Tag archives for Summer Vacation

8 Santiago Souvenirs To Bring Back Home

santiago

Seasoned travelers will tell you that a trip isn’t really complete unless you collect enough souvenirs to bring home to your people. Speaking of souvenirs, you need to pick up only the things that your host country is primarily identified with. The next time you visit Santiago de Chile, therefore, be sure to sample the wide variety of local crafts, wines, and wall art canvases for your trip back home. Without a doubt, Santiago is a great place with some of the best memories you will ever have in life. That is to say that besides the physical gifts that you will carry home, you will have a rich memory full of exciting stories to tell your grandkids.

It is, however, worth noting that you will only have a great time in Chile if you pack the right items before you leave home for Santiago. Without the right hiking boots and clothes, for example, it might be hard for you to collect souvenirs from the Andes. That is why you should ensure that you acquire all the necessary stuff before departing to Santiago. This is actually very easy and convenient, really: Simply go online shopping and order clothes in readiness for your trip.

Back to the souvenirs, here is a list of 8 original Chilean items that will help you bring some Chilean vibe into your home:

1.         Lapis Lazuli

For $50 USD or less, you can bring home unique and stunningly beautiful jewelry made from Lapis Lazuli. This azure stone is magical and will make any average jewelry look irresistible. Gift shops across Santiago stock up these pieces of jewelry, but if you are looking for better prices, look for it in any of the major Chilean open-air markets. The Bellavista district in Santiago is one of the surest places to acquire cheap Lapis Lazuli souvenirs.

2.         Some copper

Chile’s economy relies greatly on the sale of copper and copper products. Why not bring home a piece of the most valuable export your host nation boasts of? Anything made of copper is fine, from simple bookmarks and chains to large carvings and wall hangings. Your budget will be your only limit in this case.

For a more personalized copper souvenir, you can buy a copper plate of whichever shape and then hire an artisan to draw a map or put your initials on it.

3.         Traditional Chilean outfit

If you love to dance, Chile has a lot of dancing opportunities for you. The good thing about this South American nation is that every dance has its unique outfit. Cuea dance, for example, requires you to be dressed in a colorful poncho, a straw hat, knee-high boots, and a huaso jacket. And because this dance is the nation’s unofficial national dance, each of these items is hand-made to make it unique and stylish. You will never find them anywhere else in Latin America.

Note that Huasa is to women what Huaso is to men. On top of the hat, boots, and poncho, women dress in a colorful country dress with high ruffles. All these are good souvenirs to bring home. What’s more, you will get the entire outfit for less than $300 USD.

4.         Onitas

When visiting Patagonia, don’t leave without a stuffed figurine. These stuffed animals are made by local artisans from the Ona community as a representation of their dancing tradition. You can also find nice Onitas that are made in the shape of iconic Chilean destinations and legendary people.

5.         Alpaca

Alpaca wool is used to make ponchos, scarves, cardigans, and jackets. The wool comes from the Chilean lama that lives up in the cold regions of the Andes.

6.         Hand-made pottery

If you are looking for a nice gift for your mother, a clay pot will do. Greda, as the traditional clay utensils are fondly known as in Santiago, is firm and durable, without forgetting that they retain dish flavor with every use. And because there are specific meals Chileans cook using greda, be sure to bring home some of those foods. You can even learn their recipes and cook some for your loved ones once you get home.

7.         Vuelvo al Sur

Vuelvo al Sur hats, socks, and gloves are mostly found in Santiago. They all have unique designs that are inspired by the ancient Chilean culture and fabric patterns.

8.         Moai Statue

First, ensure that you pay the Moai statues a visit, and then secondly buy earrings or key chains made from mini Moai statues.

In conclusion

After bringing home tons of gifts for everyone, did you remember to but something for your home decoration? If you haven’t, don’t start panicking just yet. Simply order a wall art canvas that will act as your constant reminder Santiago’s beautiful skyline and landscapes.

6 Best Places to Visit in Uttarakhand – Land of Gods

Uttarakhand became a state in India in the year 2000 before which it was part of the large state of Uttar Pradesh in India and there are best places to visit in Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is a Himalayan state in India which is also known as “The Land of Gods” as there are many temples and pilgrimage sites in this state visited by pilgrims from all over the world.

Uttrakhand
Uttrakhand

Millions of tourists visit Uttarakhand every year as it is a multifaceted tourist destination in India that not just attracts pilgrims but also nature lovers, adventure sports enthusiasts, families and honeymooners from all over the world.

The following are some of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand:

1.Valley of Flowers National Park

This is a flower park that is located in North Chamoli and is known for some of the most beautiful alpine flowers in the world.

This mountainous park in Uttarakhand which is located in Northern Uttarakhand in a high altitude Himalayan valley has many endangered animals and birds.

In pristine lands...The Valley of Flowers National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park

It has an excellent variety of hundreds of species of flowers like the Himalayan Bell Flower, poppies, orchids, marigolds, daisies, Geranium, and Morning Longifolia to name a few.

This is a vacation destination, a tourist’s hotspot, a pilgrimage destination and also this park has beautiful trekking trails popular with tourists.

2. Badrinath Temple

The Badrinath Temple is a major Hindu temple in Uttarakhand that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

This temple is one of the four temples that are visited by tourists on the famous and very religiously important Char Dham yatra.

India - Tamil Nadu - Trichy - Srirangam - Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - 40
Badrinath Temple

The temple is located in the Garhwal Hills in the Chamoli district on the banks of the Alaknanda River.

It a major pilgrimage site with religious festivals and this temple is visited by tourists as well as pilgrims every year from all over the world.

3. Har ki Pauri

Ganga is a very sacred river in India and Har Ki Pauri is a ghat located on the banks of river Ganga in Uttarakhand. This famous tourist attraction and pilgrimage destination are located in the holy city of Haridwar.

Har ki Pauri

Har Ki Pauri is especially festive during the Kumbh Mela when it takes place once in 12 years. Tourists like to participate in the famous Ganga Aarti that takes places at Har Ki Pauri.

4. Rajaji National Park

This is a great destination to visit for different types of tourists as it is a national park and a famous tiger reserve in Uttarakhand.

There are beautiful forests with lovely flowers, trees, and alpine vegetation in this area.

Chital (Axis axis), Rajaji National Park, India
Rajaji National Park

This natural reserve is located in the Shivalik Ranges. Some of the animals at this reserve include tigers, elephants, chital, sambar, hog deer, nilgai, sloth bears, and leopard cats.

5. Lakshman Jhula

Lakshman Jhula is a suspension bridge over the River Ganga in the city of Rishikesh. Lakshaman Jhula is a bridge used by pedestrians as well as motorbikes.

It is named after Lakshmana from the Ramayana and is one of the largest bridges in the area.

Lakshman Jhula
Lakshman Jhula

Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula are major bridges on the River Ganga, they have become major tourist attractions in the area.

6. Nainital Lake

One of the main tourist places in Uttarakhand is Nainital. Nainital Lake is the top tourist attractions in the city and here are the lots of adventure activities that you can do.

This lake is a tourist favorite and this is a kidney-shaped lake and it is a famous lake in this area.

Nainital lake
Nainital Lake

This is a great lake surrounded by peaks on all side and by coniferous trees. Boat rides on the lake are romantic for honeymooners visiting this is.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants for tourists in nearby areas surrounding the city.

Aussie Family Campervan Adventure

Campervan AdventureIf the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “vacation” is coast, you need to branch out! Campervan vacationing is an excellent alternative here – it can be a very exciting, educational and fun experience. However, going from the habit of enjoying relaxing beach or resort vacations to all the challenges of outdoor tourism is quite a leap forward, so you should definitely get familiarized with a couple of essential tips before making the decision. We’re going to use Australia as our campervan adventure destination due to its vastness, variety and beauty.

Selecting the van

Unlike the traditional vacation types, your campervan is literally going to be your home for the duration of your excursion, so picking the perfect one is of the absolute essence. Start researching, get familiarized with various vehicle models and their amenities and add-ons. For instance, a mini fridge, running water and a gas stove are absolutely necessary. On the other hand, depending on the size of your family, you might need a rooftop sleeper. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the van, the more gas it will guzzle, especially on camping trips, so carefully consider how much space you need – camping trips weren’t made for luxury; on the contrary, you’re supposed to reimagine your life in the humble confines of nature.

Pick your destination

The very point of your campervan trip is being mobile, and it would be a shame (and very boring) if you were to stay in a single spot during the entirety of your vacation. Driving a campervan across Australia is a unique experience; there’s a reason why every year, thousands of STA travelers explore the Aussie land using vans as their homes. Here’s a list of neat locations to get lost in if you decide to take your camping vacation to this gorgeous continent.

  • Grampians National Park, Victoria – If breathtaking views of towering summits, mighty waterfalls and vast forests are your thing (of course they are), there is no place like the Grampians National Park. Some three hours’ worth of driving north of Melbourne, this national park offers you a chance to park your van and take a walk around, soaking in all the gorgeous sights that surround you.
  • Coober Pedy, South Australia – If you and your family are history enthusiasts, then you’ll love visiting this 80-million-years-old view. This historic opal-mining center offers awesome desert landscapes, but its main feature is quite a strange one. This town is mostly situated underground!
  • Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia – What good would an Australian camping vacation be if you weren’t able to catch some sun on this continent’s gorgeous sandy beaches. If you happen to find yourself anywhere near Esperance, take a 45-minute drive to the Cape Le Grand. Set up camp at the Lucky Bay to go snorkeling and swimming, and perhaps even see a kangaroo or two!

Preparation is essential

The preparations are just as important for a camping trip as for any other type of trip. Your itinerary is most likely to include wildlands and, especially in Australia, this means potentially hundreds of miles without a living soul around.
Every good preparation process starts with making a list long before setting off. Imagine your journey – think about everything from the bare necessities such as food, water, money, medicine, warm/light clothing, maps, flashlights and devices, to cards and board games for when the weather turns treacherous. Even a DVD player might not be such a bad idea!

If you’re planning on visiting national parks and other vehicle-inaccessible sites (which Australia is full of), think about bringing along bicycles, especially if you have enough space to store them!
Here’s a pro tip: the pros at Shimano offer high-quality spare parts and maintenance equipment that might turn out essential for your biking excursions.

Eating

The campervan experience offers a unique opportunity for cooking while on the road. On the other hand, the fact that you’re frequently moving around means that you should definitely not miss out on some of the local delicacies. The trick is walking the fine line between the two. Oh, and steer clear of high-sugar snack foods, take advantage of the local markets and make sure that each family member plays their part in meal preparation.

An Aussie campervan adventure offers a myriad of interesting opportunities, and without proper research and preparation, you might miss out on a whole lot! Although selecting the perfect van is the most important factor, there is a lot more ground to be covered – from packing and destination picking, to eating and having fun inside the campervan. Prepare yourself properly and you’re in for an unforgettable experience!