In the hills of Kerala: top things to do in Munnar

Is the heat of the Keralan lowlands driving you insane? Don’t worry – by driving a few hours inland to the hill station of Munnar, the environment will change from tropical jungle to that of a chilly equatorial highland.

Popular with the British for weather which reminded them of home, it is the perfect spot to go if another day of 34 degrees Celsius at 90% humidity is about to push you off the deep end.

In the post below, we’ll discuss all the things you can get up to during your stay in Munnar, India – enjoy!

1) Tour its tea gardens

One of Munnar’s biggest claims to fame are the tea plantations which conform to hills throughout the area. Before heading out on a tour, stop by the Kannan Devan Tea Museum, as it will give you a background on the history of this leaf’s cultivation in the region.

A short drive from the great escape resort and other hotels, it shouldn’t be a problem to get local taxi drivers to take you there. Afterward, local guides will be more than happy to take you out amidst fields of green, where bushes of this prized crop grow densely in the fresh, damp air.

2) Visit Rajamalai National Park

Not all the land in the vicinity of Munnar is developed for farming. Some has been protected to guard the survival of native plants and animals. Of these preserves, Rajamalai National Park is the most significant.

It contains the world’s largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr (an ungulate), 123 species of birds (of which at least a half dozen are endemic to the region), and a species of frog never before discovered until a couple of decades ago.

Note that access is controlled by bus, which can lead to long lines – plan your arrival at the park accordingly to avoid the midday rush.

3) Drop by the Attukal Waterfalls

As with other hill stations in India, the mountainous nature of Munnar wrings a great deal of moisture from approaching air masses through the magic of orographic lifting. This not only creates the conditions needed for dense forests and bountiful tea plantation growth, but it also feeds rivers from the tops of mountains, creating waterfalls as the water descends towards lower elevations.

Of all the waterfalls in the Munnar area, the Attukal Waterfalls are by far the most popular. While it is a great photographic opportunity at any time of the year, the best shots can be had during or just after the conclusion of the rainy season.

After taking in the atmosphere of this amazing place, retreat to the small tea shop, where you can contemplate everything you just saw.

4) Get photos from Top Station

Looking for a great spot to get excellent panoramic photos of the best landscapes that can be shot in Munnar? Ask any local, and they’ll tell you to head straight for Top Station. It is a long drive up winding roads through countless plantations, but when you finally reach the top, you will see why this is a special place.

If you are lucky enough to get clear weather, you’ll see an endless series of plantation-covered hills, but even in cloudy/misty conditions, the sense of mystery and chill in the air gives this spot a feel you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere in India.

Escape winter at these top sunshine destinations

Tired of winter already (even though it technically hasn’t even started yet)? We feel you. Fortunately, there is an abundance of top sunshine destinations around the world – read about them below, and hopefully, you’ll figure out where you’ll be sitting out at least part of the coldest season in the calendar.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Those in the United States and Canada have fallen in love with the beaches and people of the Mayan Riviera over the years, and it is not hard to see why. With bleach white sand, aquamarine water, and delightfully cool cenotes, this corner of Mexico has become immensely popular for all the right reasons.

There are several major centres where most visitors go – each has its own personality. Cancun is well-loved by party people, while Tulum is preferred by backpackers. Playa del Carmen is the happy medium between these two extremes, as it has enough clubs to keep the youngsters happy while providing a mix of accommodations to satisfy every budget.

From endless beaches north and south of town to attractions like Xcaret and Rio Secreto being mere minutes outside city limits, there are plenty of ways to have a good time in this corner of the Mayan Riviera.

During the wet season, though, the rains can put a damper on your fun if you let it. If this happens to you, don’t let it ruin your day – jump online and seek out some gaming excitement (click here to find out more). From roulette to craps to video poker, you may even make money in the time it takes for the sun to come out again.

Mauritius

Looking for something a bit more exotic this winter? Go on a fabulous adventure to the other side of the globe – choose Mauritius. With a multicultural population, dreamy beaches along its coast, and an interior dense with jungle, it is a world unto itself.

Don’t miss Ile aux Cerfs, a small island just off Mauritius which is likely home to one of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen, nor Flic en Flac, which is home to an authentic fishing village in addition to having an amazing beach of its own.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

There are many places you can go in Costa Rica on holiday, but if you are looking to spoil yourself the entire time, Tamarindo is one of the best spots to base yourself. Located in Guanacaste Province, it has a beach which stands out above the many outstanding specimens in this part of the country.

With consistent surf washing in from the Pacific most of the time, it is a popular haven for surfers – even if you aren’t, it is fun to watch the masters of this sport work their magic. This town is directly across the river from a national park – to explore it, take a ride across it on a skiff captained by locals; don’t forget to pack sunscreen, as there is little natural shade!

Koh Chang, Thailand

Feel like sampling a taste of Asia this year? Instead of following the masses to the Gulf Islands or Phuket in Thailand, head east to Koh Chang.

85% of the island is protected as a national park, meaning its mountainous centre is home to mostly intact jungle. It also places restrictions on the sort of developments which can be built here, making Koh Chang much less busy than its neighbours to the south.

There is much to do here: from snorkelling/diving off the coast to climbing its highest peak (744 metres), active travellers will be happy, while partiers will love the scene they’ll find at Lonely Beach.

Basics of Camping in Australia for Tourists and Newbies 

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Australia is just full of destinations to go camping. The Aussie coastline is much favoured among campers. Not only will you be able to get stunning coastal views, you can witness major natural events like whale and dolphin migrations. Australia also has the vast Outback that is unlike anywhere else in the world to explore. You can explore the craggy land, see kangaroos, and sleep under a dome-like open sky. If you are interested in enjoying an amazing camping adventure in Australia, here is a list of basic tips to keep in mind:

Plan to Travel with an RV

Some places in Australia can be unpredictable. The weather, for example, can be notoriously unpredictable in places like Victoria. Therefore, travelling in an RV is the safest way to camp. You will be protected from heavy rainfall or harsh sunshine if either occurs on your trip. If you are going camping for the first time, doing so in an RV is highly recommended. You can try trekking or hiking the second time around. 

Get the Right Gear for RV-Free Camping

Of course, it’s not impossible to camp without an RV in Australia, and some people might prefer just that. However, make sure you pack the right gear and hardware when you are camping without one. Mainly, you will need a tough tent that can withstand various weather conditions and top-quality sleeping bags. You would also need to pack hardware like stoves for cooking on the go and first aid kits that can go inside a backpack. Do your research before travelling without an RV. 

Holiday Parks are Great for “Glamping”

“Glamping” is an Aussie term for camping at paid holiday sites where facilities are available. Hardcore campers do consider camping at a site where power and a kitchen are available as “glamorous” camping. If you are a solo traveller or a family of campers, glamping is the safest and most convenient option. You may not get the super rustic experience, but the sights will be the same. There are loads of holiday parks where you can camp with facilities in Australia. Only exceptions will be very rural areas, such as in the Outback

Get Lunch Boxes to Keep Campsites Safe

If you are setting up a tent in a wild area, take plastic lunch storage boxes with you.  Put food leftovers in the lunch boxes and place them away from where you sleep. This is a neat trick that will keep the wildlife away from where the people are sleeping. Many animals in parks are lured in by the smell of food.  

Pack Insect Repellent 

Don’t underestimate the importance of packing enough insect repellent. The Australian wilderness is notorious for little flying creatures, critters, and giant mosquitoes that campers definitely don’t want to put up with on a trip. Therefore, make room in your luggage for plenty of spray cans of insect repellent.  

Be Aware of Dehydration

Australia is mostly a dry country. The weather shifts can be unexpected. Most campers, therefore, are at risk of dehydration when travelling without adequate amounts of water. Don’t plan on buying water from a fuel station. In some areas, fuel stations may be under provisioned. Pack loads of water bottles. Water purification equipment is also highly recommended, especially for travelling light and for extended periods. Understand that dehydration is a risk and pack as needed. 

All in all, do your research well, and you will be able to enjoy Australian camping to its fullest. 

5 Reasons to take a Honda Fourtrax ATV Adventure Tour in Costa Rica 

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No matter how many times you have seen the Costa Rica jungle in pictures or videos, nothing will compare to having the experience of going inside of it and living the high temperatures and the wild flora and fauna.

The best way to experience it, is with an ATV Adventure which fills you with an adrenaline rush while you get to observe nature at its finest. A lot of people recommend the ATV experience like no other since it’s not only fun but also you will live the real unspoiled jungles of Costa Rica. Whether it is your first time, or you are an expert at it, this activity is open to everyone. 

Many ATV tours in Costa Rica use Honda Fourtrax ATV’s not only because they’re built tough but because of the quality of the Honda Fourtrax atv parts which ensure the riders that they’ll never encounter a breakdown on the trails. If you’re looking to explore a very rugged and remote area of Costa Rica consider the Osa Peninsula and enjoy some of the richest biodiversity in the world.

The Honda Fourtrax ATV tour, allows the rider to experience different type of scenarios and landscapes because the ATV’s are equipped for any adventure; also it provides them with the safest way to do it. Some tours in this jungle go through beaches and mountains, which is important to have the adequate equipment to experience them. A lot of the adventurers that have done this tour previously have said that the seats cushions are very comfortable, which will allow them to do tours up to 4 to 7 hours.

The ATV Hondas are fully equipped, and the tours provide them along with safety helmets and a tutorial on how to properly operate them.

Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t miss of this incredible experience:

Get a sight of the unique rain forest

You will get to see different types of flora like no other place in the rain forests. In your ride you will pass through different plantations of: rice, papaya, coffee, teak, and African palm. You will get to see the African Palm Orchard farm that takes up to 135,000 acres, and grows African palm fruit for the production of palm oil.

Meet traditional Costa Rican towns

You will meet the more rustic side of Costa Rica, as well as their natural ambiance and culture. Most of these places aren’t wildly touristic; therefore you will be able to experience a real sense of a traditional town. 

Experience the waterfalls, first-hand

The waterfalls are crystalline and completely refreshing. These built natural pools which tourists are encouraged to dive in to experience the real Costa Rican jungle.

The exotic animals are something that you don’t want to miss

Fauna like sloths, toucans, monkeys and a variety of tropical birds might cross your path in this wild adventure.

Adrenaline rush

Every vacation needs a sense of adventure and adrenaline, and this is the perfect activity to do so. Not only is it fun and safe for the whole family, but also it is an enriching and cultural experience. The speed depends on the person, and one can drive at its own pace enjoying their ride in their very own way.