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My Temezcal Experience – Tulum, MX

The reasons that places from all over the world draw me in is due to their beauty and unique spiritual experiences. That’s what this Travel + Spirit blog is all about! Tulum is full of spiritual experiences, but the one that stood out to me tremendously was a spiritual endeavor called Temezcal.

Temezcal is an experience that takes place in a stone igloo with a small door that you have to crawl into on your knees, symbolizing reentering the womb of Mother Earth. Before you enter, you must be cleansed, using the smoke of copal (a incense like sap, used by the Maya) as well as set an intention for the experience.

Usually these experiences can have up to 15-20 people, but can get as small as a personal or private experience as well. My experience was at Holistika and had 15 people with plenty of space for us all. Everyone sits inside the igloo, including the Shaman as he introduces how the experience will go.

There are four doors of the Temezcal, representing the four elements. Each door is focused on a different type of healing and each door gets hotter than the last. Our Shaman was very calm and light hearted, reassuring us what was normal to feel and what was not, but also letting us all know that we cannot be denied to leave if we want to leave the experience.

After everyone is ready, we started greeting in ancient lava stones from the central Mexico and greeting them as our abuelitas (ancestors). This is tradition for Temezcal in Mexico because the Mexican cultures honors Mother Earth as ancient and wise, having lived through so much, they know so much (just like our ancestors). The water here from cenotes and the ocean is often referred to in this way and I believe it to be so beautiful.

Each lava rock is greeted into the Temezcal, into the fire pit in the middle of the igloo and afterwards our Shaman informed us and comforted us about the experience we are about to have before we declare we are ready for the journey in the first door.

“Abuelito puerto!” we all chanted as the door to the igloo closes and we enter the first door. It is pure darkness, the darkest experience you could ever have. You can’t see your hand in front of your face or know the difference between your eyes open or close.

I didn’t know that this would make my heart race, just the simple darkness, but it did. What I loved about this was that even though there were others in the igloo with me, it was truly an internal experience within your Soul. No one can see you chanting, moving, shaking… and most of all sweating your ass off.

Now every Temezcal is very different, but for this experience, the first door was about expression. Many were shouting, making animalistic noises, yelling or crying. For myself, I was in a very good place in my journey and found myself smiling and laughing. The experience is to let go of trapped emotions within the body through expression and detoxifying it through your pores. I found here that maybe what I needed to express more was pure joy and happiness.

Each door was about 15 minutes long before we opened the door to let the light in and took about five minutes to process the journey with ourselves and/or our Shaman. They brought in more lava rocks and poured more herbs and water onto them before we then entered the next door with “abuelito Puerto” once again.

Each door had a different journey that increased in temperature and difficulty and it was not abnormal for a few people to leave. For me, it felt hard to breathe, it felt like I wasn’t getting oxygen because of the heat, although I was. I also felt a pain in my chest. This was an experience another person had that the Shaman provided insight on.

He asked if we had any heart problems. Answer being no, he then proceeded to ask how our relationship was with certain people in our lives until it was pinpointed. For me, it was much relationship healing to be had with my parents. He described this as a heart chakra blockage, as our bodies are releasing our stuck emotions physically and emotionally and the heart is having a heart time releasing.

This made so much sense to me that afterward provided a whole new perspective within the relationship with my family.

When we put out bodies into uncomfortable situations, such as breath work, ice baths or Temezcal, our mind goes into a place of feeling like it’s unsafe. In this case, that you will die from dehydration (although you drink water beforehand and have water to drink during if you’d like). When this happens, our subconscious mind attaches to stored emotions and traumas in the body to signal to our conscious mind that we are not safe. This is how these experiences can heal trapped subconscious traumas by diving deep into the body and mind and releasing them through expression, sweat, movement and any other way your body decides to release it during this experience.

The last door was focused on new affirmations to bring to life when we are reborn out of the womb of Mother Earth. Out of pure darkness, people took turns saying affirmations that they wanted to bring to life when they are born again and everyone else would repeat them.

It was such a powerful way to end the experience.

When the door opened, we closed our experience by coming out of the igloo one by one. Once again, because the door is low, you have to crawl out. We prayed in front of the door, affirming they we were reborn before leaving the igloo. And man, even the humid heat of Mexico felt nice after that!

Afterwards, we each took a turn speaking about our experience to the group and throwing some copal into the fire to gather and close off the expansive experience.

I must say… I absolutely loved it! I highly recommend anyone looking to challenge their body and minds. You may even think you have nothing to release, but you will find it stored deep in your mind and you truly feel reborn afterwards. It is nothing to enter into lightly, it is a difficult experience but I promise you can do it and it will be worth every drop of sweat.

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Umpqua Hot Springs

The Umpqua National Forest is full of beauty, it’s much like a smaller Columbia River Gorge in my opinion.

While taking Highway 138, to or from Crater Lake, it runs along the spectacularly turquoise North Umpqua River.

There are plenty of natural wonders along this highway, but the Umpqua Hot Springs is one to be recognized above all else.

It is fairly simple to find, if your heading east on highway 138 from Roseburg, it’s just past mile marker 59, follow signs to Toketee Falls.

Toketee Falls

The hike to Toketee falls is about a two mile, fairly easy hike. There are plenty of viewpoints, but you do have to use a rope to get down to the bottom to get the best views.

There will be warning signs telling you not to go down the rope, so whether you do so or not is up to you.

To get to the hot springs, you will continue straight on this road for another two miles, it will break off at one point, stay to the right. You will continue down that road for another two miles and the parking lot for the trail head will be on the left. The trail can get fairly steep, there are rails to help you up the steepest points.

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It is possible the road will be blocked off, it was when we went! If there is significant snow, you will have to park at the closed gate and hike the two miles to the trail head.

I personally think that the snow made the hot springs even more beautiful.

Even in the snow, these hot springs were still plenty hot, there is about a total of seven or eight pools, they get colder as you go down.

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AirBnb Eco-Cottage – Portland, OR

Portland is such a unique city. It has the perfect combination of outdoors, great food and shops. It’s close to the coast, to the forests, to the Columbia River Gorge and so many other gorgeous Oregon natural gems.

It can be hard to find the right combination of nature and the city life, so you don’t have to drive thirty minutes to get to downtown during your stay in the Portland area. Which is why I recommend this gorgeous eco-cottage found near the Pearl District of Portland.

This eco-cottage is very different in such a beautiful way. If you like tiny house living, this place is perfect for you!

This is an Airbnb, so you do need to book it here.

The home is very small and simple, it is almost like glamping; all easily connected to the outside with lots of natural lighting. The bathroom is located outside with lots of wood and rock, a very spa retreat-like feel.

The toilet is very different and has specific rules for use, but it used absolutely no water!

There is a hot tub and an outdoor shower in an area that contains plenty of bamboo and wood, it seems like your showering in Thailand. The hot water is fantastic, we were there in November and it wasn’t too cold outside! But there is also a space heater to help keep it warm outside.

This space is behind the owners home, but very private. It has a wooden gate all around, withholding an overgrown, garden oasis. We saw plenty of squirrels and raccoons wandering around.

Though we were in a neighborhood in the city, it was also quiet. There was plenty of nature around us and even a park across the street. Some bikes and a canoe are available to use during your stay as well.

This retreat has no t. v but plenty of interesting books; which I loved. It truly forces you to unwind and experience something different than the traditional hotel.

My stay was pure bliss.

If you don’t already have an AirBnb, use this link to create yours and you will get a $40 credit!

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My Full Moon Affirmation Cleanse

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With the energy that came in the month of October, I can say that this energy has impacted my life greatly. It has brought me to my knees and one point and I had to get myself back up and believe that everything has a purpose and I am grateful to simply be alive every morning.

That’s why at the end of this month, this full moon has great meaning to me, and I believe it may to a lot of people, as the energy this month has been a little weird.

It is important to verbally remind yourself of all the things in life you are truly grateful for, I hope you will partake in these actions tonight under this full moon in the Taurus.

Set Your Aura

You’re aura is the energy you give off around you, this is with you always. But when I take the time aside to meditate, I like to set my atmosphere to amplify my emotions in a spiritual way. I like to set out crystals that resonate with me, light candles and incense. This helps me to meditate deeper, but these things are absolutely not a necessity to do.

Just be sure to be in a safe and quiet place, where you can close your eyes and focus on your intentions and nothing else.

You can choose to have silence, meditation music, nature sounds, singing bowls or whichever you choose. I like all four of these options and it always changes which one I choose to listen to.

The Meditation

I do simple affirmations every day, but on this full moon I want to go deeper and I think this is good to do every now and again.

Sometimes I will meditate in silence first and sometimes I will do my affirmations before I meditate, what you choose to do is up to you. How you choose to sit, stand or lay is up to you. I do not believe specific guidelines during meditation.

Take this time to envision your life in a grateful way, every thing and every person you are grateful for, feel that gratefulness within you. Imagine yourself exactly as the person you wish to be five years from now, where you are, what you’re doing… see yourself exactly as you want to be and feel it as if it’s already here.

Affirmation Cards

The Affirmations

Everyone’s affirmations should be different, mine should be different from yours as yours should be from another. But I will give you some ideas, as these are the affirmations that I will tell myself on this full moon.

I am happy.

I am happy to wake up this morning, to sleep comfortably tonight.

I am grateful for this day I had to live, for the food and drink that I was so fortunate to have.

It is in my power to be happy every day, I make that choice.

I am grateful for the love in my life, my family, my boyfriend, my animals, my friends. I’m grateful for my home, for my warmth. I know that I am fortunate.

I am confident, I am honest, I am grateful. I am loved, I am smart, I am creative, I am a go-getter. I am happy, I spread happiness, I spread laughter, I spread love. I am well-spoken, I am successful, I can do anything that I want to do.

I am kind, I am strong, I am powerful, I am persistent.

I leave all things that no longer serve me to make space for the things that I need in my life.

Affirmations are all about speaking to your conscious and subconscious, saying all the things you want to be as if you already are them. In it’s own miracle way it helps you to become all of these things within time.

I always add gratefulness to this, and doing so allows you to realize exactly how much you have to be thankful for, no matter how simple they are. Afterwards, the negative things begin to disappear and more positive things begin to come your way.

Allow these affirmations to help you realize that your life is all you pertain it to be, it’s all you say it is and it’s all that you focus on.

I hope you feel fulfilled on this full moon <3

Join the next round of my moon manifestation course!

The next round begins on the new moon… Say yes to your own growth, say yes to new possibilities and the Universe will say yes right back.

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Grifford Pinchot National Forest

This is among the most beautiful places to explore nature in Washington. Filled with gorgeous mountains, inactive volcanoes and luscious forests. This place is worth a long camping trip in the summer, or even the long drive to see some of it’s wonders in a day trip. The hikes and waterfalls in this area are endless because of all the mountains in the area.

Here are some of this forests best sites.

Mount Saint Helens Area

This inactive volcano is famous for it’s incredible destruction in 1980, you can see incredible views of this volcano and the effects of it’s eruption and learn more about it. It’s pretty amazing.

Ape Caves

The ape caves are truly unique, make sure to bring a flash light and warm clothing, because it is pitch dark! It’s quiet the adventure to work you way through this two and half mile lava tube, the longest continuous cave in the U. S!

Lava Canyon

This is a round trip, five mile hike, so not too bad. It leads to some spectacular views and Lava Falls.

Windy Ridge Viewpoint

This is the easiest viewpoint to see Mount St. Helens, it’s a stunning view where you can also see Spirit Lake. There is also a hike along Windy Ridge called Loowit trail, a 28 mile round-trip hike that has gorgeous waterfall along the way. Make sure to research required permits for hikes such as this in the area.

Mt. Adams Area

This area is particularly known for climbing Mt. Adams, it is a a 10 mile, round trip hike with a 4500 ft elevation gain, and leads to some amazing views!

Waterfalls

With the Columbia River Gorge being on the opposite site of this area, it has no shortage of gorgeous waterfalls, some of my favorite in the state are in this area!

Lower Lewis Falls

I believe this to be the most beautiful waterfall in Washington, it flows so perfectly and is wide, and it is easy to get to the bottom of the falls for amazing views and a swim πŸ™‚ The long drive is beautiful and it is a short quarter mile hike that allows every viewpoint.

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Panther Creek Falls

This waterfall is simply magical, it trickles down a long wall of rock and you can even explore the river before it falls as well. There is access to the bottom of the falls as well.

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Spirit Falls

This waterfall is a gem, bright blue with a tremendous fall. It’s a little hike, about a mile and can be quiet muddy. All the more of an amazing nature experience!

Falls Creek Falls

There are plenty of views during the 4 mile round trip hike to this waterfall, including a suspension bridge and a partial hike along the river.

This forest is one of Washington’s best, so if you’re looking for a place to explore within the state, you can get the best of both world’s in this green forest between three mountains.

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Best Waterfalls in Washington

Panther Creek Falls

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I love the location of this waterfall, I saw it in the middle of winter. It was snowing and everything was covered in white as this waterfall trickles down a rock wall high up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This waterfall is located near the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and the whole area is gorgeous!

You can also hike to the bottom of this, it’s not difficult, it was just too slippery for us at that time but I recommend it!

Snoqualmie Falls

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Snoqualmie Falls in located in the small city of Snoqualmie, clearly, but it is quiet the sight. I’ve heard there are ways to get to the bottom, which would be amazing.

Rocky Brook Falls

This is my second favorite waterfall in Washington. Located on the Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest, an area full of beautiful waterfalls, but this one is well hidden and contains only a small sign you couldn’t see from the road. It’s about a quarter mile, easy hike to the waterfall and you can get right up to it and even climb up it a bit!

There is also a small pool at the bottom that we were pleased to jump off rocks into πŸ™‚

Marymere Falls

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The area of which this waterfall is, is spectacular. Near the Olympic National Forest and the ever-so-blue Lake Crecent, you’ll find a short half-mile hike to find this waterfall. I think it’s the location that makes this waterfall stand out to me

Lower Lewis Falls

This is my favorite waterfall I’ve seen in Washington! This spectacular waterfall is one of the many waterfalls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, it is not a waterfall that is right off the side of the road by any means, it is deep into this forest, a long drive up towards Ape Caves in the Mt. St. Helens region. The hike once you hit the parking lot is only a quarter mile and there are many viewpoints and even access to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where you can swim or walk on the shallow grounds! You can also access the top of the waterfall and find some swimming holes or cliff jump into the deeper parts of bottom of the waterfall.

Palouse Falls

This waterfall is massive! The biggest in Washington I’m pretty damn sure! You can see the waterfall from the parking lot, it pours into a giant crater so perfectly. You are able to hike along the rock sides and where the river flows before it leaves down the waterfall. You can even climb dangerously along the rocks where the waterfall falls off the giant ledge. There is also a small path to get down to the bottom, it looks a little sketchy, we didn’t do it but it would be an amazing view!

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Kauai – The Garden Island (Six must visit places in Kauai)

Wailua River

The Wailua River is a wide river very popular for kayaking and paddle boarding. It takes about three hours round trip to paddle board and it is full of luscious rainforest and stunning views every where you turn. From it, you can paddle to Secret Falls, located in a small village about half way through your trip and one other waterfall. We rented our boards from an amazing shop very close to the main entrance for the river, Stand Up Paddle.


O’opaka Falls


O’opaka Falls is easily accessible to view, it is a massive waterfall that you can see from a distance right off the road, in the middle of Kauai’s luscious rain forests.


Wimea Falls


Wimea Falls is a very tall waterfall, also easily accessible. The view point allows you to see from the top down, though you can also climb to the bottom which I highly recommend.


Wimea Canyon State Park

Wimea Canyon State Park is an absolute MUST SEE on the island of Kauai. You can spot gorgeous views throughout the entire park, waterfalls, canyons, forests, red sand areas and several incredible viewpoints.

There are several hiking paths in this park as well that supply spectacular views!

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Na Pali Coast


There are many ways to access the Na Pali Coast, most of which costs you money, such as a boat tour or a helicopter tour. Both of these, we wished to have done, but it was simply too expensive but I do recommend it if you have the money for it.

Queens Bath

There are many other incredible places to see on the island of Kauai, but these were my absolute favorites.

This island is magical, you can even spot the forbidden island of Niihau, from the western part of the island.

It is much more luscious greenery than the other islands.

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Exploring The Columbia River Gorge

I’ve drove through this amazing gorge in the past and gazed upon it’s beauty but never really stopped and explored the area, so that’s exactly what we did last weekend and it’s one of my favorite locations in both Washington and Oregon, as it is located on both sides.

We made our way to the Columbia River Gorge from the Oregon side, which has more of the popular views and waterfalls. I recommend taking the Historic Highway, just the drive is gorgeous and you will find many waterfalls along the way that I cannot find the names to, as they are a little smaller, but it is a must do. If you have an R. V, it may not be quiet safe for you to drive it though.

The first official stop we made was Latourell Falls, one of my favorite Oregon waterfalls, you can get right up to where the water meets. It’s so powerful you can feel the spray without being too close, this thing is massive!

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We saw a trail that led further down that I definitely recommend taking, the entire area is gorgeous.

There are many other stops along the Historic Highway, Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, was unfortunately blocked off during the season, so we couldn’t get any good shots, but it is still quiet the view. When on the Washington side of the Gorge, you can still see this massive waterfall on the other side of the Columbia River.

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We didn’t get photos of Bridal Veil Falls or Horsetail Falls because that part of the Historic Highway was closed when we were there, but we will be sure to be back to these natural wonders.

When driving along the Gorge, make sure to look onto the Washington side of the river to see an enormous waterfall going down into the river, I’m not sure of the name of this but it is absolutely breathtaking.

As I said before, you will run into waterfalls along this highway every few minutes and each one is worth stopping to see, some even without names. For a full list of the popular waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, click here.

We crossed over the Bridge Of The Gods, which links the Oregon portion of the Gorge to Washington and is a two dollar toll bridge that is pretty awesome.

Once we got onto the Washington side, we found a local secret waterfall that took us on a National Forest Development road all the way up a mountain where it began to snow! By the time we left this area, we had about two feet of snow!

The waterfall we saw was Panther Creek Falls and it was amazing, it was a short hike downhill with an overlook, it also has a little rock climb down to the lower level. It has a rope to help you down and I definitely recommend it.

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Afterwards, we started heading towards our Airbnb towards Washougal and stopped at Cape Horn, right off the highway and it is STUNNING! You can see the entire Gorge and even spot the waterfalls on the Oregon side.

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In Washougal, we stayed at a Treehouse we found on Airbnb, and it was perfect for our lifestyle! I definitely recommend Airbnb for travelers, it allows you to meet new people and discover new creative homes and places.

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Washougal Treehouse. Click here to sign up for Airbnb and get $40 off your first stay.

We are going to be heading back to this area soon, the summer would be more ideal for this area so we wont run into snow again. But after doing some research, we realized that there is an incredible amount of hidden waterfalls on the Washington side of the Gorge that we must see! We already have a wish list.

We used the book, Curious Gorge, to help us find all these waterfalls and it was extremely helpful and will be our guide for our next adventure here.

If you’d like to check this book out, click here.

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Traveling Washington 101 North (Temperate Rainforests, Ruby Beach and Cape Flattery)

Though I’ve lived at the bottom of the Washington coast all my life, last weekend was the first time I drove all the way up 101 North. We’ve just about traveled all of the 101 highway now, and Washington’s coast is not much short of Oregon’s.

We took advantage of good winter weather and traveled from South Bend, WA, up 101 all the way to the most northwestern tip of the United States, Cape Flattery. Of course we stopped at some destinations along the way, and all of them were amazing, where the temperate rainforests of Washington meet with the coastal waves.

Our first stop was Quinault, a beautiful area full of nature trails from a quarter mile long, to full backpacking trips. The largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world lives in this lush forest, as well as many other large trees and some coastal redwoods. There are plenty of waterfalls, some you can hike to and some right off of the road.

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We stayed in the Quinault lodge, though in the summer there are so many beautiful camping spots next to the Lake Quinault. This lodge is gorgeous and relaxing though, with access to trails and the lake right outside. It has a nice restaurant, pool, game room and an overall nice environment.

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The next morning we woke up and started heading further north, our next stop being Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, some of the coastal gems of Washington.

Kalaloch Beach has a famous tree called the Tree of Life or Big Tree Cave. You can see the entire root system from the beach, it grows in the air and the ends connect to the ground, above the beach.

Ruby Beach has lots of giant coastal rocks, easily accessible from the sand. One has a natural arch, others have holes through them, it is quite the site. You can spot some star fish, sea urchins and other marine life as well.

This beach is called Ruby Beach because you can find ruby clusters within the rocks if you look hard enough!

 

After this pit stop, we headed up North towards Port Angeles, I recommend stopping at Lake Crescent along the way, as it is beautiful and has a hike to a waterfall that is lovely. We stayed in Port Angeles for the night and headed west to the northwestern tip of the U. S, Cape Flattery. This is about two hours from Port Angeles and well worth it.

Located on an Indian Reservation, it is a well-kept trail with handmade walking sticks for anyone in need. The trail is wooden and an absolute gorgeous two-mile hike, round-trip. There are several viewpoints along this trail, and every one is worth seeing. You can see coastal rock caves where the ocean meets, many coastal rocks and an island not too far from the edge of the cape with a lighthouse.

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The northwestern tip is nothing short of magical, and every step to get there makes the adventure even more beautiful.

 

 

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Cape Kiwanda – Pacific City, Oregon

Cape Kiwanda is my favorite cape on the Oregon coast, and that says a lot because Oregon is full of beautiful coastal lines.

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The best thing about the Oregon coast is it’s Oregon Beach Bill, which allows you to wander anywhere your heart desires on the beaches, as the beaches belong to the people and are protected from being owned or industrialized. So many signs can say to not go beyond this point or something, but it’s more of a warning.

Cape Kiwanda is located in Pacific City, a small, simple and beautiful town that I love so much! The beach is a very public beach and not hard to find, it also has Pelican Brewing (which has great beer) right on the beach, which is a perfect place with outdoor seating to enjoy the view of haystack rock and the sunset.

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There’s also a good amount of waves to surf, which many people do here. If your entering the beach, you’ll see a huge sandhill to the right, climb this and you will be on top of Cape Kiwanda.

Once you get on top of this sand hill, there is so much to space to wander, and so many views to see, make sure not to miss a single one and to experience it as best you can, ignoring the warning signs!

Also, make sure to take the scenic view to get to Pacific City, which allows you to see two other capes before Cape Kiwanda, it’s called the three capes scenic drive. You’ll take a right about 20 miles before Pacific City to take this route, there will only be one sign, so much sure to keep a look out for it.

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Map location and directions here