Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Watch turtles nest. Open endless coconuts with a machete. Swing a lot in a hammock. Eat lots and lots of fresh and cheap fruits.

HOW TO GET THERE: Best way is to fly into Cancun and then either rent a car (for $18US) per day, and drive down to Tulum (about 2 hours) and then into the reserve. Another option is to take a bus to Tulum from Cancun, and then have a taxi drive you to El Ultimo Maya

WHERE WE STAYED: Sian Ka’an Nature reserve is a little known destination in Mexico. It literally merges with Tulum. Long desolate beaches join with those of the Tulum hotel area. There are few places to stay in Sian Ka’an–ranging from campgrounds (with or without facilities) to $500US per night rooms. By happenstance, we discovered “El Ultimo Maya” a campground with facilities (shower and toilet) and with a Labrador style canvas tent with a queen size bed. The showers have saloon like doors and are somewhat open-air. For tall people like myself, you can clearly see everyone around the campground as you shower. Kinda humerous. As we were usually the only people there, it wasn’t an issue, but I could see it being a tad uncomfortable if you go during Semana Santa (Mexican Holiday)… or if you’re a really tall gal.

For Tulum rates, it’s quite affordable: $600 ($45US) pesos per night in their canvas tent, or $500 pesos per night if you stay the week. Bringing your own tent or hammock and it’s only $150 pesos ($11US) per person per night.

There is a little restaurant who’s patron’s are ready to cut you a coconut, make you some ceviche, or bring you your coffee in front of the ocean. Incredible service. “Cho” (Jorge) or Takyo are some of the most attentive and polite people I have ever met.

Now, on to the juicy part…. this place has it’s own piece of pristine beach right in front of it. We spent many of our 9 nights on the sand, swinging in our hammocks watching the stars and looking for the massive turtles coming onto the beach to nest. The beach is kept clean by the campground– but alas, a few hundred meters down the beach you will find refuse that washes up on shore daily (reality of our oceans.) Still, this aside, the place is jaw-dropping and magical. We lolled away our afternoons kiteboarding in surf and enjoying our incredible private beach, watched for mating turtles….and throughout… fresh coconuts in hand.

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HOLBOX | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE WORLD

HOLBOX | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Holbox, Quinta Roo, Mexico

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. and some more kiteboarding. The scuba diving and whale shark season is coming up though.

WHERE WE STAYED: Holbox is an un-discovered destination. Many locals say it is like Playa del Carmen 30 years ago. A tiny island with some 2000 inhabitants, the roads are made of sand, people walk around barefoot, with a bike, or they take a golf cart (which is what most locals have.) A big part of the island is protected land, and the beach is stunning. Fresh fruit is extremely inexpensive, and a freshly squeezed orange juice will only put you back a couple of bucks!

We arrived to a new and wonderful hotel (La Casa del Viento) owned by a super personable Fernando. Only a block away from the beach, and a couple of blocks from town, it’s perfect for the kiteboarder and beach comber alike.

Casa del Viento: http://casadelvientoholbox.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Kiteboarding – there are three different areas you can kite in Holbox : Punta Mosquito (which is accessible with Holbox’s kiteboarding school’s boat) then there is Las Nubes, which is accessible by bike or golf cart, or walking- -and finally the sand-bar, which is for experienced riders only as it is off-shore kiting out in the middle of the sea. There was a place which we loved to kite called Punta Coco, but apparently it is now forbidden there.
2. Whale Shark Tours are big here during the spring and summer months. The whale sharks congregate not too far off, making it an ideal launch point.
3. Beach walking and reading.
4. Sea-Kayaking
5. Paddle Boarding with Holbox Kiteboarding (for the non windy days)
6. Scuba Diving is also only during the summer months. The water here can be churned with a lot of sand as it is where the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean meet.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly to Cancun. From Toronto, New York and the likes, a ticket is only $500US round-trip. Then you catch a bus/taxi to Chuiquila, and then a ferry to Holbox which runs hourly.

It has only been a few months since Bella and I got into kiteboarding/ kitesurfing – but we’re totally addicted to it. With frequency and stronger winds we’ve become better and better kiters. In Turks and Caicos we were able to improve significantly because of the shallow waters where we were learning. But add deep water to the mix, and it is a whole different story. Your kite will be pulling you down-wind while your board is up wind from you. Like a sail boat, you then have to body drag away from your board to zig zag back up wind to it. This can be quite intimidating at the beginning, but here in Holbox we’ve learned to be in a lot of deep water conditions, lose our board, and get back to our kite.

Yesterday was the first time that Bella and I launched from a boat. This requires preparing your lines and gear in advance–and making sure they don’t tangle–as it is tricky to fix your lines from boat. You also have to be able to kite upwind to get back to the boat, as it is off-shore kiting (yes, worse case scenario the boat will get you.) It was extremely exciting, and we had some gusts of wind the were super powerful. Happily, this just meant we got to jump higher!

Check-out the photos and videos below that Bella and I took here in Holbox.CTK_6960

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TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Long Bay, TCI, Caribbean, Americas

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I have been there in August, December, January, February.

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. Kayaking. Scuba Diving. Kiteboarding.

WHERE WE STAYED: Providenciales is known to be pricey. On the affordable side you have The Carribean Paradise Inn. This 20 suite inn, is minutes from the beach and run by one of the most amicable staffs I have every met. It’s private, secluded. And perfect for scuba divers and Kiteboarders alike. Being nearby to Long Bay Beach is a major plus! On the higher spectrum are the magnificent villas spotted all over the island and offered by Tranquility Vacation Rentals Turks & Caicos. Ideal for the honeymooner or the family, these abodes will leave you breathless. Just take a look at the pictures below!

Caribbean Paradise Inn: http://caribbeanparadiseinn.com/
Tranquility Vacation Rentals: http://www.turkscaicosluxuryvillas.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Scuba Diving with Big Blue Unlimited
2. Kiteboarding with Kite Provo
3. Conch Festival
4. Sea-Kayaking Island Hopping Adventure with Big Blue Unlimited
5. Romantic boat ride to see the glow worms.
6. Wake-Boarding
7. Deep-Sea Fishing with Talbot’s Adventures.
8. Fine -Dining at Baci’s
9. Hobie-Cat Sailing
10. Island Hopping
11. For those so inclined..there’s even a golf course.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly. Lots of major airlines have direct flights here from places like New York and Toronto. If you search well-enough, you can find round-trip tickets for $500 taxes included.

Having tried a vast variety of sports, it’s not often that I come along one that I had never done before. I ski, snowboard, skate, surf, dive, rock-climb, mountain-bike, run, etc etc. I’ve even gone curling. But that’s excusable only because I’m Canadian.

A few years back, my brother told me that I should try kiteboarding. I had heard of some guy that went flying into a building and remembered it had been nasty. So I gave it little thought.

Then last year, while on my one-month honeymoon to Turks & Caicos with Bella, we got a 1hr intro class into the sport by Kite Provo’s Mike. It was gusty as he took out a 12 meter kite on a deserted beach. We thought we would give it a try. After taking us through safety, we waded into the water.

On my first attempt I was up…if only for some 30 meters before lunging into a uncontrolled rag-doll leap of some fort feet, elegantly face-planting into TCI’s emerald water. I stood-up, a tad- wobbly, grinning from ear-to-ear while still clearing my nostrils from their salt washing.

Fast-forward a year, and Bella and I are in Vancouver’s Northshore Board Store getting kites, harnesses, and boards before embarking on an adventure to Turks and Caicos– to learn to kiteboard. We heard that one of the best places to learn in the world, was indeed Long Bay Beach, on Turks and Caicos’s Providenciales.

On-Shore winds. Shallow water. Sandy bottom. Warm water. And a long long beach.

Learning to kite came with an excitement I hadn’t had in a very long time. The excitement of learning a new sport. And Long Bay Beach was the perfect place to learn. I can now jump 40′ in the air, and Bella can do some really rad riding. Stay tuned as we take this sport everywhere in the world.

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