The 5 Best Arizona Hiking Trails

If you love the outdoors as much as I do, Arizona is a destination you NEED to add to your bucket list! For my 30th birthday, I planned a road trip from Scottsdale, through Sedona and Grand Canyon National Park to Page, Arizona. Not only was there so much to see and do, but the drive through the desert and red rocks was insanely beautiful!
I would highly recommend visiting between the months of April and May or September and October to avoid extreme heat, cold, snow and large crowds as these are off peak months to visit and therefore, typically less expense. Here are the top 5 best Arizona hiking trails that I would highly recommend for your trip to Arizona as well as some helpful tips if it’s your first time.

1. Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona
Located in the heart of the city and iconic to the city of Scottsdale, this stunning mountain is called Camelback because it actually does look like a camel – head, hump and all! I had read that this hike was hard, but with all the hiking I had done when I was living in California, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I was wrong!
There are two trails you can take up: Echo Canyon Trail, which is apparently the harder if the two, and Cholla Trail, the easier trail that I took. I wouldn’t recommend finishing the last third of this hike if you’re terrified of heights, only because it’s pretty easy up until that point. The last third of the hike is literally rock climbing up the mountain. None the less, it was an absolutely breathtaking hike with incredible views of Scottsdale and the view from the top alone is totally worth it! Although I found parts of the trail quite challenging, there were young kids on the trail which means if they can do it, you can too.
Tips: Make sure you bring PLENTY of water. You’re going to need it! I also recommend real hiking shoes on this one but you can wear regular gym shoes as long as they have pretty strong tread. I was totally fine in my Nikes.
I would recommend starting your Cholla Trail hike first thing in the morning at sunrise to avoid the extreme heat and crowds. It’s a 3.1 mile roundtrip hike which will most likely take around 2.5 to 3 hours total.
In addition, the best place to park where you won’t get towed is on Cholla Lane. Pass the Phoenician Golf course on your left while driving down N Invergordon Road and take a left on Cholla Lane. You can park pretty much anywhere before the residential neighborhood and follow the signs to Cholla Trail.

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2. Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona
This was by far the highlight of the time I spent in Sedona! The hike up to the bridge was pretty easy and the views on the hike itself were absolutely stunning even before reaching the bridge. I already can’t wait to go back here and do this hike again someday!
Tips: There are 3 ways to get to Devil’s Bridge via 3 trails. Picking which route you’d like to take really depends on how far and how intense of a hike you’re looking for. I was unfortunately short on time so took the easiest and shortest route from the Dry Creek Road parking lot.
For the shortest and easiest hike, plan to park right off of Dry Creek Road. The official Devil’s Bridge trailhead is at the end of the paved road and only a mile hike to the bridge. The hike is pretty flat for the first 3/4 mile and you will come to a fork in the road. Make sure you follow the signs to lead you towards the bridge!
When you arrive at the bridge, it looks extremely skinny, but it’s actually quite wide! Everyone was really nice about taking turns to take individual photos on the bridge. PLEASE be careful when walking out onto the bridge as it extends 80 feet above the ground!
Make sure you also bring plenty of water with you. This hike can be done by children of all ages – Just make sure you keep an eye on them and don’t let them get too close to the edge. The other more challenging and longer trailheads that lead to Devil’s Bridge include Chuck Wagon Trail which is 8.4 miles roundtrip or Mescal to Chuck Wagon Trail which is 5 miles round trip.
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3. Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon has been a destination on my bucket list ever since I was a little girl. I had seen it in movies but in person, there is NOTHING that compares! The size of this natural beauty is absolutely mind blowing and photos do not do it justice whatsoever.
Note that in order to get into the Grand Canyon National Park, there is a $30 fee per car. I would 100% recommend doing the entire drive through the Canyon via the South Rim which will take you about 4 hours from start to finish because there are about 8 different look outs to stop and take photos.
Tips: Start your journey by entering the park through Tusayan, Arizona. I would also recommend staying in this little town so you can start you’re hiking and exploring early in the morning. There are several hotels to choose from but I stayed at the Best Western Premier which has a heated pool, hot tub, bowling alley and bar inside!
Once in the park, park in parking lot D and walk to the canyon from there. There is a large paved road you can walk along next to the canyon with restaurants, shopping and bathrooms. You can hike Bright Angel Trail early in the morning and go as far down into the canyon as you’d like. Please note that the trail is pretty skinny (6-8 feet wide in some parts) and it’s extremely easy to fall in if you’re not cautious and winds are high. It DOES happen!
There are also mule ride tours that take this trail down and back up so hikers are expected to move out of the way to allow them to pass.
I only hiked down about an hour and hiked back up about an hour and a half because I wanted to take time to explore El Tovar Hotel, have drinks of their patio and eat at Harvey House before our drive through the park and up to Page.
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4. Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona
Although it’s really considered “a hike,” there are NO WORDS to describe how absolutely stunning Antelope Canyon is in real life. There is an Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, both of which offer daily tours through different tour companies. I chose to explore Lower Antelope Canyon with Ken’s Tours because it’s apparently less crowded than Upper Antelope Canyon, although quite honestly it was extremely crowded in my opinion.
Tips: Make sure you book your reservation to tour Antelope Canyon far enough in advance, especially if you’re traveling during Summer months when it’s most crowded. The canyon only allows 2,500 visitors per day and turns away on average 4,000 who failed to make one!
If you choose to tour the lower canyon, note that you do go up and down a 2-3 steep latters. In addition, the best time of day to visit either canyon is between 10am and noon as the light is shining directly above, making the lighting ideal for photographs. As noted in my Antelope Canyon blog post, I would recommend hanging back at the end of the tour group to snag some solo photographs. The tour last about an hour or more so you will have plenty of time to take a lot of photos.
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5. Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona
Horseshoe Bend is technically considered more of a walk because it’s just a short ten walk from the parking lot! Despite the lack thereof, it is definitely a sight to see and should be on your bucket list! This natural beauty has taken over a BILLION years to form and was created by the continual flow of water through the canyon walls. Dont get too close to the edge! It’s a 1,000 foot drop to the bottom which is equivalent to a 99 story building.
Tips: The best time to photograph Horseshoe Bend is mid day when the sun is directly overhead. At sunrise, part of the canyon will be darkened by shadows and at sunset (although extremely beautiful) the sun will be directly in your way of photographs. I would also suggest checking the weather to see how windy it is. When we first arrived the winds were 20 miles an hour which was pretty painful in shorts given that the sand was flying everywhere!
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Antelope Canyon Tours

My love affair with Antelope Canyon began when I was 12 years old. My family would travel to Las Vegas every Summer for a long weekend so naturally, since I was well below the age of 21, I had to find age appropriate activities to preoccupy my time. Second to pool time, shopping was clearly the answer! My younger cousins and I would spend hours walking the strip, popping into store after store with the end all be all typically being Caesar’s Palace where our favorite shops were. I remember being bored out of my mind as we stumbled across a photography gallery that stuck out to me among many of the retail stores: Peter Lik Gallery. I’ve always had a huge interest in art and photography so decided to pop inside.

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on a photograph of Antelope Canyon. The way the light and vibrant colors danced throughout the smooth walls of the canyon completely mesmerized me. It looked absolutely breathtaking and like nothing I had ever seen before! I marveled at that fact that this was a real place and one that not many people had actually explored. After speaking with the gallery manager about what Antelope Canyon was and where it was located, I promised myself that one day I would visit this natural beauty in person.
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Antelope Canyon is the most photographed slot canyon in the world and was discovered only 24 years ago, in 1994. The land owners didn’t even know it existed until their herd of sheep disappeared one day and they were found seeking shelter inside the canyon. Located 118 feet below ground, Antelope Canyon earned it’s name from the antelope that  once called it home. Antelope Canyon was naturally formed by the erosion of sandstone from flash floods and rainwater that would run down from the top, picking up sand and rushing through it’s narrow passageways. How cool is that?!
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There is an Upper Canyon and a Lower Canyon. I chose to tour the Lower Canyon as it is typically less crowded. Each day, the canyon only allows 4,000 people max to tour and they turn away an estimated 2,500 people who have not booked reservations in advance. There are two main tour companies that run tours at Lower Antelope Canyon each day: Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis, both of which have fantastic reviews. I toured with Ken’s Tours which was a really great experience. The tour was $50 a person and lasted about an hour and a half. We had a total of about 40 or 50 people on the tour which was a bit overwhelming. If you’re looking to get photos of the canyon without people, it’s pretty difficult so I would suggest being at the very back of the line! If you want great photos, make sure to tour between 10am and noon where the light hits just above the canyon. I hope I can convince you to add this to your bucket list of incredible places. I promise it won’t disappoint!
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The Best Beaches in Barbados

The beautiful island of Barbados has over 70 miles of beaches, each of which are unique and different. Beaches located on the Caribbean (West side) of the island are suitable for water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, jet skiing and sunbathing due to their calm nature while beaches on the Atlantic (East side) are more rocky and good for surfing or sunbathing. It was incredible to see so many different types of beaches on such a small island which added to the charm and beauty of Barbados! Here are my top 5 favorite beaches you must visit during your travels to this magical island.

1. Bottom Bay
Bottom Bay was the most scenic of all the beaches I visited in Barbados. As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by a magnificent cliff over looking the prettiest turquoise water I’ve ever seen! The tall palm trees on the beach down below made for the perfect backdrop. There’s plenty of beach here to sunbath and have a picnic or you can do the same from above and enjoy the view on the rocky cliff.
If coconut water if your thing, you can buy a fresh coconut at the top of stairs that descend down to the beach from some of the local Bajans who actually climb the tall palm trees on the beach and shake down the coconuts! I would highly recommend this beach for sunbathing, swimming and picture taking.
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2. Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba Beach was one of the most unique beach I’ve ever visited! Located on the East side, Bathsheba was extremely windy and the waves looks like a surfers dream come true. Dangerous rip curls and undertows do not make Bathsheba an ideal spot to swim, however, you can enjoy the water in many of the shallow natural reef pools located just a few feet from the shore. During the winter, layers of seaweed wash up on shore so I appreciated the view from far away because it made for some cool photos. The giant rock formations are what make this beach a stunning sight to see! I would highly recommend Bathsheba for sunbathing during the Summer and picture taking and surfing during the Winter. Experienced surfers only!
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3. Alleynes Bay
Alleynes Bay has crystal clear water which makes it the best beach in Barbados to snorkel and swim with sea turtles. I entered the beach from The Lonestar, a really popular restaurant and hotel in the bay which I would highly recommend for breakfast or lunch before your swim. Bring plenty of snorkel gear and an underwater camera if you have one!
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4. Paynes Bay & Sandy Lane Beach
These two beaches are home to some of the island’s most luxurious resorts. Located on the West side of the island, the soft white sand and calm waves make these two beaches the best for water sports, sun bathing and swimming. I stayed at a private villa in Paynes Bay during my stay and enjoyed watching the boats dock out in the water, the jet skis go by and taking strolls to nearby Sandy Lane Beach.
Sandy Lane, an exclusive high end luxury resort, is located here. You can admire the signature pink umbrellas and walk the beach, but don’t be expected to be allowed into the resort for a cocktail unless you’re a guest at the hotel or have a meal reservation!
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5. Brandon’s Beach

Brandon’s Beach was a little off the beaten path and more secluded than the other beaches, but I loved how private it was and the fact that you could relax and watch the locals surf here. I would recommend making a pit stop here after you take a tour at the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery!
Barbados 2018-1128Barbados 2018-1081If you’re looking for additional thing to do during your stay, check out my blog post on the the top activities to do during your trip to Barbados!

Top 5 Activities to do in Barbados

I’m an explorer at heart and am always up for an adventure! My favorite thing about traveling is when I find opportunities to experience the natural beauty of our world and time to marvel at the beauty of animals in their natural habitat. During my 10 day trip to Barbados, I got to see so much of the island and planned some fun activities that completely beat my expectations and blew me away.

If you’re planning a trip to Barbados, here is my list of the top 5 activities I would highly recommend you do to satisfy your craving for adventure!

1. Feed the monkeys at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve
This was the highlight of my trip! I didn’t expect the monkeys to be so friendly and agile, but when it comes to food they love humans and don’t mind getting up close and personal. I totally didn’t expect them to eat right out of my hand but they did and it was incredible! You can read more in depth about my wildlife reserve experience here and see all the photos I took of the animals in the reserve. Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) for adults and $15 BDS ($7.50 USD) for children. Hours are from 10am to 5pm and it is recommended that you are there around 2pm as this is the animal feeding time so you are more likely to see many of the animals at this time.
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2. Swim with sea turtles
If you love being in the water as much as I do and you enjoy water activities like snorkeling or scuba diving, Barbados is a great place to experience swimming with sea turtles! The best part about this activity is that you don’t even need to pay to go out on a catamaran because the turtles can be found many places right off the beach. You can even feed and pet the turtles when you swim with them!
Head out early in the morning when the turtles are likely to be scouting for food. We snorkeled and swam with the turtles in Alleyne’s Bay (located behind the Lonestar hotel and restaurant) where many of the glass bottom boats and catamarans stick around. Other good areas to swim with turtles include Freights Bay, Carlise Bay & Paynes Bay.
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3. Visit Hunte’s Gardens
This beautiful outdoor garden was stunning from the moment we pulling up to the entrance to the moment we left. I’ve never seen such lush, colorful plants or palm trees so tall in my life! This walkable garden holds different surprises around each corner and I could have literally spent an entire day taking pictures of all the exotic scenery, birds and animals among the soft classical music playing throughout the garden. Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4pm daily. It truly is a magical place unlike any other!
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4. Explore the natural beauty of Animal Flower Cave
Discovered in 1750, this naturally formed cave is the only accessible cave on the island and was formed by natural limestone similar to cenotes found in Mexico. Build in 1912, coral steps lead down to the cave floor which is estimated to be 400,000 to 500,000 years old! Be sure to wear sneakers or take your shoes off while in the cave because it’s pretty slippery and easy to fall if you don’t have good balance. There is also a separate swimming chamber in the cave if you’re up for it! Make sure to visit when the waves aren’t too big because it will close due to the strength and size of the waves on occasion. Admission costs $20 BDS ($10 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4:30pm daily. In addition to a guided cave visit, there is also a restaurant where you can grab a quick bite to eat and drinks on top of the cave with an incredible ocean view, open from 11am to 3:30pm daily.
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5. Enjoy a Rum Punch at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery
Honestly, I was mostly excited for rum cocktails upon showing up to the distillery, but the best part ended up being the incredible history lesson behind Mount Gay Rum! I highly suggest taking the Signtaure Rum Tour through the distillery where you will learn the history of the brand and enjoy a tasting of 3 different rums. You receive a delicious rum punch at the beginning of the tour and it ends at the bar where you can also enjoy specialty rum cocktails. The tour costs $40 BDS ($20 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday and 10:30am-2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Cheers!
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Other activities I would highly recommend depending on how much time you have on the island include:
Oistnis Friday night fish fry
Sunset sail with Cool Runnings
Paddle boarding
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Barbados Animal Wildlife Reserve

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have a very special place in my heart for animals! When I researched top activities in Barbados, I found that there is an Animal Wildlife Reserve on the island where animals roam free and you can see wild green monkeys. I had to check it out for myself! Upon pulling up to the parking lot, we were greeted by incredible banana leaf fields, countless rows of stunning palm trees and beautiful lush, tropical plants.
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There were three green monkeys near the ticket counter when we arrived and after paying the entrance fee, we were given chopped up sweet potatoes to feed them. Six more monkeys joined us shortly after they realized food was present, including a couple baby ones.
I was absolutely amazed at how gentle and sweet the monkeys were that I wanted to take one home with me! They each had their own personality and many times they would hold my hand (or a finger) while eating directly out of my hand.
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We entered the grounds and started our journey walking small brick pathways throughout the reserve. There were tons of large tortoise which were easy to spot and although they’re known for being slow, they actually move pretty fast. While I was taking photos, one almost walked directly over my foot! Walking a little deeper, we discovered a mother deer feeding her baby!
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If you love animals as much as I do or want to see green monkeys up close and personal, I would highly suggest coming to visit the reserve during your stay in Barbados! Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) for adults and $15 BDS ($7.50 USD) for children. Hours are from 10am to 5pm and it is recommended that you are there around 2pm as this is the animal feeding time so you are more likely to see many of the animals at this time. It was truly a magical experience and feeding the monkeys was definitely an experience to remember. It was so much better than viewing animals behind bars at the zoo!
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10 Ways to Increase Self Love & Happiness

Photo Feb 23, 8 10 37 AMIf there’s one thing I take to heart, it’s the fact that we should always be working towards being the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. Life isn’t easy. I have days when I wonder what I’m doing with my life and days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed. Other days I feel extremely accomplished, empowered and ready to take on the day!

It’s hard living in a world where we are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us we’re not good enough, we aren’t pretty enough and that we need to buy things in order to be something we’re not. Our comparison of ourselves to photoshopped magazine covers, supermodels and celebrities over time can lead to insecurity, self doubt and ultimately self sabotage which is extremely unhealthy. It’s hard to be happy with yourself and the world around you if you’re not comfortable with who you and what you look like. I promise YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

So how can you increase self love & happiness on a daily basis? Grab a journal and a pen!

#1 Ask yourself “What are 3 things I’m grateful for?” and write them down.

Gratitude is so important to be thankful with what you have in your life right NOW. It’s easy to get caught up with what we want for our future but those thoughts lead us away from the present moment.

It could be as simple as the gift of sight or the fact that the sun is shining today. Whether you’re grateful for a friend, a family member or a pet, we are so fortunate to have access to fresh water, nutritious food and have a roof over our head. There are many people in the world struggling each day to attain these three basic necessities.
In order to achieve daily happiness, we need to train ourselves to be happy with what we have in our life NOW because focusing on things we don’t have ultimately leads to unhappiness.
#2 Ask yourself “How do I want to feel today?” and write it down.
The first thing many of us do when we wake up is check our social media, open our email or turn on the news.
Make it a best practice to explore how you’re feeling instead, then decide how you actually WANT to feel. Setting intentions on how you want to feel first thing in the morning allows us to think positively about the day ahead. Any time you start feeling differently throughout the day, think back to the intentions you’ve set and align your mind to stay on track.
#3 Ask yourself “What are 3 things I love about myself?” and write them down.
This is my favorite exercise because it’s the most challenging one for me. It’s 100% ok to struggle with answering this question because we don’t take enough time to really appreciate our gifts, talents and beauty on a regular basis.
Really dig deep. What DO you love about yourself??
This can be physical attributes including the color of your eyes, your perfect manicure or the fact that your hair looks killer today.
It could also be your optimistic attitude, the fact that you’re an awesome cook or that you love your ability to save $100 each week. Whatever it is, it’s important to love the little things about yourself!
#4 Ask yourself “What do I want to accomplish today?” and write it down.
Did you know you are 80% more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down? Goal setting is something I’m very passionate about. More about that HERE!
Life is short and we tend to stop chasing our dreams that older we get. We let other things take priority and forget to put ourselves first. It’s so important to create goals and stick to them! I keep a weekly planner that I update regularly and create daily tasks of what I want to accomplish or learn in order to help hold myself accountable.
We should accomplish at least ONE thing each day to help us feel like we’re moving forward in life. It could be booking a cycling class you’ve always wanted to try, attending a photography class to finally learn how to use your camera or booking a trip you’ve been wanting to take. The smallest of tasks can help you feel like you’re working towards something and constantly learning or growing. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel about your life purpose and direction, ultimately leading to increased happiness and self love.
#5 Choose a ‘Quote of the day’ & write it down.
The quote I choose largely depends on how I answer the above questions. You’ll tend to notice a theme in how you answer them based on how you’re feeling. I typically go to Google or Pinterest to search for a quote that speaks to me. When I find one I love, I simply jot it down and take 2 minutes to reflect on what it means to me before starting my day. Doing this provides feelings of empowerment, confidence and optimism.
#6 Write down the following & repeat them out loud to yourself in the mirror:
I am Beautiful.
I am Confident.
I am Unique.
I am Fearless.
I am Loved.
I am Amazing.
I am Perfect just the way I am.
We become our thoughts and what we tell ourselves each day. Writing down and repeating affirmations while looking in the mirror help us to see and speak to ourselves in a positive light. You’ll be surprised how much you actually start believing what you tell yourself every day if you do it consistently. We should ALWAYS be feeding our minds positive thoughts! The moment you consciously recognize a negative thought, dismiss it immediately and replace it with a positive one.
#7 Spoil yourself once a week!
Buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers, indulge in a cupcake at your favorite bakery or treat yourself to that pair of shoes you can’t stop thinking about. It’s important to treat yourself even when you’re on a tight budget. Something as small as a $3 cupcake a week can’t hurt and is a great way to treat yourself because you deserve it!
#8 Meditate
Meditation is SO good for the body and mind. Not only does it allow you to relax and remove yourself from a state of anxiety or stress, but it can help you look inwardly to reflect on your emotions and feelings. Sometimes it also uncovers issues or problems you didn’t even realize were there! Other times it can help heal your spirit and rejuvenate your soul. The more you meditate, the more you work on yourself. The more you work on yourself, the happier you will be! My favorite app is the CALM meditation app. It helps you reduce anxiety, sleep better and feel happier. I love it because it offers 10 minute meditations focused on different attributes including happiness, gratitude, calmness, stress, self-esteem and more. Give it a try! It’s honestly life changing.
#9 Take a break from social media
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “reality” of our peers or celebrities. Try to remember that MOSTLY everything you see on TV or on social media is NOT REAL LIFE. My instagram may be filled with beach photos and exotic vacations but I actually live in NYC and have a full time job just like most people! Yes, I get exhausted & have days where I don’t want to go to the gym or cook dinner but I’m a normal person and don’t go around jet setting the world.
Its easy to compare our lives to other people but truthfully we should only be comparing ourselves to where we were yesterday!
#10 Complete 1 small act of kindness a day
Buy a co-worker a coffee, give a homeless person your left overs, compliment a complete stranger. If you can consciously seek opportunities to complete a small act of kindness each day, you will begin to feel more humble and giving, thus opening yourself up for more self love and happiness.
I hope this helps you babes as much as it’s helped me. Let me know in the comments what you do to increase self love and happiness!
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Isla Mujeres, Mexico: An Authentic Island Experience

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | Travel Guide | Moonlight Gypsy Blog | Bohemian Fashion Style & Travel Blog

Mexico is one of my absolute favorite international destinations. It’s extremely affordable, the food is incredible and the margaritas are tasty!  I’ve visited some of the most popular destinations in Mexico including Cabo, Cozumel, Acapulco, Tulum, and most recently Cancun. When I began researching day trips from Cancun, I had never heard of Isla Mujeres but was inspired to visit because of the colorful marketplaces, cliff side ocean views and gorgeous beaches. One of my favorite things about traveling in general is discovering lesser known places to explore because they tend to feel more authentic, untouched and less touristy.

Isla Mujeres is a tiny island that serves as the southern most top of Mexico. It’s 5 miles long and only 400 yards wide. This tiny gem is only a short 45 minute ferry ride from Cancun. Although small, the island depicts Mexico’s historic and rich culture of things to see, fun activities, friendly people, delicious food & some of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen!

During my 4 day stay in Cancun, I took a day trip to explore Isla Mujeres. There are plenty of hotels on the island if you wish to spend more time there, but you can easily see the entire island in a day or two depending on your activities. I started my day adventure early in the morning from the JW Marriott Cancun by taxi to Playa Tortugus, one of the 3 marinas that take you over to Isla Mujeres. Accompanied by live musical entertainment, I enjoyed the sunshine at the top of the boat and the wind blowing in my hair.

The easiest way to get around the island is by a golf cart or scooter and you can easily save time by renting one on the ferry for pick up upon island arrival. If you decide visit during peak Summer months (May to August) be sure to either book a golf cart in advance or head to the island on the earliest ferry over in order to guarantee you’ll get one. There are only a select number of golf carts on the island given that it’s so small.

Upon arrival to the island, I was greeted by a bustling strip of restaurants, colorful markets and friendly island people. The energy surrounding the island was unlike anything I have experienced elsewhere and I was so excited to explore! Conveniently, I secured a golf cart on the ferry ride over and was able to take in all the culture and scenery without feeling rushed.
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By the time I picked up my golf cart, I had worked up quite an appetite! I jumped in the golf cart and drove about 10 minutes from the main ferry port until I arrived at a cute little brunch spot called Barlito’s. Located at Marina Paraiso Hotel, Barlito’s is well known for their famous raison cinnamon rolls and fresh squeezed fruit juices. Since I couldn’t choose between watermelon and orange juice, I ordered both! The restaurant had a bunch of fresh fruit and you could actually watch the wait staff pick out your fruit and make your juice right there. It tasted so refreshing! The food was delicious and I would highly recommend coming here if you make the trek to the island. One thing to be aware of however, is that the iguana’s here love to join you on the patio while you eat. Although entertaining, a couple times they got a little too close for my personal comfort! The quaint and quiet hotel grounds were really fun to explore and it was nice to enjoy a meal among the palm trees and pool.
Photo Nov 17, 11 12 35 AMPhoto Nov 17, 11 13 19 AMPhoto Nov 17, 11 26 19 AMPhoto Nov 17, 11 43 35 AMPhoto Nov 17, 11 53 57 AMPhoto Nov 17, 12 17 58 PMPhoto Nov 17, 12 26 14 PMPhoto Nov 17, 12 21 50 PMAfter enjoying a beautiful breakfast, I jumped back into my golf cart to began my ride around the island. One thing I didn’t expect to see in Isla Mujeres were the number of charming, colorful walls and buildings along the drive which I couldn’t resist pulling over to take photos! Hot pink, bright yellow, sunset orange…these colorful walls and homes were so unique to the island and one of my favorite things about the visit. It was also really cool that the main road has some of the most stunning views of the Caribbean which made the trip that much more enjoyable. I would highly suggest spending time roaming around different streets and taking in all of the diverse architecture on the island.
Photo Nov 17, 12 55 07 PMPhoto Dec 16, 12 02 51 AMBecause Isla Mujeres is so small, every restaurant and bar on the island has a stunning view of the ocean. I ran into a unique spot place called Madera Food & Art which is an art gallery and restaurant. I enjoyed a tasty margarita while appreciating some of their on site art sculptures and prestine ocean views.
Photo Feb 23, 8 21 59 AMPhoto Feb 23, 8 25 32 AMPhoto Nov 17, 2 11 10 PMPhoto Feb 23, 8 10 37 AMPhoto Feb 23, 8 33 32 AMVWNot far from Madera, I ran across a local family who had set up a coconut stand on the side of the road. I ordered a fresh “coco frio” (cold coconut) to enjoy with a beautiful view much closer to the water. One of my absolute favorite things about visiting any tropical destination is picking up a fresh coconut to enjoy on the beach!
There’s truly nothing better than a stunning ocean view and cold coconut water straight out of a coconut. I took some time to really appreciate Mother Nature in this moment and felt so connected to the culture and energy of the island.
Photo Nov 17, 1 45 24 PMPhoto Feb 23, 8 01 37 AMPhoto Feb 23, 7 46 18 AMYou will know you’re half way around the island when you reach the ruins of Ixchel. Located at the southern most tip of the island, the Ixchel temple is one of the main Isla Mujeres destinations for tourists that comes with incredible Caribbean Ocean views. Although small, this portion of the island is very sacred to the Mayan culture and history of Isla Mujeres. You do have to pay to enter the ruins and to use the bathroom so make sure you bring enough cash to the island with you if you wish to see them up close!

If you crave adventure, your best bet is to book snorkeling or zip lining on Isla Mujeres at Garrafon Park. Because the island is far off the coast, Garrafon Park has some of the best snorkeling. If I would’ve had an extra day in Cancun I would’ve definitely come back to spend an entire day here! I would plan to spend at least 2 hours for snorkeling and 1 additional hour for zip lining. Other activities they offer include kayaking, bicycle tours, swimming with dolphins, relaxing in their outdoor swimming pool, lounging in hammocks and more.
Photo Feb 23, 7 15 29 AMAfter continuing along the road, I stopped at a colorful adults-only hotel called La Bella Villa. They had the cutest bar and patio area with a pool and a gorgeous view of the sea. I enjoyed another margarita and relaxed in one of the beach chairs out by the water enjoying the warm sun on my shoulders and listening to the waves crash on the beach below. How cute is this place?! It has awesome reviews on trip advisor so if you’re looking to book a night or two on the island, this is a great option.
Photo Feb 23, 9 04 14 AMPhoto Feb 23, 9 09 47 AMPhoto Nov 17, 3 26 12 PMPhoto Feb 23, 9 21 44 AMAfter several hours of exploring, I had worked up quite an appetite and all I could think about were tacos! (Can you blame me?!) I drove the golf cart back to the main area of the island and dropped it off to spend time exploring the marketplace and beach. I grabbed a table at La Cueva de la Cherna and ordered some of the most delicious nachos and tacos. This place is off the beach but is noted as one of the best taco places on the island. I would highly suggest eating here! Afterwards, I walked to the beach to watch one of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever witnessed from the beach! The perfect end to a perfect day.
Photo Nov 17, 5 40 25 PM (1)Photo Nov 17, 5 45 57 PMPhoto Nov 17, 6 18 40 PMIf you do plan to spend a day exploring Isla Mujeres, be sure to check the ferry schedule and plan accordingly. I showed up to the marina 5 minutes AFTER the ferry left because I didn’t check beforehand and had to wait another hour before being able to head back to Cancun! Luckily I’m patience and easy going so I didn’t mind, but it’s always better to plan ahead!