I visited Costa Rica to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday with my family from Peru and Germany.
It was my first time in the destination and my first time in a private villa with a chef!
As a travel agent I am used to going to all- inclusive hotels whenever there is one available, but this time my brothers preferred a villa instead of a hotel to just spend time together with no strangers around.
When you take your group to a villa, the experience is super intimate, there are no shows, no restaurant options, bar tenders, etc; but on the other hand this experience will let you deepen the bond with the people traveling with you.
In our case the villa came with a chef , Luis Arias that pampered us in many ways and with three cleaning girls: Tatiana, Cherys and Mayra. They kept the villa impeccable and even did our laundry!
Our concierge was fabulous, Ruddy Munoz Abarca, he did all the arrangements for our excursions and transfers.
We stayed in Quepos,which is located 2.5 hours from San Jose airport, if there is traffic it will take you at least 3 hours to arrive there.
The area is super nice and safe, you can go out walking to restaurants and bars. The beach is not easily accessed by walking,it is better to take a taxi or the local bus to go there, the closest beach to our villa was Biesanz Beach but is rocky on the left side so make sure that you just swim on the right side.
On this beach you can also do kayaking and snorkeling.
The food in Costa Rica is awesome, we enjoyed Gallo Pinto, fresh fruit, cheese, and avocado in our first breakfast and our chef prepared Caribbean Chicken on our last day that was spectacular! We ate grilled meats, fish, Costa Rica style ceviche and all the food was super yummy!
We enjoyed days on different beaches: Espadilla, Manuel Antonio and Biesanz. Each one is completely different.
Espadilla is a big beach where kids can run the waves in boggie boards, the waves are strong and even good for surfers.
Manuel Antonio was my favorite because is small, intimate and has white sand. Lovely for young children because it has no waves.
Biesanz beach is where you can do snorkeling and kayaking but the beach itself is rocky, you can get in the water to swim only on the right side but still have to wear swim shoes because of the small rocks.
The locals suggested that we go to Campesinos Eco Lodge instead of Rainmaker because we didn’t want my dad to walk long trails. The place was espectacular, just a short walk to the hanging bridge and another short walk to the waterfalls where you can swim.
For families with kids and elderly parents is highly recommended!
If you are in Manuel Antonio National Park area, visiting this park is a must! To see the wild animals it is better to go very early in the morning or at night with a guide, they know where to find them.
I enjoyed so much the diversity of flowers, the monkeys chasing us and the thousands of blue crabs!
Friday nights they have a small farm trade show in downtown, there you can buy specialty coffee, bread.
We just tried one restaurant that has a lovely location on the oceanfront , is called Mira Olas. Located in Central Avenue, just to the left of the name “Quepos” that is shown on the boardwalk that goes around the beach. The food was superb and we pay $13 dollars for 2 meals with natural passion fruit juice. The meal was a choice of meat: chicken, pork or fish, rice and black beans.
Costa Ricans also known as “Ticos” are extremely warm, happy and caring people, they do everything they can to make you feel welcome and they will go the extra mile to make sure that your stay in their country is enjoyable!
As my friends there say, “ Hasta la vista, PURA VIDA!!
If you want to look beautiful in your wedding day, you have to take care of the beauty of the dress, but most importantly is that the dress fits you very well. Your wedding dress should enhance your beauty and be according to your complexion and your personality.
Your ideal wedding dress has to feel beautiful and unique. There are a lot of weddings attires from princess dresses to trouser suits. There are also combinations with hats, veils, feathers, headdresses, and shoes, and each element adds up.
To help you to chose correctly, we give you some tips:
The goal is to create a hourglass figure.
When your body is shaped as pear or diamond, you need to enhance your shoulders with necklines like buttonhole collars also known as boat neck, drop shoulders and asymmetric lines. These kind of necklines are good for brides with a small breast too.
The Queen Anne neckline enhances shoulders too, but requires a long neck and stylized face.
Bodies shaped as rectangle have to enhance both the shoulders and the lower body to create the hourglass figure.
In the other hand, inverted triangle bodies should use V necklines; it can stylize the upper body and it is fine for big brides and for brides with short or wide neck.
A round neckline is good for this as well, especially if the bride has a big bust. Additionally, there is the heart neckline which should be worn with a wide skirt.
In same way, skirts must help creating an hourglass figure as well. Brides with hourglass bodies can wear skirts with the following cuts: mermaid, trumpet or straight, but brides with pear and diamond bodies should wear a straight or A cut that have to be loose on hips.
Brides with triangle and inverted rectangle shaped bodies should wear A cuts or pleated skirts to delineate their waist and give volume to their hips.
Take these tips and look radiant in your wedding day.!
Book Colour Me Beautiful, 1984 by Carole Jackson
La Costa Verde´s Beach Circuit
“La Costa Verde, as it is known popularly, has about 20 beaches that cover the capital districts of Miraflores, Chorrillos, Barranco, San Miguel, Magdalena Del Mar and San Isidro. Lima is one of the few capitals in the world with access to sea and beautiful cliffs, which are an important tourist attraction.
These beaches have activity all year, although it has a greater number of bathers during the summer months. In ”la costa verde” there are many recreational activities for tourist, such as: surfing, paragliding, soccer, volleyball, concert areas, restaurants, social clubs, as well as areas for fishing.
The beaches of the South Asia Boulevard
The Asia Boulevard is the most exclusive one of Lima. This complex has branches of the most important businesses in Lima, such as restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs, department stores, cinemas, supermarkets, hairdressers, shoe stores, jewelry, decoration and fashion, but the beaches have rough surf, so you need to be cautious.
Here on the picture is Cantuarias Beach.
A postcard cove. This beach has thick white sand, and it’s surrounded by restaurants and nightclubs. It’s located a little over half an hour away from the capital.
It’s similar to El Silencio beach. This beach has a semicircular coast with a calm sea and thick white sand.
It’s ideal for surfers! The surfer community knows it as Pico Alto. It is located at Km 40 of the Highway called Panamericana Sur.
This beach is modern and its residences fill the seascape with color. The beach is curved and long and its sea is rough. It is at Km 40 of the Panamericana Sur
Punta Hermosa Beach
This beach is traditional, and has several pleasant beaches, with mostly soft waves. Punta Rocas stands out with its beaches being ideal for surfers. On this beach a surfing championship takes place annually and usually ends in a youth music concert.
San Bartolo Beach
It's the biggest beach in the south of Lima. It's beaches are perfect to practice sports, such as: fishing, surfboarding and sea kayaking. On December 8th, the Immaculate Conception festival is celebrated here. It is located at Km 51 of Panamericana Sur
Here a picture of the sunset on this beach.
Santa Maria Beach
It is an exclusive family beach. It has luxurious residences and modern apartments. There are beaches like El Cangrejito and Embajadores, nice and small quiet beaches shaped like a half moon. You can also find here the Yacht Club and the Club La Esmeralda.
Although, we must recognize that the most famous beaches of Lima are undoubtedly in south of city, we can not fail to mention one of the most emblematic beaches of Lima;Ancon, which has historical value and tourist potential. Few decades ago this beautiful beach was considered one of the most exclusive in South America. One can not fail to mention its historical value for all Peruvians, because it was where the famous treaty of Ancón was signed, which put end to the bloody war of the nineteenth century between Chile, Peru and Bolivia. If we go further back, we see that in pre-Columbian times different cultures have converged here, one of the most outstanding is the Chancay culture. So when you visit Ancón you must visit its museum. This area has several beaches with a calm sea as well as some with many waves.
Santa Rosa Beach
This is the most exclusive beach in Northern Lima. It has beautiful summer residences and restaurants that are full during summer season; the beaches are generally calm.
The Ica Province in Peru has much to offer to the tourists looking for history, culture, nature, and adventure. Here are some of the places in Ica that you must visit.
These ancient geoglyphs are found in the Nazca Desert between the Nazca and Palpa populations, in Ica. These lines were traced by the Nazca culture; they form various shapes that can be as simple as lines and complex as zoomorphic, phytomorphic and geometric figures made on the land surface. In 1994, the Unesco Committee declared these lines as World Heritage. This colossal pre-hispanic art piece will bedazzle you.
It’s a beautiful historic place! The estate has restaurants, vines, and a wine factory; tourists describe the visit to this place as a lovely experience. For those who travel with kids, it is recommendable to spend the day in this place because there are games and entertainment shows for the little ones.
The Ica Dunes
There isn’t a more deserted landscape than the Ica Dunes. Dunes are sand mounds that move with the wind; they can be found in any sandy coasts, river shores, lakes or seas. The magic of these dunes is found on their constantly changing shapes and sizes, because of that, we can see dunes of less than 3 ft. or more than 330 ft.
These dunes are also the perfect place to practice sports such as sand boarding, sand skiing or a buggy trip through the Huacachina Dunes.
In the middle of the dunes, the Huacachina Oasis emerges; it originates around the lagoon of the same name. This natural lagoon of emerald colored water originated due to the emergence of underground streams. There is an abundant amount of vegetation made of palm trees, Huarango and Eucalyptus (introduced species) that allow migratory birds to rest. For all of this, Huacachina is one of the most colorful and beautiful places on the Peruvian coast. Rides through the lagoon are offered; it has wide lanes to wander and has a variety of restaurants in the surroundings.
Canyon of the Lost
The canyon is located 2 hours away from Ocucaje’s square. It is a short walk that goes between lakes, clay pyramids, and fossil deserts. This canyon is an impressive geological formation, created by the patient water flow through ravines seeking the ocean for millions of years. This place became an attraction for both scientists and tourists from all around the world. The beauty of its colors and the charm of the Canyon of the Lost, make this place a natural jewel.
Tambo Colorado, also known as Pucallacta or Pucahuasi. Is an old Inca settlement located in the Pisco River valley. This beautiful adobe building is considered the best Inca urban-administrative complex in Perú. Its name is a mixture of words: the Quechua word "Tampu" means resting place, and the word in Spanish "Colorado" was chosen because of the red, white and yellow paint used to decorate its walls. We also recommend visiting The Site Museum where archaeological pieces found in the area are shown.
Is the capital of Greece and the origin of civilization. This cosmopolitan city is a mix of different cultures and people, who have left a mark through time, this is why Athens is a touristic center of excellence.
Some places we recommend you to visit are: Athens Acropolis, which is old great importance to the Greek; the high city, in which many Ancient Greek cults took place; you can also find the Acropolis Museum, created in 2009; there is Delfos as well, which is known as the center of the world and is one of the most important stops from Ancient Greece. Inside the Acropolis, you can find the Parthenon, the place where democracy was born.
Plaka is the most ancient neighborhood, full of charming streets dotted with typical taverns, churches and buildings from the Ottoman era. This neighborhood is known as the “gods’ neighborhood” since it was really close to the Acropolis. There is also the Archeological Museum where you can see objects from the prehistoric era to the ancient one. The most vivid parts of the town are Agora, Ancient and Monastiraki.
We can’t forget Meteora, which is one of the most special places in the entire world for some people. It is made out of sandstone boulders that formed under the sea over 30 million years ago and that have been uncovered by the sea lowering its level. These astounding formations sculpted by nature are something you must see during your trip to Athens.
It’s of the most well known Greek islands and is considered by many as a jewel due to its savage beauty and uniqueness. This island forms part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. The island has two main cities: Fira and Oía; towns that seem to emerge from the cliffs over a subterranean crater that has small, white, cubic houses built on them. The Greek believe that the lost city of Atlantis is found on that island.
The way that this island was destroyed by a volcanic eruption originated a rugged landscape and an amazing view of the sea and colorful stone beaches formed by the lava.
This is the biggest island in Greece and the fifth one in the Mediterranean Sea. The intense blue of the sea and sky, mixed wit the whiteness of the sand beaches and of the monasteries, make white and blue the most characteristic colors of the island.
Crete has varied landscapes and is known for its immense natural beauty thanks to its imposing mountains, profound canyons and numerous caves that lead to the sea. We have as an example Samaria Gorge which is the most known in Crete and has been declared a national park.
On the other hand, Crete’s coast has small fishing towns, and you can only get to them by traveling through the sea. In these towns time seems to have stopped; these places are the perfect destination for those who want to disconnect from the world since these towns don’t even have cars or advanced technology.
Adding up these natural treasures, Crete is a very important historical center because it possesses important remains of the ancient Minoan civilization. You can visit the Knossos, Festus and Gortyna palaces, archeological testimonies of the glorious past this island lived.
In this island, there are about 70 beaches, and one of the most beautiful is Sarakiniko beach, located on the northern coast the of this island, located in the Cyclades archipelago. One of its most outstanding characteristics are the volcanic formations of the rocks. These formations are a great spectacle because of the great diversity in its white shapes that contrast with the Aegean Sea’s intense blue. These formations give this beach the nickname of the “moon beach.” The Milo island is part of a gigantic group of islands made up by more than 200 located in the Aegean Sea
Is there a country that is more romantic than Italy?
If you are a couple that loves art and culture, you can’t miss the experience of visiting Italy or even celebrating your honeymoon there. Italy is the 5th most populous European country, having 61 million inhabitants; it’s also one of the most visited countries due to its beauty.
Its history and culture are impressive; according to UNESCO, 60% of the world art heritage is found in Italy. Remember that “the piano” was invented in this country in 1709.
Italy is also known because of its fountains; between them, the Trevi fountain stands out the most, where tourists throw near 3000 euros in coins per day because of the myth born with the movie Three Coins in the Fountain (1954). The myth says: “If you throw a coin: you’ll return to Rome. If you throw 2 coins: You’ll find love with an attractive Italian girl or guy. If you throw 3 coins: You’ll marry the person you met.”
Also, one of the best parts of visiting Italy is its people. Italians are creative and innovators, sincere and with a positive mentality of always moving “Avanti” (always moving forward), “failure” doesn’t exist for them. They are proud of their food, culture, and art in general; they love who they are.
Must go to cities in Italy:
Rome is Italy’s capital and without a doubt is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s known as the “Eternal City” for its rich history. In spite of that, you’ll also be able to enjoy their modern attractions, such as their haute cuisine restaurants. We all know that the best pasta is found in Italy, but there’s also their delicious and fragrant loaves of bread and panettones, and how could we forget one of the most famous ice creams (gelato) worldwide from Gelateria Corona, made with fresh ingredients. It’s highly recommended to dine at one of the restaurants in Trastevere, some of the most romantic are located there. You’ll find out why Rome is one of the best cities in the world.
Rome is full of commercial streets with products that you’ll be able to find only there. You’ll lose track of time in the merchant stands from the Mercado de Campo de’Fiori, enjoying their smells and flavors, and something you cannot miss, are the monuments and ruins of the Coliseum and the magnificent Pantheon.
When speaking of romance, you can’t forget Venice. It’s a city you can visit any time of the year, and it’s full of watercourses that give this peculiar city a touch of sensuality. Navigating through Venice’s channels in a gondola is an unforgettable experience, especially if you are beside your beloved partner. Venice is a city flooded by love.
Other famous tourist stops are San Marco Square, the well known Ducal Palace and the Rialto Bridge, the most famous one in the city. You can stay at one of their palaces turned into prestigious hotels.
To describe Florence in one word it could only be Gorgeous! It definitely is one of the best places in Italy because of its cultural wealth. It has many places to visit, like the historic center of Florence, where you can find: the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery or the Ponte Vecchio. We recommend you visit this city and enjoy all of its wonders.
The Tuscany region is one of the most gorgeous places you could visit in Italy. The Tuscany territory is full of hills and mountains: the Apennine mountains travel across the Lunigiana, Garfagnana, Mugello and Casentino hollows.
Get lost in the wonders of its undulating and green territory, while listening and enjoying the Tuscan dialect, in which Dante Alighieri wrote his marvelous novels. Did you know that Tuscany is the Italian dialect that most closely resembles Latin?
The places that you can’t miss while visiting this wonderful region are:
Siena is one of the most famous cities in the Tuscany region. You can get there taking a train from any other Italian city. On July 2nd and August 16th, Siena celebrates el palillo, a horse race that originated in medieval times, in which every district of the city participates.
This city, which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, has a lot of history and stunning architecture. It’s delightful to walk through its streets, lined with tourist attractions, not leaving behind the gastronomy, that will be a delicacy even to connoisseurs of fine cuisine
This is one of the places with the most tourist activity inside the Tuscany region; it’s known as the Medieval Manhattan due to its towers. To get there, you need to take a train to Poggibonsi, the nearest train station (because the town doesn’t have one of their own), and from there, take a bus to San Gimignano, which takes about 25 min.
At San Gimignano you’ll enjoy their impressive architecture and their exquisite gastronomy. In this town you can find restaurants and ice cream shops on every street, where you can taste whatever you want, wherever you are.
Something we recommend to couples, is to walk through the town during the sunset, going through the 13 towers that defeated time, it is an enchanting and romantic experience.
Rising over the landscape, the beautiful Montepulciano stands out, a city you can visit departing from Siena; the bus trip takes about 2 hours. Once you’re in the city, give yourself the time to visit places as lovely and outstanding as the Piazza Grande, the Cathedral, the Palazzo Bucelli, the Sant’Agnese Church or the Sant’Agostino Church; symbolic monuments from one of the most beautiful cities in the Tuscany region.
Nowadays it is one of the most known cities from Tuscany because the well known movie saga Twilight was recorded there. Sadly, it doesn’t have a direct train connection, but it’s near the Pisa airport, being only 39 miles apart.
The city is surrounded by the Etruscan walls, which are older than the Roman ruins, and it has an impressive archeological museum, a fortress and a Roman theatre. All this wonderful architecture is interspersed with a green countryside, which splatters the city with vivid colors.
This city is between Pisa and Florence; it’s protected by the imposing wall that surrounds Lucca, which is one of its distinctive characteristics. This wall was built in the 16th century and remains intact to this day in spite of the long time.
We invite you to explore its medieval streets, its antique Roman churches and its elegant handicraft shops. You can find many important places in Lucca that you can’t miss. Within these places, you can find: the city walls, the Palazzo and the Guinigi Tower, the Basílica of San Frediano, the Lucca Cathedral, or the Tower of Hours.
One of the places with the most tourist activity is definitively Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, placed over the ruins of the old amphitheatre with an oval shape that made it seem very unusual. In the city, you can also enjoy its restaurants, coffee shops, markets and stores.
Some hotels that we recommend to you in this region are Fonteverde, Bagni Di Pisa and Grotta Giusti, in which you can enjoy magnificent spas, restaurants, bars and shows to make your honeymoon unforgettable.
La Toscana http://blog.global-exchange.com/la-toscana/
Every day more newlyweds from the U.S. are choosing a love nest in the U.K., and Scotland for their own royal honeymoon:
Near the Heaven
Immerse yourself in the rugged peninsular landscapes of the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands. It is a 3-day trip from Edinburgh. During your visit to Scotland's wild northwest coast, you’re driven through the Highlands, including stops at Glencoe and Loch Ness. You can eat breakfasts in the harbor town of Portree, where you’ll find local pubs and have plenty of time to explore the Isle of Skye with your guide. Numbers are limited to 16 people on this small-group tour, ensuring a personalized experience.
Discover the best of Edinburgh without the stress of public transit and massive crowds on this hop-on-hop-off bus tour. With your 48-hour pass, hop aboard the double-decker, open-top bus for a panoramic sightseeing excursion. You can choose route options with dozens of strategically placed stops, and if you want the added bonus of free entry to royal sites like Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. You and your loved one will be feeling like the king and the queen here.
Navigate by the Exciting Jacobite History
Take a tour of the Scottish Highlands that features historic locations linked to the Jacobite movement of 18th-century Scotland. Visit the village of Dunkeld, drive through Cairngorm National Park to Loch Ness, and stay overnight in Fort Augustus. You will have an exciting ride to Mallaig aboard the Jacobite steam train, featured as the Hogwarts Express in the popular Harry Potter films. Along the way, hear tales of battles fought by the Jacobites — supporters of the exiled King James II.
THE EVENTFUL OCCASION
Why not plan your honeymoon around one of Scotland's top events or festivals?
The Highland Games: Traditional heavy athletic events like tug-o-war and the caber toss, as well as Highland dance competitions, track and field events, and piping, the games are a spectacle like no other. And it all takes place against a scenic Scottish backdrop.
Hogmanay & New Year In Scotland: Hogmanay is what Scots call New Year's Eve - 31 December - the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December. But whatever the scale of the event and wherever it's held, Scotland's Hogmanay celebrations guarantee a warm welcome and more new friends than you ever knew you had, all in a frenzy of goodwill! For an unforgettable Hogmanay break, it's got to be Scotland.
Edinburgh International Festival And Summer Festivals: Over the summer, the Edinburgh festivals bring a wave of color and soaring excitement to the city. Seven spectacular festivals proudly serve up the most incredible smorgasbord of culture you could ever imagine, filling the city's performance venues and event spaces in late June, July, and August.
Lomo saltado is a popular, traditional Peruvian dish, typically served with white rice. The dish originated as part of the "chifa" tradition, the Chinese cuisine of Peru, though its popularity has made it part of the culture. Like many others dishes in Peru, it is one of the favorite ways to mix cultures that influence Peruvian cuisine . As a Peruvian it is one of my favorite dishes and the best part is that I can prepare it here in the USA where I have lived since 2004.
Prep 30 m
Cook 20 m
Ready In 50 m
Peruvian Lomo Saltado
How to make Lomo Saltado
Your wedding is composed of many things, and flowers are an important ingredient. They can create a warm, beautiful and spectacular environment. In order to make the right selection pay attention to these tips:
● Language of flowers, every flower can say a different thing. Start your search by taking a moment to look through the different meanings behind flower varieties. For example gladiolus symbolize strength and moral integrity. Calla Lillies symbolize magnificence and beauty, Chrysanthemum symbolizes fidelity, optimism, joy and long life. A red chrysanthemum conveys love; a white chrysanthemum symbolizes truth and loyal love while a yellow chrysanthemum symbolizes slighted love, Daffodil symbolizes regard and chivalry. It is indicative of rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life, Daisy symbolizes innocence and purity, Gardenia symbolizes purity and sweetness. They indicate secret love.
● Size, One of the most important considerations in choosing a bouquet is getting the size right. A small bouquet is ideal for a pleasant sentiment while a large bouquet expresses a explosion of sentiments, in an exuberant manner. It is important to know, modern bouquets tend to be a bit smaller and less packed, while, traditional weddings will call for a larger, more sumptuous bouquet. A larger dress will probably look better with a larger bouquet as well, but it also depends on the style of the dress, just like the style of the bouquet.
● Shape is another thing worth considering when choosing a bouquet. Popular shapes are round, symmetrical designs, long crescent designs, or cascading designs. Crescent designs have longer pieces that shoot out from one side as opposed to the other, while cascading designs have long pieces that hang down to the bottom of the bouquet.
● Color is another important factor in choosing a flower arrangement, and is heavily dependent on the sentiment you want to convey. Color choice and type of flower go hand in hand with the purpose for your bouquet, so give each equal consideration.
● Some colors meanings are:
○ Red is the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination.
○ Orange is the color of social communication and optimism.
○ Yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful.
○ Green is the color of balance, growth, and self-reliance.
○ Turquoise is communication and clarity of mind.
○ Purple is the color of the imagination. It can be creative and individual.
○ Pink is unconditional love and nurturing.
○ Magenta is a color of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life.
○ White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.
● Price may also be a consideration in the selection of the size of the perfect bouquet, although it's also important to consider the destination. Therefore, don't choose something too large and difficult to transport.
I hope this information will be helpful for you!
How to pick the right bouquet
Meaning of colors