective way of giving back to the society. However, it’s not only just another charitable event.

No! Instead, once you are here, feel free to relax at the Gold Rush Water Park, make some friends as you enjoy the attraction of the natural park to take over you. You can even decide to stay up and enjoy its late night parties!

  • American Folk Camping Festival in Maine

Bangor offers a perfect American camping festival as it appreciates the different cultures in America. Arts, historical narrations and music are among the activities you’ll enjoy in this event. You will also learn a great deal about the rich food groups, handmade arts and crafts as well as traditions.

Once you decide to take a couple of minutes from the festival, explore Bangor Museum’s local culture collection or visit the Opera house and see some memorable theatre performances. The Fairfield Inn will offer the best accommodation spot and feel free to take advantage of the hotel’s swimming pool!

  • Conclusion

Above are our recommended camping festivals 2019 to excite and inspire the spirit of adventure in every traveler. Now, we know that every outdoor adventure trip should be packed with highly engaging and exciting events. With these locations, you have the best chance of getting the most out of your trip.

So, from this list, which of these best outdoor festivals USA do you feel you should attend in 2019?

About the author: Catherine Wiley is an experienced hiker and traveler. She had an overnight hiking in Yosemite National Park, California. When she is not traveling, she is working on her main project https://gearexpertguides.com/

 

5 of the most beautiful national parks around the world

pexels-photo-210243

Source

If you want to see some of the most beautiful natural sights in the world, then you’re going to want to head to national parks. Pretty much every country in the world has its own national park, which is an area that has been protected by the state for people to enjoy – and to preserve wildlife in some cases. Want to know where the best national parks are in the world? Here are just five of them.

Joshua Tree National Park

Over Thanksgiving weekend this year, my children and I went to Palm Springs in California, where we got to visit the stunning Joshua Tree National Park. There are so many things to see and do in this national park that we stayed from 10.30am until 3.30pm – although we could have stayed a lot longer! Grab a map and make your way to all of the best spots in the park, including Ocotillo Patch, Cholla Cactus Garden, and the Jumbo Rock Campground. Oh, not forgetting Skull Rock, of course! There really is so much to see here; I’d recommend staying all day if you have the energy.

Serengeti National Park

If you want to see some of the most jaw-dropping wildlife on the planet, you simply have to head to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. One of the must-sees here is the Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest and zebra make their way across the plains to seek new pastures. You can go on a safari trip much more affordably now than in the past, then finish off with a trip to some of the gorgeous beaches of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

blue-sky-canyon-cliff-545964

Source

Yellowstone National Park

Often considered one of the best national parks in America, Yellowstone is a sight to behold. As the first national park in the U.S. (established back in 1872), this is the place to come if you want some history with your nature. Make sure you head to the Old Faithful Geyser and also keep an eye out for the local wildlife. Many people report to see antelope, bison, bears, elk, and wolves here.

Khao Sok National Park

If you ever find yourself in Thailand, it is definitely worth checking out Khao Sok National Park in the southern part of the country. The dense jungle is unlike any of the other national parks on this list, and it’s also home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. If you’re really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a majestic tiger or two while you’re here as well. One top tip if you’re visiting Thailand is that insurance is a legal requirement, so make sure you’re covered before you head off.

Fiordland National Park

Located in the southwest of South Island in New Zealand, Fiordland National Park is a true beauty. Head to the glacier-carved fiords of Doubtful and Milford sounds, look up at the stunning Mitre Peak, and see the reflections of the Earl Mountains in the Mirror Lakes. There are plenty of walks and activities here that could keep you busy for days.

It was hard to pick just five beautiful national parks around the world, but I think this is a good selection. What do you think? Do you have any others to add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,731 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 621,116 hits
%d bloggers like this: