Top Five Travel Destinations of 2012
1. Island of Bali
Nestled along the Indonesian peninsula is the lush, green island of Bali. The island is thriving with culture and the arts and is reflective of its Balinese architecture observed in temples, houses, and palaces; dances and other forms of entertainment; and of course it’s authentic cuisine. Bali is an excellent refuge for those people who want to escape from the hassle and bustle of everyday life. Indonesians are well renowned with meditation and other massage therapy techniques. Make sure you go to the quaint town of Ubud in the center of the island. There wonderful bungalows and the famous Monkey Tree Forest!
Bali also draws visitors because of their sumptuous and unique food. Among the most sought after meals of Balinese recipes are Guling Celeng (suckling pig) and the Balinese lamb (Kambing Mekuah); for which one of the mouth watering desserts are black rice pudding (Babuh Injin). Bali is one of the world class island beach resorts.
2. Peru & Machu Picchu
Ever seen Machu Picchu displayed in postcards? You know those ancient Inca villages and temple ruins set against a majestic backdrop of
green mountains, hills & often cloaked in a mysterious fog? – This is in Peru.
What makes it different from other tourist spots in some countries is that Machu Picchu can only be reached on foot or by small bus up a long winding mountain. The view on top is spectacular and the historical heritage site is splendid. There are several licensed trekking tours that will take a backpacker to the ruins. Because of high demand booking the trek four to six months in advance is a recommended. The trip also requires a permit because of the risks involved, but the excitement and adventure far outweighs the would-be perils along the way. Risks include severe altitude sickness and medical issues for people with health problems or simply out of shape. Do your research beforehand and make this trip. It will be one of a lifetime!
3. Sunny Costa Rica
For anyone who has never been to Costa Rica, I recommend getting a jump start at the Central Valley area. The country’s capital, San Jose, is situated in the Central Valley. The international airport terminal of Costa Rica is actually based in this area and it is quite convenient for any tourist to connect to the city since it is located right in the capital. Some of the superb trip ideas are visits to the National Museum, relaxing at parks, and sampling some quintessential Costa Rican delicacies.
Mercado Central (Central Market) is the place to go buy souvenirs, taste the delightful diverse flavors of Costa Rican gourmet coffee, and soak up the local culture. If you are into nightlife, the city comes alive with its numerous bars and nightclubs and the music will entice anyone to sway to its beat. A coffee farm tour must be on your list for you will experience first hand the methods used to process coffee and get to sample some yourself in Heredia, just few miles away from the capital.
The rest of the country offers a diverse set of beauty in the forms of volcano’s, exotic birds & wildlife, river rafting, beautiful beaches, and fantastic hikes & backpacking. The most famous volcano is Arenal and it only recently stopped erupting. It is still worth the visit on your journey across the country.
4. Safari in Kenya
If there is a “top 3 of photography destinations” in the world, Kenya would be on the list. Kenya is rich in diversity in terms of geography. Savannahs are sprawled everywhere. The culture of the Kenyan natives is interesting and is kept intact despite the modern world’s influence. Kenya also boasts serene beaches and coral reef colonies. Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo East, and west national wildlife sanctuaries are ‘must go’ places where you will discover prides of lions as well as the Masai warriors; hordes of elephants and savage nature at its best. Go during the Masai migration (September-December) for a national geographic experience. Thousands of animals will be on the planes during this time. Simply put, it will blow your mind. Our travel club is going in September! Check out the safari details!
5. Eastern Europe (Prague, Budapest, Vienna)
Prague is the sight of the Prague Castle located in the district of Hradčany. Constructed in the ninth century, the castle was home to several monarchs and presidents and is one of Czech Republic’s historical symbols. The interiors of the castle are a sure delight to tourists and locals
A trip to the railways of Budapest is a must. A visit to the outdoor museum is an unusual but exciting experience. Here, children are able to enjoy the miniature trains that they can get on board and ride while adults check out vintage locomotive equipments.
Vienna is a haven of magnificent palaces and churches. Belvedere Palace and the Palace of Schonbrunn are just a few of the castle wonders of the city. Everyone must taste Vienna’s hot chocolate and enjoy in its festivities like during Christmas time where the city displays its Christmas market filled with goodies that are definitely going to amaze the senses.
Visiting these three destinations in Eastern Europe are a must and the above is just a sample of the best things to do while you’re here on vacation!
This wraps up our Top 5 Travel Destinations of 2012! Get out there and start the exploration. Tell us what you think about these places: Have you been? Any pictures to share? etc…