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BRA-senderismo-amazonas

The traveler, as it has been understood throughout history, is a character whose curiosity leads them to explore the most remote places, in order to encounter, experience and feel a part of other cultures, traditions and communities, without concern for amenities or services. Over the course of time, these amenities and services have been standardized and extended throughout almost all destinations in order for visitors to feel as comfortable as possible. Thus, number of travelers taking advantage of these advances to explore these countries and destinations through natural landscapes has grown exponentially, and with it, so have the destinations. Brazil is one of those destinations, and special emphasis has been placed on promoting this type of tourism in one of the most amazing areas of the world: the Amazon rainforest.

One of Brazil’s preferred destinations for this type of tourism is Manaus. The capital of the Amazon province enables visitors to venture into the rainforest through the multiple trails that run through it, and from which you can appreciate the best of one of the greatest biodiversity areas on the planet. So, inevitably, it is necessary to have the company of guides, who will take the hikers along the trails, over rivers and lakes, and make it possible to discover places that would otherwise be impossible to find.

To fully enjoy this trip, it is best to set aside several days. In this way, the hiker is able to understand the magnitude of the landscape they are exploring, in addition to having the opportunity to visit some indigenous peoples who live in the rainforest, observing the fauna and flora that surrounds them more calmly and encountering a unique experience, spending the night in the hostels that are completely integrated in the landscape.

 

Complete the trip: Another possibility is to complete the journey with cruises or tours on the Amazon River, fishing in its waters or joining an excursion to see the countless species of birds that live in the rainforest.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5 star all-inclusive boat hotel in Manaus: the IBEROSTAR Grand Amazon hotel, which stops off at different points of the Amazonian rainforest for excursions in small boats exploring the dense, unspoiled vegetation.”

 

caribe-xplor

Some 65 million years ago, a 10 kilometer asteroid crossed into the Earth’s atmosphere and impacted in the Yucatán Peninsula It spelled the end of the age of the dinosaurs. Under the ground, the rocks cracked and turned into lakes, riverbeds and caves. The water did the rest, eroding each little piece of rock and turning it into stalactites and stalagmites, curves, waterfalls, rivers, small beaches and lagoons. In 2009, 59 hectares of that territory, converted into a natural work of art underground and on the surface with one of the most incredible rainforests on the planet, opened its doors as Xplor park, an incredible experience that visitors will never forget.

The park offers explorers four different types of activity: zip wires (or zip-lines), amphibious vehicles, rafts and swimming in its underground rivers. And all of it available in the daytime and, for the most adventurous, nighttime version, where, to the already guaranteed spectacular experience of each of the activities, there is also a considerable mysterious and emotional component. In addition, throughout the exploration, you can enjoy unlimited fresh juices and a tasty buffet in the restaurant, where traditional recipes are reinvented for the delight of your palate.

To start, zip-lining is a good example of open-air adventure which respects the landscapes and transforms a trip into a real flight above the treetops. At a speed of 30 kilometers per hour and from a height of 45 meters, the path allows you to enjoy the rainforest with the adrenaline pumping at levels you never dreamed possible. Add flashlights and the starry sky and it will be magical.

If visitors want to start to delve into the underground world of Xplora, but without leaving behind the sky above their heads, amphibious amphibious vehicles are the best option.  With trips across suspension bridges, hiking paths in the rainforest and natural caves, this may just become one of the most exciting experiences of your life. At night, hundreds of flashlights illuminate the path and your pupils dilate to adapt to a fascinating darkness.

Once below ground, visitors often want to explore all the possibilities offered by the caves: rivers, lakes, underground swimming pools. And doing it on a raft, rowing with your own arms, makes it a great experience. Stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years will appear along the way, perfectly illuminated, both by day and night.

And to complete the experience, adventurers will be able to plunge into the lakes and follow the natural rivers that the water has created over the centuries. Guides and emergency exits will mark out your path, and so you will only have to worry about enjoying a dip worthy of an adventure movie. And with nighttime lighting, the water will become a genuine river of lava making the visitor feel as if they are at the entrance of a volcano.

 

The hotels of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Mexico are located in spectacular areas to bring guests closer to all the country’s features: they are situated just a few meters from the beaches, surrounded by nature and a stone’s throw from the most important archaeological sites.”

 

 

BRA_El espectaculo_encontroDasaguas

The exuberance of the Amazon’s flora and fauna is unique throughout the world. One of the most interesting and exciting trips that you could ever take in your life is a cruise along this fascinating river. The Rio Negro river, the powerful tributary of the North Basin, is often the setting for most of the cruises and expeditions departing from Manaus, the most common access path to the Amazon. Personally, we recommend access by boat because, although the aerial view is spectacular, you do not have the opportunity to observe the rainforest up close. With a mere glance, the number of species of birds, insects and mammals are countless. You will have dolphins, manatees, crocodiles, piranhas and many, many more animals and plants at your fingertips.

The rainforest has many surprises, but one of the most spectacular is when the dark waters of the Rio Negro meet with the brownish-gray waters of the Rio Solimões, together forming the Amazon. Over 6 kilometers, the waters of the two rivers flow parallel to each other without mixing. This phenomenon happens because of the significant difference between their water temperatures and the speed of their currents. The Rio Negro flows at 2 km/hour and has a temperature of 22°C, while the Rio Solimões, flows at a speed of between 4 and 6 km/hour, and has a temperature of 28°C.

It is without doubt an adventure that must be experienced at least once in life.

 

 

“With IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts you will find the ideal starting point for this particular discovery, we have a 5 star, all inclusive boat hotel in Manaus: the IBEROSTAR Grand Amazon, which stops off at various points of the Amazon rainforest for excursions exploring the dense, unspoiled vegetation in small boats.”

caribe-cayos-cuba

The Cuban keys are islands and islets straight out of a fairytale. Kilometers and kilometers of fine-sand beaches, almost untouched, and with tourist infrastructure that has been developed over the years, but which is still quite different to that of mass tourism. Every one of them has special characteristics and travelers can enjoy a different activity on each.

These are the ones which come most highly recommended, as they have more facilities and offer more possibilities.

Cayo Coco

It is the main Cuban islet. More than 360 species of plants and 200 species of animals, from birds to reptiles, live here. Its 22 kilometers of incredible beaches and its vast vegetation of coconut palms and mangrove swamps makes it one of the most visited. There are diving and fishing services, as well as other sea-related activities.

Cayo Guillermo

This is the smallest of the keys, with only 5 kilometers of beaches, but it boasts some of Cuba’s most incredible vegetation.

Cayo Santa Lucía de Cuba

It has a large diversity of natural spaces, making it incredible to lose yourself in. Its over than 20 kilometers of beaches, located just 200 meters from a coral reef, makes this key one of the most sought-after among those who enjoy diving and sport fishing, as well as other activities.

Cayo Largo del Sur

Located in the east of the Canarreos archipelago, on the Caribbean Sea. Its 27 kilometers of genuine paradise of land and sea have firmly established it as one of the best islets to practice all types of nautical activities and diving.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a large number of hotels scattered across various regions of the island of Cuba. From the best known, such as Varadero, to areas such as Trinidad or the majestic capital of Havana which, while less tourist-oriented, are no less appealing. The hotels‘ surroundings are spectacular, with fine golden-sand beaches, nature spots and highly significant buildings in the history of Cuba.”

 

ESP_malaga-golf

Andalusia, Spain’s autonomous community of golf par excellence. Between Cádiz and Málaga alone, the number of golf courses is close to the hundred mark, with Málaga and its Costa del Sol boasting the majority of them. With more than 300 days of sun per year, it is the perfect place for enjoying this sport. This list is a good example of the offer.

-    Aloha Golf. This is a course of precision and power that has been recognized by the Council of Tourism, Commerce and Sport for the “great landscape values of the flora of the trees and hedges that accompany the grasslands designed for sport”.

-    Alcaidesa Golf. Two courses – one southern Europe Links-type and another Heathland-type – kilometers of unspoiled beach, restaurants, hotels and properties in which to live all year round make it a perfect Resort for lovers of this sport.

 

-    Alhaurín Golf. Designed by Severiano Ballesteros, it is a course of incredible beauty, with a highly varied par and one of the best practice zones around.

 

-    Antequera Golf. Situated close to El Torzal Natural Park, it boasts broad fairways and a wide variety of native vegetation.

 

-    Añoreta. Designed by José María Cañizares, it is a course for all kinds of players, with a highly varied outline, which makes using all the clubs in your bag almost mandatory.

 

-    Baviera Golf. A flat course of vast greens nestled to the north within the foothills of the Sierra Tejada, Alhama y Almijara Natural Park, and with a micro-climate which makes it one of the best on the Costa del Sol.

 

-    Doña Julia Golf. It is a course of vast greens and two very different rounds: the first runs through native trees, lakes and streams, and the second has a more gentle relief.

 

-    Estepona Golf. It is one of the most popular courses around, be it for the pleasant round full of twists and turns or for its location in a spot from which you can gaze at the sea and the Sierra Bermeja mountain range.

 

-    La Quina Golf. This course satisfies all kinds of players, as it has three very different rounds: one of broad fairways, one of narrow fairways and complex greens, and a third with many changes in elevation. In addition, it also boasts a Golf Club, the epicenter of the social life of La Quina.

 

-    Guadalhorce Golf. It is ideal for big tournaments as it only has two pronounced slopes and it is a course which intermediate-level players and beginners can also enjoy.

 

-    Lauro Golf. A spectacular course with five artificial lakes, waterfalls and a setting which helps to reaffirm the beauty of its 27 holes named after bullfighters.

 

-    La Zagaleta. Lush vegetation, numerous lakes and spectacular views of the Mediterranean, the African coast and the Strait of Gibraltar.

 

-    Las Brisas. A difficult yet attractive course for precision players, given that its greens are very raised and the vast majority are protected by bunkers.

 

-    Marbella Club Golf Resort. A complex for the exclusive use of guests of the hotel, it is a paradise for players who love a constant challenge.

 

-    Los Arqueros. The design of Severiano Ballesteros is based on maintaining and adapting to the relief of the land, so the course always poses a challenge for the experienced player and a real test for beginners.

 

-    La Dama Noche. It is the only course on which you can play both during the day and at night.

 

-    Marbella Golf. Full of bunkers and lakes, and taking advantage of the relief of the land, it is considered one of the most difficult courses in Spain.

 

-    San Roque. Considered one of the best courses in Europe for playing this sport, it is one of the few whose design allows for the presence of spectators on the holes.

 

-    Santa Clara golf Marbella. It is a technically difficult but at the same time fair and pleasant course which has been designed with respect for the natural setting of the native fauna and vegetation.

 

-    Santa María. It occupies a very well-deserved place among the elite golf clubs on the Costa del Sol due to its charm and character.

 

-    Guadalmina. It boasts two very different courses: the Campo Sur (South Course), with a high level of difficulty, and the Norte (North), shorter, with more sloping land and more water obstacles.

 

-    Santana Golf & Country Club. With broad and well-defined fairways on flat and easy land, it boasts a great presence of water features.

 

-    Flamingos. It is one of the most renowned at international level, as it has hosted several tournaments, most notably the finals of the European Seniors circuit three years running.

 

-    El Paraíso Golf Club. It is a course that offers a good challenge for all those who want to measure their abilities, as well as for those who simply wish to have a good time playing a round of golf.

 

-    Los Naranjos. It is one of the best in all of Spain, as it boasts a round that covers all the requirements for a championship.

 

-    La Cala Resort. It is the largest golf complex in Spain, with three highly-difficult courses of 18 holes, a five-star hotel, a golf academy and a practice course.

 

-    Finca Cortesín Golf Club. This estate boasts a hotel, a practice course with two training platforms, an academy, a clubhouse and a spectacular 18-hole course, with different technical requirements for each hole.

 

-    Miraflores. A pleasant round, it presents interesting challenges as well as a great variety of native bird species which fly through and use the lakes throughout the course as they please.

 

-    El Chaparral. Considered the best golf course on the Costa del Sol by Andalucía Golf magazine, it boasts a wonderful setting surrounded by magnificent vegetation.

 

-    Montenmedio. It is a different course to the rest of those in Spain, as its fairways and greens bear not a single construction. Therefore, deer, rabbits, ducks and other animals constantly accompany players on their round.

 

-    Mijas Golf Internacional. Made up of two courses with characteristics that define their rounds to perfection. Los Lagos (The Lakes) owes its name to the abundance of water and sand hazards, while Los Olivos stretches out strategically with fairways enclosed by trees, and elevated greens.

 

-    Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. Considered one of the best courses in Europe and included in the 100 best in the world, it boasts a long 18-hole course of 6,304 meters, and was designed by architect Robert Trent Jones.

 

-    Valle Romano Golf. The Valle Romano Golf & Resort complex is characterized by the maximum care for the environment and the efficient use of energy resources, as well as boasting a round for all types of player.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 4-star resorts in Malaga: the IBEROSTAR Marbella Coral Beach in Marbella, and the IBEROSTAR Málaga Playa in Torrox-Costa.”

 

BRA-manaos

Manaus, located in the center of the largest tropical rainforest in the world, is one of the 20 most important cities for business in Latin America. Capital of the state of Amazonas and the main financial, corporate and economic hub of the Northern Region of Brazil, it is currently one of the cities with most development potential, as it accounts for more than 1.4% of the country’s gross national product. But all this development has a point of origin.

The city was born as a small fort built out of stone and clay, and four canyons, and was called São José da Barra do Rio Negro. This fort was surrounded by small settlements of indigenous tribes, whose populations grew spectacularly over the years and, in 1832, it was elevated to a town with the name of Manaus, as a tribute to the Indians who helped build it. But its peak arrived from 1889, with the rubber boom, when its development led to it being considered the most prosperous city in the world. In fact, it was the first in the country to have public streetlights and a water-supply and sewage system. Between 1890 and 1920, the peak of the rubber cycle allowed it to grow to levels that were unthinkable in other regions of the country. It had electric trams, avenues built on marshes and impressive, luxurious buildings, such as the Amazonas Theater, the Government Palace, the Municipal Market and the Customs building, which led to it being known as the Paris of the Tropics.

In addition to its economic and development characteristics, which led to it being chosen as one of the host cities for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, Manaus offers a large number of attractions for visitors. The city stands out for its enormous variety of flora and fauna, its public and private spaces dedicated to the protection of biodiversity, its spectacular beaches and its natural settings in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

It is precisely that setting that makes it a perfect spot for those who want to enjoy a natural setting without giving up the benefits of a city. The archipelago of Anavilhanas, in the Rio Negro river, is one of its best examples, a real explosion of nature in which you can easily observe the native fauna of monkeys, parrots, toucans, ospreys and crocodiles, among many other species. The Encontro das Águas (Meeting of Waters), where the Rio Negro and the Amazon join to form the Great Amazon, is another example of what the city and its surroundings can offer.

Some of its most prominent buildings are the previously mentioned Amazonas Theater, the Opera House and São Sebastião church, built to aid the evangelization of the tribes who lived in the surrounding area when it was still not considered a town.

 

To eat: On the waters of the Rio Negro there is a great number of small establishments in which to sample small bites of international and traditional cuisine, with some spectacular sunsets.

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star all-inclusive boat hotel in Manaus: the IBEROSTAR Grand Amazon, which stops off at different points of the Amazon rainforest for excursions in small boats exploring the dense unspoiled vegetation.”

MED_sunny-beach-bulgaria

Sunny Beach is the largest tourist resort of the Black Sea, in Bulgaria. With over 300 days of sunshine per year and an average temperature of 28 °C during the three summer months, this destination is more than worthy of its name. With a very small permanent population, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists during the high season, which stretches from May through September, who stay in its more than 300,000 beds prepared for their relaxation in this destination focused entirely on travelers in search of sun, sea and sand.

In fact, the beach, more than 8 kilometers long, is where the greatest number of tourist services are concentrated. The sand, fine and golden, is flanked, in the areas where hotels have not been built, by tall dunes which serve as a play area for the little ones. It is divided into two very different zones, both with various bars and restaurants on the sand: in one, a parasol- and sun-lounger-hire service is offered, while this service is not available in the other.

As for the activities, you can easily book horseback excursions through the zone, in addition to going head-to-head with your friends in an exciting go-kart race. In addition, as a resort geared towards family tourism, pony carousel rides are available and it is also possible it swim in pools especially prepared for children. Not forgetting the various water parks or mini-golf. For something different, there is Horrorwood, an attraction that simulates a haunted house, where adults and children can enjoy a terrifyingly fun experience.

In addition, in Sunny Beach the singles aren’t left to fend for themselves. For them, or for groups of friends in search of fun, it boasts several nightclubs, dance clubs and cocktail bars which will enliven the night until the sunrise.

And last, but by no means least, Sunny Beach offers a list of more than 150 restaurants and dining options in which to enjoy anything from fast food to the most sophisticated cuisine. The kids will enjoy the offer of themed restaurants, with decorations as unique as dinosaurs or classic cars.

 

To eat: There is a great offer of restaurants in Sunny Beach, but one of the most highly rated is Amora, whose welcoming atmosphere, customer service and quality-price ratio make it one of the busiest.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 4-star all-inclusive complex just a few meters from the Black Sea: the IBEROSTAR Sunny Beach Resort. Its facilities are geared towards providing vacations full of rest and relaxation, making this hotel the perfect option to discover Bulgaria during some family vacations.”

 

caribe-rafting-jarabacoa

Jarabacoa is the biggest town in the municipality of La Vega, located 700 meters above the Cordillera Central mountain range in the Dominican Republic. This region, known as the Dominican Alps, offers a magnificent landscape of pine trees and tropical forest, which will delight lovers of mountain sports, such as climbing, rafting, kayaking, canyoneering, horseback riding and hiking, in addition to being the starting point for expeditions to Pico Duarte, the highest point in the Caribbean.

Three rivers flow through Jarabacoa: the Baiguate, the Jimenoa and the Yaque del Norte. This, coupled with the fact that the temperatures vary between 16°C and 22°C all year round (it is not known as the “city of the eternal spring” for nothing), has boosted the practice of all river-related activities, but the main one is rafting. The descent down the level 2 rapids is one of the most popular excursions among visitors, who enjoy a genuine adventure through the rapids and the canyons, around the bends and dodging the rocks of any of the rivers.

There are many agencies that organize these types of excursions, and so it is important to look for the one best adapted to conditions and expectations of each person. Usually, the descent starts from the towns close to Jarabacoa and ends in the city with lunch, but every excursion has its own conditions and route.

 

Bear in mind: The decline in rafting is an activity that does not require very demanding physical conditioning but minimum state of fitness is necessary. Since the full range of safety measures are offered (helmet, life vest, etc.), children are usually able to take part without any problem.

 

 

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has four wonderful complexes in Punta Cana: the Iberostar Bávaro, the Iberostar Dominicana, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro and the Iberostar Punta Cana. They are incredible all-inclusive resorts located on the best beaches of Punta Cana and boasting a leisure offer for all kinds of groups.”

 

ESP_PArque_NAcional_teide

Some of the zones of the Teide National Park, on the Canary island of Tenerife, are some of the places on Earth which bear most resemblance to the planet Mars. For this reason, several scientific teams have used it as a testing ground for robotic vehicles which are to be sent to the Red Planet. This says a lot about the geography of the third oldest and one of the most visited national parks in Spain, and the oldest on the Canarian archipelago. It was declared a National Park in 1954 and, in 2007, a Unesco World Heritage site. Its special geography, with the Teide volcano, at a height of 3,718 meters, fills visitors with a special emotion when they encounter it.

The park is a geological monument among the most spectacular in the world, in which the volcanic cones and lava flows form an extraordinary collection of colors and shapes. It is made up of two large depressions, crowned by the volcano. Mount Guajara, the Llano de Ucanca (Ucanca Plain), the Siete Cañadas (Seven Ravines), La Fortaleza (The Fortress), the Roques de García (Rocks of García) and Pico Viejo (Old Peak) volcano are examples of the characteristic natural landscape of the park.

Its great biological wealth, in addition, has always been of incredible value to the Guanches, as it was the fundamental resource for their sustenance and survival at some parts of the year. Currently, the great quantity of endemic vegetable species and its importance in terms of the number and exclusiveness of its invertebrate fauna have made it not only a park which can be visited by the general public but also a place for observation and study for a good portion of the scientific community.

Furthermore, the park offers a long list of activities related to eco-tourism. Hiking with overnight stays in a refuge, ascension to the summit by cable car service which climbs to 3,555 meters (the rest must be made on foot), visiting the Visitor Center and the Botanical Garden, or spending a few days in the four-star Parador Nacional del Teide Hotel, which recreates the ambiance of a house high up in the mountains, are some of the options available to visitors when planning their trip.

 

A quotation: “Nivaria takes its name from the snow (‘nieve’ being the Spanish word for snow and ‘nix’ its Latin equivalent) that generally covers the highest summit of the sacred Mount Teide, the sublime Atlante, and for that same reason it earned the worthy name of Tenerife, since ‘Tener’, in its language, means white snow and ‘ife’ means high mountain. Thus, due to the great Teide, Tenerife is called Nivaria, which is the same as mountain of the snow.” (Antonio de Viana: Antigüedades de las Islas Afortunadas – 1604)

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts group has 7 hotels on the island of Tenerife. These 4- and 5-star hotel complexes enjoy spectacular locations in Tenerife, on the ocean’s edge and in peaceful and relaxed areas, to offer their guests the best services and the most fulfilling vacations possible in the Canaries.”

 

 

 

MED_Los secretos de la preparación té marroquí

Tea holds an important place in Moroccan culture, to the point that it is considered an expression of art, and it is certainly a model of the culture of the country. And it is little wonder, as, from the moment the English introduced it to the African continent, it was well received by the locals and grew in popularity very quickly. It is no surprise, then, that Morocco is one of the leading importers of tea in the world.

Drinking a glass of tea in good company while having a nice chat is a real experience that you must not let pass you by. It is a drink for socializing and engaging. It is said that the best business deals are closed with a good glass of tea in Morocco.

The tea is normally prepared with two teapots. The first is is usually of low quality and used to heat the water; it is not seen by the guests and is simply used for making the tea. The second pot is of greater quality and is much more attractive than the first one. It is the one into which the tea is poured when prepared and it is used for serving the guests.

With the formalities out of the way, let’s start with the preparation. The first pot is filled with water and put on the boil. Once it starts to boil, sugar is added (the amount is about a dessert spoon per glass of tea, although it depends on personal taste). Then, a dessert spoon (or one and a half) of green tea is added (this depends on the size of the teapot). The sugar and the tea inside the pot are stirred for a good while and when it has been boiling for a few minutes you move on to the second teapot, that of the guests. In this pot, you can directly add the tea prepared in the first pot and put spearmint in the glasses. Alternatively, this can be directly put in the pot, followed by the tea,. This teapot is placed on a lovely engraved silver tray, with the glasses of tea around it, which will be taken to the table where the guests await.

It is sure to amaze them!

 

There is a good Berber saying that states: “The first tea is smooth like life, the second sweet like love and the third bitter like death.”

 

 

“The hotels of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Morocco are a 4- and 5-star oasis of luxury and comfort where guests will find everything they are looking for during their stay. Offering welcoming rooms as well as culinary, sports and entertainment services to suit all tastes.”