All posts by kissfromtheworld

Kissfromtheworld’s: Tropical Island for Less: 5 Budget Friendly Experiences in Costa Rica

This post originally appeared on Kissfromtheworld’s :“Tropical Island for Less: 5 Budget Friendly Experiences in Costa Rica” written by kissfromtheworld.

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With many airlines offering direct flights and with the influx of expats, Costa Rica is quickly becoming an accessible and very affordable destination. Stretch out those vacation funds even further by opting for these five budget-conscious options within the island.

Playa Ocotal

Take a respite from all the island thrill with an adventure of a different sort in Playa Ocotal. This small beach, roughly a third of a mile long, is home to one of the quietest and most secluded stretches of shoreline in Costa Rica. Green hills provide a lush backdrop while the Catalina Islands float magically in the distance. The clear waters are ideal for a variety of activities. Try snorkeling or scuba diving where you can spot Manta Rays, turtles, sharks, and tropical fish. The beach also offers the ultimate setting for sailing, fishing, horseback riding, and good old-fashioned R&R. Start this relaxing adventure at one of these budget-friendly lodgings3.

Tamarindo

Over the years, Tamarindo has progressed from a fishing village into an affluent and accessible neighborhood. Tourists flock to these shores for a variety of reasons including its lavish resorts, fine dining, and eclectic shopping. But most significant of all, Tamarindo is known for its surfing. The area accommodates surfers of all levels, making it an ideal destination for beginners and experts alike. Experience the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica on a surfboard. Many companies offer surf trips for various rates, but boards are available to rent for as low as $10 a day. Avoid paying luxury prices for hotels by booking these alternatives.

Manuel Antonio

Although often congested with crowds, there is enough inspiring coastline to go around in Manuel Antonio. Turquoise waters, soft sands, and jungle surroundings draw attention to this area. A National Park of the same name sits within the boundaries and is home to many species of plants and wildlife. Among these are four types of monkeys: spider, howler, white-faced, and squirrel. Keep cameras close by for that priceless moment you see one or an army join you on the shores. Consider taking the drive to Manuel Antonio via Coastal Highway 34 to view the sheer cliffs plunging into the deep Pacific. And stay at one these budget-friendly lodgings.

Papagayo

The natural beauty of Costa Rica is at its peak in Papagayo. Think postcard pictures of unspoiled shores, aquamarine waters, and palm trees swaying in the breeze, and you’ll have some idea of this area’s treasures. Papagayo is also surrounded by lush tropical forests teeming with waterfalls and wildlife. But picturesque beaches is what this area is famous for. Its shores are home to most of Costa Rica’s resorts all varying from ultra-exclusive to very affordable.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna hides a breath of fresh air behind its small-town charm. Just beyond the boundaries, you’ll find a playground in the rich green landscape. There’s whitewater rafting, ziplining, and hiking to start. Find trails of all levels in the Arenal Volcano National Park. A short trek to La Fortuna Waterfall is a must. Expect to see wildlife along the way. You might even be tempted to swim in the refreshing waters. Cap off your La Fortuna experience with a dip in the area’s hot springs and a stay at these inexpensive options.

Cover photo via Flickr by Steve Jurvetson

Tamarindo photo via Flickr by Christian Haugen

Manuel Antonio photo via Flickr by Martin Garrido

La Fortuna waterfall photo via Flickr by Dave Lonsdale

Kissfromtheworld’s : 5 Stunning Springtime Destinations in Germany

This post originally appeared on Kissfromtheworld’s :“5 Stunning Springtime Destinations in Germany” written by kissfromtheworld.

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Germany is a land of vastness and variety. Between its great metropolitan cities and its majestic mountain ranges, there are experiences to entice every kind of traveler. Consider visiting in the spring when the weather is more pleasant and the landscapes are greener. You might even find a festival or two that’ll pique your interests.

Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is a city of contrasts. Centuries-old architecture juxtaposed against present day wonders allude to its evolving narrative. Likewise, you’ll find a variety of lodgings to suit either taste. Bear in mind that in the spring, trees begin to sprout anew and cover the city streets and its parks in an alluring green. There’s no better time of the year to experience Düsseldorf, the capital of German state North Rhine-Westphalia. Temperate weather, interesting architecture, shopping, and an abundance of good food await you.

Cologne

Gothic architecture in the form of Cologne Cathedral’s twin spires punctuates this city’s skyline. Other landmarks of antiquity rise alongside it, but don’t be fooled. Despite this declaration of architectural heritage, Cologne is surprisingly modern. Beneath the surface, find a plethora of present-day features like the Hotel Im Wasserturm. This historic water tower hides a sleek, modern interior. Other points of interest include Cologne’s trove of museums like Museum Ludwig with its large collection of post-modern art. Or take to the Botanical Gardens Flora for a stroll through its well-manicured gardens best seen in the spring.

Stuttgart

Nicknamed for its proximity to historical Swabia, Stuttgart has developed a definitive culture of its own. The city is known for its greenery that is more plentiful than urban development. Find accommodations near one of these inviting outdoor spaces. The annual Spring Festival attracts nearly 2 million visitors to its 106-acre Cannstatter Wasen. Additionally, the “Swabia Metropolis” boasts headquarters and museums for Mercedes-Benz and Porche— an ideal destination for any car enthusiast. Also, consider that Stuttgart is adjacent to some of Germany’s largest wine-growing regions. Road trip and wine tasting, anyone?

Nuremberg

A visit to this Bavarian city might just leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a medieval storybook. Cobbled streets, rows of colorful Tudor houses, and even castles create a fairytale-like atmosphere in Nuremberg. As its architecture suggests, this city is steeped in history. Find museums and landmarks representative of various time periods including those significant to WWII. A visit to Nuremberg is living history. Complete your travels with a stay at one of the area’s enticing hotels, Le Méridien Grand Hotel. If you vacation in the spring, make time for the Nürnberger Volksfest, a large festival featuring amusement rides, performances, beer, and food.

Bremen

Old and new meet harmoniously in this North Germany town. It’s evident everywhere you look. Take the Universum Science Center, designed like a steely clam shell. It’s refreshingly modern against the classic architecture of the Bremen Cathedral. The ports in Bremen are still in use today and are key contributors to the global industry. In addition to this, Bremen is home to dozens of historical museums, galleries, landmarks, and a great selection of hotels. Take advantage of the fine spring weather when Bremen becomes host to several events like the Wine Exhibition Rhineland-Palatinate.

Cover photo via Flickr by John Morgan

Düsseldorf photo via Flickr by Thomas Brenac

Cologne photo via Flickr by Michael Rastetter

Nuremberg photo via Flickr by Julie Corsi