Archive: 2019

North America’s Top Camping Sites

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In North America you can find a plethora of super urban cities and settlements and also a host of natural attractions like exciting natural parks, hiking and trekking areas, and some of the best picturesque and thrilling camping sites. No wonder this is why different national parks and other natural settings get so many travelers and tourists from different parts across the world to visit their camping sites.


If you are a nature lover with its inexplicable abundance then North America with its wide superfluity of choices of camping sites is just the place for you. Here we shall make a list of the popular camping sites that you can check out for your upcoming vacation plans.


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Yosemite National Park – The Yosemite National Park is situated near the western Sierra Nevada in the region of central California. It is bounded by the Sierra National Forest on the southeast and by the Stanislaus National Forest on its northwest. The park covers an area that is spread across four counties. It has also been declared to be one of the World Heritage sites. The park is famous for its beautiful waterfalls, exquisite clear streams, interesting granite cliffs, the glorious natural lakes, meadows, mountains, and glaciers. This is a park that contains a wide variety of biological species. Nearly 95% of the park is reserved as untouched wilderness. The vegetation mass can be divided into five major subzones.


Joshua Tree National Park – This is another prominent American national reserve that is again situated near to California. It is situated on the eastern side of Los Angeles and is in the nearby vicinity of the Palm Springs and San Bernardino. The park is well known for its reserve of the Joshua trees that is a native species to the location of Mojave Desert. The park was declared as a national park in the year 1994. The national park is spread across an area of 790,636 acres making it a little bigger than the Rhode Island state. The park is a home to different varieties of flora and fauna that can offer a spectacularly exciting experience.


Glacier National Park – Based on the United States – Canada border, the Glacier national park is one of the most prominent national parks of North America. The park is spread across an area of 1 million acres and encompasses certain sections of the Rocky Mountains. This park was initially inhabited by the native ethnic Americans. Later the region was dominated by the European explorers. The mountains of this park were said to have begun their formation well over 170 millions of years ago. This region is the home to a vast number of native animal and plant species. The moose, grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats, and the Canadian lynxes also inhabit these forests and valley lands.


Acadia National Park – This national park of America is situated in the US state of Maine. The park within its sanctity preserves nearly half of the Mount Desert Island along with a number of smaller adjacent islands and also a section of the Schoodic Peninsula. This park was originally called Sieur de Monts. Later it was called the Lafayette National Park in the year 1919. The name Acadia was given finally in the year 1929. A recent survey points out that nearly 3.5 million visitors and travelers came to see the park in the year 2017. The park includes natural elements like the long stretching oceanic coastline, mountains, and woodlands of deciduous and coniferous trees, ponds, lakes, and wetlands.


Big Bend National Park – This famous national park of North America is based in Texas. The park is a significant national feature as is considered to be the biggest projected and reserved area in the region of Chihuahua Desert. This national park is the habitat of more than 1200 species of plants and also harbors more than 450 species and varieties of birds. You can also 75 specifies of animal and a total of 56 reptiles. This park is also a rich geological labyrinth where you can get dinosaur bones, sea fossils and also volcanic dikes. The park runs along the Rio Grande that serves to be a boundary between US and Mexico. This is why visitors to this park have to adhere to a good number of rules.


Yellowstone National park – It is yet again one of the most famous national parks that can be found in North America. In fact, situated in Wyoming, the Yellowstone National Park is one of the first ever national parks of the US and also the world largely. The park is renowned for its wildlife diversity and other geothermal features. The Old Faithful geyser is one of the chief attractions. The park has a diverse ecosystem however it is the subalpine forests that are the most prominent ecosystem layer. Yellowstone National park also has other attractions like the canyons, the natural lakes and rivers and also the mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the central attractions of the park that is centered on the biggest super volcano of the country – Yellowstone Caldera.


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Great Smoky Mountains – The mountain range originates from the North Carolina – Tennessee border and they are a sub-range to the famous and iconic Appalachian Mountains. The locals even refer to the range as ‘Smokies”. The park was established in the year 1934. Millions of tourists come to visit this park every year. This national park is included within the International Biosphere Reserve. The park is the natural habitat of the oldest forests of the Mississippi River Region. This place is also known to have the largest population of black bear and also the most diverse of the salamander.


Arches national park – Located in eastern Utah in North America, this is a national park that is just adjacent in its position to the Colorado River. The park boasts of 2000 and more natural sandstone arches that will also include the famous Delicate Arch. The park is also the home to many other geological formations and other significant resources. The park, in fact, boasts of the highest number of natural arches in the whole world. The park receives less than 10 inches of rainfall every year on an average. The park receives an estimation of 1.8 million tourists every year. It was originally called a national monument. However, the idea was revised and in 1971 it was designated as a national park.


The Adirondack Mountains and park – The Adirondack Mountains and the encircled park (that is encompassed by the mountains) is a massif situated in the northeastern part of New York. The boundaries of the park and the mountains correspond. The mountains give rise to a rough circular dome that is about 260 km in its diameter. This is one of the most interesting sites for camping in North America. The place has a heavy forest that includes a large variety of vegetation, species of trees and different types of animals, birds, and reptiles. There are marshes, swamps, and bogs that contain painted turtles spotted salamanders and a host of other animals.


Olympic National Park – This is a national park in North America that is situated in Washington. The park is based on the famous Olympic peninsula. The park consists of four different geographic regions – the Pacific coastline, the temperate rainforests, the alpine areas and the eastern side forest which is comparatively a drier area. The park within its frame boasts of three different ecosystems that will include the wildflower meadows, the subalpine forests and the rugged Pacific coast. The park has been declared by UNESCO to be an International Biosphere Reserve. In the year 1981, it was also declared to be a World Heritage Site.


Zion National Park – Located near Springdale in the southwestern region of Utah the Zion National Park is one of the most prominent national parks of North America. Zion Canyon is one of the significant features of this park. The walls of this canyon are reddish-tan hued. The park has unique geography being cradled between the Great Basin, The Colorado Plateau, and the Mojave Desert. It has different ecosystems and life zones that contain a wide diversity of animals and plants. There are over 289 types of birds, 75 species of mammals and 32 varieties of reptiles in the park. The different ecosystems of the park consist of the woodlands, the desert, the coniferous forests and the riparian. Within the Zion National Park, you can see beautiful mountains, magnum opus canyons, flowing rivers, and pristine natural arches. It is one of the best places for camping in North America. This is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to attract tourists and travelers from all over the world. This park receives millions of visitors every year.


Badlands National Park – The list of the national parks and natural reserves for camping in North America is never complete if we do not consider the name of Badlands National Park in South Dakota. To be precise it is based in the southwestern part of South Dakota. The park is the homeland of one of the biggest unscathed mixed-grass prairie in the US. It contains eroded buttes and the pinnacles. This is the habitat where one of the most endangered mammals of the world – the black-footed ferret has been reintroduced and is being fostered for a bigger population.


Crater Lake National Park – The Crater Lake is considered to be the fifth oldest national reserves and parks in North America. It is the only national park that is located in the southern region of Oregon. The caldera of Crater Lake is one of the chief attractions of this park. The Mount Mazama which is a destroyed volcano is also one of the attractions of the place. The park is encircled with hills and beautiful forests. It is one of the best places for camping and trekking. The Crater Lake is the second deepest lake in North America and it holds the ninth position for the same parameters when evaluated across the world. The lake has a striking blue color that attracts millions of visitors every year.


The Mount Rainier National Park – This national park is one of the prime attractions of camping in North America. This national park is based in the southeastern region of the Pierce County in Washington. The park was inaugurated and opened to all in the year 1899. It was opened as the fifth national park of the US. The Cascade Range is the highest point in Mount Rainier national park. The park has various attractions like rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. It is the home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna and it attracts a large gamut of visitors from all over the world every year.


See also: 5 things not to do with an ESTA


The above mentioned national parks are just a few of the national parks and reserves that can be found in different parts of North America. The continent of North America is a large one and it has diverse natural resources and ecosystems throughout its length and breadth. Hence this is a continent where you can find a large variety of camping sites and attractions that can cater to different types of people with different requirements and likings.


Before you think of moving out for a camping trail first make a clear understanding of the type of place that you wish to see. Mind the weather conditions too. This will help you to have a fruitful and a safe camping experience in the place. Additionally, you must also do detailed research about the prohibitions and the other rules and regulations that you need to follow once you are in that place.


eTA and ESTA- an Easy Way to Visit North America

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Travelling around the world is interesting and intriguing. We get to see the world and experience the differences that create a rainbow joining the poles so apart from each other. Earlier times travelling the world was not that much hard as the geographical barriers were convenient enough to cross with the newly invented ships and railroad. Paperwork was also a lot less compared to now. But as time went by and times changed, the security around geographical boundaries became tighter.

Paperwork increased and the concept of visa was slowly built up upon. Each and every country had different requirements that needed to be met prior to issuing the visa for that country. North America was a favorite with tourists for its raw beauty but the long process of procuring a visa often drew many away from travelling to the country and experiencing its culture. And the visa for every country differed. So application for making visas was also developed upon. Also, the visas were categorized as issued as required.

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The Concept of Visa

Visa is a permit to visit a country that you don’t have citizenship of. To enter the geographical boundaries of a nation that is not your motherland you need to fill out an application form stating your purpose of visit and the time you require to stay over there. Along with this, you need to assure the authorities that you have no past criminal records whatsoever or any kind of court cases pending against you. After a thorough background check is done and the details that you have provided are verified the visa application is forwarded for further checks. The visa is issued once all the checks are complete.

Categories of Visa

There are many different categories of visa to sort out the priority of the visa and to keep a track of migration as well as visitors. Also, the categories help both the country and the foreign land to keep an eye on the flow of people and eliminate any possible threats. Following are the visa categories available for issuance.

  1. Work Visa
  2. Student Visa
  3. Tourist Visa
  4. Dependent Visa
  5. Immigrant Visa

These visas are further divided into various sub categories. Each country has its own list of visa subcategories. Visiting North America for a foreigner can be quite tedious due to its huge visa requirements. To lessen the burden of issuing a visa for every small trip meant to last only a few days, electronic authorization was developed. This authorization was only given to the citizens of that country who checked under the Visa Waiver list. This made it easy for both the authorities handling the inflow and outflow of tourists and the tourists visiting the country.

Touring North America

Travelling to North America has become quite easy now as many different varieties of visa are available. Obtaining a visa can be a bit difficult for those citizens whose mother country does not have a bilateral agreement with North America. On the other hand, if you are from countries like Great Britain, France and Spain then you can visit the continent without a visa provided your tenure of the visit is no more than 90 days or one and a half month. Having a travel visa for North America also gives you a free pass to travel to Canada on minimum paperwork. North America is a huge continent and there is no end of tourist places to go and visit. You can also pay a visit to Mexico although some other extra formalities might be needed to be filled out.

Making an application for a visa is now even easier with the digital world progressing at a fast rate. There are ways to enter North America without a visa as well if you are well acquainted with the visa waiver procedures and you fulfil the requirements for the same. eTa and ESTA are two electronic mediums through which you can visit North America and Canada respectively without a visa. Let us have a clearer look at eTa and ESTA as these two are often confused as another type of visiting visa.

Check here the requirements for obtaining an ESTA Authorization.

What is eTa?

  • eTA is for Canadian entry and is an electronic medium of authorization that gives you a clearance to board a flight and enter the country without a visa provided you fall under the Visa Waiver Programme.
  • It has a validity of five years from the time of its issuance and is not at all connected to the number of days that you are allowed to stay in the country without a visa.
  • eTA normally makes the long difficult process of obtaining a visa easier and if you want to visit the country for a few days you can easily use this authorization to enter the country and go around. For a few day tour plans, you would now no longer need to apply for a visa and go through mind-numbing extra-long procedures.
  • eTA basically means Electronic Travel Authorization. It is a basic transit pass that helps you to catch your flight from a Canadian airport without a visa. But then also you will need to provide all the required documents at the immigration check center.
  • If you have already been to the country before on an eTA then you need to show the required proofs and a valid passport. Having a permit also speeds up the process and increases the chances of you getting a re-entry to the country.
  • Only the travelers who are availing the services of flights need an eTA. Travelers who are securing entry into the country through a bust, ship or train do not need to produce an eTA.
  • Also, if you belong to the U.S. you do not need to possess an eTA. Canadian citizens also do not need to apply for this transit authorization.
  • Those who belong from the Visa Waiver program can apply for the flight clearance but those belonging from other countries that do not fall under the visa waiver list need to have a visa if your travel route is via Canada.

What is ESTA?

  • ESTA is an electronic authorization or flight clearance for visiting as well for transit through USA air and sea ports.
  • You can apply for this clearance if your native country has bilateral agreements and falls under the checklist of the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Having an ESTA helps to get easy passage through North America although the passage and entry are very strictly regulated by the border security officials and the other concerned authorities.
  • While applying for ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program it is of utmost importance that you do not hold a travel visa.
  • You have to provide all the proofs and also employment records if needed to gain entry via ESTA.
  • The full form for ESTA is Electronic System for Travel Authorization. You can easily apply online from your home, office, or even a coffee shop.
  • Ensure that you have a valid passport. You must be a citizen of a country that comes under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • The ESTA allows you a stay for lesser than 90 days for either travel or business purposes. But to enter the country you must have complete and original documents to show to the authorities.
  • Immediate approvals for Australian travelers were already available but for security reasons, they have been withdrawn and now the Australian citizens visiting the USA for a shorter period of time have to apply for an ESTA Authorization at least 72 hours in advance. If this application is not done and processed on time the airlines can deny the flyer from boarding the flight.

Applying for eTA and ESTA

If you have plans visiting both USA and Canada then we invite you to apply for ESTA and for eTA – the Canadian online travel permit. Each of them is valid separately and permits entrance

eTA Application:

  • The eTA application form is quick and simple to fill. All you’ll need are your personal details and contact information along with proof of identity and scanned copy of the documents.
  • If your application is taking time to get processed then do not fret as it might sometime take some days to verify and process all the information.
  • It is advised that you pre-book your eTA first before you book your flight ticket as a potential delay may also detain you from boarding your flight and thus causing you a huge financial loss. And of course, will disrupt your plans.
  • You can fill up the application one by one if you are visiting with a group of people.
  • Be careful while entering your passport number as entering a wrong passport number might result in cancellation of your trip and transit pass.
  • Once your application is processed you will receive the eTA on the e-mail address you had provided earlier while filling out the form.
  • The check-in at the airport ensures that you have the correct passport and all the identity proofs with you. In case you had to provide additional documents carry the original of those documents as well.

See also: 10 Ordinary Things not to Bring with You on the Airplane

ESTA Application:

  • ESTA application is also made online. The application form is pretty straightforward and you will need to put in only the amount of information asked for.
  • While filling up the forms you will need to fill out the answers to some questions asked.
  • You will be contacted through your e-mail or your contact number to inform you about your ESTA approval.
  • Only citizens of those countries falling under Visa Waiver can apply for this type of travel permit.
  • While checking-in, you will be required to provide all the related documents along with your valid passport. Remember to carry any additional documentation that you had uploaded while applying for your ESTA Authorization.

Although these mediums have lessened the load on issuing a visa, these two authorizations have some boundaries and these boundaries are strictly regulated. Although the permission is received almost immediately after application, lack of proper documentation can result in cancellation.

Now that you have a clearer idea of eTA and ESTA you are free to go on a North American tour anytime you want. It not only makes the procedure of your travel easier but also ensures that you get all the facilities that a person with a visa does. Also, it is important that you already have a return ticket after you get the clearance for boarding the flight without a visa. Enjoy a happy tour to North America and continue onwards to the dream country of Canada with your eTA and ESTA.