19 qer 2007

Hawaii and ecotourism

Hawaii pali or cliffsHawaii promote itself as a destination for ecotourism. In Hawaii, you have many opportunities to encounter with nature and the unique and interesting Hawaiian culture. Enjoy the natural wonders, living culture of Hawaii and experience the raw beauty of a Pacific Island. You can go hiking, boating, snorkeling, whale watching, swim with the dolphins, observe the incredible flora and fauna of Hawaii.

An interesting Hawaiian tradition you can enjoy is the luau, a feast to celebrate accomplishments, honor important people and commemorate important events. The central feature of the luau is the imu, an underground oven fabricated by making a shallow pit lined with stones. A whole pig (puaa) wrapped in banana leaves is placed in the center of the pit. This plus the laulau (bundles of side dishes) are covered with more layers of banana leaves, ginger leaves and a coating of earth. The oven is fired up and after 4 hours, the coverings are removed and the luau begins. It is traditional for a luau to be accompanied by poi, the local starch.

Another well known part of the Hawaiian culture are the hula and the lei. The hula is a Hawaiian dance where every movement has a specific meaning, for example, a movement may imitate a shark, the true hula dancer believes he or she becomes the shark. The costumes of the hula dancers consists of leis for the head and shoulders, pau or skirt (made out of tapa), and kupea or anklets fashioned out of dog-teeth or whale bone.

Hawaii consists of 6 (some says 8) main island and one of the interesting one is Kauai. If you stay in one of the Kauai Condos, you will be just steps away from the majestic Na Pali coast, a natural wonder and a State Park. Pali are cliffs with rugged, deep and narrow valleys ending abruptly at the sea. Waterfalls and swift flowing streams continuously cut into these narrow valleys while the sea carves cliffs at their mouths. There are many interesting trails and beaches such as the the Kalalau Trail, the Ke'e beach to Hanakapi'ai trail, the Hanakapi'ai to Hanakoa trail and the Hanakoa to Kalalau beach trail.

Hawaiian Beach Rentals, a convenient site to chose and book accommodation online don't just offer condominiums. If condominiums are not in your menu, you can also chose a villa, cottage, etc. from Kauai Vacation Rentals or a hotel from Kauai Hotels.

17 qer 2007

How environmentally-friendly is ecotourism?

The web definition of ecotourism is "travel undertaken to witness sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel". It is also known by many other names - nature tourism, low impact tourism, green tourism, bio-tourism, and ecologically responsible tourism. What I see missing is the burning of depleting fossil fuel and the CO2 emission caused by the often long journey to participate is the so called ecotourism. For example, a journey of 10,000 kilometers uses about 700 liters of fuel per person and an estimated of about 2 tons of carbon dioxide. However, such travel also involve emission of water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, soot particles, sulphate aerosols and nitrogen oxides.

Water vapor also act as a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide by forming clouds that insulate the earth and contributing to global warming, leave condensation trails behind which can persist as cirrus clouds.

There are however hundreds of websites that helps travellers offset carbon emissions from their travel. Just try typing "carbon emission calculator" or "carbon offset" into the search box above. These sites help find projects involving renewable energy, energy efficiency, methane capture or forestry to ‘offset’ the emissions.

Hotels in ecotourism sites can adopt green practices such as:

* rerouting waste water to irrigate their golf courses and salvaging the sludge to use as fertilizer
* reducing laundry water temperatures from 90 °C to 60 °C
* replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lamps
* installing low-flow shower heads and low-flow toilets
* offering a sheet and towel reuse program whereby guests have their linens exchanged every two to three days instead of daily
* installing solar panels to heat water
* implementing a hotel-wide recycling program
* and replacing individual soaps and lotions with wall dispensers.

These practices not only contribute to the preservation of the environment, but the hotels can get considerable savings that can range from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

However, ecotourism have other detrimental effects on the environment. Ecotourism activities may disturb fauna and flora. Even "environmentally-friendly" activities like a nature hike can be ecologically destructive. Wildlife viewing may scare away animals and disrupt their feeding and nesting sites, or get them used to the presence of people. Motor vehicles criss-cross the park as tour drivers search for rare species. Roads disrupt the grass cover with serious consequences on plant and animal species.These vehicles frequently drive off-track and harass the wildlife.

To be viable, ecotourism sites need to have a high volumn of tourists which translate to higher pressure on the environment. Affluent ecotourists results in the development of destructive markets in wildlife souvenirs, such as the sale of coral trinkets and animal products.

Help the world with eco tourism

Help the world with eco tourism
By: Evan Moss

Most people these days try to take action towards saving the environment. Whether it be recycling your bottles and cans, using a compost bin, or offsetting their compost balance, and some even refusing to fly.

But don't just limit your good work to while you're at home, make sure that you follow through while on holiday too.

Here are just a few suggestions from us to get you started:

• Research and book your holiday online: travel brochures are produced by the many travel companies in the millions each year for us to look through. Rather than taking a pile of these from your travel agent, do your browsing online and only print out the pages you need
• Offset your carbon footprint when flying: we're not saying don't travel but we are saying that you do it responsibly and this includes paying to offset the amount of carbon produced when you fly. Go to climatecare.org or carbonneutral.com for details
• Prepare your house: Before you go away, make sure to turn off all your appliances. Don't leave them on standby. Also remember to cancel your delivered newspapers to ensure your home is left empty and efficient.
• Packing: the heavier the plane the more fuel it will use so take care when packing – do you really need to take an iron or a hairdryer if they are able to be borrowed locally?
• Babies and toddlers: leave the buggy at home and save the hassle and extra weight of transporting it by using a sling or backpack-style child carrier. Also take your own disposable nappies as it can be difficult to find environmentally-friendly ones overseas
• In your accommodation: just as you would at home make sure that lights, tvs, airconditioning etc are turned off when not needed. And forego freshly laundered towels every day
• Sun care: Use natural products or locally produced ones, natural and organic options are kinder to your skin and the environment
• Leisure time: Where it is possible, try hiring a bicycle, or use public transport rather than hiring a car. If you must hire a car, join one of the carbon neutral schemes such as Avis and Alamo. Digital cameras are more eco-friendly than film-based ones and if you go diving remember it's a case of look but don't touch where the coral is concerned
• Recycle, reuse, reduce: Litter on beaches is one of the tourism industry's biggest issues so make sure that you take all rubbish away with you and recycle it where possible
• Do as the locals do: Enrich your travel experience by supporting the local economy. Drink regional wine, beer and liquors and avoid imported international brands and their associated air miles.

Article Source: Article Bazaar

Get holiday insurance from the AA. Different types of travel insurance included are annual cover single trip cover, winter sports cover, golf holiday insurance

16 qer 2007

The Alaska Adventure

The Alaska Adventure
by: Jonathon Hardcastle

Six months ago, one of my best friends called me to announce that she was going to visit Alaska and participate in a hiking group adventure! I admired her enthusiasm and her ability to overcome with ease any usual reservations one would experience when thinking of exploring an unknown land surrounded by strangers. Although my schedule did not allow me to accept her invitation and join this one-in-a-lifetime excursion, I decided to research on the opportunities Alaska gives to interested individuals and why would it pay off for someone to spend his or her summer vacations on a snow land.

Located on the northwest tier of North America and being the largest U.S. state in area, although the least populated one, Alaska is one of the greatest places one could visit to get a sense of nature's wilderness. Apart from seafood exports, Alaska's economy depends on industries such as natural resource, extraction, shipping and transportation. Recently, Alaska has been enjoying a great increase in its tourism sector. Visitors from around the globe have been allured by Alaska's beauty and decided to discover this land's amazing scenery of calm lakes and snowy mountain tops. Since Alaska is arguably the least-connected U.S. state in terms of road transportation, it offers a great opportunity, for those willing to explore the unknown, to visit its immense landscape by using one of the "alternative" ways of traveling. Backpacking, hiking and climbing, kayaking, rafting, cruising, dogsled riding, and camping or RV touring, can offer to visitors the chance to perform a number of outdoor activities, like bear watching, birding, fishing, flight seeing, glacier viewing, hunting and wildlife viewing. Alaska constitutes one of the most adventurous places one could visit and people that have explored this icy place on earth stated that its ecotourism is beyond compare.

"North to the Future" is the official state motto of Alaska, portraying this land as one of promise. If you hope that one of these days you will be given a chance to expose your eyes to Alaska's beauty, stop wishing and act. The Internet offers some amazing deals for you and your friends to enjoy again nature in its fullest and special packages can accommodate your needs and fulfill your wishes. You should always consider visiting a new place during your vacations. Why not exploring one of the purest places on this planet? Alaska is not just another place for you to engage in any outdoor activities. Some believe that it is THE place!

About The Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles for Outdoor Talk - In addition, Jonathon also writes articles for Recreation Source and Totally Travelling

15 qer 2007

Samoa, Heart of Polynesia

Samoa, Heart of Polynesia
by: David Stanley

The islands of Samoa are emerging as an exciting new South Pacific travel destination between Hawaii and New Zealand. This "Heart of Polynesia" is politically split into two distinct entities 80 miles apart. The country Samoa is a former German colony, captured by New Zealand in 1914 and granted independence in 1962. In 1997 the name was changed from Western Samoa to Samoa.

American Samoa is the only U.S. territory south of the equator. Annexed by the United States for use as a naval base in 1900, the territory no longer has any military significance. Instead, Pago Pago currently hosts the StarKist and "Chicken of the Sea" tuna canneries, making it the most important commercial fishing port under the American flag.

The Samoan environment is tropically lush, with green volcanic peaks plunging to brilliant coral reefs, an ecotourism paradise still unspoiled by mass tourism. Visitors often stay in open Samoan beach houses called fale (pronounced FAH-lay) and adopt the laidback local lifestyle. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, surfing, deep sea fishing, and hiking opportunities are all close at hand.

Samoan culture is alive and strong, and local traditions can add another fascinating layer to your travel experience. Most Samoans are subsistence farmers who reside in small villages governed by chiefs (matai). The egalitarian ideals of this communal society place loyalty to family and religion above all. Visitors can sample this culture at the weekly "fiafia" island night dance shows staged at most of the larger hotels and beach resorts. Buffets of authentic Samoan dishes are an essential part of these events.

Samoa's climate is sultry, alternately sunny and rainy, but always hot and humid. Cooling sea breezes make the shoreline the best place to be yearround. The nicest months weatherwise are May to September, "winter" south of the equator. The rainy season runs from November to April, with increasingly intense hurricanes sweeping in due to global warming. Yet you can get long spells of bright sunny weather even during the "rainy" season, and Samoa's excellent Vailima beer (created by German brewmasters) tastes best at this time of year.

Most visitors spend their time in independent Samoa, which is considerably bigger and less expensive than American Samoa. However the rugged scenic beauty of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa, should not be missed. In recent years some of the most strikingly beautiful parts of the territory have been incorporated into American Samoa National Park. There's great hiking on Tutuila and wonderful snorkeling on Ofu in the seldom visited Manua Group.

Traditional Samoan culture is largely based on oratory, and it's no accident that several literary legends originated here. Robert Louis Stevenson spent the last five years of his life in Samoa and is buried on a hilltop above Apia, the capital. His mansion is now a museum dedicated to the author. Somerset Maugham's short story "Rain" about Sadie Thompson and the repressed missionary thrown together in a guesthouse at Pago Pago, American Samoa, has been adapted by Hollywood several times. The original guesthouse still exists, now an upscale restaurant and inn. In "Tales of the South Pacific," James A. Michener based the prototype of his character Bloody Mary on an Apia hotelkeeper named Aggie Grey, whose family still operates Samoa's largest resorts. Michener's book was later made into the musical "South Pacific."

Getting to Samoa is easy with direct flights from Hawaii and Los Angeles on Hawaiian Airlines, Polynesian Airlines, and Air New Zealand. Local ferries and small commuter planes ply frequently between the islands, and getting around by public bus or rental car is no challenge. Visas are not required by most visitors for entry to either Samoa, although a passport and onward plane ticket are mandatory.

About The Author

David Stanley is the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific South Pacific which has a chapter on Samoa. His online guide to Samoa may be perused at Online guide to Samoa.

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, so long as the byline and resource box are included. Please do not use this article without the byline and resource box. Many thanks!

14 qer 2007

Buying Property in Trinidad and Tobago

Buying Property in Trinidad and Tobago by Nicholas Marr

Overseas buyers searching for luxury property in the Caribbean should take a good look at Tobago. This small island has so many benefits that overseas investors have been buying land in Tobago at an alarming rate. The Trinidad and Tobago Government have now started a licensing system to monitor international buyers so that the small island does not become so expensive that local people could not buy property on their island. So why is Tobago so popular?

Tobago is still an unspoilt place of natural beauty eco tourism alongside beach holiday is part of its attraction. Real estate in Tobago is still relatively inexpensive compared to islands such as Barbados for example. The tropical climate, easy access and strong, well-rounded economy combine to make it one of the best investments in the Caribbean.

The process of buying land and property in Trinidad and Tobago is straightforward and similar to many other Caribbean nations. Foreigners and foreign companies may purchase up to one acre of residential land and/or up to five acres of commercial land without applying for a license. Any purchases over these amounts and you must apply for an Alien Landholder License through the government.

When you find your desired property and agree on terms with the seller, you both sign a Sales Agreement. The buyer pays a 10% deposit to be held in escrow and the contract is binding on both parties. Traditionally the final payment is paid on closing 90 days from the signing of the Sales Agreement to allow time for all the necessary searches and records work.

After signing the Sales Agreement, the buyer instructs a local lawyer to perform a title search. At the same time, your lawyer should conduct a record search from the utilities and Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) and make sure all taxes are paid. Getting clearance from WASA is probably the longest part of this process, and can take as long as six weeks. It will also cost TT$ 575 for the certificate. Once the title of the property is verified and all records checked, you may proceed to closing.

Closing Fees include a Stamp Duty, any legal fees, typically 1-2%, and insurance costs for the dwelling. A Memorandum of Stamp Duty should go to the Board of Inland Revenue for assessment of Stamp Duty prior to closing so you will know how much to pay. After closing you take the memorandum to the Board of Inland Revenue and pay the duty. Upon payment, the Memorandum of Transfer is stamped and you can now present this for registration with the Land Registry.

The Land Registry prepares a Return of Ownership form, showing change in ownership for paying property taxes. This document is filed with the District Revenue Office and you are done

Nicholas Marr is a lifetime property investor and CEO of Marr International Ltd a UK based property marketing company that is responsible for the international real estate web site at http://www.homesgofast.com

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net

8 qer 2007

Bahamas Paradise

Bahamas Paradise
By: cretu remus

The Bahamas is an archipelago of some 700 islands and cays in the Atlantic Ocean between Florida and Hispaniola. Sun, sand, and sea are merely perimeters of the Islands of the Bahamas. Christopher Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492 is believed to have been on the island of San Salvador (also called Watling's Island), in the southeastern Bahamas. The climate is tropical marine moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream and it’s perfect for sun vacation all year long. The islands are less than 10 miles from the south Florida coast, closer than other Caribbean destinations, and can be reached quickly and easily either by air or by sea. Lots of large airlines have flights to Bahamas, and also several charter airlines can drop you there. Frequent flights are available to Nassau, Freeport, and the Out Islands.

There are a lot of things to do in this tropical paradise. Anyone in search of the perfect beach should start here. The relatively small islands offers amazing beaches like Treasure Cay Beach considered by National Geographic one of the best in the world or like Pink Sands Beach rated as one of the Caribbean's best beaches by Caribbean Travel and Life magazine. If you get bored you can explore the amazing reefs, wrecks, and coral walls of Atlantic. There are numerous companies the offers dive and snorkel trips. Also let's not forget about dolphin encounters adventures. For fishermen the Bahamas islands are a true paradise. The Bahamas islands are among the premier destinations in the world for sport fishing including bone fishing and fly fishing. The Andros Island is also called The Bahamas Bone Fishing Capital and there are numerous guides and fishing lounges in the area. The islands are surrounded by hundreds of miles of soft and hard bottom flats, creek channels and ocean drop off. You can catch jacks, barracudas and many more species.

Sailing finds an ideal location in The Bahamas. Each major island hosts its own regatta. The contests are taking place in late summer; the best are to be found on Exuma, Long Island, Nassau/Paradise Island or Freeport/Lucaya.

Also the islands are a great place for birding. One of the top destinations for ecotourism is Abaco National Park. The park is located in the southern part of Great Abaco Island in Bahamas between Hole in the Wall and Crossing Rocks. You can expect to see warblers, yellowthroats, West Indian woodpeckers, swallows and Cuban Emeralds and also hardwood forests, nature trails and wild Atlantic coast scenery, and fauna include butterflies, egrets, herons, spoonbills and rare hummingbirds. You can explore the natural beauty of these islands by plane or by bicycle. Or you can chose a round of golf, a set of tennis, or a visit to any of the island's shopping arcades or casinos.

Many people get married in this tropical paradise. Just image you and your life partner on a pristine beach. Many hotels offer event spaces and they will also help you with your paper works and weeding planning. Bahamian culture is a mixture of African, European and indigenous forms. The most famous export is a rhythmic form of music called junknaoo. The diverse cultural history of The Bahamas nurtures an equally diverse calendar of festivals. The Junkanoo Summer Festival will show you a part of the Bahamian culture and at that time you can party Bahamian style with the locals dancing in the streets. An unforgettable way to experience Bahamian culture is through cuisine. Seafood is the staple of the Bahamian diet and no matter where you are you will find plenty of restaurants serving Bahamian cuisine and fresh local seafood.

Bahamas attractions include various historical places. Fort Charlotte, Fort Fincastle and Fort Montage from New Providence are one of the main historical attractions and will show you how life was 300 yeas ago. For golf lovers Bahamas offers various courses designed by some of the best in the business. Many of these golf courses offers full satisfaction and amazing ocean views .If you like party until late you have plenty of nightclubs at your disposal. You can enjoy a variety of sports from tennis to cricket. Cricket is the national sports and s season runs March through November and you can watch the games every Saturday and Sunday at Haynes Oval on West Bay Street, on Nassau/Nassau/Paradise Island.

This was just a very short description of Bahamas. The sun, the ocean and the beaches make the islands a perfect destination for your vacations. You can find many information over the internet and see just a small part of the islands beauty. For the real thing go visit Bahamas.

Article Source: Article Bazaar

Cretu Remus is passionate of traveling who fail in love with Bahamas.Find out more about Bahamas by visiting the bahamas vacation directory which is at Directory Bahamas Onweb

7 qer 2007

Costa Rica: Land of Natural Wonders

Costa Rica: Land of Natural Wonders
by: Andy Bezara

Costa Rica is a small country - just 75 mi/120 km separates the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean Sea at the narrowest spot - Costa Rica still has some of the most diverse scenery in the world. Its coasts have both sandy beaches and marshy swamps, while its interior is dotted with volcanoes, dense with rain forests and abundant with unusual flora.

When you are planning your Costa Rica vacation, make sure to visit destinations like Monteverde Cloud Forest, Corcovado National Park, Tortuguero National Park or Manuel Antonio National Park. In addition, you will enjoy in your Costa Rica vacation, a wide range of adventure travel activities, including scuba diving, hiking around the Arenal Volcano area, and exploring the dense tropical rainforests.

What to do? Where to do? Fly through the rain-forest canopy on a zip line? Go white-water rafting? Climb a volcano? Laze on a white-sand beach in guanacaste and manuel antonio national park on the pacific coast or Limon on the caribbean coast? Check out colorful marine life while snorkeling? Or try to hook one on a deep-sea fishing excursion?

Costa Rica offers plenty of pleasant choices like these, especially if you're interested in nature and outdoor activities. That's why so many people have chosen to go there: In the past decade, the number of visitors has quadrupled, and tourism has become a big part of the nation's economy. Costa Rica is practically synonymous with ecotourism - travel that incorporates education about the environment and promotes preservation of natural resources. The country has a large number of national parks and nature preserves that boast a rich array of birds, mammals, reptiles and rain-forest plants. The variety of birds, in particular, is astounding: Some 850 species are packed into a relatively small area, a bird watcher paradise. Approximately 25% of the country's land has been set aside in protected areas, earning Costa Rica a reputation as an environmentally sensitive country and leader in ecological conservation.

The country has excellent conditions for a number of adventure sports, among them surfing, river rafting, hiking and scuba diving, wind surfing and mountain bike.Those who prefer a less strenuous vacation can view more than 50 volcanoes (Poas volcano, Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Irazu volcano and Arenal volcano) take boat trips down jungle rivers and float through the treetops in the world's first Rain Forest Aerial Tram, visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Tortuga Island, The Cafe Britt Coffee tour

About The Author

Andy Bezara
Visit My Travel to Costa
and find the most wonderful Costa Rica vacation packages

1 qer 2007

Hawaii Vacations

Hawaii Vacations
by: Sara Chambers

One of the most popular tourist destinations in both the United States and throughout the world is Hawaii. Hawaii is a state consisting of islands. These include Hawaii, known as the Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. The attractions available on these six islands range from adventure attractions and ecotourism, to historical places to see and wild nightlife.

Another great reason to go to the beautiful State of Hawaii is the gorgeous beaches available. Maui itself offers 80 beaches sitting 120 miles of coastline. The southwest region of Maui includes lovely white beaches. Oahu, on the other hand, offers 130 beaches. Sandy Beach is a great place to enjoy sand and sun, while Hanauma Bay offers a great place to snorkel.

One of the most fascinating attractions to see on the ecotourism front of Hawaii’s Big Island is Mount Kilauea and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visiting this National Park will put you face to face with the elements. Hiking, walking, and driving through this Park, you will see Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Within the state park, you can enjoy the Crater Rim Drive, stopping at Steaming Bluff, the Halemaumau Overlook, the Devastation Trail and many more enticing monuments of Mother Nature.

In addition to beaches and volcanoes, there are also multiple adventure opportunities to enjoy. Whether it is ATV rides, airplane tours, skydiving, or windsurfing, there is plenty of adventure to enjoy on the Hawaii islands. In addition to these items, you can enjoy parasailing, snorkeling, sailing, sailplane rides and surfing. There are even shark encounters to be had. Specifically found on Oahu, shark excursion tours leave the Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor for two hour tours. During this tour, individuals have the ability to feel the thrill of coming close to sharks in a shark cage.

Finally, there are the historical and cultural aspects of Hawaii. You can visit Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. You can also visit Polynesian Culture Center, the Royal Palace, Queen Emma's Palace and Bishop Museum. There are also historic sugar plantations and ancient Hawaiian Temple Sites to investigate. For a taste of modern Hawaiian culture, you can enjoy the traditional Luaus. Be prepared for fish, roasted pig, sweet potatoes and many more delicious foods. Save room for desserts.

Vacations in the beautiful land of Hawaii include more than just fun in the sun. Here you can enjoy the thrills that come with adrenaline and nature, or relax in the sun and water that surrounds you. Take the time to experience a culture that you have never experienced before. All of these options exist in the beautiful six islands of Hawaii.

About The Author

Sara Chambers is a marketing consultant and an internet content manager for Hawaii Vacation Blog.


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