We’re not even in the water yet, but already my heart is pounding in my chest.
I’m on a boat about 2 hours from Cancun, on the perimeter of a circle of dozens of other boats filled with eager tourists. Like my 12-year-old daughter and I, they’re all here for a singular purpose: The once-in-a-lifetime experience of Swimming with Whale Sharks, the largest known fish species in the world.
Though the glare of the morning sun on the water is nearly blinding, the 35-foot, 20,000-pound whale sharks aren’t difficult to spot. In fact, their hulking forms are everywhere we look, swimming in slow, lazy circles to filter-feed on krill and plankton at the surface, seemingly oblivious to our presence. Thankfully, our captain stays far away from the other boats, so that when one of these gentle giants swims near we will have them all to ourselves.
As he brings the boat to a halt, a massive whale shark swims straight for us. He looks as wide as a VW Beetle, and as long as a school bus, gliding effortlessly with his mouth wide open. At the last second his spotted form swerves past us, changing directions surprisingly quickly with a mere flip of his tail. I’m 6’2″ and built like a linebacker, but suddenly even I feel very small by comparison.
(The following is a guest post by Jessica Kay of A Passion and A Passport, a blog focused on balancing travel with a full-time 9 to 5 job. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger looking to guest post on GGT, please email Bret Love at info@GreenGlobalTravel.com.)
I traveled to Kauai, Hawaii last summer with my husband, and quickly fell in love with the island’s diverse wildlife and natural attractions. Just minutes after our arrival, it was clear that Kauai is full of natural beauty and has a ton of ecotourism offerings waiting to be discovered. From dramatic coastlines and majestic mountains to native Hawaiian wildlife on both land and water, each of these activities left me nearly breathless. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions:
Created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer (The Wire), the show follows residents from the historic Tremé (pronounced Tre-may) neighborhood– a hodgepodge of musicians, chefs, community activists and Mardi Gras Indians– struggling to put their lives, homes and culture back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
(The following is a guest post by Rachel Campbell of Treepot Travels, a blog focused on adventure travel and nature/wildlife photography. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger looking to guest post on GGT, email Bret Love at info@GreenGlobalTravel.com.)
With 59 different US National Parks to choose from, the idea of selecting just one for a family vacation or weekend hiking trip can be daunting at best. In order to help make for an easier decision, many travelers will start with a list what they’re looking for in a park, what knowledge they hope to gain, and what memories they hope to take back home.
If you’re looking for majestic mountains, scenic cliffs, towering pine trees, a vast blue ocean, rocky beaches, tranquil lakes, and a large network of winding trails that not only offer up an exciting day out, but picturesque vistas, then hiking Acadia National Park should top your list. Here you’ll find a vast wilderness waiting to be explored, peacefully tucked away on rugged islands off the coast of Maine.
Vacations are a lot like Hollywood blockbusters: Both cost a lot of money, we go into them expecting maximum bang for our bucks, and the competition tends to be fairly fierce. So we approached representatives from six US National Parks and gave them an opportunity to pitch their park’s perks directly to you, the traveler. Here, straight from the horses’ mouth, is an inside scoop on the unique features, activities, and prime visiting seasons for some of America’s best National Parks.