Tag Archives: summer

Top 6 Fun Activities to Check Out in Negril


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Time to start planning for winter vacation! The wet and the cold tend to hit the Pacific Northwest December to March, which makes it a perfect time for you to hit the waves!

Jamaica is the island of suntans and warm seas, and the natural heat is balanced well with cool Caribbean waters and occasional light showers. In the 1950s the town began to see major development as a resort destination, and today there is everything from scuba facilities to nightclubs and classy restaurants. The so-called “Seven Mile Beach” of Negril is the centerpoint of all the action,  ripe with sunbathing spots, snack sellers and miles of pristine sand.

Check out our Top 6 Fun Activities in Negril, Jamaica:

1. Deep Sea Fishing

Experts will take you on their boats and fish alongside you in the beautiful Caribbean waters. Trips can last up to a full day and at the end, they’ll take you to a local eatery to have your fresh catch cooked up and served.

2. Scuba Diving

Diving enthusiasts should definitely find a home in Negril, home to some of the best coral reefs and shipwrecks the Caribbean can offer. Specialists have decades of experience and can show you the best sites to dive with dolphins and seahorses. Don’t have experience? No problem! Get your certification on your vacation.

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3. Biking

Adventurers can rent a bike for the day or join a small group biking along the beach and into the subtropical forests that surround Negril. Guides always put safety and fun first, and can show you the best secret spots to explore. There are several routes available that cater to biking fans of all levels, from kid-friendly to outright hardcore.

4. Water Parks

Families should visit Kool Runnings Water Park, the area’s best slip and slide. With waters and a plethora of slides and pools of all sizes, Kool Runnings is a great place to take the family. It has everything from bobsled rides to trampolines, and tons of state-of-the-art slides.

5. Negril Lighthouse

Looking for a romantic escape? The local lighthouse is a signature landmark and a bona fide romantic spot. Located on the westernmost tip of Jamaica, it’s great for a picnic or a panoramic view from the top.

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6. Blue Cave Castle

An exciting resort named for the extensive cave system that lies beneath. A daring and magical adventure for all who enter, the caves as a snorkeler’s paradise with hidden corners aplenty.

It’s never too early to start planning your family Caribbean vacation! Call us up at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com to speak to one of our top agents today.

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Filed under Accommodation, Caribbean, Jamaica, News

Islands Series: the Orkneys

Tired of this heat and seeking a cooler harbor?

This week we’re taking a look at islands where you can stay cool in the summer, big and small. Islands where you can still enjoy a cup of piping hot coffee or tea without sweating away in your windbreaker!

So you’ve been to England, you’ve seen Bath and Stonehenge in all their glory–you’ve even did a train up to Edinburgh and checked out the incredible Sterling Castle. What’s next to explore in the UK? How about a week in the slightly stranger, much more tranquil, Orkney archipelago?

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The Orkney Islands include about 70 islands just off the coast of Scotland. With its sloping valleys and stark green moors, the islands–much like its Faroe neighbors to the north–give off a wild and somewhat mythical atmosphere that tends to draw the more curious of travelers.

The locals tend to be hospitable and thoughtful, with the pragmatism that comes from centuries of survival in a challenging environment. Officially, the native tongue is English–but the pronunciation tends to differ between districts, and much of the lexicon has close roots to Old Norse.

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There’s loads to see and do on the islands, most notably for avid history fans. Visitors interested in Orkney’s vivid Viking heritage will surely find Maeshowe intriguing. This tomb contains the best collection of Viking runes outside of Scandinavia, and is located 14 km west of Kirkwall. Travelers can also investigate the prehistoric ruins of Skara Brae, arguably the best-preserved ancient village in Western Europe and inhabited well before the Pyramids were built–as well as the stone circles at Brodgar and Stenness. Other (and relatively more recent) historical attractions include the ruins of St. Magnus Cathedral, an elegant medieval church on the islet of Streymoy, and the Italian Chapel, built by prisoners of war in WWII.

Try to visit in the summer, when the weather is tolerable, or during one of the spirited town festivals. The Orkney Folk Festival is a lively event in May of folk music, dance, song–the towns erupt with ceilidhs and fiddle concerts. Or stop by during midsummer for the St. Magnus Festival, a distinguished celebration of the arts. But, if you happen to come in the winter or cusp season, you may get a glimpse of the Northern Lights!

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Locals love giving guided walks and tours of their famous sites. Join a guide around the WWII Naval Base near the bay of Scapa Flow. Whisky enthusiasts will delight in Highland Park, the world’s most northerly Scotch distillery. Outdoorsy types will find a home in the Orkneys, where there are ample valleys and cliffs to hike or cycle, and the multiple bays make for great sailing, fishing, kayaking and windsurfing. Visitors will also find 9- and 18-hole golf courses–where windy turf can prove quite the challenge.

Travelers can even bring their kids without worry–there are lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy–from secluded beaches, to diverse marine wildlife, to farm museums and swimming pools.

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Did You Know? Some great opportunities for scuba divers abound in the Orkneys. You can dive down to the remains of the German WWI Imperial Fleet, scuttled in Scapa Flow.

How to Get There: The best way to access Orkney is by plane, via Flybe from major airports in Scotland, or by ferry.

Our Agents would love to help you beat the heat! Call us up to chat more about next year’s options to the Orkneys, Shetlands, Faroe Islands or other misty, spellbinding destinations.

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Filed under Europe, Family Travel, Luxury Travel, Travel by Ship, UK

Summer Travel with Asia Transpacific Journeys

Some of our readers might remember that Willamette Intl Travel partners with Asia Transpacific Journeys, a leading tour operator in Asia. Read more about ATJ’s exclusive brand here.

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Willamette Intl Travel agents can help organize your trip with ATJ, book your airfare, and customize your pre- and post-travel arrangements. Call us today for a consultation, at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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How far can you travel for under $700 in Summer 2014?

We asked our team of travel agents for international destinations with airfare under $700 from Portland, Oregon.

Check out our results for roundtrip fares, per person, staying for one week:

–          Montreal, Canada ($467)

–          Toronto, Canada ($475)

–          Cancun, Mexico ($529)

–          St. David’s Island, Bermuda ($594)

–          Managua, Nicaragua ($640)

–          Nassau, Bahamas ($655)

–          Guatemala City, Guatemala ($675)

–          San Juan, Puerto Rico ($687)

–          San Jose, Costa Rica ($696)

–          Panama City, Panama ($703)

–          Kingston, Jamaica ($703)

Book Now! These fares are based on dates in June 2014, and subject to change until ticketed.

Want to stay domestic? Roundtrip to Honolulu in mid-June is $657 per person.

Note that fares to all destinations tend to sell out after schools are out on June 15, and that hurricane season in the Caribbean does not start until July 1. Book the first two weeks of June for the best fares!

Consult our agents at Willamette Intl Travel at 1-800-821-0401 to book your summer vacation today! We can help you find the best deals for your family or honeymoon.

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Filed under Airlines, Canada, Caribbean, News, South America, Travel Tips, USA, Where in the World is the WIT Agent?, Where in the World is the WIT Client?

Summer in PDX

photo by Michael Silberstein

We interrupt our very productive series of glamorous destinations to focus on one closer to home—in fact, it is WIT’s home, the City of Roses–Portland. Summer is blooming here in the city, and every Portlander is awake, alive, moving on the streets, through the rivers and across the mountains. The rain has, for the time being, abated, and of course with the weather comes a variety of incredible local tours ready to hit the path.

Portland Spirit Cruises

There are a number of cruises on the Columbia River just perfect for sightseeing excursion down the lovely Gorge. The Sternwheeler houses 499 passengers, and resembles a steamboat from the 1800’s. They board in Cascade Locks, and have a number of themed options available, from sightseeing, brunch and dinner cruises, to the spectacular “landmarks of the gorge” cruise—including Multnomah Falls, Beacon Rock, Bonneville Locks and Dam, among others.

Also check out the new Outrageous Jet Boat adventures, which take you out on your very own motor coach to either Astoria or Cascade Locks. For those interested in the history of region, check out the Portland Bridge Cruise, a tour that takes you from St. John’s to Sellwood Bridge, and— new in 2012—the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge. There are discounts for groups, seniors, children, as well as upgrades, gift cards, and private rentals available.

Hop-on Hop-Off Portland Trolley Tour

This sightseeing tour includes live narration and 11 stops at major attractions all over Portland. Departures start 10:00 AM at Pioneer Courthouse Square, last train at 4:00 PM. Stops include The Rose Garden, Oregon Zoo, NW23rd shopping district, Powell’s Books, Chinese Garden, and OMSI, plus many more. See the city of roses with an expert tour guide, at your own pace. One day passes are adults $27, children (6-12) $14, and two-day passes are adults $32, children $16. Under 6’s ride free.

Evergreen Escapes

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking nature of the Northwest with these inclusive tours that merge mountains and waterways with local culture, food and beverages. Customize your experience with a range of available tours, from half days to multi days, with activities from kayaking and rock climbing to cycling and wine/brew tours. Evergreen Escapes operate from March to October only, and run the gamut from Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood, to Silver Falls and Cannon Beach. All tours are escorted in groups of 9 or smaller, include tea and pastries, with select Oregon wines and fruits where available. Call for more information on specific tours.

Interested in exploring what the Northwest has to offer? Email at info@wittravel.com or call 503.224.0180 for more information and reservations. We have local connections for excellent hotel rates in Portland and the metro area.

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Filed under City Guides, Features, North America, USA