Book flights to Barbados for romance and fun

I’d had high hopes before embarking on my trip to Barbados, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that struck me most about this small but perfectly formed island in the east of the Caribbean was the sense of romance that seemed to pervade virtually every street, beach and bar. Benefiting from superb weather, stunning beaches, sumptuous cuisine and welcoming locals, it makes the ideal vacation spot for loved up couples.

Follow my Footstep to the Sunset. Barbados
Image by Berit Watkin , used under the Creative Commons license

Where to stay

I’d received mixed advice about where to stay on this sun kissed island. If it’s surf you’re after, head to the east coast. There, you’ll find stunning scenery and plenty of waves. However, like many of the people who venture to Barbados, my partner and I opted for one of the relaxing resorts on the west coast. This sheltered stretch benefits from beautiful sandy spots, calm seas and plenty of luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Take a picnic tn the beach

Turtles !
Image by Shayan (USA), used under the Creative Commons license.

It’s easy to spend day after day simply sunbathing and swimming while in Barbados, but if you really want to make the most of your time there, it’s a good idea to organize the occasional special date. You certainly won’t be short of options. One of my favourite holiday memories involved taking a simple picnic to Gibbes Beach. This 300-meter stretch of sand has to be one of the most scenic on the entire island and it lacks the commercial look and feel of many of the other coastal spots. The beach is bordered by tall trees, adding to the sense of seclusion. This also means there’s plenty of shade if you want to escape the sun. Take along a picnic and taste the island’s famous rum.

Dine in style

No trip to this destination is complete without at least one high-end meal. You’ll be spoiled for choice when perusing the array of eateries on offer. Wherever you end up, look out for local delicacies like flying fish. Another unique flavour comes in the form of sea urchins, known in Barbados as ‘sea eggs’. Around 17 different species of these creatures can be found around the coastline and they are usually steamed, but if you’re feeling brave, you can eat them raw.

Head inland

Another top date tip is to head inland to the island’s lush interior. Boasting fields of sugar cane and beautiful botanic gardens, this rolling terrain is superb for a romantic stroll. It’s also well worth checking out one of the island’s plantation houses. For example, right at the heart of the island lies the 350-year-old Fisherpond Plantation House. Set in immaculate grounds, this fascinating building lets you step back in time to the island’s colonial past. We missed it, but if you’re there on a Sunday, you can also sample a planter’s buffet lunch while listening to live piano music.

Time your trip

To get the most from your holiday, it’s a good idea to book your flights to Barbados and time the trip carefully. Travelling in the winter, we enjoyed virtually unbroken sunshine. January through to April is generally considered to be the best time to visit the island as these months are the coolest and least humid. Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to this window, but if you don’t want to get wet, avoid the official hurricane season. This runs from June to November.

With a little planning, you can enjoy a romantic break like no other in this corner of the Caribbean.

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte: Beauty in the middle of nowhere

We could taste the saltwater on our lips.

In fact, saltwater was all over our face.

Our eyeglasses—yes, both of them—were pockmarked with beads of water. We could barely see ahead of us, and besides, there seemed nothing else to see except the rough open seas ahead.

Our boat carried around 20 tourists—brown-skinned, pale-skinned, black-haired, golden-haired, big-eyed, chinky-eyed. And it was big, just as any good dive boat should.

But the waves were bigger.

Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte - Two2Travel.com

It was a sunny day, yes, but for some reason the waves weren’t friendly.

Continue reading “Kalanggaman Island, Leyte: Beauty in the middle of nowhere”

Five reasons to visit Calaguas in Bicol (GMA News Online)

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

Days are slow and hot, the nights short and cold. Shortly after five in the morning – when elsewhere it’s probably still pitch dark – Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach) is already a pale turquoise, the sky a faint hue of pink and blue. It’s difficult to stay asleep once sunlight streams through your tent. Besides, daybreak in this island is, like a child awaiting a candy treat, something you’ll look forward to day after day. Ah, mornings in Calaguas.

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

Getting to the Calaguas Group of Islands in the frequently storm-ravaged region of Bicol is no mean feat, at roughly 12 hours by land and sea from Manila. But this relatively quiet beach off the northeastern coast of Camarines Norte province makes all the travel through winding roads and open seas worth it.

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

Here are five reasons why you should spare a weekend (or maybe more) in this quiet, happy beach before the rainy season comes.

Please read the full story on GMA News Online.

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

Calaguas, Camarines Norte, Philippines

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

Travel tips and directions:

1. Bring a tent, mosquito repellent, cooking and dining utensils; candles, lamps, or flashlights; and a first-aid kit.

2. Wrap your belongings in drysacks or sealed plastic bags as waves can get a bit rough.

3. If you don’t want to lug around everything during the trip from Manila to Bicol, source your food and drinking water from Daet. Plan your supplies well ahead to make sure these are sufficient for your needs.

4. Bus trips need prior reservation. Manila-Daet buses of Superlines and Philtranco are mostly regular airconditioned buses starting at 500 pesos and are found at the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao. Alternatively, you may take a sleeper bus bound for Naga at P1,000 (lower bunk) or P1,200 (upper bunk) just like we did and get off at the intersection in Calauag town (Isarog has daily 9 PM trips from Cubao). This way, you can sleep throughout the trip in time for the remainder of your land and sea transfers.

5. If you wish to take the train, call the PNR for reservations at (02) 319-0044 & 48 and visit www.pnr.gov.ph for trip schedules. However, note that the Bicol Express train can only drop you off at the Naga station, which means another two-hour van ride back to Daet.

6. Similarly, you can hop on a flight to Naga and head to Daet on a van.

7. To take the Vinzons route, take a 15-minute tricycle ride from the Daet bus terminal to the Vinzons fishport and get a boat from there.

8. For the Paracale route, get off at Brgy. Talobatib in Labo town (for Manila-Daet buses) or Calauag intersection (for Manila-Naga buses) and take another bus for Paracale. Proceed to the fishport (5 minutes by tricycle) and get a boat. Our boatman there was Mang Roberto (09108460639)

Life’s a Beach 3: Easy cruising in Bantayan

Summer ain’t over just because Holy Week is. Besides, our next destination–Bantayan Island in northern Cebu–is best experienced without the crowds.

two2travel cebu bantayan

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Life’s a Beach Part 2: Coron

To experience all the goodness of Coron, you have to get wet, because all the action happens underneath.

An island north of mainland Palawan, Coron is a known shipwreck diving site. Diving enthusiasts rave over the World War II shipwrecks underneath its waters, but its rich marine life—one of the most diverse in the Philippines—gives inexperienced swimmers a chance at a blockbuster underwater experience all the same.

Coron, Palawan, Philippines | Two2Travel.com

Continue reading “Life’s a Beach Part 2: Coron”