Africa





Overview

Safari Holiday

  • Southern Africa – Winter dry season in Southern Africa is between May and October, this is when game viewing is at its best for Safari.
  • Summer wet season is between December and March, a hot and sometimes humid period. The landscape is beautifully green at this time of year.
  • East Africa – all dependent on what Safari you would like to do.
  • Gorilla-if hiking rainforests January and February and June to September are best.
  • General Game-peak during June to October
  • Kenya-best time to Safari is January to end of March when climate is mild and dry.

Beach Holiday

December to March are the best times to beach in Cape Town (South Africa), where a beach holiday in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique Mauritius and the Seychelles are all year round.

Things to Do
  • Cape of Good Hope – A day trip for coastal scenery, amazing sights and the chance to hang with African Penguins. 
  • Cueva da los Verdes – On the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, take a guided tour through the cave.
  • Giraffe Center – Less than an hour away from Nairobi, this center is an environmental conservation that allows people to get up-close and personal with giraffes.
  • Giza Pyramid Complex – Visit the most recognized and renowned architectural structures in the world.
  • Hells Gate National Park – This national park in Kenya is known for its wildlife and stunning scenery. Gorges, lakes, hot springs, and two extinct volcanoes. Running into leopards, lions, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas and vultures.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro – In northern Tanzania, the inactive volcano sits at 19,340 feet and Is the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
  • Victoria Falls – Bordered between Zimbabwe and Zambia, this is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Scenic helicopter flights, bungee jumping, ziplining and whitewater rafting. There is an activity for everyone here.
  • Banana Islands – a group of islands here are known for the beaches and lush forests. A place to scuba dive, snorkel, ship wreck ruins, and meet with the tribal chief of the islands.
  • Boulders Beach
Facts
  • The world’s second largest continent
  • The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest and covers the continent of the US
  • Africa is the worlds hottest continent with over 60% covered in desert and dryland
  • West African CFA franc is their currency
  • Africa hosts the largest desert in the world and largest river. (Sahara and the Nile)
Be Advised
  • Water Supplies are low – please conserve water
  • Avoid visiting informal area unless you are with a guide or someone familiar
  • Avoid walking alone in the central business districts
Blogs

The Outback Meets the Reef

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is a remote beach-side safari camp in…

Up Close and Personal with Whale Sharks

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Exploring Lizard Island in Australia

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Kangaroo Island at its best

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Missy Skoog's visit to Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

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Missy Skoog's 2nd visit for Sydney Australia

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Northern Territory - Australia

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Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Missy Skoog visits Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island Australia

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Twenty-one luxe suites commanding mesmerizing views of the Southern…

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This elegant city is known for its colonial stone architecture,…
Skydeck viewing area in Melbourne Australia

Missy Skoog trip to Melbourne Australia!

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Missy's visit to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. Our…

Missy Travels to Port Douglas north of Cairns Australia!

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She is majestic! Sydney Opera House

Missy's stay in Sydney Australia!

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Home to the largest population in Australia – called “Sydneysiders”…
Hand feeding Kangaroo's at the Australia zoo in Brisbane Australia. Hand feeding Kangaroo’s at the Australia zoo in Brisbane Australia.

Missy's Aussie adventure Brisbane Australia!

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Another new best friend!

Flight to Australia and the Australia Zoo

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Fraser Island in Queensland Australia

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June 17 Sydney

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G’day from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge-note the Sydney…
almost sunset from Thala Beach Resort

June 16 farewell Queensland, here we come Sydney!

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It’s our day to depart Queensland and the area of the Great…

June 15 the reason they call it “THE” Great Barrier Reef

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This is the day for which I personally have been waiting for…
view of the very private beach at Thala Beach Resort.

June 14-Thala Beach Resort and Port Douglas

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When we checked into our room in Cairns for a two night stay,…

June 13 – Kuranda and surroundings

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We were told by a local to take the crocodile warnings seriously.…

June 12 Mission Beach to Cairns

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Morning at Mission Beach began with overcast skies.  The photo…

June 11 Airlie Beach to Mission Beach

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Airlie Beach was to have been our gateway to the Whitsunday Islands…

June 10 Aussie time and day

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Departed Nadi, Fiji bright and early this morning.  Just arrived…

Tahiti-Fiji-Australia

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Please join Dave and I as we begin our journey to the beautiful…

Visiting Southeast Asia

Americans are increasingly interested in exploring Asia, according to the travel advisors at Travel Leaders Network. The region has become a magnet for travelers with a desire for adventure, for those who want a trip rich in experiences that combine history, culture and cuisine.

Here are some suggestions for what to see and where to go in three popular Southeast Asian destinations.

Indonesia. Most people associate Indonesia with luxurious Bali, or the capital city of Jakarta, and they offer lots of opportunities for exploration. But with 17,000 islands, there’s much more to see on a trip to the world’s fourth-largest country. The island of Sumatra is known for the beautiful Danau Toba, a large natural lake, as well as Mount Kerinci, Indonesia’s highest volcano. The island of Java, between Sumatra and Bali, is home to Jakarta as well as historic cities like Yogyakarta, where you can get a taste of Indonesian culture at ancient temples and palaces, and sample traditional food. East Indonesia is a paradise for nature lovers. Rugged Komodo Island, a land of red volcanic hills and forests, is where you’ll find the Komodo dragon, a species of lizard.

  

Thailand offers travelers everything from peaceful temples to gorgeous beaches to mountains made for hiking. Thai culture places great emphasis on politeness, and English is spoken widely, making the country a popular destination for Americans, especially honeymooners. At resort areas like Phuket and Koh Samui, you’ll find pristine beaches and blue water similar to the Caribbean. Koh Lanta is a less touristy destination with a number of upscale properties that cater to families. The city of Chiang Mai, in the northern part of the country, is a center of Thai culture, as well as a starting point for elephant treks. At the city’s night market you can rub elbows with the locals while shopping for handicrafts and sampling delicious Thai food.

No trip to Thailand would be complete without a stay in Bangkok. Check out one of the capital’s floating markets or a traditional Thai show with dinner. The city also has a fascinating museum that chronicles the history of World War II.

Singapore. Interest in visiting Singapore has soared since the bestselling novel and movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” Visit the food stalls at Singapore’s hawker centers, the heart of the island’s culinary scene. They’re a great way to enjoy a variety of tasty and inexpensive local specialties. Singapore’s top attractions include the Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, said to contain one of the Buddha’s teeth, the colorful Sri Mariamman Temple and the Lion City Gardens by the Bay, with trees that light up at night. Singapore is also a family-friendly destination. Children will enjoy the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Adventure Waterpark, which features the first hydro-magnetic coaster in Asia.

  

A cruise is another way to see the region. Some cruises will include Singapore as part of a Southeast Asian voyage, with additional stops in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

For help planning a trip to Southeast Asia, contact us.

Caribbean


Overview

The Caribbean region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and apart of the North American mainland. A group of islands and countries surrounded by water manage to bring their own flavor to the mass amounts of tourists each year. There is a large world in the Caribbean that is all waiting to be discovered. Every country and island are slightly different, but more often than not you come across two common themes; an admired mix of Caribbean culture and a beachy vibe.

Things to Do
  • Hike the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica
  • Swim with pigs in the Bahamas
  • Swim with stingrays in the Cayman Islands
  • Hike Gros Piton in Saint Lucia
  • Go whale watching on the Samaná Peninsula
  • Drink coffee in the Blue Mountains in Jamacia
  • Visit the Baths in Virgin Gorda
  • Dive Bonaire
  • Paddleboarding in Tobago to see the magical experience of the organisms that light up
Facts
  • Currency: All forms are different
  • Languages in the Caribbean’s are Spanish, English, Dutch, Haitian Creole and Papiamento
  • Parts of all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies (The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End and On Stranger Tides), were filmed in the Caribbean.
Be Advised
  • December to April the peak months (drier, cooler, less humid)

  • September to October the most common for hurricanes, with rains starting in June.

Blog Posts

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The Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach resort in Cabo San Lucas is gorgeous.…

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Right on the Marina!

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Today was a beautiful morning in Mazatlán. We headed over to…
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We started off our 3rd day in paradise by having a great breakfast…
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Mazatlán April 2014 I visited Mazatlán in April. I have…
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Missy's Stay at Secrets the Vine, Cancun Mexico

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Azul Sensatori Beach hotel

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The Azul Sensatori Hotel is an upscale family property with an…
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In October 2012, I had the priviledge to vist the Riviera Maya…
El Dorado Royale Beautiful view of the beach and papalas.

My time at the El Dorado Royale!

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I had the priviledge of traveling down to the Riviera Maya, Mexico…


 
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Disney

Disney

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Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

Contact one of our Disney Dream Team members to start planning you next Disney adventure ►


Ocean & River Cruising

Ocean Cruising

Cruise Ship

Some say this style of cruising is compared to a moving mall, these ships tend to carry anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 thousand passengers. Now a ship that carries 6,000 (Royal Caribbean Symphony of Seas). With more of a focus on the onboard entertainment, these ships offer you big production shows, high energy activities, casinos, many restaurants and other things you can’t imagine on a boat like a rock climbing wall or go-cart track.


COMPANIES THAT OFFER OCEAN:

  • Carnival
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Holland America
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruise
  • Royal Caribbean
River Cruising

A growing way of traveling since 2017, River Cruising is widely known for itineraries to places that Ocean vessels can’t reach. This makes for a much more intimate experience, being dropped off within walking distance to exquisite destinations. River is primarily land days, although there are times of scenic cruising, most of your days are done doing land tours. Below is a list of things you will find on a River Cruise.


  1. Itineraries are land intensive
    Most days you will visit a new town/city with tours and excursions. Tours are most likely included, but there is no obligation to go to all of them. The ports are the attractions not necessarily the ships. The focus is more culturally.
  2. The boats and cabins are smaller
    The boats tend to fit 200 passengers or fewer offering you a spacious and comfortable ride. With a smaller boat, you will get familiar with other passengers considering there is usually one to two lounges and bars. In most cases, the boats offer one restaurant, breakfast and lunch are buffet, but don’t let that scare you, the food is a staple on your experience. The cabins are smaller, but do not lack home comforts. Everything is there for you, just in a smaller confined space.
  3. Entertainment is low-key
    Through personal experience, the entertainment, as mentioned before is way more intimate than ocean cruises and much more low-key. The boats tend to bring on local bands from the port you are stopped at for the night.

COMPANIES THAT OFFER OCEAN:

  • AMA Waterways
  • Avalon Waterways
  • Viking River Cruise
Cruising Difference

The deciding factor on taking a River or an Ocean cruise is naturally based on what you want to do. If you are looking to be entertained on the boat, see how they fit a waterpark on a boat and try the many restaurants while cruising the coastline of multiple countries, Ocean cruising is what you should do. If you are looking to enjoy a more relaxing boat experience, meet other passengers and have intimate culture packed day excursions you should go on a River Cruise. They both offer unique experiences, something for everyone. The best part is, both are stress free styles of traveling where you only have to unpack once and can easily enjoy multiple destinations.

Blog Posts

Here is a list of the most recent Cruise articles written on our blog:

A Day in Cuba

Dresden
Norwegian Getaway
Beautiful Alaska Coastline
On the bridge tour
Sapphire Princess in Alaska

Check out Distinctive Voyages!

Rich Experiences. Private Excursions. Complimentary Indulgences.

Australia

Overview

From tropical rainforests to miles of beautiful coastline, Australia – the sixth biggest country in the world – boasts an incredible, diverse landscape. With over 2,000 national parks, and over 7,000 beaches, this place is a natural wonderland! From the beautiful ocean waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the great lush peaks of the Blue Mountains, Australia is an endless adventure.

However, Australia is not only great for its natural wonders. No, there is so much more! Australia has been home to Aboriginals for over 50,000 years! Want to know more about one of the oldest surviving civilizations on Earth? Visit the Australian Museum, or head out to the Northern Territory and witness the ancient ruins and the culture of the Aboriginals first-hand!

Along with the natural beauty, Australia also offers the sophisticated modern comforts of big city living. Spend some time in Sydney and settle into the city life. Take advantage of Australia’s impressive public transit system, and take a day seeing all Sydney has to offer. With excellent shopping, endless restaurant choices, and too many entertainment opportunities to name, Sydney is an exciting city to spend a day (or night) in.

Things to Do
  • Bushwalking – what we would generally call walking, hiking or trekking. Austrailia has so many different hiking experiences. Check out the Thorsborne Trail of Queensland, The Wilderness Coast Walk, or even the Australian Alps Walking Track, a much more serious trek of up to 60 days!
  • Surfing – Home to world renowned Bell’s Beach, Australia offers many amazing locations for all levels of surf skill. Many of the locations can be a bit overcrowded, but truly dedicated surfers can seek out one of the many hidden areas along the coastline unknown to other travelers!
  • Snorkeling – The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland is one of the most magnificent natural sights in the world. See it for yourself first-hand!
Facts
  • Currency: Australian Dollars
  • Official Language: English
  • Australia was the last land mass to be discovered by European explorers
  • Australia is home to 14 World Heritage Sites
  • Aboriginals have inhabited Australia for over 50,000 years
  • Australia has over 2,000 National Parks and over 7,000 beaches
Be Advised
  • From November to March there is a heightened risk of serious bush fires in the south
  • From October to May, the northern coastal waters are home to the box jellyfish, whose dangerous sting can be deadly
Blogs

The Outback Meets the Reef

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Up Close and Personal with Whale Sharks

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Exploring Lizard Island in Australia

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Twenty-one luxe suites commanding mesmerizing views of the Southern…

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This elegant city is known for its colonial stone architecture,…
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Missy Skoog trip to Melbourne Australia!

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Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive…

Missy's visit to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. Our…

Missy Travels to Port Douglas north of Cairns Australia!

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Port Douglas Australia is just an hour’s drive north from Cairns…
She is majestic! Sydney Opera House

Missy's stay in Sydney Australia!

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Home to the largest population in Australia – called “Sydneysiders”…
Hand feeding Kangaroo's at the Australia zoo in Brisbane Australia. Hand feeding Kangaroo’s at the Australia zoo in Brisbane Australia.

Missy's Aussie adventure Brisbane Australia!

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Brisbane is a city for the senses; walking under impossibly blue…
Another new best friend!

Flight to Australia and the Australia Zoo

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Our Amazing Aussie Adventure! The adventure began in Minneapolis,…

Fraser Island in Queensland Australia

I was able to visit this amazing place in September 2013. It…

June 18 – Ku-rign-gai National Park to North Head

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Today encompassed a journey out of Sydney north through some…

June 17 Sydney

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G’day from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge-note the Sydney…
almost sunset from Thala Beach Resort

June 16 farewell Queensland, here we come Sydney!

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It’s our day to depart Queensland and the area of the Great…

June 15 the reason they call it “THE” Great Barrier Reef

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This is the day for which I personally have been waiting for…
view of the very private beach at Thala Beach Resort.

June 14-Thala Beach Resort and Port Douglas

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When we checked into our room in Cairns for a two night stay,…

June 13 – Kuranda and surroundings

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We were told by a local to take the crocodile warnings seriously.…

June 12 Mission Beach to Cairns

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Morning at Mission Beach began with overcast skies.  The photo…

June 11 Airlie Beach to Mission Beach

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Airlie Beach was to have been our gateway to the Whitsunday Islands…

June 10 Aussie time and day

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Departed Nadi, Fiji bright and early this morning.  Just arrived…

Tahiti-Fiji-Australia

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Please join Dave and I as we begin our journey to the beautiful…

South America


Overview

It wouldn’t be Latin America without over 30,000 miles of coastline, at least 5,500 miles of the Andes mountains, the beauty of the rain forest, and the cultural diversity of the people and places. Once home to some very advanced groups of indigenous peoples, such as the Maya, Inca, and the Aztec, Latin America is home to some incredible relics of history from long before the establishment of the United States of America. Breathtaking structures like Machu Picchu in Peru, and Tikal in Guatemala tell the story of these civilizations that no textbook ever could.

Traveling through Latin America is an endless adventure! From snorkeling in the Caribbean, to hiking in the Andes, to ziplining through the rainforest, Latin America is a key destination for the outdoor explorer in all of us.

Perhaps a wild jungle adventure is not your cup of tea, but Latin America has much more to offer! Get in touch with your faith; visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and gaze up in awe at its incredible size and presence. Walk through 16th and 17th century colonial villages in Colombia and be transported into the world of magical realism. Go shopping at the market in Otavalo, Ecuador to find all kinds of hand-crafted garments and goods. Visit the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution was born. Enjoy a wine tasting in the vineyards of Argentina. No matter what you hope to get out of your trip, Latin America has the perfect destination waiting for you!

Things to Do
  • Latin America is a lush natural wonderland and represents many different climate zones. Anywhere you go, the natural beauty surrounds you! Hike the Inca Trail, climb in the Andes, or visit one of South America’s many volcanos or waterfalls. If you’re looking for some real excitement, the Sky Walk and Zipline through the Monteverde Rainforest in Costa Rica. See an incredible perspective of the rainforest from a collection of suspension bridges way up in the trees!
  • With over 30,000 miles of coastline and the world’s largest river system, there is endless fun in the water to be had! Countless beaches, including such famous names as Copacabana and Ipanema offer endless surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. The diverse marine life makes Latin America a dream for fishermen. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, don’t fret! There are plenty of opportunities for white water rafting, kayaking, and other water sports, too!
  • The remnants of civilizations past, intermixed with the everyday flow of modern society make Latin America a great destination for a seeker of past and present culture. Visit museums, ruins, or indigenous people to get a glimpse into the past of some incredible cultures. Go shopping in one of the shopping centers in Rio de Janeiro, Lima, or Limon. Travel to Argentina and find out what the Tango is really all about! Sports fan? Head to Brazil to find out about all the fuss over Football (soccer).
Facts
  • Language: Varies by country; primarily Spanish, English, Portuguese and a plethora of indigenous languages.
  • Currency: Varies by country.
  • Latin America is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.
  • The Amazon river is the largest river in the world.
  • North and South America are connected by the Isthmus of Panama, a land bridge that is only 50 miles across in width at its thinnest point.
  • The Andes Mountains are the second largest mountain range in the world with 5,500 miles of length, and summits reaching up to 20,000 feet!
Be Advised

  • It is advisable to discuss potential health risks with a doctor before traveling internationally.
  • Many Latin American nations recommend vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Malaria, and Cholera.
  • Certain highly populated tourist areas (especially Rio) put travelers at a higher risk for crime; anything from pickpocketing to violent crime involving firearms. Never flash around money or expensive jewelry, and make use of hotel safes for valuables.
  • In certain nations, such as Brazil, a hospital visit will most likely require an upfront cash payment. While this is the case, it is still wise to always have health insurance and travel insurance before leaving the country.
  • Although many major cities have a plentiful supply of clean drinking water, it is usually best to stick to drinking bottled water to avoid health complications.
  • The Zika virus is still active in Peru. Pregnant women should NOT travel to Peru.
Blog Posts

Here is a list of the most recent South America Destination articles written on our blog:

Westin Playa Conchal Resort and Spa – Royal Beach Club Pool

USA

Overview

Traveling West:   Head to California. Drive along the California Coastline – Pacific Coast Highway, Visit Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Venice Beach, Hollywood and Disneyland. Don’t miss the beauty of San Diego or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran.  For all of you wine lovers swing by Napa Valley. In Seattle you can visit Pugent Sound and the famous Pike Place Market for some fresh seafood. There are endless State/Nationals Parks open for tourists including; Yellowstone, Arches, Yosemite, and Zion just to name a few. In need of the ultimate nightlife experience then jet off to Las Vegas


Traveling East:
In New York City you can stroll through Central Park. See the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. Travel further south and see Mount Vernon in Virginia. You must see is of course the Nations Capital in Washington, D.C. Travel to see the gorgeous waterfronts in Portland, Maine or the White Mountains in New Hampshire. For all you baseball fans … catch a baseball game at Fenway in Boston.


Traveling North: 
Find your way to the windy city Chicago do some shopping, eat pizza and explore the streets. Glacier National Park in Montana has endless beauty wherever you turn. The Badlands in South Dakota or Mount Rushmore won’t disappoint. Find your way to Minnesota and enjoy the numerous lakes and shopping at the Mall of America.


Traveling South: 
New Orleans for the traditional Mardi Gras. Find your way to one of the oldest cities in America; Charleston, South Carolina. If you need sand between your toes head to the beach beach, Gulf Coast National Shore. For the ultimate family vacation head to Orlando and visit Disneyworld to see Mickey Mouse. Texas offers the ultimate scene for food and country.

Be Advised

Hurricane Season
Mid-May to the end of November hurricanes are most popular on the South-East Coast.

Wildfires
Hot and dry conditions with strong winds often lead to wildfires during the Summer. Wildfires occur mainly on the West Coast (California).

Volcanic Activity
Be advised when traveling to a destination that has volcanoes

Tornadoes
Tornadoes occur mostly in the Midwest, but can happy anywhere in the U.S. Most popular in between March – May

Florida: Rainest months in South Florida are September. Orlando has the highest levels of rain in June
Seattle: Rain is almost unavoidable, but November 1st is generally the start of rainy season
Las Vegas: The hottest and most unbearable month of the year is in July.

Blog Posts

Here is a list of the most recent USA Destination articles written on our blog:

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