The Best Attractions in Lima’s Miraflores District [Peru]

Although many travelers visit Peru to explore its pre-Columbian heritage, most travelers passing through the nation’s capital, Lima, prefer to stay in the city’s most modern neighborhood: Miraflores.

Travelers choose Miraflores for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and its wide range of attractions that appeal to every kind of traveler. 

When you visit Lima, make sure to check out some of the very best that Miraflores has to offer.

1. Casa Museo Ricardo Palma

Ricardo Palma was a Lima-born writer and thinker who oversaw the country’s National Library from 1883 to 1892.

Today, the government has preserved his long-time home as a museum where visitors can see the original furnishings, paintings, documents and art that he cherished during the last years of his life.

Currently, the museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, but is closed for a lengthy daily lunch from 12:45 until 2:30.  Entrance is six soles ($1.75 USD).

For updated information and opening hour, visit their website>>>

2. Huaca Pucllana

huaca pucllana Miraflores Peru

If your trip to Peru doesn’t include time in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, you can visit this sacred historic site that has been preserved on its original location in the Miraflores neighborhood.

It features a typical pyramid crafted from adobe and clay, surrounded by a central square and walls.

At press time, Huaca Pucllana is open daily from Wednesday to Monday, and regular entrance fees are twelve soles ($3.50 USD).

For updated information and current opening hours, visit the Huac Pucllana official site here>>

3. Larcomar

Larcomar Upscale Mall Miraflores Peru

Larcomar is Miraflores’ most famous, and most architecturally interesting, shopping center.

It is carved into the seaside cliffs at the south end of Avenida Jose Larco and features several open-air and glass-walled viewing decks offering panoramic views of the sea. 

Larcomar is home to several upscale restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the best selection of international clothing shops in town.

There are eight shops where you can stock up on high-quality athletic and outdoors apparel and equipment before your Inca Trail trek.

For updated information and current opening hours, visit Larcomar’s official site here>>

4. Malécon

Area of Malecon near beach in Miraflores Peru

The malécon is a six-mile stretch of oceanfront parks, walking paths and cycling routes that runs along the Pacific Coast from the artsy Barranco neighborhood in the south all the way to the north end of Miraflores.

Active travelers will love going for a jog or bike ride beside the ocean, adventure travelers will want to try paragliding (buy your tickets from the booth at Block 2) and creative types will want to take in the many different sculptures erected along the walkways.

For updated information about the park (in Spanish only), visit Miraflores Parks page here>>

5. Parque del Amor (Lover’s Park)

El Beso (the Kiss) statue in Love Park Lima Peru

Also known as the “Park of Love”, Parque del Amor is Lima’s most romantic park.

At the center of the park is Victor Delfin’s gigantic red statue El Beso (The Kiss), shown above, that features two loves entangled, horizontally, in a kiss.

The park also has some of the best sunset views in the city, making it the perfect place to snuggle up with the person you love.

6. Parque Kennedy

Parque Kennedy

Situated in central Miraflores, away from the ocean, Parque Kennedy has become a controversial tourist attraction that often pits frustrated locals against wide-eyed tourists.

The park was named after John F. Kennedy and is frequented by buskers, shoe shiners and the elderly.

It is also frequented by the one hundred (or more) stray cats who call the park home.  There are cats on the grass, cats on the benches and even cats in the trees.

While some consider the cats to be a public health hazard, other consider them an adorable addition to the neighborhood.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!


Whether you want to explore the history of Lima, have an active holiday or simply relax with a cup of hot chocolate while you pet a stray cat, Miraflores has something for you.

It is also well-connected by bus rapid transit (BRT) to the historic center of Lima, so you can see the very best of old and new Peru during your stay.

Bonus: The Best Sites in Lima Peru [Video]

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What is the Best Detox Retreat in Thailand?

Thailand — Adventure to Phuket Island for Weight Loss and Detox:

Phuket Island is also known as Phuket Province, it is an island that is mountainous and covered in rainforests; located near the Andaman Sea.

Known for containing some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, especially the ones found along the coast of the clear waters near the western shore.

The island is home to all kinds of resorts, restaurants and spas that are high-end and top-quality; with all kinds of services, entertainment, and relaxation: There are many retreats and resorts for losing weight and detoxing in Phuket.

From research and talking to locals, our correspondent quickly discovered one of the best weight loss and detox retreats in Thailand, as can be seen by the reviews here, known as PhuketFit.

detox Thailand

The main town in this island is called, Patong and the inhabitants of this island say that there is a very casual vibe you can feel and see everywhere. Some aspects that help to create a vibe like are all thanks to the discos, the bars and the nightclubs that there are.

With that being said Phuket Island is a popular destination for the sole purpose of losing weight and or going through the process of a detox; such a wonderful and relaxing destination to go to when having to go through something so serious and so stressful.

The methods used here help you to lose weight in a safe manner yet it can be done in a very fast amount of time and the results will last a long time, so you can be happy with your results and that know all of your hard work and efforts are sustainable and strong and worth it all.

One way, offered by PhuketFit, is Muay Thai–that’s a Thai martial art that conveniently doubles as a great and adventurous way to get fit too, as the below shows:

There are plenty of weight loss and detox programs and retreats within Thailand but the most popular one and the best one seems to be PhuketFit on Phuket Island.

Did you know that more than one third of the population in the world today is considered to be obese, don’t worry because it is really not all of your fault; self-control, being active and healthy eating help but are not the entire solution to a problem such as being overweight.

Participating in a retreat program such as this means that you will closely be working with their team of fitness and health professionals from all over the world; they will guide you through the whole process step by step, they will cleanse your mind, body and soul, they will train you with how you think, how you eat and how you live your life.

On a detox retreat, you will also enjoy food with a menu that is designed to help you lose weight and boost your immune system in your body; think of a ton of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables as well as meats that are lean for your protein. Food items such as these are where you get your minerals, vitamins and nutrients that are needed in order for the body to work properly on a daily basis.

Lastly they will also educate you in all that you need to know about starting this program, going through and life after it; changing your life and becoming a healthier and better you is simple, you just need a guideline to follow, determination, patience and someone to enforce you to follow it all.

The approach of PhuketFit is vastly different than any other and this is a good thing, for starters they clearly acknowledge that there is no one size fits all and that when it comes to losing weight everyone is different.

Each person who participates in this program will get a regime designed specifically for them. This is done so he most weight can be lost in a healthy and safe approach. This cleanse only takes a total of five days to go through and their professionals are there for whenever you need them; they don’t just help you but they also support you.

From Muay Thai to Zumba, your specialized retreat program doesn’t have to be boring.

Lastly, you will learn how to take everything and apply it to your life after the program so you can continue to be healthy.

You will learn how to exercise properly as well as how to cook meals that are healthy. You will even be given several private consultations and be trained in physical education and even given a decent education in the field of nutrition.

Eliminate the bad toxins in your body and get rid of the stress you have at the same time with their help.

So you don’t get lost trying to find PhuketFit, we’ve included a map below. Getting fit can be just the thing you need to keep living your own heroic adventure…

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Traveling to Thailand don’t miss these other post to help you plan your adventure:

  1. Phi Phi Island Excursion by Ferry Boat
  2. Chiang Mai the Perfect Place for a Long Holiday

Top Two Extreme Camping Experiences

Have you ever dreamed of camping in the treetops or pitching your tent high on a mountain cliff? Those risk-takers, who like to flirt with danger, thrive on such experiences.

Extreme camping certainly isn’t for everyone, but this type of camping is becoming more common among those who love experiences that test their strength and endurance.

They thrive on that feeling of pure ecstasy. Imagine yourself spending the night in pitch black, sleeping in a hammock high in the treetops.

How about setting up camp on a sheer cliff far above the ground?

 Tree Camping 200 Feet Up

Tree camping is gaining popularity in places around the world. Within the United States, one well-known spot is in The Willamette National Forest in Oregon near Blue River with the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute.

Get ready for the thrill of a life-time. The “campsites” are at least 200 feet up a 500 year- old Douglas Fir.

Guides will outfit you with all needed equipment. This extreme experience will cost you about $600 per person.

You will be issued harnesses and helmets.  Now the work begins. It’s time to pull yourself up with attached ropes and cables to your campsite. If you get queasy with heights, don’t look down!

When you reach your destination, you will no doubt be exhausted. Your ‘tree boat” should be ready for you to climb in. This device is a sturdy hammock attached between the tree trunk and a large branch. As you dangle high above the ground, enjoy the gorgeous view.

Soon daylight will be gone and it will be pitch black. Fatigue from the climb as well as the swaying of your hammock, should put you right to sleep.

Morning arrives and you are wondering what you’re doing up in a tree. Room service responds by bringing a cup of hot coffee and a warm face wash.

Your extreme tree camping is over and preparation for the descent is next. You may be contemplating whether this is a once in a lifetime event or an annual event.

Extreme Cliff Camping

If you get an adrenaline rush thinking about “hanging out” against a sheer cliff at a dizzying height, extreme cliff camping may be just what you’re looking for.

For a number of years, rock climbers have used ledges and hanging tents to sleep and eat on climbs of more than one day. Now it’s becoming a popular extreme experience to climb a sheer cliff and set up camp for the fabulous views and just for the thrill of it all.

For ordinary ground-level campers, it’s enough of a challenge to securely set up a tent on the ground, but imagine attaching a portaledge (tent structure) to a sheer cliff many feet up.

The portaledge tents of the 1950s were fairly rustic and not too comfortable. More modern styles today have a stable ground support with a metal frame attached to straps that hang from the campsite at one single place.

The campers have a feeling of security and can comfortably relax and sleep after their tiring climbs. You can use single or double tents. With these stable tents you can move around a bit – do some cooking, read, play games and enjoy other life pleasures.

What is the big draw of this kind of outdoor experience? Some extreme campers explain that cliff camping gets the adrenaline going so strong that you feel like you’re literally “on the edge” of living life to the utmost.

Where are the hot spots for this ultimate extreme activity?

  1. Yosemite National Park in California is one very popular location.
  2. A resort in German Bavaria, Waldseilgarten, offers some amazing sites 2000 meters straight up.
  3. Cliff camping in Pembrokeshire

More and more people, who have only dreamed of experiencing life on the edge and up high, are living out their dream as extreme camping is becoming more common in places around the world.

Equipment is becoming safer and more comfortable.

The adrenaline rush is on for the extreme risk-takers of the world.

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Venezuela – Capital of Crime or Perfect Paradise?

Venezuela is a land of contradictions.

It is well known as a country with countless beauty queens and a diverse indigenous culture. A vibrant cosmopolitan nightlife and a rich jungle.

Angel Falls, known to the Pemon tribe as Kerepakupai Vená, cascades down 3,212 feet from the top of Auyantepui; a plateau millions of years old. Palm lined beaches with white sand dot the Caribbean coastline and aquamarine water beckons in Venezuela’s famous Morrocoy National Park.

In recent years, with the mass exodus of the wealthy and educated due to a shifting political situation, Venezuela has become better known as a capital of crime.

Is this reputation deserved, and if so, are its natural and cultural treasures beyond reach for the common tourist?

The answer is no. With a taste for adventure, an open mind and a desire to travel off the beaten path, Venezuela can become a place for all.

Angel Falls

Angel Falls, one of Venezuela’s highlights.

Venezuela’s Brand of Crime

Crime exists in Venezuela as it exists throughout the world.

Unlike its South American neighbors however, Venezuela’s crime is not driven by the drug trade.

With jobs scarce and inflation on the rise, Venezuela’s brand of crime is poverty driven.

By following simple, time-honored rules and knowing what to expect, travelers in Venezuela can easily avoid harm and enjoy an exhilarating and unique vacation.

Transportation

Whether traveling by air or by land, in a rented car or a taxi, transportation in Venezuela is a unique venture.

Visitors should expect intense traffic in almost all urban areas and should always allow for extra time. When traffic forms, more aggressive driving may become an issue.

Traffic rules seem to be merely suggestions in Venezuela, and are oftentimes broken. This includes not stopping at intersections, stop signs or while merging.

If you find yourself behind the wheel of a car in Venezuela, use extreme caution, always be on the lookout and drive with the flow of traffic as speed limits are almost never followed.

When parking, only park in lots with an attendant. This includes street parking. They may not be official, but parking attendants will help to prevent break-ins or theft. Be sure to tip them a few bolivares; the local currency, before you leave.

Caracas Venezuela City

Caracas, sometimes called the World’s most violent city. We tend not to agree. Caveat emptor.

Public transportation is plentiful in most urban areas. The most common forms are the bus system and taxi lines.

While taxis seem plentiful, it is highly recommended that tourists utilize the official taxi lines – usually white vehicles with black and yellow stripes.

Unofficial taxis are usually not licensed and will be easy to identify:

They can be any color, make or model vehicle and will almost always have a simple piece of paper with the word “taxi” attached to the window. While these may be less expensive and are oftentimes perfectly safe, it is best to avoid them as they are occasionally used as bait and passengers may be robbed.

It is perfectly acceptable to haggle with taxi drivers, both official and unofficial, for a better price.

The bus system consists of countless lines which are typically operated by a cooperative- a common theme in Venezuela. Bus prices are fixed and very low.

There are usually very few official stops, and most all busses will pull over with the wave of a hand. They are brightly painted and are known for very loud young men yelling the destination to bystanders. The driver will stop at any point along the road when asked.

Bus lines, however, are known to be a common venue for petty theft.

To stay safe on the bus lines:

  • do not remove your cell phone or valuables in sight of others
  • fare will be collected either during boarding or upon departure
  • Count out the necessary fare ahead of time in order to avoid counting money on the bus

During high traffic hours, expect seating to be limited.

Busses are also available for longer trips outside of the city. For maximum comfort and safety, purchase an advanced ticket on an “executive” line.

The metro is another option when traveling within the capital city of Caracas.

Public Transport Crowding in Caracas

Get ready to have your personal space violated when going on metro in Caracas during rush hour.

It is very efficient and very inexpensive though it may be difficult to navigate for a newcomer. It is highly recommended that first time metro riders pick up a map, available at any station, and plan a route.

The metro does pass through what some consider to be the most dangerous areas of Caracas and exiting at the wrong stop may be dangerous.

Depending on the hour, the metro may be extremely full, in which case expect personal space to be violated. As such, petty theft is common. Keep all valuables close at hand, and within sight. Remove any jewelry, and keep your cell phone in your bag. Pickpockets are common on the metro.

Money: The Parallel Dollar

The exchange of currency is restricted by the government.

It is illegal to convert bolivares into dollars except when requested through a government organization known as CADIVI, which is only available to Venezuelan citizens.

So, this makes it necessary to keep in mind that any foreign currency converted into bolivares will not be able to be converted back.

Because of this, a “black market” has formed, also known as the “parallel dollar.”

This market consists of individuals who wish to purchase dollars or other foreign currency at a rate which exceeds the official exchange rate, oftentimes by over fifty percent.

Many travelers arrange to “sell” their dollars to a second party upon arrival to Venezuela. This is illegal, although prevalent.

In most major airports, a traveler may be approached by someone wishing to purchase dollars. It is best to avoid this. Not only is it illegal, but it may be dangerous.

For your safety, convert currency little by little, as it is needed, or use a major credit or debit card. Most ATM machines accept foreign cards and currency conversion can easily be done at any bank, though expect a long line.

Kidnapping

Most have heard reports of kidnappings occurring in Venezuela.

It is important to keep in mind that while these reports usually involve a celebrity or extremely wealthy citizen, another type of kidnapping exists in Venezuela known as Secuestro Express (Express Kidnapping.)

Caracas

Caracas Shanty Town

This type of crime can happen to anyone, but almost always involves a case in which the victim is known to or appears to possess a large sum of money.

While it is impossible to predict when these crimes will occur, certain steps may be taken to avoid such an incident.

Survival Style – Down Dress 

Travelers should avoid wearing flashy clothing or jewelry.

Valuables must be protected at all times and should be kept from view while in public. This includes jewelry that appears to be expensive, cell phones, currency and anything else of value.

The expression “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” is particularly relevant in Venezuela as someone who appears not to “know the ropes” may be targeted.

This is especially important when walking, which should always be done in a group and never at night.

What does Venezuela have to offer?

Venezuela is an extremely diverse country which possesses immense natural and cultural beauty.

For an authentic Venezuelan vacation, head to where its citizens travel.

Travel to the beach town of Tucacas and rent one of the prevalent peñeros, or water taxis, for a day trip to one of the famous islands of Morrocoy National Park.

Travel to a posada (Bed and Breakfast) in La Gran Sabana, Venezuela’s immense savannah.

Green Iguana

Green Iguana’s are indigenous throughout Central and South America, keep your eyes peeled for the giant green Iguanas in Venezuela.

Stay in a cabin in the chilly mountaintop town of La Colonia Tovar, a German settlement in the Venezuelan Andes, or take in a gallery in the capital city of Caracas.

Enjoy the nightlife of Valencia, Venezuela’s original capital and third largest city, or visit its historic battlefield, Campo de Carabobo.

Whatever your tastes, be it hiking in the Amazon or partying with the rich and famous, Venezuela is a destination not to be missed.

Your World Can Be Full of Heroic Adventures

Don’t be a Chicken, Try the Turkish Method of Brewing Coffee

Turkey (the country, not the Thanksgiving bird) isn’t necessarily known for their delicacies to the general population.

For connoisseurs, however, Turkey is known as one of the original coffee brewing countries. The people of Turkey have so much know-how, in fact, that they have their own method and serving style.

Turkish coffee is different than all other kinds (save a few primitive recipes for Cowboy Coffee) because there is no filter involved. Instead of filtering the grounds, Turkish coffee is ground to an almost-powder consistency and allowed to settle after brewing.

Like an espresso a Turkish coffee will be very strong and full of flavor. It is typically served with sugar and the spice cardamom, something the espresso-drinking French simply abhor.

How to Make Turkish Coffee

Start with super fine coffee grounds, even finer than espresso. The grounds should almost be a powder consistency. Use flavored beans if you like, or try a purist cup.

Next, you need an ibrik or another small metallic pot, preferably one with a narrowing at the top of the pot.

Turkish Coffee Pot

This should have a long handle and not be too wide (it’s better to have a tall, skinny pot than a short, fat one.)

You will also need a heat source (stove), some quality water, sugar that dissolves easily and the optional spices like cardamom, anise or cinnamon.

Finally, you’ll need a coffee cup.

Sprinkle between two and six teaspoons of sugar into the coffee cup. Alternatively, you could add a helping of sugar-free sweetener of your choice.

Add very finely ground cardamom, anise or cinnamon to the cup as well.

Add a little water and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add water to your pan or up to where the ibrik’s neck begins, careful not to fill into the neck.

Grind one heaping teaspoon of coffee grounds for each ounce of water (10 ounces of water would require five teaspoons of grounds.)

Place the grounds ON TOP of the water, do not stir them, even a little.

Turn the heat on your stove to medium-low and place the ibrik onto the burner. Stay with the coffee, as the magic happens very quickly.

It will begin to foam and the foam will start to crawl up the neck of the pot or ibrik. Just before it reaches the top of the neck, remove from heat.

Stir the coffee now then bring back to the heat source to foam again. Do this once again, for a total of three foams. The final foam should not be stirred but rather spooned into cups or dumped down the drain if you don’t care for it.

Let the coffee settle for up to a minute and then pour your Turkish coffee into cups.

Recipe for Turkish Coffee

Conclusion

As you can see, the process of making Turkish coffee differs greatly from the standard American drip or French espresso. It should come as no surprise that the resulting cup of liquid gold is unlike either of those. Rather, it is a savory-sweet cup of rich java.

Turkish coffee is a great choice if you want to experiment or enjoy a very strong cup of Joe with the chance of some floaties.

Look at second hand stores for an ibrik before shelling out the thirty or so dollars most sell for in Turkish and Russian specialty stores in large cities and online.

As you sip your Turkish coffee, remember this old saying about the beverage:

“Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death, and as sweet as love.”

Most purists would not even consider adding milk or cream to Turkish coffee, but it’s your cup, so do as you wish.

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Explore History and Nature at Mesa Verde National Park

Home to 4,500 archaeological sites–including the 600 cliff dwellings that have made it world-famous–Mesa Verde National Park offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to step into the past.

Located in southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde is easily reached via U.S. Highway 160 either from Cortez to the west or Durango to the east.

Because Mesa Verde mixes both a treasure trove of archaeological wonders with natural splendor, it is unique in the National Park System and does require a fair bit of planning in order to be enjoyed fully.

Visiting the Famed Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

The highlight of any trip to Mesa Verde National Park is a visit to the cliff dwellings, built by the Ancestral Pueblo People during the 13th century.

The most famous cliff dwelling, the Cliff Palace, is a sprawling complex of sandstone walls, rooms, and towers nestled precariously underneath a massive overhanging cliff.

During the summer months, visits to the Cliff Palace–as well as to the Long House and the nearby Balcony House–are by ranger-guided tours only, which require a ticket that can be purchased at the Visitor Center at the park entrance.

Since the drive from the park entrance to the cliff dwellings can easily take an hour depending on traffic, be sure to purchase these tickets beforehand.

best preserved cliff dwelling

Not all cliff dwellings require a ticket, however, and some are open to self-guided tours.

Spruce Tree House, for example, is the best preserved cliff dwelling in the park and is free to visit as is the Step House, which includes a restored pit house.

Other archaeological sites are strewn throughout the park, including the Square Tower House and the Sun Temple.

The latter site, in addition to being an impressive archaeological site in its own right, also gives visitors exceptional views of the Cliff Palace.

Timing your Visit

Also remember that although the park is open 24 hours, the cliff dwellings and many archaeological sites are not, with most closing before dusk. Also, the Wetherill Mesa area, which includes the Long House and Step House, are closed October through April.

The rest of the park is open all year.

What else?

While the cliff dwellings are the main draw of Mesa Verde, it quickly becomes apparent to most visitors that history isn’t the only thing this park has to offer.

Welcome to Mesa Verde

The road from the park entrance to the cliff dwellings, for example, snakes its way over mountains and through canyons, affording visitors spectacular views of the Mancos Valley and Montezuma Valley to the north.

Bicycling is also permitted on the main park road between the park entrance and Chapin Mesa, although it can be grueling even for experienced bikers and the narrow and twisting road make distracted drivers a problem.

While Wetherill Mesa Road is closed to bicycles, the Long House Loop, located at Wetherill Mesa itself, is open to bikes and, thankfully, closed to motorized vehicles.

Hiking is also a popular activity in the park, with many trails taking hikers through scenic landscapes and past historic sites.

Although many trails are relatively short, most of them include steep elevation changes that can make them difficult in hot weather or after rainfall.

Because of the sensitive archaeological nature of the park, hikers are required to stay on marked trails at all times.

Two trails, the Spruce Canyon Trail and the Petroglyph Point Trail, require hikers to register beforehand either at the trailhead or at the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum.

Accommodation in Mesa Verde

While the main sights can be done in one day, those looking to visit at a more relaxed pace will probably want to stay a night or two.

Far View Lodge is the park’s only hotel and has restaurants, gift shops, groceries, and other amenities. Located at the junction of the main park road and Wetherill Mesa Road, it is also a prime spot for exploring the various attractions in the park.

The park also has a large campground, Morefield Campground, located near the park entrance, which has hookups, a gas station, grocery store, RV dump station, amphitheater, and laundromat.

Camping in Mesa Verde

Many of the park’s best trails are also located here. While the campground is first-come, first-served all year round, space is almost always available. Both Morefield Campground and Far View Lodge are open only from spring to fall.

Backcountry camping is not permitted.

Mesa Verde National Park is one of the few places where history and nature combine to provoke awe and wonder in visitors.

One of America’s first World Heritage Sites, Mesa Verde continues to be an inspirational place entirely unlike any other in the world.

Get Your Hiking Adventure Trekking

A Short Guide to Hiking in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park

The best of Slovenia’s Alps are contained within Triglav National Park, which is named for Mt. Triglav, the park’s highest peak (2,864 meters).

The mountains in Slovenia’s borders are somewhat smaller than those found in Italy or Austria. However, they are no less scenic.

There are plenty of challenging climbs and breathtaking viewpoints that will satisfy the most avid hiker.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of a trek through Triglav National Park.

Church of St John the Baptist

Church of St John the Baptist, Bohinj Lake, Slovenia

Plan at least two days on the trail to reach the summit.

Slovenians consider it a rite of passage to stand atop the country’s highest peak.

The summit can be approached from several directions, but in most cases, a round trip will take an experienced hiker 16-18 hours.

Basically, hiking Triglav in one day is doable, but you will wear yourself out.

Do yourself a favor and plan to stay overnight in the park.

where to stay when trekking in park

Julian Alps in Triglav National Park

You will enjoy the hike a lot more since you won’t be rushed.

Make reservations beforehand at one of the mountain huts. Camping in the park is illegal, so you’ll need to reserve a spot at the Alpine Club’s mountain huts to stay overnight.

A dorm bed will run you 20 euros (less if you can show an Alpine Club card). Hot food is available, but generally expensive. It’s a good idea to bring extra snacks.

You can obtain a comprehensive list of hut phone numbers from any tourist office. You will need to reserve by phone at least a few days in advance for the more popular huts.

It’s often easier to get a spot mid-week as more locals head to the park on weekends. Some hikers show up without a reservation, which is risky and tends to annoy the hut managers.

Ascend by way of  Voje Valley towards Mt. Triglav and descend through Seven Lakes Valley.

If you want to ascend Mt. Triglav and get a proper tour of the park, this is by far the most scenic route.

When you take this route, plan for a two-night trek.

The best hut to stay at for the first night is Dom Planika pod Triglavom (aka “Planika”).

You can check in, drop your bags and ascend Triglav on your first day, or save the ascent for the morning of your second day.

Reserve your second night in one of the huts in the Seven Lakes Valley region.

From Seven Lakes Valley, you will descend into the Bohinj Lake Valley on your third day.

Breaking up this route into three days will give you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.

waterfall in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Pericnik waterfall in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Slovenia.

Check your shoes before commencing your hike.

The alps contain rocky, steep and difficult terrain. When your shoes fall apart mid-hike, you may have a very difficult time continuing your journey and getting back to town.

If your shoes are more than a few years old, you may want to consider replacing them before taking on the Alps.

See how to break in hiking shoe to prepare for better comfort during your Triglav National Park hike.

Bring hiking poles.

Even if you’re young and spry, poles can help enhance both safety and stamina.

Hiking poles are useful for traversing slippery rocks and steep slopes. They will also greatly ease the strain on your knees during steep descents. The alps are serious mountains, so bring serious equipment.

Don’t Forget a Good Map

Buy a good map.

Topographical trail maps are easily purchased from the tourist offices.

A map with full detail will help you plan your route, learn more about the area, and locate nearby huts should you find yourself in an emergency.

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Chill Out with Iced Coffee from Around the World

No matter the season, no matter the reason, iced coffees always hit the spot.

Americans aren’t the only ones enjoying iced coffee beverages, around the world iced coffees and espresso drinks are popular. There’s more to an iced coffee then, well, ice and coffee.

In the northwest, where American fascination with coffee was born, an iced coffee includes very little flavoring or sweeteners. Seattleites will pour a shot of hot espresso over a cup of ice and add a bit of coffee to fill it to the top.

In California, iced coffee drinks are often created by filling a cup with ice, adding milk about half way up the cup then topping off with strong coffee. A squeeze or two of caramel and whipped cream topping finishes it off.

Ice Coffee California Style

Coffee lovers on the east coast dig coffee martinis. Cold brewed coffee is mixed with vodka and a splash of coffee liquor, shaken in a martini shaker and served in an iced martini glass.

Italians have been known to serve iced coffee drinks on hot days by placing a cup filled with ice under the espresso maker nozzle. They claim espresso begins to turn bitter if cooled slowly.

In France, they like their iced coffee sweet and syrupy. After brewing a strong cup of Joe, they add sugar cubes and spices before stirring and adding ice.

Iced Coffee 101

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you add something hot, like coffee, to something cold, like ice, they both end up diluting and becoming lukewarm. There are a couple ways to counter this rule of science.

Making cold brewed coffee is one way to combat the ice melting issue.

Don’t confuse the cold brewed coffee described below for cold, brewed coffee – the leftovers from this morning’s pot.

Ice Coffee and Straws

When made properly, cold brewed coffee serves as a refrigerated coffee concentrate that can make hot beverages as well as cold.

  1. Start with a pound of freshly roasted, high quality, coarsely ground coffee beans.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of a one gallon pitcher.
  3. Fill the pitcher with ten cups of filtered water.
  4. Leave at room temperature for twelve to fifteen hours.
  5. Place folded cheesecloth or other fine mesh filter over another pitcher that is one half to a full gallon in volume. Secure cheesecloth with a rubber band around the lip of the pitcher. It doesn’t have to be tight, just secure.
  6. Pour the cold brewed coffee and sludge over the filter, filling the bottom pitcher with a filtered concentrate.
  7. Squeeze the remainder of the essence from the beans by wadding the cheesecloth or filter around the beans and compressing tightly over the pitcher.

Cold Brew Recipe

You can use cold brewed coffee to make a plethora of iced coffee drink favorites.

Fill a glass one quarter full of milk. Stir in two tablespoons of chocolate beverage syrup or Ovaltine. Fill with ice. Pour concentrated cold brewed coffee to the top of the glass. Substitute strawberry beverage syrup or protein shake powder to make a tasty iced coffee treat.

Another way to combat the melting issue is to use the low temperature of your other ingredients to temper the coffee or espresso, making the melt far less obvious. When you will be using milk in your iced coffee drink, you can mix the shot, milk and anything other than the ice before adding your ice cubes.

With a little forethought, you could also place your iced coffee drink glass in your freezer until you’re ready for it. Pour the hot coffee or espresso shot into the frozen glass. The liquid from the coffee or espresso will absorb the cold temperatures, making for a cool cup of coffee in just a minute.

Keep cool. Keep caffeinated. Travel far.

More Coffee Adventures Await

What You Need to Know About Italian Coffee Culture

I’m sure you are already familiar with the words espresso, cappuccino and latte by now, as are most people around the globe.

Italian coffee drinks have now gained worldwide popularity, especially because of international coffee shop chains such as Starbucks, Lavazza and Costa Coffee.

But when you travel to Italy, will you be enjoying your daily brew in the same way as you would back home? Chances are you won’t. Italian coffee culture is unique to the world, and an integral part of Italian everyday culture.

Before you go and sip an espresso in a Milan coffee shop, there are some very interesting things you should know about Italian coffee culture:

The origins of Italian coffee culture

How did coffee become so popular in Italy in the first place?

Coffee was first introduced to Italy in the 16th century via Venice from Istanbul. It was at first only consumed by the wealthy, who viewed it as an exotic treat.

However, coffee was seen as a subject of controversy for religious reasons, as it had originated from Muslim countries. Only after being reviewed and approved by Pope Clement VIII, did it see a large boost in popularity.

Coffee houses started to pop up in the late 17th century, and it became more and more common to go out for coffee.

Italians only consumed regular brewed coffee until the evolution of the espresso in the early 20th century.

visual of consistency percentage of whats in a cafe latte

The espresso machine was patented in 1903, and since then the modern day coffee culture has evolved and flourished throughout the 20th century until today.

The common Italian coffee drinks

Italian coffee drinks are limited to a few fundamental choices.

These are the most common choices:

  • Un caffè – A shot of espresso served in a small cup.
  • Caffè corretto – A caffè which has been ‘corrected’ with a shot of liquor.
  • Cappuccino – Made up of ⅓ coffee, ⅓ steamed milk, ⅓ foam.
  • Macchiato – Consists of one espresso shot with an added few drops of milk and some foam.
  • Marocchino – Espresso combined some type of chocolate (hot chocolate, cocoa, etc.).
  • Caffè latte – Made up of ⅓ espresso, ⅔ steamed milk, and a small amount of foam on top.
  • Shakerato– A shot of espresso shaken on ice.

what is the percentage content of cappuccino visual

Some unique aspects of Italian coffee culture

Drinking coffee standing by the bar.

Italian coffee shops include both a bar area and a seating area, and the price you pay for your coffee will depend on whether you sit down at a table or have your coffee standing by the bar (by the way, the word barista literally means bartender!).

Sitting at a table will incur a higher price than standing, so if you’re a budget conscious person you might consider sipping your coffee by the bar. But, why standing you might ask?

This brings us to the next point about Italian Coffee Culture:

Fast consumption.

Unlike the typical Italian food culture of slow and relaxed eating, it’s coffee culture emphasises finishing your drink quickly and moving on. So if you’re standing by the bar while having your shot of espresso, you’re likely to finish it in 2-3 sips and be on your way.

No “to-go” coffee.

While the culture of international coffee shop chains has enabled you to bring your coffee with you out in a paper cup with lid, the coffee in Italy is meant to be consumed in the coffee shop.

Since it’s also meant to be finished quickly anyway, there would be no point of bringing the same cup of coffee around all day.

Only one coffee in one sitting.

According to Italian coffee norms, you’re only supposed to consume one coffee during your visit to a coffee shop. If you crave more caffeine later in the day, you can just have another coffee then.

Milk only in the morning.

Coffee drinks that contain milk, such as cappuccinos and caffè lattes, are usually only consumed in the morning. Ordering one of these drinks in the afternoon might be seen by the locals as a bit unusual.

Lattes.

While we’re on the topic of milk: If you want to order a latte, make sure you specify that you want a caffè latte, as the word ‘latte’ by itself in Italian just means milk. If you actually do want a cup of milk, feel free to just ask for a latte.

Milk Pouring into Latte creating leaflike design on froth

When in Italy don’t forget latte means milk, while caffe latte is espresso with milk.

Italian coffee in the 21st century

People around the world can’t get enough of Italian coffee these days, which is why we now have a growing number of coffee machines for home use.

Why go outside (or travel to Italy) to get a great cup of coffee, when we can now get it as soon as we roll out of bed and step into our kitchens?

Modern coffee machines, such as the Nescafè Dolce Gusto have made coffee preparation even easier, with the use of coffee pods or capsules instead of ground coffee beans.

When you’re travelling somewhere where you do not have easy access to a good caffè, there are now portable, travel sized espresso makers you can bring with you on your travels!

An example of this is the NowPresso, which is compatible with Nespresso® capsules (and other reusable coffee pods) and can boil water during coffee making.

The NowPresso is the the world’s first portable coffee machine that runs on a rechargeable lithium battery, which is detachable for air travel. The battery takes 2.5 hours to fully charge, and one charge can make 100 cups of espresso when using hot water and 3 cups when using cold water.

Italian style coffee is here to stay, and it’s now accessible almost anywhere in the world. No matter if you’re lucky enough to be in Italy to enjoy a caffè corretto standing by a bar, or when you happen to be somewhere else in the world where they only drink tea, a good cup of Italian style coffee is something to be enjoyed every single day.

espresso for travel

Will Travel For Coffee…

More Posts to Help You Keep Caffeinated on Your Next Heroic Adventure

Five Great Reasons to Make Nova Scotia Your Vacation Destination

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to begin planning the perfect vacation—and this year, you can skip the debate about where to go.

Nova Scotia, Canada, has always been popular with tourists, but this summer, everything is lining up to make it the ultimate destination for every traveler’s needs.

Here are just five of the many reasons to choose Nova Scotia:

1) It’s Breathtakingly Beautiful

Known for its diverse landscape and stunning natural beauty, Nova Scotia has it all.

Miles of coastline offer access to white sand beaches or rugged rocky shores, and a network of well-maintained highways lead you through charming ocean-side villages and thriving agricultural towns.

The looming highlands of the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island offer dramatic vistas, while trails along the Atlantic Coast and the Kejimkujik Sea Adjunct offer the chance to glimpse marine wildlife in their natural habitat.

Take in the sight of the innumerable islands of Mahone Bay from shore or on a watercraft, and enjoy the striking effect of a bay full of sails during Chester’s race week.

With numerous picturesque communities and designated look-offs around the province, when it comes to photo-ops, Nova Scotia is sure to impress.

Cabot Trail Canada Travel

2) It’s Entertaining

Nova Scotia is known across Canada for having the nicest, most fun-loving population in the country – and what makes Nova Scotians so friendly?

Perhaps it’s all the interesting things going on around the province.

For urbanites, the capital city of Halifax offers a thriving arts scene.

Live music venues, theatres, restaurants, galleries and museums (like the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) abound, and the city’s popular waterfront boardwalk is alive with buskers and vendors all day long.

Whale watching and deep-sea fishing expeditions operate out of a number of different towns, while a leisurely tour of the vineyards of the Annapolis Valley is available for those who prefer to keep both feet on land.

The province boasts a popular craft beer scene, folk music, crafts, many excellent festivals, and no end of annual events and must-see destinations in every region.

Facade of Halifax Alehouse Canada

3) It’s Adventurous

With so much rugged wilderness, it is no surprise that Nova Scotia is a No. 1 destination for outdoor adventurers in North America.

Offering a plethora of hiking trails through a variety of ecosystems and terrains, adventurers can experience many different landscapes within a few hours’ drive.

You could conquer Cape Split on foot or mountain bike, go sea-kayaking along the wild Eastern Shore or the Bras D’Or Lakes, surf or parasail at one of the province’s stunning beaches, or go zip lining at in the mountains at Martock.

The possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless, but the fun doesn’t stop there!

Nova Scotia is well known for its stories of haunting and pirate treasure.

The supernaturally inclined can go on any number of chilling ghost walks, and can keep a wary eye open for the flaming ghost-ship of the Northumberland Strait.

Treasure seekers can ask the locals about the infamous Treasure Pit of Oak Island, or go panning for gold at the Ovens Provincial Park.

There is even excitement for those who seek less conventional thrills, who can investigate the mass UFO sighting of 1967, locally known as the Shag Harbour Incident.

Cape Split Rocky Shoreline Tides

4) It’s Historic

As home to the Mi’kMaq First Nation and one of the earliest locations of European settlement in North America, attractions for the history buff abound in Nova Scotia.

For the more relaxed traveler, the historic sites at the Halifax Citadel, Fortress of Louisbourg, Fort Anne, or the Habitation offer guided tours and live reenactments by costumed performers that are sure to spark your interest.

For those willing to venture into more rugged terrain, the trails of Kejimkujik National Park harbor historic Mi’kMaq petroglyphs, and the Canso Island National Historic Site offers artifacts from the Dummer’s war and one of the earliest fishing settlements in North America.

Literature fans can explore the land of Evangeline and mull over the Acadian Expulsion at Grand Pré, rockhounds can comb the fossil-rich shorelines of the Bay of Fundy or examine the displays at Joggins and Blue Rock, and those who like to mix history and adventure can descend into the coal mines at the Cape Breton Miners Museum.

5) It’s Accessible

Today, the attractions of Nova Scotia are more accessible than ever.

With service from two major ferries (Yarmouth and Digby), Via Rail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and an international airport with connecting flights from across North America, getting here is easy and enjoyable.

A low Canadian dollar means that travelers from the USA will enjoy an excellent rate of exchange, boosting the affordability of all of the exciting activities on offer, and there are a range of charming accommodations available in every town.

The icing on the cake is that, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, general admission to all Parks Canada sites is free when you order the no-cost pass from the Parks Canada website.

So get your free parks pass and hit the trails – you’re not going to want to miss an adventure this summer in Nova Scotia!


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Prepare to Hike in Nova Scotia with These Tips