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CAR_Qué nos gusta llevarnos de recuerdo de nuestros viajes por el mundo

Almost all travelers, besides coming back home with incredible experiences, also like to bring along a physical object, something tangible that will remind us of our trip, of the place or the time. That is why they are called souvenirs.

Some of us even collect those objects from our trips. I have to admit I love mugs. Every time I go on a trip I have to buy a mug clearly stating where it was bought. They are easy to find, and any city or even the remotest village has its typical mug with its name printed on it and even a typical image to go along.

T-shirts are another classic. Often when buying them you think they lack quality and won’t last too long, but somehow they manage to stick and make it past a move or two! ;-) Crystal balls with snowflakes are another hot commodity among souvenirs. Even if you travel to the Caribbean, surely you’ll find some snow to remind you of the Mayan Riviera! Another easy one that can be found the world over is the ubiquitous refrigerator magnet. They come in every size, shape and form and we all know a relative or friend with more magnets than people on a crowded beach but they still ask you for more every time you go on a trip. Minimalism in magnets they call it.

There are others that are not as frequent. I’ve known people who collect bottles of beer (unopened), lizards (made of clay, plastic, resin, metal…), thimbles, teaspoons, backpack patches, pens, shot glasses, the traditional dress, and of course the inevitable postcards, bank notes and coins from the countries they visit.

Do you have any favorite type of souvenir from your trips?

 

“Enjoy more than 100 IBEROSTAR hotels in 16 countries worldwide.”

 

ESP_Mallorca en imágenes

The island of Mallorca will win you over at first sight. The beaches and coves, the towns, the Serra de Tramuntana, the food, the sea, the light, the climate… No matter how well we try to describe it there is nothing better than visual images. Here are a few so that you can experience love at first sight!

 

Fornells Cove

 

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La Seu (Cathedral)

 

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Caves of El Drach

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Tramway of Sóller

 

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Beach of Es Trenc

 

ESP_Es Trenc

 

Port of Sóller

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Cape Formentor

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“The hotels in Mallorca of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts provide visitors with irresistible emotions that you can experience on the largest of the Balearic Islands. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR hotels in Mallorca, distributed in different parts of the island, provides an incomparable opportunity to discover all its secrets.”

 

Planning a trip to the Canary Islands with your family? How about some splashy fun then? With good weather all year round, waterparks can be the perfect place to make up for lost family time and create everlasting memories for your children to cherish. So whether you´re looking for thrilling rides or a chilled out time in a lazy river, below you´ll find the best waterpark of each major island: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Best waterpark in Tenerife: Siam Park

Siam Park in Tenerife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you @sinrumbo28 for sharing this picture with us from Siam Park – follow them on Instagram here 

With a Siamese theme, some people say this is the most spectacular waterpark in Europe. It was actually built upon the request of a Princess from Thailand. There are 17 attractions to choose from, some of which include laser projections of a dragon, light shows, artificial white sand beaches, the highest manmade waves in the world, the longest lazy river in the world as well as a children´s play area with 120 different games. It is also where you´ll come across the statue of the world´s largest dragon and the world´s largest Thai building outside Asia. As for lunch, we highly recommend you go for delicious Thai food. It is on the menu of the park´s many restaurants. There´s even a Thai floating market, so better make sure you visit Siam Park especially if you´ve always wanted to go to Thailand. Did we mention that it also won world´s best waterpark by Tripadvisor´s 2015 travellers´ choice?

  • Address: TF-1, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Admission: €34 for adults, €23 for children between 3 and 11 (there are also packages)
  • Phone number: 922 69 14 29
  • Website: www.siampark.net/en/
  • Recommended ride: Tower of Power. It will slide you through an aquarium with sharks and stingrays…

 

Best waterpark in Fuerteventura: Acua Waterpark

Acua Waterpark in Fuerteventura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you @tararolph97 for sharing this picture with us from Acua Waterpark – follow them on Instagram here

This waterpark in Corrajelo, north of the island, has diverse rides, some of which are super speedy and others super lazy. But what separates this park from others is its special focus on children´s activities. To start with, there´s an exclusive area just for the little ones, with a swimming pool as well as slides, constantly watched over by attentive lifeguards. Then there´s the Activity Pool managed by a superb animation staff. From water polo to several other creative activities where water is the main element, children are not expected to only have a blast but also make new friends as well. Bringing toddlers along? No worries. You can always leave them in the best care at Kids Club, the waterpark´s day care centre, where they´ll enjoy entertaining activities suitable for their age such as face painting, card games and guessing games. As for you? Well, you´ll find your fun. Either on the thrilling rides with your older children or perhaps in the lazy river relaxing with your partner.

  • Address: Avd. De Nuestra señora del Carmen, 41, Corralejo, Fuerteventura
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:30
  • Admission: €25 for adults, €19 for children
  • Phone number: 928 53 70 34
  • Website: www.acuafunpark.com/
  • Recommended ride: KamiKazes. You´ll slide at a speed of 30km/h!

 

 Best waterpark in Lanzarote: Aquapark

Aquapark in Lanzarote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you @debs__walker for sharing this picture with us from Aquapark – follow them on Instagram here

This waterpark in Costa Teguise has more to offer than just water activities. Overall, there are 19 activities to pick from, some of which of course include waterslides (soft and rapid), a children´s pool with slides, as well as several good restaurants. But here´s the best part. There are a couple of activities you won´t find in any other waterpark of the Canary Islands. Get ready for an adrenaline-charging mode on a huge battlefield especially dedicated for Paintball. And if that´s too thrilling for your taste, you still enjoy a sense of escapade at the Adventure Park with circuits designed for both adults and children. Want to know what else is fun? Children can even rent their very own mini cars!

  • Address: Avenida del Gold, s/n, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Admission: €22.50 for adults, €16 for children between 2 and 12
  • Phone number: 928 59 21 28
  • Website: www.aquaparklanzarote.es/en/
  • Recommended: Paintball, if you dare…

 

Best waterpark in Gran Canaria: Aqualand Maspalomas

Aqualand Maspalomas in Gran Canaria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you @jessfox2811 for sharing this picture with us from Aqualand Maspalomas – follow them on Instagram here

The biggest on the island of Gran Canaria. This waterpark has so many attractions, you can be sure every member of your family will have a great time no matter how old or young: 12 thrilling rides, 2 fun pool areas safe for young children, a huge wave pool for some hilarious moments, a Jacuzzi bubble pool for an older crowd to relax in and of course a lazy river. You can also have the unforgettable experience of swimming with sea lions! For food, there´s a self-restaurant and a pizzeria as well as several coffee bars and shops you can buy snacks from. Oh, and parking is free!

  • Address: Carretera Palmitos Park, Km 3, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas
  • Opening hours: 10:00-17:00
  • Admission: ranging from €28 to €19 depending on age and height
  • Phone number: 928 14 05 25
  • Website: www.aqualand.es/grancanaria/en/
  • Recommended rideMamut. It is perfect for families as 3 people can ride together.

 

Looking for a hotel in the Canary Islands? The IBEROSTAR hotels located across the three islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are an ideal place for a family holiday. The hotels are also within short distance of the above listed waterparks. Make sure to ask for direction at the hotel desk. Transportation can be provided upon request.

MED_Las 10 mejores APP para el viajero empedernido

There are travelers who like to have everything under control, who plan every stage of their trip and don’t leave the slightest detail to chance. And then there are those who indulge in adventure and the unexpected, who plan nothing and know nothing about the what, how or when. Both are valid—great travelers at the end of the day. Here we have put together a list of ‘the best APPS for travelers’; no matter what type of traveler you are, surely one or two of these will come in handy!

· Google Maps: A must—life would not be the same without it! What can we say about this app that you don’t already know?

· Google Translate: Still in the Google camp. When travelling it often occurs that we don’t speak the language. That’s why it is a good idea to use a translation program. Google will surely be helpful here.

· Tripadvisor: This is another travel app that we often use, both when travelling and on a day-to-day basis! We use it whenever we want to find out about a restaurant or hotel. And it has a good integrated GPS to take you to your destination without getting lost.

· TravelSafe Pro: This is very useful when travelling. It gives you offline information on emergency services in the destination country. It gives you addresses and phone numbers of your embassy, consulate, ambulances, firemen, police… so that you can call in the event of an emergency by simply clicking.

· Postagram: Are you one of those people who send postcards and appreciate receiving them? Surely you’ve noticed that nice postcards are a scarce commodity in many places. Postagram is the solution: you can send postcards (on paper or virtual) with a picture chosen from your Facebook, Instagram or directly from your cell phone.

· SkyScanner: How can you find the cheapest flights and connections? SkyScanner is one of the best flight aggregators and their app looks nice and is easy to use. You can add a widget showing you the cheapest price to your destination, keeping you abreast of the best offers.

· Tiempo en Vivo (Weather Live): This weather app shows you the weather in real time in your city and in any city in the world. It also gives you long-term weather forecasts.

· Flight Track 5: This mobile application gives you real time information on the status of your flight, so you can find out if it is cancelled or delayed and it even tells you your boarding gate. And you can follow the flight route at all times.

Surely you’ll find some of these are quite interesting.

 

TIP: At IBEROSTAR we have our own APP so that you can make reservations for a perfect vacation!

 

“Another option is to check our website and choosing from among over 100 hotels all over the world.”

CAR_Qué no te puedes perder en tu viaje a la Riviera Maya

The Mayan Riviera, in the Mexican Caribbean, has so much to see that sometimes when travelling there you can feel lost with so much on offer, not knowing where to begin! Here we’ll put together a list of ‘essentials’ but don’t worry if you can’t see everything. It will give you an excuse to arrange a second trip to the Mayan Riviera in the future! ;-)

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is the most famous Mayan city in the world. Located in the state of Yucatán, 128 km from Mérida on the way to Cancun, it is visited by over a million tourists every year. In 1988, UNESCO included Chichén Itzá on the World Heritage List. In 2007 it was included among the Seven New Wonders of the World.

Not to be missed: undisputedly the most important event at Chichén Itzá is the Spring Equinox. The Pyramid of Kukulcán is built in such a way that on March 21, when the sun rises, its rays shine on the edge of the stairs and the shadow that is projected on the main stairwell is the figure of a descending snake, which eventually meets the plumed head at the lower part of the building. This is also visible during the Autumn Equinox, on September 21, and also a couple of days before and after these two dates.

Cenotes

Cenotes are natural formations, profound, flooded caves that receive sunshine from the outside and appear as impressive natural swimming holes. They are ideal for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. They seem to be magic and were sacred places for the Mayas. The waters are crystal clear and you can dive in the underground waters and enjoy the magnificent visibility. There are nearly 7,000 cenotes on the Mayan Riviera, a phenomenon that is exclusive to the Yucatán peninsula.

Tip: the most impressive cenote might be the Multun Ha. It is not openly visible but must be accessed via a spiral staircase taking you underground. A true experience!

Xel Há

Xel Há is an impressive water park on the Mayan Riviera. It is known as the world’s largest aquarium, thanks to its cenotes, caves and lagoons.

At Xel Há park you can swim with dolphins, go scuba diving or snorkeling, use the Snuba Cenote, work up your adrenalin on the zip glides or simply enjoy the beach.

Tulum

Tulum is another Mayan city, being the only one on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. It is a rather small archaeological site and yet it is the third most visited destination in Mexico. Here you can see beautiful landscapes thanks to the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the green of the forests. The ruins are located on a cliff facing the sea. Tulum has great beaches with turquoise waters and fine, white sand. They are renowned for their tranquility, extension and because they are virtually untouched.

These are only some of the places you should not miss. We have left a few out in order not to make this too long! A second part will soon follow. The Mayan Riviera has so much more to offer!

 

 

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 7 hotels on the Mayan Riviera, distributed between Playa del Carmen and Playa Paraíso, two of the most beautiful settings in the area.”

 

 

 

 

BRA_Los impresionantes paisajes de la Chapada Diamantina

Right in the center of the State of Bahia, 394 kilometers from Salvador, the Chapada (plateau) Diamantina spreads across an area of 38,000 sq. km, including the 152,000 hectares forming this Park that was established in 1985. In the Serra do Sincorá (a mountain range) and its surroundings, including the municipalities of Lencóis, Palmeiras, Andaraí and Mucugê, you can find a great number of paths, caves, waterfalls, natural swimming holes and incredible gorges, that’s why the best advice is to allow yourself plenty of time when you visit this area.

The colonial buildings found in the cities around this plateau, especially in Lencóis, are testimony of the burgeoning diamond trade in Brazil in the early 20th century. One of the major attractions of the chapada are the underground caves with crystal clear waters. One of the best known is the blue well’, where you can swim and indulge in the strange shapes of the cave and even see remains of submerged trees that are very well conserved. The enchanted well’ is also very well known. From March to December sunlight seeps through an opening and lights up the well, which is 60 meters deep, and many different blue hues can be seen. The two highest peaks in the state of Bahia are in this area: Pico do Barbado, rising 2033 m, and Pico das Almas, 1958 m above sea level.

The Chapada Diamantina is a delight for visitors with its wonderful landscapes, but it also offers many possibilities for adventure sports. A micro climate with pleasant temperatures features colorful, lush vegetation in the mountains and valleys: bromeliads, orchids, always vivid, unique species, some of which are yet to be classified by scientists, are some of the surprises that can be found in this National Park. Tourists in Chapada Diamantina must have environmental awareness; it is essential that you respect nature and help to preserve the flora and fauna by nor buying any wild plants or animals.

 

Friendly advice: Climbing Morro do Pai Inácio (Father Ignatius), the most famous mountain in the Chapada, is not at all difficult. Legend has it that climbing the mountain can cause compulsive laughter … How about trying it out? ;-)

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 2 two 5-star All Inclusive vacation complexes  in Salvador de Bahia: the hotel IBEROSTAR Praia Do Forte and the hotel IBEROSTAR Bahía. Both these hotels provide visitors with a perfect vacation in Brazil in a beautiful natural environment.”

 

 

 

ESP_La Feria de Málaga

The Malaga Fair originated in the commemoration of the incorporation of Malaga to the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Kings, who entered the city on August 19, 1487. A few years later (1491), the Municipal Government established the dates for the popular festivities. Over the years these festivities grew and today they represent the great summer feast of southern Spain.

What can you find in this great fair? You will find a fully committed city dedicated night and day during the eight days of festivities.  It starts in the evening of August 14 with the traditional opening speech and fireworks, followed by eight days of festivities in the city center and in the fairgrounds, known as the ‘Real de la Feria’. The Real de la Feria spreads over an area of 500,000 sq. m and nearly 200 stalls belonging to social organizations, peñas (groups of friends), brotherhoods and companies, most of which can be freely accessed. The fairgrounds are fully equipped with all the necessary infrastructures and services, together with the regular attractions for children and adults. The Real de la Feria is open around the clock but the best time to enjoy it is in the evening and at night. In the city center the festivities are liveliest during the daytime. You should go there and enjoy the fiesta, the music, the tapas and the drinks. Calle Larios, the major pedestrian street of Malaga, is the core of the festivities, with performances of musical groups singing verdiales, charangas (small musical bands) and of course you will hear plenty of sevillanas and you will see women dancing in their flamenco dresses.

You should not miss the famous romería or street pilgrimage of the Malaga Fair. The first Saturday of the festivities at noon there is a romería through the city, with horseback riders, horse-pulled carts and people on foot accompanying the standard bearer to the Sanctuary of the Vírgen de la Victoria, the patroness of the city. And of course the feast would not be complete without bulls. The bull ring of La Malagueta is the place where hundreds of people go to see the best matadors every year.

When you get hungry you should try the gazpacho and ajoblanco, cold soups that can be had in bars and restaurants. And you can’t say you’ve been to Malaga if you don’t try the delicious pescaíto frito (fried fish).

 

Where can you get a decent meal? Bodegas El Pimpi. Alea, Refectorium Catedral, Mesón Santiago, Los Mellizos, La Reserva del Pastor, Reserva 12, Lo Güeno, Cortijo Pepe. If you want to try something more sophisticated, José Carlos García at Muelle 1.

 

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 4-star resorts in Malaga: the IBEROSTAR Marbella Coral Beach Hotel, in Marbella, and the IBEROSTAR Malaga Playa Hotel, in Torrox-Costa. Both have perfect facilities for couples or families with children on vacation in Malaga, where you can enjoy wellness areas, gardens, swimming pools, live entertainment, the best of the local and international cuisine and a great sports offer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.”

CAR_Las brillantes aguas de la Laguna Luminosa

At Montego Bay, Jamaica, a very interesting phenomenon occurs. Alongside the Martha Brae River is a lagoon known as Glistening Waters. It contains bioluminescent microorganisms that give off light whenever the water moves enough. The constant movement of the waters agitates the waters and makes them shine and give off an impressive neon green hue. The glow in the dark effect is so strong that fish swimming in the lagoon often resemble stars in movement.

The best time to observe this phenomenon is at night time, when the waters are dark. Move the water a bit and fluorescent lights appear all around. The boats and even swimmers create wonderful lights and make the night a magical moment. Swimmers and tourists can watch the waters light up around them, shining and changing color. The same thing happens if you dip your hand in and move it softly: it seems like you could write with fluorescent ink if you wanted to.

Night cruises are available for tourists to be able to enjoy this phenomenon in the dark. During the cruise the boat stops so that passengers can swim in shallow areas in the lagoon, surrounded by the glistening waters and the tropical atmosphere of the mangroves.

 

 

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. In these luxury lodgings you will find an exquisite culinary offer, a complete entertainment program for the family and fully equipped facilities to enjoy a wonderful vacation in Jamaica.

Es_trenc

Es Trenc is a long, paradisiacal beach of approximately 3 kilometers of white sand and transparent waters surrounded by dunes and pine trees, junipers and tamarinds. It is one of the virgin beaches still to be found in Mallorca. It is included in a protected area known as ANEI (Natural Area of Special Interest) that comprises the beach, the dunes, the bush, the salt beds and the croplands.

Platja d’es Trenc is 6.5 km away from Colònia de Sant Jordi. The name refers to the fact that the opening of the salt bed breaks up the dunes on the coast, and oral tradition speaks of a tsunami issuing from the Lisbon earthquake in the mid-18th century which broke through the dunes located between the open sea and the wetlands.

The open waters are crystal clear and the seabed consists of white sand, a bit of algae and occasional stones 4 m deep.

The beach may be accessed from several points. If we go there from Ses Salines we will find hills of salt extracted from artificial ponds. Within Es Trenc there is an area called Ses Covetes, where nudists converge, and that area leads to a stretch of sand known as Sa Rápita; there is also a pedestrian access from the namesake Nautical Club.

Beach umbrellas are a must in this beach because there is no natural shade. The water may be murky due to small algae concentrations but walking in a few meters it becomes transparent and a delight for swimming. A true paradise!

 

“The hotels in Mallorca of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts provide visitors with irresistible emotions that you can experience on the largest of the Balearic Islands. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR hotels in Mallorca, distributed in different parts of the island, provides an incomparable opportunity to discover all its secrets.”

 

 

CAR_Dónde comer en la Riviera Maya-2

You won’t fulfill your trip if you don’t enjoy the typical cuisine of the place you visit. Sometimes it’s hard to choose among all the recommendations we get from friends, guides and hotels. Here we’ll present you with some of the best restaurants on the Mayan Riviera, from the choicest option, for the most demanding palates, to classical, traditional cuisine that is tasty and well-priced.

HAUTE CUISINE

Casa Rolandi (Cancun, Quintana Roo)
Casa Rolandi is faithful to the conviction of serving warmth and quality. Exquisite dishes roasted in a wood fueled oven, giving them the unique flavor that has been their main feature for over 27 years. rolandicancun@rolandi.com. Tel: +52 998 883 2557

Du Mexique (Cancun, Quintana Roo)
Du Mexique returns to the culinary scene under the guidance of its creator, the French chef Alain Grimond. It features a classic yet modern atmosphere where you must make a dinner reservation. Contact: grimond@dumexique.com Tel: +52 998 884 5919

La Joya (Cancun, Quintana Roo)
La Joya is the most elegant Mexican restaurant in Cancun, with the recognition of 4 diamonds. It features live Mexican music and mariachis. Tel: +52 998 888 3200

 

POPULAR, TRADITIONAL MEXICAN CUISINE

Café de La Fuente (Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche)
You will find it at the end of the breakwater. It is ideal for a romantic dinner or just to enjoy a cup of coffee. The food is traditional, with fascinating ingredients and flavors.

Doña Aurelia Sabores Mexicanos (Playa del Carmen)
Accessible prices, delicious Mexican foods and flavors, good service and live music! Tel: +52 984 879 3777

El Camello (Tulum)
Excellent, well-priced seafood. You should try the ceviche and fried fish. Servings are plentiful.

Do you know of any restaurants to add to this list?

 

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has 7 hotels on the Mayan Riviera, distributed between Playa del Carmen and Playa Paraíso, two of the most beautiful settings in the area.”