Friday, February 5, 2021

Honduras

Honduras Flag





Why visit Honduras?
An unpolished destination for travelers to enjoy beaches, birdwatching, cloud forests, colonial towns, culture, cycling, hiking, lowland jungle, ruins, scuba diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, volunteerism, white water rafting, and zip-lining.



Mahogany BayHonduras. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Cedar carvings, cigars, jade jewelry, leather goods, mahogany carvings, pottery, woven baskets, and woven hats.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Anafres (fondue). Baleada (stuffed tortilla). Plato Típico (national dish). Sopa de Caracol (conch soup). Yojoa Fish (fried).
  • Local Drink to Try: Barena (beer). Guaro (liquor). Imperial (beer). Port Royal (beer). Salva Vida (beer). 


Copán Ruins, Honduras. Photo Credit: Juan Cernas/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • In 1821, became independent.
  • In 1969, fought with El Salvador (Football War).
  • In 1969, the national flower changed from a rose to orchid.
  • In 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed nearly 70% of their crops and infrastructure. Loss estimating around $3US billion.
  • Known for coffee, natural minerals, sugar cane, textiles, and tropical fruit.
  • Granted exemptions and land to USA based fruit companies in exchange for developing their northern region.
  • Known for mining gold, lead, silver, and zinc.
  • A suggestive inspiration for Cabbages and Kings book.
  • Host to the largest Peace Corps mission in the world.
  • Coco River divides them from Nicaragua.
  • Many rivers and streams are also polluted with heavy metals from mining.
  • Majority of Honduran refugees live in the United States.
  • On Christmas Eve loved ones gather for dinner followed by a gift exchange at midnight.
  • Annually (Yoro) around May or June fish fall from the sky for decades. There are many speculations as to how and why.
  • Legends of "La Llorona" story is a ghost roaming waterfront areas mourning her children who drowned.


Roatán Island in Honduras. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 




Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (April) Punta Gorda Festival, (May) Feria de San Isidro, Festival de Lluvia de Peces, La Ceiba Carnival, (June) Feria Juniana, (July) Garifuna Festival, and (August) Sun Jam Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Americas Day, Holy Week, Labour Day, Independence Day, Francisco Morazán's Day, Discovery of America Day, Armed Forces Day, and Christmas.


Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo Credit: Adrian Castro/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Poorest country amongst the Americas.
  • Northern shores and eastern region experience the greatest rainfall.
  • Mesoamerican Barrier Reef  is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.
  • Montecristo Cloud Forest Reserve is easier accessed from El Salvador.
  • Bacterial disease, Leptospirosis is found in still waters.
  • Sand fleas exist (Bay Islands).
  • Do not drink tap water. Poor water quality due to proper maintenance and treatment.
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • Drug trafficking is a collaborate to their high daily homicides.
  • Females are known to be forced into human trafficking and prostitution.
  • Export of  birds and pre-colonial artifacts is prohibited.
  • Export and import of export of business equipment, medication, and vehicles is strictly enforced.
  • Dry Season is known to pose air pollution during forest fires.
  • Prevalent diseases include Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Malaria, and Zika.
  • Avoid public transportation for safety reasons.


Port Of Roatan, Honduras. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 




This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Required  Yellow Fever vaccination from select countries. Suggested: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Measles, Rabies, Rubella, and Typhoid.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Rainy season is May - December. Subject to forest fires, flooding, and hurricanes.

  • Best Time to Visit: February - April
  • Coolest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: March - June
  • Peak Season: January - June

Fortress of Santa Bárbara (El Castillo), Trujillo, Honduras. Photo Credit: David Diaz/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Copán and Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve.


Photo Credit: shannonleigh353/Pixabay 



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

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


                                      All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Guyana

Guyana Flag




"Land of Many Waters"


Why visit Guyana?
An unspoiled destination to enjoy architecture, birdwatching, cycling, fishing, hunting, mountains, rain forests, and waterfalls.


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Carvings, ceremonial pipes, cotton hammocks, diamonds, furniture, gold jewelry, paintings, pottery, and rum.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Metamgee (dumpling dish). Pepperpot (stew).
  • Local Drink to Try: Banks (beer). Demerara (rum).

Fun Facts
  • In 1966, became independent from the United Kingdom. 
  • In 1974, land was leased to American new religious movement, Peoples Temple.
  • In 1978, over 900 people died in a mass murder/suicide drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid (Jonestown).
  • In 2007, World Cup Cricket Stadium completed.
  • Celebrity Michael Philip Jagger, English Actor/Film Director/ Singer/Songwriter is known to enjoy matches at Bourda Cricket Ground from time to time.
  • Second least populous country in South America.
  • Only South American country with English as their official language.
  • Science fiction novel, The Lost World inspired by the country. 
  • Kaieteur Falls, is considered the world's largest single drop waterfall.
  • Home to the largest unspoiled rainforests in South America.
  • Rainforests are home to the world's rarest orchids.
  • National monument, Umana Yana was built for Foreign Ministers meetings.


Photo Credit: Jolanda de Koning/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Mashramani, (March) Festival of Colours, Rupununi Rodeo, (April) Bartica Regatta, (May) Guyana Carnival, (August) Regatta, and (November) Races.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Republic DayPhagwah, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Indian Arrival Day, Independence Day, CARICOM Day, Emancipation Day, Deepavali, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Youman-Nabi, and Eid-ul-Adha.


Good to Know
  • A developing country. 
  • Has very few beaches. 
  • Endangered turtle nest on Shell Beach (northern coast).
  • Credit cards are not widely accepted.
  • Second highest HIV infection rate in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Avoid driving or exploring after dark.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • Due to parasitic disease Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) do not stand or swim in still waters.
  • Be mindful, mutual English words often have different meanings.
  • Targeted crimes are known to occur ranging from armed robbery, carjacking, pickpockets, purse-snatch, sexual assault, and theft.
  • Narcotics are known to be planted in travelers luggage.
  • Stolen ATM pin data theft is common.
  • Prevalent diseases include Chagas Disease, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Leishmaniasis, Malaria, and Zika Virus.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination required. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.


Photo Credit:  Dinesh Chandrapal/Unsplash



  • Best Time to Visit: July - November
  • Coolest Months: December - April
  • Hottest Month: September 
  • Peak Season: September - November & January - April

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

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


                                       All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau Flag




Why visit Guinea-Bissau?
Known for beaches, jungle, national parks, and wildlife.



Fun Facts
  • In 1974, became independent from the Portuguese.
  • In 2005, a known transshipment point for Latin America Drug Traffickers transporting cocaine to Europe.
  • Bissagos Islands, has 88 islands and islets.
  • Musical instrument, kora is a gourd covered with animal skin and fishing lines for 21 strings.
  • The baobab tree is considered a symbol of peace.
  • Orango Islands National Park is a habitat for saltwater hippos.
  • Largely exports cashew nuts, fish, and ground nuts. 
  • Cuisine has a creole flair.
  • French is taught as a foreign language.
  • Children ages 7 - 13 are required to attend school.
  • Peanut production was encouraged by the Portuguese.


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Bubaque Festival, Guinea-Bissau Carnival and (May) Movimento Hip Hop Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Heroes Day, International Women's Day, Labour Day, Pidjiguiti Day, National Day, Readjustment Movement Day, Christmas Day, Korité, and Tabaski.


Good to Know
  • Lacks sufficient resources and infrastructure.
  • Corruption is known to exist at all levels of government. 
  • Northern Districts may have land mines.
  • By law, you must stand in silence upon the bugle blow and flag raising or lowering.
  • Photography of bridges, government buildings, and the military is not welcomed.
  • National language is Creole.
  • Child Labor is commonly practiced.
  • Avoid driving or exploring after dark.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Targeted crimes are known to occur ranging from armed robbery, carjacking, pickpockets, purse-snatch, sexual assault, and theft.
  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • Medical facilities and practitioners are extremely limited; shortages and limitations exist.
  • Skin infections are common.
  • Due to parasitic disease Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) do not stand or swim in still waters.
  • Prevalent diseases include Malaria, Rabies, and Yellow Fever.
  • Land mines are known to exist throughout the country.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination required. 

  • Best Time to Visit: December - April
  • Coolest Month: December - January
  • Hottest Months: June - November
  • Peak Season: June - September


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

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals



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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


                                    All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Guinea

Guinea Flag



Why visit Guinea?

Known for beaches, forests, hiking, jungles, mangrove swamps, mountains, and waterfalls.


Bissau, Guinea. Photo Credit: Valéria Rodrigues/Pixabay 




At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Leather goods, musical instruments, pottery, and wood carvings.


Fun Facts
  • In 1958, became independent from France.
  • Since 1984, every Spring hundreds of Catholics walk from Conakry to Boffa (90 miles) in honor of Ahmed Sékou Touré (1922-1984), late President who died after a heart operation in the United States.
  • In 1977, women led market riots banning the farm produce sales policy.
  • Referred as "Water Castle of West Africa".
  • Has rich deposits of diamonds and gold.
  • Home to the world's bauxite reserve.
  • Their rice is imported from Asia.
  • Emerging regional producers of apples and pears. 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Macao Art Festival, (April) Festival des Arts de Conte, and (December) Festival International Kora et Cordes de Conakry.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Second Republic Day, Easter Monday, May Day, Africa Day, Assumption of Mary, Independence Day, All Saints' Day, Christmas Day, Mouloud, Qadr Night, Korité, and Tabaski.


Good to Know
  • Poor infrastructure.
  • Malnutrition is a problem.
  • Avoid borders along the Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
  • Avoid Conakry, Kissidougou, and Nzerekore.
  • Theft amongst airport baggage handlers is known to occur.
  • Local police are known to bribe tourist travelers.
  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • Medical facilities and practitioners are extremely limited; shortages and limitations exist.
  • Skin infections are common.
  • Due to parasitic disease Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) do not stand or swim in still waters.
  • Official language is French.
  • Homosexuality is illegal. Subject to a fine and/or up to three years in prison. 
  • Most vehicles are 20+ years old.
  • A special Export Permit may be required on goods purchased.
  • Photography of government buildings, military, police, or transportation facilities is not welcomed.
  • Prevalent diseases include Dengue, Malaria, Measles, Meningoccocal Meningitis, Rabies, and Yellow Fever.
  • Air quality poses an issue (October - May).
  • Avoid driving or exploring after dark.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Crime is known to occur ranging from armed robbery, carjacking, pickpockets, purse-snatch, sexual assault, and theft.
  • Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination required. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Exit: $5,000USD.

Rainy Season is May - October.

  • Best Time to Visit: November - March
  • Coolest Month: January
  • Hottest Month: April 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve 



Photo Credit: Yaayaa Diallo/Pixabay 




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

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals



Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Guatemala

Guatemala Flag





Why visit Guatemala?
For adventurous outdoorsy travelers seeking to enjoy architecture, beaches, birdwatching, colonial towns, culture, exotic wildlife, hiking, history, jungles, lakes, rainforests, ruins, scenic kayaking, and volcanoes. 



Tikal National Park (Ancient Mayan Citadel) Tikal, GuatemalaPhoto Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Coffee, masks, rum, and woven products.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Fiambre (salad). Gallo en Chicha (chicken stew). Kak'ik (turkey soup). Pastel de Banano (banana cake). Pollo a la Cerveza (chicken/beer sauce). Tamales. 
  • Local Drink to Try: Dorada (beer). Gallo (beer). Guaro (liquor). Limonada con Soda (lemonade refreshment). Ron Zacapa Centenario (rum). Sol (beer). Victoria (beer). Zaya Gran Reserva (rum).


Lake Atitlán (Guatemalan Highlands), Guatemala. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • In 1524, conquered by Spain.
  • In 1541, the capitol moved due to volcanic mudflows.
  • In 1773,  the capitol moved due to earthquakes.
  • In 1776, new capital was founded.
  • In 1821, became independent from Spain.
  • In 1898, José María Reina Barrios (1854-1898), General was assassinated. 
  • From 1960-1996, endured a bloody civil war.
  • In 2012, Erick Barrondo won their one and only Silver Medal in the Summer Olympics (London) in Race Walking.
  • One of the most traveled destinations in Central America.
  • Most populated country in Central America.
  • Volcán Tajumulco (13,850 feet), is the highest point amongst Central American countries.
  • Has 5 lakes, 61 lagoons, 100 rivers, 4 swamps, and 252 wetlands.
  • Exports include cloths, flowers, fruits, handicrafts, organic coffee, sugar, textiles, and vegetables.

Natural Monument Semuc Champey, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Photo Credit:  iTICS Guatemala/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Coffee Harvest Celebration, (April) Holy Week, (July) Coban Folklore Festival, La Fiesta Nacional Indígena de Guatemala, (August) Fiesta de la Virgen de la Asunción, and (November) Day of the Dead Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Holy Week, Labour Day, Mother's Day, Army Day, Bank Holiday, Assumption Day, Independence Day, Day of the Race, Revolution Day, All Saints' Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.


Holy Church Cathedral Metropolitan Basilica of Santiago de Guatemala (Metropolitan Cathedral), Parque Central, Guatemala. 
Photo Credit: David Diaz/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and Latin American country.
  • Lake Atitlan and Rio Dulce are amongst the world's most beautiful lakes.
  • Central and western areas have active volcanoes.
  • Postal service is unreliable.
  • Toilet paper is not flushed, instead disposed of in a nearby wastebasket.
  • Beyond the beach or resort avoid wearing shorts in public.
  • The legal driving age is 22.
  • Avoid public transportation.
  • Lowest literacy rate in Central America.
  • Crime against Americans is known to occur armed robbery, carjacking, pickpockets, purse-snatch, sexual assault, and theft.
  • Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.
  • Do not use public ATMs due to scams.
  • Strong currents, riptides, and undertow occur along the Pacific coast beaches.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Aside from Guatemala City medical care is limited, medicine and equipment shortages are common.
  • Medical facilities may require payment prior to rendering treatment or care.
  • Zika disease is prevalent.
  • Do not hail for public taxis.

Hill of the Cross, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Photo Credit: codyvanscyoc/Pixabay 



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Subject to earthquakes, fires, floods, mudslides (May - November), hurricanes (September - October), tropical storms (May - November).

  • Best Time to Visit: November - April
  • Coolest Months: November - February
  • Hottest Months: March - April
  • Peak Season: December - March


Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Photo Credit: renatomonterroso/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Antigua Guatemala, Quiriguá, and Tikal.

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

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals




Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine



All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

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