Travel agents are used to making a home anywhere. We often hop from resort to resort or different towns all in the quest to give you our personal opinions on why different destinations, hotels, or resorts may (or may not) be perfect for you.
Speaking for myself , I don’t only want to know about how many restaurants around but I like to get to know the destination. I want to know the language, I want to know the hidden spots to get the best local cuisine, I want to walk the landscapes, eat the food, learn the transportation systems. I really want to know the location.
I want to give you a little insight about the little known, under the radar Caribbean destinations just waiting to be explored. Check them out.
The sister island of more known St. Kitts, Nevis is a small island located southeast of Puerto Rico. Nevis is a great spot for travelers looking for an authentic island experience. There are no fast food restaurants and it is not an overly tourist area.
Nevis is a great spot for history buffs because it is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton and also known for having one of the few Jewish settlements in the Caribbean.
Although Nevis is a small island, it still has all the amenities you need for accommodations from five star hotels to more modest hotels.
Are you looking for an adventure? Dominica is a mountainous island in the Caribbean waiting for you to dive, hike, and be one with nature. Nicknamed the Natural Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica more than lives up to its name with many adventures for those wishing to explore an unspoiled habitat.
When visiting Dominica we recommend going for a hike at the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have access to the Emerald Pool and Waterfalls, the Middleham Falls, the jungle, and a lake. After a day of physical activity relax with a mud bath.
I have spoken about Guadeloupe before as one of my top five romantic island getaways. The Guadeloupe Islands has a French Caribbean atmosphere. It is a French territory conveniently located in the Caribbean, you will be diving into a island comfortably fused with classic French sensibilities with Caribbean attitude located less than 5 hours during peak season from JFK.
Besides being a great romantic getaway this is also a great choice for adventure seekers with lots of unspoiled jungle to explore, for foodies just imagine a creole of French, African, and Caribbean cuisine (so yummy), and for those that just want to get away from it all there are islands just waiting to be your sole domain for the day.
Are you looking for a perfect vacation that has all the thrill of a popular tourist destination, but that feels like a secret hideaway just for you? If that’s what you’re craving, I can help you get there! Together we can discover a place that you’ll want to return to again and again. Just click here to get in touch with me today.
When it comes to taking a cruise on the river or ocean, it’s pretty tough to go wrong. Both offer incredible views, luxurious amenities, and the opportunity to explore interesting ports. Living in New York City, we have two ports that will conveniently take you on a number of ocean cruising experiences. However ocean cruises are worldwide so it is an opportunity to explore the world from a large boat.
The majority of river cruises are located in Europe although you will find specialty river cruising in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Each one comes with its own unique perks, and depending on your specific needs for your next trip, you might find that one is a slightly better fit than the other. So what are the major differences?
One big difference can be summed up in one word: intimacy. River cruises tend to be much smaller (190 max vs. up to 6,200 on the largest ocean cruises), and as a result, you’re much more likely to be interacting with other passengers and crew members.
That smaller scale translates to all areas of the river cruise. You dine on a regular schedule at tables with other passengers (wine is included in the price of the cruise). Instead of 50 different things to do on board, amenities tend to be more modest with river cruises — think libraries, a workout room, cultural programs, and free Wifi vs. ten kids’ playrooms, glitzy Broadway shows, and a skydiving simulator. There tend to be fewer kids on river cruises, making them popular for couples seeking quiet and relaxed time together.
You stop almost every day at a new port with river cruises, often for walking tours through quaint towns with little tourist traffic, and you’re always in view of land.
With ocean cruises, you can go days without seeing land, and ports of call and excursions tend to be more exotic and high-adventure.
Because of their larger size, ocean cruises offer plenty of options for many ages, from young kids to octogenarians, and they are often more able to accommodate a wide variety of special health needs. For this reason, they tend to make the best option for multi-generational family gatherings that include young children. For the traveler who is into high-octane adventure, ocean cruises provide a wide variety of activities on board, as well as exotic and more daring day excursions.
River cruises do tend to be more expensive per person — but that price also includes more things. Ocean cruises have a lower sticker price per person, but you are often charged extra for alcohol and other amenities.
When you’re getting ready to plan your next on-the-water trip, here are a few questions to consider:
1) How many people are traveling? What are their ages?
2) What time of the year do you want to travel?
3) Do you need the amenities of a mega ship — spas, gyms, a dozen restaurants, and many activities? Or are you looking for something calmer, more intimate and easy-paced?
4) Are you seeking authentic inter-cultural experiences? Or do you prefer more familiar settings?
As always, we are here and would love to discuss your next cruise. We can look at all the moving parts of your upcoming trip — what you need, what you want, what your dream is — and together we can come up with a cruise you and your loved ones will remember fondly for the rest of your life. Contact us today.
I had such a great time while in Cartagena, I wanted to give you a sample itinerary for what to do, where to go, and most importantly what to eat while in Cartagena.
Cartagena can be explored over a long weekend but for the full breadth of experience I recommend one week. Here is a sample itinerary for staying in Cartagena, Colombia.
Cartagena is located in Colombia's Caribbean coast and is truly one of Colombia’s most beautiful cities. Colombian tradition is full of bright colors, vibrant music and delectable foods that are rich in culture. There is no surprise that tourists are being rapidly drawn to this lively port city for vacation, as it contains an enticing combination of old-world charm and new-world experiences.
Where to stay. Traditionally, Cartagena was one of the more affordable Caribbean destinations. However, in 2019, it’s tourism industry is booming and prices have definitely increased to reflect the growth in travel into Cartagena. For budget-friendly and less-crowded travel, the best months to travel to Cartagena are November, December, March, July and August.
Where to stay depends on the type of Colombian experience you desire:
For history buffs, stay in or near Cartagena’s Walled City. Casa Pizarro Hotel Boutique is a modern boutique hotel with all of the desired amenities, including a pool, buffet and accommodating staff. It is located in a fun neighborhood and is walking distance from the Walled City.
For a luxurious getaway, stay at Hotel Casa Agustín, a chic 4-star hotel on the beach. Containing only 31 guest rooms and suites, as well as a private beach, spa and onsite restaurant, this 17th century building encompasses both history and luxury.
For a non-stop beach party atmosphere, stay in Bocagrande at Penthouses Palmetto. This high rise building is located directly on the beach, and within walking distance to numerous restaurants and quick driving distances to Cartagena’s most popular sites.
What to do. Cartagena is a large city, both in population and geography, and therefore lends itself to varying lengths of stay, depending on your focus. Whether you plan to stay for a weekend or an entire week (we highly recommend the latter), Cartagena has a host of sights and experiences for everyone.
Wander through the Old Walled City. Downtown Cartagena is contained within 7 miles of stone walls and is highlighted by colorful, historic buildings. Take a stroll through the city, watch the sunset from the walls and stop and experience the nightlife filled with vibrant cocktails and salsa dance.
Shop at Bazurto Market. Bazurto Market has numerous vendors of varying kinds, including local delicious and fresh produce, through narrow alleys and under makeshift roofs.
Relax on the Playa Blanca. Known for its beautiful white sand, Playa Blanca is located on Baru island and is accessible by boat or van. During the busiest season, you will find larger crowds and beach vendors, while the more quiet season serves as a peaceful reprieve from city life.
Be artsy in Getsemani. Getsemani is a growing neighborhood highlighted with talented street art, hipster coffee shops and a ton of history. It is located only 10 minutes outside of the walled city and is marked by the Plaza - where people gather to watch performances and have a drink.
Learn Cartagena history at the Inquisition Museum. The former home to the Spanish Inquisition, this museum highlights the importance of Cartagena’s ports.
Hike Tayrona National Park. Located along the coast, Tayrona is comprised of pristine beaches and adventurous hikes.
Visit Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena Cathedral and the Clock Tower.
Where to eat. Cartagena is Colombia’s culinary capital, combining top chefs, local flavor and a vibrant atmosphere to create can’t-miss restaurants.
La Cevicheria became famous thanks to the travels of a renowned chef and global traveler, the late Anthony Bourdain. The quality of food at this restaurant is impeccable, with fresh local seafood and regional wines highlighting the menu, and the quantity more than generous. There will be a wait as reservations are not accepted, but it is well worth it.
Maria is a restaurant that highlights traditional Colombian ingredients in a cushion of global cuisine. It is swanky and modern and spans the world in its take on flavor and spice, with its cocktail program as innovative and delicious as its food.
Di Silvio Trattoria is a traditional Italian restaurant with historic charm and live music. Located in the heart of Cartagena’s party town - Getsemani - this beautiful and historic restaurant serves the best pasta and pizzas in the city.
If you are considering a trip to Cartagena and would like the assistance of a premier New York travel agent, contact Million Miles Travel Agency today.
Lover of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Always looking for the best places to eat wherever I go.