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Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices. The state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel with an ice-reinforced hull, enabling it to navigate polar ice as well as small harbors in Europe. Travel the world with our experts on our flagship expeditions by land, train, private jet, or on board our fleet of small ships. All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. Best Vantage on Vintage FranceWith vineyards first planted by ancient Romans, the Cote d'Or—the most revered winemaking area in Burgundy (Bourgogne)—draws wine pilgrims from around the globe. Blue or Not, It Blows Our MindsFlowing almost 1,800 miles from the Black Forest to the Black Sea, the Danube River has been the main thoroughfare through central and eastern Europe for millennia. Next Great AdventureThe last remaining Himalayan Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan is distant by most standards. To the Manor BornWith a sculptor's discerning eye, the 18th-century landscape designer Lancelot Brown transformed Britain's grand country estates forever.
Amped Up With the ArtsIf Edinburgh is the blue-blooded aunt at Scotland's tea party, then Glasgow, just 45 miles to the west, is the T-shirt-clad cousin kicking over the kettle on the way out.A wealthy shipbuilding and trade hub on the River Clyde since the 15th century, Scotland's largest city fell into dereliction, earning a rough-and-tumble reputation that stuck to soot-covered buildings well into the 1980s. Northern ExposureThe Inuit of Greenland call it sila, the immense natural world experienced with all five senses. Absolute PowderThose in the know choose the isle of Hokkaido for a ski experience found nowhere else. The ADVENTURE Road Trip PlannerAn online-only guide to the road with fuel-smart, adventure-packed road trip itineraries. Superchef Alton Brown's Pit StopsThe Food Network's Iron Chef America host Alton Brown took his expertise to the interstate for his new show, Feasting on Asphalt. Napoleon's Soulful Island HomeTwo hundred years after Napoleon Bonaparte suffered his final military defeat, Corsica, his birthplace, stubbornly resists its own cultural Waterloo.
Let There Be EnlightenmentThe austere heart of Japanese Buddhism beats loudly at Koyasan, a monastic complex that lies two hours by train south of Osaka. Boldly Old WorldIn the historic Land of Maramure?, the hills are alive with ways long forgotten elsewhere in Europe. Pride of the PlainsOklahoma City has never been “mighty pretty,” despite the shout-out from Bobby Troup’s iconic “Route 66.” To look at, it’s been more like the beer-gut metropolis spilling across the Great Plains.
New Day in North AfricaByrsa Hill, in Tunis’s upmarket suburb of Carthage, makes a dizzying aerie to watch the sun set into the bay. The Perfect BeachThailand's sun-drenched jewel in the South Andaman Sea, Koh Lipe has recently risen to the top of intrepid beach lovers’ A-list of island paradises. Lost No LongerTayrona National Park's gorgeous beaches are a highlight of northern Colombia, home also to the famed Ciudad Perdida. Africa's Green and Fiery HeartPerhaps nowhere on Earth is the dual creative and destructive nature of volcanoes more evident than in central Africa’s Virunga Volcanoes Massif.
The Creative Coast of SpainThe boats painted in yellow, crimson, and white that bob in the water could belong to any scraggy Mediterranean coast. American as Apple Pie“I’ve been to Napa and Sonoma,” you hear people say, as if they were one and the same.
Quintessential Cottage CountryJust two hours by car—but a world away—from powerhouse Toronto beats the heart of Ontario’s cottage country, Muskoka.
Perfumed OasisWhile neighboring oil-rich countries on the Arabian Peninsula are building skyscrapers and convention centers, Oman is erecting an opera house and planting desert gardens amid capital city Muscat’s white stone buildings. Faster, Higher, StrongerIn Olympic-ready London, a new landmark (City Hall) meets old (Tower Bridge) along the Thames. Modern Maya WorldEvery year countless travelers visit the ruins of once great Maya cities: Chichen Itza (Mexico), Tikal (Guatemala), Caracol (Belize), and Copan (Honduras). Ancient BeautyPatrick Leigh Fermor, the dashing philhellene who died last June, knew that to get under Greece’s skin you must stray from the instant gratifications of its seaside resorts.
Cyclists' BlissA violent struggle created this world, according to Maori mythology: Indigenous New Zealanders say Sky Father and Earth Mother were ripped from each other’s arms to make room for mountains, forests, and oceans. Eco-WonderlandAs a bridge between continents, Panama, 51 miles sea-to-sea at its midpoint, only looks slight. The Next Foodie FrontierThere are plenty of reasons to visit Peru: to explore ancient ruins at Machu Picchu, spot some of the world’s rarest birds, or trek some of Earth’s deepest canyons. Hibernating is not an option in the frosted reaches of northeast China, where brisk Siberian winds keep the average winter temperatures in Harbin barely above zero degrees Fahrenheit. Central America’s Mesoamerican Reef system stretches more than 600 miles along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Hop a high-speed (186 miles an hour) bullet train in Taipei to zip across western Taiwan’s valleys, plains, and Central Mountain Range foothills. Located southwest of Tanzania’s most famous safari destinations—the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater—7,809-square-mile Ruaha National Park is off the beaten adventure tour track, offering a quieter, wilder environment for exceptional game viewing and birding.
Only an 80-minute direct flight from Miami, the Cayman Islands are close enough to the mainland U.S.
Carnival in Brazil’s first capital (and former Portuguese colonial capital) is a cruising Afro-Brazilian dance party stretching mile after mile along center city and coastal circuits. The packed winter trails crisscrossing Chena State Recreation Area’s 397 square miles of forests and alpine tundra are open for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmachining, and winter mountain biking (try the Colorado Creek Trail for a three- to four-hour ride). With the city’s historic Christmas markets in full swing, church bells chiming in the crisp Bavarian Alpine air, and snow frosting baroque palace rooftops, Advent in Salzburg delivers a multisensory infusion of gingerbread-warm holiday spirit. Mid-December to early March, Yellowstone is a winter wonderland best explored on foot, cross-country skis, or snowshoes. When temperatures dip below freezing, residents in Canada’s largest city head downtown and below ground to 17 miles of weatherproof walkways. I'm sure this is on a lot grander scale than the one in Winnipeg, Manitoba called Festival Du Voyageur in February each year.
Whether it’s Botswana's Okavango Delta or Brazil's beaches, these 20 go-now destinations will get you packing. Natives here insist there's no place in France with wine traditions more deeply rooted, more consciously cherished. Flying in requires a plane nimble enough to navigate around mountain peaks and land in Paro Valley, the main tourist hub, where the number of hotels has tripled over the past decade as the once isolated country opens to more visitors. Brown reshaped formal gardens into rolling green parklands across the length and breadth of the country. Now scrubbed up and gleaming, Glasgow flexes cultural muscle, artfully burnishing its industrial cityscape.Scotland's self-proclaimed Year of Innovation, Architecture, and Design kicks off in January, with Glaswegians proudly puffing their chests. Said to dwell in Kilauea, one of two volcanoes here that are among the world's most active, Pele has been a busy lady.
Japan's northernmost island—surrounded by misty seas and chilled by nearby Siberia—is blessed in winter with almost daily snowfalls, accumulating on some mountains to an extraordinary 63 feet. Gas prices and global warming are changing the way we drive, but not our desire to explore. How to be a Good Co-PilotThe first mistake most people make when they settle into the passenger seat during a road trip is assuming it's nap time. Whether it’s India’s literary hub or Switzerland’s mountain majesty, these 20 go-now destinations will send you packing. Though this Mediterranean island has deep, historic ties to Italy and has been part of France since 1769, its 300,000 inhabitants retain a fierce pride in their own unique culture, including the proverb-rich Corsican tongue. On this 180-mile-long archipelago off the coast of British Columbia, labyrinthine coves snuggle up to dense forests with towering cedars. But things have changed.The central Oklahoma River has a community boathouse and a new West River Trail. The vantage point might be the Light Bar at the decidedly 21st-century Villa Didon, but Phoenician streets lay deep beneath and, down on the waters’ edge, the scalloped foreshore traces a Roman naval port.
Upon taking power, each of these great lords picked a breathtaking piece of property for a new royal residence. Sarkees will mark the 450th anniversary of feudalism in 2015; the tiny Channel Island off the coast of Normandy abolished the medieval form of governance in 2008.
Whatever your mood, Traveler magazine has a recommendation for you—from the romantic hills of Croatia to the perfect beach in Thailand.
A final relic from the world’s last ice age, this North Atlantic island nation is a world of knife-cut valleys, gargantuan fjords, monumental cliffs, black-sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, and silent white glaciers. Considered an alternative to the overexploited Koh Phi Phi (which gained fame as the setting for the film The Beach), Koh Lipe is accessible only by boat, with departure ports that include Krabi and the nearby Malaysian island of Langkawi.Crystal waters and pristine reefs surround the island. The landmark Frauenkirche (“church of our lady”), a baroque masterpiece designed by George Bahr, was rebuilt from rubble in 2005 (above).
The shady, rolling hills of Istria—Croatia’s northernmost peninsula—are becoming widely known for their truffles, Malvazija white wines, olive oil stancijas (estates), and crumbling hill towns.
The cleared mountaintop terraces of the "lost city" shine like a green grassy beacon declaring the country’s rebirth as a travel destination at the crossroads of the Caribbean and South America.See more photos of North Colombia in our featured destination gallery. Straddling the borders between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the eight-volcano chain is one of Earth’s most active volcanic regions and a veritable salad bowl for mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and other wildlife. The polar bear that guards them, however, means only one thing: Salvador Dali’s home in Costa Brava. Sure, Sonoma’s 300-plus wineries, like those of vine-centric Napa, offer peak wine tasting, from Ravenswood’s deep Zinfandels to Gloria Ferrer’s sophisticated sparklers. Sultan Qaboos sparked the country’s modern renaissance with his rise to power in 1970—adding scores of new schools and hospitals and increasing the miles of paved road from six to over 3,700.Many of Oman’s delights cater to the elite luxury traveler.
The last time London hosted the Olympics, in 1948, locals subsisted on rations, there was no budget for new sports venues, and many competitors slept in military huts in Richmond Park. The pyramids and stelae are well worth seeing, especially at jungle-shrouded Tikal (above), but here’s the thing: Maya civilization isn’t long gone.
Damp and bracingly cool, this place doesn’t fit your image of Sri Lanka, the lush island nation—formerly known as Ceylon—that hangs like a teardrop off the tip of southern India.Nuwara Eliya (pronounced nyur-RAIL-ya) is a colonial-era resort town in Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country.
Traveling on foot across the gorges of Roumeli and mountains of Mani, Leigh Fermor discovered a land of fierce beauty where traditions run deep.
Around Rotorua, a Maori heartland and home of the mineral-rimmed Champagne Pool (above), it’s easy to believe the struggle continues, as the eerie landscape bubbles and churns like some primordial stew. The Panama Canal, which capitalized on the Central American country’s slim waistline to become a literal nexus of global trade, will expand with two new sets of locks, one on the Pacific side of the canal and one on the Atlantic, designed for massive, 13,000-container cargo ships, due to be completed in 2014.
Yet, once you’re on the ground and hungry, you may find those experiences mere appetizers to the main event: food. Hovsgol is the northernmost of Mongolia’s 21 provinces, shadowing Russia’s border and sharing the great Siberian taiga (subarctic coniferous forest). Chosen by our editors, this year's best winter trips span the globe and transcend the season.
Hardy local artisans in the Russian-influenced "Ice City" celebrate the season by sculpting ice blocks chopped from the Songhua River into colossal crystalline pyramids and palaces, whimsical dragons and fairies, and frozen slides worthy of a water park. It’s half the size of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef yet easier to access, with some sections of the underwater reef platform beginning within a few hundred yards of shore.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail western route winds through 48 tunnels and over 152 miles of elevated rail from Taipei south to Kaohsiung.
The Great Rift Valley crosses the park, and the Great Ruaha River, a year-round lifeline for the park’s large mammals, forms the eastern border.
Convoys of trio eletricos (souped-up semitrailer trucks carrying live bands and DJs) snake past the costumed crowds, pumping up the volume on homegrown Bahia samba-reggae and axe (ahh-shay) music, increasing the frenetic energy with each passing block.
Located only 26 miles east of Fairbanks, Chena River puts Alaskan adventure within easy reach via scenic (and plowed) Chena Hot Springs Road. Festivities begin in early December with informal and organized Krampuslaufe or Krampus processions.
Toronto’s extensive PATH network offers slush-, ice-, and snow-free pedestrian access to parking garages, stores, subway stops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues.
They have something else to be proud of: In July 2015, UNESCO inscribed the region on its World Heritage List. The state capital, Natal, three hours by air north of Rio de Janeiro, reigns over a coastline that racks up some 233 days of sunshine a year.
Winding through ten countries, it's like a medieval version of Route 66, except your stops will be at 13th-century Gothic churches rather than diners, and you'll be treated to views of Transylvania instead of tumbleweeds.Imagine the spires of the palace-bedecked capitals of Vienna and Budapest slowly rising above the trees as your boat glides around a bend. His habit of telling patrons that their grounds had great "capabilities" is said to have earned him the nickname Capability Brown.The tercentenary, in 2016, of Brown's birth (in 1716) offers a compelling reason to visit his landscapes now. The Turner Prize, Britain's most esteemed contemporary art exhibition and award, is in Scotland for the first time, culminating on January 17 at Tramway, Glasgow's former streetcar terminus.But it is music that really pumps Glasgow's cultural heart.
Aquamarine rivers squiggle across its white void, feeding a thousand thundering waterfalls that flow into enormous fjords. Since 1986, hundreds of acres of new land have been created by molten rock welling up from deep inside Earth and spilling, hissing and steaming, into the Pacific Ocean."Lots of visitors come for the lava," says Clarence "Aku" Hauanio, the third of four generations of his family to have worked at the 520-square-mile Big Island park, which celebrates its centennial in 2016. The yuki (snow) comes down very dry and light, creating a powder Valhalla for skiers and snowboarders.Niseko, on the southwest corner of Hokkaido, may be the most popular of the resorts, but Kiroro, a two-hour drive from Sapporo's Chitose Airport, is the real find. Here are great routes and resources to get you started on your own epic—because the real action begins where the asphalt ends. But to keep that birthright vibrant in the face of tourism and its homogenizing effects, their battle remains constant.Fortunately, most of the island’s three million annual visitors come for the undeniable pleasures of the coast or for the thrill of visiting historic La Maison Bonaparte, in the city of Ajaccio. Colombia’s second city still has its vices, but the world’s former cocaine capital has been rehabbed. Staying in one of the temples that welcome guests here opens a portal onto everyday monastic life. Beneath the ground, scientists have found evidence of human habitation stretching back 12,000 years.“We brought students—minus laptops and cell phones—to the forest,” says Guujaaw, a Haida leader.
Inland, the coils of the ancient medina and the colonial grid of the early 20th century French city tell other chapters of Tunis’s story of conquest, resistance, flux, and assimilation, from mythic Dido to the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.The city’s layered charms are something that many pre-revolution visitors missed entirely, on their way to the Sahara or the Mediterranean beach resorts of Hammamet and Sousse. The emperor Pachacuti likely built the most famous of these royal digs—Machu Picchu—on a mountainous ridge of cloud forest northwest of Cusco. Recent volcanic eruptions remind us that Iceland is still a country in the making, with changed landscapes that even Icelanders continue to discover.Three years of financial recovery have made Iceland more affordable, with consumer prices now largely pegged to the euro.
Up to 25 percent of the world’s tropical fish species swim in the protected waters around Koh Lipe (the island is in Tarutao National Marine Park). Today it towers above a carefully reconstructed historic center that is home to half a dozen world-class museums—from the Albertinum and the Old Masters Picture Gallery, with its Vermeers and Titians, to the oddly named but unforgettable German Hygiene Museum.See more photos of Dresden in our featured destination gallery.

Cyclists can spin their spokes over some 2,000 miles of extensively maintained bike trails. Landscapes in all three countries conjure visions of both Eden and hell.In Congo, the swirling plume of the active Nyiragongo Volcano (above) beckons. Dali, one of art’s greatest eccentrics, came from this part of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain. But if you’ve visited only the county’s wineries, come back to sample the astounding diversity that makes Sonoma one of America’s travel treasures.Spend some time floating in an inner tube down the Russian River and walking amid ancient giants—one over 1,400 years old—at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. The 2,500-square-mile area includes 8,699 miles of shoreline, 17 historic towns and villages, and innumerable waterfalls and lakes (like Kahshe Lake, above) framed by the peaks of Algonquin Provincial Park to the east and the isles of Georgian Bay Islands National Park to the west.There’s plenty to do here but nothing you’d put on an agenda. Britain may be entering another age of austerity, but nearly $15 billion has been spent on sprucing up the capital for the 2012 Olympics.Many sporting events have already sold out, but there will be hundreds of free cultural events to enjoy throughout the summer. Its apogee may have passed, but millions of Maya people and their culture remain alive and well, most vibrantly in Guatemala’s Western Highlands.The most alluring place in Maya Guatemala is Chichicastenango, a walkable town about three hours by road from Guatemala City where more than 95 percent of the people are indigenous. This mountainous, mist-draped realm has long been popular with backpackers and other adventurers for its tea plantations (above) and rain forest preserves, known as the Central Highlands, which recently were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.See more photos of Sri Lanka in our featured destination gallery. Eventually, he settled in Kardamili, a sleepy hamlet in the southern Peloponnese, which he hoped was “too inaccessible, with too little to do, for it ever to be seriously endangered by tourism.”Happily, he was right.
World traders occupy gleaming new hotels that modernize the colonial capital.In Panama, nature and indigenous culture are abundant. From the rain forests of the northeast to the arid high plateau that runs like a spine through the south, Peru is blessed with incredible biodiversity—a bounty that is clearly reflected on its plates.Peruvians have long been vocally (and justifiably) proud of their homeland’s cooking, but suddenly, the rest of the world seems to be taking note, too. On all counts, the Steel City’s transformation over the past quarter century qualifies as revolutionary. Lichens in bright greens and oranges color 10,000-foot passes, while sacred rivers, rumored to never freeze, feed lakes framed by snow-tipped mountains.Hovsgol is just now opening its arms to travelers who come to catch and release taimen, giant salmonid “river wolves” that stalk Hovsgol’s waterways. The monthlong Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (beginning January 5), showcases the frosty craftsmanship of local carvers and international teams and includes a Snow Sculpture Expo at Sun Island recreational area and the Ice Lantern Garden Party at Zhaolin Park.
The southernmost rail stop serves as the gateway to tropical Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, Kenting National Park, and Maolin National Scenic Area, home to four indigenous groups—the Rukai, Paiwan, Bunun, and Tsou. In addition to having a high concentration of elephants (thought to be the largest of any East Africa park), as well as resident hippos and buffalo, Ruaha is also known as a birder’s paradise. The self-governing British Overseas Territory encompasses three islands in the western Caribbean: 76-square-mile Grand Cayman (the largest and most commercialized), the Brac (12-mile-long Cayman Brac), and unspoiled Little Cayman, home to the must-dive Bloody Bay Wall—a dramatic drop-off plunging more than 5,000 feet. On February 16 the final leg of the thousand-mile Yukon Quest international sled dog race runs through the recreation area along portions of the old Chena Hot Springs Winter Trail.
According to legend, the shaggy, horned demon Krampus frightens naughty children, while his benevolent counterpart St. During the Winterlicious foodie festival (January 25 to February 7), nosh your way through Toronto’s diverse neighborhoods, including Little India, home to the Gerrard India Bazaar, North America’s largest South Asian marketplace. Plans for a new wine center, the Cite des Vins de Bourgogne, will further celebrate this hallowed terroir.A far cry from Bordeaux's flat landscape, historically dominated by aristocratic families, the fabled chalk slopes of the Cote d'Or form a snaking ribbon of land in some places no more than a third of a mile wide.
Recently, the state's arid interior region, the historically poor sertao, has been seeing unprecedented love and investment from both the public and private sectors.
From the bagpiper busking top-20 tunes along Buchanan Street to the crooner wooing crowds at storied clubs like King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow's sound track is unrivaled."To describe a typical Glasgow musician is quite difficult to do," says Stirling Gorman, who performs with his brother, Cha, in their band, King of Birds.
The qajaq (kayak) allows close sightings of spouting whales—and, if you're lucky enough to be on a small ship that can access remote habitats, Greenland may be the best place in the world to see polar bears in the wild.Circumpolar athletes will gather in the capital, Nuuk, for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, the largest international event ever hosted in the country. Here, youngsters play and learn in the Annie Kids Ski Academy, while ambitious free-riding skiers make endless fresh tracks on Nagamine and Asari peaks.
Terrorism has ceded to tourism, thanks to visionary social policies that have transformed the once menacing city into a model metropolis.
Waking to enshrouding mists, visitors are invited to join morning chants swirled by cymbals, gongs, and incense. In this remote northwest corner of Romania 300 miles from Bucharest, the schedule is set by the seasons, the weather, tradition. Local architect firms and coffee roasters that wouldn't be out of place in Portlandia now line once dormant Automobile Alley. These sun-holiday tribes all but abandoned Tunisia after 2011, but with a relaxation of most travel warnings to the country, a new breed of traveler has replaced them. Wander country roads bordered by fieldstone walls and storybook cottages, past foxgloves and bluebells and 600 other kinds of wildflowers, taking note of butterflies, seabirds, Guernsey cows.
The country’s return to a humbler attitude stems from a thousand-year-old tradition of self-reliance—a tradition that has preserved one of the world’s oldest living languages and harnessed some of the cleanest energy on Earth.
Pattaya Beach may be the island’s most developed tourist spot, but head to quieter Sunrise Beach, where a now settled community of “sea gypsies,” the Chao Lei, live and fish. Along the coast, sunny ocean views and impromptu opportunities for swimming and snorkeling abound.The romantic town of Rovinj (above), a former Venetian vassal state, rises from the Adriatic like an estranged island of Venice.
Check on the security situation in the troubled country before going, but those who make the steep five-hour hike up Nyiragongo are rewarded with heady vistas of the world’s largest lava lake. His giant eggs, swan fountains, and melting clocks drew inspiration from this sunshine-laced wilderness.The medieval city of Girona also overflows with creativity during its annual spring flower festival, the Temps de Flors. Poke around the old Russian stockade at Fort Ross, which turns 200 in 2012, or the Spanish adobe mission, San Francisco Solano, in Sonoma town. Lounge with friends, barbecue everything, watch the night sky from the dock in the pitch black, play board games while listening to the rain. Pleasure yachts anchor off the coast; it can be easy to forget the sea is Arabian, not Mediterranean. The London 2012 Festival will turn the whole country into a living stage, from a multilingual bonanza of Shakespeare productions at Stratford-upon-Avon to a soccer-inspired art installation deep in a Scottish forest.
Each Thursday and Sunday, Maya vendors carry their goods on their backs at dawn to Chichi’s market, selling brilliantly hued textiles, fearsome wooden masks, golden and purple maize, necklaces, and produce arranged in Escher-like patterns.
While some islands have been scarred by unregulated development—and as the country grapples with the worst financial crisis in its modern history—Greece’s rugged mainland retains its unadulterated allure.
The centennial of her maiden voyage—April 10, 2012—gives Barney the chance to share Belfast’s pride in the “floating palace” and show off a capital that is redefining itself in the eyes of the world.Sections of the city have undergone regeneration since Belfast emerged from the Troubles, the three decades of violence that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The canal-bordering tropical lowlands of Soberania National Park ring with the cries of howler monkeys and the chatter of toucans. In 2008, the country’s leading chef, Gaston Acurio, founded Mistura, a Lima-based food festival that has since become the leading annual culinary event in South America. Others come to ride Mongolian ponies in search of the Tsaatan, small bands of nomadic reindeer herders (above) who live in encampments and follow shamanistic beliefs. Daylight activities include figure skating, ice boxing competitions, and, for the daring, a polar plunge into an ice-free section of the frigid Songhua. Or book a private villa at all-inclusive and off-the-grid Turneffe Island Resort, a private island located at the southern tip of Turneffe Atoll. A roundtrip western bullet train loop from Taipei and back is an easy day trip, getting travelers back in time to sample crispy salt and pepper chicken or mini soup dumplings at the city’s famous night markets.
January to April (the hot, short rainfall season) is considered the best time to view the park’s more than 570 species, including the Ruaha red-billed hornbill. Arrange Bloody Bay Marine Park snorkeling or diving itineraries to match your skill level through Conch Club Divers at Paradise Villas. Official Carnival runs from February 7 to February 13, but in Salvador, the partying continues through the morning of Ash Wednesday, when percussion-led processions pulsate along Avenida Oceanica toward Ondina Beach. Cheer on the mushers and teams, then stay at nearby Chena Hot Springs Resort to soak in the Hot Springs Rock Lake (adults 18-plus only) and view the northern lights via the 13-passenger Snow Coach tour. Enter through the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana (closest airport is 85 miles away in Bozeman), and travel by snow coach to either the Old Faithful Snow Lodge or Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Winterlicious culinary events include affordable prix fixe menus at more than a hundred of the city’s top restaurants.
This labyrinthine wine terrain about three hours' drive southeast of Paris is owned by hundreds of farmers, many of them descendants of peasant families and some with just three rows of vines in a field the size of a bowling alley.Rent a bicycle to taste your way along the Route des Grands Crus, which includes oenophile-magnet vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet. The sertao is rich in local culture (clay figurines, woven palm mats) and cuisine (sun-dried beef, cassava fries).
But the arduous two-day journey there by 4x4 delivers many rewards.“You are the first foreigner we have seen in 22 years,” exclaims a surprised monk welcoming an American trekker to his mist-shrouded outpost near Mongar.
You can glimpse Brown's developing talent in its undulating Grecian Valley."Capability Brown accentuates the positives of topography," says historic landscapes consultant Kate Felus. Along with skiing and ice hockey, participants will compete in ancient games such as the finger pull and kneel jump."We understand that we are only borrowing this land," says Petersen. Slums where police feared to tread are now linked to the innovative business and cultural hub by the well-policed MetroCable, whisking visitors aloft to Barrio Santo Domingo, a new tourist hot spot where the black cubist Espana library perches dramatically over the shanties.
At night, no-nonsense monks who began the day hand-scrubbing wooden hallways roughly plop vegetarian feasts in front of visitors.Kobo Daishi is believed to live here still, sitting in eternal meditation in an elaborate mausoleum, and through the centuries, Japan’s most rich and powerful have built palatial sepulchers here as well.
In each of the five valleys, with their meandering rivers and haystack-dotted fields, life plays out as it has for hundreds of years—though one recent change is telling. A couple hours later, one student said the sound of the pencil scratching on the pad was too loud.”Thirty years ago it wasn’t so quiet. But the cardio-intensive climb is well worth it. Choquequirao looks much as it did when the Incas finally abandoned it.
Spend the night on the rim to fully experience the crater’s fiery light and sound spectacle. Surprising floral creations spill down cathedral steps and bloom-inspired art installations fill city squares and stone-walled courtyards. Hunt for antiques along Petaluma’s downtown Victorian row, and dine on seasonal sake-steamed, aged abalone at Michelin-starred Cyrus in Healdsburg. Muscat's Park Inn, pictured here, has a roof terrace view to rival any.See more photos of Oman in our featured destination gallery.
David Hockney, Leona Lewis, and Philip Glass are among the heavyweights headlining in London. Smoke from grills perfumes the narrow aisles, and so many women briskly pat stone-ground tortillas into shape that it sounds like a standing ovation. Foraging for mushrooms in Epirus, watching pink pelicans take flight over Prespa Lake, listening to ethereal chanting in Meteora’s monasteries (such as the Roussanou Monastery, above)—there remain pockets of Greece where time stands still. The cool, flower-filled highland town of Boquete sits in the shadow of the country’s tallest volcano. Sustainable design has transformed Victorian landmarks like the glass-domed Phipps Conservatory and created contemporary ones like the swooping waterfront convention center (above). After dark, bundle up to see the festival’s illuminated ice displays dazzle neon bright against the night sky. For a longer train tour, stay overnight at urban station stops like Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan.
Book one of the eight luxurious tents at secluded Jongomero safari camp to embark on ranger-guided game drives in open four-wheel-drive vehicles and small-group walking safaris and birding tours. The camp is just ten minutes from the nearest airstrip, facilitating a quicker civilization-to-safari transition from Dar es Salaam or Arusha. On Grand Cayman, stroll along coral-sand Seven Mile Beach and swim with yearling green sea turtles in the 1.3-million-gallon saltwater snorkel lagoon at Cayman Turtle Farm.
Founded on Brazil’s northeast coast in 1549 as a strategic seaport and, soon after, a New World slave market capital, urban Salvador remains an amalgam of European, African, and American Indian culture.
Naturalist-guided winter programs offer wildlife expeditions (view bison, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyotes, and wolves), cross-country-ski day treks to Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, and Winter Wolf Discovery, a firsthand look at the reintroduction of wolves to the park.
Book online reservations early to snag a table at participating hot spots like Trevor Kitchen and Bar. At neighborhood haunt La Grilladine, in the medieval town of Beaune, pair the beef bourguignonne with one of the local vieilles vignes (wine from old vines).
It also is the cradle of forro, a rambunctious musical blend of accordion, triangle, and zabumba drums that sends couples twirling much as it did during World War II, when the area housed U.S. Founded in 1923, the resort has four private pink-sand beaches and 87 luxurious rooms and suites in its classic pink cottages (including a restored 17th-century sea captain's home).
In Lhuntse village, women display their vibrantly hued silk wares to Bhutanese traders, who travel here from the capital city of Thimphu in search of precious kushutara textiles.
Downtown, in the valley below, sunlight glints on skyscrapers and avant-garde architecture framed by Andean mountains—proof that a jewel is made complete by a stunning setting.Art-filled public parks lie at the heart of the city’s holistic makeover. Rather than asphalting roads that are mainly used by horse and carriage, Maramure? has newly upgraded its bike trails—pathways to experience the region at the pace it deserves.Maramure? is a wooden world.
In 1985 the Haida people, alarmed by the ecological damage caused by clearcutting, blockaded the logging road.
Not long ago a den of crackhouses and abandoned lots just north of downtown’s 1995 bombing site, MidTown has sprouted condos, a boutique hotel, and Dust Bowl Lanes, a Tulsan import, with its 1970s-style bowling alley. And travelers often have the place nearly to themselves: only 20 to 30 people journey there each day in the high season. Evenings are capped off with Champagne cocktails at the Valentino Bar, a breezy boite perched directly on the water and illuminated in vivid cerulean by underwater lights—not a bad spot to nurture your own inner Casanova. The fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell (above) charms with seaside restaurants and homes.See more photos of Costa Brava in our featured destination gallery. And don’t miss a flaky, fruit-packed slice of Gravenstein pie from Mom’s Apple Pie, a roadside stop outside Sebastopol. A $152.1-million attraction opens in April with audiovisual exhibits, underwater footage of the wreck, and a ride that re-creates a trip through the shipyards of 1911 to tell?the passenger liner’s story. From February 23 to March 10, the neighborhood surrounding the Hsinchu High Speed Rail Station hosts the 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival, pictured here. Walk past multicolored colonial mansions in the World Heritage site old city to tour MAFRO (Museu Afro-Brasileiro), the nation’s preeminent Afro-Brazilian cultural museum. Sip mulled wine, ice skate on the Mozartplatz, and ride Austria’s oldest funicular railway, Festungsbahn, to view the surrounding snow-dusted panorama from imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress. Work up an appetite with an afternoon skate (rentals available) outside city hall at Nathan Phillips Square or at Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre. Lower Danube cruises commonly sail east from Budapest to the Black Sea, passing through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Family homestays fill in for hotels, offering travelers a place to sleep and dine on traditional dishes, including ema datshi, spicy chilies and cheese, often served with red rice.
Or take a train from the Japan Rail airport station to Niseko (or to Otaru for Kiroro resorts). Voluptuous sculptures by Medellin native Fernando Botero stud Plaza Botero, where the Museo de Antioquia displays paintings by Botero and Picasso. The farm tools are made of wood, and wooden gates, chiseled with century-old motifs, form the glorious entrances to modest yards around wooden, steep-roofed houses.
This nonviolent protest led to Canada's creation of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site.

The city even plans to add a streetcar loop downtown in 2017.This is Oklahoma?“We’re such a blank canvas that even people from Austin are moving here,” says Hunter Wheat, who launched MidTown’s Blue Garten last year, a one-block food truck complex with open-air movies and live bands.
Use yellow taxis and white louages (shared cars or vans) with red stripes painted on the front and sides to get around the city.
At the offshore Coiba National Park, where a maximum of only 40 overnight visitors are allowed, divers share the pristine waters with scientific researchers and whale sharks.
During each night of the festival, thousands of soaring and animated lanterns illuminate the night skies of northern Taiwan’s oldest city. Kittiwake, a former submarine rescue vessel towed offshore and sunken in 2011 to create an artificial reef.
Beyond Christmas, the city’s celebratory energies focus on the International Mozarteum Foundation Mozart Week classical music festival (January 24 to February 3).
In 2013 Ontario’s provincial Family Day celebration coincides with Presidents' Day in the U.S. Third-generation family owner Jean-Claude Bernard sets the tone, worldly yet down-to-earth.
In season, try the clawless (the meat is in the tail) spiny lobster either stuffed or served in creamy tomato sauce at Wahoo's Bistro and Patio in St.
Malmaison, housed in a converted Greek Orthodox church (with a modern wing attached), is home to Scottish superchef Martin Wishart's new brasserie, The Honours.
Where to Stay: Sleep in the park at the 33-room Volcano House, built in 1941 (and completely renovated in 2012-13) at the rim of Kilauea Caldera. Although driving is the most convenient way to travel around the island, many roads are narrow and winding.
Nearby, office workers strolling Plaza de los Pies Descalzos ("barefoot park") cast off shoes and socks to rejuvenate amid a sensory Zen garden. UNESCO-designated churches from the 17th and 18th centuries tell stories of faith and glory, saints and sinners, crime and punishment, through still vivid paintings on their wooden walls.Many of the colorful wooden crosses at the Merry Cemetery in the village of Sapan?a are inscribed with lighthearted epitaphs written in verse.
In the village of SGang Gwaay, Haida Watchmen share their culture with visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage destination.“You use your listening sense more,” says Ernie Gladstone, a Haida who is superintendent of Gwaii Haanas.
The Peruvian government is studying the possibility of constructing a tramway to Choquequirao, hoping to lure travelers away from the crowded vistas of Machu Picchu. For an all-in-one Cayman getaway, make family-owned Brac Reef Beach Resort home base for beachfront lodging, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and birding. Winter temperatures can range from 20 to 30 degrees below zero F to the balmy 30s, with heavy snows possible daily.Travel with National Geographic to Yellowstone in the winter. Spend the holiday weekend (February 15 to 18) at the new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (opened October 2012) in fashionable Bloor-Yorkville to visit the nearby Royal Ontario Museum’s family-friendly, hands-on galleries. Close to the lifts at the Kiroro Resort, the former Mountain Hotel is now the Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort.
Families flock to Parque Explora, with its interactive science exhibits and world-class aquarium. From here it’s a steep, five-minute cable car ride up to Koyasan Eki-mae Station and the Nankai Rinkan bus terminal. Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer also runs daily between Fort Worth, Texas, and Bricktown’s Sante Fe Depot. Or especially La Coupee, to walk the skinny track atop an isthmus 300 feet above the sea.A visitor’s daytime choices abound.
Expand the view by choosing a suite with a French balcony and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Tours include all transportation within Bhutan and a licensed guide who accompanies you throughout the trip. Hartwell House and Spa, a National Trust property near Aylesbury, has 30 rooms and suites in the main house and 16 in the adjacent Hartwell Court. And the former Piano Hotel, located a shuttle bus ride from the lifts, is now the Kiroro, part of the upscale Starwoods Tribute Portfolio collection. Classic Journeys offers a six-night, seven-day Sardinia-Corsica cultural walking tour, and Corsican Places leads guided, weeklong cycling trips, including bike rental.
Self-assured young people in designer jeans swell Parque de Lleras, the city’s epicenter for chic nightlife.
From Bucharest, the quickest option is the 85-minute direct flight to Baia Mare International Airport.
Moorish architectural features, including domed ceilings, arched alcoves, and cupolas, pay homage to Tunisia’s Arab-Andalusian heritage. From Dijon, you can take a walk lasting several days (depending on the amount of wine consumed) or rent a car to follow the 37-mile Route des Grands Crus south to Santenay. Browse the collections of edgy textiles (such as iguana fabric, surreal Chic Blotch wallpaper, and Union Jackass lampshades).
Art-mad Medellinenses have even morphed a former steel mill into the Museo de Arte Moderno. Rent a car at the airport to travel regionally, and walk, hike, or bike in villages and rural areas. In Beaune, the better option is renting a bike (March through November) to pedal the Voie des Vignes (Vineyard Way) velo (bike) route to Santenay. To ride along the northern beaches and over the dunes, hire a registered bugueiro—buggy driver—through your hotel. The side-paddle-wheel steamer was built in England and smuggled guns and other supplies into Wilmington, North Carolina. Opened in 2008, the Wangchuk Hotel Mongar regularly hosts tour groups visiting eastern Bhutan.
Meals aren't included, but the cafe does serve local fare such as reindeer and Arctic char. Geological Survey volcanologist Richard Hazlett, includes expert tips on what to look for when visiting Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The treats aren't widely available outside of Hokkaido, and a new ice cream version (Marusei ice sand) is sold only at the Rokkatei Sapporo Honten near the Sapporo train station. Access to the Ajaccio airport, beaches, and water sports (including sailing, scuba diving, and jet skiing) is about 20 minutes away by car.
Its Bonuar restaurant serves Creole fusion fare spiced with live American-style blues.Tradition? Exotic herbs and spices, including anise, cloves, ginger, saffron, and potent harissa (hot chili-pepper paste) are used to season popular dishes such as couscous au poisson (with fish), merguez (lamb sausage), and kabkabou (baked sea bream with tomatoes and capers). From Lima, take the one-hour flight to Cusco, followed by a roughly four-hour ride to Cachora, the starting point for Choquequirao hikes.
Where to Stay: After touring the vineyards, relax by the heated outdoor pool or in the sauna at Le Clos de la Challangette in Beaune. Where to Stay: The oceanfront Serhs Natal Grand Hotel at Ponta Negra Beach is designed for families.
Menus regularly feature Danube River specialties such as Viennese gabelbissen (potato salad topped with egg or pickled herring), Hungarian goulash (meat and vegetable stew seasoned with paprika), and German Wiener schnitzel. What to Buy: Hand-carved wooden bears, bamboo mukkuri (mouth harps), and other traditional crafts of the Ainu, Japan's indigenous people and the first to inhabit Hokkaido, are typically sold in a few shops near the Shiraoi Ainu Museum (at Shiraoi station, about one hour and 15 minutes south of Sapporo on the Hokuto Line). Hotel staff can also arrange various inland adventures, such as horseback riding, canyoning, river kayaking, and fishing.
Sip mint tea and sample authentic Tunisian dishes in style at the venerable Dar El Jeld, housed in an 18th-century palace on the western edge of the medina. The sprawling resort has 396 rooms and suites, multiple pools, and organized sports and kids' activities. Today, divers who visit the site can see the steamer's two paddle wheels: one standing upright and the other lying on the ocean floor. Experience Viennese kaffeehaus culture in the Old World salon of the Demel, an elegant 18th-century confectionery bakery and coffeehouse. Whether red, green, fresh, dried, crushed, powdered, or turned to paste, the fiery pepper is an essential ingredient in most recipes. Pick up the book at the Stowe gardens gift shop, which also stocks bottles of New Inn Restoration Ale.
The city has 90 gardens and parks, including Victoria Park, where you can see remnants of an ancient swamp forest. Designed as a replica Ainu village, the complex includes a museum building, five thatched houses (some fringed with hanging salmon), and a pen housing snowy white Hokkaido, or Ainu, hunting dogs. To stay in the mountains, pitch a tent or rent a rustic cabin at Alivetu campground in Corte. It scents the air when the City of Eternal Spring bursts into mid-summer bloom for the annual Feria de las Flores in August. The Village Hotel in Breb has three guest rooms in the main house and three small cottages, each restored or built using reclaimed local materials. Haida guides, formally trained to serve as cultural ambassadors for the Haida nation, lead hikes and tours such as studio visits with Haida weavers and carvers. The lodge's ten rooms (eight with a double and single bed, two family rooms with extra bedroom) are styled in the traditional Haida colors of red and black.
Located in a building that housed a 1920s Chevrolet dealership, Plenty specializes in consciously produced home goods, foods, and gifts, including Oklahoma-made Strong Tonic, Kize Bars, and Always Greener turf doormats.
The design and name (andenes are cultivation terraces, cielo is sky) were inspired by the surrounding panorama, which you can take in from the rooftop patio. There's far less hubbub at Kana Pousada de Charme, an eight-room bed-and-breakfast that welcomes guests ages 14 and up. The site, called Fossil Grove, protects 11 fossilized tree stumps estimated to be about 330 million years old.
Other local staples include seaweed, musk ox, Greenland halibut, and Greenlandic herbs (like sheep sorrel and knotted pearlwort).
What to Read Before You Go: A photo of a sheep in Hokkaido sets in motion the surreal journey at the center of Haruki Murakami's best-selling A Wild Sheep Chase (Vintage, 2002), in which the hero is led to the snowy mountains of northern Japan.
The 58-year-old flower festival fills the streets with kaleidoscopic color, a winsome testament to Medellin’s metamorphosis.
Owners Duncan and Penelope Ridgely, who started developing the bucolic Village Hotel compound in 2007, are as close to local as British expats in Maramure? can get. Views are of either the tidal Tlell River or forest (with the dunes and ocean beyond the trees).
The washed-rind soft cheese originated in Burgundy in the 16th century and is available to sample and buy in the dairy's shop. Shop instead in the village-like Spittelberg, the revitalized Biedermeier district pedestrian zone with cobblestone streets and secluded courtyards. The complex silk-on-silk art form is passed down from mother to daughter (only women weave in Bhutan) in Khoma, where weaving is the primary source of income. Shops and stalls are clustered by trade in specific areas, making it easier to compare prices and quality. Other Gaugry cheeses are sold in the shop, along with regional products such as Dijon mustard and gingerbread. Beach bars up and down the coast serve plates of fried manjuba and fresh camaroes (shrimp).
Textile Tour itineraries offered by Access Bhutan Tours and Treks and other operators include visiting the village to watch the weavers and shop for brightly colored scarves, kiras (traditional Bhutanese ankle-length dresses), and other handwoven items.
Before choosing one to take home, learn more about these Greenlandic talismans at the Nuuk Art Museum. The posts are set up at intervals along the side of the highway, and the arrows point down to mark the edge of the road. Local favorites include dried fish, smoked salmon, octopus, razor clams, and black cod (sablefish). The day was April 22, 1889, when the federal government held the first “land run” into the Unassigned Lands (territory not designated for a specific Indian nation) of modern-day western Oklahoma.
The center’s nine partnering communities use plants, insects, and minerals to dye the wool that's woven into brightly colored blankets, shawls, bags, and other textiles sold online and in the center’s Cusco museum store. Back then, senior staff would show tourists around the gardens when the family was away, expecting a tip for their efforts. The reflective red stripes serve as beacons for motorists in a blinding snowstorm but regularly baffle first-time visitors.
For the best aerial views of Medellin, ride the Metrocables (cable cars) up the eastern slopes of the Aburra Valley (and over some of the city’s poorest, mountainside favelas). What to Read Before You Go: Translated from Portuguese, the Machado de Assis Prize-winning novel Nowhere People (And Other Stories, 2014) by Paulo Scott shines a rare literary spotlight on Brazil's indigenous Guarani people.
Cultural Tip: Always ask your guide before taking any photos or video inside any dzong (fortress), monastery, temple, or other religious institution. Viewed from a distance, it appears that the animals are grouped in compact packs led by a dominant llama and following a figure thought to be a llamero (shepherd). What to Watch Before You Go: The award-winning documentary A Year in Burgundy (Kino Lorber films, 2013) is a season-by-season look at the lives of seven Burgundian winemaking families. Rooms facing the atrium can seem cavelike, so book a brighter Superior or Executive room with a window overlooking the street. A genetic mutation causes the tree's low-hanging branches to take root and sprout new life when they touch the ground. Before shopping, view the center’s current art and cultural exhibits and tour the working canoe, weaving, and totem pole studios. Exterior colors signaled what took place inside, such as yellow for hospitals, black for police stations, and blue for fish-processing houses. Louis Joseph Chevrolet, the race-car driver who designed the first Chevrolet for General Motors, moved to Beaune as a child.
At Poblado’s posh El Tesoro Parque Comercial, fashion-forward Paisas (Medellin residents) stroll, dine, hang out on the atrium’s cozy couches, and shop at upscale retail stores, including Arturo Calle and Tennis. During his teen years in Burgundy, he worked as a wine-cellar guide, and built, sold, repaired, and raced bicycles.
A switchback concrete staircase (built into a vertical crevice) leads up 649 steps to the top of the rock. Make the extra climb up the three-story observation tower for panoramic views of the islands and man-made lakes below.Insider Tip From Christopher P.

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