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21 Airbnb Experiences For Every Occassion

Rick / Airbnb

ICYMI, Airbnb has added a new feature called “Experiences,” where residents can now offer visitors their own take on the city they call home. From nature walks searching for sloths in Costa Rica, to Little Havana food immersion in Miami, Florida, there is an experience for everyone.

Out of the hundreds of experiences, here’s what we think would top your list.

1. Let’s start with the food.

CREDIT: Chrstine, Anneliese or Danny / Airbnb

For $56, you can get someone to take you to the best of the best Cuban restaurants in Little Havana. You’ll go to a tropical fruit farmer’s market, cigar shop, proper café Cubano shop, a viejito domino game in Domino Park and finish it off with a hot plate of food at a traditional family restaurant.

2. Learn to make your own Mexican bread from a professional baker.

CREDIT: Eliceo / Airbnb

You know how this ends: a feast of chocolate and vanilla conchas, hot chocolate and take home pastry molds and recipe cards. Yes, I will pay you $40 to make my own bread and then eat it. Teach a man to fish and all that.

3. Then experience todo del lucha libre in Mexico City for $50 per person.

CREDIT: Rick / Airbnb

Learn the ins and outs of the art of lucha libre from a local, make your own mask and then head to the arena to watch it in action. Of course, Mexican beers and candies are included in the price.

4. Dive into a Mexican indigo dip dye workshop for $27.

CREDIT: Anabel / Airbnb

If you’re up for a quieter night, meet Anabel, a Mexican fashion designer with a fascination for Mexico’s natural indigo dyes. Walk away with a cotton scarf, bandana or canvas bag dyed with organic indigo. Yes, please.

5. Let’s go to Cuba and learn to roll Cuban cigars for $5.

CREDIT: Marine / Airbnb

Your host is the fourth generation in his family owned and operated Cuban tobacco farm. You’ll see the full process of how to make an organic Cuban cigar, and then smoke it right on the spot!

6. Then go on a gay bar hopping tour of Havana.

CREDIT: Yunior / Airbnb

Passionate gay rights activists for 15 years, Yunior, Andres and Leandro will take you through Havana’s underground gay nightlife, out at Malecon & 23. Learn what it’s like to be gay in Cuba today. For $35, you get to support these activists, have a round of drinks and club entrance.

7. Watch how young Cubanos craft their own skateboards.

CREDIT: Cuba Skate Inc. / Airbnb

Then, check out their DIY skatepark, grab some delicious lunch and continue onto an art gallery along Paseo del Prado. Plus, all your $50 will go to Cuba Skate, Inc., a non-profit that creates youth development programs across Cuba.

8. Watch some of Cuba’s greatest artists in action.

CREDIT: Claudia / Airbnb
Visit the Lolo workshop where the best Matanzas artists go to work. You’ll also get a hands-on intro to ceramics class and be able to make a small object with the artist, while supporting their work for $37.

9. Go on a farm tour of the Valley of Silence for $35.

CREDIT: Daily / Airbnb

In western Cuba, there is a place called El Valle del Silencio. You’ll see what it’s like to run a family farm by learning about the coffee-making process, feeding the animals, ploughing the soil, harvesting crops and rolling and smoking a fresh cigar.

10. Explore Puerto Rico’s hidden natural water slides.

CREDIT: John / Airbnb

Y’know, just casually hike with a local guide to a river where gold was extracted in the 1800s. After your swim, you’ll hike to the natural river jungle water slides where you can go cliff jumping or just relax in a natural hot spring tub. He deserves your $38 for letting you in on the magic.

11. Get dirty body rafting in Puerto Rico’s mountains.

CREDIT: Mimi / Airbnb

You literally meet in the San Juan mall and wind up body rafting to a river cave in the mountains of Puerto Rico. For just $95, you get a full day adventure complete with a lesson in making coquito, una bocadillo and a history of Taíno veneration for the water.

12. Take care of rescued manatees for a couple hours.

CREDIT: Marina/Tony / Airbnb

Puerto Rico’s Manatee Conservation Center focuses on rescuing and rehabbing local manatees, researching the existing wild population and community outreach. One hundred percent of your $69 go towards the conservation, plus you also get to feed the manatees! #WorthyCause

13. When you’re done getting intimate with manatees, take a helicopter tour of Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: Puerto Rico Helitours / Airbnb

For just $150, you can join a retired Puerto Rico Police Air Unit pilot to see Puerto Rico in all it’s glory. Be sure to ask about the history of it’s nature and culture when you’re en route.

14. Dale, we’re visiting Costa Rica’s urban sloths.

CREDIT: Marcelo / Airbnb

For just $27 per person, you can expect a 2-3 hour tour of the University of Costa Rica’s bird species (more than 100), the Butterfly Garden and the small population of sloths located on campus just outside San José.

15. Take a casual dip in pristine Latin American waters.

CREDIT: Jonathan / Airbnb

Guys, Costa Rica is one of the cheapest places to travel. For just $86 per person, you can experience a 6.5 hour hike into Rincon de la Vieja National Park to visit the country’s most active volcanoes. All topped off with a dip in the Oropendula Waterfall.

16. Then, finish your day horseback riding on the beach.

CREDIT: Micha / Airbnb

Your Costa Rican host boasts of her horseback riding skills dating back to when she was just 8 years old. Just meet her at her Barn, meet your horse companion, and enjoy her private trail to one of the largest beach stretches in Central America, Esterillos Este for just $64 per person.

17. Once the sun goes down, enjoy a bioluminescent kayaking tour in Paquera Bay.

CREDIT: Vigdis & Thomas / Airbnb

Meet up with a marine biologist for a night kayaking tour of Paquera Bay, where the water is dark until you touch it. For a full hour, you’ll see how every paddle stroke leaves behind a swirl of bluish light for $38 per person.

18. Immerse yourself in the world of Frida Kahlo for $14.

CREDIT: Museo Frida Kahlo / Airbnb

El Museo Frida Kahlo is just south of Cancún, and waiting for you to relive Frida Kahlo’s accident in an interactive room with mapping and immersive audio. You can read her own letters, and understand her childhood and death.

19. Hit São Paulo’s nightlife with a Portuguese actress for LGBT charity.

CREDIT: Fernanda / Airbnb

Airbnb has “Social Impact” experiences that help raise money for needy charities. Fernanda is offering her time to explore São Paulo’s theatre scene along with a backstage tour of her own play. All for $111–for charity!

20. You can also take a tour of LGBTQ iconic bars in NYC for charity.

CREDIT: Jordan / Airbnb

Take a 3 hour guided tour right to where it all began: Stonewall Inn. Expect to take some shots and enjoy an intimate tour all around Manhattan, including Keith Haring’s studio, Elenaor Roosevelt’s NYC home and the firehouse that housed one of the first gay liberation underground meeting spaces.

21. But you don’t have to escape the country for some classical history.

CREDIT: Roberto / Airbnb

For $15, you can enjoy Los Angeles’ classical Latin music with Roberto Hermosillo and wonder how just two hands could create such beautiful sounds. Hit up your DTLA alley and enjoy.

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

Culture

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

@newsnest00 / Twitter

For the past several years, Cancun has notoriously become one of The Summer Spots. With promises of cheap beer, crystal clear surf and fun hangs, tourists typically flock to the vacation destination for good times in the spring and summer in troves. The location’s sands, beaches, and resorts are typically packed by this time of year, but a nasty visitor is washing up on the shores of these beaches, scaring off the usual summertime travel industry.

For the past several months, an invasion of seaweed-like algae hasn’t been just an eyesore for tourists, it’s also been a nasal deterrent.

Hundreds of pounds of seaweed-like algae is washing up on the shores of Cancun and it’s ruining the city’s tourist season.

Twitter / @tictoc

The past several months, the sunny resort town has been inundated with slimy, brown seaweed-like algae. It’s name is sargassum and it has washed up all along the coast around Cancun; stretching all the way down to Playa del Carmen and even further to Tulum. With the stench of rotten eggs, the algae smells just as gross as it looks and makes for a pretty unappealing soggy mess. It’s definitely not the sort of beach conditions that encourage tourists to visit.

Though Cancun businesses are feeling the effects of this invasion, the president of Mexico isn’t as concerned. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reportedly called the problem controllable and has only allocated 2.6 Million for the removal of the algae. The removal is a slow process — being shoveled away by city workers — but the lack of resources makes the task even more difficult. Also, the endless onslaught of fresh algae with every tide doesn’t help. Even using front loaders and trucks for the cleanup, the work takes several hours and results in an algae-covered beach only moments later.

Officials aren’t certain what the cause of this algae is but there are clues that point to it being caused by major global issues.

Twitter / @DKaimowitz

Scientists have suggested that the increase in algae is caused by the warming of our Earth because of the global climate change we are currently experiencing. This is the same hypothesis that has been suggested to explain Florida’s Red Tide. Earlier this month, scientists at the University of South Florida used satellite imaging to discover the largest bloom of the algae in the world. It’s being called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt and it is impacting beaches along North, Central, and South America.

Others believe that deforestation is to blame for the assault of algae on these beaches. Due to the logging and increased use of herbicide and fertilizers by Brazilian lumber companies in the Amazon forest, dangerous runoff flows into the ocean. The nutrients in these fertilizers encourage the growth of the algae; causing super blooms to occur.

In a release about a study of these super blooms, Dr. Chuanmin Hu of the USF College of Marine Science expressed concern about the state of the Atlantic ocean. He has predicted that:

“The ocean’s chemistry must have changed in order for the blooms to get so out of hand.”

Regardless of what the Mexican president and scientists say, locals who face this problem every day are the ones most impacted by the algae.

Twitter / @newsnest00

Tourism in the community has taken a major hit during a time when Mexico is already heading towards a recession. The first three weeks of June, hotel occupancy in the area dropped by 3.4%. Air travel to the city also saw numbers that aren’t as optimistic as Cancun usually sees during this time of year. It only claimed 1.2%, the smallest amount of growth that the area has seen since 2011.

It isn’t just the international travel industry that loses money to the algae. In a city like Cancun, as much as 40% of jobs are tied to tourism alone. Events like this — that impact the beaches so severely — threaten the livelihood of locals. The Mexican transportation industry, local artisans, restaurants, beach resorts, and sight-seeing locations depend on this busy season to provide the bulk of their yearly income. In order to lure travelers, hotels in the area are even running specials. In many places in Cancun, tourists can get as much as 20% off rooms and free transportation to unaffected beaches.

Cleaning up after this mess will take a lot more than a few hundred shovels.

Twitter / @ElCanaco

Reversing the effects of climate change can not really be accomplished on an individual level. Realistically, a single person does not cause this damage. Instead, it is large conglomerations that hurt our Earth with their anti-environmental policies. Until the governments of the world decide to hold these companies accountable, nothing productive will be done to stop this damage.

Right now, we’re seeing this onslaught of algae but who knows what is in store for our environment if we don’t make major improvements soon. It’s more than just our Cancun vacations that are counting on these changes.

3 Slices Of Heaven In The Mexican Beachside You Have To Visit

Culture

3 Slices Of Heaven In The Mexican Beachside You Have To Visit

Mexico, Jalisco, Costa Careyes \ Getty Images

For decades, Mexico has been one of the main destinations for global tourism. The country offers amazing beaches where visitors can find both natural beauty and experienced hospitality workers who make their living by providing unforgettable experiences. We have selected 13 beaches that can cater for any kind of visitor and for budgets of all sizes. Remember that old Corona ad, “From where you would rather be”? Well, we would rather be in one of these slices of heaven.

1. Costa Careyes
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: high end, luxury traveling, honeymoons

Credit: xaviermaxemin / Instagram

This relatively recent development is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, so you can also visit the city of Guadalajara or the many tequila haciendas in the region. This beach is pristine and hasn’t been developed as much as classics such as Acapulco or Cancun. It is pricey, but ideal for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon… you might leave the room for a bit just to witness the stunning sunsets. You can find more details here: https://www.careyes.com/.

2. Puerto de Veracruz
Located in: Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico
Good for: old fashioned Mexican charm

Credit: goopar / Instagram

Veracruz is one of the oldest cities in Mexico, the port where the Spanish started the development of the new colony. The old port has been revitalized in recent years, and you can experience the charm of jarochos: you can smoke a cigar while sipping a cafe con leche in the traditional La Parroquia. You can also listen to nostalgic regional son jarocho or join old folks in a communal dance known as danzon. 

3. Bahia de Los Angeles
Located in: Baja California
Good for: those who love the stunning desert/ocean combo

Credit: xol_gran / Instagram

Less developed than beach towns such as La Paz and Los Cabos. This is a dream for those who love the combination of desert and sea. The Gulf of California bathes beaches that are red and feature spectacular rock formations crowned by cacti and succulents that defy the laws of gravity. A surreal but soothing destination. 

4. Isla Holbox
Located in: Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula
Good for: just relaxing on a hammock as the waves caress the sand

Credit: laryssa_ayres / Instagram

This island north of the Yucatan Peninsula is truly heaven on earth. It is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, so it is not highly developed. The island is separated from the mainland by a lagoon which features flamingos and pelicans. Good to know: no cars are allowed on the island.

5. Isla Mujeres
Located in: the Caribbean Sea, near Cancun
Good for: snorkeling and scuba diving

Credit: javi_viteri10 / Instagram

Another paradisiac highlight in the Yucatan Peninsula. This island has amazing beaches such as Playa Norte, plenty of resorts and scuba diving and snorkeling experiences. Even though it only has 4.22 km², it has it all: a lighthouse, Mayan ruins and even a sanctuary for sea turtles. 

6. Puerto Vallarta
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: going out and sleeping in!

Credit: shanip94 / Instagram

This traditional beach destination captivated filmmaker John Huston when he shot The Night of the Iguana here. Elizabeth Taylor, who was tagging along with her then-husband Richard Burton, also fell in love with the dramatic landscape, food and good vibes of this awesome place, which is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. A perfect alternative for those who find Cancun and Los Cabos to be just a bit too touristy. It is near the Tequila region, so a little stop is in order.

7. Mazunte
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: cheap and low key hippie vibes

Credit: omarjairbq / Instagram

This has been the de facto destination for Mexico City natives that just want to relax by the beach and eat some delicious Oaxacan food. Even though it is now a bit more developed than some would wish, it still retains a mystic but relaxed atmosphere. People feel so at ease that it is sort of a nudist beach: if that is your thing, clothes away! Seriously, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

8. Mazatlan
Located in: Sinaloa
Good for: spectacular scenery and delicious seafood, Sinaloa style

Credit: mexicoentusojos / Instagram

An oldie but goodie. This resort town borders the Pacific shoreline in the state of Sinaloa. It was an impressive boardwalk or malecon that covers 21 km. Old Mazatlan is a 19th-century colonial jewel with gorgeous architecture. If you are into big-game fishing, this is the place to be. You can also eat some amazing Sinaloa seafood. A taco gobernador, anyone? (if you are wondering, it has shrimp, black beans, a secret spicy sauce, and melted cheese, all in corn tortillas of course!). 

9. Playa Ventura
Located in: Guerrero
Good for: relaxing times and amazing food in a rustic environment

Credit: omarjairbq / Instagram

Near the legendary but now dangerous Acapulco lies this beach which is visited by turtles and offers a rustic experience. Food is just great: pescado a la talla and lobster smothered in chili and butter. What is not to like? We hope it keeps that rustic feel and that development doesn’t translate into big resorts. 

10. Los Cabos
Located in: Baja California Sur
Good for: sea life watching

Credit: seemexicotravel / Instagram

A classic destination full of top-end resorts, but also the home of a charming town and plenty of spectacular animal sightings. You can take a whale watching tour or watch seals basking in the Baja sun. There are of course plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. And by the way, you might spot one of the many Hollywood A-listers who have made Cabo their preferred holiday spot. While you are here, why not rent a car and travel up the Baja peninsula all the way to the wine region near Ensenada?

11. Punta Cometa and Playa Mermejita
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: thinking about la inmortalidad del cangrejo

 

Credit: @yola_romay / Instagram

On the way to the charming Playa Mermejita (in Mazunte, see above) you can stop at this spot, which offers the most romantic sunset on Earth. You can also stare at the ocean and the beach and think about your life: nothing like being away from the tribulations of your daily life to reflect on where you are going. 

12. Playa Pichilinguillo
Located in: Michoacan
Good for: unadulterated natural experiences

Credit: devagamx / Instagram

White sands, tame waves, and blue waters. This is a playa virgen that totally gives us The Blue Lagoon vibes. It is ideal to scuba dive or snorkel, as waters are almost transparent and fish are still unafraid of humans. The lobster here is delicious. Plus, you will be helping the local economy thrive as it is not yet subject to big transnational resort companies. 

13. Playa del Carmen
Located in: Quintana Roo
Good for: a good mix of relaxing and fiesta!

Credit: destino.mochilero / Instagram

People who got sick and tired of how gringo Cancun looks have moved their business to Playa del Carmen, which started out as a “poor relative” and is now a hot spot for nightlife and glorious days at the beach. It attracted European tourism early, so there are plenty of culinary options as some visitors just decided to stay and open their own restaurants! Prices have peaked recently, but it is still a great option for those who believe that Cancun’s best days have passed.

READ: These Latin American Beaches Are The Perfect Getaways For All Of The Beach Bums In The World

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