Tuesday, May 29, 2012

World Largest Outdoor Swimming Pool - San Alfonso del Mar

If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you might want to stock up on the energy drinks before diving in to this one. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115-foot deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water.

Chile, home to immense natural beauty from lakes to parks to beaches, can now add another appeal to its two million tourists annually with the Guinness World Record holder of the world's largest pool, The Crystal Lagoon at the San Alfonso Del Mar Resort.
San Alfonso is located at only 90 kilometers apart from Santiago in Algarrobo's northern sector, the closer beach spot to the eastern sector of the capital city.

Swimming a length in this, the world’s largest outdoor pool, would mean stroke after stroke for more than three fifths of a mile – that’s 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.
The enormous man-made lagoon is set halfway up the country’s Pacific coast, in the city of Algarrobo, and is filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.
It also hold the Guinness record for the world’s deepest – so if you don’t feel like diving 115ft to the bottom, it might be best to bring some spare goggles.
The Crystal Lagoon reportedly took over five years to construct, which totaled over $1.2 billion, and opened to the public in December 2006 and costs over $3 million to maintain annually.
It uses a computer-controlled suction and filtration system to suck water in from the ocean at one end and pump it out at the other, while the sun warms it to 75 degrees – nine degrees higher than the sea.

Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, whose Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced engineering meant his company could build "an impressive artificial paradise" even in inhospitable areas. It uses hardly any chemicals.
"As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean."

For sport lovers, there are sport schools imparting training classes on sailing, kayak, scuba diving, swimming, ocean navigation, golf, tennis and paragliding, and they also will find at their disposal artificially-lit five-a-side soccer courts, volleyball courts and tennis courts, a real statutory soccer field, a last-generation 3D golf simulator and a gym with large windows that enjoy a stimulating overview of the lagoon.
Children have play grounds and entertainment activities organized by child monitors, whereas teenagers have an exclusive space destined for them - the Teen-Pub -, and also SubTerra discotheque, where often music recitals and live shows are featured.
The Beach Club with spa, a tempered beach under a crystal pyramid, open-air Jacuzzis, sauna, beauty parlor and gym; the Blue Spa, the first medical spa in Chile; the cybercafé; the exhibition and cultural activities room; the open-air amphitheater; the Lighthouse Café with icecream parlor and teashop; the sushi Lighthouse; the supermarket and the North Bay pub-restaurant with its own dock and a large terrace along the lagoon’s coastline – where often amusing parties and shows are held – are also part of San Alfonso's facilities.
To all that, the South Bay development has to be added, where the SubAqua Café stands out for its inner aquarium, the largest in Chile, which holds more that 60 Chilean species that can be appreciated in full magnitude through a 25-meters-long glass surface. A giant 100-meters-long water chute is also located in this zone. This sector will be completed by the South Bay Pub that will have a multiple-level restaurant, a Jacuzzi-bar with a giant screen and a gym.

Along with views of the sea and white sandy beaches, visitors can engage in a myriad of activities from boating to snorkeling.
San Alfonso has created a private world with activities for all family members to spend days full of enjoyment without ever leaving the resort.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ningwu Ice Cave, China

This is a sight that will really send a shiver down your spine. Not because it's scary - but because of its sheer beauty. The caves are so cold it sends a shiver down the spine of people standing outside.
The caves are, like many interesting corners of China, not yet on any tourist trail, but are spectacular to visit. Situated in the middle of the Yellow River valley, in the heart of one of China's most scenic regions, these incredible ice caves are more than three million years old. Identified by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Geology, cave expert on-site inspection: this hole is formed in the Cenozoic Quaternary Ice Age, hence the name of years the ice cave.
The experts said that only the first of nine ice cave in the ice cave ranked the country more than 10,000 caves. Divided into upper and lower five-story drill ice cave, under the ice stairs, over ice stack, available layers sightseeing. Each floor can accommodate dozens of people. Over 20 meters in diameter, the hole at its widest point, the narrowest of over 10 meters. Formed by the ice, icicles, ice curtain, frozen waterfalls, ice, ice Buddha, ice sheets, ice bell, Iceman, ice Buddha, etc., strange, to name a few. Carved inside the cave, large and small views or exquisite, dazzling crystal, or graceful, magnificent, all amazing.
Photos shows an ancient ice cave in Ningwu County of Xinzhou City, north China's Shanxi Province, 50 km west of the Wa township Ma Tei Village Office next to the travel lanes, 2300 meters above sea level. The cave, lit up by coloured lights, is more than 100 meters long. Inside it is covered with thick ice that freezes in the winter and remains all year.
Huge icicles are formed which hang from the ceiling, in sharp contrast with the green summer foliage outside.
They're so chilly that even standing outside you can feel the cold - even on a hot summer's day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Top 8 Private-Island Homes

1. E Sister Rock Island, Marathon Florida
For sale: US $12,000,000
Many homes in the Florida Keys boast private beachfront and spectacular water views. Few, however, can lay claim to having a 360-degree beachfront, but this special private island home does.
Located a quarter-mile off the Atlantic shore of Marathon, FL, this small and private oasis on East Sister Rock Island is surrounded by white sand and coral reef.
The islands have a home, it’s a little house. This house is 5,000 square feet.
The Marathon home for sale is completely off-the-grid, relying on solar panels on the roof and side of the house for power, and cisterns collect rainwater.
Built in 1980 as a family getaway spot, the home holds all the vacation essentials: a wrap-around porch measuring 2,700 square feet, private dock and 21-foot-long boat, which is included in the sale. The island also has a helipad for ease of transportation to the Marathon and Miami airports.
The Bahamas-style residence was updated in 2001 and features enormous windows and 19 sliding glass doors that open out to veranda. In addition to the three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the main home, there is a smaller, detached 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom guest house. 

2.Architectural Island Gem, Lake Mahopac, New York
You don't have to be a Frank Lloyd Wright fan to recognize his signature style in this private island home. Its 28-foot cantilever is nearly twice the length of the one at Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Celebrating the island's natural surroundings, the home, which is in Lake Mahopac, New York, features an enormous boulder in its entry hall and rocky surfaces discovered along the shores.

3.Pine Cay Private Island Community, Providenciales, Turks And Caicos Islands

Situated on Pine Cay, an 800-acre private island, this 10,000 square foot home is nestled in a lush landscape framed by an intimate pond. The villa-style residence is one of only a few exclusive residences on the tiny Caribbean island. Each of the home's four bedrooms is housed in a separate pavilion. Located at Amanyara Villas, it has its own private black-volcanic-rock, infinity-edged pool.

4. Wallis Island, Australia
 With exceptional views over Wallis Lake and the surrounding area, and just 50 metres from its own jetty, 
the chateau offers fantastic opportunities for water skiing, windsurfing and swimming.

For sale: AUD $20,000,000

Built in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Le Marais faces a 1.5km beach and is in a region that is considered to have one of the best climates in the world.

Despite the property’s classic feel, it also has impeccable eco credentials, as it will have its own electricity generation system and solar panels, meaning it will be entirely self-sufficient.

This is where stunning architecture, nature, cutting edge technology and self-sufficient green energy come together to create the perfect, private oasis.

5. Cabbage Tree Island Estate, Australia
Cabbage Tree Island Estate is an exotic mid-North Coast paradise overlooking the Manning River and Pacific Ocean.
For sale: AUD $4,200,000

Situated on the waterfront, the main residence is set in park-like established gardens including magnificent 100-year old Port Jackson and Moreton Bay figs, Orange Guava, Cherry Guava, Pineapple Guava, Persimmon, Lychee, Custard Apple, Mango, Sapote, Orange, Lemon and Lime Trees.
With 3 residences and 5 Lots spanning approx. 130 acres, the Estate is situated on Cabbage Tree Island, around 5 kms to the township of Old Bar and about 25 mins driving time to Forster, and approx. 3 1/2 hrs driving distance from Sydney. The property is everything you would imagine island-living to be, and so much more. Spectacular views and scenery, glorious peace and solitude, vast rolling lawns and magnificent 100-year old trees.


6.North Coco Plum Island, Belize

This 3 year old Private Green Island Resort feels like you’ve entered a Tropical Nature Park with a mile of Sand Paths, surrounded by Crystal Clear Waters, spectacular Star Filled Nights and Some of the Friendliest People in the western hemisphere.

For sale: US $2,750,000
North Coco Plum Caye is located a short 15 minute flight from the International Airport and 30 minutes by boat from the mainland in the Southwater Marine Reserve off Dangriga Town on the Central Coast of Belize.
This handcrafted Eco-Island with 5 concrete Casitas ,5 Over Water Cabanas, and a 3 Unit Family Villa accommodates 31 in privacy and comfort.
World Class Scuba, Snorkeling, Sailing, Fly Fishing and Sea Kayaking are featured in this accessible part of Belize. Banks, pharmacies, markets, and essentials are only 30 minutes away.
This turnkey, fully titled, private Green Island feels like you’ve entered a Tropical Nature Park with a mile of Sand Paths and two Beaches surrounded by Crystal Clear Waters and spectacular Star Filled Nights.

7.Sandy Cay Bahamas, Bahamas

Sandy Cay is an private island nestled in the turquoise waters of The Sea of Abaco and is currently enjoyed as a private family retreat.

For sale: US $14,000,000

The potential is enormous for the use of the island as a an upscale private boutique resort. There are four residences on the island, a private Harbour that houses the five vessels included with the island, a fitness center comparable to commercial facilities, two beaches, and much more.
Located just off Man O War Cay, Sandy Cay offers an ideal location in the protected Sea of Abaco. Unnoticed by most that pass, the island has been developed very carefully, leaving much of the natural vegetation that provides the utmost privacy.
The island offers four homes strategically placed on the island to capture the views and to offer seclusion to its guests. Leading from the main house, beautiful white sand paths manicured and lined with conch shells lead to the various buildings, beaches and private harbour.
There are two beaches on the island, one facing west and the other facing the south east, with a total of over 800 feet of white powder soft sand. The island also lends itself to the potential of development. Sandy Cay provides an ideal opportunity for an exclusive private boutique resort as there is ample room on the island for further development.
Being centrally located in The Sea of Abaco, just 5 minutes from Marsh Harbour and Hope Town, day trips are a breeze for both owners and guests.

8. Cave Cay, Bahamas

Rarely does an island with the attributes of Cave Cay become available. Stunning natural beauty, a protected and private, deep-water harbour and marina with floating cement dock system and 35 dock slips, plus a 2,800 ft. private airstrip make this the perfect private island.

For sale: US $110,000,000

Located in the heart of the Exumas and near to famed Musha Cay, Cave Cay is one of the most beautiful spots in the world and is totally self sufficient with water and power supplied by diesel generators, while solar energy can easily be made available. The island is available “as is”, and features unspoiled beaches, lush vegetation, elevations of up to 40 ft. capturing breathtaking views, and a vast excess of compacted sand that can be sold to nearby islands if desired.
Perched atop one of the highest points on the island, the luxurious main house is move-in ready and enjoys 360-degree views and top-of-the-line appointments. Plans for 38 buildings totaling 70,000 sq. ft. include a 3-story houseboat with a marina shop on the first level and a 2-story residence overhead, plus staff and maintenance buildings. A large clubhouse and restaurant, shower and bathroom facilities, and three guest houses with hotel rooms and suites are still under construction.
Approved as a full-fledged commercial operation with approvals for a marina, hotel with an unlimited number of rooms, and clubhouse, this island paradise can be fully completed and operational in 6 months with a full construction crew, or converted for private use as a club or family compound. The owners have thought of everything - all building materials and heavy equipment are included such as tractors, rollers, graders, trucks, golf carts, boats, full and back-up generating systems, machine shops, back-up supplies of all working parts for easy repairs, along with a great team of 6 employees that are intimately familiar with the island. A 118 ft. landing craft and a dredger round off this sales offering.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase a private island that has it all endless possibilities to enhance it to you personal taste.

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