In the world of tourism, it is green destinations, cultural sites, and urban areas that stand out; and above all, regardless of location, it is places where tourists try to walk off the beaten track and meet the locals. According to travel agents and websites specializing in tourism and sales of travel guides, Americans are no exception to the rule. Let’s go around the World in just 6 stops!
1. Argentina: Tango in the Streets of Buenos Aires
It is both for its wines and landscapes, and the very cultural city of Buenos Aires, that American tourists travel to Argentina. This great South American country offers more to its visitors through many opportunities for hiking, skiing and traversing the snow-capped peaks of the most stunning deserts of the world.
For whom: Argentina appeals not only to outdoor and wine enthusiasts, but also to those who want to dive into a fascinating culture.
Budget: $20 per day for budget travelers, and up to $60 per day for very comfortable accommodation and meals in fine restaurants. Allow a little more for days spent in Buenos Aires.
When to go: September to November (spring) or March-May (autumn), when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cool.
Why Corsica? Well, given the outdoor opportunities that its landscapes and authenticity provides, and the fact that Americans can now get there direct thanks to Air France, Corsica is more popular than ever.
While the mountains, to which the island owes its nickname of “Beauty Island”, is reason enough to visit Corsica, it also offers visitors 3000 year old vineyards, and pretty coastal cities, beaches and bays. The place is popular for its tranquility and good food.
For whom: This French island will appeal to fans of coastal environments who like to eat and drink well, and for the athletic type of tourist, given the numerous hiking possibilities.
Budget: Corsica is much more expensive during the peak summer season, during which approximately $130 per day is needed for just average accommodation and three meals. At all times though, the internal regions of the island are much more affordable than the coasts.
When to go: To reduce costs and avoid the hordes of tourists, choose the months of May, June or September.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica, with almost a third of its territory under environmental protection, is a country that is probably the best answer to those in search of green holidays, seeking contact with nature, an aspiration of more and more Americans today. Ask anybody who’s been there to describe the place, and you’ll inevitably hear the words “paradise on earth.”
Cocos Island, a world heritage site with stunning fauna and flora, exceptional diving; Arenal Volcano; the beautiful beaches; and the Tortuguero National Park are sites you cannot miss when visiting Costa Rica. With the country being pretty small in size, a visitor can easily live a different experience every day.
For whom: For those who want to go south, but still want to try something other than the standard fare, especially those interested in ecotourism and adventure.
Budget: Budget travelers can get by between $25 and $40 per day, while those seeking a little more luxury will need approximately $100 per day for comfortable accommodation, activities and three meals.
When to go: December to April, during the dry season.
4. River Cruises
Ocean cruises, we know plenty about already, but river cruises are quite the new thing. Examples are the kind available near Moscow on the Volga or the Danube, with stops in Budapest, Belgrade and Vienna – quite a wonderful experience indeed.
For whom: As compared to ocean cruises, river cruises allow you to see different landscapes, stop longer and more often, and provide the feeling of actually seeing a country. More than enough incentive to change the minds of those who swear never to get on boats!
Budget: Prices vary greatly depending on the cruise, the ship type and time of year. Generally, they fall between $1000 and $2000 for a week to 10-day cruise.
When to go: You have to choose among the predefined dates that companies that offer per year.
5. Western Canada
Because it hosted the Olympics in early 2010, the Canadian West now enjoys quality modern infrastructure. The city of Vancouver and Victoria, the mountains of Whistler, and Jasper and Banff Parks are great and to see. You’re sure to be constantly in contact with nature when on a trip to Western Canada!
For whom: Perfect for lovers of winter.
Budget: On average, for accommodation, travel and meals, it takes $150 per day.
When to go: Depending on what one wants to see and do in the West, you can decide to leave during the summer or during the winter. However, the less busy periods are those of spring, March to May, and autumn, September-October.
Panama is yet again on tourist maps. Long neglected for its more popular neighbors, this small Central American country is more accessible than ever since major hotel chains settled on its shores.
Thus, in addition to its new resorts, Panama offers visitors beautiful beaches on both sides of its territory, pretty mountain villages near the Costa Rican border, and thick forests everywhere across the country. A train trip along the Panama Canal and a visit to the archipelago of San Blas, of unparalleled beauty, is worth a detour.
For whom: Panama will please both backpackers and the more traditionally holiday-inclined who want to explore a beautiful country at their own pace, or those that wish to indulge in a mix of both relaxation and exploration.
Budget: Allow $40 to $60 per day for suitable accommodation, three meals and a tour.
When to go: Although the period is slightly more expensive, December to April it is best to visit Panama because of the interesting weather.