A fisherman casts his net early in the morning at Lake Nicaragua. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Nicaragua rich in natural and historic treasures

The looming peak of Telica volcano gradually got closer as our Land Cruiser bumped along the rough trail. At road’s end, we hiked up the steep hillside, huffing and puffing as steam belched from Telica’s gaping crater. We reached the top just before sunset, when the sun and clouds co-operated in a dazzling show, and […] Read more

Credit cards are ideal for convenience and the exchange rate, but not all countries accept them, or they may charge a premium for the service. |  Getty photo

How to get the most for your money when travelling

A big decision to make when travelling abroad is how to manage your money. Should you take a pocketful of cash, bank cards, credit cards or travellers cheques? The answer varies depending on where you’re going, but here’s a few things to consider. Our first choice is using credit cards where possible, followed by cash […] Read more

Masks, bags and scarves in a rainbow of colours are for sale in the Antigua market. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Heading back to school in Antigua, Guatemala

Going to school doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking about vacations, but hitting the books turned out to be a highlight of recent travels to Antigua, Guatemala. We took Spanish language classes at Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin (PLFM), a non-profit foundation specializing in teaching Spanish and local Mayan languages. It was a return to […] Read more


The Enchanted Forest in Saskatoon features winter and nativity scenes and animated light shows, like nine ladies dancing from the Twelve Days of Christmas. An internet search can help locate displays or winter events in your area. |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Christmas alive with light displays

It’s getting easier to find the top light displays almost anywhere. Simply do an internet search for Christmas lights and the name of a community and chances are that you’ll find a few pleasant surprises. A useful resource in Saskatchewan is www.sparkletour.ca, which includes maps of 15 communities and addresses and descriptions of Christmas displays […] Read more

The view of the Icefields Parkway near the Saskatchewan Glacier is breathtaking. |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Take your time driving through Alberta’s Icefields Parkway

Towering snow-capped peaks, magnificent river valleys, picture-perfect waterfalls galore, wandering wildlife and walls of ice dripping from the largest glaciers in the Rockies can all be seen without getting out of the vehicle. National Geographic described the Icefields Parkway as one of the world’s most spectacular driving tours. Fortunately for those of us living in […] Read more


Hoodoo formations at Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Ancient treasures, captivating landscapes

The approach is breathtaking. Travelling across the mostly level farmland near Brooks in southeastern Alberta, we come to a valley rim where the land suddenly drops into a vast expanse of spectacular badlands, the largest anywhere in Canada. The parched land of crumbling slopes, fairy-tale hoodoos and assorted bizarre formations appear in various shades of […] Read more

Karst Spring Trail offers visitors a 3.2 kilometre hike through northwestern Manitoba’s Grass River Provincial Park.  |  Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

A road trip through Manitoba’s Waterfall Alley

Massive walls of water thunder over a fault line. Cataracts and rapids twist through a narrow canyon. Most intriguing of all, a rapid-filled spring seems to gush mysteriously from a solid rock wall. The best part is that all of these spectacular natural features are easily accessible along a paved highway following the Grass River […] Read more

The Kidston Island Lighthouse in Baddeck. |  Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

The spectacular sights of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail

L istings of the most scenic drives in North America usually rank the Cabot Trail on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island near the top. We decided to see what all the fuss is about and discovered a rare place that more than met our expectations. A third of the loop route snakes through Cape Breton […] Read more


Plan ahead for healthy travels abroad

Getting sick at home is bad enough, but dealing with illness or injury while travelling can be traumatic. It’s even worse if you’re in a country where you are not familiar with the medical system or language. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers, a non-profit organization, lists recommended doctors and clinics abroad that […] Read more

This is an example of breaking the rules. While it’s usually best to avoid putting the horizon across the centre of a photo, this image of Mountain Lake in northern Saskatchewan works because of the strong reflection in the calm water. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Expert tips for memorable vacation photos

Well-crafted photos can provide lasting memories from a summer vacation. Whether you’re embarking on a grand tour to far-flung lands or spending a week at the lake, keeping a few simple techniques in mind can make a big difference to the quality of your photos. There’s a saying that painting is the art of addition, […] Read more