Description of Costa Rica, a great place for eco-tourism with lots to see and do.

Costa Rica, a Paradise for Eco-Tourism

Costa Rica, a Paradise for Eco-TourismFor those who would like a destination for eco-tourism, Costa Rica is hard to beat. For a little country in Central America thats only 19,730 square miles, theres definitely a lot to see and do there. Costa Rica means rich coast in Spanish, which is the countrys official language. Located between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, Costa Rica is one of the most stable and prosperous of all Latin American countries. There are tropical beach resorts on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the country for sun vacationers but the main attraction of Costa Rica is the eco-tourism. For example, there is a wider variety of bird species in Costa Rica alone than in all of Europe and North America.Surprisingly, there are diverse eco-systems and microclimates within Costa Rica. In addition to the coastal beaches, there are dense jungles and rain forests with a wide variety of fauna. Some of these forests are referred to as cloud forests because of the moisture of the mists that linger among the trees in some parts. One forest has a cable car set up so that tourists can observe the plant and animal life at the treetop levels. For the more adventurous types, there is a place where one can swing from tree to tree using a network of rope attachments. There are also dry forests as well as colder barren volcanic tundras. Quite extreme changes in microclimate can be observed even within 30 minutes of travel. Some parts of the country have canal systems similar to those found in the Amazon and a few rivers offer excellent white water rafting. There are several volcanoes within the country and the extinct ones are easily accessible since they are tourist attractions. A few have beautiful turquoise color lakes that have formed in the craters at the top of such volcanoes. One of the more famous active volcanoes is Arenal where visitors can safely watch the eruptions from a nearby facility that has outdoor hot springs naturally heated by the mountain.In addition to the many different birds that can be sighted, there is a wide number of other exotic wildlife including monkeys, sloths, jaguars, bats and reptiles that can be seen during one of the many available nature tours. Every year, there are sea turtles that come to certain beaches to nest and this event attracts many nature lovers. The wildlife in Costa Rica is not only rich on land or the air but also in the surrounding oceans. For scuba divers, Costa Rica offers excellent diving opportunities and they are quite different from the waters in the Caribbean. The higher amounts of plankton in the local seas attract more numbers of large marine animals than can be found in the Caribbean.Coffee and bananas are some of the main exports for Costa Rica. For coffee lovers, this is the place to sample some of the best in the world although it should be warned that the locals like their coffee quite strong. Tours in the valleys will often go past numerous coffee plantations. Most tourists will fly into the capital city of San Jose. Although there is some nice colonial architecture to see in San Jose, its not one of the nicer places to stay in Costa Rica. The city is noisy and polluted but relatively safe. One can use San Jose as a base for many day trips to the various rain forests, volcanoes and beaches. Travelers can also fly into Liberia which is a town in the north part of the country. This is a much quieter region and close to many of the northern resorts. One option that many travelers take is to rent a vehicle and tour the country on their own. However, the roads of Costa Rica are not the best with lots of potholes and mudslides are common during the wet season from June to November. If renting a vehicle, a 4x4 is definitely recommended.There is so much to see and do in Costa Rica that many visitors return to see parts of the country that they missed before. The country is easily the most popular destination to visit in Central America. Costa Rica now has tourist offices set up in North America for those who want further information.

England's Hidden Gems

Many visitors to England decide to visit the familiar locations on the tourist trail - the likes of London, Oxford, Windsor and Bath.The reasons for visiting those locations are obvious - all of those locations boast wonderful history, architecture and some fine places to stay.Sticking to the more obvious tourist spots does, however, have a downside. Visitors undoubtedly miss out on some of the beautiful parts of the country that are often just as rich in history, architecture and culture. I wonder, for instance, how many tourists ever think to visit the city of Winchester. Indeed, if you're not from the UK, have you even heard of Winchester? Let me expand a little on exactly what you could be missing...Winchester was once the capital of England and the site of William the Conqueror's Castle. It also has links with the tales of King Arthur: a version of his famous Round Table still stands in the Great Hall. Jane Austen is just one of many famous people to have lived in the city.So where is Winchester? Well, not so far from the "beaten track" as you might imagine! The city is south of London and can be reached from our modern day capital via a train journey of approximately one hour (trains depart at regular intervals from London Waterloo station).On arriving in Winchester, you'll find that you can walk into the very heart of this compact city in just 10 minutes. The centre of the city is dominated by the fine cathedral - surely one of the most splendid in the country. The city's streets are laid out much as they were in Roman times - walking around Winchester is to stroll through England's history. Why not pay Winchester a visit and find out about one of England's hidden gems.

Cool Places In Hot Malaysia

Cool Places  In Hot Malaysia

The pet monkey named Joyng bit through her leash and romped through the fronds of the palm trees, celebrating her freedom. She paused occasionally to heave a coconut down at the sweat-soaked baseball cap of her frantic owner, who was chasing wildly after her and, in the Terengganu dialect which Joyng knew, beseeching her to come down. Such is life in tropic Malaya's resorts--better known to Europeans (especially Germans) than Americans. Guests enjoy the sun, sandy beaches, swimming pools, eco-tourism, river cruising, ocean diving, jungle trekking, remainder-to-remnant massages and spacious villas in the architectural styles of the Malayan Archipelago. They will also find crab-feeding monkeys, noisy hornbills and monitor lizards sunning them selves on the green lawns as their neighbors. Our press grouping's have was limited to impertinent local culinary art, sleeping in comfortable villas, snorkeling in warm seas and partaking in 3 health club treatments, which together created a perfect high gear-enjoyment refuge memory. We had first base flown into Kuala Lumpur, 's modern capital city, which everyone calls "KL." The cosmopolitan city and business center gained new public awareness when the Petronas Twin Towers topped out in 1996 and occupancy began in early 1997. Tower One is occupied by Petronas, the state-owned petroleum corporation. Tower Two houses Petronas' associate companies and multinationals. The towers are joined by the 192-foot-long sky bridge on levels 41 and 42. Our final examination dinner was at the Fisherman's Cove Restaurant, which offered an Asian-fusion of Western grill, Taiwanese dishes, Italian specialties and impudent seafood. The open kitchen, views and state-of-the-art design made it the ultimate dining know at Pangkor Laut. Our drive back to KLIA for our flight home was notable because it was on Ching Ming, the day that people from the Formosan communities traditionally sojourn cemeteries to honor and show respect to their ancestors. The many final exam resting places that we passed, all senior high school on hillsides, were thick with devotees and there were no places left to park on the highway. is a great place to inflict, but be prepared for heat, overwhelming humidity and thunder-showers every afternoon, depending on the time of year. Monsoon temper starts around the beginning of October and continues to January-February. A haunt arrest, with its breezes, is fresher than a check in KL, and dress is more casual. Airlines flies five times a week 'tween Los Angeles (LAX) and KL via Taipei and III times a week betwixt New York (JFK) and KL via Stockholm. Airlines' crown jewel, the Golden Lounge, is the world's largest business--and first gear-class airport passenger lounge, with good food plus corners in which to relax and check your e-mail. Pangkor Laut Recourse was included on the Circus tent Ten Overseas Hotel Spas-Asia and 100 Big top Spas Worldwide 2004 lists by Conde Nast Traveller. Opened on March 1, 1979, the repair has been extensively refurbished under new management. It features 126 luxury villas and 22 resort hotel villas plus a watering place building and two swimming pools. It is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World mathematical group. Tanjong Jara Refuge won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for its updated interpretation of a 17th-century sultan's palace. It was given the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences' 5-Star Diamond Award and the top award in the Malaysian National Landscaping Competition.

Guide about Versilia in Tuscany

Guide about Versilia in Tuscany

Versilia occupies the north-western part of Tuscany, between the ridge of the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea.The historic territory of Versilia is divided into the administrative Communes of Pietrasanta, Forte di Marmi, Seravezza and Stazzema.Nowaday, the term Versilia includes also the communes of Massarosa, Camaiore and Viareggio.The area includes the Communes of Viareggio, Camaiore, Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Massarosa, Seravezza and Stazzema, the Regional Park of Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli to the South and the Park of Apuane to the North. It is close to art cities such as Lucca (20 Km), Pisa (21 Km) and Florence (100 Km). It is easy to reach with any means of transport.Versilia is characterised by a variety of landscape that changes, in a few km, from sea to hill, to mountain. It is a unique environment that confirms the gastronomic variety of meat and sea dishes. Its cooking is made of simple and genuine ingredients and it goes along with the most elaborate one that had to consider the tourist phenomenon. In fact, it requires a cooking more suitable to people with different tastes and coming from different parts of Italy and from abroad.Versilia enjoys a peaceful mild and temperate climate all year long. The average temperature goes from 10, during the winter, to 25, during the summer. Due to the vicinity of the Apuane to the sea, rains are abundant during the whole year; whereas during the summer there are short but strong thunderstorms.It is possible to come to Versilia on holidays during the whole year.During the summer, when the sun heats the sandy beaches, the vicinity of the Apuane mitigates the heat and the climate becomes pleasant with windy days and fresh nights. During the day, it is possible to enjoy oneself on the beach and take a plunge in the sea, or a walk within the green of the pine forests, on the hills or on mountain paths, or take a visit to art cities and small villages well known to mass tourism.During the night, there is only the embarrassment of choosing, from night clubs to open door theatres, from shopping to cultural exhibitions, from gastronomic feats (sagre) to simple walks.

The Ride Of Their Life - The Grand Canyon Mule Experience - (Part 1 - The Day Ride)

As sunrise begins to unveil the magnificence of the Grand Canyon every morning, every day of the year, a group of forty to fifty Canyon visitors gathers around the mule ride check-in desk in the lobby of the historic Bright Angel Lodge. The old lobby is the picture of comfort and security with its rustic beam construction and fire roaring in the huge rock fireplace. But the smiles and cheerful banter of this group mask the anxieties which lie beneath. They are about to embark on an adventure that only a fortunate few people in the world will ever experience.Probably never having been to the Grand Canyon, they made their reservations over a year ago and have patiently enjoyed the anticipation ever since. However, having arrived early this morning and made their way out to the patio behind the lodge which overlooks the Canyon, reality has just set in. Big time! On the other side of the short, rock retaining wall the Canyon begins - and it goes straight down. The sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon couldn't possibly have been grasped through the pictures they admired at home. Even now, as they stand beside it, they are struggling to grasp the reality of it. Everyone is awestruck and some even suffer a degree of shock. It would be easy to conclude that only an experienced parachutist could safely make that descent.They are checked in now, and have been issued their rain slicker (Canyon weather is fickle) and their bota bag for water (a souvenir of the trip), and have made their way a quarter mile along the Canyon rim to the round, rock corral next to the trail head. While the anticipation remains as high as ever, for most, the anxiety level drops slightly when they get their first look at Ron Clayton and his wranglers. Even though they resemble a picture out of the old wild west, they are for real. One look at Casey, Dave, Jack, Sean, or any of the seven or eight others (including several equally competent lady wranglers) will rightfully calm their nerves. These are some of the best cowboys in the world. They love what they do, they do it well, and they instill trust at first sight.As Ron gathers the riders around for instructions, a crowd of other tourists gather also, out of curiosity. Unexpectedly, both the riders and the spectators are treated to a first class monologue with twenty minutes of instructions and education woven into a humorous presentation which further calms a few jitters. He stresses safety and reassures them that if they simply obey their wrangler, all will be well. He also assures them that if they don't obey their wrangler, they will quickly become hikers. Every single soul standing in that crowd believes him. The riders are now ready to go.A sharper trail boss doesn't exist than Ron Clayton. With an eye gained only from a lifetime of experience, he looks the riders over as they walk toward him into the center of the corral, one at a time. As they approach him, he calls out the name of one of the sixty mules tied up around the corral perimeter, a mule which will inevitably turn out to be a perfect fit for that rider. Ron is that good. After each group of eight to ten riders has mounted and been given last minute reminders by their wrangler, they follow the wrangler through the corral gate. Fifteen feet farther and they are at the Bright Angel Trailhead and over the edge they go.YeeHaw!! Hearts are pounding!It is rumored, and it is true, that the first quarter mile of the descent is the scariest. Anxiety is at its peak now, as many of the riders have never been in a saddle in their life. The trail is narrow, and the vertical drop-off along the edge of the trail is frightening to say the least. The first turn in the trail is almost a u-turn and, forgetting that a mule's head is some distance in front of its front legs, they may feel like their mule is going to go straight over. Never fear. In spite of their apparent nonchalance, these mules don't miss anything, and the very last thing they want to do is go over the edge. The turn will be successful, an audible exhale can sometimes be heard, and a tiny bit more anxiety will subside.A short fifteen minutes down the trail they will come to a wide spot which, by now, looks as safe as the plains of Kansas. The wrangler will stop and all the other mules will automatically line up beside him, facing the Canyon. He will remind everyone to put on their "parking brake" and then he will dismount and begin a rider to rider equipment check, tightening cinches, checking stirrups, etc. All the while, he will once again be stressing the most important rule of safety - keep your animal up close to the one in front of you! The mules make this trip every day and they are so comfortable on the trail that they will sometimes lose focus and lag behind. If not reminded by the rider's use of a "motivator" to stay close, at some point the mule will realize his sin on his own, and will run to catch up. While it is somewhat humorous to watch a wide-eyed rookie rider bouncing up and down on the back of a mule cantering down the narrow and rocky trail, hanging on for dear life, this is how accidents happen. So the riders are reminded once again that repeat offenses of this nature will surely turn them into a hiker.It is here also that any rider who has already become totally convinced that death is just around the next corner, can dismount, leave their mule where it stands, keep their bota bag, and hike the short distance back out of the Canyon to enjoy a longer life. Only pure terror can be the basis for this decision, however, and it rarely happens. The trail below looks much less ominous and most of them will already be visibly more relaxed. The adventure which they have dreamed about has just been vividly previewed and the lure to continue is almost undeniable. The wrangler mounts up and the ride of their life resumes.It is impossible to describe the sensations which they will experience for the next two hours as the trail drops some three thousand feet in altitude, and no attempt to do so will be made by this writer. This aspect of the "once in a lifetime experience" is different for every rider. Some will later recall the breathtaking vistas as the trail winds around the Canyon walls and occasionally yields glimpses of the vast valley below. Others will recall "interesting" parts of the trail itself. Perhaps Jacob's Ladder, the seemingly endless series of swithcbacks which scale what appears to be a thousand foot vertical rock wall. Entering the Indian Garden oasis with its hundred year old cottonwood trees shading the quaint atmospsere will also be a memorable occurance for some, not just for its serene beauty, but also because they are more than ready to get out of the saddle for a rest.A camaraderie will develop among the riders even though they are from different parts of the world and just met one another in the mule corral. Without fail, they will be party to humorous incidents along the trail. They will all laugh more today than they ever thought possible. Some will quickly develop a bond with the animal they are riding - talking to it and calling it by name. In fact, the most lasting memory for some will be the animal they rode. They will always remember its name.Upon arriving at Indian Garden, they will welcome the chance to dismount and stretch. Some will now be noticing the first signs of soreness in a place where they are not accustomed to feeling it. Others will just be happy for the opportunity to walk around and straighten their legs. If it is summertime, the wrangler will line all the riders up and hose them down - no exceptions - with cool water piped across the Canyon from Roaring Springs over on the Canyon's north wall, and it turns out to be fun for everyone. Mid-day temperatures in the Canyon can be extremely high and the symptoms of overheating are sometimes difficult to recognize. The wrangler will once again check everyone's tack, and they are off to Plateau Point. By now, a few of them will even fancy themselves real cowboys.The trail out to Plateau Point is flat and uneventful, giving no hint of the spectactular view they are approaching. Even as they are dismounting at the pipe hitching rail they are still largely unsuspecting. Only when they clamber up on the huge flat rock and make their way out to the pipe rail at the far edge, do they get their first view of the Colorado River peacefully wandering along the Canyon floor. It is still so far below that it resembles a piece of blue string lying on the ground. A brief reverential silence usually occurs, and then the exclamations begin. This will be what some will always recall first. It is breathtaking for sure. One last look, a few thoughts and comments about the beauty and power of mother nature, and they mount up and head back to Indian Garden for lunch. Everyone is always ready for lunch.They were all given sack lunches when they checked in at the lodge this morning. A light lunch, but tasty. There won't be any complaints as they relax on a short rock wall, munching away, discussing the natural wonder they have become a part of for one memorable day in their life. They will all be feeling some level of physical discomfort by now, and when the wrangler says "OK riders, let's hose off once more and mount up", most of them will be thinking they would rather sit right where they are just a little longer.The trip back up the Canyon wall will be quieter and probably uneventful. It has been a long day and they will be tired by now. With their backs to the valley, they will trudge up and out of this mystical world and back to the civilization to which they are accustomed. When the wrangler announces a rest stop for the animals, they will sit quietly and gaze back down into the Canyon. Their comments will be predictable - "It's just gorgeous" or "I'm so glad we made this trip" or "We were all the way down there?!". Whatever the comments, the appreciation in their voices is clear.As they dismount for the final time, back on top in the corral where it all started, their mood will be somber and appreciative. They will be glad to get out of the saddle for the last time, but subdued by the realization that the adventure has ended. They will express their appreciation to their wrangler with uncommon respect and they will remember his name forever. They will return to their homes with memories which will never be dislodged, and in some cases, never even diminished. They understand full well that they were priviledged to experience the ride of their life.As sunrise begins to unveil the magnificence of the Grand Canyon the next morning.......................

Discover Norton Simon Museum In Pasadena California

The Norton Simon Museum sits on 9.5 acres, is housed in an 85,000 squrare foot structure and is located in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. right across the street from where the television cameras are set up every year for the Rose Parade. Therefore millions of people view the front of the museum each year as they watch the Rose Parade. What most of these viewers do not know is that "The Norton Simon Museum of Art holds one of the world's finest and most prestigious private collections of European, American and Asian art."

The collection, which includes works by van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rodin and Fragonard consists of over 1,000 works, including paintings, etchings (by Rembrandt, Goya, etc.), sculptures, photographs (Ansel Adams) and other mediums spanning a period of over 2,000 years. The museum also hosts lectures, gallery talks, family programs, musical performances, dance performances, films and tours.

The museum provides both private tours and monthly free public tours of their collection conducted by Museum Educators.

The museum's store features a large selection of books on American, Asian and European art along with posters, prints, slides and stationery goods as well as books on photography, gardens and architecture.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's hours are 12:00 noon - 9:00pm on Fridays and 12:00 noon - 6:00pm all other days. Admission fees are adults $8.00, seniors $4.00 and patrons under 18 years of age, students with valid id and museum members free.

For more information about the city of Pasadena, California see, a directory of links to city of Pasadena, California guides and directories listing hotels, restaurants, churches, physicians, attorneys, information, resources, services, things to do, places to go, art galleries, service organizations, auto dealers, nursing homes, convalescent hospitals, antique dealers and more.


Description of Costa Rica, a great place for eco-tourism with lots to see and do.