Dominica- The perfect Vacation destination

March 3, 2017

With tourists running in abundance to more prominent Caribbean islands like Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas why not run the other way ?!I was quite astounded yet pleased at the lack of tourists that I saw compared to that of other Caribbean islands I’ve visited.

I presume the paucity of luxury resorts and hotels could be what is beleaguering Dominica’s tourism industry since, after all,  the average vacationer just wants to sunbathe, relax and drink cocktails.This hidden gem is guaranteed to give you all of those things and so much more.  Throughout my visit, I felt so in tune with myself, everyone and everything that surrounded me. It was beautiful watching the natives appreciate and live in symbiosis with their beautiful piece of the Earth. They were so conscious and careful about their actions and how they would impact the planet. Aesthetic plants and gardens on every corner, copious amounts of fruit bearing trees making it almost impossible to keep your hands to yourself.  It’s no wonder Dominica is known as the nature island of the Caribbean!


Without further ado, here are some of the reasons why I think you’ll love Dominica as much as I do <3



*Dominicans as a whole are some of the friendliest people I have encountered throughout my travels. Their willingness to patiently assist a silly misguided traveler like me made the experience that much more special.

*Beautiful beach front restaurants that do not charge you an arm and a leg for a lovely lunch or dinner with a view.


*Beaches, beaches, and more beaches. Most of them secluded. Need I say more?

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*A chance to bond and be encircled by the life source that is the root of our existence, Mother Earth, in her purest form.






*Plenty of Hiking trails. This picture was shot after a short hike to the top of a cliff in Scotts Head, Dominica. Waitukubuli hiking trail is the Caribbean’s first long distance hiking trail. You can literally hike through the whole island, at your own pace of course. Read more about it here.



*Beautiful waterfalls and 365 rivers to explore. I even took a river bath!




*Transportation is easy and inexpensive making it very easy to get around the island. Rent a car or catch a shared bus ride costing anywhere from 2 E.C. to 10 E.C.  Car rentals are approximately 40 u.s. dollars per day.

*Hot springs: Screw’s sulfur Spa was one that was mentioned on more than one occasion when speaking with locals. I didn’t get a chance to make it there but it sounds like one heck of a trip.



Caribbean, Cuba

Havana, Cuba travel guide

February 25, 2017

How to get a Cuban Visa: Our Cuban visa was administered by our airline upon check in for $50.00. I read online that one could also obtain a visa in Havana’s airport but our airline , Jet Blue, wouldn’t even let us continue with check -in unless we purchased it through them. Passing through customs was  no problem at all, it was as perfunctory as any other country I have been to. After reading online that travel to Cuba is only approved if you are traveling for one of 12 reasons:

  • Educational activities in Cuba for schools, including people-to-people exchanges open to everyone
  • Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions in Cuba
  • Religious activities in Cuba
  • Humanitarian projects in Cuba
  • Journalistic activities in Cuba
  • Family visits to close relatives in Cuba
  • Activities in Cuba by private foundations, or research or educational institutes
  • Any type of support for the Cuban people
  • Exportation, importation, or transmission of information technologies or materials
  • Certain authorized export transactions including agricultural and medical products, and tools, equipment and construction supplies for private use
  • Official business of the US government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations



I was prepared to express my visit had to do with journalistic activities, after all I do have a blog.  Fortunately no one ever asked or seemed concerned as to why I was there.


Where to stay:  When planning my trip to Cuba it quickly became apparent that there were limited options when it came to reserving a hotel.  Air B N’ B was my next choice and I am so happy everything worked out the way it did.  We ended up staying here at Rosy’s house and what a pleasant surprise it was. Rosy and her husband are so extremely sweet and genuine. On my friend’s birthday they surprised her with a birthday cake and we all sang HBD. We got amazing breakfast served to us every morning at our desired time along with suggestions and recommendations on things to do. On our last day they prepared a feast for us and we all ate dinner together, laughed, shared jokes and created memories that would last a lifetime.  I 1000% recommend staying here on your visit to Cuba!


Transportation: Getting around in Cuba can easily add up to be quite expensive as taxi cab rides are the primary mode of transportation for most tourists.  More affordable options include purchasing a Habana Tour bus  Hop On/ Hop off day pass for 10.00 CUC. Tickets can be purchased right at the bus stops.

The public bus is another option but unless you speak Spanish it will be extremely difficult because there are no maps routes to follow, you have to already know where you are going. Fortunately for me my Air B n’ B was only a 4 minute walk to one of the Habana bus tour stops!


Things to do :

Parque Central  – a great way to explore street art or have a seat and people watch. After walking all around Havana it was nice to be able to sit and relax.

San Jose Market -  This somewhat of a flea market with many shops. Here you can purchase souvenirs , clothing, and walk through rows and rows of  vibrant painting created by artists that are local and abroad.

Obispo street  -  I loved Obispo street, I enjoyed watching the street vendors sell their fruits, the tourists exploring and stopping to take pictures, the plethora of restaurants and bars, I loved it all! My favorite restaurant throughout my stay in Cuba was also located right off of Obispo street.

Paladar Don pucho located off of Obispo street was one of our FAVORITE places to eat. So much so that we had lunch there 3 days in a row! For 12.00 CUC we got a lobster meal, a mojito with flan and cappuccino for dessert!! The food was amazing, the staff was friendly and the live music out the icing on the cake!  A definite MUST VISIT!

Get Lost! : Literally, start walking once you arrive to Havana and get lost. It was a pleasure stumbling into a local market and observing the locals wait in line to purchase meat freshly cut and hung out for sale by the butcher.


Havana Beaches: Throughout my stay the weather did not permit me to enjoy any beach days. After asking many many locals these are the two beaches that were repeatedly recommended. They are both near Havana and easy to get to.

Santa Maria del Mar and Playa de este.


Beware: When hungry look for restaurants that contain ” paladar” in their name. This is your indication that the restaurants are not government owned and more likely than not their prices will be most economical because they are privately owned.

Also pay attention to plain clothes locals hanging around and claiming to “help” you by recommending bars and restaurants.  Some of them will even go as far escorting you to the destination which leads me to believe that they must get paid by the bar or restaurant if we decide to stay and eat.  The establishments you will be taken to are usually high priced tourist traps.

DO NOT buy any cigars from street vendors. They are imitations, go to a cigar factory to purchase authentic Cuban cigars.

***Hire a car for day tours to Vinales and Varadero! Due to the of the unanticipated rainy weather that plagued the last 2 days of our trip I want able to go :-(.


Cancun to Playa Del Cramen Day Trip Guide

January 6, 2017

 Getting to Playa del carmen : The ADO bus is a fast and cost effective way to travel from Cancun to PDC.   The ride is only an hour long and costs 65 pesos each way. View the ADO schedule here . Plan to arrive to PDC around 8 a.m. and explore the beach  right outside of the terminal and some of the surrounding shops on 5th avenue.

Cenote Azul : Next,  take a collectivos for 40 pesos and head North to Cenote Azul. Tell the driver where you are going and they will inform you when your stop is approaching.  You will literally get dropped off on the side of the road but do not panic, a 30 second walk will land you right at the entrance (the entrance fee is 30 pesos). It gets pretty packed in the afternoon so come as early as possible. This cenote has a natural partition separating it into 2 sides. Enjoy cliff diving and swimming on one side and snorkeling and an au natural fish pedicure on the other!


Cenote Jardin del Eden: What’s next? Well, head to Cenote Jardein del Eden which is only a 5 minute walk south. Pay the 100 pesos entrance fee to the guard and embark on a 15-20 minute stroll until you reach the actual cenote. I recommend packing your lunch as there are not many options for food and all the swimming and walking will definitely leave you hungry. Cenote Jardin del Eden was much larger that cenote Azul which resulted in a pleasant opportunity to find a spot all to myself to enjoy lunch while relaxing and taking in the views.


Akumal Beach: After Cenote Jardin cross the street (so you are heading in the opposite direction) and hop on the collectivos for 20 pesos to Akumal Beach! What’s so special about this beach you may ask, well… you get to swim with sea turtles!!! How cool! The beach is a 7 minute walk from where the collectivos drops you off.  Don’t be afraid to ask a local to make sure you are heading in the right direction, everyone was very helpful and you should have no problems at all.  Upon arriving you’ll be approached by different agencies offering snorkel equipment and a private guide to go swim with  the sea turtles. I was able to bargain the price down from 30 USD to 20 USD. What a steal considering the sea turtle tours to Akumal from PDC typically cost 80 – 100 USD per person!!  There are also several restaurants on Akumal beach, if you get hungry you can grab a quick lunch here for about 5 USD.


Explore 5th Street: If you’re not too tired, take the collectivos back to PDC ( I believe its the last stop). From there catch a taxi to 5th avenue (approximately 100 pesos) , the famous PDC strip where there are tons of restaurants and shops. it’s the perfect way to end the evening.  I stumbled upon some memorable stores and met some pretty cool travelers. I recommend not missing out on the 2 listed below!!


sells Jellyfish lamps made Playa del carmen by Mayan artisans. All lamps are made from natural products supplied by nature . lamps range form 25.00 and each has their own meaning etched into them, represented by the Mayan symbols . The symbols and their respective meanings can also be found on the website.


Tierra Huichol –

I was blown away when i witnessed first hand 2 Huichol men sitting in front of the store patiently placing each bead one by one onto their masterpiece cohesively creating  an intricate work of art! It takes 4 hours to make the smallest of the pieces that were for sale and weeks for some of the larger ones.  WOW!



View the ADO schedule here for your return bus to Cancun. I ended up staying in Playa so I didnt need a return bus.