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Baha mar and Melia join to open an All Inclusive Hotel in Bahamas

Melia at Baha Mar will be the new hotel name and brand for the Melia Hotels International Group. This new renovation will be for late 2014 but interim Melia will take over running the now Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at what will be called the Melia Nassau Beach Resort come december this year 2013.

It is thought that the Melia group will bring more international tourism to the Britsh speaking Bahamas with their expertise in Latin America Russia and Europe.

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Cuba the pearl at the heart of Caribbean

Pilar Beach

Cuba is an island country in Caribbean is brimming with vibrant art, soul-stirring music, villages cloaked with colonial charm, rolling farmlands, rugged mountains, varied geography and white sandy beaches which are eagerly waiting for its visitors to get explored. It is one of the largest and most intriguing of all Caribbean islands with its capital city Havana. The country has something for its every traveller from fascinating history to spectacular scenery, from vibrant nightlife to excellent family friendly hotels which indeed make Cuba” The pearl at the heart of the Caribbean”. The land is lush with tropical flora and fauna and is tempered by marine winds that invite visitors to explore experience and indulge.
On your visit to Cuba get ready for shocks and surprises because the country promises to be like nowhere else you’ve ever visited. It may be economically poor but culturally rich, architecturally magnificent and naturally blessed. So you just can’t afford to miss this land of classic beauties. The beauty of this country lies in Cubans themselves who are survivors and dreamers who kept the country alive and ensures that Cuba continues to be fascinating. Today tourists from all corners of the world have started looking at Cuba as an exciting destination to visit which is full of amazing attractions to explore. If you are still not among them then just don’t wait anymore and catch low price flights to Cuba and enjoy a journey to a great destination.

National Parks Cuba

The country is blessed with abundance of natural beauty which you can explore at its several national parks. Turquino National Park is located on Cuba’s highest and steepest mountains, Sierra Maestra which is around 1990 meters high. Established in 1991, the national park showcases ecological villages within its area along with several field stations. It also pursues active policy of support for key endangered species. Topes de Collantes National Park is an amazing and protected landscape of sheer beauty which comprises of various peaks and elevations and occupies an area of 12 hectares is a natural pool of crystal clear water and many more natural things is worth visit.

Fascinating Museums

The country has some of the most amazing museums that are well worth of a visit. National Museum of Decorative Arts preserves over 30,000 works of historical and high artistic values. This magnificent museum features items and articles which span from four centuries of style. Art lovers can explore nostalgic time of yesterday while visiting this museum. Museum of Cigar is one of the historic museums of Cuba which is situated in old Havana depict tobacco culture of island. The museum exhibits best quality of cigars and is even attract the non-smokers as well. Cigar is island’s most famous export and this museum is a must while visiting Cuba.

The old city- Havana

Havana the capital and colorful metropolis of two million people is remarkable for its architecture splendors spanning more than five centuries. The city is decked with some big crowd pullers among them Plaza de Armas which is the oldest square in Havana and the site of city’s foundation, El Templete, which is the oldest neo classical building in Havana, Casa de la Obra Pia houses a museum of 18th century furniture and goods are few among many of its major attractions. Get ready for all this fun and excitement and for this just grab beat deal discounted flights to Havana and enjoy a great journey to this culturally rich country.

Soulful Music

Cuba is a country that appeases your senses without trying. The music of country creating a continuous backing soundtrack that really sets the scene. Everywhere you go there is music and with music comes dancing. The music of Cuba is largely based on its cultural origins in Europe and Asia and over the three hundred years created a wealth of new musical forms. The lively and energetic music is profoundly influenced music styles throughout the world and impact that still continues even today and will sure soothe your senses. If you happen to be in Trinidad then especially you will enjoy the outdoor music that is casa de particular. But no matter where you go you will find the melodic tunes that are unmistakably cuba.

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DSD - Discover Scuba Diving Antigua

I used to teach Discover Scuba Diving so it is always great to see this course in action. It has its critics but it really has upped the inflow of new Scuba Divers to the sport. That is a good thing. Yesterday Donald from Indigo Divers took a couple of gals out and they took to the water like fishes. I was observing them while waiting to get back on the boat for our second dive. Antigua is a great place to learn to dive. Twee had talked her two mates to do it as she was an open water diver who was doing all she could in her new found sport - they are an active bunch from Texas and I am sure they will be doing a Scuba Vacation next time.

The first dive was excellent for me as I love barracuda and here there were good schools of them - I got some good shots. And again there was a nurse shark, holed right in a tight crevice my camera flash got him out a bit - a wee chappie that kept my diving days to seeing sharks ratio at at least one shark per day.

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I forgot my wetsuit - mornings my brain doesn't do.

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Antigua Diving with Indigo Diving and Nishi Squid

Eagle_Ray-indigo-divers-antigua eagle ray

Had a couple of tanks with indigo diving today and was very impressed with their levels of service and the boat. The diving - how was it ? Well we saw all manner of tiny critters from blennies to flamingo tongues and peterson shrimp and pistol shrimp sharing a flat = corkscrew anemone. But what was a real treat was the black tip reef shark ! it was also a pleasure to dive with Steve and Nishi and Pat from Indigo divers. All very good divers and that made for a great two tanks. Nishi is blogworthy as she is an expert on SQUID! She even found 3..So the site was Double Dip and we got no deeper than 18m for the first dive, lobsters, one king crab and a very healthy sized barracuda. The second dive was in the vicinity and forget the name if it had one. The second was where the shark cruised on by. 

 
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Kayaking in Antigua

Kayaking in Antigua

Location : North West Antigua, Dickenson Bay.

A potential chapter from Tales in the Tropics.. Image thanks to Ocean National Geographic 

It was an amazingly calm day so much so that there was no sail fun to be had. So a Kayak it was then, fuelled by some baileys on ice and a massive all inclusive buffet feed I was ready to go. In need of some exercise I decided to head along towards the right and a trail I had done before - it was so calm maybe I should choose another course. Maybe I could get to Millers bar if I turned left instead.I decided to start off left and see where the fatigue set in. Amazingly I had a super energy day. Maybe the biorhythms were good in the physical we had a session playing tennis earlier in the extreme heat. The small islet off diagonal has been teasing me for a long time and it was still so very calm.

"I had visions of them sticking on the paddle and as I brought the paddle up they would wander down and attack me to death"

I felt good and went to see how I could get there. It felt I was further out than I was since there was a large tanker refuelling the island at the offshore tanks. The first thing I noticed was how clear it was a spectacular visibility. And then I kept seeing very small surface disturbances. In no time at all I crossed a very real line into a thick shoal (swarm) of moon jellyfish, the classic shaped ones purple trim and mauve clear see through amazingly pretty and scary in the sting kind. I was not sure if they were so dangerous to the sting. But what was concerning me was if I was to get stung this far out I could start to get in some trouble, the jetskis were now behind me but I am sure it would have been ok.

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maxciriloy
ohhhhhhh...!!! I like your story.... Jelly's are very beautiful and as well it is very scary story of yours... keep writing post.... Read More
Saturday, 14 September 2013 10:20
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The best Antigua diving site - Hercules Pillars

The best Antigua diving site - Hercules Pillars

South and dived out of Falmouth area is Hercules Pillars - named for the pretty rock formation above the water. Underwater is a large plateau of coral getting shallower to large flat faced boulders. Here are some photos from that very dive today.

Best Antigua Scuba Diving

and here is a taster

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Grenada has some truly world class paces to stay !

Grenada has some truly world class paces to stay !

I won't go into detail that I don't know about - for that visit their website if you like this taster !

Mount Hartman Bay Grenada

the resort modelled into the side of a cave.

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Scuba Diving Masks for Big Noses

I had a lot of success with my post on swimming goggles for big noses that today while diving and wondering why my dive this morning wasn't quite perfect that I had no room at the end of my nose pocket. There must be a lot of us finning around finding it hard to steer that I hope if you too have a big nose you might share this blog post and indeed be able to share your wisdom so that I might save some dollars and buy the right mask for my big pointy nose.

So please share some diving humour today and help us big nosed divers out !

I did a quick search to save you some time and found these also helpful links:

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40442

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/fins-masks-snorkels/244222-masks-people-big-noses.html

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St Lucia All Inclusive Experience at the Rex Resort St Lucian.

St Lucia All Inclusive Experience at the Rex Resort St Lucian.

The main image here is not of Reduit Beach this is the view on the other side of what you can see looking left from reduit beach, various trails lead up this way to a fish pond believe it or not and some good views can be had. Also the segue tours run up here.

Location : Reduit Beach St Lucia. Close to Rodney Bay.

We stayed at Rodney Bay reduit Beach and the Rex Resort there called the St Lucian during the month of November. It’s hard to fault the beach here and the resort also has a great variety of watersports  on offer. Cruise ship day we felt a little relegated to one side as the resort welcome the cruise shippers to come and stay on the beach. The resort has no less than 3 pools but the third and largest pool is somewhat hidden away. Considering that it has a pool bar its strange that they don’t advertise it more. Facing the ocean this part of the resort is on your left side. Via the beach just walk up and notice the pavilion style building from the beach and cut in. It is your resort don’t worry ! To the right is a slightly more upmarket rex resort the Royal that is out of bounds apart from a paying restaurant you can frequent, virgin staff get to stay over here, but it seems a little quiet to me and the beach is no better. Back to the left hand side of the resort facing the sea you can walk through the resort to get to the dilapidated but functional tennis courts. They look rougher than they are in reality the surface is passable for any game you might have, though it adds to the overall feeling that the resort needs a makeover also some kit is needed like a proper volleyball for the pool as there is shockingly NO beach volleyball a big disappointment for me. The gym is decent enough and pernile I think his name was who also do the activities friendly fun and helpful. The room we had was not poolside and was perfectly fine but nothing luxurious either.

Being all inclusive here and eating in the same place for all the meals would get very tiring indeed past a week. We stayed for just the week and it was ok. The food was to a decent standard and varied enough to help me bulk up – on purpose of course. I did feel there was no one place that encouraged meeting so easily.

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Achieve A Lifelong Skill During Your Gap Year

Achieve A Lifelong Skill During Your Gap Year

One of the biggest regrets you hear from people who have completed their gap year is that they wish they had something to show for it, some kind of achievement. Now we know that a gap year is all about enjoying yourself and exploring the world, but we have the perfect solution for those of you wanting to achieve something while on your adventures. Why not gain a PADI qualification in the Caribbean ?

The Caribbean is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, above and below the water. The archipelago is made up of islands that are all unique and distinctive in their own rights with different landscapes and individual cultures and histories. One thing that they all have in common is that the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea surround them. The whole area is rich in marine life and offers some of the best diving in the world. All of the islands offer dives of varying degrees of difficulty making it the perfect place to learn, and then progress with your new-found diving skills. Not only will you feel a sense of pride and satisfaction for having done something worthwhile with your gap year, as opposed to constantly bumming around on the beach, but if you enjoy diving then you can use your PADI qualification on future holidays without having to waste precious time off work learning the skills first. The benefits of diving on your gap year are numerous.

Here is a look at what we think are the best three locations to gain your PADI qualifications in the Caribbean.

Variety and choice

If you're looking for a wide choice of dive sites with an impressive mix of difficulty levels that are all easy to reach, then Grenada is the island for you. The island's waters contain wrecks, reefs in abundance, a volcano and even an underwater sculpture park. When you are learning to dive the last thing you want to do is spend hours aboard a boat travelling to and from dive sites. To make the most of your valuable diving time, and to spend the maximum amount of time actually in the water, give Grenada a go.

A choice of shallow sites such as MV Veronica, Dragon Bay, Flamingo Bay and the underwater sculpture park at Molinere Bay mean that you will never get bored as a learner diver. There is also a huge range of dive schools to choose from. The majority are based on the island's famous Grande Anse Beach.

Easy access

The island of Bonaire is blessed with an almost continuous reef surrounding it. In many places this reef is only a few yards from the shore meaning you can simply wade out to experience some fantastic shallow diving. Bonaire is also well set up for visiting divers. Yellow markers along the coastal road indicate where the dive sites are. All you have to do is park up and walk out to the relevant site.

As you progress with your diving skills there are also some great off shore sites to be reached by boat as well as the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire which also falls under the protection of the Bonaire National Marine Park.

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admin
These waters you see in the video are the shallows of half moon bay - now you can begin to see why its real easy to learn to dive ... Read More
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:46
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Belize mentioned in a best dive spots in the world article.

Here is the article from Lonely Planet Best Diving Spots in the World.

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Caribbean Travel Trends

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Antigua and Caribbean General Hurricane Info

The official hurricane season for the Caribbean is from 1 June until 30 November.

For Antigua the period 15 August - 15 October is considered the active period peaking middle of September.

The last three hurricanes to hit the island directly were 1995, 1998 and 1999.

The official exchange rate is US$1 = EC$2.68 with variations based on the bank (currency code: XCD)

Info kindly provided by indigo divers Antigua.

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2 tanks Boat Diving in Antigua

2 tanks Boat Diving in Antigua

Today I went out with Jolly Dive for a couple of tanks. The first dive (Dive 1) was at Cades Reef - a firm favorite here as it provides a good dive almost every time. My dive was no exception - Nurse Shark, Octopus, Ray, and then some smaller stuff flamingo tongue - sea slugs. Paul took the effort to point out the various unidentifiable for me using his slate. The purple patches of Sargent Major eggs for example that the other fishes were taking bites out of ! The vis was good but apparently it wasn't I was told we could see 20ft ! A good torch and the ability to look into all the crevices pays dividends here and at this Paul and Connie the dive masters are excellent.

The second Dive (Dive 2) was a shallow 30 ft max dive on Bluff Cut. The vis was again not to the normal high standard for Antigua and this was due to slightly wet weather systems around. I am always confused as to the poor reviews given for Antigua Diving and I have to imagine that is is the first impression of steep dropoffs or walls isn't there - but the diving and fish life are equal to many other islands. See the videos here on this site for tiger sharks !

The weather is a bit off and on this time of year but it was in fact very enjoyable for us in total for 2 weeks there may have been 3 hours of rain at the most and it was refreshing along with the ever present winds.

Related Links and further reading

Book Tours in Antigua and Barbuda

 

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Underwater Sculpture News from JT

November 18th saw Jason De Caires Taylor add three new sculptures to MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) in Mexico.
Please comment on the photos and what they mean to you.

Time Bomb (Mine):Depth 4m, Size 1.5 x 1.5m 

Time Bomb (fuse) : Depth 4m, Size 2.5 x 3.5m

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