Do improved relations between Cuba and the U.S. have you eager to visit the island before broader tourism changes it forever? Here are 5 Cuba adventures for 2015 with government-approved permits that legally allow Americans to go now.
Do you wish you could bring your yoga instructor on vacation? Have you vowed to continue your practice when you travel only to find that you don’t? Then check out this new Kenya Yoga Safari with my friend Whitney Bushnell, a private yoga instructor and travel professional.
This spring (May 16 - 24, 2014) Africa safari specialists Extraordinary Journeys and Whitney have teamed up in Kenya to offer a unique safari experience featuring exciting wildlife, bespoke luxury, breathtaking landscapes, authentic cultural engagement and exclusive yoga instruction.
I’ve been itching for an excuse to visit India. I’m also a gluttonous bookworm. So when travel professional Marta Rabins told me about this January trip centered around the Jaipur Literary Festival, I was instantly tempted.
There’s space still available. Should we go? Read on for details…
January 11 - 26, 2014.
While the annual Jaipur Literary Festival attracts world renowned speakers like author Gary Shteyngart and the Dalai Lama, it’s still a virtually unknown to U.S. travelers. The largest literary festival in the Asia-Pacific region, it’s held in the beautiful heritage Diggi Palace in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, one of the most colorful states in India. The festival draws authors, journalists, scholars and visitors from all over the world. While there, you can meet interesting people devoted to literature. You can also find fantastic new authors to follow, like Kota Neelima and Ashok Ferrey, a fabulous opportunity for anyone who enjoys discovering the world through books.
About the trip.
This journey with Ponte Travels begins in New Delhi, the nation’s thriving capital and a microcosm for the rest of India, and then takes you to Rajasthan to attend the annual Jaipur Literary Festival. Once the festival concludes, you’ll be off to Pushkar, Jodhpur and Udaipur, exploring and meeting village artisans along the way.
New Connections Journeys to Cuba to Begin in September 2013
Although only 90 miles separate the United States from Cuba, for decades it has remained off-limits for most Americans. Travel provider, Abercrombie & Kent is bridging the gap with Cuba: People to People, a 10-day program filled with meaningful interactions and people-to-people connections which reveal the spirit of this fascinating, culturally-rich island.
What to expect:
Limited to just 24 guests in a program that enables Americans to discover Cuba through a combination of authentic personal encounters designed to transform their understanding of the people of this enigmatic country, Abercrombie & Kent USA has been granted a license by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control to offer people-to-people educational exchange programs to Cuba.
From reindeer racing, midsummer pagan rituals and camel beauty pageants to crazy street carnivals, leg rowing races and even Ernest Hemingway’s favorite fete, global celebrations offer travelers unique opportunities to experience a country’s culture, cuisine and spirit.
To help you discover some of the planet’s biggest parties, custom travel company Kensington Tours has crafted a collection of trips exclusively designed to get you behind-the-scenes of the world’s best festivals.
Cruise the waters of time back to a celebration evocative of Southeast Asia centuries ago with a pilgrimage to Phaung Daw Oo – otherwise known as Myanmar’s Leg Rowing Festival. Held upon the shores of Inle Lake, a trip to this spiritual 18-day pageant is true cultural nirvana. Watch as a golden barge holding four Buddhas is towed by ornamented leg-rowers from private boat with expert guide. Take part in the eclectic festivities, from magic shows, dancing, leg rowing races and fireworks to fortune tellers, spiritual blessings and Burmese banquets. To amplify your experience, plan your visit to coincide with Thadingyut, the festival of lights.
As you may know, my husband, Hank, and I have been living in Latin America for nearly two years as part of our experiment in nomadic living. To help us plan a few new adventures in 2013, we turned to Myths and Mountains specialist Allie Almario for her extensive experience in organizing custom travel in South America.
Read on for Allie’s insider insights and recommendations, in case, like us, you’re planning to pack a suitcase for South America in the new year.
What’s trending in travel to South America?
More people are doing “combo” trips - combining one country with another. For example, our most popular trip this year has been our Across Patagonia itinerary, which starts on the Chilean side of Patagonia and crosses over into the Argentinian side or vice versa. Of course, combining the Galapagos with Machu Picchu continues to be a favorite travel combination. Why? I’m hearing a lot more of “Well, this might be the only time I ever get to XYZ, so I might as well do as much as possible.” My theory is that with such a precarious economy, people are being very protective about their vacation time and budget; more so than ever.
What’s new and exciting for travelers to do in South America?
South America used to be a backpacker’s dream. In some ways, it still is. But these days, people are looking for five-star experiences. It’s why the idea of trekking by day and enjoying luxury by night has taken on a whole new meaning there. Now, you can spend your days trekking to Machu Picchu and return at night to a luxury lodge where the staff will greet you with a cocktail, fluff your down comforter, and direct you to a hot tub where you can soak your tired body. Even Easter Island, which used to only offer basic accommodations, has opened a five-star Explora lodge. The days of settling for outdated motel-style rooms on the island have passed. If “glamping” in a tented camp with a view of palm trees and the ocean on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), one of the world’s most remote and mysterious archeological sites, is on your wish list, no problem.
What shouldn’t you do in South America?
Confuse the words “hostal” and “hostel.” Hostal is the Spanish word commonly used to describe a hotel, but it is not the same as a hostel, which is low-cost backpacker style dormitory hotel.