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TRAVEL PLANNER 2013


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Welcome to the Black Tomato

TRAVEL PLANNER With a quarter of the year gone, it’s time to look ahead to the exciting travel possibilities of the rest of the year. We want your next trip (and every trip for that matter) to be exactly what you want it to be and that’s why we’ve put together our very own travel planner to help make that decision just a bit easier. We spend our days researching what’s going on around the world and organising memorable trips for our clients. We have travelled to every destination that we recommend and know it inside out. That’s why we know when is best to take a trip there and why. We’ll be regularly adding to the planner, filling the pages with useful insight and inspiration so have a browse through our top picks of where to go and when. Print it out, pin it to your fridge, take it on your commute. But most importantly we hope that it inspires you to travel.


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DS AN SL I GIN VIR


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Morocco


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MOROCCO Sink into Morocco’s mystical realms. A land where snake charmers line the squares, pools are sprinkled in rose petals and the call to prayer rings out over the rooftops – there is enough here to capture the imagination of even the most seasoned traveller. The quieter month of April means you get to take full advantage of the gloriously warm climes minus the hordes of tourists.

At a Glance Lose yourself in the mud-walled Kasbahs and maze-like souks of Marrakech, a city bursting with life, colour and spice. Thrill seekers should head to the Atlas Mountains for an adrenaline kick of mountain biking or white-water rafting. If you fancy life at a slower pace, enjoy a glass of mint tea and a gourmet picnic in the cool mountain foothills – made especially magical in spring when the forests are carpeted with wild flowers. Why we like it * An Aladdin’s Cave of cultural treasures * Learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine

www.blacktomato.com


Caribbean Sea

British Virgin Islands


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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS If, like us, by spring you’re already lusting after some sun, sea and sand, then you’re in luck as it also happens to be the best time to visit the British Virgin Islands. This pattern of over 50 volcanic isles drifting in the Caribbean Ocean has long been a mecca for the sailing crowd in the know, and for good reason. Rimmed with soft sands and clear turquoise waters they are nothing short of paradise.

At a Glance There is only one way to travel here – on a luxury yacht – so take to the water in Black Tomato style aboard your very own 59ft floating palace and take full advantage of the gorgeous views and subtropical breeze. Plunge the depths of the Rhone wreck off Salt Island, the holy grail of shipwreck dives, and dine on lobster conch cooked by your personal on-board chef. Dip into the rock pools of The Baths in Virginia Gorda and swap tales of the sea over a rum punch cocktail in Long Bay. If you’re a landlubber hankering for some solid ground then we’ve found the perfect island retreat at Little Dix Bay where you’ll be pampered to your heart’s delight in the award-winning spa.

it Why we like cret coves se d an s he ac be ed land ch ou * Unt castaway is x your own mi ’ ‘n ck Pi *

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Oman Arabian Sea

Maldives


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OMAN AND THE MALDIVES After the cold winter months we bet you’re lusting for some serious pampering and spahopping in Oman and the Maldives is our ultimate luxury detox plan. Lounge in your own private Arabian hideaway before heading to the Maldives for a slice of barefoot-bliss. With the coveted Six Senses Spa hotels as your base, expect the royal treatment every step of the way.

At a Glance If you’re looking for indulgence then look no further than the renowned Six Senses Zighy Bay – nestled on the strikingly beautiful Oman coast, there’s no better place to unwind under the sumptuous Oman sun. For a truly breathtaking experience, head to the mountains of Jebel Akhtar and take in the panoramic views and fresh mountain air, made even more spectacular underneath April’s piercingly clear skies. Next we’ll whiz you by sea plane to the pristine shores and tropical waters of the Maldives where you’ll be waited on hand-and-foot at the gorgeous Six Senses Laamu Spa.

Why we like it * luxury with the wow-factor * Pure paradise

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Italy Mediterranean Sea


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ITALY Can’t decide between a stylish city break or relaxing countryside tour? With Italy you can have the best of both worlds. Avoid the summer heat and crowds and go in May, when the long, sunny days seem to stretch on forever and the roses are in bloom.

At a Glance Centuries of history, fabulous art, and monumental architecture – Rome has it all. Take in the city sites and shop till you drop in the ultra-chic boutiques. For a classic Italian retreat, the gorgeous Tuscan countryside and cobbled streets of Florence offer a quieter pace of life, but still with all the style kudos that comes with holidaying in Italy. Here you can wine and dine the hours away overlooking a terracotta skyline.

Why we like it * Fabulous art, histor y and style * Get Italian masterpi eces all to yourself

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Namibia


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NAMIBIA Venturing into the vast, desolate moonscape of the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast feels like entering another universe altogether. For a truly exhilarating experience, Namibia is one of our most exciting destinations for 2013.

At a Glance Climb giant wind-carved sand dunes and wander along multi-coloured pebble beaches made from agate, lava, quartz and even whale bone. Soar over red lava fields and ghostly shipwrecks that dot the coastline in a private flying safari, and uncover the region’s ancient history with a visit to the nomadic Himba tribe who live there. May’s dry season is one of the best conditions for game viewing so top off your trip tracking leopards and cheetahs across the plains and fall asleep beside the campfire under a sky littered with stars and filled with the roar of lions. Why we like it * Extraordinary landscapes * Explore the untamed

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Botswana


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BOTSWANA Grab a paddle while you still can and be one of the lucky few to canoe the incredible Selinda Spillway. One of Africa’s greatest experiences, you get the chance to see the best of African wildlife closer than ever before as you skim past newly created watering holes. But you better get your skates on as this magical adventure won’t be around forever…

At a Glance When the Selinda Spillway overflowed in 2009 for the first time in three decades it created a wonderland of waterways that connect all the way from the Western Okavango Delta to the Zibidianja Lagoon in the East. In May, the Delta comes alive with migratory birds, making it the ideal time to travel if you’re a twitcher, but for most, the biggest draw is the chance to see the Big Five in action from the safety of your canoe. Safaris don’t come more unique or inspiring than this. Why we like it * Truly ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ * A completely unique safari

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Croatia Mediterranean Sea

Black Sea


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CROATIA Let us show you one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Croatia is a country blessed by the sea and with over a thousand islands scattered along the its lengthy Adriatic coastline, island hopping is the only way to get a taste of the dramatically varied landscapes and cultures that characterize each individual island. Add to that the iconic cities on the mainland that are brimming with culture and history and you will have discovered a country that will keep you wanting more.

At a Glance Island life and culture are at its peak in June and, best of all, you get to bypass the incoming summer rush of tourists. This is perfect island hopping season; warm temperatures create ideal swimming and sailing conditions, beefed-up ferry schedules and largely vacant hotels and restaurants are ready to give you the individual attention you deserve. Island festivals are also in full swing, so don’t forget to pop over to Zagreb or Rovinj for their dance and salsa festivals or Split for its wildly popular music festival.

Why we like it rustic historical charm of l Ful * * An ultrachic party scene

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Mozambique


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MOZAMBIQUE Rarely does one associate Africa with luxurious beach holidays on tropical islands, but this is what makes Mozambique so incredibly distinctive. Slightly off the tourist radar, Mozambique is a place so ruggedly beautiful and remote that you feel as if you’ve stumbled across an undiscovered world.

At a Glance Although the mainland is a luxury destination in its own right, it is the islands of Mozambique that we are drawn to. You have two choices, the Quirimbus archipelago, consisting of 32 magical islands, or the Bazaruto archipelago which has just five little pieces of heaven. Either way you will be privy to some of the best diving in the world with amazingly clear waters and dramatic drop offs. Visit the islands in dry season and you are essentially guaranteed a rainfree holiday, while the cooler temperatures make for a welcome break from the searing African sun. Why we like it * Secluded barefoot luxury * Beautiful soft sand beaches

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Coral Sea

Hayman Island


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HAYMAN ISLAND, AUSTRALIA Gear up for our ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience on a private island resort located right off the Australian coast. Not only are guests given exclusive access to the lush forests that cover much of the island’s landscape, but they are also granted front-row seats to amazing sections of the largely government protected Great Barrier Reef.

At a Glance Diving and snorkelling are the only way to witness the reef’s impressive coral gardens that include more than 400 different kinds of coral, coral sponges, molluscs and 1,500 species of tropical fish. Dolphins, rays, sea turtles, and giant clams are just some of the larger reef inhabitants that will greet you in the waters and a visit in June also coincides with the beginning of whale migration season.

it Why we like g in tt se x lu r * Supe ivate hideaway * Your own pr

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Indonesia

Java Sea Timor Sea


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INDONESIA Visit ancient temples, exotic locales and idyllic beaches for a true cultural odyssey through Indonesia. With thousands of islands to explore, we will handpick the best options for your first, second and third visits - because we know you will be coming back for more.

At a Glance Begin in the ruggedly beautiful and zen-like island of Java for a tour of the Borobudur Temple compounds. Reach the top of the 9th century Buddhist temple for stunning views of the surrounding volcanos and rivers. Relax on the idyllic private island resort of Kura Kura where untouched, powdery sands and glistening island waters line the landscape and indulge in total luxury and relaxation in Bali while touring the tiered paddy fields. July marks the beginning of the dry season in Indonesia which ensures clear skies throughout your cultural adventure.

Why we like it e bliss * Exotic beachsid ly locals nd ie fr * Warm and

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Tanzania


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TANZANIA Discover a country with a different kind of safari as you seamlessly weave between migrating herds, prowling game and jungles full of friendly chimpanzee swinging cheekily from the trees. Get close to nature like never before in this unspoiled African adventureland.

At a Glance Time your visit in July to witness a different side of the African bush, one that few visitors get to enjoy. In the summer months, the savannah is baked a pale white by the sun leading to some excellent animal viewing opportunities. Better yet, July is primetime for the Great Migration where 1.2 million wildebeest (the largest animal herd on the planet) head north in search of fresh grazing grounds, filling the Serengeti of Northern Tanzania with a gaggle of wildlife activity attracting Africa’s most impressive predators. Why we like Tanzania * A fascinating cultural melting pot * Indulgent relaxation

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California

South Pacific Ocean

Bora Bora


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CALIFORNIA AND BORA BORA This dream holiday takes you from the cultural and natural wonders of California to pure island bliss in French Polynesia. Tick all of the boxes at once: iconic American landmarks, gastronomic delights, spectacular granite cliffs and a tropical island paradise. This unusual combination is also one of our favourites here at Black Tomato.

At a Glance The cosmopolitan and cultural hub of San Francisco is your gateway to explore Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park where wine tastings and dips in glacial lakes are followed by a road trip down the famed Pacific Coast Highway across picturesque bridges and soaring cliffs. From California, continue onto Bora Bora where complete privacy and isolation awaits amongst white sandy shores and tropical lagoon waters on an island that is paradise in its purest form. Why we like it * An idyllic isla nd paradise * Stunning coastal roads

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Ladakh

India


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LADAKH Discover the virtually untouched valleys and villages of Ladakh, India. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, this voyage will have you wandering through the ancient hills on a journey of discovery through a historic and majestic land.

At a Glance Flying into the capital city of Leh, you will get your first taste of the calm serenity created by the crisp mountain air in a city 3,500m up in the sky. Explore the ancient monasteries and Buddhist temples built high up into the surrounding mountains before trekking through the sprawling landscapes of the Indus Valley. Panoramic views from mountaintops will reveal unique geological wonders carved for centuries by glaciers and rivers.

Why we like it * Unexplored pristine beauty * Authentic Indian village life

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Malaysia Borneo


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MALAYSIA AND BORNEO A tour of the world’s oldest virgin rainforests in Borneo begins with a stop in the capital city of Malaysia for a taste of urban life in one of Asia’s largest and most modern metropolises. With all of Malaysia and Borneo to draw from, we will create the perfect holiday for you balancing city bustle with calm jungle serenity.

At a Glance Made up of three distinct cultures of Malay, Indian and Chinese, Malaysia has become a melting pot of gorgeous architecture, electric festivals, and more importantly mouth-watering cuisine. Nowhere is this more evident than in Kuala Lumpur and the best way to experience the eclectic Malaysian culture is to plan your visit to coincide with National Day. The largest festival on the Malaysian calendar sees the capital crowded with parades, concerts, dance, music, arts, delicious food stalls and, let’s not forget, excellent sales at the shops. Why we like it redible virgin jungle * A lost world of inc orang-utans * Meet Borneo’s wild

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Queensland Australia


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QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA Sailing the Whitsunday Islands is a classic must-do in Australia so, naturally, we have found an alternative way to explore the islands: by plane, luxury speedboat and helicopter. We’ve also added in our favourite secret island but keep that bit on the down low.

At a Glance Dive into the Great Barrier Reef and flop on the powdery sands of the exclusive Wilson Island, a littleknown jewel of caster-sugar sand and designer tents, only reachable by helicopter. Afterwards, explore the Whitsundays on your own private yacht, sailing the seas around Hamilton Island and diving amongst reefs and coral that teem with technicoloured life. A visit in August guarantees ideal weather conditions away from the searing heat of the summer and the torrential downpours of the rainy season.

Why we like it * Sail your own 70 ft luxury yacht * World-class pamp ering

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RADO COLO

ICO MEX


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AN RD JO

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Pacific Mexico Pacific Ocean


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PACIFIC MEXICO With one of the most exciting and diverse terrains in Mexico, the sun-soaked peninsula of Baja California promises plenty of thrills and spills alongside its boutique hotels and spas. Craggy volcanic islands, sultry desert and warm waters rich with marine life; this is one beach holiday you’ll never want to end.

At a Glance Surrounded by miles of cacti-peppered desert, golden beaches and jagged mountainside, La Paz provides the perfect base to enjoy one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, the Sea of Cortez, where whale sharks and sea lions swim care-free in the waters. From La Paz, head south to the charming bohemian village of Todos Santos before completing your journey on the tip of the peninsula in the completely secluded Capella Pedregal Hotel and Spa in Cabos San Lucas to soak in its incredibly luxurious beachfront infinity pool. Why we like it es sting landscap * Amazing contra e ur lt cu * Fiery festival

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U.S.A. Colorado


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U.S.A. Spend your days exploring the majestically rocky landscapes of the western United States where nature takes centre stage. While the evenings away basking in the finest spas and resorts that the country has to offer. Journey with us in September and you will also be exposed to spectacular autumn colours and cool temperatures – ideal conditions for nature exploration at its best.

At a Glance Settle down amongst 600-acres of protected desert landscape at the Amangiri Resort in Utah and explore the neighbouring canyons and sandstone mountains on horseback or, for a truly unparalleled view, by hot-air balloon. Get a taste of the wild-west in Colorado at the Dunton Hot Springs Resort, where an old mining town now houses guests in centuryold cabins set amongst a beautiful wilderness landscape.

Why we like it * Jaw-dropping vi ews * Sumptuous moun tain-top hot spri ng spas

www.blacktomato.com


Black Sea

Mediterranean Sea

Jordan


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JORDAN A desert trek that combines startling scenery, incredible history and desert survival; this is a truly epic expedition through the inspiring landscapes of the ancient cities of Jordan. Challenge yourself while navigating the desert landscape and camping under the stars in the depths of the sand-dusted hinterlands.

At a Glance With temperatures reaching a searing 40째C at the height of summer, a September start date will ensure comfortable days and refreshingly cool nights that are perfect conditions for your trek around Wadi Rum and its incredible rock formations. Through a combination of trekking, quad biking, camel and horse riding you will arrive in the ancient city of Petra to explore the ruins of the aeons-old civilization.

Why we like it * Camel rides through alien dese rtscapes * Unique Bedouin culture

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Rwanda


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RWANDA Known as the land of a thousand hills, a journey to Rwanda is an adventure that will see you trekking through dense jungle landscapes towards crater rims of dormant volcanoes and deep into cloud forests to track the elusive mountain gorilla.

At a Glance Starting in the Virunga mountain chain, the site of the Parc National Des Volcans, you will journey to the summit of Mount Visoke at 3,700m above sea level. From the summit, take in the spectacular view of the crater and its glass-like crater lake bounded by the sheer expanse of the sprawling volcano range. Afterwards, head through to the slopes of the Virunga Mountains to track the majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Why we like it le adventure jung * A magical ed mountain gorillas nger enda r unte Enco *

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Peru South Pacific Ocean

Bolivia

Chile


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CHILE, BOLIVA AND PERU This adventure spans three countries across the South American continent encompassing deserts, mountains and lakes where you will ride horses across barren landscapes, go stargazing in the open wilderness and kayak across the highest navigable lake in the world.

At a Glance The mighty San Pedro de Atacama leads your journey where you will head by 4x4 into the vast, desolate landscapes of the Bolivian Antiplano. Multi-coloured lagoons, geysers, thermal baths and geological curiosities dot the landscape as you head towards the amazing salt flats of Uyuni for a stay at the famous salt hotels. A flight from Uyuni over the Andes will bring you into La Paz for a trek through the Cordillera Real mountain range ending in Lake Titicaca where you will kayak towards the floating islands of Uros before continuing by train into Peru where your journey concludes in Cusco. Why we like it * Get off the beaten track * Awe-inspiring natura l beauty

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Chile

Argentina

South Atlantic Ocean


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ARGENTINA AND CHILE The majestic peaks of the Torres del Paines in Argentina form the backdrop to your South American trip as you travel by horse between lodges and ranches along the Torres National Park. Continue by crossing the border into Chile and completely immerse yourself into South America’s trekking mecca.

At a Glance The late spring provides perfect temperatures that are ideal for horseback riding, trekking and kayaking amongst the icebergs and ice fields. Your October arrival also precedes the swarm of Argentinian summer tourists jostling to see the seals, sea lions, porpoises and other Patagonian wildlife that inhabit the area. But, it isn’t all about nature and adventure, we are in prime wine country here and demanding treks are rewarded with amazing meals paired with some of the world’s best vintages.

Why we like it * Climb majestic glaciers * Mind-blowing views over blue lago ons

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ICO MEX


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AR M N YA M

NEW Z E A LA ND

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Gulf of Mexico

Mexico Caribbean Sea


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MEXICO Journey to the Yucatan Peninsula for the ultimate beach holiday spent exploring the legendary Riviera Maya. Its combination of pristine beaches, mystical Mayan temples and lux hotels provide the perfect tonic to the drab wintery days.

At a Glance Arrive in Cancun and head on your private yacht to an exclusive, adults-only resort on the turquoise lagoon waters of Isla Mujeres. Pure luxury awaits you with signature spa treatments and the culinary wonders of Hotel Villa Roland. From one paradise to another – hop back on to your yacht to the heart of the Rivera Maya to Hotel Esencia which lies on a glorious mile-long slice of picture-perfect secluded beach. To add to your privacy, November sidesteps the throng of tourist that populates the beaches during the holiday season and more importantly marks the end of hurricane season. Why we like it * The best beaches in the world * Discover majestic Mayan temples

www.blacktomato.com


Myanmar

Bay of Bengal


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MYANMAR Discover Myanmar, a country overflowing with ancient culture and traditions mixed in with the hustle and bustle of busy markets and the tranquility of floating gardens. Myanmar is a world apart, offering a spiritually and culturally rich experience that cannot fail to inspire even the most experienced traveler.

At a Glance Begin in the bustling former capital of Yangon and enjoy the faded colonial architecture of Myanmar’s largest city. Marvel at the 4,400 temples and pagodas that jut out of the landscape of the ancient 10th century city of Bagan and trek to the iconic Lake Inle to experience communities living right on the water. Finally, flop down and relax on the stunning white beaches of Ngapali. To make the most out of your experience, we suggest avoiding the severe wet season that grips Myanmar in the summer months with a visit at the height of dry season in November. Why we like it hentic culture aut * Truly scuba diving and sailing ent ell Exc *

www.blacktomato.com


Tasman Sea

New Zealand South Pacific Ocean


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NEW ZEALAND Set in the azure seas of the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is renowned for its rich landscapes and remarkably scenic beauty. With rugged mountains, ancient glaciers, beaches, bays and bush to explore, this is one of our favourite road trips and there is no better time to hit the tarmac then November, when the approaching summer creates perfectly moderate temperatures – great for cruising with the top down.

At a Glance Take to the road in Auckland and set out for Queenstown to get a full pelt of all the incredible landscapes the New Zealand has to offer. Along the way stumble through Nelson, the city of sunshine, and lie on its unspoilt shores and discover Rotorua, known as the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture, where steaming lakes, bubbling hot pools and bursting geysers await you. With the Frank Josef glacier, Waitomo glow worm caves and Punakaiki blowholes also in tow, we will map out your journey so there is no chance of missing any of the iconic sites. Why we like it * Magnificent landscapes * Vibrant Maori heritage

www.blacktomato.com


E TH

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HE DT N RA DO A U EC

DS AN ISL S O AG AP L GA


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Caribbean Caribbean Sea


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CARIBBEAN We have scoured the region and handpicked the very best private villas in the Caribbean, from airy apartments in the heart of the action, to sprawling villas bordering world class golf courses and fairytale-esque traditional beach houses complete with fresh water infinity pools and a view that will make you go weak at the knees.

At a Glance If absolute exclusivity is what you are after, our choice is the brand-new Trident Hotel on the glamorous beach paradise of Port Antonio in Jamaica. The series of waterfront villas date back from the 1960s and have been exquisitely renovated to provide guests with modern comforts and luxuries such as private terraces and plunge pools right by the ocean. For a more family friendly experience, Little Dix Bay Resort on the British Virgin Islands offers spacious 3-4 bedroom villas with full-size private pools and sweeping 180 degree views of the bay. For complete seclusion, Jumby Bay in Antigua offers stately homes with their own private beaches scattered along the coast of a private island.

Why we like it hes ike pristine beac ml ea * Dr nd ou ar h nc pu m * The best ru

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The Galapagos Islands

Ecuador


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ECUADOR For an adventure that the whole family can enjoy, the mountain wilderness of Ecuador and volcanic isles of the Galápagos provide an explorer’s paradise of epic proportions. Enter a lost world of colossal mountain peaks, dense rainforests and islands teeming with wildlife, all just waiting to be discovered.

At a Glance Get a culture hit in the historical Old Town of Quito — a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with museums, hidden cafés and beautiful baroque churches — before grabbing your ice-axe and scaling the heights of Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s second highest peak. Next, jump onto your private yacht to begin your cruise of the Galapagos Archipelago. An ecological wonderland, here you can nab a kayak and get face-to-face with giant tortoises and sea lions, or trek the ruins of Winay Wayna and camp under the stars, keeping a sharp lookout for lava lizards. Why we like it * Uncover your inner explorer * A wildlife lover’s dream

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Cambodia Gulf of Thailand


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Dec

CAMBODIA Discover the true colours of this mysterious ancient temple empire. A country often overshadowed by its turbulent past, Cambodia is jam-packed with historical splendour and unsung beauty just itching to be explored. Unlock the secrets that lie behind the majestic shrines and virgin jungle of this cultural wonderland.

At a Glance Get into full explorer spirit in Angkor Wat, undisputedly one of the worlds’ most incredible modern wonders. We’ll give you the best seat in the house with a hot air balloon ride where you can watch the sunrise as you sail over the temple spires. Hop onto a bike and tour the town of Phnom Penh—ideal in December when humidity levels are at their lowest – and enjoy the fabulous mix of French and Khmer architecture. Or, if you want to entirely disappear, head into the jungle on the islands of Song Saa for some welldeserved downtime on Cambodia’s hidden beaches. Why we like it * One of Asia’s lesser known treasures * Rich in captivating history

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Feeling inspired? Need to know where’s good and when? We’re on hand to arrange any of these trips and more.

To start planning your next trip: +44 207 426 9888 or +1 646 558 3644 enquiries@blacktomato.com www.blacktomato.com


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