Banff National Park - Full Itinerary

Have you ever been to a place that surpassed all your expectations? Banff in Alberta Canada was this place for me and so far my favorite destination this year. I think the fact that everything is natural and unspoiled contributes to the reason why I love Banff. Despite being an expensive destination it is still one of the most amazing places I have ever gone. Below is a longish post on Banff so please bear with me.

Budget:  I set out at a budget of $1,000 for the long weekend and this would include hotels, flights and car rentals. After researching the area I knew we would have to pay more than we would like for hotels and flights. This is a favorite destination for international travelers as well as Canadians which contributes to the inflated prices.

Day Trip to Nantucket

I don't think Nantucket qualifies as a day trip because depending on where you are coming from it is far!!! If you fly in you probably have to leave Nantucket earlier than you would want to if you only had a day so...

Anyways is it worth it? HELL yes. I am probably a bit impartial to Martha's Vineyard but Nantucket has it's own charm. Starting from Hyannis where I caught my ferry ride I was impressed. Hyannis is quite impressive in it's own right. Arriving on Nantucket on the fast ferry I was blown away. I can't imagine taking the slow one though. Two hours on the traditional one is a long time. So I definitely recommend taking the fast ferry for a higher price.


Japan Day 2 - Kyoto

Kyoto has so much to offer that to really do it justice you would have to stay a week there. But seeing as we only had a week in Japan I chose to maximize and see and do as much as possible. On day one as you see here, I went to the bamboo forest and then treked to through the city to a few temples before finally catching a bus to Kinkakuji the golden temple. It's very easy to use public transportation in Japan and when in doubt just ask.


Day two we woke up bright an early and headed to Nara park. We wanted to go to the temple where big Buddha is and then also head to the tori gates. I planned to use the express train to Nara using my Japan Rail pass and then the local to the tori gates. Nara park is a beauty to explore so prepare to be wowed. The weather wasn't the greatest but we made the best of it.

Brazil - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Somehow I felt like we got robbed on our Brazil experience. That's probably why it has taken me so long to write this post. I loved Brazil and I will go back one day, given the visa fees that I paid I reckon I should go back and explore Brazil slowly and thoroughly.

Getting to Brazil from Bolivia was a pain. When we finished our tour in Uyuni we finally had wifi and I logged into my emails to find that our flight to Santa Cruz had been cancelled. Our plans had been to get out of Uyuni on the same day the tour ended. There isn't much going on there so I thought it would be better to spend our limited time in Brazil.



14 Things You Must Try in Bali

Here is a long overdue list of the things you must do, if you ever find yourself in Bali:
Uluwatu
  1. Visit Ubud Monkey Forest and Ubud city. 

Banff Alberta 3 Day Itinerary

I honestly knew nothing nor had I ever heard of Banff before I saw photos on Instagram. I did my research and after seeing the incredible views that are a flight away from Boston I booked our tickets, reserved ridiculously expensive hotels and blocked off my vacation days. You see Banff is very popular in the summer. I always strive to travel in the low season but I think Banff will be the exception.

I am surprised that I hadn't heard of it because Banff is beautiful. You get amazing scenery and hiking without having to travel to the likes of Patagonia or the Alps.

So what's our plan for the four days that we will be in Canada?

We will arrive in Toronto on a Thursday night and then fly to Calgary Friday morning. ( I have never been to Toronto so I am excited to be there even for a few hours). The easiest way to get to Banff is to drive from Calgary to Banff. From there we will rent a car and it's off to this beautiful place.


From left to right: Grassi Lake, Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake. Photo Sources: www.fineartamerica.com and www.tripmemos.com.

Wine Tour In Chile

On our final day in our South America trip I booked a wine tour at CousiƱo Macul and it was one of the highlights of our trip. We had such a great time there and it's an easy ride on the metro from Santiago. So don't pay for a taxi when you can ride the metro for super cheap. We paid a taxi going and discovered on returning that it would have been faster and more efficient on the metro.


Anyways when we arrived they asked us if we wanted the premium tour. Say yes! You will get a lovely bottle of wine at the end and the wine tasting will include more premium wines. I don't know if it gets busy in the high season but we literally walked to the vineyard and requested a tour and they put us on the next available English speaking slot. How many times do you get a wine tasting in Chile? Right, so don't cheap out.