Our top 3 destinations of 2016!

-Number 1
-Costa Rica!!

This trip was a trip of a lifetime and was somewhere we spoke about going to for years and years! Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint, making it our number 1 destination of 2016!

We decided to get a 4×4 and explore the Pacific Coast line in all its glory. The sun did not stop shining and the people didn’t stop smiling.

costarica4x4

Our favourite place was Montezuma, a quiet, laid-back surfer town with quirky cafes, bars and restaurants just steps from the tropical beaches.

We stayed in a wooden bungalow deep in the trees surrounded by an endless list of different wildlife. We even had a 3ft Iguana living in the ceiling of our bungalow that woke us up every morning, along with the Howler Monkeys and exotic birds. But it all made it a special experience.

costa-rica-sunrise

If you’re a food lover like us and haven’t been to Costa Rica before, then we highly recommend a trip to this part of the world. Everything we ate was so simple but full of so much flavour and colour. You can see some of the things we ate on our second Instagram account @checkinginfood.

Another recommendation is Playa Hermosa, a small town just south of the town Jaco. It has the coolest black sand beaches and the waves for surfing here are some of the best in the world! It’s a barefoot, board shorts and chill vibe, with some brilliant places to eat and just minutes from some great mountain tracks that can be explored with rewarding views of the coastline.

costa-rica-drone

The people in Costa Rica are so friendly, helpful and happy with their lifestyle and are so proud of their beautiful country which was so lovely to see.

We are extremely happy Costa Rica was what we hoped it would be and better, otherwise it would have been a huge disappointment. Which means we will certainly be exploring even more of this country sooner rather than later! As the locals say, Pura Vida.

-Number 2
-Rio De Janiero, Brazil!!

A last-minute flight and an airbnb were booked for this one! We spoke about Rio and have seen numerous documentaries on this wonderful city and just decided to go!

We arrived late at night in the pouring rain and then sat in the middle of the late night traffic, which seemed really strange, but according to our taxi driver, was quite common.

Our airbnb was perfect! A large modern villa on a hill in the Laranjeiras area with the most friendly and helpful hosts. We were shown around the area we were staying in by one of the hosts the following morning and were greeted to some beautiful scenery of Rio De Janiero.

riodejaneiro

The calmness amongst the hustle and bustle was strange, we had never witnessed something like it before and were so amazed by the amount of people who were doing something active. Mostly running, cycling, skating, surfing, playing volleyball etc. It was refreshing to see!

Rio has a number of iconic landmarks and we managed to visit them all. We think our experience in the Favelas was one we will remember forever. It’s hard to explain what it’s like, but the locals who live in the Favelas seem happy with their way of life but are not too keen on outsiders coming in to visit. We had a run in with two of them for taking photos, not of them, just the buildings and a cute dog wearing sunglasses. very surreal ha!

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We couldn’t visit Rio without a trip up to see Christ the Redeemer! We were actually very unlucky with the weather during our time in Brazil and the majority of each day was overcast and rainy. But Christ the Redeemer did pop out to say hi every now and then and what an incredible sight it was to see with our own eyes and not in a photograph or on the TV.

Beaches! The beaches are the life and soul of Rio De Janeiro. That’s where all those locals who are being active hang out and spend much of their time enjoying life with friends and family! They even shut the beach front main road some days so it can be used for the public to walk, cycle run and skate. You can pick between Ipanema and Copacabana beach, as one is usually calm and easy to swim in. Whilst the other has some decent waves for surfing! It’s your choice!

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Sugar Loaf Mountain! We drank way to many beers up there one evening whilst watching the sun set! It probably has the best view of Rio along with the view of Rio from Christ the Redeemer. You can grab some food and a few drinks and just watch this fabulous city!

Brazil, just like Costa Rica is one that we want to explore a lot more and hopefully take a trip to the Amazon rainforest at some point in the future. But next time there should be less rain and more sunshine, although this didn’t stop us loving Rio, making it to number 2 on our list.

-Number 3
-Florida!!

We love Florida! It is our go to place and everything about it makes us go back time and time again. We are actually going back this summer for 3 weeks and are both very excited.

Our trip in 2016 was fantastic and we spent a lot of time flying our Drone over the Islands and taking photos of the sunrise and sunsets. We stayed in Bradenton which is a great town just minutes away from the tropical paradise of Anna Maria Island and Long Boat Key.

drone-ami

This part of the world does feel like home to us and we could easily move here at some point and enjoy what this area has to offer on a regular basis.

It’s relaxed, everyone lives for the outdoors, either on their boats, fishing from old wooden piers, cycling up and down the Island or just simply enjoying a few drinks at one of many tiki bars and restaurants that are scattered all over the Islands.

amisunrise

The Great thing about the USA we have found, is that if you want to eat out, no matter what cuisine you want, they can make it to perfection and 99% we are delighted with our food!

Some of you might wonder why we love Florida and the USA so much but we both have a lot of interests within music, sport, culture and purpose for living that some Americans have. Especially in the Bradenton area of Florida, hence why we go back so frequently.

Overall 2016 was a special year for us both, with new continents and new countries explored. 2017 will be similar with big plans being made for a new way of life in 2018.

Checking In Travel.

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