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Routes through the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Hot Springs, Costa Rica on the road

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Arenal Volcano

(Arenal Volcano)Getting to Arenal from Bajos del Toro is approximately 83 kilometers, in normal circumstances, it would take no more than 1 hour, here the maximum speed you will reach will be 60 kilometers per hour, take advantage and enjoy the landscape of the route, it is beautiful.

The town closest to the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, it is full of hotels, restaurants, and offices to hire multi-adventure excursions. If you have a couple of days to explore the area, it is mandatory to go to the volcano (the entrance costs $ 10, you can pay in dollars, it is 8 kilometers from the town and is open until 4:00 p.m.) and do the different routes that there are along its trails (it will be approximately two hours in total. During the tour of the Arenal Volcano National Park, you will be able to enjoy endless sounds of birds such as hummingbirds, quetzals, parrots or parakeets, a very colorful fauna (you will see a lot of laurels, medlar, ferns, orchids, or bromeliads) or the appearance of coatis making their hole, if you are lucky you can also see monkeys, sloths, Congos or red … what to see a jaguar, only You will see in the guides 😉 yes, you have to be attentive and avoid the groups, which tend to think that they are in El Rocío.

If you are lucky enough to see the volcano clear, it is a real wonder, on the route on the Las Coladas trail you will run into the Ceiba tree, it is 40 meters high and 400 years old (although they recognize that it costs them specify the years of this tree) is the star of the park. A good option after the National Park is to go to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, which is approximately 16 kilometers from the moment you leave the park (it costs $ 5).

Here you can make routes through the different trails that the area has (they are approximately 6 kilometers, very manageable). You can also get to the Arenal Lagoon, but it is not of special interest since you cannot bathe in it, and if you like to fish, you must first ask for permits, if you get here it would be to rest and appreciate its views.

If you do not dare to go to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, you can visit the town of El Castillo (the path is by unpaved road, you will not be able to exceed 20km / h, keep in calm ), it is not that this town has a special architectural interest, its Interest resides in the landscape and has a drink while you have views of the Arenal Lagoon. To the south of La Fortuna (5 km) is the Waterfall of La Fortuna (which has a jump of 70 meters), access to it is 10 $.

The Arenal Hot Springs

A good way to end the day at Arenal is to go to any of the hot springs there in the area and you’ll find along the road through the village of La Fortuna. The entrance prices to enjoy them are between $ 30 – $ 35 (not including lunch or dinner, then it can go up to $ 90 – $ 100). If I had to recommend any (although all the guides will tell you about the Tarancón hot springs, they are 7 minutes by car from EcoTermales on the road that crosses La Fortuna) it would be the Ecotermales hot springs.

They are small hot springs that work in shifts, the last entry time is at 5:00 p.m. (the rest of the hot springs can close at 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.). It has 4 pools, and 2 waterfalls with pools, each pool has different temperatures, being able to start at 34 degrees and end at 47 degrees, it has a cold water pool to be able to make the contrasts, try not to be more than 15 minutes. In any case, ask them to explain the operation and the route at the entrance.

After 1 hour and a half (which is what you can entertain yourself on the tour) you can take advantage of the sun loungers there to have a drink, read and/or do nothing, feel fetén 😉 when you go out, you find yourself idem.

Depending on the hotel where you are staying, many of them have a spa with a wide range of detox for the body, if you are a fan of being “kneed” take advantage, a well-given massage is priceless.

From Arenal, the next stop will be the Nicoya Peninsula, here we go!

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Prague: Monuments and Shopping Route

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Prague

Prague is an ideal city to spend a long weekend or a long weekend, it is a city that lets you see and walk for three days, without the feeling that you have left something to see, yes, you likely want to repeat once you know her. I leave you the best places that you cannot miss if you come to this city.

Staré Město Prague

The first thing you can do is visit Old Town Square, the truth is that it is a beautiful square. Inside this square, you will find the Church of Our Lady of Týn, the Church of Saint Nicholas (there is another with the same name in Malá Strana), and the Old Town Hall.

One of the main attractions of the square is in the Old Town Hall, which is where the Astronomical Clock, the Josef Mánes Calendar, and the animated figures are located, all of which are together, and every hour on the dot the Parade of the figures in the upper windows of the Astronomical Clock.

You can go up to the Clock Tower, the price is around 60 crowns (€ 2.4) and allows you to see the views of the square and the main monuments of the city. You have to avoid rush hours since otherwise it is quite heavy and you do not enjoy the views.

Leaving the square you arrive at the Torre de la Polvora, this tower is one of the oldest in the city and frankly beautiful. If we want to leave Staré Město and pass Malá Strana, you will have to go through the Charles Bridge.

Malá Strana (Little Town)

The Charles Bridge consists of 30 statues in its 500 meters of length, from here you have really beautiful views of the Castle and the Hradčany area.

You cannot miss the Little Town Square (Malostranské náměstí), the Church of Saint Nicholas (it costs 80 crowns to enter, approximately € 3.2) is the maximum exponent of the Baroque and truly a luxury, in the afternoons/evenings they give concerts inside and the Church of Our Lady of Victory.

In good weather I recommend that you make a stop at the Island of Kampa, it is a garden with a lot of life, nearby is the Prior Mill and the John Lenon Wall. If you want to do a walking excursion, you can go up to Mount Petřín, which is where the Petřín Tower is located, it is one of the most famous viewpoints in the city.

In this area, you can make a stop for a good pizza and a beer at St. Nicholas Café in Tržiště 10, at night they have live music (it is quite common in cafes and restaurants in Prague), or also in the most known Malého Glena in Karmeliska 23, where they have typical food or the handy burgers and salads, at night it is a good place to enjoy a live jazz concert.

Nove Mesto (The New Town)

This area of ​​the city is probably less interesting from an architectural and tranquility point of view since it is like many of the great European capitals (large avenues, shopping centers, restaurants, etc.), however, it is interesting to visit it to be able to walk around the Wenceslas (measured 750m long and 60 wide).

As you walk through the square, it is curious to see the many fast food stalls that are there and the queues that are mounted. A menu of “Hot dog” with its typical sausages plus a glass of Coca-Cola, can cost 110 crowns.
Crowning the Square is the National Museum of Prague (Národní Muzeum), whose interior is frankly beautiful.

Other places of interest if you see that you go early are the State Opera, the National Theater and the Communist Museum, by the way, very small, but in it, you can see the political history of the Czech Republic of the last century (20th), this museum is located on the first floor at Na příkopě 10 street.

Jewish Quarter (Josejov)

This neighborhood can be accessed from Paris Street (Parizska), it is one of the exits that can be taken from the Old Town Square. In this street, you can find the most expensive shops in Prague (YSL, Gucci, Prada, D&G, etc), but what is really interesting about this street is its architecture, and you can only enjoy it if you look up.

The interest of this neighborhood is through the different synagogues ( there are a total of 6: Maisel SynagogueSpanish Synagogue, Old-New SynagogueKlausen SynagogueSigoga High, and Pinkas Synagogue ) and the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague. Through this tour (no more than three hours, as long as you don’t stop at each of the panels with their descriptions) you can learn how a Jewish community functioned.

Undoubtedly, during the tour, the most impressive thing is the Old Cemetery and the Spanish Synagogue, whose decoration is Moorish, and the exhibition is centered on manuscripts, posters, and photographs about Jews in the last decades.

As a general rule, people will buy tickets at the box office that is next to the Old Cemetery, I recommend that if there is a long queue, don’t waste time and buy tickets at any of the synagogues in the neighborhood.

Shopping

Walking through the city you will realize that the stores are very focused on tourists, with which the prices are even more expensive than here in Spain, but even with all that, it is worth making the following stops:

If you like vintage , visit the Malostranské Starozitnictví antique shop at Nerudova 51 (Malá Strana). You can find real silver jewelry ( brooches, rings, earrings, necklaces, and countless antiques) from the 19th and 20th centuries at very affordable prices (for example a 19th-century silver brooch can cost up to € 25), the owner and Your child can speak English perfectly.

You can also find vintage clothing stores in Vladislavova at number 17, you have to enter an interior square, and here is Quasimodo Vintage Fashion. It is a small store with very affordable prices that can vary from € 30 to € 50 to change for a dress.

Shops in  Prague

Other interesting addresses are Retro and Vintage Clothes at Michalska 18,  Art Deco Galerie at Michaska 21,  Bric a Brac at Týnská 7 or  Phase 2 Boutique at Tržiště 8. Almost all of them have signature clothing at affordable prices.

Prague: Monuments and Shopping Route

Finally, visit the Leeda fashion store in Bartolomejská 1, it has some very fun and quite colorful proposals, according to its website, it tries to reflect contemporary design, architecture, music, and cinema, and the truth is that it does not they are wrong.

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Budapest: Route of Bars, Brunch, Cafes and Ruin Pubs

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Budapest

Whether you are looking at what to do in Budapest or if you already have it very clear, do not miss out on enjoying a beer, brunch, or cake in the following places, they are mythical of this incredible city. Some of them are far apart, but you can enjoy them throughout the day on the following route.

Csendes Vintage Bar & Café ( Budapest, Ferenczy István u. 5, 1053 Hungary ). District V

This bar is perfect for a stopover if you are going to drop into the most famous shopping street in the city,  Váci Utca (along with the ornamental Andrassy Avenue ). You can enjoy a very quiet environment, surrounded by the most curious gadgets you can imagine or utensils that have passed away (for example, a bathtub split in half that acts as an armchair). It is not expensive to eat or have a beer, as a reference, these are the prices that are managed: the pint of beer is at € 2 (624 Ft), a salad € 4.5 (1490 Ft) or a plate of pasta € 5 (1590 Ft).

You can get there by metro, the stop is M3 Ferenciek here (it is a 4-minute walk from  Centrál Kávéház ). It is open from Monday to Sunday. From Monday to Romans 10:00 to 2:00  am the Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 to 2:00 PM.

Centrál Kávéház (Budapest, Károlyi utca 9, 1053 Hungary). District V

An alternative to the  Csendes Vintage Bar & Café is this legendary cafe-style art nouveau marble tables, which are open from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 to 23:00. You can enjoy their desserts for € 2-€ 3 (recommended the Sacher cake  ), breakfasts for € 9 (2950 Ft), their à la carte menus for € 8 (2190 Ft). It is full of tourists, but the atmosphere is very relaxed and you will be surrounded by photographs of Hungarian writers and poets.

You can get here by metro, the stop is the M3 Ferenciek there (as is the  Csendes Vintage Bar & Café). It is a very good alternative to get out of the tourist bustle of Váci street.

Szimpla Kert (Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary). District V

Almost certainly have never been to a place like this, the entrance and says it all, are known as pubs in ruins (Ruin bar, ruin pubs ) is in the city, it is considered one of the most important ( together with the Púder ), you can come to just have a beer (pints cost 619 Ft, € 2 change), eat (the average price of a salad is € 4.50 or a main dish for € 5 change) or enjoy their concerts live (you can see their programming here ). The place itself is very curious, it is full of rooms (it even has a souvenir shop ) and vintage decoration. It opens every day of the week, but most interestingly, it closes at 4:00 AM and on Sundays at 5:00 AM.

You can get here by metro, the closest stop is the M2 Astoria. Other Ruin Pubs in Budapest that you can put on your list to visit can be found here.

Gundel (Budapest, Gundel Károly út 4, 1146 Hungary). District XIV

You cannot leave the city without trying Sunday brunch in this place with a certain ancestry for Aquincenses (or Budapians). This brunch is a buffet with a great representation of Hungarian cuisine, based on cold meats, consommés (mainly pumpkin and duck), salads, meats, and a very careful selection of desserts. It is open on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and it will cost you € 30 per person.

The quality and care with which they prepare each of the dishes are well worth a visit. You can book online and you will receive the confirmation of the reservation in the mail.

You can get here on foot (it’s 30 minutes as a reference from the Sofitel hotel). The M1 metro line Hősök Tere stop or by bus also H paradasök Tere stop (with the name of the large square that will be impossible not to see). It is within what is known as City Park, a wooded area with the Vajdahunyad castle very close.

After brunch, you can take the opportunity to visit the Kunsthalle  (contemporary art collection) and Szépművészeti (Fine Arts, closed until February 16, 2016, for renovation) museums, as well as the impressive Hősök Tere square, take an incredible walk through the City Park gardens, and if the weather is nice, go to the Széchenyi baths (Állatkerti art. 9-11).

From here, I recommend that you go down to the center again along Avenida Andrássy út, but this time, walking (it is lined with very well-preserved palaces, many of them are used as embassies), visit the Opera (in Andrássy út 22, has toured for tourists for € 12 to change), or something more alternative, stop by the Miniversum museum   (Andrássy út 12) of scale models at 1: 100 with the representation of the main places of Budapest and Hungary, Austria and Germany.

It is made in such a way that you can interact with the model (you can direct traffic on some streets) and with interactive screens.

If you come with children, it is a great plan. It has very long hours during the week, including weekends, and its prices for adults are 2400 Ft – € 7.75 to change.

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Xochimilco Mágico and its Trajineras

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Xochimilco Mágico

Probably going to the channels of Xochimilco Mágico if you are in Mexico DF is an option that you should not miss to be able to enjoy the music of the mariachis, the festive atmosphere, and the ride on a trajineraXochimilco  (area formed by canals and chinampas ) have been declared a World Heritage Site (1987).

Xochimilco Mágico

These canals are to the south of the city and you can get there by public transport, take the subway at the Taxqueña station (a light train leaves from here) to the Embarcadero stop, once here, ask the residents of the area for what They tell you how to get to the trajineras. The main piers are Nativitas and Cuernanco.

Renting a trajinera to tour the canals is the next step you will have to take. At the pier, you will have to negotiate the price and the route (as a general rule, the price is for the barge not for the number of people, they are rented by the hour, including their ‘skipper’, it is advisable to negotiate well).

These barges are unmistakable, strikingly decorated with (women’s) names and large typefaces.

Xochimilco Mágico

Renting a trajinera

During the tour of the canals, you can rent groups of mariachis to get on your boat or play alongside yours. You can bring your own supplies, but it is much more fun to buy from the street vendors that plow through the canals in their barges.

It is mandatory to drink a  Michelada  (try the one made with beer, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi or soy), TequilaEnchiladas Tacos Quesadillas Tlacoyos (they are thick oval and long tortillas, prepared with masa corn and stuffed with various ingredients), the ears of corn and the Elotes (or corn), everything is cooked at the moment.

To make the ‘technical stops’, on the banks of the canals there are several embarcadores with public toilets (all cost 10 pesos).

Enchiladas

Island of the Dolls

During the tour, remind the ‘patron’ of the Trajinera to pass you by the Island of the Dolls, this chinampa has been decorated by Julián Santa Ana Barrera (the person in charge for years of collecting the dolls that decorate the island) to doll base collected from landfills with the aim of ” scare away the fright “, they are hanging from trees and houses, and of course they do not leave you indifferent, it is quite gloomy and with a macabre atmosphere.

Island of the Dolls

Xochimilco Mágico is an ideal place to go on weekends , although it is also the time where you will see more people, but above all, the most fun is to see the revelry that is in other trajineras , whether they are led by families, bachelorette parties or tourists. .

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