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  • The best (and worst) destinations for women worldwide
    and poverty stricken areas mixed in with the beauty of places like the Taj Mahal Many travelers who have been refer to the difficulties and rewards of visiting India when they say Once you ve been to India you can travel anywhere This can be intimidating for a woman who hasn t been there But more than one female traveler I spoke with recommended the country as a destination where women can feel safe and with some careful research or the help of a knowledgeable travel agent a trip to India can be the experience of a lifetime Phyllis Stoller of the Women s Travel Club immediately recommended India when thinking about women friendly places she s visited She described several great experiences with locals including sharing photos of her baby with local women who were so appreciative so nice Stoller also noted that in India women are generally respected and may hold important jobs in the tourism industry such as managing hotels or manning the front desk And many locals particularly in popular tourist areas speak English Travelgirl s Stephanie Oswald says that people think India is so far away and underdeveloped but in the last four years it s become extremely luxurious According to Oswald the safest way to experience India is to work beforehand with a tour operator or travel agent specializing in India who can recommend local drivers and hotels Stoller and Oswald both suggest saying in three or four star hotels for safety s sake Oswald mentioned that as a blond American woman traveling alone she did attract attention Indian tourists wanted to have their photos taken with her an experience she described as jarring but understandable Vendors in markets were also aggressive in selling their goods but Oswald says it wasn t that I was singled out because I was a woman or an American They were just doing their jobs Vietnam In 2005 Vietnam was named one of the world s safest countries by Aon a large insurance broker In the past Vietnam was considered an off beat alternative to Thailand but as more travelers discover the charms of Southeast Asia it is becoming a popular destination in its own right Viet Value Travel a tour provider specializing in Vietnam says that women and independent travelers have found it relatively hassle free and easy to travel throughout the country As more English speaking tourists explore the country its tourism infrastructure has become more developed Vietnam tourism was the topic of a BBC News article in which Claire Boobbyer a writer for Footprints Travel Guides says The Vietnamese have a good background in the service industry and they know what service means There is a good range of services for tourists from high class hotels to backpacker s hostels And I was amazed for what you could get on a budget Susan Cortell of Montauk New York traveled to Vietnam in May on a Gutsy Women Travel tour in conjunction with Women s Sacred Travel tours that focused on sightseeing and shopping and included emphasis on wellness massage and the metaphysical a Buddhist cleansing ceremony When asked about her experiences in Vietnam Cortell says I loved Vietnam I not only felt safe there but very very welcomed Especially in Hanoi and Hoi An Cortell also notes that she appreciated how far her dollars went in Vietnam She remembers paying 3 per person for a three course dinner in Hoi An and buying silk scarves for less than 5 In fact Cortell says a group of us want to go back just for the shopping as the savings will pay for the trip Destinations where women need more caution compiled by RaeJean Stokes The three weeks I spent in Turkey with my fiance were the best vacation either us had ever taken We found the people gracious the food amazing the culture fascinating and the country overall a very hospitable place for budget travel But when I first ventured out on my own one morning to get breakfast in Istanbul I felt the men staring at me I noticed some women were veiled I was not Most of the women had on long pants I did not I never felt threatened but I did feel that I was on display for all the local men drinking their morning tea For a lot of women this kind of encounter is enough to deter them from traveling to some of Earth s most interesting places Don t let it be so for you Here is some advice taken from personal experience and the experience of other women travelers about how to feel more secure in destinations where taking a few extra precautions is a good idea Middle East and Northern Africa Before traveling to the Middle East or Northern Africa or anywhere for that matter do your thorough research on the culture and society you ll be encountering Religion in particular is a big part of daily life in many of these countries so learn about it You ll not only be saving yourself potential embarrassment by committing a faux pas such as walking into a mosque with bare shoulders but you ll also get more out of your trip In Turkey for example you ll see summer tourists from across the Middle East flock to Istanbul As such you re likely to see many women in full hijab or at the very least covered discreetly by veils long shirts and flowing pants No one will tell you that you have to follow suit but if you re planning a trip consider these details when you re packing Leave the tank tops and miniskirts at home Caroline Chalouhi Coordinator of International Students at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon says Respect for local tradition and culture on the part of the woman traveler is very important Of course this doesn t mean that female travelers shouldn t exercise caution In Beruit like any big city in

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060727.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica A land you'll love
    distinctive bar the Bat Cave low lit and hewn out of solid rock Also low lit very romantic and serving excellent food is the Sunspot a poolside bar and grill at Makanda by the Sea a spectacular and expensive enclave of villas and studios that is within walking distance of La Mansion But as much as Costa Rica impresses with its distinctive sleeping and eating destinations including ritzy resorts by Four Seasons and Marriott it s the flora and fauna that help to attract nature loving tourists to the country It is home to hundreds of bird species some so colorful they stop you in your tracks causing you to stare and yell to a companion Look quickly before it flies away And the monkeys Yes they definitely make their presence felt White face howler or the rarer squirrel monkeys cause tourists to constantly look up into the trees And the monkeys will often wake you up in the morning especially the howlers The antithesis of the noisy active monkey is the sloth Silent and immovable it hangs in one place and eats leaves That s it That s the life of the sloth The iguana by contrast often acts like an arrogant small dragon and looks at you with disdain even when you feed it One time when we were driving on one of Costa Rica s terrible roads they may hold the world record for potholes an iguana decided to cross in front of us It moved unhurriedly gave us a haughty look that quickly informed us who had the right of way and forced us to brake to a full stop We knew instinctively that this was the iguana s land not ours and waited patiently for it to complete its crossing We saw iguanas every day when we stayed at the popular beachfront Capitan Suizo Hotel in Tamarindo in the Pacific northwest part of the country We were told the iguanas lived in the drains around the pool area At this hotel we also fed squirrels and friendly raccoons Playa Tamarindo and other playa beach towns in this area are growing by leaps and bounds as condo developments resort hotels and bed and breakfast inns continue to lure a burgeoning number of new residents and tourists annually In Tamarindo we found ex Los Angeles chef restaurateur Alain Cuny former co owner of Wine Bistro and Le Sanglier in the San Fernando Valley and Berty s in Brentwood French expatriate Cuny who still maintains a home in Provence with his wife Muriel is building a small two story restaurant complex in Tamarindo that will include apartments one being his own and boutique type stores He hopes to complete this project for a March opening Meanwhile Tamarindo has a number of good restaurants among them Stella El Jardin del Eden Carolina s and the open air dining room at the Capitan Suizo Also being a favorite of youthful surfers the town offers an array of nightclubs Similar to

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060617.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Scotiabank Expands Latin American Operation, Acquires Largest Private Bank in Costa Rica
    we have become a leading bank said Rick Waugh Scotiabank President and Chief Executive Officer CEO Acquiring Interfin complements our strategy of investing in high growth markets where we anticipate increased demand for financial services This region is an increasingly important part of Scotiabank s international strategy and we have built a strong franchise by delivering superior service and by providing financial stability Scotiabank s focus on customer service and teamwork are absolutely consistent with the culture we have maintained at Corporacion Interfin which assures us that our customers and the members of the Interfin team will find themselves in a familiar environment said Luis Liberman CEO of Interfin Scotiabank has operated in Costa Rica since 1995 The Bank s subsidiary has about 300 employees plus 39 automated banking machines ABMs and 17 branches offering retail commercial and cash management services Founded in 1979 Interfin will bolster the Bank s presence with 24 branches 36 ABMs and about 950 employees Scotiabank s combined Costa Rican operation will have 41 branches 75 ABMs with about Cdn 1 8 billion US 1 6 billion in assets and Cdn 1 1 billion US 1 0 billion in deposits In Latin America Scotiabank already operates in Mexico Peru El Salvador the Dominican Republic Puerto Rico Panama Belize and Chile with an affiliate in Venezuela and a representative office in Brazil Scotiabank will be leveraging proven bank wide capabilities to expand our product and services offerings said Brian Brady Scotiabank s Country Head in Costa Rica Our objective is to obtain new customers by also expanding our sales and delivery network An analyst call will take place on June 13 2006 at 4 30 p m EDT and is expected to last approximately one half hour Interested parties are invited to access the live call

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060613.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Global Financial Group Announces Plans to Develop $300 Million Luxury Resort Village in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
    to be offering guests a unique Costa Rica experience in Hyatt Regency style that includes exquisite facilities and impeccable service in this vacation paradise Elegant with Jungle Tours Nearby Blurring the line between indoors and outdoors the Hyatt Regency Azulera will feature high end low rise buildings designed to showcase the beauty of the natural terrain Driving up to the resort guests will find a round open air reception affording views of the encircling forest The Hyatt Regency Azulera will house 214 guestrooms and suites dispersed in clusters of freestanding low rise buildings Each cluster will have its own courtyard and pool Strolling through the gardens guests will encounter a kaleidoscope of colors from bursts of native foliage Guestrooms and suites will reinforce the eloquent blending of indoors and out Each spacious room will offer a comfortable sitting area large desk and elegant furnishings crafted from indigenous hardwoods In room amenities will include Hyatt s Grand Bed featuring luxurious Sealy Posturepedic mattress down blankets 250 thread count triple sheeting and plush pillows In each guestroom sliding doors will open onto an expansive private terrace that blends into green landscapes and vibrant gardens Guest rooms will include a plunge tub or hammock angled to visually capitalize on the area s natural beauty Azulera s residential community will include between 800 and 1 000 condominiums townhouses and single family villas The condominiums will be available in one two and three bedroom units Each spacious accommodation will feature a gourmet kitchen and private terrace with sitting area and plunge tub Condominiums also will house a living room and adjacent terrace with open air dining area for sunlight by day and stargazing by night From the outset our goal was to design a resort community that complements the magnificent landscapes said Patrick Burke AIA principal and studio head Michael Graves Associates Guests will sit back in plush comfort and discover the panoramas and ecological wonders of a resort paradise Hyatt Regency Azulera s other features will include open air restaurants main pool with ocean views fitness center overlooking the resort s private beach high end coffee shop and bakery and spa The holistic spa will offer rest and rejuvenation in steam room sauna and Pompeian style treatment rooms surrounding soothing tropical gardens Across the way from the reception area meeting and banquet rooms will sit in a cluster around luxuriant gardens Meeting rooms will feature large windows to ensure that business people confined to meetings all day can still enjoy views of the surrounding woodlands Greg Norman Designed Golf Course Designed by golfing legend Greg Norman the championship 18 hole 7 132 yard Azulera course will challenge golfers with a diverse mix of terrain including arroyo and mountain forest Many of the holes including the signature 18th will offer players stunning views of Brasilito Bay and Isla Loros the nearby island wildlife preserve Wedged between the mountains and Pacific Coast the course will rise from approximately six feet to an elevation of more than

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060613-a.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Wal-Mart Costa Rica Operations
    Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV In March 2006 Wal Mart increased its interest to 51 and the name CARHCO was changed to Wal Mart Central America Wal Mart Central America is the region s largest retailer with 363 supermarkets and 23 000 associates in Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua and Costa Rica Wal Mart Central America has three operative companies La Fragua founded in Guatemala in 1928 by Carlos Paiz Ayala CSU founded in Costa Rica in 1960 by Enrique Uribe Pages and Corporación de Compañías Agroindustriales CCA a supplier of meat and seafood fruit grain vegetables and bakery products Expansion Plans Wal Mart Central America plans to open 8 new stores in Costa Rica in 2006 Awards and Recognition CSU received the Community Contribution Award from the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce for being a socially responsible company that supports important community initiatives The company also received the Ecological Banner a recognition given by the Costa Rican Government to environmentally friendly companies Community Involvement In 2005 CSU raised and contributed over 1 million to support local communities in Costa Rica Stores across the country helped raise funds to support disaster relief programs education grants and scholarships and Dulce Ayuda a program that supports the health and education of children Environmental Initiatives Wal Mart Central America is committed to reducing the company s footprint on the environment The stores in Costa Rica participate in recycling energy conservation and residual water treatment programs CSU s distribution center recycles over 9 tons of cardboard each day The company also supports a PET plastic recycling program at La Hondura School and has an associate volunteer program for environmental initiatives Images of Wal Mart s Costa Rica operations Maxi Bodegas are warehouse stores with an average size of 21 500 square feet There

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060601.html (2015-06-03)
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  • St. Regis Announces Ultra-Luxe Resort in Costa Rica
    of meeting and function space St Regis Residences Costa Rica will include a total of 49 one two and three bedroom condominium hotel residences 42 deluxe whole ownership private villas and nine magnificent estate homes all delivered with private plunge pools Indigenous materials will be utilized to create private residential dwellings that are destined to be the most luxurious in the region Residence owners will enjoy full access to the resort s services and amenities including its St Regis Butler Service the exclusive Remède Spa and fine dining restaurants The resort s magnificent guestrooms suites and residences will be designed by Cheryl Rowley Associates the acclaimed Beverly Hills based design firm We are thrilled to announce our third new St Regis property in Latin America following the recent announcements of the St Regis in Mexico City and the St Regis in Punta Mita We look forward to welcoming the world s most discriminating travelers and residence owners stated Osvaldo Librizzi President of Starwood Hotels Resorts in Latin America St Regis Hotel Costa Rica will introduce a new dimension of elegance style luxury hospitality and gracious living to the country St Regis Resort Costa Rica is ideally situated in Playa Coyol a lush tropical wonderland home to abundant flora and fauna dramatic views to the Pacific Ocean and stunning private beaches This project will be the only internationally branded hotel surrounded by a National Wildlife Reserve the Ara Macao Wildlife Reserve Located 65 miles from the San Jose s International Airport the magnificent resort is readily accessible from the country s main airport and situated on a 250 acre site on a secluded bay within close proximity to the Los Sueños area which features an 18 hole golf course and a marina We are excited to work with the prestigious St Regis brand as well as one of the top developers in Costa Rica to create one of the most exclusive real estate and resort offerings in Latin America said Diego Lowenstein CEO of Lionstone Development Alberto Kader CEO of Genesis added Managed by one of the most internationally renowned names in the hospitality industry and located within a breathtaking Wildlife Preserve St Regis Resort and Residences Costa Rica will offer the ultimate in privacy and pampering in a tropical paradise Beloved for its signature St Regis Butler Service exquisite design and enviable locations St Regis is among the world s most revered luxury hotel brands The brand is growing rapidly with a development pipeline of over 20 properties opening within the next five years St Regis has also made significant strides into the luxury residential real estate market with exclusive St Regis Residences in the world s most desirable locales including Anguilla New York Bali Mexico City Singapore and beyond all of which are under development and commanding premium prices per square foot Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide Inc is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060522.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica: a new destination for medical care
    a short plane ride from the U S and it s about half the cost Look no further than Costa Rica Here doctors limit themselves to the number of patients they can handle at one time making the patient feel special I have all sorts of American physicians visiting us and seeing patients getting care here the patients enjoy it and that s what they want said Dr Eduardo Huertas a neurosurgeon at CIMA hospital here Doctors in Costa Rica perform many of the same procedures that are done in the United States everything from back surgery to face lifts Insurance companies with international coverage will honor many of the surgeries making it even more appealing for those ready to go under the knife Between 75 to 85 percent of my patients are American either retired or coming here looking for the same quality with better price said Dr Huertas Cheaper yes But is it safe Working in a hospital such as this one we have all the same standards as you have in the United States said Huertas It is those standards along with highly educated and trained surgeons that are drawing thousands of patients a year to Costa Rica many of whom come for plastic surgery People who come from the U S generally come for facial surgery eyes lips face lift says Huertas Mostly people come for a couple of procedures it is very rare to see someone come for just one procedure It isn t just the quality of care attracting patients Not looking forward to surgery Imagine planning your recovery in paradise whether its by the beach or pool New hospitals are popping up next to some of the biggest resorts in Costa Rica giving patients some of the best recovery rooms the world has

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060511.html (2015-06-03)
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  • ICE in Costa Rica Selects Lucent Technologies to Deploy MPLS And IMS-Ready Solutions for Advanced, Value-Added Services
    launch these new value added services Lucent s IMS ready solution will help us reduce the introduction costs and time to market for new services by leveraging a common applications infrastructure said Claudio Bermudez ICE s Telecommunications Manager This initiative is part of our commitment to continue to offer our customer advanced services in a timely and cost effective manner As part of the agreement Lucent will supply ICE with a comprehensive solution that includes products from Lucent Technologies and partners Lucent Worldwide Services will provide multivendor network integration services for the project Through this portfolio Lucent will provide a broad range of Value over IP solutions designed to help ICE to introduce multimedia services that combine voice data and video capabilities said Javier Falcon regional vice president for Lucent Technologies in Latin America Lucent s IMS ready VoIP solution for ICE includes the Lucent Compact Switch which provides the media gateway and gateway control functions the Lucent Feature Server which is an IMS compliant server that offers call session control and Class 5 telephony applications and the Lucent Communication Manager a next generation applications web portal solution and Lucent Ethernet Routers formerly of Riverstone Networks Lucent s solution for ICE also includes technology from Lucent partners including Juniper Networks M320 routers Acme Packet s Net Net Session Border Controllers Dorado Software s RedCell MPLS Manager and VPN Service Center and BayPackets Agility Platform Network security features are based on the Lucent VPN Firewall Brick as well as the Lucent Security Management Server LSMS The Lucent Compact Switch permits seamless interaction between IP networks and traditional wireline and wireless networks and can serve as a building block for carriers that choose to migrate to an the IMS architecture About ICE Telecomunicaciones ICE is the sole supplier of telecommunications and energy

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/060510.html (2015-06-03)
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