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5 Most Beautiful Caribbean Sunsets

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ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR THINGS that nature presents to us every day is the last hour of sunlight. We can all appreciate that a sunset adds a moment of admiration and gratitude to our emotions. We are thankful for the beauty in this world that we get to witness on a daily.

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So for that, we put together a blog of the 5 most beautiful sunsets in the Caribbean, that everyone should take the time to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The weather is consistently gorgeous in the Dominican Republic, with year-round sunshine. Even though you can see amazing sunsets all around the island, the best spot is in Punta Cana. The sun sets every day around 7:15 PM, except for in December, during their winter solstice. The sun will set around 6:00 PM, the earliest. During these sunsets, everyone will experience orange and pink colors blending together, painting us a picture of the most brilliant sunset.

Negril, Jamaica

Jamaica gets to enjoy consistent 13 daylight hours a day. The vernal equinox is from March to June, where the sun will stay out longer and set around 7:15 PM the latest, but most of the year sets around 6:00 PM. Everyone gets to witness the sky transforming from soft shades of blue, into mixtures of purples, pinks, and oranges.

7-mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island

This beach was voted one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Interestingly, isn’t actually 7 miles, in fact it’s only five and half miles long. This crescent shaped shore is a stunning setting for their purple and orange sunsets. So unique, so mind blowing, and just all around an unforgettable moment. During their Winter Solstice, the sun sets around 6 PM, but during their Summer Solstice, the sun sets 2 hours later, around 8:00 PM.

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

This island is recognized for its crystal clear, tranquil blue waters, white sand beaches, and dreamlike sunsets. During their winter solstice, the sun sets around 5:00 PM, and during their summer solstice, sets 2 ½ hours later, around 7:30 PM. No sunset is the same. Some will illustrate colors of orange and purples, and some will display yellows and blue. It is a breathtaking location to experience a sunset.

Havana, Cuba

Not only is this island filled with tons of culture and a lively atmosphere but has also blessed us with some of the best, sky melting, sunsets. During the summer solstice, the sun stays out almost 3 hours later, then during the winter solstice. The sun normally sets around 5:30 PM, but during the summer, sets around 8:30 PM. The sky melts into shades of red and orange, reflecting over the city.

To visit one of these locations, connect with a Travel Specialist!

Lets Taco ’bout Mexico

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I don’t need to sit here and convince you Mexico is awesome because all I would need to say is tacos and tequila, and I’ve already won your vote. So, if you’re like me, you’ve always been curious about the place that brought to us the most delicious tacos and mouthwatering tequila. Here are 20 interesting facts about Mexico that will make you want to go there!

MMM… Good thing its Taco Tuesday because I am going to go eat my weight in tacos because we can’t TACO bout it and not get tacos! (punny intended.)

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  1. The official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).
  1. Spanish is the national language of Mexico.
  1. Mexico’s population is 130,759,074 people.
  1. Mexico’s size is 756,066 square miles.
  1. The world’s largest tamale made in Mexico, called Zacahuil, is 3 ft long and 150 LBs.
  1. The Jaguar is the largest wildcat and is found in Mexico’s southern jungles.
  1. The oldest university in North America is the National University of Mexico, founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain.
  1. The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named after a Mexican state.
  1. Millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico, every year, from the U.S and Canada.
  1. Mexico and U.S border is the second largest border in the world (U.S. and Canadian border is number 1).
  1. Mexico has the second highest number of Catholic citizens (Brazil is number 1).
  1. Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day. They receive gifts on January 6, the day on which Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
  1. Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. The left green stripe stands for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of those who died fighting for Mexico’s independence.
  1. Mexico City has the highest elevation, is oldest city in North America, and is one of the largest cities in the world.
  1. Mexico is located in the “Ring of Fire,” one of the earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones.
  1. Mexico is home to a very rare rabbit called the volcano rabbit which lives near Mexican volcanoes.
  1. Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world
  1. Tequila and Tabasco are named after states in Mexico.
  1. The largest pyramid in the world is the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico. It is also the largest monument ever constructed in the world.
  1. Mexico City is built on a lake, over the ruins of a great Aztec city, Tenochtitlan. It is sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year. Pumps draw water out for the city’s growing population.

Now that you finished this blog and I have convinced you to go to Mexico….

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@TSA

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When traveling, there is always the infamous question, “will that pass-through TSA?”

TSA, alone, is a very nerve racking, nail biting experience; even when you are a harmless traveler. Whether you love TSA or not, they are just here to assist you and keep you safe.

They want to make sure that you comprehend safe and smart packing for a laidback traveling experience and to help with that, that they created an Instagram page, @TSA, with post relating to what can go through TSA and what can’t. The best part about these post is they insert a lot of humor into their responces, (which is surprising because they don’t look like a group of comedians when they are sorting through your bag…)

An even better helpful tool, if you post a picture, with a question, and tag @AskTSA; they will respond to you with an honest, but humerous answer to your question.

Because we are travelers, and spend a lot of time with TSA; we just wanted to share with you some of our favorite TSA posts!

With all the buzz about #420 today, we wanted to offer a #ProTip. If you’re considering traveling with marijuana or cannabis-infused products, don’t. We’re not looking for your jazz cabbage, but if we find it, we’ll have to notify local law enforcement. … TSA doesn’t have any regulations that address the possession or transportation of marijuana and cannabis infused products, but under Federal law and many State laws, it’s a crime to possess or transport any detectable amount of marijuana. … Having a State-issued cannabis card or other documentation indicating that the marijuana is for medical purposes doesn’t exempt you from TSA’s requirement to notify law enforcement. It’s up to the responding officer, not TSA, to determine if possession of the marijuana is authorized under State law, or whether to make an arrest or confiscate it. … This picture is from 2014 when 80 pounds of marijuana was discovered in a checked bag at the McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD) in California. … #TSATravelTips #marijuana

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These can fly! Well… they can fly on the plane as a carry-on item, but they can’t actually fly anymore. Those days have clearly passed for this swarm. They’ve been pinned down for quite a while on a project. I’m guessing your husband made you ask because he didn’t want to be a pest and bug us, right? … This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the AskTSA account on Twitter. … Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? If you're a regular follower of this account, I'm sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. Well, fret no more! Now you can do just that… … Simply snap a picture and tweet it to AskTSA (twitter.com/asktsa), or send it via Facebook Messenger (facebook.com/asktsa) and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. … And that's not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you if you don’t see TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass. … We look forward to answering your questions, 9am-7pm daily. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

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This is a perfect example of how to do it as long as the bottles are 3.4 oz. or less and the bag can be sealed. Each traveler is permitted to carry-on one sealable bag. Sorry, but unfortunately, drinking these at the gate or on the plane is not permitted. Rules are rules… – This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the @AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you're a regular follower of this account, I'm sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that's not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

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Best Scuba Diving Sites in Mexico

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Cenote Dos Ojos – Yucatan

Located in the Riviera Maya, the Dos Ojos is the world’s third largest cave with over 8 KMs of caverns to explore. Cenote means “sacred well” and Dos Ojos means “two eyes”. Meaning that this is the perfect spot for divers because this combination of various geological events and climate changes created these unique and magical areas in the waters of the Yucatan Peninsula, so they are a must see for divers!

Discovery Bay – Guadalupe Island

This small volcanic island, situated off of the west coast of Mexico, is the number one spot for Great White shark encounters. It is home to a primordial beast for travelers to come see and cage dive with. There are over 200 unique great white sharks to view up-close and personal 30 ft down in the beautiful, clear, blue water.

The Boiler – San Benedicto Island (Revillagigedo Islands)

The boiler got its name from being the remains from an underwater volcano and when the waves hit its surface, the spray can be seen from a distance. The boiler is known for all different invertebrate and vertebrate life; like large Chinese trumpetfish, guineafowl puffers, clarion angelfish, lobsters, creole, octopus, white-tip reef sharks, and most importantly, playful giant mantas. There is so much interaction at this site for divers.

Bull Shark Dive – Playa del Carmen

This is an extreme scuba diving experience, only for certified divers! The bull sharks gather in the cenote waters of Playa del Carmen to breed. They are an aggressive creature, so the diving experience is taken very seriously with strict rules, but once you are positioned properly on the floor of the ocean; bull sharks everywhere! Behind you, in front, besides, swimming all around you. It’s an adrenaline rush that has your nerves all over the place, but a spectacular show to witness.

Afuera – Isla Mujeres

The waters of Isla Mujeres, located off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, is the largest aggregation of whale sharks from May to September. Afuera means “outside” because they gather farther out to sea due to the mass spawning of tuna, laying their eggs all over the ocean floor, for the whale sharks to feast on. Manta rays, golden eagle rays, sailfish, and marlin will also join in this feast.

Manchones Reef – Cancun

The Manchones Reef is home to the biggest underwater museum. For all the history, loving divers can come learn about the ancient Mayan Culture; like the Cross of the Bay, Man on Fire, Dream Collector, and others. Amongst all the underwater history, you can also see the vibrant coral landscapes, elk horn coral, stag horn coral, brain coral, and sponges. The marine life is also very colorful, filled with blue tangs, angel fish, wrasse, trunkfish, grunts, snappers, damselfish, and see breams.

Aquarium I and II – Banco Chinchorro

It is the healthiest marine ecosystem and the largest atoll reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This biosphere reserve hosts the most beautiful, healthy, and colorful coral reefs, interesting shipwrecks, and warm waters. Because the coral is so healthy, it is home to diverse marine life; like lobster, groupers, stingrays, sergeant majors, French angelfish, queen angelfish fish, nurse sharks, barracuda, and different species of turtles. As a bonus, you may also be able to swim with the manatees.

Gordo Banks – Los Cabos

Located off the southern tip of Mexico, this location is a very seasonal spot. Sightings of the hammerhead shark gathering can be seen June to November. The summit of the bank is a maze of canyons and rocky peaks covered in small gorgonian corals. In the midst of the hammerheads, you can also find jacks, mackerels, tunas, snapper, groupers, eagle rays, devil rays, cow-nose rays and mobula ray, mammoth manta ray, dolphins, silky sharks and whale sharks.

Palancar Reef – Cozumel

This reef is divided into 4 sections; the Palancar Caves, Palancar Bricks, Palancar Horseshoe and Palancar Gardens. The beginning of the reef is the Palancar Bricks which has caves, canyons, overhangs and gardens. Palancar Horseshoe is a large horseshoe shape, bursting with varied corals, sponges and a variety of marine life. The Palancar Caves site has deep buttresses, tunnels, caves and large caverns. Palancar Gardens is a good place to encounter stingrays. The Gardens features towering rock spires and cliffs that are covered with colorful corals and purple and orange sponges. These reefs are filled with diverse marine life, such as corals, sponges, jacks, triggerfish, turtles, snappers, angelfish, Bermuda chub, rays and several species of sharks.

Los Islotes – La Paz

La Paz is a gateway to the Sea of Cortez. When diving in this gateway; you can see orcas, blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, mobula rays, and most importantly, California sea lions, sea lion bulls, and juvenile sea lions. All the sea lions are extremely playful, spinning around, and love to swim with the divers; making them the main attraction. Other sites to see are golden cup corals, king angelfish, seahorses, sally light foot crab, and much more. Lastly, for the birdwatchers; you may see pelicans, boobies, and red-chested frigate birds. The sites are endless at the La Paz gateway to the Sea of Cortez!

10 Incredible Overwater Bungalows Around the World

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The Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma by Karisma - Mexico

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These overwater bungalows situated off of the brightest, white sands of the breathtaking Maroma beach, surrounded by the tranquil, turquoise waters; gives unparalleled luxurious accommodations. Travel channel named Maroma beach one of the 10 best beaches in the world. Each bungalow features; glass bottom floors, private infinity pools, direct ladder access to the ocean, the romantic “Aguas deal Amor” outdoor shower, indoor jacuzzi for two, and oversized deck with lounge chairs.

LikuLiku Lagoon Resort - Fiji

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From the waters it looks like an ancient village, but it is the first overwater resort, in a natural ocean lagoon. It is hidden amidst the flawless environment. Staying true to the Fijian cultural values, traditions, and architecture; the resort is the design of a Fijian canoe house. Surrounded by sprawling ceilings, hand-woven thatch and an exotic mix of natural materials and modern elements. The resort symbolizes the ancient culture.

St. Regis - Bora Bora

 

Nestled in the shadow on Mount Otemanu. These French Polynesian villas feature hand-carved Polynesian sculptures, exotic wooden décor and an Italian-marble bathroom with a rain shower and bathtub. Some villas offer a private plunge pool, a hot tub or an outdoor shower. The balcony provides a panoramic view of the crystal clear, blue lagoon and adjacent islands.

Four Seasons - Bora Bora

This family friendly, exclusive enclave, private paradise, in the heart of French Polynesia is a premier resort in Bora Bora. It possesses striking views of Mount Otemanu. They integrated unique architecture, containing walls made of volcanic stone and decorative accents fashioned from mother of pearl, and plunge pools. This resort radiates natural luxury.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa - French Polynesia

This gentle vibe Polynesian escape is placed between Moorea’s two iconic bays; Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay. The location is perfect to admire both, the sunrise to the east and the sunset to the west. All the villas come with private decks, a glass floor-panel for viewing the fish below, a marble bathroom, comfortable king-sized bed, and a plunge pool. They resemble a contemporary Polynesian design and offer all the comforts of a luxury hotel.

Vahine Island - Tahiti

The perfect location for these bungalows, gives you a scenic view of Taha’a, Raiatea, Huahine, and Bora Bora. The three overwater bungalows keep its feel from the Islands natural environment, so each bungalow is designed with exotic wood furnishings and quilted Tahitian bedding, direct access into the lagoon, and aquarium coffee table for a view of lagoon. And because there is only three bungalows, the atmosphere is kept peaceful and calm with only a select amount of guests.

Niyama Private Islands Maldives - the Maldives

 

Placed on an incredible crescent out over the ocean and buggy down the path to your private villa; with a private pool, lagoon access right from your balcony, outdoor shower, two dedicated private butlers, a private chef, and a housekeeper to keep your island oasis running smoothly.  This dreamland is amongst the bluest skies and turquoise sea. Here, the island comes alive for you.

COMO Cocoa Island - the Maldives

These Dhoni (local fishing boat) inspired villas are set off of the private shores of Kaafu Island in South Male Atoll. They offer you the most beautiful views of the crystal ocean. Each bungalow is connected by a sinuous planked walkway. Built from New Zealand pine with Kajan thatched roofs, each suite has peaked ceilings and glossy teak floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows open to large decks, obscuring the difference between inside and out. Blue and white décor brings the sea, sand and sky into the soul of every villa.

Song Saa - Cambodia

This private island offers luxury, tranquility and a connection with the environment. The villas resemble the beauty of the Cambodian coastline. It’s a place that inhales the time with nature, constructed from local materials, by local hands, and filled with local art and soul. All the villas have a private sundeck with a private plunge pool, a daybed, direct access to the crystal-clear ocean, and an outdoor shower This pristine private beach takes tropical getaway to the next level.

Sandals South Coast - Jamaica

This heart shaped over-the-water bungalow overlooks the Caribbean Sea and delivers complete fascination of the turquoise waters and marine life below. Your private patio is complete with an extended sun deck, outdoor shower, sun loungers, and a bistro set for two. Couples can appreciate the beauty around them from their private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub for two or over-water hammocks. Inside, glass floor panels ensure you can enjoy undersea views any time.

Luxevo Vacations : Through My Eyes

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AS I’M BALANCING THE PLATES ON MY ARMS while walking up to the table to place them in front of the customers, I daydream about what it would be like to feel like I am on a permanent vacation in the sun, relaxing near a beach, and just in a complete state of tranquility. I also think to myself how awesome it would be to be able to use my creative writing ability and English BA degree that I endured four LONG years of college for (you millennials get it.)

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Well, with the power of prayer and A LOT of patience in customer service, I received the most amazing phone call from the voice of an angel.

“Hi Kellie, this is Jenn at Luxēvo Vacations. I was wondering if you were able to come in on Wednesday at 11 am for a job interview for our Lead Copywriter position?”

I thought it was too good to be true. A copy writer position? Writing? Me writing? Duh! Of course, I will be there Wednesday at 11am!

I woke up Wednesday with a little pep in my step. I got ready and looked my best, in my business attire. I had my social media and writing samples portfolio ready and I was on my way.

My commute was only 7 minutes. Such a perk for someone that loves to sleep in… all the time.

I walked into Luxēvo Vacations corporate office with a big smile on my face. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and gave me a tour of their gorgeous, modern office.

I interviewed with Miranda, Derek, and Dustin and it felt so natural. Just people my age, who get it… who get me. We got to know one another, talked about the job position, and just chit chatted. I left that interview feeling confident and with the desire to work there, so bad.

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…well… not even a half hour after I left the interview, Jenn called me up and asked me to come in for a second interview, Tuesday at 10:30 am. Hallelujah! Yes! I will be there!

I worked the rest of the week at my other job and just wanted to be out of the food and beverage industry. Like I actually felt like wanting to tell someone to get their own drink or stop talking and just give me your order… but I didn’t. I contained myself and got the job done.

So, when Tuesday came, I was so excited to get back into their office. I didn’t know my fate, but for some reason it just felt so right to be in that office, surrounded by those people. Yes, those Luxevo people.

Anyway… back to it… I wasn’t even sat down in the seat yet when they offered me the job position. I was ecstatic, but I totally played it cool, like completely casual… I told them I’m giving my resignation to my current job once I leave here and I will start that following Monday.

Back at the restaurant… I was very excited to give my resignation letter to my supervisor. I was moving on to bigger and better things… the start of my career as a Lead Copywriter! I said my goodbyes and never looked back at customer service again.

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….

Fast forward to 3 months later… I am part of the Luxēvo Vacations Team, the Luxēvo family.

This is no ordinary business. This is a place of pure happiness, a place to be yourself and work together as a team, and a place to call home. I never thought in a million years, I would have a job that doesn’t feel like work. I get to do what I love to do; write, write, and write some more, with a group of people that I truly love to be around.

From day 1, I felt like I belong there.

Jenn became my work “Ma.” Being states away from my mom, I miss her. I have my moments where I miss the sound of her Brooklyn accent, her Italian demeanor, and just the way she will critique me with her honest opinion (It’s an Italian family thing). So, when I met Jenn and heard her heavy, New York accent and the way she was so honest and blunt with me. She gave me that motherly, harsh love that I have been missing from my own Mom and it really brought me a sense of comfort (again, it’s an Italian thing.)

Miranda, my birthday twin, trained me to the best of her ability on how to write emails, blogs, social media, marketing templates, etc. We work together and are inseparable. She is my go to when I have any questions. Together, we sound like two hyenas laughing together and once we start, we can’t stop. I’m surprised we haven’t been separated yet… (SHHHH). No but on the real, when work needs to get done, we go into straight professional mode and work, work, work (No Rihanna pun intended).

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Those aren’t the only people I am close with. I have really built a strong relationship with all my crazy co-workers, like Derek, Dustin, Joey, Graham, Henry, Samantha, Rolf, Cole, Burt, Patricia, David, Ashely, Nicole, Michael, and Woofer. We do team building exercises on a daily basis, afterwork outings, and eat snacks together. We are a family, a family that picks on each other all day, and laughs about it in the end. With all of our unique abilities, together, we complete Luxēvo Vacations.

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On May 16, I attend my first FAM trip with them. We are heading to Karisma Resort El Dorado Seaside Suites in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I am beyond excited to be part of this experience. Just the thought of going to a Caribbean Island for work, is everything that I have dreamed of. Combining my love for writing and my love for lying on the beach doing absolutely nothing but focusing on how tan I can get, into one, truly is something that I will forever be thankful for.

Thank you to my team at Luxevo Vacations for welcoming me into your crazy family!

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***HINT*** follow the blog page for more details about the FAM trip!

Top 5 Spas in the Caribbean

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VACATIONS SHOULD CONSIST OF RELAXING, being pampered, and indulging in the local culture. The treatment of luxury. These 5 Caribbean locations have some of the most premier spa locations for a vital tranquil vacation. So, leave all your worries behind, embrace the culture around you, and improve your quality of life.

Naay Spa at Karisma Hotels – Riviera Maya

This spa is inspired by the sun and surf, adhering to the ancient Mayan principles of earth, wind, and fire. It has created a selection of treatments by utilizing ancient healing rituals, filled with oils, aromatic herbs and spices, that restores your inner equilibrium and gives you an opportunity for rebirth. This spiritual trip will lead you to a tranquil state of mind. These all-natural therapies; like hydrotherapies, water journey rituals, body wraps, massages, facials, reflexology, and much more; use pure plant synergies and botanical ingredients to balance the body, mind, and spirit.

St. Lucia Spa at Sugar Beach – St Lucia

This chemical-free, all-natural, Rainforest spa utilizes secrets known from the locals by using the nature of St. Lucia. Bananas, the local pride, to firm, tighten and smooth away wrinkles; coconut to exfoliate; aloe vera to rejuvenate; and rich cocoa butter to heal and hydrate.” Besides massage therapy and facials; some signature treatments also include bamboo massages, hot rock therapies, body wraps, salt scrubs, and holistic treatments, yoga, and water sports.

COMO Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay – Turks and Caicos

COMO Shambhala retreat believes in balance of the body, mind, and spirit. Inspire the soul with a place of beauty. On an overlook pavilion, therapist specialize in Asian-inspired holistic therapies; like massage therapy, reflexology, body care, baths, and facials, return you to a balanced and healthy well-being. With their signature blended massage oils, you will feel calm, stress-relieved, and rejuvenated. Also partake in daily yoga, meditation, pranayama, and pilates.

Laluna Asian Spa at Laluna Resort & Wellness Center – Grenada

This Asian spa utilizes Balinese masseuse eastern techniques for massages; like rolling, kneading, stretching, thumb and palm pressure, and more; improves blood flow, relieves tension, rejuvenates and strengthens the body to heal. This includes facials, body massages, couple’s massages, hand and foot treatments, and more. The main focus is the body and mind. Within this Asian inspired environment, like the organic garden or pavilion; there is yoga, meditation, pilates, and a gym.

Sandy Lane Spa at Sandy Lane Resort – Barbados

This tranquil, Caribbean spa uses Margy’s Monte Carlo and Aromatherapy products. Treatments range from massages, facials, body treatments, hydrotherapy, sauna, and much more. Each suite has its own private garden and hydrotherapy pool. Inpsire to improve your personal health and fitness by partaking in the fitness center, pilates, and yoga.

Hottest Travel Destinations of 2018

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As 2017 came to an end, I think we all took a deep breath and reflected on our triumphs and our tribulations, our leaps and bounds and our missteps, our strengths and our weaknesses; you know, the usual, cliché yearly reflection. After that, we all came up with at least one New Year’s Resolution. Mine? I’m going to live more, take more risks, seek out more adventures, and not always play on the safe side of things. That got me to thinking… Many people say that for their New Year’s Resolution, they want to “travel more”. In honor of that, I’ve compiled the top seven destinations to visit in 2018 and, of course, why.

 

1.

 

When we think of Rome, we normally think of Julius Caesar, the Vatican, and their breathtaking architectural structures, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum. Rome has severely influenced architecture, government, and the arts since its creation; and today, they continue to impress the world with their fashion, cuisine and commerce. However, I promise you will regret it if you don’t visit the Trevi Fountain (hello, it’s in practically every movie that takes place in Rome), the Sistine Chapel (come on, who wouldn’t want bragging rights about seeing Michelangelo’s work with their very own eyes), and the Piazza di Spagna/Spanish Steps (not many want to even utter the word exercise while on vacation, but climbing these steps in spring to the view at the top makes it totally worth it)!

 

2.

 

Of course, we’ve all heard of the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge; but Sydney is so much more than that. They have it all! Between the expansive city, relaxed beach town, and cultural haven, Sydney offers something for everyone! Darling Harbour is Sydney’s waterfront district with the famous SEA LIFE Aquarium, museums, restaurants, and shops, all surrounded by a beautiful marine backdrop. Bondi Beach is famous partly for being less than 15 minutes from Sydney’s city limits and partly for the great surf and even greater coastal scenery. The Rocks, a historic area that was once home to the indigenous Gadigal people, is full of history, personality, quaint cobbled roads, and features a guided nighttime expedition to explore the land (and the ghosts that are rumored to be roaming around). And if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t be able to leave Australia without seeing some Koala Bears and Kangaroos, and that makes Taronga Zoo a must!

 

 

3.

 

The seaside city of Porto, nicknamed the City of Bridges, is a combination of coastal vistas, historic elements, enchanting architecture and iron bridges. While in Porto you must see the Dom Luís I Bridge, which is particularly notorious because the architect was a student of the man who created the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Crystal Palace Gardens show off flourishing flora, twisting paths, and spouting fountains. It is a great place for photo ops that will be sure to make all your friends on social media green with envy (he he, get it?)! If you find yourself in Porto and don’t stop to sample their noteworthy port wine, you might as well not even mention to others you visited this coastal city in the first place. Make a wine tasting appointment at one (or five) wineries for an excursion your taste buds will thank you for later.

 

4.

 

We’ve all seen the episodes of Friends where the gang (minus a very pregnant-with-triplets Phoebe) travels around the globe to London in support of their best friend, Ross, tying the knot. They show your typical tourist attractions (thanks to Joey and Chandler), such as the city bus tour and famous landmark buildings; but there is so much more to London than guards wearing funny, furry hats and tacky, two-floored, red buses. Of course, you must immerse yourself in London’s history by visiting the Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Tower of London. If you’re looking for a birds-eye view of the beautiful and bustling city, the Coca-Cola London Eye is privy to over 55 of London’s most unforgettable landmarks! But when you’re looking to have some excitement separate from architecture, check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London in The Making of Harry Potter (eek!) where you can score a behind-the-scenes tour of Harry Potter, including props, costumes, and sets that are famously fun from the movie. For extra entertainment, check out the London Dungeon, which is a 90 minute attraction that takes it’s company through London’s dark, ancient history in an interactive tour.

 

5.

 

Paris has so much to offer, so to fully appreciate The City of Love or The City of Lights, (depending on who you talk to), that one trip is just not enough time to soak up the true Parisian experience. The iconic staples are a must, such as he Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Versailles Palace. If you’re looking to get a bit of historical education thrown your way, the Musee de Louvre is the way to go; between being considered as one of the paramount art museums in not just Europe, but the whole world, and holding thousands of masterpieces, such as the “Mona Lisa”, it’s no wonder that the Musee de Louvre is known as the most visited museum worldwide! If you want to go a step further in history, visit the Le Marais, which is one of Paris’ oldest sectors, and also home to hidden courtyards, quaint cobblestoned paths, Old-World French architecture, and old-school bakeries and delis. It is also a great place to enjoy lively nightlife, with chic boutiques, popular clubs, and opulent galleries. If you are looking for something a bit less romantic, the Catacombs should be put to the top of your list. 65 feet beneath Paris lays skull-and-boned carved channels that stretch miles in every which way, the Catacombs were created to provide a safe-space for the city’s deceased. This attraction might be a bit pricy, but it is definitely worth it!

 

6.

 

So, for this destination, I may be just a wee bit biased, considering my family is actually from the Amalfi Coast (shout out to the Motondo’s!). But even if I wasn’t repping my heritage, the Amalfi Coast is one of those places that you need to visit before you die. It is rich in Italian history, between its old-world allures, such as their timeworn, brightly-colored homes, their long-standing seaside towns, and its exceptional delicacies, (think of everything you’ve ever ordered in an Italian restaurant and then forget about it, because it doesn’t even compare to what real Italian cuisine is). You will never want to leave. If you’re not looking to break the bank, simple trips to the beach or hikes exploring the stunning hills will do just the trick! Exploring the Amalfi Coast by land is amazing, but it’s like only reading half of a book. In order to gain the whole experience, boat or ferry tours allow you to see unobstructed views of the architecture, diverse landscapes, and colorful architecture that will leave you breathless!

 

7.

 

You can live in New York your entire life and still not see all there is to experience within The City That Never Sleeps. From the Empire State Building to Broadway to the Statue of Liberty to Central Park, it never ends. Before you embark on your journey to The City, if seeing a show on-Broadway is on your bucket list, it would be smart to buy your tickets ahead of time to ensure great seats. You can spend an entire day shopping on Fifth Avenue, or at least perusing your way through the high-end stores, if you’re a shopping fool. Central Park is great if you’re looking to people-watch or get in some (extra) exercise surrounded by lush trees, walking paths, and peek-a-boo views of skyscrapers. If you have little ones (or, okay, I might’ve done this two years ago, but whatever), visiting Toys R Us at Times Square is very exciting, as they have a Ferris wheel inside with everyone’s favorite childhood characters! There are endless amounts of escapades to endure in in New York City.

 

2018 is filled with 365 days destined for adventure. Where will your adventures take you?