the Dingle Peninsula in Summer

The Dingle peninsula was one of my favorite places during our trip to Ireland. There is wonderful music and great food and also SURFING. Click through for my favorite experiences on the Dingle peninsula.

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My top tips for getting to Skellig Michael

So you want to get to Skellig Michael do you? You’ve chosen a difficult path but here are some tips to helping you get there.

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Ireland’s National Parks in pictures

We went on a whirlwind road trip around Ireland and I’ll detail some of the cool stuff we found along the way. This post, however, is dedicated to Ireland’s national park system. Every park had extremely well maintained trails going through beautiful landscapes. Here’s a tour through the ones we visited (mostly in pictures):

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24 Hours in NOLA (again!)

So I had to go back to NOLA again but we only had 24 hours this time. Here’s what you should do there if you only have 1 day to play.

Get lunch at Turkey and the Wolf. The food here is so awesome and creative. The space is strange and fun too. You can get a rubber bouncy ball for a quarter. Their lamb neck roti sandwich with yogurt and dill is the perfect combination of flavors. The deep fried chicken pot pie was also extremely delicious; the crust was extra crispy. Finish off the meal with one of their ice creams (I’m partial to the vanilla with key lime pie crunchies.) Beware that the ice cream is ginormous.

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A whirlwind trip to Tikal

We had one goal in coming to Tikal: see some coatis. I know. It’s weird. I guess we were interested in the ruins as well. You can go here or here or here to find useful information on Tikal. I just have these 3 useful tips to add for visiting Tikal.

      • Get your transportation from Fernando Rodas. He is amazingly friendly and can tell you lots about the history of the region and has very reasonable rates.
      • Get to the park by 6am. There will be very few people and it will not yet be unbearably hot. This is best done by staying in one of the lodges in the vicinity of the ruins. We liked Tikal Inn for the pool that you can lounge in during the extremely hot and humid late morning/early afternoon hours. If you are on a budget, there are also campgrounds near the park. You will need a flashlight to enter the park at this hour. Most of the time it is misty in Tikal so rushing to get to Temple 4 with all of the other tour groups will get you a view of fog rather than sunrise. Save it for a bit later and instead go to one of the side temples and have it all to yourself (might I suggest Temple 6 to see monkeys in the morning).
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This is what Tikal looks like with only 1 person

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chilling by the pool at Tikal Inn

    • Bring a raincoat. It rains all of the time. Tikal is in the rainforest. You should probably also wear mosquito repellent.

Also, you will see coatis. Many of them!

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coatis everywhere!

Relaxing at Lake Atitlan

After our 3 day trek, we decided to relax at Lake Atitlan for a few days. Best choice ever! The lake is beautiful and calming and there are lots of little villages to visit if you get tired of just lazing about. Here’s some of things that we loved at the lake:

We loved staying at Casa del Mundo. It’s set into the mountain near the town of Jaibalito and is extremely peaceful. There are kayaks to rent (go in the morning, the wind on the lake is no joke) and terraces with places to jump into the lake and swim. The food is also delicious; it’s just generally a lovely place to sit and read and relax. Continue reading

Quetzaltrekkers: Xela to Atitlan

Quetzaltrekkers is a fantastic organization and this was an amazing trek. The guides are all volunteers and they donate all of their proceeds to a local school. They were also super friendly; they arranged our transportation from Guatemala and also accommodated us when our shuttle was late to the pre-trip meeting. Everything (camping gear, food, housing) is included in the trek price of 750 quetzales. Over the 3 days we ate delicious food, saw beautiful landscapes, and met many wonderful people. Also, there’s a sauna and smoothies and some of the best trail mix ever! If you have time and are reasonably fit, do not hesitate. Just go! Words can’t demonstrate how beautiful everything on the hike was so I’ll try to do it with pictures.

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first views of the countryside after the slightly strenuous first portion of the hike

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