Tourism can be a great thing, but when there is too much tourism it can actually have an adverse effect on a country. One major concern is that too much tourism could impact a country’s culture and way of life. A few countries are considering regulating tourism to be sure that the national way of life is preserved. One of these countries is Oman.

Oman is an Arab state located near Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It is officially known as the Sultanate of Oman. This beautiful country has recently developed a plan to avoid ‘mass market’ tourism which could possibly attract flocks of tourists from around the world. Why would they want to do this?  In a public address, the Sultan Qaboos bin Said told his people that he wants to preserve the authentic Arabic culture that makes Oman so unique by controlling the amount of tourists that enter Oman. He hopes to achieve this by also controlling the number of available hotel room for travelers to stay. Oman welcomes tourism and wants to grow, but it wants to grow at a slower pace. Ideally, the Oman experience would remain consistent for each generation who visit.

This might be a good tactic to keep the way of life in Oman traditional and simplistic. There are many traditional villages in Oman that might be influenced by a surge of tourism. It would be a shame to change the innocence of villages like Al Ashkhara and Qannah. Also, the historic cultural sites in the country will remain unchanged by the money that mass tourism might bring.

I might seem like an unorthodox decision, but the Sultan Qaboos bin Said has developed a plan to welcome tourists from all over the world, but also protect the culture and traditions that make Oman a special place.

John Steinbeck’s famous work, Of Mice and Men, he wrote “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Have been an avid traveler as this is especially true when trying to plan a trip! No matter how perfect your travel plans seem to be, there is always the possibility of an unforeseen event ruining or changing them. This is why investing in travel insurance is a very important part of planning that perfect getaway.

Travel insurance was once considered either a luxury or unnecessary, but in today’s day and age it is vital. You should be sure that you receive some sort of insurance with any trip you book. Ideally these insurance plans will cover things like trip interruptions, trip delays, baggage and personal effect loss and missed connections. All of these elements will ensure that even if there is a little snag on your trip, the whole experience won’t be in jeopardy. There are also usually options to purchase supplemental travel insurance plans which expand coverage for cancellation penalties due to covered reasons, additional trip interruption coverage, medical expenses and baggage coverage.

Quality travel agencies will offer expansive travel insurance plans. More progressive companies are now offering programs that cover pre-existing medical conditions. This is great if you have a history of illness and there is the possibility of getting sick again before a trip. Another great insurance offering is optional cancel for any reason coverage. This provides reimbursement of non-refundable expenses if you are forced to cancel your trip for any reason up to 48 hours before the departure date.

An experienced traveler is always prepared. To truly be prepared for your trip, you should thoroughly research travel insurance options. This insures that the only thing you will need to worry about is if you packed enough sun screen.

If you are planning a trip to Ecuador and are looking for a special place to stay, definitely consider the Casa Gangotena. This historic mansion features 31 rooms and has been renovated with modern amenities. The Casa Gangotena is located in the capital city of Quito, so there is sure to be a plethora of things to do and see surrounding the hotel. Known for its eye catching style and contemporary design, the Casa Gangotena has won awards for both its style and hospitality.

This iconic hotel holds a very special place in the history of Quito. Amazingly, the history of the Casa Gangotena goes as far back as the time of the Incas. The site where the hotel now sits was home to an Inca temple in the 15th century.  When the Spanish settlers arrived in 1543, they had attempted to convert the native people to their religious beliefs. The Franciscan order soon occupied the are and it was soon known as Plaza San Francisco.  Over time, wealthy families began to build their homes around the plaza. One particular mansion was used as a residence for many important political figures and in 1914 it suffered from a devastating fire. In 1926, a very prestigious family in the area decided to rebuild the mansion. This family was the Gangotenas and the mansion would become known as the Casa Gangotena.

Currently, the Casa Gangotena has been fully restored and reborn into a majestic boutique hotel. Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so staying at the hotel puts you in close proximity to other culturally enriching sites. The Jesuit church of La Compania de Jesus, the Museum of the City, the Plaza Santo Domingo and the Presidential Palace are all very close by.

If you are a history buff and enjoy modern amenities, plan a stay at the Casa Gangotena as soon as possible. It is sure to be a stay that you will never forget.



People search their entire lives in hopes of finding their perfect match. One person who happened to come across their match was an emperor of India, Shah Jahan.  He found the love of his life in his wife Mumta Mahal. While she was the emperor’s third wife, she was the only wife of his heart. Mumta Mahal became his favorite wife, traveled with him and was the mother to most of his children. She was known throughout India as having a very kind heart and a wonderful disposition. When she died, the emperor was stricken with grief and mourned her loss for a year. In her honor, he decided to build the ultimate tribute of love, the Taj Mahal.

For twenty two years, workers labored until the finest example of Mughal architecture in the world was erected. The Taj Mahal sits on a 186 by 186 foot base of marble and the largest dome is 213 feet high. The building itself is actually smaller than it looks. Due to its unique design, the Taj Mahal looks much larger from a distance that it actually is.

The most intriguing detail of the Taj Mahal is the amazing detail that has been put into its design. As one of the first buildings of Mughal architecture to feature exterior decorations, it has inlays, carvings and unique paint designs. There is also calligraphy on the building which praises the emperor’s deceased wife and wishes her to rest in peace. There is as much detail inside the tomb as there is outside with the exception of the crypt where the historic couple rest. Decoration of the graves is not permitted in Muslim tradition.

A visit to the Taj Mahal is filled with experiences. Not only is it an opportunity to see some of the most impressive architecture found anywhere in the world, but it is also a very spiritual experience. You can almost feel the love that the emperor had for his wife when visiting. Its incredible what the power of love can move people to do. This is one destination that is a must see for anyone who can appreciate a historic love story.

If you are looking for a little bit of Central American heat with a splash of Caribbean water, Belize is the place for you. Visitors to Belize will experience a place of total perfection where they can enjoy the best of both worlds. As soon as you step off of the plane, you are surrounded by the brilliant colors of the sapphire ocean and the lush native foliage. The people of Belize are always ready for a good time as there is plenty of shopping, lounging, eating and adventures to be had. When you return from your trip, you will wonder if your experience was real or a dream.

There are many national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and marine reserves to explore while in Belize. Over forty percent of the country is protected, so you are likely to see plenty of native animals both on land and sea. Hiking tours are a great idea as you will be guided through some very interesting places and will be able to observe creatures that you can’t see anywhere else in the world. If you are passionate about the ocean, Belize hosts some of the clearest waters you have ever seen. Snorkeling with the seat turtles is definitely an enriching experience.

While Belize is becoming a more popular tourist destination, the country does everything it can to ensure that it keeps its habitats and animals safe. When traveling to Belize, keep this in mind. With so many amazing things to see and do, treading carefully while visiting can help preserve the natural beauty of the county. This way, both natives and visitors can enjoy everything that Belize has to offer.

Because of their attention to environmental conservation, Belize has become a very unique place that showcases the best of ecotourism. The luxury buildings and hotels have been erected were done so with the environment in mind. They even use solar energy and reclaimed wood! You might leave Belize feeling greener than when you arrived.

The people of Belize are very proud of their country and are doing everything that they can to ensure that it stays both healthy and beautiful for those who wish to see it. When visiting, take your time so that you can take in everything that it has to offer and come away revitalized from the wealth of the planet.

When planning a vacation, it is very important to take into consideration the time of year you will be traveling. Most destinations have a specific time period where conditions are ideal for a great trip. However, other destinations are great all year long and traveling to them all depends on what you want to do or see. Australia is one of those destinations

Located in the southern hemisphere, Australia is home to diverse temperatures.  The northern part of the country is hotter while the south is cooler. It’s not uncommon to have temperatures in the 50s in the south while it is 30 degrees warmer in the north. Even though temperatures may fluctuate between the north and south, much of Australia is temperate year- round. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind when planning your Australian adventure.

  • The wet season is from November to April. There is heavy rains and high humidity. During the wet season, Western Australia is not very welcoming in terms of weather, but you will find that the Australian people are very welcoming all year long.
  • The dry season is from May to October and features much lover humidity levels.  This is a very popular time for travelers.
  • From mid-December to January, Australians take vacation so the beaches are packed and hotels all booked. Also, airfare is at its highest. They begin to drop from February to March, but spike again during Easter.
  • If you are on a budget, consider traveling during mid-April to August as the price of airfares and accommodations will be lower.

There are pros and cons with each time, so be sure to do your research. Just always remember, there is no bad time to travel to Australia!

There are very few places left on earth where you can closely connect with nature.  The Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve is one of those places. Set over 3000 feet above sea level, the Mashpi Reserve is home to a plethora of plant species, including hundreds of orchid species. Many of these are actually newly discovered. There are also approximately 500 species of birds, including about 36 endemic species. Other wildlife that inhabits the Mashpi is puma, peccaries and monkeys. This rainforest is full of life and is truly a treat to explore.

The Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve hosts a number of different ways to explore the rainforest. You might want to consider going on a canopy gondola adventure. This is a remarkable experience as it provides the opportunity to explore different areas of the reserve at a slower pace. The gondola cable system extends about 1¼ miles between two boarding stations. This is a very relaxing way to take in the beauty of the reserve.

If you want a more “down and dirty” rainforest adventure, you might want to take a nature trail tour. The two main trails at the reserve are the Howler Monkey and Cucharillo. Both of these trails link of to the canopy gondola system. Nature guides will lead the way, pointing out all of the flora and fauna around you. You will want to prepare yourself for one of these trails, as due to the landscape of the Mashpi they are very rarely flat. The nature trails are a great way to get an up close and personal experience with the rainforest.

While there is a ton to see during the day, the Mashpi transforms at night. Compared to the daytime, there is much more activity at night. There are night walks available for those who wish to explore the Mashpi at night and discover the nocturnal inhabitants of the forest.  Be ready to encounter owls, tree frogs, rodents, mammals and even a fungus that glows in the dark.

For a taste of what the Mashpi is really like, check out this video. It will have you wanting to plan a trip as soon as possible!

3 Must-See Places in Costa Rica

If you are someone who is always looking for a little excitement, Costa Rica is for you! This wonderful country has many places that will turn your yearly vacation into an adventure. It can be difficult to decide where to start, so here are three hot spots that you will want to be sure to check out when in Costa Rica.

The Arenal Volcano

The Arenal Volcano is an active volcano that attracts visitors from all over the world. As one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world, it is possible to see lava flows and smoke billow out from the open crater. You can get relatively close with the aid of a skilled guide. For a particularly special experience, try to attend a night viewing of the volcano. Seeing the glowing lava rocks against the blackness of the night is very beautiful. There are also other great sites close to Arenal that you might want to visit such as the Los Perdidos Hot Springs and the Venado Caves.


The Monteverde Cloud Forest

This is another must-see attraction. At the Monteverde Cloud Forest, you can hook up to a zip line and zip through the rainforests for two miles. Zip lining through the forest is an adrenaline rush and is an experience that people flock to enjoy. You are sure to get unforgettable views of the rainforest and might even catch a glimpse of wild monkeys. There is no better way to enjoy a canopy tour!


Manuel Antonio National Park

The Manuel Antonio National park is a place where you can get a mix of beautiful beaches and natural wildlife.  There are three while sand beaches that back up into lush rainforests. This is a unique opportunity to relax in cool blue water while observing a variety of birds, monkeys, flowers and trees. The views are incredible and you can easily find knowledgeable guides that are ready and willing to take you through the park to get a closer look at the wildlife.


Costa Rica is a country rich with natural resources and beauty. Now that you have three must-see hotspots, when will you be planning your trip?

When most people think about visiting Australia, they imagine stunning beaches and a laid back atmosphere. One thing travelers might not know is that Australia is home to some of the best wine in the world! Wine aficionados from all over the world travel to Barossa Valley to tour some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world and sample exquisite Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and Grenaches. Wine New Zealand magazine once wrote, “it is quintessential Australia where fine wine mixes with historical ambience, stunning cuisine and friendly laid back Australian hospitality.”

Wine is a tradition in the Barossa Valley. Families from the area have been growing and producing wine for six generations. Wine is their passion, and it shows in the quality of the wine they produce. For visitors that are eager to taste the difference that pride and love make, a visit to the Barossa Wine Show’s Public Tasting or the Para Road Wine Path is well worth the effort. The Barossa valley is also known for its eclectic dining tradition as well.  There are many award-winning eateries such as the Farmer’s Market, so there is always a great place to wine and dine in a relaxing atmosphere.

The Barossa Valley loves to show off its proud wine heritage and skill to visitors. There are often celebrations such as the Barossa Wine Show and the Barossa Gourmet Weekend throughout the region. Any time of year is a great time to visit the Valley, but those who plan to visit during these events will never forget the food, wine and incomparable hospitality of the people of Barossa Valley.

Thirty short years ago, it would have been unthinkable to plan a trip to Vietnam for a vacation. War, occupation, liberation and more war troubled the country. However, the chaotic past of this country has given way to a more pleasant and peaceful time.  Currently, Vietnam has a thriving tourism industry and offers travelers a chance to get to know a beautiful country with a rich history. Some of the more popular destinations for travelers are Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Min City, and Hanoi. These locales are great, but there are a few less traveled destinations that beg to be explored!

1. Da Nang

Da Nang was a place that American soldiers traveled to for R&R during the Vietnam War. It’ easy to see why, as it boasts some of the most clean and dazzling beaches in the world. While Da Nang does see a decent amount of visitors every year, it largely remains a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered as most of its memorable spots are tucked away. Some great places to explore are the Cham Museum, Cham Island, Ba Hill Na Station and the Marble Mountains.

2. My Son Museum

This museum commemorates the horrific My Lai Massacre of 1968. During this event, over 500 people were killed by American soldiers. As terrible as it is to see  this brutality, this museum is very educational as it has very detailed and graphic exhibits. This is one of the most emotional destinations in the world.

3. Cham Island

After the drama of the My Son Museum, a trip over o the Cham Island might be in order. This paradise is just an hour off the coast and is home to expansive coral reefs. The colorful spectacle of fish make this and ideal destination for snorkelers and divers. Visitors can chose to camp out on the beach or stay at the islands guest house.


Vietnam is filled will history and traveling off of the beaten past can feel like traveling back in time. It is definitely an experience that will provide memories that will last a lifetime.

Rwanda has had a troubled past, but this country is coming back strong! It is now known as a model city for the continent of Africa. If you have been thinking about traveling to Africa, you will definitely want to make a stop in Rwanda.

There are a few very interesting places to visit in this country. For an educational and exciting experience, you would want to consider a visit to Kigali to see the newly built Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. This memorial was opened in 2004 to commemorate those lost during this troubling event. Touring the center is a very eye-opening experience. It is wonderful to see how Kigali has rebuilt itself after the genocide and has become a city much like any in Europe or the US. If you are looking for an outdoors experience, the Volcanoes National Park is also a must-see.  It lies in northwestern Uganda and is home to lush bamboo forests and rain forests.

Animal lovers will definitely want to travel to Rwanda, as this country is home to populations of primates such as the endangered mountain gorillas and the golden monkey. It is a thrill to see both of these species in their natural habitats. Plant lovers will also be delighted as Rwanda is home to some gorgeous orchids, begonias and over 200 species of trees.

Have no fear when trying to plan when you will travel to Rwanda as the country is a year round destination. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by friendly people and delicious food! Typical Rwandan food will consist of rice, maize, potato or banana served with a meat stew. If you are a little hesitant to try the local cuisine, lodges and hotels are happy to offer international cuisine as well.

So when are you planning your trip to Rwanda?

One of the most common words used to describe Kenya is “magical”.  For evidence of this, all you need to do is watch the Wildebeest Migration at Maasi Mara. Over a million wildebeest follow the smell of rain in hopes of finding fresh grass. Not only is this an amazing sight, it is also an amazing sound! You can literally hear the heard approaching, millions of hoof beats drumming like thunder. There are wildebeest as far as the eye can see, with some zebras sprinkled in as well. This migration can be very dangerous to members of the heard, as predators such as lions and hyenas are drawn to the spectacle. The dung from the migrating animals serves as a fertilizer for the plains, setting the stage for next year’s migration.

As impressive as the great Migration is, it’s only one of the many extraordinary experiences that awaits travelers who visit Kenya. The country’s natural splendor starts with its weather as it is a year-round tropical haven for travelers from around the globe. Usually the days are bright and sunny and the nights are cool.  The agreeable climate makes the gorgeous beaches and national parks enjoyable any time of the year. The weather alone makes Kenya stand out from other destinations, but there is so much more to this African gem.

One of the biggest elements to Kenya’s natural beauty is its wildlife. Even excluding the great Migration, Kenya offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world as the famed Big Five call it home. The lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant can all be seen roaming free. While there definitely is no absolute guarantee you will see all of the Big Five in one trip, the possibilities are pretty good!

In reality, the only word that can come close to describe everything Kenya has to offer is “magical”. Whether you want to just take in the scenery or go in search of the Big Five, Kenya is definitely for those who seek natural beauty.

We are always looking for ways to inform you about the most exciting destinations from around the world. We recently sat down with Destination Specialist Joanna Evans and spoke to her about Belize. She talks about the best times to visit, the best sights and other interesting info!

Q: Can you tell us some of your favorite places to visit in Belize?

A: Some of the most exciting places to visit in Belize are Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves, Tikal, Xunantunich, the Barrier Reef, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, and Jaguar Paw Caving & Zip Lining.


Q: When is the best time of year to visit?

A: If you would prefer to go during dry weather, its best to go from November-May. If you are looking for less crowds and more value for money go from June-November.


Q: What is Belize best known for?

A: Natural Attractions & People!  Over 40% of the land is set aside as nature reserves and the country offers a range of adventure and sight-seeing opportunities hosted by some of the friendliest, most passionate people you’ll meet.


Q: What is the cuisine of Belize like?

A: Varied- depending on the part of the country and the cultural group. On the coast there’s tons of seafood and coconut-based soups and meals, wherever there’s a large group of Maya and Mestizo, you’ll find corn-based meals (tamales, panades, salbutes, etc.), the Creole staples are rice and beans, stewed chicken and plantains.


Q: Are there any indigenous people in Belize?

A: Yes, the Maya & the Garifuna.


Q: Can you tell us about the plants and wildlife?

A: There are tons of special wildlife species in Belize. There are 5 species of wild cats, monkeys, an enormous amount of bird species, foxes, large lizards, iguanas and so much more!  There are also many special plants in Belize. Rainforests and jungles have been known to provide a vast amount of edible and health-related plants. There are species of orchids, cohune and Xate trees.

Only 5km from the modern Cambodian town of Siem Reap lies one of the largest archeological sites in the world: The Temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat originally built in the 1300’s under the reign of Suryavaman II dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Angkor Wat was to serve as a capital city and now serves as a Buddhist religious center in the area. Angkor Wat literally translates to “temple city.” One visit and you will have no trouble understanding why. The combination of this history with modern amenities in Siem Reap provide the perfect blend of “old” and “new” for the culture savvy traveler.

“The Old” –  Angkor Wat sits on over 200 acres of land enclosed by its outer walls and surrounded by a moat. Within the grounds are temples and galleries partially engulfed by the forest. The temples were built using sandstone and a mysteriously still unknown kind of mortar. The inner walls are decorated with carvings depicting the history of the ancients in great detail, showing the advanced capabilities of these ancient peoples. Despite the increase in tourism to Angkor Wat, the temple is well preserved and hosts more than a million visitors every year.

“The New” – The neighboring city of Siem Reap plays host to the visiting tourists coming to see the temples of Angkor Wat, and does it in style. With 5 star hotels, restaurants, and nightlife, the city of Siem Reap is just as much modern as Angor Wat is majestic. International cuisines feature everything from traditional dishes to wester style pubs and bars. It also provides many areas for shopping, culture, and art. Siem Reap offers full modern amenities for even the most discerning travelers.

Quick facts to get started: The weather is fairly warm all year with temperatures into the 90s for much of the year. Also the rainy season from May until October is less than ideal for visiting. There are several options for those looking to get around the city from walking, biking, or hiring personal drivers, and with a favorable currency exchange rate for most currencies it is easy to travel in style. The city as a booming center for tourism is fairly safe although it is advised to follow the same cautions one would exercise in any large city.

Visits to the candy store as a child were full of possibilities. There were so many different options that it was hard to make a choice. If you are looking to relive that sensation, consider traveling to Dubai. There are so many different stores in Dubai that you will literally feel like a kid in a candy store. From textiles and carpets to exotic spices; you can find it all.

If you are the type that gets bored of shopping, you should take a break and hit the slope. In the Mall of the Emirates, there is an indoor ski slope. That’s right, a ski slope in the desert. Dubai is full of surprises! Also in the Mall of the Emirates, you can also find theaters, mosques and galleries.

It is very rare that you can get a taste of the local culture and cuisine inside of a shopping mall, but in Dubai you can. In the summer months, the temperatures in the country get so hot that it’s difficult to walk outside for extended periods of time. Visitors and residents alike find refuge in the air conditioned malls.

For those willing to brave the heart for a more traditional shopping experience, there are souqs. They are nowhere near as polished as the indoor malls, but souqs are where the residents of Dubai go to haggle for everyday goods. Shopping in a souq can be an interesting experience as haggling for the best price is acceptable.

If you are planning a trip to Dubai, make sure you set some time (and money) aside to take part in the shopping experience. Whether in an indoor mall with a ski slope or a traditional souq, shopping in Dubai is definitely something you will never forget.

Ecuador is a one-of-a-kind country where four worlds coexist in a unique way. The Pacific Coast, the Andes, the Amazon region and the Galápagos Islands make up Ecuador’s geography and cultural identity and make it a destination fit for every taste. Ecuador is located on the northwestern coast of South America, just on the equatorial line that divides the Earth into two hemispheres. It is a multiethnic country, with great cultural, natural and archeological wealth. Despite its small size, it has the highest biodiversity per square meter on the continent

No trip to Ecuador would be complete without a visit to the Galapagos Islands. Of all the oceanic islands in the world, the Galápagos are in a league of their own. Known as a World Natural Heritage Site, the Galapagos Islands is a paradise where animals have no fear of man and display behaviors impossible to find anywhere else in the world. There are cormorants that forgot how to fly, iguanas that learned to swim and turtles that became gigantic. This is a place where sea lions show off their swimming skills and blue-footed boobies perform their elegant two-step mating dance right under your nose.

A visit to Ecuador offers a variety of activities, so you must come prepared.  The main leisure interests include admiring the wildlife and the amazing topographic features. Various hikes along well-marked paths are available so that you can have access to the best views and sites. While hiking, you will be able to bird-watch, take pictures, stroll on the beach and trek up mountainsides. Other fun activities include snorkeling, kayaking and swimming.

If the natural world amazes you, then planning a trip to Ecuador is definitely recommended. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore everything that this one-of-a-kind country has to offer!

Traveling to Kenya is definitely something that every world traveler should do. There are so many things to see and experience that it can be overwhelming. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck, you might want to consider visiting a private conservancy. There are a number of these throughout the country that allow travelers to enjoy activities that are not possible in national parks. If you are hoping to go off road in search of wildlife in an open 4×4 safari vehicle, then you will definitely want to stop by a private conservancies as this is not permitted at national parks. Also, at a private conservancy you can go on a night game drive, horse riding safari or an adventurous bush walk. As well as being a great place for adventure, these conservancies are also a great place to experience and learn about African wildlife.

Now that you know a little about the advantages of going to a private conservancy, you might be wondering where some of these might be. There are a few great places to check out while in Kenya. The Mbirikani Group Ranch, Selenkay Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and Mara Siana Wildlife Conservancy are all great options and provide great experiences. Most of these wonderful places are located adjacent to or near a national park, so they can allow you to experience the best of both worlds.

If you are planning to explore Kenya, be sure to include a trip through one of the beautiful private conservancies.  It is sure to be one adventure that you will never forget.

Ecuador is a beautiful country with an ecosystem that is bursting with life.  Of course there are lush native plants, exotic birds and active animals. However, one of the most fascinating forms of life in Ecuador is their indigenous people, the Achuar. These people are hunters, fishermen and crop collectors that have a very close relationship with nature.

The Achuar are among the very few who have refused to leave the forests of Ecuador to live in the big cities. Their fundamental beliefs are tired to both the universe and the land, so they have taken their passion and used it to create a true eco-lodge called Kapawi. The Kapawi Lodge is managed by the Achuar people and all profits stay within their community.  This is great as it allows the Achuar people to support themselves and live on their own terms. Unfortunately the lodge is only reachable by air, but it is definitely worth it to arrange the trip. When you visit, you can visit with one of the community shaman, take a tour or visit one of the schools. This destination is a unique opportunity to visit a remote area that offers up a truly rich cultural experience.

It’s not very often that you can travel to a place where the community has adapted their traditional way of life into a way to support themselves. The Achuar people are truly amazing and the Kapawi Lodge is a great place to visit if you are interested in nature, culture and adventure!

If you are planning to travel to Peru, there is one property in Cuzco that you absolutely must check out. The Palacio Nazarenas is a luxurious boutique hotel that brings together modernity and history.  This hotel was once a 16th-century convent, but now has 55 oxygenated suites, the city’s first infinity pool and a gourmet restaurant serving modern Peruvian cuisine.

While this hotel is extremely modern, there is evidence of its historical ties all around. During the excavation process, architects and archaeologists discovered ancient Inca treasures, including an original Incan sandal.  Original Incan walls were also discovered and have been carefully preserved beneath the glass floors of treatment rooms at the hotel’s spa. Another unique thing about the Palacio Nazarenas is that the hotel’s library serves as a museum for various artifacts discovered during the hotel’s initial construction. Touring the library is truly an enriching experience. You might also notice the wonderful art on the walls of the hotel. These pieces are very rare as they are survivors from Cuzco’s Spanish colonial days.  If you are more interested in traditional Peruvian culture, the hotel hosts informational sessions with experts in different areas of Peruvian life. Here you can learn from traditional shaman, sommeliers or even historians. If you are a history buff, you definitely won’t want to miss these sessions.

For travelers who want a sense of history while staying in modern amenities, the Palacio Nazarenas is a great choice.

We are proud to announce the third edition of our 2012 Precious Journeys collection. The Precious Journeys are a collection of travel programs that offer accessible luxury to those who might be new to the world of international travel. These programs provide the best traveling experiences without breaking the bank! The newest edition for 2012 Precious Journeys will feature programs to Brazil, Chile, Kenya and Botswana.


This new eight day adventure will bring you to the world class international city of Rio De Janeiro where you can take in all that the vibrant city has to offer. You will also have the opportunity to explore the historic gold mine cities that date back to the 1690s when Brazil was a Portuguese colony.


There is also a great eight day adventure to Chile that is perfect for families. With this program you can explore the dramatic and fascinating Atacama Desert. The activities of the trip will be specifically tailored to your family’s interests and abilities.


This seven day Kenyan adventure offers a flying safari through the private conservancies of the Kalama Wildlife Reserve located near Samburu National Park and the Mara North Conservancy in the famous Masai Mara.


This eight day Precious Journey will bring you to the wondrous Victoria Falls from the Zambia side as well as Moremi Game Reserve. You will also have the opportunity to explore the watery world of the Okavango Delta.

As you can see, the third edition of our 2012 Precious Journeys is very exciting. We can’t wait to have you travel with us and find out what makes Brazil, Chile, Kenya, and Botswana so special!

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