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Chile’s Humboldt Current: Sustainable Fishing for Healthy Oceans (360° Video)

Chile’s Humboldt Current is one of the planet’s richest marine environments and one of its top 10 fish producers. But over exploitation is depleting Chile’s ocean. The Nature Conservancy is working with fishing communities in southern Chile to implement sustainable fishing practices that will protect life in the Humboldt Current.

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The 25 places you must visit in South America

Source: http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/25-places-must-visit-south-america/

Heading to South America for the first time? Don’t want to miss any of the places you must visit in South America? No worries! We’ve put together a list of the best places to see and visit in South America… 

1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

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2. Santuario de las Lajas, Colombia

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3. See the Milkyway over Lake Titicaca, Peru

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4. The River of Five Colours, Colombia

river five colours

5. Mount Fitzroy, Argentina

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6. Hand of the Desert, Atacama, Chile

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7. World’s Most Dangerous Road, Bolivia

Read more: Bike riding Death Road in Bolivia

world dangerous

8. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos

9. Machu Picchu, Peru

Read more: Visiting Peru for the first time: Everything you need to know

10. La Paz, Bolivia

Read more: This one time I went to La Paz, Bolivia

la paz

11. Swing at the End of the World in Banos, Ecuador

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12. Torres del Paine, Chile

Patagonia Chile

13. Easter Island, Chile

Read more: Visiting Easter Island

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14. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Read more: Touring a Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Read more: The top 10 cities to visit in South America

Rio de Janeiro Contiki

15. Canopy Walk, The Amazon, Peru

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16. Raquira, Colombia

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17. Angel Falls, Venezuala

angel falls

18. Geysers el de Tatio, Chile

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19. Atacama Desert, Chile

Read more: Visiting the driest place on earth, San Pedro de Atacama

Read more: Atacama Desert in Northern Chile

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20. Barichara, Colombia

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21. Iguassu Falls, bordering Argentina and Brazil

Read more: Being refused entry into Brazil – What do you mean I need a visa!?

Iguassu Falls

22. Cusco, Peru

Read more: 3 days in Cusco

Cusco_Peru

23. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Read more: 9 things not to miss in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Cemetery

24. Valparaiso, Chile

valparaiso

25. Sail to Antarctica

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Images 1-8; 11; 13; 16; 20; 23-25 sourced on Pinterest – Follow @worldofwlust on Pinterest for more travel inspiration!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Chilean Wine

 

WHAT’S ON THE LABEL

[Photograph: Matt Wilson]

Like in other new world wine regions, such as New Zealand and South Africa, a Chilean wine will boast its grape front and center on the label.

Chilean law requires that that the stated grape, vintage, and geographical area (Denominación de Origen) make up 75% of what’s in the bottle. That’s right, up to a quarter of the bottle’s contents doesn’t need to be disclosed. But in practice, most Chilean wines will contain at least 85% of what’s claimed on the label, so the bottles remain legal for distribution in Europe.

One heads up: some terms on Chilean wine labels aren’t that helpful. For example, Reserva or Reserva Especial indicates that the wine is at least 12% alcohol. Reserva Privada and Gran Reserva bump that requirement up to 12.5%. Additionally, Reserva Especial and Gran Reserva can be used if the wine has seen at least a little oak. But none of these terms will actually give you any sense of quality: for example, you could buy great Sauvignon Blanc from a chilly vineyard that doesn’t meet these requirements, and crummy Cabernet Sauvignon from a hot area that does.

THE LAY OF THE LAND

One glance at a map and you know that the geography of Chile is truly unique. While it would take you a week to drive north to south, you could explore the widest point from east to west in a single afternoon. The Andes divide the country from Argentina—whose famous wine region of Mendoza is just a couple hundred miles east of Chile’s capital, Santiago.

Though the country is quite narrow from east to west, you may soon start to see some wine labels clarifying where the vineyards fall: Costa (near the coast), Andes (near the mountains), and Entre Cordilleras (in between).

Thirsty yet? Let’s take a look at the major grapes you’ll find in Chilean wine.

SAUVIGNON BLANC

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

Bright, herbal, and tart: much of the best Chilean Sauvignon Blanc comes from the coastal Casablanca and Leyda valleys. These spots receive chilly ocean breezes, keeping the grapes fresh-tasting while they ripen in the warm sun.

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

If you enjoy zippy Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand, try the Anakena Enco 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($11) from the Leyda Valley. The aromas of parsley, jalapeño, and grapefruit burst from the glass. The vibrant acidity makes it a great pairing for anything you’d squeeze a lemon on—try it with seafood.

CHARDONNAY

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[Photograph: Shutterstock]

Much like coastal regions of California, like Sonoma and Santa Barbara, cooler climates around Chile allow Chardonnay to shine, retaining acid and avoiding overripeness. Look for wines from the sea-influenced Casablanca and Limarí Valleys or the southern, wind-blown Malleco Valley.

One bottle we love: Viña Aquitania’s 2009 Sol de Sol Chardonnay ($28) is fermented in oak, yielding a rich texture (and hints of roasted hazelnuts) beautifully balanced by lots of acidity. Each sip offers a taste of crisp red apple, bright lemon, and sour cream.

OTHER GREAT WHITES

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[Photograph: Nicolás Aguayo Fuenzalida]

The northernmost region of Coquimbo is more known for its pisco than fine wine. But some producers here are making great wine from grapes once considered only fit for distilling. Try Mayu’s 2014 Pedro Ximenez ($13) from the Elquí Valley. It’s perfect for a summer picnic, full of tart lime and white grapefruit flavors—nothing like the sweet, viscous Spanish wines made from this grape.

Up for more exploring? One of my favorite Chilean whites is Casa Silva’s 2012 Sauvignon Gris ($16 ) from Colchagua. The vines for this bottling date back to 1912—it’s a reminder that Chile is no newcomer when it comes to wine. The grape name may be unfamiliar, but the wine is delicious, with a rich texture and peachy-honeydew flavors that make it more comparable to an Oregon Pinot Gris than your average Sauvignon Blanc. It balances a creamy texture with tons of freshness; serve it with picnic charcuterie or a nice plate of seared scallops.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in the sun-drenched Central Valley, a large area around Santiago that is made up of four other valleys: Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule.

If you regularly find yourself drinking Cabernets from Napa or Washington State and you’re looking for something a little more affordable, start with Maipo. This is where you’ll find many masters of the grape, including familiar brands like Santa Rita, Concha y Toro, and Cousiño Macul. The area’s warm sunshine yields ripe grapes that produce powerful, concentrated wines filled with ripe blackberry, chocolate, and tobacco flavors. For $15, pick up Veramonte’s 2011 Primus Cabernet Sauvignon to serve with roasted chicken (or pour at a party.)

If you are a looking for the best of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (and you have deep pockets), seek out bottles from the renowned district of Puente Alto, known for gravel soils that some compare to the vineyards of Bordeaux. Famous bottlings from this region include Concha y Toro’s Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon blend ($75) and Errazuriz’s Viñedo Chadwick Cabernet Sauvignon ($160).

CARMENÈRE

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

Chileans have grown Carmenère for over a hundred years, but it was long mistaken for a type of Merlot. It wasn’t until 1994 that the grape was correctly identified. You can also find it in southwest France and Italy, but Chile has been flying the Carmenère flag the highest of all.

Carmenère has a lot of ‘green’ flavors—think tomato leaves and green bell peppers. Some might call them a turnoff, but when these traits are balanced with acid and freshness, an herbal, vegetal wine can pair quite well with food, especially—you guessed it—herbs and vegetables.

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

“It’s like hoppy wine,” Chris Raftery, a sommelier in New York observes.

If you’re a fan of, say, Cabernet Franc from Chinon in France, these are wines you should seek out. And if you love IPA, these herbal, green aromas might not be new to you: “It’s like hoppy wine,” Chris Raftery, a sommelier in New York observes.

If you’re just getting started with Carmenère, you might as well go to the source: De Martino was the first to bottle the grape on its own, back in 1996. The De Martino Legado Reserva Carmenère 2012 ($12) from Maipo has the grape’s characteristic tobacco and bell pepper flavors, but they’re well balanced with black cherry and a hint of smoke.

SYRAH

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[Photograph: (c)Matt Wilson courtesy of Wines of Chile]

Syrah lovers will find that Chile has a bunch of great wines to discover: wines that highlight ripe, supple fruit flavors while letting Syrah’s classic peppery, bacony flavors shine through. High altitude and coastal breezes help moderate the heat of the northern valleys of the Elquí and Limarí, where Syrah thrives. I love the combination of ripe plum and savory black olive flavors in Merino’s 2012 Syrah($16) from the Limarí Valley, which is made with a splash of Viognier, just like they do it in the Rhône.

CARIGNAN

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[Photograph: Jake Pippin]

Growers in the Maule Valley have a treasure-trove of old-vine Carignan that is just coming into the spotlight today. Carignan vines were planted after a devastating earthquake in 1939 that left growers with scant crops. The grape thrives on the dry, hot climate of the Maule Valley—a climate not too different from that of Southern France or Spain, where the grape is called Mazuelo and Carineña. These old vines produce tannic, high acid wines that mingle fresh raspberry and black cherry flavors with an earthy, cedar-wood edge.

You may spot bottles with ‘Vigno’ on the label: this stands for Vignadores de Carignan, a group of growers in the Maule offering wine from vines that are at least 30 years old and dry farmed (that is, grown without irrigation.) One favorite: Garcia + Schwaderer’s 2010 Maule Valley Vigno Carignan($40). Brambly blackberry and white pepper flavors, significant tannins, and lots of acidity make this a fantastic match for a fatty steak. Other producers to seek out include Gillmore and Garage Wine Co.

PINOT NOIR

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[Photograph: Shutterstock]

Drive toward Antarctica and you’ll hit the the valleys of Itata, Bío Bío, and Malleco. Thanks to the cooler temperatures in these regions, Pinot Noir can ripen slower over the growing season, which helps the grape keep its nuanced aromas and fresh acidity.

Up for an adventure? The Clos de Fous Latuffa 2012 Pinot Noir ($30) from Traiguén in Malleco is unlike any wine I’ve tasted. One of the partners in the project is Pedro Parra, a wine terroir consultant who is really pushing for the discovery and appreciation of Chile’s soils. There are classic pinot flavors of black cherry and rose petals, but it’s all wrapped in an intriguing combination of gentian, sage, and pine that’ll have you thinking of your favorite amaro.

Note: Casa Silva, Clos de Fous, Merino, Sol de Sol, Garcia + Schwaderer, and Mayu were provided as tasting samples for review consideration.

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10 Awesome Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

amazing glaciers in iceland
Every month (most of the time), Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse writes a guest column featuring tips and advice for solo female travelers as I obviously can’t talk expertly on the subject! She’s back this month with an awesome list of destinations for female travelers!

Traveling solo is a unique opportunity to find out exactly who you are in completely new surroundings and without anyone around from your past to influence you. That can be a scary prospect, but the good news is there are plenty of places out there that can make you feel safe and welcome. And when in the right place, a solo trip — regardless of how long it is — has the power to benefit you for years or even a lifetime thereafter.

Before I traveled alone, I was pretty terrified, mostly because I didn’t think I’d like my own company enough to be solo 24/7. I was delighted to find that I met new people constantly (something that’s true for solo travelers in general). When on the road, people are social.

While it was possible to feel inspired and delighted everywhere, a few places in particular stand out as great options for women traveling alone. Below are 10 solo travel destinations that you probably didn’t expect to be awesome for solo female travelers in particular, whether for their women-oriented businesses or for their safety, solitude, spirituality, or sociability:

1. The Karoo, South Africa

Overlooking view in The Karoo, South Africa
Most people who visit South Africa head right to Cape Town or Kruger National Park, and while those spots are both popular for good reasons, why not take a look at the orange, rocky, rugged bush called the Karoo as well? It’s safer than Cape Town and less crowded than Kruger.

It didn’t take long for the Karoo to feel special to me while I was staying on a farm there, appropriately called The Rest. As a solo traveler, a great way to get to know the area is to do some kind of workaway program at such a place.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: South Africa, with its high levels of crime, might not initially seem like a logical destination for solo female travel. However, the rural parts, like the Karoo, are so isolated and far from the sometimes-dangerous bustle of the cities that staying with a family there and learning how to work the land can be both a safe and character-building experience.

Plus, with all of that space and time to feel and think, it can promote a lot of personal growth. Such a desolate landscape, with almost nobody and nothing around, can give you much time and freedom to think and feel, which is one of the greatest benefits of solo travel.

2. Yubeng, China

Flags in Yubeng, China
Yubeng is a remote village in the Chinese Himalayas that can only be reached by foot or mule. During the hike in, I saw Tibetan prayer flags strung from tree to tree, snow softly falling, and animals roaming freely all throughout the town. There are stupas (mound-like structures containing relics and used for meditation) everywhere.

Yubeng is peaceful in a way that much of the rest of China isn’t. The feeling is hard to explain, but it’s felt by all who pass through. If you’re overwhelmed with the rest of China, seek refuge in Yubeng.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: In the big cities, scams often target young female tourists, but in the Himalayas, you’re more of an esteemed guest. The friendly people of Yubeng are so relaxed, patient, and welcoming, as are the younger tourists who flock there, often with some English-language ability and curiosity about foreign visitors.

As a solo traveler, I was worried that I would be completely going this one alone, but I was surprised and delighted to find that young and friendly Chinese people take this route too, seeking the same sacred place.

3. Maui, Hawaii

Getting ready to catch waves in Maui, Hawaii
Maui isn’t typically what comes to mind when most people think of a solo trip, but with all its activities — from surfing and hiking to driving the road to Hana and taking boating and snorkeling tours — it’s actually a great place for those flying solo.

With its constantly changing microclimates, the beautiful island has pockets of sandy sunset beaches, sprawling resorts, quaint little camping spots, and hikes through the valley.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: The cool thing about Maui is that it feels like a different country than the States, what with the tropical weather and Hawaiian culture, but you don’t need a passport, an RTW flight, or to learn a different language to enjoy it. Plus, there are female-focused activities — like the Maui Surfer Girls camp, designed specifically for solo female travelers who are looking for a supportive group of women to take up a new sport with. It’s an experience that is both empowering and fun!

4. El Chaltén, Argentina

Incredible view at El Chaltén, Argentina
If you love nature, there’s almost no better spot in the world to enjoy it fully than in Patagonia. Much of the region can be quite remote, but El Chaltén is Argentina’s trekking capital, and as such there are plenty of hostels there, and the whole town is totally chilled out. It also draws plenty of solo travelers who are open and happy to meet others to share the trails with, some of whom I met and hiked with when I was there (albeit not solo myself), and we left as new friends.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: With its constant catcalls, South America can sometimes feel stressful for solo female travelers, but this trekking town is different. It’s full of nature-loving artists and hippies who are welcoming, as well as hikes that are full enough of people that even if you show up solo, you can easily meet others on the trails. So, you could spend time in town just chilling and relaxing, or you could join glacier hikes, learn how to rock climb, or go on camping excursions, all of which accommodate solo travelers.

5. Iceland

Reveling in nature in Iceland
It hit me as I was staring up at the Northern Lights in Iceland, watching them swirl and snake across the sky in flashes of green, that this has got to be, hands-down, one of the most unique and drop-dead gorgeous places on this planet, with its black sand beaches, icy fjords, and those huggable, iconic ponies. Where else can you see the northern lights, geysers, and incredible land formations all in one spot? I saw so many waterfalls, I stopped counting anymore or even paying attention. That’s how abundant the natural beauty is!

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: Iceland is the safest country in the world. Seriously, people leave their cars running, with the keys inside, when they go grocery shopping. That’s how high the level of trust between people is! Plus, the capital draws so many solo travelers on layovers from the US that it won’t be hard to meet someone cool at your hostel to split a car rental with for a day trip like the Golden Circle or even a longer journey like the Ring Road.

6. Ylläs, Finland

Snowcapped trees and a beautiful sky in Ylläs, Finland
When thinking about an escape, heading to the Arctic during the winter was not exactly at the top of my list, but after experiencing how amazing the Arctic could be in Iceland, I went for it: Lapland, Finland, in January.

I found that when the weather is so cold that it drops to 30° below freezing, the air becomes incredibly crisp. Also, that far north, the sun barely sits on the horizon during the short time that it’s out, creating an an unusual combination sunrise/sunset.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: The locals are so darn amiable that you’re sure to make a few friends, especially if you head to the female-owned-and-run Aurora Estate, where the owners can help you plan some awesome excursions snowmobiling and snowshoeing. The region is also home to the only ski slopes in the country, which tend to draw solo travelers. Head to an after-ski bar, join a husky safari, or talk to the locals in Snowman World (ice bar and restaurant). Who knows? You might catch the Northern Lights, too!

7. Big Sur, California

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, California
I call California home, but for some reason it took me until I was 29 to finally visit Big Sur — and I couldn’t believe what I had been missing: the rocky coastline, whales breaching in the distance, dolphins just about every time I looked at the horizon, and waterfalls in the state parks. It’s no wonder that the Central Coast has long enchanted actors, poets, and writers (just crack open any book by Jack Kerouac and you’re bound to read at least a little bit about coastal California, particularly Big Sur).

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: Camping in Big Sur is the perfect opportunity to meet others, because campers are friendly. Chances are good you can make a pal at the very next camping spot, especially if you offer them a locally-brewed beer. The hustle and bustle of Los Angeles turns some visitors off, so if what you’re seeking is some incredible nature, just head five hours north and you’ll be in paradise. How can you stare up at a redwood tree (some of the largest and oldest trees in the world) and not feel moved?

8. Bayfield, Wisconsin

Incredible caves in Bayfield, Wisconsin
Those who have never been to Bayfield might be scratching their heads, wondering how Wisconsin made this list. But trust me on this one, because it’s a unique Midwest gem.

It’s a tiny town full of artists, and people are incredibly friendly, living up to that Midwestern charm. Just about every person I met there seemed to have the time to stop and talk to me.

And you absolutely cannot beat the amazing sea caves! There’s something really special about kayaking through them. Or jump on a boat, sail around Lake Superior, and live a bit like Robinson Crusoe.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: I was afraid that Bayfield might be lonely since it initially seems like a family destination, but I made friends easily on kayaking tours around the caves, which accommodated me as a solo traveler, and found it easy to speak to people working in the restaurants and even on the sidewalk. Plus, it’s a safe place with low to no crime, so as a solo female traveler, you can even camp alone and enjoy the solitude.

9. Sossusvlei, Namibia

The desert in Sossusvlei, Namibia
It might seem like a barren desert isn’t the place to enjoy by yourself, but I have found it to be quite the opposite. That kind of space to think and feel can really be incredible for personal development. Plus, in Namibia it’s warm and dry, so the sky is absolutely incredible for stargazing.

Climbing up and around Dune 45 at sunrise was a beautiful experience for me. After everyone else descended, I stayed up top to explore a bit more — and I had the whole view to myself. Can you imagine sitting in one of nature’s biggest sandboxes and having it feel like it’s all yours? My inner six-year-old rejoiced.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: Namibia is adventurous and social without feeling dangerous. All of the backpackers and camping accommodations have pools and other common areas, which makes it easy to meet others if you’re solo. It’s also a gorgeous destination in Africa that isn’t crowded and chaotic, and is more about the peace and space than anything else. In a country of only two million people, your biggest worry is the scorpions (for real, though — watch out for those!).

You can also join a tour or safari and meet plenty of other solo travelers. It’s what I did, and what Matt did too when visiting the area.

10. Berlin, Germany

Gritty street art in Berlin, Germany
How did a big city make this list? Well, Berlin is not just any city; it’s full of artists and has been for the past 30 or so years. It’s hard not to feel inspired in a place where so many people make their living by creating and honoring their passions. This is why I’ve also made it my home base and became a resident of Germany. I just couldn’t be without this funky place for too long!

Though it’s the capital, Berlin doesn’t feel crowded because it is so spread out. And with so many big parks in just about every neighborhood, peace and quiet is easy to come by.

Why it’s great for solo female travelers: Berlin draws many solo travelers, and it’s easy to meet others. It’s also a socially progressive city with a low violent crime rate that’s simple to navigate and easy to love. Take a street art tour and combine everything at once! There are also tons of expats, so check out a Meetup.com group or a Couchsurfing event to get a mix of visitors and those who are more familiar with the city.

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While solo traveling and soul-searching don’t lend themselves to a one-size-fits-all approach, generally the places that draw solo travelers are the ones that are the most interesting and unique, provide opportunities to enjoy nature and connect with others (and with yourself). Regardless of which place you’re targeting in the world, with these options covering just about every continent and style of travel, you can find a place that suits you.

Conquering Mountains: The Guide to Solo Female Travel

conquering mountains: solo female travel by kristin addisFor a complete A-to-Z guide on solo female travel, check out Kristin’s new book, Conquering Mountains. Besides discussing many of the practical tips of preparing and planning your trip, the book addresses the fears, safety, and emotional concerns women have about traveling alone. It features over 20 interviews with other female travel writers and travelers. Click here to learn more about the book and start reading it today!

Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and left California in 2012, Kristin has solo traveled the world for over four years, covering every continent (except for Antarctica, but it’s on her list). There’s almost nothing she won’t try and almost nowhere she won’t explore. You can find more of her musings at Be My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.

Source: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/

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How to Save Money in REYKJAVIK


I’ve walked Reykjavik’s main shopping street many times before. There’s not a day that goes by when I visit the city that I don’t end up there somehow. The street, running through the center of the city and often closed off to cars, is lined with restaurants, hostels, cafés, and stores.

But on this, my third visit to Iceland and this city, something felt different. Reykjavik had changed. Though still a cute city filled with bustling cafés, colorful buildings, and a bohemian vibe, but looking up from my phone, I found myself standing in front of that change: a Dunkin’ Donuts, the North American coffee chain. In the year I had been gone, Dunkin’ — as well as Joe and the Juice, numerous burger shops, more Taco Bells, and Subways — had seemed to sprout up along this main drag and around the city.

The mass market had finally come to Iceland.

Though I have no solid proof, in my opinion, this is in response to the demands of the ever growing visitor numbers. Though crowds have been bursting at the seams for years, to me the chains reflect the growing crowds drawn in by Iceland’s rising fame and cheaper flights to the country thanks to budget airlines like WOW Air and Iceland Air’s seven-day free stopover.

And my Icelandic friends lamented the changes this brought to the country: clogged roads, increased accidents, environmental degradation, and higher prices. The city may be changing, and while there is another blog post on how tourism has changed things, today I want to discuss the thing that will affect you the most: the higher prices.

While Reykjavik has always been expensive, I found it a lot harder to stay on a budget this trip.

Nevertheless, some ways still exist, and today I want to share them:

Cook your own food – Eating out in Iceland is expensive and — like most capital cities — Reykjavik is especially expensive. This is a city where a donut can cost $5, a hamburger can cost $23, a dinner for two with wine can cost $100! While there are a few places I recommend (more on those later), it’s best to avoid eating out much as much as possible if you want to stick to a budget.

Groceries (basic pasta, eggs, skyr (an Icelandic cultured dairy product), rice, chicken, and some veggies) will cost 8,700 ISK ($76 USD) per week. Most hostels, Airbnbs, and even hotels have kitchens that allow you to cook your food. Additionally, many grocery and convenient stores have pre-made sandwiches and salads for around 400 ISK ($3.50 USD).

Drink on a budget – Reykjavik has some of the best nightlife in the world. It goes late into the night, with bars closing at 4 or 5am! Why? Because no one goes out until 1am! In a country where alcoholic drinks cost so much (around 1,200 ISK ($10.50 USD)), people sit at home and get sauced until the last possible second. Hit the happy hours at the bars or hostels and get beer for 600-700 ISK ($5.25-6.15 USD).

Even better than happy hour prices is to purchase your alcohol duty free when you arrive in the country or at the state stores called Vinbudin. You’ll save about 40% off the bar prices.

Couchsurf – Reykjavik has a very active Couchsurfing community. Getting involved with the community is a surefire way to get local insights, meet wonderful people, and save money with a free place to stay. The best way to lower your accommodation costs is to not have to pay for it!

Split an Airbnb home instead of using a hostel – If you’re visiting with friends, I would advise against getting dorm rooms. Hostel dorms cost 3,500-7,500 ISK ($30-65 USD) per person, but you can get entire homes or apartments on Airbnb from 11,500 ISK ($100 USD) per night. If you’re traveling in a group of three or more people, Airbnb is your most affordable choice.

Camp – If you don’t mind staying a bit out of the city center, you can camp at Reykjavik Campsite for 1,900 per night! It’s the cheapest paid option in the city.

Eat at the street stalls – Not into cooking? Stick to the street stalls serving pizza, sandwiches, kebabs, and Iceland’s famous hot dogs that line Ingólfstorg square around the main tourist information center and Lækjartorg (the square near the Grey Line office). You’ll find sandwiches and kebabs for around 1,000 ISK ($8.75 USD) while the hot dogs are 400 ($3.50). Everyone loves the famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dogs (President Clinton went there); they are worth eating if the line isn’t long.

Eat some soup – If you’re looking for a warm meal to fill your stomach, you can find a few Asian noodle places that offer hearty portions for around 1,000 ISK ($8.75 USD). My favorites are Noodle Station and Krua Thai, a Thai place that just opened up.

Take a free tour – Want to know the history of the city and Iceland but don’t want to pay for the museums? Don’t miss the free walking tour run by Free Walking Tour Reykjavik. It’s really informative and takes you around a lot of downtown. Some other free exhibits: Harpa Concert Hall and the oversized topographical map of Iceland in the City Hall.

Get the city pass -If you plan to see a lot of the sights in the city (and you should), the Reykjavik Pass gets you free entry into all the major attractions, 10% off most tours, and even 10% off a few restaurants. Though a small city, Reykjavik also has some tremendous museums and art galleries (to which the pass gets you discounts into). (I especially love the National Museum. It has an extremely detailed history of the country.) The 48-hour pass is $40 USD but easily pays for itself.

Rideshare outside the city – If you are looking to head out of the city (to visit the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, or anywhere else), expect to pay a lot of money for a tour. You could rent a car, but that’s still around $70 a day. The cheapest way to get out of the city and explore is to check for rides on hostel bulletin boards (even if you aren’t staying at one), Couchsurfing, or Samfredi, Iceland’s ridesharing site. They are filled with travelers looking — and giving — rides throughout the country! All you have to do is share costs!

Enjoy the outdoors – Reykjavik is filled with amazing things to see and do for free. If the weather is nice (or at least not terrible, like May-September), walk around. Enjoy the narrow streets and colorful houses, watch the ducks in the big lake in the center of town, hang out in a park, walk the waterfront, walk the long walking and biking path near the airport (it’s stunning and goes through some small beaches, parks, and a residential area, visit Nauthólsvík Beach and its hot spring, or visit the Grotta island lighthouse at the far end of town.

Recommendations


Not sure what to see or do while you are there? Here are some of my favorites:

Attractions: Reykjavík Botanical Gardens, Grotta, City Hall, Hallgrímskirkja, National Gallery of Iceland, National Museum of Iceland, The Penis Museum (yes, it’s a thing and it’s very weird), Reykjavík Art Museum, Árbæjarlaug and Laugardalslaug swimming pools.

Restaurants: Laudromat, Noodle House, Glo, Le Bistro, Grill Market ($$$), Food Cellar, and Krua Thai.

Coffee shops: Kaffihús Vesturbæjar, Rakjavik Roasters, Kaffitár, Kaffibarinn, Café Babalu, and the café in Mál og Menning (which is my favorite).

Bars: Lebowski Bar, Bar Ananas, Kiki, The Dubliner, and Hurra.

Overall, I would budget around $60 – 70 USD per day for the city if you’re paying for your accommodation (a shared Airbnb or hostel), cooking most of your meals, doing most of the free activities, getting the museum pass, and not drinking. If you want see more paid activities, have a few nicer meals and go out to the bars, look to spend between $80-100 USD per day. For those camping, Couchsurfing, cooking, doing the free activities, and minimizing paid experiences, you can get by for $30-40 per day.

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How To Save Money in Dubai

View of Dubai from one of its tall skyscrapers
Dubai is a big stopover destination for travelers flying Emirates Airlines as they transit around the world (or Etihad passengers if they decide to visit from Abu Dhabi). As explored the city, I was shocked at the cost of everything — from taxis to dinners to basic goods.

The rumors I heard were true: Dubai was expensive.

But like every destination (except maybe Bermuda), there are plenty of ways to save and visit on a budget if you look beneath the surface.

Today, I’m going to show you how to save money in Dubai as well as some of my favorite activities:

How to Save Money in Dubai

Dubai skyscrapers lit up at night
Dubai doesn’t have to bust your budget but it easily can if you aren’t careful! Like most cities with extremely high prices, many of the city’s residents have found tips and tricks on how to squeeze every last dirham possible.

Use Groupon – Groupon is huge in Dubai, and you can find tons of discounts, 2-for-1 specials, and deals on the website. If there is something you want to do, check there first as there is a high chance you’ll find a discount.

Get The Entertainer The Entertainer, a magazine found in many countries (even in the Maldives!), offers discounts and specials on restaurants, hotels, and activities. There’s one for the UAE that all locals swear by. You’ll get 2-for-1 specials and discounts on attractions, restaurants, drinks, clubs, them parks, and hotels. You can pick up a copy when you arrive in Dubai at supermarkets and bookstores, or find an online version on their website (the app costs 445 AED or $121 USD). The hard copy costs 495 AED ($134 USD) but can quickly pay for itself.

Find a cheap brunch – I strongly advise attending brunch, as it’s a tradition among locals in Dubai and quite fun. Every Friday, locals flock to a midday buffet of unlimited drinks and food. As the day goes on, it often turns into debauchery that would make Nero proud. However, brunch is not a cheap affair, with some costing as much as 700 AED ($190 USD). Therefore, knowing where the deals are very important.

Tenth Street is only 295 AED ($80 USD) for unlimited food and drinks (which you can order multiples of at a time).  Warehouse, Rock Bottom, and Waxy O’Conners are also cheap. For a good alcohol free brunch, try More or Beirut.

You can ask people on Couchsurfing too. There’s an active Dubai group on the site.

Attend a happy hour – The lifeblood of any drinker, happy hours are where you can go to save a buck: from McGettigan’s drink specials (29 AED ($8 USD) for selected house drinks) to Agency’s 100 AED ($27 USD) bottle of wines. Dubai is FULL of happy hours (and drink specials can be found in The Entertainer too). To see what current happy hours there are in Dubai, check out:

Moreover, check out the app Guzzler, which also lists the current best happy hours in the city.

Get pizza for lunch – Tucked into The Dubai Mall — near the entrance used to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa — is a place called Debonairs. It’s located right in the food court on the ground floor and has a pizza-and-drink lunch special for 15 AED ($4 USD). It’s one of the best bargains I found. The pizzas are small (you can upsize for 22 AED ($6 USD)) but filling enough for lunch.

Eat in old Dubai – Step away from the hotels, malls, and fancy souks meant to make you think you are in Aladdin and head into Old Dubai for cheap eats. Meals at restaurants in this area generally cost 20-30 AED ($5-8 USD). I really loved Al Usted, an Iranian restaurant near the Al Fahidi metro.

Take the metro – While the metro only really cuts through the middle of the city, it does go to the marina, airport, and Old Dubai. At 8 AED ($2 USD), it’s cheaper than any taxi. If you have to go somewhere away from the metro, take a taxi from the metro stop nearest your destination. You’ll save time and about 30 AED ($8 USD). Otherwise, most taxis are 40-60 AED ($11-16 USD) for anywhere in the center of town.

Know where the cheap accommodation is – Nice hotels in Dubai are fairly expensive ($150-200 USD per night). All the major hotel chains have locations there, so if you have hotel points, use them. Point redemptions are a bargain here. I used my SPG points for a night at the Sheraton for 10,000 points! (Read more on travel hacking.)

However, if you lack hotel points or simply don’t want to stay in one, there is a very active Couchsurfing community in the city. I would definitely recommend contacting residents before you visit and see if anyone has a room.

Very basic hotels can be found for $40-50 USD per night on Booking.com and on Airbnb the private rooms in the $35-45 USD range (if you’re new to Airbnb, get $35 off your first stay here).

There are also three hostels in town that cost $15-25 USD for six- to ten-bed dorm rooms. (I didn’t stay in any of them, but some Couchsurfers told me they weren’t great.)

Skip the booze – Outside the happy hours and all-you-can-eat brunches, drinking is expensive ($10 USD beers, $15 USD glasses of wine), so I would go easy on the drinking during your visit.

Where to Go in Dubai

The beautiful Jumeirah Mosque -- FLICKR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/phareannah/3216054008/sizes/l
Dubai doesn’t have a lot of traditional “things to do” — it’s not Paris, London, Hong Kong. But it does have enough attractions to fill a few days. My favorites include the following:

Burj Khalifa – The tallest building in the world lets you go up to the 128th floor for 100 AED ($27 USD). From there, you get panoramic views of the city and desert. When I went it was pretty hazy, but it still made for a beautiful contrast. I would highly recommend it (but don’t pay 500 AED ($136 USD) for the 148th floor. It’s not that much of a difference!). At night, the building is illuminated by a spectacular light show of fish, palm trees, and other scenes while the fountain below dances to music.

The Dubai Mall – This was one of my favorite malls simply for the cool aquarium, ice skating rink, movie theater, large bookstore (though it didn’t have my book), and all the little cafés that dot the mall. It’s worth a wander. You’ll see a lot of people just hanging out here, drinking coffee, reading a book, chatting, and escaping the heat.

Jumeirah Mosque – This beautiful mosque is one of two in the city you can actually visit. It’s small, consisting of one large room but there is a guided tour take place each day at 10am. It’s 20 AED ($5.50 USD), comes with a great breakfast spread, and is more cultural information on Islam than a tour, but if you don’t know much about Islam or the role it plays in the UAE, it’s pretty interesting.

The Palm Jumeirah – On this famous palm tree shaped island, you’ll find a large shopping walkway, the Atlantis resort, Aquaventure waterpark, and a host of fancy restaurants, bars, and clubs. It’s beautiful to walk around and explore during the day (at night, it’s pretty boring!)

The Marina – The marina area is surrounded by tall buildings and contains a beautiful boardwalk. You can see the fancy boats and get some stunning photographs of the harbor and skyline. Be sure to checkout Pier 7, which is seven floors of restaurants and bars on the water. I liked Asia Asia, with its gaudy Asian theme (it has 2-for-1 specials in The Entertainer too!).

Souk Madinat Jumeirah – This souk (market) is a modern building designed to look like something out of Aladdin, but it’s home to some incredible restaurants, like Agency, a modern wine bar with a huge selection of wines and yummy meat and cheese plates. There’s a beautiful inner courtyard pond in this complex, too.

Dubai Museum – A small museum in Old Dubai with not a lot of information but some really cool displays. It teaches you the history and culture of Dubai and life in the desert. At $1 USD admission, you can’t go wrong.

Old Dubai – This is Dubai as it used to be. Markets (like the famous gold market) pepper the area, small merchant shops line the streets, and you can get lost in a maze of alleyways! Take a boat across the river, wander aimlessly, visit the Dubai Museum, eat at some of the traditional restaurants (there’s also a lot of good Indian food here), explore the art district, and see Dubai as it is away from the glitz of the malls and high-rises.

Visit the desert
– I didn’t get a chance to do this during my visit but everyone – from friends to travelers to locals – said this is one of the best things to do in Dubai. Take a day trip or spend a night out in the desert. It’s supposed to be beautiful.

Source: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/