Jungle Island Is Miami’s Tropical Oasis Where Visitors Are Treated To Wild Encounters

Picture Of Miami Island

Jungle Island in Miami has a wide collection of animals that include the exotic and the unusual. It is a tropical oasis that has an array of unique encounters that attract millions of visitors each year. The sanctuary was formerly known as the Parrot Jungle; a place where various species of colorful birds that includes macaws, parrots, and flamingos called home.

The island has many activities, a good percent of which have free admission; several carry an extra fee to allow for a close encounter and interaction with the animals. It thus is a good idea to make reservations for such activities before visiting Jungle Island.

Free-Roaming And Caged Creatures

It is common to encounter various animals such as turtles and iguanas roaming freely throughout the park. The same applies to the many birds on the island. The macaws, cranes, and parrots can be spotted flying or perched on trees or in various stations in the park. Jungle Island is a cageless world that gives its animals the freedom to move about and a chance for visitors to have a close encounter with the animals. The Island’s keepers offer presentations and talks to educate and inform visitors about the animals’ daily routines and their habitats.

While it may be a cageless world, all certain animals are free to roam around the park. The big animals such as the lions, tigers, baboons, and kangaroos are the ones in cages. However, certain smaller animals such as penguins and lemurs as well as exotic birds are also in cages.

Three Fantastic Animal Shows

Visitors are often advised to check the schedule for shows to be held during that day’s visit so that they can plan accordingly. The shows include the “Winged Wonders Show,” is a bird show that has feathered animals such as parrots and macaws doing little stunts. The other show is the “Big Cats Show,” which has tigers and other wild cats play with their trainers. The show also has orangutans.

The Animal Exhibits

Jungle Island has several exhibits scattered across the park with no particular arrangement. Visitors should have a map to guide them to the various exhibits. Each exhibit has its unique attraction. For instance, there is the White Lion exhibit, the White Tiger exhibit and the Liger exhibit (a liger is a crossbreed of a Lion and a Tiger).

Animal Encounters And Interactions

The joy of visiting Jungle Island is the close interaction that guests have with the animals; it is what keeps many people coming to the island each year. The interactions and animal encounters include feeding and cuddling. Kids and adults relish bottle feeding tiger cubs or feeding birds and cuddling with a lemur.  Visitors who are less scared of certain animals can try holding alligators and snakes.

A Beach And Water Park

Parrot Cove is a private beach in Jungle Island that has a water park with a host of activities such as water slides, housed obstacle course, trampolines, big floating water park bounce houses, and plenty of sand at the beach. Parrot Cove is a fun center for the kids and has free admission.

MIAMI POCKET GUIDE

Aerial View Of Downtown Miami

Miami is one of the major cities in Southern Florida. It is the largest city in Florida and seventh largest in USA. Miami is actually squashed from east and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades wetland area, respectively.

MAJOR DISTRICTS

DOWNTOWN

The Downtown area of Miami is the filled with culture and business. All the head offices of the business institutions are situated here. Some of the oldest theaters and museums are also situated in this area.

THE NORTHERN REGION

This area of Miami is modernizing really fast. This area contains many of the artsy places in Miami. Plenty of communities live here including the immigrants of Little Haiti.

THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN REGION

Little Havana’s Cuban cultural jewels can be seen in this region. The Coconut Grove is also one of the leading tourist spots for travelers visiting Miami.

 

THE CLIMATE OF MIAMI

Miami’s geographical position can be seen to understand why the weather there in the warmer side. The low latitude of Miami is the reason why it has a subtropical savannah climate. Miami is known to have two seasons throughout the year. From the beginning of November to the end of April, the climate is kind of dry. December is usually known to be the coldest month in Miami. On the other hand, from the beginning of May to the end of October, the weather is wet. This part is effectively the summer season. The winters in Miami are really difficult to endure as the weather can get dryer than usual.

 

HOW TO GET INTO MIAMI?

AIRWAYS

For international travels, flying is the best way to travel. The Miami International Airport is situated just outside the city. Travelers from different parts of the world gets into Miami via this airport. The Lauderdale International Airport can also be used to get into Miami. It will take, at most, a 40-minute drive from the airport to get into Miami. The MIA is much more crowded than this airport. As this is smaller and convenient, people can use this airport to get in.

RAILWAYS

For interstate travelers, railways can be an option. Amtrak is known to provide the railway services all around USA. There is a train leaving the station every one hour. The train rides can be lengthy. For example, it takes 24 hours or more to make it to Miami from New York. Nevertheless, there are plenty of train enthusiasts out there who cherish every moment of their journey. If you are traveling in first class, you’ll receive impeccable service.

BUS

There are innumerable bus services who have buses leaving for Miami every day. To name a few- Greyhound, MegaBus, RedCoach, ATC Buses, Grayline Miami and Key West to Miami Bus services provide this service. You can get the sweetest deal from RedCoach.

 

TRAVEL AROUND MIAMI

If time is not an issue, you can travel in Miami even without renting a car. There are public buses in Miami that can help travelers roam all over town. Taxis are available too. Super Shuttle Miami is famous in Miami. These shuttles start from the Miami International Airport and takes people everywhere in the city.

WATCHING SUPER BOWL IN MIAMI FROM POOLSIDE

Superbowl 2016

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THE CITY IS ALWAYS PREPARED FOR THE GAME DAY

Miami has always been one of the most celebrated cities when it comes to super bowl. Super bowl 50 is being hosted by California this year but still the celebrations in Miami would be worth watching. You can be sitting in a cabana on a pool side in Miami and enjoy the Super Bowl along with having the leisure of a bar and the beautiful environment or enjoy the visiting Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

1. WATCH IT ALL FROM CABANA

You can watch the Super Bowl in Miami fashion while just relaxing in Cabana and enjoying the game instead of going to a bar and having some drinks like a normal day. Celebrate this special event at Fontainebleau which is offering special cabana offers including Butler services and built in TV along with a special offer “End Zone” which brings barbecue platter and three Heineken Buckets. The Delano is another option situated on the beach and offering a cabana fitting in 10 fans along with the availability of snacks from Bianca restaurant.

2. A CHANCE TO BE AMONG LEGENDS

Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club is a perfect place for the game lovers. The place owned by the Miami Dolphins Coach and legend Don Shula also containing the memorabilia from the 1972’s perfect season for the Dolphins offers televisions and a perfect environment for the day. Who knows you could have the company of the legend and be able to get some selfies with the legend?

3. ENJOY GAMBLING LIKE YOU ARE IN VEGAS

There are a number of casinos in the city but The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino stands out because of its beautiful environment and the opportunities of enjoying gambling along with the game. Even after the game the party does not end but it just starts and you can have some Japanese fare and cocktails and listen to quality hard rock music. The Japanese hotel located just outside Miami gives you a peaceful environment where you can enjoy yourself without any kind of intervention.

4. VISIT THE BARS ON GAME DAY

If you want to enjoy the game day with the others instead of just sitting with your friends or family Miami offers you a number of options. The bar at tony Mandarin Oriental has a special menu just for the Super Bowl Sunday which offers short rib sliders with caramelized Vidalia onions which you can enjoy in its beautiful lounge.

Situated in Coral Gables, the Local Craft Food & Drink offers quality food for the occasion which includes a special hamburger for $12 including bacon crust, pickled onion and cocktails. In-the-know patrons offer a great drink on this occasion naming “Where’s winter” along with an $8 punch.

5. HISTORICAL SUN LIFE STADIUM

The Sun Life Stadium in Miami has a lot of football legacy as the Miami Dolphins were considered unbeatable in 1970’s and many Super Bowl matches have been held in this stadium. The stadium is the witness of the 1973’s Super Bowl Win of Miami Dolphins and many other historical matches. You can enjoy the day in this stadium just going through the history being made in this place.

MIAMI DEMYSTIFIED

Miami South Beach

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Miami, the “Cruise Capital of the World” has been nominated as the number one passenger port in the world. The title was granted to Miami because it is the busiest port in the world, which has the capacity to accommodate the largest cruise ships. You will be surprised to know, that in 2008, it was ranked, by the Forbes magazine as “America’s cleanest city” for its greenery, clean air, and citywide recycling programs. Due to its majority of Spanish-speaking people, it has been nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”. This city, located on the Atlantic coast in Southeastern Florida has a population of 417,650, which makes Miami the 44th most populated city in the United States.

Miami- The Commerce and Financial Center: 

Isn’t it surprising that in spite of the presence of New York in the United States, Miami is a major center of commerce and finance? This is because of the strong international business community that is established in Miami. The Globalization and World Cities study group have anointed Miami as the “Alpha minus world city”. Additionally, you will be glad to know that it houses the headquarters of many large companies like Burger King, Brightstar Corporation, Bacardi, Arrow Air, Holland & Knight, etc. What’s more, its proximity to Latin America has made Miami the headquarters of the Latin American operations for almost 1400 multinational corporations like American Airlines, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sony, Symantec, Visa International, Wal-Mart, etc. Its building boom occurring since 2001 in which more than 50 skyscrapers are in various stages of construction has made it an attractive destination for infrastructure professionals. This gives it the distinction of having the third most impressive skyline in the US behind New York and Chicago.

Glamorous Miami:

The city is also a hub for cultural pursuits like television, music and film. This has attracted many artists to its shores. It is home to many entertainment houses, theaters, performing art centers, etc. The presence of various performing art centers like Adrienne Arts Center, the Florida Grand Opera, Gusman Center for Performing Arts, this city has made Miami a hub for talent to flourish. A large number of actors, singers, musicians come to Miami to witness its cultural scene. Miami is a well-known world over for being the venue for the Miami Fashion Week.

Miami- An Ideal Place for Tourists:

Apart from business, culture and art, tourism is also thriving in this city. Due to this, its beaches, festivals, events, and conventions draw almost 38 million visitors annually. This is in no small measure due to its Art Deco district located in South Beach. This place is well-known for its historical buildings, nightclubs, and shopping plazas. For avid travels, annual events like the Sony Ericson Open, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami and much more are a delight to experience.

You can classify Miami as a self-sufficient city considering its diverse population, its vast network of banking organizations, well-connected cities, superior public transport, beautiful beaches, entertaining cultural centers, tropical humid climate, diverse languages, etc. Its volunteer organizations like Hands on Miami, Miami-Dade Salvation Army, lends the place a humane touch, while, world-class infrastructure, predominantly Caribbean cuisine, sporting atmosphere, a collection of public and private schools and colleges, media centers, airports, etc make it a city worth traveling for. Really, if you do not visit Miami once in your lifetime, you will have missed something excellent in life.

Miami – The Capital of Latin America

Everglades National Park

Miami, a city located in South Eastern Florida on the Atlantic coast is one of the major centres of finance, culture, media, commerce, entertainment, arts, and international trade in the United States and has been classified as an alpha minus world city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. Besides this, Miami has often been termed as “America’s Cleanest City” and the richest city in the United States. Its nickname – the “Capital of Latin America” comes from it being the second largest Spanish-speaking U.S. city.

Being located on the Atlantic coast, Miami is known for its boat tours and beaches. Some of the most popular ones for tourist to explore are listed below:

•    Miami City and Boat Tour – This tour offers the entire city tour of Miami split between road and boat travel by visiting known areas such as the South Beach, Little Havana, Art Deco District, Brickell Ave, Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Biscayne Bay and The Venetian Pool. The tour is completed in about 5 and 1/2 hours.

•    Everglades Airboat Tour and Wild Life Show – This tour is recommended for nature and adventure lovers, which includes a 40-minute airboat tour across the everglades with park guides. It also includes a wild life show displaying some of Florida`s exotic animals. The tour is conducted throughout the week.

•    Miami Celebrity Home Boat Tour – Proclaimed as one of Miami’s most popular tours, consists of a 90-minute guided sightseeing boat around Miami’s famous landmarks while experiencing the city’s waterways and million dollar mansions of American celebrities.

•    Star Island – This is an artificial island within the Miami Beach known for its colossal architecture and houses. These houses are homes to various celebrities such as Will Smith, Madonna, Shaquille O’Neal, P. Diddy, Lenny Kravitz, Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, and others.

•    Frost Art Museum – Located at the Florida International University, it is home to a varied collection of 1960s American photography, ancient African and Asian bronzes, pre-Columbian artefacts and the numerous Caribbean and Latin American paintings.

•    Venetian Pool – This pool, available to both adults and kids was formed in the 1920s by Denman Dink from a limestone quarry. The water in the pool comes from a spring, which is drained daily. Various facilities such as snack bars, lockers, and swimming lessons are provided here.

•    Ancient Spanish Monastery – This monastery was originally built in Segovia, Spain in 1141 forming part of William Randolph Hearst’s Californian property. The monastery was stationed at New York Harbour until 1954, post which it was purchased by few businessmen and assembled in Miami. Today this monastery serves as a church and a popular marriage location.

•    Zoo Miami – This is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida and accommodates over 1,200 wild animals from all over Asia, Australia and Africa. Its uniqueness is it being a free range zoo.

Some of the other known sites include the Oleta River State Recreation Park, which is the largest urban park in Florida known for its biking trails, beach and picnic areas. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Matheson Hammock Marina both are man-made pools and are made of natural tidal flushes.

Common Cruise Mistakes To Avoid

Cruise line

The idea of cruising may be daunting to the first-time goers, but it shouldn’t be. If you’re new to cruising, you can fall prey to various pitfalls. Here are the top mistakes that you should avoid for a smooth sailing:

  • Choosing the Wrong Cruise Line:

Selecting the right cruise line and ship makes a world of difference.  There are all kinds of cruise lines aimed to provide different experiences that appeal to a specific type of traveler. Each cruise line has its own style and price point including amenities, guest contingent, crew and the ports the ship calls upon. There a several ways you can cruise, so finding the line that suits your interests best is going to be an aspect of enjoying the experience. Getting it wrong can create a miserable vacation for you.

  • Selecting the Wrong Itinerary:

Deciding an itinerary goes hand in hand with picking the cruise line and ship. Make a list of where you want to go and then cross-check it with your short list of preferred cruise lines. Review the itineraries listed at each cruise line’s website. Don’t select an itinerary just because it’s cheaper than others. Select a voyage because the ports and the sea days intrigue you, for an unforgettable experience.

  • Choosing the Wrong Cabin:

Some people think that every cabin on a cruise ship is the same. But that’s not the case. You can choose from a wide array of options that include inside cabins with no windows to the outside world, a suite with a balcony, ocean view rooms that are outfitted with either a porthole or picture window. As each ship is differently designed, you need to understand the features and choices before choosing one. You need to make sure that you choose a cabin similar to a vacation holiday spot.

  • Forgetting about the Passport and Visa:

Whenever you book an overseas vacation, it’s important to research about their passport or visa requirements.  A passport is the most common form of identification even if you are cruising within your home country. Leaving it at home is the worst mistakes you can make, that would essentially ruin your trip. The US Department of State provides detailed information regarding requirements of countries throughout the world. Be sure to carry the right credentials, otherwise, the cruise line will have no choice but to deny you boarding or keep you on ship if you lack the visa to visit a port of call.

  • Skip the Travel Agent:

One of the most common mistakes newbies make is doing everything by themselves. A good travel agent that specializes in cruising can make your first cruise a big success.  They will help you navigate throughout the whole booking process and will get you the best deals on your cruise. And, best of all, using a travel agent costs you nothing. If something goes wrong during your vacation, you can always contact your agent and he’ll guide with the best solutions for a smooth trip.

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Miami

South Beach, Miami

Miami is Southern Florida’s crown jewel, often known as the land of sun and surf. Whether you want to bake in sun, party at night, visit historic mansions or take a trip to the zoo, Miami offers the best of all. Below are few kick-ass places, which you should visit when in Miami:

South Beach:
The quintessential Miami hot spot, South Beach, is the most popular attraction of Miami. You’ll find surfers chasing the waves in the turquoise oceans, rollerblades gliding down Ocean drive and a lot more. While taking a South Beach walking tour, don’t forget to explore the Art Deco Architecture of the area for a historical feel.

Bayside Marketplace:
An outdoor style mall, Bayside Marketplace is a treat for the shopaholics. With more than 150 specialty and tourists shops, it is known for unique and one-of-a-kind places. It’s located along the Miami Waterfront, making it an enchanting proposal for the visitors.

Little Havana and Calle Ocho:
The Cuban district of Miami, Little Havana, is known for its distinctive cultural flavor. Calle Ocho is a historical landmark associated with the time when Cubans fled to Miami right after Fidel Castro took power in his hands in 1959. Today, this landmark beam of restaurants and specialty shops and is one of the finest historical attractions in Miami.

Zoo Miami:
Housing more than 2000 wild animals in a cageless environment, Zoo Miami is becoming one of the best Zoo’s in the nation. The exhibits breed in open space and a visitor can enjoy the wildlife at a safe but close range. Apart from animals, the Zoo also has various tropical plants and a large collection of Orchids.

Art Deco District
The Art Deco District situated at Miami Beach spells 1930s Art Deco architecture and historic essence. Spread over 800 buildings from the 1930’s and 40’s, take a stroll down this beautiful area to admire the architecture born in the golden era, soaking in its historical essence.

Vizcaya Museums and Gardens:
This Italian Renaissance-themed Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is one of the Miami’s greatest treasures. Built in the 20th century, the grandeur architecture, antiques and decorative works makes it a must visit. The garden has Italian and French fountains, pools, sculptures and is also an important landmark in history.

Everglades National Park:
Spread over 1.5 million acres of land, Everglades National Park is a home to crocodiles, alligators and a lot of birds. Located on the southern tip of Florida, it is the most unusual public parks in the United States. Within the park is an Informative Visitors Centre and walking trails for wildlife viewing. One of the most popular walking trails is the Anhinga Trail, where visitors are likely to see various animals on their way.

Miami Seaquarium:
Located between downtown Miami and Key Biscayne, The Miami Seaquarium is a favourite family attraction on holidays. Here you’ll witness daily shows featuring dolphins, seals, killer whales and other sea inhabitants.