Island Zen: Travel to Cozumel

If travel to the tropical paradise Mexican island of Cozumel is not already on your bucket list, it should be. The small island delivers a larger than life tropical experience with a laid back islander feel.

Cozumel is located in the Caribbean sea off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The island is mostly undeveloped except for along its coasts and in the town of San Miguel. The majority of tourists arrive by cruise ships and don’t stray too far from the dock, while others languish in the all-inclusive resorts along the west coast of the island.

Unfortunately, this type of travel misses a lot of the highlights and a true experience of the Island’s interesting culture. Cozumel is a worthwhile destination to explore for any length of time and there’s a lot to see outside of the typical all inclusive vacation. 

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Why you Must Travel to Japan in Winter

There’s no denying that Japan is hot right now. Every conversation I have will fellow travellers seems to involve either a recently completed or upcoming trip to Japan. While it positively shines in the springtime (hello cherry blossoms!), visiting Japan in winter can be a special experience. Here is our top five reasons for travelling to Japan in winter:

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The Best Ski Resorts Near Calgary

As the mercury drops and snow begins to fly in Alberta our thoughts turn from summer activities like hiking, cycling, and camping to winter ones such as skiing.  While some may moan and groan throughout the cold season, we  simply love being outside in the snow. We’re blessed to have some of the best skiing in the world here in Alberta, and living in Calgary gives us easy access to the Rocky Mountains.  There isn’t much in the way of bad skiing in Alberta, but each resort does bring something a little different.  This is our local take on the best ski resorts near Calgary, hopefully we’ll inspire you to book a trip to Alberta to explore the slopes this winter! Continue reading “The Best Ski Resorts Near Calgary”

The Best Hikes to See Golden Larches in the Fall

Another summer hiking season has come and gone in Alberta but fall offers up one last chance to experience the Canadian Rockies in their full golden splendour. The locals call this time “Larch Madness.”  We always make a point to end our hiking season on this exceptionally high note and have a few recommendations for the best hikes for a range of abilities to see the golden larch trees in the fall!

Over the next couple of weeks the larch trees that line the mountainsides in Kananaskis and Banff turn a beautiful golden colour. They stand out amidst the evergreens and shine against the bright blue sky and granite peaks lightly dusted with snow. This special time of year only lasts a couple of weeks and is certainly a rewarding way to end your hiking season. 

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Hiking (Responsibly) in Tonquin Valley

With so many stunning trails and views picking a highlight of Jasper National Park can be a challenge, but hiking in the Tonquin Valley must be a contender. The combination of sky high views of the rugged “Ramparts” range jutting up from serene alpine lakes, and the chance to see rare wild mountain caribou make it as worthy a destination as any. It is also an accessible backcountry trail that can cater to many ability levels and even be trekked on horseback. Considering all these factors, it’s easy to see why the Tonquin Valley is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. But it just may be getting a little too popular for its own good.

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Backcountry Zen: The Northover Ridge Hike

Few trails in the Alberta Rockies are as challenging but immensely rewarding as the  Northover Ridge hike. Deep in the heart of Kananaskis Country (a series of provincial parks that are closer to Calgary and less busy than Banff National Park), Northover Ridge is a 36km loop that takes the average hiker about 3 days. The trail straddles the continental divide between Alberta and British Columbia and is a considered a very challenging trip due to a narrow ridgewalk and the need for advanced routefinding skills as we learned all too clearly (more on that later). Despite these challenges, it’s path through meandering wilderness, breathtaking views,  and exhilarating climax atop the ridge adds to its reputation as one of the best backpacking trips in Alberta. To that end, opinionated experts such as the Copelands who wrote Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, give it such a resounding recommendation that we knew that it had to be part of our Alberta Bucketlist. Continue reading “Backcountry Zen: The Northover Ridge Hike”

Hiking the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park

Great for beginners and experienced hikers alike, the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park is one of the premier hikes in Western Canada.  Few trails deliver multiple waterfalls, expansive mountain vistas, and up close views of majestic glaciers all along one incredible route.  The trail begins near the town of Field, in British Columbia and the extra hour of driving from Banff allows you to get away from the crowds. Yoho is generally more peaceful than its more famous neighbour and the scenery is equally stunning.  The hike follows remnants of the Emerald Glacier and with the majority of it is above treeline you’ll be treated to stupendous views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. For these reasons and its easy accessibility from Calgary we figured this gem was deserving of a place on our 2017 Alberta Bucketlist despite being in British Columbia.   Continue reading “Hiking the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park”