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When you think of a Mexico vacation hotspot, top choices that come to mind may include Cancun and Cozumel in the south on the Yucatan Peninsula and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas several hundred miles south of the American border along the Pacific Ocean. However, there is no need for you to venture far into the heart of Mexico to find a dynamic and memorable vacation spot – Rocky Point, Mexico is practically an American neighbor while offering all you can ask for in a vacation destination.

Rocky Point, a modern oasis

Also known as Puerto Penasco, Rocky Point is a fishing town in Northern Mexico that is easily accessible from the U.S. and offers tranquil beaches, top-rate dining, and adventure outings – visitors can stay as active or relaxed as they like. This area, only 66 miles from the U.S. border, was built to attract visitors and has something for just about anyone.

Located next to the Sonoran Desert (Desierto Sonorense), the area was not much more than a spot on a map until the 1920s when it gained some traffic during Prohibition but it then experienced a lull until the early 1990s. In the past three decades, development has boomed with businesses and attractions, vacation rentals and resorts, designed to please the modern traveler flocking to the area.

No shortage of activities to fill the day in Rocky Point

With its proximity to the American border and array of beach-lovers activities, Rocky Point has become the beach retreat Arizona and other southern American desert locales wish they had.

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Island of Capri

I still remember how it felt when we were speeding across the sea in our gommone,  the island of Capri off in the distance, starting off shrouded and gray before finally coming clearly into view. I’ll never forget the surreal feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach. It was as if I had been transported in a movie and we were pirates on a getaway boat to store our treasure and hideout on the island. It was at this moment that I knew it was going to be a great day, and in fact, it became one of the best days of my life.

It all started when I learned my lesson after my experience in Sicily. I knew I wanted to rent a boat to sail around the Island of Capri, and I knew I had to book in advance. So, after scouring the internet, I finally decided on You Know Boat for a private gommone with a capitano to drive us around. The total cost per person was around 70 euros, but it was worth every penny.

The boat company sent a private car to pick us up near our AirBnb and take us to the marina. When we arrived, we were introduced to our skipper: a young, good-looking Italian, who was deemed “lucky” from the other skippers to be able to accompany us. Oh, the Italian charm.

The boat was small, but perfect for the three of us. It was stocked with water, soda, prosecco, champagne, and wine. Perfect.

Finally, we set sail, leaving the coast of Sorrento behind and heading out onto the open sea, excitement electrifying us. 

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The Matinloc Shrine El Nido

You might have heard of “El Nido” or came across the term at least. For those of you who encountered the word for the first time, here’s what you need to know: El Nido is a first class municipality in the province of Palawan, renowned for its stunning natural wonders. Being a popular travel destination in the Philippines, there’s no wonder why the place has become all the rage both locally and internationally.

There might be a few things you already know about El Nido but here are 7 more facts about El Nido, Palawan that will interest you.

You can swim along with the whale sharks

Whale Shark El NidoDespite their massiveness, the whale sharks are totally harmless creatures of the sea. These gentle sea giants can grow up to 12m in length and can weigh up to 20 tons. These creatures are rare animals as well, so an opportunity for a close encounter with them is something you wouldn’t wanna miss. In El Nido, you can have the chance to swim along with these beautiful marine giants.

It has a plethora of marine species

Considering El Nido’s underwater wealth, there are tons of various fishes and undersea creatures you can see, and sometimes swim with, on the waters. These animals make home in the vibrant corals of El Nido’s waters. The number of islands and diving spots found in El Nido attest that the place is rich with healthy corals and marine life, which makes snorkeling and scuba diving a fun and exciting activity here. Clownfish, bannerfish, and sea urchins are just few of the many marine species you’ll find in the waters.

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A vantage point on the AH1 between Quang Ngai and Qui Nhon. This is just before my helmet got stolen (I’m also the idiot that left it sitting on my bike when I trotted off to get this pic).

A vantage point on the AH1 between Quang Ngai and Qui Nhon. This is just before my helmet got stolen (I’m also the idiot that left it sitting on my bike when I trotted off to get this pic).

A Word of Advice to Motorcycle Vietnam

Speeding along the well-paved roads of Vietnam is not the safest activity. Make sure to take the proper motorcycle safety precautions (full-face helmet, jacket with padding, motorcycle boots, and some form of GPS), and you’ll set yourself up for the ride of a lifetime!

Keep on reading for a few tips for the first-time traveler to Vietnam, including a bit of info for the first-time motorcycle rider.

Getting Your Motorbike

Those of you planning on buying or renting a motorcycle can do so easily in any major city. Start in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and inquire at the hostel you are staying at (they’ll have a hook up). You can expect to spend about 250 USD. Make sure the shop does a full service on the bike and that you are fully kitted out before leaving.

If you are buying your bike off another tourist, take it to a shop with them (there’s never an auto-repair shop far off) and have them cover any additional expenses incurred for a basic tune-up.

If you’re an absolute novice like I was, get a Honda Win. It’s the most widely repaired bike in Vietnam, which means when you (inevitably) break down, someone will be there to help you.

Be safe while riding – invest in some motorcycle safety gear

Motorcycle safety gear in Vietnam is not the best. The standard for most folks here is flip-flops, t-shirts, and shorts…along with a flimsy helmet that somewhat resembles a children’s toy.

That said, it isn’t a bad idea to do your own research and bring the proper gear from home if possible. A full-face helmet, jacket with padding, motorcycle gloves, and motorcycle boots may be pricey back home and take up a lot of space in your pack, but the quality will be much better than anything you can get once you’ve landed in Vietnam.

Generally a smartphone with GPS capabilities will suffice for riding around Vietnam if you are planning on sticking to the main highway, which is incredibly well paved and well marked. But, for those of you who are planning to ride unbeaten paths, consider investing in a proper GPS instrument to make sure you don’t get lost in the middle of a Vietnamese forest.

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San Francisco

California is a state that offers a whole lot of destinations and hotspots. One of the most iconic locales in California is San Francisco, a city filled with whimsical fog, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the long and winding roads of fame. San Francisco tours help you see all this and more, all while learning more about the history and culture of this lovely city by the bay. Check out the possibilities that a tour through San Fran presents, and then you’ll want to book your getaway right away.

A Completely New Escape

A trip to San Francisco is anything but ordinary. This coastal city is a popular summer destination with beautiful weather and interesting past. There are some 500 San Francisco tours that offer sightseeing excursions and visits to famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Alcatraz Island, and more. There are also many nearby adventures to be hard, such as trips to Napa Valley for wine tastings and tours, as well as hikes through Yosemite National Park. With so much to see, do, and experience, an itinerary organized by a reputable travel service is just what you need.

An Active Arts Scene

For travelers who are looking for a trip filled with art and culture, San Francisco has got you covered. This city is a full display of theaters, concert venues, nightclubs, museums, galleries, and more. There is plenty of art to see and be inspired by, and the beautiful settings throughout the city are a great starting point for your own creations. Just imagine the mysterious fog enveloping you as you watch the waters of the bay. Or peruse the city by night to take in the splendor of buzzing city streets downtown.

Nature and History Buffs Rejoice

Of course, this beloved American city would not be where it is today without a riveting past that will intrigue anyone, especially history buffs. Allow your knowledgeable tour guide to educate you on the past events and struggles of the city, as well as why it is such a celebrated locale today in the United States. Afterwards, enjoy the beautiful natural delights of the San Francisco area, from it’s gorgeous bay to the lush green valleys of Napa wine country. Be sure to schedule enough days to see all this place has to offer!