Ecuador has plenty of great hotels. But staying in alternative accommodations, from hip hostels in colonial cities to romantic haciendas in the highlands and dreamy cloud forest lodges, often adds something special to the trip. Read on for unique suggestions for where to stay in Ecuador.
When it comes to trekking, Bhutan offers both beauty and variety. The kingdom is home to some of the most challenging high-altitude treks in the world, as well as countless easy rambles through the wilderness. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a novice, there's a multi-day trek in Bhutan to fit your needs.
More than 4.5 million tourists visit Cuba each year, and the vast majority don’t get beyond the most popular destinations, such as Santa Clara, Trinidad, and Viñales. Escape the crowds with these suggestions and you’ll soon be biking, diving, hiking, and touring your way through Cuba like a local.
This 10-day itinerary will take you on a variety of hiking trails in northern Norway and parts of Finland, traversing lush valleys and craggy mountain peaks, wide expanses of tundra and clear glacial rivers. Tackle 5 to 12 miles a day off the beaten path, and immerse yourself in the crisp natural landscapes of the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Avid hikers, this one's for you! Follow the Camino del Apu Ausangate through the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range, accompanied by llamas and horses loaded up with gear. You'll overnight in traditional tambo lodges, enjoy authentic Peruvian cuisine, and gain a better understanding of life in Andes.
A perfect fit for first-timer visitors, this four-day city tour highlights both Athens' ancient history and modern culture. Visit the sleek Acropolis Museum. Tour Athens' tasty food markets. And bask in the riviera sun at the Temple of Poseidon.
From the heights of the majestic Andes to the depths of the Amazon jungle, this tour will guide you through Bolivia's most beautiful extremes. Get ready to explore the landscape by bicycle, jungle boat, and on foot — and don't forget your camera! The scenery is unlike anything you've ever seen before.
Cuba has as much to captivate children as parents, from clowns strolling the streets of Havana to gorgeous beaches and mountains. Add in the country’s close-knit family culture and languid traffic-free streets, where local children play without supervision, and it’s hard to imagine a more kid-friendly place to visit.
You don't need to have a lot of time in Bhutan, nor an exceptional level of fitness, to experience some of the best hikes in the kingdom. This selection of the best day hikes offers something for every interest and ability, from quick and easy downhill rambles to steep uphill climbs and passes.
With restricted tourism numbers, Bhutan is never a busy destination. But there are distinct high and low seasons, and times when the weather is most favorable. So when is the best time to visit?
Have just five days in Ecuador? No problem: it's one of the smallest countries in South America, so it's possible to move around to more than one place in less than a week. Read on for our top suggestions for a quick visit to this gorgeous and geographically diverse destination.
Along with Havana and Viñales, Trinidad is one of the most popular destinations in Cuba. Tens of thousands of visitors flock here every year to wander the cobbled streets of this well-preserved colonial city overlooking the Caribbean. There's a ton to see and do here, so let the following recommendations inspire your itinerary.
Cuba may be an island, but that doesn't mean you have to spend all your time in one area. Whether your priorities lie in exploring the countryside or immersing yourself in Havana’s urban culture, it’s easy to craft a satisfying five-day itinerary with these expert suggestions.
Even if you have just 24 hours to spend, your time in the Ecuadorian capital will be special. On this thrilling one-day itinerary, you'll take a trip on one of the most magical cable cars on the planet, wander through some of South America's best museums, and indulge in Ecuador's famous coffee and chocolate.
From natural phenomena like geysers and glaciers to Reykjavík’s buzzing cultural and dining scene, you’ll want to make the most of your trip to Iceland. Learn about your options for touring the country and start planning an adventure that works for you.
This 4-day itinerary offers an introduction to the highlights of southern Iceland, keeping the active adventurer in mind. Experience awe-inspiring landscapes like glaciers, lava-flows, cascading waterfalls, and geothermal pools and rivers, ending each day in search of the Northern Lights. Hike, bike, and stroll as you traverse the rugged lands of Iceland, on foot or in a Super Jeep outfitted for the rough terrain.
This itinerary is sure to satisfy any adventurer looking to explore the best of Southern Africa's natural scenery. From the coast of Cape Town up along the Garden Route and into the deserts of the Great Karoo, you will be able to experience all the defining ecoregions of South Africa and beyond.
Tobacco Country is one of Cuba’s most visited regions. It draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, all eager to enjoy adventure activities and admire the area’s spectacular scenery and culture. Get inspired by the following itineraries, along with your best options for lodging, dining, and entertainment.
Santiago de Chile is nestled in a bowl-shaped valley between the Andes Mountains and the Cordillera de la Costa (Chilean Coastal Range). Hidden among its office blocks and skyscrapers are some unique boutique hotels noted for their imaginative design and architectural flair. Most offer personal service that sets them apart from the business hotels that comprise many of the city's accommodations.
Expect uninterrupted white vistas and Northern Lights sightings when you travel by train, coastal steamer, and rental car on this two-week winter adventure in Norway's Arctic. The trip starts in Tromsø, 'Paris of the North' — your base for several snow activities. Then set sail on the Hurtigruten to explore the Lofoten Islands before continuing (by sea) towards the city of Trondheim, a UNESCO-listed village called Røros, and finally a night in Oslo — Europe's fastest-growing capital.
In a country known for tropical jungles and white-sand beaches, the glacial peaks of Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy stand out. Located north of Bogotá in the beating heart of the Andes, this untamed páramo highland ecoregion holds the best high-altitude trekking in Colombia.
Ecuador's colonial towns and cities are undeniably alluring, but the countryside is worth planning a whole trip around. Breathtakingly diverse, it encompasses 11 national parks, beaches, cloud forest, and active volcanoes. Discover a variety of landscapes with this handy guide to the best of the Ecuadorian countryside.
Japan is made up of hundreds of islands that extend for nearly 2,000 miles. How many days should you spend exploring, and where should you focus your time? From an action-packed four days in Japan to a leisurely three week itinerary, here are some suggestions for making the most of your time in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Most visitors to Japan hit up Kyoto's temples, Tokyo's shopping streets, and Osaka's food scene—but there's much more to this country than what you'll find in its cities. Soak in natural hot springs, hike through primeval forest, and spot wildlife on a pristine chain of islands with these under-the-radar suggestions.
The sunny, laid-back island of Okinawa is not just a tropical paradise: it's also a foodie heaven with its own unique set of flavors and a famously healthy diet. Whet your palate with this guide to some of the island's classic dishes, and learn where you can try them.
There are nearly 1,200 fjords along Norway's western coast and this trip covers the cream of the crop — Lysefjord, Sognefjord, and Geirangerfjord — using a mix of fun travel modes to amp up the adventure factor. These majestic gems provide the setting for summer activities like hiking, biking, swimming, and sea kayaking. You'll also get a chance to explore tiny fjord-side villages along the way, not to mention Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund, and Trondheim — cities loaded with cultural (and culinary!) options.
Sample some of the world's best wines as you circle around Mont Blanc from Switzerland to Italy to France. Visit vineyards nestled in the idyllic countryside in the foothills of the Alps, where ancient grape varieties still produce rare and high-quality wines. Taste local wines in the terraced hills of Lavaux, Switzerland, and toast to the breathtaking views from Pointe Helbronner in France with a glass of Cuvée des Guides — moments and wines to be remembered!
A chain of mountainous islands stretching from the tropics to the Sea of Okhotsk, Japan is home to some of the most beautiful scenery on earth—from active volcanoes and hilly snowscapes to cascading waterfalls and bright pink cherry blossoms. Here are just a few of the natural highlights you can experience on a trip to the country.
Okinawa's attractions have something for everyone. They cater to cocktail-sipping beach bums, history buffs, and active adventurers alike. The island is fairly small, so even a long weekend can make for a refreshing breath of tropical air.
From the glistening backwaters of Kerala to the dreamy lakes and gardens of Udaipur, India has a rich heritage that is best experienced in person. To really explore the country, skip the run-of-the-mill hotel and consider these unique lodging options, such as staying in a luxury tent in Ranthambore or a homestay on a Keralan farm, for a truly one-of-a-kind immersion.
With delicious food, rich cultures, and stunning scenery, India has plenty of opportunities for unforgettable family adventures. You can meet rescued elephants in an animal sanctuary or celebrate cultural festivals like Holi or Diwali. From the misty tea plantations of Darjeeling to the colorful markets of Mumbai, this vibrant and diverse country makes for an awe-inspiring destination.
Check off three unforgettable cities on this whirlwind 10-day tour starting with Bogotá's Spanish colonial sites and buzzing nightlife. You'll then fly to the heart of Colombia's Zona Cafetera for an overnight at a coffee farm where you'll hike the green mountains of Cocora Valley, dotted with impossibly tall palm trees. From here, head to Medellín — a city with outdoor art and spring-like weather — before ending on the Caribbean coast where you'll explore the romantic streets of Cartagena's Old Town.
This sweeping Colombian itinerary covers major highlights from the country's Caribbean coast all the way to the Ecuadorian border. Start off with two relaxing days where you can unwind in a protected national park with white-sand beaches and tropical rainforests. Continue making your way through three of South America's most scenic and important cities — Cartagena, Medellín, and Bogotá — eventually heading south towards lesser-known destinations known for gorgeous Baroque architecture, salsa dancing, and a Gothic church built into a gorge.
Travelers headed to Bhutan will find great lodging options in its towns and quiet valleys alike. You'll have your pick of beautiful hotels complete with local design details, scenic views, and even spas. From cozy renovated farmhouses to affordable luxury, here are seven unmissable boutique hotels in Bhutan.
Havana is brim-full of lodging options, from 1950s mobster-era hotels to simple room rentals. For the most rewarding experience, opt for one of the newer, chic boutique hotels or private B&Bs, some offering concierge service.
Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands and a dream destination unto itself. It's spectacularly scenic, and packed with cultural experiences and fun activities. If you have a week to spend, try one of these expertly crafted itineraries.
Cuba is a complex country filled with limitless options for discovery and adventure—and for travelers, this begs many questions. What’s it like traveling in the countryside? Are there restrictions? What's the food like? Here are the answers to these and more of your most pressing questions about Cuba.
Havana is one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. It’s also the biggest in the entire Caribbean—both by area and population—so it’s a good idea to plan how to spend your time. Follow these suggestions to experience the best of Havana in one unforgettable day.
Lima offers history, world-class museums, an unbeatable foodie scene, and the second-largest cityscape in South America. Not sure where to start? To the rescue: a foolproof plan for a perfect day in the Peruvian capital.
Perfect for first-timers, this smart, action-packed itinerary begins in the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá and then makes its way to the Caribbean coast. Along the route, you'll drive through the Andean highlands visiting preserved colonial towns, fly to the up-and-coming city of Medellín — and then hike through Tayrona Park to get to white-sand beaches and turquoise sea. Spend your last three nights in the romantic UNESCO-listed Old Town of Cartagena, founded in 1533.
Colombia is a land for dreamers, and those dreaming of outdoor excursions will not be disappointed. If high-endurance, multi-day trekking isn't your thing, don't worry—there are shorter options in every corner of the nation. No matter the environment in which you find yourself, rest assured that lush scenery and stellar viewpoints abound.
The surreal landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is one of Brazil's many treasures, and this 6-day hiking itinerary will take you straight into the heart of this natural phenomenon. Rise early to catch stunning sunrises and trek through tall, white sand dunes dotted with thousands of freshwater lagoons that form in the rainy season. Enjoy quiet evenings and drift to sleep in a swaying hammock amid the sounds of nature.
Go off the beaten path on this moderately easy hike around Þríhyrningur and its incredible, historic landscape. Camp out overnight at the foot of the mountain and share your favorite stories from the day as you sit around the campfire. Explore the stunning Þórsmörk valley, see remote farmsteads, and discover the Vikings' former hiding spots.
It's not hard not to fall in love with Cuba. Set to a soundtrack of jazz, rumba, and salsa, it's a place where icy mojitos flow freely, classic cars cruise the streets, and historic hotels evoke the glamour of a bygone era. The perfect place, in other words, for a romantic getaway just after your wedding.
Discover Greece's hidden treasures on this action-packed small-group excursion! Hike above the treeline on the tallest mountains in the Peloponnese. Paddle the azure waters of Mani Peninsula. Scale the heights of ancient Sparta's Mount Taygetus. And swim at the stunningly beautiful southernmost point of mainland Europe.
Visit the world-renowned sea sports paradise of Paros and Naxos islands for 8 days of oceanside hikes, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. And when you're not taking on all the active adventures the islands have to offer? Explore the unique local architecture, delectable cuisine, cosmopolitan nightlife, and impressive archaeological sites.
Not for the faint of heart, this epic 10-day trip through Norway's wintry north includes a dizzying array of destinations, travel modes, and activities that are highly unique to the Arctic. Each day presents another opportunity for glorious views and local culture, and lots of animals like huskies, reindeer, and whales. Did we mention all the chances to see the Northern Lights including by horseback? Tepid travelers need not apply.
The island of Cuba is lined with white sandy beaches and surrounded by turquoise Caribbean waters. But it takes a little effort — and some dedicated travel planning — to break away from the crowds and find your own slice of paradise. Follow this handy guide to the best beaches in Cuba and you'll be relaxing under a palm tree in no time.
Cuba, an island measuring 780 miles end to end, is much larger than many visitors imagine. With its diverse ecosystems and cultural distinctions among regions, you could easily fill several weeks with exploration. Have limited time? Not to worry: you can discover Havana's highlights in just a matter of days.
Peru's cuisine has been hitting the headlines in restaurants around the world for a while now, and rightly so: its colorful, spicy takes on meat, fish, and potato dishes are one-of-a-kind. This journey into Peru's fascinating gastronomy identifies the best of the must-try foods and the ideal places to sample them.