Friday, July 31, 2020

Haiti (HAY-tee)

Abaka Bay & Resort, Photo Credit:  Claudia Altamimi

History
  • In 1789, slavery was abolished. Former slave, Toussaint Louverture crowned himself King Henri Christophe I.
  • In 1802, Napoleon sent troops to retake the island. Captured by the French, Louverture was taken to France for trial.
  • In 1803, Louverture died of exposure and TB.
  • In 1804, the first Caribbean country to gain their freedom.
  • In 1914, British, German, and U.S. entered forces, the U.S. Marines stationed until 1934.
  • In 1957, Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc) was elected president. Upon his death his son, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) was the predecenter. 
  • In 1886, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) was driven out of the country. Seeking refuge in France.
  • During 1980, Jean Aristide, President was thrown out of power by the military.
  • Late 1994, the U.S. forced the military to give up power and stayed to help the country establish order.

Fun Facts
  • Voodoo is a highly developed ritual estimating nearly half the population practice: elements of magic, dance, music and drumming. Open ceremony consisting of three drums: boula, mamman and segon.
  • The flavor to Grand Marnier and Cointreau liquors is sun drying orange peels.
  • Rhum Barbancourt Distilleries use sugarcane juice instead of molasses.
  • Birthplace to Wyclef Jean, the leader of the U.S. music group, Fugees.
  • One of the highest unemployment rates in the Western Hemisphere (around 70%), its people are known for their work ethic and were instrumental in the building of the Panama Canal. 
  • Labadee, is Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines private beach on the northeast coast.

Good to Know
  • Political upheavals and natural disasters have kept them off of Tourism mainstream.
  • Tropical storms with floods and mudslides have killed many locals.
  • Literacy levels are low, around 50%.
  • The best beaches are on the South Coast along the Southern Peninsula and North Coast. Otherwise, dark volcanic sand.
  • Celebrations & Events: Carnival, Haitian Independence Day (January) and Saint Day Observances.
  • To inspire you, read: Lydia Bailey (1947), The Comedians (1966)
  • Movies that may inspire you: The Comedians (1967).
  • Prone to beggars, frequent delays, poor roads and power outages.
  • Doux doux (pronounced doo-doo) means Sweetheart in Creole.
  • Don't expect world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, as the country's reefs have been devastated by overfishing.

Why visit Haiti?
Appeals to the adventurous traveler with interest to a developing country. In addition, to their African-influenced dance, beaches, casinos, fine arts, folk paintings, historic sites, nightclubs, rugged landscape, shopping, voodoo culture and water sports.
  • Coolest Season: December
  • Humid & Hottest: August
  • Peak Season: November - March
  • Shoulder Season: April - June
Hurricane Season is June - November, Haiti impact around August - October.


Your Must-See & Do
Historical Sites:  Bassin Bleu, Cathédrale de Milot, Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Cap-Haitien, Champ de Mars, Citadelle Laferrière, Fort Picolet and Grotte Marie-Jeanne.
Museums:  Bureau d'Ethnologie, Haitian Heritage Museum, Musée du Panthéon National, National Museum of Art and Sans-Souci Palace.
Popular Attractions:  Cap Haitien, Cascade Touyac, Citadelle, Iron Market, Kokoye Beach, Port-au-Prince and Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve.

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with  Louvet Travel ?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Cayman Islands (KAY-muhn)


History
  • In 1503, during his fourth voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered Grand Cayman's two sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
  • In 1586, Sir Francis Drake changed the islands' names to "Caymanas".
  • In 1670, Spain ceded the islands to the British under the Treaty of Madrid.
  • In 1794, a group of ten merchant ships struck a reef and ran aground. Rescued by Caymanians it's rumored that one of the ships had a member of King George III England's family. Tales of "Wreck of Ten Sails". In appreciation and gratitude, King George III promised not to impose taxes. 
  • In 1834, slavery was abolished. Most slaves were brought from Africa.
  • In 1959, Cayman Islands got their first constitution.
  • Until 1962, governed as part of Jamaica to become a Crown Colony.
  • In 1994, Cayman Islands revised their constitution.
  • On April 29, 2012, the well-known Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales & Miss Catherine Middleton reported an official gift from the island was the local stone of Caymanite.

Fun Facts
  • Grand Cayman is the largest of the three coral islands; separated by easterly sister islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
  • Cayman Trough is a massive subterranean ridge that rises 8,000 ft from the seafloor and is the deepest part of the Caribbean. 
  • Do not levy an income tax, capital gains tax, or estate and death tax.
  • "Las Tortugas" (The Turtles) was named by Christopher Columbus considering how many were in the surrounding waters.
  • Local stone, Caymanite occurs as a fine-grained or vug filling a variety of the mineral dolomite CaMg(CO3)2. It occurs as white to red and black filling in fossil molds, small cavities, and caves. It is used as a semi-precious stone.
  • Considering there's no direct taxation, the Cayman Islands are a mecca for banking, with about 500 registered banks and trust companies, including more than 40 of the world's largest banks. Which is impressive given their size.

Good to Know
  • A premier diving destination with 160 unique dive sites!
  • Read: Caribbean (written by James Michener 1989)
  • Boasts a high standard of living, service, and amenities.
  • Car Rental Drivers must be 21 and need a temporary Driver's License.
  • Choose a weekday to best enjoy a golf non-crowded course.
  • Cayman Carnival Batabano is a salute to Cayman's Turtling Heritage. Parades with music and dance for the Batabano tracks left in the sand by turtles dragging themselves onto the beach to nest.
  • Celebrations & Events: Batabano (May), Cayfest, Gimme Story, International Fishing Tournament, Jazz Fest, Queen's Birthday (Mid June), Pirates Week (October) and Round the Island Regatta (April-May).
  • The island restricts the number of passengers visits per day.
  • The famous Seven Mile Beach sustaining significant hurricane damage is currently only 6 miles long, now.
  • The Turtle Farm is the world's only commercial green sea-turtle farm, housing more than 16,000 endangered sea turtles.
  • There's been many rumors that a Pirate Treasure is buried in the caves on Cayman Brac.
  • The U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, therefore it is illegal to buy turtle products and import them.

Why visit the Cayman Islands?
Ideal island destination for the luxury traveler seeking a beach lovers, deep-sea fishing, diving, duty-free shopping (George Town), fine dining, glass-bottom boat tours, golf, horseback riding, low crime rate, friendly English-Speaking islanders, marine life, seclusion, snorkeling, sport fishing, and water sports. 

As the "Underwater Capital of the Caribbean", undoubtedly a premier diving destination! Underwater weddings, couples must have a proper Ceremony above water to make it legal.
  • Coolest Season: November - April
  • Humid & Hottest: July - September
  • Peak Season: December - April
  • Shoulder Season: May - October
Hurricane Season is June - November.


Your Must-See & Do
  • Historical Sites:  Camana Bay Observation Tower, Mission House, and Pedro St James National Historic Site.
  • Museums:  Cayman Maritime Treasure Museum, Caymon Island National Museum, Cayman Motor Museum, and National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.
  • Popular Attractions:  Bioluminescent Bay, Black Pearl Skate Park, Bloody Bay Wall, Blowholes, Cayman Crystal Caves,  Cayman Ridge, Dart Family Park, East End, Hell,  George Town, Cayman Spirits Co Distillery, Cayman Turtle Farm, Dolphin Discovery, Jackson Point, Mastic Trail, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Rebecca's Cave, Red-Footed Booby Bird Nature Reserve, Seven Fathoms Rum,  Seven Mile Beach, South Hole Sound Lagoon, Stingray City, The Pirate Caves, and Wreck of the Ten Sails Historic Park.

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers, and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In, and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with  Louvet Travel ?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dominican Republic

Bavaro Beach, Photo Credit: Melisa Popanicic
History
  • December 1492, Christopher Columbus came upon the island of Hispaniola.
  • In 1493, Christopher Columbus established La Isabela upon his second voyage. 
  • In 1844, Juan Pablo Duarte led them to the movement as an independent nation.
  • In 1877, a box of bone fragments was found marked Columbus' in Santo Domingo. However, DNA tests reveals not to be his DNA.
  • In 1916, U.S. Marines were stationed in Santo Domingo.
  • In 1930, General Rafael Trujillo seized power.
  • In 1961, General Rafael Trujillo was assassinated.
  • During the 1970s, a group of investors developed Punta Cana as a beach resort destination.
  • In 2003, every fours they hosted the Pan American Games.

Fun Facts
  • Cordillera Central is the largest mountain, Pico Duarte reaching 10,417 feet.
  • Amber Coast, derives from the Amber gem known to have rosin of an ancient tree. The tree exuding sap upon injury, spa globules failing to earth over millions of years ago. These rosin chucks collected plans and insect material, hardening to the gem we appreciate today. The islands is transparent with a higher ratio of fossils, Baltic Amber.
  • Dictator Trujillo, commanded musical groups to compose merengue (dance music) to praise him.
  • Birthplace to major league baseball players: David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa and Pedro Martinez.
  • Three sisters: Patria, Minerva and Maria Mirabal were leaders to the movement to overthrow Dictator Trujillo. Said, to have been found, tortured and murdered by Trujillo's secret police. Today, they're honored as national heroes, "Las Mariposas" (The Butterflies).

Good to Know
  • The most tranquil beaches are along the southern coast of the island.
  • Not all resorts accept credit cards.
  • Celebration & Events: Carnival (Late February-Early March) and Merengue Festival (Late July - Early August).
  • You may wish to read: In the Time of the Butterflies (written by Julia Alvarez 1995) and Feast of the Goat (written by Mario Vargas Llosa).
  • Movies that may inspire you to visit: In the Time of Butterflies (2001) and Road to the Big Leagues (2008).
  • Many travelers consider Dominican Republic cigars to be the best in the world, surpassing even the Cuban cigars.
  • Blackouts are frequent, known to last up to 14 hours or more. Most hotels and restaurants have generators.

Why visit the Dominican Republic?
For their baseball games, beautiful beaches, casinos, caves, cigars, colonial architecture, Columbian art, golf courses, historical sites, kiteboarding, latin nightlife, merengue dancing, mountain scenery, national parks, natural beauty, reef and wreck diving, windsurfing and warm tropical waters.
  • Coolest Season: November - January
  • Humid & Hottest: June - August
  • Peak Season: December - April
  • Rainy Season: November - January (North) and May - November
  • Shoulder Season: May - November
Hurricane Season is June - November, their impact usually occurs between August - October.


Your Must-See & Do
  • Activities: Cave exploring, deep-sea fishing, golf, hiking, horse back riding, jeep safaris, parasailing, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, whale watching and zip lining.
  • Historical Sites: Alcazar de Colon, Boca de YumaCasas Reales (Royal Houses), La Isabela and Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone).
  • Museums: Amber World Museum, Aromas Museum, Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal, Cathedral Museum, Larimar Museum, Memorial of Dominican Resistance, Museo Carnaval Vegano, Museo de la Altagracia, Museo de la Porcelna, Mundo King Art Museum, Museo de Arto Moderno, Museum of Dominican Man and Museo Histórico y Arqueológico Doctor Estrada. Torres, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Royal Houses, Natural Museum of Natural History, Trampoline Children's Museum and Wax Museum.
  • Popular Attractions: Agua Splash, Brugal Rum Distillery, Cathedral of Santa Maria, Columbus Lighthouse, Gallery of Modern Art, Los Haitises National Park, Macorix House of Rum, Manati Park, Mt Isabel de Torres, National Library, National Theater, Ocean World, Parque Central (Central Park) and Santo Domingo's National Zoo.

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jamaica (juh-MAY-kuh)


History
  • In 1494 Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain.
  • In 1655, English took control of the island after many battles with Spain (since 1660).
  • In 1782, the first mango plants were introduced to Jamaica after being captured on the high seas on their way from India to the West Indies by Lord Rodney's ship H.M.S. Flora.
  • In 1807, slavery was abolished.
  • In 1871, United Fruit Company was established by Yankee Skipper, Lorenzo Baker.
  • In 1946, actor Errol Flynn purchased hundreds of farmland acres.
  • In 1962, they won full independence from Great Britain.

Fun Facts
  • Tourism is the largest island industry.
  • A leader in sugar exporting.
  • Highest point, Blue Mountain Peak (7,402 feet).
  • The third largest island of the Greater Antilles.
  • Many Jamaicans are "Ras Tafari", a religious and political movement known for dreadlocks, reggae music, vegetarianism and belief ganja (marijuana) is sacred.
  • Much of the island is capped by limestone.
  • Gasoline is expensive.
  • Doctor's Cave Beach , earned it's name after a physician donated his beach property to form a Swim Club.
  • Goldeneye , is the former residence of Ian Fleming. While you may not recognize his name, you will know his accomplishment; the creator of James Bond.
  • Firely , former home to British author and actor, Noel Coward. Famous guests like Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill have stayed there.
  • Movies which may inspire your visit20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Blue Lagoon, Clara's Heart (featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris) filmed at Trident Villas (1988), Cocktail, Cool Runnings (1993), Dr. No, Island in the Sun, (1990) Live and Let Die, Lord of the Flies in Frenchman's Cove, Mighty Quinn, Return to Treasure Island, The Black Swan (1942), The Harder They Come (1972), The Mighty Quinn (1989) and Wide Sargasso Sea.
  • Books to read: Book of Famaica (written by Russell Banks 1996), Captain Blood (written by Rafael Sabatini 1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (written by Terry McMillan 1996), Wide Sargasso Sea (written by Jean Rhys 1992).
  • Harry Belafonte, singer of Banana Boat Song (Day-O) is said to be inspired by the chants of men and women as they loaded bananas onto boats at Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio.
  • Cinnamon Hill, (North Coast Highway near Greenwood) was the home of country singer, Johnny Cash.
  • Listed in Guinness World Records as having more churches per square mile/kilometer than any other country. 
  • National motto, "Out of Many, One People" reflects the island's rich and diverse heritage.

Good to Know
  • Annual Events: Accompong Maroon Festival, Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival (January), Carnival, Celebrating Bob Marley Festival (February), Oco Rios Jazz Festival (June) and Raggae SumFest (August).
  • "Sleeping Policemen", are referred by locals but best known to travelers as speed bumps.
  • Unless you're a member of the military, do not wear camouflage clothing; it's illegal!
  • Given their manta, "no problem, mon" do be mindful you're on island time.

Why visit Jamaica?
Miles of coastline white sand beaches, caves, hiking, horseback riding, mountains, river rafting, scuba diving, reggae and snorkeling. Rich in history, stunning landscapes and influential culture.

Well known for their all-inclusive resorts, honeymoon and wedding destination.
  • Coolest Season: January
  • Humid & Hottest: June
  • Peak Season: Mid December – Mid April
  • Rainy Season: May - June and September - November
  • Shoulder Season: Early November - December and Mid April
Jamaica can be affected by hurricane season, which is from June to November.



Your Must-See & Do
Historical Sites: Devon House, Port Charles, Port Royal and Rose Hall Great House.
Museums:  Archaeological Museum, Bob Marley Museum, Hanover Museum, National Museum Jamaica, Natural History Museum of Jamaica, People's Museum of Craft & Technology, Peter Rosh Museum, Reggae Walk of Fame & Museum, Trench Town Culture Yard Museum and Turtle Museum. 
Popular Attractions:  Blue Mountains, Doctor's Cave Bathing Club, Dolphin Cove Ochos Rios, Dunn's River Falls, Green Grotto Caves, Hope Botanical Gardens, Jamaica House, Martha Brae River, Montego Bay, King's House, Mayfield Falls, Negril, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Rick's Cafe, Rose Hall Plantation, Royal Navy Hospital, Seven Mile Beach, Shaw Park Gardens, Treasure Beach, Treasure Hunt Gaming and YS Falls.

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and  personalized services, your journey begins with  Louvet Travel ?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Turks & Caico Islands (KAY-kos)

Photo Credit: Derek Oyen

History
  • In 1492, sighted by Christopher Columbus but not recorded until 1512 by Ponce de Leon.
  • In 1962, astronaut John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft landed along the shorelines of Grand Turk.
  • In 1673, Balfour Town was established as a salt trade.
  • In 1964, the Salt Production industry ceased.
  • In 1992, the government set aside protected areas, land and sea areas for: turtle breeding, seabird sanctuaries and wetlands.

Fun Facts
  • The name derives from early Settlers who thought the islands' flowering cactus resembled the red fez worn by Turkish men and string of islands, cayos in Spanish.
  • Consist of 40 islands, islets and cays. Although, only eight of the islands are inhabitable: Grand Turk, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Parrot Cay, Pine Cay, Providenciales (aka: Provo), Salt Cay and South Caicos.
  • Caicos is the larger and Turks smaller island.
  • Geographically, contiguous of The Bahamas however politically separated.
  • Hosts the world's third largest coral reef.
  • Evaporated of seawater Salt Cay is known for their natural salt resource.
  • The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has ranked the islands among the Top 5 Most Popular Scuba Destinations.
  • Features the world's only conch farm.
  • Locals refer to themselves as "Belongers".
  • Their music is often referred as "Rake 'n' Scrape" (aka: Ripsaw). Which requires a metal scraper or nail being raked over a handsaw's teeth as the blade is bent. 

Good to Know
  • Salt Cay between January - March is ideal for diving and whale watching.
  • Popular events: Annual Ripsaw Festival, Conch Festival (Provo), Fools Regatta (Provo), Maskanoo (Provo), South Caicos Regatta (South Caicos), Turks & Caicos Music & Cultural Festival, Valentine's Day Cup (Middle Caicos), Windvibes (Provo).
  • Parrot Cay & Pine Cay, features an 800 acre private resort.
  • You may enjoy reading, The Turks & Caicos Guide: A Cruising Guide to the Islands by Stephen Pavlidis, World Atlas of Coral Reefs or Reef Fish Identification written by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach.
  • You could be inspired after watching, Extraordinary People (Documentary) or Bahama Passage (1941).
  • The climate is hot and dry.
  • "Blue Holes", are briny pools and pocked by sinkholes on the island.

Why visit Turks & Caicos?
For their bird sanctuaries, conch, coral reefs, crystal blue waters, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, relaxation, snorkeling, solitude and white-sand beaches.
  • Coolest Season: December - February
  • Hottest: July - September 
  • Peak Season: Mid December - mid April
  • Shoulder Season: April - May
While hurricane season is June 1 - November 30, their encounter usually occurs towards the end of August to mid September.


Your Must-See & Do
  • Museums: Turks & Caicos National Museum (Grand Turk) and National Environmental Centre (Providenciales).
  • Popular Attractions: Caicos Conch Farm ((Providenciales), Cheshire Hall Plantation (Providenciales), Cockburn Town (Grand Turk), Conch Bar Cave System (Middle Caicos), Governor's House (Grand Turk), Grace Bay Beach (Providenciales), St Thomas Church (Grand Turk) and Wades Green (North Caicos). 

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Bermuda (Ber-MYOO-duh)

Photo Credit: Anthony Abruzzo 

History
  • Found in 1511 by Juan de Bermudez the island was referred as "Isles of Devils" because of their rocks, reefs, and shoals surrounding them. 
  • The island was used by Spanish and Portuguese ships as a stop for supplies. Not until 1609, did the first refuge take place onboard, "Sea Venture".
  • Bermudians prospered as shipbuilders, merchants, and privateers during the American Civil War.
  • In 1937, Imperial Airways and Pan American World Airways began scheduling flying-boat services from New York and Baltimore.
  • During World War 11, the US Military was located in Bermuda further igniting their travel and tourism in the 1960-1970s.

Fun Facts
  • Land consists of 181 small islands, the largest of which are connected by bridges and causeways, 20 which are inhabited. Located in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean.
  • "Bermuda Triangle", a region of sea according to legends a number of planes and ships disappeared in unexplained or mysterious circumstances.
  • There are no rivers or springs.
  • Regardless of their small size, they have more than 125 churches.
  • Police, Mail Carriers and Business Local wear Bermuda shorts. Ideally, inches above the knee and with long socks turned just below the knee.
  • The Princess Hotel in Hamilton opening was inspired following the winter of 1883 upon Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria flee of frigid Canada to a warmer climate governed by her husband.
  • Elbow Beach, south shore has been a popular location for over 100 years; said to have a gentle curve similar to a human elbow.
  • Popular Island sports: cricket, rugby football and tennis.
  • Associated with the biennial event, The Newport to Bermuda Sailing Race which begins in Newport, Rhode Island and finishes at St David's Head, Bermuda with a large party at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
  • Calendar of Events: Bermuda Day (May) boasts parades, Queen's Birthday (June), Cup Match (July), Somers Day (August) and The PGA Grand Slam of Golf (October), Boxing Day (December).
  • FKC franchise in Hamilton is the only fast-food franchise on the island.
  • The title of John Lennon's Double Fantasy album was inspired by the name of a flower he saw in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. Other gestures include: Bermuda's Story by Island Historian, Terry Tucker; Verdmont: The Story of a House by Diana Chudleigh; Mark Twain in Paradise-His Voyages to Bermuda by Donald Hoffman and 1977 underwater thriller The Deep based on Peter Benchley's novel.
  • Serves as the global base of operation for Jardine Matheson and the headquarters for Bacardi.
  • Popular rosy beaches contain two key ingredients; the pink from tiny Foraminifera, which cling to the reefs while alive and color the sands after death and secondly from crystalline quartz, the nonnative mineral transported in the guts of migrating birds.

Good to Know
  • Seasons are reversed from the typical Caribbean Islands.
  • Visitors are not permitted to rent cars, only motor scooters. Small cars are only permitted by Residents, one per household. Therefore, their public transportation and taxis are extensive. Ferries are also a bus system supplement.
  • The Bermuda Railway Trail runs the length of the Island and is perfect for pedal bikes.
  • Beaches are found in bays, coves and small strips, rather than stretching for miles along the shore. Waves can be rough except where beaches are sheltered by reefs and coves.
  • While Shipwrecks are plentiful, only Certified Divers can explore them via organized and guided dives.
  • The Moongate, a decorative circle symbolizes unity, peace, happiness and brings "Good Luck" to couples passing through it.
  • Retains British Customs: English Pubs, Afternoon Tea, and Conservative Dress.
  • There are no nude beaches or semi-nude beaches. Bare feet is not acceptable.
  • Local specialty: fish chowder, shark hash and sweet potato pudding.
  • A culture of Native American, African, and European descent.

Why visit Bermuda?
For their rosy beaches, cricket, deep-sea fishing, golf, nature preserves, sailing, snorkeling, tennis, scuba diving, relaxation, shopping and snorkeling.
  • Coolest Season: December - March
  • Humid & Hottest: June - August
  • Peak Season: May - October
  • Shoulder Season: October - mid-November
Bermuda can be affected by hurricane season, which lasts from June to November.


Your Must-See & Do

  • Historical Sites: Birdcage, Bridge House, Cabinet Building, City Hall, Crystal & Fantasy Caves, Fort Hamilton, Fort Scaur, Fort St Catherine, Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, Old State House, Perot Post Office, Royal Naval Dockyard, Sessions House, St David's Battery, St David's Lighthouse, Town Hall and Tucker House.
  • Museums: Bermuda Historical Society Museum, Bermuda National Gallery, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Carter House Museum, Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, National Museum of Bermuda, St. George's Historical Society Museum Printery and Garden and Verdmont Museum.
  • Popular Attractions: Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo, Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Dolphin Quest Bermuda, Queen Elizabeth Park, Somers Garden, St Peter's Church and Walsingham Nature Reserve.  

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Bahamas (buh-HAH-muhz)

Photo Credit: Forest Simon

History
  • An estimated 30,000 Lucayans lived on the islands at the time of Christopher Columbus' arrival on October 12, 1492.
  • George Washington called The Bahamas, "Isles of Perpetual June", today known as "Isles of June".
  • In 1648, Eleutherian Adventurers migrated from Bermuda. The English Puritans sought freedom and survived on "Eleuthera" salvaging goods from ship wrecks.
  • During the 18th Century, Nassau was a Pirate Refuge.
  • In 1718, Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony under the governorship of former privateer, Woodes Rogers.
  • In 1807, the British abolished slavery. Prior to then approximately 40 cotton plantations existed to employ 1,200 slaves.
  • In 1920, the island was a hub for Rumrunners Smugglers.

Fun Facts
  • Consists of around 700 islands and more than 2000 Atlantic Ocean islets.
  • The name Bahamas derives from Spanish "baja mar", which means "shallow sea".
  • On 7/10/73 they gained their Independence from Great Britain but remained a Member of the British Commonwealth. 
  • The country's highest point (207 feet) is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island.
  • The Bahamas is one of three countries to officially use the word, "The".
  • In 1907, "Cable Beach" was born after the transatlantic cable was laid under the sea connecting Nassau to Jupiter, Florida.
  • "Lyford Cay", is a private gated community northwest of New Providence known to be home to celebrities and the wealthiest people.
  • In 1998, the popular mega resort Atlantis opened.
  • More than 1,000 wrecks are thought to lie on the ocean floor from the great era of gold transporting sailing ships.
  • The Abacos is known to have more boat mooring points than hotel rooms.
  • Eleuthera boasts some of the world's sweetest pineapples.
  • Andros Barrier Reef is the world's sixth longest.
  • According to local lore, there are two mythical creatures on Andros. Lucas, half-octopus, half shark a gigantic who swallows vessels in their entirety and Chickcharney a feathered three feet tall with one eye and three-toed claws.
  • You may enjoy reading, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream written by Ernest Hemingway.
  • You may be inspired by movie scenes, James Bond in For Your Eyes Only, The Spy Who Loved Me, Thunderball, and Never Say Never Again or the diamond thieves After the Sunset (2004).
  • The popular "swimming pigs" reside on Big Major Cay. Rumored to have been left by Sailors who never returned for them after their shipwreck.

Good to Know
  • ​On some islands, a car rental may actually be a golf cart.​
  • Freeport is the island's city and free trade zone.
  • Southern Islands are less frequently visited, drier and more desert-like.
  • Junkanoo, is an annual street festival with lots of music, dance, art held on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Other popular festivities include: Pineapple Festival (Eleuthera), Crab Festival (Andros), Fishing Tournaments & Regatta (Abacos), National Out Island & Cruising Regattas (Examus) and Fishing Tournaments (Biminis).
  • ​Swimming with dolphins is popular in Nassau, Grand Bahama or Bimini​.
  • Beyond the major tourist islands bank services may be limited.
  • It's illegal to sunbathe nude on beaches. Only a few select resorts permit topless. 

Why visit The Bahamas?
Beautiful blue and turquoise ocean waters, casino gambling, diving, golf, fishing tournaments, island seclusion, kayaking, luxury, nightlife, rustling palms, sailing, sandy beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling and tropical sun.

Most travelers visit Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and Nassau/Paradise Island, New Providence. Needless to mention, each island offer it's own unique charm.
  • Coolest Season: November - April
  • Humid & Hottest: August 
  • Peak Season: Late November - Mid April
  • Rainy Season: May - October
  • Shoulder Season: September


Your Must-See & Do

  • Attractions: Abaco National Park (Abaco), Ardastra Gardens Zoo (New Providence), Botanical Gardens (Nassau), Inagua National Park (Great Inagua), Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island), Mount Alvernia (Cat Island), Port Lucaya Marketplace (Grand Bahama Island), Queen's Staircase (Nassau), Royal Victoria Garden (Nassau), Straw Market (Nassau)
  • Beaches: Harbour Island (Eleuthera), Taino Beach (Grand Bahama Island), Treasure Cay (Great Abaco Island)


My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Honeymoon

Photo Credit: Anthony Delanoix



Congratulations, on your engagement!


The history of a Honeymoon?

The honeymoon was originally the period following marriage, "characterized by love and happiness", as attested since 1546. Alluding "the idea that the first month of marriage is the sweetest".


The custom originated during the early-19th-century in Great Britain. Upper-class couples would take a "bridal tour", sometimes accompanied by friends or family, to visit relatives who had not been able to attend the wedding. The practice eventually spread to the other European countries from the 1820s onwards. 


The most popular honeymoon destinations at the time were the French Riviera and Italy, particularly its seaside resorts and romantic cities such as RomeVerona, and VeniceThen, honeymoons would typically start on the night of the marriage, with the couple leaving midway through the reception to catch a late train or ship. Today, many couples do not leave until 1–3 days after the wedding ceremony and reception.


Traditionally, the Bride engrossed in planning for the Wedding Day, the Honeymoon planning was left to the Groom and paid for by the Groom's family. Today, so many couples share this responsibility and cost.


Benefits of a honeymoon?

After months of stress and preparation for your nuptials amongst family and friends. A honeymoon is your time to reconnect with your partner! As a newly married couple embarking on: adventure, relaxation and romance. A great way, adapting to any adjustments with the onset of togetherness. Also, your time for privacy and intimacy. After all, "time" is the greatest gift you can give anyone; no amount of money can buy it nor can it be recaptured once it's passed.

  

Honeymooners usually seek exotic or romantic places, therefore popular destinations include:

  • Hawaii
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • St Lucia
  • Tahiti
  • US Virgin Islands

In selecting a destination it's also important to identify your goals to include: Activities, Adventure, All-Inclusive, Honeymoon Packages, Local Season and Romance Options.


My industry designation earned as a Honeymoon & Destination Specialist combined with our connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Safari Outfitters, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers, Rail, Car Rental and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on intimate experiences and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Destination Wedding

Photo Credit: Sandy Millar


The history of a Wedding Day?

A ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by a couple, presentation of a gift (offering, rings, symbolic item, flowers, money, dress), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers, or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony, as well as superstitious customs originating in Ancient Rome.


The use of a wedding ring has long been part of religious weddings in Europe and America. Believed, when couples wear their rings, their hearts are connected.


The exit from the wedding ceremony, "send-off", often includes throwing rice to symbol prosperity and fertility.


The Wedding Ceremony is often followed by Wedding Reception or a Wedding Breakfast, in which the rituals may include speeches from the groom, best man, father of the bride and possibly the bride, the newlyweds' first dance as a couple, and the cutting of an elegant wedding cake. In recent years traditions have changed to include a father-daughter dance for the bride and her father, and sometimes also a mother-son dance for the groom and his mother.


Traditionally, Wedding Day Etiquette Costs Applies to Whom?


Parents of The Bride:

  • Invitations
  • Church, Synagogue, Sexton and/or Organist
  • Bride's Dress, Veil and Accessories
  • Floral Arrangements for the Ceremony & Reception
  • Photographer & Videographer
  • Reception Food & Decorations
  • Transportation

Parents of The Groom:

  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Marriage License and Officiant Fee
  • Groom's Outfit
  • Bride's Bouquet, Boutonnieres (for men) and Corsages (women)
  • Honeymoon
  • Entertainment (Band/DJ) & Reception Alcohol

Bridal Party:

  • Attendees usually pay for their own attire
  • The Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids host the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party
  • The Best Man and Groomsmen host the Bachelor Party

Who Pays for the Destination Wedding?

While the traditional "dowry" and associated responsibility has evolved some couples opt for a Destination Wedding. Generally speaking, Destination Weddings usually are more intimate with a much smaller guest in attendance which equates to affordability and extends your joyous occasions longer amongst family and friends. That being said, the associated costs as mentioned above may still apply but today varies by couples, their families and financial means. 


Destination Wedding etiquette with the exception of the Bridal Party is that invited guests are responsible for their own hotel rooms, transportation to and from the destination and any activities and meals outside of wedding events. It's a kind gesture, to offer guests a Welcome Gift, Welcome Dinner and Departure Breakfast.


Group Rates can also help you and your guests to keep costs down. In addition, to All-Inclusive Packages and Cruise Lines. Do be mindful, some invited guests may not have the necessary funds to participate in your Destination Wedding. Are you willing not to have them there? Would you book them at your expense to attend?


Now, considering the additional cost imposed onto your guests you may not receive the traditional Wedding Gift value of:

  • $100-$200 range from a Family Member
  • $50-$75 range from a Colleague or Friend
Instead a kind gesture gift. Some couples prefer that Guests pay for an "experience" in their honor to heighten the couples local destination enjoyment.

Destination Wedding?

  • What is the desired length of your Destination Wedding?
  • Where would you like to go?
  • When do you wish to get married?
  • Any important family traditions?
  • What if your preferred Wedding Day is not available, then what?


In planning a Destination Wedding it's imperative to know the local Legal Requirements in any particular destination. In addition, consider:

  • Waiting Period (Varies by Country)
  • Passport Requirement
  • Certified Birth Certificate (Copy)
  • Administrative & License Fees
  • If applicable, Proof of Divorce Decree or Death Certificate
  • Tourist Card/VISA
  • Health Certificate
  • Blood Test
  • Witnesses
  • Authorization Letters
  • Certificate of Consular Inscription
  • Proof of Church Membership 

While the current "Top 10 Destination Wedding Destinations" vary year to year. These popular destinations tend to hold their positions year after year as industry leaders in the market:

  • Hawaii
  • Las Vegas
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico

The more direct conversations (who, what, when, where and why), you have upfront with your partner will aid towards minimizing frustrations and avoid awkwardness with your loved ones and guests. Like with anything there's always Cons and Pros.

  • Con: Attendance, Church Availability, Distant Planning, Entertainment Cost, Guests Cost, Legality, Legal Requirements, Guest Affordability, Options Available and Wedding Date Availability
  • Pros: Destination, Group Rates, Economically Affordable, Honeymoon Included, Intimate, Ongoing Celebration and Package Offers

My industry designation earned as a Honeymoon & Destination Specialist combined with our connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Safari Outfitters, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers, Rail, Car Rental and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on intimate experiences and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?

Lebanon

Lebanon Flag Why visit Lebanon? For the traveler seeking to explore the Middle Eastern to enjoy archaeological ruins, caving, coastal towns,...