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Looking for Adventure on Your Next Vacation? Find “Pura Vida” in Pure Costa Rica Wealthy in spirit, culture, and natural wonders, it’s no surprise this country is known as “The Rich Coast.”

Page 6 Best-Selling Tours of Hawaii The Aloha State has endless island adventures, and we’ve found the thrills you can’t miss.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 Important Roles Travel Agents Fill


Read why you shouldn’t book another vacation without the assistance of your travel agent.

Discover the World’s Finest Eco-Havens


Wealthy in spirit, culture, and natural wonders, it’s no surprise Costa Rica is known as “The Rich Coast.” Find out what adventures you can have in this popular eco-tourist paradise.

Savor the Spice of Life in Grenada


Find a spice of life just off the beaten beach at this tiny treasure made for large appetites.


Spring Hasn’t Sprung (But It Will Spring up on You Fast)

Extend the olive branch to your inner procrastinator and start planning your spring vacation early to ensure epic savings on your next epic odyssey.

Best-Selling Tours of Hawaii

7 Destinations to Visit in 2017


Out with the old, and in with the new – time to start planning your next big adventure.

New Zealand’s Top Five Must-Do’s... And the One Wish-I-Did


Find out the must-see attractions and sights in New Zealand from Worldwide Travel Consultant Alan Flynn, plus the one thing he missed out on (but you won’t).

We’ve Got Your Back


Why travel insurance is necessary in a nonrefundable world.

Gourmet a Go-Go


Simply the Best – How to Book the Best Group Getaway

More the Merrier! Get more by going big – destination weddings, family reunions, and bachelor/ bachelorette parties.

Find Balance in Belize


From sapphire sea to emerald forests – how Belize balances out extremes and harmonizes the soul.

Excite the Senses in St. Lucia


Get a different point of view from the “Hawaii of the Caribbean.”


Learn how top chefs, award-winning restaurants, and farm-to-table cuisine are setting the standard for culinary journeys, turning your vacation into a gastronomic foodie escape.

Group Getaways



Enjoy these best-selling tours on four of Hawai`i’s main islands.

Puerto Vallarta – What Vacation Destination Dreams Are Made Of


Visit a region where the beaches, culture, history, and food all equally reign supreme, and friendliness is the main ingredient in this culture’s recipe.


Exclusive My Time Benefits





Find your perfect resort and destination while receiving exclusive perks through GOGO Vacations and My Time properties – at no additional cost to you.


Enjoy Your Time Away with My Time

/GOGOVacations @GOGOWWV @gogovacations

5 Important Roles Travel Agents Fill Whether you’re searching for your next vacation destination or know exactly where you want to go, booking travel is a commitment, one that can be a thrilling adventure. But travel also has its challenges, and that’s why you want your agent with you through it all. Your travel agent is more than a friendly face.

A travel agent is:

A Travel Genius From rooms with the best views to construction notices and upcoming events, travel agents have the knowledge, connections, and experience to book you in your preferred room category and resort. Plus, if you’re traveling to multiple cities, islands, or countries, you’ll want a travel agent’s expertise to provide a smooth journey. Your travel agent will also advise if you need a passport, a visa, or both to get into that specific country, so you won’t be held up at customs or even denied entry.

A Matchmaker

A Good Value

Travel agents excel at finding the perfect destination and resort for even the most discerning traveler, and as the ultimate matchmakers, they can pair you with that all-inclusive property, luxury golf and spa resort, or family-friendly destination. For honeymoon and romantic escapes as well as gastronomic getaways, agents will choose a resort with special amenities or award-winning restaurants. No matter what you prefer, a travel agent can create a memorable vacation from your personal tastes and desires.

A travel agent strives to get you the best value for your journey, which can mean exclusive packages, rooms in “sold-out” hotels, and possibly special arrangements or requests. Since agents know hoteliers, concierges, and other attendants personally, they are more likely to receive additional added value to ensure your enjoyment at the resort. Agents can also help you navigate traveler’s insurance to help you choose the best plan to suit your specific needs.

A Life Saver

A Time Saver

We all want the perfect vacation every time we travel, but sometimes things happen. Maybe it’s a series of delays, or the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you booked without a travel agent, you spend hours on the phone or on line at the ticket counter hoping to find an available flight to nowhere before connecting home. But if you booked with a travel agent, they’re on the phone with an airline finding you the best possible routes without the hours of frustration.

A travel agent has the latest information about packages, property details, and new activities at their fingertips, usually sent to them by the hotels and destinations themselves. With years of experience and firsthand knowledge, travel agents save you countless hours upon the Internet and plan your trip with expertise no search engine can give. Plus, they’ll do price comparisons, provide insider tips, restaurant recommendations, and more, depending upon your preferences and destination.





DISCOVER THE WORLD’S FINEST ECO-HAVENS Central America lures travelers with a vibrant mix of cultural experiences, natural wonders, and exciting activities. Its most popular destination, Costa Rica, lives up to its nickname – “The Rich Coast” – with a diverse landscape consisting of lush green meadows, a mystical cloud forest, active volcanoes, and spectacular waterfalls. But that’s only part of Costa Rica’s “pura vida” or pure life spirit that resonates in its welcoming people and on its tropical beaches. Costa Rica’s enchanting neighbor, Belize, is a treasure trove of land and sea adventures, including awesome dive spots, cathedral-like caves, lush jungles, and some of the Maya’s most spectacular ruins. Learn more about this country of contrasts in “Find Balance in Belize” on page 40.

Savor the Spice of Life in


In the far southeastern Caribbean lies a tiny treasure full of flavor. Grenada is known as the Spice Island for a reason, and it’s not just in honor of its pungent exports. Its gorgeous landscape is relatively untouched, and the abundance of friendly locals have held on to their simple way of life. For a fun escape, Grenada is the perfect place to enjoy the spice of life.



Little Island with Big Heart

Adventures Abound

Grenadians are famous for their welcoming open-arms outlook on life. They embrace visitors as family and are eager to help anyone who needs it when trying to navigate their island. Plus, the island hosts multiple events throughout the year celebrating music, fishing and sailing, and even an indulging chocolate festival. Make sure to plan your vacation during the Spice Mas Festival, their largest event of the year that’s similar to Carnival on other islands.

Lush and rugged landscapes and crystal clear waters full of exploits guarantee a good time for thrill seekers. Avid anglers can charter a boat for a fantastic deep-sea excursion. Scuba-certified visitors can find coral reefs, shipwrecks, and underwater sculpture parks. And for those who have a need for speed, rent a wave runner for the day, or hop on a tube and be towed through the water by a speed boat.

Beaches to Boast About Whether it’s serene, social, or sui generis, this island has the perfect sandy spot. At Grand Anse Beach, you can mingle with locals and tourists along two miles of pure white sand. Despite its close proximity to St. George’s, Portici Beach is only accessible by two sandy trails off the main road, making it literally off the beaten path. As the name suggests, Black Bay Beach possesses volcanic black sand. Outdoor enthusiasts are rewarded with a secluded paradise after a 20-minute hike from the main road past sugar mill ruins and fruit and spice trees.

Grenada is a hiker’s paradise. The island has a trail for everyone— leisure strolls around lake shores to steep mountainous climbs ending at waterfalls. The trails also provide excellent conditions for Mountain Biking. Looking to enjoy the landscape at a leisurely pace? Float down Grenada’s Balthazar River—referred to as the Great River by locals—and twist and turn in your very own inner tube while making stops to swim and enjoy a glass of refreshing rum punch.





Hasn’t Sprung (But it will Spring up on you Fast!) Now’s the time to book your spring getaway to Europe with the best possibilities concerning hotel, room categories, and flight itineraries. Plus, you’ll have more time to plan and save for those must-do’s as well as enjoy the anticipation leading up to your vacation. Consider taking a modern odyssey this spring in Greece. Check out this epic itinerary with ancient wonders, spectacular beaches, and culinary delights that are sure to delight couples and families alike!

Roam the ancient ruins to enlightenment. After centuries of conflict and decay, the Acropolis of Athens has been rigorously restored. With imported marble, and a little straightening out of those old Parthenon columns (restoration obviously was a bit more in-depth than this), the Acropolis is open for visitors. Take a tour of this ancient citadel absolutely jam-packed with history. You will turn to stone in wonder! Stay studious a while more—this was, after all, the mecca of philosophy, education, and even democracy—and check out The National Archeological Museum of Athens, the largest archeological museum in Greece with an unbelievable collection of Greek antiquities. Visit Ancient Agora and walk in the ponderous footsteps of Plato and Socrates through this historical downtown marketplace. Tie up those Greek sandals and clod your way over to the Psiri or Gazi districts for more of a modern day downtown experience, where you’ll find a plethora of street vendors and a bustling nightlife. Cafés and tavernas abound (be sure to get some fried feta at Strofi Taverna!) and raise the roof at one of the many rooftop bars like the Skylounge at Meliã or the GB Roof Garden, which offer amazing views of the Acropolis lit up at night. You can even catch an outdoor movie at Cine Thisio, also perfectly overlooking the illuminated Acropolis. Should the movie be boring, you’ll still have something quite epic to keep you entertained!



Santorini—where cubiform homes and Grecian architecture seem to cling helplessly to the cliffs—is what it is today because of a volcanic eruption circa 1650 BC. The eruption engulfed this Cyclades island with volcanic ash, lava, and pumice stone. Today, however, Santorini ironically boasts ideal soil conditions that helps produce the distinctive wine of the island. Tour Santorini’s wineries and catch some amazing views— which are pretty much anywhere you are when in Santorini—and pair a dry white wine Santorini is known for with the island’s famous fava beans. For great restaurants, nightlife, or a quick gyro, Fira is the town to climb up to. Situated atop a cliff (what isn’t?), Fira offers a true downtown experience, with authentic Greek tavernas like Salt & Pepper, or elegant Greek restaurants like Apiron, which has an infinity view of the Aegean Sea to boot. Be sure to cool down and casually catch up on some Greek philosophy—it’s a great beach read here!—at one of Santorini’s stunning red or black pebble beaches. Known as one of the most romantic spots in the world, this Greek getaway is popular for destination weddings, honeymoons, and couples. Make sure not to miss the unforgettable Santorini sunsets from atop the Caldera, the island’s volcanic crater.

Looking to stay up late? Make it Mykonos. Take it easy by day, perhaps purchasing a chair on Paradise Beach, where you’ll get personal wait service, or get that reading in on quiet Agios Sostis Beach. As Aristotle philosophized—life’s all about achieving a Golden Mean. Listen to the Greek! You’ll be out late, so achieve that Mykonos Golden Mean by taking the day at a more luxuriating speed. Mosey on over to Barkia Pasta Fresca for some homemade pasta, and be sure to set aside time to visit the Church of Paraportiani, a classically whitewashed Greek style church dating back to the 15th century. Wind down before your nap by walking along the coast, where the iconic Mykonos windmills are lined. Let them be a metaphor for you—you’re going to have to wind back up again! Arrive for a late dinner at Uno Con Carne Steakhouse & Oyster Bar. Enjoy the charm and excitement of Little Venice, Mykonos’ historic 18th century district, speckled with bars and a boisterous nightlife. Mykonos is where the yachts and cruise ships sail in alike, and all are welcome to the party!

Enjoy an itinerary packed with exceptional sights on and off the beaten path in Europe. Ride the London Underground to Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Marvel at the famous Gaudi buildings in Barcelona with the perpetually-under-construction (since 1882!) Sagrada Família, and sample Gouda cheese and Mediterranean delicacies at the Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam. See the Old World in a new light this spring by contacting your travel agent to book your epic European escape now.



Best-Selling Tours of HAWAII On top of the world-famous luaus, dramatic beauty, and historical excursions, the Aloha State totes some of the best beaches and whale-watching locations in the world. But with so many different adventures and exciting experiences to enjoy, how do you know which ones to choose, especially if you only have a week or two in America’s perfect paradise? We’ve got your soon-to-be suntanned back. Here are four best-selling tours, one for each of the main islands.



KAUAI – ECO Helicopter Adventure

BIG ISLAND – Circle Island/Volcano Experience

Lifestyle: Adventure & Luxury by Air Activity Level: Low

Lifestyle: Nature & Wildlife Activity Level: Low

Duration: Half-Day Price: $$$

The journey begins with a flight to the spectacular Hanapepe Valley and then continues on to Manawaiopuna, also known as “Jurassic Park Falls.” Waimea Canyon, The Na Pali Coast, the Bali Hai Cliffs, and Mount Wai‘ale‘ale are all stops on the packed itinerary. Fly in the new American Eurocopter ECOStar with spacious interior room, business class-style seats, two-way communication with your pilot, and expansive glass windows, perfect for viewing Kauai’s natural beauty.



Duration: Full-Day Price: $$

This sweeping tour of the Big Island highlights the most popular sightseeing spots. Sit back in air-conditioned comfort, listen to the rich narration, and survey the multitude of marvels Hawaii has to offer. The trip features a visit to Kilauea Volcano where sulfurous steam billows out from deep fissures, re-creating a primeval setting. Cruise through Hilo to see fields of orchids. Time permitting, see the Rainbow Falls and the sugar cane fields of the Hamakua.

MAUI – Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride

OAHU – Arizona Memorial Excursion

Lifestyle: Adventure, Nature & Wildlife Activity Level: Extreme

Lifestyle: Culture & History Activity Level: Low

Duration: Full-Day Price: $$

The world’s longest downhill bicycle cruise starts on the slopes of Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano in the world. The landscape is fascinating from the lava encrusted crater to the lush seaside plantation town of Paia. Travel at a leisurely pace, pedaling past open fields and pastures and the stunning Maui landscape, spotted with colorful flowers and regal trees. Stop for photos as your bike guide shows you the cultural and historical background of the area.

Duration: Half-Day Price: $

The Arizona Memorial spans the length of the actual USS Arizona and is dedicated to those who died when their ship was bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Learn about the events of that fateful morning on Dec. 7, 1941 through fascinating presentations and detailed first-hand accounts. Within the museum, visitors can discover incredible mementos from the Arizona and a marble tablet inscribed with the names of the servicemen who sacrificed their lives.



PUERTO VALLARTA What Vacation Destination Dreams Are Made Of Sit back and dream of this. You’re on vacation, weaving your way along cobblestone streets, popping in and out of quirky boutiques and cafes. Towering above the colonial buildings is the wroughtiron detailed bell tower of a picturesque church, commanding the skyline as a spiritual tribute to the history of the town. Now you feel the ocean breeze on your skin, listening to azure waves lap against the pier as you marvel at pleasantly strange and intriguing statues that guide tourists and locals up and down the walk. Then it’s morning, and you’re bumping along a dirt path in the back of an all-terrain vehicle past mountain villages before stopping to hike through the surrounding tropical forests. You’ll spend your afternoon back at your beachside resort relaxing by the pool. You’re not in a coastal town in Europe, or a tropical island in the Caribbean. You’re in the charming west-coast Mexican town of Puerto Vallarta. (continued on next page)

This colonial city on the Pacific Coast of Mexico claims to be the friendliest in the world, and those who have visited it certainly agree. Puerto Vallarta is a beach destination and then some, filled with aquatic adventure, thrilling landscapes, and vibrant history. The culture here is surprisingly diverse thanks to expats, retirees, immigrants, and natives who call this area home. It’s created a welcoming aura for people of all beliefs, orientations, and backgrounds. Puerto Vallarta is the destination you need to experience, and we’re going to send you there. Your journey begins at the beach where your anything-but-humble abode awaits. Modern resorts, luxurious spas, and plenty of all-inclusive options sit right on the sand, lining the multiple zones that make up the city. This is where you’ll find ultimate relaxation in the perfect location. After you arrive, spend the rest of the day sipping a cocktail by the pool and getting ready for your exciting excursions. While you’re never left wanting when staying at most all-inclusive resorts, we insist you step out into the bustling streets and discover what makes this city so spectacular. Start in Old Vallarta and Downtown where Spanish-colonial buildings will host a day of shopping for homemade goods. It’ll be hard not to miss the beautiful iron crown-adorned bell tower of Our Lady of Guadelupe Church in the heart of town, beckoning you to discover its intricate architecture and interior. Break for lunch in a local café to munch on regional favorites such as tamales or birria, a spicy stew of goat or lamb with cumin, oregano, and ginger. Afterwards, pop into a few of the local art galleries. Nights are best spent along the lively El Malecon boardwalk. Locals and travelers alike gather to mingle by the ocean and browse the pop-up vendors and artists. But the real eye-catchers on the strip are the scattered statues that range from simple sculptures of marine creatures to abstract shapes and original characters. You’ll want to grab some fresh seafood for dinner before bar hopping for refreshing margaritas and live music. Treat yourself to a day at sea. Climb aboard a boat and head out towards rich and plentiful waters. We recommend a visit to Marietas Islands National Park, where the ride out is just as scenic as the reserve itself. You may spot a few dolphins and, if you’re lucky, a migrating whale. Miles out with no land in sight, three islands emerge from crystalclear waters like a mirage. Kayak through caves and caverns, and snorkel around colorful reefs with sea turtles, stingrays, and octopuses. For a rare treat, follow your guides through a natural tunnel into Playa Escondida. This hidden beach is completely encompassed by a rock wall opening to the sky above, giving beach bums their own secret hideaway. While the sea reigns supreme in Puerto Vallarta, there’s an array of inland thrills to enjoy. Horseback riding and ATV tours are always a good idea, but consider taking a guided excursion over the mountainous landscape in a large all-terrain vehicle with a nature expert. You’ll pass remote villages and beautiful scenery before reaching the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Get out and explore the surrounding area with your expert who will teach you about the various species that call the canopy and forest floor home. History and culture, or beautiful beaches? Why sacrifice one for the other when you can have it all? Puerto Vallarta is the vacation destination dreams are made of. Every day offers a new adventure, whether it’s immersing yourself in local life, exploring hidden coves and reefs, or roughing it through the jungle. Travel at your own pace in Puerto Vallarta and find truth in its claim to fame as the friendliest city in the world.

Experience “Exclusive” with My Time Unique recognition, special amenities, and services that go beyond your expectations — that’s what you get when you book a My Time property through GOGO Vacations and your travel agent. Our My Time partners include some of the world’s most spectacular hotels, and you’ll be treated like a treasured guest with exclusive perks at no additional cost. The special treatment begins at d check-in with private or expedited service, a room che upgrade, a welcome gift, or even a resort or spa up credit. Throughout your stay, you’ll receive even cred t. Thro more special extras, with each resort elevating mo e spe in its own way. From food and yyour ur experience exp p beverage beve age credits credit to free Wi-Fi to kids club access, and an d more, more elevate your time with My Time. All you d to d need do is book a My Time property, and get read readyy to be p pampered. Experience exclusive extras now at over 180 Exp so resorts in over 30 countries with My Time by GOGO Vacations.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite My blic Time properties in the Dominican Republic t! over the next two pages. Check them out!



The Dominican Republic has it all when it comes to the ideal Caribbean vacation, including exquisite My Time benefits. Check out these four resorts featuring luxurious accommodations, powdery beaches, and the exclusive perks with My Time and My Time Select.

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Boutique luxury for the entire family, the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is a resort-within-a-resort, featuring well-appointed suites with private balconies, Family Concierge Suites especially designed with amenities for kids, and an impressive lagoon-style pool. With a fournight stay, you’ll receive My Time Select benefits, totaling $2,000 in resort credit, which can be used towards a room upgrade, spa treatments, a premium wine list, a private romantic dinner, a golf cart rental at Cocotal Country Golf, and babysitting services.

Excellence Punta Cana This adults-only, all-suite property welcomes honeymooners and couples for romantic getaways with luxurious 4.5-star accommodations, nine gourmet dining options, and complimentary activities like a 30-minute horseback riding experience, snorkeling gear, and introductory scuba lessons. In addition to the standard My Time inclusions, guests will also enjoy a gift courtesy of the resort, discounts on a professional cigar tasting event or a romantic dinner on the beach, spa treatments, and/or $50 spa credit.



Majestic Elegance Punta Cana The epitome of elegance on the Dominican Republic, this resort boasts indoor Jacuzzis in all their suites, and some accommodations also feature an outdoor Jacuzzi or direct pool access. The upscale Elegance Club impresses with butler services, bali beds, a private beach area, and private pools. My Time guests also receive one free round of golf, a discount on premium wine and spirits in all restaurants, exclusive use of the water ritual facilities at the spa, and private weekly cocktail dinner.

The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical When you choose to stay at the Level, you’ll find an elevated vacation with private check-in, a private beach area on the world-renowned Bavaro Beach, priority reservations at all hotel restaurants, exclusive restaurants, concierge service, and special workshops and activities. With a minimum four-night stay, you’ll receive a $1,000 resort credit, offering credits toward a room upgrade, spa treatments, food and beverages, bali beds, photo shop, and casino match play.

*Inclusions vary by resort. All My Time offers are provided by our third party suppliers to My Time customers and are subject to availability. My Time and any third party supplier may (in their sole discretion) substitute any of the offers for any other offer that is available for similar or no face value. All offers have no cash value, are not combinable with any other offers and are not transferable. Any offers not used have no surrender value and are not redeemable for cash.




This year, you enjoyed an unforgettable vacation, thanks to your travel agent, and with 2017 rapidly approaching, it's the perfect time to start planning your big adventure! We have searched for iconic must-sees, exotic journeys, quirky quick-stops, and coastal paradises to inspire a new year full of new experiences. The months of January and February are the best for experiencing Canada’s exciting winter culture, but even in warmer months, diverse regions, cities, and natural wonders fascinate visitors all year long. While Canada always finds the fun in every season, our friendly northern neighbors have a lot to celebrate in 2017. The upcoming year marks the 150th Anniversary of the country’s Confederation, and the Prime Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, has guaranteed 12 months of celebration. Cities and towns will be hosting various events and festivities throughout the year, making 2017 the best time to visit the Great White North.

What better way to spend 2017 than on an island that boasts a beach for every day of the year? Those on the hunt for the perfect sun, sand, and surf will find that Antigua’s beaches far exceed expectations. From social hot-spots to hidden gems, the island has a beach to match every personality. We recommend renting a car and hosting your own seaside scavenger hunt.

Italy is always a good idea. This country truly has it all. Delicious food, captivating vistas, profound history, welcoming people, and wine—we can’t forget the wine. Italy’s size complements its larger-than-life atmosphere, but with so much to see, Bel Paese (“Beautiful Country”) makes it hard to choose an itinerary. Thankfully, the country’s excellent public transportation system makes it possible to sample a bit of the north and south, and everything in between.

Ask any traveler what’s on their wanderlust list, and guaranteed, the Islands of Tahiti are there. Visions of overwater bungalows, water so clear you can see fish from land, and luxurious resorts made for pampering immediately spring to mind at the mere mention of these pearls in the Pacific. There’s no time like the present to turn your dreams into reality. Set your sights on Tahiti for the upcoming year and make it your most memorable vacation yet.

Don’t forget to explore our own backyard. Cities in the US are as diverse and unique as the people that live here, and the city that best embodies this is San Diego. In addition to picturesque beaches and the famous zoo, this metropolis has earned the designation of “America’s Finest City” with its laid-back vibes and surf culture, the Cali-Baja culinary movement, and rocking craft beer scene. Its southern location also makes it the perfect home base for heading up to bustling Los Angeles for the day.

The secret of Thailand’s ultimate adventure potential is out. Golden temples, maze-like markets, and close encounters with exotic wildlife—elephants, tigers, and monkeys to name a few—make visitors feel as though they’ve stepped into the pages of a fantasy novel. The people here are some of the most welcoming in Asia, and their zest for flavor has created an enjoyably complex, albeit spicy, culinary repertoire. Whether hiking through national parks in the north or island hopping in the south, a Thailand adventure is a trip of a lifetime.

Visitors to Los Cabos will be pleasantly rewarded with two destinations in one. San Jose del Cabo preserves the feel of authentic Mexico with cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture while the Cabo San Lucas neighborhood lights up the night with world-famous evening entertainment, luxurious shopping, and posh resorts. One trip to this trendy Mexican province and you’ll understand why this area has been a celebrity favorite for years.

The year 2017 is a blank slate ready to be filled with adventure. No matter where the following year takes you, it’s never too early to start planning your next getaway. Talk to your travel agent today to start planning your trip to one of these destinations or for expert recommendations to locations around the world.







Waiheke – Auckland


New Zealand is comfortingly familiar and fascinatingly different from the USA. Perhaps best known for the fantastical scenery in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, this exciting country offers natural wonders and incredible sights that travelers can’t find anywhere else. Alan Flynn, a consultant for Worldwide Traveler, recently discovered the magic of this destination on a recent trip. He has shared the five things you absolutely must do when traveling halfway around the world…and the one thing he wished he would have done during his New Zealand adventure.


DAY 1-3: Auckland, Waiheke Fly into Auckland and stay at The Langham Hotel, Auckland. The luxury hotel has a great location with upscale dining at The Eight restaurant.

An island 35 minutes from Auckland, Waiheke is a relaxing retreat with more than a dozen wineries, white sandy beaches, and vibrant forests. Delve into history with the Stony Batter Walkway, where you can explore World War II gun emplacements and underground tunnels. After a day of wine tastings and discovery, relax with a dinner cruise around Waitemata Harbour. Not only will you see the lovely city lights, but you’ll also enjoy a scrumptious three-course dinner. You might even get to pilot the boat.

DAY 4-5: Rotorua, Maori Culture, Forests, and Geysers Stay at the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside Hotel, located on the lake and offering geothermal mineral pools.

The TranzAlpine Train – Christchurch

DAY 6: Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train

Known as one of the most scenic train rides in the world, the TranzAlpine Train travels through the Canterbury Plains and the picturesque gorges of the Waimakariri River, and up New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Marvel at the majestic Arthur’s Pass, almost 3,000 feet above sea level boasting spectacular bridges and waterfalls. The train rolls through beech rainforests before stopping in Greymouth. With panoramic views, local delights, and comfortable cabins, the TranzAlpine Train is a relaxing, mesmerizing journey.

Glacier Experience – Franz Josef Franz Josef Glacier is located 20 minutes from the eponymous town, and here you can take a helicopter adventure to the top of the glacier to behold 360-degrees of snow, ice, lakes, and waterfalls. “It’s like something out of a movie,” Alan says, and you can explore this real-life Hoth with a heli-hike – first a helicopter ride to the glacier followed by a hike through the icy landscape. After the exciting adventure, relax in the glacier’s hot pools for ultimate relaxation.

Milford Sound – Queenstown “Queenstown is a cross between Aspen and Lake Tahoe,” Alan says, and Worldwide Traveler’s biggest sightseeing adventure in the area is Milford Sound. Located in breathtaking Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a natural wonderland with tons of activities. Kayak through imposing canyons with tumbling waterfalls, snorkel in an underwater observatory with black coral, or take a scenic cruise to see dolphins, penguins, and other marine mammals.

Rotorua – Aboriginal – Village Tours This unique area offers a plethora of adventures, starting with the Whakarewarewa Forest, a stunning redwood forest last seen in Disney’s remake of Pete’s Dragon. Your journey continues in Dinosaur Forest, one of the last prehistoric rainforests in the world with trees reaching almost 200 feet high. Venture to Taupo Volcanic Zone, a geothermic area with Te Puia, a geyser that erupts 20 times a day and shoots more than 100 feet into the air. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the Maori culture with culinary experiences, traditional stories, and fascinating art.

The One Wish-I-Did New Zealand Adventure: Put on your elf ears and travel to Middle-earth with full-day guided tours of The Lord of the Rings movie locations. Discover Edoras, the Rohan capital, and explore The Hobbiton Movie Set. Get a cold brew from the Southfarthing™ line at The Green Dragon Inn, a replica of the inn used in the movies. Then, see and hold actual weapons and costumes used in the movies, and marvel at the stunning landscape of the Remarkables mountain range, which was seen predominantly in the series.

DAY 7: Franz Josef Glacier Stay at the Scenic Hotel, a comfortable abode situated on the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park. DAY 8-10: Queenstown, Milford Sound Stay at the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, located in the dining district with breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu. DAY 11: Fly back to Auckland for flights to the US

PEAK SEASON: December – February (summer in New Zealand) OFF-PEAK SEASON: March – August (winter in New Zealand)

Travel Tidbit There’s a lot of driving involved when exploring New Zealand, all of it on the other side of the road. Do it! That’s part of the adventure.

Fun Fact The popular tourist destinations of Milford and Doubtful Sound are named incorrectly! Sounds are normally created by the sea, but these were created by glaciers. That means they’re really Fiords!




“I don’t need insurance. I’m going on this trip no matter what.” Travel agents are often met with some variation of this statement when recommending travel insurance. In most cases, your vacation will go off without a hitch, and you’ll have a fabulous time. But the truth is, your travel agent wants to make sure you’re prepared for every possible scenario. A lot can happen before you leave for a trip – work, illness, weather events – and while your agent is always on your side and will help you in every way they can, airlines, hotels, and tour companies all have their own individual cancellation policies. Most airline tickets are 100% nonrefundable and have another set of fees for rescheduling, no matter the reason. This is why travel insurance is necessary. If an unforeseen natural occurrence causes you to cut your trip short or your flight gets delayed and you need to stay an extra night, you’ll receive coverage for those expenses. If you’re sick or need to stay home to care for a loved one, you can rest assured that your travel agent and insurance have you covered. Even if your luggage is delayed or lost – just breathe. You’re covered.

Travel insurance addresses more than trip cancellation and replacement baggage. Did you know that your health insurance doesn’t follow you when you leave the US? Suddenly, all medical expenses are your responsibility – from seeing a doctor to requiring medical evacuation. With travel insurance, you’ll be covered throughout your adventure. Policies vary, so make sure to speak to your travel agent to find the one that’s best for you. Some offer identity thief protection, roadside assistance, and collision coverage. You can even get missed connection coverage, though you might want to go easy on the drinks in the airport bar. No matter what scenario you might endure that affects your journey, travel agents and insurance companies have your back every step of the way with worldwide 24/7 assistance. So the next time your travel agent suggests travel insurance, ask them about the different plans, so you can relax on that tropical beach just like you planned.



Gourmet a-Go-Go



Turn your vacation into a foodie escape with top chefs, winning restaurants, and innovative cuisine at some of your favorite resorts.

Cocktails Before Dinner Both Excellence Riviera Cancun and The Beloved Playa Mujeres by Excellence Group feature Thursday tequila tastings to go along with the mojito and wine-tasting experiences. Tequila – the taste of Mexico –varies according to its aroma, aging, and barrel storage, leading to classifications such as gold tequilas, silver tequilas, reposado (aged in oak barrels), añejo tequilas (aged 1-3 years), and extra or ultra añejo tequilas (aged for over 3 years). Sip attentively!

Top Chefs Set on the beach at Playa del Carmen, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is known for its three award-winning dining venues – which happen to be run by some of the world's top chefs! Overlooking the ocean, the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Frida – named for the legendary artist Frida Kahlo – is the domain of celebrated chef Ricardo de la Vega, a native of Mexico City whose creations reflect the rich flavors of Mexico. Foodies rave about his specialties, which spotlight such dishes as habanero chili salsa, veal osso buco in a molé de olla, and honey tamarind duck confit with corn tortillas. With its extravagant décor evocative of decadent 1940s Paris, the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Piaf (named for French singer Edith Piaf) serves classic French dishes with a contemporary style and a delicate presentation, the creations of chef Michel Mustiere. One of only 300 chefs in the world to be named a Maître Cuisinier de France, Mustiere has developed a menu that's full of sumptuous delights, including oysters on the half shell with shallot vinaigrette and carrots julienne glazed in a Champagne Sabayon, classic onion soup with gruyere cheese au gratin, and grilled blue shrimp with mushroom risotto and veal with a cognac reduction. Thanks to Basque natives Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso, Cocina de Autor – the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win the AAA Five-Diamond Award – specializes in a blend of Basque and Spanish cuisine with Mexico's traditional gastronomy

Wowie in Maui! The restaurants at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort in Hawaii get inspiration from the local culture, and so Ka'ana Kitchen draws on local farmers, foragers, and locavores in order to serve authentic farm-to-table Maui dishes family style. At Morimoto Maui, worldrenowned chef Masaharu Morimoto, best known from Food Network's Iron Chef and Iron Chef America programs, uses locally sourced, seasonally fresh ingredients to forge a distinct style that blends Western and Japanese traditions. Since you can't bring Chef Masaharu home with you, the resort invites you to learn such techniques as preparing fish, cooking the perfect steak, and rolling your own sushi in monthly cooking classes led by master chefs. Andaz also offers mixology classes that teach you about various spirits and the craft behind making great cocktails. After all, what's good food without good drink?

The options for your vacation choices are almost endless, and your travel agent will guide you to your own personal nirvana – or the Chef's Table!


How to Book the Best Group Getaway The more, the merrier! Whether planning a destination wedding, a family reunion, or a bachelor/bachelorette party, the more people who come, the better the time you’ll have – and the more you’ll get! Most groups start at 10 rooms when staying at an all-inclusive resort, and that’s usually when the concessions start – free rooms or free upgrades. Plus, resorts will roll out the proverbial red carpet – or hand off the welcome cocktail – with a private check-in, private dinners, rehearsal dinners, and even complimentary weddings. To get the most for your group getaway, contact your travel agent. A travel agent can pair you with the best destination and the best resort for your group, making sure you receive all the amenities your group requires. Also, your travel agent will know the best deals, like right now at AMResorts, guests receive not only their exquisite UnlimitedLuxury® but also group discounts and amenities for as few as six rooms.

Where to Book Your Next Group Getaway Whether you want a wedding on the beach or a bachelor party with never-ending entertainment, there’s a perfect place for your group getaway, and your travel agent will find it for you. But here are a few destinations to consider when starting to plan your trip with your gang.



If you’re planning your destination wedding, the Caribbean and Mexico rank as favorite locales, and it’s no surprise. With luxurious resorts, on-site spas, and pampering amenities, bridal couples and their parties receive a relaxing vacation along with an unforgettable ceremony. For bachelors & bachelorettes, nightlife is a must, and there’s no better cities than Las Vegas and New Orleans. Roll the dice at exciting casinos and explore the world-famous Strip for unending entertainment in Vegas or live it up in the French Quarter, where bars are still pulling beer late into the night. If you’re looking to party it up and then relax, consider Los Cabos. Cabo San Lucas offers extreme nightlife with the world-famous Cabo Wabo and Senor Frog’s, and after your late nights, you can spend all day rejuvenating poolside at all-inclusive luxury resorts. Haven’t seen the family in quite some time? Bring everyone together – grandparents, children, cousins – for a family reunion on a cruise! Norwegian Cruise Line welcomes multigenerational families with spacious accommodations, including family minisuites and family suites, plus activities and specific areas just for young cruisers, children, and tweens. NCL also offers family activities, Broadway-style shows, and world-class dining options, ensuring this vacation will be spoken about at family dinners for years to come.




Find Balance in BELIZE Belize is a country of contrasts. It’s where the lush prosperity of the jungle meets the bountiful sapphire sea, and the local life walks in the footsteps of the Mayan civilization. For Belize, these extremes are harmonious. For the traveler, it causes an inner conflict. Do you stay by the sea or traipse through the jungle? The only correct answer is both. Belize is made of unsurpassed adventure, and you need to experience the country’s land and sea hot spots. Begin by heading west towards the Cayo District and San Ignacio, a charming town nestled in the hills of the jungle. Spend your afternoons chatting with the locals, grabbing a bite and a cocktail, and shopping through the markets. It’s the perfect headquarters for winding down after your action-packed escapades. The surrounding excursions are plentiful and offer explorers a chance to experience Belize’s iconic sights.

ATM Caves—Inland Actun Tunichil Muknal, or ATM, is one of the most intriguing and significant Mayan archeological sites in the world. This cave serves as a natural museum displaying skeletons, ceremonial ceramics, and stoneware. Channel your inner Indiana Jones and climb through caverns and swim through underground rivers to see this exhibit. While you’re there, visit the resident celebrity, the Crystal Maiden, a famous skeleton whose bones now glisten from encompassing calcite.

Tikal, Caracol, Xunantunich, oh my!—Inland The Cayo District is a concentration of ancient Mayan cities. A quick 30-minute drive southwest of San Ignacio lies Xunantunich where you can climb to the top of El Castillo, the city’s largest temple. A little farther south is Caracol, the largest Mayan site in Belize, which supported twice the population of modern day Belize City. It’s significant not only for its size, but also its reputation as a successful military power. Although Tikal is in Guatemala, San Ignacio’s close proximity to the border allows full-day tours to this famous site, and you might as well mark another country off your map.

Hike, Float, or Fly—Inland Have an adventure in Belize’s jungles and nature reserves. Fly through the canopy, zip-lining from platform to platform, marveling at birds and other wildlife. Relax down river via inner tube, through caves, under the shade of overhanging branches, and past turtles, howler monkeys, and iguanas. If you’d rather have your feet—or hooves— on the ground, hike or ride horseback through the forests and get closer to nature than ever before. Once you’ve had your fill of inland fun, head back to Belize City for a quick flight over to the island of Ambergris Caye. Beachy resorts are never far from the town of San Pedro and its rocking nightlife, fresh seafood, and vibrant locals. When it’s time to cool down, look to the Caribbean Sea. Thanks to

Belize’s Great Barrier Reef—second largest in the world—and protected aquatic reserves, an intensely diverse marine ecosystem is right offshore.

Dive Deeper—Offshore The Great Blue Hole is exactly what you would picture with a name like that, but this natural wonder holds more than meets the name. From the sky it’s an ominous indigo abyss with no bottom in sight. Under the waves, it’s one of the mostsought after dive sites in the world. This sinkhole was formed during the Ice Age before the sea levels rose, and a system of massive stalactites still stands tall today. Few have reached the bottom at 407 feet, and maneuvering through narrow caverns and sharing space with hammerhead sharks might seem daunting. But Jacques Cousteau named it one of his top ten dive sites, and experienced divers are just itching to scratch it off their own bucket lists.

BELIZE IN SEVEN DAYS Where to Start: Fly into Belize City and take a transfer to the Cayo District and San Ignacio.

Grab Your Fins—Offshore

Days 1-3: Stay at the serene Ka'ana Boutique Resort, and explore the Mayan ruins and surrounding forest while wandering through the rustic and friendly town.

For those who aren’t certified divers, snorkeling is just as rewarding. Hol Chan Marine Reserve’s 13,000 acres of protected waters offer snorkelers of all skill levels the chance to swim through four different zones. The coral reef, seagrass beds, mangroves, and Shark Ray Alley are the home of hundreds of fish, sea turtles, friendly rays, and nurse sharks.

Days 4-6: Transfer back to the Belize City Airport to catch a short flight to Ambergis Caye. Transfer to the hotel. Stay three nights at the beachfront Victoria House Resort, and dive in the waters around the reefs. Be sure to stroll through San Pedro.

Belize is all about balance. Talk to your local travel agent about seeing all this fascinating country has to offer visitors.

Day 7: Fly from San Pedro Back to Belize City to catch a flight home.

Excite the Senses in ST. LUCIA

The St. Lucia experience is unlike any other in the Caribbean. The luxurious spas and resorts alone make it one of the top destinations for honeymooners. But St. Lucia offers so much more than romance and relaxation. This island has earned its status as the “Hawaii of the Caribbean” due to its lush mountainous landscape and outdoor adventures. Unique culinary creations, breathtaking scenery, and lively culture guarantee a trip to St. Lucia is an adventure for the senses.

A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW From waterfalls, to rainforests, to the mesmerizing mountains, St. Lucia’s awe-inspiring scenery captivates from every angle. The Pitons – The iconic Gros Piton and Petit Piton peaks rising from the sapphire waters of the Caribbean Sea can be seen for miles from the beaches and resorts surrounding the city of Soufrière. This World Heritage Site is an official symbol of the country, and there are many ways to get your dose of views; air, land, and sea are a few options. But the best way to see the Pitons has to be from the trails traveling up the mountains themselves. Not only will you revel in the flora and fauna that call the mountainsides home, but the vistas of the island from their peaks offer a one-of-a-kind sight. Rainforest – The plush greenery of St. Lucia’s beautiful rainforest draws nature-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. For a thrilling look


4th Night is Free Right Now!



at this natural paradise, we recommend a fast-paced ride through the trees. Speed through the canopy by zip-lining between platforms on some of the longest and swiftest cables in the Caribbean. Expert guides are there for assistance and to point out the species of plants and wildlife of the island. Soufriere Volcano – Perhaps one of the most striking geographical traits of the island is its volcano. However, St. Lucia’s volcano has a special trait—it’s considered the only drive-in volcano in the world. A road running through the middle of this volcanic crater allows visitors the chance to get up-close and personal with hot steam, mud, and water bubbling up through cracks in the crust. This unique experience is a must-see for every traveler!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT St. Lucia’s warm tropical climate permits aromatic spices, rare fruits, and even cocoa beans to thrive here. Combine this with fresh seafood from the surrounding seas and you have the perfect recipe for culinary creations that push the boundaries of your taste buds. Chocolate – You’ll seldom find a person to admit they dislike chocolate. This sweet treat was once known as the Food of the Gods, and it all starts with a bean. Cocoa is one of St. Lucia’s key exports, and if you’ve ever been curious about how those brown gems turn into the

quintessential bars we savor, find out with a tree-to-bar lesson from Boucan. The experience is completed with a lunch, whose tantalizing menu features the cocoa plant in every one of its dishes. Fish Fry – Anse La Raye, a once-small Gros Islet fishing village turned bustling cultural town, has perfected the Friday Night Fish Fry. What began about 20 years ago as a means to entice tourists into town, is now a favored tradition for vendors, locals, and travelers. Stalls offer the catch-of-the-day fried, grilled, or baked and prepared with local ingredients line the streets, and the tantalizing smells are accompanied by calypso music, creating a feast of the senses for hungry patrons. And trust us, you’ll want to arrive hungry and sample all the delicacies, such as accras, or fish cakes, and whole King Lobsters, available at a fraction of restaurant costs and, frankly, fresher. Be sure to wash it all down with locally distilled rum or a cold Pitons Beer. Castries Market – Nothing reveals more about a culture than a visit to its local markets, and the one in Castries, the island’s capital, has everything you need to experience the flavors of St. Lucia. Nibble on some homegrown exotic fruits and vegetables while browsing for unique spice blends and bottled sauce concoctions to bring the tastes of your travels to your kitchen at home. The market is open every day of the week except Sundays and is busiest on Friday and Saturday mornings, with more vendors and flavors to enjoy, so plan your visit accordingly.




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