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These Caribbean Islands Offer Both Luxury and Adventure

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What is the first thing that comes into your mind when someone says ‘Caribbean Islands’? Most people would say something like ‘beautiful beaches, amazing waters, relax, calm, sun, etc.’ While all of these associations are understandable (we’re talking about the Caribbeans after all), many people tend to forget that the Caribbean Islands are so much more than that.

There are plenty of outdoor activities that can occupy your time there – climbing, exploring the waters with a boat, jet skiing (we recommend checking out some jet ski tips beforehand so that you can have an idea about what to expect and how to prepare yourself for this experience), and more. We believe that everyone should get to know the Caribbeans from their adventurous side, which is why we created this short list.

The islands that we listed below offer you not only an amazing dose of adventure, with several hiking treks, volcanos, and water activities but also luxury. It’s hard to find an island that doesn’t have a luxurious resort, which means that you can spend the day climbing mountains, and in the evening, you can go for a full SPA treatment. This is actually a great combination, as all the moving you’ve done during the day will really make you feel that you deserved the evening relax.

So, if you want to find out more about the Caribbean Islands that will offer you both luxury and adventure, all you have to do is keep reading. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Top 5 Caribbean Caribbean Islands

1. Saint Lucia

The first position on our list is St Lucia – a sovereign island country located on the ‘border’ of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

The island is dominated by volcanic peaks, with volcanic beaches and reefs filling out the coast. There are a lot of trees, waterfalls, and trails, making it the perfect holiday spot for hikers who love both nature and luxury. Saint Lucia is home to the Pitons’ twin peaks, which are recognized by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. There are two main treks on the island – the Gros Piton and the Tet Paul Nature Trail.

If you are an animal lover, then you’d be glad to hear that you can also find something for yourself – the island is home to the Edmund Forest Reserve, where you can observe more than 180 species of birds.

2. Jamaica

Probably the first thing that comes into your mind when thinking about ‘Jamaica’ is fun, reggae, Bob Marley, and ganja. However, apart from this, Jamaica is a great place for adventurous people, as it is full of mountains, forests, and hiking treks.

Jamaica’s most popular trek is called the Blue Mountain Peak Trail. It’s a great way to explore the beautiful island. You will also have a chance to try the Blue Mountain Coffee at the source – one of the world-renowned coffees.

3. The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands consist of four main islands – Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke – and over fifty smaller islands and cays. Only 16 of them are inhabited, though. It’s worth mentioning that many celebrities and millionaires have beach houses there.

When it comes to what to do when on vacation there, there are plenty of options. All islands are home to beautiful white-sand beaches, sparkling waters, and bays. You can rent a boat and admire the blue waters. If you love meeting new people, you should consider chartering a boat – who knows, maybe your cabinmate will become your lifetime friend? If you prefer to go on an adventure alone, you can always rent a private charter.

One of the things you should not miss out on when visiting the British Virgin Islands is seeing Anegada. Anegada is an island sitting on a coral reef. Among its attractions, you can find beaches, flamingos, an iguana sanctuary (the entrance is free for your information), and a population of wild cows that is almost higher than the number of people.

4. Saint Kitts

St Kitts and Nevis is an island country, located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

When it comes to St Kitts, almost a quarter of it is a designated national park, the majority of it being rainforest. The rainforest serves as home to amazing wildlife, so this is definitely your best bet if you love animals. You will be able to see green vervet monkeys, hummingbirds, rare lizards, and so much more. For those who are more into hiking or climbing, there are many treks, including one that leads to the summit of Mount Liamuiga – while completing it, you will be able to see the Devil’s Tooth – a crater rim half a mile wide.

5. Nevis

Nevis, the other half of St Kitts and Nevis, is an island dominated by a volcano, known as Nevis Peak. As easy climbing it might seem, it’s actually a complete opposite. In some of its sections, you will need to use pre-rigged ropes, which is why it’s recommended, when hiking this trek, to use a decent gear and a guide – especially since the trail is muddy, slippery, and steep. However, all the hard work that needs to be put into hiking is repaid once you reach to the top, as the views are spectacular.

The Bottom Line

When you think about ‘Caribbean Islands’, you probably imagine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and sun all year round. While this is an understandable association, the Caribbean Islands are actually paradise for people who love adventure and outdoor activities – on the majority of them, you can find at least one trek, and let’s not forget about the rare wildlife that you can easily encounter.

However, the islands are also home to many luxurious resorts, which means that you can find the perfect balance between luxury and adventure – you can spend the day away climbing the mountains, and then come back to your 5-star accommodation. It’s a perfect combo, don’t you think?

The post These Caribbean Islands Offer Both Luxury and Adventure appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: These Caribbean Islands Offer Both Luxury and Adventure
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/xxXfwncegVE/these-caribbean-islands-offer-both-luxury-and-adventure.html
Published Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:14:53 +0000

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Limited time Amex points transfer bonuses ending soon!

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During normal times, points transfer bonuses by Amex or any other issuer gain a lot of traction. However, we live in unusual times. Travel is nowhere close to normal and only a small minority is actively looking to book travel. Amex Membership Rewards points, along with Chase Ultimate Rewards points are two of my favorite transferable points currencies. Amex, in particular, has the edge over Chase when it comes to international airline partners. At the moment, Amex is running two lucrative points transfer bonuses with their Membership Rewards points. However, if you’re looking to travel any time soon then now is a good time to transfer time as these limited time bonuses end on October 31.

Amex Points Transfer Points Bonuses

Amex is currently running points transfer bonuses for Hilton and Marriott. These limited time offers expire on October 31, 2020.

Hilton Honors

The standard points transfer ratio for Hilton Honors is 1:2. With this bonus, you’ll get a ratio of 1:2.8. For example, if you transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards points, you’ll get 2,800 Hilton Honors points.

Marriott Bonvoy

The standard points transfer ratio for Marriott Bonvoy is 1:1. With this, bonus you’ll get a ratio of 1:1.4. For example, if you transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards points, you’ll get 1,400 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Crunching the Numbers

During normal times, many frequent travelers tend to jump on these limited time transfer bonuses. However, how lucrative are these bonuses during the current situation?

For example, let’s say you want to book a top tier Hilton hotel. One night will cost you at least 95,000 points for a standard room. With this bonus, you’ll need 39,000 Membership Rewards points instead of 48,000.

Similarly, let’s say you want to book a top tier Marriott hotel. One night will cost you at least 85,000 points for a standard room. With this bonus, you’ll need 61,000 Membership Rewards points instead of 85,000.

In short, the higher the category of the hotel, the more lucrative these transfer bonuses become for you.

Credit Card Bonuses

If you’re falling short on Marriott or Hilton points, another option is to sign up for co-branded credit cards from Marriott and Hilton. Currently, many of these cards are running limited time offers. Please note that Amex and Chase restrictions may apply to these credit cards.

Card Name Sign-up Bonus Application Link
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 30k points
Apply Now
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold 5 free nights (up to 50k points each)
Apply Now
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card 125k points + Platinum Status for 2021
Apply Now
Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card 100k points + $150 in credits
Apply Now
Hilton Honors Business Card 130k points
Apply Now
Amex Hilton Honors Card 95k points
Apply Now
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card 140k points
Apply Now
Hliton Honors American Express Aspire Card 150k points + 1 free night
Apply Now

The Pundit’s Mantra

In most cases, I don’t recommend transferring points speculatively. However, if you do have a trip on the horizon, then it makes sense to use these Amex points transfer bonuses to your advantage.

In the past, I’ve used transfer bonuses to book some really cool trips. For example, I used a transfer bonus to British Airways in order to book a last minute trip to Colombia. However, given the current scenario, not many of us are planning such trips on the go.

Do you plan to make use of either of these points transfer bonuses before the end of the month? Tell us in the comments section.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a limited time welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points. You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. You’ll also earn 2x points all on all travel and dining spend and 5 x on Lyft rides.

Apply Now

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Disclosure: The Points Pundit receives NO compensation from credit card affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links. This article is meant for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute personal finance, health or investment advice. Please consult a licensed professional for advice pertaining to your situation.

By: The Points Pundit
Title: Limited time Amex points transfer bonuses ending soon!
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/limited-time-amex-points-transfer-bonuses-ending-soon/
Published Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:10:32 +0000

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Cruise Ship Rescues 24 People From Sinking Boat Off Florida Coast

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The Carnival Sensation was sailing in international waters off the Florida coast on Saturday when crew members spotted a crowded 36-foot boat that appeared to be in distress.

The ship maneuvered alongside the boat and crew members handed over blankets, life jackets, food and water to the 24 people onboard the smaller vessel, including two children, according to the Carnival Cruise Line.

As it floated 37 miles off the coast of Palm Beach, the boat began to take on water. The passengers were quickly ushered aboard the cruise ship through a side hatch that is typically used in port to load supplies via a gangway. The boat sank after the rescue, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

The rescued passengers were the first guests to board the cruise ship in months, Carnival said. They were evaluated by the cruise ship’s medical staff and quarantined away from crew members, the cruise line said. They were picked up by the Coast Guard after about six hours, the spokeswoman said.

The rescued boat was coming from Freeport, Bahamas, said Nicole J. Groll, the Coast Guard spokeswoman. It was not clear where the boat was headed, she said, nor was it clear what had happened to the boat that caused it to sink.

“The disabled vessel sank and actions are currently being taken to coordinate the transfer of the individuals ashore,” Ms. Groll said in a statement Monday.

The $45 billion global cruise industry serves 20 million passengers in a typical year. But since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, ships have been roaming the seas for months without guests, staffed by skeleton crews. Operations have been suspended until Oct. 31, and some lines have canceled cruises into next year.

Carnival operates 23 ships. While they are idle, they maintain a “minimum nonoperational manning status,” according to a spokesman. That means they are staffed by 75 to 100 crew members, including marine engineers, technicians and officers, as well as housekeeping, culinary and other staff members.

Occasionally, they perform rescues, the spokesman said. In July, the Carnival Legend responded to a call for help from a boat that had run out of fuel off the coast of the Bahamas. The Legend gave the boaters 25 gallons of gas to help them make their way back to Jacksonville, Fla.

Ships are obligated under maritime law to respond to vessels in distress, said Jim Walker, a Miami-based maritime lawyer.

The duty to rescue a derelict vessel falls to a ship’s captain, who “has both a moral and a legal obligation to help,” he said.

There are typically three or four such rescues every year, some of which involve migrants, Mr. Walker said.

“Often there is no true ‘rescue’ of foreign immigrants at sea because the cruise ship will call the U.S.C.G. who will pick them up and then return them to their home countries,” Mr. Walker said in an email, referring to the Coast Guard. “It is not so much a ‘rescue’ but an ‘interception’ at sea.”

In some cases, he said, a ship’s captain or the captain’s employer could face criminal charges for ignoring a cry for help.

In 2012, Princess Cruises was sued after one of its cruise ships, the Star Princess, failed to help a disabled fishing boat that had been adrift for days when it was spotted by crew members and passengers. Two of the people on the fishing boat died.

The cruise industry has come under fire during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly early in the outbreak as passengers and crew members were trapped aboard ships where the virus spread rapidly.

In February, more than 700 passengers were infected on the Diamond Princess as the ship idled off the coast of Japan. Nine of the infected passengers died.

In August, the cruise industry voluntarily suspended operations until Oct. 31, following the extension of a no-sail order for cruise ships through Sept. 30 issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency noted that from March to July there had been nearly 3,000 suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases and 34 deaths on cruise ships in U.S. waters.

The Carnival Corporation, which operates Carnival, Princess and other brands and serves roughly 50 percent of the global cruise market, has dealt with outbreaks on several of its ships, including Holland America’s Zaandam, which tried to unload sick passengers in Florida in April. Last week, Carnival Cruise Line canceled several cruises that were scheduled for November and January.

By: Marie Fazio
Title: Cruise Ship Rescues 24 People From Sinking Boat Off Florida Coast
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/us/carnival-cruise-rescue.html
Published Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 22:51:45 +0000

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2,000-Year-Old Cat Etching Found at Nazca Lines Site in Peru

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The image, stretching for 40 yards on a hillside in Peru, shows a creature with pointy ears, orb-like eyes and a long striped tail. It appears to be a cat lounging, as cats often do.

Archaeologists stumbled across the faded etching while remodeling a section of a UNESCO heritage site known as the Nazca Lines, Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced last week.

The catlike geoglyph — which experts say dates to 200 B.C. to 100 B.C. — is the latest discovery among the carvings of larger-than-life animals and plants previously found between the towns of Nazca and Palpa, in a desert plain about 250 miles southeast of the capital, Lima.

“The discovery shows, once again, the rich and varied cultural legacy of this site,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Nazca Lines were first discovered by a Peruvian aerial surveyor in 1927. Images of a hummingbird, a monkey and an orca were unearthed at the site. UNESCO has designated the Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Palpa a World Heritage Site since 1994.

The cat etching is believed to be older than any of the prehistoric geoglyphs previously unearthed at Nazca.

“It’s quite striking that we’re still finding new figures, but we also know that there are more to be found,” Johny Isla, Peru’s chief archaeologist for the Nazca lines, told Efe, a Spanish news agency.

The designs were believed to have been created when ancient Peruvians scraped off a dark and rocky layer of earth, which contrasts with lighter-colored sand underneath. Researchers believe that the figures once served as travel markers.

Drone photography has led to several discoveries in recent years, Mr. Isla said. In 2019, researchers from Japan, aided by satellite photography and three-dimensional imaging, unearthed more than 140 new geoglyphs at the site.

Research and conservation work had continued at the site even during the coronavirus pandemic, when most tourist sites have been closed. Archaeologists and employees were working on the Mirador Natural, a lookout point in the protected site, when they began unearthing something intriguing. When they cleaned the mound, clear lines showing the sinuous body of a cat emerged.

“The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear because it is situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion,” the culture ministry said in a statement.

The authorities said that even a stray footprint could mar the fragile grounds, and have imposed strict rules against trespassing at the site. Before the pandemic shut down tours, visitors were permitted to view the lines and figures only from planes and lookout points.

But disturbances at the Nazca lines have occurred, drawing widespread condemnation.

In 2014, Greenpeace activists left shoe marks near a large hummingbird design when they placed a sign that promoted renewable energy, Peruvian officials said.

“You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” Luis Jaime Castillo, a Peruvian official and archaeologist, told The Guardian at the time. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”

In 2018, a truck driver was arrested after intentionally driving his tractor-trailer across three lines of geoglyphs.

Even as Peru works to preserve its ancient sites, officials reopened Machu Picchu this month for one lucky tourist after he became stranded during the pandemic and waited seven months to see the 16th-century Inca citadel.

By: Tiffany May
Title: 2,000-Year-Old Cat Etching Found at Nazca Lines Site in Peru
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/world/americas/peru-cat-nazca-lines-nasca.html
Published Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 08:48:43 +0000

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