Indonesia is one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations. This is because it has a huge percentage — 20% — of the world’s coral reefs in its waters. It’s simply is more beautiful under water world there than anywhere else!
Indonesia is made up of more than 13,000 tropical islands (many of them deserted) and boasts of the longest coastline of any country anywhere in the world. Nestled between the Indian Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, Indonesia is an equatorial paradise of unending beauty and mystery.
While scuba diving in Indonesia, you will have the opportunity to spy some of the more than 3,000 species of fish, 450 species of coral, vertical walls, wrecks, volcanic underwater mountains, and macro life of unbelievable diversity. And with nearly a thousand scuba diving sites directly off shore or reachable by a short boat ride, you will never grow bored of scuba diving in Indonesia.
Two of the most popular scuba diving destinations in Indonesia include Komodo and Bali. Following is a brief introduction to each.
KOMODO – Komodo Island is world renowned for its biodiversity. In fact, Komodo National Park is home to great diversity. A scuba diving expedition in this park will bring you up close and personal with colorful shallow reefs full of small marine life and deep water wonders such as sea mounts, walls, and pinnacles. You may even be able to spy a shark or two. Other wonders that you might see while scuba diving in Komodo, Indonesia include whale sharks, sunfish, mantas, eagle rays, pygmy seahorses, clown frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, colorful sponges, tunicates, and corals.
What sets Komodo apart from other parts of Indonesia, besides the Komodo dragon, is the fact that much of the reefs in the waters surrounding Komodo are part of a national park and has been protected from damage caused by dynamite fishing.
BALI – One of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Bali is one of the most popular islands in the whole of Indonesia. Shore-based diving is extremely popular here as well as boat dives. While scuba diving in Bali, divers will be delighted by vertical drop offs, coral ridges, volcanic outcrops, seagrass beds, and one of the most famous wrecks in the world. Marine life in this part of Indonesia includes hairy frogfish, cockatoo leaf fish, bumphead parrotfish, reef sharks, sunfish, and trevallies.
While the scuba diving season in Bali is year round, the best diving can be had from the months beginning with April and running through December. From December to March is the rainy season and visibility is hampered. But if you want to see sunfish and sharks, the best time to go scuba diving in Bali is from June to September.
The bottom line is this: Scuba diving in Indonesia is an experience that can be matched by no other. The sheer abundance of life and diversity of underwater formations is what makes Indonesia a popular destination for divers from all over the world.
Golf is one of those sports that you can transport you to some of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious places. Rewarding yourself with a stay at one of the top golf resorts is a sure way to ensure you improve that handicap, and to give yourself an unparalleled golfing experience!
I personally started my golf career on the plain simple grounds of Australia as that country is blessed with a good part of its land being a natural golf course. Lucky Australians, although golf course qualities varies of course. Australia is a country where some of the world’s prime golf resorts are located. I was lucky enough to stay at Port Douglas’s fabulous golf resort, the Mirage Country Club, for example.
However, we don’t need to fly to the other end of the world in order to find a top quality golf resort. There are many top quality golf resorts in the US, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
Top Golf Resorts In the US
The top 10 US Golf resorts as it stands today:
The Pinehurst Resort in Northern California
Kiawah Island Resorts in South Carolina
Pebble Beach resorts in California
Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villas in Hawaii.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon
Princeville Resort in Princeville, Hawaii
Dora Golf Resort in Miami Florida
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in Arizona
The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa in Arizona
The Greenbrier in West Virginia
This list of 10 golf resorts is chosen by Travel & Leisure’s discriminating readers. There are however other ratings with hundreds of panelists who decide which is the best golf course, depending on various factors ranging from yards, par, points, the course ambiance, the overall feel and atmosphere of the golf course & resort.
So, check these golf courses, but sure don’t limit yourself to just these. There are wonderful golf courses the world over and America is home to some of the best ones.
CARIBBEAN TRIP TIP Click Here to get the 7th Night FREE at Sandals Resorts plus Save up to 50% off !
Fall is my favorite season. It gives you the opportunity to get away (particularly if you didn’t get a summer vacation) for a fraction of the cost of a summer vacation and usually the weather, nature and cultural activities are at their best. There is so much opportunity to get away in Fall to enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Fall Foliage Tours
Whether you drive yourself or take a tour bus, there’s nothing quite like seeing the changes of the season reflected in the changing color of the leaves. Of course, some places have better color than other places, and the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are considered some of the best areas of the United States to take a fall foliage tour, with the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire known as one of the best places in the world to see spectacular fall foliage.
But, New England’s not the only game in town, as awesome fall foliage can also be seen in such places as the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, Lost Maples Natural Area in Texas and Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
You can drive your car, hike, ride a bike or let someone else be your guide on one to 8-day tours.
It used to be that Halloween was reserved only for the kids. Not anymore. Halloween has become a big adult holiday as well, with Halloween celebrations being held for adults in most major cities. Some cities, however, have become must-visit Halloween spots: New York City, West Hollywood, and Las Vegas.
New York City:
For 33 years New York City has played host to one of the largest public Halloween celebrations in the United States with New York’s Village Halloween Parade, where anyone in costume is encouraged to join bands, puppets, and dancers for a parade in Greenwich Village. The Halloween parade is so popular that is has been chosen by Events International as “The Greatest Event on Earth on October 31,” as well as having been ranked 3rd by Citysearch as the best event in New York City.
This Halloween celebration takes place on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, which has a large gay and lesbian population. The celebration usually lasts several days, with such events as “Doggy Costume” contests for you pet pooch, a Drag Race (in high heels), and a costume party on Halloween night, which is billed as the “largest adult outdoor Halloween event in the world.”
Let’s face it; Las Vegas is fun any time of the year. But, for those who love Halloween and an occasional trip to Vegas, a trip to Las Vegas on Halloween is double fun. Not for the timid is the “Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball,” celebrated on October 27 in 2007. It’s been happening for 12 years now, and has earned numerous accolades, including being named as “One of the Top 10 Events in the World” by the Travel Channel and “One of 5 Events to Attend Before You Die” by Maxim Magazine.
For those desiring something a little tamer, many of the casinos have special Halloween celebrations, and there’s always the “Haunted Vegas Tour” you can take, which is a 2.5-hour tour of Las Vegas’ favorite haunted locations. The tour starts at the Celebrity Room at the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino and runs every Saturday through Thursday. Call 702-737-5540 for more information.
While many people stay home for Thanksgiving, or travel back to their hometowns to celebrate with family and friends, some people like to travel for Thanksgiving, sampling Thanksgiving feasts and traditions in other parts of the country. Where might you like to travel this Thanksgiving?
Plymouth was the site of the first Thanksgiving, so naturally it’s a place you might want to consider for your Thanksgiving celebration. You may want to arrive the weekend before Thanksgiving to take part in the “America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade” and “New England Food Festival.”
New York City, New York
You’ve watched it on TV, now experience it live. Get away to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and join over two million people who line the streets watching the festivities. If you’re not into being up close and personal with crowds, get a hotel room along the parade route and watch it from your upstairs room.
San Francisco, California:
No Pilgrims here, but what you will find are superb restaurants, such as the Carnelian Room, fifty-two floors above the city. But, the real reason to come to San Francisco for Thanksgiving is what happens after Thanksgiving – shopping! And, no place does shopping better than Union Square in San Francisco, which is block after block of great shopping experiences. Stay in a hotel in the Union Square area and you can shop, drop off your goodies, and shop some more.
The above, of course, is just a tiny sampling of fall getaways. Just be sure to take it easy after your trip, you want to be fully rested for your winter getaway.
A visit to Madrid in Spain is not complete without a walk in its fabulous park, Parque del Buen Retiro. It literally means ‘relaxing park 🙂
I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but the park is H-U-G-E: about 300 acres!
It first opened as a public park in 1868. Earlier, the park belonged to the grounds of Phillip IV’s royal palace.
And you can certainly tell its regal origins! While many of its buildings were destroyed in the war with Napoleonic (begin 19th century), there are is still plenty to convey its grandeur.
For one, the grounds are gorgeous! Both locals and tourist love its lakes and botanical gardens. Particularly in summer, the park becomes the go-to spot for tourists as well as locals. It’s when the park really comes alive. You’ll find musicians, fortune tellers and other forms of entertainment. Really fun. And all this makes for my most favourite pastime in the park: people watching!
Second, there are lots of sculptures and monuments in the park that are of that ‘must-see’ calibre. And the natural beauty of the park and artworks seem to go hand-in-hand.
In the gorgeous Rosaleda rose garden, you’ll find all kinds of rose varieties as well as the statue of the El Ael Caido. This work shows the Satan as a fallen angel. Seems so perfect and romantic of good winning over evil.
Third, there are the classy remains the Cason Del Buen Retiro and the Museo del Ejercito, both really worth a visit.
The works by the Spanish master, Sorolla, are part of the 19th to 20th century art collection in the Cason.
The Ejercito holds Spain’s premier army museum. If you are planning a visit here, be sure to see the most elusive pieces of its large collection: the sword of the famous warrior, El Cid; and a cross carried by Christopher Columbus on his voyage to the New World. I just love this last piece, although the former is more famous, I believe.
The park is centred around a big lake. Rent a boat or follow the trails and paths around it. It is very scenic everywhere. Particularly noteworthy are the statue of King Alfonso XII on his horse backed by a magnificent colonnade. I love it. This is one side of the lake.
On the other end you’ll find the must-see Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). a late 19th century greenhouse for exotic plants! Near it, is the Palacio de Velazques. In this palace you’ll find temporary exhibits from the Queen Sofia museum of art. — I told you there is a lot going on in this park! —
Another natural feature of the park is the Cecilia Rodriguez gardens which have a delightful array of flora and are located close to the fine dining restaurants on Serrano Street. Also near this is the Prado Museum which can easily be combined with a trip to the park.
So if you’re in Madrid, make sure you take a stroll through the magnificent and charming Parque del Buen Retiro. It is sure to be a highlight of your holiday.
A Canadian Rockies golf vacation could very well be the most memorable holiday you’ll ever take! The Canadian Rockies truly are one of the top natural wonders of the world, internationally renowned for the stunning scenery, the sparkling clean air, and the quiet of unspoiled wilderness. This is as close as it gets to paradise on earth.
Snow-gilded mountain peaks, gem-like lakes, lush green river valleys and wide blue western skies are almost scenery clichés, but on your Canadian Rockies golf vacation this is reality. Golfers from around the world come to just stand and stare at one of nature’s crowning achievements. The fact that you’ll be playing golf in such a fabulous setting is just the icing on the cake. Of course, the numerous world-class golf courses in the area take full advantage of their gorgeous settings.
Verdant fairways weave themselves around glacier-fed streams and towering stands of evergreens, and often the greens themselves are back-dropped by achingly beautiful vistas. If there is a heaven, surely it must look like this! In such circumstances, it can be very difficult to concentrate on your golf game.
There are a wide variety of golf courses to choose from, all of them fabulous in their own unique way. Stanley Thompson, Canada’s master golf architect, designed the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course in 1928. He sensitively incorporated the natural scenic splendour into his design. The course winds along beside the pristine wilderness of the Bow River overlooked by the snow-capped peaks of Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle. This amazing course will both challenge and delight you.
SCOREGolf Magazine rates the Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club as the #1 Best Golf Resort in Canada with good reason. Designed in the 1920’s by Stanley Thompson, few golf courses in the world can match the rugged majesty of this national treasure. The design features wide fairways carved through thick forest, dramatic bunkering and holes aligned with distant mountain vistas. It presents a cunning blend of beautiful landscapes and challenging terrain.
Of course, a Canadian Rockies golf vacation would be incomplete without luxurious accommodations, fine dining, unique shopping experiences and pampering spas. Fortunately, resorts like Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies have been offering these amenities for well over a century, all in a unique manner. Hedonistic luxury in the heart of spectacular unspoiled wilderness is now a Canadian Rockies tradition.
About the author
Copyright 2007 – Golf Canada’s West. Author K. Gordon Schultz is President of the http://www.GolfCanadasWest.com K. Gordon Schultz is president of Canmore Golf & Curling Club and the founder of Golf Canada’s West – Customized Golf Vacations. His company offers customized golf vacations packages to Alberta and British Columbia being the Western Canada’s leading golf vacation specialist. Toll free 877 323 3633, or visit http://www.GolfCanadasWest.com