My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 3 – Flores in Guatemala

My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 3 – Flores in Guatemala

My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 3 – Flores in Guatemala

One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen was in Flores in Guatemala!

I’m completely in love with sunsets! I can’t get enough of seeing them and watching photos of them! And probably one of the reasons to become a digital nomad was to be able to see more beautiful sunsets over the ocean and to choose from where I want to work by picking the best sunset spots around the world…

That’s why I started a new series of blog posts with my most beautiful sunsets!

Here is part one: Sunset in Cabarete

And part part two: Sunset in Angkor

One of the most beautiful sunsets: Flores in Guatemala!

Sonnenuntergang in Flores durch Streben

I actually just went on the rooftop of my hotel to do a little workout. I just arrived on that day and ahead of me were 10 days traveling Guatemala. But I didn’t expect a view that beautiful!

So I ran back to my room to get my camera. It was too gorgeous!

While I do my squats I can’t stop watching the sun getting close to the horizon. My phone is doing a timelapse of it. What I love most are the small boats running between Flores and the small island in the middle of the lake. In the video, it looks like they are little ants at work.

After the sun is going, I sit there for a while and think about life. Perhaps that’s the kind of sunset that we like to remember afterward: The ones we enjoy in silence The ones that we immerse ourselves into. The ones that we enjoy even after the sun is gone until the last echo of it has disappeared.

 

Yours Barbara

Traveling Guatemala – Of Maya Ruins, Colonial Cities and Volcanoes

Traveling Guatemala – Of Maya Ruins, Colonial Cities and Volcanoes

Traveling Guatemala – Of Maya Ruins, Colonial Cities and Volcanoes

Traveling Guatemala was no really on my bucket list, I have to admit. Mexico was so big in my head that I never thought of the other countries in its south.

When I was at the biggest fair and exhibition in the Tourism industry ITB in Berlin, I saw a small both with nice looking people. The company was called Martsam. We were talking for a while and when I said that I was about to leave for Mexico they immediately invited me to come to Guatemala as well.

I accepted their invitation and they organized a 10-days trip for me.

Traveling Guatemala – Flores, Tikal and Yaxhá

I started my journey through Guatemala on the beautiful island of Flores. From there I did two day-trips: one to Tikal, the best-known Maya ruins in Guatemala and to Yaxhá, another archeological site, but less touristy than Tikal.

This is one of the biggest lakes in Guatemala: Petén Itzá with the biggest crocodile of the world. Of course, they don’t mean an animal, but the mountain. What do you think?

Traveling Guatemala – Lage Petén Itzá

Traveling Guatemala – Petén Itzá Lake

Tikal is located in the middle of the jungle and is not only the most important Maya site in Guatemala but as well one of the best-understood ones in the world.

Traveling Guatemala – Tikal Maya temple

Traveling Guatemala

The talles building of this site is Temple IV with 70 meters. I needed five minutes to climb it. If you’re a Star Wars fan you probably recognize the view from up there over the rainforest trees. George Lucas was filming here for part one of his famous saga.

Traveling Guatemala – Tikal Temple IV

In the end, we arrived at the Great Acropolis with Temple I (or Temple of the Jaguar) and II, from where I took these photos.

Traveling Guatemala – Tikal Great Acropolis

Traveling Guatemala – Temple of the Jaguar

In the evening, I watch the sunset from my hotel’s roof top terrace. Check out the hotel here*!

Traveling Guatemala – Sunset in Flores

The next trip was to Yaxhá.

It was just the tour guide and me this time and we see only two people during hour three-hour stay. That’s why this howler monkey dared to come done from his tree after his siesta to drink some water from a puddle. Surprised to see us, he immediately jumped back on the tree – to be safe and sound again.

Traveling Guatemala

The ruins themselves are similar as in Tikal. But in Yaxhá I saw many small hills. The tour guide explained that there are more temples beneath them. They haven’t been excavated yet. So there is still a lot of work to do in Yaxhá.

Traveling Guatemala – Yaxhá

The highlight of every tour in Yaxhá is Temple 216, or the Temple of the Red Hands. You can enjoy an incredible view over the rainforest and the Laguna Yaxhá. Sunset is supposed to be outstandingly beautiful from up here, but I wasn’t lucky enough with the weather.

Traveling Guatemala – Laguna Yaxhá

 

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua and the Volcano Pacaya

The former capital of the Spanish colonies has been World Heritage for 35 years. Antigua is a picturesque and colorful city, which is pretty impressive with the volcanoes in the background.

Unfortunately, when I was there during rainy season, the so called Bruma – that’s how they call the clouds when they are low – was making it almost impossible to see the volcanoes.

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

Traveling Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

You should definitely plan to climb one of the volcanoes on one day. The Volcán del Fuego is very hard to climb. That’s why I chose the easier Pacaya. I had twisted my ankle the week before, which is why I decided to get a horse instead of hiking up.

Traveling Guatemala – Pacaya

I was talking to the owner of the horse and he told me that most of the people there have no other choice than renting their horses to tourists and that this is their only income stream. My friends in Guatemala said that he was a bit exaggerating to get a higher tip. But I feel like it was good to support a local.

Traveling Guatemala – Volcán de Agua y Volcán de Fuego

You don’t have to book a horse in advance. Locals are waiting here you arrive and you can decide when you’re there. I paid 200 Quetzales (more or less 25 Dollars).

Traveling Guatemala – View from Pacaya to Volcán de Agua

Traveling Guatemala – Pacaya

If you’re lucky and the view is good you will be able to see little explosions at the Vulcán del Fuego.

Traveling Guatemala – Volcán del Fuego

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango and the Lake Atitlan

The market of Chichicastenango is famous in Guatemala. It’s huge, beautiful and a little bit dangerous.

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

It’s almost always crowded here and this is making it easy for pickpockets. So if you’re going: Either leave your valuables at home or be very careful!

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

But if you’re still searching for a souvenir from your travels in Guatemala you will probably find something here.

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

Traveling Guatemala – Chichicastenango

After some exciting hours at the market of Chichicastenango, I made my way to the Lake Atitlan.

The most touristy place at the Lake Atitlan is Panajachel. It’s a village with one only one big street with a lot of shops, restaurants, and streetfood.

My first night in Panajachel was a short one since I wanted to be at the lake for sunrise.

Traveling Guatemala – Sunrise in Panajachel Lago de Atitlan

Traveling Guatemala – Sunrise Pajachel

Traveling Guatemala – Sunrise Panajachel Lago de Atitlan

Then I went with a tour guide to the other side of the lake.

Traveling Guatemala – Lago de Atitlan

Traveling Guatemala Lago de Atitlan

Traveling Guatemala – María at Lago de Atitlan

Traveling Guatemala – Lago de Atitlan

Traveling Guatemala

My 10 days traveling Guatemala passed in no time. I’ve seen beautiful places, met incredibly nice people and just had a great stay! I think Guatemala is one of my favorite countries in Central America.

I will definitely come back to see more!

Yours Barbara

PS: Martsam invited me on the whole trip. I didn’t get any monetary compensation though. My opinion is my own and wasn’t influenced by this collaboration!

PPS: The links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

 

Barbara auf den Ruinen in Palenque

LATINAMERICA

PALENQUE

Ruinen und Kakteen in Mitla

LATINAMERICA

MEXICO FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

Barbara in Hierve el Agua 2

LATINAMERICA

OAXACA

The Most Beautiful Sunset – Cabarete in the Dominican Republic

The Most Beautiful Sunset – Cabarete in the Dominican Republic

The Most Beautiful Sunset – Cabarete in the Dominican Republic

Is there something more beautiful than a sunset over the ocean?

I’m completely in love with sunsets! I can’t get enough of seeing them and watching photos of them! And probably one of the reasons to become a digital nomad was to be able to see more beautiful sunsets over the ocean and to choose from where I want to work by picking the best sunset spots around the world…

That’s why I started a new series of blog posts with my most beautiful sunsets!

Here is part two: Sunset in Angkor

One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen was in Cabarete in the Dominican Republic!

I can still remember how was walking along the beach searching for the sun, but it was hidden behind the trees. A friend said “Well, no sunset for us today! We won’t be able to see it!” But I asked him to move on and try to see it from the other side of the beach. And I was right. We had a great view and that sunset was simply breathtaking.

It made the sky shine in gold, blue and pink!

Sunset in Cabarete

schiefe palme cabarete

I think that was the only sunset in Cabarete that I saw from the beach and I will remember it forever!

Cabarete Guide iPad

 Being a Digital Nomad in Cabarete

I have been living and working in Cabarete for six weeks. If you want to do the same you should check out my Cabarete Guide for Digital Nomads. It’s packed with all necessary information to have a smooth start in this great expat and nomad spot in the Caribbean!

 

Yours Barbara 1

 

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Jarabacoa – Where The Dominicans Go On Vacation

Jarabacoa – Where The Dominicans Go On Vacation

Jarabacoa – Where The Dominicans Go On Vacation

Why Jarabacoa?

Jarabacoa is a small town in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, which is not yet crowded with tourists. After about six weeks in Cabarete with beaches and lagoons I wanted to discover another side of the country. I was told that Jarabacoa was a place where locals go on vacation. An authentic village that was additionally the perfect spot to go on hikes, to do horseback riding, rafting and canyoning.

One of the highlights is the Pico Duarte: the highest mountain in the Caribbean! But I couldn’t stop thinking of the 7000 steps of the Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka or the 1-day hike in Artenara that made my muscles hurt so much. That’s why, in the end, I decided not to climb Pico Duarte which would have been 80 kilometers of walking in only three days.

By the way, this is the very first drone shot that I ever took! The city center of Jarabacoa is behind the drone, so it’s not that idyllic.

 

Drone shotJarabacoa

The Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel

Then the Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel sent me an invitation: They needed a little bit of Social Media Support and are happy to have a special place in this article on Barbaralicious. That’s why accepted the invitation and stayed for one week in this hostel that I call luxurious without feeling bad about it.

Mountain Hostel Jarabacoa

Mountain Hostel Jarabacoa

I was in a private room, but the Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel has beautiful dorms, too. All rooms have a balcony and the kitchen is the cleanest and best equipped that I have ever seen in a hostel.

Have a look at the video that I added in the end of the article! You will see how nice it is!

The Secret Waterfall

At first we did a hiking trip to the Secret Waterfall. It’s “secret”, because you need a local to get there and to show you the way. I did the hike with David from JarabacoaEcoAdventures , a young entrepreneur who is doing a really good job as a guide. I can recommend him 100 percent. He is doing tours to Pico Duarte as well.

We left the car in front of the house of a local after he picked me up at the hostel. The hike was around 15 minutes over a small stream in the woods and some… pipes!? Yes, there were pipes everywhere and we had to balance over them. Be careful if you go there: They can be slippery!

The last part was through icy water until the hips. But when we had surrounded the rock we saw the beautiful Secret Waterfall.

Secret Waterfall Jarabacoa

Now the bathing fun could start: You can either swim in the water in front of the waterfall or walk up in the woods and jump down.

Baiguate

To get to this waterfall, you can either walk or ride a horse. I guess, a car or a MotoConcho (that’s what they call a moto taxi here), would work as well since the waterfall is close to a street. I decided to go on a nice horseback ride. Unfortunately we were riding mostly on normal streets – at least on our way there. On our way back we went more through the woods and over meadows. But I can’t really recommend to take a horse. This was a part through nature:

Baiguate Jarabacoa

Baiguate Jarabacoa

Another sad thing was that the horses weren’t really in good conditions. You could tell that they weren’t taken care of and they were dirty. I almost wanted to cancel the whole trip, but I was so looking forward to it the days before that I couldn’t. So if you go to Jarabacoa and want to do a horseback riding tour, my advice is to talk to the people and ask to see the horses before you book. I am sure you will find somebody who is treating the horses right and in general I like to support the local community .

Horseback Riding Jarabacoa

Horseback Riding Jarabacoa

Horseback Riding Jarabacoa

But let’s talk about the waterfall:

Baiguate is similar in height to the Secret Waterfall, but easier to reach – you only need walk over a small path and then down the stairs. From the path you can already get an impression of how it will look like.

Baiguate Jarabacoa

The water is icy cold.

Baiguate Jarabacoa

But it was super nice and I spent around in hour there taking photos and relaxing.

My Personal Highlight: Paragliding

Then we did what I was looking forward to for weeks. Because some friends have been to Jarabacoa when I was still in Cabarete. They told me about the paragliding. I had my first paragliding adventure when I was in Lanzarote and immediately fell in love with being in the air. Now it was time for my second flight!

The people from Flying Tony came to pick me up in the hostel and with five other people they drove us on a mountain. The view was spectacular – even without being in the air!

Paragliding Jarabacoa

After some preparations the moment had come… “Run!” said the pilot behind me and I couldn’t even take a step when we were already in the air.

I was the first to start so I could admire the beautiful landscapes and watch the others start. It was incredible…

Paragliding Jarabacoa

Paragliding Jarabacoa

We were flying in circle over the mountain for about 30 minutes before we went down to land.

Paragliding Jarabacoa

Paragliding Jarabacoa

On our way down we passed a beautiful waterfall.

Paragliding Jarabacoa

I really hope it doesn’t take one year again until my next flight.

For me, Jarabacoa was a real oasis of calmness that gave me the possibility to take a step back and enjoy nature.

You shouldn’t miss this town if you are going to the Dominican Republic!

Yours Barbara 1

PS: This blog post was supported by the Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel, that invited me to stay in this beautiful private room. The tours have been supported by Jarabacoa Eco Adventures and Flying Tony. Again: Thanks a lot! My opinion is my own and has not been influenced by the collaboration.

PPS: You want to see the video about the trip? Check it out now! Chris Spiegl did some amazing shots of our tours. I feel blessed that I am a part of it:

Exploring Jarabacoa by Foot, Air and Horse | Dominican Republic, Caribbean, 2017

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Lagoons and Beaches in the Dominican Republic

Lagoons and Beaches in the Dominican Republic

Lagoons and Beaches in the Dominican Republic

My first blog post about a Caribbean island is about the Dominican Republic!

If somebody told me that one year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. I always thought that I would write about Cuba first. But now I am here thanks to the Nomad Cruise and will call the Dominican Republic home for at least one month.

Lagunen und Strände in der Dominikanischen Republik – Barbara am Playa Grande

 

Lagoons and Beaches in the Dominican Republic?

You have probably heard of the beautiful beaches of the Dominican Republic. But did you know that there are amazing lagoons as well? They remember me of the Cenotes in Mexico where I’ve been in April of 2016. I unfortunately can’t compare the underwater world – probably there is a difference between a Cenote and a lagoon… But from the outside they look both like from a fairy tail.

I have seen one lagoon, in which it’s possible to do snorkeling and even diving! The highlight is a zipline from where you jump down when you reach the center of the lagoon.

 

Laguna Dudu

The Laguna Dudu actually consists of two lagoons and one dripstone cave called Cueva Taina.

laguna dudu

steg luguna dudu

tropfsteinhoehle

The bigger one of the two lagoons has the zipline that is going over the almost circular lagoon in a height of 13 meters. When you arrive the center of the lagoon you jump or fall into the refreshing water.

zipline laguna dudu

There is huge patch of grass between the two lagoons. Around it there are several hammocks to enjoy the sun or the shade – whatever you like best.

The entrance is only 50 DOP, which was around 1 Euro in December 2016. If you want to jump down the zipline you don’t need to pay extra.

 

Playa Grande

The next stop was Playa Grande. Only half an hour driving from Laguna Dudu, there is the really big beach Playa Grande.

When we arrived with around 40 people, everybody was super hungry. Unfortunately it took us almost two hours until we had gotten and eaten our lunch. Too many people… That’s why I could only take a few photos and didn’t have time to wander around.

playa grande

playa grande

But I am sure I would have loved it there!

 

Playa Diamante

The cute and small beach Playa Diamante is almost hidden in the forest. Our bus couldn’t get close due to bad street conditions so we had to walk for some minutes.

This beach reminded me of the beaches in Koh Samui!

playa diamante

Here as well, I could have stayed an entire day. Relaxing and enjoying the weather. People told me that the water is quite flat for a while and that you can almost walk outside of the bay. Round the corner there are cliffs to jump down. But I didn’t go into the water since I was walking around with my GoPro filming for this video that is showing our day at Laguna Dudu, Playa Grande and Playa Diamante:

Lagoons & Beaches, Dominican Republic 2016, Nomad Excursions

Did you know those lagoons and beaches in the Dominican Republic? Then hit the button and tell me about it in the comments!

Yours Barbara

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Live Like a Local in Chiang Mai

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Then there is no way around:
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