Posts Categorized: Travel

Become one with nature at Hotel Casa Chameleon in Mal Pais, Costa Rica

Settled snugly between the frequented surfing town of Santa Teresa and the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve in Costa Rica, Mal Pais offers miles of stunning seaside views and a diverse community of natives that remains unchanged by the advancement of the locations surrounding it.


Hotel Casa Chameleon is a luxury boutique hotel located in Mal Pais. The hotel is an adults-only property, featuring 10 beachfront villas secluded within the jungle. The location is so remote, it can only be accessed by 4 wheel drive vehicles. In tandem with the natural surroundings of the jungle and beach, the hotel was built with materials that are renewable, including bamboo, volcanic and river rock and hardwood sourced locally. Each villa features a private balcony and an infinity pool, perfect for guests wishing to relax in private.


Keeping in line with the wellness focus and culture of Coast Rica, the property offers guests the ability to receive wellness treatments in their villa. This includes a relaxing and therapeutic in-villa couples massage with the ocean or jungle views aiding in the relaxation. Other wellness options include sports massages, facials, body scrubs, and yoga.

Hotel Casa Chameleon prides itself on combining the natural environment with high-end luxury which is evident in their menu which features local and time-honored culinary delights adapted to modern palates. The menu features many delicious locally sourced dishes including a guest favorite, the Costa Rican Casado with Tuna (Rice, beans, flavorful seared tuna, mixed vegetable, and salad), a dish which is treasured by citizens of Costa Rica as a mainstay for lunch.

Hotel Casa Chameleon at Mal Pais is a truly unique hotel, offering an experience to fit just about any desire. From the winsome views of the ocean and jungle, secluded privacy and in-villa attention, to the world class cuisine and activities, the property is sure to engage even the weariest traveler.

Those looking for a little adventure have plenty of options available, including hiking, waterfalls, fishing, ATV excursions, horseback riding, snorkeling, surf lessons, whale watching, and sunset cruises. Guests with an extremely adventurous side might want to check out the Zip Line Canopy Tour. This one-mile zip line ride provides guests with views of the ocean and the Costa Rican Jungle. The perfect chance to fly through the jungle and walk along hanging bridges.

For more info on Hotel Casa Chameleon log on to www.casachameleonhotels.com. Excursions & Tours arranged by www.costaricantropicaltours.com.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Buenos Aires Argentina

Buenos Aires is a pulsating, passionate, cosmopolitan city. The combination of rich architectural and cultural heritage, modern creative energy, electric nightlife, unique traditions, a vibrant arts scene, extensive parks, and warm, friendly hosts makes it one of the world’s most exciting capitals.

There are dozens of reasons to visit, hence why the city has repeatedly been voted the best in Latin America by users of TripAdvisor, but here are just ten of the big ones.

1. You can dance the world’s most romantic dance in its birthplace

Sensual, nostalgic, and fiendishly difficult to learn, tango emerged in the city’s portside neighbourhoods in the mid-19th century and has since conquered the world. Today, Buenos Aires is a place of pilgrimage for tango dancers from all over, and the dance is still very much alive – danced by the young and young-at-heart well into the early hours every night of the week. As well as witnessing traditional social dancing and learning some steps at a milonga, you can treat yourself to sumptuous dinner-shows with spectacularly choreographed performances, and see live orchestras playing everywhere from cosy neighbourhood bars to grand symphony halls.

2. You can enjoy nightlife that goes on well into the morning

Buenos Aires is a city that never sleeps, famous for its phenomenal nightlife, which ranges from traditional neighbourhood taverns to award-winning cocktail bars, big clubs, hidden gig venues, and underground nightspots catering to every niche. The city’s incredible openness and diversity also make it the top destination in Latin America for LGBT visitors. Just be prepared to stay out late! We eat late, party late and sleep late, if at all!

3. You’ll experience sporting passion like never before

Buenos Aires is a city that lives and breathes football (soccer), and the passion can be felt in the stadiums, the neighbourhood cafes and the goal celebrations of a local amateur team. The atmosphere at the city’s stadiums has to be experienced to be believed, and the Boca vs River derby has been described as the most intense sporting event in the world.

4. You’ll find yourself in a historic melting pot of cultures

The city’s cosmopolitan, multicultural identity was forged in a melting pot of cultures, from native American and colonial Spanish roots, to the influences of immigration from Italy, France, Great Britain, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. You’ll see this eclectic mix of influences in the city’s architecture, food and in the character of its people. And while Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city always looking towards the latest trends, we also have passionate pride for our history and tradition. Feel the nostalgia in the cobbled streets of neighbourhoods like San Telmo, visit old cafes where poets used to gather, witness traditional gaucho displays of horsemanship and folk dancing at the Feria de Mataderos, and explore the political history of the Plaza de Mayo, where huge crowds turned out to see Eva Perón speak.

5. You can enjoy a wealth of culture

Long seen as Latin America’s capital of culture, Buenos Aires has almost 300 theatres, 380 bookstores and 160 museums, and some of them will take your breath away. The Teatro Colón is one of the world’s best opera houses, with outstanding acoustics and beautiful interiors, the Ateneo Grand Spendid is considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, and you’ll find creative, artistic expression not only in the many galleries and cultural centres, but in the streets themselves. The city has its own traditional form of folk art known as fileteado, recognised as cultural heritage by UNESCO, and you can find incredible street art on every corner (pay a visit to the incredible 2000m² mural El regreso de Quinquela in Barracas).

6. Festivals and events

A guide to what’s happening in Buenos Aires throughout the year.
• 125th Argentine Open Polo Tournament: One of the world’s greatest polo tournament every November – December.
• International Tango Festival and World Cup: (Every August. 2018 edition: August 9 – 22) Two weeks of concerts, shows, classes and milongas every August. Come to watch, listen or dance!
• BA International Jazz Festival: (November 14 – 19, 2018) Everything from Bebop to jazz fusion at this international festival every November.Click here for more

7. You can eat like a king

Designated Ibero-American capital of Gastronomic Culture 2017, the city boasts outstanding culinary options, from elegant 19th and early 20th century “bares notables” to some of Latin America’s most acclaimed contemporary restaurants and bars. Dining is important in Buenos Aires, and you can enjoy the world’s best steaks, Argentina’s famous malbec wines, and hearty Andean fare, plus there’s pizza, pasta and ice cream on every corner thanks to the city’s Italian heritage. Buenos Aires boasts several restaurants recognised in Latin America’s 50 Best. Local treats to look out for include the traditional infusion mate and addictive alfajores – chocolate-covered double-deck cookies filled with caramel-like dulce de leche.

How Peruvian cuisine has taken the UAE by storm

Ten years ago, had an intrepid eater embarked on a search for tiger’s milk, anticucho or tiradito, in even the most cosmopolitan, forward-thinking foodie capitals, their quest would more than likely have proven fruitless (or almost certainly ceviche-­less). A decade on, though, and Peru has staged its very own culinary invasion, infiltrating cities all over the world, establishing the country and its cuisine as not just a fleeting trendsetter, but as one of the leaders on the global cooking stage.

The UAE got its first real taste of Peruvian cooking at the tail end of 2014, with the launch of Coya Dubai, an offshoot of the London flagship. Others quickly followed, and almost three years later, the country boasts an ever-growing array of ­choices for Peruvian-­inspired eating. In Dubai, there’s Ceviche (another London original) in Emirates Financial Towers and Garden at the JW Marriott Marquis, as well as Inka, Mayta, Pollo Pollo, Ají and Waka. Those living in the capital are now well catered for thanks to both Limo Restaurant at the Bab Al Qasr Hotel and Coya Abu Dhabi.

This enthusiasm shows no sign of waning, here or internationally. With Virgilio Martínez as chef proprietor, Lima London was the first ­Peruvian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star back in 2014 and Central, his restaurant in the Peruvian capital, was ranked at No 5 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year. Lima Dubai opened its doors in March this year.

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So what is it about Peruvian food that has proved so alluring? At a time when we are all increasingly aware of what we eat and how this affects our well-being, it certainly doesn’t hurt that, by its very nature, ­Peruvian food is generally healthy. There’s an integral lightness to the cuisine, along with an appreciation for ancient grains and a dedication to fresh ingredients that all tie in seamlessly with modern, health-­conscious approaches to eating. And while it might sound superficial, with social media – particularly Instagram – awash with beautiful food images, it helps that this style of cooking is very easy on the eye. As well as taste, texture and flavour, the colour and visual appeal of food has long been important to Peruvian cooks.

The diversity of the cuisine and the sense of authenticity that surrounds it is another major draw. While it’s not unusual to be able to trace the political, social and economic history of a country through its food, Peruvian cooking is the edible embodiment of this idea. From the continued use of indigenous produce (potatoes, corn, maize, chillies) as well as Inca techniques and traditions, to the way the cuisine has assimilated produce and ideas from migrant countries, notably Spain, Africa, China and Japan, this is fusion cooking of the highest order.

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Miami Fashion Week

Miami Fashion Week 2017, included as one of the CFDA’s Fashion Calendar Important Dates, will debut eight vibrant 2018 Resort collections from international designers with all runway shows taking place at Ice Palace Film Studios. Sustainable fashion is an approach to the design and sourcing of clothing that aims to create beautiful, high-quality pieces while minimizing the human and environmental impact of production. With the desire to communicate this message, Miami Fashion Week, in collaboration with MDC’s Miami Fashion Institute and the Knight Foundation, is proud to present the MIAFW Master Class program focused on sustainability. Top industry experts will lead classes in their respective fields while raising awareness about the importance of ethical manufacturing.  #MIAFW #MIAFW17 #MIAFW17BASH @MiamiFashionWk

Wednesday, May 31,
6:00PM Kick-Off Party at Saks Fifth Avenue Brickell City Centre *By invitation only.

Thursday, June 1,
7:00PM Silvia Tcherassi Runway *By invitation only.
8:30PM Designers Dinner at Delano South Beach *By invitation only.

Friday, June 2,
06:00PM Shantall Lacayo Runway
07:00PM Custo Barcelona Runway *By invitation only.
08:30PM Antonio Banderas Benefit Gala – BUY TICKETS

Saturday, June 3,
12:30PM Influencers Brunch *By invitation only.
6:00PM Fisico Runway *By invitation only.
7:00PM Yirko Sivirich Runway
8:00PM René Ruiz Runway *By invitation only.
9:00PM Miami Fashion Week Bash – BUY TICKETS

Sunday, June 4,
6:00PM Ágatha Ruiz De La Prada Runway *By invitation only.
7:30PM Ángel Sánchez Runway *By invitation only.
8:00PM Closing Party *By invitation only.

More info at www.miamifasionweek.com

The Road To The Calle Ocho Festival 2019

Since 1978, Carnaval Miami has been organized by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana and is held annually between February and March.  Through the dedicated support of the club’s members, volunteers and dedicated corporate and community partners, Carnaval Miami has grown into one of the largest Latin cultural celebrations in the United States, culminating with the world-famous El Festival de la Calle Ocho (Calle Ocho Festival).

Here are some events leading up to Calle Ocho Festival which takes place March 10th, 11am -7pm.

Carnaval Miami 2019 officially kicks off on February with the Miss Carnaval pageant. The pageant winner will not only be awarded cash prizes and scholarships, but the opportunity to be the face of Carnaval Miami 2019 with sponsored entry into the Miss Florida USA pageant.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Feb 17: Miss Carnaval Miami. More Info / Tickets
March 2: Cordials & Candy. More Info / Tickets
March 2 & 3: Carnaval On The Mile (FREE). More Info
March 2 & 3: Cork & Fork. More Info / Tickets
March 8: Carnaval Miami Live! Gala. More Info / Tickets
March 10: Calle Ocho Music Festival (FREE). More Info
March 10: Cubano Wars. More Info / Tickets
March 10: Domino Tournament (FREE). More Info
March 10: El Croquetazo (FREE). More Info
April 20: Soccer 5v5 (FREE). More Info

Carnaval Miami is organized annually by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. All proceeds benefit the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation’s youth development programs. For more information about the Kiwanis of Little Havana, or Carnaval Miami 2019 sponsorship opportunities, visit http://carnavalmiami.com

Festival brings Latin American culture to Seoul

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The Viva la Vida Festival invites people to learn more about Latin American culture beyond football and Carnival.

Unlike other festivals that usually take place outdoors with many tents selling crafts and food, this festival takes a different approach. The Viva la Vida Festival, which lasts until the end of this month, brings the events indoors.

One may wonder why an event dedicated to a region famous for outdoor festivals is being held indoors, but the move has a purpose. The organizers have chosen different shops and cafes that sell items or food inspired by Latin America as venues, so attendees can continue to visit even after the festival is over.

The festival aims to give locals an experience similar to travel, such as having to find a restaurant serving regional cuisine using a mobile map application. Although the venues are spread out across Seoul, most can still easily be found because they are either in the Hongdae area in northwestern Seoul or in Gangnam District in southern Seoul.

The festival offers tango and salsa classes, survival language classes for travelers, music concerts, and even the chance to visit the homes of people from Latin America in Seoul to learn more about how ordinary people cook and eat at home.

“Just like you plan out your own trips, you can cherry pick time and content you want to customize your own festival,” said the festival organizer.

Many of the interesting events of the festival kick of this weekend. On Saturday, those interested can participate in a tango class or go enjoy a home-cooked meal at the home of a Mexican who has lived in Korea for more than 10 years. To keep events small enough for more intimate experiences, most of the events are open to a limited number of people. The first-come, first-serve home-cooked meal is open to five guests, while the tango class is inviting up to 15. The class is at local dance studio El Tango, so anyone who gets hooked after one class can sign up for a regular program.

An art class on Sunday invites people to bring in any artifacts people have kept from their visits to Latin America, or any objects that remind them of the region. For about two hours, participants will get to decorate a notebook with bus tickets or any other small souvenirs they might have hesitated to throw away but don’t have much value other than nostalgia. And the skills learned at the session can definitely be used again to commemorate future travels.

A movie night on Sunday is welcoming more guests than other events as it can hold up to 20. Two movies will be screened tomorrow at Glory Pub and Cafe in Mapo District, northwestern Seoul. The Brazilian movie “The Second Mother,” which was released here in November, and the 2010 documentary “Maids and Bosses,” which shows the social strata in Latin America through a relationship between a live-in maid and her employer, will be shown. By juxtaposing the relatively better known and lesser known movies back-to-back that show different aspects of Latin American family and social values, the festival hopes to inspire in moviegoers more in-depth interest in the prevailing issues of the countries.

One of the events being widely promoted to public is the Sofar Sounds concert. Although the concert series never releases information about the artist line-up until the concerts begin, the concert has agreed to feature Latin American music for its April 29 show as part of the festival.

The festival has been created not only to show the diversity of Latin American culture, as well as to shed light on those who need help. It was organized by Craftlink, a social venture set up to provide financial help to women and children in Guatemala and other nearby countries.

“There are many contents that go beyond Mexican food or popular travel destinations such as Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flat and Peru’s Machu Picchu, but those are still lesser known,” said Martin Ko, the founder of the company. He became familiar with Latin America during his travels in 2012, and became aware of many things people there lack. He now brings bracelets made by women in Guatemala to Korea, and includes the stories behind the items and color patterns. These bracelets are also available at shops during the festival.

“A little thing I can do here now is to spread the word on fun cultural contents I got to enjoy and hope such joy can turn into more financial gains for locals there.”

All the proceeds of the festival will be donated to nongovernment organizations in Latin America.

Source: KJD