My favourite beaches from around the world

Some of my happiest memories from early childhood is when my parents announced we’d be spending the day at the beach. Mom would prepare thickly buttered salami on rye sandwiches; dad would pack up the Oldsmobile. Off we’d drive to Long Sault, a park along the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario. The beach was no great shakes, but at the time I thought it was the best place in the world. While my taste in beaches has changed (some might call me a beach snob), I’m still delighted by a great day at the beach. Here are some of my favourite beaches.

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Categories: France, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, United States | Tags: , , | 64 Comments

100th Post: Ten Places that have “Stuck with Me”


Skyline Ridge Loop at Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish, British Columbia

I was going to continue with my Laos series when I noticed that this is my 100th post. To celebrate, I decided to do a post about places that have stuck in my mind and in my heart. It was a tough exercise limiting this to only ten (there are many runners up). I took a broad approach to the word “place” and the list includes countries, regions, and provinces. A few of the places are from visits that happened long before I’d ever heard the word “blog” or even used a computer, and I’m happy to be sharing these “old” favourites. Thank you for reading, for your likes and comments, and motivating me to keep at it. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Namibia, Places, Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Water hiking in Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur (Loreto)


Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur—C.Helbig

After two weeks of ocean-based activities in Baja California Sur, we opted for a land adventure on our last day. Little did we know that our desert hike in Mesquite (Mezquite) Canyon would leave us completely soaked. The hike, hidden in the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range, near the town of Loreto, is as beautiful as it is fun. The trail meanders through a gorgeous, steep-sided canyon. For most of the hike, we waded through refreshing, clear water. I’d never done a hike like this (I’m mostly deep in the forest) and it brought on a kid-like joy…nothing like getting your shoes and clothes wet and not caring one tiny bit, just living in the moment and having fun. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Mexico, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Coronado Island, Baja California Sur: 4-Hours of WOW!


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Dolphins next to our boat at Coronado Island, Mexico—C.Helbig

When I look back at our 4-hour visit to Coronado Island, it’s hard to believe we experienced so much natural beauty and marine life in such a short time. From dolphin pods to sea lion colonies to gorgeous white sand beaches, it felt like we had dropped into a National Geographic movie. This little island, just off the coast of Loreto, in Baja California Sur, packs a big punch but is also super accessible. There are plenty of tour agencies in town who will arrange a trip. Or, you can do what we did and hire a panga captain at the Loreto harbour who will take you around the island and make a few wildlife, beach and snorkel stops. Climb aboard and check out Coronado Island. Continue reading

Categories: Mexico, Wildlife Viewing | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Snorkeling with Sea Lions at Los Islotes, Baja California Sur, Mexico

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My family snorkeling with sea lions at Los Islotes, Baja California Sur—Ruben Sandoval/David Oguey

Two of the best days of my life involved snorkeling with a colony of friendly sea lions. The first, many years ago, was in the Galapagos. The second, a few weeks ago, was at Los Islotes, a small cluster of tiny islands just north of Isla Espíritu Santo in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The only way I can describe sharing the water with these amazing marine mammals is pure joy. I was completely mesmerized as they surrounded us with their graceful acrobatics. I’m thrilled to be including photos of this intensely uplifting experience (courtesy of fellow guests and ROW Sea Kayak Adventures). Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Mexico, Places, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling, Wildlife Viewing | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Kayaking and Camping Bliss at Isla Espíritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico


Kayaking at Isla Espíritu Santo in Baja California Sur—C.Helbig

I nose my kayak toward a deserted beach. Well…deserted except for six tents, a tarp, and two of our guides who have been setting up camp while our group paddles through the turquoise water. Rumour has it, we’ll be having ceviche for lunch. Afternoon options will include snorkeling, paddle boarding, hiking, and relaxing on the beach. Appetizers, margaritas, and easy conversation will follow. We’ll  dine on something scrumptious like fish tacos or chicken mole. A full moon will cast an outrageous sheen on the ocean and desert hills. We’ll stumble, happily exhausted, into our tents. Then, we’ll blissfully repeat it all again the next day. But first, there’s café y heuvos. That was the rhythm of our 5-day kayaking excursion to Isla Espíritu Santo with  ROW Sea Kayak Adventures. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Kayaking, Mexico, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

An Art Walk Along the Malecón in La Paz, Mexico


Dove of Peace sculpture along La Paz Malecón—C.Helbig

I didn’t expect to be writing a post about art in La Paz, but I was so impressed with what I saw along the city’s Malecón (waterfront promenade) that I had to share. If you’ve read my earlier posts on our family trip to Baja California Sur, you’ll know that La Paz is an awesome base for kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring beautiful beaches on the Gulf of California (also known as Sea of Cortez). The art along the 5 km Malecón is a reflection of  the city’s importance as an eco-tourism destination, and residents’ deep appreciation for their home by the sea. Lets stroll along the Malecón and take a look  at some of the wonderful marine-inspired artwork.  Continue reading

Categories: Mexico, Places | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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