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MED_Fogo

In 1680 a violent volcano eruption left a visible summit in the Atlantic Ocean and it gave its name to an island formerly known as São Filipe. Thus was born the myth of Fogo, an island in the Cape Verde archipelago, in the Sotavento group of islands, with an altitude of nearly 3,000 m above sea level, culminating in the Pico do Fogo. The near entirety of the island is made up by this active volcano, the latest eruption taking place in 2014. The volcano’s caldera measures 9 km across and it has walls that are 1 km high. The caldera has a fracture on the eastern side, a huge peak in the center and its lava flowed down to the east coastline in ancient times.

At the foot of the volcano is the small town of Chã das Caldeiras, where the residents have to be evacuated from time to time when the eruptions begin. Together with the city of São Filipe, it is the neuralgic point for a rising tourist activity focusing on the volcano as its main feature. The island, connected to the rest of the country via the São Filipe Airdrome and the Port of Vale Cavaleiros, is made up by three municipalities: São Filipe, Mosteiros and Santa Catarina do Fogo. It has a population of 37,000 and the economy is based on tourism, agriculture and fishing, coffee and wine being the most important products.

The largest area of interest on the island is the Fogo Natural Park, consisting of 8,469 hectares comprising the area around the volcano and its caldera. The rugged, black lunar landscapes enhance the magnetism and mystical qualities of a unique island. This destination, besides its spectacular surroundings, features a great cultural wealth and the friendly, welcoming nature of its people. The plantations, the handmade products using lava and the rich folklore and musical heritage allow visitors to get to know the idiosyncrasy of these oceanic peoples. Food in Cape Verde presents an interesting combination of African and Portuguese dishes. The national dish is the cachupa, a bean-based dish made using corn, bacon and sausages—simple yet with great flavor. The diet is based on fish, pork, rice and a number of vegetables.

In summary, the singular orographic layout of Fogo makes it the ideal destination for adventure and excursion lovers. Everything on this island is beautiful and exciting, from the small port city of São Filipe, with the splendid colonial buildings, to the volcanic beach of Salina. It is a place where nature shows off its power, giving us the incomparable feeling halfway between attraction and fear.

One of the greatest pleasures of Fogo, something not to be missed, is the excellent grilled lobster washed down with the famous local wine.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Club Boa Vista hotel is a 5-star resort in Cape Verde, All Inclusive, located next to the beautiful beach of Chaves, in Cape Verde. Located in surroundings of unique beauty, this hotel catering to couples and families will surprise visitors with a complete entertainment offer for all ages and a cuisine fit for the most demanding palate.”

 

 

ESP_Fuerteventura

The archipelago of the Canary Islands rises up in the midst of the spectacular waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a unique enclave on the planet made up by seven major islands with National Parks, areas included on the World Heritage List, protected natural areas and enchanting coasts. One of these islands is Fuerteventura, a subtropical paradise with over 150 km of beaches of white sand and turquoise water that could be called “the beach of the Canary Islands.”

When arriving in Fuerteventura you are captivated by the magical surroundings. The whole island was declared a Reserve of the Biosphere and a Starlight Reserve, it has huge natural settings and an enormous protected area where you can get lost if you wish to. Natural monuments, natural parks in the countryside and unique landscapes attest to the island’s volcanic origin. The biodiversity and autochthonous flora and fauna are of incalculable value and they are protected by a number of environmental projects.

The island in itself is an extensive Natural Heritage that is highly valued thanks to its state of conservation. It comprises over 350,000 hectares featuring singular developments emerging in an arid medium surrounded by the sea. We can find extremely arid landscapes that make it one of the best geo-paleontology observatories of Macaronesia and the best representation of desert and steppe-like habitats in the entire archipelago. It also boasts the greatest marine treasures of the Canary Islands, where you can enjoy endless activities. You can go whale-watching and practice many water sports, among which we recommend the immersion in unique volcanic areas.

Fuerteventura is therefore a Sustainable Tourist Destination where the conservation of traditional activities and values is compatible with tourist activities. It is a privileged place for viewing volcanic areas with a world class fossil register and around 50 paleontology sites. Fuerteventura is one of the largest semi-desert zones of the European Union that will surprise you throughout its virtually virgin coastline. All this natural beauty is enhanced by the wealth of Canary Island culture and the friendliness of its people, the magnificent cuisine and the endless offer of entertainment and fun.

Each corner of this island is a corner waiting to be discovered and all you have to do is choose how you want to enjoy it. Moving along its many paths on a mountain bike or on a camel can be a great experience.

 

“The hotels in the Canary Islands of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts are located in privileged areas of the different Islands, right by the beach and surrounded by nature. These 3, 4 and 5-star complexes have magnificent facilities, large, comfortable rooms and very professional service to suit all your needs.”

 

CAR_puerto-moleros

Puerto Moleros is the main port of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. This might suggest industrial activity with large cargo ships and other features that would not make it at all appealing for tourists. But in recent years, what was once a traditional fishing village has become one of the most advisable tourist destinations for nature loving travelers. Its barrier reef, declared a National Park, is part of one of the world’s most important barrier reefs, just 500 m off the coast. It is an ideal place for scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurf and other marine activities. It also has botanical gardens spanning over 65 hectares and a zoo featuring boas, ocelots and especially crocodiles of all ages.

The beaches of Puerto Moleros, given their special geographic disposition, are considered the best of the Mexican Caribbean coast, with their fine, smooth white sand, and they are protected within the Marine Park, meaning there are virtually no buildings. Here you can practice non-engine propelled sea activities such as kayaking, and the waters are especially suited for diving and snorkeling, allowing you to access a marine landscape of most uncommon beauty.

Also, the route connecting Leona Vicario with Central Vallarta and Puerto Moleros has several cenotes, springs originating from underground rivers where you can enjoy a swim in the midst of the exuberant rain forest. Some of these have zip-lines, bathrooms and picnic and camping areas. Others are much wilder, giving travelers the feel of being in a natural environment far-removed from civilization.

Another attraction in the area is the Crocodile Zoo, where visitors can watch these incredible animals in their daily affairs. And you can also see boas, deer, spider monkeys and ocelots, all in captivity, and even interact with some of these species.

 

For sports lovers: Puerto Moleros is one of the prime destinations for cycling fans, because you can ride a bike along beautiful routes that are quite safe, because there are very few motor vehicles.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 7 hotels in the Mayan Riviera, located between Playa del Carmen and Playa Paraíso, two of the most beautiful places in the region.”

 

 

CAR_Parques de aventura en Jamaica_2

Although the paradisiac beaches of Jamaica are an undisputed attraction for thousands of visitors, this Caribbean island has a great variety of action and adventure proposals that can make your stay more exciting. They are ideal for a romantic getaway, for a vacation with family or friends. Below are a few proposals that will shoot up your adrenalin in the home of Bob Marley.

One of the most attractive choices of adventure on the island is the Rain Forest Adventures Mystic Mountain. This park, located in Ocho Rios, offers the most daring travelers a ride on high tech sleighs going down a thousand meter gravity course through the forest. This is an unequalled opportunity to discover the exuberant local flora and fauna from a unique viewpoint.

The Water Park & Adventure Tour allows visitors to relax in a calm river or show their kayak skills on the lakes surrounding the park. The circuit also features a guided tour on a bamboo raft next to the mangroves, open air laser combat and traditional Jamaican cuisine.

As a primary Caribbean travel destination, Jamaica offers a huge variety of water-related parks, sports and other activities, which we may access at any of the island’s tourist centers. At Montego Bay, for instance, you can visit the Montego Bay Marine Park or the Aquasol Beach Park, take a boat ride on Black River, sign up for the John’s Hall Adventure Tour or the MoBay Undersea Tours, take part in the Sea Trek Submarine Walkthrough or go on a raft trip in Mountain Valley or on the Martha Brae River.

Anyone wishing to enjoy other exciting proposals can contact Chukka Caribbean Adventures, the leading company in adventure routes in nature, offering a large variety of activities in Jamaica. These include river tubing, horseback ride and swim, kayaking on the river, ATV safari, dune buggies, horse and chariot and a visit to the Good Hope Estate.

If you are of the daring type and enjoy real adventure, you have to try out the zip-line canopy ride over the forest. This is a genuine thrill.

 

“If you want to enjoy these beaches and much more, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has three 5-star vacation complexes at Montego Bay: the hotel IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Beach, the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall(adults only) and the hotel IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Suites.”

 

MED_Mahdia

Located on a narrow peninsula on the east of Tunisia, Mahdia, the old imperial capital, rises as a beautiful, calm coastal city. Compared to other Tunisian tourist centers, this magic destination is less boisterous and cluttered and it provides an ideal opportunity to take a few days off and just relax.

According to the locals, the beaches of Mahdia are the most beautiful beaches in Tunisia. Turquoise waters, fine white sand and a pleasant summer breeze make this coast a privileged enclave that has become the world capital of thalassotherapy tourism. The city brings together the full charm and the millenary character of Tunisia: a world of color, aromas, flavors and traditions. There is a lot to do and discover in Mahdia. Our visit must take us to the Great Mosque, erected as a fortress. Then we can go to the old quarter and reach the beautiful Medina, the only part of the original city that is still standing, accessed through the spectacular Gate of Skifa el Kahla. In this marketplace we find a never-ending supply of traditional pottery, tapestries, spices, figs and dates and the mythical embroidered jackets and robes. Another prominent fortress is Borj el Kebir, built in the 16th century. Located on the highest part of the peninsula, it offers a spectacular view of the ruins of the Ancient Port, carved out in the stone in the times of the Punic Wars. The Place du Caire is the core of the city’s vitality, serving as its neuralgic center.  We recommend that you sit down at one of the bars or cafés, enjoy a cup of tea and enjoy the serene surroundings. Other essential sights are the Marketplace leading to the port, the marine cemetery, the Black Gate at the entrance of the city, the House of the Sea, and the Palace of Al-Qaim bi-Amr Allah, all of which are part of the history and legacy of Mahdia. Those who are fond of archaeology have to visit the coliseum of El Jem (a one hour drive away), the biggest coliseum in the world after the one in Rome.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Arab world is its gastronomy, and Mahdia of course has plenty to offer. There are so many exquisite and surprising dishes to enjoy such as chicken or lamb couscous, Fatima fingers (a pie filled with chicken breast and potato), Tajine (meat and potato omelette), and Bricks (triangular pasta delicacies filled with egg and tuna). There is no way you can skip the opportunity of trying the magnificent fresh fish to be had at Mahdia. Enjoy giltheads, red mullets, mackerels or sardines… grilled and with a slice of lemon.

To sum it up, Mahdia is history, light, tranquility, culture and a dreamlike coastline—the ideal destination for those wishing to relax while discovering the spirit of Maghreb.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star vacation complex, All Inclusive, in Mahdia: the IBEROSTAR Royal El Mansour, located next to a beautiful warm water beach. In this luxury establishment you can enjoy an exquisite gastronomic offer, a complete entertainment program for all the family and rooms equipped with everything you may need.”

Green turtle underwater on a coral. Sipadan. Celebes sea

The city of Salvador da Bahia has a wealth of history and culture that can be admired in its architecture, artisanship and its typical cuisine, and it also boasts great natural beauty thanks to its calm, transparent waters. Lovers of scuba diving will discover that the clear and always warm waters of the sea feature many shipwrecks and abundant marine life.

Banco da Panela is considered an architectural site thanks to the many shipwrecks ensuing from 17th century sea battles. It is located at the Entry to the harbor of Salvador, 200 meters from the Fort of San Marcelo. The depth ranges from 5 to 18 meters. Another interesting point is Beirda do Badejo, where the sea floor slumps down to depths ranging from 10 to 15 meters and is home to several marine species and a variety of corals. Further in, around 50 km southeast of Porto da Barra the depth reaches 1,000 meters. Much larger fishes and clear waters make this a very attractive place, put it is only recommended for experienced divers.

Caramuanas is considered one of the best places for diving near Salvador da Bahia. It features large coral formations at depths ranging from 2 to 30 meters. It is a 40-minute boat ride from the Island of Itaparica.

Quebra-Mar North is a breakwater built to protect the city harbor. This artificial reef was soon to become an excellent spot for diving. You can see corals, sponges, parrotfish, shrimp, sea horses and other marine species. At night you can find lobsters, squid, trumpet fish and the cute coffer fish. The depth is 2 m and visibility reaches 5 to 10 meters. In Quebra-Mar South the depth ranges from 5 to 12 meters and you can go diving on either side of the wall. On the side facing outward toward the sea the seabed is made of sand, whereas on the side facing the shore the sea floor is muddy and sheltered from sea currents and waves. Here there are various coral and sponge formations and lots of fish.

Paredes (walls) are rocky coral-covered formations parallel to the Todos os Santos Bay Canal. The depth ranges from 20 to 60 meters. The seabed plateaus around 20 m deep are good for anchoring boats. The extension of these walls is huge, leading to many new interesting exploration points being found all the time. These walls are teeming with life and the fish are quite big.

Do you feel like coming to Salvador da Bahia on a diving trip?

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star All Inclusive vacation complexes in Salvador da Bahia and the hotel IBEROSTAR Bahía Both of these hotels offer visitors a perfect vacation in Brazil in a beautiful natural environment.”

ESP_Costa de la luz, Chiclana

 

The Costa de la Luz comprises the Spanish coastline washed by the Gulf of Cádiz. It is a region of southwest Andalusia consisting of the coastal regions of the provinces of Huelva and Cádiz, from the mouth of the Guadiana River to Tarifa. It has a relevant tourist offer in terms of hotel beds and entertainment, ranging from sun & sea to inland tourism, regional cuisine and culture, golf courses, water parks and pleasure harbors. It has beautiful natural areas, cliffs, marshlands and beaches of endless dunes of fine sand. The name is due to the vivid light that enhances its neat streets, the whitewashed walls, the gold hues of its wild beaches and the reflection of the sea.

One of the most salient towns on the Costa de la Luz is Chiclana de la Frontera, a town between the Cádiz Bay Natural Park and the Marshlands of Sancti Petri. The beautiful coastline boasts extensive beaches of fine sand such as Playa de la Barrosa, stretching eight kilometers from the cliffs separating it from Playa de Sancti Petri to the hill known as Loma del Puerco. La Barrosa, which has important tourist infrastructures, enjoys 300 days of sunshine over the year and has been awarded important environmental distinctions thanks to its environmental management.

Besides the beaches there are areas such as the Endorreic Complex of Chiclana, a Natural Reserve that includes the Jeli and Montellano lagoons. It consists of a protected area of 567 hectares and its environmental value derives from the fact that is a vital area for autochthonous birds and other animal species, some of which are endangered species.

The urban center of Chiclana, whitewashed and well cared for, stands out for its liveliness and has been declared a Place of Cultural Interest by the Andalusian Regional Government. In this park, which is divided in two by the Iro River, we can find monuments such as the Hermitage of Santa Ana, the Church of San Juan Bautista or an old military fortress, the Castle of Sancti Petri. Sports lovers will find that Chiclana de la Frontera has a large offer of water activities and it is one of the main regions for playing golf in Spain, partly thanks to the renowned Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri. Andalusian cuisine adds flavor to this travel destination where entertainment is available for people of all ages, making it a complete vacation for everybody.
The stay would not be perfect without a visit to the wine cellars of Chiclana, temples of traditional wine making where we can experience how its finos, olorosos and muscatel wines are made, all of them with their designation of origin.

 

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 4-star vacation complexes in Cádiz: the hotel IBEROSTAR Andalucía Playa and the hotel IBEROSTAR Royal Andalus. Both are on Playa de la Barrosa, near the city of Cádiz and Chiclana. They have been designed for a relaxing and entertaining vacation in Cádiz for couples or families, with big swimming pools, hotel animation services, relax facilities and excellent restaurants.”

 

BRA_Las hermosas playas de Porto Seguro

Porto Seguro, a city in the state of Bahia, boasts 85 km of white sandy beaches with transparent waters. Its privileged weather attracts travellers from many places and it also benefits from its complete tourist infrastructure and its rich historical heritage and biodiversity. But undoubtedly its beaches are the most appealing feature of this spectacular enclave. The white sand, crystal clear water and tropical climate will conquer anyone who comes by on a visit.

The most popular beach in Porto Seguro is Praia Taperapuã, which brings together many attractive features: you can practise water sports such as kayaking and go for rides on a banana boat, take a helicopter ride to see the area from the air or enjoy the natural swimming pools.

Those seeking more relaxed and calm beaches can try out Praia Mundaí and Praia de Curuipé. The water is quite still, without any big waves and it is nice and warm, making it perfect for families with children. Both of these beaches have natural pools, making them attractive for those who enjoy underwater diving.

Praia de Itacimirim, approximately 1 km long, also has fine sand and calm water. It is renowned for the many palm trees lining the beach, which provide pleasant shade any time of the day, as well as the many places where you can enjoy delicious seafood.

Those who love beaches and adventure have a special place at Praia do Mutá, which on top of its spectacular surroundings offers the possibility of viewing it from the air on a glider!

It will surely be a matter of trying out all these beaches!

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star vacation complexes, All Inclusive, in Salvador de Bahia: the  hotel IBEROSTAR Praia Do Forte and the hotel IBEROSTAR BahíaBoth these hotels provide visitors with a perfect vacation in Brazil in a beautiful natural environment.”

ESP_Uno de los mejores destinos del mundo

Spain is a genuine force for tourism in the world. With 60.6 million international visitors, it ranks second in terms of tourist revenues, just behind USA. Its good climate, coastline, beaches and natural areas, the excellent cultural heritage and cuisine, and a modern network of infrastructures and tourist services have put this destination in the top ranks. Below is a review of some of the factors that have prompted this privileged position.

Enviable coastline. Spain’s coastline spans approximately 8,000 kilometers, including its two archipelagos (the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands). Here we find a total of 573 blue flag beaches, setting Spain at the top of the list among the 48 countries taking part in this program. It also has 108 blue flag pleasure harbors and over 130,000 moorings.

Spectacular nature. The natural surroundings are another aspect that make Spain a choice destination. It ranks second in Europe in terms of natural areas, with 14 National Parks and 126 Natural Parks. It is also the second country in terms of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves with a total of 42. Over 300 days of sunshine per year, 2,000 kilometers of Green Routes and a generous network of paths for hiking and mountain biking complete the natural offer.
Cultural power. Spain’s historic and cultural wealth do not go by unnoticed for the millions of tourists visiting every year. With 42 enclaves, Spain ranks second on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. To this we must add the appeal of Spanish, the world’s second language in number of speakers and nearly 20 million students who have it as a foreign language, plus its impressive wealth in terms of museums, traditional festivities and cultural events.
A benchmark for food lovers. Spain’s varied and select cuisine is one of its most appealing features for visitors. It is not by chance that in 2013 the world’s best restaurant was from Spain and that three Spanish restaurants were in the top ten, and that the best chef was also a Spaniard, according to the prestigious magazine Restaurant. In 2014, there were eight Spanish restaurants with three Michelin stars, 17 had two stars and 120 restaurants had a single star.
Infrastructures. The large offer of tourist infrastructures in enviable in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Spain has 3,200,000 hotel beds, of which over 50% are of superior category, plus 15,000 establishments dedicated to rural tourism. As far as well-being is concerned, Spain has over 120 spas in mountain and coastal areas, as well as on its islands, which provide visitors with a unique experience. To all this we must add the many roads, the high-speed train network, airports, harbors, etc., which place Spain among the top ten countries in the world in terms of quality of its infrastructures.
Sports and entertainment. The entertainment and sports offer available in Spain, suiting all tastes, is quite unique. With nearly 450 golf courses, Spain is the second destination in the world for golf travellers. You can also enjoy mountain skiing, water sports and hiking and mountain bike routes in exclusive settings. All of this is topped with so many facilities for entertainment, partying and fun in nearly every city and town in the country.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels&Resorts has hotels in some of the best enclaves in Spain, such as Andalusia, the Canary Islands and Mallorca

CAR_Los indudables encantos de Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, the capital of the beautiful Dominican Republic, was destroyed by a hurricane in 1502, but then over the centuries this Spanish colony erected large public, private and religious buildings, being as it was the administrative center of the New World and one of the great cities of the Americas. In 1990 its Colonial Zone was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

· Baluarte del Conde: a collection of defensive buildings with many historical items: the park known as Parque de la Independencia, the Puerta de la Misericordia and Puerta del Conde gates, the Fort of La Concepción and the Altar of the Fatherland.

· Cathedral of Santo Domingo: The Primary Cathedral of America. Consecrated in 1504, it is next to the Parque de Colón. During some time it contained some of the remains of Christopher Columbus (there are several places claiming the same honor), which were subsequently transferred to the Museum dedicated to the famous sailor, known as the Faro de Colón.

· Alcázar de Colón or Palacio Virreinal de Don Diego Colón. This fortress or palace was erected on the land that King Ferdinand the Catholic donated to the son of Christopher Columbus in order for him to build his residence, today it houses the Alcázar Museum. It was built in the Mudejar style, using coral stones from the area, and it included over 55 rooms (of which just over 20 remain today).

· Parque de Colón is the ancient Main Square of the colonial period.

· Ozama Fortress, built by the Spaniards during the years of the conquest, between 1502 and 1508. On the banks of the Ozama River, it is the oldest fortress in the Americas. It was erected to protect the city from attacks by the pirates and the English, French and Portuguese forces. It provided a vantage point over the mouth of the Ozama River and the Caribbean coastline.

· National Pantheon: During the 18th century it was a Jesuit monastery, which then passed into the hands of the Spanish Crown, after which it was used as a warehouse to store tobacco. In 1955, Trujillo decided to make it a Monument to the Heroes of the Nation.

· Museum of Modern Art: This is considered one of the best museums of modern art of Latin America. It has a large collection of contemporary Dominican art filled with fresh, lively, high quality works.

· Museum of the Dominican Man: One of the most important museums of the Dominican Republic, with many priceless items of Pre-Columbian art. This museum takes us back to the history of the ancient dwellers of Santo Domingo, the Taínos. You can see ceramics, clothing and ancient art of the first peoples dwelling on the island of Hispaniola.

If you go to the Dominican Republic to enjoy its excellent climate and beaches, don’t forget to visit the beautiful, monumental capital city of Santo Domingo—it will surely make you wiser.

 

“The hotels in the Dominican Republic of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts take visitors to the most beautiful parts of the island thanks to the 6 luxury complexes in Bayahibe, Playa Bávaro and Puerto Plata. Their excellent location allows guests to travel and discover the many secrets the island has to offer.”