Most colourful places in the world

We’ve selected our top 7 most colorful places in the world so you can travel and bring some color to your life!

1. Chefchaouen, Morocco’s bluest village  
Blue Monday has never looked so good. We are totally mesmerized by this beautiful Moroccan village called Chefhaouen. Chefchaouen (or Chaouen) is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and TetouanFounded in 1471, the town now has about 200 hotels & apartments because of the increasing number of tourists. Did you know? That the countryside Chefchaouen region is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco. Hashish is subsequently sold all over town, but is mostly the domain of native Chaouenis.

chefchaouen
We can’t get over these beautiful colors

2.  The Favelas, Rio De Janeiro
Notorious for their crime wars and poverty, this part of Rio is looking rather colourful since a couple of years thanks to 2 Dutch artists.
They employ local youth to paint the buildings and houses for a few reasons; Give them something they can be proud of and take them of the streets.
We love this and that’s why it’s our number 2. Check their website for more info and other projects.

colorful favela
The Favela have never looked so colorful (Source: Favelapainting.com)

3. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This small Caribbean island is one of the most colorful places on earth because of  all the shops and houses there. It’s only 7km in length and it’s perfect for lazy beach days. Did you know? That Isla Mejeres literally means “women island”

colorful houses
Wouldn’t you just want to live in a house like this one?! (Source: Fotolia/AP)

4. Havana, Cuba
Yes, you knew this one was going to be in the list right? Havana is becoming more popular now that the USA renewed their bond with Cuba. If you want to experience Havana in all it’s original beauty, you must hurry up. We’ve heard that the first MC Donald’s have been spotted..

Havana, Cuba
Still authentic..

5. Vernazza, Italy
It used to be only accessible by sea or steep walking routes, but now the milk train provides easy accessVernazza is one of 5 villages along the Cinque Terre coast of Italy and the train runs into each of the five towns. The blue sea and the green trees certainly help but this village owns its own colourful reputation. Did you know? That there is a trail that connects all 5 towns together? So bring your walking shoes!

Vernazza, Italy
All the colors match in Vernazza.

6. Rainbow Mountain
Only visit when it’s sunny they say, because you might be disappointed with the pallet of colours as you arrive. But rainbow mountain still remains something special and should not be excluded from this list. Have you been?

Rainbow mountain

7. The Netherlands (during Tulip season)
During April, May, something beautiful is happening in the Netherlands: Tulip Season! People from all over the world come to look at a variety of tulips in all sorts of sizes and colors. We can’t wait for this year, and we hope to take some drone shots!

Tulip field Netherlands

Love,

Elke

Dancing around Cuba » Don’t miss these 7 highlights

Cuba, a destination where you, so to say ‘travel back in time’. Its most distinguishing mark are probably its old-timers. You just can’t ignore all the Plymouths, Chevrolets and Pontiacs driving around. But, Cuba is much more than that. It’s a diverse country with an interesting history, beautiful beaches, great nature, lovely people, charming cities and not to forget tasty rum, good cigars and spectacular salsa. Literally in every restaurant and on each plaza there’s a salsa band playing the famous Guantanamera, Chan Chan, or another salsa song. With this music, I felt like dancing around Cuba. My favorite places:

1. Havana: a great way to start your holiday
The capital of Cuba is quite touristic, but it definitely has its charm as well. Especially Havana Vieja has a great ambiance with its cosy streets, beautiful colonial buildings and amiable plazas where you can enjoy a local beer or mojito while listening to (or dancing on) the first salsa tones. Outside Havana Vieja, the fortress El Morro, Plaza de la Revolución and the Malécon are also worth a visit. Altogether, my boyfriend and I got a nice first glimpse of the Cuban culture here.

Havana, Cuba
A local bar on one of the main squares in Havana

2. Valle de Viñales: a good dose of nature
We explored the Valle de Viñales by doing a five-hour tour on horses. Once entering the national park, the so-called mogotes, lime-stone cliffs, start rising from the bottom of the valley which makes it a spectacular view. During the tour we also visited a cave, a coffee plantation, a lake and a cigar plantation. The cigar is another signature of Cuba, so the farmer that showed us how they’re made, insisted I also tried one, because I otherwise did not really visit Cuba. To be honest, it didn’t taste as bad as I thought it would, mainly because the farmer had dipped the cigar in a bit of honey to make it sweeter (as the Cubans basically do with everything).

3. El Nicho: imposing waterfall
The trip to this waterfall, just outside the national park Topes de Calientes, was sensational on itself. All of a sudden, you’re driving around in this green, mountainous region. At some point, our taxi could not cope very well with these hills and the driver had to give the motor some water every 500 meters. When we finally arrived, we still had some hiking to do in order to reach the waterfall. It was quite hot, but the view of the waterfall, and the ability to jump into its cold water, was definitely worth it.

El Nicho
The EL Nicho waterfall

4. Trinidad: city of the salsa
Trinidad is a city with an amazing vibe, one that can hardly be described. You just have to go there to experience it. The city centre is quite small and picturesque with its Spanish colonial architecture. At night, the main square, Plaza Major, is filled with lots of people. Not only tourists, but also the Cubans gather here to listen to live music and dance the salsa. Since the salsa also is a characteristic of Cuba, we wanted to learn dancing it ourselves. So, we took a salsa class at a dancing school in Trinidad. We actually felt like doing a pretty good job; until later that night we watched some Cubans dancing in the square… that was something different!

5. Playa Santa Lucia: beautiful beaches and fantastic diving
Santa Lucia is a small town at the north coast of Cuba. It was the most peaceful town of our trip. There were nearly no tourists, so we really felt like we were amongst Cubans. Next to the beautiful beaches (best one is Playa Los Cocos, just 8kms outside Santa Lucia) it’s also a great place for diving. During our dive we saw a 66m long ancient shipwreck with beautiful coral on top and nice fishes swimming around. I can tell you, that’s really impressive.

Playa Los Cocos Cuba
Playa Los Cocos

6. The city of the revolution: Santa Clara
Santa Clara is mainly interesting because of its history. This is the city where Che Guevara successfully derailed an armoured train, which was a key tipping point in the Cuban revolution. This train, called Tren Blindado, can still be seen on the exact spot where it derailed. On the other side of town, at Plaza de la Revolución, you’ll find a massive monument of Guevara together with the mausoleum that houses the remains of this famous revolutionist and a museum that tells you all about him.

7. Las Cuevas de Bellamar in Matanzas: some impressive caves
At first, we were not sure whether to visit the Caves just outside Matanzas, since we’ve seen stalactites and stalagmites before. In the end we did decide to go, and boy was I happy with this decision. All previous caves were dwarfed by this supposedly 24kms long cave. Only 2kms are open for visitation, in which you can see spectacular halls and galleries, that all have their own names. Feels like walking around in a completely different, almost fairy-tale like world.

Bellamar caves in Cuba
One of the galleries in the Bellamar caves

Are you ready for some dancing around Cuba?

Love,

Dionne

*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but I also enjoy a city trip closer to home. 

These are the best non-touristy spots in Havana, Cuba

Havana is guaranteed to instantly charm you with its untamed way of life; the way you can walk down the street and not see another European face; or how the local merchants will barter with you over the price of an onion just for fun. However, because this beautiful city hasn’t yet become a touristic destination, it’s hard to find information on things to do and see there. There are so many unique places to visit in Havana, but here is a round up of the best places to see as a ‘local tourist’.

Obispo Street
This is the main street in Havana Vieja, and as soon as you step out onto the cobbles you can see why! There are countless shops running one after the other, with designer brands rubbing shoulders with family run souvenir stalls. Here you can also find kitch little bars and restaurants, where the locals hang out at to listen to live salsa and afro-cuban bands. The main banks and exchange houses are also along this street, just incase your money accidentally disappeared on one too many mojitos.

Obisbo 2

O’Reilly Cafe
We all know that this country is renowned for their deep, rich coffee blends and their aromatic brews, but Cafe O’Reilly takes it to a whole new level. As soon as you walk in you are greeted with the aroma of freshly ground coffee, and the feeling of going back in time before social meetings included cell phones, a time when people could sit down and really appreciate a great coffee. In O’Reilly’s you can chose from a huge selection of coffee cocktails, containing every alcohol you can think of, fine espressos, traditional cappuccinos, shakes and even drinkable deserts! They use blends of only the best crops from the various coffee regions of Cuba, producing both the arabica and robusta beans, giving their coffee an exquisitely deep, fruity taste and hypnotizing aroma. 

Cafe O'Reilly 2 Havana

Antiguos Almacenes
I guarantee that you’ll have never seen a warehouse so full of colour and life! As soon as you walk in you can smell the freshly cooked churros, hear the live bands and feel the buzz of trading everywhere. The artwork in Antiguos Almacenes is so unique, and the artists are usually the ones sat selling, so you can ask them all about their works. For anyone into art, music or street food this is a place not to be missed!

Antiguos Almacenes 1 Havana

Chocolate Museum
Don’t be fooled by it’s name, this museum is more like a ‘stuff yourself with every form of chocolate available to man’ sort of deal. The ‘museum’ is actually just a collection of ingredients and tools, in small cases, scattered around a lovely little cafe. The reason this little place has made it to the list isn’t its educational value, but for its unbelievable selection of delicious chocolates available. Each chocolate is made and cooled right before your eyes, and you can choose from a list of different models that come in all shapes and sizes, from a dolphin leaping out of the sea to a small cigar. The thing that will really steal your heart though, is the hot chocolate. It is the thickest, most decedent hot chocolate you will ever try, and with local prices it’s no wonder this place is such a big hit. For info check here.

Chocolate museum 1 Havana, Cuba

New Port Ave. Brewery
I actually stumbled across this place because I was drawn to it by the music (you’re probably seeing a trend here, yes everywhere you go in Havana you are accompanied by music!). The brewery is hidden in an abandoned-looking warehouse, a few minutes from the old train station, however once you enter it’s a whole different story. The interior is decorated with brightly coloured murals, and in the centre is a large platform for the flamenco band that plays daily. New Port Ave brew their own beer using equipment they shipped from Austria, which they display proudly on a large stage behind ceiling to floor glass windows. As non-imported beer is very hard to come across in Cuba this is well worth checking out.

Brewery 2

Plaza de Armas
Local Market Old books, antique jewellery, vintage vinyls and original poster prints… what more could a person ask for? The hustle and bustle of this outdoor market is so alluring you just cant say no. This is the place to find that rare record, missing from your collection, or the first edition of your favourite book. Once you step into the beautiful Plaza de Armas square you instantly feel like a local. People are bustling around you going about their local trade, while couples sit on the bright white benches, whispering sweet nothings to each other. This is definitely the place to visit to soak up the culture, and grab yourself a bargain.

Malecón
If you want a nice relaxing stroll in the afternoon then I couldn’t suggest anywhere better than along the Malecón. With beautiful views of the ocean, and local fisherman going about their daily work, the only thing more relaxing is stopping at one of the ocean front bars, and sipping on an ice cold beer. At night, the Malecón comes alive with parades of the old imported cars, glittering lights, and an outstanding view of the night sky.

MAelcon 1

The Town Square
The architecture in this part of the city is simply breathtaking. Compared to the older part of Havana, El Vedado, the buildings here were mostly commissioned in the 20th century, when the capital was surprisingly rich, so they were designed with many international influences such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Eclectic Design, leaving them breathtakingly exquisite and detailed. You will also find countless fountains and statues in this area, all engraved with snapshots of the rich Cuban history. The town square is definitely one of the best places in Havana for a that special photo op.

Town square Havana
Chilling in Towns Square, Havana

Love,

Fern

*Fern is one of our guest bloggers, currently living in Mexico. You can find more of her travel stories on her blog or Facebook page.