Luxury Travel Guide – The Americas

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The Americas

ADVENTURE TRAVEL An insight into activities & locations

MR

MRS SMITH &Select the ultimate boutique hotels

NEW YORK the destination for every season

Recognising excellence in luxury travel SERIES

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Our selection of the best food from across The Americas




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ontents 14

Luxury Travel, North America

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Luxury Travel, Central & South America

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Exploring The Americas. Mr & Mrs Smith

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Wedding & Honeymoon Destinations

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5 Of The Best Golf Courses

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The Americas Spas

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Global Travel Awards


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Experience Washington D.C.

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Exploring Chicago

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Exploring Las Vegas

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Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Hotel

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Tour In New York

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The Peninsula New York Hotel

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Hip Hop Culture New York

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Experience Harlem

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NYSee Tours

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Complete Luxury Miami

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Exploring Toronto

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Exploring Atlanta

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Trump International Toronto Hotel

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Exploring Seattle

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Food & Culture Toronto

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Remarkable New Orleans

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Beautiful Ottawa

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Exploring Alaska

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Exploring Vancouver

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California. Los Angeles & San Francisco

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Historic Mexico

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Food & Culture Los Angeles

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Food & Culture Mexico

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Four Seasons Los Angeles Hotel

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Habita Hotel Mexico

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Exploring Texas

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UWE Marina Dive Center

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Exploring Colorado

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Phocea Mexico

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Exploring Philadelphia

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Exploring Hawaii

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Tasty Morsel Culinary Excursions

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Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki

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Cultural Quebec

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Land Of Springs Jamaica

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Food & Culture Caribbean

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Exploring Barbados

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Exploring Bahamas

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Exploring Turks & Caico

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Exploring The Virgin Islands

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Exploring Dominican Republic

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Exploring Cuba

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Exploring Trinidad

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Exploring St Lucia

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Exploring Antigua & Barbuda

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Adventure Puerto Rico

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Costa Rica With Planet Conservation

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Breathtaking Chile

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W Santiago Hotel

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Wine & Culture Chile

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Breathtaking Brazil

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Adventures Amazon

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Exploring Sao Paulo

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Hotel Unique Sao Paulo

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Visiting Argentina

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Caesar Park Buenos Aires

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Captivating Mendoza

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Welcome To Patagonia

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Azur Hotel

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Exploring Peru

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Country Club Lima Hotel

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Exploring Lima

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Exploring Easter Islands

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Exploring Columbia

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Exploring Uruguay

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Exploring Ecuador



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Editors Letter Selecting a holiday in The America’s is somewhat similar to being a child in a sweetshop. Firstly, you will be overcome with excitement – as you should with any vacation –followed by the feeling of need and want. You will soon discover that you are spoilt for choice and that there is simply too much to gorge all at once. But that is ok. All it means is that you will have plenty to keep bringing you back for more. The Luxury Travel Guide – The America’s Edition is here to help you choose where to start and covers all of the key hot spots from around the New World. We will also try to take some of the strain off you when it comes to picking between the vital itineraries and must see attractions by giving you the foundations to build your holiday around. Through teaming up with some of the best experts from around the continent, we have been able to avoid pandering to the usual stereotypes that North America is for city breaks, South America is for heritage and culture, and the Caribbean is for beaches alone. While we fully appreciate that New York is among the finest cities in the world and that the beaches of Turks & Caicos are a dreamy paradise at the worst of times – we highly doubt that anyone would tell you that the beaches of Miami and Los Angeles are not worth visiting or that Jamaica doesn’t have the same rich culture that can be found throughout the likes of Mexico. At the same time, we also cast our collective doubt that these glorious destinations are limited to just one measly little label. Take New York for example, not only does it have two of the greatest world wonders in the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty, but it also has one of the United States premier art districts in DUMBO, Brooklyn, along with tours offering a fascinating insight into the history of the music phenomenon known globally as hip-hop. Having recently taken a holiday myself, I know that nothing can put your mind at ease quite like knowing everything is catered for. A smoothly-run holiday really lets you kick back and relax. That is why we have also included all of the little tid-bits like detailing a luxury concierge service that can pick you up from your house through to picking the very finest hotels, spas and golf courses across the entire continent. With all of the dreamy destinations on offer, we have even gone one step further with this edition and included a selection of wedding and honeymoon destinations that are sure to make that magical day extra special. Following many months putting together this detailed concoction we hope the publication can provide you with all the information you need to plan your next escape and inspire you with some ideas of places you never thought you would visit. Whether you pick the food tour of Toronto or a mini safari in the Brazilian Amazon, whatever the outcome, I have no doubt that you are in for a treat.

James Drakeford

Chief Executive Officer Osmaan Mahmood Managing Director Andrew Walsh Editor in Chief James Drakeford Publishing Division Jake Powers John Hart Art Director Adeel Lone Designer Ben Rogers Staff Writers Haider Ali Mark Johnson Ehan Kateb Marketing Manager Sylvia Estrada Production Manager Sunil Kumar Account Managers Ibrahim Zulfqar Norman Lee Sarah Kent Steve Bevan Omar Sadik Competitions Manager Arun Salik Accounts Assistant Jenny Hunter Editorial Enquiries Editor@corporatelivewire.com Advertising Enquiries advertising@corporatelivewire.com General Enquiries info@corporatelivewire.com Corporate LiveWire The Custard Factory Gibb Street Birmingham B9 4AA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 121 270 9468 Fax: +44 (0) 121 345 0834



LUXURY

overview


Where to Start… It is difficult to suggest where to start your journey as each destination across the whole of North America is unique and different in there own right. Places like New York will offer an unrivalled sightseeing opportunity, Los Angeles is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and that is before you even mention the culture and friendliness in the mid-west or the mountains and picturesque landscapes across British Columbia and Alberta. If our hand was forced though, we would have to go with Florida. The ‘sunshine state’ offers something for everyone. For weddings you have the city of Kissimmee, for the kids – and big kids – you have Universal Studios and Disney, and for fun and sun there’s always West Palm Beach and Daytona. Another great factor that makes Florida stand out is that it is the perfect location for cruises to Hawaii, road trips up north and flights on to your next destination.

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unter1 Enterprises is an Orlando, Florida based corporation, providing services locally, nationally and internationally. Hunter1 Enterprises has a reputation for delivering a superior level of luxury and leisure services. If you are in the market to purchase, lease or rent an exotic, luxury or sports automobile, Hunter1 Enterprises can support your vision.

you are dreaming of being picked up at your doorstep in the mousine of your choice, while stopping at Tiffany’s after hours; ior to being whisped off by bodyguards to board your private t to enjoy dinner at Le Gavroche, Hunter1 Enterprises can make happen.

The clientele of Hunter1 Enterprises ranges from celebrities, athletes, doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women and international financiers. Andre Hunter, a detailed and meticulous connoisseur of the finer things in life says “I devote all my energy to ensure that each one of my clients receives first class treatment.” Their primary goal is to deliver customer satisfaction to every experience. If you are travelling at a moment’s notice or with several weeks notice, Hunter1 Enterprises is prepared to create an experience with the greatest level of ease. Hunter1 Enterprises also can provide private butlers and assistants to further enhance the freedom and peace of mind of travel. Hunter offers up to level four private security with his travel packages, ensuring not only the privacy of his clients, but their safety as well. Andre Hunter is a name that has been and continues to be respected and adLuxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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By Land… While the birds eye view from your private jet will be fascinating, there is something about a road trip that is both rejuvenating and refreshing. This is a sentiment lamented in a number of Hollywood films such as Easy Rider and Thelma and Louise while there are simply no arguments to the fact that the ‘great American road trip’ is appealing to the eye with long stretches of picturesque landscapes and fascinating backdrops. Let your hair down along the world-famous Route 66 or follow the Rocky Mountain from northern Colorado to the high plains of southeastern Wyoming. If you like getting behind the wheel then there is nothing greater than attempting the massive 7800 kilometre Trans-Canada highway drive from British Columbia to the Newfoundlands, through the prairies and seeing the contrasts of both coasts.

“From being picked up at your doorstep by a limousine to taking out a Ferrari for a spin – we are committed to providing head-turning extravagance and exceeding all expectations. If you are looking for that rare 1937 Bugatti, we can locate it and have it delivered to you no matter where you are.”

Andre Hunter

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By Sea… If you have enjoyed everything that North America has to offer via the air and land then that just leaves you with the sea to discover. For those of you who are chartering a yacht or taking a cruise for the first time then let yourself be seduced by the offerings in Florida. With Miami’s 35 mile long stretch of beach and the world famous Fort Lauderdale on the cards it simply does not get better than this. If you have already been there and done that, then there are still plenty of other destinations to get you galvanised. The world class beaches of Honolulu in Hawaii will provide you with ample surfing and tanning opportunities, while excursions to Canada and New England opens your eyes to the idyllic tranquillity that can be found north of the border.

“Whether your desire is for an intimatetête-à-tête for two or a soiree for dozens of your closest friends, we have the perfect package for you. We can accommodate all your yachting needs from small to super yachts. Whether it’s a spur of the moment surprise or a long-planned holiday, Hunter1 Enterprises stands ready to serve.”

Andre Hunter

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By Air… We are the first to admit that we miss the luxury Concorde flights that used to zip in and out of North America at blistering speed and since its departure in 2003, visitors have had to contend with extra long journeys among the masses on board the standard transatlantic flights. Now, more than ever, comfort is important. That is why we recommend booking a private charter flight. Fly in to one of the 13 international airports across Canada or drop by one of the five main airports in Hawaii. When you visit the United States you will soon realise that the sheer size make it a logistical nightmare to tackle all of the ‘must see’ places in a short space of time and that’s why once you are here internal flights between states are considered a godsend. Ever wanted to gamble in Caesar’s Palace, see the Eiffel Tower and top up the tan on South Beach all in one week? With over 1,000 international airports across the country – now you can.

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“A private jet charter will offer you a five star concierge service, 24/7 availability along with planning and assistance with all varieties of trips from honeymoons and family reunions to business or group trips. Customers are also guaranteed availability, within United States, with as little as six hours notice.�

Andre Hunter

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Expert BIO Andre Hunter, Founder & CEO, Hunter1 Enterprises Andre Hunter, Founder and CEO of Hunter1 Enterprises, has a stellar reputation for providing and delivering his clientelle with an experience of a lifetime. Hunter1 Enterprises provides clients with exotic automobiles, yachts and jets. Andre Hunter with his impeccable integrity works on the side of the buyers promising to deliver whatever they can dream with the greatest peace of mind and freedom. Hunter has received praises for his abilities to maintain client confidentiality, while still maintaining a full level of customer service. Hunter has serviced doctors, lawyers, members of the clergy, businessmen and women, athletes and financiers. Hunter1 Enterprises is based out of Orlando, Florida however, services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week globally.

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Contact Details

W: www.hunter1travel.com T:

+1 877 719 5387

E:

info@hunter1travel.com

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Luxury Travel

CENTRAL

& SOUTH AMERI

Offering much more than just beaches and palm trees, experience a beautiful culture that offers something completely different to that of North America. No matter where you visit, daily adventures are there for the taking with each destination packed with memories that will last with you for a lifetime.

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ICA

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Take to the Beaches… Just because we said it’s not all about the beaches and palm trees doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the most of them. After all, the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and pristine sandy beaches in both the Caribbean and Latin America rank up there among the best in the world. Islands and beaches both promise pleasure, escape and beauty combined into one luxurious serving of paradise. With 28 island nations and more than 7,000 individual islands in the Caribbean, which includes islands off the coasts of South and Central America as well as those in the Leeward and Windward Islands and the major islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (home to Haiti, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) that slice of paradise is easy to find.

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Ancient Civilisations… Some of the oldest and most fascinating ancient civilisations belong to this continent and while they largely no longer exist many of their sights and ruins are still well preserved for the world to see. Take the Inca Empire for example in modern-day Peru, it was the largest empire in pre-Colombian America and has left behind many archaeological wonders including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu.

Lisa & Diane Scalia

Then there’s the numerous Andean civilisations made up of a number of different cultures that developed from the highlands of Colombia to the Atacama Desert such as the Tiwanaku who were a pre-cursor to the Inca and the Wari civilisation that flourished between 500 – 1000 CE. You even have the much celebrated Mayan civilisation whose influence can be detected in Honduras, Guatemala and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico where the Chichen Itza remains to be the most glorious wonder of them all.

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Tantalise Your Tastebuds‌ Central and Latin American food travels well with Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Mexican Tacos found in supermarkets throughout the world. While there will already be so many flavours of the Caribbean and America’s that you are already familiar with there is so much more that you are no doubt yet to discover. Argentinean steak houses can be found throughout the world and although many of these are mouth-wateringly good they rarely even come close to the real thing. Even Mexican food, which is recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, offers many dishes which as tasty as they are cannot even be found in the whole of the country never mind the entire continent or the world.

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Where to Start… The first thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to travel around this region. Regardless of where you start there will be many exciting times ahead. A lot of visitors begin their journey in Ecuador and work their way down. The advantage of this is that the climate gets warmer as you venture south and it is also well situated for you to enjoy the old culture and sightseeing spots in Peru, the party culture of Brazil and treks in the Chilean mountains before ending your trip at the beautiful Patagonia and the lake district in picturesque Argentina. Alternatively, may wishScalia to kick things off further north in Colombia. Gorgeous Caribbean beaches, jungle walks and Lisa &youDiane Amazon safaris set the tone nicely before moving on to your next destination, while the country’s position at the north of the continent bordering the Caribbean Sea means that it is just as easy to travel north to the likes of Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico as it is south to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Throughout this guide we will give you a sample of some of the continent’s best attractions and offerings – use this as your backbone to flesh your trip around and you will soon have a good idea of where you want to go.

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EXPLORING THE AMERICAS Boston, USA

A world apart from its noisy neighbour New York, Boston is a cornerstone of American history with an altogether arty atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean that this big city doesn’t have bright lights of its own. Breathtakingly beautiful bridges sweep across the Charles River from Boston central to Cambridge, home of Harvard. Downtown, a gentle mix of glass high-rises jostle for position among a hodge-podge of grandiose landmarks and stately low-rises. Beyond the bustle of the port, genteel neighbourhoods such as Beacon Hill, Back Bay and South End harbour green gardens, picturesque parks and serene squares, linked by cobblestone streets and redbrick paving. It’s a compact city, easily navigated on foot, and one that’s made for stumbling upon cute corner cake shops and cafes, curious little boutiques and keep-toyourself restaurants Set beside beautiful Boston Common, a peaceful leafy stretch of Boston’s historic centre is XV Beacon hotel. This classic hotel hides original cage elevators, art deco furnishings and impeccably friendly service behind a beautiful Beaux Arts façade. Whatever you do, don’t miss the wine list…

Rooms:

60, including three suites

Rates:

Double rooms from US$345, not including tax at 14.45%

Website:

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www.mrandmrssmith.com/xv-beacon

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The boutique travel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith have been all over the Americas, from coast to coast and top to toe, in search of the world’s most stylish and unique places to stay. Here, they share their 10 favourite holiday spots on the other side of the Atlantic – and the best hotels in each destination.

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Los Angeles, USA A city of silver-screen dreams, where movie moguls, stars and starlets party in the California sunshine… Los Angeles is a place where you can write your own storyline. The sheer scale of the city can be overwhelming, but explore the fabled neighbourhoods of Hollywood, Bel Air and Malibu, and you’ll find those flashes of movie magic unique to LA. Each part of the city has its own distinct character; a cross-city drive can feel like a series of rapid set changes. Once upon a time in West Hollywood, The Charlie Hotel was home to Charlie Chaplin; the tiny English-style cottages were once lodgings for the actor’s friends, including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Gloria Swanson. Now named after many of the original occupants, the unique spaces capture old-world Hollywood style, with framed photos of their namesakes. Each is tucked into flower-filled gardens for extra privacy, all the better for seclusion-seeking celebrities looking for low-key luxury. Charlie’s chums may have left the buildings long ago, but their billboard-gracing modern equivalents have come back, and no wonder: this is an estate with obvious star power.

Rooms:

14 standalone cottages

Rates:

US$400, not including tax at 14%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/the-charlie

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New York, USA The archetypal modern city, New York is still as big, bold and beautiful as ever. For many of us, the path between Heathrow and JFK is so familiar that it seems less a pond to cross than a puddle to hop. And who could blame us for flocking to this wonderful city? With its fantastic bars and restaurants, irresistible shopping, New York is everevolving, ever with something new to show off. Browse the boutiques of NoLiTa, get your limited-edition trainers and vinyl in the East Village, take in art and culture in SoHo, see a show on Broadway and have a cocktail back in your boudoir. And that’s just before dinner. This is truly the city that never sleeps. Refusing to be outdone by its Upper East Side setting, The Surrey is grand and gracious, with a restaurant, bar and spa to rival the city’s finest. The Surrey channels its area’s unabashed glamour and then adds its own flourishes: antique furniture scrawled with graffiti, plush paisley print carpets and claw-foot tubs. The 1930s Beaux Arts building has a Lauren Rottet-designed interior, which nods to Chanel: padded leather walls and writing pads, white and black lacquer and a bar modelled on a Chanel compact. And the really great thing about The Surrey is that it puts you smack in Manhattan’s museum zone.

Rooms:

190

Rates:

485USD, not including tax at 14.75%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/the-surrey

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Honolulu, USA The Hawaiian capital is no stranger to recreation – surfing originated on a local beach, and major wave-riding tournaments are still held here. Waikiki, a glitzy stretch of high-rise hotels and buzzy beach, is the entertainment epicentre, but the surrounding mountains, rainforests and pineapple plantations have no less dramatic leisure appeal. The Modern Honolulu hotel on Waikiki each masters Hawaiian hipness Originally designed by Ian Schrager, the it gets casual beach-chic just right: out go the swaying palms and Hawaiian-shirt-clad staff, in come rounded white walls, charcoal rugs and chunky teak sliding doors. That’s not to say it doesn’t nod to its island roots, though: the wall behind reception is taken over by an installation of bits of surfboard, broken in competitions on Oahu’s North Shore. The party starts in the afternoon when the bookcase behind reception becomes a bar at 4pm, rotating to reveal the secret Lobby Bar and its curated collection of vintage and contemporary Hawaiiana. Hipsters hang out here, queuing down the road for the finest Japanese fusion food in Waikiki, the biggest DJ names and the coolest bars, including one with a sandpit for grown-ups and its own lagoon.

Rooms:

353 rooms, including 31 suites

Rates:

US$259, not including tax at 13.96%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/the-modern-honolulu

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San Francisco, USA That bridge, the scenic Bay, those cable cars… San Francisco is a dream location for film-makers – and tourists. Its compact districts, worldly outlook and cultured population give it a cosmopolitan vibe. This city has a rich history of reinventing itself: it’s the spiritual home of some of America’s most liberal, forward-thinking citizens, famously including the Beat Generation and the Summer of Love hippies. Carefree, youthful and on the pulse, the city’s countercultural vibe is everywhere – except of course, in Alcatraz, the notorious island prison, which, though long out of action, is still an atmospheric must-visit on any visitor’s tick list.

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There’s no shortage of reasons to che butlers to do your unpacking for you, a everything that can be is remote-con sashimi bar is worth crossing continents ments – prefaced by champagne, che


eck into the St Regis Hotel in San Fran’s lively SOMA district: a Bentley to cruise around town in, arty modern suites where ntrolled, and one of the best restaurants in town, Ame – the for. The gleaming white Remède Spa offers customised treateese and truffles, naturally.

Rooms:

260 and 47 suites

Rates:

US$399, not including tax at 15.62%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/st-regis-hotel

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Riviera Maya, Mexico White-sand beaches, shimmering turquoise waters, year-round sunshine – the Yucatan Peninsula’s stretch of Caribbean coastline is a tropical holiday haven. A barrier reef runs almost the entire length (from the Belizean border in the south to the peninsula’s north-eastern tip), so it’s no surprise that many of the world’s finest dive sites are found around these shores. On land, majestic Mayan ruins at Tulum and Cobá offer glimpses of ancient civilisation, and a huge network of underground cenotes (limestone sinkholes) provide unique opportunities for subterranean snorkelling, swimming and diving. Not attracted by nature? The cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen both promise laid-back nightlife and a party atmosphere. A blissful 50-acre boutique resort set on the Mayan Riviera’s most beautiful beach, Esencia is where you go to spoil yourself. Its main building, the whitewashed three-storey Casa Grande, was built was built to satisfy the whims of a wealthy European duchess and designed for her guests. With seamless service, miles of lush tropical beach, expertly mixed tequila cocktails and a pampering spa within sauntering distance, we’d be extremely impressed if you make it out to see the Mayan ruins.

Rooms:

29, including 17 suites and two cottages

Rates:

US$525, not including tax at 24%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/esencia

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Turks & Caicos Those who claim that the UK suffers from a lack of sunshine have never been to Turks & Caicos – this sweep of 40 islands has been a part of Britain for more than 200 years, although its Blighty-based provenance is all but masked by its Caribbean climate and philosophy. A cluster of coral-fringed isles in a sea that seems to shift through shades of turquoise neon, the islands offer lieon-the-beach luxury with a totally tropical taste. Today, it’s popular for honeymooners, scuba lovers and those who simply want to admire a spellbinding postcard panorama from the comfort of an ivory-sanded beach. 25 minutes from the airport, beside a vast sweep of untouched beach on the northern promontory of Providenciales, Amanyara is the Asia-inspired Caribbean outpost of pioneering luxury pedlars, Amanresorts. It’s a peace-inducing haven of silvery-topped pavilions, chic teak terraces and spots of soothing shade; all centred on a gigantic infinity pool fashioned from volcanic rock and a conical bar that’s a mini marvel of architectural flair.

Rooms:

40, including 20 villas

Rates:

US$550, not including tax at 11%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/amanyara

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“feel the energy of this sometimes overwhelming city in manageable doses.�

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Lake Titicaca, Peru The world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca is the remote, breath-stealing birthplace of the Incan civilisation, and site of some of the most postcard-perfect sunrises you’ll ever see. Venture by boat into the vast lake, and navigate your way among dozens of ruins-topped islands where visitors can hike, stargaze and admire the almost-primeval Andean landscape. Of the many stops, Isla del Sol is the sacred rock at the heart of the Inca creation myth, and Taquile is home to traditional, Unesco-honoured Peruvian weavers who produce some of the best-crafted textiles in the world. You might dismiss the sight of a luxurious boutique hotel on a remote lake-shore peninsula as a symptom of altitude sickness but, nope, Titilaka is real. This eco-friendly lodge is set on the banks of the lake, an hour from the nearest town, and seemingly removed from real life. The whitewashed cottage has 270-degree views, and knows better than to compete with the natural splendour around it. All 18 of the modern rooms direct focus to the vast and serene waters, which glow orange and dawn and dusk. It’s not just about the outdoors here, however: local artwork, excellent food and beautiful rooms remind you of the lengths the staff go to create splendour in this tiny, secluded and scenic spot.

Rooms:

18 suites

Rates:

US$530, including tax at 10%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/titilaka

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Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Rio is one of the most spectacular spots on earth, where lush mountains plunge into the tropical sea. From Sugar Loaf Mountain you can survey the skip-a-beat views down to the world-famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. From here to the arty, leafy community of Santa Teresa, the streets buzz with music, humour and the indefatigable Carioca spirit. Caipirinhas, baile funk and bar hopping are all part of this electric ‘carpe diem’ culture, and never in more Technicolor glory than during Carnival, the tail-feathered, heart-racing, soul-uplifting celebration of life’s pleasures. Starck-styled Fasano Rio sits on Rio’s sexiest stretch, beside Ipanema; its owners have been in the hospitality business for more than a century, so they know a thing or two about making you feel at home while showering you in luxury. With a glass exterior, a white marble pool on the roof, and a section of beach all to itself, this hotel is about the glitz and glam of the supermodel’s seafront.

Rooms:

89, including 10 suites

Rates:

US$685, not including tax at 5%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/fasano-rio

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Punta del Este, Uruguay Punta del Este is Uruguay’s hedonistic hotspot, famed for its flawless beaches and late-night scene. Once a fishing village, this luxurious resort town is the coastal getaway for wealthy South Americans who flock to its shores, turning it into a mini Rio or St Tropez for a few months every year. If you want the sand and surf to yourself, head here out of season and experience the resort at a more temperate tempo… Set on a seemingly endless landscape of Africa-evoking plains, but just a few minutes from the surf towns of the coast, is Estancia Vik José Ignacio. Something about the architecture and atmosphere puts you in mind of a monastery: but inside, it’s clear that Estancia Vik is far from monastically austere. The hotel’s owner commissioned a different Uruguayan artist to design each of the 12 suites and the striking public spaces. The games room, for instance, showcases an intricate wooden sculpture, the parillo – the corrugated iron barbecue house – has been Pollacked with colour by Marcelo Legrand. The grounds are as impressive as the interiors: 1,500 hectares of grassland, a snaking lagoon, and 1,400 cows ambling beefily around the plains. There’s even a polo field on site, with a stable full of ponies, so guests can try their hand with a mallet, or simply hop on a horse and play gaucho on the pampas.

Rooms:

12 suites

Rates:

US$500 including tax at 22%

Website:

www.mrandmrssmith.com/estancia-vik-jose-ignacio

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“feel the energy of this sometimes overwhelming city in manageable doses.�

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& Wedding Honeymoon Destinations I C

f you are planning on getting married abroad then look no further. We have carefully selected some of the best locations from around the America’s and the Caribbean that will provide you with the perfect two-inone wedding and honeymoon experience. Your wedding abroad will be one of the most romantic and exciting times of your life, so making sure you choose the right location is imperative.

onsidering it goes by the moniker of ‘Sin City’ it is quite remarkable that Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations in the world to make those sacred vows. It has garnered a reputation for being quick, easy, inexpensive and fun, and while it can be somewhat cheesy in places this type of wedding can still be very special and meaningful for those involved.

Themed weddings are very popular giving you the chance to get creative and have some fun. Where else can you have Elvis perform the ceremony, ride into the chapel on a Harley Davidson, get married beach-party style or have your wedding attendants dress like mobsters? No requests are too outrageous or unachievable in Las Vegas.

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There are around a dozen chapels located on the strip that have ‘cute’ and endearing names, including Little White Wedding Chapel which appears to be a favourite among Hollywood celebrities. Many people refer to it as the drive-thru tunnel of vows as you can get married without even setting foot outside your car! Just because the chapels get most of the attention doesn’t mean that you cannot have a traditional church wedding. Las Vegas does have a diocese and a handful of churches so if tradition is key to your big day you can do things the old-fashioned way before taking your sweetheart on a gondola ride to snap pics at the Bellagio fountains or enjoy your first meal courtesy of Wolfgang Puck. The possibilities are endless.


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Kissimmee USA

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ven the name itself carries romantic connotations. Kissimmee offers those seeking a traditional wedding a variety of unique settings and venues ranging from picturesque chapels to grand basilica. There is also the opportunity to take advantage of the abundant outdoor beauty and exchange vows beneath a romantic canopy of 100-year-old oak trees, in a scenic lakeside park, or even under the sunset along one of Florida’s finest beaches. Many visitors to Florida opt to stay in Kissimmee as it is a family-orientated destination known for its themed dinner theatres, swamp tours and five-star villas. Whilst it is a world famous wedding destination it also doubles up well as a honeymoon location, particularly with those soon-to-be-wed parents. If you can’t jet away and leave the children behind then where better to go than Disney Land? Kissimmee is less than 10 miles away from both Disney Land and Universal Studio theme parks and most hotels and villas have free daily transfers to-andfrom.

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Los Cabos Mexico I

t has long been a tale of forbidden romance or a spate of spontaneity for American couples to elope to Mexico but now the Latin American destination is fast becoming an international wedding location. One of Mexico’s most popular ceremony spots is appropriately named Playa del Amor – Lovers Beach – in Los Cabos. It is home to some of the country’s most striking scenery and has a reputation for year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, luxurious villa rentals and resorts. Los Cabos is more than equipped to provide that magical moment that will last with you for a lifetime. Whatever you are looking for in a wedding, Mexico can cater. From tranquil beaches to historic old colonial cities, photographic opportunities are everywhere to be found. Other locations you may wish to consider include Puetro Morelos for a destination wedding in a beautiful fishing village along the Mayan Riviera, or the archaeologically stunning walled-city of Tulum along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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St Lucia M

ore famous for its honeymoons than it is for its weddings, St Lucia has been voted the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination eight times by the World Travel Awards. Regardless of whether you choose to come here for your wedding, honeymoon or even both – you are in for a treat. St Lucia is breathtakingly beautiful with its iconic Piton Mountains, stunning lush scenery and beautiful palm-fringed beaches. There is also no shortage of enchanting places to stay, with luxury suites more than happy to exploit the serenity of the surrounding offering balcony views backing onto the Caribbean Sea overlooking the striking Pitons. The most magical aspect of the entire honeymoon experience is the fact that despite being renowned for romantic luxury, bananas are still a bigger business on the island than tourism. As a result newly weds are able to enjoy each-others company in an almost exclusive privacy.

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5

OF THE BEST

GOLF

COURSES

Mexico El Camaleon

Fairmont Mayakoba

I

f anybody knows golf holidays its Fairmont. Their meticulous planning focusses on every element of your stay from offering specially designed courses amongst picturesque scenery through to providing an exclusively affluent gated resort community that incorporates a spa and therapy package which will help get the very best out of your game. Our favourite Fairmont resort can be found in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Designed by ‘The Great White Shark’ Greg Norman, the 7,000-yard layout offers an unparalleled travel experience within four ever-changing distinct ecosystems: dune, water canals, tropical forest and mangrove. The former world number one has even incorporated a cenote, an ancient underground cavern and river system into the centre of the opening fairway. The 18-hole Mayakoba Golf Classic is Mexico’s only PGA Tour course and offers a real challenge for competitors of all abilities.

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Pebble Beach Golf Links USA

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I

t is quite frustrating to see a great number of the world class courses closed off to the public in the United States as many of the club memberships are invite only. As a result, playing a round on the US Open’s Olympic Club Lake Course and the US Masters Augusta National Golf Course will only remain a pipedream. Having said that, there are many more impressive courses available that will have you feeling like a child in a sweet shop – absolutely spoilt for choice. We urge you to play a round at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the golf course is frequently recognised as America’s greatest public golf course and has previously hosted five US Open Championships, with the prestigious tournament returning to California for a sixth time in 2019. Since 1919, the exquisite beauty and unique challenge of Pebble Beach Golf Links have thrilled golfers and spectators alike. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, the course hugs the rugged coastline, providing wide-open vistas, Cliffside fairways and sloping greens.

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Teeth of the Dog Casa de Campo Dominican Republic

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W

ith incredible golf courses such as Jack Nicklaus’ Punta Espada and Dye Fore Golf Course created by world renowned designer Pete Dye, it is an impressive achievement to be recognised as the best golf course in the Dominican Republic, let alone the whole of the Caribbean, yet we believe the Teeth of the Dog course in Casa de Campo has accomplished that feat. Also designed by Pete Dye, this 1971 masterpiece put the Dominican Republic on the golfing map and now forms the centrepiece of a luxury five-star resort. Tricky shots such as the 194-yard par-three on the 16th perched on a rocky outcrop shaped like a set of snapping jaws will captivate even the most skilled professional. Dye takes the credit for designing 11 of the 18 holes. However, he insists that the seven ocean side holes were “designed by the man upstairs”. With its natural simplicity it may be pleasing on the eye, but watch out because this dog is feisty and its teeth are razor-sharp. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Terravista Brazil

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any of the world’s great courses are perched on the edge of a cliff top somewhere, overlooking turquoise seas. Terravista is no different. Sticking with the trend, play between the beautiful coastline and the lush Atlantic rainforest while being soothed by the sound of waves and the singing of tropical birds. If it came down to destinations alone, this offering of deserted beaches, pristine natural settings, magnificent panoramas and effervescent social and cultural life would win hands down. Thankfully we’re not just judging this golf course on its location. Taking seven years to build, Terravista was designed by United States golf architect Dan Blankenship, opening to the public in 2004. Covering 175-acres of green grass fairways, lakes and native vegetation, this 18-hole course provides plenty of challenge for all-comers. Want to brush up on your game? The driving range has nine greens each framed by white sand bunkers and carefully marked for distance, while a teaching pro will also be on hand to offer both individual and group lessons.

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Highlands Links Golf

Canada

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he Highlands Links Golf Course was designed and constructed under the direction of worldrenowned golf architect Stanley Thompson in 1941 on the very tip of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. Thompson lovingly referred to this classic as his “mountains and ocean course�. Golf and Mother Nature join together in sweet harmony as the rugged terrier provides a challenging course amongst the picturesque backdrop of one of the most gorgeous spots in the whole of Canada. Over the past three years an extensive improvement and restoration program has opened up playing corridors to their original design and improved its growing conditions through a series of selective tree clearing. As a result, the course now offers even more stunning view planes of the ocean and mountains, and with extra sunlight and air circulation a significantly improved greens and turf condition have elevated this already world class course to another level.

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THE

AMERICAS SPAS

Copacabana Palace Brazil

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his truly is a palace for refined luxury. The Copacabana Palace has three floors of Spa area offering seven different types of treatment with two dual treatment suites, a fitness room, hair salon, sauna, steam bath and relaxation area. Using only the very best products on the market, the extensive treatment menu features the exclusive AYASPA line of organic products made from the purest and most refined indigenous Brazilian ingredients including combinations based on acai and guarana fruits, white clay from the Amazon and essential oils which enhance your sense of wellbeing. The resort also offers a semi-Olympic size swimming pool for all of its guests along with a private pool dedicated to occupants on the 5th and 6th floor, a rooftop tennis court and a spa food menu developed by Francesco Carli, the internationally renowned chef of Pergula Restaurant.

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JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

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eave behind the stress of everyday life and visit a place of profound rest and deeply felt rejuvenation. The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa’s team of well trained and caring Spa Therapists offer a wide range of therapeutic and refreshing treatments that will unwind even the tensest of customer. Embrace their signature treatments which include Maritime body peeling and therapeutic volcanic bath and wrap, or gain a healing balance by picking one of four programs based on the elements of Earth, water, fire and air. Our love for Costa Rica’s finest resort stems even further as they are one of the few spa resorts which offer a series of programs dedicated to men. Choose from a Gentleman’s Fit Facial tailored to your skin type for a moisturising skin-care treatment; a Gentleman’s Hot Towel Facial which includes a renowned hair treatment massage, or select the Back Grooming treatment for deep cleaning that eliminates obstructed pores and skin redness. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Spa Montage United States

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njoy the VIP treatment with a trip to California’s best luxury spa. Set along the beautiful Laguna Beach, this peaceful spot of luxury offers panoramic views of the ocean which embodies its relaxing aura. Attain a new sense of tranquillity and balance as Spa Montage takes you deeper, beyond pampering, to a place of connection and surrender – a place of profound self discovery. All of their specially trained therapists are graduates of ASTECC training – a master’s level program in the spa industry – combining biochemical aspects of spa and a wide range of therapeutic applications which enables the skills and expertise to personalise treatments that best serve your body’s unique needs. Popular therapies include the Laguna Beach Kur hydrotherapy session to enhance your auto-immune system and combat fatigue along with the Spa Montage Manicure and Pedicures. As an added bonus, any 60-minute therapy you choose also entitles you to a full day’s enjoyment of all Spa Montage amenities so sit back and relax as the spectacular views, fresh breezes and calming rhythms of the surf wash over you.

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T Ten Spa Canada

his luxury health spa encompasses the entire tenth floor of the prestigious Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Canada. The usual suspects are on offer here including pedicures, manicures and facials but they also provide a series of treatments which have been developed using several years of research at some of the world’s foremost spa’s as well as hard-to-find ethnic parlours. Developed in Istanbul and engineered in Germany, enjoy the Hamam treatment. At reception you will be given a locker, Italian spa slippers, a plush Turkish robe and a pestemal to wear before kicking things off with a trip to the aromatic salting area for deep cleansing. Foot and scalp massages, traditional soap scrub and rose oil massages are all on the menu with this casually paced treatment also allowing time to stop for Turkish tea and a small sweet along the way.

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Willow Stream Spa - Fairmont Mayako

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he Willow Stream Fairmont Mayakoba Resort has already featured as one of the top golf destinations in South America but with over 50 specialist treatments on offer it also ranks among the best bespoke spa’s across both the North and South America’s. Their ‘Sports Inspired Experiences’ offer Golf Performance Treatment massage therapy endorsed by world-class professional golf instructor David Leadbetter and professional golfer Charles Howell III will be sure to get the very best out of your game along with other sports treatments such as the Willow Stream Golf Facial and the Stress Relief Massage Deluxe Executive Hand Grooming. Kick things off with the Jet Lag Recovery treatment which will eliminate all of the negative effects of flying and time zone changes. The essential oils in this Aromatherapy bath and massage are selected to regulate sleep, recover skin dryness and dehydration, relieve tension headaches and restore your energy.

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GLOBAL TRAVEL AWARDS W

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Gl ob a l Travel Awa rd s 2012

hether it is the hotel that you are staying in, the spa treatment you have always desired or a culinary food tour of the tastiest regions – across the continent there are thousands of companies out there that quietly help piece together your holiday to ensure you receive the time of your life. Now it is time to give them a little something in return. After careful consideration The America’s Travel Awards identifies and celebrates the achievements of the best of the best in all aspects of America travel.


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Airline of the Year 2012

American Airlines

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Cruise Specialist of the Year 2012

The Yachts Of Seabourn

82

Luxury Concierge of the Year 2012

Private Luxury Concierge

83

Car Hire Specialist of the Year 2012

84

Private Charter Company of the Year 2012

85

Destination of the Year 2012

86

Luxury Hotel Specialist of the Year 2012

87

Luxury Boutique Hotel Specialist of the Year 2012

88

Luxury Hotel of the Year 2012

89

Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year 2012

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Luxury Business Hotel of the Year 2012

91

Luxury Hotel & Spa of the Year 2012

92

Luxury Hotel & Golf Resort of the Year 2012

93

Luxury Family Hotel of the Year 2012

94

Tour Operator of the Year 2012

95

Tour Guide of the Year 2012

96

Adventure Specialist of the Year 2012

97

Culinary TourCompany of the Year 2012

98

Dive Specialist of the Year 2012

99

Attraction of the Year 2012

Gotham Dream Cars ECS Visit Las Vegas Five Star Alliance Smith - Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Jumby Bay A Rosewood Resort The Gault The Peninsula New York The Iguazu Grand Resort Spa & Casino Miramonte Resort & Spa Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts Vegas.com Rafael Torres Lopes TrekAmerica Chicago Food Planet Food Tours Island Divers Hawaii Walt Disney World Resort


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Airline of the Year 2012

americas

A

merican, American Eagle and AmericanConnection速 serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. American Airlines offers up to 37 daily non-stop departures from Europe to the US. The combined network fleet numbers nearly 900 aircraft. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld速 Alliance, which brings together some of the biggest and best names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve more than 750 destinations in over 150 countries and territories. Their success is built upon the breadth of their network and frequency of their flights. Every day they offer up to 20 flights direct to US gateway cities from Heathrow and daily flights from Manchester that are carefully timed to meet connecting flights to over 250 cities throughout the Americas.

W www.aa.com

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T +1 800 433 7300

E info@aa.com


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Cruise Specialist of the Year 2012

americas

T

he Yachts of Seabourn are passionate about travel. They believe that travelling for pleasure has a redemptive power that enriches people’s lives. And also believe that people should travel well. Cruising on a Seabourn ship is unlike any other form of travel. The experience is luxurious, yet relaxed -- elegant, yet casual -- sumptuous, yet understated. Their intimate ships visit the most desirable destinations worldwide, sailing to the heart of landmark cities, as well as to hidden gems where larger vessels cannot follow. Seabourn’s ships attract interesting people, who seek to share experiences beyond the expected in places beyond the ordinary.

W www.seabourn.com

T +0843 373 2000

E info@seabourn.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Luxury Concierge of americas the Year 2012

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rivate Luxury Concierge specialises in providing luxury and concierge service in South Florida and New York. With their combined experience in Property Management, Yacht Management, Event Services, Ground Transportation and more, your dream come true is just one call away. Private Luxury Concierge specialises in transportation to and from your destination. Whether you are an individual, a small business, or a large corporation they can handle your needs, whatever they may be. Private Luxury Concierge are professional, provide high levels of luxury and thrive on an excellent service.

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T +1 201 951 8809

E info@privateluxuryconcierge.com


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Car Hire Specialist of the Year 2012

americas

G

otham Dream Cars prides itself on providing a highly professional, seamless rental experience. Not content with just being different from other exotic car rental companies -- they want to downright impress you. To that end, the cornerstones of their philosophy - and why you’ll see they’re unlike anyone else out there – Gotham Dream Cars was founded for a very simple reason: They searched for a place to rent a supercar in the Northeast, and couldn’t find a single one worth a phone call. There are lots of places where you can rent what others call an “exotic” car -- a Viper, a Lotus, or even a PT cruiser, but when it comes to what Gotham call an exotic -- a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, or Aston Martin, the market fell short. And so Gotham Dream Cars was born.

W www.gothamdreamcars.com T +1 212 957 4400

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Private Charter Company americas of the Year 2012

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CS is a family-run business that uses the personal touch to make sure that you receive the utmost service at all times. They are prepared to face any challenge. Their years of experience as pilots give them the hands-on knowledge to find solutions to best fit your needs. ECS deliver the services that you expect. They are a rare, one-stop-shop for jet and yacht charters, a perfect combination for those looking to make the most of their travels, in the air and at sea. Above all else, they are real industry professionals. Their Main Office is located at McArthur Airport and not in a Manhattan high-rise. As a result, they know what it takes to fulfil your travel needs in the most efficient, secure, and luxurious ways available.

W www.exclusivecharterservice.com 84 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

T +1 888 522 0883

E info@exclusivecharterservice.com


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Destination of the Year 2012

americas

T

his summer, Las Vegas hotels will welcome you into a world where no request is too grand, no wish too fanciful. When you set out to have an epic vacation, you’ll need a one-of-a-kind home base - a hotel with the comforts of home and entertainment you’ll only find in Las Vegas. So shed the shackles of your 9 to 5 and see how the hotels in Las Vegas can help you take back your summer. Want a casino right downstairs? They’ve got that. Prefer a non gaming or even a non smoking resort? They’ve got that too. There are suites that overlook the bright lights of the Strip and boutique hotels that cater to the artsy set, the thrifty set and the adventurous set.

W www.visitlasvegas.com

T +1 702 892 7575

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Luxury Hotel Specialist americas of the Year 2012

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s an online travel agency for the world’s best hotels, Five Star Alliance help travellers find and book the ideal luxury hotel. They offer great recommendations, the best rates, and world-class customer service. Their experienced team has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the ideal hotel, and leaders of the world’s best hotels have joined their Editori al Advisory Board. Five Star Alliance offer the most comprehensive collection of hand-picked luxury hotels available anywhere - online or off. A unique focus and leverage allow them to offer exclusive rates and deals that aren’t widely available, and that beat or match virtually all other agents.

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T +1 888 578 2711

E info@fivestaralliance.com


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Luxury Boutique Hotel americas Specialist of the Year 2012

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r & Mrs Smith is a trusted boutique hotel expert and booking agent. The site provides more than 900 recommendations for intimate, hip and sexy properties around the world; the carefully curated hotel collection is anonymously reviewed by tastemakers, such as Stella McCartney and Cate Blanchett, who supply tongue-in-cheek, first-person accounts of their Smith-hotels stays. As well as providing entertaining insider content, Mr & Mrs Smith provides in-house travel specialists who are available by phone 24 hours a day on weekdays. Anyone can access the website, tap into the in-the-know recommendations and book their hotels at the best possible rates, but members have access to added travel perks, including money back and exclusive deals.

W www.mrandmrssmith.com T +44 20 8987 4312

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Luxury Hotel of the Year2012

americas

S

et on a 300-acre private Caribbean island, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort casts a spell of serene enchantment. Nestled two miles off the coast of Antigua, the exclusive resort is a naturalist’s haven noted for its lush landscape, stately palm trees and three superb, white sand beaches. A secluded hideaway accessible only by boat, the luxury resort is known worldwide for providing discerning travellers with world-class service and distinguished amenities. With 40 beautifully refurbished rooms and suites and luxury vacation villa rentals spread across nearly a third of this private Caribbean island, guests feel deliciously ensconced in their own secluded hideaway. Each suite is an oasis of luxurious idleness embodying the island’s stylish good taste.

W www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/jumbybay 88 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

T +1 268 462 6000

E jumbybay@rosewoodhotels.com


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Luxury Boutique americas Hotel of the Year2012

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he Gault is a boutique hotel housed in a five storey building built in 1871. The hotel sits in the heart of Old Montreal, two steps away from downtown. Contrasting the outside landmark, inside the Gault offers a minimalist design. This contrast brings incomparable communion of old-world comfort and luxury of modern design. Furnished with classic pieces from the 20th century, the Gault’s experience is enhanced by its vast French windows that flood each of the 30 suites with natural light to create a silky atmosphere. Each bedroom is open-plan equipped with Mondrian custom oak cabinetry and flat screen LED televisions and blue ray players with certain suites boasting 3D televisions. All guests benefit from HD TV, complimentary high-speed WIFI internet access; free local calls and iPads are available on request.

W www.hotelgault.com

T +1 514 904 1616

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Luxury Business americas Hotel of the Year 2012

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he Peninsula New York is ideally located on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, in the heart of New York City’s most prestigious shopping, cultural, and business neighbourhood, in Mid-town Manhattan. It is a 23-story, 1905 landmark building, many of the hotel’s original Beaux Arts architectural features, designed by Hiss and Weekes, have been retained throughout The Peninsula New York. The result is one of modern accents on old-world elegance. The Peninsula New York features 185 spacious and luxurious guest rooms and 54 suites, recently refurbished and decorated in a classic, contemporary style. Specifically designed for the needs of the executive traveller, all of the hotel rooms incorporate stateof- the-art technology, with an electronic system that allows guests to control their environment with the touch of a fingertip.

W www.peninsula.com

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T +1 212 956 2888

E pny@peninsula.com


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Luxury Hotel & Spa americas of the Year2012

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estination of dignitaries, celebrities and world leaders, The Iguazu Grand Resort Spa & Casino, a member of Leading Hotels of the World and Virtuoso, is regarded as the most luxurious hotel at the Iguazu Falls and is the only fullservice resort and casino on either side of the Falls. The hotel is located just 10 minutes away from the Iguazu Falls National Park, which straddles the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. The hotel sits on 15 acres of semitropical vegetation with three multilevel outdoor swimming pools and beautifully man-made cascades. The hotel was inaugurated on July 6, 1998 and was remodelled by the current owners in 2002, becoming the most luxurious resort in the area.

W www.iguazugrand.com

T +54 3757 498 050

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Luxury Hotel & Golf americas Resort of the Year 2012

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scape to one of Southern California’s most Luxurious Spa resorts, Miramonte Resort & Spa. Located in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley in beautiful Indian Wells, the resort boasts luxurious hotel accommodations in a unique, Mediterranean village inspired setting. Be swept away by romantic architecture, Italian fountains, fine-crafted stonework, tranquil piazzas, exceptional luxury spa facilities and impeccable service. Nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, views throughout the resort are awe-inspiring, serving as an impressive backdrop to Palm Springs’ most luxurious resort. 215 guestrooms, suites and villas are woven into 11 expansive acres of olive trees, fragrant citrus groves, rose, herb and flower gardens. The two-story bougainvillea-covered villas welcome you with grand archways to newly-designed guestroom retreats.

W www.miramonteresort.com T +1 760 341 2200 92 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

E info@miramonteresort.com


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Luxury Family Hotel americas of the Year 2012

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estled on Cancun’s finest stretch of private beach, the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa offers the best of both worlds with award-winning luxury that transports the soul to pure relaxation, yet equally stimulates with its proximity to the area’s vibrant culture and entertainment. Beautiful surroundings combined with top-notch service have made the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancún Resort & Spa the winner of the prestigious Five Diamond award numerous times and garnered accolades from Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler as one of Mexico’s best resorts. The resort is also a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

W www.fiestamericana.com

T +52 998 881 3200

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Tour Operator of the Year 2012

americas

V

EGAS.com’s mission is to be the most customer friendly, innovative and comprehensive Vegas travel company. To meet that mission, they are constantly enhancing their travel product mix, improving the usability of the websites, strengthening longstanding relationships with Vegas travel partners, updating their extensive Vegas content, developing user-friendly ticketing technology and expanding their physical footprint in Vegas. VEGAS.com features more Vegas travel choices than any other website, from hotels to shows, tours to front-of-the-line nightclub passes, and beyond. More than 2.5 million unique visitors visit VEGAS.com websites each month.

W www.vegas.com T +1 866 998 3427 94 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

E info@vegas.com


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Tour Guide of the Year americas 2012

afael Torres Lopes is a very passionate tour guide. He enjoys taking people to the most genuine places of each city in Brazil, but his speciality is Rio. Rafa, as he likes to be known, is Rio de Janeiro city in human form. He will help you to plan your trip in the best way possible, and aims to find something personalised that only you like doing. Much more than a tour guide, he is a sort of ambassador of Brazil.

W www.donrafaguestsinrio.blogspot.co.uk

T +55 21 8391 5290

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Adventure Specialist americas of the Year2012

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rekAmerica has been bringing together groups of explorers from all over the world since 1972 and today they are firm leaders in small group adventure tours across North America. They look forward to introducing you to all the wonders that this great continent has to offer. With year round departures and over 50 unique itineraries from three to 64 days in length, their holidays let you see and do more than you ever dreamed possible, and guarantee the freedom of the open road and the adventure of a lifetime!

W www.trekamerica.com 96 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

T +1 800 873 5872

E info@trekamerica.com


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Culinary Tour Company americas of the Year 2012

T

heir three-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago’s most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighbourhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you’ll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.

W www.chicagofoodplanet.com

T +1 800 979 3370

E contact@chicagofoodplanet.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas - 97


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Dive Specialist of the americas Year 2012

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oin Island Divers Hawaii for some fun and exciting scuba diving in Oahu! Their daily two-tank dive charters take you to the very best dive sites around Oahu and includes guidance from their well-trained staff to provide an in-depth knowledge of the sites and animal life. Transportation to and from Waikiki and Honolulu are included. Experience what Hawaii scuba diving is all about! Safely dive Oahu’s shallow reefs through the guidance of our professional instructors and swim with the tropical fish, turtles, and so much more.

W www.oahuscubadiving.com T +1 808 423 8222 98 - Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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SERIES

Gl obal Tr ave l Awar ds 2012

Attraction of the Year 2012

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hen Walt Disney opened Disneyland on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than 55 years later, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDP&R) has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, providing millions of guests each year with the chance to spend time with their families and friends making memories that will last forever.

W www.disneyworld.disney.go.com

T +1 407 939 7718

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Experience

WASHINGTON D.C.

Expert BIO Segway® Inc. has a worldwide network of more than 250 distributors, dealers and experience centers in 80 countries that offer product and unique touring experiences. When it comes to PT touring – Segway Inc. is the expert. The three distinct competitive advantages of our tours: 1.) As the product’s manufacturer, we assure a comprehensive product orientation. 2.) We offer a small guide-to-glider ratio and more personal attention and most importantly, 3.) We offer superior tour content because we work with historical associations and like organizations, in this case the world famous Smithsonian® Institution, to develop interesting and informative tour content. Take a guided tour and indulge in the insightful commentary of the architecture, art, culture and history related to the points of interest, landmarks and key exhibits along the route. It’s a fascinating experience that truly offers something exciting for everyone.

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National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History collects, pre and displays the heritage of the United States with more t million artifacts ranging from the social, political, cultural, sc and military history of America. The national treasures on d cover everything from the War of Independence to the p day.

Numerous exhibitions explore themes about the country’s The Museum’s newest exhibit, American Stories, features an engaging mix of artifacts from the Museum’s vast ho Through more than 100 objects, visitors can follow a chronology that spans the Pilgrims’ 1620 arrival in Plymouth sachusetts, through the 2008 presidential election. The M also offers a full roster of public programs from demonstrations, lectures and tours to storytelling, festiva musical programs.


Catch your flights to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, take inspiration from the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, catch a theatre show at the Kennedy Centre, and then bask in the sun on Theodore Roosevelt Island. With the presidential theme running through its core, the unmistakable capital has a rich political and social history and even today continues to write history with world-changing decisions on a daily basis.

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“The National Museum of American History is home to over 3 million American artifacts including the original Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, First Ladies’ gowns and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’.”

als and

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National Air and Space Museum Learn the remarkable tale of how humankind learned to fly with this incredible collection of artifacts relating to the history of aviation and space flight. This collection is displayed in over 20 galleries, including exhibits on topics as varied as early flight, military aviation and exploring space. The Museum on the mall includes over 60 aircraft, more than 50 large space artifacts, and some 2,000 smaller items including the Apollo 11 command module. One special exhibit titled “The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age” includes the original flyer from 1903.

Lisa & Diane Scalia

“The National Air and Space Museum is the most visited museum in Washington, displaying the Spirit of St. Louis; the Bell X-1, the first plane to break the sound barrier; the Apollo 11 capsule and a touchable Moon rock.”

Segway Inc.

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National Museum of Natural History The National Museum of Natural History is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent Museum and research complex. The green-domed Museum on the National Mall contains 1.3 million square feet of space and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space. At the center of the Museum’s exhibition and research programs are its expertly documented collections: more than 127.3 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. The collections include 30 million insects carefully documented, 4.5 million plants pressed into sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium, 6.2 million fish specimens, and 2 million cultural artifacts, including 950,000 photographs in the National Anthropological Archives.

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The United States Capitol and Library of Congress The Capitol building features well-known architecture that is based on ancient Greek and Roman design. Marvel at the historical artifacts and the restored Old Supreme Court Chamber on the ground floor, then head upstairs and watch the excitement unfold as you witness the Senate and House of Representatives discuss and debate during a live session. Also visit the Library of Congress, which is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institute and serves as the research arm of Congress. Situated within Capitol Hill, the largest library in the world is the home of millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its vast collection. Docentled tours of the historic Thomas Jefferson Building are also available, in which you will learn about the building’s symbolic art and architecture.

“The Unites States Capitol building is one of Washington DC’s most prominent landmarks. It has housed the U.S. Congress since 1800. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, boasting a collection of more than 145 million items on the equivalent of 745 miles of shelving.”

Segway Inc.

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Washington, DC Monuments and Memorials

Washington, DC is a city of monuments and memorials, but perhaps none is quite as impressive as the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. Located at the east end of the National Mall, this memorial is best enjoyed under illumination at night time. Other monuments and memorials across the city include the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, George Washington Monument, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Across the river in Virginia, sites such as the Pentagon Memorial and U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial may be visited.

“Washington DC is home to a multitude of impressive monuments and memorials that pay homage to American soldiers, heroes and presidents. They include the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument and World War II Memorial.�

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The White House The White House is perhaps the most iconic building in United States’ history. George Washington commissioned Irish-born architect James Hoban’s practical and handsome design, which is now globally recognized as a symbol of the prestige of the presidency. It has been the official residence of the President of the United States since 1800 and has hosted everything from important cabinet meetings, to presidential weddings. To visit the White House, contact your country’s embassy in Washington.

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With over 80 museums and more than 100 monuments and memorials, we have only scratched the surface of this magical, historical and inspirational area. Explore and enjoy all of these things and many more in one of the most important capital cities in the world. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Segway has come together with the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest Museum and research complex, to offer the only Personal Transporter (PT) tour to depart from the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Smithsonian’s Museums, grounds and gardens offer something for everyone. This Segway PT tour is the latest activity to be added to the Smithsonian Institution’s amazing breadth of fascinating experiences for visitors. This scenic and fun excursion is the perfect complement to any Washington, DC visit. Gliders will experience the Segway PT, while also being educated about the National Mall as well as other points of interest, landmarks and Smithsonian Museum exhibits. During the 3-hour tour, a knowledgeable guide will lead the group and offer insightful commentary on the architecture, art, culture and history related to the sights.

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The tour begins with a safety video and PT product orientation. Once riders are comfortable, the tour commences and an inspiring, educational experience begins. Riders will glide by Smithsonian Museums and gardens including Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Enid A. Haupt Garden, Freer Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Mary Ripley Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Castle and the Art and Industries Building. They will also see monuments and other sites including the National Gallery of Art, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Library of Congress, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Women’s Memorial, Washington Monument, White House and World War II Memorial.

Contact Details

W: www.segway.com/SmithsonianTours T: +1 202 384 8516 E: SmithsonianTours@Segway.com

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CHICAGO

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he word Chicago is synonymous with Chicago Pizza, Chicago Rock (Café) and the Broadway production simply entitled Chicago, but when you visit the city itself you will soon realise that it is a musical pilgrimage for fans of country, soul, folk and blues as well as a fascinating city break complete with skyscrapers, shopping centres, restaurants, fascinating museums and amazing views of the city from high and low.

Music Tours Chicago has long been established as America’s foremost blues city since Muddy Waters came into prominence during the 1940s and its musical offerings are still prominent today. Check out authentic undiscovered local talent as well as some of the biggest bands at live music venues such as Buddy Guy’s Legends and Blue Chicago followed by a visit to Chicago’s historic blues sites such as Hyde Park’s Checkerboard Lounge on the South Side.Round your evening off by catching the ‘O’ Cirque du Soleil show.

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Music lovers should also check out Steve Albini’s studio Electrical Audio to see where famous names such as Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey recorded albums, along with a tour of the homes and clubs that inspired Chicago’s biggest modern rock stars including Smashing Pumpkins, Plain White T’s and Alkaline Trio.

Museums Chicago has more museums than you could shake a stick at, with artefacts including everything from Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons at the Field Museum of Natural History through to a collection of heart valves at the International Museum of Surgical Science. The city’s set of museums and cultural institutions are among the best in the world. Broaden your horizons with a Chicago City PASS which will enable your admission to a number of these exhibits, or alternatively keep an eye out for ‘free admission days’ which are generally clustered together in January and February when there are significantly fewer tourists around.


The Chicago Skyline Chicago’s skyline is one of the worlds tallest and easily ranks among the most magnificent. It boasts three of America’s five tallest buildings and, if you include its antenna, the massive Sears Tower remains the second tallest skyscraper in the world. Take a trip up to the 103rd floor of this Chicago icon where four glass balconies extend from its Skydeck to provide an exhilarating experience and never-before-seen views of the city. At 1,353 feet up, your nerves will be stabilised by the incredible sight of up to 50 miles spanning across four states. What makes Chicago special is that it has everything that New York can offer except it is blended in with a mid-western generosity and a more relaxed atmosphere. While it may not be the first destination on many people’s list, it certainly ranks among the best.

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Where To Eat:

Chicago Pizza Tour

Where To Stay:

Trump Hotel

Soaring 92 stories above the Loop and North Michigan Avenue, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago is a showcase of bold style and engaging design, polished stainless steel and iridescent-tinted glass. It is the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world, and downtown Chicago’s most enviable address.

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Never has one city been so loyal to a particular dish. Not only can you enjoy the famous deep pan Chicago Pizza, but you can also sample just about any style you can think of: true Neapolitan, Coal Oven, New Haven, New York Street Slice, even a Quad Cities-style pizzeria.

What To Do:

Chicago Bulls Game The Chicago Bulls rank among the most famous basketball teams of all time ever since Michael Jordan led them to 6 NBA Championships in the 1990s. While they may lack the star prowess of the Space Jam actor, they are still a worthy spectacle. The best time to catch an NBA game is during December or January.


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LAS VEGAS

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ith spontaneous weddings, free-flowing alcohol and mega-casino resorts it is little wonder Las Vegas has gained the nickname Sin City. Decorated in dazzling neon lights this fantasy-land is truly an adult’s playground. Relax your morals (slightly) and enter the Entertainment Capital of the World.

The Bellagio Whether you are a staying guest at the hotel or an intrigued visitor, the Bellagio offers an action packed adventure. Splendour at the Gallery of Fine Art collection ranging from Claude Monet to Andy Warhol, marvel at Bellagio’s fascinating lake as it throws up entrancing fountain displays choreographed to music from Pavarotti to Sinatra and continue along a romantic theme with a stroll around the enchanting botanical gardens. Round your evening off by catching the ‘O’ Cirque du Soleil show.

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Performed twice nightly Wednesday – Sunday, this breathtaking experience is packed with an aquatic tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance.

Casino There are more than 100 casinos vying for your attention in Las Vegas, enticing you with their bright lights and promises of big windfalls. The grandest of them all is the majestic Caesars Palace casino spanning 129,000 square foot offering table games, slots, poker and keno. If the chips are down and Lady Luck is out, why not try your hand elsewhere with a visit to the Golden Nugget Hotel. Visitors can see the world’s largest gold nugget on display at the back of the casino while residents of this legendary venue can enjoy the thrill of embarking on a waterslide that runs through a central shark tank. Scary.


Catch a Show From Elvis Pressley and Tom Jones in the 1960s through to the current crop of superstars – everyone who’s anyone has had a residency in Las Vegas. Whatever music takes your fancy there will be something that grabs you. Catch Purple Rain hit-maker Prince every Friday and Saturday night at the Rio Grand Hotel, or if you want to hear the ‘Great American Songbook’ Rod Stewart is your man. Other household names on offer include Donny & Marie Osmond, Cee Lo Green, Elton John, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Deadmau5 and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Red Rock Canyon

A haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers, visitors can combine more than 30 miles of hiking trails with rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking or nature observing at Nevada’s first designated National Conservation Area. You will be sure to spot many fascinating creatures along your way as thousands of different plant and animal life make up the character of this unique destination with our favourites including the desert turtle, gila monster, tarantula wasp and the colourful Anna’s Hummingbird.

Grand Canyon Although it is roughly 250 miles away, the Grand Canyon makes the perfect day trip. Often referred to as the ‘grandest canyon of them all’ this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a geologists dream.

Leave the hubbub of the Las Vegas Boulevard and take a 15 minute drive out west where you will find a vast arid desert featuring the Red Rock Canyon. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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The gorge is a massive 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, with a depth of over 1.14 miles. Rock layers that are more than a billion years old are exposed through weathering and erosion, while the canyon is almost perfectly preserved showing little sign of wear and tear. The journey here alone is one of fascinating beauty as you drive directly over the Hoover Dam and pass through the scenic desert. While nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming experience ahead, this route sets the mood nicely. The contrast between the bustling commercial strip on the Las Vegas Boulevard and the nearby vacuous desert landscape is simply mesmerising. Combine the two experiences for a unique vacation and enjoy two distinctly different interpretations of the word ‘adventure’.

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Where To Stay:

New York New York Stay in the Big Apple itself. Well, not quite New York but it is as close as they come. This resort contains a scaleddown version of a dozen famous landmarks including a mini-New York Harbour, complete with tugboats, the Brooklyn Bridge, a giant Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Built at a cost of $460 million, it’s been called the largest piece of pop art in the world.


Where To Eat:

The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Even though the menu is blandly American with its array of burgers and steaks, we would still recommend a visit to The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge. Known for the seats around the combination firepit-fountain and for the luxuriant dresses worn by the waitresses come here to enjoy a classic and cool atmosphere or perhaps to sink a trademark cocktail or two.

What To Do:

National Finals Rodeo

Forget basketball, baseball and even American football, the most prominent sporting event in this city is the finals of the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. The event is held over 10 days in December, just off the Strip at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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his sophisticated luxury hotel and residence is prominently located at the entrance of the City Centre, deep in the heart the Las Vegas Strip amidst a $40 million fine art program and world famous casinos.

A skybridge connects the magnificent urban resort directly to Crystals at City Centre, a worldclass retail, dining and entertainment district, while you are also less than half an hour’s drive away from the beautiful Lake Mead and remote desert scenery providing fascinating hikes. Awarded the esteemed AAA Five Diamond Award rating and recognised as a triple Forbes Five-Star winner for the Hotel, Spa and Fine-Dining, they offer spectacular accommodation throughout its 392 guest rooms and suites by renowned designer Adam D. Tihany, a deeply therapeutic and relaxing Spa in surroundings that reflect the exotic luxury of 1930s Shanghai, and a United States exclusive from the imaginative and creative French Chef Pierre Gagnaire, who has won three Michelin stars for his Paris restaurants. In addition to the technological advances, it’s the intangible pleasures that will delight, such as the gracious and sincere service that all of our guests have at their fingertips.

Contact Details

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Tour In

NEW YORK

ExpertIsaacBIO Komin, Owner, New York Fun Tours Isaac Komin is a native New Yorker born and raised in Brooklyn and currently living in lower Manhattan since 2000. Prior to staring the tour business, Isaac had a successful run as a real estate agent which enabled him to explore parts of town not normally seen by most locals and visitors in particular. There was a time when a lot of these areas were pretty unsavory and would have been avoided but that era is thankfully long gone. It was during this time that the idea for specialized private tours exploring the off the beaten path areas and first began to provide unique experiences in 2003.

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Washington D.C. may be the country capitol, but New York is where it’s happening. The home of the iconic Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central and Wall Street are among the first things you attribute to the United States, but have you ever checked out Brooklyn, Little Italy, Chinatown and Soho? Well now’s your chance.


Brooklyn Brooklyn has certainly left its mark on American culture. It is home to the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the second largest public art museum in the United States with more than 1.5 million objects in its permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum. It is also a fine example of the ethnic diversity of New York with its exclusive history, culture and gastronomy from Williamsburg & Greenpoint neighbourhoods right the way through to Sunset Park, featuring a plethora of Latin American food establishments for a picnic in the park. Had into DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), the premier arts district with a cluster of art galleries and non-profit making institutions, and be sure to stop and sample the scrumptious chocolate at the Jacques Torres chocolate factory.

“It’s been said that “A trip to Brooklyn is like a trip around the world”. It’s truly amazing how many people visit New York City and miss out on Brooklyn - don’t be one of them. Begin in the historic West Village, the past and present home to some of the city’s most influential residents, then venture across the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn.”

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Brooklyn Bridge Yes we are aware we have already featured Brooklyn, but the Brooklyn Bridge is so iconic that we felt it deserved an extra special mention. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. For the most picturesque view of this designated National Historic Landmark, head to Brooklyn Bridge Park and bask in the glory of the famous skyline.

Lisa & Diane Scalia

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Little Italy Little Italy refers to the urban neighbourhoods with a predominantly Italian heritage across New York in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. It is often portrayed as the land of gangsters and wise guys of the 1920s and 30s by New Yorker’s Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, but the only truth in those depictions are how family orientated and proud the descendants are. Formerly a large spread over New York but now it is shrinking at the rapid growth of the China Town districts. Come here to enjoy a coal brick oven pizza, a hearty glass of Chianti, a zeppole, a connoli a hand-rolled cigar much more, while you still can.

“Mulberry Street is all that is left of the old Italian neighbourhood in Manhattan. The street is lined with some two-dozen Italian restaurants and is also home to the 11 day street fair, Feast of San Gennaro, celebrating Italian culture and the Italian-American community each September since 1926.”

Isaac Komin

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Chinatown New York has 3 Chinatowns. One in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The main Chinatown in Manhattan is so interlinked with Little Italy that in 2010 they were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Although they are two diverse sections, their close proximity make it a fantastic combined day out. There is a museum of Chinese Americans, beautiful temples, Chinese ornaments, fountains, furniture, Chinese teas and Chinese herbs to enjoy. For one week each February, Manhattan celebrates the Chinese New Year where parades and festivals dominate the streets. With a Chinese population approximately 100,000 – this is the best experience you can muster outside of Asia itself.

“The Chinatown region is as authentic as they come. Visit the Eastern States Buddhist Temple on Mott Street and the Mahavanna temple on Canal Street as well as sampling the tasty fried dumplings, tapioca bubble tea and candied crabs in this colourful and vibrant district of New York.”

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SoHo SoHo is the luxurious neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan. Notable for its many artists’ lofts and art galleries, it also has a wide variety of stores and shops ranging from trendy boutiques to outlets of upscale national and international chain stores. This is without doubt the best place in New York for a spot of retail therapy or alternatively to pick up some gifts to take home with you. There are also many funky bars and modern restaurants to stop by for an afternoon lunch or evening drink.

“The outside ironwork fire escapes, cobbled streets and the unparalleled vibe in this region is absolutely sensational. Hop the subway to Canal Street and take a couple of hours to wander around the local and international chain stores, stop for a coffee, or photograph the many picturesque settings on offer to you here.”

Isaac Komin

Travel to Italy, China, United States and much more in a single day by visiting New York – a true melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures all rolled into one. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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A

t New York Fun Tours, their goal is to provide a unique and fun way to experience the individual character of Manhattan’s popular downtown neighbourhoods. Different and dinstinctive from large, impersonal group tours, New York Fun Tours® will take you on chauffeured journeys through New York City’s most historic and thriving neighbourhoods. Your chauffeured journey will start in the West Village then to SoHo, TriBeCa, South Street Seaport and The Financial District. Across the Brooklyn Bridge for an excellent view of the Manhattan Skyline. Then back across the Manhattan Bridge to China Town and Little Italy. Let New York Fun Tours take you on a wonderful journey through Lower Manhattan’s most fascinating areas!

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Contact Details

W: www.newyorkfuntours.com T: +1 212 924 9712 E: Isaac@newyorkfuntours.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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n a city where confidence counts, The Peninsula New York is very sure of its identity as a 5th Avenue landmark renowned for comfort and class. Intimate yet worldly, sophisticated yet cosy, this property is as welcoming to the business elite who come daily for breakfast as to its cocktail hour clientele. Overlooking 5th Avenue down to Central Park, the Peninsula New York marries Hong Kong service with Midtown style. Each room provides guests with a double-glazed cocoon of peace and quiet in probably the most comfortable beds they’ll ever experience. If that doesn’t quite relax you enough, then why not visit rooftop oasis that is The Peninsula Spa providing an ideal retreat from the demands of the city. Trendy bars and restaurants come and go, but the appeal of the exclusive outlets of The Peninsula New York endures and increases over the decades. Fives Restaurant is busy with business people for breakfast and lunch. Devoted Champagne brunch lovers make their reservations early for this Sunday institution, while the hum of Peninsula Afternoon Tea conversation fills the dignified Gotham Lounge every day. Situated in the heart of New York City’s most prestigious shopping, cultural and business neighbourhood, within close reach from some of New York’s iconic landmarks like MoMA, Central Park and the Rockefeller Center – whatever the reason for your visit you will never be far away from the action.

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Contact Details

W: www.peninsula.com T: +1 212 956 2888 E: mailto:pny@peninsula.com


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Hip Hop Culture

NEW YORK

Expert BIO

Debra Harris, CEO & Founder, Hush Hip Hop Tours A New York City licensed sightseeing tour guide who is passionate for the roots of Hip Hop Culture developed a concept to include the talented individuals that gave birth to this music while using the City as the back drop making Hush Tours the extraordinary concept it is today. The tour teaches the history of hip-hop through live narration by founding fathers over 30 + years. The interactive multi-media presentation on luxury bus rides through the critical destinations of the world of hip hop is so electric that only someone with heart and absolute love for what she does could do.

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Just as Nashville sells itself as the home of country music, New York is the undisputed king of Hip-Hop. Going back years before Rum DMC, The Beastie Boys and Dr Dre obliterated the charts you had the likes of Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, and the Sugar Hill Gang planting the roots of a hip-hop culture that goes above and beyond the music that it produced.

Rucker Park Without Rucker Park the National Basketball Association (NBA) wouldn’t be what it is today. The Rucker Tournament started in 1950 and featured slam dunks, crossover dribbles, and bravado that excited the crowds. The major league has since adopted this style of play, and also recognises the Rucker as the old hunting ground for a number of Professional NBA stars. Come here during the summer to catch the annual tournament as street ball legends of past and present showcase their skills.


“Catch some of the top street ball legends of past and present as they show their skills during the summer tournaments. Professional NBA Star gear up and play against and alongside some of the most entertaining players of all time during these family friendly basketball games. “

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Bronx Walk of Fame

Bronx Week has been an institution in the borough since 1971 celebrating success in the region. The event includes film festival screenings, arts and culture events, and an annual black tie gala Bronx Ball, but it is the Bronx Week Parade and the induction of stars into the Bronx Walk of Fame that remain the main attraction. Former Walk of Fame inductees include boxer Jake LaMotta, singer Luther Vandross, the original ‘Zorro’ Guy Williams and hip hop icon Grandmaster Flash. Whether you visit during Bronx Week or not doesn’t really matter as each inductee receive a personalised street sign that you will be able to visit, and on a Hip Hop tour with Grandmaster Caz, you can even get a photo of the icon posing by his sign.

“There are so many Bronx success stories. Every year Scalia aLisa group&ofDiane individuals are inducted and receive a personalised Street Sign. The festivities are kicked off during Bronx Week including a Black Tie Dinner where you can rub elbows with the crème of the crop.“

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1520 Sedgwick Avenue The New York Times has identified 1520 Sedgwick Avenue as the starting point for Hip Hop and rap music worldwide. On 13 August 1973 a house party that would launch a global sound and turn 16year old DJ Kool Herc into a cult figure across the Bronx saw revellers attend the talk of the town for just 25 cents for the ladies and 50 cents for the ‘fellas’. The event was to become the first of many parties in the basement community room that started with the advent of beat match DJing, starred Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc, and extended the breaks of funk records, a major new musical genre that sought to isolate the percussion breaks of hit funk, disco and soul songs.

“Affectionately referred to as “The Birthplace of Hip Hop”, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue is the location where the first documented hip hop party took place, a great way to pay homage to the gateway of hip hop culture. Grab your camera and capture a memory. “ Debra Harris Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Harlem World

In 1978, one of the most influential early hip-hop clubs opened on the corner of 116th Street and Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard. A Conway discount store now stands on the once famous grounds of Harlem World but that doesn’t stop revellers flocking to the spot where hip-hop battles between Caz, JDL and the rest of The Cold Crush Brothers battled The Fantastic 5 in 1981.

Graffiti Hall of Fame at 106th Street and Park Avenue Established in 1980, the Graffiti Hall of Fame helped legitimise graffiti art as an art form. The ‘hall’ is the walls surrounding the playground of Jackie Robinson Educational Complex and at one time or another it has been the canvas of some of the greatest graffiti artists of all time including Seen, Revolt, Beam and Doze.

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The best time to visit for a Hip Hop tour of New York City would be during the summer when you can truly immerse yourself in the culture and history of the region. Roll out the red carpet and celebrate Bronx Week from 10 – 15 May, or witness some basketball magic in the Rucker Park Tournament between June and August. This is a must for hip-hop fans, old and new.

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H

usH Tours is the leading innovator in cultural sightseeing. Based in New York City for over a decade, HusH Tours has provided guests with a distinct insight to the world of Hip-Hop and Graffiti, both of which have had a major impact on New York.

HusH Tours is the leader in this form of niche-exploration because their tours are guided by the pioneers who created and moulded the underground world themselves. These legends include Grandmaster Caz and JDL of the Cold Crush Bros, Rahiem and Mele Mel of the Furious Five, DJ Red Alert, and a slew of others. Fans from all over the globe appreciate the heart and soul of this cultural tour. Our journey travels through the various boroughs off the beaten path featuring a wide array of landmarks, sights and attractions dating back to the roots through present day history. Our celebrity guides take you through their old stomping grounds on a luxury motor coach while sharing personal stories and anecdotes as only a pre-old-school rhyme master could. Stops Include: Rucker Park, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Marcy Houses, Queens Bridge, Hollis Queens, Harlem World, The Boogie Down Bronx, Numerous Murals, Rock Steady Park, Bronx Walk of Fame

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Contact Details

W: www.hushtours.com T: +1 212 714 3527 E: info@hushtours.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Experience

HARLEM

Expert BIO Carolyn D. Johnson, President, Welcome to Harlem Carolyn D. Johnson is the President of Welcome to Harlem, a business that operates a Visitors Center in Harlem and provides authentic walking and bus tours of the district. Ms. Johnson is a Harlem born and bred publisher and is a graduate of the City University of New York. Welcome to Harlem is a member of NYC and Company, New York’s official tourism agency, and Carolyn is a New York City licensed tour guide. In 2005, Ms. Johnson created the website www. welcometoharlem.com, a dynamic online community for Harlem residents and visitors.

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No longer an epitome of a Spike Lee film. Harlem has shaken off the ‘ghetto’ image that was synonymous with the neighbourhood from the Great Depression through to the 1990s. A major development project has seen the region flourish to the point that even former president’s want to be here, with Bill Clinton taking office space on 125th Street in 2002.


Hear Harlem Louis Armstrong. Nina Simone. Billie Holiday. Ben E. King. One thing all these music greats have in common is they all lived in Harlem at one point. What better way to end a Sunday evening than taking a glimpse at the historical churches and famous night clubs of the past, before taking in the soulful sounds of the Jazz Concerts Series, a unique opportunity for you to enjoy a private jazz show in a private brownstone, complete with hors d’oeuvre, dessert and wine. In the quest to find the next jazz and gospel legend, there is no shortage of quality music here. Stop by any church on Sunday to hear the beautiful voices of Harlem’s choirs singing their praise to God.

“Harlem is home to many off-the-beaten path places that blow the doors off the hinges. Check out a performance by the Craig Harris Ensemble, or stop by the American Legion Post #398, Marjorie Elliot Jazz Parlor to experience a one-of-a-kind jam jazz session. “

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Taste Harlem Once known only for its soul food and African specialties, Harlem now offers a dazzling array of restaurants that will tantalize even the most discerning palates. The large black and Caribbean community still remain, but they are now joined by an increasing Latin and white population creating an interesting melting pot of cultures and flavours. You will find everything from elegant dining to finger licking street food ranging from African, Caribbean, Italian, Latin, Mediterranean, Southern and a number of bakeries. In a single weekend you can travel the world gastronomically.

“Food glorious food! We have it all. High end places like the Red Rooster, Lido, Chez Lucienne, Creole Restaurant and Supper Club through to the smaller neighbourhoods local hot spots like Tropical Lisa & Dianehidden Scalia Grill, Famous Fish and Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace. All of these restaurants will take your taste buds on a mouth watering ride.”

Carolyn D. Johnson

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Convent Avenue Most film lovers will recognise Convent Avenue as the setting of Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums starring Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Stiller. Unfortunately it is a private residence, but you can still get your picture taken outside it. Meanwhile, down the road you will also find the home of one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton which is a listed National Monument. There are over 400 houses of worship in the Harlem community with religious denominations consisting of Baptist, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslims, Episcopalian, Methodist and a variety of others. Some of the best churches to visit reside on Convent Avenue.

“If you are eager to discover breathtaking 19th and 20th century architecture, then a visit to Convent Avenue is a must. Stroll along the Avenue and treat yourself to a hidden New York City gem - open air galleries of brownstones, churches, a national monument, City College Campus and Harlem Stage. You will not be disappointed.”

Carolyn D. Johnson

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The Wonderful Parks of Harlem In the middle of a built up city you would be surprised by the amount of greenery dotted around in the numerable parks. Most of the parks have incredible walking and running tracks to enjoy, and make perfect locations to lounge around for an afternoon picnic during the summer. If you are interested in ice/ roller skating (winter/summer) then visit Riverbank State Park and remember to pack your goggles and trunks to make the most of the indoor and outdoor pools complete with a sprinkler system. For basketball go to Rucker Park, baseball is Jackie Robinson Park, or mountain biking head to West Harlem Piers Park. Whatever tickles your fancy, make sure you look into each park to get the best personal experience relevant to you.

“Harlem has nine wonderful parks but my favorite park is Marcus Garvey. Tucked away right off 125th Street sits this 20-acre park which holds the Richard Rogers state-of-the-art Amphitheater, the last fire watch tower standing in New York City, and a wonderful display of Manhattan schist, an extremely strong and durable rock.”

Carolyn D. Johnson

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Latin Harlem Considered a stronghold of Latino pride, Harlem has a budding Spanish community evolving from an immigrant enclave to a multi-cultural treasure trove of sights, tastes and sounds. Whether music, art or literature are your vices – the heartbeat of ‘Nuyorican’ soul can be found here. It is the birthplace of Latin’s most revered musicians such as Tito Puente, Ray Barretto and international composer Rafael Hernandez through to the great Machito. Popular feminist poet Julia De Burgos lived here; while a current crop of talented youngblood graffiti artists are well worth gawping over. Make sure you visit the El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino visual arts cultural institution where you will find a dynamic artistic, cultural and community gathering place celebrating the ‘Nuyorican’ folk.

While Harlem has changed significantly over the years it has not forgotten its heritage. Look to the future, enjoy the present and celebrate the past in one of the most interesting and diverse borough’s in the whole of New York. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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elcome to Harlem is in the business of providing people, tourists and native New Yorkers alike, who are interested in discovering the hidden beauty of one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in the world, with walking tours chock full of interesting facts

and sights.

They are dedicated to sharing an experience of Harlem in a totally different way. Their tours are lead by locals who love where they live and want to share its magic, history and beauty with the world. Most people that visit Harlem really don’t know what to expect and by the time they leave they are already planning their next visit. Harlem has some much to offer that one visit is just not enough. Welcome to Harlem is also doing its part to support the local community and its varied businesses. All of their tours include a delicious meal at one of Harlem’s many local restaurants. They take great pleasure in showcasing the local talent that makes Harlem hum and sing on the greatest stage in the world, New York City. Just one visit and they promise that you will be hooked too!

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Contact Details

W: www.welcometoharlem.com T: +1 212 6627779 E: info@welcometoharlem.com

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N

YSee Tours are one of the only New York City touring companies to provide guests with a combination of walking/ riding tour. Ride in comfort before diving deep into the city where you will experience the genuine excitement and breadth of the ‘Big Apple’.

While many big touring companies have mechanised their tours, NYSee Tours firmly believe in the value of a living, breathing guide; someone who knows his or her history, but brings personal anecdotes, passion and humour to the table. Simply put, they don’t hand you a pair of headphones when you hand them your ticket. Excursions are animated and alive, giving you a real picture of the real city. Choose between the ‘Get Acquainted Tour’ where you will explore enchanting Central Park, the mansions of the Gilded Age along Fifth Avenue, and the remarkable Grand Central Station – or alternatively take the ‘Two Borough Tour’ from Midtown Manhattan, to the 9/11 Memorial through Lower Manhattan, the Financial District and then on to one of the most picturesque spots in Gotham, Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO, a neighbourhood of beautiful homes and one of New York’s premier art districts. Each excursion lasts approximately five hours, and run seven days a week. Please call to confirm your booking in advance in order to guarantee success..

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NYSee tours has seen rave reviews by the many customers they have had over the years. Here are a selection of quotes they have received from previous happy customers:

“I’m so happy I read the reviews online before I booked one of those hop-on-hop-off tours. We saw everything in 5 hours and it was totally worth the money. Our guide was awesome... I would totally recommend this tour to anyone. It was personal, informative and fun at the same time. Just the right amount of walking. Having a guide from New York made a big difference. If you want to do a bus tour, this is the tour for you!” ~ “The guide Onel was very friendly and informative. The tour allowed efficiency in our trip to New York, because it took us to the important attractions.” ~ “My mother and I signed up for this tour on our first trip to New York as a way to get acquainted with the city. The tour included many of the sights we wished to see and the tour guide, Onel, was fabulous… The tour was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, and the combination of riding on the bus and walking was a great way to see the city.

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Contact Details

W: www.nyseetours.com T: +1 212 957 5009 E: NYSeeTours@gmail.com Luxury Travel Guide - Asia & Australasia

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Complete Luxury

MIAMI

Expert BIO

Charles Sutton, CEO, Private Luxury Concierge

Charles Sutton is the CEO at Private Luxury Concierge. Like the rest of the team, he is a young enthusiast from a college background. Together they bring diverse experience to Miami making the city their new playground. With over 10 years of luxury and planning experience they have become one of Miami’s leaders in the concierge industry.

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Home to rich playboys and women groomed to perfect aire’s playground is the place to be. Not only is Miami th a string of massive Hollywood films and music videos, bu residence of the majority of the cast-lists too. Now it is y live the lifestyle of the rich and the famous.


tion, this millionhe location for ut it is also the your chance to

Luxury Cruise With 84 miles of Atlantic coastline, Miami offers some of the best cruises known to man. Cruise through the beautiful blue waters of Biscayne Bay, Florida Keys, Miami Beach and South Florida on board a trip or charter catered to your every need. Party it up with a DJ on deck, relax under the hot Florida sun, cruise into the sunset, or enjoy a scenic view of Miami’s skyline and Millionaire’s Row – your every wish can come true. Either book up a private charter where you can enjoy the intimate privacy or alternatively keep an eye out for the numerous boat parties which generally leave from South Beach throughout the summer.

“Host your next private party, corporate event, or vacation on a luxurious private yacht. Many custom amenities are on-board such as digital climate control, state of the art electronic equipment, and much more to assure you receive a great experience.”

Charles Sutton

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Fine Dining Whether you are looking to dine in the most exclusive fully booked restaurant or discover the hidden jaunts, each one of the many fine offerings provide different quirks. Take Il Gabbiano for example, not only does it have a first-class Italian menu and an exclusive wine list but it also provides a romantic setting via the outdoor terrace where diners can gaze at the beautiful Biscayne Bay. For 45 years now, celebrities have flocked to The Forge for its delectable cuisine and gorgeous ambiance. While Zuma is fast becoming the ‘in’ place to be for its fabulous views of the Miami River and modern izakaya-inspired Japanese fare. Miami is well known for ethnic diversity and the dining choices across this city reflect that multiculturalism. From Lisaand & Diane Scalia fine steaks outstanding sushi to authentic Cuban specialties, you’ll find it all.

“Whatever the purpose, when it comes to fine dining we know the place to be. Some of the hottest destinations will be fully booked weeks in advance, so let us take care of your reservations before delivering you there in style.”

Charles Sutton

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Luxury Homes If you are looking for something a bit different to the norm, then book yourself into a luxury home rather than a hotel. Enjoy the privacy of having an entire Downtown Miami condo all to yourself or luxuriate in your private pool with fabulous waterfront views in your very own Miami beach house. Better still, if you are thinking about making Miami the destination of your holiday home, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking your housing estate. Penthouses, condos, homes and pre-construction land are plentiful with prime destinations including South Beach, Golden Gate Estates, Coconut Grove and Fort Lauderdale, to name a few.

“We can provide the most magnificent luxury homes in all of South Florida. Our pristine homes offer every amenity - Master Bedroom Suites with Lofts Overlooking the Waters, Walk-In Cedar Closets, Master Bathrooms with Steam Showers, Jacuzzi Tubs, Twin Marble Sinks and Much More!�

Charles Sutton

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Exotic Cars As you stroll through the shops in Lincoln Road there is no need to be envious of the countless celebrities and well-off residents of Miami that fill the roads with their limousines and sports cars because now you can join them. Ever wanted to arrive to a club in a bright red Ferrari? Go out to dinner in a jet black Rolls Royce? Pick the car of your dreams and either take it out for a spin or hire a private professional chauffer to do the driving for you. Be it your guests, or bystanders – this service will never fail to impress.

“As the recent economic downturn has made affording an exotic car even more of a challenge, more and more motor enthusiasts are turning to exotic car rental. This increasingly popular option gives exotic car lovers a chance to drive the cars of their dreams.”

Charles Sutton

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Helicopter Tour Get acquainted with the picturesque sights across Miami with an exciting and memorable private Helicopter tour of the best that South Florida has to offer. Get a birds eye view of one of the largest stands of pine rockland in the world and most biologically diverse areas in all of South Florida at the Everglades National Park as well as gawping at the Florida Keys coral archipelago off the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula. Other beautiful attractions worth looking over include Downtown Miami, South Beach, Coconut Grove and Vizcaya. This tropical paradise has everything you need from sandy beaches, incredible nightlife and a splendid collection of sightseeing. A trip to lavish and luxury Miami will certainly provide the A-lister experience.

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P

rivate Luxury Concierge specialise in providing luxury and concierge service in South Florida and New York. With a combined experience in Property Management, Yacht Management, Event Services, Ground Transportation and more, your dream holiday is just one call away. Private Luxury Concierge will meet or exceed your expectations in all areas related to personal concierge services. Take advantage of their ‘Customer Care’ motto; where they always put the needs of the clients first. Whether you are an individual, a small business, or a large corporation they can handle your needs, whatever they may be. Private Luxury Concierge are professional, provide high levels of luxury and thrive on an excellent service. They are on-call to cater to your every need.

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Private Luxury Concierge offers one of the best catering services available to the South Florida area. Through assessing your likes and dislikes they cater specifically to your wishes. It does not matter how big or small the occasion or venue. They can handle it! Let Private Luxury Concierge take the hassle out of a night out, taking care of everything and assuring that you will have “red carpet” VIP treatment from the moment you walk out of your door with Limo/Car Service, Dinner Reservation, and VIP tables at clubs. Let their staff put their experience and entertainment knowledge to work for you, whether it’s few hours or a few days ahead of your night out.

Contact Details

W: www.privateluxuryconcierge.com T:

+1 201 951 8809

E:

info@privateluxuryconcierge.com

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Sight-Seeing

ATLANTA

Expert BIO Robyn Elliott, Owner, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta Robyn grew up in Atlanta and has always had a bike hanging or parked somewhere in her home. She has worn many hats in her career, but her love of the bicycle and her hometown of Atlanta has always been a constant. In 2007, her inspection career came to a halt as the new construction industry in Atlanta drew to a close. As she was approaching her 50th birthday, she decided that it was hi-time to pursue a passion and formally create a business that she had been doing every time a friend would visit the city. Although Bicycle Tours of Atlanta has only been in operation since 2008, Robyn has been taking friends and family out on bikes and sharing her love of the city for as long as she can remember.

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Atlanta has a deep political and historic importance in the development of the United States. It is the birthplace of Martin Luther King and the American Civil Rights Movement, as well as the location of a significant battle during the American Civil War. Take a trip through history and enjoy all of the elegant beauty this wonderful State has to offer along the way.


Oakland Cemetery Established in 1850, Oakland Cemetery - which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - has a very rich history. It is the final resting place for many of Georgia’s most famous legends such as Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell, golfing great Bobby Jones, and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. However, this landmark is as much for the living as it is for the deceased. The picturesque setting of the “Oakland Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and sculpture and botanical gardens amongst the magnificent oak, magnolia and dogwood trees provide the photographed places in the city of Atlanta. This elegantly perfect location for a picnic lunch, while the impressive designed property is not only a final resting place - it is also art and architecture ranging from Greek Revival, Neo- a public park that host seasonal and music festivals, artists classical and Egyptian across the 48 acres of land and architectural tours, weddings and special events.” make a wonderful evening stroll.

Robyn Elliott

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Little Five Points You will find all sorts of wacky and wonderful items at the alternative culture and shopping phenomena known as Little Five Points. Located 3 miles east of Downtown Atlanta is the melting pot of sub-cultures and Bohemian centre of Southern United States. Everyone from neighbourhood folk, musicians, bikers and trendsetters are joined by the occasional celebrity such as Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, Alice Cooper and LuLu here. Scour through an endless supply of unique shops ranging from independent bookstores, new-age shops and record stores; eat at one of many great restaurants; and enjoy its bustling music and bar scene.

“Little Five Points is a shopping Mecca for body piercing tattooScalia parlours and offers some of the Lisa &and Diane most interesting people watching in Atlanta. With great restaurants, amazing vintage clothing stores, many “hole in the wall” bars, this neighbourhood is a must-see when visiting Atlanta.”

Robyn Elliott

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Cabbagetown Cabbagetown district has changed significantly since the days of the Southern Cotton Industry at the turn of the century, but its aesthetical charm has remained the same. The old quaint Shotgun Houses still dominate the town and while the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill from the 1800s has been converted into condos, the old Neo-Romanesque style design exists today. To really appreciate everything that Cabbagetown has to offer, try to visit during the annual Chomp and Stomp festival in November. Taking place in Cabbagetown Park you will find a good-old fashioned chilli cook-off, and the best of the banjo and fiddle as the whole community comes together to celebrate its past as a little bit of country in the big city.

“Cabbagetown is home to unique ‘general store’, cafes and restaurants, as well as an eclectic array of residents, including young professionals, die-hard hippies, artists and musicians looking for a true community feel just a mile from the city. “

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Inman Park Inman Park was Atlanta’s first ‘planned community’. It was home to many of the “movers and shakers” of the Reconstruction and contains Atlanta’s best collection of residential architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries including Queen Anne, high-style Italianate and Romanesque mansion as well as smaller bungalows, shotguns and foursquares. It is still very much a community today, and if you visit towards the end of April you will get to enjoy the music, parade and dance of Inman Park’s annual festival, along with Atlanta’s largest Street Market offering more than 250 booths of antiques and handcrafted goods.

“Inman Park is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Atlanta with its tree lined streets shading the beautiful Victorian and Bungalow houses. Along with the beautiful scenery guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the Civil War and its impact on this land.” Robyn Elliott

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Sweet Auburn and the National King Historic Site Sweet Auburn is probably the most historic African-American district across the whole of the United States. It is the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the childhood home and final resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Martin Luther King, Jr National Historic Site consists of several important buildings surrounding King’s boyhood home, offering one of the most powerful and emotive experiences you can have while in Atlanta. Tour the Ebenezer Baptist Church where King and his father pastored, visit the museum chronicling the American Civil Rights Movement, and pay your respects at the gravesite of a national hero. Other sites here include Freedom Hall, the “I Have a Dream” International World Peace Rose Garden, a memorial tribute to Mohandas Gandhi, and an International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

“There is so much to see and learn at this National Park just a few blocks from downtown Atlanta. Guests can easily spend 2 hours learning about Dr. King’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, touring Ebenezer Baptist Church, walking through his childhood neighbourhood and touring his home.”

Robyn Elliott

For those of you who are looking to visit Atlanta for its political and historic importance then the best time for you to visit would undoubtedly be Martin Luther King, Jr. day in January where remembrance takes place and speakers have included Presidents of the United States, national and local politicians, and civil rights leaders. If you want to avoid the crowds that are generated by the major days in the Civil Rights movement, and want to savour the best of the rest that Atlanta has to offer, then try visiting on Halloween where special events take place in both Oakland Cemetery and Little Five Points. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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here’s no better way to experience this great city than on two wheels! Guests will be introduced to many of the signature and historic sites of the city, beautiful in town neighbourhoods built during Reconstruction and many hidden jewels off the beaten path. Since the bike tours roll AWAY from the typical tourists sites, visitors see why this great southern city is such a desirable place to call home. On a Bicycles Tour of Atlanta tour, you might very well “Fall in Love with Atlanta”!

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Contact Details

W: www.biketoursatl.com T: +1 404 273 2558 E: info@biketoursatl.com

Photo contributions by Doug Fallon, Arthur Ratliff, Matt Daniel & Monica Arguelles Zarebski. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Seattle

N

icknamed the Emerald City thanks to its lush evergreen forests, it is perhaps no surprise that Seattle has an abundance of natural beauty. Mix this with all the advantages of a big city and you have yourself the ideal location for your next vacation.

observation tower for its spectacular panorama of the Downtown Seattle skyline as well as the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains and islands. The Space Needle features an observation deck at 520 feet, along with a gift shop and rotating SkyCity restaurant.

Downtown

Mountain Views

Seattle’s vibrant Downtown district is the place to be. It is home to fabulous restaurants, active nightlife, world-class shopping and some of the most stunning architecture in the city. Most of Seattle’s famous icons can also be found here. Among the highlights are the Pike Place Market for its famous fish market and original Starbucks Coffee shop, the Seattle Waterfront with its Marina, Pier and Aquarium, and the Experience Music Project – a rock & roll museum with a special exhibit chronicling the life and music of rock star, Jimi Hendrix.

Cupped between the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the west and the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range to the east – Seattle is blessed with a fabulous backdrop. Chuck in the 14,411 feet tall Mount Rainier along with the clear waters of Elliott Bay and suddenly it becomes picture-perfect. Once you have admired the scene from afar, get acquainted with these natural wonders up close. Explore the breathtaking mountain vistas with Olympic National Parks interesting blend of fauna and flora. For scenic drives, hikes and mountain climbs visit the Mount Rainier National Park. Or if skiing is more your thing, take a day trip up to the Cascade Mountains or even stay overnight in a lodge.

The Space Needle The Space Needle is more famous than all of the other Downtown landmarks combined. While it may look like a UFO on stilts, many of Seattle’s visitors come to this iconic

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Ballard Locks The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, often nicknamed Ballard


Locks, was built in 1911 to provide a link for boats between the salt-water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal – connecting eastward to Lake Union and Lake Washington. Tourists and locals alike enjoy watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts passing through, as the canal locks’ water levels are adjusted to allow their safe passage. The main highlight is the salmon ladder with a glass panelled viewing gallery below the water line allowing visitors to witness the salmon migration. Different species enable this spectacle to be enjoyed year-round. Seattle may be nicknamed the Emerald City, but it is an absolute diamond to visit. A weekend break will provide you with more than enough time to get a taste of what this city has to offer, but will also leave you with plenty to come back for.

Where To Stay:

W Seattle

The W Hotel is situated in the vibrant heart of Downtown Seattle and much like its location the hotel is a welcoming beacon for the urban, contemporary and savvy visitor. Smart style meets cool comfort in each of their 415 guest rooms and 9 suites. This Starwood Hotel and Resort will cater for your every need.

What To Do

Capitol Hill Block Party

With over 100 bands and DJs this annual weekend festival never disappoints. The amazing music is coupled with a chance to enjoy several outdoor art installations, craft booths, food trucks and a beer garden in one of Seattle’s hippest neighbourhoods. This year’s line-up includes Major Lazer, Fitz and the Tantrums and Neko Case.

Where To Eat: Mistral Kitchen

Whether you want to pop in for a casual lunch in the Dining Room or splash out in the more elegant Chefs Table, this contemporary eatery offers a destination for all occasions. Showcasing modern cooking techniques and unique dishes, highlights include flavours such as the seared scallop in chestnut puree and beef short ribs cooked en sous vide.

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Remarkable

NEW ORLEANS

Expert BIO Robert Florence, Owner, Historic New Orleans Tours Robert Florence is the author of two books on New Orleans cemeteries, curator of museum exhibits, and founder of a preservation group. He continues to document the fascinating culture of South Louisiana and maintains his personal connection to the material through research on his family’s history in the region.

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Although New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this culturally rich city in the southern State of Louisiana still has so much to offer. The backdrop to numerous films, TV series, songs and novels is back in boom.


Hurricane Katrina The tale of Hurricane Katrina is horrific and sad but overall heroic and inspirational. Learn about a community that banded together through adversity to bounce back and create a thriving city which has in some parts exceeded its former glory. Visit the breached levees which caused the severe levels of flooding along with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome which was used as a “shelter of last resort” by evacuees. For a factual glimpse take a detour to The Presbytere in the French Quarter where the 6,700-square-foot interactive exhibition ‘Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond’ combines contemporary accounts, historical context and scientific information to show Katrina’s impact on the city and the region.

“See areas devastated by the breached levees, some of which are rebounding beautifully. Hear the horrifying and heroic tales of Katrina survivors, concluding with New Orleans’ positive, strong-spirited recovery, and visit sites including the Fats Domino’s house; Brad Pitt’s Make-It-Right Foundation homes and Global Green Initiative; and the New Orleans Musicians Village.”

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St. Charles Avenue Streetcar New Orleans streetcars were immortalised by Tennessee Williams in his Pulitzer Prize winning play A Streetcar Named Desire. The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar is the oldest surviving street rail line in the world and is still one of the most informative and pleasant ways to see the American Sector of New Orleans. The iconic St. Charles Avenue uses vintage green streetcars built in the 1920s with most tours starting at Carondelet and Canal streets before taking a seven and a half mile journey through Uptown New Orleans and passing along the picturesque Garden District.

Garden District Lisa &District Diane The Garden is mostScalia famous for its impressive collection of 19th century southern mansions and big spacious gardens from a time when cotton and sugar industries were in boom. A blend of incredible architecture and a serene peacefulness of the place offer an embracing contrast to what can be found in the French Quarter. Highlights include the homes of Annie Rice, Trent Reznor, Nicholas Cage, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman and the film site of Brad Pitt’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 174

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“This is me with music legend Fats Domino at a funeral repast which we hosted for our friend Billy Diamond. Simply put, Fats Domino changed the world and made it a better place.�

Robert Florence

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New Orleans Music Tour The home town of Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino is revered in the echelons of musical history. See the legendary J&M Studios which created the “New Orleans Sound” with its past visitors including Little Richard, Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis and check out the remains of Storyville (including Quinn Early’s Saloon where “Pretty Baby” was written) whose Lisa & Diane Scalia parlours presented the likes of King Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton and many more during the time when jazz was born. However, don’t just live in the past, head down to Frenchman Street and dance away in one of the many thriving jazz bars including the popular Snug Harbor, the wonderful R Bar and the Royal Street Inn and the fantastically named music club Ray’s Boom Boom Room.

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“Explore the world’s richest musical city, starting with a visit to the Treme section’s Backstreet Cultural Museum to learn about the second line and Marid Gras Indian traditions. Visit the site of the Old French Opera House and stroll through the Tango Belt and May Bailey’s before entering the historic St. Louis Cemetery #1 to see the New Orleans Musicians Tomb, the use of which was donated by the Barbarin family and developed by Tour New Orleans cemetery project.“

Robert Florence


Mardi Gras Mardi Gras is a time for celebration, and the New Orleans carnival rivals that of the Brazilian Carnival and Chinese New Year as one of the greatest free shows on Earth. Attracting thousands of visitors for this momentous annual occasion concentrated around the period of Fat Tuesday, 2013 is the perfect year to experience Mardi Gras as the city is also hosting the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII. Mardi Gras festivities will pause for nine days during the Carnival season, and then resume after the sporting event giving you the perfect opportunity to embrace both of these incredible spectacles.

“Visit the magnificent Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Gallery and learn about a tradition filled with splendour and mystery. Come over during Mardi Gras and you can see the African-American Carnival revellers who dress up in magnificent suits in tribute to Native Americans who sheltered runaway slaves.”

Robert Florence

You will see that New Orleans is not all about Mardi Gras beads and all that’s jazz, although they thoroughly enjoy both. Seven years on from the Katrina disaster, New Orleans is the proverbial phoenix that his risen from the flames. Visit now to see a city reborn. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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H

istoric New Orleans Tours is Louisiana’s premiere cultural host. Staffed by historians, preservationists, documentarians, and genealogists, Historic New Orleans Tours has a unique ability to guide visitors and locals alike through this captivating and complex region. Daily tours are offered of the City, French Quarter, Cemeteries, Garden District, Voodoo, Plantations, Swamps, Hurricane Katrina and Haunted sites.

“New Orleans isn’t like other cities.”

- Tennessee Williams (from A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE)

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Contact Details

W: www.TourNewOrleans.com T: +1 504 947 2120 E: Tour@TourNewOrleans.com

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ALASKA

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ore than just a winter wonderland, Alaska is teeming with opportunities for unique experiences, day excursions and outdoor adventure.

Go Fishing Alaska offers some of the most spectacular fly-fishing, saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing and even ice fishing in the world. With over 3 million lakes, 3,000 rivers and countless fishfilled streams, any avid angler from the seasoned pro to the absolute novice will see that the challenge isn’t catching fish, but deciding what kind to catch and where. If the trophy catch is what you’re after, try the Waterfall Resort located in Alaska’s Inside Passage on the scenic Prince of Wales Island. Here you will be able to get more than your fill of Alaskan King Salmon. A day trip and dinner all rolled into one.

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Cruise the Glaciers With an estimated 100,000 glaciers across the State, this is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a journey to Alaska. Take a cruise through the Gulf of Alaska to enjoy the allure of the pristine Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord. Marvel as the snow falls and melts at the top of the mountains creating a river of ice flowing downward to the sea. From the electric blue affiliated with the glaciers to the creaking sounds associated with calving – the visual beauty of this spectacle will be etched in the back of your mind for many years to come.

Go Hiking While Alaska may evoke images of ice caps and snow, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy its beautiful greenery. It is home to the ‘crown jewel’ of the United States national forest system. Spanning 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is roughly the size of West Virginia and contains one of the rarest ecosystems on Earth.


Hike through the ancient rain forest and discover its eclectic collection of wildlife ranging from five species of salmon, humpback whales, grizzly and black bears, wolves, black tail deer, and magnificent birds such as the bald eagle, northern goshawk and marbled murrelet. From accessible nature paths to mountain hikes, an amazing trail system provides routes for all abilities. Alaska will always be synonymous with its ample glaciers and copious snow fall, and rightly so. You will find plenty of options to experience the Alaska you’ve always dreamed about, while at the same time visiting those offthe-cuff spots that will exceed all expectations.

Where To Stay:

The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center offers a central downtown location and sets the standard for lodging elegance, Alaska style and service in the Golden Heart City. The hotel has a grand entry that includes an atrium and tasteful Alaskan art and decor.

What To Do

26 Glaciers Cruise

Spend the day getting up close and personal with some of Alaska’s gigantic tidewater glaciers and vibrant marine wildlife. The 26 Glacier Cruise operates daily between May and September and takes you through the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound aboard the largest, fastest and most luxurious catamaran in Alaska – the Klondike Express.

Where To Eat: Glacier Brewhouse

From homemade seasonal beers to locally sourced foods, the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage Downtown is the ideal place to go for fine dining. Serving mostly fresh seafood and meats, Alaskan dishes are given an intriguing twist with the likes of bourbon barbecue salmon or the ginger-pepper seared Alaskan cod.

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CALIFORNIA

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alifornia is synonymous with glorious beaches, warmth and beautiful palm trees that stand out alongside the serene looking roads. But there is so much more to California, especially in its key cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Together they form the backbone of one of the most diverse states in the world, let alone the United States.

Los Angeles If a family is to visit California, Los Angeles is undoubtedly the city that rolls off of many tongues as the first to visit. Adorned with encompassing heat, Los Angeles is a city that caters to an array of tourists.

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Places to Stay Los Angeles is awash with affluence and the allure of some of the higher class hotels that are likely to appeal to tourists with a few bucks to spend. The Beverly Hilton is the crème dele crème of luxury hotels in Los Angeles and a preference for many clienteles. It has managed to create a niche that intersperses the excitement and entertainment of Hollywood with the privacy many affluent people may seek in such a hotspot. Of course there are five-star hotels that will rival the Hilton, for instance the Beverly Wilshire, a subsidiary of the worldwide renowned Four Seasons, as well as L’Ermitage. Whilst the former promotes elegance and warmth, something perhaps favoured by more senior citizens, the latter is far more spacious and brash, certainly preferred by bachelors and bachelorettes looking to enjoy a night on the town.

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Tourist Hotspots For those parents looking to endow their children with an enthralling experience at amusement parks, one should look no further than Disneyland. A day with Mickey Mouse is sure to make time fly by, not to mention the scintillating rides that will keep the smiles on children lasting throughout the entire day. For the wives that will be chomping at the bit to go shopping, they won’t be able to shun the tempting overtures of Beverly Centre Shopping Mall. For the movie jocks there’s of course Hollywood and it has to be a rite for every person in Los Angeles to at least visit the infamous Hollywood sign perched so triumphantly. There’s also the Marina Del Rey, a place that will be touted by fanatical fishermen.

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Los Angeles Dining Guide The great thing about Los Angeles is the multiplicity of its population. The variety of people has allowed different cuisines from an assortment of cultures to mesh, creating some of the most colourful dishes on the planet. For those looking to eat in more established restaurants in the Beverly Hills area there’s The Stinking Rose and Mr. Chow, which offer traditional American and Chinese dishes respectively. There’s the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, with giant sized portions of food that will fill your stomach up for a month! There’s great drive through and fast food chains for those looking to eat on a budget. Besides your regular McDonalds chains, Mexican outlets like El Pollo Loco, Los Angeles staples like Original Tommy’s and In and Out, which serve out the most juiciest and succulent hamburgers in the country are all viable alternatives.

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San Francisco San Francisco is a city not to be underestimated when being weighed up as a tourist destination. Not oft celebrated mentioned in the same breath as Los Angeles, it is the 35th most visited city in the world and sundry in pertaining to culture, dining experiences and places to visit. What really makes San Francisco stand out is its unique heritage and the distinct injection of Spanish history.

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Hotels Galore Hotels in San Francisco are numerous, as you would expect to find in the second most densely populated city in the United States. The range of choice can vary from three star hotels like the Milano, which is adequate to more plush hotels located in the heart of the city like the Villa Florence that is only half a block away from Union Square.

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Sites to Visit in San Francisco San Francisco’s eclectic architecture really does put it on par with New York. Breathtaking buildings constructed over decades that stand out like glistening pearls. Equally mesmerising is the cities’ Golden Gate Bridge. It is perhaps the most notable site worth visiting, as are the cable cars. Etched in the hills, they enthuse tourists in foggy weather.

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Street Food Sick of hotel food, over-priced restaurants and fast-food joints, then get out and about. Street vendors at the Ford Mason Centre car park attract people from all over the place, so why should you be a stranger? Fresh and off the cuff food comprised of cuisine from Asian and Latin American savoury dishes will get your mouth salivating, so why not try them out? If you’re a little more inhibitive and prefer light food, La Mediterranee is highly recommended or Chutney if you fancy spicy Pakistani dishes. Both restaurants are located in the Fillmore district of San Francisco.

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California is a wonderful place to visit. Alongside New York it represents true diversity in the United States. Whereas Los Angeles offers flash and panache, San Francisco is a little more family orientated. Both are equally as different as they are similar and it is this that truly distinguishes both cities as tourist destinations worth visiting at least once in our lifetime.

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Food & Culture

LOS ANGELES

Expert BIO

Lisa & Diane Scalia, Owners & Tour Guides Extraordinaire, Melting Pot Food Tours.

By now most of us have seen Adam Richman tackl the biggest and best eateries that Los Angeles h on his television show Man v. Food but what you ma realised is that it’s not always size that matters. Dis depth of this vibrant city with ingredients and recipe entirely in L.A. while also sampling the many options

Lisa and Diane Scalia, the sister team behind Melting Pot Food Tours, are Los Angeles natives of Italian-American descent who truly ‘live to eat’. The Scalia sisters have been enamored with food for most of their lives— inspired by the sensory experience and lifelong memories it carries for them.

Downtown Los Angel

They launched Melting Pot Food Tours in 2008 to share their favourite experiences with locals and visitors. Together, the Scalia sisters make the perfect food tour tasting team, sharing their passion by leading guests on unique culinary experiences to discover and explore the most exceptional, little known and often historic independently owned and operated restaurants, cafes, markets, grocers, and specialty shops in Los Angeles.

Its wide selection of world-class restaurants marries with the commercial, creative and cultural hub of Lo geles offering everything from arts, entertainment, ni and more. Downtown Los Angeles is the showroom acclaimed chefs use this to host their magnum opus arfish will give you the best tastes from sushi master Nozawa, Roy’s Hawaiin Fusion showcases the work Yamaguchi, and Celestino Drago proudly puts his his Italian restaurant Drago Centre.

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“Downtown Los Angeles is without doubt the most exciting dining destination in town right now. In addition to reliable old standbys and fine dining establishments, recent additions include a proliferation of new and imaginative ethnic-focused cafes, establishments helmed by young rising chefs, and hip restaurant/cocktail lounges located in spectacularly restored historic buildings.�

Lisa & Diane Scalia

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Old Pasadena

Just ten miles down the road from downtown Los Angeles you will find the lively and diverse city of Old Pasadena. This old town area is a sanctuary for ethnic eateries and sweetstuff including authentic Mexican cafes, a sunlit Asian Fusion restaurant, and an exquisite chocolate shop. Make sure you sample California’s delicious olive oils at Beyond the Olive and fine teas at the Tea Rose Garden. Enjoy all the fascinating stories behind the foods when you explore this historic district, once just a sunny haven of colorful orange groves. So don’t miss out on what Pasadena has to offer.

Ethnic Grocery Stores An eclectic collection of international flavours bring the four corners of the world together. Whether you are looking for ready-to-eat meals or scouring for the freshest and finest ingredients to make something from scratch, the ethnic grocery stores across Los Angeles have it all.

European foods are well represented here with LaEspanola Meats offering the finest in Spanish cured meats such as chorizo Bilbao and Jamón Serrano, the best in French cheese and wine can be found at Monsieur Marcel, and everything Italian right down to cooking classes at Claro’s Market. For a more global appeal get a taste of Tokyo at Nijiya Market, pick up your galangal root and lime leaves from the Bangkok Market, and get a flavour of Little Israel with the kugels and baba ganoush at Glatt Mart.

“LA’s profusion of ethnic grocery stores overflow with international treasures. The aisles and shelves of LaEspanola Meats, Joan’s on Third, Monsieur Marcel, and Claro’s Markets represent Europe well. A host ofLisa Asian, Latin grocers round out our & Arabian, Diane and Scalia global shopping Mecca exciting every home cook and palate.”

Lisa & Diane Scalia

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Farm-to-table Dining Go 100% Los Angeles with a farm-to-table dining experience. After years of importing ingredients from all over the world, chefs are going back to basics and staying local. Cultivating their own stock, growing organic food, and composting all food waste means this eco-friendly method gives you a satisfaction while it also holds in the flavours and nutrients better rather than being sprayed with chemicals to maintain its freshness over a long flight or drive. Choose from a selection of organic grilled cheese sandwiches at the Homegirl Café or dine at the Gjelina restaurant for one of Los Angeles’ best pizzas cooked in a wood burning oven.

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“Farm-to-table is an alluring, delicious trend in Los Angeles dining rooms, and one that is here to stay. Patio gardens, loyalty to local growers, urban and co-op community gardens all render ingredients which grace the exquisite dishes of Homegirl Cafe, Post&Beam, Canele’ LA, Gjelina, Toast Bakery Cafe, and AOC.”

Lisa & Diane Scalia


“The Original Farmers Market, L.A.’s beloved historical landmark, is considered by locals to be the best restaurant and grocery store in town. Under one roof you will find everything from fresh produce to quality butcher Huntington Meats & Sausages to restaurant stalls serving up Brazilian churrasco at Pampas, bimbimbap at La Korea, and chilaquiles at Loteria Grill.”

Lisa & Diane Scalia

The Original Farmers Market Over 18 restaurants, 22 grocery stores, and dozens of shops and services means that everything you could possibly want or need can all be found under one roof. Get a worldly flavour at Little Spain, China Depot, or LA Korea or get a Mexican feel with a stop off at Chipotle. Keeping with the spice, choose your hot sauce from a range of hundreds at Light My Fire, and pick your blend of spices, sauces and seasonings with hints and tips provided by expert staff at Dragunara. The Original Farmers Market also has sweets and treats giving you the finest delicacies in the whole of Los Angeles. Watch as Bennett’s make ice cream from scratch with his award winning unique and unusual concoctions including cabernet sauvignon sorbet or pumpkin ice cream, and see Littlejohn’s English Toffee House put Cadbury World to shame with their handmade confectionary of chocolate, caramel or toffee. With food this good it is little wonder that celebrities such as David Beckham, Tom Cruise, and Arnold Schwarznegger have all decided to take a permanent residency here. Don’t panic if you gauge yourself silly – you will always be able to find time to hit the beach and do some surfing to burn off those extra indulgent calories.

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os Angeles can be an overwhelming city to locals and visitors alike, and there are hundreds of great things to do once you get here. The one thing you are sure to do while you’re in town though, is eat, and one of the biggest secrets out there is that Los Angeles is a great food city!

Treat yourself to a Melting Pot Food Tour for an entertaining, fulfilling and memorable culinary experience. Our curated walking tasting tours are designed to give guests an insider’s perspective on the LA food scene.

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Tours last about half a day and allow you to enjoy: A choice of neighbourhood locations including the landmark Original Farmers Market and W. 3rd Street (home to some of L.A.’s most renowned restaurants), Old Pasadena (a uniquely beautiful city and global dining district), and East Los Angeles (the historic Latin core of Los Angeles, truly an experience ‘off the beaten path’). Stories about the charming history, architecture, folklore and legends of the neighbourhood told by local, extraordinarily knowledgeable and engaging tour leaders who add a personal touch to each tour. The opportunity to become familiar with places where locals dine and shop, infamous ‘hole in the wall’ eateries you may not otherwise find, and even a celebrity haunt or two.

Contact Details

W: www.meltingpottours.com T: +1 424 247 9666 E: lisa@meltingpottours.com Each tour includes the equivalent of a full meal enjoyed in a grazing fashion. Group size is limited to 12-15 guests – private tours also available by appointment. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Contact Details

W: www.fourseasons.com/losangeles T: +1 310 786 2227 E: info@fourseasons.com 202

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T

ucked amidst a leafy residential neighbourhood between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, this newly renovated luxury hotel is ideally positioned for a visit to LA’s premier attractions. The Hotel’s 285 guest rooms and luxury suites all feature French doors to a step-out balcony with expansive views of the gardens, Los Angeles or Beverly Hills. Uniquely oriented towards the outdoors, the gardens, terraces and dining patios capture the best of al fresco living on Doheny Drive. Excellent dining and meeting facilities provide the ideal location for business clients. Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles offers a wide range of fine dining options in Beverly Hills – from modern Italian cuisine at Culina, Modern Italian, to sophisticated cocktails at the always buzzing Windows Lounge. For the more relaxed occasions, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday you can enjoy live musical performances while sipping on a signature cocktail, revelling in the ambience of “Hollywood’s living room.” For business or social occasions, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles offers 10 distinctive sunlit function rooms – nine of which open to expansive terraces or balconies for refreshing breaks. Fantastic spa facilities also ensure a great relaxation or romantic break. Escape to Los Angeles’ most exclusive sanctuary for the senses. A private poolside cabana providing foot reflexology, Swedish or deep tissue massage, manicures and pedicures. The Hollywood sign, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl and numerous Shopping Centres are all easily accessible from the Four Seasons – making this the ideal location for your California stay.

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TEXAS ith a unique accent, colourful history and distinctive way of life, Texan culture is completely different to the overall American identity. America’s second largest state offer visitors a wide variety of summer vacation activities. Theme parks, museums, historical landmarks and fascinating trails are just some of what awaits.

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Dealey Plaza

Dallas

El Paso

The ‘Big D’ is brimming with adventure, entertainment and historical attractions that are sure to impress. Take the family to Six Flags Over Texas for a fun-filled day. Small children can enjoy rides such as the Bugs Bunny Spirit of St. Louie, while the ‘big-kids’ can soar through the sky on the Superman: Tower of Power or race around on the Batman rollercoaster. For a slower pace outing spend the day at Dallas Zoo with its collection of 8,000 animals or unwind along the splendid White Rock Lakes.

This is as close to Mexico as it comes without being in the Land of the Hot Sun. As the largest city on the US/Mexico border, El Paso is a hotbed of Hispanic culture in America with a flavour that is more Mexican than Texan. Not only is this Spanish district culturally enriched with its splendid array of eateries and nightlife, it is also an ideal summer vacation destination for the outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by mountains and deserts, its unique geographic setting opens up some fascinating treks ranging from the valley of the Rio Grande to the McKelligon Canyon.

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Visit the infamous scene where the assassination of John F. Kennedy occurred on 22 November 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum, located in the same building from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots, is dedicated to the life, death and legacy of the popular former President.


Big Bend National Park

The Alamo

Undecided on whether you want to go hiking, nature watching, camping or fishing? Fear not. The Big Bend National Park offers all of the above and more. Designated as an International Biosphere Reserve, this geological treasure enables a variety of outdoor recreational activities all within a primitive setting.

Where historical landmarks are concerned, few are more significant than The Alamo. The building was originally built as a mission in 1718, but gained its prominence as a result of the Texan Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Considered to be hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty, some of the most famous folk heroes such as Davie Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Barrett Travis died here during that famous battle.

San Antonio San Antonio is awash with historic landmarks and modern day attractions lending itself perfectly to a summer vacation for an eclectic collection of holidaymakers seeking anything from romantic getaways through to family breaks. Take a leisurely stroll along the San Antonio River, stopping for a bite to eat at one of the numerous riverside restaurants. See the Aztec on the River, a historic 1926 movie palace which was meticulously restored in 2006. If you have children, take them to SeaWorld or visit the drive-thru safari park at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.

Houston As the largest city in the state of Texas, Houston has more of a cosmopolitan and contemporary vibe than its rural neighbours. While it may not have the stretches of deserts and the beautiful mountainous backdrops visitors will instead be amazed by the range of attractions there to entice you.

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Spend a couple of days browsing the museums, galleries and cultural centres located around Herman Park in the Houston Museum District then get a city pass, allowing you access to the city’s other attractions including George Ranch Historical Park, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Zoo and much more.

Space Center Houston Having played an important role in the Space Race during the 1960s, a visit to the Space Center Houston is without doubt the highlight for any science-lover. While it still remains crucial to the NASA Space Program it is perhaps better known as an entertaining and educational attraction where tourists can experience a simulation of a zero-gravity environment or encounter a virtual rocket launch complete with exhaust. Infotainment at its best.

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Texas is filled with fun and enjoyment that the whole family will love. A visit here is like visiting a country within a country – a simply one-of-a-kind State.

Where To Stay: Texas Ranch Life

Immerse yourself in the country life on the 1800 acre Lonesome Pine Ranch. Choose from eight authentically restored and luxuriously appointed historic Texas homes dating back to the 1850s. This working ranch is home to quarter horses, American bison, abundant wildlife and one of the country’s largest registered Texas Longhorn herds.


Where To Eat: Texas BBQ Trail

Barbecue is the mainstay of any true Texans diet so why settle with one joint when there are so many mouth-watering ventures ahead? Take the Texas BBQ Trail and visit a range of family-owned restaurants serving some of the finest slow-smoked over-wood coals BBQ that will have you drooling in anticipation.

What To Do: SXSW Festival

With over 5,000 events taking place over the space of nine days, South by Southwest can be somewhat overwhelming to the first time visitor. The festival completely takes over the whole of Texas each March as it showcases local and international musical performances, films from new directing talent and SXSW Interactive conferences focusing on emerging technology. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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COLORADO

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ith 54 mountain peaks rising over 14,000 feet above sea level, and over 600 more that top 13,000 feet, Colorado’s mountains are a sight to behold. While it is most famous for the Rocky Mountains there is so much more to see and do.

The most breathtaking landmark in the state can be found in Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak pulls over 250,000 visitors to its summit each year and was the inspiration behind the song ‘America the Beautiful’.

Colorado Springs

Aspen is a winter sport dreamland, welcoming beginners and experts alike. Its legendary X-Park is home to the Winter X Games and is said to be the longest park in the world, stretching over 3 kilometres. Set in the remote area of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range, Aspen has attracted the attention of celebrities and corporate executives ever since the late 20th century and it now boasts some of the most expensive real estate prices in the United States.

Explore the timeless beauty of the great American West with a visit to Colorado Springs and you will find that you are unlikely to explore the rest of this great State. While most tourist cities around the world have one or two points of interest, Colorado Springs is awash with natural attractions from the 1,300 acre Garden of the Gods to ‘The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado’ at Seven Falls.

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Aspen


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Four Corners This is the only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The original marker was erected in 1912, but it has since been remade into a smart looking monument made out of granite and brass. While you are here explore the spectacular landscapes, buttes, canyons and diversity that make up the Navajo National Park.

Durango The surrounding landscape of Durango is diverse, spanning from red sandstone bluffs of the Animas River Valley to the jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains. It is just a short drive from the ‘Four Corners’ making it the perfect pit-stop on the way. While it is most famous for the historic narrow gauge railroad that connects Durango with Silverton, we are more impressed by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mesa Verde National Park for its rewarding hikes and sights which incredible the fascinating Cliff Palace.

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Colorado is almost limitless in the amount of activities and tours that are available. Although it is nicknamed The Centennial State – with sights like the inspiring Colorado Springs to the world famous Rocky Mountains – we like to refer to it as the Picturesque State.

Where To Stay:

The Broadmoor

Experience an escape from the ordinary where modern details blend seamlessly with the timeless elegance of this historic hotel. Broadmoor is a AAA Five- Diamond resort in Colorado Springs featuring an award winning spa, 54 holes of championship golf and a series of specialty tours, activities and programs for guests of all ages and interests.


Where To Eat: Montagna

One of the oldest, most acclaimed spots in town has received a revamp with the arrival of the modern Montagna restaurant. The menu is as wildly extravagant as it is delicious with signature dishes including taleggio agnolotti with salsify, parsnips and black truffles.

What To Do:

Winter X Games – 24 – 27 January 2013

Winter X Games returns to Aspen January 24-27, 2013. Be there as more than 200 of the world’s best athletes in Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowmobile throw down in four action-packed days of competition for the most coveted medals in action sports. Winter X Games is completely free to the public so don’t miss your chance to witness the legends. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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PHILADELPHIA

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ith its rich historical heritage, Philadelphia is one of the United States’ most visited cities. After all, both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed here. As a former capital city of the United States you could forgive Philadelphia for living on former glories – but that is not the case. Today the city is brimming with notable museums, a lively nightlife, incredible works of art and much, much more.

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A Little Bit of Hollywood… Many of us are already familiar with the iconic landmarks of Philadelphia having been introduced to them through the guise of the silver screen. A number of Hollywood blockbusters including National Treasure, Unbreakable, Trading Places and The Sixth Sense were locally-filmed while a movie tour of the city will also give you the opportunity to receive a behind-the-scenes-view of films currently being shot here such as Colin Farrell-movie Dead Man Down.


Climb the Rocky Steps…

Cultural Masterpieces…

If you only visit one box office destination during your stay there are no questions which one you should pick. A trip to Philadelphia is not complete without following the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in a triumphant race up the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Take advantage of a photo opportunity with the bronze statue of Rocky or better yet replicate go for a run and replicate the most famous montage sequence in the history of cinema.

Explore Philadelphia’s cultural gems, from world-renowned museums, innovative art programs, stunning architecture and captivating performing arts groups. Philadelphia has the largest collection of public art in the whole of the United States and it enjoys a rich cultural scene ranging from fine arts to avant-garde. Explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art, enjoy a performance at the Kimmel Centre, and much more.

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Magnificent Murals… Over the past 25 years, more than 3,500 murals have transformed the city of Philadelphia into one gigantic art exhibition. The innovative Mural Arts Program was designed to stop graffiti and enliven the buildings with results far surpassing any expectation. Highlights include the eight-storey high ‘Common Threads’ mural on the busy Broad and Spring Garden St. and the Freedom School memorial celebrating the heroes in the battle for Civil Rights. Enjoy the culture and embrace the history of Philadelphia.

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You will not find many other places in the world where a simple stroll around a housing area equates to the same experience as visiting the cities leading gallery or exhibition, but that is just one of the quirks that makes great city special.

Where To Stay: Rittenhouse Hotel

Located right on Rittenhouse square, this hotel soars nine floors above the picturesque downtown and is conveniently located near many of the best restaurants and attractions throughout Philadelphia. Check in on a Friday or Saturday and if you are there before 6pm you will be greeted with champagne and strawberries.


Where To Eat: Philly Cheesesteak

Cheesesteaks are a Philadelphia icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. It is a long crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye steak and melted cheese and topped with fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup and hot or sweet peppers. Why not take the Man v Food Ultimate Cheesesteak Challenge at Tony Luke’s.

What To Do:

Will Smith Tour

Will Smith is a successful actor, rapper and producer and is one of the biggest icons in the world. Just like his eponymous character from the 90s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he is “West Philadelphia born and raised.” Visit all of his childhood haunts including the location where he filmed the video for his first big hit Summertime.

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Tasty Morsel Culinary Excursion

eat til you’re thirsty - drink til you’

Expert BIO Lysa Gudz, Owner, Tasty Morsel Culinary Excursions Lysa Gudz is a bonafide “foodie” with an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She has translated her discerning palate and keen instinct for recognizing tastes with universal appeal into a successful business, now in its third year of operation. In her quest to provide customers with an unforgettable experience, “Tasty Lysa” frequents area restaurants, gourmet/specialty shops and food producers to uncover new delights and tempting offerings that make the region unique.

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ns

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asty Morsel Culinary Excursions is a company that showcases the flavours of Traverse City and surrounding areas through a variety of fun-filled tours. That’s easy to do in an area that has recently been listed as a top food or wine town in publications like Bon Appetit, Midwest Living, USA Today, and TripAdvisor.com.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

These tours are designed to give guests a fun and memorable excursion complete with many palate pleasing moments, knowledgeable guides and unique behind-the-scenes experiences. Whether you have a great interest in the culinary world or just an appreciation for the food you eat, you are sure to find something in these tours to intrigue you. The tours aren’t just about eating and drinking (though, that is the highlight) – they’re about being inspired by the passion of our local food and drink artisans, showing you ways in which food is grown, how it’s processed, and how it’s transformed into the masterpieces that finally make it to your table. By the end of the tour, our guests will have found many new favorite foods and energising new inspiration. At Tasty Morsel Culinary Excursions, we love sharing our corner of the culinary world with new friends.

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Contact Details

W: www.tastymorseltours.com T: +231 286 0043 E: info@tastymorseltours.com

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Cultural

Quebec

Expert BIO

Marc Duchesne, Owner, Cicerone

Marc Duchesne is one half of the team behind Cicerone. He was bitten by the travel bug at the age of 17 after taking part in a school exchange in Switzerland, a one-year experience that literally changed his life. Started in the field as a tourist information agent in Quebec City, he also spent several months representing Canada in Switzerland and Germany. Having been a licensed Quebec City guide since 1995, Marc has a lifetime of experience and has learnt to adapt to any situation and deal with all types of clientele. He has also acquired some very useful language skills in French, English, Spanish and German. His education background in international studies and business management is certainly an asset as well, which combined with his experience, contributed to the shape and vision of this business. However, the real secret behind Marc’s success is to put everything he’s got into it – right from the heart and soul.

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Let yourself be seduced by the charms of old Quebec, a world heritage site recognised by UNESCO. You will experience 400 years of eventful history and marvel on wonderfully sculptured buildings from the 17th and 18th century.


Petit-Champlain With all the romantic elegancy of Paris, the PetitChamplain neighbourhood is the cradle of French civilisation in North America. It is the oldest commercial district in North America, but it is by no means commercialised. A romantic atmosphere, one-of-akind boutiques & bistros, and a great shopping experience combine down the narrow streets of Rue du Petit-Champlain at the foot of Cap Diamant to provide you with a truly exquisite day out. The neighbourhood is abound with fascinating art work, but none greater than the mural painted on the side of a house in the heart of Petit-Champlain borough. The 100 square metre mural illustrates Quebec City as an old and at the same time a modern city, featuring important historical figures, local architecture and the four distinct seasons.

“The ambience and charm abound in this little district will be sure to bring you back time and time again. The beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River, the cobblestone streets, picturesque store fronts and cafes are enchanting in this quaint hub of French life in Quebec.�

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Parc de la Chute-Montmorency Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is an attraction you will not want to miss. It is located just a few minutes from the historic Quebec City, between the river and the cliffs. The waterfall is an awe-inspiring 83 metres – a full one-and-a-half times higher than Niagara Falls! Since Quebec City’s 400th anniversary festivities, the entire cove of the park has been illuminated after dark giving it an enchanting mise-en-scene for every hour of the day and night. While the waterfall glistens under the sun’s rays during the summer, it is equally impressive all year round. During the winter months you can walk along the boardwalk or try ice climbing the falls.

“Experience a meeting with an authentic character such as Sir Haldimand, Lisa & Diane Scalia 3rd Governor of the province of Quebec, known as the builder of the Manoir Montmorency and get flooded by history! Admire the astonishing beauty of the Montmorency Falls as you learn about the site’s rich history and hear some funny anecdotes!”

Marc Duchesne

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Moulin Saint-Laurent The Moulin Saint-Laurent is a restaurant on the Island of Orleans situated in the historic building of an old flour mill dating back to 1720. The family business has focused on continuing the tradition of the historic building with its hospitality, good wine and music, all within the confines of an enchanting and romantic setting. Open between May and October, the seasonal restaurant serves regional cuisine such as the Quebec Red Deer with Marinated Pear in a Red Wine and Peppercorn Sauce. Combine your dining experience with luxury lodgings. The Moulin Saint-Laurent also offer riverfront cottage and chalet rentals facing the spectacular waves of the St-Lawrence river.

“Located on the south side of the island, Moulin SaintLaurent offers tradition, quality, heritage, and conviviality, while serving regional dishes featuring local products. There is nothing better to illustrate the long-standing reputation of quality and good taste the various products from the Island of Orleans have gained throughout the generations. It is indeed the result of a rich soil combined with lots of passion.� Marc Duchesne Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Cidrerie / Verger Bilodeau The Cidrerie / Verger Bilodeau is also located on the Island of Orleans at 2200 Chemin Royal, Saint-Pierre de l’Ile d’Orleans. The farm was created in 1982 for the cultivation of miniature and semi-miniature apple trees. The orchard has 3000 trees which produce ten different varieties of apples across six beautiful acres of land. Sample their ice ciders, mustards, syrups, gellys, butters, pies and vinegars and be charmed by the gorgeous surrounding farmland at this warm and welcoming venue.

“At Cidrerie/Verger Bilodeau, you will not only be able to sample a variety of local products of great quality and taste, but you may even get the opportunity to meet one of the family owners and shake their hand.”

Marc Duchesne

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Parliament Building Both architecturally and historically fascinating. The Parliament Building was constructed between 1877 and 1886 and houses the National Assembly, one of America’s oldest parliamentary institutions. Inspired by the Louvre Museum in Paris, this beautiful building offers two vastly different experiences. During the day, venture round the chateau grounds and marvel at the twenty-four bronze statues of some of the most prominent figures in Quebec’s history then picnic alongside the water feature with the budding flowers, beautiful gardens and stunning trees. In the evening, enjoy the sight of the Parliament Building from afar as it brightly illuminates the city, providing an impressive backdrop and spectacular scenery.

Gorgeous landscapes, friendly faces, natural, cultural and historical attractions, and a romantic destination await you. Now, the rest is up to you. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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C ed

by

a

icerone was founded in 2007 by Steeve Gaudreault and Marc Duchesne, both cumulating over 25 years of experience in the industry. Their enthusiasm and determination allowed Cicerone to stand out from the competitors, and are well supportdynamic and experienced team.

Mission Acting as proud representatives of Québec City within the tourist industry since 2007 and sharing their passion for this World Heritage jewel, they wish to bring more visitors to discover the rich heritage and singularly inspiring experience this region has to offer.

Values Their services are accessible, sustainable and of uncompromising quality. Cicerone focuses every effort on making visitors’ stay a truly memorable experience. Cicerone is proud to be the extension of their partners’ customer service. They make no compromise to meet the clients’ expectations in all aspects. Moreover, they expect no less from their suppliers by ensuring that every value and objective is consistent with their own before even starting to collaborate.

Team Cicerone’s team is made up of highly experienced tourism industry professionals who have worked with a wide range of clients. They take great pride in their outstanding professionalism, dedication and excellent customer service. You can count on them for a dynamic and passionate team of bilingual experts for all your tourism needs.

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Contact ContactDetails Details

W: www.cicerone.ca T: +1 418 977 8977 E:

info@cicerone.ca

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TORONTO

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any people mistake Toronto for being the capital city and that is simply because it is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the whole of Canada. It has fast established itself as one of the trendiest cities in North America and its huge range of attractions include theatres, concert halls, clubs and galleries, as well as vintage and chic fashion, trendy bars and elegant restaurants.

Downtown This enviable district is fast-paced and ever-changing. It is designed to showcase the multicultural city of Toronto and highlights its position at the forefront of North American arts and fashion. The bright lights and big city characteristics are there for all to see and yet you don’t get the same ‘attitude’ that often accompanies this status.

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The friendly locals are as trendy as the region itselfand there are unlimited supplies of shopping chains, cafes, theatres, museums, nature reserves and gardens with even more boardwalks and parks along the way.

Toronto Islands Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting the refreshing and plush greenery on offer at Toronto Islands. The great outdoors has so much to offer both locals and tourists alike. Take a leisurely paddle through Queen’s Quay West in a canoe, hire a bike from the ferry terminal and explore the 570-acre archipelago, or take up beach volleyball on Ward’s Island. As the evening begins to set in relax at the tranquil and scenic waterfall picnic park and take in the magnificent skyline view of the city in the distance.


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Lake Ontario

Art Galleries & Museums

Not only does Lake Ontario provide Torontonian’s with their drinking water it also provides them with all of their beaches. We are not going to sugar-coat the reality, if beach breaks are what you want in a vacation you may be left feeling a tad disappointed. Having said that, if you are looking for a city break then you will be delighted to receive the added bonus of a beach to lounge on during the warm summer days. Each beach has its own unique advantages with Woodbine noted as the best for beach volleyball, Cherry Beach for its kite-boarding and surfboarding and Balmy known for its seclusion. They even have a nudist friendly beach at Hanlan’s Point. Whatever tickles your fancy, there is a beach for everyone.

Most art galleries in Toronto are located in the Bloor/ Yorkville and Queen St. West areas while public art and murals can be found dotted all around the city. On top of having around 40 art dealers and galleries in this region there are also several world-class museums to mull over. Chiefly there is the Art Gallery of Ontario with the largest collection in Canada and one of the most expensive paintings in the world – Ruben’s The Massacre of the Innocents. Royal Ontario Museum is another highlight showcasing thousands of artefacts and specimens in over 20 exhibitions. For a free tour and a spot of fresh air, take the five-block Art Walk around the Village of Islington to see some of the most beautiful fine art murals in the whole continent.

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CN Tower CN Tower is on a very exclusive list having been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. At a scary height of 1,815ft a visit to the top of the world’s tallest building is not one for the faint of heart. Build up your courage to stand on The Glass Floor and brace yourself for the sight below or the even more adventurous may wish to tackle the EdgeWalk which is the CN Tower’s most thrilling attraction in its 35 year history, and the first of its kind in North America. Dangle over the side of this monolithic structure and take a hands-free walk around the ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 116 storeys above the ground.

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The tallest building in the world and the friendliest inhabitants make Toronto one of the top cities in the world to visit. There are not many places in the world where you can enjoy a city break and luscious scenery all in one. Here you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Where To Stay:

The Hazelton Hotel

The Hazelton Hotel is Canada’s most exclusive five star hotel situated in the heart of the thriving downtown Toronto. As one of North America’s leading art centres, the hotel utilises Toronto’s top local talents with sexy, dramatic interiors by internationally renowned designer Yabu Pushelberg and a gourmet restaurant from celebrity chef Mark McEwan.


Where To Eat: UNION

Situated in the bohemian area of Ossington Avenue, UNION is a small but perfectly formed Parisian bistro-style eatery. It essentially serves up ‘pub grub’ using locally sourced fresh produce and a small but ever-changing seasonal menu. Visit here and you will be dazzled by the super-stylish interior and cool ambiance.

What To Do:

NXNE – 10-16 June 2013

Each June more than 300,000 people flock into downtown Toronto to enjoy the annual music, film and interactive festival North by North East. Almost every venue in the entire city will be hosting something different. This cultural phenomenon transforms an already vibrant city into a 24-hour-a-day attraction. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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here are some things you just can’t overdo. Style, luxury and impeccable service, for example. It’s a lesson put into action at the 65-story Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. Crowned by an articulated spire 900-feet above downtown Toronto’s financial and entertainment district, luxurious accommodations, exclusive amenities and the signature services of Trump Attaché™ unite along the city’s unmistakable skyline. Located in the corner of Bay and Adelaide, Toronto places guest’s moments from the city’s finest attractions including the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Stock Exchange - there’s no hotel in Toronto with a better location.

Unique among the world’s finest luxury hotels, Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto delivers a superior level of modern convenience, including two floors of meeting and event facilities. Further distinguishing this five-star icon of opulence from other Toronto hotels are two levels devoted to Toronto’s most luxurious spa and wellness facility. Quartz Crystal Spa™ offers an impressive array of body treatments and therapies, as well as a heated pool, fully-equipped health club, a refreshing juice bar and a Spa Attaché™ - guiding each guest through the entire experience. Staying true to Trump’s unmatched reputation for excellence, every aspect of the tower at our downtown Toronto hotel has been designed to showcase stunning views of Toronto’s skyline, and each of the 261 guest rooms and suites are exquisitely furnished in an elegant, cosmopolitan style. From the spectacularly designed lobby and high-speed elevators, to the vibrant signature restaurant, STOCKTM Restaurant Bar & Lounge, located on the 31st floor - this is luxury unsurpassed by other hotels in Toronto.

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Contact Details

W: www.trumphotelcollection.com T: +1 416 306 5800 E: Toronto.Info@trumphotels.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Food & Culture

TORONTO

Expert BIO Scott Savoie, Owner, The Culinary Adventure Company Chef Scott Savoie is the founder/owner of Toronto’s #1 rated, The Culinary Adventure Company. He brings decades of experience as a culinary instructor and as private chef to celebrities including comedian Jeff Foxworthy and Canadian pop icon, Avril Lavigne. Scott knows that to take a bite out of the diversity of Toronto’s food scene, you have to tap into undiscovered gems that only a chef can unlock. Although his career has taken him to Portugal and Italy on Cooking Tours, throughout North America and New Zealand as private chef in five star hunting and fishing lodges, he’s put down roots in Toronto where he’s become one of the city’s most ardent culinary ambassadors.

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The food scene in Toronto is constantly evolving. The white Toque chef and traditional menus have given way to younger 20-30 something, tattoo covered chefs in t-shirts and aprons cooking local, seasonal ingredients with a twist. They are not scared to push the culinary envelope. The quality of the dishes that they are putting out is stellar. These are exciting times to be a foodie in Toronto!


Riverside/Leslieville Historically home to light industry and Film District, Leslieville is now more known as one of Toronto’s best brunch destinations and features sublime cafes, vintage furniture, fashion and design stores. Eat your way through one of Toronto’s hippest neighbourhoods with highlights including a collection of delicious cheeses from Leslieville Cheese. You can’t sample cheese without a spot of wine so it would be rude not to venture over to the Wine Rack. Later, head to one of the areas trendiest restos for a light lunch before stopping by Olive & Olives, to learn all about Spanish Olive Oils & exotic vinegars. Taste sustainable smoked fish at Hooked, or if homemade ice creams are more your thing treat yourself to the local favourite, Maple Bacon Crunch, at Ed’s Real Scoop.

“Stop by one of the Food Network Canada’s best loved chefs, grab a taste at her award-winning gourmet shop, sample French breads at a bijou of a bakery fit for the Left Bank, enjoy the exquisite house smoked trout at a sustainable fish monger’s shop and discover the complex world of olive oil.”

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Greek Town on the Danforth Greektown is located on Donforth Avenue, hence the name Greek Town on the Danforth. Here you will find everything from boutiques and specialty shops through to a fascinating mix of European fashions, home décor, unique gifts, florists, environmentally friendly products and designer labels. Take a bite out of Greek Town by visiting one of their many restaurants, lounges, cafes, or bakeries that feature traditional Greek cuisine, along with the other multi-ethnic establishments in the area offering a variety of tastes that will tantalise anyone’s taste buds. The souvlaki and mezes are as good as, if not better, than anything which you would find in Athens itself.

“Discover the changing face of the largest Greek neighborhood in North America and one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Toronto! Experience a neighborhood alive with interesting restaurants, boutiques, shops, markets, cafes and a host of wonderful encounters. Get a taste of Greek food and culture with a dash of Turkish influence as we stroll along Danforth Avenue.”

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Kensington Market Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhoods offering a unique shopping experience, a community worth living in, an artistic haven and a wide range of restaurants serving up classic French, Central American treats, Jumbo Empanadas and much more. Forget the pre-prepared goodies for a second and delve into the scavenger hunt using your street smarts and your book smarts combined with your taste buds to help you navigate the urban jungle and discover the hidden gems and the prized secret ingredients that will later become dinner. Pick up spices from all over the world along with more cheeses than you could possibly name – all at a price that beat any chain store.

“After your scavenger hunt through Kensington Market, meet at a local watering hole for a little “show & tell” before we take you to your own private restaurant to showcase your culinary talents. As the kitchen heats up and the clock ticks on, see who will lead, who will follow, and who just can’t cut the mustard. Will too many cooks spoil the broth?”

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Mushroom Forage For those of you that like your adventures and outdoor activities as much as you do food, this one is for you. The Don Valley is home to some of Toronto’s finest bike trails and hikes, spanning dozens of miles of both paved and dirt variety. Learn the basics of foraging as you explore the Don Valley in search of wild mushrooms, leeks, fiddleheads and edible plants. Find out the difference between the tasty Saddleback mushrooms and the poisonous Dead Man’s Fingers mushrooms. The great thing about this visit is that you get to keep whatever you forage allowing you to cook up your culinary delights some other time.

Cano

Gourmet or ance for yo through Lake dishes using prepares yo view from the

“Our expert guides share their many years of knowledge and point out interesting plants and animals as you hunt for these gourmet treasures. Although we cannot guarantee success, we do guarantee a fun-filled morning in the great outdoors, some mild to medium physical activity and a gorgeous gourmet BBQ lunch prepared by our chef. “

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oe & Beach Dining Adventure

luxury restaurants are often coupled up with fascinating backdrops creating an incredible ambiour dining experience. With this trip you can take a leisurely paddle in a heritage freighter canoe e Ontario to the beautiful Toronto Islands where you will feast on a gourmet picnic featuring delicious g local products. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful colours of the sun set on the water while your chef our meal. Afterwards, as darkness falls paddle back to the big city taking in the magnificent skyline e water. This amazing experience undoubtedly tops anything that a restaurant can offer

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Little Italy When it comes to Italian food, this region goes above and beyond the simply assembled pizzas and pastas. This strip on College Street is home to some of the most beloved culinary institutions the city has to offer. Kick things off with a visit to an exclusive pre-prohibition private members club, providing the most extensive liquor collection in the whole of Toronto. This V.I.P vibe sets the scene nicely as your evening will continue in the same vein. Some of the cities finest chef’s and mixologists will take you on a culinary experience of a lifetime mixing exquisite tastes and intimate settings at a number of selected locales.

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Little India Delve into the taste and culture of one of Toronto’s most flavourful neighbourhoods. Discover the aromas and enjoy fabulous Indian delicacies as you learn about traditions and customs while strolling through one of the largest and oldest South Asian markets in North America. Tickle your taste buds with Indian street foods such as grilled corn and sugar cane through to samosas, kebabs and Tandoor cooked naan bread. Gerrard Street East is often referred to as Little India, but this vibrant South AsianCanadian community isn’t exclusive to just the one nation. You can also enjoy the vast array of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Afghan and Sri Lankan restaurants and cafes. This tour will take you to a different continent without ever leaving the city.

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods - each one with its own charm, tastes & character. Anything the States can do, Toronto does better. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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ravellers’ and food lovers alike know that the best way to experience a place is through the seasoned eyes (or palate) of a local. When those eyes belong to international chef and culinary instructor Scott Savoie, you and your taste buds are in the best of hands.

Take a walk with Scott as he leads you through some of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods and gives you a taste for what makes each of these uniquely delicious. From Riverside/Leslieville, the “village” on the east end, through Little Italy or Little India to Toronto’s Greek enclave, The Danforth… you’ll sip, savour, nibble and nosh your way across the globe. Along the way, you might jump into a pop-up restaurant, get a taste of the best butter tart in the city or meet chefs that let you in on their favourite haunts. If walking isn’t your thing, join Scott for a class or a tutored tasting where you will sample the fine cheeses of Ontario and Quebec with a bona fide fromagier. Walk away with recipes, tips, and a gourmet cheese gift box to impress at your next dinner party!

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private POP UP dinner with your own nique location, a gourmet lunch on a n wilderness only accessible by Sea asting where you will discover Ontario h lunch in the vineyard after disembarkrivate helicopter. These personalised ed to suite your taste and budget. The only by your imagination. Their most im-

Contact Details

W: www.culinaryadventureco.com T: +1 416 565 1730 E: info@culinaryadventureco.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Beautiful

OTTAWA

Expert BIO Craig MacDonald, Owner, Ottawa Walking Tours Craig MacDonald opened Ottawa Walking Tours on July 1, 2006 to showcase his amazing city and provide visitors and locals an insider’s guide to the workings and special spaces found in this world class capital. Today, Ottawa Walking Tours is a premiere tour company, has been featured in Green Traveller Magazine, Seniors Travel International and is ranked as “The #1 Tour in Ottawa” by TripAdvisor contributors. With parents as teachers, Craig spent his youth criss-crossing North America in the family station wagon, spending time in 48 of America’s 50 states and visiting every province and territory in Canada. After completing his Bachelor’s of Canadian History and Political Science, he started a Master’s Degree in American Foreign Policy in Indiana, taught American and Commonwealth History and Politics in France before returning home to work as Chief Assistant to a senator in the Canadian Senate. Today, besides owning and directing Ottawa Walking Tours, Craig is also a full time high school history and politics teacher. The key to Ottawa Walking Tours success is that Craig and his multi-lingual team show visitors the nooks and crannies that most tourists overlook, while providing the historical stories and context that go along with them in an educational and entertaining way!

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Unlike most capital cities, Ottawa is easily contained with all of its interesting sites located within walking distance of one another. Take a stroll through beautiful natural landscapes and fascinate over incredible architectural designs. This is easily one of the most picturesque capitals of the world.


The Parliament Buildings of Canada Set on a dramatic hill overlooking the Ottawa River, the grandiose Parliament Buildings of Canada are the most visited attraction in Ottawa and it’s easy to see why. Marvel at this neo-gothic structure during the day and fascinate over its luminous backdrop to the city at night. Take a tour of the building and see Canada’s House of Commons and the Senate as well as taking a trip up the 92-metre-high Peace Tower. The grounds of Parliament Hill are dotted with numerous sculptures of important Canadians, making a stroll through the gardens the perfect summer activity.

“The Parliament Buildings of Canada (also known as “the Hill” by locals) are the focal point of the nation’s capital and a must see for any visitor to Ottawa! Built between 1859 and 1866, these neo-gothic structures (complete with gargoyles!) are simply stunning, both inside and out.”

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The Changing of the Guard Ceremony The best time to visit the Parliament Hill is first thing in the morning in order to catch the daily changing of the guard ceremony. This Commonwealth tradition still draws in the crowds with its stirring military drill and brass music providing a fascinating attraction of sound and colour. The Ceremonial Guard is made up of two regiments - the Governor General’s Footguards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. Most of the Guards are university and college students and all are primary reservists in theLisa Canadian Forces. Scalia Watching the ceremony is free but be on the Hill by 9:45 AM for best viewing. & Diane

“Held each morning in the summer on the East Lawn of Parliament Hill is the Changing the Guard Ceremony. It is a colourful spectacle of music and pageantry. The ceremony begins at 10 AM, rain or shine, following a march by the Guard from the Cartier Square Drill Hall.”

Craig MacDonald

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The Rideau Canal Today the canal is considered the world’s longest skating rink. Drained every autumn to roughly 2 feet of water, the canal freezes naturally and allows locals and visitors to skate up to 7.9 kilometres to work or for pleasure during the winter months. Visitors at other times of the year should walk, rent a bike or take a boat cruise along the scenic and historic Rideau Canal. You can enjoy the Rideau in a number of ways with each one offering a different take on this beautiful sight.

“The 201 kilometre Rideau Canal is the only reason the city of Ottawa is here today. Following the War of 1812 between the British and the Americans, the British government was concerned about moving soldiers and supplies safely between the cities of Montreal and Kingston. The British decided to construct a canal from Ottawa to Kingston using a series of locks, damns and connecting rivers and lakes.”

Craig MacDonald

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“Most visitors do not find their way to this idyllic lookout, but Nepean Point should not be missed! Just behind the National Gallery of Canada and high above the Ottawa River, this is a perfect spot for taking photographs of the Parliament Buildings, the city of Ottawa and the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.”

“The Canadian Museum of Civilization is Canada’s museum of human history. Located directly across from the Parliament Buildings on the Quebec sid Ottawa River, this museum is a must do for anyone w the history of people and Canadian

Nepean Point

The Canadian Museum

Craig MacDonald

Boasting one of the best views in the whole of Canada, the Nepean Point is a wonderful spot for enjoying the sights on both sides of the Ottawa River. This point is home to a statue of Samuel de Champlain (one of the first Europeans to travel down Lisa &River) Diane Scalia the Ottawa holding an astrolabe. Beside the stunning views and the statue, there are also places to sit and enjoy the scenery as well as a piece of artwork purchased by the National Gallery of Canada from New York City artist Roxy Paine called “100 Foot Line”.

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Renowned for its incredible permanent and tempora ning riverside setting. The journey starts on the East C before moving westward through time. The Canadian of history through life-size reconstructions allowing visit the cultural diversity of its people. Their professional s archaeology, ethnology, folk culture and much more. T Museum (perfect for those travelling with the family), The


national s the river de of the who loves n culture.”

m of Civilization

ary exhibitions, as well as its architecture and stunCoast circa 1000 AD with the arrival of the Vikings n Museum of Civilization travels across 1,000 years tors to explore the human history of Canada and staff includes leading experts in Canadian history, The Museum also houses the International Children’s e Canadian Postal Museum and the IMAX Cinema.

Ottawa is a lively city with lots of open spaces, green parks and some of Canada’s finest national attractions. Explore the city’s past and discover how the modern city of Ottawa came to be. There is no better way to feel the essence of Canada than a visit to its capital.

Rideau Hall The official residence of the Queen of England’s representative in Canada, is located only a few minutes from downtown Ottawa. In addition to visiting the many state rooms of this spectacular mansion, visitors may also roam the gardens and grounds of the property. Heads of State and royalty stay at Rideau Hall during visits to Ottawa and when they are here, they often plant a tree to mark the occasion. While visiting, you can see the Nelson Mandela tree, the Prince Charles tree and the John F. Kennedy tree. Admission to the residence is free and the grounds are open daily from 8am until one hour before sunset. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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ttawa Walking Tours is your best way to experience Canada’s capital! Ottawa Walking Tours allows experienced, professional, multi-lingual guides to acquaint you with the history and charm of this beautiful city. Guided walks are a must for any visitor who wants to learn more about the city’s history, architecture, colourful political characters and snap some outstanding photographs. Visitors may also be interested to know that Ottawa Walking Tours is ranked as “The #1 Thing To Do in Ottawa - Tours” by TripAdvisor.com contributors.

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a Walking Tours offers guided tours through Ottawa’s own, with special stops at important buildings and areas rest, including the National War Memorial, the Tomb of known Soldier, The Prime Minister’s Offices, Sparks Street, ank of Canada, Parliament Hill, the Chateau Laurier, the u Canal, Sussex Drive and the By Ward Market, to name few. Their walking tours are the perfect way to provide with an overview of the city and learn more about the e and locations that make Ottawa an important world al.

Contact Details

W: www.ottawawalkingtours.com T:

+1 613 799 1774

E:

info@ottawawalkingtours.com

d two hours with their guides learning about Ottawa’s past, nt and future in an educational and entertaining experiLuxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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VANCOUVER

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kyscrapers blend in with the beautiful beaches and picturesque mountain ranges which often fool you into forgetting that Vancouver is in fact a sophisticated modern city. With an abundance of natural beauty and a laid-back charm, Vancouver is one of the most under-rated tourist destinations in all of North America.

Stanley Park Covering more than 1,000 acres Stanley Park is the largest urban park in North America. The downtown peninsula is dominated by a mass of greenery with Stanley Park offering unique and picturesque views from its dense rainforests, the marshland and the beaches. Best of all is the nine kilometres of spectacular waterfront views along its seawall. Rent a bike, hike or go roller skating along the perimeter, but don’t take too long or you will struggle to fit in a round of golf, a swim at Third Beach and a visit to Canada’s largest aquarium which are all located within the parks grounds.

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Grouse Mountain The Grouse Mountain is one of the most versatile mountains you can possibly find. Not only is it a skier and hiker paradise, but it also doubles up as a fantastic setting for a romantic escape. Kick things off with a hike up the wooden steps of Grouse Grind, locally referred to as ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster’. This steep climb over 3 kilometres takes you to the dizzying height of 853 metres where skiers of all abilities can enjoy the slopes. Follow this up with a spot of ice skating on an outdoor pond covering 8,000 square foot before snuggling up on the Skyride journey down, taking in the beautiful panoramic view.

Vancouver Beaches While Canada may not be famous for its beaches, you can’t go wrong with a visit to one of Vancouver’s numerous offerings. Popular for its fascinating landscapes, beach sports and casual strolls many visitors drop by to take a dip in the cooling water as a refreshing relief from the warm weather. The best beaches to visit are Kits Beach and English Bay Beach.


South Main

Where To Eat:

Vancouver offers a great range of shopping options from the lively market and boutique stores on Granville Island to the global designer brands and flagship stores along Robson Street, but our favourite spot can be found in South Main. Known locally as SoMa, this trendy and gentrifying neighbourhood serves up some of the best local independent fashion and Canadian chic boutiques along with a rare mix of independent cafes and eclectic antique stores. The sky is the limit, and that is only until you take on the Grouse Mountain! Whether you are looking for summer fun on the beach or take advantage of Canada’s winter sports – Vancouver covers the lot.

Where To Stay:

L’Hermitage Hotel

Throwing you right into the heart of things, L’Hermitage Hotel is round the corner from Robson Street and within walking distance of Stanley Park. Offering boutique luxury each room and suite have been carefully thought out with a modern, contemporary flare and artful design.

Hawksworth

Taste Vancouver’s finest array of seafood at the Hawksworth restaurant. This elegant, sleek and hip eatery celebrates Vancouver’s cultural diversity and natural environment by showcasing ingredient led contemporary cuisine that demonstrates highly skilled technique and a relentless drive for perfection.

What To Do:

Vancouver Parks Golf

Gain access to three golf courses across Vancouver with Vancouver Parks Golf. Choose between the majestic tree-lined fairways at the Fraserview course overlooking the Fraser River, the large rolling greens with narrow fairways at Langara or the challenging water hazard and sloping fairways at McCleery.

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Historic

MEXICO

Expert BIO

Carlos Aleman, CEO, Mormon Encounter LDS Tours

Carlos Alemanborn was born in Veracruz, Mx. and raised in the small town of St. Juan Xiutetelco in the state of Puebla, where he quickly gained a great fascination for history and archaeology. When 8 years old he used to do his homework on top of one of the 7 existing piramid in his town. He joined the church of Jesus Christ of later days saints when 14 years old. Between 2004-2006 served a full-time proselytizing mission, where he had an excellent performance and got to deeply know the Book of Mormon. knowledge that combined to his archaeology and anthropology studies, allowed him to create in 2008 Mormon Encounter LDS Tours. He is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, and is currently the chosen expert for the filming of maya documentaries by Discovery and Mexico travel channel TV.

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Mayan R

The Mesoamerican ematical and astron between 600 BC an lost among overgrow they have been rest ing a glimpse into the


Book of Mormon Parallels have been found between the Book of Mormon and the ancient Mayan ruins and many people still believe that the Book of Mormon exists among the many artefacts and temples that the Maya people have left behind. Many areas of the southern Yucatan (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize) were settled in about 600 BC, the same time that the people of the Book of Mormon landed in the Americas. Whether it is learning the correlation between the two, or understanding the details and symbols found throughout the remains such as the Quetzalcoalt-Kukulcan – a feathered serpent god – there is plenty to learn that a simple visual tour of the region cannot even begin to explain.

Ruins

civilisation was known for its art, architecture and mathnomical systems in the Pre Classic to Late Classic periods nd 900 AD. For a long period of time these wonders were wn jungles and become buried throughout time, but now tored to their former glory with excavation projects offere history of one of the worlds most fascinating civilisations. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Chichen Itza While it may not be as old as the other Mayan temples and ruins – only dating back as far as 600 – 900 AD – there is no doubt as to the extent of its historical importance. This breathtaking and powerful sight played a pivotal role in the Maya Late Classic period and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as having recently been selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. With many of the Mayan cities on the decline, plagued by inter-dynastic blood feuds, the Itza’s rose to prominence, changing the political thinking of the entire region with a shift in power. Learn about the fascinating stories behind buildings such as the Temple of Skulls and the astronomical observatory El Caracol as well as aweing over the vast collection of temples and pyramids.

Chichen Itza was one of the most important Mayan ceremonial centres in the classical era of civilisation. Hidden behind its beauty, symbols and walls lies a great mystery of Lamanite life in the twilight of its righteousness.

Carlos Aleman

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Ek Balam With the nearby Chichen Itza absorbing the tourist rush, get a more private and intimate glimpse of the ancient world of the Maya with a visit to this little gem. Located off the beaten track, north of Vallodolid, Ek Balam is rarely explored and you may end up strolling around all by yourself. One of the quirks that attracts visitors to these ruins is that the excavation and restoration of this buried Late Classic city is still on going with new information and fascinating finds being uncovered all the time. Look around The Acropolis, the giant palace, and marvel at the greatness of Mayan architecture. Explore the faรงade, statues and carvings of angels, animals and various other figures that are integrated in a complex and beautiful design.

Wrap yourself in the unique spirit of Ek Balam, occupied from 300 BC. It is one of few Mayan city ruins with pre-classical origins, located 30 kilometres from the colonial city of Valladolid. Learn its history, tombs, temples and famous rulers from an LDS perspective, which undoubtedly will get your attention.

Carlos Aleman

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Tulum The beautiful city of Tulum is now the most visited archaeological site in the state of Quintana Roo. Situated up in the cliffs on the southeast coast, its surrounding warm blue waters and extravagant vegetation makes it a splendour to behold. Explore the graceful columns, fantastic murals depicting ancient ceremonies and elegant carvings that will give you an appreciation for the architectural achievements of the Maya people as well as grasping the intriguing history with visits to the Temple of the Frescoes, the Castillo pyramid and the Temple of the Divine God. This trip is perfect for a lazy afternoon where you can combine the pleasures of the beach with the visual appeal of the landmarks.

Ruta Puuc The sites along the Ruta Puuc have a distinctive cultural heritage and archaeological design known as the ‘Puuc style’. This style is characterised by the elaborate ornamentation of the facades of ceremonial buildings such as temples and palaces, using limestone quarried in the region. This fascinating array is emphasised by the impressive Palace of Masks in Kabah which is completely covered with 250 masks of the rain god Chac. You will quickly begin to understand the culture behind these significant landmarks and their worship to Chac as the people of Kabah, much like other sites in the Puuc region, were dependant on rain to water their precious corn. Other ‘must visit’ sites include Uxmal’s 100 feet tall House of the Magician and Labna’s Palace of Columns to name a few.

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“Tulum was the stage where the encounter between the Spaniards and Lamanite descendants took place. See the evidence, history, culture, symbols and religion of this place in the spectacular Tulum City. Take a look into the sacred past from a clear and realistic perspective. Visit the remains of this culture and even meet a real Mayan high priest.”

Carlos Aleman

“This is an incredible opportunity to visit one of the first Mayan cities discovered in the early years of the restoration of the LDS church and after the publication of the Book of Mormon. At both Kabah and Uxmal you are sure to enjoy every minute of your vacation before finishing at the beautiful colonial city of Merida.”

Carlos Aleman

Visiting the Mayan ruins will give you the opportunity to learn about an enthralling civilisation in which even the experts are still uncovering their tales. Explore their past and celebrate the findings of one of the greatest collections of temples, pyramids and ruins in the world. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

M

ormon Encounter LDS Tours is a specialist in explaining the history of the Mesoamerican peoples in an academic and professional way to the members and non-members of the LDS community who come to visit the ruins of Chichen Itza, Coba, Ek balam, Tulum, Uxmal, Muyil, Becan, Kabah, Labna, among other great capitals of the Mayan culture located in Guatemala, Belize, and the Gulf of Mexico. Carlos Aleman, Nephi, Lemuel, Jonathan and Lehi Petlacalco, are the crew’s company, they are qualified people to teach, explain and help understand the Mayan culture and its possible relationship with the cultures as described in the Book of Mormon. They are waiting to provide the flesh and bones to your Book of Mormon reading with this tour that has become the meeting point between the spiritual and historical roots of each tourist who has lived this amazing experience.

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Contact Details

W: www.mormonencounter.com T: +1 52 998 845 3759 E: jcarlos@lds-tours.us Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Food & Culture

MEXICO

Expert BIO

Claudia Garcia Ramos, Owner, Can Cook in Cancun

Claudia learned the secrets of the Mexican kitchen at an early age from her nanny Amalia. When she was 14 she began to take classes with her first formal teacher, one of Mexico’s Cordon Bleu chefs. After six years with her first teacher, and a few other courses specialising in different international cuisines, Claudia graduated from the Culinary Institute of America chef program at Anahuac University in Mexico City and took courses at the Culinary Institute of America New York State campus. She started with her cooking classes in Mexico City preparing international dishes, French, Italian, Japanese, and of course, authentic Mexican food. Actually living in Cancun since 2005. She opened “Can Cook in Cancun” with her husband Lorenzo at their own private house. Her intention is to share her passion and love of the AUTHENTIC Mexican cuisine, its traditions and its culture.

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Mexico Food

When you think of Mexican food the mind automat country offers an incredible blend of Native Ameri cooking techniques along with mouth-watering va whole has so much to offer, we have sampled a se Mexico.


Mexico City In Mexico City you will be able to find a full range of national cuisine. Because it is the capital, many of the famous dishes from all over the country can be found here, making it one of Mexico’s top gastronomical states. Try the chile relleno, a roasted poblano chile stuffed with cheese or meats and covered in an egg batter and fried. With origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century it has become one of the most emblematic dishes in Mexican cuisine, while the chile en nogada variation has an even greater significance because of its historic connection to Mexico’s independence from Spain. This patriotic dish resembles the Mexican flag with its red, green and white colour and is most commonly found in late August and early September.

tically wanders towards tortillas and tacos but this unique ican and Spanish food, exemplary traditional dishes and ariations amongst different regions. While the country as a election of the many local gastronomies found throughout

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Puebla A good meal should be prepared carefully and, in Puebla, they’re true experts in this area. Their celebrated dish, mole poblano, can be found in almost every restaurant, market and kitchen across the whole state. The rich, savoury sauce is made from chili peppers, spices and chocolate and due to the chef cooking from scratch and keeping many closely-guarded recipes the flavours can vary wildly from one place to the next. Its origins date back to the 18th century, when nuns combined no fewer than 20 indigenous and important ingredients to make the sauce, which they then poured over cooked meat for a visiting archbishop. Find out whether you prefer the intensity of the chili or the sweetness of the fruits before seeing if you can add another little twist on this already creative culinary delight.

“Mexico is known to have one of the widest and varied cuisines in the world. It is rich in tradition and history, combining indigenous and native flavours with lots of influences from abroad.“

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Southeast Mexicans love their pork, and the most famous pork dish in the country comes from the Yucatan peninsula in the southeast of Mexico. The Pork Pibil, or Cochinita Pibil as it is sometimes known, is a pork loin or shoulder marinated in an acidic juice such as bitter oranges or a mixture of lime, lemon and orange juice, colouring it with annatto seeds that are ground or made into a paste before slow-roasting the meat wrapped in banana leaf. A combination of the acidity and slow-roasting cooking method will tenderise the pork nicely making it crumble and fall apart in your mouth. Once you have mastered the technique and recipe for the marinade, this popular feast is easy to make – but the best way to learn is from the masters themselves as many recipes have been passed along through generations, picking up many tips and tricks along the way.

UNESCO declared Mexican Cuisine as a world Heritage in the category reserved for culture and traditions in November 2010.

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Oaxaca Even by Mexico’s high standard, the regional cuisine in Oaxaca is exceptional. Having been developed over thousands of years, indigenous dishes include various insects such as grasshoppers as well as signature foods such as tamales, tejate, hot chocolate, and at least seven different salsas called moles. The tamales come highly recommended. The Oaxacan variation on this national treasure features large packets of corn dough wrapped in banana leaves, spiced with their specialty ‘black mole’. They also do a corn husk variety with other moles including green or yellow with small black beans and chepil herb.

Veracruz This region has a fascinating and unique culinary style thanks to its beautiful location along the Gulf Coast. The long coastline provides the fish and seafood that make up the staple diet among the locals, while the temperateto-tropical climate also ensures the growth of an exotic variety of fruits like cherimoya, mamey and guanabana. The main dish in Veracruz is known as Pescado a la Veracruzana and generally consists of red snapper fish, green and red capsicum, red tomatoes and onions, combining to represent the colours of the Mexican flag. Other regional delicacies include shrimp, crab, Chilpachole (spicy seafood soup) and Tumbada style Rice (with seafood) along with much more.

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“Mexican Cooking Classes have taken me back to my roots, traditions and the love of my country which has made me so passionate about Mexican food! I now like to cook the old fashioned way, from scratch, no sort turns, working with the hands, touching, smelling the aromas of my beloved Mexico. Sharing it with people from all over the world has been one of the best experiences ever.”

Claudia García Ramos

Mexican food is enjoyed all around the world but there is still no better place to sample its delights than in the homeland itself. Come to Mexico and learn about the different regions, flavours, ingredients and traditions from someone who has experienced them throughout their entire life. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

C

an Cook in Cancun Mexican Cooking Classes was founded by Claudia and Lorenzo Celis. It is located in a quiet residential neghborhood in downtown Cancun, Mexico.

At CanCookinCancun they love to share. Share their food, their culture, their traditions, and their table. It is more than just a cooking class, it is a Mexican culinary experience, it’s an immersion to Mexico’s culinary universe. A day long cooking experience will allow you to learn about Mexican culture in a fun, delicious, relaxing, yet professional way. You will discover the essence and secrets of traditional homemade specialties, their ingredients and origins, and the correct way to handle them. Whether you are a home cook, a chef or simply a curious “foodie” willing to explore the traditional Mexican flavours and way of cooking authentic Mexican food, there is a special place for you in chef Claudia´s kitchen.

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Day starts at the terrace, sipping “café de olla” and having pastries, before moving in to the kitchen. You will listen to a cultural introduction to the broad Mexican Culinary Map. Explanations of the history of Mexican cooking and cultures, and as you learn about the foods, spices, and techniques, you also get to participate in the preparation of the various entrees. Finally enjoy what you have just learned and prepared, back in the terrace delight yourself with an aperitif before sitting at the table to have the lunch you helped prepare throughout the day. We feature a different menu every week based on each of the culinary regions of Mexico

Contact Details

W: www.cancookincancun.com T: +52 998 914 0162 E: info@cancookincancun.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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abita is the first contemporary design hotel in Mexico City. Located in the residential area of Polanco, a fashionable neighbourhood with wooden ridges, fine restaurants and the most elegant boutiques, visitors can enjoy culture and fun in the heart of the country capital and this new business centre. Built in the 1950s, this re-modelled building has gained a new identity in space and design thanks to its suggestive frosted glass faรงade.

The ground floor of the hotel lobby is a unique space that opens out from its side. The restaurant offers visitors a contemporary international cuisine in a casual and elegant setting, featuring bronze artwork by contemporary artist Jan Hendrix.

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The fifth floor pool and sun deck are a unique experience and also has a gym, spa, sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi for the ultimate in relaxation. Head upstairs one floor to The Terrace for a spectacular outdoor view of Mexico City. It has a fireplace, comfortable lounging rooms and everything else you need to enjoy your tapas and cocktails. Guests can also enjoy a night time screening of art films on the adjacent wall to Habita. Luxury amenities include BMW car house, minibar, two music channels, bathroom amenities MALIN+GOETZ, private terrace, TV and DVD player. Services include laundry, fax, free internet access in rooms and public areas (WiFi and wired), business centre, tours, valet parking, security and room service 24 hours a day.

Contact Details

W: www.hotelhabita.com T: +52 55 5282 3100 E: contact@hotelhabita.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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UWE Marina

Dive Center

E

xperience one of the best and most exclusive adventures in the Mexican Caribbean and possibly one of the best adventures in the whole world. After a one hour boat ride from Cancun to the migration route, you will swim for two hours with the whale shark in his own natural habitat while maintaining deep care and respect for the world’s largest fish. Annually whale sharks and Mata rays congregate here from June to September, when the ocean becomes rich in Plankton. Despite his enormous appearance, this docile giant is totally harmless consuming only massive quantity of plankton while filtering the water. You can see the beautiful colour that they have, a grey one, blended with the blue spots and the great transparency of the Caribbean, that make it an exclusive and unrivalled experience.

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Along your journey with UWE Marina Dive Centre, you will also have the opportunity to spot some of the other fascinating sea life including the colourful French Angel, the luminous Pez Angel and the wonderful Arana. The eight hour tour will give you tremendous value for money. Departing at 7.00 am and returning at 3.00 pm, reserve now, and do not lose the chance to swim behind this magnificent mammal

Tour Includes -Transportation -Snorkel Gear -Boat Ride -Soft Drinks -Fruit -Seafood Ceviche and Sandwiches

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With Sealife Divers you can do all your Under Water Expeditions Conveniently located near the Beach in Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya offers daily OCEAN DIVE, CENOTE DIVE & Eco Tours. From Jun to Sep. Snorkel with the Whale Shark. After one boat ride from Cancun to the Migration route. We will swim with the Whale Shark in his own natural habit while maintaining deep care and respect, then enjoy the tranquil waters from Isla Mujeres The extreme Playa del Carmen Scuba Diving experience for citified divers who want to experience the most thrilling dive. From November to March the Bull Shark visit us to spend the winter before the migrate north.

More About Cenote Diving: Millions of years ago the Yucatan Peninsula was covered by the sea. Now it is made up of incredible clear fresh-water underground river systems of caverns and caves. Who Can Dive The Cenotes: Any open water diver is welcome. What Could Be Seen: Walk to the Maya jungle and get into the dry caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, millenary columns, and dive in two different Cenotes in the crystal clear water of these underground rivers. Snorkellers are welcome to come along. They will be accompanied by a professional guide and will be fully equipped with mask, snorkel, fins, wet suit and light.

Contact Details

W: www.sealifedivers.com T:

+ 52 1 984 807 9110

E:

info@sealifedivers.com

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ome and discover the Yucatán wonders with Phocea México, the only trilingual PADI Tec Rec CDC Centre in the area offering you a wide range of courses: recreational, professional (from the DSD to the IDC Staff Instructor) and technical (Tec Deep, Trimix, Full Cave courses).

The quality of service and teaching is what matters with Martine & Didier. That is why the courses are provided in English, Spanish and French – it couldn’t be more personalised. For the GO PRO, the Platinum Course Director will take you to the level you dreamt about to become a PADI instructor. Phocea have recently launched Side Mount courses and are the only dealer in the area of the Razor (created by Steve Bogaerts). As an Aqualung and Apeks partner, you will find the best pieces of equipment for your underwater adventures.

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Talking about adventure, many things deserve to be seen or discovered in the Riviera Maya: reef and deep dives in Playa del Carmen, fantastic dives in the incredibly unique cenotes (coral limestone caves), many in the peninsula, trips to the magnificent Cozumel drops-off and reefs. Depending on the season you come, Phocea can recommend special activities such Lisa & Diane Scalia as whale shark tours (if lucky with Manta rays and dolphins) from June to September, bull sharks dives from November to March, Eagle rays (with an incredible ship wreck aside) from September to May, sail fish project in January and February. Anytime you come, you will just be astonished by the rich underwater sea life: marine turtles, sea horses, drum fish and so much more. As well as taking care of the adventure and activities, Phocea can offer you luxury accommodation in the recently renovated Plaza Hotel, just across the street from the beach.

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They are firm in their belief that it is essential for all of us to conserve the environment for the next generations. Phocea take great pride in their status as the only dive centre associated to Sea Shepherd association and also the Project Aware and the international declaration Longitude 181 as well as organising beach cleaning throughout the year; a commitment which has been recognised when they were been granted the Clean Award in 2001. In 2011, PADI granted Phocea the PADI Best America’s Business Award. Feel free to get in touch to discover more about them and get more information about your next dreamful vacation via facebook, website or by e-mail.

Contact Details

W: www.phoceamexico.com T: +52 984 8731210 E: info@phoceamexico.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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HAWAII

W

hen you think of Hawaii you will probably conjure up images of super confident surfers riding 60 foot waves or a sun-kissed Hawaiian in a grass skirt doing the hula under the golden glowing sunset on a serene palm-fringed beach. This glamorous island offers all the beaches and cultural activities you have dreamt of along with much more.

It is often accompanied by musical instruments such as the ukulele or double bass and has become an enchanting art form and a worldwide symbol of Hawaiian culture. Live performances can be found throughout the islands at seasonal festivals, competitions, hotels and resorts while visitors can also take part with free lessons at places such as the Royal Hawaiian Centre or the Waikiki Beach Walk on Oahu.

Learn to Hula

Learn to Surf

Hula is a uniquely Hawaiian dance accompanied by chant or song that preserves and perpetuates the stories, traditions and culture of Hawaii. This highly visual dance form involves performers dressing up in traditional costumes of grass skirts – female – or loincloths – male – along with lei decorations such as a wreath of flowers as a necklace, bracelet, anklet or headgear.

It is believed that the sport of surfing was invented in Hawaii and it has long been part of Polynesian culture. The more experienced surfer will revel at the chance to tackle the legendary North Shore which is synonymous with big-wave surfing while first time surfers or casual participants may wish to brush up and build confidence on a less challenging but equally enjoyable beach such as Honolua Bay in Waikiki and Waikiki Beach in Oahu.

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Learn to Relax

See the Volcanoes

There are over 100 great tourist beaches in Hawaii with each island boasting at least one contender for the best beach in the world. While some beaches are renowned for their surfing and others for their snorkelling, as you can imagine, with this great diversity each location has its own unique selling point.

You are almost always within sight of a volcano in Hawaii making it an excellent destination for exploring the environment through National Parks. The Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to the most active volcano in the world and encompasses 333,000 acres from the summit of Maunaloa to the sea.

Learn how to relax with a visit to Lanikai Beach and luxuriate in its clear waters, spotless beach, and catch some shade underneath the swaying coconut palms. A mile-long stretch of powdered white sand completes this photographers dream whilst at the same time making it the perfect destination for sunbathing or taking a pleasant stroll.

The excitement can be somewhat overwhelming when visiting the famous Mt. Kilauea on the Big Island. In March 2012, lava from Kilauea completed the destruction of the Royal Gardens subdivision by burning the last remaining home there, and in the following month the United States Geological Survey placed it under ‘Watch’ status on the Volcanic-Alert Level.

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Visit Pearl Harbour A visit to Pearl Harbour is a somewhat solemn and sobering experience. It is now a little over 70 years since the Japanese launched a surprise attack on this historic naval base but its impact is still very much apparent. At the Pearl Harbour Visitor Centre you can watch a film about the attack, before catching a boat to visit the USS Arizona Memorial – built over the sunken hull of the battleship – where you can pay your respects to the 1000+ lives that were lost.

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Majestic volcanoes, palm fringed beaches, tropical rainforest, diving, surfing, hiking, music, festivals and cultural events… All this and more awaits.

Where To Stay:

The Fairmont Orchid Fairmont has a knack for offering world class hotels and in Hawaii they have delivered once again. From the moment you enter this 32-acre 540-room property you will be compounded by its serenity. Palm trees sway, birds chirp, waves lap at the sand, and green sea turtles appear every afternoon.

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Where To Eat: Morimoto Waikiki

Celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto may be known for his TV show – Iron Chef in Japan and its spin-off Iron Chef America – but in Hawaii he is better known for his fabulous restaurant, Morimoto Waikiki, where each meal of the day is executed with a presented surpassing the level of fine art.

What To Do:

The Merrie Monarch Festival – 31 March– 6 April 2013

The annual week-long Merrie Monarch Festival held in Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island features the world’s premier hula competition and an internationally acclaimed crafts fair, art show, hula shows, and a grand parade through the town centre. This is considered to be the cultural event of the year.


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Contact Details

W: www.princeresortshawaii.com T: +1 888 977 4623 E: Reservations@PrinceHawaii.com 292

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awaii Prince Hotel Waikiki is a bold achievement in architectural design. The Honolulu, Hawaii resort presents spectacular all-oceanfront accommodations and world-class service at one of the most desirable and convenient locations in Waikiki. Twenty-eight floors of oceanfront guest rooms sit atop a five-story base containing restaurants, open-air lounge, meeting rooms, banquet facilities, lobby, shops, guest services and ample parking. Guests enjoy the graciousness of the unique Aloha spirit while they marvel at the spectacular floor-to-ceiling ocean view. Business travellers appreciate the dedicated rooms with office amenities, the conference rooms, and staffed business centre. The hotel’s exceptional Hawaii Regional and authentic Japanese cuisine and its special events calendar make it a gathering place for visitors from all over the world, as well as the local community. Unwind from a hectic day of business or after a long day of shopping at Yamano DaySpa & Beauty, located in the lobby of Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki. Yamano DaySpa & Beauty are the specialists in aesthetics – the concept of combining modern salon and the latest Japanese technique to create total beauty. Originated by Aiko Yamano, this relaxation technique offers benefits to both men and women in a full range of salon and spa services. Inspired by their sister resort, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, they take pride in offering their signature “Prince Pleasures” service to every guest at Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki. This involves a hot oshibori towel upon arrival, complimentary bottle of water, daily coffee, bathrobe and slippers, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion, nightly turn-down service and complimentary shuttle service to Waikiki, surrounding beaches and Hawaii Prince Golf Club.

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Central America & The CarribeaN


Land Of Springs

JAMAICA

Expert BIO Ransford Palmer, Owner, Uton Tours Ransford Palmer has worked within the tourism industry for over 23 years. He has worked with cruise lines such as the Bermuda Star, Star Cruise Ltd. and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. This has given him the opportunity to see and travel all over the world, this being exposed to many different cultures. Ransford is licenced by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), a member of the Jamaica Co-operative Automobile & Limousine Tours Ltd. (JCAL) which is an associate member of Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Ransford takes pride in sharing his knowledge and love for his island home and its people.

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Christopher Columbus described Jamaica as “the fairest isle mine eyes ever beheld.” The Caribbean country is far much more than the land of reggae music blended with sun, sea and sand – it offers a world of discovery from the people to the food and the mountains to the coast.


Montego Bay Montego Bay has long earned its title of ‘tourist capital of Jamaica’. It is home to the Sangster International Airport, the larger of Jamaica’s two international airports, and is frequented for its duty free shopping, cruise line terminal and its spectacular beaches. Take a break from the sun and relax under a palm tree on the white sandy beaches. Enjoy a spot of snorkelling and swimming in the clear turquoise waters or participate in a number of other beach activities from volleyball to beach football. Doctor’s Cave Beach is among the favourites, but can get quite crowded during busy season; alternatively head to Cornwall Beach or Walter Fletcher Beach.

“There is a reason why Montego Bay is the tourists’ choice. Go to the shopping centre where you can find reasonably priced souvenirs, great deals on gourmet coffee and eat some real native Jamaican food. Take pictures on the beach, or go to Margaritaville for lunch.“

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Discovery Bay Discovery Bay is one of the most picturesque natural harbours in the Caribbean. Situated on the northern coast of Jamaica, over the years many have discovered the beauty of Discovery Bay and as a result a small town developed around the vicinity. On one side of the bay lies the Kaiser Bauxite Company’s wharf and Columbus Park, which overlooks the azure cove from the western end. On the other side are various private homes, resorts and the family-orientated Puerto Seco beach. Nearby you can find the Green Grotto Caves and see relics of the native Taino Arawak lifestyle. It is believed that many Spaniards escaped the English invasion of 1655 through secret passages in the caves with the help of the Arawaks and African slaves, in exchange for their freedom.

& Diane “VisitLisa Discovery Bay asScalia part of a tour to Ocho Rios. This is where Christopher Columbus first docked on his first stop in Jamaica in 1494. If you are staying a while longer, spend an afternoon on Puerto Seco beach where the water is turquoise and shallow for about 20 feet out to sea.” Ransford Palmer 298

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Negril A visit to the Negril coastline at sunset will offer you front-row seats to one of the most amazing displays of tropical hues as a golden sun sets the sky ablaze. Just an hour’s drive away from the International Airport and the hub of Montego Bay makes it an easily accessible spot to enjoy. Meander along the soft white sands of the Seven Mile Beach, escape to the Royal Palm Reserve and discover the enchantment of this 300-acre site, throw caution to the wind and partake in a spot of cliff diving, or be one with nature and visit Mayfield Falls – a great spot for camping, hiking and picnicking.

“Go through 3 parishes, or in your terms States – St James, Hanover and Westmoreland on your way to Negril for the perfect laid back tour. Black cliffs, azure water, mellow vibes – Negril’s casual laid-back pace and natural beauty are a feast for the eyes and soul.”

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South Coast Get off the beaten path and discover the many fascinating places along Jamaica’s south Coast. Explore a jungle river in the wild wetlands. Pick mangos high on a hilltop. Visit the numerous fishing villages to catch your own dinner. And play Lisaof golf & Diane Scalia Golf Club, believed to be a round at the Manchester the oldest surviving club in the Western Hemisphere. From the lush mountains to the rugged coastline, you will find the South Coast isn’t just another coastline - it is a land of adventure, quiet wonder and relaxation.

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Falmouth Travel back in time with a visit to the Georgian town of Falmouth. Founded by Thomas Reid in 1769, Falmouth flourished as a market centre and port for 40 years at a time when Jamaica was the world’s leading sugar producer. The capital of the Trelawny parish has many architectural attractions harking back to its glory days including the Falmouth Court House and Greenwood Great House, along with numerous buildings along Market Street. Make sure you visit the St Peter’s Anglican Church with its solid mahogany supporting columns and its floor inlaid with crosses or mahoe and mahogany. It is little surprise that Falmouth is a favourite amongst travel and cruise operators.

“If you want a real Jamaica experience then explore Falmouth by sea and land. Take a walking tour of the town and see the old Georgian buildings and learn about the former slave trade history there, then take a cruise ship tour on to Dunns River Ocho Rios or Mo Bay.”

Ransford Palmer

Jamaica as a country is as laid back and relaxed as its inhabitants. A country that is as warm and welcoming as its weather. Catch a tan on the beaches, get your fix of duty free shopping and enjoy this unique culture that will have you wanting to come back for more.

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ton Tours was started in 1997 after Ransford left the cruise lines. The company started after Ranstead looked at the many ways that people can enjoy themselves while on their vacation in Jamaica, coming up with the idea for this tour for relaxing and having some fun, at the Resort or from the cruise line. You will have the opportunity to know Jamaica with your own personal tour setting in the way you would like to do a tour. At Uton’s Tours, they strive to make your tour the best in Jamaica and show you the true beauty of the place, the people and the tours.

Visit all that Jamaica has to offer via Uton’s personalised tours. Take your mind off the maps and the streets signs and sit back and relax and enjoy the white sands and blue seas of Jamaica’s beaches. Uton can arrange horseback riding in the Ocean and in the mountains. If you need to stop and take that once in a lifetime shot – go ahead. Grab your camera, with Uton’s Personalised Tours you won’t have to miss a single beautiful picture. You may visit everything from the much talked about Blue Mountains to the not so well known Glistening Waters of Trelawny.

Contact Details

Choose your tour from: Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, South Coast, Montego Bay Cruise Ship, Ocho Rios Cruise Ship and Falmouth Cruise Ship Tours. Or alternatively create a personalised tour which will be tailored to your every need.

W: www.utontours.com T: +1 878 456 6323 E: www.utontours.com/ContactUs.aspx

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Food & Culture

CARIBBEAN

Expert BIO Freda Gore, Owner, Caribbean Culinary Tours Freda Gore is the dedicated owner and tour host of Caribbean Culinary Tours and Vacations. Ever since becoming Chef Instructor at the Hotel Training Centre Dutchman’s Bay Antigua in the West Indies in 1982 – a position which she held for 15 years – she has gone on to gain a lifetime experience in the food industry. Between 1993 and 1996, Freda worked as Head Chef at the Coconut Grove Restaurant, Pineapple Grille Restaurant, and Royal Antigua Hotel before taking her services international by working in the catering service as a Silver Palate Personal Chef in Fort Lauderdale, Miami. Freda’s passion for Caribbean cuisine saw her return to her homeland to open Caribbean Culinary Tours and Vacations in 2002, putting to use her experiences, skills and training to share with you the tropical flavours and unique taste of the Caribbean. She is committed to giving her guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the islands cooking styles and culinary culture.

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Not only is the Caribbean one of the safest places to visit, it is also one of the world’s friendliest locations. Each Island is unique in their culture, and that difference can be noted in the culinary delights that you will embark on during your stay.


Jamaica The birthplace of reggae, the natural home of Rastafarianism, and the origin of Rum – it is little wonder that Jamaica is one of the most famous Caribbean islands. Along with sharing Bob Marley with the world, the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ has provided such culinary delights as plantain, yams, guava, Scotch bonnet peppers and ackee. Rastafarian cuisine has had an important influence on the culinary delights in Jamaica. They have a vegetarian approach to preparing food, cooking and eating, and have introduced a host of unusual vegetarian dishes which are often as brightly coloured and vibrant as the country itself. Popular dishes here include curry goat, fried dumplings and rice and peas, but the most famous of all is the jerk chicken. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture before being cooked over barbecue.

“I enjoy spicy foods so the Jamaica Jerk is one of my favourite Caribbean dishes. While you are in Jamaica kick back and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as the Reggae Music capital of the world is well known for their cool running’s ‘no problem, man’ lifestyle.”

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Barbados Although many different cultures contributed to the food in Barbados, it’s rather fitting that their nickname is ‘Little England’ as the British influence is most noticeable here. The British began growing sugar cane in Barbados in the 1640s which made sugar one of the most common foods on the island. Traditional candies such as tamarind balls, guava cheese, chocolate fudge and peanut brittle, coconut bread, Bajan baked custard and lemon meringue pies remain popular on the island today. Try the ‘Bajan Candied Sweet Potatoes’ which is sweet potatoes and brown sugar often mashed together and covered with cherries and pineapples, or the island favourite ‘Conkies’ which is made up of coconut, pumpkin, corn flour and sweet potatoes wrapped in a banana tree leaf.

Lisa & Diane Scalia

“Barbados is a tropical paradise with some of the islands greatest beaches and friendliest people. The Brown Sugar Restaurant on the island is a must stop for local Bajan dishes.”

Freda Gore

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St Lucia St Lucia contains all the great pristine beaches, beautiful natural rainforests and lovely luxury resorts that all of its larger neighbours possess, but here you will get to enjoy it all in a peaceful and idyllic setting. Succulent and exotic fruit like mangoes, oranges, tangerines, avocados and breadfruits are plentiful on this island, while its famous dish is banana and saltfish. Be sure to try the local ‘bouyon’ which is a soup like casserole consisting of lamb, chicken, beef, goat or fish with plantains, bananas, dasheen, ground yams and dumplings. Many of the islands dishes are influenced by a combination of French and British flavours from its colonial days.

“St Lucia remains unspoilt with its breathtaking Pitons Mountains. It is also home to some of the Caribbean’s most authentic dishes such as Cassava Bread, black pudding and souse.”

Freda Gore

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Antigua The heart of the Caribbean and the Land of Sun is a tropical paradise full of exquisite flavours that are not to be missed. Antigua takes a lot of its culinary influences from Europe and its famous dish Fungie is similar to that of Italian Polenta. You will enjoy dishes such as the pepper pot, curried conch, seasoned rice and snapper in banana leaves, along with their famous Antigua Black pineapple pie. Take a day tour to the sister island of Barbuda for a lobster lunch and relax on its world famous pink sand beaches.

“For me, the Antigua Pepper pot and Fungi is still the meal that offers stick-to-the-bone comfort and an ultimate satisfaction. Freshly harvested vegetable greens including spinach, okra, pigeon peas, with picked pork and beef are cooked to a heart warming stew. This is usually served with a steamed cornmeal roll.�

Freda Gore

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Puerto Rico The locals call their cuisine ‘Cocina Criolla’ and its roots can be traced back to the African, Amerindian and Spanish inhabitants of the island in the 1800s. Although the cooking is similar to both Spanish and Latin American cuisine, it uses a unique and mouthwatering blend of indigenous seasoning ingredients found in Puerto Rico. Make sure you try the Mofongo, a popular dish made from fried green plantains or fried yucca, seasoned with garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings, that is then mashed together. This is usually served with a fried meat and a chicken broth soup.

Once you have sampled the five mainstays of the Caribbean you should be more confident to go explore some of the other 7,000 islands, islets, reefs and cays that make up this region. Why not take a look at Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat or Dominican Republic and taste the sunshine.

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t is a well known fact that the Caribbean Islands are blessed with the unique wonders of nature, but the culinary culture and art has been overlooked. Each Island has its own unique individuality, with exotic names like Jerk Chicken, Pepper pot, Coo, Jonny Cakes, Conkies, Souse, Goat water and the list goes on.

Caribbean Culinary Tours mission is to share the tropical flavours and unique taste of the Caribbean region through the islands cooking styles and culinary culture. They specialise in culinary tours to the Caribbean Islands of Antigua , Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Martin, St Lucia and St Kitts /Nevis but also offer private tours and exclusive vacations to St Barth’s and the Bahamas.

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Chef Freda has put together these intimate guided group tours and retreats to give her guest an inside, hands-onknowledge of the islands culinary culture and fascinating cuisine. Guests stay at the luxurious islands villas and boutique hotels among Market and Rum distillery tours, culinary historic excursions, off islands cruise excursions, Eco tours, local shopping for arts and crafts, cooking classes, restaurant dining, local guest chefs visits, Spa treatments, fishing, yoga, and golf lessons, with enough time left over to relax on the island beaches or set off and explore on your own.

Contact Details

W: www.caribbeanculinarytours.net T: +1 615 609 5421 E: caribbeanculinarytours@gmail.com

Caribbean Culinary Tours are in the business of providing you with a fun, safe, and exciting vacation. You will enjoy great food while learning the art of Caribbean cooking. You will meet friendly people with the largest grins! You will build long lasting friendships - all in a tropical and relaxing atmosphere. So book now and enjoy a trip of a lifetime Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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BARBADOS

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xperience classic calypso rhythms, an islandtime vibe and world-famous rums in a fullyblown luxury environment. Barbados is one of the most developed islands in the region and it is packed full of historic sites and landmarks, world-class beaches, natural beauty and Caribbean culture for people of all ages to enjoy.

Discover the Birthplace of Rum Believed to be the oldest distilled spirit in the world, rum was first made 370 years ago from the sugar cane that populated the island. During your stay, be sure to visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery in Bridgetown, which has been operating since 1703, to take the tour which includes a rum tasting session. At the time of discovery, Barbados rum soon found the favour of many English sailors who, as legend tells it, offered their bounty of rum as proof that they had crossed the Atlantic. While you may not require the same level of proof, don’t let that stop you taking full advantage of this islands extensive range.

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Explore Historic Sites & Landmarks The island is often portrayed as the Little Britain of the Caribbean because of its long association as a British colony, and that influence is resonated by its wonderful architectural and historical sites and landmarks throughout. Visit the 18th century Arlington House, which has been restored as an interactive three-story museum, as well as the Barbados Museum which is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other highlights include the house where George Washington and his half-brother lived in back in 1751.

Adore the Natural Beauty There are so many destinations to observe and adore the natural beauty of Barbados. The mild, subtropical weather has nourished a fascinating array of flora and fauna, and nurtured lush gardens that are the most varied in the world. It is home to a number of exquisite gardens and historic plantation houses while there is also no shortage of soft golden sands along the luxurious coastline.


The nature highlights in Barbados include Harrison’s Cave with its many stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes and waterfalls and the Barbados Wildlife Reserve where you can laugh at the antics of the green monkeys. It is easy to see why the local people always wear a smile on their faces. Barbados is the epitome of luxury and has mastered the art of fine living. Simply put, this island has perfected perfection.

Where To Stay:

Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane is arguably the Caribbean’s most famous hotel. It is all about over-the-top luxury, shameless pampering, extraordinary facilities including a Romanesque spa, and an awe-inspired layout featuring acres of shiny marble and coral rock. If money is not an issue this is the only choice worth making.

What To Do

The CLOBI Challenge

Visit Barbados during November and you will be able to catch the three-match series between England and the West Indies. The England team will be led by Michael Vaughan while the West Indies will be led by the former prolific opening bat, Gordon Greenidge.

Where To Eat: Champers

Champers is one of the best restaurants on the south coast with its fresh seafood, generous portions and exquisite flavours. The exceptional food and wine is complimented by the oceanfront setting which gives diners a super panoramic view of the Ocean.

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BAHAMAS

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he Bahama Islands, is an archipelago consisting of more than 2,000 islands if you include the cays that are formed on coral reefs. Regardless of which island you pick you are sure to find the jaw-dropping beauty of the soft white sand beaches. If you can prise yourself away from your sun lounger long enough, why not pair them up with some of the other activities throughout the region.

Nassau Nassau has been the vibrant capital of The Bahamas right back to when Blackbeard was a local. Speaking of which, you can travel back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 1700s when the pirates ruled the waves around here with a visit to the interactive Pirates of Nassau Museum. The island has kept a lot of its old architecture charm and history, alongside designer glamour and built up tourist resorts and attractions.

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Blue Lagoon Island You can go swimming with dolphins all around the world these days but one thing that makes Blue Lagoon Island stand out from the crowd is that this experience allows you to get up close and personal with these fascinating marine mammals in their natural habitat. Just a 25-minute boat ride from Nassau, this excursion offers a close encounter with Flipper and friends, in which you can kiss them, hug them and even feed them.

Grand Bahama Island Grand Bahama Island is an ecological playground featuring no fewer than six different eco-systems. Make sure you visit the Lucayan National Park which is the crown jewel of the three national parks on Grand Bahama. Explore the underwater limestone cave system and stroll through pine forests. This national park is the only place on the island where you can discover all six eco-systems in one place.


The great thing about the Bahamas is that once you have explored everything that one island has to offer you can simply pack your bags and hop on a boat to the next. Either go from small day trips or connect a series of mini-holiday excursions in this Caribbean paradise.

Where To Stay: Pink Sands Resort

Set on a tropical 20-acre beachside estate on Harbour Island, Pink Sands comprises of 25 paste-coloured cottages scattered throughout lush tropical grounds by the edge of the famous three-mile pink sands beach. Its upmarket bohemian credentials were underlined when Barbara Hulanicki, founder of sixties boutique Biba was enlisted to design its interior.

What To Do

Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Course Play a round at Emerald Bay’s 18-hole resort course located near the pristine white sandy beach and turquoise waters of Emerald Bay, featuring six holes on the Atlantic Ocean. The course was designed by Australian golf legend Greg ‘the Shark’ Norman and makes the most of its scenic peninsula, unparalleled vistas and natural vegetation.

Where To Eat: Graycliff

This Georgian mansion and former pirate haunt and prison is one of the grandest hotels in the Bahamas and houses one of the Caribbean’s top gourmet chefs. Tantalise your taste buds with this tasty mixture of French and Bahamian cuisine while sipping on your choice from their 250,000 bottles of wine. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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TURKS & CAICOS

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he Turks and Caicos are a series of 40 different islands and cays, of which only eight are inhabited. Each ones offers a different experience and a unique character but all offer year round sun, sea and sand.

Grand Turk Begin your journey with a visit to the capital island of the Turks and Caicos. Grand Turk is the islands historical heartbeat and cultural centre. It is here that you will learn about the thriving salt industry that helped shape the island from the 17th and 18th centuries and how the island still nurtures its lingering presence. Take a dune buggy tour around the island and see the olden wind mills that guard the mournful Salinas, discover charming

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city of Cockburn Town, and get a close-up look at a few of the wild horses and donkeys which were once integral to the island’s trade at the Grand Turk Indigenous Horse Shelter.

Providenciales Providenciales, or more commonly known as ‘Provo’, is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos and serves as the main tourist centre. While Grand Turk is the kingpin for the islands history, Provo is the supreme ruler when it comes to beaches. Head to the western end of the island to find all sorts of aquatic activities including bone fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. Wherever you go, the island is surrounded by luxurious white sand beaches. This is the place to go to escape your busy schedule and enjoy ultimate relaxation.


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Caicos Islands The quiet and tranquil islands of North and Middle Caicos offer the same white sandy beaches as its neighbours yet they are not as geared around the tourism industry as Grand Turk and Provo.

Experience the true Turks and Caicos with an island hopping tour or pick an island and stick with it. Should you choose the latter there will be plenty of exciting adventures to return to when you pick a neighbouring island for your next excursion because once you’ve been to the Turks and Caicos you won’t want to go anywhere else.

This is perhaps due to the abundant rainfall which truly is a double-edged sword. While some people may be put off by rain, it has transformed North Caicos into the lushest of all the islands with the ideal agriculture, mariculture and fascinating flora and fauna. Catch a glimpse of the famous endangered pink flamingos on one of the best eco-tours in the world.

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Where To Stay:

COMO Shambhala Retreat - Parrot Cay It’s not unusual for celebrities to seek refuge from the public eye in this northern Caribbean’s pre-eminent private island. Here you will find an award-winning holistic spa, health-giving cuisine and beach house and more importantly 1,000 unspoilt acres, including a mile-long powdered beach.


Where To Eat:

Coco Bistro - Providenciales

Set amidst the largest palm grove on the island of Providenciales, Coco Bistro serves creative and elegant Caribbean cuisine infused with the freshest local ingredients. In fact, the ingredients are so fresh the head chef has cultivated his own herb garden to be sure that he has an abundant supply for his masterfully-created distinctive sauces and dishes.

What To Do:

Provo Golf Club – Providenciales

This 18-hole championship golf course is often recognised as one of the top 10 golf courses in the Caribbean and has hosted the Caribbean Amateur Open in 1999 and again in 2009. Put your skills to the test with a leisurely game or get competitive at the annual Amateur Tournament. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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VIRGIN ISLANDS

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he Virgin Islands is an archipelago split between three territories – British, Spanish and U.S. Incredible yachting facilities and world class beaches bring tourists to both their populated and uninhabited islands. We have chosen four of the best.

Tortola The capital of the British Virgin Islands has become one of the more popular sailing destinations in the world and is considered to be the epicentre of the Caribbean yachting community. Many people fly in to Tortola just to hop on a yacht and spend their entire vacation out at sea or sailing out to one of the smaller uninhabited islands for the ultimate privacy and relaxation. If you’re not into yachting then there is still plenty to keep you occupied.

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Anegada Anegada is the second largest island in the British Virgin Islands and yet it has a year-round population of less than 200. This sparsely populated land enjoys total isolation from the rest of the chain as it is surrounded by some 15 miles of blue water. Many visitors come here in order to luxuriate on an almost exclusive beach while others sail here for its bountiful coral reefs.

Saint Thomas This U.S. Virgin Island is home to one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. There are almost always lots of sailboats and yachts moored in the Charlotte Amalie harbour, while out at sea it is fascinating to see the houses scaling the steep green hills of Charlotte Amalie just behind the shore. If you get the time, why not climb the 99 steps up the hill and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views on offer.


Saint John It may be the smallest, but many consider this to be the prettiest of the U.S. Virgin Islands thanks to its vast collection of world class beaches. Honeymoon Bay is the perfect location for, well, honeymoons while the neighbouring Salomon Bay offers the same fantastic views and natural beauty. Almost two-thirds of Saint John is protected as a Virgin Islands National Park and it also features a number of incredible hikes and treks.

Where To Stay:

Bitter End Yacht Club Bitter End is uniquely situated along a mile of shorefront on the protected waters of the North Sound and is also home to a full service marina with dockage and over 70 moorings where repairs, provisions and supplies are readily and easily available.

Join A Yacht Club – (St.

What To Do Thomas Yacht Club)

If you are a keen fisherman or just generally enjoy spending your days out at sea then you may wish to get involved with one of the many yacht clubs. Join St. Thomas Yacht Club on the U.S. Virgin Islands and either get involved in Club Racing or take full advantage of the use of Club Boats.

Where To Eat:

Oceana Restaurant Located on the water’s edge at Frenchtown’s historical Villa Olga in the U.S. Virgin Islands, this setting is as exquisite as the menu itself. Offering divine extravagance, savour the explosion of flavours from the innovative global cuisine and watch the sun melt into the horizon while sipping on cocktails in the Oceana lounge.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

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nearth the real experience of this fascinating country which goes above and beyond its famous stretch of beaches and large all-inclusive resorts. For those travellers who enjoy a bit of culture and adventure during their journey, Dominican Republic is for you.

Santo Domingo Dominicans are rightly proud of their capital city. It is the oldest European city in the New World and has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to its rich cultural, architectural and artistic heritage.

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On a continent where beach breaks and rainforest expeditions dominate the tourism industry it is always a pleasure to stumble across a city like Santo Domingo, where you can browse endlessly along the cobblestone streets and never tire at what you will find. Explore the Colonial Zone for its fine collection of 15th and 16th century architecture and make sure you don’t miss the Ozama Fort, the Alcazar de Colon and the beautiful churches and convents.

Jarabacoa & Constanza Trade the relaxation of a beach for the adrenaline buzz and adventure of Jarabacoa and Constanza.


The two inland cities are the jewels in the crown of the Central Mountain Range, the tallest range in the Caribbean, often referred to as the Dominican Alps. Climb the mountains at your own pace and enjoy the crisp air and alpine vegetation that is every bit as enthralling as the beaches. Reach the summit of Pico Duarte, which at 10,164ft is the highest point in the Caribbean, and be over-awed at the incredible visual panorama that unfolds in every direction. Before you leave this region, throw yourself in at the deep end with the white-knuckle activities such as canyoning, river-rafting and cascading through the cool waters of the Yaque del Norte River.

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Monte Cristi

Playa Bonita

Located in the north-west, Monte Cristi is one of the lesser known destinations in the Dominican Republic, but its authentic feel and excursions to see mangroves, coral reefs and outlying islands make it worth a visit. Take in the fascinating sights from the 900ft high Mesa overlooking the splendid coastline and clear blue sea below as well as the small islands located just off shore, known as Los Siete Hermanos (The Seven Brothers). In the city itself, learn about the close historic ties between the Dominican Republic and Cuba at the Maximo Gomez museum and discover that the Dominican Republic is giving Cuba a run for its money as the prime destination for a good cigar by picking up some of the finest locally handmade cigars in the world.

While the tourists flock to the world-class but often crowded beaches of Punta Cana and Bavaro, you will be enjoying eight miles of coconut palms, fine white sand and crystal clear water along the secluded beach of Playa Bonita.

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The name aptly translates to ‘beautiful beach’ and it is easy to see why. The aquamarine surf is shallower and prettier than the neighbouring beaches in nearby Las Terrenas and it is both relaxing and quiet making it the perfect destination to recharge the batteries or pick up a new book.


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In a sense, it is a bit of a paradox as it is the perfect Caribbean destination for the anti-Caribbean experience traveller. With so much to see and so much to do, the Dominican Republic does not need to rely on its beaches to attract visitors.

Where To Stay:

Hostal Nicolas de Ovando, Santo Set in the heart of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, this 500-year-old property still contains the building’s sense of history and charm with exposed original fortress walls, tiled courtyards and brick archways. The hotel also features all of the modern amenities that you come to expect from a 5-star hotel.

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Where To Eat:

Calle El Conde, Santo Domingo El Conde’s setting in Parque Colon, opposite the 16thcentury Cathedral Primada de America, makes it a prime spot to unwind and watch the people go by. Sit at an outside table and soak up the pleasantly quaint ambience while dining on the finest national and international cuisine.

What To Do:

Punta Cana Festival

The vibrant colours, the long horned masks and explosion of joy make the Dominican carnival one of the best. The annual parade takes place in March each year after the grand parade in Santo Domingo, but the date is never announced until about 3 weeks before.



CUBA

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amous for its fat cigars and Marxist Revolutionaries – there are plenty of cliché itineraries that you can explore. For those of you looking beyond the exhausted jaunts, Cuba is also a land full of beautiful beaches, a lively night-scene and an overall fascinating culture that can be enjoyed by all.

Che’s Mausoleum Che Guevara has received a cult hero status with his face often found plastered on t-shirts and posters all around the world. The leader of the rebel column led the revolution into battle at Santa Clara in 1958, effectively spelling the end of Batista’s rule in Cuba. Now, the city is a mecca for Che’s worshippers with several monuments doted around the outer neighbourhoods. The main memorial however looms over the entrance to the city at Avenida de los Desfiles on Plaza de la Revolucion. A 22 foot tall bronze statue towers overhead while underneath it is the hero’s mausoleum housing his remains alongside 29 fellow guerrillas who died in battle with him.

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Cigar Museum Predictable? Maybe. Worthy of a visit? Without doubt. Cuba has a reputation for producing the best tobacco in the world and this museum allows you to learn all of the secrets in how they do it. Dating back to the 18th century, it is the only building that shares the country’s unique tobacco culture with exhibitions including tools for the processing of tobacco leaves pipes, lighters and other items of the art of smoking. Want to pick up a gift for someone back home – the museum also has a shop specialising on Cuban cigars.

Beaches With a coastline stretching 5,746 kilometres, the question isn’t ‘shall we go to the beach?’ rather more, which beach shall we go to? Cuba’s northern region has garnered a prestigious reputation worldwide with its characteristic golden powdery sands and turquoise waves of the warm Atlantic Ocean.


Where To Stay:

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Holidaymakers all over the world come to Cuba to visit the famous beaches of Varadero, Guardalavaca, Esmeralda, Santa Maria del Mar to name but a few. Call us crazy, but we recommend ignoring these ‘hot spots’ and heading south. These little known, undiscovered virgin beaches are far less populated with tourists yet provide visitors with a divine, pristine tranquillity.

Old Havana Take a stroll along the promenade during the evening and take in some of Havana’s culture. With an architectural heritage spanning more than five centuries this UNESCO World Heritage Site is full of authentic character. Highlights include the El Templete, the oldest neo-classical building in Cuba, along with the splendidly designed Church of Angel Custodio. While you are relaxing on the beach, smoking a Cuban cigar – don’t forget to shield your head from the sun with a Che Guevara beret. With a glorious Caribbean climate and a lively Hispanic culture, Cuba offers everything you would come to expect – plus much more.

A National Monument inscribed in the World Memory Register – the Hotel Nacional de Cuba is considered to be a symbol of history, culture and Cuban identity. This fantastic building is located in the heart of Havana and has amazing ocean views and a big garden at the back where parrots and peacocks roam freely.

Where To Eat:

La Guarida

This luxurious eatery has featured in Cuban movies and it still shines today with its film-star looks and nouveau Cuban cuisine. Enjoy wonderful fusion food in a romantic ambiance of art-drenched walls and hushed laughter in an intimate environment.

What To Do:

Tour the City in a Classic 50s Car

For the petrolheads and lovers of all things vintage, this one is for you. Take a tour of Cuba in a 1950s classic car and cruise along the Malecon, taking in the atmospheric ocean road lined with colourful but fading colonial and art deco buildings. Gran Car tours can be booked at all hotel tour desks.

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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

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rinidad and Tobago is a nation consisting primarily of two Caribbean islands just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Like most Caribbean islands, Trinidad and Tobago is vibrant, colourful and packed with energy and culture. However, unlike its neighbours, tourism is not a major industry. As a result the unspoilt natural beauty and authentic traditions are still there for all to see.

Beaches Although Tobago is considered the more attractive prospect to tourists, we prefer the beaches on the more southern island of Trinidad. Don’t get me wrong, the beaches in Tobago offer serene beauty with the warm Caribbean Sea feels like stepping into a soothing bath.

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Trinidad on the other hand is more refreshing and invigorating with bigger waves and stronger current also providing ideal surf conditions. Our favourite beach can be found on the North coast at Maracas Bay. The glorious long and wide stretch of powdery white sand is lined with coconut trees and set against a luscious backdrop of dark green mountains.

Turtle Spotting Get a rare glimpse of an endangered species by taking a turtle spotting or conservation tour of Trinidad and Tobago.


Every year the extraordinary Leatherback sea turtles arrive on land between March and August to lay their eggs while approximately two months later you can witness an even more fascinating spectacle once the eggs have hatched as the baby turtles begin their struggle down towards the sea. Trinidad’s Mathura Beach and Tobago’s aptly named Turtle Beach are the two best destinations to enjoy this natural phenomenon.

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Take a Hike If you love rainforests and enjoy hiking then Trinidad and Tobago is the place to be. Bird watchers can catch a glimpse of the endangered Pawi or Piping Guana at Brasso Seco or enjoy the fabulous stalagmites and stalactites at the Aripo Caves. For an all-round experience, you simply cannot miss the El Tucuche Reserve known as the Northern Sanctuary in Trinidad. It is the second highest peak in Trinidad and offers an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna as well as a beautiful collection of streams, silk cotton trees, waterfalls and rivers.

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With more than enough cultural and ecological landscapes to rival the world famous Amazon and a collection of beaches that would give any other Caribbean country a run for its money, the only question that remains is where you do start? Trinidad or Tobago.

Where To Stay:

VHL Tobago Golf Resort and Spa VHL Tobago Golf Resort and Spa is located on a 20acre tropical beachfront overlooking Tobago Plantations’ 18-hole PGA-designed golf course. Conveniently situated near the Crown Point International Airport, this beautiful property offers a serene, peaceful and romantic atmosphere and is ideal for both couples and honeymoons.


Where To Eat:

The Verandah Restaurant, Port of Spain

Overlooking the affluent neighbourhood of St. Clair, The Verandah restaurant is a charming, gorgeous gingerbread-style house, run by Trinidadian women, serving an ever-changing ‘free style’ menu written on blackboards at the start of each day. Dine out on the verandah where tropical breezes create an intimate atmosphere.

What To Do:

Trinidad Carnival - 11-12 February 2013

Although Tobago holds its own small festival, people from all over Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean, converge on Port of Spain for the biggest and best-known carnival in the Caribbean. While it’s smaller than Rio de Janeiro and Notting Hill, this is a fine example of ‘bigger isn’t always better’.

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SAINT LUCIA

W

ith dramatic mountains, tropical rain forest, hot mineral springs, pure white sand beaches and clear blue water – Saint Lucia is one of the most picturesque of the Caribbean Is-

Afterwards, get up close to this UNESCO World Heritage Site by climbing to the very top of the 771 metre Gros Piton or alternatively get your snorkel on and explore the myriad of reef fishes, turtles and beautiful coral formations.

lands.

The Pitons The Pitons are visible from virtually every part of the island. Not only are they the most photographed landmark in Saint Lucia but they also rank among the most iconic sites in the whole of the Caribbean. Admire the two towering volcanic plugs from afar against the backdrop of green tropical vegetation and a varying topography combined with a marine foreground which completes this areas superlative beauty.

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Plantation Tour Head out to the rugged and beautiful east coast where you can travel through the banana plantations and unspoilt villages of the Cul de Sac valley. In fact, visit any of the plantations across the east and you will be replenished with luscious rainforest vegetation, incredible hikes and mouth-watering fruit crops. However, plantation tours on the west are equally attractive. The Marquis Estate is the largest estate in Saint Lucia and offers a fascinating insight into the production of present


export crops while La Sikwe Historical Sugar Mill & Plantation has a splendid 400-acre estate set in a botanical garden.

Vieux Fort Vieux Fort is the second largest town on the island and is the home of Saint Lucia’s international airport. While most travellers tend to stay on the west coast, Vieux Fort is starting to attract people eastwards. Visit the two small islands off the coast of Vieux Fort: Maria Island, a nature reserve that is home to the Kouwes Snake – noted as the world’s rarest snake – and the Zandoli Te, a blue-tailed ground lizard which can only be found on this island. Frigate Island, a National Park and protected area where you can spot masses of frigate birds while relaxing on the nearby sandy beach.

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Saint Lucia has enough scenic locations to fill the memory card of a thousand digital cameras while engraving a million more magical moments in the memory of its guests.

Where To Stay:

The Jalousie Plantation

Set over 100-acres of lush rainforest on the site of an 18th century sugar plantation, the lushly landscaped grounds sweep down to the stunning white sand Sugar Beach and the glimmering Caribbean Sea. All of the resort’s villas and villa suites provide spectacular views of the magnificent Pitons.

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Where To Eat: The Cliff at Cap

The Cap may not be the best hotel, but it is home to one of the most highly sought after tables on the island. Its open-sided cliff-top gourmet restaurant offers fancy cooking using the most extravagant ingredients such as foie gras and lobster while the unobstructed views towards Martinique to the north and Pigeon Island to the west really do ‘cap’ off this dining experience.

What To Do: Watersports

Watersports and underwater activities are among the most popular choices on Saint Lucia, but the island is also an attractive destination for rock climbers, hikers, mountain bikers and those who are looking for landbased activities in the Caribbean.



ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

A

ntigua and Barbuda is the largest of the British Leeward Islands and was once established as Great Britain’s most important Caribbean base. Now they are the archetype Caribbean Islands offering masses of stunning white sandy beaches and year-round sun for all to enjoy.

Antigua Revel in the peaceful tranquillity of Antigua’s beautiful beaches by day before embracing the vibrant and lively culture by night. Relax on the palm-fringed whitesand beaches or go exploring in the glistening crystal clear waters where you will find amazing underwater wildlife. Swimming, windsurfing, snorkelling and diving are aplenty.

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Shirley Heights The hikes and explorations in Antigua are very rewarding and if you don’t believe me then just take one look at the view from either Monks Hill or Shirley Heights. The fort at Monk Hill provides an ideal location to sit and enjoy the picturesque setting over the Falmouth Harbour while our favourite spot on the whole island, Shirley Heights, offers breathtaking views far out across the English Harbour.

Barbuda Very few people live on the island of Barbuda and even fewer people visit. While this island has very little in terms of facilities and attractions what it does have in abundance is magnificent beaches. Ringed with miles


of beautiful deserted beaches, at times you may find yourself all alone. Be sure to visit the Pink Sand Beach, stretching across eight miles, the champagne coloured silky sand glows with a gorgeous rose tint thanks to the crushed coral in the mix.

Where To Stay:

St. James Club Resort and Villas

A lush tropical playground tucked away on a secluded 100-acre peninsula on the south-eastern coast of Antigua, the St. James’ Club Resort & Villas boasts breathtaking ocean views and two white sand beaches along with four swimming pools and on-site activities to keep all age groups entertained.

Where To Eat:

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is located on the water’s edge at Dickenson Bay, surrounded by palms and lush tropical vegetation. Sit back and enjoy a candle-lit dinner as the tide washes right up alongside you. This rustic, open-air restaurant and bar specialise in freshly caught seafood with traditional Caribbean flavour.

What To Do:

Antigua Carnival

Caribbean countries love their carnival and Antigua are no exception to the rule. From late July to early August this entrancing isle celebrates with music, pageants, parades and more at the Recreation Ground in St. John’s. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Adventure

PUERTO RICO

Expert BIO Percy Rier, Director, Kayaking Puerto Rico KPR is directed by Percy Rier, 28, and Dalberto Arce, 30. Between them they have a combined experience of over 16 years in the industry of eco-tourism and have independent studies in business administration, marine biology and environmental sciences. Beginning their journey 2006, they were quickly recognised by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company in 2008 and awarded with the “Quality and Excellence Award”. Maintaining their pace, they have since become recognised as the Top Rated Aquatic Adventure Company on the island.

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Bringing out the best of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is a c ally unique island, different than any other. Puerto Rico (Spa the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico”, is an unincorporated t located in the northeastern Caribbean. It comprises an ar main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, eques, Culebra, and Mona.

Celebrate the diverse cultures that have shaped this island through its rich cuisine, distinctive arts and crafts, vibrant m and parades. Combine these with a vast array of excitin adventures and you have yourself the perfect getaway!


Laguna Grande Experience the magical adventure of a bioluminescent bay with a night-time kayak through the glowing waters of ‘Laguna Grande’. Marvel at the millions of Pyrodinium Bahamense, a microscopic plankton capable of producing natural glowing swirl of blue light at the touch of your hand causing a magnificent illumination in this rare, natural wonder. Explore this amazing organism up close and learn how this fragile and unique ecosystem maintains a perfect balance of life, and what you can do to protect such a special place.

“Watch how every stroke of your paddle leaves behind a glowing swirl of blue light, and fish light up their path like shooting stars in the water. The adventure to Laguna Grande can only be described as magical, creating memories that will last a lifetime!” There are two other bio bays in Puerto Rico offering a glimpse at this phenomenon; one in the South West – ‘La Parguera’ and another on Vieques – ‘Mosquito Bay’.

colourful, diverse and culturanish for “rich port”), officially territory of the United States, rchipelago that includes the s, the largest of which are Vi-

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Culebra Island Begin your magnificent journey through Culebra with a visit to the world famous Flamenco Beach. With its sandy white shore and impressive collection of fauna that includes parrotfish, blue tang, Ghost Crab and multiple species of wrasse it is little wonder that the Discovery Channel recently named it as the second most beautiful beach in the world. From there, visit the unspoiled Tamarindo Beach for kayaking and snorkelling over the calm, turtle frequented waters of the Luis Pena Marin Reserve. Enjoy the breath taking views of Culebra’s deserted cays, and the vast marine fauna. Without a doubt the “Culebra Aquafari” is one of our most impressive excursions boasting the clearest waters, pristine beaches, and a variety of sea life that will simply amaze.

Paddle over the calm, turtle frequented waters of the Luis Pena Marine Reserve. Along the way, enjoy the breath taking views of Culebra’s deserted cays, and the vast marine fauna. Without a doubt the Culebra Aquafari is one of our most Impressive Excursions. The clearest waters, pristine beaches and a variety of sea life that will simply amaze.

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El Yunque Rainforest A cool, mountainous, sub tropical rainforest welcomes you to experience its picturesque waterfalls, the sounds of tropical birds, running streams and the ever-singing Coqui frog. Pick and choose from a number of trails; serious hikers may wish to take the challenging day trip to the Luquillo Mountains, while others may choose a more leisurely stroll taking one of two trails that lead you straight down to La Mina waterfalls for a refreshing swim. We recommend the popular Big Tree Trail from the North entrance, along with a visit to El Portal Information Center, La Coca falls, and the Yokahu Observation Tower to enjoy a unique panoramic view of this dense greenery.

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Go Island Hopping Experience the snorkelling adventure of a lifetime as you pilot your own 13” inflatable MINI BOAT exploring the uninhabited cays and stunning white sand beaches off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast. A divine serenity awaits & Diane Scalia you as Lisa you enjoy the fascinating scenery with views of the mountains of El Yunque Rainforest, “Las Cabezas de San Juan” Nature Reserve, and Fajardo’s 130-year-old Spanish lighthouse. Swim among schools of colourful tropical fish at Icacos Cay and familiarise yourself with the spectacular coral reef formations before moving on to the jaw dropping Isla de Palomintos – an island so beautiful that it was chosen as the picturesque escape in Hollywood blockbuster ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 4’.

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Come to Puerto Rico to discover a world full of natural wonders, sparkling beaches and endless travel adventures. Enjoy the sub tropical climate and endless expeditions. Most importantly, remember to leave plenty of room on your camera – you will be needing it! Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

K

ayaking Puerto Rico is an award winning Puerto Rican adventure company specialising in recreational and environmentally oriented kayaking and snorkelling excursions off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

In 2006 Kayaking Puerto Rico began by offering kayaking and snorkelling excursions at the astonishing site of “Las Cabezas de San Juan” Nature Reserve. With its protected snorkelling grounds teeming with marine life and beautiful beaches, this was the perfect place for KPR to begin their journey into becoming Puerto Rico’s Top Aquatic Outfitter. Additionally, at this very special place, you will find the Bio-luminescent Lagoon “Laguna Grande”, and in 2007 KPR began offering night kayaking excursions to the natural phenomenon. The “Bio Bay” excursion quickly became their most popular excursion, followed by their “Quality and Excellence Award” in 2008 from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

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In the quest for showcasing the pinnacle of Puerto Rican kayaking and snorkelling, the company inaugurated “Aquafari Culebra” in 2009; a fascinating Kayaking and Snorkelling excursion that allows guests to explore one of the most vibrant and life filled underwater nature reserves in the Caribbean. Not resting on their laurels, Percy and Dalberto took a great step on 2010, with the take off of their biggest project yet. Mini Boat Adventures! The only adventure of its kind in Puerto Rico where you will have the opportunity to captain your own 40 Horse Power inflatable MINI BOAT in an excursion across the uninhabited cays and white sand beaches of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast.

Contact Details

W: www.kayakingpuertorico.com T: +1 787 435 1665 E: info@kayakingpuertorico.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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COSTA RICA with

Expert BIO Beate Heycke, Co-Founder, Planet Conservation Beate Heycke is Co-Founder of Planet Conservation and one of the sustainability and destination experts within their core team. She has lived in Latin America for 9 years and will offer her huge experience and knowledge to make your visit to Central & South America a very special one.

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Planet Conservation is an organisation focussing develop sustainability in many different areas. The and promote exclusive and customised journeys to America, which are acknowledged to be of major im

Sustainable development and conservation of bi vironmental, social, educational and cultural prog cooperation with local organisations which are wo generate direct benefits for conservation of nature

Their guests and participants gain a unique expe projects, communities, and cultures in many diverse


on international cooperation to eir main objectives are to organise destinations in Central and South mportance to global conservation.

iodiversity are the goal of all engrams. Each one is developed in orking to build communities and to e habitat and human well-being.

erience from getting involved with ways.

Be Part Of Solutions!

They enrich their lives through traveling whilst helping to develop activities that foster environmental conservation. You will be amazed by the experience of exploring exotic places like forests, tropical islands, mangrove forests, active volcanoes, rivers of different colours and an incredible diversity of plants and animals. Additionally Planet Conservation will enable you to alternate between tourism, volunteering and adventure activities to explore more about the beautiful countries we work in. Planet Conservation offer customised trips to exclusive destinations in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia which you will enjoy through a wide variety of attractions and exciting adventures as well as becoming a volunteer to support one of their projects directly. Their trips offer an exciting variety of expeditions catering for individuals, families, couples or groups. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Costa Rica Costa Rica is a vital country where nature is manifested in all its magnificence and extraordinary biodiversity of this territory. It occupies a privileged place in the heart of Central America, with 51,000 square kilometres and beaches bathed by two oceans. The Caribbean is known for its variety of aquatic ecosystems and black sand beaches. Tortuguero National Park is famous for the nesting of many sea turtles and possession of mangroves that harbour endangered species like the manatee, otter and crocodiles. The interior of the country has a range of mountains and volcanoes, some of which are active in those born mighty rivers where it is common to practice extreme sports like rafting and kayaking. Chirripo National Park has the highest mountain in the country and on the summit on a clear day you can admire the two oceans and enjoy a breath taking sunrise you will never forget! The Pacific Coast is concentrating large reserves of immense importance as the Corcovado National Park, the Caùo Island Biological Reserve and Coco Island National Park, the island of the sharks which is internationally recognized as UNESCO World Heritage and being one of the world’s best diving spots.

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Panama Panama divided the American continent in two, a fact which multiplies its contrasts. It is a charming country: thousands of hectares of rainforest and idyllic coastline, 1,600 islands and mountain peaks. In addition to the canal, Panama has seven Indian reservations. The region of the Kuna Yala Indians inhabited by the Cunas, located in the Caribbean is one of the most recognised and has many islands with unspoiled waters. To understand the history, geography and culture, you must not miss out these three destinations: Bocas del Toro, Boquete and Island Coiba National Park.

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Colombia Colombia is the second most bio diverse country in the world including birds, orchids and palms. It offers a variety of ecosystems, ranging from snow-capped peaks, tropical rainforests, deserts, deep valleys, two oceans, deserts, countless rivers, lakes and ponds, and thousands of species of plants and animals of lush beauty. The Tayrona National Park, the desert of La Guajira, the jungles of Choc贸 and the Amazon are just a few of its attractions to name. In Colombia you will find culture, museums and fairs accompanied by many festivals, cultural events, crafts and a diverse cuisine.

Travel with Planet Conservation and discover the magical three destinations of great importance for conservation. Enjoy a unique and amazing experience that will change your life whilst traveling in a sustainable manner. Working directly with local communities and experiencing their culture or supporting their growth by contributing to one of the projects visited during your journey.

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Planet Conservation Tours Guarantee: - Conservation trips are designed to strengthen programs that benefit local communities living in areas of high biological significance for the planet. - You travel with Planet Conservation and will be supporting the natural wealth of the tropics and its protection. - Every trip is customised to meet the interest of each participant or group. - All hosting and transportation services are organised with certified companies who have a sustainability or corporate social responsibility program if applicable.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Nature & Adventure Expeditions: Ideal for young-minded travellers, couples or groups who want to participate in recreational activities such as rafting, kayaking, snorkelling, canopy tours, surfing, abseiling, or horseback riding. Take part in expeditions into the jungle and visit tropical beaches.

Observation & Leisure Time Expeditions:

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Ideal for seniors, families, students or groups who want to know more about the natural wealth of forests and tropical seas. The guided expeditions can include bird watching, marine mammal observation, monkeys, crocodiles, insects and reptiles. Furthermore Planet Conservation organise tours visiting archaeological sites, indigenous communities and share experiences in local communities.


Solidarity Trips & Volunteering: These trips are ideal for people who want a close encounter with local communities. In this program you will be part in the development of environmental, cultural, social and educational programs. Bring your knowledge and you will receive a warm welcome and a one of a kind experience.

Corporate Volunteering: This program is designed for companies and institutions to develop with us a corporate social and environmental responsibility concept that can be offered as bonus to your experts. This way individuals or groups can experience a close view into another culture and work ethic - at the same time you will encourage their sense of belonging which will contribute not only to the project you/they support but also to your organisation and future teamwork in return.

Contact Details

W: www.planetconservation.com T: +506 2770 1155

+1 773 609 9518

E:

info@planetconservation.com

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PANAMA

I

n just one week, visitors can enjoy the beaches along two different oceans, experience the rugged mountains and tropical rainforests, learn about native cultures and explore historic ruins as well as taking advantage of a vibrant urban life in the big cities.

Casco Viejo Casco Viejo is the historic district and cultural gem of Panama City. Established around 1673 by Spanish colonialists, this designated UNESCO World Heritage Site reflects the diversity of Panamanian society. Gaze at the architectural wonders from the original colonial wall, to beautiful Art Deco building facades and the excellent Canal Museum. This vibrant city showcases the very best of the past and the present.

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Panama Canal Linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans via the narrow Isthmus of Panama and the Caribbean Sea, the Panama Canal is often referred to as one of the ‘Seven Manmade Wonders of the Caribbean’ and one of the greatest man-made engineering marvels in the world. Spend the day crossing the Canal or alternatively travel the length of the canal on the Panama Railroad and enjoy the expansive greenery and picturesque view.

Explore the Rainforest According to the U.N. around 43.7% of Panama is forested while more than 25% of Panama’s territory is protected by 14 National Parks and nature preserves, including the rainforests of the Parque Soberania, Parque Chagres and Parque Metropolitano just 15 minutes


away from the country capital. No adventure traveller or explorer could ever tire with the incredible hikes and activities on offer ranging from bird watching and fishing to cave visits and mountain climbs.

Where To Stay:

The Boca Chica Plantation Club & Resort This lovely secluded resort is well off the beaten track. Enjoy the spaciousness and décor of the rooms which is complemented by the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Cardillera Central Mountain which includes a dormant volcano called Volcan Baru.

Where To Eat: Manolo Caracol

The city’s most innovative restaurant embraces in-season products and the freshest and most exotic fish of any restaurant in town. Sit back in the colonial, artsy ambience where you will then receive a parade of plates filled with eclectic blends of the finest, freshest ingredients.

What To Do:

Panama Jazz Festival – 14-19 January

Casco Viejo is fast becoming known as the artistic centre of Panama with a revival of bars and restaurants along with recurring events, shows and festivals. Come and visit in January and enjoy five days of jazz across four different venues. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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South America


Breathtaking

CHILE

Expert BIO Pedro Salah and Esteban Arrau, Owners of PrivateTours.cl Pedro Salah and Esteban Arrau are old friends with one passion in common: to travel and meet different cultures. After studying Business Economics and taking several travels abroad, they decided to create www.privatetours.cl to make their dreams a reality: to combine their passion with their profession. Using the experience they acquired through their own trips using diverse personalised travel companies in different countries such as Spain and Madagascar, they found that despite the great five star hotels/hostels in Santiago, few tourism companies offer the concept of having flexible and personalised tours – so they decided to fix this. Both are nature lovers, and fully passionate with outdoor activities. Pedro is also involved in www.loretohotel.cl a brand new boutique hotel in Bellavista, a well known neighbourhood for its bohemian and cultural life.

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Chile stretches over half the South American contin from the driest desert in the world to massive glacial fie Filling up the space in between are volcanoes, geys lakes, rivers, beaches, and countless islands.

Its capital, Santiago City was recently chosen by New York Times as one of the principal cities to visit, a with more than 500 years of history, it is a vast and c plex metropolis.


Winter Sports... The ski season here typically runs from mid-end June until late September. Chile’s ski resorts have built a reputation for great powder and spectacular heli-skiing with several resorts marketed particularly heavily in North America as summer skiing destinations. The most famous resort is Portillo, the host of the 1966 World Alpine Skiing Championships. It has a private club ambience from the early years of ski vacations but with all of the modern commodities thrown in. Portillo has easy and intermediate groomed slopes plus some of the toughest skiing in the southern hemisphere. Chile also has its own version of the famous French ‘3 Valleys’ with its oldest ski area El Colorado, the innovative and cutting edge Valle Nevado and finally the La Parva resort.

nent elds. sers,

the and com-

“Four of the most important ski resorts of Chile are located just an hour away from Santiago. With a complete infrastructure and different levels of ski slopes they present a great panorama not just for ski or snowboard lovers, but also for anyone that wants to get amused being in the heart of the Andes.”

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Astronomical Adventures... Want to see the universe through your eyes? Chile is home to 42% of the telescopes in the world. Travel from our Earth to the distant clusters of galaxies and observe nebulas, star cluster and solar system objects using different magnification and instruments so you can acknowledge what you are looking at and how far away those objects are. In Santiago you have the biggest project of Research and Development in the Calán Hill (Cerro Calán) called CATA (Center for Excellence in Astrophysics and Associated Technologies) but it is just open for researchers. However, you can count stars with The Astronomical Andinean Observatory, in the heart of the Andes, where you can have night and day astronomical tours with top of the line facilities.

& Diane Scalia “The Lisa Atacama region has more than 290 days a year that are clear and dry providing the perfect combination to watch the sky. With the presence of institutions such as the National Radio Astronomical Observatories (NRAO, USA) and the European Sothern Observatory (ESO) Chile guests a wide range of professional astronomical community.” 362

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Natural Beauty... Chile is awash with many wild protected places called Parques Nacionales (National Parks) where you will find ample trekking excursions, mountaineering opportunities and a vast collection of natures finest. Take a trek through the Rio Clarillo National Reserve and pick one of the many native trees such as peumos, litres and quillayes to picnic under as you watch the fascinating wildlife including the torcaza and Chilean iguana. The Yerba Loca Natural Sanctuary has great cordilleran valleys, glaciers (El Altar y La Paloma) and a coniferous forest where you can see and feel cypresses and pines. And not forgetting the El Morado National Park which is also ideal for trekking and mountaineering.

“El Morado National Park is a special place for trekking or mountaineering. This beautiful park is surrounded with wildlife. Less than 3 hours from Santiago, you can hike up to the glacier El Morado (5,200 metres) where you can also refresh yourself in the Baños Colina Hot Springs and camp underneath a wonderful starry night.”

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Incredible Institutions... You can learn a lot about Chile’s past, present and future by visiting any of the incredible institutions on offer. The Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino) displays 1,500 years of South American history on a very human scale; while the nation’s European influence can be seen in Mercado Central and Estación Mapocho. Despite the telluric movements that have struck Chile during its life, Neo Classical and Colonial places can still be found in Metropolitan Cathedral, National Historical Museum or Casa Colorada.

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“Chile has a bicentennial Republican tradition and its Institutions and Architecture reflect it. Museums like The Chilean Pre-Columbian Art or The Fashion Museum are stunning. The many centre’s give the city the cultural oxygen that the evolving Chilean society needs. Time and money have been invested to see places like Gabriela Mistral Center and Matucana 100 flourish.”

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Outdoor Activities… Santiago offers the perfect starting point for many activities. The picturesque port city of Valparaíso (Unesco World Heritage Site) is a natural amphitheater surrounded by 45 incredible hills with steep streets offering you a breathtaking view of the bay and the huge Pacific Ocean. Southwest of Santiago is the charming beach resort of Pichilemu, famous for its surfing. Round your day off with a visit to Cajón del Maipo, just an hour away from Santiago this is the ideal location to climb, cycle, eat and drink. Full of restaurants you can have the traditional 6-o-clock tea in front of the Maipo River.

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Treks through natural beauty, pulling off an Ollie on the piste, getting in a spot of surfing, touring the various culturally significant institutions and then relaxing under the stars – Chile has it all. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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www.privatetours.cl is an organisation specialised on small, homogenous groups who are looking for exclusive, private, individualistic and flexible tourism services in the capital of Chile and surrounding areas. Private Tours can organise everything from airport transfers, guided wine tours, horseback riding, astronomical tours, tandem skydiving along with all things Chile offers. Known as the country of the “crazy geography�, Chile extends 2,600 miles between 22 and 55 degrees south and has an average breadth of 150 miles. You can imagine the climatic and geographic features that it covers: from the driest evenness deserts on earth to vast glacial fields, you can find beaches, vast plains, fertile valleys, forest and fjords.

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They believe that Santiago is undoubtedly the starting point for any great Chilean and South American vacations. They have designed their tours to maximise the generally short-term stay of the travellers in Santiago City, which is a point of departure to the diverse ecosystems in Chile such as the Atacama Desert, Patagonia and Easter Island. Santiago has noteworthy attractions to visit and almost five hundred years of history to take in. Surely it is difficult to decide where to go and what to see in this metropolitan region of Chile. Walking through downtown, visiting historical places, you’ll enjoy Santiago guided by professionals.

Contact Details

W: www.privatetours.cl T: +56 2 228 2684

E:

+56 9 9555 6109 (Mobile) info@privatetours.cl

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A

t the heart of the city’s most diverse, culturally rich and upscale district against a panoramic backdrop of the snowcapped Andes, W Santiago is an icon of style and sophistication where all the action begins.

Intimate and sensual, playful and energetic, art imitates nature and nature transforms into art in the hands of acclaimed designers Tony Chi and Sergio Echeverria. Colourful Chilean character emanates in every corner, from the moment you make your grand entrance through a big frame constructed from aluminium and dark ebano wood from a private street. In the lobby, Chilean tapestry sets the stage for two sprawling walls housing 6,000 bottles of the world’s finest wine at El Mundo del Vino, as a stunning backdrop lined with lambskin is also a drum creating sensual rhythms. Doors away from sensational shopping and the captivating city scene, come back to an oasis of urban utopia where indulgence begins at three restaurants that redefine classic French, Asian fusion and Chilean bistro dining amid scintillating settings. After getting your beauty on at The Boss salon, light up the night at Whiskey Blue - Rande Gerber’s first South American lounge— or relax at rooftop Red2One. The state-of-the-art spa and fitness centre complex will rejuvenate your body and soul, before you take an exciting plunge into our WET® infinity edge pool. With a complete WIRED® Business Centre, P.A.W. – Pets Are Welcome™ and Whatever/Whenever® at your service, all the comforts of home and more are here in a sizzling swirl of art, music and culture. (No more wishing – take it home with you with a memento from W Hotels The Store!)

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Contact Details

W: www.starwoodhotels.com T: +56 2 770 0000 E: reservas.santiago@whotels.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Wine & Culture

CHILE

Expert BIO Brian Pearson, Founder, Santiago Adventures U.S. native Brian Pearson is the founder of Santiago Adventures. Since arriving to Chile in 2003, he has established and directed one of Chile’s leading tour operators offering unique and exciting programs that feature the best Chile has to offer. He has personally visited nearly 150 wineries in Chile and has many personal relationships with winery owners and winemakers, who partner with Brian & Santiago Adventures to provide exclusive wine tour experiences not available through any other tour company in Chile.

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With five centuries of wine-making experience behind them, it is little wonder that Chilean winemakers are harvesting the benefits of hard work, a pleasant climate, good soils and preservation in the wide – and growing – scope of their wines.


An Introduction‌ The quality and diversity of Chile’s terroir extends some 1,000 kilometres north to south with an ample blend of geographical settings and climatic conditions, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the base of the Andes Mountain range. With the perfect climate and a pest free cultivation, Chile provides a worldclass standard of wine. The climate has a cooling influence of the Pacific along with the always snowcapped Andes, and neither Phylloxera nor downey mildew pests have affected Chile.

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Signature Grape… A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name ‘Carménère’ originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) in reference to the colour of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall. The Carménère is Chile’s own signature grape. This red varietal disappeared from European vineyards in the mid-19th century, but was inadvertently rediscovered in Chile during the 90s since it was preserved with its cousin Merlot. With more than 8,800 hectares cultivated in the Central Valley – the region is rich in Carménère grapes and as the industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out as a potential blending grape, particularly with Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Chile’s signature wine is Carménère, characterised for its rich berry flavours, spice, and smooth well-rounded tannins. Be sure to try a glass paired with meat dishes as well as Chile’s traditional pastel de choclo (corn and meat pie).”

Brian Pearson

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Casablanca Valley… A relative newcomer to winegrowing, the Casablanca Valley was first planted to vine in the mid-1980s. As a result, wine facilities here have a very modern feel. Situated west of Santiago, the cool coastal climate makes this wine-growing region ideal for white varietals including its premium Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Combine a day trip to the Casablanca Valley with a visit to the San Antonio Valley or other coastal destinations such as Valparaiso or Quintay – a small fishing village on the coast where you can try Chile’s delicious seafood’s. For the more active traveller, take a bike and wine tour of the region.

“In Chile’s Casablanca Valley, innovative winemakers nurture the area’s privileged terroir to craft world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. The region is a must-see, as it’s home to some of Chile’s top wineries and easily accessible along the route between cosmopolitan Santiago and bohemian Valparaíso.” Brian Pearson Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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San Antonio Valley… San Antonio is a sub-region of the Aconcagua Valley and is divided into four sectors: Leyda, Lo Abarca, Rosario and Malvilla. This relatively young wine region reaches out as close as 4 kilometres from the sea, giving & Diane you theLisa opportunity to learnScalia and appreciate the challenges they face in their extreme coastal climate. Here you will find wines such as sauvignon blanc, sauvignon gris, reisling, gewürztraminer, pinot noir and syrah. Many of the wines in this region have received numerous awards, in particular those produced by Casa Marin at Maria Luz Marin’s family vineyard on top of the Lo Abarca hill.

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“One of my favorite wineries in Chile is Casa Marin, in the San Antonio Valley, where owner Maria Luz Marin and her family always go out of their way to welcome guests to their beautiful property with open arms and the best Sauvignon Blanc in Chile.�

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Maule Valley… The Maule Valley region is known for its unique soil and Mediterranean climate and it is the largest of the four sub-regions of Valle Central. It has a deep-rooted association with wine cultivation. With an excess of 30,000 Lisa & Diane Scalia hectares planted you are sure to find exquisite Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec along with newer plantations including Merlot, Carménère and Chardonnay that will undoubtedly tantalise your taste buds and leave you spoilt for choice. To really soak in the atmosphere visit Julio Bouchon’s Santa Maria de Mingre estate for a magical horseback ride through the vines at dusk before setting down for an elegant, full bodied wine that represents the most pure expression of J.Bouchon wines.

“The Maule Valley is home to long-standing traditions and the best of Chilean hospitality. Fourth generation wine producer Julio Bouchon personally welcomes guests to his family’s hacienda for an authentic, memorable experience in the Chilean countryside not found anywhere else.”

Brian Pearson

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“Chile’s wine industry is well known internationally for several large and important names but the local experience is characterised by visits to small wineries that are relatively unknown due to their small production of less than 10,000 cases per year. Get a taste for the exclusive.”

Brian Pearson

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ustom adventures in Chile from wine country to ski country, and the Northern desert to Patagonia

Santiago Adventures is Chile’s leader in wine tours with the most extensive portfolio of special interest trips in the country, getting clients up-close-and-personal with wine makers and winery owners, local chefs, and more in ways not available anywhere else. Their expert team works individually with each client to provide informed, personalised recommendations to ensure that every client’s experience is personal, authentic, and extraordinary from start to finish. Santiago Adventures is an American-owned local operator based in Santiago, giving the unique perspective of understanding what international travellers need while also having the up-to-date knowledge, personal contacts, and insider tips only possible as a locally-based operator. The Santiago Adventures experience is the perfect blend of luxury and local authenticity. Contact their travel specialists today to begin planning your unforgettable wine adventure.

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Contact Details

W: www.santiagoadventures.com T: +1 802 904 6798 E: info@santiagoadventures.com

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Breathtaking

BRAZIL

Expert BIO

Rafael Torres Lopes, Owner, Rafa Guests In Rio

Rafael Torres Lopes is a very passionate tour guide. He enjoys taking people to the most genuine places of each city in Brazil, but his speciality is Rio. Rafa, as he likes to be known, is Rio de Janeiro city in human form. He will help you to plan your trip in the best way possible, and aims to find something personalised that only you like doing. Much more than a tour guide, he is a sort of ambassador of Brazil.

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Brazil is the biggest country in South America and borders almost every country in the continent (except Chile and Ecuador). Brazil is epitomised by carnival. The home of samba music is colourful, passionate, vibrant, dazzling and full of natural beauty.


Rio de Janeiro With an abundance of breathtaking landscapes, oceanic beaches and a cultural atmosphere that is unparalleled, it is little wonder that Rio de Janeiro has been chosen as the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, the Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue, and the surrounding geographic features of the harbour that make up one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World ranks among the top attractions in this beautiful city. However, a visit to Rio is not complete without visiting Rio Scenarium. An internationally famous bar offering live samba, forro and gafieira Brazilian music, vintage decor with over 10,000 antiques, and the best dancing you can witness outside of the Carnival month of February.

“Over a hundred year old tradition of carnival is still the main attraction for travellers in Rio. Witness the street parades in almost every neighbourhood, as well as the colourful events at the Sambodromo as samba schools compete with hundreds of coordinated dancers and ‘bateria’ drummers dressed up in elaborate handmade costumes.”

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Niteroi Niteroi is most famous for its phenomenal views of the most celebrated landmarks across Rio de Janeiro. The Contemporary Museum, MAC – the famous project by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer – attracts as many visitors for its incredible views of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain as it does for its collection of Modern Art. The rest of the city is often neglected by tourists, but if you get time to stick around you will certainly be in for a treat. Follow the coast of Guanabara Bay to get even more spectacular outlook, visit the fascinating fishing village of Jurujuba, and enjoy the secluded ‘Adam and Eve’ beaches tucked into some tiny coves near the entrance to the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz.

“One of the best spots to visit is the Parque da Cidade which is part of a State Park called Tiriricca. This is where paragliders from Niteroi usually jump, Lisayou&can Diane Scalia and jump too. Niteroi is my hometown, and I will be always proud to show you a place which many visitors will never reach.”

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Ilha Grande This delightful Brazilian island is around 150 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro and is accessed via ferry journey. There are no streets, routes or avenues in the island and cars and vehicles are forbidden making this a relaxing and peaceful ecological reservation. Many tourists visit Ilha Grande to enjoy the Lopes Mendes beach, which was voted as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world by Vogue Magazine. The shallow water provides great surfing conditions, while the opportunity to go snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and diving can also be found on the island.

“The beaches at Ilha Grande rank amongst the best in Brazil, and can be a very romantic experience. Enjoy the beach and the moon at night, while playing guitars and watching the beach fire.�

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Paraty The coastal town of Paraty is a tourism attraction for its old churches, cobbled streets and nearby forests, waterfalls, islands and emerald-green sea. There are plenty of trekking opportunities through the ‘Gold Trail’ as well as a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Paraty Old Town. There are innumerable beaches, islands and waterfalls to savour as it mixes cultural tourism with its natural elegance and friendly atmosphere among the local inhabitants. On the Saturday afternoon before Carnival attend Bloco da Lama at the end of Jabaquara Beach. Crowds of people cover themselves in mud and chant in a bizarre but spectacular tradition.

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Cunha This small city is known for its stoneware ceramics, with 5 Noborigama wood fired kilns and 16 ceramic studios, but that isn’t what draws us to Cunha. To us, this is the ideal location for those wanting to relax, relish the climate of the mountains, and explore the natural beauties on offer in Brazil. With a collection of natural parks, endless mountain treks, biking trails through woodlands, a vast supply of rivers, valleys, and waterfalls for photographic encounters and kayaking opportunities – this has something for everyone ranging from the hardcore outdoors type, right the way through to those looking to enjoy a casual stroll. While Brazil is best enjoyed during Carnival season, there is plenty to keep you occupied all year round. So what are you waiting for? Put on your dancing shoes, pack your hiking boots, and slap on the sun tan for one of the most exhilarating experiences you will encounter.

“Marcela’s Stone is a rewarding but tiresome trail that has an awesome view of Ilha Grande’s Bay and o Mantiqueira Mountains. To get there, you’ll need to travel 5 kilometres by a dirt road and, after, a steep ascent of 2 kilometres.”

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Ubatuba Featuring more than 100 beaches, Ubatuba is considered the ‘Surf Capital of Sao Paulo State’. Most of the area belongs to a State Park and it is within close proximity with Rio State. It is a land full of wildlife and desert beaches, while the pace of life of this fishing village has sparsely changed since the Portuguese navigators and pirate ships used to settle here. Lots of birds, all kind of nature and fascinating landscapes will take your breath away.

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Buzios Buzios is an incredible mixture of Saint Tropez and Maui, and just like the aforementioned it has links to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Ever since movie star Brigitte Bardot fell in love with Buzios in the 1960s, the small fishing village of the city of Cabo Frio was transformed into the tourism hotbed before us today. Book yourself into a Pousada with an incredible window view to the ocean and enjoy a couple of day’s relaxation. Sparkling water beaches, dramatic rock formations, trekking in the forests, or simply walking around in the cobbled stone streets of the village – you will soon realise the delights and charms that will keep you coming back for more.

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afa Guests in Rio is operated by Rafa (the guide and ‘Prime Minister’), with the help of Marcone (the guide, the English teacher and the nurse), and Jakob (the ‘Danish Royalty’ – guide, teacher, and Earl of Copacobana), along with their team of excellent tour guides; Diana, Sonia and Francoise.

They will take you to the most hidden treasures of Rio, surprise features in the coast of Ubatuba, the mountains of Teresopolis, and in the wild and natural destination of Itatiaia. Not only will they serve as the best informal guides Brazil has to offer, but they are there as a reference point and also your friends. You can count on them for everything. They are reliable, serious, experts, respectful, and well informed professionals. Rafa Guests In Rio also offer visits to the Amazon, from the unknown Roraima State to the fascinating Maranhao, Iguazu Falls, the northern coastal beaches of Nordeste, and other South American countries including Argentina (specialising around Buenos Aires and organising tours in Patagonia and north Argentina), Uruguay and Venezuela. Most importantly though, tourism and ‘best tour guiding’ runs through their veins.

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Contact Details

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Adventures

AMAZON

Expert BIO Eury Barros, Manager, Amazon Explorers Eury Barros has managed Amazon Explorers with his brother and sister, taking a lot of responsibility to increase the number of services they offer to their customers including: airline tickets, domestic and international tours, language courses abroad and the reception of cruise liners at the local harbour.

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The Amazon Rainforest was awarded World Natural Herita 2000, and 2003. A marvellous natural habitat which will all of indigenous tribes, watch as monkeys swing by from tree-to grandeur of the natural giants and amazing greenery.


age status by UNESCO in low you to learn the secrets o-tree and endure the

Mini-Safari We have all heard the stories about the flesh-eating little nippers that can strip a cow bare to the bone in under a minute. In fact, we have probably all seen the movies in which these blood-thirsty creatures terrorise everything in sight. Yet in reality, this is not the case. Get your fishing gear and head off to the bank of the River Negro to catch one of these famous critters. Your experience will be a far cry from the traditional fishing trip where patience and tranquility are necessary in order to gain any level of success. Here, noise and splashing on the water’s surface help you catch your daily dinner as they see this as a sign of distress. That’s right, we did just refer to the piranha as dinner. Boiled, grilled, fried or even in a soup – it is not uncommon to find this delicacy landing on dinner plates within this region.

“Search for the famous Amazonian fish: the piranhas. It is a very funny fishing activity through the Amazon lakes and streams. At dusk, the tourist will enjoy the beautiful sunset, simply astounding! As night falls, it is time for the spotting of alligators.”

Eury Barros

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Tropical Tree Climbing More than half of the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforest. Spot Brazilian nut trees to beautiful . Watch as monkeys swing from tree to tree and macaws pierce the silence. Most impressive of all, take a panoramic glimpse of a greener world where 20% of Earth’s oxygen is produced. For the first time tree-climber it can be a somewhat daunting and even terrifying experience, yet as you dangle 100 feet above the rain forest floor you suddenly realise just how incredibly rewarding it is to climb the tropical trees in the Brazilian Amazon.

“Whether you are a nature lover who wishes to be immersed in tropical and exotic landscapes during a hiking trek, or an adventure seeker driven to scale the highest of trees in the Amazon to witness the immense views of the jungle, you are sure to find the experience awe-inspiring.”

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Meeting of the Amazon & Negro Rivers Take a cruise or canoe tour through the Brazilian Amazon and you will gain all of the rewards of a hike, without the physical exursion. You will be able to spot the fascinating fauna and flora on offer, watch how indigenous tribes live and see the local children play and eat sugar canes from the banks of the River Negro. This excursion also enables you to witness spectacles which wouldn’t be the same by land. Gain a fascinating glimpse of the elusive bubblegum pink Amazon river dolphin and marvel at the majestic meeting of the Solimoes and Negro Rivers. The sandy beige waters of Solimoes come together with the murky dark waters of the River Negro without mixing together. This sight is both baffling and beautiful in equal measures.

Visit Indigenous Tribes In a technological world where materialistic impulses resonates it is incredible to believe that there are still millions of people clutching on to their ancient cultures and languages in amidst the Brazilian Amazon. According to research, it is believed that there are almost a hundred ‘lost tribes’ that don’t have any contact with the outside world. While it may not be a ‘lost tribe’ we recommend visiting the Indian community at Tupe. With their fascinating lifestyle, colourful tribal dress and archaic customs – take a glimpse at the past and compare the differences between the old and modern man in a show of diversity among the human race.

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“Take a boat ride towards the Meeting of the Waters and see one the Solimoes and Negro Rivers flow sie by side without the mixing of the waters. This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural monuments of the Amazon.�

Eury Barros

Mix adrenaline and rejuvination, calm and active, and relaxation with adventure by submerging yourself with nature in the Brazilian Amazon. You will not be disappointed. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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n 1965, the idealist, Manuel Barros Goes Alcy founder and creater of Amazon Explorers took his first steps towards the growth of tourism in the region, supported by Bulbol and Trados families, who also had a very futuristic view concerning this issue.

It was a fresh start, a very difficult one; especially at a time when tourism in this region was limited to a few fishing trips planned for some directors of Panair do Brasil and a few foreigners who wanted to venture themselves in the Amazon Jungle, which was known as GREEN HELL around here.

However, since its foundation, Amazon Explorers has been very proud to offer exquisite tours with the same family values and responsibility mixed with a bundle of fun and joy. The name of the agency, Amazon Explorers, was suggested by Richard Brill, an American who fell in love with the region. And it is this spirit of affection which is required to explore the Amazon consciously in order to preserve its environment and to promote a better relationship between man and nature. This is how AMAZON EXPLORERS sees the future in tourism.

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Contact Details

W: www.amazonexplorers.tur.br T: + 55 92 2123 4777 E: info@amazonexplorers.com.br Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Exploring

SAO PAULO

Expert BIO

Luis Paulo Simardi, General Manager, Around SP Luis Paulo graduated in Tourism at PUC-SP (the Catholic University of São Paulo) and holds a Masters degree in the history of São Paulo from IHGSP (Historical and Geographic Institute of São Paulo). During many years of experience working as a professional tour guide in São Paulo, Luis Paulo saw firsthand the lack of truly knowledgeable and well educated tour guides in the city`s tourism industry. To meet this need, he has now created Around SP with the idea of providing travellers a unique experience with quality tours and excursions throughout the city of São Paulo and its surroundings.

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Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America. It is the hea and a vibrant place full of interesting attractions to discove lion people visit Sao Paulo to do business, go shopping or s tions. With the best tourism infrastructure in the whole of Bra


art of the country’s economy er. Every year around 10 milsimply enjoy the city’s attracazil, your mind will be at ease.

Shopping in Sao Paulo Sao Paulo is the largest commercial and retail centre in Brazil offering the most variety in all segments and styles. Visit Oscar Freire in the Jardins district for your fix of designer labels and sophisticated restaurants. The Brazilian equivalent of New York’s 5th Avenue offers all of the familiar names including Louis Vuitton, Versace and Armani along with a range of Brazilian fashion with the likes of Alexandre Herchcovitch, Carlos Miele and Canal. For something a bit different, try the Bom Retiro neighbourhood for locally designed fashion, or the Patio Higienopolis for a great variety of shops, restaurants and cinemas.

“Every year, the city attracts millions of visitors eager to take advantage of the trends and deals that are spread throughout luxury trade centres, specialised streets, centres of production and in the more than 75 shopping malls that exist here.”

Luis Paulo Simardi

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Municipal Market Get a taste of Sao Paulo with a visit to the Municipal Market. Here you will discover the ingredients used in the preparation of feijoada, Brazil’s most famous dish, along with a vast spread of vegetables, spices, meat, poultry and seafood along with the chance to sample regional fruits that are produced in the Amazon, northeastern Brazil and countrywide. When the mouth-watering aroma gets too much to bear, a mezzanine lined with restaurants overlooking the action below offers everything from simple snacks and home-cooking to upto-the-minute avant-garde contemporary gastronomy.

“The Municipal Market is a special place that was created 80 years ago and still stands in the same place it was constructed. A nice electic classical style building, famous for its artistic windows. Going to this market is like experiencing the whole of Brazil through its food.”

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The Architectural Wonder of Sao Paulo.. Downtown With towering skyscrapers and a mass of grey, Sao Paulo’s downtown area could easily be mistaken as a concrete jungle yet it is here where the city was founded way back in 1554 and it is also here where you will find the historical and cultural core. Visit Sao Paulo’s most famous church Catedral da Se for its mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles, along with its many constructions and landmarks ranging from churches, museums and monasteries. For a panoramic view of Sao Paulo, head to the Edificio Italia. The 160 metre high building has an open-air walkway in the bar and restaurant on the 41st floor offering a simply breathtaking view for all to enjoy.

“Sao Paulo has a wide mixture of architectural styles that vary from colonial buildings made out of taipa (a mixture of different materials such as mud, sand, grass and the blood of animals) to different European styles that have been strongly developed in Brazil since the middle of the 19th century, to Modernist school of architecture that, during the 20th century, made Brazil famous throughout the world.”

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Paulista Located between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ parts of the city, Paulista is a fascinating blend between the glorious past and the contemporary present. This is also reflected by the many interesting architectural structures across the district from the 19th century Parque Trianon combining features of an English garden with a preserved Atlantic rainforest to the Sao Paulo Museum of Art displaying a collection of work ranging from the Renaissance to Contemporary Modern.

Favela Not only does Sao Paulo have the largest number of favelas, it also has the largest slum population in the whole of South America. Around 2 million people live in the slums within the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo. Although favelas are synonymous with organised crime, violence and social exclusion and can be a scary place to visit, they offer a unique eye-opening opportunity to learn something deeper about the Brazilian culture and its society. Visit Rock House, home of the artist Estevao, who has a reputation as the Brazilian Gaudi, and Mr. Berbela a mechanic who in his spare time creates sculptures made of garbage and recycles materials and you will soon understand that many of these people just yearn for a better life.

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“Walk the streets of Paraisopolis, a central slum in Sao Paulo close to the wealthy neighbourhood of Morumbi, and get in touch with its people, traditions, customs and way of life. Be a different kind of traveller and see an unusual place in Sao Paulo.�

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Vila Madalena The bohemian area of Sao Paulo is a hotbed for artistry and creativity. Grab lunch at Sunset Square or catch a musical performance at Grazie a Dio where up-and-coming Brazilian bands showcase themselves. With an Lisa & Diane Scalia eloquent population you are sure to find an ensemble of artists, writers, journalists, movie directors and intellectuals in general. As a hip and trendy district, Vila Madalena is famous for its fascinating murals painted in public spaces. You never know, you may just discover the next Banksy.

“Visit some of the nicest ‘Graffities’ in Sao Paulo which are generally considered by locals as a welcome art form. Our guides will explain the different artistic styles that exist and tell you about the most well-known artists. Finish the day at a Street Art Gallery where you will be able to better appreciate an often overlooked art.”

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round SP is a company focused on receptive tourism in the city of S達o Paulo.

They have great experience receiving tourists, taking them to visit the best attractions in the city and its surroundings along with private tours offering the most exclusive and personal service done in private vehicles with English and Spanish-speaking tour guides (other languages available on request. Just ask!). Whether you are in S達o Paulo for business or leisure, they offer a wide selection of tours and excursions adapted to your needs. The tour guides are professionals who love their city and who will take you around safely and warmly as you discover the many attractions in the area. If this is your first time in S達o Paulo or you have been there before and want to visit different places, give Around SP a call. They are looking forward to hearing from you.

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unique design for a unique hotel. The boat-like shape, dramatic cures and impossibly large, light-filled spaces show beyond a doubt why Hotel Unique is an urban work of art. Ruy Ohtake is the architectural mastermind behind this visually stunning piece of craftsmanship. Elegant, contemporary design is provided by Joao Armentano. Landscaping brought to life by Gilberto Elkis. Innovative gastronomy and drinks presented by Chef Emmanuel Bassoleil at the spectacularly sexy Skye. Eighty-five rooms and 10 suites are available, each furnished with plush queen size beds, Jacuzzi tubs and separate showers, swivel flat-screen TVs, CD/DVD players with MP3 connectivity and movie theatre-like surround sound, in-room workstations with complimentary cable and wireless high speed internet access, cardless phone for use in all areas of the hotel, Bvlgari amenities, Havaiana slippers and 24-hour room service. Hotel Unique is a living, breathing part of the city of S達o Paulo, a place where architecture, art, design, fashion, gastronomy, music and exquisite service are at the heart of a ground-breaking hotel culture that delights and inspires each of their guests.

Contact Details

W: www.hotelunique.com/index.php T: +55 11 3055 4700 E: hotelunique@hotelunique.com

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Visiting

ARGENTINA

Expert BIO Dr Luciano Bullorsky, Owner, Cultura Cercana I started the company four years ago, thinking that there was a need to connect travellers with local culture, local places, deep knowledge and all things that are impossible to find in Travel Guides (as they cannot replace people, and furthermore, they cannot replace locals). After four successful years, Luciano is now joined by three guides in Buenos Aires, guides in other Argentinian cities, a guide in Uruguay and very soon guides in Chile as well. Luciano works very hard during cruise ship season, with a lot of retired people from the United States, Canada, Australia and UK all wanting to get as much as possible done during the day they have in each port. Luciano takes pride in giving them a relaxing shock of local knowledge, culture, food and how people live‌ how he lives.

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The Spanish speaking nation of Argentina offers an incredib terrain in the north, its vast South Atlantic Ocean coastline Patagonia in the south and a picturesque view of the Ande country in the world offers all of this and more.


Buenos Aires Argentina’s hip capital is a cultured metropolis full of art, literature, music and culinary delights. While preserving its past, the present is very much in full swing with new boutiques, galleries and cafes making Buenos Aires easy to love and hard to forget. Witness the Van Gogh and Kandinsky paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection, catch a theatre show at the bustling Corrientes Avenue and tango into the early hours of the morning in the bohemian Palermo Soho. Use Buenos Aires as your base as you travel further afield and when your batteries need recharging visit its stunning Botanical Garden or the largest Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Cross the Divine Bridge and relax beside the Carp Lake as you take in its five acres of tranquil beauty.

ble set of landscapes ranging from the jungle along the east, incredible rolling plateau of es Mountains in the west. The eighth largest

“Often referred to as the Paris of South America, the city has a wide range of places and different neighbourhoods to visit, a passionate history, a local and great food and charming people. Buenos Aires is a must for any traveller visiting Argentina and South America.”

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Iguazu Falls One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Iguazu Falls owes its origin to a geological flaw produced on the bed of the Parana River. Its most fascinating feature is the 160 to 260 waterfalls on show depending upon the river flow. The largest of which is known as the Devil’s Throat. The waterfall crashes down an incredible 350 feet drop to the river below, causing a refreshing 100 foot cloud of spray overhead at the same time as producing a pleasant rainbow to add to the visual aura. Take the Upper Circuit hike and enjoy unrestrictive panoramic views which will stay with you for a lifetime.

“One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Iguazu Falls is an amazing park to visit in the limit of Argentina and Brazil. A mere ninety minute flight from Buenos Aires and you will be in the falls!” Dr Luciano Bullorsky

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Tigre Delta Take an excursion to the unspoilt subtropical delta at Tigre. Full of densely forested islands and shining waterways, this remote and carefree paradise provides a great reprieve from urban life. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the recently renovated waterfront walkways or have a picnic on board a private boat ride through the delta rivers and streams. While the popular option among many visitors is to visit on day trips before heading back into the city, Tigre can also be a haven for the wealthy to luxuriate in. A number of spa resorts and gated communities have opened up on the island with a number of activities on offer including tango lessons, horseback riding, kayaking, bird-watching and forest hikes.

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“The town of Tigre is the starting point for a visit to the Parana Delta. Locals have escaped to this tranquil area away from the fast pace of Buenos Aires for decades. Just a short distance from the city, it is a completely different experience.“

Dr Luciano Bullorsky

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Patagonia A storied past tells tales that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid saw out their final days here, and who can blame them? Towering ice caps, free-flowing rivers, verdant valleys and wild steppes of Patagonia make up one of the world’s last great wildernesses. Take in the grandeur of the Los Glaciares National Park where the Perito Moreno Glacier serves as a frozen equivalent to the Iguazu Falls. Enjoy a spot of skiing, rafting, climbing and hiking in the beautiful snow-capped town of Bariloche. Best of all take in the charm of the southernmost city, Ushuaia, for its fascinating views of the Beagle Chanel, mountains, cormorants and sea-life. Often referred to as the end of the world, this tourist town is complete with casinos, restaurants and ample resorts to provide the perfect base in the south.

Humahuaca One of Argentina’s best kept secrets can be found in the far north-west of the country near the border of Bolivia. The Quebrada de Humahuaca is a 150 kilometre ravine firmly off the radar of the casual tourist. Splendour in the spectacular rock formations and multi-coloured hills at the Hill of Seven Colours providing the most amazing backdrop to the little village of Purmamarca. While you are here, head in to the Spanish colonial centre of Humahuaca and visit the attractive whitewashed cathedral dating back to the 17th century.

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“Taking most of the southern area of Argentina, Patagonia offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Nature surprises you in every corner of the region with a diversity of natural parks like the Arrayanes or the Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche, where lakes and snow-covered mountain ranges draw wonderful landscapes.�

Dr Luciano Bullorsky

Argentina is the epitome of natural beauty in South America. Start your journey in Buenos Aires before venturing on to the four unique and wonderful geographic locations separated between the north, east, south and west. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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ultura Cercana offers a wide range of private tours in many locations, so travellers can quickly connect with this great country. Their main hits are:

The Private city tour in Buenos Aires offering 8 hours full of deep knowledge, history, culture, architecture, politics, economics and food, all tailor made (including or excluding any aspect or sight) and in a comfortable car.

Private Tigre tour: Exploring the Delta of Tigre that is very near Buenos Aires, is a way to escape from the big city into a green area full of rivers streams and islands. This tour includes a boat ride, homemade food and a tango lesson.

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Like visiting a friend


Feeling Tango tour: People tend to think that tango

in Buenos Aires is attending a tango show. Wrong! Tango for locals is a different concept. Cultura Cercana take customers to a Milonga (a place where locals dance Tango) and explain to them the codes, the culture, the rules and the music. They can even include a lesson to turn you into a pro in no time. Because honesty is important to Cultura Cercana, they take pride in showing their prices and what value customers will get for their money and are happy to give a lot of free advice, help and suggestions without monetary or commission incentives in the middle. In this way, they go against certain travel market rules, but gain more friends from all over the world.

Contact Details

W: www.culturacercana.com.ar T: +54 911 3194 8920 E: info@culturacercana.com.ar

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S

ituated in La Recoleta, one of the city’s most exclusive and elegant areas, Caesar Park Buenos Aires hotel is surrounded by excellent entertainment, shopping and business options. All around it are traditional Parisian-style cafes, restaurants to savour your leisure time and stores selling top international brands. The hotel is also just minutes away from the city’s financial centre and the country’s most important tourism and historical icons. The hotel is located near Buenos Aires’ main avenues, allowing rapid access to any part of the city. Discover Buenos Aires and experience Argentinean cordiality. Caesar Park Buenos Aires surprises with its imposing lobby of white marble, its large elegantly-Neoclassical decorated room, and the outstanding service and attention to every detail. And if you live to exercise and care for your health, at Caesar Park Buenos Aires, you will be able to take advantage of the Fitness Centre with service from professionals dedicated and committed to your well-being. This harmonious fusion was the essence that placed Caesar Park Buenos Aires, Argentina, among the 100-best hotels in Latin America, according to the magazine Travel & Leisure. Caesar Park Buenos Aires also offers a Rewards Benefit which reward high-spending or loyal customers with privileges. Their ‘Platinum Level Fiesta Rewards’ offers guests free room upgrades subject to availability, special bathroom amenities, bottle of wine in your room, a free 30 minute massage in any of their hotels with spa service, early check-in and late check-out, free washing and ironing and much more.

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Contact Details

W: www.caesar-park.com T: +54 11 4819 1100 E: info@caesar-park.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Captivating

MENDOZA

Expert BIO Julian Dlouhy, Owner, Malbec Symphony Julian Dlouhy was born in Buenos Aires, but in 2007 his passion for wine brought him to Mendoza. He has since graduated with a degree as a sommelier and as an oenologist. Along with his wife and business partner, French Canadian Melanie Parnas, they created Malbec Symphony by the end of 2008. Their mission is to offer the highest quality service in Mendoza, creating innovative, fun and unforgettable culinary experiences.

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Not only is Mendoza one of the most beautiful cities in Argentina, it is also the leading wine producing region across the country. Located at the foothills of the picturesque Andes Mountains, the consistent weather, low air humidity and the urban oasis provide the ideal environment for growing vines at an amazingly high altitude in an ever-welcoming climate for people of all backgrounds.


Lujan de Cuyo With the Andes Mountains providing the backdrop, take a leisurely tour through Lujan de Cuyo to learn about the prestigious wineries in the upper Mendoza valley. The region is a perfect example of how man’s effort turned this dessert into a fertile Oasis as many of its vineyards sit at altitudes of around 1000 metres (3280ft) on sandy or stony grounds. Home to some of the most renowned Malbecs in the world, the appellation also produces excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Torrontes. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Bodega Mendel Fermenting the perfect bottle of wine is a craft which Mendel Wines has come to master over the years. Bodega Mendel is an antique winery restored with some of the best technology. From carefully sorting bunches to ageing grapes in the finest French oak, a superior quality wine is created through paying rigorous attention to every detail of the artisan winemaking process. Visit the 80-year-old Malbec and Cabernet vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and sample the perfect blend of the two grapes with a glass of Mendel Unus or try the Mendel Malbec with its typical aromas of mature fruit, plums, raisins and violets.

Lisa Mendel & Diane Scalia “Bodega features one of Argentina’s most experienced and respected wine-makers in Roberto de la Mota. Visit here to learn about the process of wine-making, the techniques this winery uses to produce its top quality wines, and taste their mouth-watering combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.”

Julian Dlouhy

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Maipu With wineries dating back more than 100 years, Maipu is at the heart of Mendoza’s wine production. Offering a diverse variety of both traditional and modern wineries, visitors will gain a thorough understanding of the history and traditions commonplace here. Visit the Rutini Winery Museum which will expose you to objects and techniques used three centuries ago, as well as their evolution to the present. Take an intimate tour with the owner of Domaine St Diego and visit the beautiful antique bodega at Trapiche.

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Zuccardi With over 35 varieties of wine in production, Familia Zuccardi is Argentina’s largest family-owned winery as well as one of the leading exporters of Argentinian wines. For over 40 years, Familia Zuccardi has produced wines of exceptional quality using hand-picked fruit from its 1,600-acre Lisa & Diane Scalia state-of-the-art facility. Visit this large-scale modern winery and enjoy its excellent oils, wines, and a traditional asado (barbecue). Not only will you be able to taste a few of these varieties, you will also have the option of pairing your lunch with a cooking class and olive oil tour. Be sure to sample their ‘Textual’ virietals range.

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“The exquisite textual range is composed by five of their “experimental grapes” brought in from all over the world to play around with. The best results were promoted from “Santa Julia Innovacion”. This special limited edition production consists of: Caladoc, Ancelotta, Carmenere, Tannat and Marselan and is only available from the winery.” Julian Dlouhy


Uco Valley The striking natural setting – below a stretch of the Andes that includes the 6,800 metre Mount Tupungato – makes the Uco Valley one of the most attractive regions in Mendoza. Mixed with a distinctive microclimate which produces a spectacular Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Semillon and Torrontes production, the Uco Valley draws winemakers from all over the world. Choose from a dozen bodegas with the option of visiting organic wine producers, taking cooking classes, horseback riding through the vineyards and even spending the night at luxury Estancias (winery estates).

“Uco Valley is a synonym for exceptional terroir (territory). The Uco Valley benefits from absolutely pure water, rocky soil, and high Andes´altitudes, blessing it with fertile and productive land for agriculture. In the past 15 years, Valle de Uco, has become the paradigm of world-renowned wines.”

Julian Dlouhy

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Salentein Salentein’s magnificent bodega is designed for both form and function in the shape of a cross, allowing customised gentle handling of the grapes, Lisathe&distance Dianewine Scalia reducing needs to be moved between winemaking steps. Its premium range of wines are well-structured and elegant, characterised for their deep colours and rich and complex aromas and flavours. Having gained a global appeal, this bodega is one of the leading wineries to visit across the Uco Valley region.

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“Salentein is known as the pioneer of the Uco Valley, being one of the first wineries to gain international fame from that area of Argentina. Salentein is a leader in cultivating growing awareness of wineries in Argentina, as well as creating new visions of new state of the art wines.�

Julian Dlouhy


Mendoza is a must for all wine aficionados, but be warned you may enjoy it so much that you could be tempted into buying a vineyard of your own!

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M

albec Symphony is a wine-tour specialised travel agency based in Mendoza, Argentina. Their wine tours are directed by sommelier, Julian Dlouhy and his knowledgeable staff offering tailor-made, customised tours with chauffeurs and bilingual guides in Mendoza, and other Argentine regions (Salta & Cafayate, Patagonia, LaRioja, San Juan, as well as the most famous valleys in Chile). Along with their specialised wine tours they also organise city tours, historical tours, adventure tours, olive oil tours, cooking classes and spirit tours. Their multi-lingual staff speaks French, German, English and Portuguese and are the perfect company to guide your family, or even your wine club, on an exclusive South American wine tour.

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Malbec perienc visit & t in Men with na visits gu season beyond apprec


c Symphony offers the most complete Food & Wine exce in Mendoza. They are not just limited to the traditional tasting tour. They offer a complete sensory experience ndoza, including the possibility of having tasting lessons atural aromas, wine blending games, cooking classes and uided by winemakers & winery owners. During the harvest n, they offer grape and olive harvesting activities. And d wine, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, distillates, and Mate can be ciated as well.

Contact Details

W: www.malbecsymphony.com T: +54 261 429 3696

+54 9 261 543 3292

E:

info@malbecsymphony.com

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Welcome To..

PATAGONIA

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atagonia is a vast and remote region located at the southern tip of the South American continent. Whether you visit this picturesque location via Argentina or Chile, it boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. Because of the great quantity of activities available, Patagonia can be enjoyed throughout the year.

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Punta Arenas City Punta Arenas City is the capital of the Megallanes province – on the Chile part of Tierra del Fuego – which comprehends from Cordillera del Paine on the north to Cape Horn on the south. It is the southernmost continental city in the world and serves as the door to Patagonia. Start your journey off with a visit to Torres del Paine National Park where you will enjoy the romantic view of ‘los cuernos’ among guanacos and rheas. If you get a bit more time to explore this fascinating region, why not head to the eastern part which belongs to Argentina. Here you will be able to hike the Glacier Martial to unlock beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Chanel or if winter sports take your fancy make the most of its ski slope during the winter months. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Puerto Natales City Puerto Natales is a small town near to Punta Arenas in the Chilean Patagonia. It has all of the old charm of a traditional South American town with a small and picturesque shopping, a history museum, and activities such as fishing and farming, but it also has a developed commercial and tourism infrastructure making it a pleasant destination to grab lunch at a coffee shop or go out for a meal at a restaurant. One of the main attractions in Puerto Natales is La Cueva del Milodon, a 200 metre deep and 80 metre wide cave that holds a replica of the giant ground sloth whose remains were found by Captain Eberhard in 1895.

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Grey Glacier The Grey Glacier is the largest glacier inside the Torres del Paine National Park and one of the most magnificent attractions in the whole of Patagonia. The whimsical shapes of the glacier and its various ice-blue shades look like amorphous crystals. Those trekking the Full Circuit of Torres del Paine are presented with incredible views from above the Grey Glacier as they cross the Paso John Garner. The panoramic view will be awe-inspiring while the trek across the blue vastness will provide a strange sensation.

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Lago Grey

Those looking for a less demanding a boat trip that sails from the south vistas of the lake and mountains pro ties as you sail along the Lago Gre from the Guarderia Lago Grey alo the chance to get up close to Gre the most spectacular, Lago Grey is

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g way to see the Grey Glacier can enjoy hern shore right up to the glacier itself. The ovide countless photographic opportuniey, or alternatively take the hour long walk ong the ‘beach’ on the southern shore for ey’s icebergs. If the Grey Glacier is one of s one of the most beautiful. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Kayaking Patagonia Climb aboard a kayak by the Strait of Megallan and tour the fascinating wildlife and mesmerising landscape with the picturesque Tierra del Fuego Island providing the backdrop. This magical experience will allow you to explore and discover the petreles, cormorants, sea wolves and get up close to the dolphins. A kayaking tour of Patagonia offers a completely different yet equally impressive type of sailing than what is on offer at Lago Grey.

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Experience the excitement and embrace the wonders of nature as you explore the fjords, lakes and Patagonian rivers. Whether you travel by land or by water, these mesmerising and magical memories are sure to last with you for a lifetime.

Contact Details

W: www.welcomepatagonia.com T:

+56 61 223510

E:

info@welcomepatagonia.com

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A

zur Real Hotel Boutique blends minimalism with traditional and unconventional elements. The architecture of the early Twentieth Century merges with cutting edge details, creating a warm and comfortable environment.

Its distinctive design creates space with character, where you can enjoy the tranquility of the old house and the comfort of a modern hotel. The original house, where Azur Real Hotel Boutique is located, was built in 1915 as a traditional home-store, where household and family bussines coexist. The property changed over the years, becoming a Drugstore, a Restaurant and a Students Residence. Part of the building was used by Dean Funes National School, where personalities from the City attended to class, as its most famous student: Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The restoration work began in 2004 and after five years finally the hotel opened its doors. The hotel is just few metres from the “San Martín” square, the Cathedral, the Córdoba´s Townhall and the Jesuit Block -declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Sitelocated in the historical quarter. Its location allows you to enjoy the active life of Córdoba and have straight access to cultural spaces and commercial and financial area of the city. Azur Real Hotel has 14 unique rooms equipped with LCD TV, Internet WiFi, computer sized safety deposit box, mini bar, Multi function shower and American percale 180 thread count sheets. The hotel has a restaurant, gym, spa and solarium and exclusive services to complete our guest stay in an unforgetable experience.

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Contact Details

W: www.azurrealhotel.com T: +54 351 4247133 E: info@azurrealhotel.com Luxury Travel Guide - Asia & Australasia

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PERU

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he ancient civilisation of the Incas is undoubtedly the main draw in Peru, but there is plenty more for you to discover in this diverse and fascinating country, blessed with attractions, activities and culture to rival any other South American destination.

Machu Picchu The city of Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru and is recognised as one of the new Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Even though it was only “discovered” in July 1911 by an American professor-turned-explorer, the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is in fact over 500 years old. This fascinating pre-Columbian 15th century complex in the high jungle of the Peruvian Andes is made up of more than 140 structures including polished dry-stone walls, temples, residencies and stoned steps which climb the steep mountainous terrain.

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This phenomenon is even more spectacular when you consider it was built at a time when the Incas had no iron, no steel, and no wheels. If you get time – take the Inca Trail or begin your journey in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire.

Nazca Lines The world famous Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs etched in the burning Nazca desert of Pampa Colorada (Red Plain). The UNESCO World Heritage Site was created in the time of the Nazca Indians, who flourished in the area from 200 BC to about 600 AD. What makes this landmark ever more fascinating is how the sketches were completed on such a grand scale – measuring 15 miles wide and runs some 37 miles parallel to the Andes and the Pacific Ocean – and how they have survived the test of time without erosion or damage. The giant runways and pictographs include a monkey, condor, astronaut, hummingbird, hands, a tree and most famously the spider.


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Andean Colca Canyon

Arequipa

If you find the Grand Canyon fascinating then this will blow you away. At twice the depth of the Arizona landmark, the Andean Colca Canyon is said to be the deepest ravine in the world. Unlike the North American attraction – which is a vast landscape of red rock – this Canyon offers a different appeal with rugged snow-capped mountains making up the Canyon terrain coupled with luscious fields of green in the surrounding Colca Valley. Adventure travellers of all abilities will feel at home with this challenging climb and will be rewarded with many photographic opportunities including lush river oasis, riverside hot springs, families of giant condors and not forgetting the canyon itself.

The historic centre of Arequipa is one of the most archaeologically stunning destinations in the whole of South America. It is known as the White City for its beautiful white walls of sillar, a volcanic stone, of Mount Chachani, Mount Misti. The downtown of the city is placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and many of the almost 250 colonial buildings are entitled as Human Heritage status. Major earthquakes have marked the key moments of change in the development of this city and it is possible to identify the five periods of design since it began as a village founded by Spanish Conquistadors in 1540. Mixed Baroque churches and mansions from the Colonial Period can be found throughout and the introduction of Rococo and neoclassicism at Casa del Moral rank among the highlights.

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Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca is in the Andes on the border between Peru and Bolivia. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and the second largest in South America measuring a whopping 120 miles long and 50 miles wide. Take a catamaran or kayak cruise and witness the many fascinating sites on both sides of the border. This scenic place has an enormous significance in the ancient culture of the Inca and many of the people you will pass along the way have kept their ancient traditions and rituals. Explore the ancient ruins of Tiahuanaco and see the descendants of the Inca living on the floating islands at Tiquina. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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The typical tourist visit to Peru consists of a pit stop in Lima on the way to Machu Picchu before moving on to another South American country. But those that take the time to explore further are in for a treat with ancient geoglyphs, varying landscapes and a collection of fascinating buildings and ruins throughout.

Where To Stay:

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Even if it wasn’t the only 5-star hotel in Machu Picchu we would still highly recommend staying here for the location alone. Standing at the foot of the imposing mountains surrounding Machu Picchu, by the banks of the Vilcanota River, stands the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, architecturally inspired by the enigmatic lost city of the Incas.

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Where To Eat: Costa Verde

Lima’s most famous restaurant is particularly good for its seafood and buffet. They offer a wide variety of dishes to choose from including sushi, local cuisine and also cater for vegetarians. The biggest selling point is the location with the classic scenic view of the Pacific oceanfront.

What To Do:

Peruvian Pan Flute

The famous Peruvian Pan Flute is an ancient musical instrument consisting of five or more pipes of gradually increasing length. It has long been a popular folk instrument, and is considered to be the first mouth organ pre-dating the pipe organ and the harmonica.



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oth business people and tourists tend not to stay in the city centre, preferring the upscale neighbourhood of San Isidro. The Country Club Lima Hotel is located in this most exclusive residential and commercial district of Lima surrounded by embassies and facing a prestigious Golf Club. Built in 1927, refurbished in 1998 and completely remodelled in 2008, it is now considered a National Monument. It is the hub of Peruvian business and a truly exceptional expression of authentic Peruvian luxury hospitality. This property is simply Lima’s finest hotel.

Finely decorated with more than 300 pieces of original artwork and colonial furniture on loan from the famed Pedro de Osma Museum, the Country Club Lima Hotel presents the perfect marriage of architectural charm, history and modern comfort. Its 83 spacious suites are elegantly decorated with a stylish mixture of classical and Peruvian colonial artwork.

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Rooms are large and very luxurious, with tons of antiques and oldworld appeal although equipped with all the modern technologies and amenities. Many of the huge marble bathrooms have large Jacuzzis and separate showers. Although it appears large, the hotel is actually very cosy, friendly, and low-key. It is ideal for just about anyone, including families, but it is especially perfect for stressed-out business travellers who’ve seen one too many blandly elegant hotels. Public rooms are very refined and inviting, with chandeliers and very high wood-beam ceilings, a close approximation of a local nobleman’s estate. It’s not surprising that the hotel hosts frequent social functions.

Contact Details

W: www.hotelcountry.com T: +51 1 611 9000 E: info@hotelcountry.com Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Exploring

LIMA

Expert BIO Edwin Rojas, General Manager & Tour Guide, Haku Tours Born and bred in Lima, Edwin knows his country very well and his specialty is Lima “the city of the kings” and Cusco “The Inka City”. He speaks English, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese, and has been to over 40 countries. Edwin has a Masters Degree in Ecotourism, is a fully trained Amazon Jungle Guide, and has an official Tourism certificate from the Peruvian Government.”

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The wonderful city of Lima doesn’t try to mask itself with false as something it is not. Colonial architecture consisting of w and monasteries dominate the city centre, while large but o the hills and valleys on the outskirts.


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Barranco Home to a large proportion of Peru’s artisans, Barranco is considered to be the romantic and bohemian centre of Lima. Cross the Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) where legend has it that if you walk across it for the first time without taking a breath all your wishes will come true. With many grand colonial houses and a lively restaurant and nightclub scene it is also the popular destination among the city’s student population. Get a feel and a flavour for Peruvian life by visiting over the course of a weekend when they hold their “A Taste of Barranco” food festival where you will also find a number of Peñas (folkloric music shows) featuring local musicians.

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“Take a walking tour of Lima’s most interesting and colourful district, known for its ‘bohemian’ lifestyle. Wander past the colourful stately mansions and churches, making your way along the cliffs while hearing about Barranco’s fascinating history. Visit the famous ‘Bajada de los Banos’ walkway, the romantic ‘Bridge of sighs’ and the Plaza San Francisco.”

Edwin Rojas

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Shanty Town Take this perfect opportunity to submerge yourself in the rich folklore of Peru’s past with this real life tour of the Shanty Town offering you a compelling insight into the great history of both the place and the people. The sprawling self-built shanty towns that surround the historic city centre now contain nearly half of Lima’s estimated 10 million inhabitants. From the bottom of Praderas you will see an array of colourful buildings scaling the hill, while once you reach the top you will be rewarded with fascinating panoramic views of the Lurin Valley, West Coast and Lima City.

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“Gradually start your journey up the ‘yellow stairs’. Pause along the way to take photos of typical homes, families and see first-hand the smiling children of Lima. You will meet local craftsmen who produce beautiful hand-made silverware, and perhaps make a purchase or two.”

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Pachacamac The ancient site of Pachacamac is an important religious centre popularised during the rise of the Incan Empire in 800 AD. The citadel is made up of adobe and stone palaces along with over a dozen temple pyramids, while the site also contains a cemetery and multicoloured fresco of fish from the Early Intermediate period. The grounds have been under excavation for over two decades, but it is still an exciting place to visit. As recent as May 2012 a spectacular 1,000 year old tomb was discovered in a 60-foot-long oval chamber containing more than 80 burials accompanied by offerings such as ceramic vessels, dogs, guinea pigs, copper and gold artefacts.

“Travel back in time and visit the most important religious complex in the central coast of ancient Peru. Take this opportunity to ride on a genuine Peruvian Paso Horse and admire its colossal size and be amazed at the panoramic view of the Ocean and the valley below.,�

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Caral With a history pre-dating the Mayan, Incan and Olmec’s – discover the Norte Chico civilisation and their human achievements which took place over 100 years before the Great Pyramid at Giza was even built. The large settlement in the Supe Valley, near the Barranca province was inhabited between 2600 BCE and 2000 BCE making the Norte Chico the first civilisation in the whole American continent. Discover the intricate detailing of the Pirimide Mayor (main pyramid) and learn about a relatively unknown and recently discovered society where excavation finds include flutes made of condor and pelican bones, cornets of deer and llama bones, and fossilised remains of a baby, wrapped and buried with a necklace made of stone beads.

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Inka Trail The Inka Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. Follow this route from Lima to the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas” at Machu Picchu where you will combine a beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and of course a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. Alternatively, for those with a more limited time-scale take the trek from Lima to the Tutyakiri Fort. At 3000 metres above sea-level you will enjoy many fascinating views along the way.

“We have all heard of the famous ‘Inka Trail’, but did you know it ends in Lima? This trail is the same one that comes from Cusco and it was used by the Inkas to travel to Pachacamac Temple in the coast of Lima.”

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Miraflores This upscale touristy neighbourhood of Lima contains a number of restaurants, nightlife and hotels. It is popular for adventure seekers with paragliding and hand-gliding possibilities on offer along with a skate park and BMX Lisabike&tracks. Diane Scalia / mountain However, its most popular feature continues to be the numerous beaches luring in surfers from all around the world. Gaining its name from Carlos Dogny, a Peruvian sugarcane heir who returned to Lima from Hawaii in 1942 with a surfboard in hand, Waikiki and Makaha beaches in Miraflores are considered to be good places for beginners to learn how to surf. Alternatively, more experienced surfers may wish to travel Punta Hermosa, the home of world champion surfer Sofia Mulanovich. Here you will find Pico Alto beach with waves averaging at 4 metres in height.

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Lima will open your eyes to the true Peru. Mixing its archaeological points of interest from the days of the Incan Empire with its influences from its proceeding 300 years of Spanish rule, your exploration will see you mingle with the friendly locals, sample their culture and embrace their way of life. Luxury Travel Guide - The Americas

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Contact Details

W: www.hakutours.com T: +51 992 397 334 E: info@hakutours.com 464

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he word HAKU comes from the Quenchua language spoken in the Andes, and means – let’s go!

Haku Tours has the best variety of short day tours in and around Lima, designed specially for those on a tight time schedule, or those who want to experience “The Real Peru” with the locals. Their main focus is to create unique, local and affordable tours, which are also beneficial to the local communities and their families. As a result, most of their tours support local transport, give jobs to families in need and organise volunteer projects and donations to help communities. Take tours ranging from following the Inka Trail to visiting the Shanty Town or learn something new with Haku’s traditional cooking lessons, salsa dancing or surf classes. You will not be just another name or number to Haku as they keep their groups to a maximum of eight people. This helps make you feel more involved while providing a more personal experience. SURFING LESSONS; learn how to surf the Peruvian waves with the best local instructors. If you already know how to surf we can provide you transportation and a good quality equipment. PARAGLIDING, what could be better than looking at the Pacific Ocean and Lima’s bay from above!. NATURE ACTIVITIES, trek among the foothills of the Andes in Pachacamac region or enjoy horse riding at the valley and beach of this area.

WINE TOUR; visit one of the traditional local wineries and have a great artisanal Wine and Pisco tasting. COOKING LESSONS; experience Peru thorough its colours, flavors and fragrances and note why our food is considered one the best in the world. BOTANICAL GARDEN; Displaying the rich diversity of plants that Peru has to offer. Among others there is a garden for vulnerable and endangered native plants, an orchid garden, a Limeñan cactus garden, a pilot garden with plants for medical use, an arboretum and green houses for palm trees, zamias and peperomias. BIKE TOUR; do you have experience biking? so challenge yourself cycling around our beautiful coast districts.

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EASTER ISLAND

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aster Island is known locally as Rapa Nui and is a special territory of Chile. Most famous for its monumental statues, this remote island is worth visiting for its phenomenal mythology alone.

Maoi Statues Easter Island has become an open-air museum attracting attention from scores of fascinated scholars, travellers and artists alike. With almost 1,000 giant stone statues occupying much of the land on this tiny 15 by 7 mile island, there are more questions than answers. Excavation projects continue to uncover the secrets of the mysterious stones. You can discover their developments alongside them. Exciting advances are being made all the time and, as recently as May 2012, torsos of two 7 metre tall statues were found partially buried underneath the surface.

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Rano Raraku This UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rapa Nui National Park is a marvel to behold. A fascinating volcanic crater forms the quarry which provided the majority of the stone for the island’s monolithic sculptures. Take in the panoramic sight of Rano Raraku’s crater lake before getting up close to learn how the deforestation and overexploitation of the lands natural resources wiped out a civilisation.

Motu Nui There isn’t a great deal of marine life off the coast of Easter Island but that doesn’t stop it being one of the best dive sites around the world. Motu Nui is the largest island off the coast and it is perched on top of a huge volcanic mountain which lies on the ocean bed. While the luxurious blue waters provide unrivalled visibility, divers relish the beauty of the great underwater landscape flitting between arches and caves. Other dives on the island include Hanga Roa, Te Peu and Lost Arch, but Motu Nui is by all means our favourite.


From the dramatic rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture to the baffling ancient statues – Easter Island is an intriguing destination shrouded in an air of mystery.

How To Get In: LAN Airlines

Easter Island is described as ‘remote’ for a reason. The only airline with regular flights in and out of the Polynesian island is LAN Airlines with daily flights to Santiago, Chile along with twice weekly flights to Lima, Peru and a weekly flight to Tahiti.

Where To Stay:

Posada de Mike Rapu This all-inclusive luxury stay covers everything from gourmet food, top quality drinks, transfers and tours. The hotel is built to blend in with the islands natural landscape and each of the 30 rooms feature full-length windows from which you can watch the sun rise over the ocean. Perhaps the most remote luxury hotel in the world.

What To Do:

Tapati Nui Festival It may be a new festival but it has all the cultural traditions of the days gone by. Lasting two weeks between January and February, this event consists of traditional rituals, ceremonies, sporty activities and theatre-like presentations where you will see painted islanders, lots of dancers and plenty of Rapa Nui music.

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Exploring

COLUMBIA

Expert BIO

Shehla Burney, Founder, Makuna Ecotravel

Shehla Burney is a professional in finance and a passionate traveler. Driven by the desire to share the beauty and uniqueness of her country, she founded Makuna Ecotravel in order to help travelers like her visit Colombia’s natural sites. As of today, she has hosted travelers from all over Europe and North America, as well as from countries like Brazil and Japan. As an extension of Shehla’s personality, hospitality, safety and the willingness to surprise guests define Makuna Ecotravel’s service. Furthermore, Makuna’s tours are designed for travelers that are looking for escapism and who like to be surprised by life.

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Colombia is a magical wonderland brimming with gorgeous beaches, Amazon safaris, archaeological ruins, mountain trekking, coffee plantations, incredible national parks and much more.


The Nemocon Salt Mine The Nemocon Salt Mine, a natural wonder with unique salt formations, is a destination you can’t miss. Descending 80 metres’ through mining tunnels, visitors will find a salt reality hard to believe, including mirror chambers of natural brine, crystals and cascades with unimaginable optical effects and the largest heart-shaped salt crystal in the world.

“The Nemocon Salt Mine combines both complexity and simplicity: complexity in its marvelous salt shapes and patterns and simplicity in its easy-to-follow guidance and adequate facilities.”

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Chicaque Park Chicaque Park, or the Cloud Forest, is surrounded not only by clouds (literally speaking), but also by the complexities of the Colombian central mountain chain or cordillera. Some of the activities to do here are hiking, bird-watching, horse-back riding, or just relaxing while enjoying the most beautiful landscape.

“Chicaque Park is recognised for its natural diversity: it has seven types of forests, 300 bird species and 20 mammal species. By the way, don’t let the clouds fool you. Behind the mist you’ll find a vast mountainous land that will make you feel enormously small.”

Shehla Burney

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Pionono Park Located 3,100 meters above the sea level, Pionono Park has a set of antique trails especially designed for enthusiastic hikers, who will Lisa & aDiane Scalia be able to see 360º high level view of Bogota’s savannah. Its flora and challenging topography makes this park a difficult site to forget.

“Pionono Park, located in the town of Sopo, the heart of Colombia’s dairy product industry, is a recommended place for adventurous hikers and paragliders. Its rocky paths and high altitude trails are ideal for photography and hiking.”

Shehla Burney

Makuna’s aim is to help travelers access these sites and to obtain knowledge of their natural and cultural value while having lots of fun!

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Chingaza National Park Chingaza National Park contains the original Andean Forest and the Paramo Ecosystem, (defined as a major strategic water source for a community). The park embraces antique lagoons with glacial origin that were used for indigenous worship in the past. Its colourful scenery definetly makes Chingaza a natural masterpiece.

“The quiet trails and still lagoons make inner peace Chingaza’s gift to the traveler.”

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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M

akuna Ecotravel trips focus on destinations across the country’s natural parks and cultural sites. Ecological activities such as hiking, photography and sightseeing can be done in these places, which have been carefully chosen to make sure you won’t miss some of the most spectacular and inspiring destinations in Colombia.

Contact Details

W: www.makunaecotravel.com T: +57 313 885 9839 E: info@makunaecotravel.com

Born as a result of a burning love towards the Colombian landscapes, people and culture, Makuna Ecotravel will be very pleased to share this passion with you and to build a unique and unforgettable ecotravel experiences together.

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URUGUAY

U

ruguay offers a lot of the same things that the tourist favourite and close neighbour Argentina has but without all of the people and hassle. Bordering both Brazil and Argentina, the second smallest independent country in South America is the ideal base for travel across the continent or alternatively for short excursions away from the more familiar attractions.

Montevideo The country capital is both atmospheric and homely. Many gorgeous monuments and museums cover the city, as well as historic buildings and squares. Stroll through the Plaza Independencia at the heart of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (old city). The broad square, lined with palms, is dominated by a huge statue of Jose Artigas, Uruguay’s great hero. As the only city with a population exceeding 1 million Montevideo is also the hub for nightlife entertainment. Grab a bite to eat at Mercado del Puerto before heading on to the clubs and bars.

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Colonia Although you can walk from one end of Colonia del Sacramento to the other in under an hour we highly recommend taking a whole day to explore and make the most out of this delightful little port city. Enjoy the rustic charm as you wander along cobble-stoned streets, surrounded by colourful flora and even colourful buildings. Drop into each of the seven small museums in its historic centre along the way. End your trip with a climb up the old light house to delight in the incredible view across the natural landscape of the city.

Punta del Este Often referred to as ‘the Monaco of South America’, Punta del Este offers an unspoilt peninsula with paradisiacal oceanic beaches, exotic sophistication and luxurious buildings. The main draws in Punta del Este are the famous beaches.


Where To Stay:

Mantra Punta del Este

The Bikini Beach in La Barra which is often frequented by models and celebrities, and our favourite, the La Playa de los Dedos which translates as ‘the finger beach’. On the finger beach, a gigantic ‘hand sculpture’ designed by Chilean artist Mario Irarrazabal lies in the middle of the sand serving as a symbol of caution to the sometimes rough swimming conditions. This seemingly drowning hand has become one of the most iconic sites in the whole of Uruguay. This undiscovered gem offers visitors the chance to enjoy rural South American life, pleasant beaches and city breaks all rolled into one. Uruguay stands out as a downscale and peaceful alternative to the larger South American destinations.

The Mantra Punta del Este is a refuge where comfort and style smoothly complement one another. Rooms have marble bathrooms and bed linen by Poggesi while guests can make the most of the European treatments in the Balance Spa, organised whale-watching trips and an onsite casino as well as the splendid views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Where To Eat:

Restaurante Arcadia Restaurante Arcadia offers panoramic views of Harbour Bay and Montevideo Hill. Enjoy the best international cuisine in Montevideo along with mouth-watering Uruguayan-influenced specialty dishes in this elegant restaurant atop the Plaza Victoria.

When To Go:

December

Beat the January and February rush to the beaches with a balmy Christmas in Uruguay. Daytime temperatures average 26°C in December and the region is generally quiet without being a ghost town. Unless you enjoy freezing temperatures, avoid visiting between June and July.

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ECUADOR

W

ith its magnificent Andean spine lined with a staggering 30 volcanoes, Amazon rainforest, colonial cities and a splendid coast line it is incredible just how much this tiny South American country can cram inside its

borders.

Quito First and foremost, visitors come to Quito in order to straddle the equator hopping between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at the very site where the French Geodesic Commission first measured the equatorial line in 1735. However, to us a visit to the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) is nothing more than an aside. The real glory in the country capital lies in the Old Town section which is filled with beautiful ornate Spanish-colonial churches and monasteries from the 16th and 17th centuries along with fascinating museums and monuments. This spectacular city was one of the first to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site way back in 1978.

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Cuenca With an elevation of 2,500 metres, the colonial city of Cuenca is built on top of a large rock, and by large we mean height-wise as the space on the rock was smaller than the required space so many of the houses partly hang over the cliff top. Filled with dozens of churches and one monumental cathedral, Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the preservation of its historic buildings. Other attractions here include beautiful rivers and lakes for fishing and a fascinating hike at the Huecar Canyon where you can enjoy the picturesque scenery on offer.

The Amazon If you were to visit the Amazon in Brazil or any other South American country you could perhaps get away with exploring the region as a lone ranger. Over in Ecuador, the tropical rainforest elevated 400 metres above sea level is a different kettle of fish.


Where To Stay:

La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa

Take a guided tour through the jungle, embark upon canoe trips and go fishing for piranhas. With 46 different ecosystems, Ecuador is one of the most bio diverse countries in the world, stay at a jungle lodge and go bird-watching early in the morning and see how many of Ecuador’s 1600 bird species you can find.

The Galapagos Islands Ecuador’s most beloved and popular national park lies in splendid isolation around 1,000 kilometres away from the South American mainland. The inspiration behind Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is still a frequented venue for nature travellers over 150 years on and due to its almost total lack of human inhabitants the flora and fauna of these islands have evolved in a very special and unique way. The animals are more than happy for you to get up close and personal, while rare species include the marine iguanas, tropical penguins, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. Indigenous heritage, colonial architecture and natural beauty combine to spoil you. As the second smallest country in South America you can afford to make it up as you go along – so get yourself to Ecuador and follow your hearts desire.

Spend both day and night in the Amazon rainforests with a visit to La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa. T he lodge combines jungle expeditions, canoe ride and night excursions – priding itself as one of the most unique wildlife experiences in all of South America, when combined with a Galapagos Islands tour.

Where To Eat: Mama Clorinda

In most countries a guinea pig is nothing more than a family pet. However in Ecuador it forms the main staple meat among Ecuadorian indigenous people. Visit Mama Clorinda in Quito to try the ‘Cuy Apanado’ deep fried guinea pig battered or breaded and served with cooked potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and peanut sauce.

What To Do: Volcano Tour

Choose between one day excursions through to five day tours of the Volcano Avenue in Ecuador. It is composed of 73 volcanoes, 18 of which have erupted in the last 10,000 years and 7 of the 18 in the last 500 years. Take a tour with Larc for the option of hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

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