In the land around the Sacred Valley of Peru, life is happening everywhere you look. Kids lead piggies on lengths of twine. Women walk the roads working yarn spindles with their hands. Men carry bundles of grass down from the mountains to add strength to their bricks, for it is brick-making season in the Sacred Valley. Warm sun, and a lack of rain are perfect brick making conditions.
A rising star on destination wish lists, Belize seems to have it all, inviting visitors to enjoy its sun-drenched shores and crystal-blue waters, tropical rainforests, and ancient ruins. Belize is a small country of about 341,000 people, located in Central America, between Mexico and Guatemala. With most direct flights lasting 4.5 hours or less, Belize is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the United States. Additionally, the country’s official language is English, making it ideal for tourists who want to experience the Latin American and Caribbean cultures, but who are not fluent in Spanish.
I first learned of this easternmost city in Germany in the days when it was a nearly forgotten place in the German Democratic Republic. Though lining its winding streets and spacious squares were more than 4,000 architectural monuments of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and other 19th-century architecture, they had long been neglected. But then, 25 years ago when Germany was united and UNESCO recognized Goerlitz as an architectural treasure, federal funds were allotted for its restoration. Today, it has become not only a prime tourist destination, but a prime site for film-makers, too.
The Baltic has long attracted adventurers, from Hanseatic League merchants, who first plied its waters six centuries ago, to modern-day visitors, who now cruise its harbors on ferries and luxury liners. Emerging triumphant from World War II and later Communist domination, the Baltic capitals offer some of Europe’s most dazzling cultural attractions as well as innovative, locally sourced cuisine.
Why you may wonder, are Belgium’s city of Mons and the Czech Republic’s Plzeň (or Pilsen as Americans would recognize it), marketing their distinctly different cities together? Yes, you could combine visits to both Mons and Plzeň via Eurail or Rail Europe rides taking seven hours, or a less than a two-hour flight, but no, that is not the link, at least not this year.
Simply put, no resort chain knows the Caribbean better than Sandals. With fifteen properties on six islands (Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Bahamas and Antigua), the adults-only all-inclusives sit pretty on the calm side of every island fronting beaches that are protected by offshore reefs.
One-stop-shopping for vacationers who covet the convenience of a no-wallet holiday, the upscale resorts come with high-end perks like a Rolls Royce pick-up at the airport, gratis Wi-Fi and butlers who are delighted to unpack your luggage, deliver breakfast in bed and cater a candlelit dinner on the beach. Upping the all-inclusive ante, the properties offer tour desks, spas, diverse dining and unlimited pours from top-shelf bottles from Napa’s Beringer Vineyards. Courtesy of a host of incentives for travel agents, Royal Bahamian in Nassau and Emerald Bay in Exuma are perennially popular for clients shopping for an everything-included vacation.
There are weddings and then there are really great weddings and although taking the plunge in the Caribbean is reliably great, creative nuptials beyond barefoot on the beach come with pretty good odds that you’ll never forget your anniversary. Whether it’s the first time down the aisle, three times lucky or vow renewals, Valentine’s Day, or any day as the winter winds blow at home, it is the perfect time for a heart-pumping new beginning that comes with a laundry list of conversation starters once you get back home.
“We have food, wine and festivals and families with strong ties to their heritage and tradition,” stated Mekhak Apresyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Tourist Department for the Republic of Armenia. “We want to share these with visitors making Armenia their destination,” he said, adding, “the country is stable and safe.”
In 2013, Armenia’s tourism and technology sector grew by 13%, “conditioned by increasing the quality of services and skills,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. The banking sector is open to foreign competition. The country has improved its investment, trade and fiscal strategies since gaining independence from the Soviets in 1991.
Travel agents all have at least one client seeking a unique vacation, one that offers a sense of discovery and greater world knowledge.
For that next one-of-a-kind adventurer consider Ethiopia, located in the horn of Africa.
One of the lesser traveled regions, Ethiopia has a fascinating history that actually begins with human civilization.
Ethiopia, entrenched with indigenous tradition and ceremony, is enjoying an uptick in tourism. Tourists will find that the people are friendly and curious about them.
Saying “Bula” (hello) will come naturally as soon as you step off the plane in Fiji, a year-round paradise located in the heart of the South Pacific, comprising an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are inhabited. Fiji is renowned for its stunning beaches, warm climate and relaxed island atmosphere, but it is also home to a local population of the most welcoming and helpful folks in the South Pacific.