Monthly Archives: February 2017

Mardis Gras… RIO STYLE!


By Vikki Loh


Rio is best known for the Rio Carnival Festival every February.  This year, the festival runs from February 18 –March 5.  The beautiful parades begin February 24th and tickets are available NOW. Thousands of people attend.  There is so much to see and do during Carnival Festival time. There are many balls, galas, samba competitions, and street parades. Feel free to join the march or  just sit back and watch the fun.

Of course, there is LOTS of dancing at Carnivale….. from the streets to ball room and if you don’t know how to dance?  That’s okay!  Visit one of the dance schools in Rio.  The schools don’t have really quick classes in how to dance but you’re welcome to watch and see if you can pick it up yourself.  The dance competitions for the schools are one of the biggest events during the Carnival Festival time.

Besides the nightlife, during the day, if you want to relax and sip a cool drink, the beautiful beaches are yours for the taking.  The women of Rio are beautiful and the men are handsome.

If you want to take a break from all of the festivities during Carnival time, please visit Sugarloaf Mountain.  This is a must see!  You take a cable car up to the top of the mountain for breath-taking views of Rio!

Many celebrities come to Rio to entertain.American concerts are big, but not like RIO. Sir Rod Stewart packed the Copacabana area with 3,500,000  revelers.  Barry Manilow wrote a song about Copacabana, simply titled,”Copacabana.”  American artist at Carnivale always  brings tourism and business to Rio.


History of Rio:  (formally – Rio de Janeiro Brazil)

Landing in Guanabara Bay on January 1st, 1502, the Portuguese Royal family claimed the Rio Provence for their own. Because of the way the bay forms the opening of a river, this region was called Rio De Janeiro, which means. “River of January”.  Shortly after, many battles were fought.  Many countries wanted this region for the own, especially, the French.  After fighting for 2 years, the French lost.  To protect the country from more battles, the city was moved to a safer position on a hill, which was later named as Castle Hill.

Sugarcane, gold, diamonds, and coffee were the country’s main staples in the early 1700s.  The sugarcane plantations dwindled when other countries started to farm sugarcane as well.  Once gold and diamonds were discovered in Rio, many neighboring countries tried to take over Rio.  When the gold and diamond mines dried up, Rio had to find other economic resources to sustain their country.  Rio started exporting coffee.  Many coffee plantations sprouted up and became Rio’s next source to supplement their economic situation.  The coffee boom brought great wealth to the city..


 Where to Stay:

Are you on a budget or do you always go for the luxury hotels wherever you go or are you in the middle?  Rio offers everything from the most luxurious places to stay to the clean, nice budget places to stay.  It just depends on what you want.

But be sure and stay in a safe region like the Southern region of Rio.  Copacabana, Ipanema and Lebion are the safest and most beautiful places to stay while in Rio for the Carnival.  Especially, Ipanema and Lebion.

If your budget does not allow this, your next option is to stay in Botafogo, Lapa and Flamengo.  Although these places are more in the downtown area of Rio, they are within 15-20 minutes of Copacabana and Ipanema.  During Carnival time, the subway is an option to travel since they run 24-hours a day.


Getting There:

There are many international hubs in Rio.  It is easy to get there.  There are many public transportation systems to take once you are there.

I have never been to Rio.  After writing this article, I now want to go!  Even by myself!

About the Author:  Vikki Loh is an accomplished, published travel writer based in Southern California. She writes travel articles, publishes a travel blog and a video VLOG. Vikki is also a medium. She frequently hunts for and communicates with the spirits and writes very entertaining and informative articles about the subject. She can be reached at:  Vikki Loh   Follow Vikki:


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Romance at the Sugar Plantation?

 Yes…But it is better known as Nevis Island.

A few years ago I was looking for a destination that was “a little off the beaten path” and I found it. In fact, I found a destination that didn’t even have a commercial airport. So do we have to swim there?  I will talk more about GETTING THERE, but here is a hint… think 70 foot yacht and a Pina Colada!

For the Historians

Christopher Columbus, while on his second voyage, was the first western person to lay eyes on Nevis.  While anchoring off Nevis on November 11, 1493, Columbus mistakenly thought that the cloud cover that often shrouds Nevis’ peak, was snow.  The Spanish word for snow is “Nieves”, hence today’s corrupt form of the word, Nevis.

Nevis was officially settled by the British in 1628. This however, didn’t last long as the Spanish invaded and took over in 1629.  The tiny settlement grew to be the primary sugar source for Spain, England and America.  A tug-of-war over Nevis went on between the British, Dutch, French, and Spanish governments for the next two-hundred years over this tiny island until each were producing their own sugar which left this beautiful little island to us travelers!

nevis-church-st-paulOne of the oldest buildings in Nevis is the Bath House.  It was built in 1778 as a playground for the rich and famous, such as Prince William Henry, Lord Nelson, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge just to name a few. The Bath House sits on the Bath Stream, which has temperatures of 104F-108F.


St Paul’s Anglican Church was built around 1830, built in a cruciform plan with a gabled roof, and along side of it is the Parish School.  Inside the walled yard one will find graves dating back to 1669.

Nevis botanical garden 1.jpgThe Botanical Gardens was created by Joseph and Martha Murphy from Philadelphia a few years back. They wanted a tranquil place to preserve flora from all over the world, so they chose the Montpelier Estate area with views of Nevis Peak. Today you can stay at The Montpelier Plantation in this tranquil and scenic location.

Traveler info about the Island

Nevis is a volcanic formed Island that has created a beautiful dormant volcano centerpiece that is generally covered with puffy clouds (or some think, steam from the volcano). On a clear day, it can be seen from the entire 36 sq miles of the island. Old sugar plantations dot the landscape in the hills around the volcano, as well as many at sea level. In my opinion, the view from the high area plantations, 360 degrees from several are the best in the world. Many of these have been turned into hotels, bars and restaurants.  A tour of these plantations is a MUST. I highly suggest renting a car and taking the narrow road (one lane and dirt in some areas) that goes the entire perimeter of the Island. You can do this in a half day.

Where to stay

The only place I have ever actually hung my hat is the Four Seasons. It is WONDERFUL. You can sit on the beach all day and see maybe a half dozen other people. It is truly a remote beach. Even the newspaper comes only once a day and is delivered by fax machine (yes they still have one on Nevis, Island). This is QUIET like you have never heard before (did I say that right?).  In order to get the full sugar plantation experience I recommend the Nisbet Plantation or the Montpelier Plantation. You can stay in and around, or even have dinner and cocktails near the old sugar mills that have been there since the 1600’s. That is an experience you will want to share at the office water cooler for years!

nevis-sugar-room   nevis-montpelier

It’s your WONDERFUL choice… stay in a 1600’s sugar mill or have the beach to yourself!

nevis-4-seasons   nevis-room

Getting There

Nevis does have a commercial airport now, for you contemporary travelers, but for the adventurers I suggest the old way. St. Kitts is a vibrant Caribbean Island with a good airport that can be accessed direct from any semi major airport. Remember the Yacht and Pina Colada? The Four Seasons will meet you at the airport, grab your bags, put a drink in your hand and deliver you safely and securely direct to your villa via  a complimentary YACHT TRIP. I completely forgot I even brought a suitcase until I opened the closet in my villa and saw it sitting there! GREAT SERVICE!  Other hotel plantations have similar service, just ask first.

ROMANTIC Memories sparked by SUGAR!

Every time I open a bag of sugar in my kitchen I think of that beautiful night on the deck of my villa listening to the waves roll in near all those sugar plantations.  I will just leave it at that!  It makes me want to go back – NOW!

This article written by:  Melody Lile with contributions from World Traveling Joe.    Twitter:  @worldtraveljoe

Contact Joe:

 Credits:  Nevis Island, Nisbet Plantation, Montpelier Plantation



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