Escape with Travel Loafers
What’s on the Menu!
Looking for Romance?
Experience the Tropical Splendor of Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai is perfect for lovebirds, whether you’re about to tie the knot, want to renew your vows or simply are in the mood for love. The “Garden Isle,” as it is known, will exceed your every expectation in terms of seclusion, romance and luxuriant surroundings of both the natural and man-made varieties. Blessed with an abundance of natural splendor, Kauai boasts beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, outrageously colored tropical flowers and dramatic cliffs and canyons that are best viewed on a romantic helicopter tour for two. Really get your heart’s pumping with a zip-line tour over a waterfall, an adventure complete with a visit to a secluded swimming hole, the real-life “Jurassic Park” and a white-knuckle flight through the treetops.
Looking for Adventure?
Galapagos Islands à la Eco-cruise
Want to see iguanas, flamingos, sea lions, reef sharks, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and penguins-all in the sultry heat of the equator? The Galapagos Islands have it all. Sitting in the Pacific waters, about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago’s five islands are covered with saltwater lagoons, lava fields, forests, beaches, and bays, and are inhabited by scores of tropical birds, rare animals, and an abundance of marine life.
Darwin came here to study the behavior of rare and wild animals because it was pristine, with little human influence on the environment. So enchanting, it was once called the Bewitched Islands, and, to this day, it is one of the most environmentally protected places on the entire globe. The Galapagos Islands, unspoiled, untouched, and unpolluted, are a nature lover’s paradise.
Looking for tranquility?
Barichara: Tranquility carved out of stone
The road winds its way through a desert landscape of compact red and yellow earth until it gets to a village where the houses, streets, churches, artwork, and cemetery are all made of stone. This village is Barichara, a place where it is possible to travel back in time to the colonial era, when buildings were built of bahareque (compresses mud) and walls were whitewashed.
Barichara was declared a National Monument in 1978 because of its architectural heritage dating back to the Spanish conquest. Barichara mesmerizes both tourists and residents with its beauty. With good reason, Barichara is considered the prettiest village in Colombia. This is thanks to the craftsmen and their skillful hands, who labored, stone by stone, to build these charming houses and churches.
Barichara is considered to be the prettiest village in Colombia.
The town is set on top of a vast arid plateau. The climate is mild and the night skies clear. Barichara is 118 km from Bucaramanga in the department of Santander and 445 km from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.
An oasis of tranquility
One of the first things you notice on arriving in Barichara is the calm, slow pace of life. Residents wander the streets greeting whoever they find in their path. No one is in a hurry. Part of the trip includes walking, block by block, to look for accommodation. You can choose from boutique hotels or lodges, or even houses for rent.
Strolling through the village, you will come across various shops selling handicrafts, such as hammocks, rope sandals, clothing, necklaces and jewelry of ivory palm, figurines carved of stone, bags, and mochilas, rugs made from sisal hemp, and much more.
While exploring every nook and cranny, you will find a breath-taking lookout point from which to gaze over the valley of the Suárez River. In the middle of the arid and yellow valley dotted with green, the raging river disappears into the horizon. During the day, the sky is a clear blue, turning red, orange and pink as the sun sets.
Barichara means “place of rest” in the indigenous Chibcha language.
Near the lookout is a beautiful, old cemetery and the Chapel of Jesús. These buildings and others, such as the Church of the Inmaculada Concepción in the main plaza, the Santa Bárbara Chapel in the north of the town and the San Antonio Chapel to the south, are all built of yellow stone from local quarries.
During the evenings, find a cafe in the main plaza to relax, and refresh yourself after the heat of the afternoon with a cold beer. The village does indeed stay loyal to its Chibcha name, “place of rest”.
We live in a crazy, fast-paced and sometimes stressed world. It’s time to relax and get away from it all.
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Dianne & Mike