All posts tagged: beaches

Beach Hopping in Dominican

To escape the cold winter in Canada, we recently visited the Dominican Republic. We chose Samana as our pied de terre but planned to take several day trips to explore the beautiful beaches nearby. Samana has a lot of great beaches and Playa Rincon was one of my favorites. This beach stretches for kilometres and it’s appeal is the fact that it’s still a virgin beach unspoiled by resorts and commerce. As we walked east, the beach got wider and the white sand cleared of seasonal seaweeds. Waves crush against rocks and the beach ends with an impressive rock which mimics the entry to a cave. Really stunning! We rented a car and drove further east to Las Galeras which also has a good beach. From there we stopped at Playita, a beach that was recommended to us by a Spaniard from Barcelona who made Dominican his home in recent years. This beach is a favorite with locals and it’s memorable because of the coral corridor we had to walk through to reach the open ocean. We had a great walk along the beach from El Portillo where …

The Best and Worst of Paraty

Paraty is a beautiful Brazilian coastal town, a four hour bus ride from the city of Rio. The town is known for its white colonial houses with colorful window trims and doors and uneven cobble stone streets. We arrived in Paraty under torrential rain. Since my boyfriend estimated that our hotel was only 500 meters from the bus terminal we figured we could make a run for it. To begin with, we took a wrong turn and got lost in what seemed to be a street maze. Within a matter of minutes we were drenched. We turned a corner and found ourselves in water half way to our knees, trying to keep our bags above the water. My boyfriend’s havaianas came undone and so there he was, lugging my suitcase, while wearing his backpack, shin deep in water, barefoot. We stopped at a shop and then a pousada (bed & breakfast) to ask for directions. After what seemed like an eternity we found our pousada. The bags were drenched and most of our clothes were …

The Beauty of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is an absolute visual delight. The city has something for everyone from beautiful Ipanema and Copacabana beaches to  breathtaking views of the city from the top of Sugarloaf mountain and Cristo Redentor. The city is humming with life and Brazilians seem to strike a perfect balance between work and play. Rio has an interesting and diverse mix of colonial, modern and even bizarre architecture like the cone shaped Catedral Metropolitana. On the weekends, you can visit the busy street markets of Flamengo and take in the sights and smells of fresh produce. Don’t miss the quaint and quiet neighbourhood of Santa Teresa with its steep cobble stone streets and colourful tiles decorating the street steps. Rest from the climb up on the terrace of Cafe Rustica and enjoy a caipirinha, Brazil’s specialty drink. Colourful graffiti are a trademark of the city of Rio and they enhance the visual experience. You can shelter from the afternoon heat under the beautifully manicured trees of the Botanical Garden or rent a bike and follow the …