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

Top 10 most affordable destinations for 2019

New year, new plans right? But that doesn’t always mean you need to spend all of your savings. These affordable destinations are your best pick for a perfect holiday in 2019.

Equador
Surprise surprise, this country made a huuuuge comeback. We did hear that Equador was doing well a few years back, but dropped back in the list. Did you know that four out of five expats say that there is a good financial balance and that the way of living is good. (I’m sure the good weather also helps). It’s also a great country for backpacking and full of friendly locals.

Albania
Never though of Albania? Well, time to change that! Albania is a underrated country with many mountains, canyons and the Ionian coastline. Albania isn’t full of tourists and therefore prices are very good! Be the first to discover hidden beaches and coves, or walk around in the Albanian Alpes. Discover Albania.

Affordable destinations can be surprisingly good

Maldives
Now, this may seem like a surprise, but the Maldives is changing in a way that we like! Yes, the super deluxe resorts are still there, but the island is going through a transition and has more accommodations to suit every budget. We are not talking Asian prices, but the change is there, and that’s a great thing! The most expensive thing would be your flight. It’s in our top 10 because it’s a destination that you should visit once in your lifetime.

Maldives

Czech Republic
We’ve been to Prague and for the countries capital, we were pleasantly surprise how affordable everything was. From the food, to shops and taxi’s. Other destinations in Czech are even cheaper, and getting around. Many low cost airlines fly to Prague, so all in all, you can say that this is a great pick for affordable travel. Why go? Because of the stunning nature, mountains, lakes and let’s forget about the dreamy castles! 

Hungary
This country has an amazing capital that should be visited during summer. Budapest hosts amazing festivals and it’s a city full of history and culture. Best of all, it’s very very affordable!

Sri Lanka
We just came back from Sri Lanka and traveled around so we know you can make it as expensive as you want. Find reasonable flight in low season, and you’ve got yourself an amazing destination. Sri Lanka is also on the number 1 list when it comes to destinations overall. And we know why. Jungle (including many elephants!), safari, beaches, good food and lovely locals. Yes, Sri Lanka belongs on the affordable destinations list.

Sri Lanka train
Sarah in Sri Lanka

Laos
If you think Thailand is cheap, try Laos as your new SouthEast Asian destination. It’s a great option for backpackers and there are plenty hostels to choose from. You won’t find large cities here but full of farmlands, which keeps it authentic. Go tubing in Vang Vieng, walk along the ricefields, or rent a scooter and explore. Vietnam and Thailand are around the corner if you want to continue your affordable travel.

Mexico
Maybe it’s the vibe, the food or the music. Mexico has been on best travel lists all over the place and for good reason. If you’re coming from the USA, this would be your best pick because it’s only a short flight. Check out these affordable beach towns; Playa del Carmen, Loreto or even Cancun. 

Georgia
It’s one of those countries that is often overlooked, but Georgia is finally getting the credit it deserves. Lucky for us, it’s a great place for affordable travel. It’s natural (and stunning) landscape and green hills keeps attracting more tourists than ever. The most affordable has to be the food. Buy yourself a loaf of bread for just 40 cents and score some groceries on the local market for fruit and veggies. If you want to spoil yourself, consider staying at the top notch Stamba hotel. 

Georgia
Stunning Georgia

Argentina
This destination economy has been like a Yo-Yo diet. A few years ago we heard stories from travelers that were taken by surprise on how much they were spending on meals and accommodations, but the economy has changed again and things are looking up for travelers. Hotel prices are available for as little as €30,- per night if you’re staying in the city.

Love,

Wander-Lust

Have you ever wondered how to score the cheapest flights? We broke it down:

cheapest flights

These are the Top 10 Countries to Live in According to Expats

Expats are everywhere nowadays. Businesses expand abroad more than ever and like to bring in clever, hardworking foreigners who seek adventure and a change of scene. Expat Insider did some extensive research and looked at several topics such as; Quality of Life, easy to settle, personal finance, family life, cost of living etc. We also did some research ourselves by asking around in several Expat groups on Facebook, and these are the combined results!

10. Oman
This country may not come to mind immediately, but according to many expats around the world, it’s a good place to live. Oman is a safe country with a low crime rate, so it’s a particularly good environment to raise young children. Accommodation is usually included within an employment contract, which is also a big plus. Downside; it can be very very hot, so hard to move around.

oman

9. New Zealand
If you scoop around the internet, you see mixed results for New Zealand, and sometimes you don’t even find it in the top ten anymore, but we did a little of research on our own and discovered that many of you actually enjoy working in New Zealand. Yes, it’s expensive, but wages are good, the quality of life is (stunning nature for one!), and friendly people.

Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or see the opposite.

8. Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Everybody speaks English, there is a comfortable way of living and settling in is (fairly) easy. Those were some of the reasons why Amsterdam made it to the top ten. Downside; The Netherlands has one of the highest tax rates of Europe, but on the flipside, The country has also been ranked as one of the places where people are the happiest.


Amsterdam, still popular with expats

7. Costa Rica
It’s sunny, the people are friendly and life is easy according to expats around the world. Costa Rica is popular amongst expats, but they didn’t make it further up the list because they didn’t score very high when it comes to personal finance. If you live there it’s fine, but is it a place to make future plans? Many expats didn’t think so.

Costa Rica
We can see why people like Costa Rica

6. Denmark
No surprise that yet another Scandinavian country tops off a good-place-to-live list. Expats voted Denmark in the top three last year, and after talking to

5. Czech Republic (Prague)
Surprisingly, Prague scored poorly on settling in (such as making new friends, speaking the language), but scored really high on work-living and urban-living. Prague seems to be a great place to make a career, or at least use it as a stepping stone.

Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English.

Prague
Pretty Prague is doing pretty well

4. Mexico
It’s funny, because we keep hearing more and more people in our direct circle of friends, talking about moving to Mexico. Why? More than half of the people asked, give friendliness of locals highest rating. Cancún is the most popular city to live in, with Playa del Carmen and Tulum close behind. Mexico may not be the safest place, so people tend to be extra careful.

3. Ecuador
Surprise surprise, this country made a huuuuge comeback. We did hear that Equador was doing well a few years back, but dropped back in the list. Four out of five expats say that there is a good financial balance and that the way of living is good. (I’m sure the good weather also helps)


Pink walls in Ecuador

My favorite place to work and live would be on the Moon, coz humans are the worst living parasites. -Unknown Expat

2. Taiwan
Coming in at number 2 is Taiwan! Most expats asked, rated this country as having good healthcare, job security and quality of life.

Taiwan City
Taiwan from Elephant Mountain

1. Bahrain (Manama)
It’s a clear winner! In case you don’t have a clue; Bahrain is located just above Quatar and part of the Arabian Gulf. It’s capital, Manama, scores really good on urban work life. The city shows generally good results in both the Job & Career and the Work-Life Balance subcategories of Expat Insider. It’s also a popular place to live for expat families.

So there you have it, the Expat top 10! What’s your favorite place to work and live, and why?

Love,

Wander-Lust

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Mexico’s Akumal in one Day!

Akumal is a beautiful little town situated in the middle of Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico! This amazing place is best know for it’s white sand beaches, turtle conservation program and it’s rich marine life, making it a favourite with both sun seekers and avid divers alike. The only problem with this lovely little beach town attracting so many visitors is the fact that it’s very rapidly becoming overcrowded. In some places there is very little space left on the beaches, now that a brand new hotel and condo complex opened earlier this year, and the waters can be even more crowded. However, there is a way to totally avoid the crowds, and enjoy Akumal the local way!

Getting There
You can access Akumal extremely easily, whether using public transport or your own car.
Car Simply hop onto the highway from Playa del Carmen and head towards Tulum, after around 15 minutes you will see the entrance to Akumal on your left. Another 2 minute drive and you will reach the one and only available car parking on your right hand side, the price is $50 Mexican Pesos a day.
Taxi The most expensive, but definitely the most relaxing way of getting to Akumal is via taxi. You can hail a cab from anywhere in Playa del Carmen or can have your hotel call one to reception for you. It will take the same time as a car to reach Akumal, but you can expect to pay $250+ each way, depending on the nature of your driver.

Colectivo The most popular, and cheapest way of getting to Akumal is using the public transport, vans called Colectivos. You can jump on one of these air-conditioned bad boys at Calle 2 with Avenida 15 in Playa Del Carmen, and they will take you to your destination for only $25MXN per person!

Colectivos Mexico
Colectivos in Mexico

Snorkeling
Contrary to what the multiple Mexican boys will tell you as you enter to the beach in Akumal, you don’t need to rent the full equipment, watch a video or pay for a tour to enter the water. If you need some gear, by all means rent it there but wait until you’re on the beach, at the official dive centre palapa, to rent it for the fairest price. Rental of full gear; snorkel, fins and life-vest, will set you back around $200MXN. Once you get onto the beach just keep on walking… they will tell you that you need to stay within a collection of colored buoys to see the turtles or any of the reef, but that’s simply not true! Of course the turtles will be where the people aren’t and, under the conservation act, they can’t promote people to enter the water where the coral grows. I found that a little ways down the shore, before you hit the new condos and hotel, that’s the sweet spot. You’ll find little to no tourists in the water and tonnes of marine life!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0387.
The marine life in Akumal

Out of The Water
Any walk away from the small town center will be accompanied by beautiful smelling flowers, local dog walkers and never ending jungle. However, a secret little gem only the locals know about, is a quiet little stretch of shore line, to the left of the main town square. It has a large collection of rock pools and panoramic views of the ocean, making it the perfect place to explore! The rock pools in summer get big enough to sit in like a large jacuzzi, and in winter are full of life.
Later in the afternoon Akumal comes alive with bustling stores and local artisan markets, where you can find anything from glistening jewellery to hand crafted pottery. This beach town is also known for its locally made ice cream and Gelato, the perfect way to stay cool while enjoying a little shopping.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0327.

Where to Eat
After a long day of swimming and walking around there’s nothing better than scoffing down a tasty meal and a cerveza or two, and believe me, there’s no better place to do that than La Buena Vida! This place is always busy for a reason. Not only does it have reasonable priced meals, that cater to every taste, but it also boasts some of the most amazing views of the ocean, has it’s own pool and a hammock garden!
If you’re looking for a way to keep the kids busy while you sip quietly on a margarita, then you’ll love the crows nest tables made especially for kids! They can climb up the ladder to eat in their very own palm-tree house, and for added fun, their food is lifted up to them on a rope pully system.
I never miss an opportunity to eat, or even just drink, in this beautiful place! It’s so full of life and colour, and has a truly unique concept that matches perfectly the flow and vibe of Akumal.

Where to eat in Akumal


Chilling at La Buena Vida

Love,

Fern

*Fern is one of our guest bloggers and was born in the UK. She travels all around the world and is currently living in Mexico. You can read more of her stories on www.thesaltyfern.com