I first become obsessed with the idea of visiting Antelope Canyon, located east of Page, Arizona, a few years ago when I saw mesmerizing...
I first become obsessed with the idea of visiting Antelope Canyon, located east of Page, Arizona, a few years ago when I saw mesmerizing painting-like photos of the slot canyon’s striking light and shadows cast along the brightly colored sandstone walls, sculpted and carved from millions of years of water and wind erosion. It’s a stunning natural wonder I’ve been dying to see for myself. As one of the most photographed attractions in the U.S. and rightly so, Antelope Canyon stretches over 27,000 square miles between northern Arizona, southeast Utah, and northwest New Mexico, and is divided into two parts: Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon. Located on Navajo land (the largest Native American-governed territory in the United States), access to the Upper or Lower Canyon is only permitted with an authorized tour guide.
Best time to visit: April—October
If the one word you want to use when describing your vacation is “breathtaking,” then look no further than the devastatingly stunning Australian...
If the one word you want to use when describing your vacation is “breathtaking,” then look no further than the devastatingly stunning Australian island of Tasmania. Picture 600,000 acres of pristine coastal wilderness, rolling dunes covered in vibrant Banksia wildflowers, the orange rocks and pure white beaches of Bay of Fires, and the alpine plateaus of Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park. To truly take in the wonders of the Tasmanian wilderness, hike the inspiring four-day Three Capes Track. The extraordinary natural beauty of Tasmania is almost matched by its exceptionally clear air—touted to be as clean as the air in Antarctica. The local cuisine is especially fresh, and boasts some of the best seafood, game, cheese and cool-climate wines. Food, wine and beer festivals are plentiful in Tasmania—many, like the Taste of Tasmania, take place on the docks of Hobart, the island’s capital and home to the much celebrated Franklin restaurant.
Things to see and do: Freycinet Peninsula, Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, Bay of Fires, Schouten Island, Port Arthur Historic Site, Denman’s Cove, The Blade at Cape Pillar, Fortescue Bay, Mount Fortescue, Cape Hauy, Museum of Old and New Art, Satellite Island salmon farm, The Agrarian Kitchen, Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale & Cider, Stefano Lubiana Winery, Southwest National Park, Apple Shed, Salamanca Market, Farm Gate Market.
Best time to visit: December—February for festivals, March—May for hiking
Everyone’s got their eyes on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 summer Olympics, but before the slew of athletes and news stations roll in, there’s the...
Everyone’s got their eyes on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 summer Olympics, but before the slew of athletes and news stations roll in, there’s the insane weeklong street festival, Carnival in February. Music is Rio’s heart and soul—sounds of samba, funk, bossa nova and hip hop can be heard down every street corner, and even more so, during the famous Carnival, the biggest in the world, where parades and parties go on until the morning light. The Rio Music Festival also happens this week so make sure you get in all your sleep before you depart. Beyond the Cidade Maravilhos “Marvelous City” of Rio, it’s easy to make a getaway to the mountains, jungles or rainforests of Brazil. There’s the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, Amazon rainforest, archipelago of Fernando de Noronha (where you can surf or dive with sea turtles and Spinner dolphins), or the world's largest wetland, Pantanal to escape to.
Things to do and see: Carnival, Rio Music Festival, beaches from Ipanema to Copacabana and Arpoador, Feira do Rio Antigo antique market by day/block party by night, Museum of Tomorrow, Christ the Redeemer statue, views atop Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain), Cascatinha Waterfalls at Tijuca National Park.
Best time to visit: February 5-9 for Carnival
Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress, the old town, were designated UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and is beautifully preserved...
Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress, the old town, were designated UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and is beautifully preserved with views of colorful architecture and 17th century Spanish forts that ooze a fairytale-like charm. In the old town, El Centro is full of romantic pastel palaces and churches, for the most part unchanged since the 1600s, and the quaint San Diego area is picturesque with winding lanes and open-air cafés. Check out the book-filled Ábaco Libros y Café for some of that fine Colombian coffee. There are also the luxe rooftops and sunny beaches of Bocagrande, but really, not to be missed are Getsemaní district’s wonderful independent galleries and street art. For a quick city getaway, Playa Blanca on Isla de Barú is perfect and reachable only by boat—once there, you can eat fresh fish and seafood, that was just caught in the morning, right on the beach.
Things to do and see: Historic Walls, NH Galería, Mía Concept design boutique, Mercado de Bazurto, Teatro Adolfo Mejía, El Castillo De San Felipe, the walls of Las Murallas, Palacio De La Inquisicion, Casa Museo Arte Y Cultura, Museo Del Oro, Parque Bolivar, Iglesia Santo Domingo & Cooperacion Española.
Best time to visit: December—February
One of my favorite ways to vacation is to pick a beautiful island filled with endless exciting sites and history, rent a car, and spend the week...
One of my favorite ways to vacation is to pick a beautiful island filled with endless exciting sites and history, rent a car, and spend the week driving around the land making pit stops wherever catches my fancy. Ireland is a compact island, which makes it totally manageable to drive the entire circumference of the Emerald Isle, taking in the magnificent remote beaches, historic ruins, peat bogs, and dramatic coastlines by the Atlantic Ocean. You can start in Dublin (the capital’s perfect small big city) before making your way to unforgettable stops in Cork, Mayo, Galway, Westport, and Killarney, taking in the rich cultural traditions of Irish music, writing, storytelling and of course, pub life. If you’d rather leave your driver’s license back at home, you can treat yourself to the inspiring Grand Tour of Ireland aboard the luxury train, Belmond Grand Hibernian.
Things to do and see: Trinity College,Temple Bar, St. Stephen's Green Park, Newgrange, Dublin Castle, National Museum of Ireland, James Joyce Cultural Centre, Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park, Dublin Writers Museum, Ha'penny Bridge.
Best time to visit: April—September
The Big Island spans more than 4,000 square miles and is bigger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. The star of the island is Hawaii...
The Big Island spans more than 4,000 square miles and is bigger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. The star of the island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (yes, one of the two volcanoes in the park are among the world's most active!) and the park’s over 333,000 acres includes SEVEN ecological zones: seacoast, lowland, mid-elevation woodland, rain forest, upland forest, subalpine, and alpine. Once the thrill of surviving an active volcano subsides, there are of course, the gorgeous beaches, all uniquely individual, such as the green sands of Papakolea and the black lava sands of Punaluu. Hawaii is famous for its coffee from the Kona region and during the months of February and March, the “snow” coffee plants are covered with beautiful white flowers in bloom. Meanwhile, over in Hilo, the serene hike around the loop trail at Akaka Falls are full of instagram-worthy opps—you can see two gorgeous waterfalls on this short hike, taking you through a lush rainforest filled with wild orchids, bamboo groves, and tropical ferns.
Things to do and see: Historic Kailua Village, Kealakekua Bay, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park, surfing lesson at Pine Trees Beach, Kahaluu Beach, or Banyans Beach, Pololu Valley’s Awini Trail, Waipio Valley Lookout, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kohala Sail & Sea at sunset, Puu Loa Petroglyphs, Hilo Farmer’s Market, Akaka Falls State Park, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach.
Best time to visit: May—October
An hour flight from bustling Mumbai, relaxing Goa is located on the western coast of India. As a former colony of Portugal, the Portuguese...
An hour flight from bustling Mumbai, relaxing Goa is located on the western coast of India. As a former colony of Portugal, the Portuguese influence can be seen everywhere from the original architecture to the cuisine. As a longtime lover of Goan curries (full of fragrant spices, yet softly sweet from the inclusion of coconut milk) and seafood (mmm, prawn balchao), the addictive combination of its East meets West flavors is why Goa has always secured a spot on the proverbial bucket list—the white sands and over 100km of coastline by the sparkling Arabian Sea just seals the deal.
Things to do and see: Discover Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), adventure through Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, detox at a yoga and ayurveda retreat, unwind on all the beaches, get your hippie on at Jade Jagger’s bohemian Aswhem beach boutique, and explore the variety of intriguing spice routes special to Goa.
Best time to visit: December—February
I’ve always been fascinated with Malaysia’s rich heritage, based on a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indigenous, and Indian cultures, which is...
I’ve always been fascinated with Malaysia’s rich heritage, based on a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indigenous, and Indian cultures, which is brilliantly represented in their vibrant food. Just the act of eating alone in Malaysia will keep you busy and satisfied, like strolling down the streets of Penang hitting one hawker stall after another where the sweat from the hot temps rolling down your forehead become undistinguishable from the sweat caused from the heat of the chilies on your hokkien mee. Beyond the food, you can satisfy your every shopping whim in Kuala Lumpur while taking in its futuristic high-rises, visit the UNESCO World Heritage city of Malacca, go on underwater adventure in the Perhentian Islands where coral and sea turtles live, trek with orangutans through the wild jungles of Borneo, or treat yourself to a stay at the world’s first organic spa resort, The Chateau, an 18th-century castle in Berjaya Hills.
Things to do and see: Taman Negara (the oldest rainforest in the world), Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia’s tallest peak), Petronas Towers, Merdeka Square (or Independence Square), Khoo Kongsi, Blue Mansion, Lg Selamat Hawker Stalls, Penang National Park, the Kampung Baru district, Thean Hou temple, Masjid Jamek mosque.
Best time to visit: December—February
A true escape for lovers of the wild, Mongolia is a cinematic destination filled with crystal lakes, rugged mountains, spectacular deserts, and...
A true escape for lovers of the wild, Mongolia is a cinematic destination filled with crystal lakes, rugged mountains, spectacular deserts, and a breathtaking countryside. This vast and remote land that birthed Genghis Khan is situated in the middle of Russia and China, and although it’s still a developing country, Mongolia has recently been experiencing some fancy upgrades in both urban and rural areas such as the opening of a Shangri-La Hotel in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and Gobi Desert’s luxury gers (traditional felt yurts) at Three Camel Lodge. You can be at one with nature by helping to herd sheep, horse riding, and trekking though the majestic mountains, and you don’t have to worry if you’re not a natural-born adventurer and need some assistance along the way—Mongolians, after centuries of nomadic living, have a reputation for being extremely welcoming and helpful with visitors.
Things to do and see: Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes in Gobi Desert, Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Lake Hovsgol, Chang'an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road, dinosaur fossils at Flaming Cliffs, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, sacred mountains of Otgon Tenger Uul, hiking Khuiten Uul, Tsenkher Hot Springs, Khustai National Park’s Mongolian wild horses, Gandan Monastery, Bogd Khan Palace, Zaisan Hill.
Best time to visit: Mid-May—July
Like many of you fellow travel lovers, I’m constantly in awe of National Geographic’s striking photography and captivating stories from around...
Like many of you fellow travel lovers, I’m constantly in awe of National Geographic’s striking photography and captivating stories from around the world, so it was exciting to hear that they recently launched National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. The collection of Nat Geo journeys are designed to take travelers deep into each location’s cultures and habitats and offers personable hands-on exploration and interactions with local experts. I love that there’s a mix of restaurant dining with home-cooked meals with local families and interactive culinary adventures. Of the well-curated list of destinations, the one that especially caught my interest was the 15-day Morocco: Sahara & Beyond tour. Highlights from this unforgettable North African tour include: Walking tour through the city of Meknes and ruins of Volubilis, Hammam spa and steam bath, Marrakech cooking class and market visit, and Sahara Desert excursion by 4x4 with overnight in a comfortable desert camp.
Things to see and do: City of Meknes, ruins at Volubilis, Fes medina, Djemaa el Fna square, Marrakech spice market, the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou, Sahara Desert, Draa region, great dunes of Erg Chegaga, village of Tamegroute, market and tanneries of Taroudan, Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, Aït Mansour Gorge, the Painted Rocks, Chapeau du Napoleon, Essaouira, Menara Gardens, Jardin Majorelle.
Best time to visit: April—May