Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses

Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses

Described by Thoreau as “The great Outer Beach” in 1800s, the Cape Cod is a peninsula with 15 towns and more than 40 miles in the outer cop of spectacular scenary, beautiful wild beaches, dunes, ponds and charming lighthouses. A big part of the code is federally protected by the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Those I consider to be the best places in Cape Cod are:

  • Cape Cod National Seashore Park (view map): this is the real Cape Cod, definitely a must see. I’d suggest to begin the journey early in the morning at one of the visitor centers (Salt Pond or Province Land) so you can provide yourself with information for your visit. At Salt Pond buy a day parking pass for 15$ that allows you to park at all 6 National Seashore. You can visit Truro (a town with an impressive lighthouse and a nice beach called Meadow beach). At the tip of the cape you will find the Race Point, with great biking and walking trails, amazing wild beaches, the beautiful Race Point Lighthouse and the magical 1898 Old Harbor Life-Saving Station (one of the few unaltered left in the country). Other places to visit are the Coast Guard Station and beach in Eastham, that offer super-scenic views.
  • Provincetown, located at the very tip, is Cape Cod’s most popular vacation destination, specially for gay men and lesbians (it has the highest concentration of same-sex couple households of any zip code in the US). It was the first landing place of the Mayflower Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and is the oldest continuous art colony in America and the birthplace of the Modern American Theater. Almost three-quarters is preserved in its wilderness state as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park
  • Sandwich, the Cape’s oldest town, is full of weathered shingles and whaling captains’ mansions and fully involved with American glass production
  • Sunset at Eastham: Later afternoon is the best time to really explore the beaches with not many people around. Sunset over First Encounter Beach in Eastham is very recommended as well as full moon beach walks
  • Drive-in Theater: if you still have any energy left, there’s a drive-in theater in Wellfleet. Perfect activity for couples and kids (website)

To learn more about the best places in New England, please also read Best Places in Boston and Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown.

View Best places in Cape Cod in a bigger map

Finally, i’d just like to say hi to my good friends Diegol, MarkyMark, Moñi and Juanito. What a funny and amazing weekend we spent back in the summer of 1997 🙂
Click on images to enlarge

Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown

Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown

Once the quintessential playground of American aristocracy, Newport remains as the coastal crown of New England, famous for its opulent mansions, elegant shops, great restaurants and for being the yachting capital of the world by hosting the America’s Cup for decades.

These are the best places and my recommendations for a two day visit:

  • Newport Mansions: The leading architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries built exhuberant mansions for families such as Vanderbilt and Astor. Many of these properties have been preserved by The Preservation Society of Newport County and are open to the public. This is a perfect occasion to explore 250 years of American history and to enjoy amazing cottages that in the rest of the world are absolutely inaccesible behind big walls. Unless you want to visit all the properties, my recommendation is to buy “The Breakers Plus” ticket that gives you access to the property of your choice (the most populars are The Elms, Marble House, Rough Point and Rosecliff), aswell as The Breakers, the magnificent 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo that is definitely worth a visit. Besides this, I would just suggest you to (better) walk, ride (rent a bike for 35$/day here) or drive down Bellevue Avenue were you will enjoy not only the mansions open to the public but also many more private properties whith beautiful gardens that can be seen directly from the street.
  • Scenic Ocean Drive: starting at the end of Bellevue Av. and finishing in Newport harbor waterfront, this 10 miles roadway offer spectacular wide-open views of the Atlantic Ocean and astonishing million dollar mansions. Along the way, you can park and walk along its rocky shoreline. I recommend stopping for a drink at the peaceful and quiet Relais Chateaux Castle Inn Hill to enjoy magnificent views of the bay. Once you are there, take a walk to Castle Hill Lighthouse to enjoy the best sunset in Newport. Further down the Ocean Drive, make a stop at Breton Point (also a good place to watch the sunset) or walk down the different public beaches (Reject Beach, Gooseberry Beach…).
  • Cliff walk: A scenic 3.5 mile public access walkway that borders the shore line and back lawn that allow you to enjoy the gardens and facades of marvellous cottages, among which you will find the famous “The Breakers”. Definitely a top attraction in Newport. You can easily park along Narragansett St. by the entrance to the 40 Steps that take you to the walk.
  • The wharfs: the two more popular wharfs are Bannister or Bowens Wharf, were you’ll find nice shops and good restaurants. I recommend the entertaining Clarke Cooke (with live bands and good night live), the familiar The Mooring (great lobster) and the unpretencious and creative Tallulah on Thames. Ten minute walk north you will find, depending on the season, the best yachts and sailing boats at Newport Shipyard. If you like to sail, take a tour along the bay in the 80 feet Adirondack II Schooner. I’ve been told that it offers a comfortable, safe and high-performance sailing experience.

View Best places in Newport – Rhode Island in a bigger map

If you plan to visit Newport, I’d suggest to read my article about Boston, placed just an hour drive from Newport.

Finally, I want to thank my friend, and amazing traveller, Jorge M.C. for all of the great tips that he gave me. Thanks Jorge!!! 🙂
Click on images to enlarge

To learn more about the best places in New England, please read Best Places in Boston and Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses.

Best places in Boston

Best places in Boston

In the summer of 2012 I visited Boston for my second time. In 1997 I spent the entire summer studying and partying so I am not at all an expert in this city 🙂 I am writing this post just to give a quick overview to those that have never been there. These are some of my recommendations:

  • Founded in 1630 by the colonists from England, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. During the late 18th century, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution. The Freedom Trail is a 2,5 mile walking path through downtown Boston that leads to 16 significant historic sites and gives you a good overview of the history of the american revolution. I think it is worth taking this trail. (click here to download map)
  • The North End (also known as “Little Italy”) is the city’s oldest and most culturally rich neighborhoods and a must stop in your visit to Boston. Known for its fine dining, amazing cafes and great buzz, the streets are narrow and compact and there is history around every corner.
  • Beacon Hill is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston. Known for its narrow, gas-lit streets with brick sidewalks and quietude. Beacon Hill is a perfect place to stroll peacefuly (Pickney St, Vernon, St, Louisburg Sq…).
  • Located in the city center, Boston Common is the oldest park in the United States. Throughout its long history, it has been used for many purposes: public hangings, camping site for the british troops, site for speeches from Martin Luther King Jr. or Pope John Paul II. Nowadays is a perfect place to lay down and enjoy the sunset reflected in the city’s skyline.
  • Harvard University, the world’s best known university, is a place that bring me great memories: I studied there for three months and made amazing friends. You should definitely walk around Harvard Yard (Memorial Church, Widener Library, …) and step into any of the multiple buildings, cross Cambridge St. and get inside the Science Center (were many of the students are) and go down John F. Kennedy St. to the other side of Charles River to visit the sports facilities (Stadium, tennis courts, fields, …) and walk around the quiet and beautiful gardens and buildings of the prestigious Harvard Business School. (check this map of Harvard)

View Best places in Boston in a bigger map

    There are many others places to visit in Boston such as:

  • Fenway Park: This oldest Major League baseball park and home of the Boston Red Sox team is a small and intimate place to enjoy the best baseball. The match I went lasted more than 4 hours, enough time to eat 3 hot dogs, 4 slices of pizza, pretzels, gallons of coke… :). Website
  • Faneuil Market Place and Quincy Market: it’s the most touristic spot in Boston. Be prepared to see plenty of tourists and expensive shops and restaurants. Website.
  • Boston Duck Tours: It’s a funny and easy way to discover Boston in a W.W.II style amphibious landing vehicle. The 80 min. tour is narrated by the conductor and takes you around Boston’s main sites, including a 20 min. splash into the Charles River for a view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Website
  • Newbury street is lined with historic 19th-century brownstones that contain hundreds of shops and restaurants, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals. The most expensive boutiques are located near the Boston Public Garden end of Newbury Street. The shops gradually become slightly less expensive and more bohemian toward Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: Holds one of the world’s most impressive art collections and is renowned for its impressionist paintings, Egyptian collections and early American art. Website

Click on images to enlarge

Photos by Pedro Sagüés

Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley. Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley is a National Park 2 hours away from Las Vegas that features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. For such reason, people recommend visiting the park during the coolest season (December and January). In my opinion, Death Valley is worth a visit especially during the hottest season (from June to August), when temperatures reach up to 134ºF (56ºC). Both days I spent there, temperatures reached 127ºF (53ºC). Few places in the world offer you the chance of experiencing such a high temperature. It makes you feel like you’re risking your life just by standing outside of your car for less than an hour without any water.

At night, the temperature drop to 100ºF (37ºC), so it’s more comfortable to sleep in a hotel with air conditioning (we decided not to sleep in our RV). I recommend going to Furnace Creek, a resort situated in an oasis in the middle of the desert with four restaurants, a saloon, spring-fed swimming pools and an 18-hole golf course (the world’s lowest course at 214 feet below sea level). I stayed at the “Ranch” and woke up at 7am to play golf. It costs $30 (water, balls, clubs and golf cart included) and you can take your time because you’ll be the only one out there. I loved it!

Things to do in Death Valley

There are many interesting places. I asked the locals for the coolest things to do in Death Valley in one day. Their answer was:

  • Zabriskie Point, an amazingly varied landscape, with multiple colors and textures. Go early in the morning or before sunset to get the best light for taking great pictures.
  • Badwater Basin, the lowest point in Death Valley (282ft / 86m under the sea level), is probably the best known and most visited place in the park. It’s a salt flat with small spring-fed pools of undrinkable water. I recommend walking onto the salt flats and standing for a while in the suffocating heat. What an experience! On your way back to the resort, you can visit “Devil’s Golf Course” (so-named because it’s so rough that only Satan himself could play golf there). It’s worth a quick stop just to see the unique rock and salt formations.
  • Stovepipe Sand Dunes are just a short drive from the ranch. Scramble to the top of a dune and enjoy the sunset. Be sure to bring enough water with you.

People also recommend visiting “Titus Canyon“, “Ubehebe crater“, the “Racetrack” and enjoying the magnificence of the valley from “Dante’s View“. I haven’t been there so I can’t recommend it.

I visited Death Valley on my way to the Burning Man 2010.

More information about Death Valley: Official website, map download,

Click on images to enlarge

Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Burning Man: extravaganza in the desert

Burning Man 2010 Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Burning Man: extravaganza in the desert

I’ve just arrived from the “Burning Man”, an amazing event held in the Black Rock Desert (Nevada, United States), in the middle of nowhere, where 50.000 people get together for a week, with no electricity, no cell service, no water or food supplies, with daytime temperatures that reach 100 degrees (F) and 45º (F) at night. Everyone provides their own supplies and shares them with others.

Within days, “Black Rock” becomes the third largest city in the state of Nevada. It’s perfectly planned: with avenues, boulevards and public monuments around a central plaza. The principles of coexistence are respected by all and are raised by an excellent organization with more than 2,000 volunteers.

The objective of the organizers is to show that it’s possible to build a society based on participation, civic responsibility, respect, tolerance, self-expression, gifting and one that is 100% free of prejudice.

The only traffic allowed are bicycles and “mutant vehicles”, original mobile sculptures built for the occasion that delight the audience: 40 meters long moving pirate ship converted into a disco, Tiki bars that serve free Rum while carrying their “clients.”

The result is spectacular: People planning a week with a year in advance, wanting to spend the best week of the year, with little sleep and a lot of partying and, most importantly, with the intention of being very faithful to the spirit of the event.

The priorities are the individual and its diversity. Everybody is welcome, regardless of age, creed or sexual orientation. Coexistence happens in hundreds of different camps where you can find almost everything: a three-floor Irish bar that offers cold beer, free massage in exchange for a smile, artists who paint naked bodies, camps that teach how to dance tango, recognized DJ’s or artists who perform daily shows or camps that promote the practice of free sex.

You become the greatest gift for the community.

Once you are a participant in this event, you truly grasp its significance. The key is to act generously, without expecting anything in return. You become the greatest gift for the community.

At the end of the week the city dissolves without a trace, as if nothing had occurred, as if no one had walked there. Participants return to their daily life having lived an unforgettable week, with the intention of maintaining the spirit for the rest of the year and with the conviction that they’ll return in the next edition.

Will you go to Burning Man 2011?

If so, please let me know. This will be my second year, so I am not an expert. Every tip is very welcome: which camp do you recommend? A special picture I should take? Something I should do? Or if you want me to take a picture of you, just let me know!!

Update: This article has had a great coverage. I would like to thank the Burning Man staff for the multiple recommendations and links to this article. The latest, in september’s newsletter

People also ask me about the photographic equipment I used at the Burning Man. I purchased most of the bags, cleaning kits and other accesories in this website with great gifts for photographers called

Click on images to enlarge

Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Click here to see more pictures taken by me at the “Burning Man”

Best outlets in New York (NYC)

Best outlets in New York (NYC)

If you are looking for the best outlets in New York (NYC), I’d recommend you two options:

Woodbury Premium Outlet: A nice multi-brand outlet 1,5h drive from NYC (you can rent a car or take a bus). Although it’s expensive and uncomfortable to get there, nice to be there, I think it’s worth it (but only if you plan to buy things and really shop).

Century 21: A huge building at ground zero. It’s easy to get to but a little difficult to find the stuff you might be looking for.  You can find almost everything at a great price but you have to be very patient and hunt for it. This option is probably a love or hate sort of place…if you like hunting for a bargain you’ll love it, if you just want to get in and out, you’ll hate it.