July
21

Top Five Amazing Beaches in Puerto Rico

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico! Welcome to Puerto Rico! This tropical island paradise is the home of MI OLA brand ambassador Andrea (@mermaid.drea ). When she isn’t in the water – free-diving to 40 feet, surfing, fishing, lobstering or playing in the waves – she’s on land doing yoga and exploring the outdoors. We caught up with this mermaid to get the scoop on her favorite beaches in Puerto Rico. Check it out below!

Our Top Five Amazing Beaches to Visit in Puerto Rico

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, PR

I love this beach because it’s where the sea turtles like to hang out in the West! I can literally spend hours snorkeling this beach – – I’ve encountered the most marine life thus far in PR.  Playa Peña Blanca is also a great place to spend the day lounging and tanning on the sand. However, if there is swell, the shore disappears and this place looks like a completely different beach!

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, PR

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

This is also a special spot because it is a part of the “Playuelas” sector, where community members are fighting against the construction of a massive resort, “The Christopher Columbus Landing Resort,” that would destroy this beautiful un-touched land. (For more information about the cause and how you can help “Save Playuela,” click here.)

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)—In Puerto Rico we call these beauties “Peje blanco” or “Tortuga verde.” Sea turtles are such beautiful creatures that when I encounter one I get lost just staring at them while they swim or eat sea grass.

Green Sea Turtle

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Juvenile French Angel Fish (Pomacanthus paru) – Another one of my favorite marine organisms are Angel Fish! This one here is a Juvenile French Angel Fish. You can tell because it has yellow stripes – – when they become adults their stripes disappear and they develop yellow specs.

Juvenile French Angel Fish

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

This is literally a beach bum’s playground!  This is my all-time-favorite go-to beach because when its flat, it’s the best place to kick back and pop open some beers or go practice your free-diving skills. When there are waves, you can spend all day surfing this fun sand bar or just playing in the huge shore break!  Coming to this beach can turn into an adventure.  On the opposite end of this beach, within walking distance, there is a beautiful tide pool called “La Poza de las Mujeres,” which is very popular among the locals. Some locals made the coolest palm tree hut which makes spending a day under the sun a lot better.

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR Scooby Doo

This is our dog Scooby Doo, he is a Labrador who LOVES the beach. I don’t think I had ever seen Pata Pata this calm before, it looked like a swimming pool! There is nothing more relaxing than spending the day just floating in these crystal-clear waters. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

This day was one of the gnarliest shore breaks I have seen thus far! During the winter I love coming here to shoot the barrels that form on the sand bar and play under the shore break. No matter how rough the waves get, the water is always clear. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Tamarindo, Culebra, PR

Culebra is a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. To arrive, you must take a boat, ferry, or an airplane. If you really want to go an adventure, camp on Flamenco Beach. Take your vehicle filled with food so you can cook over a campfire because there are very limited options (especially if you have dietary restrictions because there are only a few restaurants and not many supermarkets).

Tamarindo beach is walking distance from Flamenco. It is a bit of hike because there is a hill you have to go over, but it is another spot I love to dive! This is the best place to see marine life. The beach lies within the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve—and all of Culebra’s sea grass is listed as a critical habitat for endangered species and is protected by law. In other words, there are tons of sea turtle to see here because sea grass is a Green Sea Turtle’s favorite snack. I love coming here because you really get a chance to photograph and appreciate nature. Although snorkel gear rentals are available on Culebra, it’s better to bring your own snorkel gear. Flamenco Beach also has a reef you can snorkel, but during the winter there are huge waves. Tamarindo is located inside a bay so the water is flat all year-round.

Sea Turtle

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

 

 

Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR

Caza y Pesca is located in Arecibo in a sector called “Islote.” There are many fun breaks in this town, but this is one of my favorite surfing beaches because it is where I learned to catch waves! Some of the clearest waters I have seen on Puerto Rico are at the Arecibo beaches like this one. If you like to get barreled, then I suggest you surf Hallows Beach—a shallow reef break. Another one of my favorite surfing beaches in Arecibo is “La Cueva del Indio,” I like it because the wave is very long. The actual “Cueva del Indio” is a tourist attraction where scenes of the film “The Goonies” was filmed and it has a lot of our native Indians, the “Taínos,” hieroglyphics engraved in the walls.

Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR

This day was one of the toughest days for me at Caza y Pesca because the waves were all over the place, there were very strong currents, and it was super windy, but I gave it a shot anyways! I caught about 2 waves and decided to go relax on the sand with my friend photographer friend, Elvin, and have a little photoshoot. Photo by Elvin of MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

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Photo by Elvin of MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

July
14

#GetOutThereGuide: Learning to Kiteboard

 One of our favorite mermaids just so happens to be MI OLA brand ambassador Adrienne @yokeens. She moved to the Outer Banks, North Carolina a couple of  summers ago to spend her days surfing, windsurfing, beach bumming…and working at one of the coolest outdoor outfitters, REAL Watersports.  Jealous? Yeah, us too! We caught up with this adventurous mermaid to learn how to #GetOutThere on learning to kiteboard.

#GetOutThereGuide:  Learning how to Kiteboard

Hey there mermaids!  Love the water and seeking new exciting ways to enjoy it?  Kiteboarding is an amazing sport that with the right gear and the proper instruction, anyone can do!  It is always best to take some lessons to build a safe and solid foundation of skills before trying on your own.  Once you are up and riding, the possibilities are endless as you can kite all over the world in the ocean, the sound, on lakes, and even in the snow!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

Where to Kite:  One of the BEST places in the world to kite is the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  This barrier island has super consistent winds, miles of protected flat water which is mostly waist deep and multiple seasons in which kiting can be enjoyed.  You can kite on the sound side which is similar to a lake or you can go ocean side and slay the waves.  Traveling here is fairly easy compared to going somewhere out of the USA, so taking a weekend to learn to kite is totally achievable. Plus, you can easily find a spot all to yourself, or hit up one of the more popular launch areas to kite with new friends.

When to Kite:  Spring, Summer and Fall are the best times to come.  Both spring and fall offer less crowds, higher winds and mild weather/water temps (60s-70s). Summer is hot (80s air/water temp), but more crowded with more days of lower wind speeds.  And with the right wetsuit and a great attitude, you can absolutely kite in the winter (a full wetsuit, gloves and booties are needed)!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

What to Expect:  3 full days of instruction is the typical recommendation to get up and riding.  You will learn how to fly a trainer kite, how to board ride, how to control a kite in the water while body dragging, then combine everything to actually kiteboard.  There is a lot of safety and rigging of the kite to learn, but after a few times, everything will make sense!  If you have any background in other board sports (like surfing!), or wind related sports, these skills will for sure transfer over.

Kiting can seem intimidating as you are attached to a large kite.  But after you learn that small movements control the kite, flying becomes easy and fun….something you can do for hours on end!  The more finesse and timing you have the better, so a lot of times women tend to pick kiteboarding up more quickly than men because woman listen to their instructor and do exactly what they are told instead of trying to muscle or fight through it.  Patience and commitment is key, along with determination! The falls are actually pretty fun since you are in water (doesn’t hurt as much as learning to snowboard or ski)!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

Gear to Get:  Once you take a few lessons, getting a complete kite gear package is a great idea to continue kiting at home.  Be sure to talk to your instructor about what size will be best for you based on your weight, hometown average wind speed and the style of riding you want to progress into.

My go-to kite size is a 9m, while I also have an 11m and a 7m which rounds out my quiver.

Look for a kite with swept back wing tips and a small leading edge.  This will make the kite easy to relaunch and feel stable in the wind window, making smooth arching turns.  Kites such as the Core Free or Liquid Force NV are good options.  If you get a bar that is adjustable, then you will be able to use it on all sized kites, like the Liquid Force Response bar 46cm-56cm.

Board size will range based on weight and riding style, but for women, size 130cm to 140cm is a basic range. Getting a board with low to medium rocker and that is light in weight is a great idea to help progress to staying up wind and starting to jump. I ride a 134cm when doing freestyle, while I also ride a strapless surfboard (5’6).

A starter package will range in price, but lowest would be around $1200 for (new) 1 kite, bar, board, harness and pump.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and ask!  I’d be happy to lend a helping hand getting you to the Outer Banks to become a kiteboarding babe as I have a wealth of knowledge!  Also for gear selection check out Realwatersports.com as everything listed above can be found there.  Plus we offer lessons, camps and accommodations….and even jobs if you want to become a pro yourself.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

July
7

#GetOutThere Guide: Escalante, Utah

You might think Escalante, Utah, is just a blip on the map. It’s a town with less than 1000 residents, a small handful of restaurants, a few lodging choices, and a gas station. However, Escalante is the hub for all things outdoors in south central Utah where visitors can hike, rock climb, race around in ATVs, explore amazing slot canyons, and just get away from it all. The land surrounding Escalante, UT is public land for everyone to do what they enjoy. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument encompasses almost 3,000 square miles of pristine backcountry paradise.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Recently Becca, a MI OLA ambassador, and her husband pulled into town. Here is her #GetOutThere Guide to Escalante!

 

Hola MI OLA Mermaids! I’m Becca, a fellow mermaid who travels to the little obscure places on the map just to see what’s there. My husband and I call our 1978 Toyota Chinook home as we roam around the American West doing what we do best – exploring! I’ve narrowed down the many recreational activities available to my personal favorites for you to do your own exploring in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The best beginner slot canyons : Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

With Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons, you get a two for one deal! In one ½ day hike you can access two remarkable slot canyons. These slots aren’t technical, just a little rock scrambling with enough adventure to get your feet wet in the world of canyoneering.

To get there: Follow Hole in the Rock Road (BLM 200) for 25.9 miles. Turn left on BLM 252 and continue to the trailhead.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The best overnight backpacking trip : Reflection Canyon

Backpacking to Reflection Canyon is not for the faint at heart. You will be guaranteed blisters, sweltering heat, a hellacious desert slog, tricky navigating with a GPS, and incredible views. It’s 20 miles of rough going to say the least. With that being said, sunrise and sunset on the edge of a sandstone cliff overlooking the colorful lines of Reflection Canyon is an adventure you will surely never forget.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

To get there: Follow Hole in the Rock Road for 52 miles to the following GPS coordinates (37°15’21.70″N, 110°57’47.25″W). You will need a 4×4 vehicle with high clearance to make it to the trailhead. From the trailhead, be sure to have GPS waypoints, a compass, plenty of water, and be sure to tell someone where you are going. Stop at the Visitor Center in Escalante before you go to get all the up to date information.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The best desert waterfall: Lower Calf Creek Falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls is a gorgeous, 126 ft waterfall smack in the middle of the desert providing relief on the hot days. An easy 6 mile roundtrip trail leads hikers to a Lower Calf Creek Falls plummeting into a pleasant swimming hole. It’s the perfect place to relax during the heat of the day for a picnic!

To get there: From Escalante, follow UT-12 west towards Boulder for 16 miles to the trailhead on the left hand side of the road.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Where to Stay:

The newest lodging option in the area are Escalante Yurts! A friendly husband and wife duo personally welcome into beautifully decorated yurts with homemade breakfast scones from a local bakery. If you visit Escalante, you must stay here!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Where to Eat:

Escalante doesn’t have too many restaurants to choose from but every single one of them are delicious. Believe me, I tried them all! My personal favorites are Circle D Eatery and Escalante Outfitters. Circle D Eatery has locally raised beef to refuel after a long hike, Escalante Outfitters offers delicious pizza as well as lunch to go.

To Keep in Mind as you Plan your Adventure

  • Be sure to carry plenty of water and snacks. Hiking in the desert is not a casual stroll in the park!
  • Stop at the Visitor Center to talk to the local rangers. Pick up trail maps and ask about weather conditions. Escalante is wayyyyy out there, be prepared.
  • Plan a few days in Escalante to really get to know the area. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy Travels Mermaids!

 

June
30

MI OLA in Red, White and Blue

Happy #Friyay! Not only is today Friday, BUT it’s also the kickoff to one of the best holiday weekends in the US – – July 4th weekend!!! Days off, warm weather, sunshine, and more daylight to #GetOutThere is exactly what we love here at MI OLA. This July 4th holiday, we will be rocking our red, white, and blue – – MI OLA style. And just in case you need some bikini inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite MI OLA ‘kinis from our ambassadors and influencers. Go ahead and mix + match to rock your red, white, and blue!

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@amanda_strachan in our Thong tha Thong and Tira Halter

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@sirenwilliams in our Pin-Up Top and Casita Boythong

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@_elodypetit in our X-Back Top and Thong tha Thong

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@amanda_strachan in our X-Back Top

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Lorelei Maillot

 

P.S. Did you know that the red, white and blue of the US flag signifies purity and innocence (white), hardiness & valour (red), and vigilance, perseverance & justice (blue)?!?!

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@lenamahfouf in our Pin-Up Top and Supercheeky Bottoms

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Thong tha Thong and Premio Tank Rashie

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@lulumercer in our X-Back Top and Thong Tha Thong

 

AND in case you need a little outdoor #GetOutThere inspiration for things to do over July 4th (besides feasting with of hamburgers, corn, watermelon…and a couple of cold cervezas!), we’ve got you covered there too!

Plan a full or 1/2 day hike.

You don’t have to hop on a plane or drive a long distance – – check out the hiking trails in your backyard. For more inspiration, check out our Ambassador #GetOutThere Guides to hiking by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘. Or, if you’re nearer the beach than a trail, how about a long beach stroll?

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📷by @scottyj1208, featuring our Striped Boyshort and Pin-Up Top

If you’re near any body of water, go SUP or surf if there are waves!
There is nothing like a great day on the water. Check out our pretty awesome Surf Guides to waves right here in the USA, like Montauk, La Jolla, Rockaway, Deerfield Beach, Tybee IslandLong Beach, and Folly Beach.

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@giuliamanfrini and @misskellieeee in our Serena Zip Rashguard and Lorelei Maillot

 

Now go grab your bikini and celebrate! Happy 4th of July!

June
23

MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Ahhhhh, summer 2017 is officially here! With the super long days and warm weather, we chatted with the awesome MI OLA mermaids + brand ambassadors to create one epic Summer 2017 Bucket List. Are you ready for this? Check it out below!

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The MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Do you love paddle boarding, hiking and biking? Then head out to Lake Tahoe with Briana @wanderlovebri ! She is planning to paddle board around Lake Tahoe (~75 miles) over 4 days in July. Then, she will bike around the lake in a day.

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Photo by Briana @wanderlovebri

Sunlight until midnight?! Yes, yes, yes! Head to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway above the arctic circle with Susu @insta_susi. The Lofoten Islands have been on her list for years and this summer it’s finally gonna happen! Picture road tripping, comfy tent, pristine white sand beaches, beautiful mountains, and even waves to surf! Check out Susi’s Surf Guide to Northern Norway.
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Photo by Susi @insta_susi

Ahhhhh Tahiti! Pristine beaches, crystal clear water, waves, tropical foliage, and our very own brand ambassador Elise @babeinthewaves who just so happens to have a kite surf school with her hubby. Yogi + ambassador Amanda @mermanda_ would LOVE to visit Tahiti this summer – – so connect with these two because you’ll definitely get great kite surfing lessons AND yoga sessions!
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Photo by Amanda @mermanda_

A yoga outdoor festival? Yes please! Check out Wanderlust, a favorite of several of the MI OLA brand ambassadors. With over 15 Wanderulust festivals in just North America alone this summer, you can stay as close to home OR have an adventure!. Briana @wanderlovebri will be attending and working Wanderlust in Vermont and California! Be sure to check out our guide to Wanderlust!
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Photo by Lauren @rock3roll

Do you love hiking as much as ambassador Ashley @ayeboulet? Ashley is heading to Alaska this summer for a two week road / backpack trip. She’ll be backpacking the Kesugi Ridge in Denali National Park. Or check out these hiking guides by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘.
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Photo by Ashley @ayeboulet

 What’s on your list this summer?  Let us know in the comments and inspire us!

 

June
16

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

If you’ve been a tad bit too busy getting out there enjoying the warmer weather and forgot that Father’s Day is this Sunday (gasp!), we’ve got you covered (literally and with our surf bikinis that stay on!). Check out our top five last minute Father’s Day gift recommendations for the active dads in your life to help him keep up with you!

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MI OLA brand ambassador Jen P. @flentil with her family

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

  1. Grab a gift card to the ultimate online outdoor shop for men – Huckberry. Send the gift card directly to the dad in your life, or send it to yourself and print at home to deliver by hand (we recommend presenting with a bottle of his favorite drink).
  2. Meal subscription service to Thrive Foods Direct.  Perfect for your dad on the go! Focused on high-net-gain nutrition (aka the biggest nutritional bang after digestion), you may want a subscription too!
  3. Spotify Premium subscription, because there is nothing like being in the groove and staying in the groove (no pesky ad interruptions!)
  4. Cool outdoor gear that’s tried, tested, and delivered to his front door every month? Yes please! Enhance his outdoor experience with a subscription to Nomadik.
  5. For when he’s kicking up his feet and relaxing after a long day outside, how about a subscription to his favorite magazine like Outside Mag or an Amazon gift card for his favorite e-books?

 

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MI OLA brand ambassador Susi @insta_susi with her husband