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CAR_LAgoEnriquillo

Lake Enriquillo, in the Dominican Republic, spreads its waters through the provinces of Bahoruco and Independencia. It is part of the Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park and the Jaragua Bahoruco Enriquillo Reserve of the Biosphere. It is what remains of an old marine channel joining together the bays of Neiba and Port-au-Prince (Haiti). The lake is located approximately 44 meters below sea level. The actual level of the lake waters varies due to strong evaporation, which is not equally offset by rain and other surface waters forming its basin.

The only island left in the lake is Isla Cabritos, which currently has an area of 18 sq. km. Two smaller islands, Barbaritas and Islita, disappeared at the end of 2011.

Lake Enriquillo has become an important tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.  Its fauna is different and very interesting, especially the reptiles and birds. The most prominent are the flamingo and the rhinoceros iguanas and Ricord’s iguanas. It is also the habitat of the American crocodile, an endangered species.

Near Lake Enriquillo there are many villages dedicated mainly to farming. La Descubierta is one of the best known of these villages. The National Park nearby leads to La Azufrada, and another important village is Boca de Cachón, by the shores of the lake 28 meters below sea level. It is expected that this town will be submerged in a few years due to the rise in the lake’s water level.

Lake Enriquillo is an ideal place to visit in a full day excursion. You won’t regret it.

 

“The  IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in the Dominican Republic take visitors to the most beautiful areas on the island through six luxury resorts in Bayahibe, Playa Bávaro and Puerto Plata. Their excellent location allows visitors to discover the many secrets to be found on the island.”

BRA_SalvadorCunaMusical

Salvador de Bahia is the capital of the state of Bahia and one of the major cities in Brazil. It is one of the main cultural centers in Brazil, making a trip to Salvador de Bahia a must thanks to the singular cultural diversity stemming from the mixture of Indian, European and African traditions, which are portrayed in the gastronomy, folklore and artisan production.

The Bahia influence in Brazilian popular music is impressive: bossa nova, samba, Brazilian rock, forró, axé… It is no coincidence that many of the best popular musicians in Brazil are from Bahia: João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, the Brazilian rock pioneer Raul Seixas, the great Dorival Caymmi, the group of the 70 Novos Bahianos…

The cause of such cultural and musical wealth can be no other than the diversity of a multicultural city that is unique in Brazil and in the world—a city with a provincial air that is also a state capital, which has taken the best of everything that came its way and disembarked at its huge bay. Here is where the indigenous, African and European influences mingled better than anywhere else.

Bahia also has important musical bonds with some of the Caribbean countries, with Jamaica via reggae, with Cuba through the African influence. There is a very recommendable documentary by Fernando Trueba, The Miracle of Candeal, which portrays the great Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés in a musical journey to Salvador de Bahia where he taps on the common roots of Brazil and Cuba, their mixed cultural heritage, mainly originating in Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, which has given the world many prominent artists.

The land of religious syncretism is also the musical cauldron of Brazil. From here many different artists, rhythms and styles developed the history of Brazilian music—green, yellow, all the different colors and tones, for many different tastes, for the whole world.

 

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star vacation resorts, all inclusive, in Salvador de Bahia: the hotel IBEROSTAR Praia Do Forte and the hotel IBEROSTAR Bahia.  Both of these hotels provide visitors with a perfect vacation in Brazil in the midst of beautiful natural surroundings. The luxury accommodation features comfortable rooms, a large variety of restaurants and bars, spas, swimming pools and a full leisure and sports program.”

 

 

MED_Descubre_creta

Sometimes, not always, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here you have a short motion picture lasting 4 minutes and 19 seconds. If this video doesn’t get you off your nice cozy sofa and make you buy a flight ticket straight to Crete then there must be something other than blood flowing through your veins ;-)

Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mue-ogHiHc

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts group has 2 hotels on the island of Crete, 4 and 5-star hotels with the all inclusive option. These hotels provide visitors with everything they are looking for during their vacation on this Greek island: a complete food offer with a variety of bars and restaurants, an entertainment program ranging from a relaxing spa to the adrenalin of action sports such as water skiing, plus other sports you can play at the hotel facilities, for instance tennis.”

ESP_Ronda y su impresionante serranía

Ronda is an Andalusian city in the province of Malaga founded over 1,000 years ago. Its landscape, urban layout and history make it unique from every standpoint. Its old quarter, declared a Historic-Artistic Site, features a succession of buildings of various architectural styles and many charming corners. Starting with the 19th century Alameda del Tajo you can start to savor the grandiose ‘Dream City’ described by Rainer Maria Rilke and the singular beauty of its natural surroundings.

The city is best visited slowly, so that you can see all the details of old Arab medina, which still conserves part of its walls, on the southern banks of the Guadalevin River. Then you can cross the new bridge (Puente Nuevo) and walk along the Alameda del Tajo, stopping in the quaint little corners and the monumental works for visitors to admire.

The New Bridge was built over the ravine (Tajo) in the 18th century. It is 98 meters long and it is supported by large semicircular arches. The best views of the bridge and the surrounding landscape can be enjoyed from the balconies of the Gardens of Cuenca. The bullring is likewise famous, and it includes a museum with a collection of objects from famous matadors.

Other places of interest are the Gate of Almocábar, the Arch of Philip V, the churches of Espíritu Santo, Santa María and Padre Jesús, the Town Hall, the Palaces of Mondragón and the Marquis of Salvatierra, the Houses of the Giant and the Moor King, the Arab Baths, the Windmills of the Tajo and two bridges, the Puente Viejo and Curtidurías.

Ronda gets all decorated for its feast days, a good occasion to enjoy this land. The Fiestas of Pedro Romero, with the Goyesca bullfight and the flamenco festival, are an important date on the calendar, together with Easter Week, the Fiestas de la Reconquista and the Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza (a pilgrimage to worship the Virgin Mary).

The city of Ronda belongs to the Serranía de Ronda, a mountain range located between the Campo de Gibraltar, the western Costa del Sol, the Hoya of Malaga, the Depression of Antequera and the Sierra of Ubrique, the area being much more than just a collection of mountain ranges. Because of its natural wealth and variety, a substantial part of the territory is protected, including three Natural Parks of the Serranía: Sierra de Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves, and Los Alcornocales. These three parks are home to species such as the pinsapo (Spanish fir), the royal eagle and the griffon vulture, and they provide a perfect scenario for countless possibilities of entertainment in a natural environment, including hiking, mountain climbing, caving or just sitting back and observing nature.

 

Good tapas and assorted dishes: In Ronda, El Convento is an excellent bar serving tapas and homemade dishes, with a wine cellar displaying the best wines from the city’s wineries. The menu includes tapas and assorted dishes based on local products and with a gourmet touch. The specialties include the payoyo goat’s cheese, gulas with quail eggs, and mushroom snacks.

 

“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, 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.”

 

MED_Un delicioso goulash en el Mercado Central de Budapest

The Central Market Hall of Budapest, built at the end of the 19th century, is the largest market in the Hungarian capital. The building was partially destroyed during the Second World War, to the point that it was declared to be in a state of ruin. The restoration works lasted three years and it is presently one of the most emblematic buildings in Budapest.

The Central Market Hall of Budapest is a must for anyone visiting the city and interested in shopping. But what can we find at this market? On the first floor you can find everything you need for cooking, such as vegetables, fish, thousands of species, cold cuts, meats, fruit, cheese, wine … Meanwhile, the second floor has everything else, for instance artisan products, textiles, embroidered clothing, souvenir shops, and also cafeterias and food stalls where we can taste the wonders of Hungarian cuisine, for instance the famous goulash. Don’t miss the chance to savor this delicious Hungarian soup at any of the food stalls where it is served to locals and tourists alike.

The most popular products you can buy when visiting the capital of the Danube are its famous paprika, salami, garlic, foie gras and even wine, and I can assure you that the smell of its sweets and bakery products is irresistible.

Located in Fovam ter Square, right at the end of Liberty Bridge, its opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 06:00 to 18:00 hours, Mondays from 06:00 to 17:00 hours, and Saturdays from 06:00 to 15:00 hours, Saturday being the day with the liveliest atmosphere. Central Market Hall closes on Sunday.

As a gift, here is the recipe for goulash. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

400 grams of veal

2 onions

Oil

Salt, pepper and cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of paprika

5 cloves of garlic

1 carrot

1 turnip

4 clumps of parsley

2 tomatoes

2 potatoes

1 liter of broth

Preparation:

Sauté the veal and vegetables, then add the salt, pepper, cumin seed and paprika. Next pour in the broth and let it cook on low heat for an hour. When it’s almost done you can add the potatoes.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Let us know how it turned out. ;-)

 

 

“The hotels of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Hungary offer visitors the most irresistible Hungarian pleasures. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest in the Hungarian capital gives clients a unique opportunity to discover this city, known as “the Pearl of the Danube” and included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.”

 

 

 

CAR_OchoRios

On the northern coast of Jamaica, just an hour and a half away from Montego Bay, we arrive at Ocho Rios (the locals call it Ochie), which has gone from a modest fisherman’s port to becoming a first rate tourist destination.

Contrary to what the name suggests, the town does not have eight rivers, and the name probably derives from a misinterpretation of the original name Las Chorreras, applied to the springs near the River Dunn. Renowned for its beautiful waterfalls, the Y’s Falls, Ocho Rios is the wildest and probably the most beautiful region in Jamaica.

The Dunn’s River Falls are the tourist attraction par excellence. You can hire an experienced guide to walk up along the falls. It is a highly recommendable adventure to climb up these waterfalls.

Ocho Rios is the region that is home to the famous Bob Marley Museum (its quality exceeds that of the museum in Kingston) and it is also where he is buried, in the town of Nine Miles.

The Ocho Rios area is known as the ‘parish garden’ thanks to the exuberance of its tropical flora and its exotic fauna. Here you will find majestic waterfalls, twisting rivers and beautiful beaches of white sand. If you like movies, you can visit Golden Eye, the luxury estate where part of the namesake James Bond movie was filmed.

Discover the town, visit the shops, have a drink at any of the bars, especially the famous Mama Marley’s bar and restaurant, with its nice atmosphere and exquisite decoration.

If you feel like taking a walk, fishing in a pond, watching birds or going for a stroll on horseback or riding a donkey, all you have to do is visit the Cranbrook Flower Forest. It is good way to disconnect from the city bustle, take a rest and enjoy nature at its most spectacular.

 

If you travel with your kids: take an inflatable raft down the White River and the Black River. There are also waterparks, springboards and slides near Island Village (on the Turtle River Road).  Another ideal experience for kids and adults is swimming with dolphins or feeding sharks at Dolphin Cove (next to the Dunn’s River Falls).

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Jamaica provide visitors with the most irresistible delights on the island. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR hotels in Jamaica are an unparalleled opportunity to visit the island and discover its many treasures.”

BRA_La increíble belleza natural de El Pantanal

El Pantanal, included in the year 2000 on UNESCO’S Biosphere Reserve List, is one of the world’s largest freshwater wetland systems. Covering an area of 210,000 sq.  km, it is also known as Laguna de Xarayes. Its area is divided across the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, and the neighboring countries of Paraguay and Bolivia.

It is home to 463 bird species, 132 mammals, 263 species of fish, 113 different reptiles, 41 amphibians and over 2,000 plant species. Because of its characteristics, conservation and the quantity of plants and animals, many species that are threatened in other regions of Brazil are well represented at El Pantanal, for instance the tuyuyu, a huge bird that is 1.5 meters tall.

Thanks to its characteristics, El Pantanal brings together many different birds and other animals and it is easy to watch the forest fauna, especially in the dry season from July to September, when the animal species congregate in the lagoons that are formed after the floods.

Little by little El Pantanal is attracting a greater number of tourists interested in observing fauna and other natural wonders, as well as sport fishing. You have the chance to see species such as anacondas, capybaras, yacares, jaguars, peccaries, tapirs, giant river otters, toucans and macaws.

A visit to El Pantanal will surely be a delightful experience for those of you who love nature at its wildest!

 

Brazil harbors endless natural and cultural treasures that are waiting to be discovered. IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Brazil  offer the whole family the greatest comfort and complete service to thoroughly enjoy their stay in Brazil.”

 

 

CAR_Consejos para evitar los mareos en tus viajes

Some people can travel by car but then they get dizzy on a boat, train or plane and even suffer nausea. There is no absolute certainty as to why people feel bad when travelling on certain means of transport, but it could be due to some conflict in the organs involved in movement. The human brain perceives movement when it receives signals from the inner ear, eyes, muscles and articulations. When the signals do not coincide, the result is discomfort associated to movement. For instance, in a boat the inner ear perceives movement but eyes don’t. Blind people, however, also experience discomfort associated to movement, therefore vision may not be a determining factor to explain this discomfort. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid, or at least reduce, the negative effects of dizziness:

· On a boat it is best to stay on the deck, because the higher you are on a boat the more likely it is that you will get dizzy. You are more likely to get seasick at the bow than at the stern. And since the boat tends to roll to the sides, the best seats are located in the middle.

· If you are travelling by plane, try to get a seat near the front edge of a wing. And place the air shaft above your seat towards your face.

· If you travel by train, ask for a seat in the front rows, by a window and looking forward.

· It is always best to keep your eyes on the horizon if this is possible.

· Drinking two cups of camomile a day in the days leading up to your trip is quite helpful.

· Papaya and pineapple juice are good for preventing nausea. Have a glass of either of these juices before travelling by boat, plane or train.

· You should not drink a lot of liquid but should eat solid food (for instance any variety of nuts) that does not cause gas to avoid vomiting.

· Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. It might double the problem.

· If you take pills for dizziness, do it half an hour before the trip begins.

· You’re better off seated than standing, and laying down is even better, with your eyes closed. When you start feeling dizzy, try to keep you head at a lower level than your stomach.

· Never focus on objects in motion.

· To avoid dizziness on a boat, a strange, effective and accessible remedy is covering your stomach area with newspapers under your clothes. Nobody knows how or why it works, but apparently it helps keep you warm and helps ward off dizziness.

 

“With these useful remedies you will be able to enjoy travelling to any of the over 100 IBEROSTAR hotels in 16 countries throughout the world.”

 

 

ESP_La Venecia de Gran Canaria

Puerto Mogán, on the island of Gran Canaria, with its strategic and privileged location, the modern construction and the multiple nautical services on offer, represents a perfect gate of entry for tourist visits. This picturesque fisherman’s port provides a more subtle form of tourism than some of the boisterous beaches on the island of Gran Canaria.

Designed as a pedestrian town, with colorful little houses painted according to Mediterranean usage, it features many narrow alleys with gardens and colorful flower beds, particularly bougainvillea. Puerto Mogán also boasts a network of salt water canals, from where it gets its nickname Little Venice, connected by avenues and small bridges. A walk in the surroundings can be a truly relaxing experience.

The nicest port on the south of the island is a calm place where the fishing boats come and go every day. The pleasure harbor with the yachts, neat restaurants, modern cafeterias, jazz bars, all surrounded by the local fishing fleet, is the ideal place for a walk in the evening or a romantic dinner at sunset. On Friday mornings there is a local market along the pier, making it the best time to stroll along the port.

East of the port there is a small, well sheltered beach that is perfect for the kids to play or to relax and read a book. Other attractions are the yellow submarine, on which you can visit the underwater world of the nearby coast, small replicas of the old sailboats that used to take travelers to Puerto Rico and Maspalomas, boats dedicated to deep-sea fishing which give you the chance to make the catch of your life, whether it be a huge marlin or a tuna. In July there is even a blue marlin hook and line fishing contest.

Puerto Mogán is the ideal place to find service quality, solace, leisure, good food and a hideout for enjoying a serene, seaside atmosphere.

 

“The hotels of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in the Canary Islands are in privileged locations of the different Islands; on the front line of the beach and surrounded by nature. These 3, 4 or 5-star resorts feature magnificent facilities, large, comfortable rooms with everything you need and a very professional service.”

 

BRA_ArquitecturaDestacada

Brazil’s architectural wonders are many and varied. There are all kinds of works, from every period and style, distributed across the territory. Here we are showing you some of the most salient ones. And apart from the statue of Christ the Redeemer (the most famous of all), they are all within easy reach of the IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts accommodation options in Brazil.

1. Christ the Redeemer – Mount Corcovado / Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer is a symbol of love and a celebration of brotherhood. This huge statue of Christ, with a height of 38 meters and weighing 1,145 tons, is the pride of Brazilians everywhere. Towering over the city from the top of Mount Corcovado, its outstretched arms form a protective embrace that is famous throughout the world. In 2007, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was declared one of the seven wonders of the modern world, together with Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, the Coliseum of Rome, the Taj Mahal, Chichén Itzá and Petra.

2. The Amazonas Theater / Manaus
Manaus, a Brazilian city set in the heart of the Amazon region, boasts a truly eye-catching building: the Opera House, also known as the Amazonas Theater. It was built at the height of the rubber industry and opened on New Year’s Eve in 1896.
This magnificent building was designed by the Italian architect Celestial Sacardim. The finest and most opulent materials were used in its construction including Carrara marble, Murano glass, and Alsace roof tiles. The dome is covered with 36,000 multicolored tiles.
This theater is featured in Fitzcarraldo, a film by the German director Werner Herzog.

3. Santo Antônio da Barra Fort / Salvador da Bahia
Barra is the area where the waters of Todos os Santos Bay merge with the Atlantic Ocean. This southernmost point of the city is the site of the Port of Santo Antônio da Barra, a hub for countless vessels that attracted numerous historic figures, including Amerigo Vespucci in 1501, and later Francisco Pereira Coutinho in 1535 and Tomé de Souza in 1549, founder of the capital. The Fort of Santo Antônio da Barra was the first to be erected to defend the city in 1583. A lighthouse was also built on an adjacent site to guide vessels into the harbor.

4. Lacerda Elevator / Salvador da Bahia
This is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Located in Praça de Cayru, in the district known as Comércio, this elevator connects the lower and upper sections of the city. Named after the engineer that designed and built it, it has been working for more than a century and offers magnificent views of the city. It is used daily by around 28,000 visitors and residents of Salvador da Bahia. Those taking their first ride on this spectacular elevator are not likely to easily forget the experience.

5. Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Bahia Church
The upper section of the city consists of an intricate network of steep narrow streets flanked by churches and superb colonial style mansions. To discover the secrets of this city visitors should start at Praça da Sé, a traditional meeting point for capoeira groups. On reaching the Largo Terreiro de Jesus, visitors will see the Basílica da Sé, Salvador Cathedral and, just opposite, on the Largo de São Francisco, we find the Church and Convent of São Francisco, whose gold interiors make it Brazil’s most opulent church. However, the best is yet to come, as just next door stands the small Ordem Terceira de São Francisco Church, built in the Plateresque style. The most intriguing feature of this jewel of a church was that its façade remained hidden behind a layer of mortar for more than a century.

 

“If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Brazil, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts offers a choice of accommodation options including the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel-Ship Amazon or its resorts in Praia do Forte and Salvador de Bahia. These hotels are set in spectacular surroundings, with fine golden sandy beaches, lush natural landscapes and buildings of immense historical significance for this vast country.”