Diving With Turtles in the Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands are a quintessential tropical paradise. Located south of Cuba, west of Jamaica and east from Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a grouping of three islands, one big and two significantly smaller ones, that has been lauded as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks, how can anyone resist this pirate micro-archipelago?

Naturally, most of the activities in this location are related to water. Deep diving to inspect shipwrecks or diving with the turtles in the Cayman Islands are among the most popular tourist attractions of this kind.

Some context
The Cayman Islands has mostly served as a hideaway for pirates, shipwrecked sailors and deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s Jamaican army throughout most of the seventeenth century until it was finally colonized from Jamaica by the British in the seventeen hundreds. Under the British flag, the Cayman Islands had a pretty placid history up until they finally became independent in 1962.

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However, one of the most significant years in island history is 1833 when slavery was abolished. Many slaves were brought from Africa under English rule, so the majority of natives are of English and African descent.

As far as the islands go
Grand Cayman is the biggest of three islands and it’s located west of the two smaller, sister islands that are grouped closer together – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman is, in many ways, considered the main island and its biggest city and capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town, to be the hub for all the tourists and activities.

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George Town is home to around 28,000 people, and locals are known for their heart-warming, welcoming attitude towards tourists. This is where most of you will set foot for the first time as you step off the boat or a plane. From this moment onward, the world is your oyster, as they say, as there are so many activities you can enjoy.

Shipwreck diving
The surrounding waters are abundant with impressive shipwrecks. In fact, many divers are so inspired by these sights that they come specifically to dive around these sunken ships. Among the most popular of these is Kittiwake, a 250 feet long beast with five decks that are filled to the burst with marine life. The rust and lichens have given a unique texture to otherwise well-preserved equipment and rooms. You can also “drop by” a former Russian warship now known as the Captain Keith Tibbetts, Balboa, a 375-foot freighter on the depth of 40-50 feet and Oro Verde which has turned into a real marine-life zoo, among others.

Turtle diving

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Have you ever dreamed of swimming through clear azure waters surrounded by marine life so close that you can actually touch it? For such a dream-come-true aquatic activity, Cayman Turtle Divers offer an adventure you’ll never forget. On Grand Cayman, you’ll find the world’s one and only commercial Green Sea Turtle farm. This little slice of sea-side heaven is a home to over 16,000 turtles. Swimming with the turtles is an exciting activity for newcomers of all ages.

Stingray City
You’ll find it only 10 minutes away from the Green Sea Turtle farm. Considering how threatening stingrays can look, and some well-publicized tragic encounters with people, some tourists might feel a bit concerned before stepping in. However, you are surrounded by certified guides and gentle stingrays, no matter how large they are, are easy to pet.

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Even though they are wild animals, stingrays have become accustomed to people over centuries. It all began with fishermen on the barrier reef surrounding the islands. As they caught and cleaned fish, they threw the unwanted bits overboard. This attracted stingrays and soon it turned into one of the most popular tourist attraction on these islands.

These activities are only some of the exotic and unique experiences you can be a part of on the Cayman Islands. The impressive topography of the islands coupled with vibrant mixture of colors under the bright tropical sun will stay scorched into your retinas in the best possible way. You won’t be able to forget the experience, and you’ll be craving for more as soon as you go back to your every-day life. Be sure to start planning your next visit as soon as possible.

Prevent Jet Lag From Annihilating Your Life

Travel is one of the great rewards of saving and working hard. To see places that you dream about—whether they’re just three states over or across the globe—is magical.

But what’s not magical is jet lag. It can ruin the first few days of a trip, and can make returning to a daily routine after a vacation torturous. Not only can jet lag mess with your sleep, it can mess with your stomach and your mood.

Of course, the more time zones you cross, the more likely you’ll feel the affect of jet lag. Flying a lot and age can also be determining factors to the intensity of jet lag. But there are some simple steps that you can take—before, during, and after a trip—to help lessen jet lag.

One of them is remarkably easy: hydrate. Want to learn more tips to help bust this travel-induced fog? Use the ideas in this graphic.

Top 3 Routes to Suit Every Biker’s Needs

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Whether you have recently retired and decided to live out your childhood dream, or you’ve always wanted to go on a longer adventure but never had the time – the biker culture can win the hearts and minds of everyone. However, it’s not enough to simply own a bike – much of your experience as a biker will come from the routes you take and the way you perceive them. But how do you know which ones to take?

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The slow and classic

Some people ride their bikes to clear their mind and think through whatever issues they have at that moment. For those kinds of people, the long Route 66, the mother of all roads, is a perfect choice. The long straight road will leave you plenty of time and space to relax and enjoy the ride. Stop by the local diners and talk to the locals about the place, or take a moment to enjoy the feeling of timelessness and tranquility that comes with this open road. It’s a great road for traveling alone or in good company, just make sure not to rush through it without taking it all in.

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The scenic
However, if you are looking for something more soothing for the eyes, with a picture-perfect view around every corner, then why not hit the Transalpine road? It’s not as peaceful, since there are plenty of 180-degree turns at every corner, but the sights are breathtaking and you will find yourself lost in its wonders. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the magnificent Stelvio for a bit of a challenge, and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Stretching through the mountains from France to Italy, it’s a great road for riders who want a bit of thrill, while still having enough time to enjoy the beauty of the scenery around them.

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The adrenalin-packed
Lastly, if you are someone who likes to go on paths that pack your body full of adrenaline and get all of your senses involved in every turn, then you might want to check out the German Nordschleife, nicknamed the green hell by the F1 racer Jackie Stewart. It’s known to be one of the trickiest and most demanding race circuits in the world, so if you want an adventure – look no further. It was built around the historic castle of Nurburg. It stretches 12.8 miles and it has over 1000 feet of elevation range. If you start feeling lightheaded, you might want to take a break, because this ride will definitely get you feeling all kinds of dizzy.

Rules for every biker

While on the road, your bike is your lifeline, so you must make sure that everything is in top shape before setting off. Also, make sure you are well stocked on everything else: off road riding gear, water, essential spare parts, and anything else you might need for your trip because you never know when you are going to need it. If you are traveling in a group, you might not have to double up, so make a plan about who should be bringing what. Having a safe bike and all the essential items is crucial to having a safe and memorable journey.

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There truly is nothing like an open road and the feeling of freedom it evokes. There is always something new to see around the corner, and it doesn’t get much better than experiencing it all on your bike. No matter which route (or routes) you choose, there is no ranking and there is no competition. Pick the one that interests you the most and you can be sure that the trip will be forever remembered and the road forever marked by your tires.

 

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