There are few places on the planet that sound as wildly exciting and exotic as Guatemala. This land of volcanoes, lakes, pyramids and smiling faces offers more than enough to keep even the most demanding traveller happy and occupied.

The good news is that your excitement will keep on rising the more you read about this incredible Central American country and the tempting places to visit in Guatemala.

courtesy of freeimages.com
courtesy of freeimages.com

Mystical Mayan Pyramids and Temples

Guatemala is an excellent place to explore some ancient Mayan ruins and temples. Some are pretty well preserved while some are slowly losing ground the surrounding jungle.

 

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image courtesy of Dennis Jarvis at Flickr

While some of these structures are relatively easy to get to, others involve jungle treks that add to the adventure and the memorable experience. There is nothing quite like finally reaching a remote Mayan city after a long and tiring journey through stunning natural scenery.

Among the top places to visit in Guatemala in this respect is the white city, known by the name of Zaculeu. The pyramids and ancient Mayan ball court sit in a magnificent setting close to the city of Huehuetenango.

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image courtesy of Guillén Pérez at Flickr

This place was deserted when the Spanish conquistadores starved out the Mayans in 1525, although it was restored to something approaching its former glory in the 20th century as a tourist attraction.

Another terrific choice is Yaxha, which became well-known after being featured on the US Survivor show. This ruined city is close to the Belize border and well-situated for tourists to head out to visit. This is a hugely atmospheric place where you can watch an unforgettable sunset over Lake Yaxha.

courtesy of freeimages.com
courtesy of freeimages.com

Of course, if you have only heard of one Mayan city in Guatemala then it is probably the beautiful ruins at Tikal. This is quite simply one of the most impressive ancient cities you will find anywhere in the world and pretty much a must-see for anyone visiting Guatemala.

courtesy of freeimages.com
courtesy of freeimages.com

Colourful and Laid-Back Antigua

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One of the most exciting places to visit in Guatemala is the colourful colonial city of Antigua. This was once one of the most important cities in the region but is now a laid-back stop for travellers looking to explore this fascinating country.

Antigua was once the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala but recurring natural disasters meant that it was virtually abandoned by the 19th century. These days is has a thriving ex-pat community and is regularly visited by cruise liners and lots of tourists.

There are now few better places in Latin America to feel the history of the place and to do some shopping. If you like taking pictures on your travel then you will also capture some fantastic ones here, with colourful buildings and friendly locals vying for your attention.

Lake Atitlan: The World’s Most Beautiful Lake?

courtesy of freeimages.com
courtesy of freeimages.com

You won’t believe how stunningly pretty this lake is until you get there. In fact, even then you might have to pinch yourself to believe what your eyes are seeing. Some famous visitors have waxed lyrical about the beauty of this lake, and it is easy to see why.

A big Mayan community lives here, living out a traditional way of life. It is also one of the best places to visit in Guatemala for trekking up volcanoes and for visiting quaint little villages. You will really feel as though you are somewhere special when you take a wander round here and look out over the lake.

If you like laid-back places where you can buy trinkets, take life easy and be close to nature then you could easily spend weeks around this lake. There is even a yoga retreat nearby if you want to meditate and reflect on life in one of the most picturesque places you are ever likely to be in.

Flores for Chilling Out

If you are heading over to Tikal then a side trip to the pretty colonial town of Flores is definitely recommended. This is a delightful place that looks fantastic and promises a cool time for you. You can eat in a shore-front restaurant, meet other travellers and soak up a very special atmosphere here.

courtesy of roaming-the-planet at Flickr

As Flores is on an island it is also a fine spot to hire a boat, go swimming or just head to the beach. The welcoming feel to this town means that some travellers also decide to hang around here and learn Spanish or just chill out for a while.

Tikal is only about an hour away by bus, so it is easy to see why so many tourists choose to make Flores their base when they want to see the wonders of this old Mayan city.

courtesy of Wojtek Ogrodowczyk at Flickr

There are many other fine places to visit in Guatemala too, such as the fabulous market town of Chichicastenango. Guatemala might not be a massive country but it is somewhere you can really relax and feel a part of something special.

You can also mix its intriguing history and architecture with shopping, high octane sports and lots and adventure.

When you head to the Emerald Isle there are a few things you will be keen to see and do above all else. Sure, spotting a leprechaun would be nice and you wouldn’t say no to a pint of creamy Guinness but there are some incredible, legendary places to check out too. What about Dunluce Castle in Ireland’s north and other mysterious spots? There are plenty of these places to choose from.

Charming Dunluce Castle in Ireland

This beautiful, ruined castle is in Northern Ireland. If you are ever in this part of the world then you really need to make the effort to head over and see this stunning medieval castle.

The first Dunluce Castle in Ireland was built in the 13th century and since then it has had a long and frankly incredible history. Numerous battles. A shipwrecked Spanish Armada shi. A kitchen that collapsed into the sea. A town around it wiped from the map.  These are just some of the highlights of the Dunluce Castle in Ireland story to date.

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Getting to Dunluce Castle in Ireland

I passed this legendary place while driving the Antrim Coast Road from Belfast past the Giant’s Causeway.  I knew nothing about it and just saw this incredible ruin appear in the most dramatic setting possible – with it’s impossibly steep drops down to the sea. Get ready for some of the best selfies of your life!

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Talkative Blarney Castle

Ever wished that you could talk more freely and eloquently? We Irish call this the “gift of the gab”.  You can supposedly gain this power by kissing the Blarney Stone, housed in Blarney Castle.

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The Blarney Stone is a large block of limestone, built into Blarney Castle, just a few miles away from Cork. It has been here since the mid 15th century.  In that time, millions of tourists from all over the planet have kissed it. In fact, the word “blarney” is now used by many people to mean a way of speaking in a flattering, witty and clever way.

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It used to be that you got held by the ankles and went down head first to kiss the stone but I kissed the Blarney Stone just by holding on to the iron railing and leaning back. Get ready to start talking endlessly as soon as you do this.  I bent every ear I met for days/weeks after, true story.

Spectacular Ross Castle, Ireland

As you are probably starting to see, this lush, green island is crammed full of fascinating and historic castles. Another one of these you will want to take in is Ross Castle in Ireland.

To see this glorious 15th century Irish castle you need to go County Kerry. Here, you will find a lovely looking building this is filled with history and incredible tales.

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For example, it is said that one of the previous owners either jumped or was sucked out of a window and sent to the bottom of the nearby lake along with his horse and books. In fact, he is said to be still live down there, keeping an eye on the place while presumably reading all day long.

Ross Castle, Ireland

Another legendary tale from Ross Castle in Ireland is that people believed that it could never be conquered until a ship attacked it from the lake, which was considered impossible. When a boat was taken to the lake during the Irish Confederate Wars the locals couldn’t believe their eyes and quickly surrendered.

Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Ireland

These days, it is simply a gorgeous castle in a lovely setting in a part of Ireland you really should get to know.

Bunratty Castle, Ireland for a Banquet

One of the great things about these Irish castles is that they each offer something different and unique. With Bunratty Castle, you get to see a beautiful structure in County Clare as well as enjoy a medieval banquet.

Bunratty Castle

One of the most popular castles in Ireland.  One of the main draws is the fun medieval banquet which they have been serving up since the 1960s, coupled with live entertainment.

Singing at Bunratty Castle Traditional Irish Night

Near Bunratty Castle is the equally enchanting Bunratty Folk Park. A living museum showing how locals lived in the past. There is a lot to do, so definitely add it to your list of Irish castles to visit.

Bunratty Castle - Ireland

 

There are even more castles dotted around Ireland than featured here. The more I visit the more I understand this amazing country, its history and timeless legends.

 

Our Top 6 Things to Do in Denmark

Denmark is a highly varied country that offers a lot for tourists of all types to enjoy on a trip here, so here are our top 6 cool and cultural things to do in Denmark. Millions of visitors enjoy this country in the north of Europe every year and there is a lot for them to see and do.

If you want to find exciting things to do in Denmark then it is a good idea to start in Copenhagen before heading out to some of the other cities.

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Things to Do in Denmark 1 – Tivoli Gardens

Possibly the most famous tourism site in Denmark is the fabulous Tivoli Gardens. This is a wonderfully exciting amusement and pleasure park in the capital city of Copenhagen.

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It is the second oldest amusement park in the world and one of the most popular theme parks too. The fact that over 4 million people a year visit it shows that it is one of the top things to do in Denmark for plenty of people.

Among the trademark rides here is the wooden roller coaster known as Rutschebanen. Dating from 1914, it is one of the oldest roller coasters on Earth. The massive Star Flyer is the second tallest carousel in the world, at an exhilarating 80 metres high. Overall, this place will give you a lot of thrills in a unique setting.

Be aware: Gardens are closed October – March every year.

2016 – Open 6 April 2016 – 25 September 2016

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Things to Do in Denmark 2 – The Little Mermaid

Another of the icons of the Danish capital is this enchanting bronze statue. Visitors flock here every day to view the small statue and to take photos of it. You might be surprised to see that it is smaller than you thought .. it is called ‘The Little Mermaid’ for a reason 🙂

The crowds that flock here make it a place where you will rub shoulders with many tourists looking for the perfect photo opportunity.

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Interestingly, the Little Mermaid statue that we see today is actually a copy of the original. During its time on display, the original was targeted by protesters frequently. It was heavily vandalised, rocked by explosives and even had its head and arms sawn off. This led to it being withdrawn and replaced by a copy, one of several that are found throughout the world now.

There has been talk of moving the Little Mermaid slightly out to sea to avoid vandalism. However, it is still (basically) on dry land and receives admiring glances from tourists of all nationalities on a daily basis.

Things to Do in Denmark 3 – Copenhagen

While we have already looked at a couple of the top attractions in Copenhagen, there is more to the Danish capital than Tivoli and the Little Mermaid.

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For example, for a dose of Danish culture you can visit the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. This is the largest collection of national culture in the country and a great place to start to investigate the history of Denmark.

The capital city is home to other places of cultural interest too, such as the Copenhagen Opera House. This is a modern building that is beautifully situated on an island. In fact, the clever positioning of the Opera House means that you can see both Amalienborg Castle and the Marble Church in the distance.

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Another terrific looking building to keep an eye out for here is the stunning Rosenborg Castle. To be fair, the other castles around the city possibly offer more interesting interiors but the Throne Room in Rosenborg Castle is definitely worth taking a look at.

Things to Do in Denmark 4 – Kronborg

While Copenhagen is a fantastic city with a great atmosphere and lots of things to do, there are also many reasons to leave the capital city behind for a day or two. For example, the imposing Royal castle situated at Kronborg is a must-see.

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This historic building overlooks a narrow section of the Øresund, which is the body of water between Denmark and Sweden. This castle has a long and rich history, although most visitors know Kronborg best as being the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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The castle is a UNESCO world heritage site and some of the rooms inside are wonderfully luxurious, making it easily one of the top things to do in Denmark.

Things to Do in Denmark 5 – Aarhus

The homely city of Aarhus is the second biggest settlement in Denmark. It is famous for its port and for its musical history, with some fabulous music festivals held throughout the year. NorthSide and SPOT are a couple of the festivals worth checking out.

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Tourism has begun to boom here in recent years, with it being regarded as a classy, cultural destination. If you are looking for things to do in Denmark away from Copenhagen then this is a fine place to get started.

Things to Do in Denmark 6 – Odense

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After Copenhagen and Aarhus comes Denmark’s third city; Odense. This beautifully maintained city is famous for being the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen. You will see a number of statues and sculptures related to his works throughout Odense.

The medieval cobbled streets and timbered houses make it a place where it easy to feel that you have stepped back in time to one of the master storyteller’s tales. As well as the obligatory visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, you might also want to check out some of the other art, railway and photographic museums in town, before looking for other fantastic things to do in Denmark.

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Our Top 6 Things to Do in Denmark by Robert Bell

Featured Image ‘Man Meets The Sea‘ via – All Flickr images are licensed under CC BY 2.0

This concludes our Top 6 Things to Do in Denmark. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

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Our Top 5 Places To Visit In Houston

Here’s our list of the top 5 places to visit in Houston, the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth largest in the country. There are over 90 different languages spoken in the city, making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Houston is definitely a wonderful place to visit as it has lots of incredible places and fun-filled locations to explore. Residents are friendly and accommodating especially towards strangers. Because it is the South, Houston is home to several lovely entertainment venues to see old country music. Your trip to this wonderful city will be incomplete without visiting any of the under listed tourist attractions.

Places To Visit In Houston
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Our Top Places To Visit In Houston 1 – NASA Johnson Space Center

Renowned for being the city’s most popular attraction, NASA Johnson Space Center is the control center for the space program and the official NASA’s visitor’s site.

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One of the fun filled things to do is “Lunch with an Astronaut”. Take a tour to the historic Mission Control and go through a simulator that will bring back memories of space trips.

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It is a favorite spot among kids and adults alike as there are fun things to do including shopping and eating out in one of the great restaurants.

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Our Top Places To Visit In Houston 2 – Museum of Fine Arts

This is one of the places definitely worth visiting for everyone as it houses a massive collection of great artworks.

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The Museum of Fine Arts features 64,000 artworks from different cultures including Renaissance Art, Expressionist Art and African Tribal Art.

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In a bid to encourage beautiful architectural designs and works among students and locals, a section of the Museum’s building is used to display their artworks. Exhibitions in this section of the museum offers visitors the chance to see the flairs of residents and students in Houston. The museum also houses a magnificent gift shop and beautiful restaurant where visitors can have a taste of delectable meal after the day’s tour.

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Our Top Places To Visit In Houston 3 – Museum of Natural Science

If you are not interested in visiting NASA Johnson Space Center, you can plan a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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There are plenty of things to do and places to see. A section of the museum is dedicated to dinosaurs. Visitors can view a large collection of dinosaurs on display in the museum.

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Other places of interest include the butterfly center, the planetarium and the IMAX theatre where visitors can see a movie.

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Founded in 1909, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is designed to educate people in the area of natural science and other related subjects.

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Places To Visit In Houston
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Our Top Places To Visit In Houston 4 – Houston Zoo

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Houston Zoo is regarded by many as one of the best in the country. Located in downtown Houston, there is plenty to see and do.

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Well organized with lots of wonderful animals, often in natural habitats with great transitions between each section. Be prepared for lots of walking.

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 There are also plenty of little things to entertain kids in between, including the petting zoo and playground, not to mention a great shaded area for those extra hot days.  

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Volunteers are always ready to help and answer questions and give explanations. 

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The addition of gorillas to the zoo in 2015 has been a huge hit as the exhibit is outstanding. The Zoo Lights is fun too.

Houston zoo has plenty for everyone. 

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Cost for adults is about $20. Free entry for younger children. They also give Military discounts, and if you have a Bank of America card, Tuesdays are free for you. 

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Suggestions

Get there early for a number of reasons, including avoiding the downtown traffic, and to ensure getting a parking spot as it can get quite busy.

Bring your own snacks/food/water.

Our Top Places To Visit In Houston 5 – Holocaust Museum Houston

A profound, intense and moving experience. It’s important to never forget what happened.  Very informative, the subject matter is overwhelming at times.  The museum is a local effort and many survivors who lived (and still live) in Houston also share their stories in a movie that is screened. It does a wonderful job of sharing the history and lessons of the Holocaust, but it also does a great job of teaching how everyone of us can make a difference in today’s world, as we keep in mind the lessons learned from history.  Located in the museum district, it is well worth a visit.

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Our Top 5 Places To Visit In Houston – by David John
All Flickr images are licensed under CC BY 2.0

This concludes our Top 5 Places To Visit In Houston. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

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Our Top 5 Coorg Places To Visit

With close proximity to Bangalore, Coorg is a district in Karnataka. It is renowned for being a perfect vacation destination for tourists of all ages. Coorg, sometimes referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’ is also home to the largest number of Buddhists in India.

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Popularly known for its coffee plantations covered with breathtaking greenry, Coorg is one of the best destinations in the world to find an incredible collection of flora and fauna, amazing waterfalls and stunning landscape that would captivate anyone. Take a look below for a list of some the best places worth visiting whenever you’re planning your next trip to Coorg.

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Coorg places to visit
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Coorg places to visit
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Book a Tour of Coorg

Coorg Places To Visit 1 – Tadiandamol Trek

Well-known for being the second highest peak in the world, Tadiandamol is an incredible place to visit especially for trekkers.

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Located in the Western Ghats, this incredible attraction offers a lot of remarkable delights.

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There are lots of places to visit here including the Nalaknad Palace which is mostly used by hikers as a base camp.

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Another interesting place to see is the bee-keeping centre where a large number of bees is maintained.

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More Information

Coorg Places To Visit 2 – Mallalli Falls

Situated at the base of Pushpagiri Hill Ranges, Mallalli Falls draw a large number of tourists annually. With a depth of over 200 feet, the Mallalli Falls is a beautiful place to see waters flowing down and battering against rocks and stones. The best time of the year to visit, to see the impressive swell of water is during the monsoon season (June-September). The sound and views of the thrashing water is exhilarating.

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Coorg Places To Visit 3 – Barapole River

Regarded as the perfect placing for rafting activities, the Barapole River offers one of the country’s finest white water rafting experiences.

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Scenic delights, breathtaking views, relaxed environment and serenity all makes Barapole River a top destination among locals and tourists alike.

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It is also an ideal place to enjoy a wide variety of water sports including sailing and swimming.

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Coorg Places To Visit 4 – Dubare Reserve Forest & Elephant Camp

Regarded as one of the most visited attractions for tourists all over the world, Dubare Reserve Forest & Elephant Camp is home to a massive number of well-trained elephants.

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If you’d like to learn more about the lifestyle and psychology of Elephants, then a visit to this incredible attraction is a must.

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It is also a popular destination for bird watching

Coorg Places To Visit 5 – Nagarhole National Park

Of all the tourist places in Coorg, Nagarhole National Park is one of the most popular.

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For those interested in wildlife, it is highly recommended to visit this place.

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There are various species of birds and animals here. The best time of the year to visit is from April to May or November to February.

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Our Top 5 Coorg Places To Visit – by David John
Featured image via – All Flickr images are licensed under CC BY 2.0

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This concludes our Top 5 Coorg Places To Visit. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

Coorg places to visit
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