Sonntag, 27. Mai 2012

My favorite... city




Do you want to know where to find this gemstone of a city?
I will give you a little hint: it is a city of millions and it has a lot more faces than the pictures above might suggest. A post abot the most beautiful city I have been to is going to follow soon.

Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2012

Hampi - Holy Town

Of all the places in India I have been too, this might be my favorite one. The holy town of Hampi is located in the state of Karnataka, South West India. It is a holy place with a truly unique atmosphere and an amazing landcape. Seriously, the pictures do not do this place justice.






How to reach it?
Take a train to Hosped, then a taxi or rikshaw to Hampi which is about 12 km.
What to keep in mind?
It is a holy town, so smoking, alcohol and any kind of meat (even chicken etc.) is forbidden. Restaurants do not offer alcohol or meat for that reason. Apart from that, just the usal things like dressing appropriately when visiting the ruins (a lot of them are temples).
Some extra information:
Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar, the last big Hindi Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight since 1986. Because it is situated at the riverside (Tungabhadra River) there can be a lot of mosquitos, which CAN transmit Malaria so be sure to protect yourself.
Definetly bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen! The sun is very strong and temperatures of 40°C are nothing special.
How long to stay?
I recommend at least 3 days, more if possible. The ruins are distributed over 26 m², so you will definetly need more than one day. You can do a tour, or rent a scooter but I recommend walking or renting bisicles because that way you can enjoy the beautiful scenery a lot better. (just my opinion of course!)

What about you? Ever been to India? Are you planning a trip to India?

Dienstag, 15. Mai 2012

Bocas del Toro - Boca del Drago





What can I say? I think the pictures give you a pretty damn good impression of this stunningly beautiful stretch of sand. Boca del Drago, also known as Starfish Beach, is situated on Isla Colón. It is famous for it's millions of starfish that you can find there.

How to reach it? From Bocas Town you can easily take a bus to Boca del Drago, which will take about 45 minutes.

Samstag, 12. Mai 2012

Bocas del Toro - Wizard Beach

Today's post, as promised in last the post about Bocas del Toro, will be about one of Bocas' beaches: Wizard Beach


How to reach it?
This beach is located on Isla Bastimentos. The best way to reach it is to take a water taxi and let it drop you right on the beach. Last time I was there, which was around September 2009, the boats were not able to go all the way to the shore so it might be necessary that you have to get into the water and walk to the beach the last meters. I recommend wrapping your camera and other electronic devices in some sort of plastic, just to be on the safe side.

What is so special about Wizard Beach?
It is not as crowded as Red Frog Beach, very "natural" in terms of there is NO infrastructure (so think about bringing things like water and maybe some food) and one big plus are the big trees that stand all the way along the beach and provide shade.


Samstag, 5. Mai 2012

Bocas del Toro I

Today I want to share one of my favorite places. It's Bocas del Toro, an archipelago of islands situated in the Carribean Sea. This will need more than one blogpost because it's such an amazing place, there are a lot of nice beaches to visit and it is exquisite for going snorkling and/or diving. (oh, and you can see the occasional dolphin, not to forget!)
So stay tuned for some beautiful pictures and some handy informations.


This is the main island, Isla Colón from a boat

How to get there?
You can fly in by plane. The airport is situated on the main island, Isla Colón. The flight will take you about 45min to 1 hour to/from eighter San José (Costa Rica) or Panamá City.
You can also take local transport to Almirante and a "lancha" (e.g. water taxi) from there to Colón. From Isla Colón you can easily get boats to the other islands.

Where to stay?
Where to stay depends on what you are looking for!
Infrastructure is best at the main island, but if you are deperate to rest and seeking absolute quiet the other islands may be interesting as well. I'll give you a brief overview:
Isla Colón: The main island, best infrastructure, all different kinds of hotels, lot's of hostels, largest variety of nightlife.
Isla Carenero: The hostel Aqua Lodge hosts "wild" parties one or two times a week. A part from that, there is next to no nightlife going on on Carenero. There are 2 or so more hotels and I have seen the occasional restaurant. For things like supermarkets or banks, a boat ride to the main island is necessary but the good thing is: the boat ride will only take about 2 minutes because Carenero is situated just a few hundred meters from the shore of Colón.
Bastimentos: There are some very good hotels on Bastimentos Island. I have not seen a single supermarket nor a bank nor anything else. BUT I heard about beach partys on the beaches of Bastimentos on some nights. I guess this will be a quiet place nevertheless, since it is a fairly big island and I can't imagine the beach parties right next to the hotels.


A post about the different beaches of te archipelago will follow the next days!

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2012

Panama City

Panama City is said to be the "Miami of Central America". Well' I've never been to Miami, but I highly doubt that. Panama City is nice, but nothing too special. It's conveniently located at the Pacific Ocean, on one end of the Panama Channel. From here, you can get to all parts of the (relatively small) country. Within just 12 hours on the public transport or 45min on the plane you can get to the pristine islands of Bocas del Toro. (blogpost about Bocas del Toro will follow soon!)

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The skyline of Panama City, yes it definetly has it's charm




Like every latin-american city, Panama also has it's slightly dodgy corners. Which I, by the way, often prefere to the sleek Banking Districts.


If the city is on your way anyway, I think it's worth staying about 2 days. Panama city is a great getaway to the Islands of San Blas, to travel down south to Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) by sailboat, or up north to the Bocas del Toro Archipelago.