New Zealand’s Poor Knights Marine Reserve – A Special Place

Tutukaka Poor Knights islands panaroma - Dive! TutukakaWe chose to visit Tutukaka in the northern part of New Zealand’s north island because of its access to Poor Knights Marine Reserve.  Our preference for nature, water sports, and diving, coupled with quieter, less touristy areas drove our choice.

What is Poor Knights?

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Milford Sound – Scenery Photographers Dream About

Magical Milford Sound

Earl and Livingston mountains along Milford Road; road trip to Milford Sound with Fiordland ToursIn the pristine and scenic Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is New Zealand and its surrounding area’s most dramatic natural attraction. Its captivating scenery boasts:  Continue reading

Choosing Galapagos Excursions

What Galapagos Excursions and Activities do you prefer?

For your Galapagos Excursions, decide if you want to see the Galapagos by motoring between islands and living on a boat. Or would you prefer staying on one or two islands and taking day excursions?  You can do some of each; we did both.

How to decide – a cruise, a land package, diving?

Our boat - our Galapagos excursions

Our boat – First Class Cat

A cruise will be much more expensive than a land trip. However, it is not possible to see the remote islands if you do not go on a boat cruise.

[TIP: You will visit the more remote spots only …

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Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao – Learn Where to Buy Fish from Fishermen

Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao

Curacao - Fresh fish from the local fishermanOne of my favorite things to do is buy fresh fish in Curacao from the fishermen. Not only is it a frugal way to eat great fresh fish in Curacao, it is also a cultural experience and an experience in nature. So do you want to know – Where to Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao? Continue reading

Costa Rica Travel Agents and Accommodations

Guanacaste

As you may recall from other posts, our home base in Costa Rica was in Guanacaste, on the Pacific Coast.  Based on Costa Rica Travel Agents and Accommodations available, we chose the Playa del Coco area, and stayed quite a long walk from town at Ocotal Beach Resort.  We chose Ocotal because of the reputation of its dive operation.

Dive Shop recommended by Costa Rica Travel Agent

It is located on a beautiful site overlooking the Pacific, and not far from town by taxi.     Unobstructed View from Costa Rica Hotel Accommodations

Since we planned to dive and brought all of our dive gear, it was more convenient to rent one place for the whole time in Costa Rica. Then we did day trips or overnights to other areas, like San Jose, Arenal, and Tamarindo.  Volcano AheadSome people may think it is crazy to pay for 2 rooms, but it is much easier for us to choose our base, travel from there and only pack what we need.  (See our separate post for More on Diving in Costa Rica.)

Booking Accommodtions + Tours

The Costa Rica Accommodations that we chose for this trip were booked through Continue reading

Costa Rica Diving with Big and Tiny Sea Life

More on Costa Rica Diving

Diving is different, as you are diving in colder waters and around rock formations rather than coral.  There are more very small colorful creatures, and more larger animals.

For exaOctopusmple, I never saw so many octopus out during the day as I did during Costa Rica diving.  When I look at our pictures, almost every day has photos of octopus.

Fish Life we Encountered

Puffers resting together in the rocks in Costa Rica

The cute puffers are everywhere; they were Continue reading

Costa Rica Adventures

Rain forest skywalk in Costa RicaCosta Rica is an interesting and diverse country chock full of fascinating nature-related adventures.  This series of posts provides what Costa Rica Adventures we chose to do and why, when to go, accommodations, and some of the professionals we used to enhance our trip.

Flying to Costa Rica

Many people fly into San Jose, Juan Santamaria International Airport to see the volcanoes and cloud forests. We chose to fly to Liberia, Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Guanacaste on the Pacific Northwest side.

Costa Rica Adventures in Guanacaste

Guanacaste is the drier region, and offers great Costa Rica land and sea adventures.  The Guanacaste area has the jungles, rivers, zip-lines, and more.  Costa Rica Adventures that  Continue reading

Packing List for Curacao

View to south from Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach ClubMy friend Frann joined us in Curacao for a week. The night before she left she emailed me to ask for a packing list for Curacao, and then she repacked everything. I asked her what Curacao packing list advice I should share that was the most valuable for her packing she said the following was most helpful: Continue reading