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Destinations

Flying over the Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of the places I had in my “bucket list” was the Grand Canyon. So during my recent trip to Las Vegas, I made sure to take a day off to get to know this impressive canyon measuring 277 miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide and one mile (1.6km) ) of depth.

My sidekicks for this adventure: Sharmil y Dani.

There are several ways to get to the Grand Canyon, but we decided to do this adventure aboard a helicopter. If you are in Las Vegas, I think the road trip takes between 3-4 hours and by helicopter, 40 minutes. There are several hotels around the canyon where you can spend the night and if you are a little more adventurous, you can even take your tent and camp.

For the most part, each helicopter carries between 6-7 passengers. You can ask to go in front but in reality the seat arrangement is determined determined by how they want to distribute the weight of the passengers.

There are several companies that offer this service that includes pick up at the hotel, taking you to the airport, transporting you to the Canyon by helicopter and a picnic with champagne once you land. On this occasion we used the company Papillon and the tour cost us $320.

Here with Capital Steve. Good guide and has a good selection of music to listen to during the ride.

Many of the companies offer a tours in the morning and in the afternoon. I recommend the afternoon tour so you can enjoy the sunset from above.

The Colorado River crosses the entire Canyon.

 

Before reaching the canyon you fly over the Hoover Dam, built on the border of the states of Nevada and Arizona.

 

 

I was very impressed to see all the different kinds of rocks, the different colors of the soil and see how the erosion of the river has created the canyon.

 

Wherever you want to see, you are in awe with nature.

Would I go back again? YES! Only next time I’ll spend the night in the Canyon and go hiking. Anyone interested?

Have you visited the Grand Canyon, what was your experience? Share your photos by tagging @MaityontheGO and using #TravelersontheGO.

 

Food

Rose Sundays in the heart of Miami Beach

If you are one of those that waits all week for Sunday to come around to indulge in a good brunch with unlimited drinks, good music and even better company, this post is for you.

Nautilus South Beach in Miami Beach offers one of my favorite Rose Sundays brunch.  For $55 per person you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast that includes everything you can think of thanks to its executive chef Richard Fuentes.

Some of my favorite that you can’t miss: truffle gnocchi, seafood paella and quinoa salad. Click here to check out the full menu.

Don’t be fooled, this was only my first plate…and first glass of Rose. ?

Be sure to get there on time so you can really enjoy the bottomless Rose until 4pm and pack your bathing suit so you can hang out at the  Nautilus Cabanas or the beautiful Miami Beaches for sunset.

Make sure to ask for Chef Fuentes and when you meet him, tell him #MaityontheGo recommended his food. ?

Enjoy your Sunday, don’t forget to tag #MaityontheGo, and share any other cool Brunch places you know of.

Nautilus a SIXTY Hotel

1825 COLLINS AVENUE, MIAMI BEACH, FL

+1.305.503.5700

Destinations

Unforgettable outdoor experience at the Florida Everglades

Florida is so much more than Miami , Orlando, and the Keys. If you are up for an unforgettable experience, you must visit the Everglades in South Florida.

After almost ten years of living in Miami I finally got the chance to have a risky but fun adventure into the Everglades with Dragonfly Expeditions, Johnny Tiger Tail, and an amazing crew.

The “brave”crew that survived the Everglades adventure (and the mosquitos).

The adventure begins aboard an airboat. The only transportation allowed in the Everglades.

Johnny Tiger Tail introducing me to some of the wild animals.

Close encounter with the wild pigs.

Listening closely to Charlie and Johnny Tiger Tail.

Getting used to my new friend: baby gator.

This is a real alligator! Check out video on this blog to listed how MamaGator communicates with Johnny Tiger Tail.

Welcome to Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: One of the Everglades’ secret locations.

Paying close attention to Charlie from Dragonfly Expeditions.

Making sure Alex was “fine” from all the mosquito bites. Bug repellent is a must!

Girls that are always ready for an adventure! Wonderful experience with Gilcia and Sari.

Loved my Indiana Jones look!

Have you been at to the Everglades? What was your experience like? Love to read your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations. Don’t forget to tag @maityonthego and #travelersonthego in your next adventure.

For more information about Dragonfly Expeditions and their amazing tours, click here and make sure to mention you read about them in #MaityontheGo.

 

Tips & Recommendations

5 places to unwind, forget your troubles and relax.

Want to get away…far away…avoid the crowds…the noise…work….and just relax for a couple of days? #MaityOnthe Go gives you 5 destinations for you to unwind, forget about your troubles, and let your senses rest for a while.

?️   VANCOUVER, CANADA

Unlike any other busy, fast-passed cosmopolitan city, Vancouver proudly rises above them all due to its amazing natural, clean environment and its laid-back attitude. If you are looking for a city with open space, great dining options and relaxing atmosphere, don’t look any further! You can read a book at the beach in the summer, go skying in the winter, and all year long enjoy walk or bike ride along Stanley Park. I visited Vancouver not to long ago for a 24hr work trip, and was amazed by this city. I am definitely coming back…soon!

Amazing view my hotel room at the Sheraton Vancouver.

Locals and visitors enjoying a summer afternoon in Stanley Park.

Walking around Kew Beach Park.

?️  SACRED VALLEY, PERU 

Disconnect from the internet and re-connect with yourself in Peru’s most “sacred” valley, neighboring Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley is more than sacred. It’s a gateway to self-exploration, an opportunity to reconnect with nature, and surround yourself by the mystical forces of this ancient spiritual spot. And so easy to get there! Your best option is booking a flight directly into Cuzco International Airport. Sacred Valley is only 40 minutes away by car. More on my Peruvian experience here. 

After a nice hike, couldn’t resist but sit down and enjoy all the natural beauty.

Loved the local markets and handcrafts in Peru.

?️  MOUNT TAMALPAIS STATE PARK, CALIFORNIA

San Francisco’s charming but busy streets can be a little overwhelming, but just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais State Park rises majestically for your viewing pleasure. From its 2,571-foot peak you can admire San Francisco Bay and the surrounding beauty. If your idea of relaxation is a walk among nature and out-of-the-ordinary forests, this is the place to be. A perfect spot to heal body and soul. It’s a hiking, camping and sightseeing paradise!

Breathtaking view from Tamalpais.

If you can, plan to go to Tamalpais for sunset.

Beautiful view of the clouds from Tamalpais highest point.

?️ AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam is included here for obvious reasons…and is not because of the coffee shops. Amsterdam has been named one of Europe’s most laid-back city for several years. Explore the enchanting streets renting a bike, riding a boat or just getting “lost” walking around the city. It will be inevitable to stumble upon a museum or two (and a Heineken factory) and wake up the artist in you. Did you know Amsterdam has the lowest crime rate in the entire world? That gives you an idea of the city and its people. ☮️✌️ Click here out my post on my Amsterdam experience. 

Cloudy day in Amsterdam.

At Van Gogh Museum.

I ❤️ Amsterdam

?️ KEY WEST, FLORIDA

Just 90 miles north of Cuba you can find Key West. No other place is more relaxing than the southernmost point in the United States. Shoes and shirts are optional when you enter a bar, the seafood is abundant and delicious, and is home to some of the most laid-back residents in the world! The colorful architecture, the location, and the ocean breeze makes Key West the perfect destination for a moment of relaxation. How do you get there? Fly into Miami and rent a car. Play Jimmy Buffet while going down US1 for about 3 hours of amazing ocean views on each side of the road. No wonder Ernest Hemingway made Key West his home and got inspiration for some amazing writing.

Ernest Hemingway House and Museum with my mom.

The southernmost point in continental USA: Key West.

Sunsets in Key West.

Where do you like to relax? I would love to hear your comments, tips and recommendations. ?

Destinations

Best way to explore to Machu Picchu, Peru.

More people than not, have Machu Picchu in their bucket list of places to visit. I was one of them, and luckily, I got the chance to fly out to one of the 7 wonders of the World, two years ago with a group of very special friends.

 

Say “Hello” to the “Machupicchers”.

Ana Beatriz, Tinti, Jona, Ahmed and I traveled to Machu Picchu in April 2015.

Our five-day trip started with a flight from Miami to Peru’s capital, Lima where we spent a night.

Peruvian “orange juice” to last all day.

The following day we flew to Cusco,a city that  was declared a  World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and has become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors a year. The Historical Capital of Peru is know for its elevation of 3,400 m (11,200 ft) about sea level.

Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

After sipping plenty coca tea, we were off to explore the Cathedral, Korincacha, Ruinas de Sacsayhuaman, Kenko and the Tombamachay. Our day ended with the panoramic views of Cusco from Puca Pucara.

Walking the streets of Cusco.

Catedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asuncion.

Although you can’t take pictures inside the Cathedral, I was able to take this one and not get in trouble. ?

Welcome to Cusco!

 

Ruin of Sacsayhuaman

Day three started bright and early. We took a bus to “Valle Sagrado de los Incas”, stopping by Pisaq to walk around the market. Got the chance to try some “cuy”, Peru’s roasted guinea pig, meet some llamas and enjoy the scenic views from Ollantaytambo. Very late at night we took a train to Aguas Calientes.

Anyone hungry for cuy?

Ready to board the Peru Rail. Make sure to book your ticket ahead of time.

On Day 4, we woke up around 4am to be one of the first groups to take the 30 min bus ride to Machu Picchu. We had previously booked a tour guide who waited for us at the entrance and walked us all around Machu Picchu. The tour lasted around 2.5 hours but we managed to stay a lot longer walking, hiking and taking as many pictures as we could of this amazing place.

 

Is it worth going to Machu Picchu? DEFINITELY!! If these pictures, which are just a few of the many we took are not enough to convince you to go to Peru, here are some other fun facts you should know:

? This “Lost City” is built over a series of mountains 10,000 feet above sea level! You might feel lightheaded and your change of breathing patterns will let you know you’ve arrived. Coca leaves anyone?

? It is believed that Machu Picchu was built for ceremonial purposes where the Incas carried out rites of sacrifice. You can feel the mystique of this place and the mystery that surrounds it.

?There is no evidence that wheels were used to carry uphill all those huge, heavy stones to make this “empire over the clouds”. Legends and stories tell that extraterrestrials helped out. What do you think?

? Architects and engineers are still analyzing how the walls in Machu Picchu were built. They never used mortar to connect the blocks, and each piece is so perfectly aligned to fit the next, that not even a knife blade can fit between the stones. It’s a fact.

? Are you looking for your next marathon achievement? Every year, Machu Picchu is host of a 26-mile marathon along the Inca trail. Some say it’s the most difficult in the world. Click here for more information.

Travelers FYI ?✈️

?The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from May to September. Although it is winter in Peru (because of its location below de equator), temperature is comfortable and it rains very little.

Tips & Recommendations

Looking for some of the tallest trees in the world.

Our 4th of July celebration this year had an unexpected, unplanned but impressive visit to Muir Woods National Monument.

About 45 minutes north of San Francisco, you can find Muir Woods National Monument, home of some of the tallest redwoods in the world.

The park is open 365 days a year. Opening as early as 8am and closing anywhere from 5 -8pm depending on the season.

Adults 16 years and older pay a fee of $10. Anyone younger that 16, enter free. If you live in the area, I recommend buying the Muir Woods Annual Pass for $40. This pass is valid for a year and allows you to bring 3 guests every visit.

NPS photo by Frank Morse.

If you are planning to drive your own vehicle, be aware that there is parking lot adjacent to the main entrance, but spaces are limited. During the summer, you can take the Muir Woods Shuttle. 

Muir Woods gets its name from naturalist  John Muir, an environmentalist who helped establish the National Park System in the United Stated, although the property was first bought and later donated by Congressman William Kent and his wife.

Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 miles of trails. There is a 1/2 hour loop, a 1 hour loop, and a 1 1/2 hour loop as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park.

The majority of the trees found here are between 500 to 800 years old, but the oldest tree is said to be 1200 years old.

Some of the tallest redwoods found here are 358ft tall.

Although there is no cellphone reception, don’t forget to bring your phone or camera to take plenty of photos and videos.

So next time you are in the Bay Area or plan to get away from the hectic daily activity, allow yourselves to get in touch with nature and enjoy a nice walk through Muir Woods.

Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941

 

Destinations

48 hours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

About a year ago, I visited Amsterdam with three good friends Melissa, Alejandra and Rochie. Amsterdam was the last city of a two-week-five-cities-tour through Eastern Europe. Needless to say we were tired but really looking forward to discovering the capital of Netherlands.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take the photo at the famous “I am Amsterdam” sign at the back of Rijksmuseum on Museumplein.

We had 48 hours to enjoy the city and a long list of things to do and places to visit. Here are 10 recommendations (and experiences) for a short but productive Amsterdam adventure.

  1. Visit Amsterdam Centraal whether you are arriving on train or not. This national heritage site was designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and first opened in 1889.

Amsterdam Centraal, the largest railway station of Amsterdam, Netherlands used by approximately 162,000 passengers a day.

2. Check out the Basilica of Saint Nicholas

The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is located in the Old Centre district. It is the city’s major Catholic church.

4. Rent a Bike. It is said that there are more the 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam. Undoubtedly that is the transportation of choice and a great way to explore (and exercise) through the city.

5. Get lost in the narrow streets of Jordaan, one of the Amsterdam’s most charming neighborhoods. We had breakfast at a small local coffee shop where we had probably the best avocado toast of the whole trip. The key and secret ingredient: homemade goat cheese.

6. Plan to go to the Anne Frank House. Purchase your ticket online. Click here for tickets.

“To build your future you have to know your past” A. Frank

The best and safest way to guarantee you will get to visit Anne Frank House is buy purchasing the tickets online as they sell out quickly. But if you don’t have a ticket, your best option (at least for us) is to go to the Museum two hours before closing. Some of the people who reserve tickets, don’t show up,  so you are able to “walk in” after buying your ticket. We got lucky and had a little over an hour to walk around the house, but it was worth it.

7. Take a boat tour through the canals.

8. Amsterdam is home for over 50 museums all worth visiting. In 48 hours we could only visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum

Van Gogh Museum opens daily from 9am to 6pm, but on Fridays it opens until 10pm.

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. It is huge so if you are short of time, locate a map upon your arrival and prioritize what exhibitions you want to see.

Travel Tip:  Amsterdam offers a City Card that you can purchase online and gives you free entry to some attractions (museums included) and free public transportation. Click here for more information. PS- We didn’t use the City Card but I have heard it is worth it.

9. Check out the Bloemenmarkt.

Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market is one of Amsterdam’s most colorful attractions.

10. “Over the Edge” swing.  Amsterdam has Europe’s highest swing  that puts you 100 meters above the ground. A’Dam Tower and Lookout has a beautiful restaurant, deck, bar and swing. If weather permits, you can enjoy amazing 360° views of Amsterdam. Click here for more information.

As you can see,  Amsterdam has so much to offer and is definitely a city worth spending more than 48 hours. 😉

Feel free to leave your comments and share any other helpful tips or recommendation.

 

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