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It’s no secret that there are countless unknown holidays that are celebrated around the world (Talk Like a Pirate Day, Margarita Day…you get the idea), but International Dance Day should be one that is on your radar every year. Founded over 30 years ago, the day’s message is one that transcends all barriers, “The intention of International Dance Day is to celebrate dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural, and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.” To celebrate in our own way we’re bringing you four cities to visit to experience this international language. Read more
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the brass bands warming up. Outside of Bavaria, it’s not the kind of music you’re likely to encounter at other times of year, but for the next two weeks, there’s a good chance the autumn air will be filled with the sounds of accordions, tubas, and clarinets. That’s because at noon on September 22nd, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer, ceremonially initiating a 16-day party on the Theresienwiese. Since October 1810, when the first Oktoberfest celebrated the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen with free food and drink, Germany’s third-largest city has marked the occasion with bratwurst, brezeln (Bavarian pretzels), and lots and lots of beer. Read more
Wine regions have long provided the perfect backdrop for romantic endeavors. Visiting is an inspiring way to get a lay of the land, the grapes, and the locals. Plus, these regions typically have a wealth of romantic accommodations – think chic boutiques, luxury castle accommodations, and wine-inspired bungalows. Herewith, six of the world’s most stirring vino-producing areas:
Morocco is a provocative spot and a tip-top choice among honeymooners, yet few travelers think of wine when they think of this Muslim country. It’s time to reconsider: Morocco produces more than 40 million bottles of wine a year and employs 10,000 Moroccans in this booming business.
Grab the binoculars and Dramamine: Whale-watching season is gearing up, especially on the West Coast, as the gentle giants slowly migrate from colder northern waters down south for the winter. Here, some recommendations for the best whale-watching tours and spots in North America, plus a newly announced camping and kayaking trip in Argentina that lets you paddle right up to the orcas.
First, a quick heads-up: While it should be an M.O. for any type of travel, there are no guarantees when it comes to whale-watching. Nature can flare up with some nasty waves, wind and fog. You might see nary a tail fin, and you might get seasick as a dog. But those unknowns make sightings even more enjoyable. Up your chances of a good experience by eating a carb-rich breakfast and packing anti-seasickness meds, plenty of layers, rainy-weather gear and a positive attitude.
In 2011, follow through with your New Year’s resolution to travel more by making that elusive South America vacation a reality. LAN Airlines has announced a fare sale to South America that includes Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, with round-trip rates starting from $399! Best of all, these fares from select U.S. cities are valid between January 1 and December 31, 2011, so whether you’re trying to exchange the winter blues for a dose of summertime in the Southern Hemisphere, or you’re planning a vacation well into next year, these rates will be your best friend. Flights must be booked by December 15, 2010.
Sample Round-Trip Fares to South America (Excluding Taxes):
• Miami?Quito, Ecuador: $399
• New York?Guayaquil, Ecuador: $429
• Los Angeles?Lima, Peru: $599
• New York?Lima, Peru: $599
• San Francisco?Sao Paolo, Brazil: $799
• Miami?Buenos Aires, Argentina: $899
• And more!
THE VALUE: These fares are an average of $150 off competitor’s rates!
THE CATCH: Blackout dates apply during portions of July, August, and December. Taxes and fees not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit www.LAN.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to help find a hotel to complete your vacation!
Use our South America Travel Guide to find the perfect destination.
Two cruise ships couldn’t possibly be more different than Seabourn Sojourn (www.seabourn.com; shown at left; courtesy of the Yachts of Seabourn) and Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas (www.royalcaribbean.com). I was recently onboard preview sailings of both as they arrived in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and I can tell you they only have two things in common: They are the newest vessels in their fleets (both debuted in 2010) and they are truly fantastic ships. Come to think of it, comparing them is kind of like comparing a Yorkshire Terrier and a Great Dane. Both are best in show, but for very different reasons!
Here’s a rundown of what to expect, beginning with an aft-to-stern comparison:
When it comes to navigating big foreign cities, it’s sometimes best to leave the what, where, and when to the pros. And if you are planning a romantic visit to South America – say, several nights in either Rio de Janeiro (shown at left, courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels) or Buenos Aires, paired with a beach escape or an Amazon/Iguassu Falls adventure – and you have a splurge-worthy budget, then consider putting your enjoyment in the hands of Blue Parallel (www.blueparallel.com). Plus, summer is about to bloom in the southern hemisphere, so the timing is ideal.
Founded in 2002 by Emmanuel Burgio, this award-winning bespoke travel company is based in the U.S. with an operations center in Buenos Aires. Burgio and his team craft custom itineraries featuring South America’s most luxurious accommodations and must-see sights – some of them, such as a private concert by a group of musicians from Buenos Aires’ famous Teatro Colon or a candlelit visit to the magnificent Compañía de Jesús church in Quito, Ecuador, not widely accessible to the general public. Add knowledgeable local guides, who are there when you want them (helping you circumvent traffic jams or expedite lines) and not there when you don’t (when dining à deux) and the effect is a seamless voyage, tailor-made to your needs and budget. Although with rates starting at $1,000 per person per day (all-inclusive, with the exception of international airfare and certain meals), nothing about the Blue Parallel experience is budget.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011′s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
Sure, Patagonia deserves its reputation as one of the most stunning, adventure-rich spots on the planet. But there are plenty of other places to visit throughout the country for hiking, biking, camping and all sorts of other active pursuits. And with a stellar airfare sale from South American airline LAN extended through August 11, it’s a great time to check them out.
The sale offers direct flights to cities including Mendoza, Cordoba, and Buenos Aires in Argentina; Ecuador’s eco-haven, the Galapagos Islands; and Lima, Peru. Tack on a few extra days to the Labor Day Weekend, and you can wrap up summer with a brag-worthy trip.
Here, a few can’t-miss options: Read more
Just one continent over, South America boasts undiscovered beaches, snow-capped peaks, lush tropics, and exotic cities. Discover eight Latin hotspots in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and more with LAN’s summer and fall airfare blowout, starting from just $399 from Miami to Quito, round trip (before taxes). Leaving from the West Coast? Round-trip fares bottom out at $699 from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Flights are available from major U.S. hubs, including Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Denver.
Round-Trip Sample Fares (Without Taxes):
• Miami–Guayaquil: $399
• New York–Quito: $409
• New York–Guayaquil: $460
• Miami–Lima: $479
• San Francisco–Lima: $599
• Los Angeles–Montevideo: $699
THE VALUE: LAN fares are an average $100 lower than non-discounted routes.
THE CATCH: Rates may change without notice, so book soon!
THE DETAILS: Book your flight at LAN Airlines by July 28. Travel from August 16 through December 5.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Check out International Hotels to check into once you arrive.
Read our Adventure Travel blog for other exciting escape ideas.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find other great flight, hotel, cruise, and package deals.
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