Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Philippines

Philippines Flag



"Pearl of the Orient"


Why visit the Philippines?
Ideal for travelers seeking to enjoy beaches, birdwatching, boat rides, culture, diving, festivals, fishing, historical sites, islands, marine life, reefs, rice fields, sailing, snorkeling, spectator sports, surfing, trekking tropical scenery, volcanoes, waterfalls, water skiing, and wildlife.



Photo Credit: lester56/Pixabay



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Brass goods, cane furniture, cigars, cutlery, embroidered cotton table linens, fabrics, guitars, paintings, rugs, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Adobo (national dish). Balut (duck egg). Bibingka (baked cakes). Champorado (chocolate porridge). Dinuguan (stew). Ginanggang (bananas) Kare Kare (stew). Kesong Puti (fresh cheese). Puto (rice cake). Pandesal (bread rolls). Shakoy (doughnut). Silog (fried rice). Sinigang na Hipon (soup).Tapsilog (breakfast). Tinola (chicken soup). Ube Halaya (dessert).
  • Local Drink to Try: Ginebra San Miguel (gin). Halo Halo (milk shake). Kapeng Barako (coffee). Lambanog (wine). Red Horse (beer). San Miguel Pale Pilsen (beer). Tanduay (rum).Tapuy (wine).Tsokolate (hot chocolate). Tuba (liquor).


Boracay Beach, Malay, Aklan, Philippines. Photo Credit: tttboram/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • During World War II (1939-1945) many Spanish architecture buildings were destroyed. 
  • The 13th most populous country in the world. 
  • Has over 330 volcanoes.
  • Near the equator and the "Pacific Ring of Fire".
  • The world's largest producer of coconuts.
  • Tabon Caves (Palawan) is known for revealing the oldest human remains.
  • Schools are based on the U.S. educational system.
  • The only Asian country practicing Roman Catholicism.
  • Home to Asia's biggest malls, the SM Mall of Asia (Manila, Luzon).
  • Third largest gambling hub amongst Asian countries.
  • Mindanao Island was home of the late largest saltwater crocodile in captivity.
  • According to Travel + Leisure (2012) ranked Boracay Island for their beaches and best island in the world.
  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Puerto Princesa), holds the world's longest navigable underground river.
  • Maritime waters are a part of the Coral Triangle ecoregion.
  • Second largest geothermal energy producer in the world.
  • Chocolate Hills (Bohol Province) has 1,260 geological formation hills.
  • Quezon City has the greatest quantity of urban ecological parks.
  • Magellan's Cross (Cebu City) is a Christianity landmark set by Spanish Explorers. 
  • Consists of approximately 7,641 islands.
  • Basketball is the most popular sport at both amateur and professional levels.
  • Philippine Airlines (PAL) is Asia's oldest commercial airline.
  • Mount Apo (aka: Apo Sandawa) is the highest peak (9,692 ft).
  • Home to the best coral reefs in the world.


Jeepneys (aka: Jeeps). Photo Credit: gloverbh222/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Ati-Atihan Festival. Dinagyang Festival, east of the Black, Fiesta Tsinoy, Kuyamis Festival, Lantern Festival, P

    asalamat Festival, Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival,

     (February) Bikol Arts Festival (NAM:BAF), Cagsawa Festival, Festival of Lights Tangub, Karanowan Fish-Tival, Mahaguyog Festival, Nangkaan Festival, Patunob Festival, Seafoods Festival, Sibug-Sibug Festival, Sunggod Ta KaManga, Wish 107.5 Music Awards, (March) Alimango Festival, Centurion Festival, Holy Week, International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Ligao Sunflower Festival, Malasimbo Festival, Moriones Festival, Samal Festival, Theater Week, (April) Alinao Festival, Bantayog Festival, Isla Carahan Festival, Mananap Festival, Moriones Festival, P’gsalabuk Festival, Rodeo Festival, Sakayan Festival, (May) Abaca Festival, Butanding Festival, Isla Rancho Festival, Kaogma Festival, Layag Festival, Palong Festival, Pasa Pasa Festival, Sarung Banggi Festival, (June) Ginubat Festival, Kamalig Festival, Man of the World Pageant, Pinangat Festival, Pinyasan Festival, Naro Festival, Pili Festival, Pulang-Angui Festival, RP612fic, Saulog Festival, Tabak Festival, (July) Grand Kaliga Festival, Kahimoan Abayan Festival, Kinabayo Festival, Libon Paroy Festival, Lubid Festival, Magalleones Festival, Ozine Fest, Pagoda Festival, Popular Music Festival, Sinulog de Tanjay Festival, Spring Festival, (August) Coron Festival, Harvest Festival, Higalaay Festival, Ibalong Festival, Pangapog Festival, Tig-Aw Festival, (September) Aurora Festival, Bicol Food Festival, Busig-On Festival, Diyandi Festival sa Iligan, Hin-ay Festival, Sarakiki Festival, T’boli Tribal Festival, UNTV Cup, (October) Cimarrones Festival, Cosplay Mania, Kamgbegu Festival, Mambulawan Festival, Masskara Festival, Parau Festival, Rahugan Festival, Unod Festival, Youth Congress on Information Technology, (November) Animahenasyon, ASOP Music Festival, Day-ang Di Onga Festival, Guipao Festival, Kalag-Kalag Festival, Kawayanan Festival, Lambat Festival, P’yagsawitan Festival, Sanduguan Festival, Santa Ipon Festival, (December) Kahumayan Festival, Kamundagan Festival, and Pasko sa Tanjay Festival. 
     
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Lunar New Day, Day of Valor, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Labor Day, Eid al-Fitr, Independence Day, Eid al-Adha, National Hero's Day, Bonifacio Day, Feast of Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, and Rizal Day.


Manila (Capital), Philippines. Photo Credit: AGDProductions/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Luzon, Mindanao, and Visayas are considered the main islands.
  • Cebu (Visayas) and Davao (Mindanao) are popular among beachgoers.
  • Ambulance services are not widely available.
  • Traffic is dense.
  • Whale Sharks are seen between November - June (Sorsogon Province).
  • Enchanted Kingdom (Santa Rosa, Laguna), is a popular theme park.
  • Manila Ocean Park (Manila) is an amazing oceanarium.
  • Crime and terrorists groups are known to target travelers.
  • Ocean Adventure (Subic Bay Freeport Zone) is an open-space marine zoological park.
  • Healthcare in rural areas is considered below our western standards.
  •  Pan-Philippine Highway connects the islands of Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, and Samar.
  • Great Santa Cruz Island offers pink sand beaches.
  • Kindly ask Taxi Drivers to use the meter, recording your fare.
  • Jeepneys are an iconic public transportation vehicle.
  • Samal Island is known for white sand beaches.
  • Rail transportation is limited.
  • Credit/ATM card fraud is an issue.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Dengue, Chikungunya, Measles, Malaria, Polio, Tuberculosis, and Zika.
  • Cultural acceptance and social harmony are highly regarded.
  • Fishing is popular at Camiguin Island, Lake Caliraya, Mactan Island (Cebu), Siargao, and Subic Bay.
  • Siargao Island is considered the surfing capital.
  • Avoid elective medical tourism travel.
  • Rainy Season is June - September and December - March.
  • Typhoon Season is June - November.
  • Possession, trafficking, or use of illegal drugs is severe.
  • Wear 100% natural fabrics whether cotton or linen.
  • Ferry Service connects many coastal cities.
  • Carry your passport with you at all times.

Manila, Philippines. Photo Credit: Herbert Hansen/Pixabay 



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

Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay 


Subject to earthquakes, humidity, and typhoons.

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

Surigao del Norte Province, Philippines. Photo Credit: Junriel Bonachita/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, Church of San Agustin in Manila, Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, Historic City of Vigan, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Paoay Church, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

El Nido (Palawan island), Philippine. Photo Credit: Richard Mcall/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  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.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Peru

Peru Flag 




Why visit Peru?
For the outdoor adventurous traveler seeking to enjoy Amazon rainforest, Andes mountains, archaeological sites, art, birdwatching, colonial city, coastal desert, culture, deep canyons, dense jungle, ecotourism, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, Machu Picchu, museums, natural wonder, unspoiled beaches, ruins, and surfing.



Cruzco, Peru. Photo Credit: Joaquín Enríquez/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Alpaca-wool goods, blankets, cotton fabrics, gold, leather goods, linen fabrics, miniature handmade statues, oil paintings, ponchos, pottery, silver, tapestries, walking sticks, wood products, and woven-straw goods.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Carapulcra (stew). Chupe de Pescado (fish dish). Jamon del Pais (sandwich). Lomo Saltado (beef). Papa Rellena (stuffed potato). Pollo a la Brasa (roasted chicken). 
  • Local Drink to Try: Chicha de Jora (beer). Chicha Morada (juice). Chilcano (cocktail).
    Cusquena (beer). 
    Inca Kola (soft drink). Mate de Coca (tea). Pisco Sour (national). 

Cuzco Main Square (Plaza de Armas de Cuzco), Cusco, Peru. Photo Credit: Alfonso Cerezo/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • Human evidence dates to approximately 12,500BCE.
  • San Marcos University (Lima) was founded in 1551.
  • Home to the highest navigable lake in the world (Lake Titicaca). 
  • Northern tip is within a mile of the equator.
  • South America's third largest country.
  • Home of largest variety of orchids in the world.
  • Incan Royalty would chew coca leaf representative of privilege.
  • Largest city, Iquitos, remains inaccessible by road.
  • World's largest commercial supplier of fishmeal.
  • Has the fourth largest military in Latin America.
  • Developed a mountain biking tourism industry.
  • Home to rare mammal species: jaguar, puma, and spectacled bear. 
  • Diverse cultural traditions in art, cuisine, literature and music.
  • Largely produces artichoke, asparagus, avocado, banana, blueberry, boron, cocoa, coffee, copper, gas, gold, grape, lead, maize, molybdenum, oil, pineapple, potato, rice, silver, sugarcane, tin, and zinc.
  • Music usually includes charango (instrument). 
  • Produced the first animated 3-D film in Latin America (Piratas en el Callao)
  • World's largest producer of quinoa. 


Colca Canyon, Chivay, Peru. Photo Credit: Adrian/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Foundation of Lima, Trujillo Marinera Festival, (February) Fiesta de la Candelaria, International Adventure Sports Festival, Juliaca Festival, (March) Festival Internacional de la Vendimia, Surco Wine Harvest Festival, (April) Festividad del Señor del los Temblores del Cusco, Lima Food Week, Lima Jazz Festival, (May) Fiesta de las Cruces, Lima Marathon, Nazca Tourist Week, (June) Inti Raymi, Saint John Festival,  (July) Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen, Lima International Book Fair, (August) Día de Santa Rosa de Lima, Lima Film Festival, Lima Half Marathon, Pachamama Raymi, (September) International Spring Festival, Mistura Culinary Festival, (October) Creole Song Festival, Lima Beer Week, Procesión del Señor de los Milagros, (November) Puno Week, and (December) Santuranticuy.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day, International Workers' Day, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Independence Day, Battle of Junín, Santa Rosa de Lima, Battle of Angamos, All Saints’ Day, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas.


Tarapoto, Peru. Photo Credit: Maik Alexis/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Rainy Season is October - April.
  • Do not expect deluxe accommodations.
  • Known to lack high standards of service. 
  • Sanitation standard levels may pose an issue for the inexperienced traveler.
  • Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cusco, Huaraz, and Puno are at high altitude. 
  • Avoid tap water consumption.
  • Surf Season is February - September (north) and March - December (south).
  • Prevalent diseases: Dengue, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Hepatitis A and B, Leishmaniasis, Malaria, Rabies, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Zika.
  • Exporting artifacts or antiques is illegal.
  • Air pollution is a significant problem in major cities.
  • Ambulance services are not present throughout the country.
  • Avoid use of "ceremony” or “spiritual cleansing” due to known strong hallucinogen substances.
  • Many popular destinations are remote.


Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo Credit: MLbay/Pixabay 



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $30,000USD.

Subject to earthquakes.

  • Best Time to Visit: May - September
  • Coldest Months: December - March
  • Hottest Months: May - September
  • Peak Season: June - September & December


Lima, Peru. Photo Credit: Julia/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Abiseo River National Park, Arequipa, Chan Chan, Cusco, Historic Centre of Lima, Huascaran National Park, Lima, Machu Picchu, Manu National Park, Nazca Lines, Saqsaywaman, Sitio Arqueológico Chavín de Huántar. 


Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo Credit: Pixabay 



Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet TravelYour 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  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, September 19, 2022

Paraguay

Paraguay Flag



Why visit Paraguay?
Best known for birdwatching, camping, culture, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mission ruins, national parks, nature, riverboat rides, shopping, waterfalls, and wildlife.


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Cotton hammocks, embroidery, harps, lace, leather goods, linen, pottery, and wood products.
  • Local Cuisine to TryChipa (bread). Chipa Guasú (cake). Kosereva (molass (molasses). Mazamorra (corn mush). Paraguay Cheese. Pira Caldo (fish soup). Sopa Paraguaya (cornbread). Soyo (meat soup). Vori Vori (soup).
  • Local Drink to Try: Cocido (tea). Pilsen (beer). 

Fun Facts
  • Has no major mountains.
  • Lost nearly 33% of its territory to Argentina and Brazil.
  • Known as one of the cleanest hydropower electricity.
  • Military forces consist of the Air Force, Army, and Navy.
  • Second largest producer of stevia in the world. 
  • Basketball and football are popular sports.

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Carnival, Dia de San Blas, (March) Holy Week Festival, (May) Verbana de San Juan, (July) Nanduti Festival, Trans Chaco Rally, World Friendship Crusade, (September) Festival of Alfalfa, Oktober Fest, Ypacaraí, and (November) Festival del Poyvi.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, National Heroes Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Labour Day, Independence Day, Chaco Armistice Day, Founding of Asunción, Boqueron Battle Victory Day, Virgin of Caacupe, and Christmas Day.

Good to Know
  • Considered a developing country.
  • Airport Departure Tax applies.
  • Many businesses are closed on Sundays.
  • Use sunscreen as the sun is strong.
  • Home to noteworthy lakeside beaches.
  • Generally has 2 seasons dry or wet.
  • Divided into 2 regions "Occidental Region" (aka: Chaco) or "Oriental Region".
  • Avoid public demonstrations.
  • Tourism is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections do not commonly occur. 
  • Traffic regulations are known to be ignored amongst Drivers.
  • Guaraní and Spanish are both their official languages.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination required from select countries. 

Aregua, Asunción, Paraguay. Photo Credit: David Ress/Unsplash


  • Best Time to Visit: March - May & September - October
  • Coldest Months: May - August
  • Hottest Months: November - February
  • Peak Season: September - December & April - May

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue



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  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, August 29, 2022

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Flag





Why visit Papua New Guinea?
Ideal for the well experienced international traveler seeking to a unspoiled destination to enjoy beaches, birdwatching, cave exploration, culture, dense jungles, hiking, kayaking, natural landscapes, rivers, saltwater fishing, scuba diving, trekking, unspoiled nature, volcanic mountains, whitewater rafting, wildlife, and wind sailing.


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Baskets, colorful fabrics, drums, handwoven string bags, masks, pottery, reed trays, shell goods, and wood carvings. 
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Dia (dessert). Kaukau (sweet potato). Kokoda (fish dish). Mumu (national dish). Sago (pancakes). Saksak (dumplings). 

Fun Facts
  • During its Gold Rush era (1852-1873) Milne Bay (Woodlark Island) gold was discovered ($500,000USD).
  • Amelia Mary Earhart (1897-1939), American Aviation Pioneer plane disappeared after takeoff from Lae Nadzab Airport (LAE).
  • Wuvulu Island was one of Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997), French Naval Officer favorite scuba diving sites.
  • Rugby is the most popular sport played.
  • Home to the largest orchid variations in the world.
  • Mount Wilhelm is the highest peak (14,793 ft).
  • Education is primarily provided by church institutions.
  • Ranks third largest island country in the world. 
  • One of the few regions near the equator to experience high altitude snowfall.
  • One of the most linguistically diverse countries with 839 known languages spoken.


Mount Wilhelm. Photo Credit: lloyd Pupaka/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (July) Mt Hagen Show, National Mask & Warwagira Festival, Tumbuan Mask Festival, (August) Crocodile Festival, Enga Cultural Show, Jiwaka Cultural Show, (September) Bougainville Chocolate Festival, Goroka Show, Frangipani Festival, Hiri Moale Festival, Morobe Province Agricultural Show, Sepik Crocodile Festival, Tufi Tapa Tattoo Festival, (November) Arts & Cultural Festival, and Kenu & Kundu Canoe Festival. 
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday, Remembrance Day, Repentance Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Good to Know
  • Domestic and international air tickets are very expensive.
  • Best visited on an escorted tour.
  • Crime is of concern.
  • Monsoon Season is December - March.
  • Has several active volcanoes.
  • Avoid traveling alone.
  • Higher inland elevation tends to be cooler.
  • Pack rain gear.
  • Carry your passport and Visa with you at all times.
  • Dress modestly.
  • Poor maintained vehicles.
  • Tipping is not customary.
  • Rainy Season is December - March.
  • Avoid public transport after dark.
  • Unexploded mines are known to exist throughout the island.
  • Mangrove swamps stretch along the coast.
  • Avoid public displays of affection.
  • Legal drinking age is 18.
  • Has only 1 hyperbaric recompression chamber in Port Moresby at (Jacksons International Airport). 
  • Illiteracy is an issue.
  • There is no rail service.
  • Healthcare and medical treatment is below our western standards.
  • Avoid isolated areas.
  • Tap water is not drinkable.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Chikungunya, Cholera, Dengue, HIV, Japanese Encephalitis, Leptospirosis, Malaria, Measles, Polio, Rickettsioses, Traveler’s Diarrhea, Tuberculosis, and Zika. 


Photo Credit:  ianknabel66/Pixabay 



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: 20,000PGK.

Subject to earthquakes, flash floods, high tides, humidity, landslides, monsoons, and tsunamis. 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - November
  • Coolest Month: June - September
  • Hottest Months: October - March
  • Peak Season: May - June & October

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Kuk


Photo Credit: Sally Wilson/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  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.  

When to Book your Vacation?

Photo Credit: Martín Alfonso Sierra Ospino / Pixabay When is it Best to Book your Vacation? We recommend by... Spring Break by January Memo...