Monday, April 4, 2011

Punta Cana Hurricanes

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic has a very nice warm tropical climate. A tropical climate like this one implies lots of sun and sometimes rain. However one thing that will never bother you in the tropic is the snow which is the reason why many tourists prefer to go a tropical area when going on vacation. You can expect warm temperatures during the whole year; it will only get a bit colder during the winter season but just slightly.

Only during hurricane season is when you have to be really aware of the weather here. Hurricane season starts in June and ends the last day of November. Even then hurricanes have appeared in the Atlantic Ocean before June and after November. You do not have to worry too much because the probability of a hurricane to hit the Dominican Republic is low. In 80 years the Dominican Republic has been hit by 11 hurricanes. They are Jeanne, Georges, Hortense, Gilbert, Emily, David, Beulah, Ines, Edith, Katie, and San Zenon. These hurricanes have hit the Dominican Republic between the months of August and October. September is the most dangerous month in respect to hurricanes. Of the 11 hurricanes that have affected the Dominican Republic 9 have been on September.

One of them hit on August and the other one hit on October. One detail to notice this is the count for hurricanes only; there are tropical systems of less intensity like tropical storms and tropical depressions that have hit the Dominican Republic with more frequency. Tropical storms have hit the Dominican Republic outside hurricane season like the case of tropical storm Olga that hit on December. Even when tropical storms are not as powerful as hurricanes they still have to be considered as a threat. Most of the resorts on the island are prepared to act in case of any tropical system that might hit the island. Since the experience of the past hurricanes they have installed underground phone lines and prepared the infrastructure better to withstand the impact.

In most cases the resort management will send you to another resort far from the main affected area to spend the rest of your vacation. Still the probability of one system to hit the island in the moment that are vacationing there is quite low. The best measure to avoid any tropical inconvenience is to travel after October or before August. This way your vacation has an extreme low chance of being ruined by a storm.

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It’s Monsoon Again!

In another article, I wrote about the excitement that spring brings to those who live in temperate climates, but what of people who live in the tropics? Contrary to the notion of many, the tropics do have seasons too. And although these seasons are by no means uniform, a three-season pattern of hot, wet, and ‘cool’ is quite common. In Thailand, for example, the hot season is the tropical equivalent to a winter. I remember travelling through northern Thailand at the end of the hot, dry, season, and if it weren’t for the soaring heat, from the train you might think you were seeing winter in a Mediterranean climate. A great many trees shed their leaves during this season (just as deciduous trees do in the winter), and regain them when the rains come.

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, you’d expect the people to be accustomed to this heat but on the contrary, they seem to hate this season and grumble about it just as Northerners grumble about the winter.

Then the day comes when there are thunderclaps, the temperature drops about ten degrees, and buckets of water pour down from the sky, causing great delight and joy from the people in the street. Soon after the monsoon begins the water festival is held. It’s a joyous and raucous affair, and everyone is drenched from being splashed by the buckets of water that are freely distributed to anyone with hands to reach.

The water festival, like nearly all festivals in Thailand, is a Buddhist rite, but I suspect that its origins go back far further. In these parts of the world, the onset of the monsoon is always a joyous time of year. It ensures another good harvest, and that fruits and vegetables will soon be plentiful once again. Conversely, should a monsoon fail, a feeling of dread and fear darkens the land, for it could very well mean famine. Hooray for the monsoon!

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Great Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic

Imagine pure white sands and a sapphire blue sea lapping against the shore; that perfectly describes the Dominican Republic. This island is well known for its visit by Christopher Columbus.

In recent years, the Dominican Republic has grown in popularity with overseas visitors and you can see why. The cultural heritage and fascinating history makes it a must see location for many. There are many holiday hot spots spread across the island.

One of the big attractions if you are a golf fan are the beautiful courses. If you love shopping, then you are spoilt for choice, and may buy more than you intended when you see the prices. Beautiful pieces of Amber are a very popular souvenir, as are cigars which you can pick up very cheaply when visiting the factories where they are produced.

Punta Cana, in the East of the Dominican Republic, has evolved into a luxury resort. It can now proudly boast to be one of the top tourist attractions in the world.

Punta Cana is a beautiful resort, enhanced by its glorious stretches of sand and the fact it is a lot cheaper than you would expect. The luxurious resorts offering all inclusive are too numerous to mention.

Surfing and wind surfing are incredibly popular pastimes, and if this is what you want from your trip to the Dominican Republic, head for the golden sands of the Playa Dorada, in the beautiful Northern resort of Puerto Plata.

One of the smaller resorts, but one that is home to a museum full of artifacts from the area is La Romana. Further south than the other resorts, it still has a few places where you can stay all inclusive. A trip well worth taking is a boat over to Catalina Island.

The oldest American city, which also houses the oldest Cathedral, is Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s chief city. All inclusive is the way to go here, with a great choice of resorts.

All Inclusive Vacations Punta Cana

Punta Cana Golf Paradise

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic has long been known as a great vacation destination for beach lovers, but did you know that it is the best golfing destination in the Caribbean and has some of the best golf courses in the world? There are ten courses open and many more are under construction. No other Caribbean location offers the quality and variety of golf that is now available in Punta Cana.

Punta Espada, the Jack Nicklaus designed course in the Cap Cana development, is the best golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico according to Golfweek magazine. They rated Punta Espada golf course number one of the top 50 courses in the Caribbean and Mexico. This immaculate course will only be open for public play for a short time, so get there before it goes private as it is something special, with 8 holes directly on the ocean. Jack Nicklaus is currently building another course in Cap Cana called Las Iguanas which promises to add even more to the golfing choices available in Punta Cana.

Jack Nicklaus isn’t the only famous golf course designer in this area. Nick Faldo,Tom Fazio and P.B.Dye also have designed courses. The newly opened Faldo Legacy at Roko Ki golf course has two stunning holes set dramatically on oceanside headlands and has been named one of the ten best new courses in the world for 2008 by Travel and Leisure golf magazine. Tom Fazio has designed the Corales course which is a private, members only course, but it is available for play to anyone who stays at the spectacular Tortuga Bay Villas. P.B. dye has designed the La Cana golf course which also hugs the ocean and is located at Punta Cana Resort and Club.

Other courses available include: Barcelo Bavaro Golf Club, White Sands golf course, Cocotal Golf and Country Club, Cabeza de Toro golf course (9 hole), Punta Blanca course and Catalonia Caribe course. Courses currently under construction include: La Hacienda golf course and the Moon Palace course and others are set to start construction this year.

There has never been a better time to experience the wealth of golfing choices available in this Caribbean golf heaven. It won’t be long until the secret is out, so book your golfing vacation soon and enjoy all the courses in Punta Cana, the player’s paradise.

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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Location – Kottayam, Kerala
Temperature – Summer 35 degree C and Winter 29 Degree C

Situated on the banks of Vembanand Lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. Sprawling in an area of 14 acres, the sanctuary is set within the lush acres of wooded land. Kumarakom Sanctuary is not only heaven for local birds but also to large number of migratory birds, which travel for the Himalayas and some even from Siberia.

Kumarakom – Enriched Avifauna Bird watchers get thrilled when they spot exotic avian species including migratory and breeding with their binoculars. Visitors can listen to the chirping of birds like waterfowl, egret, cuckoo, heron, night herons, woodpeckers and many more. Siberian birds like wood beetle, parrots, larks, teal etc. visits during their respective migratory season.

Explore the Bird Sanctuary It is truly an enthralling experience to explore the Kumarakon Bird Sanctuary while boating. Wildlife lovers can undertake houseboat cruise along the Vembanad lake and spot numerous variety of bird species.

Added Attraction of Kumarakom Sanctuary Apart from enjoying the exciting wildlife tour to the sanctuary, also visit a picturesque island, Pathiramanal. The serene island covers an area of 10 acre and can be accessed by boat. The place is haven to several migratory birds, which reaches here from different parts of the world.

Best time to visit Best time to visit Kumarakom bird sanctuary is between June and August and November to February. Migratory birds flocks the sanctuary on winter season – November to February.

How to reach

Air: Cochin International Airport is the closest airport

Rail: Kottyam is the nearest railhead

Road: Visitors can hire taxis and auto rickshaws from Kottayam.

Kerala tour packages can be customized as per the traveler’s requirement and need.

All Inclusive Vacations Punta Cana

Ocean Blue Punta Cana Resort Review

The Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort is located in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and it’s only 35 minutes away from the Punta Cana International Airport. It is an all-inclusive resort, which means that you don’t need to worry about anything because almost everything, including all your meals, is already included in the price. Once you arrive at this hotel you will be sure that you made the right decision.

One of the biggest concerns that many tourists have is about how the room or suite will look like, if it will be big enough or very comfortable. Well, you should know that the Ocean Blue Punta Cana Resort has 296 junior suites, 72 junior deluxe suites, and 6 honeymoon suites. Each suite includes all the commodities you need to make your vacation experience even better. To give you an idea of how comfortable suites are there, this is what you will find : telephone, cable TV, hair dryer, air conditioner, one (king size) bed or two (queen size) beds, ceiling fan, a beautiful balcony, Jacuzzi, safety deposit box, and a mini fridge, just to mention a few.

Did you know that one of the most common questions that guests have in mind is how are they going to spend their vacations? Well, the answer is very easy. Tourists can just simply relax, spend most of the time by participating at the activities available at the resort, go shopping, or even plan a trip to go visit the cities nearby.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at the resort. Beach volleyball, scuba diving, snorkeling, tennis, basketball, horseback riding, and aerobics are an example of how many sports you can practice there. If you are looking for other activities, then the swimming pool might be the answer. There are also Jacuzzis, a spa, sauna, a game room, and more.

With so many things to do, it’s time to think where are you going to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Well, fortunately this will not be a problem here because there are seven a la carte restaurants to choose from : Bucareno, which specializes in seafood, El Bodegon, La Brasa Caribbean Grill, Margarita Mexican Restaurant, La Casa de mi abuela, I Mascherati Di Venezia Italian Restaurant, and Route 66 American Restaurant. There are also areas where you can have snacks at any time. In addition to this, you can find 10 bars, some of them located at the restaurants.

For families with children there is available baby sitting service for a small fee. Children from ages between 4 to 12 can have fun at the Kids Club and for teenagers from ages between 12 to 17, the Teens Club is a great place to meet new friends.

If you are planning a trip to Punta Cana and haven’t decided where to stay yet, the Ocean Blue Punta Cana is the resort you are looking for.

All Inclusive Vacations Punta Cana

What to Do in Punta Cana

The longest coral reef in the entire island, standing at about some 35 kilometer’s long is in the Punta Cana. The shores which are nicely cut out at select areas of the reef makes Punta Cana snorkeling a memorable one. A variety of snorkeling activities one can engage in can include a snorkeling excursion with a group out to the Aquarium towards the reef of El Cortecito or take a guided snorkeling tour through the warm waters, giving you an introduction to the colorful marine life of the Caribbean. Below are the activities I partook off and it was worth every bit of it.

Caribbean Festival Snorkel – This constitutes snorkeling around the Bavaro coastline. The popular snorkeling site along the Bavaro presents a view of sharks and rays, although a guided snorkeling activity is best yet. If you are on a cruise, then timely light refreshments and a Caribbean dance show for your entertainment awaits you on-board, endeavor to join in and feel the spirit of the Caribbean. They can be heavenly. The Marinariun Shark and ray experience – Experience the beauty of the underwater world as you swim and snorkel along the coral reefs of Punta Cana, becoming intimate with the giant sting rays and “homely” sharks. Then try the natural pools where you may want to enjoy a beautiful cocktail With something for everyone including the family. Get to know the native marine life, get your snorkeling equipment and receive safety instructions from the Park supervisors. I will advice you start by snorkeling with some of the friendlier creatures of the deep before taking the plunge and entering the domain of the sharks. Catalina Island Snorkeling – You can discover the untouched beauty of the Island of Catalina, snorkeling on some of the most amazing coral reefs amongst the abundance of colorful animal and plant life. The clear turquoise water is perfect for snorkeling. From an anchor point directly above a coral reef, you can enjoy the best underwater view. After the amazing views of the colorful sea life, you can have lunch on the white beach of the Island of Catalina. Punta Cana Snorkeling for starters – If you have never snorkeled before and are feeling uneasy about the experience, then this short trip serves a perfect introduction to the popular water sport. You will visit one of the shallow reefs, protected from the open ocean by its corals. Enjoy the incredible daily live in the crystal clear sea. Use of snorkeling equipment and a local guide are included on this easy Punta Cana activity, just in case you have not got one. You can enjoy a slow and relaxing sail – From Punta Cana over the crystalline-like waters along the stunning white coast line of the Bavaro making a detour around the wreck of Astron, a freighter that lies close to the shore. Along the sail you can see a cluster of barracuda, blue fishes and yellow tail snapper. You can decide to make arrangements for this adventures as you prepare for your holiday. You may want to individually pick on one after another to enjoy, it is completely up to you as the former is as memorable as the next especially if Punta Cana Snorkeling is just your priority.

All Inclusive Vacations Punta Cana