Is Costa Rica on your travel bucket list?
You haven’t lived unless you’ve had at least one road trip in a tropical country. Costa Rica is home to the most picturesque scenery and vibrant culture. Go beyond typical tourism by renting a car and hitting the road to explore the many sights of Costa Rica. We give you some Costa Rican road trip suggestions.
San José to La Fortuna
If you’re arriving in San José and taking a trip to La Fortuna, you’ll find that the drive is smooth and easy despite its curvy road. This trip ensures views of the beautiful national parks and stunning exotic wildlife. The Arenal Volcano is a popular tourist attraction. It is one of the world’s top active volcanoes and erupts once a day. Getting a glimpse of red-hot lava and columns of ash is an invaluable experience. After a long day of taking in the country’s beauty, rest at the Arenal Observatory Lodge or grab a bite at the Lava Lounge Bar and Grill.
Monteverde to Playa Grande
Although the journey from Monteverde to Playa Grande is bumpy and steep, with roads being riddled with potholes, gorgeous beaches and visits from the majestic sea turtles are a sweet treat to many. Playa Grande is home to the Leatherback Sea Turtles. They lay eggs and build nests between October and March, and between April and September, the eggs hatch, and thousands of baby turtles hobble their way into the ocean. To witness this beautiful scene and get up close and personal with these sea creatures, arrange a tour at Las Balulas National Park. Stay at the charming Hotel Las Tortugas, where you can take in views of the sunset from your room.
Tamarindo to Santa Teresa
While the drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is not the smoothest, you are rewarded with breathtaking landscapes. Take a break from sightseeing and stop at one of the sopas (small restaurants) and indulge in authentic Costa Rican cuisine, from empanadas to patacones (deep-fried, flattened plantains). Additionally, Santa Teresa is the perfect destination for both relaxation and leisure. Its idyllic white-sand beaches are great for laying down a mat doing yoga or grabbing a surfboard and catching a wave. Continue your relaxation at the laid-back Hotel Tropico Latino, where you can enjoy a full-service spa.
If you’re ready to experience these unique road trips for yourself, contact McMillan Elite Travel t today so they can get your travel experience started. Happy trailing!
Is Mexico on your travel bucket list?
There is a common misconception that traveling to the Riviera Maya is unsafe. While other parts
of Mexico are certainly dangerous, The Riviera Maya and the neighboring town of Cancun aren’t
nearly as bad as the media makes them out to be. To put it, The Riviera Maya is a tourist spot,
which means the locals are eager for your business and are pretty serious about keeping some of
the dangerous elements of Mexico out. The Riviera Maya is a breathtaking place that is just
begging to be explored. That said, there some things you should know to make the most out of a
Riviera Maya excursion.
Watch Out for the Heat
While the Riviera Maya offers truly stunning natural landscapes, the whole region can become
overwhelmingly hot and humid from June on through till October. The summer months may be
peak vacation time, but they can also put the unprepared tourist at risk for heatstroke. On the
subject of heat and summer, mosquito’s are out in full swing during this season, which means an
increased chance of contracting conditions like the Zika Virus, Chikungunya, and Dengue Fever.
So, if you're planning to visit The Riviera Maya during summer, pack some bug repellent.
Rules on Food and Water
The subject of food and water is a hot-button issue for first-time travelers to The Riviera Maya.
For one, you shouldn’t drink the tap water in Mexico, as in some instances it will make you sick.
Instead, you should also ask for bottled water while in restaurants, since they'll likely serve
unfiltered tap water by default. Street food is a potential danger as well, as there is no telling
whether or not a street vendor properly prepared the meal or adequately cleaned their cooking
space. In these instances, it helps to have the ‘golden cage’ of a hotel or resort to escape to from
time to time.
Feel Safe to Explore
While it helps to use a resort as a home base during your trip, you shouldn’t rely on it. Resorts
tend to up-charge for all of their goods and services and will try to convince you that you need to
use their expensive tour guides to explore The Riviera Maya safely. Instead, you should take
excursions off of resort property to get a genuine taste of Mexico. The Riviera Maya is not the
dangerous, crime-ridden place the news reports it to be. If you take a chance and explore the
Riviera Maya on your own, you'll quickly discover all the raw natural beauty this fantastic place
has to offer.
Contact McMillan Elite Travel LLC today, to schedule your 30-Minute FREE Consultation!
Do you enjoy trying new dishes while on vacation?
As the most vibrant island in the Caribbean, Aruba is more than meets the eye. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures awaiting, there’s an endless amount of fun to be had. But what about the island’s food? Well, that’s just as good, maybe even better, especially after a long day of exploration. So, to help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, here are ten dishes you must indulge in.
Perhaps the most apparent food to try while on the island is the fish and seafood. In the Caribbean Sea, some of the most amazingly fresh seafood can be found. Take your pick between mahi-mahi, grouper, lionfish, prawn, or red snapper if you’re looking for a simple dish to try. However, the options go on forever.
- Pan Bati
This bread is usually on the side of every main dish served on the island, and with good reason. Pan Bati is a sweet flatbread that dissolves in your mouth. Although it is prepared with simple ingredients, it is far from being dull in flavor.
- Stews and Soups
Many of the local eateries and restaurants serve traditional Aruban stews and soups. Usually, the stews are full of chicken, fish, or goat meat, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the states.
Dried fruit and cashews adorn this delectable dish of steamed beef wrapped in a banana leaf. That’s not all you get, though. There are a ton of ingredients used to create this unique, mouthwatering Venezuelan dish.
- Keshi Yena
This authentic Aruban meal is a must-try! It includes a ball of cheese stuffed with meat or poultry that is spiced to perfection. Anywhere you go on the tropical island you will find a unique and off-beat version of this dish.
- Funchi and Banana Hash
This combo is certainly one that packs a lot of tasty flavors! Funchi is fried cornmeal mush, often served with gouda and a side of fried plantains.
- Authentic Aruban Desserts
Pudding is a big deal in Aruba. You must order a helping of Pan Bollo (bread pudding with Ponche cream or rum, and ice cream) or Bolo di Banana (plantain pudding).
- Hot Papaya Sauce
Often served on the side of meals, hot papaya sauce is the perfect addition to a meal if you can stand the sweet heat of papaya fruit mashed with hot peppers.
- Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer
Although it isn’t food, the local beer is worth a shot. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a ton of delicious choices.
Pastechi is a portion of famous Aruban street food. You can find it offered by most street food vendors, and all of them claim to make it best. No matter where you get it, you don’t want to miss out on this gouda filled pastry.
It doesn’t matter what restaurants or cafes you choose to visit while in Aruba, but make sure you don’t leave without indulging in some of the foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the greatest, tastiest options on the island. If you would like more information on the most popular restaurants and places to go, please don’t hesitate to send over an email with your inquiries.
Join us May 2021 on our Group Trip to Aruba! Spaces are limited! Call today at 813-848-0030!
There are several venue options available to create your perfect destination wedding.
Consider These Venue Options for the Perfect Destination Wedding
There is no rule that states you must sink your toes in the sand of an island for a destination wedding. Any beach around the world will do for your wedding, so choose one that offers meaning to you and the person you love more than anyone else in the world.
Chapels offer a charming ambiance for weddings, especially those on a smaller scale. If you are looking for cozy and quaint for your destination wedding, then a chapel might be the option that is best for you.
There are thousands upon thousands of gardens around the world, and many of them are going to be close to your home. You can choose from any garden for your perfect wedding destination. Of course, you should make sure the flowers will be in bloom when you have your wedding if you want the best ambiance, especially when it comes time for pictures.
Saying “I do” as you stand in the middle of a gazebo, or on the steps to one, can be the wedding destination of your dreams. You can choose a gazebo in the middle of a park, out near the ocean, or at the top of a mountain. The options are endless when it comes to gazebo weddings, so use your imagination as you create the wedding of your dreams.
Standing on a pier, as the waves come rolling in, will create a magical effect that is perfect for your destination wedding. No pier wedding will ever be the same, because the water never comes in the same way, the sun never creates the same shadows, and the ambiance is always changing.
Not many people consider saying their vows up in the sky, but it is a possibility if you do not mind planning in advance. You can do this during a hot air balloon ride, when you are riding in a plane, or simply enjoying the views in a helicopter.
These are just a few of the venue options you can choose for a perfect destination wedding. The goal is to find a destination that feels special and magical to both of you, so you can relish in the memories you make on your wedding day!
A passport might be necessary to fly to other countries, but you do not need to leave the US to have an incredible honeymoon! In fact, within the United States, you will find almost as many gorgeous destinations like you would around the world.
Choose One of These Amazing Honeymoon Destinations that Do Not Require a Passport
One of the most romantic places within the United States is Maui and it is often at the top of the list for honeymooners like yourself. A few things you can do during your incredible Maui honeymoon include sailing, a sunset dinner cruise, helicopter tour, and a massage for two. You can also do a little hiking to nearby waterfalls and paddle a kayak out to the coral reef.
The Big Island, Hawaii
There are so many islands within Hawaii, but the Big Island has everything you will want on your honeymoon. Your days can be spent stargazing, taking a sunset cruise, wandering through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, and hiking the Waipio Valley to see the stunning waterfalls. If you are seeking a little more adventure, you may want to consider getting closer to the volcanoes within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
It is easy to get to any of the US Virgin Islands from almost anywhere within the United States, which is why they are considered the perfect honeymoon destination for those who do not have a passport. One of the first things you should do in St. Thomas is take a tram ride to see where everything is on this gorgeous island. Afterwards, you can go shopping, take an ecotour, and spend a little time at Blackbeard’s Castle.
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
A honeymoon in St. Croix will mean a lot of time in the sun and the sand, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something else to do during your fabulous vacation on this island. Consider exploring history at the Apothecary Hall Museum and the Christiansted National Historic Site before going snorkeling and spending a little time at the bioluminescent bay after the sun sets.
Key West, Florida
The sun is always shining, and the temperatures are always warm, down in Key West. Those two things make this part of the US an amazing honeymoon destination you will love. A bike ride around Old Town can be followed by a picnic at Fort Zachary State Park. No matter what you are doing, you should stop and change course a couple hours before the sun sets. This will allow you time to get over to Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration.
These are five of the best honeymoon destinations that you should consider if you do not have a passport and do not want to get one. Any of these areas will allow you to have the adventures you want, as well as the downtime you crave on your fabulous honeymoon.