The mission: Q’eros — the latest Inca-Andes Peru Expedition 2022 — coordinated by Valerio Ballotta has successfully concluded. Researchers and photographers from a challenging itinerary in the heart of Andean Peru returned to Italy at the end of February. The four Italian expedition members completed important research of Peruvian descendants of the Incas, one of the main objectives of the enterprise. A book and a documentary film on the expedition will soon be released by Giovanni Giusto of 010 Films.
Source: Global Travel Industry News
Framed by six high-rise mountain ranges, Berchtesgaden National Park in Bavaria, Austria, is a drop-dead-gorgeous area steeped in myths and legends. Local lore has it that angels given the task of distributing the earth’s wonders were startled by God’s order to get a move on and dropped them all here by accident. The Park was declared a biosphere reserve by Unesco in 1990 and the village of Berchtesgaden is the obvious base for hiking circuits into the park.
Source: Lonely Planet
Marine Life in Abundance
A new species of giant tortoise has been discovered in the Galapagos after DNA testing found animals living on one island had not yet been recorded. There were originally 15 species of giant tortoise on the islands, three of which became extinct centuries ago, according to the Galapagos National Park. Located in the Pacific about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a protected wildlife area and home to unique species of flora and fauna.
Source: The Independent
Free and Easy
There are many quirky characteristics about the Southernmost outpost of the U.S., but none quite as iconic as the Sunset Celebration. Starting every evening before sunset, visitors in Key West can experience a multitude of live performances, stunt acts, musical groups and much more in Mallory Square. The celebration, which is part circus, part art fair, embodies the oddball spirit of Key West and is not to be missed.
Source: Budget Travel
Sure to Be a GEM
A press release issued by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on February 7 gave oddly precise percentages to indicate progress of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Cairo. While 100% of the structural work, including the vast atrium and grand stairway, is now finished, the internal fittings were described as anywhere from 98% to more than 99% complete. So far, more than 56,000 of an estimated 100,000 artifacts have been transferred to the site near the Pyramids of Giza. Speculation on the opening date abounds but it seems likely that the museum will open in November 2022, coinciding with the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb on November 4.
All in One
The Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Playa del Carmen All-Fun Inclusive concept provides unlimited access and transportation to Grupo Xcaret parks, with trips to underground caves, zip lining, snorkeling, and more included. Plus, meals and beverages at 12 restaurants, a ferry to Isla Mujeres, and an airport shuttle are all included in the rate, too, so you can have an exciting vacation packed with excursions and delicious meals without ever reaching for your wallet.
Looks like inflation is also hitting government fees. In December, the U.S. State Department announced that the cost of a passport will go up by $20. A new passport book that previously cost $145 for adults over the age of 16 will jump $20 in price to $165. The cost is also increasing for children under 16, going from $115 to $135. Passport renewal rates rise from $110 to $130. The State Department did not announce a fee increase for passport cards, which function in fewer travel situations.
Source: USA Today
The atmosphere is relaxed and down-home in this historic town dedicated to romance. Long before the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on gay marriage, this Southern wedding capital in the northern Ozark foothills was happy to issue unofficial marriage certificates to any couple. Eureka Springs’ late-Victorian stone buildings and homes line winding streets with no stoplights. Browse the boutiques, enjoy dinner in cozy cafés, and soak in the mineral springs, whose waters are believed to be a healing treatment.
Source: AAA Magazine
Shackleford Banks in North Carolina is one of the East Coast’s best shelling destinations. But that’s not what you’ll remember if you visit; you’ll remember the horses — a whole herd of them, roaming wild over the island’s shrub-dappled northern fringe and believed to have lived there for 400 years. A great day trip from Emerald Isle or Atlantic Beach; just grab the ferry from Harkers Island. Be sure to bring a camera for the horses, and a bag for your shells.
With the travel industry showing strong signs of recovery for the 2022 season, European Waterways, a top luxury hotel barge cruising line, is more popular than ever. Hotel barge vacations are like self-contained “luxury villas on the water.” They include bicycles for pleasant pedaling on the canal towpath beside the hotel barge or through charming, picture-postcard villages. Gourmet meals are prepared and served onboard by a master chef, with lunch and dinner featuring at least two fine vintages selected from local vineyards.
According to Booking.com reviews, Italy’s Matera tops the list of the friendliest cities around the globe, followed by Bled, Slovenia. The Italian city of Matera, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited areas, is known for its natural caves and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. The Slovenian city of Bled, a soothing sight for the eyes with its namesake lake and the Julian Alps in the background, is also a popular destination for active travelers, with water sports, biking, and hiking (especially along the trail to Bled Castle).
When the pandemic turned lives upside down, a bunch of people opted to rotate the wheel another 180° and move somewhere new. To make these transitions easier, many countries created digital nomad visas. But which of these locations led to the happiest outcomes for the people who relocated? Travel insurance marketplace InsureMyTrip.com decided to find out. Though many relocators opted for a life of fun in the sun, researchers concluded that chilly Norway was actually the best option for those looking to relocate for a year or so. Second best? That would be Mexico, followed by Germany, Portugal, and Iceland. Rounding out the top 10 are Greece, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Spain, and Bermuda.
Taiwan, a small island in East Asia, is known for its amazing food, its beautiful nature spots, and its complex, fascinating culture. It’s incredibly popular amongst tourists from all walks of life who want to experience a taste of Asia. Because of its popularity, you’ll find lots of great places to stay in Taiwan no matter what your budget or travel preferences are. There are so many cool cities as well as comfortable Taiwan accommodation options that it can feel overwhelming — no worries, click here to find a host of options.
The UK’s first four National Parks turned 70 in 2021. One of these, The Lake District, retains a peerless power to draw generations of creatives, adventurers — and crowds. Look at a map and it’s not difficult to see where it got its name: the 16 eponymous lakes. And all of it surrounded by arguably the region’s more entitled geographical claim to the National Park’s title. For despite its watery moniker, off the map and on the ground, the Lake District’s most obvious features are its mountains.
Source: National Geographic Traveler
Out of This World
Joshua Tree in southeastern California is known for its otherworldly desert landscape — and where better to escape for a night than in a flying saucer-shaped home. It’s one of about 85 surviving Futuro Pods designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the ’60s and ’70s as portable ski chalets, according to the Futuro House website. There are 19 in the United States and only one on Airbnb, according to Jackson’s listing.
Source: The New York Post
Austrians know exactly what you need after a long day on a mountain — a warm bed, hearty meal, and some traditional folk-singing! The mountains of Northern Styria are dotted with alpine hüttes that facilitate multi-day hikes, and Schiestlhaus, a short distance from the Hochschwab summit, is arguably the nicest of the lot. Initially constructed in 1884, the lodge stands in a saddle near the cliff face and boasts astonishing panoramic views from its outdoor decking.
Source: Lonely Planet
Changing the World
This year The New York Times 52 picks for places to go highlights places around the globe where travelers can be part of the solution. The top 10 are posted below and you can click here for the complete New York Times list.
- Chioggia, Italy
- Chimanimani National Park, Mozambique
- Queens, New York
- Northumberland, England
- Zihuantanejo, Mexico
- Iberá Park, Argentina
- Alentejo Wine Region, Portugal
- The Lucayan Archipelago, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos
- Evia, Greece
- Cobscook Shores, Maine
Source: The New York Times
Time for an Edu-Vacation
After two years of quarantines and classroom closures, parents, eager for lesson plans that can supplement learning, are now seeking experiences with an educational bent when they travel with their children. After a pandemic dip, enrollments are on the rise for family-learning itineraries with the tour operator Road Scholar, which produces educational travel programs for all ages. Options for children and their caregivers include combining history and geography with spotting grizzlies in the Canadian Rockies, or learning French while taking a scavenger hunt through Paris’ Louvre. In Florida, Isla Bella Beach Resort and Oceans Edge Resort & Marina now partner with Marine Science Camp for classes with marine scientists, geared to elementary school children (free for hotel guests). In California, classes at the Artisans in Residence program at Carmel Valley Ranch are taught in the apiary, organic garden, and goat creamery.
Source: The New York Times