Friends and Family Sale!

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Friends and Family Sale

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Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF January packages

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Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF January packages

Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF January packages

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Club Med Flash Sale!

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Club Med Flash Sale

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The Big Picture: 6 Tips For Better Wildlife Photos

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The Big Picture: 6 Tips For Better Wildlife Photos
A bison at Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch (All photos: Jen Judge).

How to Get the Shot

Photographer Jen Judge recently shot Virtuoso Life’s story about wildlife tours and photo workshops on Ted Turner’s 920-square-mile Vermejo Park Ranch in northern New Mexico. “The biggest challenge of wildlife photography is finding the animals,” Judge says. “With elk, you need to understand their behavior, terrain preferences, what they eat, and their mating patterns – and a little luck never hurts.” Whether you’re chasing the “big five” in Botswana or a Western version – say elk, black bears, bighorn sheep, bison, and wolves on Turner’s range – when it all aligns, here are her tips to make the most of the moment.

1. “Have patience: Wildlife photography happens on the animals’ schedule, so prepare to sit for long stretches, sometimes in uncomfortable positions.”

2. “Frame up simple backgrounds to set your subjects apart, then wait.”

3. “The best shot can happen quickly, so be ready: Set the appropriate focal length, shutter speed, ISO, and aperture long before you need to press the shutter.”

The Big Picture: 6 Tips For Better Wildlife Photos
Mule deer in the early fall.

4. “I’ve seen wildlife photographers miss incredible photos because they only had a 400mm lens and the animal came too close. Be ready with a shorter lens on a spare body.”

5. “A UV filter and lens hood will protect your glass from damage in the field, but more important, they’ll minimize reflections that might give away your presence.”

6. “Leave the tripod at home and use a higher ISO. Animals move, and trying to shoot from a tripod often means missing a photo.”

The Big Picture: 6 Tips For Better Wildlife Photos
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Fall Sale

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Fall Sale

 

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Tahiti’s Best Beaches

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With over 118 islands in French Polynesia, there are a plethora of incredible beaches to explore. The island of Tahiti itself has some of the best black sand beaches in the Pacific, as well as some stunning paradisaical stretches of white sand to feed your desire for variety. Here’s a guide to some of my favourite beaches on the island of Tahiti.

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

LA PLAGE DE MAUI

Travelling from Australia where white sand beaches are the norm, it’s strange to discover that on Tahiti they are in the minority… and the locals love them! La Plage de Maui on Tahiti Iti has to be up there with the best of them, a palm-backed beach falling away into calm, clear water perfect for relaxing and taking in the Polynesian way of life on the shores of the Bay of Tapueraha.


 

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

TAHARUU

Plage de Taharuu is a long black sand surf beach on Tahiti Nui’s South Coast perfect for families, tourists and surfers alike. The beach is fairly protected with good swimming conditions and plenty of space on the sand for all those who visit to find their own spot in paradise. It’s also one of the safest beach breaks on the island, providing the perfect spot for young groms to learn to surf. Taharuu offers easy parking, a little eatery with snacks and refreshments, and a playground for the kids.


 

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

PLAGE DE VAIAVA

On the West Coast of the island lies the ever-popular Plage de Vaiava, or PK18. With calm, shallow water and a long stretch of sand looking out over the ocean to Moorea, it’s not hard to see why this pristine patch of sand is one of the most popular spots on the island. On weekends it can fill up quickly, but that’s just a sign of its local popularity as the perfect sun-baking location. PK18 was one of my personal favourite spots in Tahiti… I just couldn’t resist jumping in the sparkling water for a swim!


 

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

L’EMBOUCHERE

The Papeno’o River Mouth, L’Embouchere, is a black sand surf beach on Tahiti’s North Shore known for its consistently favourable surf conditions. Due to seasonal wind and swell directions, L’Embouchere works its best during the summer months, the opposite of its Southern cousins, and can get busy during its peak and around competition time. Definitely not a spot for those wishing to relax in Tahitian bliss, L’Embouchere sits hidden down a narrow road off the highway, exposed to the elements and waiting for the keenest of surfers and surf-appreciators.


 

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

LE TROU DE SOUFFLEUR

Arahoho blowhole is one of Tahiti’s most popular natural phenomenons and roadside stops. A narrow lava tube leads from the lookout to the sea and visitors standing in the right spot can enjoy a dramatic explosion of sea spray as the water from incoming waves rushes up the tube and shoots out through a hole in the rocks. Next to the car park also lies a small black sand cove with some interesting wave action that can produce fun conditions for body-boarders and onlookers alike.


 

Tahiti’s Best Beaches. Beaches of Tahiti

PAPENO’O BEACH

Papeno’o Beach, also known as Chinaman’s Bay, is an exposed surf break on Tahiti’s north coast. Offering both left and right-hand waves, Papeno’o is consistently popular with the surfers on the island, particularly when the swell is up and its waves are some of the biggest you can find on Tahiti Nui. The best view for onlookers is the little headland park at the Eastern end of the beach where those who opt to watch can witness the action with a stunning backdrop of green volcanic cliffs and a palm-lined shoreline.

Adapted from: www.jamesvodicka.com

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Beyond Rome, Florence, Venice: Try Southern Italy

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There are few rivals to the antiquities of Rome, the Renaissance heritage of Florence, and the fairy-tale setting of Venice, the three cities comprising Italy’s popular tourism triangle. But the south of Italy is a different animale.

“The south’s hospitality is exceptional,” says Andrew De Angelis, an Italian native and YYZ travel advisor based in Calgary, Canada. “Locals don’t see you as a walking wallet, as they often can in Rome, Florence, and Venice. They see tourists as people to share their heritage with.”

Until Italy was unified in the mid-nineteenth century, the south was an independent region, which accounts for its differences, such as Puglia’s trulli (conical-roofed stone huts); the couscous that replaces pasta in Sicily, reflecting its proximity to North Africa; and the lemon orchards terracing the Amalfi Coast. Greek ruins and ancient Roman cities abound, while Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian wine “are expressions of the region: simple and beautiful,” says De Angelis.

Beyond Rome, Florence, Venice: Try Southern Italy
Traditional conical-roofed stone huts in Puglia.

“It’s not as tidy or as organized as the north, but the south of Italy is a trip you won’t forget,” he adds. “It’s the old Italy, the motherland.”

Travel to Southern Italy

Hydrofoil to the chic isle of Capri, let your chauffeur navigate the cliffside S curves of the Amalfi Coast, explore Pompeii’s ruins and Palermo’s markets, and taste the vintages of Sicily, all on a 17-day private tour with Artisans of Leisure.

Must-Stay Hotel

Perched atop a cliff on the Amalfi Coast, the 67-room Hotel Santa Caterina features modern Mediterranean dishes and panoramic ocean views at its two restaurants, regionally inspired spa treatments (think massages with local lemon balm), and a heated seawater pool at its coastal Beach Club.

 

Adapted from: www.blog.virtuoso.com

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Family Holiday Sale: Puerto Vallarta

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Family Holiday Sale: Puerto Vallarta

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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