A Weekend Escape In Tamarindo, Costa Rica

A Weekend Escape In Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Our first visit to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, wasn’t necessarily a memorable one. We were staying at nearby Playa Grande to witness the giant leatherback turtles that come to shore to lay their eggs. We needed an ATM, so we took a small boat across the croc-infested estuary separating Tamarindo from Playa Grande, got some cash, went to dinner and then headed right back to Playa Grande once more. So after a year and a half of living in Costa Rica, we decided it was time to finally visit one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. And we can say that we were pleasantly surprised with just how much we loved Tamarindo and the surrounding coastline!   Introducing Tamarindo   Tamarindo is a popular surf town in Guanacaste. It’s one of the most developed beach towns in all of Costa Rica, so there’s no shortage of restaurants, parties and hotels. We visited during “green” season, which we would recommend if you’re not keen on sharing the beach with tons of other tourists. Guanacaste is also Costa Rica’s driest region. We’ve heard it can get quite hot and dusty during the dry months—another great reason to visit the region during the shoulder season. We were lucky in that it didn’t rain once during the entire weekend we were in Tamarindo! One of the things we loved the most about Tamarindo is that it’s just one small town surrounded by stunning beaches, national parks, and other attractions. If you’re traveling by rental car, it’s easy to get off the beaten track and explore some of Costa Rica’s best-hidden gems—while...
The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List

The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List

Paris is easily one of our favorite cities in the world. Our most recent visit to the magical City of Lights was when we were completely nomadic—and living entirely out of our backpacks. Paris was still just as magical as could be, but since we were pretty much coming from the Arctic, that meant we didn’t quite have all the right clothes and accessories we normally would have packed… That said, due to the popularity of our 50 Cool Things To Do In Paris article, we regularly receive quite a few Paris packing questions. So, here you have it: our ultimate Paris packing list for couples. If you’re wondering what to pack for a trip to Paris, then this post should do the trick. The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List     Seasons   Plan according to the season you’ll be traveling in! You’ll be thankful you brought the right clothes. :-) Check out this awesome guide to Paris’ weather for more information! – End of March – June: Spring – 4 C to 20 C / 40 F to 68 F – End of June – September: Summer – 13 C to 24 C / 55 F to 75 F – End of September – December: Autumn – 5 C through 21 C / 70 F through 68 F – End of December – March: Winter – 1 C through 7 C / 34 F through 45 F     Clothes   Remember, simplicity is your friend! If you want to blend in, at least a little bit, avoid major tourist fashion mishaps and dress like a Parisian! We could...
The Perfect 48 Hours In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Perfect 48 Hours In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

  For the past five years, we’ve celebrated each of our wedding anniversaries in a new destination. Given our lifestyle and penchant for wanderlust, it’s hardly any surprise that to us, there’s no better way to celebrate another year together than by making more travel memories! This year, we decided to drink to special year number five in the Dominican Republic. This was in large part due to the fact that we won an auction for five nights at the spectacular Casa Veintiuno, a boutique bed and breakfast in Sosua. More on that to come soon!     To bookend our beach adventures, we spent a bit of time exploring charming Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic’s capital city and the oldest European settlement in the Americas, Santo Domingo is renowned for its long history, rich culture and vibrant art scene—all things that we love. Most people who travel to the Dominican Republic head straight to their all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana or Puerto Plata. But even if you’ve only got an extra day, you don’t want to miss experiencing the highlights of Santo Domingo. Here’s our guide to get you started:   48 Hours in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic     Explore Old Town The highlight of any visit to Santo Domingo is easily the Zona Colonial. This romantic historic zone is home to some of the oldest buildings in the Americas, many of which boast UNESCO World Heritage status. What’s more, you’ll also find many of Santo Domingo’s best restaurants, hotels and boutiques conveniently located here. History buffs could easily spend multiple days exploring the Zona Colonial’s best...
Travel Roundup: Our Favorite Memories From Oaxaca, Mexico

Travel Roundup: Our Favorite Memories From Oaxaca, Mexico

It’s no secret that I have a terrible memory. Casey even lovingly calls me “goldfish” sometimes. In fact, one of the reasons we’ve kept blogging all these years is to have a diary of sorts to remember our travels. And it has become one heck of a journal. From our honeymoon road trip to cycling 1,000 miles across Vietnam to celebrating the World Cup in soccer-crazy Brazil, there are certain moments on our travels that we’ll remember forever. But there are smaller details, destinations and encounters that likely would have faded into the background if it hadn’t been for the photos that we took and the stories we wrote here. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” gets tossed around a lot. I find this is especially true when referring to travel. That’s not to say that words aren’t important, of course. They certainly help put you on the right path and give you the information you need to see a destination. But for me personally, photographs are where true travel inspiration starts. When I look at a photo from a trip I took years ago, it’s almost like traveling back in time. I can close my eyes and feel myself back in that crowded smelly market with the dangling pig heads. I can feel the enormous cathedral in all of its stained glass glory. Photos allow me to relive that wonderous feeling of our travels every day. That said, on our most recent trip to Mexico, I hardly took any photos at all. Not because I wasn’t inspired—we visited some of the most beautiful regions of Mexico...
An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico

An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico

    Think of Mexico and chances are that a few of the first beverages to come to mind are tequila and Corona. But visit Oaxaca, Mexico, and you’ll quickly discover it’s actually mezcal that tops the list for beverage of choice.     We had never heard of mezcal (let alone tasted it), so we were immediately intrigued by the intimate mezcal bars we found tucked away in ever-so-charming Oaxaca City. Naturally it only took one spicy mezcal margarita to convert us into avid fans of the artisanal liquor. However, it wasn’t until we received an inside look at the process of making mezcal from a local farmer that we truly began to appreciate mezcal for the art form that it is.   An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  What Is The Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?   Mezcal, like tequila, is made from the agave plant. But while true tequila can only be made using the Blue Agave plant, mezcal is produced from over 30 varieties of agave. Additionally, most tequilas are made in industrial size, stainless-steel pressure cookers. Artisan mezcals are hand-crafted using a variety of more traditional techniques.     Talk to many Mexicans and they’ll tell you that they much prefer organic mezcals to chemical-laden tequilas. This is especially true in Oaxaca, where up to 90% of mezcals are produced, and each batch of mezcal has its own unique, wonderful flavor.   Meeting A Mezcal Farmer   We had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet an inspiring mezcal farmer and learn more about the mezcal making...
Why We May Pack Up Everything And Move to Oaxaca, Mexico

Why We May Pack Up Everything And Move to Oaxaca, Mexico

    Ok, so maybe we won’t be moving to Oaxaca, Mexico immediately, but from the first night we arrived in this charming town, we knew we were going to love it.     Oaxaca City was the first stop on our road trip through Oaxaca with Cantimplora Travel. Led by our awesome Mexican guides and professional photographer Sam and Bernie (founders of Cantimplora Travel) our small group met in Oaxaca City for a few days of off-the-beaten-track adventure before continuing on to discover one of the most diverse and artistically gifted states in all of Mexico. As we wandered down the cobblestone pedestrian street in Oaxaca our first night, we heard loud music and drumming coming from the church plaza. Surely it’s just a street band looking for some tips from passersby, we thought…until we noticed the giant dancing puppets.   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  These wedding puppets were about 15 feet tall and on long wooden poles, dressed in the form of a bride and groom. The music was pouring out of the church and a large group of friends and family were dancing in the courtyard. After a while, the party started to make its way down the main avenue through town as the bride and groom danced in the streets past cheering onlookers. This wedding parade, called a calenda, perfectly expressed the colorful, fun-loving and friendly community vibe of Oaxaca. And this ambience of celebration, arts and culture would set the tone for the rest of our journey with Cantimplora Travel.   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Though you may not be as lucky to catch...