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CAR_La playa casi virgen de Rincón

Playa Rincón is an almost virgin beach located in Las Galeras, Dominican Republic, and considered by many as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The harmonious combination of its crystal clears waters, light sand and palm trees make it something like heaven on earth. It has a certain wild air about it due to the abundant algae and fallen tree trunks along the coast. This 2 kilometer beach with its bay is a rarity because of the lack of hotels or other developments. Still unexploited, for those who enjoy history it could be reminiscent of what the Spanish sailors who discovered the New World first saw when setting foot on this land: transparent waters, huge coconut trees, lush vegetation and pure white sand.

From Samaná you can head to Playa Rincón driving along the road leading to Las Galeras, or you can go along the mountains on horseback. Another adventure-filled alternative is going by boat, with the experience of arriving by sea!

Playa Rincón is a beach worthy of a postcard, a spectacular place to rest and indulge in its beauty.

 

 

“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.”

 

 

 

MED_Budapest en 5 minutos

We really like this time lapse of the city of Budapest produced by NN Photography. 5 minutes of images that show us this beautiful city from dawn to well into the night. You will surely be able to glimpse the splendor of Budapest with excellent views of the city.

After watching this time lapse you might feel like catching the next flight to Budapest right away, won’t you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ynGpsRtNHw

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star hotel in Budapest: the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest. It is located in a privileged area, surrounded by important buildings, embassies and shopping areas. It was built in 2011 and the rooms provide a perfect sense of luxury.”

ESP_IV Bienal de Arte Flamenco de Málaga

The Fourth Biennial of Flamenco Art of Malaga takes place from February 17th to September 20th 2015, featuring over 200 artists from the three flamenco art forms: song, dance and guitar. The artists include José Mercé, Eva La Yerbabuena, Marina Heredia, Farruquito, Argentina, El Pipa, La Moneta, El Pele and Antonio Canales. Emblematic stages such as the Cave of Nerja, the Castle of Gibralfaro in Malaga, the Muralla del Carmen city wall in Ronda and the Corralón de Santa Sofía will be the venues for spectacular performances, taking advantage of the natural and cultural wealth of the province of Malaga.

In the last edition guitar playing stood out, whereas this time around the focus will be on dance, always in its purest forms, which is the goal sought by this Biennial since the 2013 edition. The singularity of its venues, visiting around 30 towns and the privileged location near the sea make the Biennial of Flamenco Art a unique event that can be enjoyed throughout seven months.

The concerts and recitals are supplemented with exhibitions, film screenings, conferences, record presentations, educational workshops and training courses. Over 100 activities are programmed for a year of flamenco in the province of Malaga.

Catch a glimpse of what’s in store:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTfiCqpH_fI

 

 

“Malaga is plentiful in places of artistic and cultural interest, Andalusian tradition and Arabic monuments. IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 4-star resorts in Malaga: the IBEROSTAR Marbella Coral Beach Hotel, in Marbella, and the IBEROSTAR Málaga Playa Hotel, in Torrox-Costa. Both have perfect facilities for couples or families with children on vacation in Malaga”

BRA_El litoral de Bahía y su multicultural capital_2

The state of Bahia has the longest coastline in Brazil, which is sprinkled with prominent tourist destinations such as Morro de São Paulo, Praia do Forte, Ilhéus, Itacaré, Olivença and Porto Seguro. Another emblematic feature of the state of Bahia is the Chapada Diamantina, a paradise for those who are fond of eco-tourism, surrounded by natural beauty amidst the waterfalls, mountains, caves and swamps.

The region of Bahia attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to the beautiful, picturesque spirit of its colonial cities, its miles of sea coast, with many stretches of virgin tropical coast, the natural landscapes and the unparalleled cultural heritage resulting from the European and African legacy. Bahia is the second state of Brazil in terms of visitors.

The city of Salvador da Bahia, former capital of colonial Brazil, is without a doubt the main feature of the region. It has a magnificent historical center, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its significance. Salvador is the main place visited by tourists in Bahia and one of the most popular destinations in Brazil. Its multicultural nature, which is the result of ethnical and cultural merging, has resulted in one of the most fascinating metropolitan areas in the world. You can see and feel the mixture in the people, in the religious variety, in the music, the folklore and cuisine, originating in Europe, Africa and among the indigenous peoples. Salvador is also famous for celebrating the biggest outdoor festival in the world, the Carnival, which attracts visitors from every continent. All this leads to Salvador being considered the ‘cultural capital of Brazil’.

We can say, and we won’t be wrong, that the state of Bahia has it all to satisfy travelers!

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star All Inclusive vacation complexes in Salvador da Bahia. Both these hotels provide visitors with a perfect vacation in Brazil in a beautiful natural environment. Here you can enjoy the luxury of comfortable rooms, a great variety of restaurants and bars, spas, swimming pools and a complete entertainment and sports activity program.”

 

ESP_El Rastro de Madrid_3

For those who do not know it, the Rastro of Madrid is a great open-air flea market and antiques fair, the best place to go on a Sunday morning or on a bank holiday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is one of the most festive, popular attractions in Madrid. The Rastro is a flea market that has been functioning for over 400 years where you can find day-to-day objects and strange devices, all in a very lively atmosphere.

The name rastro comes from the fact that the area known as El Rastro was the place where tanneries were located, not far from the slaughterhouse. While taking hides to the tannery a trace of blood was formed on the ground, known as rastro in Spanish, and the name has since then been used to depict the famous flea market.

When visiting the Rastro you should not miss the antiques shops known as Nuevas Galerías (access via Calle Ribera de Curtidores, 12). You might find a well-priced treasure or two! Another thing you should not miss and very well known by any city resident are the collectors of trading cards, at Plaza del Campillo del Nuevo Mundo. There are always parents and children and grandparents and grandchildren looking for the cards they need to complete their collection.

Among the best buys you can find there are leather goods, camouflage clothing, leather and ceramic handicrafts and original home decoration appliances. Book lovers must pay a visit to Calle del Carnero and Calle de Carlos Arniches, two streets with shops specializing in the sale of old books. Calle de San Cayetano, also known as the street of painters, has shops where you can buy paintings and painting materials.

 

To top off the morning you should try some tapas at any of the many bars and restaurants in the La Latina quarter.

 

“The Hotel IBEROSTAR Las Letras Gran Vía is an avant-garde hotel on the Gran Vía in Madrid, conveying the personality of a home for writers with suggestive services such as the informal haute cuisine, rooms with a jacuzzi on the terrace, gymnasium, nearby parking (at a charge) and Wi-Fi & Walk, among others.”

CAR_De Carnaval en Cuba en pleno mes de Jjulio

Would you like to be able to celebrate the Carnival some time other than on the mandatory dates in February or March? If so, don’t miss one of the liveliest traditional festivals of Cuba and the Caribbean. From the 3rd to the 9th of July every year, in Santiago de Cuba, they celebrate the Fiesta del Fuego or Fire Festival.

The Fire Festival, also known as the Festival of the Caribbean, brings together the various cultures of the Caribbean through dance, music and plain fun. Every year a Caribbean country appears as the special guest: dancers and musicians from that country interact with those from the rest of the countries and during the seven days that the festival lasts Santiago becomes a true carnival city.

The streets and squares of the city are filled with the sounds of the conga and the Cuban son, as well as those of the calypso, the French tumba, reggae, merengue, the cumbia, the Haitian kompa and the zouk of Martinique and Guadalupe, to name the best known of many different rhythms. The carnival lasts well into the early morning every night because the whole city seems to be out on the streets dancing and playing musical instruments, making it very hard to stop!

There are parades along Parque Céspedes, the main park in the city, and in the historic center of Santiago de Cuba. During the festival week dance, poetry, theater and music are supplemented by speeches given by experts and round tables, where you can learn about the history and traditions shared by the peoples of the Caribbean.

All in all, once you are in Santiago de Cuba you will surely discover that it is a very special place, with a rhythm of its own and plenty to see; the huge bay with its warm waters and the green mountains of Sierra Maestra provide an impressive backdrop. Given the passion for music and the artistic sensitivity of the locals, the city appears as one of the best scenarios in Cuba for events of this nature to the extent of being considered the Cultural Capital of the Caribbean. The Fire Festival is a great occasion and its carnivals are something one should experience at least once in a lifetime.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a number of hotels in several areas of the island of Cuba, ranging from well-known destinations such as Varadero to less frequented but equally attractive zones such as Trinidad, and of course the majestic capital city of Havana. The hotel surroundings are spectacular, with beaches of fine gold sand, areas with a lot to see in terms of nature and some of the most significant buildings in the history of Cuba.”

 

 

CAR_Una islita como de dibujos animados

Cayo Arena, actually Cayo Paraíso (its real name), is a small coral islet in the northwest of the Dominican Republic off the coast of Puerto Plata in Punta Rucia. Such is the beauty of this little island that when you set foot on its sands you will feel as if you were dreaming. Imagine yourself under the sun on a little island surrounded by white sand and crystal clear waters, so transparent that you can contemplate the seabed through turquoise to green hues… this is what you will find on the little island called Cayo Arena.

This sand bank is one of the gems of nature, a true Caribbean paradise. And it has the peculiarity of its changing size, growing or diminishing depending on the sea currents and the time of the year.

You will be fascinated by the beauty of this little rising of sand just off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Here you can do some snorkeling and observe so many different colorful fishes, you can take pictures worthy of the best postcards, enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystalline, refreshing waters, talk to the fishermen who come and go from the island or just lie down and rest on the sand. One thing is sure—you’ll never forget it!

 

“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.”

 

 

 

MED_budapest-dos-dias

Weekends are perfect for a getaway from your daily routine, enabling your senses to indulge in the charms of a European capital. To do this, however, if you don’t want to miss out on the essentials, it is best that you carefully plan out your trip beforehand. Budapest is one of the most attractive cities for a two day visit. The easiness with which you can use public transportation and a good preparation of your visit will allow you to enjoy a city that has a lot to offer in just two days.

Check out our proposed itinerary.

The first day, Friday, after checking in at the hotel, the best option is a walk through the city center. You can start out at Váci Utca, the most important shopping street in Budapest, then go on to Andrássy Avenue, a boulevard included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest religious construction in Hungary, and finally go to the opera area, where many different bars, pubs and restaurants will be delighted to welcome hungry and fun-loving travelers.

On Saturday morning your best choise is to start out at the Buda district, the most stately part of town. You can walk around the Buda Castle, one of the best-known monuments of Budapest and the old royal residence, where you can enjoy some of the best views of the city. Don’t forget to enter the courtyard, where you will find the Budapest History Museum, portraying the city’s history from the Middle Ages to the present. From there, our route takes us to Mathias Church, built between the 12th and 15th centuries, and the Fisherman’s Bastion, a terrace with seven towers commemorating the seven founding tribes of Hungary, from where you can contemplate the full splendor of Pest and the Parliament.

Going down the hill, on number 9 of Úri Utca, one of the best preserved streets from medieval days, is the entrance to the Buda Castle Labyrinth, a must for those who want to have a bit of fun. Next is a walk over the Chain Bridge, the best known bridge over the Danube and one of the symbols of the city, taking you to St. Stephen’s Basilica, something you have to visit.

Going south you arrive at Vörösmarty tér, the square with the best bakeries in the city. From there, going along Váci Utca you will reach the Central Market, an ideal place to eat well at reasonable prices. You can walk down your lunch by visiting the shops on Andrássy Avenue and then go to the Opera House, where guided visits are available for those interested.

The day can end with a boat ride on the Danube, including dinner and a live show. Prices are reasonable and Hungarian folklore is always worth watching and listening to.

The last day takes us first to Heroes’ Square, with statues of the leaders from the seven founding tribes of Hungary. The same square houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, one of the best museums in the city, with works spanning from Greek and Roman times to paintings by Raphael, Picasso, Cézanne, Tiepolo and El Greco.

Next our stroll takes us to City Park, where many Hungarian families spend their bank holidays. And depending on the timing of your return flight, you should visit the Széchenyl Spa, one of Europe’s largest thermal baths, with 15 swimming pools (3 in the open air and 12 indoor), where you can rest for an hour or two before eating something at the stalls near the zoo or the city center.

 

Bear in mind: The Parliament is one of the most impressive buildings in the city but it also has many visitors. We have left it out of our route because it takes several hours and you would have to sacrifice other things in the city. But if you want to you can contract a guided tour of Budapest & Parliament, where you would visit this building plus our Saturday morning route.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest welcomes you to an exclusive boutique hotel in Budapest with spa & wellness facilities. Located in the heart of the Hungarian capital, this emblematic 5 star hotel in Budapest offers a variety of proposals to make a romantic or business trip something truly unforgettable: gymnasium, luxury suites, concierge, gourmet cuisine…”

Jamaica. A perpetual party

junio 23rd, 2015 | Posted by CM Iberostar in DESTINATIONS - (0 Comments)

CAR_Fiesta en Jamaica_5

Jamaica, one of the Caribbean destinations par excellence, offers visitors unprecedented evasive possibilities. Subtle and wild, the island of reggae and home of the rastafaris stands out for its vibrant culture, its extraordinary beaches and surroundings of exuberant nature. For those who thrive on partying and never-ending nights, Jamaica has many establishments where you can seep in the rhythm of the best music. Powerful live gigs featuring reggae, ska and calypso with suggestive cocktails.

Jamaica’s nightlife is among the best you can find in the Caribbean thanks to the quality and the quantity of the proposals to choose from. There are many establishments where you can directly experience Jamaican and Caribbean nightlife and music. Here are some of the most celebrated:

  • In Negril: Alfred’s Ocean Palace, and Rick’s Café.
  • In Port Antonio: Little Pub, Amnesia, BiBiBips, and Jamaica ’N Me Crazy.
  • In Kingston: Mezcla.
  • In Montego Bay: Rum Jungle Café & Bar.

The above are some of the most highly valued by locals and visitors, but most of the bars you can find on the island provide a faithful tribute to the festive character of the people and faithfully portray the idiosyncrasy of a unique destination. Also, most of the nightclubs play live music, so any of the tourist enclaves will allow you to find the perfect place to enjoy an unforgettable music evening.

Another option not to be missed is that of the many parties taking place on beaches on the weekends. These festive gatherings are a unique opportunity to enjoy concerts with reggae, ska and calypso music. Year round but especially in summer, many festivals are organized celebrating the local culture and the urge to party.

Among all the proposals in Jamaica, one of the most attractive is the Reggae Sumfest. This mythical event, celebrated at Montego Bay, brings together the most important artists in Jamaican music and important international musicians as well. The 23rd edition will take place in July 2015. This date is worth marking out in red on your calendar.

 

“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.”

 

ESP_tapas-andalucia_2

Tapas in Spain are essentially aperitifs served at bars in certain regions to accompany your drink, normally a beer or a glass of wine, making it easier to counter the effects of alcohol or simply as a way of encouraging you to keep ordering drinks. The tapa is usually included in the price, so if you pay 2 euros for a beer you’re really paying for the beer and the tapa along the side. This is a custom that has become rooted in nearly every town in Spain, although in some places the tapa may be a dish of olives or potato chips, while in other places it can be a small serving of the house specialty. In Andalusia there is often a subtle competition between bars to see who can offer the best tapa.

In Andalusian towns, just as in the north of Spain, the tapa is part of the social process. Thus tapas are normally consumed by groups of friends who move along (arrive at a bar, have a drink and tapa, move on to the next place), and in many cases this is a way of going out to dinner or lunch without actually having to sit down and order from a menu. People basically go out de tapeo or de picoteo, and it can truly be a feast for those devoted to this ritual. In cities like Seville, Cordoba and especially Granada, servings are quite generous, and after stopping at three or four places you start to feel like you’ve had your fill. Marinated school shark, fried fish, grilled prawns, fried eggplant, mini hamburgers, all kinds of croquettes… you name it; almost anything can be served as a tapa.

The important thing about tapas is not only eating them but the social element involved in the process. Going out for tapas is a way of getting together with friends and acquaintances, taking advantage of the lunch or supper hours to spend a while in good company.

In Andalusia, there is much more to eating than just sitting at the table and going out de picoteo (snacking) is much more than just eating. In fact, tapeo usually takes place in bars, and if you do go to a restaurant for tapas, you have them at the bar or at informal tables, whereas those who want to sit down and eat are usually served in a separate dining room.

 

A few dishes: Many Andalusian tapas are fried. Different types of fish, cuttlefish, squid, croquettes, etc. are customary in most places. Although more elaborate tapas are burgeoning, we must not forget cold cuts, the foremost among these being serrano ham.

 

“The South of Spain is so seductive and this is especially intensive if you go on vacation in Andalusia. The resorts and hotels in Andalusia of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts>provide you with the best services to enjoy a wonderful time—both for couples and families.”