Cuba – New frontier for travel companies

[vc_row full_width=”” full_height_row=”” parallax=”” wide_row=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][imageeffect image=”1023″ titleoverlay=”” lightbox=”” target=”_self”][vc_column_text]Now that Cuba is opening up for American travelers (almost !), the travel industry is planning a major expansion to cater to a large number of tourists visiting the island. Airlines, Cruise lines and agents are getting ready to handle visitors under the new rules which allow “purposeful” trips like humanatarian or educational missions. However most agencies are preparing for the open travel, which they beleive would be in the near future.

Carnival cruises said in a statement that it will begin cruises to the island next May for cultural exchanges.

Cuba already ranks as the second-largest tourist destination in the Caribbean and could become the number one if American travel is completely opened up. As per most estimates, Americans already account for one in six of Cuba’s 3 million visitors (Mostly Cuban-Americans visiting family). Once the travel policies/regulations are cleared, that number is expected to increase by 1.5 to 2 million.

Contingent on Cuban government approval, Carnival plans weeklong trips from Miami every other week starting in May on a 710-passenger ship ( fathom) which specializes in “social-impact travel” such as volunteering & cultural exchange.[/vc_column_text][imageeffect image=”1024″ titleoverlay=”” lightbox=”” target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Vacation rental search engine startup tripping.com funded 16 million

[vc_row full_width=”” full_height_row=”” parallax=”” wide_row=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][imageeffect image=”1020″ titleoverlay=”” lightbox=”” target=”_self”][vc_column_text]Tripping.com has received 16 Million investment from multiple investors including Steadfast Venture Capital and Enspire Capital. Enspire is based out of Singapore. Tripping can be considered as a vacation rental search engine, which operates through partnership with other booking websites like hipmunk, goseek, tripadvisor etc. Unlike Airbnb, Tripping’s role is limited to searching for a great deal; it doesn’t get involved in rental management.Those arrangments are handled by it’s partners on a commission basis.

CEO Jen O’Neal describes the company as “the first vacation rental search engine” working in partnership with worldwide agencies and has the entire range from budget rentals to luxury mansions.

Tripping has over five million listings in over 100,000 cities. The search filters are comprehensive – so it’s easy to narrow down on a property based on location, rates, amenities like Wifi, AC etc.

As of July 2015, the company has raised over $21 million USD.

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Thrilling Zip Line – 1 mile long and 80 stories high

[vc_row full_width=”” full_height_row=”” parallax=”” wide_row=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” full_height_row=”” parallax=”” wide_row=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][imageeffect image=”1015″ titleoverlay=”” lightbox=”” target=”_self”][vc_column_text]Get ready for an amazing, gravity defying zipline experience. Diamante Eco Adventure Park is launching the biggest and Longest Dual Action Ocean View Zip Line in Costa Rica.

Designed by the leading Adventure Playground, this zip line has the state of the art carbon fiber technology, delivering a safe and thrilling experience. This zip line is nearly a mile long and almost 80 stories high !

The interesting thing with this ride is that it is dual-line – so, two people can try it out simultaneously.

Situated between two mountain peaks, this zip line provides an awesome view of the jungle on one side and the blue ocean on the other.

Situated along Matapalo Beach in Guanacaste, the park is basically a one-stop shop for all things adventure in Costa Rica.

In addition to this, the other attractions include a climbing wall and a 30-foot Tarzan Swing.

After all that adventure, you can replenish the batteries with a grand buffet ( $14).

Directions & Information :

1-800 464 5554
info@diamanteadventure.com
Matapalo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Virgin Islands Map – St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Tortola, Virgin gorda

A detailed map of the Virgin Islands is given below. Both the US and British side of the islands is covered. The United States Virgin Islands includes St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Water Island. The British Virgin Islands is an overseas territory of the UK and is made up of Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke,Tortola and Anegada.  The Spanish Virgin Islands of Culebra and Vieques are part of Puerto Rico. The official currency of the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the Spanish/Puerto Rican Virgin Islands is the US dollar. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy and the islands get nearly two million visitors a year. A large number of cruise ships stop here. The islands are served by two airports – STT and STX. Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) is located on the island of St.Croix and Cyril E. King Airport ( STT) is on St. Thomas island.

 Virgin Islands Map

Virgin Islands Map - st. john, st. croix, tortola
Virgin Islands Map
Virgin Islands Map
US and British Virgin Islands Map

Best Virgin Islands beaches – Most popular caribbean beaches

The US Virgin Islands are world famous for their fine white sand, sun and wind swept pristine beaches.
Unlike the rocky beaches of some other caribbean islands (which are essentialy volcanic formations that heats up quite a bit by afternoon ), the fine white sand of Virgin Island beaches provide a cooling comfort. Except for Magens bay in St. Thomas, all beaches are free for public.

virgin islands - st. thomas beach
Virgin Islands Beach  ( credit : Flickr / Jenn Kahalau Photography)

 

Here is a list of most popular beaches in Virgin Islands :

Magens Bay Beach (St. Thomas): Spread across almost half mile of white sand along calm seas, this is one of the most beautiful beaches. This is a great place for swimming. Occassionaly, it gets really crowded.

Trunk Bay (St. John): Almost all cruise ships make a stop here and it is one of the best spots for underwater snorkeling. This beach is managed by US national park service.

Sandy Point (St. Croix): This is the largest beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, famous for its calm, shallow waters. This beach is open during Saturdays and Sundays only ( hours : 9am -5 pm).

Cane Garden Bay (Tortola):  It is one of most beautiful, picturesque beaches in the world with its clear water and white sands. It’s easily accessible from RoadTown.

Sapphire Beach (St. Thomas): An awesome beach, famous for windsurfing, diving etc and a panoramic view of other islands.

Caneel Bay (St. John): Caneel Bay is famous for its resort (Rosewood hotels) and beautiful beaches. It’s actually a chain of seven beaches going all the way from Durloe point to Hawksnest.

Check out the overview map of Virgin Islands here.