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  • BACKPACK AND SNORKEL TRAVEL GUIDES (PURPLE GUIDES)
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    All Backpack and Snorkel Travel Guides (Purple Guides) are available in four popular file formats:

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    Australia Purple Guide


    Belize & Tikal Purple Guide


    Crooked Island (Bahamas) Purple Guide


    Australia Purple Guide

    Summary

    Australia is a dream destination for many people and, because it is so far away from the rest of the world, often a once-in-a-lifetime vacation trip. It is the oldest, flattest, driest continent on our planet and has the least fertile soils. Because it separated from other major land masses millions of years ago, much of the flora and fauna in Australia is unique. Besides Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia has other spectacular national parks in the same region: Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park).  And, of course there is the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast, the largest and most spectacular barrier reef on our planet. Sydney has the iconic Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and lots of history.  Enjoy our self-guided walking tour through The Rocks. This travel guide gives you a 2 week sample itinerary with detailed information on the individual destinations. To help you find out what best fits you, we have added lots of photos and links to additional reviews. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 125 page travel guide describes a detailed 2 week itinerary for Australia. Destinations are: Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Red Center with Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park), and the north east coast with Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park with Cape Tribulation. We provide information about every attraction, links to google maps and additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites.

    Belize & Tikal Purple Guide

    Summary

    Belize is a small country in Central America where English is the official language. It is a popular vacation destination for its Caribbean vibe, white sand beaches and good snorkeling and diving at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. This travel guide provides a 2-week itinerary which allows you to see the highlights of Belize and even allows for a side trip to Tikal, which is one of the major Maya sites in Guatemala. We provide detailed information on the individual destinations. To help you find out what best fits you, we have added lots of photos and links to additional reviews. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 188 page travel guide describes a detailed 2 week itinerary for Belize and Tikal in Guatemala. Destinations are: Altun Ha, Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, Placencia, and Tikal. We provide information about every attraction, links to google maps and additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites.

    Crooked Island Purple Guide

    Summary

    Crooked Island is the best guarded secret of the Bahamas.  If you are looking for the true Bahamas with endless white sand beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters, excellent swimming, snorkeling and diving, fishing and especially bone fishing, solitude and some of the friendliest people on the planet, look no further.  Crooked Island is calling your name. With a size of 57 square miles (148 km2), Crooked Island is about 70% of the size of New Providence Island where Nassau is located. But its population of 330 people is only a tiny fraction and makes for a population density of only 6 people per square mile (2 people per km2).  So, if you want to get away from it all, look no further.  Crooked Island is calling your name. On a cloudless night, you can enjoy gazillions of stars as there are only few artificial light sources. If you stay on the beaches on the west side of Crooked Island then you will see the occasional cruise ship far away on the horizon and realize that you have found your place in paradise. This travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Crooked Island in The Bahamas. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 55 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Crooked Island in The Bahamas. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Cruising the Caribbean Purple Guide


    Ecuador & Galapagos Purple Guide


    Harbin (China) Purple Guide


    Cruising the Caribbean Purple Guide

    Summary

    The Caribbean are a prime vacation spot on our planet. Tourists are drawn to some of the best white sand beaches, water in any blue and turquoise shade imaginable, excellent snorkeling and diving, exotic foods and friendly locals. This “Cruising the Caribbean” guide is primarily written for cruise ship passengers and short term vacationers who like to explore the highlights of the islands. The guide will tell you what those attractions are, provide links to websites, reviews, google maps, lots of photos and our experiences. Our goal is to help you Make Memorable Moments on relaxing Caribbean cruises by helping you build the perfect itinerary for you.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 226 page guide covers the 21 ports of call we have visited: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Cartagena (Colombia), Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica , La Romana (Dominican Republic), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), Guadeloupe, Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Martinique, Nassau (Bahamas), Puerto Rico, Roatan (Honduras), Sint Maarten/St. Martin, St. Croix (USVI), St. Lucia, St. Thomas (USVI) and Tortola (BVI)

    Ecuador & Galapagos Purple Guide

    Summary

    Ecuador has long been a favorite for expats especially from the USA, as the country uses the US dollar as currency, has excellent health care, natural beauty and a comparably low cost of living. Some tourists explore the rich history and natural beauty of the mainland, many come, however, only to visit the Galapagos Islands. In this Ecuador & Galapagos Purple Guide, we provide a detailed 12-day itinerary that will allow you to experience the Galapagos Islands on a cruise and some of the major highlights of Ecuador. We tell you why we chose these spots and will help you plan for the best things to see and do in Ecuador and Galapagos. To help you find out what best fits you, we have added lots of photos and links to additional reviews. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 141 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Ecuador & Galapagos Islands. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Harbin (China) Purple Guide

    Summary

    Harbin has the largest and most spectacular ice and snow festival in the world.  It is bitter cold in winter, but the artistic snow and ice sculptures will wow you.  Some sculptures are life size others are gigantic monuments.  The snow and ice sculptures are majestic during the day, but wait until it gets dark.  The illuminated ice sculptures - some of them even have animated lights - are some of the most impressive and gorgeous man-made monuments on the planet. This guide is designed to help you plan your trip to Harbin and ensure that you see the main attractions.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 32 page guide covers the main sites of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (Harbin Ice and Snow World, Snow Expo in Sun Island Park, Zhaolin Park), Zhongyang Pedestrian Street and the Siberian Tiger Park. I have included Chinese characters that you can show your taxi or bus driver so that they know where you are going.

    Iceland Purple Guide


    Indiana Dunes Purple Guide


    Isla Mujeres & Holbox Purple Guide


    Iceland Purple Guide

    Summary

    Iceland is of volcanic origin and you see lava fields just about everywhere unless they are hidden under glaciers.  This truly makes for a moon-like scenery.  Iceland is still volcanically active and this gives rise to hot springs (pools) and geysers.  The hills and lava fields make perfect conditions for spectacular waterfalls.  And then there are large ice caves that you can explore. If you go in late fall, winter or early spring, you may see the aurora borealis, the Northern lights, which make for a truly special experience and truly memorable moments. Not to forget, there are only 360,000 people on the island and there is plenty of solitude and untouched nature to admire.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 215 page guide includes self-guided tours of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, the Reykjanes Peninsula, the Diamond Circle and the Ring Road. I provide information about every attraction, links to google maps and additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites.

    Indiana Dunes Purple Guide

    Summary

    Indiana Dunes National Park is the 61st national park in the US. Its main attractions are its sandy beaches and hiking trails through miles of sand dunes.  Considering the location of the park on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, most people are surprised to hear that there are sand dunes so far north in the United States.  Taking into account that Indiana Dunes National Park is located less than 50 miles from downtown Chicago and that not many people outside of the Chicago area have ever heard of this park, we think that this park can be considered to be one of the best kept secrets in the country. But not much longer – we are going to spill the beans and provide you with a detailed guide to Indiana Dunes National Park. In this guide, we will tell you what we consider to be the major attractions, provide google maps links to help you get there, our experiences and often links to the attractions if they have a website. To help you find out what best fits you, we have added lots of photos and links to additional reviews. This is not an in-depth guide.  You can buy those from the big travel guide companies. Our goal is to help you Make Memorable Moments on a relaxing trip and help you build the perfect itinerary for your trip. Please also check out the other exciting destinations and travel guides on our Backpack and Snorkel website.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 70 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Indiana Dunes National Park. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Isla Mujeres & Holbox Purple Guide

    Summary

    Mexico’s Quintana Roo region is a tourist Mecca for people looking for white sand beaches, turquoise water and Mexican food. At its center, Cancun is a busy and noisy metropolis with a population of over 700,00 people. People looking for deeply relaxing vacations off the main beaten bath are turning towards Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox for more relaxing and authentic Mexican vacations. Isla Mujeres, has become quite popular in the last several years, but still has some authenticity, you just need to look for it. And, it has one of the best beaches in Mexico: Playa Norte. Holbox is still the off-the-beaten path vacation spot that some people are craving for. Here, it helps to speak Spanish and cash is still king.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 56 page guide covers Isla Mujeres and Holbox. It tells you how you get to these wonderful islands, reviews hotels, tells you what the best beaches are and provides you with information on other attractions.

    Japan Purple Guide


    Panama Purple Guide


    Pittsburgh Purple Guide


    Japan Purple Guide

    Summary

    Japan has long been on our Must-See list of countries and the first time we wanted to go there was in 2011. Sadly, less than two months before we were supposed to go there Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami which caused the Fukushima catastrophe. After waiting for several years, we fulfilled our dream and went. Getting around in Japan, for somebody who cannot speak or read Japanese, has some challenges, but is doable. Japanese people are very friendly and polite, but many either don’t speak English or are too shy to speak English. Street addresses in Japan are not necessarily logical or in chronological order in Japan. Nevertheless, we found that google maps is reliable. So, for me, the time I took to prepare for this trip was significantly longer than normal. And it paid off. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 134 page travel guide describes a detailed 2 week itinerary for Japan. Destinations are: Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Takayama, Kyoto, Nara and Himeji. We provide information about every attraction, links to google maps and additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites.

    Panama Purple Guide

    Summary

    Panama is the most developed country in Central America. It has a tropical climate and with it comes a large area of tropical rainforest and a large biodiversity. The temperatures rarely exceed 90°F (32°C) for an extended period of time. On top of that, Panama has incredible beaches. Taking all this into account, it is easy understandable that Panama’s tourist industry is constantly growing. Besides tourism, Panama is also offering generous retirement benefits and has therefore long been a favorite for US, Canadian and European retirees. This travel guide gives you a 2 week sample itinerary with detailed information on the individual destinations. To help you find out what best fits you, we have added lots of photos and links to additional reviews. This is not an in-depth Panama guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 124 page travel guide describes a detailed 2 week itinerary for Panama. Destinations are: Panaman City incl. the Panama Canal, Bocas del Toro, Pearl Islands and Portobelo. We provide information about every attraction, links to google maps and additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites.

    Pittsburgh Purple Guide

    Summary

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is my adopted hometown. It is at the heart of Steelers country with many wonderful people, a reasonable cost of living, beautiful scenery and it was voted most livable city, and top 5 most livable city, several times. Pittsburgh is a fascinating city and definitely worth a visit. Since I live here since 2003, I have put together a fairly extensive list of the best things to see and do so that you can make memorable moments in Steel City. We provide 2, 3 and 5 day itineraries, a detailed self-guided walking tour, lots of background information and photos.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 367 page travel guide provides 2, 3 and 5 day itineraries, describes in detail the best things to see and even do and many other minor attractions and many parks. In addition to the information of every attraction, we provide links to google maps, additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites. This guide has many photos that help you decide if an attraction is for you.

    Providenciales (Turks & Caicos) Purple Guide


    Puerto Penasco & San Carlos Purple Guide


    Tikal Purple Guide


    Providenciales (Turks & Caicos) Purple Guide

    Summary

    Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands is a beach goer’s paradise and its most famous beach, Grace Bay Beach, is consistently ranked among the best beaches on the planet.  In 2022, TripAdvisor named it the Number 1 best beach in the world – again.  Besides Grace Bay beach, Providenciales has many other beaches and some of them are absolutely spectacular too.  So spectacular, as a matter of fact, that we actually preferred them over Grace Bay beach. This travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 82 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Puerto Penasco & San Carlos Purple Guide

    Summary

    Puerto Penasco is a popular vacation destination with miles of beautiful sandy beaches where the Sonoran Desert meets the crystal clear water of the Sea of Cortez. It is also called Rocky Point and sees about 2.5 million visitors annually. Located only about 60 miles (100km) south of the Mexico-Arizona border, it has become an important vacation destination for people from Arizona who sometimes call it "Arizona's Beach". San Carlos is the sailing capital of Sonora, it is known as a good diving sport due to its clear waters and has recently become popular for skydiving.  While Puerto Penasco has become very touristy and has lots of nightlife activities, people seeking a more authentic Mexican flair and relaxation have been flocking to San Carlos.  San Carlos' southern location ensures warm weather, while it can get downright chilly at night in Puerto Penasco in winter. This travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Puerto Penasco and San Carlos. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 67 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Puerto Penasco and San Carlos. We have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Tikal Purple Guide

    Summary

    The ruins of Tikal are some of the grandest Maya ruins on the planet. More than 3,000 structures have been identified and it is possible that more than 100,000 people have called Tikal home during its heyday. The pyramids are wonderful examples of ceremonial architecture and you are even allowed to get on some of the structures. This travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Tikal and a self-guided walking tour of Tikal. I have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you. This is not an in-depth guide. With this guide, we like to help you prepare for your trip so that you can make Memorable Moments on a relaxing vacation!


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 122 page travel guide provides lots of information for a trip to Tikal and a self-guided walking tour of Tikal. I have added lots of photos to help you understand what you will see so that you can decide for yourself what is of most interest for you.

    Vermont Purple Guide


    Vermont Purple Guide

    Summary

    Vermont is the 2nd least populated state in the US and it is called the Green Mountain State. Driving through Vermont in summer, you will see seemingly endless green pastures, cattle and hills. The scenery changes dramatically in fall when the foliage changes to spectacular hues of yellow, orange and red. In winter, Vermont becomes a winter wonderland and skiing is the name of the game. If you are a hiker or kayaker, then you can spend weeks here. For most visitors, one week will give you a good feeling for this state. This travel guide provides a 6 day itinerary and describes in detail the best things to see and do.


    File formats

    You get this travel guide in four popular file formats: PDF (best for printing), EPUB (universal ebook standard), AZW3 (next generation Kindle), MOBI (Kindle). This 100 page travel guide provides a 6 day itinerary and describes in detail the best things to see and do. In addition to the information of every attraction, we provide links to google maps, additional reviews and, if available, links to the attraction websites. This guide has many photos that help you decide if an attraction is for you.

    Please be advised that the files that you purchase and their content are under the copyright of Backpack and Snorkel.
    All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. The content in the files (including photos) may not be sold, reprinted, or used for commercial purposes without the written consent of Rudy at Backpack & Snorkel.
    You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or comments or if you find incorrect information or feel that something is missing.

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