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Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin


We have all heard about the running of the bulls in Pamplona during the festival of San Fermin.

What exactly are the festival and the running?
I have been there three times and I think I know enough to clarify everything and answer your curiosity.


The bull run, the “encierro”, is a free 850-metre race with 6 wild bulls and 6 cows leading the herd, which is celebrated in Pamplona every day from 7 to 14 July each year, for the San Fermin festivity.
The launching of a rocket starts the race at 8 a.m. and its estimated duration is between 2 and 3 minutes.
When it exceeds 3 minutes, it usually means that the bulls are not together but are running alone, so the danger increases exponentially.

Everyone over the age of 18 can take part in the run, free of charge and without registering, subject to rules that we will see later.


Birth of the bull run

Historical reports report that in the 1385, during the reign of Carlos II de Navarra, primitive bullfighting was already being celebrated in Pamplona.
At that time, the bulls were led on foot through the fields to the city and the last leg of that trip was made early in the morning, running through the streets cheered on by the shepherds.
We have to conclude, therefore, that at least 600 years ago there was an embryonic bull running in Pamplona, which began as an accompaniment of the bulls through the streets of the city to the bullring.

Those bull runs had little to do with the current ones. A galloping horseman would stand at the front to announce the arrival of the bulls to the inhabitants, and some young men would run with the herd, contravening the orders of the consistory, which always considered the bull running as disobedience to authority. The run was officially forbidden, although it was permitted.

In the Middle Ages the streets were delimited by blankets and carts, until in 1776 the municipality decided to place a pine fence to prevent the frequent cases of bulls running through the streets of the city.

Until 1843 the bull run ended at Plaza del Castillo, temporarily set up as a bullring, and until 1856 the bulls didn’t run down Calle Estafeta.
During those 13 years, the bull run had four different routes, partly because of the construction of the railway.
It would have allowed the bulls’ transport by train, excluding the trip through the countryside and the subsequent bull run in the streets.
Popular support for the Pamplona bull run defeated the authorities’ desire to ban it definitively, prompting the city council, in 1867, to establish a rule fixing the time and route, making it legal.

The last big change to the route of the bull run took place in 1922, when the inauguration of the current bullring obliged the bulls to turn left at the end of Calle Estafeta, instead of turning right as they had done until then.

Record-breaking bull runs

Although it may seem strange, never one bull run is the same or similar to another, given the infinite variables created by the bulls, the runners and the weather.

However some races have been remarkable.

On July 8, 1939, a bull named ‘Liebrero’ broke through the fence causing numerous injuries and was killed by the Guardia Civil.

In 1940 a bull broke the fence in the Telefónica area and escaped after goring a spectator.
In 1941, the strength of the fence was increased, making it double: another fence was added to the first one, spaced two metres apart.

The bull runs of 10 July 1947 and 13 July 1980 were the only ones in which the same bull killed two people.
They were ‘Semillero’ and ‘Antioquio’.

The longest bull run took place in 1959 and lasted about half an hour.
A bull in the bullring didn’t want to enter the stable, until a small German shepherd succeeded and was acclaimed by the entire arena.

On 12 July 1988 a bull ran all the way through Santo Domingo in reverse, returning to the stable door.

On 9 July 1994, there was the highest number of people injured, although not seriously: 107.

The fastest bull in Pamplona was ‘Huraño’, who on 11 July 1997 finished in just 1 minute 45 seconds.

In 2003 a bull gored a father and his son in less than 20 metres.


The 850-metre-long Pamplona Encierro runs through the winding streets of the city’s historic centre.
The urban complexity of this area of Pamplona, the result of centuries of different constructions, makes the route of the bull run so varied and spectacular that it seems to have been designed especially for the Encierro.
In fact, it runs through medieval gates, steep climbs, double right-angle bends, narrow and shady alleys, fast descents and enters the bullring through a gallery of terraces.

Shortly before 8a.m., runners go near the start, where there is a small statue of San Fermin, and entrust themselves to him with the singing, first in Spanish and then in Basque language:
“a San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro dándonos su bendición.

Entzun arren San Fermín, zu zaitugu patroi, zuzendu gure oinarrak, entzierru hontan otoi.

Viva San Fermín. Gora San Fermín”.

Then at 8 o’clock a first rocket starts the race.

Santo Domingo

The bulls come out of an enclosure located in an old bastion of the walls (a second rocket signals that all the bulls are in the route) and, rested, they reach the highest speed of the entire route in the Santo Domingo climb: 280 metres between stone walls at a 10% drop.

San Fermin Pamplona - Santo Domingo

Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Mercaderes

The second section of the bull run is flat and measures 100 metres long by 9 metres wide.
The bull run is still very fast, skirting the town hall and taking a slight left turn at the beginning of calle Mercaderes.


Difficult section of the race: 300 metres in the shade and a slight climb of 2%.
There is a 90° bend to the right, which, due to the centrifugal force, often results in the bulls colliding against the outer fence, causing chaos and the subsequent separation of the herd.
Runners here must be very careful and avoid the left side.
It’s easy the bulls separate at the Mercaderes bend so is impossible to manage them all the way down Calle Estafeta.
Some bulls will overtake you and you have to move to one side cleanly and without damaging other runners.
Be careful about the horns of the bull that surpasses you and another bull may be behind you.


The last section of the encierro is the brightest and the only one slightly downhill.
In the 90 metres of the Telefónica segment, the bulls are tired and run more slowly than in the beginning of the route, but they are often alone and cross an area without buildings, with fences on both sides.
The danger is also increased by the presence of inexpert runners, who don’t follow the acceleration of the bulls.
This creates very dangerous situations and in fact the accident statistics are particularly high.


The 9-metre width at the beginning of the Telefónica narrows in a funnel shape to the 3-metre Callejón (alley) of 30 metres that passes under the stands, all the way to the inside of the bullring.
The main danger is the formation of a block between people trying to enter and the bulls, which usually has no difficulty in overwhelming everyone and making its way through.

In case of a fall, the runner should escape by rolling sideways, avoiding being trampled and above all not getting up, so as not to be run over by the crowd or gored by the running bulls.
You should not enter the arena behind the herd because the bulls often turn around and the runners get stuck between the bull and the gate.

Plaza de Toros

When all the animals enter the bullring, the gate is closed for safety and a third flare warns that no bulls are left in the street.

Once inside the bullring, taking care of the change of pavement from cobblestones to sand, it’s important to open up immediately by fanning out to the left or right towards the barriers.
This helps the bull to go straight towards the fence, possibly guided by the dobladores, dressed in green and with the banner draped over the ground.

The entrance of the last bull into the corral, with fourth and final rocket, marks the end of the daily bull run.



In classical antiquity, the bull was always considered an animal that embodied the characteristics of the gods: greatness, strength, courage and nobility.
Humans, seeking to be similar, have been challenging bulls for thousands of years, from Greece to Crete and Anatolia.
The Pamplona bull run is nothing more than a local modern manifestation of defiance to death, represented by the bull.

Wild bulls are bred in large areas of Andalusia, Extremadura and Salamanca, but there are also some herds in the provinces of Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and Aragon.
Each bull reared requires one and a half hectares of land, and each kilo of adult animal consumes 60 kilos of grass or 15 kilos of hay.
The bulls that run in Pamplona weigh between 600 and 700 kilos and are chosen from the best for their size, gait, horns and pride.
Despite its torpid appearance, the bull is a very strong, agile and fast animal.


In the bull run there are many elements and people who help in the organisation or in its safety, but there are only two protagonists of the race: the runners and the bulls.
Without them the bull run would be impossible, without all the others it would be more unsafe, but it could be realised.

To take part in the run, you neither have to pay nor register, you just have to be on the route before 07.30.

An estimated 2,500 people run on weekdays, 4,000 on weekends.
Not everyone can be considered a runner: more than 1,000 stay hundreds of metres away from the bulls, another 500 run close to the herd, but when the bulls are about five metres away, they move to the sides and stop.
The rest run in the front row, feeling the breath of the bulls behind them, switching between them in stretches of about 40-50 metres and with runs that last no more than 8-12 seconds in front of the bull’s muzzle.

70% of participants are between 20 and 35 years old, about 10% under 20, and the remaining 20% over 35, with some veterans in their 50s or 60s.
About 40% are from Pamplona or Navarre, 30% are Spanish and the rest are foreigners.

The run lasts approximately two and a half minutes, and no one, even a true athlete, can run the full 850 metres next to the bulls because of the confusion generated by running pushes, slower runners to dodge, people falling on the ground to jump over and, of course, animals to be constantly watched.


Shepherds have always been present in the bull run because in the Middle Ages, when there were no runners yet, they drove the cattle on foot through the countryside and in the streets of Pamplona.

There are currently between eight and ten shepherds in the bull run, identifiable by their identifying green uniform “pastores” and a rod in their hand.
Each of them is assigned a section and they change every 100 metres or so. Their job is to prevent the herd from scattering and the bulls from turning back.

Shepherds are experts in handling non-domesticated cattle but almost none work in cattle breeding or bullfighting.


The figure of the dobladores arose in the 1930s to provide greater security at the end of the bull run.

There are currently four dobladores in the Pamplona bullring, often former professional bullfighters or those with great experience in the Pamplona bull runs.

The dobladores are in charge of dragging a red drape across the sand to help the disoriented bull reach the corral, thus avoiding endangering the many people in the arena in the final moments of the race.


Excluding runners and spectators, about 650 people work for the Pamplona bull run, demonstrating the importance of organisation.

150 municipal and provincial police officers take care of clearing the route of people who are not runners but who populate the streets after the night of revelry, contain the runners at the start at the beginning of the Santo Domingo ascent and enforce the municipal regulations on bull running.

Coordinated by SOS Navarre, 200 members of the Red Cross and DYA (Medical Assistance) take care of the medical care of the slightly injured and the transfer of the more seriously injured to hospital.
There are both 15 posts along the route and 15 medical ambulances.
There are two operating rooms ready in the arena, as well as in the two public hospitals in Pamplona.

San Fermin Pamplona - carpenters

The 40 carpenters and joiners who assemble and dismantle the fences on a daily basis also do a crucial job.
Installed on both sides of the streets and in unbuilt spaces, they are made up of around 13,000 pieces including screws, washers, wedges and, above all, 900 vertical poles and 2,700 horizontal boards.
They are marked with letters and numbers so that each piece is placed in the same place year after year.
In certain sections of the route, the barriers are fixed. They are installed towards the end of June and remain until the last day of the San Fermin festival.
In other sections, where vehicles pass by, they are erected and dismantled every day.

San Fermin Pamplona - fence

All the horizontal planks and vertical posts, which are anchored to the ground in holes 40 centimetres deep, are reinforced with metal covers to withstand possible impacts from bulls.

In addition, there are 12 doors, also reinforced, that close as the herd passes, to prevent the bulls from coming back.

San Fermin Pamplona - fence carpenters

Street cleaners work both in the 850 metres of the bull run just before the race and several times throughout the city, because of the huge amount of waste produced.

San Fermin Pamplona - waste

In addition, there are at least 200 accredited professionals from the press, radio, internet, television, magazines, photographers, reporters and tv technicians, national and international.

San Fermin Pamplona - photographers


The Pamplona bull run is one of the most internationally renowned public spectacles, but one of the most difficult to see in person.
This is because the race is not in an enclosed area, but through the streets of a chaotic city in fiesta.

Therefore, to experience the excitement of the race, you have to arrive a few hours early and stand on the wall near the start or behind the few fences that border the route.
This is the only way to have a chance to be one of the 1,500 people who will see the bulls up close, even if only for a few metres.
You can’t stay between the two fences, because that is the space reserved for people running, health personnel and accredited media.

A privileged viewpoint is a balcony: from there you can see a 100/200 metres stretch of the course and you don’t have to arrive hours in advance.
The problem is that, if you are not family members or relatives of the owners of the houses along the route, you can only get onto the balcony by paying a seat rented for € 100,00 or more per person per day.

The arena has a capacity of 20,000 spectators, but tickets must be purchased in advance.
You don’t see the bull run, but only the final part, with the bulls entering and the runners fanning out.

The last comfortable option if you don’t want to move in the cold Pamplona night, is to watch the race from the television or the giant monitors installed in the streets, as millions of Spanish and international spectators do on the various available platforms.

San Fermin Pamplona - spectators fence


San Fermin Pamplona - throw from the fountain

Pamplona during San Fermin days
Before living these Pamplona days, people think that the San Fermin festival is just the running of the bulls.
Nothing could be more wrong.
We have seen that the run itself doesn’t even last three minutes. Then there are another 23 hours and 57 minutes….

The procession of the Saint

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin

According to tradition, the Roman senator Fermin and his family were converted to Christianity through the influence of the presbyter Honestus, who carried out his evangelical work in Roman Pamplona in the 3rd century.
His son Fermín was baptised by St Saturninus, ordained a priest in Toulouse and returned to Pamplona as a bishop.
He spent his last days in Amiens, where he converted more than 3,000 people before being imprisoned and beheaded on 303 September, 25.

In 1386, King Carlos II of Navarre left a relic of the Saint recovered in Amiens in the Church of San Lorenzo, and the procession has been celebrated ever since.
Initially, the Saint was celebrated on 10 October, the date of his arrival in Amiens, but from 1591 the date was moved to 7 July to coincide with the religious festivities in his honour celebrated between St Peter’s Day and 18 July.

The bust carried in procession is a wooden sculpture dating the end of the 15th century, covered with silver in 1687, and on its chest is a reliquary, also made of silver.

San Fermín is the patron saint of the diocese of Pamplona and, together with San Francisco Javier, the patron saint of Navarre, as well as the patron saint of the confraternities of vintners and bakers.

The cult of San Fermín is deep-rooted among the Pamplonians and the saint is invoked during the chupinazo, just before each bull run, several times during the day and in the lamentations of the ‘Pobre de mí’ at the end of the fiesta.
This is a tradition transmitted from generation to generation.

The procession of San Fermin is held on the morning of 7th July and is an essential act for many Pamplonians, so it is also a must for foreigners to get to know the fiesta in all its solemnity.
After a procession from the Cathedral to the Church of San Lorenzo, the statue of the saint crosses the city, enveloped in the devotion of the Pamplonians and those who make the following days unique: clergy, masks, brotherhoods, bands, dancers and authorities. Obviously all dressed in traditional attire, always with a white shirt, trousers or skirt, sash and red kerchief.
City councillors wear a top hat, gloves and a medal with the city’s coat of arms.

During the morning there are many emotional moments between prayers, singing, dancing and parades, accompanied by La Pamplonesa, the city’s musical band, but also by spontaneous groups.

The masks parade

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin - Gigantes y Cabezudos

The parade of the 25 masks of the Giants and Cabezudos (Giant Heads), accompanied by the music of the Gaiteros (pipers), has become one of the symbols of the San Fermin fiestas.

These figures have always been present in the important celebrations of Pamplona since the 16th century.
In 1800 this tradition was lost, recovered a century later thanks to the six giants conserved in Pamplona Cathedral.
The papier-mâché sculptures that currently depict the giants were created by Tadeo Amorena in 1860, commissioned by the municipality of Pamplona.

The dancer carries the figure on his shoulders, which weighs about 60 kilos and reaches up to 4.20 metres in height.

San Fermin Pamplona - masks

The parade starts every morning from the bus station at around 9.30 am, except on the 6th at 4.30 pm.
The route runs through the streets of the old town, but changes every day.

At the head of the parade are 5 Cabezudos, huge heads with serious faces representing authority.
They are known as the Mayor, the Municipal Councillor, the Grandmother and a Japanese couple.
They walk with a solemn gait and shake hands with all the children who ask.

The 4 pairs of Giants represent a king and queen from each Continent: America, Africa, Europe and Asia (when they were born, Oceania was not yet known).

San Fermin Pamplona - masks

The Kilikis have grumpy faces, a hat and a plastic pole with which they hit children.
They are called Barbas, Caravinagre, Coletas, Napoleón, Patata and Verrugas.

The Zaldikos simulate armed horsemen with their rods, wandering the boys they meet on their way.

On 14 July, the last dance takes place in the bus station, in a very emotional moment called the Despedida de los Gigantes (the dismissal of the giants).

Children’s Encierro

San Fermin Pamplona - Children's Encierro

At 22.00 children can participate in the encierro reserved for them, which lasts about half an hour.
A bull of cardboard and wood, loaded on the shoulders of a boy, starts from Plaza de Santiago with torches and fireworks of different colors on horns and loins, chasing the many children ready to challenge him.
Wrapped in a light show and releasing several firecrackers, he runs through the streets of the historic center until the load is exhausted in the middle of calle Estafeta.
Here the change takes place with another boy, who loads on his shoulders the more than 30 kilos of taurine structure with fireworks and firecrackers, and resumes his race to Telefónica.

San Fermin Pamplona - children's bull run


“Las Barracas” is installed in a large green area of the Ciudadela.
Open 24 hours a day, it offers the classic attractions for children and not only: targets, rides, bumper cars, wheels etc.
Obviously with the presence of bars, pancakes, sweets and other street foods.


Every night at 23.00 and for about half an hour, the best European pyrotechnic houses offer a spectacular performance of fireworks from the moats of the walls of the Ciudadela, challenging each other in an international competition.

The best place to see it is the park near the bus station that surrounds the Vuelta del Castillo area, but it can still be seen from different points of the city, such as the streets adjacent to Avenida del Esercito, Plaza de los Fueros, Paseo de Sarasate and Plaza de la Paz.


The newspaper “El Eco de Navarra” proposed that a marching band walk the streets of the city an hour before the encierro to wake everyone up, and the municipality accepted the idea.
At dawn on July 7, 1876, the band of the Casa de la Misericordia paraded playing the first dianas sanfermineras.

Since then the streets of the city are animated by multiple bands and the feast of San Fermín would be unthinkable without the music that animates it.

At every moment of the holidays, music invades the streets of the city, becoming itself an attraction.
The official schedule contains an endless supply of concerts and parties for all styles, in different areas of the city.

Traditional Basque songs blend with international ballads, classical music, rhythms of musical bands, disco music from pubs, bagpipes, outdoor concerts of pop, jazz, rock, traditional dances interspersed with salsa or merengue, modernity and folklore, seriousness and unbridled madness.

Essential is the music of the various peñas, which cross the streets of the historic center with drums, trumpets, trombones, whistles, bass drum, cymbals, saxophones, singing cheerful and catchy songs that quickly become popular for all those present.
Alternating in walking the streets of the city, they create an endless revelry every moment of the party.

Inside the arena, on the other hand, they play each on their own and the result is therefore confusing and dispersive.

El Pobre de mí: the end of the festival

On July 14, where it all began on July 6, in front of the cityh at midnight, the mayor announces the end of the festival, giving appointment to the next year.
A flood of lit candles and red handkerchiefs move wistfully singing the song that gives its name to this last act: “Pobre de mí, pobre de mi, que se han acabao las fiestas de San Fermín” (poor me, poor me, the festivities of San Fermín are over).

The “Pobre de mí” is the other side of the Chupinazo: the darkness after the light, the sadness after the joy, but also the fatigue accumulated after days of crazy fun.
From this moment people have to return to everyday life. Many people will continue their party for a few more hours, before taking off the red handkerchief.


Usually we know that the dress doesn’t make the monk, but sometimes the party makes the dress.
Traditionally in the Pamplona festival we dress in white (t-shirt, shirt, trousers or skirt) and red (waistband and handkerchief around the neck).
Obviously it’s not an obligation and everyone dresses as he wants, but dressing differently would make fish out of water, since almost everyone wears this “uniform”.
The advice is therefore to dress like this and immerse yourself totally in the tradition (obviously many shops and stalls sell the uniform at acceptable prices).

It’s not known exactly why nor who adopted this clothing, however, is now an integral symbol of the party. Everyone wears it creating white and red human tides.

There are, however, various theories about this popular custom.

Some indicate as inventors the members of Peña la Veleta.
Founded in 1931 by people of humble origins and of the working class, they sought a uniform that would identify and distinguish them from other associations.
A white robe was easy to obtain, inexpensive and, associated with red, very flashy.

In any case, it becomes a common dress among the people who participate in the festivities around 1960.

In addition to the white dress, two other accessories are equally important:

The red handkerchief is knotted around the neck after the launch of the Chupinazo and is removed after the “Pobre de mí”.
Even on its meaning there is no univocal version: it goes from the blood of St. Fermín martyred, to the flag of Navarre.
Many handkerchiefs have embroidered the figure of San Fermín, others the coat of arms of the group to which they belong or the flag of Navarre, Pamplona or the Basque Country.

The band that surrounds the waist is also red. It usually ends with fringes on the sides and sometimes with embroidery such as handkerchief.

To complete the official uniform, tradition indicates white hemp sandals with red ribbons but comfort has now cleared the tennis shoes. However, you need to have closed and resistant shoes, both to avoid slipping and because you can find broken glass (and not only) in the streets.

When the air becomes cooler, you wear a red jacket.



On festive days, Pamplona has a reputation for being a lawless city but this is not true.
From the arrival in the city the controls, even with anti-drug dogs, are very stringent and no overstep of the limit is tolerated.
The police actions are lightning fast.
However, this allows everyone, from young children to the elderly, to walk around alone without problems, at any time of day or night.

Even the encierro itself is regulated by a series of norms and customs imposed by the centuries-old tradition. In addition, there is a municipal ban of the City of Pamplona and a Navarrese law on bullfighting shows that, if broken, leads to heavy fines.
Among other things, it is prohibited:
– participate in the race to under 18,
– leave the doors of homes and business premises open,
– run under the effects of alcohol or drugs,
– use cameras or phones, footwear or clothing inappropriate for running, bulky objects that restrict movement or hinder other participants,
– grab, hit, incite bulls or attract their attention.
Help must be given so that the herd runs in the correct sense of the encierro and that the race lasts as little as possible.

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin - Encierro


San Fermin Pamplona - runners waiting

To participate in the encierro with some “guarantee” of success, you must to follow a series of recommendations dictated by the experience of the most veteran runners, those who have done dozens of bull runs:
– sleep before the run, even if only a few hours, and never run as the conclusion of a night of revelry,
– don’t wear moccasins, sandals, heeled shoes or slippers,
– use even more precaution with wet road: bulls slip, but you will do the same,
– don’t run without looking behind: in the encierro the risk is behind, not in front.
– don’t overestimate your physical fitness: the bulls run more than you, check them or they will overwhelm you,
– take the utmost precaution when leaving the road: most horns hit people who are stationary or fallen,
– in difficult moments, don’t try to climb the fence but lie on the ground and rotate to the sides,
– enter the route only if you are convinced to take part and really running: standing still on one side you would risk being seriously injured by bulls, runners, or creating danger for everyone,
– remember that you can die: the risk is very low but take into account that participating in the race you could die or be seriously injured.


Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin - Encierro

Pamplona’s bull run is known all over the world and there are two types of people who do it: those who arrive prepared and those who decide to do it at the last moment.

The goal is to start running slowly, then at full speed before the arrival of the bulls, stay in front of them more or less close depending on the desire to risk the life, and move away sharply from their trajectory, trying not to cross or endanger the other runners.

One of the main aspects of the encierro pamplonese is its intrinsic dangerousness: running with bulls implies a huge potential risk.
There are 14 boys who died, twelve due to horns, the others from blows or crushing.
11 of them were mortally wounded when they were stationary or fallen.
The deaths occurred on all sections of the race: 2 in Santo Domingo, 2 in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1 in Mercaderes, 1 in Estafeta, 4 in Telefónica area and another 4 in the arena.

In addition to the dead, however, we must also consider the high number of wounded.
It’s estimated that 1 in 70 participants finishes the race with minor injuries such as bruises, erosions, sprains, etc.; 1 in every 800 is transferred to the hospital for severe trauma, 1 in every 2,500 is framed and 1 in every 100,000 dies.

How to get there

San Fermin Pamplona - station walls

Pamplona Airport has regular connections to Madrid and Barcelona.
Other nearby airports are Bilbao, San Sebastian, Zaragoza and Biarritz.

The train station is quite close to the center and has regular lines to all major cities.

The bus station is located at the Parque de la Ciudadela and also in this case the connections are numerous and frequent.

Those who decide to use the car, must consider above all the cost of parking. You must also pay in advance, otherwise you will add the fine and the recovery of the car taken away by the police.

Where to sleep

Pamplona multiplies its inhabitants in these days of July and the housing is filling up quickly.
Beyond the date of booking, the costs of hotels and b&b on holidays reach very high price: it will be difficult to spend less than € 200,00 per night per person.
A bed in a shared dorm in the hostel costs just under half.

San Fermin Pamplona - balconies

Similar prices are also in nearby towns 30 km, to which must be added, however, the cost of travel.

If you want to save money, you can sleep almost anywhere.
It’s not forbidden to sleep in the street or in the gardens but you can’t camp. You have to be equipped for the night: temperatures can reach 15°C with a considerable temperature change, and it can rain.

San Fermin Pamplona - where to sleep

Left luggage

If you don’t have accommodation, it’s better for safety and convenience to leave your luggage in a storage room.
There are two public places to leave your luggage (in 2022 only one):
– Escuela Municipale San Francisco (closed in 2022): open 24 hours a day from 4 to 16 July, it’s located in the center and, in addition to luggage storage, it’s also a multilingual tourist information center and has dressing rooms for changing.

The cost is € 4,50 every 24 hours, they will ask for a copy of your id card and leave a ticket to be returned to retrieve the luggage.

– Bus station: on the lower floor, in the square where the buses leave, there is both a served luggage storage and some automatic lockers.
The cost is always € 4,50 but from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m..
At other times the bus station is closed and inaccessible.

What to eat

Euskal Herria - Iruña/Pamplona - San Fermin

Spending time drinking and eating traditional Basque dishes or different types of pintxos, sharing the table with strangers, is a substantial part of the party.
In Navarre, any social event includes a gastronomic moment as an indispensable part of the celebration.

You have an endless amount of places to eat, enjoy trying different food.

Lost property

The lost property office is inside the municipal police station.
If you find something you can take it there or deliver it to the many agents or volunteers always present around.


The organization of the feast of San Fermin certainly could not neglect the shower.
In addition to the public baths, there is also the place to wash: the Casa de Baños y lavandería Pública, in calle Hilarión Eslava 9.

With 4 euros (in 2022, prices change every year) you have a single dressing room with shower, towel, shampoo and shower gel.

Some people use to go to the Piscinas de Aranzadi, the public swimming pool near the Casco Viejo.



Tromsø, considered the Arctic capital, is located about 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, at 69°40′ north latitude, in the heart of the wild between majestic mountains and beautiful fjords.

In the north of Norway there is complete darkness during the polar night season.
Here from 23 November to 18 January, the sun never rises but is at most 3 degrees below the horizon, enough to ensure the presence of light.

Being right under the oval of the Northern Lights, it is the area with the highest probability of seeing this magical phenomenon from the end of August to the end of April, generally between 6pm and midnight..
If the sky is clear, you might see the Northern Lights right above the city, but to increase your chances you should go away from the lights of the city centre.


Norway - Tromso - Sami


Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Tromsø has a milder coastal climate than other destinations at the same latitude.
The average winter temperature is about -4°C, but if you’re looking for the Northern Lights, remember that the temperature could be from -20°C to +5°C, so always stay in layers.

On the contrary, from May 19 to July 26, the sun never sets. With the phenomenon of the midnight sun you can enjoy full daylight doing any activity 24 hours a day.

Tromsø is also a strategic point to reach North Cape, Svalbard Islands, Lofoten Islands or Sweden and Finland.
Thanks to its location beyond the Arctic Circle, it is considered the gateway to the North Pole and has been the starting point for many Arctic expeditions.


Norway - Tromso - Polaria Museum



Arctic Cathedral

One of Tromsø’s best-known buildings, the modern architecture of the Arctic Cathedral, featuring 11 aluminium-clad concrete panels on each side of the roof, is reminiscent of an iceberg or a Sami tent and has often been compared to the famous Sydney Opera House.
It takes about 25 minutes to get there from the city centre on foot or you can take bus 20, 24, 26 or 28.

The main entrance is surrounded by a large window with a pronounced cross.


Norway - Tromso - Arctic Cathedral


Storsteinen Mountain

A 15-minute walk from the Arctic Cathedral, on fine days you can take the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of the Storsteinen mountain. From here you have a wonderful view of the city (if low clouds don’t prevent the view).
Otherwise you can reach the top by climbing the 1,200 stone steps of the Sherpa Staircase.


Norway . Tromso - Mount Storsteinen


Tromsø Bridge

A peculiarity of Tromsø is that it is located on Tromsøya Island, connected to the mainland by an arched bridge.
You can also walk to the Cathedral and see Tromsø from a different perspective.


Norway - Tromso



The northernmost Protestant cathedral in the world is located in the quiet main street of Tromsø but I could only see it from the outside.
The opening hours are very variable and uncertain but it’s still a beautiful building of neo-gothic architecture, the only cathedral in Norway made entirely of wood.


Norway - Tromso - Domkirke - Protestant Cathedral


Perspektivet Museum

I don’t know how long each photographic exhibition lasts, but the museum is free so you can “risk” visiting this neoclassical 1838 building.
Satisfaction or disappointment will still be subjective.
I saw unpublished photos that were very interesting for me.
On the ground floor the photos made you imagine the cities/villages and life in the Palestinian Territories before the war of 1948.


Norway - Tromso - Perspektivet Museum - Palestinian Territories


Upstairs, instead, the different faiths of “homo religiosus” are shown.
Other photos show the history of Tromsø, from the construction of the bridge to the airport.

Tromsø Museum

This is a multidisciplinary museum with first part dedicated to animals living in the Tromsø area and in the Arctic and about the climate change they are fighting.
The upper floor first shows us the damage that man is creating with his waste, then explains the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
The museum closes with the interesting history and culture of the Sami people.


Norway - Tromso - Sami culture



I don’t think you should consider this museum as an aquarium just because there are three seals, starfish, sponges and other Arctic fauna and flora.
Before you go in, think about the panels outside that explain life in the Arctic and its importance. This museum is in fact the gateway to understanding Svalbard Islands and what is happening with climate change.
Understanding the damage plastic does is essential for all of us.


Norway - Tromso - Polaria Museum


MS Polstjernan

Housed inside a glass construction, it is the ship used to kill (or, as it was said at the time, “bring home”) at least 100,000 seals. You can walk on its decks, full of objects of the time, hunting tools, numerous photos, videos and objects related to polar expeditions.

Thinking about what this boat has seen, however, almost makes you see the blood of the seals on deck.
It was not very pleasant for me.

The entrance ticket is included in that of the adjacent Polaria museum.


Norway - Tromso - Polstjerna


The Polar Museum

It would be better if this was called “the Polar Hunting Museum“.
I expected a different museum instead is the exaltation of hunters (especially seals and bears) and the description of hunting carried out over the centuries in the polar territories.
There are many, too many, stuffed animals. Looking into their eyes I wonder the sense of their presence in the museum, rather than in their natural habitat.


Norway - Tromso - seal

The multilingual guides delivered free of charge at the entrance explain every object in the rooms (traps, weapons, writings, photos, drawings, reconstructions of scenes and hunting methods).
I have nothing against hunting when it is a necessity to survive, but here we really see almost ostentation and exhibitionism of man’s blind force against animals.


The whale watching season varies from year to year depending on the presence of herring in the fjords.
It usually runs from November to the end of January and there are several companies at the port that make special excursions.
Some of them also allow you to go into the water with whales, although this experience, given the weather, is not guaranteed.

If you are interested, I suggest you to go to Tonga Islands, where I swam with whales in Nuku’alofa.


Tonga - swimming with whales


Huskies are some of the most popular animals to meet in Tromsø and with them you could sled or walk in the woods.

Another animal you’ll probably see is the reindeer. They often walk freely along the road or you can get to know the Sami people, with whom you can feed reindeer or have them tow you on a sleigh.


Norway - reindeer




There are 3 connections between the city center and the airport:
– the express bus takes about 15 minutes, with several stops near the hotels and in strategic points of the city.
– the city bus lines 24, 40 and 42.
– taxis


Hurtigruten leaves Tromsø every day.

The port is located about 4 km from the city centre.
You can easily reach it on foot or by city buses 30 and 42.


Hurigruten - Nordkapp


District buses

District buses offer some excursions around Tromsø municipality and depart from Prostneset, the city’s main bus station, which is located next to the Tourist Information Office.

Bus 420 Tromsø – Hella – Brensholmen – Sommarøy:
Short excursion from Tromsø around the southern part of the island of Kvaløya.

Bus 425 Tromsø – Ersfjordbotn:
Fantastic views of the fjords and steep mountains.

Bus 450 Tromsø – Tønsvik – Oldervik:
Reach hiking trails and see fantastic views of the sea and the Lyngen Alps.


Norway - Tromso



Northern Norway

You could travel from Tromsø to Alta by bus and from there, after at least one night’s rest, take another bus to Kirkenes or Honningsvåg, from where you then reach Nordkapp – North Cape or Knivskjellodden.

Hurtigruten departs daily from Tromsø with a 17-hour journey to Honningsvåg.

Another option is to fly from Tromsø to Honningsvåg with stopover in Hammerfest.


Norway - Nordkapp - from afar


Svalbard Islands

The only way to get to Svalbard is by plane and there are daily flights from Tromsø to Longyearbyen.
In high season, from March to August, the number of flights increases.

Remember that Svalbard is outside the Schengen area so you need passport.


Svalbard Islands - Pyramiden - polar bear

To the South of Norway

If you want to get excited traveling south, you have to travel by ship.
With the Hurtigruten you could reach Lofoten Islands, Bodø, Trondheim or Bergen.

There is a daily bus connection from Tromsø to Fauske. From here you can continue south by train to Trondheim, Oslo, Bergen and other destinations.


Norway - Trondheim - Kayaking on the river Nidelva



There are several direct flights from Tromsø to Stockholm.

The Länstrafiken Norrbotten bus goes from Tromsø to Narvik, from where it continues to Björkliden, Abisko and Kiruna in Sweden.
Or from Narvik you could continue by train to Boden, Luleå, Haparanda and Stockholm.


Norway - Tromso



I’m an islander so I have a very strong love with the sea.
I took scuba diving certification because you can’t know the marine world without going deep.
After some dives in Sardinia, I started thinking about sharks.

I have seen many videos made in South Africa but the cages were not my maximum aspiration.
Both because in life I don’t like being in a cage, and because it’s a very cruel practice for sharks.
In fact, they are attracted with baits and it is not uncommon for the shark to get hurt or to get stuck in the cage until it even dies from his injuries.
In my travels I learned to respect animals and this was not the experience I was looking for.
To see the sharks I wanted to go to their natural habitat, to see them free.
So I looked for a way to make this dream come true (but it would be better to call it madness) and I found 4 possible destinations: South Africa, Hawaii, Bahamas and Fiji.
I don’t know if there are others place but the cosmic coincidences have brought me to Fiji, where for many divers you do the best diving with sharks in the world.

Here, in fact, you can see up to eight different species of sharks: black fin, white fin, gray, silver, tawny nurse, tiger, lemon and bull sharks .
Obviously sharks are the centerpiece of the dive but the ocean could also be crowded with Labori Maori fish, rainbow, giant carango, moray, groupers, rays, turtles and over 400 species of tropical coral reef fish.
In short, those who hate aquariums and want to see free animals in their natural habitat must come here.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage



About three hours by car from Nadi International Airport and one hour from the capital Suva, there is Pacific Harbour, the main base for all tour in the Beqa Lagoon.
Here in 2004 Shark Reef Marine Reserve was established, an example of sustainable and efficient ecotourism.
An international team of scientists is constantly engaged in research on animal species that live in this area of ​​the Pacific Ocean, the world capital of soft coral.
You cannot think of protecting sharks if you are not also working on habitat conservation.
The companies that manage the marine reserve, in agreement with the government, carry out a sustainable economy project with local fishermen (who have a huge increase in fishing outside the reserve) and with the community (many of them work as underwater guides or as guardians).
Part of the money earned is also spent on education, infrastructure, equipment and waste recycling.


Fiji Islands - Pacific Harbour



Once my madness is decided, I immediately think of how to do it.
I watched a lot of videos on Youtube, read the stories of divers in specialized sites and contacted hostels and hotels until I found the center that organizes sharks dives.
There are limited tickets so you have to book in advance.
Two dives with equipment reanta cost about € 150,00.

After booking, I spent the time I needed to review the theory, do some diving in Sardinia and watch videos to be mentally ready for what I would find in the Beqa Lagoon.

Then came the day of departure. It took almost 24 hours to reach Nadi from Cagliari and exiting the airport I immediately found a van to Suva with stop in Pacific Harbor.
Almost all guests in this area are divers who will participate in this show.

On the fateful day the tension is palpable and even the most experienced divers have a lot of emotions.
Someone has thousands of euros of equipment, I simply have a bathing suit, mask, towel and gopro.
Talking to someone I notice their amazement because I have only about twenty dives and have not experiences with “easier” sharks.
But I’m like this, I don’t like the middle ground and I have to go immediately beyond the limit.

A van takes everyone to the port. After the bureaucratic formalities, wetsuits are put on and we are divided into two boats.
To reach the place of the dive it takes about 20 minutes of navigation in which the technical briefing is held.
With clarity and great excitement, the guides explain what will happen down there and how to behave, both underwater and in case of emergency on board.
Then suddenly the boat stops, we quickly check ourselves and go in the water.


Almost everything that can go wrong in a dive happened to me in the first dive.
I don’t have much experience so I go into the water among the last ones, so I saving air.
We are about 30 people but, unexpected for me, we have not formed couples to go down safely.
So we all found ourselves in a row near the boat until the words that started the dive: “let’s go down as quickly as possible to -100 ft“.
This was not the signal I expected.

I start to descend slowly but quickly, soon finding myself alone around -65 ft.
I search one divers to continue safely but at least 20 people have already reached the established point, the others are above me with difficulty in go down.
While I ask me if it’s safer to end the descent on my own or wait for someone to reach me, I see a shark about 30 ft away.
Don’t ask me what shark it was, don’t ask me how many ft it was big… It’s the first sharks I see and I hadn’t imagined seeing it this way.
I go down as fast as possible thinking only “let’s go, before it sees you!“.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


But once I arrive at the established point, “the Cathedral”, I have more problems.
Because the videos you see on Youtube (but then I’ll do similar one) show perfect situations, calm breathing, stable images, serene divers resting on the coral reef.
The reality is damn different..


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


I thought to find a stable reef but there are only rocks on the seabed.
And at -100 ft sea current is very strong.
Maybe the situation or because lack of experience, but no one keep the structure and stay still.
When one moves, he moves at least 5 divers.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


That’s while a lot of sharks are feasting a few inches from us.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


When the situation has become too dangerous (or perhaps when the shark meal is over, I don’t know) the guides show the way to the second part of the dive, swimming countercurrent.
We are about -50 ft.
Here I find a better location. But the calm finishes soon.

On the right side, the current is visibly stronger and if I and others are repaired, the divers in that area have so many difficulties.
They cannot stand still and are swept from one side to the other, to practically involve the whole group.
Now, like inside a giant washing machine, there is chaos: it’s impossible not to inadvertently give and receive elbows, kicks and shots of scuba tank or lose something (cam but even worse the air source)..
Impossible not to end the dive and bring everyone back to the surface.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


But every diver, even the most experienced, knows that the main danger is always one: the air.
In a similar dive, even if it only lasted 25 minutes, can happen what you imagine: someone finish air in the scuba tank.
I have seen at least one other person with this problem.
Yes, another one, because I finished my air, at about -30 ft.

Near me there is however one of the guides and at the classic signaling gesture, I immediately receive the emergency air source (regarding the videos at home I’ll see that obviously there were various safety tanks in the water).
The ascent continues without further problems.
Once on the surface, I jump on the boat, realizing that I have lost my gopro.
Resigned, I notice one of the guides who descends without hesitation, recovering the cam (and also ending the video with sharks near him).


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


On the boat I need a few minutes to recover serenity. I’m not terrified but I think everything happened in the deep.
Others have not seen beautiful momentis. Someone has seen anything.
As mentioned, some divers at the beginning of the dive immediately found themselves in difficulty and, feel panic or isolated, come back on the boat.


With a cup of hot tea and something to eat, the moment of an important decision is approaching: do the second dive or stay on the boat?

I admit that I have long chosen the second option.
Too many things have happened down there, I don’t want to relive a similar experience, once I was lucky but I don’t know if the second would have the same result, I saw the free sharks in their habitat and maybe I’ll get a video from other sub…

But then I think the worst has already happened and it can’t happen again after a few minutes, I saw the sharks but I didn’t really admire them, I’m here, having lost and recovered my gopro means that I have to reuse it.
In short, I decide to do the second dive but to change my strategy.

I prepare well in advance and go into the water third.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


This allows me to go to -100 ft with the guides and choose the place sheltered from all currents.

I see the first curious sharks who observe us moving very slowly.
Now it must be all right and I just think not to get upset because everything depends on me.
While the rest of the group finishes the descent and settles down on the seabed, I’m relaxed, with the perfect set-up, I concentrate on slow breathing and my gopro is stabilized.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


Thousands of fish color the water and the number of sharks increases quickly.
They are curious, come up to a few centimeters and then change direction when I start to think that they are banging on me.. They are wonderful and it’s a very strong emotion to see them free, a dream come true.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


Then it’s time for lunch: a bin full of fish opens slowly and the sharks show all their power. They move more frantically and the water becomes cloudy.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


I enjoy an incredible show. I’m inside one of the many documentaries seen on TV.
About 100 sharks are close to me, almost caressing me, we can look each other in the eyes.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


In the meantime thousands of fish are hurtling in all directions, perhaps to recover the crumbs left by the owners of the oceans.
We are guests in their home. Privileged guests.
I was mentally prepared for this dive so I live it with total relax.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


The bin is moved horizontally so that all divers can live the same experience. I live what I was unable to see in the first dive.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


After about 15 minutes the guides repeatedly beat the air tank: it’s the signal that the dive must end and we have to begin the procedures for ascending to the surface.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


I don’t know if something went wrong with other divers but I think it’s likely.

However, I’m happy to have lived this experience and my video will excite me every time.


Diving with sharks is a difficult experience to explain if you don’t live it.
I wrote in the simple present tense to involve you in every moment and in every emotion.

Probably I risked a lot because my little experience but also divers with much more experience come back to the boat unable to get off quickly and others have still had difficulty managing the current.
Perhaps safety has not been impeccable but diving in Beqa Lagoon started a lot of years ago and no one has ever been killed or seriously injured.

However, you are surrounded by large sharks, potentially lethal predators that must be respected.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage


I think that animals which lives in this area of ​​the Pacific Ocean are now accustomed to divers and to receive the daily, certain, predictable and punctual meal.
We could also discuss how ethical this is, but I think that is important not to harm animals, and this happens, as shown by all scientific research.
These activities also guarantee the protection of sharks because they allow local communities to live thanks to the thousands of divers (amateurs, professionals, scientists, biologists, film directors etc.) who go daily to the Fiji Islands to live this incredible experience.

You should try it at least once in your life.


Fiji Islands - Beqa Lagoon - diving with sharks without cage



My first big disappointment

In Isla Holbox I had the first big disappointmen in my travels.

I have always associated Mexico with the EZLN and the Mayans but when I started planning my trip I looked for everything that might interest me.
Among the various possibilities, I discovered that the waters of Holbox Island are frequented, at certain times of the year, by whale sharks.
Up to 62 ft lenght and weighing 93,000 lb, it’s the largest non-cetacean animal in the world.
It’s not dangerous for humans (unless you get hit swimming too close) because it feeds mainly on plankton.
So I decided to spend two nights on the island to see this giant of the seas in its natural habitat.

But the weather disagreed.




Isla Holbox greeted me with a heavy deluge and the rain fell almost uninterruptedly for 4 days, stopping boats and chance of seeing whale sharks.
I canceled my reservation in Cancun to stay and wait for a better weather but it didn’t change.
With many regrets, I had to leave the island to fly to Cuba.

When you don’t go to a zoo, you risk not seeing the animals you were looking for.
For the first time since I started traveling, I had to deal with nature.

It also happened to me a few years later in Fiji, when too much wind kept the giant manta rays away.
But I must also say that I was lucky to see penguins in Patagonia, polar bears in Svalbard Islands, elephants in Laos, pandas in China, sharks in Fiji and whales in Tonga.


A goodbye is a new beginning

Certain places will remain forever linked to some fundamental decisions of our life.

Trolley or backpack? Sooner or later we all think about this question.
The answer is often determined by the type of trips and experiences.

I started traveling with a trolley because it’s easy to choose the comfort of the wheels compared to a weight to carry on the back.
But is this still valid?

Have you ever had to carry your trolley with all its weight on one side of your body, unbalance, up an infinite wooden staircase, then walk under a deluge for 2 km on an island where there are no asphalted roads but only sand, with the wheels that lock and become an additional slowing down while you’re completely soaked?
Yes, all this happened to me in Isla Holbox!!

Here, for this reason, I decided to say goodbye forever to my trolley and start my life as a backpacker traveler.

And I never regretted it.





I escaped in advance from the eternal crazy fun of Cancun to arrive in about 3 hours in the slow and calm Holbox.
The whole island is pedestrian zone so you could walk in search of the best souvenir or Mexican restaurant with the best tacos, lobster or ceviche.
Excluding work needs, the only means of transport are bikes and golf cars. Yes, just the electric cars used at the golf courses.
In the evening, residents and travelers go in pubs or in the main square, where there is live music.

The beaches are long stretches of fine white sand, with shallow water that degrades very slowly.




Holbox is part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve and is a natural refuge for various endangered species.
Most of the inhabitants are interested in keeping this ecosystem intact and participate in sustainable tourism projects.
From May to September it is usually possible to swim with whale sharks but, as mentioned, unfortunately the weather was not my friend and I was unable to live this experience.

If there are whale sharks, it means that there is also their favorite food: plankton.
Fireflies are the first animal we associate with the emission of light.
This phenomenon occurs thanks to some chemical reactions that take place in their body and involves many living organisms. Among these there is also plankton.

These organisms are unable to actively swim and are therefore transported by waves and currents.
And when the plankton shines in the dark, you see a spectacular sea of ​​stars.


Isla Holbox - Mexico - plankton bioluminescence


According to some scientific studies, bioluminescence is a defense weapon used by these microorganisms.
The intensity of the lightning flash at night annoys various predators, often photophobic, and also makes them visible to hunters of a higher trophic level.

At night, especially in the western part of the island, it is therefore possible to see the bioluminescence of plankton.

Besides total rest, other possible activities are kayaking in the mangroves of the lagoon and the observation of animals such as flamingos and pelicans.







On my trip to Mexico, Chiapas totally conquered me.
Not only for the particular atmosphere in San Cristóbal de Las Casas or for the teachings of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
The nature of the southernmost State of Mexico is incredible.
Forests, jungles, woods, waterfalls, rivers and caves are the natural habitat of parrots, toucans, monkeys, crocodiles.




If you want to avoid the tourist crowds in the more famous Sumidero Canyon, you have to go without regrets to the Rio La Venta Canyon.

Chiapas, Mexico: Rio La Venta Canyon


This canyon, more suitable if yout like trekking and exploration, is 50 miles long and its walls are up to 1300 ft high.
Going down 750 steps you get to the river that generated it, also reaching the beautiful Aguacero waterfall, 230 ft high.


Chiapas, Messico: Cascata del Aguacero


Inside the canyon there are many caves, used by pre-Hispanic populations both as a refuge and for ceremonies.
In the most remote area of ​​the canyon, known as “Sacred Canyon” and reachable with a trek of several days, the river allows kayaking and rafting excursions.


Chiapas - Mexico - Rio La Venta cave


Thousands of parrots live inside this impressive natural cavity, 460 ft deep and 525 ft in diameter.




I recommend sleeping in the nearby stone huts, to see the incredible exit of thousands of parrots from inside at sunrise.
After this show you could walk safely around the pit or rappel deep into the cavity.







In this way you reach a cave on whose internal walls there are various pre-Hispanic paintings.







I had never made a descent with the rope and being suspended there was very nice.
The descent was quiet and fun … but I still remember the effort to go up.




At sunset, the parrots come back to the chasm and you see their return..
They are very faithful animals and their couples are forever.
So is exciting to note how they always move in pairs.
Alone parrots are those who have not yet found company or have lost it and will still remain faithful to the end.


The Mayan citieshave left me speechless.
To be clear, for me they are much more beautiful than Machu Picchu.

This not only for the beauty of the buildings, but for the nature that surrounds, hides and protects them.
Most of Palenque‘s buildings are still buried under tropical vegetation.
But this isn’t a problem for the splendor that we see.


Chiapas - Mexico - Palenque


The same about Yaxchilan, an archaeological site on the border with Guatemala.


Chiapas - Mexico - Yaxchilan


You can even get here only by sailing on the historic Usumacinta River, the longest and most flowable river in Central America.


Chiapas - Mexico - Usumacinta River


These areas are obviously the natural habitat of many animals.


Chiapas - Mexico - Monkey in Yaxchilan










After the polar expedition with Hurtigruten to overcome the 80th parallel north, I chose a full day tour from Longyearbyen to Pyramiden and the Nordenskiöldbree Glacier, the last chance to see animals, absent in the previous days.
And incredibly it was the perfect choice.

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Gate 20 is on the lower level of Tromso airport and walking in the grey corridors seems to have already left Norway.
The passage to customs for passport control marks the exit from the Schengen areaand leads to the waiting room.

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I have always liked geography and I often find myself digging into memories looking for unusual and unknown destinations for future trips.
It is in one of these researches that the Svalbard Islands have become the enlightening destination.

The islands under the Norwegian flag, often even hidden by the arm of the earth’s axis in the globe, are the northernmost inhabited lands on our planet..

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