By Patti Morrow

On the shores of the Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula is La Paz, an authentic and colorful Mexican city whose name translates “the Peace.” Boasting 340 days of sunshine a year, beaches as beautiful as the Caribbean and a dessert climate that keeps the days warm and dry and the nights cool, you are spoiled for choice of things to do in La Paz.

1.Resting lazily on the brilliant blue-green waters of the Sea of Cortez, La Paz was deemed “the world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau because of the abundance and variety of sea life cushioned within its depths. Take a short boat to the protected waters of Isla Epiritu Santo Island where you’ll find a rocky outcrop hosting a colony of wild sea lions. Don your wet suit and snorkel gear and slip into the chilly water and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a baby sea lion, ready for play.

2. Consume Chocolate Clams

Clams dipped in chocolate? Hardly! These mollusks are so named for their brown outer shell. They are served open with fresh lime which you are instructed to squeeze onto the live meat and watch the clam move. Then… you eat it. Be sure to wash it down with a Michelada, a local cerveza of beer, lime juice and optional sauces served in a salt-rimmed glass.

3. Stroll the Malécon

The boardwalk hugging the shoreline, called the malécon, is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico. People stroll along the malécon safety any time of day or night, but especially to view the stunning sunsets. The malécon bustles daily with both tourists and residents enjoying the variety of restaurants and small shops, viewing the sculptures along the way or simply enjoy an afternoon of rollerblading along the paved pathway.

4. Visit Historic Downtown

For an afternoon away from the beach, take a stroll throughout downtown, visiting La Paz’s central plaza and garden, the historic Catedral de Neustra Senora de La Paz, the aquarium, and plenty of shops along the way. Stop and get a copy of the Baja Citizen, La Paz’s English newspaper and Allende Bookstore which has a large supply of English books.

5. Pamper Yourself at a Luxury Resort

CostaBaja Resort ©CostaBaja Resort

Located right on the Sea of Cortez, CostaBaja Resort and Spa enjoys the distinction of being the only 5-star resort in La Paz. The resort property encompasses a beach club, marina, spa, Gary Player golf course, palapas-strewn beach, infinity pool and a selection of restaurants. CostaBaja does a fine job of tempting its guests to never leave the premises.

6. Hike to the Top of El Morito

Sail to El Morito, a small deserted island near Isla Espiritu Santo, off the coast of La Paz with a crystal aqua bay framed by craggy cliffs. Our boat’s captain doubled as our guide as we hiked to the top of the cliffs. There isn’t a path, so there is a bit of tricky, hand-over-hand climbing, but the panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez from the top are worth the effort.

7. Engage in Water Sports

If you like being in the water, then you’ll be in heaven in La Paz. The coral banks off Isla Espiritu Santo for great for snorkeling and diving. La Paz is one of the best locations for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding because of the shallow, crystal clear inlets. Hop on a boat to try some game fishing, whale-watching, or to simply relax.

8. Chill Out at Tecolote Beach

Drenched in sunshine nearly year-round, Playa el Tecolate is at the northern tip of La Paz’s peninsula and best place for an authentic Mexican beach experience. There are palapas and showers, chairs and umbrellas for rent, fire pits, and two restaurants serving fresh grilled snapper.

9. Play Golf

Just a few years ago, there were no golf courses in or near La Paz. Now, three world-class golf courses are available, including the first Gary Player golf course in Mexico, with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez at CostaBaja Resort, one at Paraiso Del Mar, and another at Bahia de los Suenos.

10. Safest Destination in Mexico

In a noteworthy move that recognized the safety of La Paz, the U.S. State Department’s 2012 travel update stated no security concerns and no advisory in effect for La Paz and the entire South Baja region, reaffirming La Paz’s reputation of “peace” and one of the safest places in the world to live or visit.

Original Source: Wave Journey

Starting out in bareboat chartering can be overwhelming, even after you’ve combed our archives and read articles like Yacht Charter 101 and 10 Tips for Charter Planning. You may still have questions about where you should you go, and what skills will you’ll need. Important factors to consider when assessing a location are the ease of navigation, the severity of local weather, distances between destinations, difficulty of anchoring, and the availability of multiple bareboat yacht charter companies. Here are four destinations in the order it would be best to tackle them, for beginner bareboat charterers looking to build skills and confidence while having fun in various parts of the world.

Bareboat beginners

Beginner bareboat charterers will build confidence while having fun in these four destinations. Photo: Neil Rabinowitz/neilrabinowitz.com

British Virgin Islands
The BVIs have been referred to as Chartering 101. The Leeward Islands of the Caribbean generally serve up smaller swells, consistent winds of 10 to 20 knots, temps in the 70s and 80s, and short distances between idyllic islands. You’ve most likely heard of many places already like Foxy’s bar on Jost Van Dyke, Pusser’s marina with the world-famous Pain Killer rum cocktails, and the incomparable Baths on Virgin Gorda.

Anchoring is easy in 20 to 40 feet of water with sandy bottoms and there are lots of bars and small shops to keep everyone entertained. The Moorings, Sunsail, MarineMax Vacations and several other charter companies have bases on Tortola, which is centrally located in this paradise playground.

St. Vincent and the grenedines

These waters present a slightly larger challenge, for bareboat charters with a bit of experience.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Once you’ve graduated from novice status, consider going southeast into the Caribbean Windward Islands. As the name implies, the winds (15 to 25 knots) are a little higher and the waves (5 to 8 foot swells) are a little bigger, and you should have your sailing and reefing skills down pat. For the most part navigation is still line-of-sight, with short distances so you can island hop from Union Island at the southern end, all the way up to St. Vincent at the northern—although that will be a six hour slog if done non-stop, usually against the wind.

Anchoring is variable with some deep areas and a few shallow reefs, especially in the Tobago Cays Marine Park. Typically however, it is not hard to find a sandy anchorage in 15 to 30 feet of water. Sunsail, Barefoot Yacht Charters and TMM Yacht Charters all have bases at the Blue Lagoon at the southern tip of St. Vincent. To start in the middle of the island chain, choose The Moorings base in Charlestown on Canouan Island. The best thing about this part of the world is the diversity of the islands where no two are alike; there is something for everyone on your boat.

charter in Tahiti

Tahiti waters are more demanding, but make for a serious adventure.

Tahiti
If you’re looking for something more exotic and challenging, consider Tahiti. This is an incredibly scenic destination but it can be more demanding for bareboat chartering. The islands are a bit farther apart (mostly 15 to 25 miles) in the Leeward Society Islands where most bareboats go. Navigation can be tricky because the islands are surrounded by fringing reefs that can only be exited via marked passes. There are plenty of shallows and you must get to know water colors to gauge depths and cardinal marks to avoid grounding. It’s also important to remember that the French Society Islands do not follow the rule Red, Right Returning.

Anchoring can be in over 100 feet or in shallow waters with coral heads that love to grab chain. The tradewinds are fairly consistent but can pipe up to over 25 knots and then, usually on the nose as you’re heading back from Bora Bora to the base. Oh, and it helps to know French, although you can get by without it.

All this scary talk aside, Tahiti is a must-see charter destination with amazing vistas, beautiful water, friendly people and great food. The Moorings, Sunsail and Tahiti Yacht Charters all have bases on the island of Raiatea.

san juan islands charter boats

The west coast offers a completely different atmosphere for bareboat chartering. Anacortes is the best base to begin your charter.

San Juan Islands, Pacific Northwest
And now for something completely different. If you’re sick of aquamarine water, warm breezes and rum punch (what?) try more northern latitudes chartering among pine-covered islands. The San Juan Archipelago in the Salish Sea off the coast of Washington state has 450 islands to explore, only one sixth of which are inhabited. The islands are easy to get to and are clumped together so distances are short. The cruising season is short, however, and the best time to charter is July to September. Things to watch for are strong currents, a large tidal range, fog any time of year, lots of boat traffic including shipping and military, and anchorages that include underwater rocks and branches.

The islands are picturesque and you’re likely to spot Minke whales, Dall’s porpoise and the very popular orcas that swim in Haro Strait between US and Canadian waters.

The people are very friendly and the seafood is as fresh as can be. The town of Anacortes is the logical jumping-off point and  Anacortes Yacht Charters, preferred partner to The Moorings, is the main charter company in the area. This might even be the time to try your hand at chartering a powerboat.

By Zuzana Prochazka on YacthWorld

The Romantic Zone is the portion of the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta that is bordered by the Rio Cuale on the north, Santa Barbara Street on the south, Insurgentes Street on the east, and Playa de Los Muertos on the west. Other common names for this area are Old Town, The South Side, and Colonia Emilano Zapata. The Romantic Zone is greatly favored by frequent tourists, expats, and locals alike because of its vibrant, colorful and relaxed ambiance along with the incredible number of amenities available within one defined area of the city. Here you will find the highest concentration of restaurants and bars in all of Puerto Vallarta. And for accommodations there are a good number of great budget hotels, a few hostels, very lovely boutique hotels, as well as a fantastic inventory of rental condo options, most of which are within walking distance to the beach.  The whole of the Romantic Zone just bustles with activity and Mexican cultural flavor. Those vacationers looking forward to sprawling resort properties will not find those types of accommodations in the Romantic Zone. Those types of resorts are located in the Hotel Zone, with the the mega all-inclusive properties primarily located in Marina Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. But make no mistake about it, the Romantic Zone is a very special place and many visitors find that forgoing a stay at a large luxury resort complex outside the Romantic Zone is well worth the trade off of being in the center of all the action.

Visitors will find that there is no shortage of things to do and experience in Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone. During the day visitors can relax on the golden sands of lively Los Muertos Beach and beach-chair shop from a whole host of beach vendors walking by, or enjoy taking a stroll down the narrow cobblestone streets of downtown, browsing the numerous boutiques and unique shops before stopping for lunch and drinks at any number of excellent restaurants, bars or taco carts. Food prices and offerings range from budget to gourmet, so there’s something for everyone. And if you’re wondering what types of food are available, here is a quick sampling: Mexican, Seafood, International, Mediterranean, Pizzas, Japanese, Chinese, Hamburgers, American, Italian, Argentinian, German, Spanish, Cuban, Vegetarian, Fusion, Steakhouses, Delis, and more. In the Romantic Zone you can enjoy a meal on the beach with your toes in the sand, or dine at a restaurant with a terrace that offers panoramic views of the ocean.  When it comes to types of food and dining experiences, the options are limitless!

Source: visit-vallarta

By: Deollo Johnson

According to Forbes magazine, only 25% of Americans took their entire 2 weeks of paid vacation in 2014.

Even worse, the travel organization Skift reports that 42% of Americans did not take any vacation days in 2014.

Work , work work, and no play? Could this be one of the major contributions to the lack luster growth and attitude of the average American? Is this why so many feel they are falling behind? Well’ I think so.

Think about these 5 reasons, why you need to take a vacation.

 

No vacation leads to stagnation

If we don’t vacation, we stagnate.  In our jobs, in our lives, in our relationships. Vacationing can give us new experiences and new perspectives.  It can shake up the rote and routine in our lives and leave us with new energy for our lives.  Some vacations can be positively life-changing!

 

Like real estate, vacation is about location, location, location

There are so many breathtaking vistas to see, so much to explore, and so many adventures to be had on this beautiful planet.  Write locations on pieces of paper and draw one out of a hat.  Throw a dart at a map.  Whatever.  Just pick a location and go!  (Also, to assist in you’re getting-up-and-going, there are numerous online resources to use to scout places and get great deals.)

 

Make vacation your new vocation

Some people wait for “the trip of a lifetime”…well, once in a lifetime.  Don’t do that.  Plan on a trip of a lifetime at least once a year.   With so many locations and places and experiences to be had, what else makes sense?  Why wait?  I’m not saying quit your job, sell everything, and sail around the world for a few years.  (Hmmm…)  Just make vacationing your new (additional) vocation.

 

Vacation is a type of education

Traveling can teach us a lot about ourselves, other people, other cultures, and our world, in ways we can not get in a classroom or via a screen.  It can expand our viewpoints and show us who we are and where we live in unparalleled vividness.

 

With a vacation is re-creation, which can cause elation

The word “recreation” literally means to re-create, “to create again.”  Vacationing can help you create yourself again as more alive, more vibrant, more authentic—more of the real you.  You can also use being in a new environment, a new country, in new surroundings, to re-create yourself, to play with and practice different aspects of your own personality.  If you’re usually outgoing, you can be quieter, or vice-versa.  If you’re risk-adverse, take more risks.  You can design the “new you.”

 

Vacation = elation

Enough said!

 

(Let Sankofa Odyssey Adventures fulfill all these and be your next vacation provider! www.sankofaodyssey.com)

 

By Felipe Jay

If you have always imagined yourself traveling internationally then you’ve gotta find a way to make it possible. Leaving America to travel internationally definitely has its perks and advantages. While money can be your primary concern to make this dream happen, you can try some things you’ve never tried before, like working as a consultant, English teacher or a server or bartender at a restaurant! You can even volunteer in exchange for food, lodging, and/or money just so you can start seeing the world. Trust me, it all lies within your fingertips. It’s time to satisfy your burning desire to explore countries across the world.

If these aren’t convincing enough, here are 5 reasons why you should travel internationally:

Indulge in different cultures

Experiencing various cultures firsthand is definitely far more fulfilling than just reading it in books or watching it on television. Not only do you develop a renewed sense of the country you’re visiting but you also get to understand completely why people of varying races do what they do and believe what they believe.

Studies revealed that those who spend their money on experiences, such as travelling, are happier than those who splurge on material things, and you should know this yourself. Imagine the joy you’ll feel when you get to step foot on Phuket’s wonderful beaches compared to the initial feeling when you first had your iPhone 6. The latter is a passing thing while the memories you gain when you travel internationally will stay with you as long as you live.To gain priceless experiences


To experience adventure

How about some adrenaline-pumping adventures like bungee jumping from Macau Tower, skydiving in Namibia, or sailing in Greece? Sounds interesting? You bet! No further words needed for this third reason to travel internationally.

 

To establish new connections

When you travel internationally, you not only open doors to gaining a renewed sense of theworld, but you new gain friendships and opportunities as well. You get to meet like-minded people and people from different walks of life who may offer you work and/or other opportunities. Also, whatever you learn to do while on your journey will definitely add some spice to your resume.

 

Because you deserve it

You have studied and worked hard all your life, so you definitely deserve to follow your true passion. If it is travelling internationally, go for it! You only live once, so make time for all the things that will make you happy!

 

Single and looking for a fish in the sea? Great, because what you’re looking for is right on the water, and it’s the sexiest person you could ever meet!

 

Did I get your attention? Don’t worry, I find it cool when people admit that they want a sexy date or mate. Go ahead, admit it, things are better when you’re with someone hot; and speaking of hot, the guy or gal you want to date and have as a partner for life is right there, basking under the sun, scoring a perfect tan, and enjoying the time of their life. I am not referring to tough power boaters but to the gentler, more romantic, and sexier sailors. C’mon, you’ll agree with me after reading these 7 reasons why many find sailors sexier than power boaters.

 

  1. Owning/riding a sailboat is sexy in itself

 

When you imagine a first date, don’t you honestly find it sexy when you’re invited over to a  sailboat? Come to think of it – you can enjoy a sumptuous dinner floating on the ocean, under the stars and eventually make things sexier in the cabin. I can see a grin there… And these are some things you won’t be able to enjoy when you ride a powerboat with your date.

 

  1. Sailors often have right of way over power boaters

 

The rule of the sea is that power boaters need to get out of the way of sailors. This means you get the feeling of being the king or queen of the seas.

 

  1. Sailors are more environment-friendly than power boaters

 

Isn’t it sexy when your sailor contributes to saving the world so your future children can still enjoy this place? Power boats make a  high contribution to the carbon footprint because they burn a lot of fossil fuels whereas sailboats only use their sails to conquer the seas .

 

  1. Sailors know adventures too

 

If you think only power boaters can give you an adrenaline-pumping experience, you are definitely mistaken. Things get really exciting when the winds start to blow hard. The harder she blows, the more she heels, the more she heels, the more you scream. Note* “she” refers to the vessel or boat.

 

 

  1. You can do so much more in a sailboat

 

A sailboat can easily be anchored when you want to savour your moment together watching the sunset, or the sailor can easily set its sails when you want to play Jack and Rose with the winds, which can eventually lead to something sexier. Depending on the kind of power boat, some just have very little space for you and your boo to run around teasing each other.

 

  1. Sailors understand the seas and treat her like a woman

 

Because sailboats have wind as its primary companion, sailors have mastered the art of decoding how both the wind and the seas work together. I remember how women are often being compared to the seas because of their unpredictable behaviour. Now, if a sailor has a deep understanding of the seas then you can expect patience with you. After all, sailors must understand and engage “Mother” Nature throughout their journey. I find it sexy to have a smooth sailing relationship or should I say a continuous work in progress, don’t you?

 

Power boaters, on the other hand, may become too confident in there journey because they can simply start the engine and proceed with his journey without battling the winds, tides, and currents While, it’s not conclusive, a power boater may just be easy on you. Is that what you really want?

 

  1. Sailors can fill your nights with affection and your life with passion

 

When sailors go on a journey alone or with friends, no words can describe their drive to reach the destination and their excitement to go back to your loving arms. Days out in the sea can definitely fuel up their love for you so expect your night to be sexier and your days happier once your sailor comes back to port.

 

Power boaters are brusque and they are not out to the seas long enough like sailors, which unfortunately means they won’t miss you that much.

 

So the next time you desire an adventure out on the water, keep walking pass that jet propelled rattling mechanical phallic. Instead, go for the long natural sunrise to sunset cruise of a sail with a sailor

After all, it is the distance and time traveled alone by sailors that make them greater, sexier lovers!

By Felipe Jay

If you like to travel the world by sea, and perhaps see it from aboard a luxury cruise ship, you might want to read what I have to say about sailboat charters before booking your next cruise.

Freedom and intimacy

 Unlike a cruise ship package where you have a general itinerary to follow, chartering a sailboat gives you the freedom to choose where to go, when to go, and how long you stay in a specific place. On a cruise ship you’ll visit that giant port where the vendors are anxiously awaiting your arrival. On a sailing charter, you may visit locales with only a few people living there, or perhaps where you are the only person on the entire island. So, whether you want to sail the Bahamas, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific, it is always your call. The itinerary for sailboat charters consists of 2 timed events; the time/date to leave the charter base and the time/date to return to the base. Fill in the rest as you go.

Good bye Buffets & Hello Tailor-fit Dining

 For crewed sailboat chartering, the chef is going to ask you firsthand what food you like and dislike so you only get to eat what you desire. Say goodbye to standing in long lines before you get to the buffet table only to see dishes you don’t really like to eat, and dining in a cruise ship’s restaurants may add on to your bill. On the other hand, sailboat charters can always stop by a local restaurant as you request, which definitely costs way cheaper than cruise ship bistros. Did I mention that you also don’t have to adjust your time to the cruise ship’s eating hours because your requested dishes will be served to you when you want them?

On a sail charter, you and your crew get to plan your meal. There are more opportunities to enjoy the flavors of the region in local restaurants, engage with local fresh food vendors, purchase fish fresh from local fisherman, etc.

Unlimited Cocktails

 Some cruise ships or your tour operator will give you wine and you may get a few free ones while you dine aboard, but with sailboat charters, you can inform the crew of your cocktail preferences or you can even bring some yourself. You and your companions can enjoy bottles of your favourite liquor or wine without worrying about a high bill.

Privacy

 On a Cruise ship you will share the journey with thousands of people you don’t know. While many find it good to meet lots of new people, others like their private experience. If you’re this type of person, then you should really consider sailboat chartering. What better way to sail the world than with people close to your heart? Hmmm… You must be thinking of sailboat chartering as the most romantic way to spend your honeymoon. Well, I couldn’t agree more!

Control

This is somehow linked to the first reason why sailboat charters are better than a cruise ship. You don’t wait when the ship tells you that you can snorkel or dive. You decide your pace. So, you find Grand Cayman’s water inviting? Then you can jump and dive as you please, even in your birthday suit!

So the next time you consider a vacation cruise, FORGET ABOUT IT! Instead, consider an intimate, fun, and exciting sailing vacation. Guaranteed, you’ll be back for more.