A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sunsets and sunrises

Maldives: LUX South Ari- Adventures in Paradise- VIDEO

April 11-18, 2016

sunny 90 °F

Swimming with whale sharks and mantas in pristine turquoise waters with stunning views in the most luxurious of settings is what you will find at LUX* South Ari - check out our video of one of the most ROMANTIC vacation destinations ever!

We stayed at the LUX* South Ari resort on the far Western part of the Maldives. They can help you coordinate a seaplane transfer (about 30 min--approx $500 per person round trip) from the international airport in Male, Maldives (the capital). We flew from San Francisco direct on Emirates to Dubai and then you can connect directly in Dubai to Male (although we went to India and Sri Lanka first). The Maldives are only a 1hour flight from Sri Lanka.

April was hot and sunny with no rain during our time there and we were able to see whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, a manta ray, squid and lots of tropical fish on our snorkeling trips!!

The best sunny rain-free weather/ high season is between December and March. Room rates can be at their peak during this time- although they were very reasonable during our dates in April. The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking around June. Better to splurge on the higher prices in the dry season than to be stuck inside on rainy days. There were no mosquitoes during our time there- the resort apparently fumigates the island every day with natural mosquito repellants.

LUX* South Ari is phenomenal, the restaurants have a huge selection of fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables every day. The surroundings and facilities are truly luxurious and the service is very personalized! We did not opt for the all-inclusive package as we are not heavy drinkers but would have if we drank a lot of alcohol. They made us feel like celebrities~ looking forward to a return visit! The resort also seems to be very kid friendly with special areas and activities for kids all over the resort (separate from the adults without kids of course).

Hope that helps and you enjoy the video! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Tony & Ruby




Posted by Tony.Ruby 21:00 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises beaches animals water wildlife scuba Comments (0)

Turkey: VIDEO: Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

September 2, 2014

sunny 95 °F

Turkey was one of our FAVE destinations on our last Around the World Trip! The landscapes and beaches are stunning! Check out this short video from our trip :)



Posted by Tony.Ruby 09:13 Archived in Turkey Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches balloon air hot Comments (0)

Iceland: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle in One Day

July 31, 2014

semi-overcast 58 °F

So we have started our second Around the World Trip and are super excited to share our photos and experiences with you all! So here we go . . . .

Iceland wasn’t even a blip on our must-see radar…we only booked a 3 night stopover because it was cheaper than going direct to Europe. . . little did we know that this country would blow us away with it’s natural beauty, friendly people and delicious hearty food.

After a sleepless red-eye flight all we wanted to do was take a nap but unfortunately for us the Tunguvegur Guest House $75/nt we booked would not let us check in until 5pm…YES 5PM! So of course we did the next best thing. . .start exploring the city! We rented a little rental car. . not cheap at $85/day + fuel cost and headed straight for downtown Reykjavik. We found free parking on a residential street just a few blocks down from the Hallgrimskirkjha Cathedral (yes that is how you spell it). Reykjavik is a cute little city that is very walkable and many of its sites and museums are only blocks away from each other.


It was windy and cold outside so the first thing we did was get some hot and spicy noodles (yum) to warm up and started exploring the shops. Of course at the beginning of our trips our bags are always overstuffed with needless items we’ll get rid of along the way but for now we pretended we had room in our luggage to buy something!


Our must sees in Reykjavik are 1) the Harpa Concert Hall with it’s crazy geometric lines of glass and mirrors


. . .and 2) the great city views from inside and outside the Hallgrimskirkjha Cathedral.


The waterfront was also very pretty with a cool stylized metal sculpture of a viking ship.


We wished we hadn’t booked a non-refundable room when we finally got into the Tunguvegur Guest House. . . it was like staying in a college frat house complete with mismatched furniture, random sheets and towels that may have been made of cardboard? Not a good way to start the trip. . perhaps the next night will be better?

After checking into our room Ruby said “it’s still light out so let’s do a little of the Golden Circle tour”. . . . little did I know that this would turn into a full on golden circle tour! Of course this is a must do in Iceland and we only had three nights here. We drove along the gorgeous countryside and started up in the rift valley where the continental shelfs divide.


Tþingvellir park has big skies and gorgeous lakes.


We continued driving on until we got to the Geysir, the geothermal hot spot that lends its name to ALL geysers. WOW! The Stokkur erupts every few minutes and it was so cool to watch the pressure build up, we watched several eruptions that were as high as 120 feet! Check out the sequence we took below and look closely for the little people in some of the shots that can help give you an idea about how high up the water spurts!



By this time it was getting very late although sunset isn’t until about 10:30pm this time of the year so we grabbed some delicious warming mushroom soup (they do make great soups in Iceland!) and headed off to the last stop: the beautiful Gulfoss waterfall. All we can say is prepare to get a little wet because there’s a lot of mist! It’s amazing the power of flow of the water at this site.


We ended with a pretty sunset over the snow capped mountains as we contemplated our long journey ahead on our drive back to the guesthouse that night.


Posted by Tony.Ruby 15:13 Archived in Iceland Tagged waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises mountains buildings water Comments (4)

Ecuador: Amazon: Bright Red Eyes Under a Bright Red Sky

October 29, 2011

sunny 88 °F

We were startled awake by an earthquake in Quito—as Californians, of course we tried to turn on the news to see what the rating was on the Richter scale. . . .until we realized that out of 100 channels on TV NONE had news on them, odd? Luckily it was a small quake that didn’t seem to cause any significant damage. We were a little worried since this tiny country of Ecuador is littered with volcanoes. Soon enough we were on our trek out to the Amazon, we stopped quickly to restock some essentials—(sunscreen and bug repellant) before being picked up, dropped off and even checked in at the airport in Quito. It was all so convenient—this must be what it’s like for rich people who travel :)


Our flight was a bit delayed but once we got going it was only 30 minutes before we were dropped off into Lago Agrio. The town‘s real name is Nueva Loja but was renamed by Texaco when they setup camp and started destroying the rainforest in the 1960s. It's a little sad that you can see an oil pipeline running along the side of the road. Our driver greeted us at the small airport and we were off on a 2 hour drive to the entrance of the Cuyabeno Reserve. The road was well-paved and got more and more beautiful the further from the city we got. On the way we saw this amazing tree with vines hanging off it. . .it completely reminded Ruby of the tree in the movie of Avatar—we wonder if this is where they got their inspiration. At long last we arrived at a bridge and paid our fee to enter the reserve—a mere $2.00 each . . . a small price to pay for what we were just about to experience.


Our guide Diego and boat driver Milo met us at the entrance and loaded our 25 foot motorized canoe with supplies for our stay. The minute we started moving we knew that we not anywhere near home. The river is the only way in and out of the reserve and these were the last roads we we be seeing for a while. We were immediately greeted by lush greenery of all types, trees with hanging vines and bromeliads galore. On the way to our lodge we zigzagged around downed trees and gnarly shallow roots as we made our way along the river. The lodge is located 35km or about another 2 hour boat ride down the river (under ideal conditions). We didn’t see any people but along the way Diego pointed out some yellow-handed Titi monkeys and a black and red colored river snake swimming in the water in front of us. Both of which were unfortunately too fast to capture on film (our trigger finger was a little slow after all the fearless animals in the Galapagos)!



When we got to the lodge we opted for the trip to “La Laguna Grande” aka the big lagoon instead of resting before dinner-- this was just surreal. The black water of the river and lagoon was like a gigantic mirror reflecting the gorgeous blue sky. It was here that we experienced one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sunsets ever, surrounded by a sunken forest of trees. We waited until the sky changed from blue to orange to red and finally black before we turned on our flashlights in search of caimans. Before that, the only light was the glow from some lightning bugs and the thinnest sliver of a new moon. We could hear the fish bats whizzing around us on the water while we quietly paddled along the water’s edge looking for the glowing red eyes of caiman. Luckily the largest caiman we approached was a baby- we were thankful that we didn’t find her mother who could be over 15 feet long. On the way back Diego tried to get cell phone reception by climbing up a tree but had no luck. We weren’t surprised given how remote this location was and the fact ours sometimes doesn’t even work in New York! After a simple dinner of spaghetti we fell asleep to the cacophony of insects and birds that were just outside our screened windows.


Posted by Tony.Ruby 00:51 Archived in Ecuador Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises Comments (0)

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