Travel

Montezuma Castle – A Captivating Cliff Dwelling in Arizona

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Montezuma Castle is one of Arizona’s many historical treasures - it’s a captivating cliff dwelling located about 1.5 hours north of Phoenix in Cape Verde.

Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Montezuma Castle is one of Arizona’s many historical treasures - it’s a domicile that will captivate you with age old design that has stood the test of time. When one thinks of construction, longevity, or the home-flipping craze…few could withstand the ages of 900+ years. That is an investment unlike any other in Real Estate I have come across. We are not talking about a home to hand down to your children, or to their children, or their children’s children. This is a home built for the ages.

 

Travel video shared by Mikes Road Trip
www.mikesroadtrip.com

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34° 36' 41.742" N, 111° 50' 5.9424" W

Taking Your 4×4 on the Wild Side

They say that the Land Rover was so adept at traveling over rugged landscapes, that it was the first car seen by people in outwardly corners of the world out of touch with the rest of civilization.

Many of us have 4x4s but rarely do we take them off the road and onto the dirt. If you have a 4x4 and do not venture off road then you are really missing out. I mean just look at all the fun that Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear got with some sturdy 4x4s; he took one right up a mountain side all the way up to the top! That beats driving on a smooth road any day.

Going off-road is fun but it is challenging, especially for first-timers. However if you are aware of the basic questions and their answers the task becomes a lot less hassle free.

 

1. Understand your 4x4’s features

A 4x4 is quite different from an ordinary car for it is made to do extraordinary stuff. There are some features that help you go the extra mile.

Traction Control

Most modern 4x4s will have some level of traction control. Some will have a simple on or off setting for traction control, while others built for a more rugged expedition might have a complex system with multiple options for different traction situations.

No matter how complicated or easy the system, what traction control does is that it tells your onboard computer to keep an eye on the wheels spin and then brake accordingly to keep the vehicle moving forward.

You should read your vehicles owner’s manual and truly understand how your traction control works and its settings if any.

 

Locking Differentials

What a locking differential in simplest terms is, is that it allows the wheels of the car to rotate at slightly different speeds when needed (when making a turn).  For example, one wheel comes in contact with snow or mud or in a case where one wheel is not in contact with the ground. This feature is very important when going off road.

In the really old 4x4s you had to achieve this manually, but in the most new ones you can do it by just pushing a button. So if you haven’t gotten a 4x4 yet, keep this in mind. And if you have an old 4x4, then you should learn how to manually lock the hubs, a necessity before you venture on your off-road adventure.

 

2. What special equipment do you need?

Tires

Just like in the olden days horses would be given the best horseshoes before an expedition, your 4x4 needs a good set of tires to brave the surfaces and terrains you shall come across on your adventure.

The importance of a good set of tires cannot be overstated. No matter how good your 4x4 is, no matter the state of the art brakes it has or other features, they are all of naught if not combined with good tires. Good tires can make the difference between having a great off-road adventure and being involved in a terrible tragedy!

Before you go off-road you should talk to your local tire experts to understand which tires would be best for the terrain you are about to conquer.

 

Suspension

Think of your 4x4 as a reliable beast. So do not mess with its core factory features in a bid to “glorify” it. Stay away from the cheap body lift kit.

Your 4x4’s shock absorber is the most important thing when it comes to ensuring your car survives the abuse that off-roading brings with it. And it also ensures that all that abuse is not transferred to you, thus saving your back from a lot of pain.

What a cheap body lift kit do is simple put your car body on stilts and get you a bit more ground clearance. If you really want proper increase in height go to your local mechanic and talk about a suspension lift.

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More Than Manhattan: An Insider’s Guide to the Rest of NYC

Most people who visit New York City stay in Manhattan, but there are so many more exciting things to do and see in the four other boroughs!

Don't keep your experience limited to one area. We, as a sightseeing company, have put together a list of the must-see things in the other four boroughs of New York City.

 

The Four Other Boroughs of New York City

Queens

Citi Field is home to the New York Mets, and it allows you and your family to enjoy an exciting game or concert.

After the game, you can go to The Queens County Farm Museum to learn about the farming process, farm equipment, and farm animals without leaving the city!

For the movie lover in your group, Queens is also home to the Museum of Moving Image. There are plenty of exhibits to enjoy, and the entire experience is quite interactive. You can even create your own animated short!

 

Brooklyn

Brooklyn is home to Coney Island, which is a fun place for the entire family. There's plenty of food, rides, games, and a boardwalk. The best part of Coney Island, though, is the New York Aquarium which boasts some amazing performances from its marine animals.

Brooklyn is also ideal for fashionistas. Many people are saying that Brooklyn is becoming the best place to experience up and coming designers.

You can even find some treasure at a discount at Brooklyn Flea, which is one of the best flea markets in the world.

While in the area, cross the Brooklyn Bridge to experience one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. It's even a great place to go for a jog and get some exercise!

 

Bronx

The Bronx is known for the Bronx Zoo. It offers the largest zoo in a city that can seem to be made out of nothing but skyscrapers. They have over 6,000 animal species from all over the world, and your only problem will be leaving in time to experience the rest that the Bronx has to offer.

If you want to visit something more historical, you can even visit Edgar Allen Poe's home. He wrote his famous poem Annabelle Lee in this house many years ago, and he lived there until his untimely death.

Finally, the Bronx is home to the Yankee Stadium. Whether you're a Mets fan or a Yankees fan, you will enjoy the iconic stadium, and you can get a hot dog while you're at the park.

 

Staten Island

Staten Island is very proud of their Italian heritage, and you can learn more by visiting the Geribaldi-Meucci Museum. You can also experience some great Italian cuisine and pizza in the area.

There is plenty of other history in Staten Island as well. You can visit the Conference House Park where leaders came together to negotiate the end of the Revolutionary War. You'll also be able to get a great view of the Statue of Liberty if you take the famous Staten Island Ferry.

 

New York City is a lot more than simply Manhattan. You're missing out if you don't make it to these wonderful locations as well!

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Memorable Places To Visit In Tibet

Traveling to different destinations around the world is a great passion for many enthusiasts.

There are many people that like to travel on a regular basis. The interests of passionate travelers may vary. Some enthusiasts would be interested to be closer to nature; some people might be interested to understand different cultures in different parts of the world; some people might be interested in historical monuments and some enthusiast travelers would be interested to enjoy adventurous activities such as trekking in the hilly forest areas and much more.

In this article we talk about visiting Tibet- considered by many as the ‘rooftop of the world’.

 

All About Tibet

The Tibetan Autonomous Region

Tibet is the autonomous region governed by the People’s Republic of China since the last seven decades. This region is famous for various specialties that travelers around the world might expect.

The region is known for a blend of Buddhist and ancient Chinese culture. The aspirants can reserve their vacations online to have a wonderful and memorable trip to this naturally beautiful region with its unique cultural heritage.

 

Legal Formailities Regarding Traveling to Tibet:

Tibet is located in the south western part of China. This region shares the borders with India, Nepal & Bhutan. This area falls to the north of Himalaya mountain ranges. In fact some parts of Tibet are included in this widespread mountain range that includes the highest peaks in the world. The most common entrance to this region would be through Nepal.

A Tibet Travel Permit could be arranged by the online travel agency after subsequent procedure in the embassy. The travelers to Tibet need to acquire prior permission in terms of a Chinese Visa before they enter the region for security reasons. When they book their spots in the tours they are supposed to provide copies of necessary documents to get the permit; and the travel agency would take care of different formalities.

Aspirants can Travel To Tibet  From Nepal through various modes of transport available. The Chinese Visa would be arranged at Kathmandu and the groups can also get the travel permits as well at Kathmandu.

The Tibetan region comprises the hilly areas of the Himalayan range. This is known as the roof of the world as the lowest level of land in Tibet would be about 4,000 meters above sea level.

 

Important Places to Visit in Tibet:

Lhasa is considered the capital of Tibet since historical times. This place hosts various historical monuments, temples and Buddhist meditation centers as well. Jokhang temple, Potato palace and thousand Buddhas rock carvings are some of the important tourist places in this beautiful ancient city. This is a cultural center as well.

Aspirant tourists can plan their trips in groups and also private tours to some of the best places to visit in Tibet. Apart from Lhasa and surrounding suburbs there are many other fascinating places where tourists can enjoy the Tibetan Buddhist culture and footprints of the monarchy in this region and also the modern day developments through the Chinese governments. The legitimate online travel agencies also arrange trekking tours for enthusiasts that like to spend long hours walking through the forests and hills.

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Things to Know When Traveling in Africa

Africa is a continent with 54 countries waiting for you to visit, explore and enjoy.

With a variety of things to do and sights to see, wherever you go, will be an eventful and cherished experience. Even those who live in Africa continue to be inspired and encouraged to explore, not only the rest of the continent, but their own countries as well. With all there is on offer, even the locals can feel like tourists in their home country.

 

So, Here’s What You Need to Know When You Decide to Travel Around Africa: 

Where You Want to Visit:

It’s already been mentioned that there is so much on offer here in Africa and you need to know what you want to experience to know where you want to be. You also need to keep each country’s weather conditions and seasons in mind when it comes to which time of year you’ll be traveling.

  • Beaches: If you want to experience some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa, then you’ll want to plan a trip to Mozambique, Zanzibar, Kenya, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Tunisia. There are more countries in Africa with beautiful beaches, but these are among the best.

  • Adventure: For an adventurous and adrenaline-packed holiday in Africa, head over to Tanzania, Zambia and, most of all, South Africa. South Africa can offer you mountain climbing, highest bungee jumping in the world, zip lining and other adventure-filled activities.  

  • Safari: Many countries in Africa can fulfil your African safari dream. For some of the best safari experiences, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Tanzania and Namibia are the countries to be in.

  • Mountains: If you’re looking for an active holiday with mountain climbing and hiking trails, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Morocco have beautiful mountain ranges for you to explore.  

  • Desert lands: Some people are attracted to the idea of getting lost in a desert and Africa can offer them that opportunity. For a desert getaway in Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Morocco, Egypt and Libya are ready and waiting for you.

 

Cultural Diversity

One cannot, exactly, prepare for the cultural aspects of the African people. This is because each country has their own culture and in some countries, the different areas of one country will have a variety of cultures as well.

Each African tribe, ethnic group and community across the continent have their own traditions and rituals based on how they’ve grown up. There are opportunities in many African countries for foreigners to live with a tribe and experience what it’s like first-hand. It’s a great and unique way to experience some of Africa’s cultures. In general, you’ll find African people to be respectful, friendly and happy.

 

Currency Matters

Every country has their own currency, so it’s important to know where you’re going and arrange your cash accordingly. You don’t want to be stuck without money or not be able to use your bank card, so make sure you’re prepared.

Many Southern African countries have ATM facilities, but always be safe and keep some cash on you at all times. Make sure you have enough with you for your day’s activities. It is also expected in many African countries to tip your car guards, waitrons and tour guides.

 

Prepare Your Body

Some countries in Africa will require you to get your yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, cholera and influenza vaccinations, so be sure to sort that out before you leave. Then, there are many countries where malaria is found in Africa so it’s important to know if you need to take preventative tablets or not. Some of the high-risk malaria areas include:

  • Angola

  • Burundi

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Ethiopia

  • Ghana

  • Ivory Coast

  • Kenya

  • Liberia

  • Mali

  • Mozambique

  • Nigeria

  • Togo

  • Uganda

  • United Republic of Tanzania

But don’t let the fear of malaria stop you from visiting these beautiful countries. If you take the prescribed medication and use mosquito repellent, you’ll be more than fine. Also, keep an eye out for any symptoms and react accordingly in the event you do contract malaria. Most of the statistics and cases of malaria are due to people being unaware or oblivious to the risk factors. Having read this, you are aware and know what needs to be done to prevent infection.

 

Traditional Foods

One of the best parts of visiting any new country is getting the opportunity to taste their traditional foods. Many of the traditional African foods are related to the different cultures and also the availability of ingredients in and around the land.

  • South Africa: Shisa nyama (pap en vleis) is a staple meal of meat and maize porridge. Bunny chow is hot curry in a hollowed out half-loaf of bread. And breyani is rice, meat, lentils and spices traditional to the Cape Malay cuisine.

  • Nigeria: The Nigerians are known for their jollof rice, comprising of rice, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Fufu is another dish the Nigerian people have that is a starch dough-like ball usually served with hot soup.

  • Zimbabwe: Kapenta is a type of sardine that can be served with maize porridge or made into a stew.

  • Malawi: Chambo is a traditional Malawian fish and chips meal made from the chambo fish found in Lake Malawi.

These are only a handful of traditional foods you’ll find in Africa. Others include muamba, irio, koshari, b’stilla and urojo. But that’s still only the tip of the iceberg.

 

Now you have everything you need to enjoy your “This is Africa” experience.

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Essential Things For Your Next Adventurous Trip

Summer is on its way, and all enthusiastic travelers have already planned where they wish to spend quality time this vacation.

Numerous people often consider a trip without adequate planning, which sometimes results in a glitch during their trip. One needs to precisely plan the gear and accessories required during the trekking or adventurous road trip.

For those who prefer an adventurous trip, you need to ensure that you don’t forget the essential stuff while packing your bags!

Here’s a handy list of what we consider the essentials, for an adventure trip.

 

Essentials for an Adventure Trip

Sleeping Bag

You won’t be able to manage a comfy bed to augment your sleep during your hiking trip!

However, it is always a rewarding decision to carry a foldable mattress that can be utilized for sleeping comfortably when you are at a place where you can’t arrange a hotel room.

Make sure you pick the right mattress that can be easily folded and packed with your luggage so that you need not face any glitch in carrying such heavy stuff.

 

Windproof Jackets

What if you are planning a trip to a place with extreme weather conditions, and you forgot your warm clothes? Well, we need to initially emphasize the fact that nothing can shield you from icy winds like a windproof jacket!

Furthermore, you need to consider a jacket that can fence wind as well as ensures adequate comfort. It is always a brilliant idea to prefer a jacket that can cover most of your body and ensures adequate barricading wind.

 

First-Aid Kit

Another thing that most travelers usually ignore is the first-aid kit. It is obvious that your adventurous trip would be full of ventures that may result in some injury.

If you forget your first-aid kit, it is crucial to contact your Adventure Travel agency to arrange a kit for your trip so that you don’t have to rely on a medical help during any mishap.

 

High-Quality Flashlight

Your flashlight is your best companion whenever you are on an adventurous trip to hilly areas. For instance, Himalaya trekking tours require the adequate arrangement for flashlights that can illumiate the path during the night.

Make sure you purchase a good quality flashlight that can be relied on during extreme weather conditions. Always prefer a quality product having adequate illumination range.

 

Waterproof Bag

No one would ever like to ruin their clothes and other belongings just because they lack a waterproof bag during their adventurous trip. It is necessary to purchase a tough bag that repels water and prevents your stuff from rain.

It would be a brilliant idea to purchase a bag that is rainproof as well as waterproof so that it can save your belongings from sudden water spill.

 

Navigation Device

Imagine a situation when your paper map isn’t providing you with an idea regarding the location? Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Well, you need to carry a promising navigation device that can show you accurate results.

Some mobile networks won’t work in some tropical areas, and thus; you need to emphasize on satellite navigation devices.

 

These are just some essential items one should never miss carrying during an outdoor adventure trip.

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Popular Attractions and the Best Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong, with its magnificent skyline attracts travelers from across the world.

This destination pleases everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. Whether you’re on a honeymoon or solo traveling, Hong Kong will welcome you with open arms.

Thanks to its numerous entertainment parks, nature hideouts and a grand shopping scenario there is never a dearth of attractions for someone visiting Hong Kong.

 

Places to Visit in Hong Kong

Victoria’s Peak

A pride for Hong Kong tourism, this is the highest point of Hong Kong, which means this is the perfect place for breathtaking views of the city’s glittering skyline.

But the view isn’t the only attraction here, there are a number of other sightseeing attractions of Hong Kong which  can be visited here, such as Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sky Terrace 428 and Peak Tower.

In order to reach the top, you’ll have to take the iconic red Peak Tram; you’ll realize that the journey to the destination is equally beautiful.

 

Ocean Park

Yet another entertainment spot for all ages, Ocean Park, as the name suggests, is a marine-themed park. Right from water rides to interactive displays and shows, Ocean Park will leave you wanting for more.

 

Symphony of Lights

To escalate the charm of Hong Kong’s bewitching skyline, Symphony of Lights was introduced. The show takes place everyday at 8pm, the lights emit from 40 skyscrapers. There are 5 different themes, complemented with music, making it ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’.

 

Disneyland

Disneyland is one of world’s most sought after paradise hot-spots after all!

And when in Hong Kong there is no question of missing this one, regardless of your age.

Spend the day enjoying various Disney-themed rides, dance or interact with your favorite cartoon character or simply sit back and witness happening events organized here frequently. If you are a shopaholic, you’ll find lots of cute merchandise to take home.

 

Beside the mentioned attractions, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Wet Land Park, Lantau Island through the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Lan Kwai Fong, Big Buddha, Avenue of Stars and Tai O Fishing Village must be on your priority list before you leave.

 

Best Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a year-round destination, which means you can go there anytime and enjoy your time there. Weather-wise, Hong Kong has hot summers and cool winters.

If you ask the best time to visit Hong Kong, then the answer would be, March-April and October-November. During the mentioned months, the weather stays pleasant for sightseeing and activities.

For someone asking about the time Hong Kong is not recommended, then May - September and June-August would be the pick. During the latter period it gets too hot, and May to September is the time when typhoons are expected.

If you are a culture-vulture, then visit Hong Kong between December and February. The weather is coldest, but the temperature get around 10 degrees celsius. You’ll get to witness the vibrant celebration of Chinese New Year. However, please note, you may come across shops that are closed.  

Hope this quick guide comes as a rescue for you! Don’t forget to bookmark this page for quick access.

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Tips to Upgrade your Travel Experience

There are numerous ways to see the world, so why not travel exactly the way you want?

The best part of traveling is to get the best and most fantastic experience a traveler could ever have.

 

So, here are some tips on how to upgrade your travel experience to the best so far.

Plan ahead of time

One of the most expensive mistakes some travelers make is not booking their travel far enough in advance. This is necessary to avoid booking from luxury hotels and resorts online. When you book your vacation earlier, there can be  deals for available cheaper hotels, less expensive airfare, accommodation promos, and even complimentary services like the spa with yielding discounts.

Include in your plan not to travel during peak holiday seasons. Instead, aim to travel during a low season where resorts and hotels are most likely available. If you travel during the holidays, planning ahead becomes even more crucial.

 

Travel with tech

There are so many products out there designed to make your travel experience as comfortable and convenient as possible. Whether you are planning to go on an underwater experience, there are high definition cameras that’ll surely capture your breathtaking underwater escapade. Waterproof phones with cases are a great investment to upgrade with. You can find new angles to elevate your photography with these new technologies. Drone travel videos have been around for years now. Experience capturing sky-high photos with drones for the more exciting travel adventure. Bring with you these technologies to document your travel and leave memories to share.

 

Arrive and travel in style

Gone are those days of arriving at any hotel or resort looking haggard and messy because the travel journey didn’t go according to plan. Your plan is to go on a wonderful trip, not to look like a scrawny guy on a stinky shirt. Be fashionable as always. Be stylish as you can be. Nowadays, people like to travel in style by booking luxury transportation such as an executive chauffeur driven limo service to take them to the airport. It’s a good start to make an impression. If you want to look beautiful and elegant in your photos, it is all about the way how you make it and how you bring it to the next level.

 

Upgrade your bag

Getting the most out of your travel experience can be as simple as having your luggage under control. Whether you’re an extravagant traveler or a shoestring backpacker, the importance of your bag is paramount. Why not spend your extra savings on upgrading that road-worn and threadbare pack of yours to a secure and comfortable item for your extravaganza adventure?

You can use theft-proof luggage. It includes features like blocking pockets and interlocking zips so you can travel confidently with your electronics. It’s the easiest way to ensure and start a smooth travel.

 

Be nice and supersize yourself

Be genuinely polite and go out of your way to be helpful. Travelling allows you to meet new people with different personalities. This goes with how you get along and deal with them. Be nice and kind because it pays you back. Always bring with you the power smile. It changes everything. It is a well-made investment to get the ultimate travel experience you want. While on a travel, engage yourself to others and do not forget to enjoy because it’s the least you get. Document your travel for memories. Travel more, even if it’s a couple of hours away.

 

A friendly reminder, don’t only listen to travel ‘experts’ – always follow your gut and your heart. With that, you’ll have the most amazing travel experience more than the beautiful places and wonderful views could ever give.

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Most Visited Destinations in India

With its rich history, along with its cultural and geographical diversity, India is an international tourism destination with large and diverse appeal.

However, this amazing nation too has some special places and destinations which attract most of the tourists.

In the following article, we have listed some of the most visited tourist destinations of India which you may choose from or all, while visiting India.

 

Most visited destinations in India

Agra

A major historical city in northern India, Agra is counted as the most visited city of India because of the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This white domed marble mausoleum has an epic love story behind it, the love of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is the prime attraction for tourists from India and around the world. Apart from the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s tomb, Sikandra Fort, Ram Bagh and Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary are some of the popular tourist attractions in Agra.

 

Kashmir

Quoted as “the Paradise on Earth” by many philosophers and scholars, for its spellbinding beauty, Kashmir is a very famous tourist destination of India. Its blissful scenic beauty, lush green valleys, snow clad peaks, cascading waterfalls, Alpine villages, tranquil lakes and flower gardens makes it an ideal destination for holiday, honeymoon or rejuvenating sights. Be it winter, spring, summer or autumn, every season of Kashmir is a celebration in itself and brings a shade of joy in every sense. Some of the popular things to enjoy here are the Shikara ride on the serene Dal Lake and staying on a houseboat. Srinagar, Gulmarg, Nagin Lake, Sonmarg, Shankaracharya shrine, Pari Mahal and Pahalgam are some of the popular attractions of Kashmir which one must pay a visit to.

 

Goa

The smallest state of India, but the most famous and fun-filled destination of India is Goa. This beautiful state is world-known for its exotic sun-kissed beaches with incredible sunset views, coconut palms, golden sand and friendly people. If you are looking for a destination to have an awesome time, then Goa is the answer to all your queries. Scrumptious seafood, adrenaline rushing water sports like, windsurfing, water-skiing, banana boat rides and parasailing - just some of the exciting things you must try when in Goa.

Aguada Fort, Ancestral Goa Museum, Chapora Fort, Arvalem Waterfalls, Dudhsagar, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa and Dona Paula are some of the popular tourist attractions of Goa.

 

Jaipur

Located in the royal land of Rajasthan, Jaipur the pink city of India is another famous tourist destination of India. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and is the nucleus that gives you an insight of Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage, customs and traditions. Some of the popular tourist attractions of Jaipur city such as Hawa Mahal (or Palace of Winds), City Palace, Amer Fort (Amber Fort), Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal and Albert Hall Museum etc.

 

Mussoorie

Mussoorie is famed to present its travellers a true fairy land. It is considered as the Queen of hill stations in India. The town has been made immortal by its being the background for many of Ruskin Bond’s tales. The panoramic views of the Doon valley hill station are sure to enchant anyone.

It is considered as the gateway towards Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines. The hill station has so much more to offer than mere sightseeing, but still a walk along its many contours is still the favourite thing for most people to do in Mussoorie. One can indulge in many adventure activities too while at Mussoorie.

 

Apart from the above mentioned destinations, Ajanta Ellora, Mysore, Darjeeling and God’s Own Country – Kerala, are some of the most visited places in India.

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The Valley of Waterfalls

There are several regions throughout the world that would certainly qualify as valley of waterfalls.

Yosemite Valley in California, Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland and the area around Milford Sound in New Zealand are well known examples. For obvious reasons however, these places also tend to be a bit crowded - especially during the high season.

For those who’d like to avoid the crowds and still enjoy breathtaking waterfalls, there is an alternative. In Peru’s Bongará Province, an area just about the size of Rhode Island, you can find some of world’s highest and most stunning waterfalls within a few kilometers of each other. Here you’ll not only find very high waterfalls like Gocta Falls or Yumbilla Falls but also hidden gems of smaller waterfalls like Chinata Falls, Aspachaca Falls or Lindapa Falls.

In addition the waterfalls and many hiking trails, this region offers a great scenario for birdwatchers. The Andean Cock-of-the-rocks and the Spatuletail Hummingbird are just two of the many exotic birds that can be found in the cloud forests surrounding these waterfalls.

The visit to each waterfall requires a hike through the mountainous jungle of North Peru – some relatively short and easy, others quite long and strenuous. The hike to Gocta Falls can be done (partly) on horse but generally, this area is suitable for people who like to hike, enjoy nature and possess a good level of fitness.

 

Gocta Falls: The Classic

Out of all waterfalls in Bongará Province, this is the most famous one. This two-tiered waterfall is 771m high and can be observed from several vantage points in the region.

It was from one of those vantage points that German national Stefan Zimmendorf first noticed it in 2006. He didn’t actually discover it – it had always been known to locals – but rather made it known to a wider, even worldwide audience. He was one of the driving forces behind the measuring of Gocta Falls that eventually led to its registration as one of world’s highest waterfalls and to the touristic development of the valley and waterfall.

Today, you can visit this breathtaking waterfall through a 5km hike from either Cocachimba or San Pablo de Valera. Both starting points will get you to the waterfall but each route will lead you to a different finishing point. If you start in Cocachimba, your path will follow a trail on the right side of the valley and bring you to the bottom of the second and taller drop of the waterfall (540m). If you start in San Pablo, you’ll follow a trail high up on the left side of the valley and finish your hike at the bottom of the first and smaller drop (231m). Needless to say, the views of the valley and Gocta Falls are spectacular from both hiking trails.

The 10km return trip may seem like an easy hike but the many turns of the paths and constant ups and downs make it quite strenuous. You are well advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring enough water and snacks to last you through this 5hr hike. For those not so good on their feet, there are horses with guides for hire at both locations that will bring you at least part of the way. If you choose so, you can also hire a local guide for orientation and more information. The entrance fee for either trail is 10 Soles per person.

 

Yumbilla: The Other

Although not as famous and as visited as its sister waterfall, this four-tiered waterfall is even higher than Gocta Falls and stands at a total of impressive 896m.

The starting point for a visit to Yumbilla Falls is the small village of Cuispes. After paying your entrance fee (10 Soles) at the local tourism association, you’re free to undertake this venture on your own or hire a local guide.

The trailhead is about a 10 minute moto taxi ride from the center of Cuispes. From there it meanders for 3km through lush cloud forest and along the side of the mountain. Several lookouts along the way offer a view of the valley and the waterfall. Plus, there are more waterfalls along the way that can be reached by short side trips. One of them, Pabellón Falls, stands at almost 400m. This might seem small compared to its tall neighbor but in many places this would be a very high waterfall.

The trail ends at the bottom of the last - and especially impressive - drop of Yumbilla Falls. It is a great spot to rest and enjoy the scenery before heading back up to Cuispes. All in all it should take you about 3 hours to complete this hike.

 

Chinata: The Hidden

Although this waterfall can be seen from different lookouts in the area, few people have actually visited it. It is a multi-tiered waterfall and reaches a total height of 580m.

You can choose to hike to this marvel from either the village of Cuispes (6km one way) or San Carlos (12km). Unlike Gocta Falls and Yumbilla Falls, this is a sparsely visited waterfall and the trails aren’t used much – if they exist at all. The best way to reach Chinata Falls is to hire a local guide who knows the way and who’ll be able to clear a path through the thick vegetation of the cloud forests.

This is definitely an off-the-beaten path experience and only suitable for people with a sense of adventure. Not everyone can handle walking through dense vegetation on non-existent muddy paths.

 

Aspachaca: The Short

With a total drop of 50m, this waterfall is definitely one of the smaller ones in the area. It can easily be reached through a short but steep uphill hike.

Located near the village of Churuja, pretty much in the middle between Gocta Falls and Yumbilla Falls, you’ll find this hidden gem of a waterfall. The upper part of the waterfall can be seen from the village but you can only appreciate it in its totality once you reach its bottom. The water falls in the middle of a beautiful natural rock amphitheater and forms a large pool that is perfect for swimming on a hot day. 

The trail up to the waterfall is steep but not very long. It’s a 4km return trip that will take you no more than an hour to complete – swimming and resting time at the waterfall not included.

 

Lindapa: The Abandoned

The highest of this triplet of smaller waterfalls – 20m or 30m each – once was a resting point on the trail between San Pablo and San Carlos but has since been forgotten by all but the local population.

As this hiking trail is unmarked and there are many turn-offs that lead into the fields, it is highly recommended hiring a local guide for this trip. From the village of Churuja, the trail leads through fields of coffee and dragon fruit until you reach the grassy heights that provide an excellent view of the Utcubamba Valley. From there it’s only a short distance to the first and highest of the three waterfalls.

Just before reaching it, you can see an old stone bridge crossing the stream. This was part of the old network of trails that people used before the main road in the valley was built. There are also leftovers of an old Tambo – a resting point for people passing through.

After visiting the highest waterfall, you have to retrace you steps and walk down to visit the other two waterfalls. Here also, you’ll observe abandoned structures like benches and handrails at the lookouts. Any waterfall provides a good location for a picnic or even a swim in hot weather. All in all, it’ll take you about two hours to hike the 3km of trails.

 

More Waterfalls

There are just five of the many waterfalls in this province. There seem to be hundreds of them scattered throughout the valleys of the region. Some of them can be seen from the villages, some are hidden in remote locations and known only to insiders, some are famous and yet others are dwarfed by their tall sisters and remain forever unnamed.

 

More Information

The Valley of Waterfalls is located in the province of Bongará in Peru’s Amazonas region. It is best reached by flying from Lima to Chachapoyas or Jaén and then taking a bus, minivan or taxi to reach the region. Either way, it’ll take you half a day to reach your destiny.

As for accommodation, you can choose to stay in one of the villages closest to the waterfalls or base yourself in the city of Chachapoyas and do day trips. Both options work great since distances are short and travel times to the trail heads never more than 1 ½ hours.  You can find any of accommodation to suit your needs and budget – from luxury bungalows to simple rooms offered by the locals.

Remember, this is a cloud forest region where it can rain even in the so-called dry season. The wet season with heavy rains is December through March.

 

Travel tip shared by Irene
cabanitasdegocta.blogspot.com

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