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5 OVERLOOKED VACATION
Megan Lau, DAILYTAKEOFF.COM - Tue Oct 7, 11:37 AM
In North America, travelling can mean exploring the east coast if you're from the west, or, if you're from the east, hitting the surf in the Pacific Ocean. For some, a vacation means heading south to places like Cuba, the Bahamas or Hawaii during the cold winter months. Others prefer to hit the major cities: Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, London and Capetown. But there's so much more to be discovered.
Where to Visit
In today's world, technology allows us to visit places we never could have thought of before. We are no longer restricted to resorts and tourist destinations. The world is out there for us to explore. For the open-minded, there are so many places around the world that can offer distinct cultural experiences. Here are five suggestions for places you might have never thought of visiting. Who knows, you might even decide they're worth giving up Club Med for.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Commonly known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is a mecca of beautiful architecture, culture, art, music and nightlife. It has both French and Spanish influences, with its many coffeehouses and stunning buildings. It's a glamorous city that was once the home of Evita and now has a floating casino.
Each year, you'll find the sultry Buenos Aires Tango Festival in February and March. The festival commemorates the city, the birth place of this famous dance form. The festival features famous dancers and offers classes for beginners. Any time of year, you'll find a rich experience in one of the wealthiest cities in Latin America at budget cost.
Just outside Belmopan, the capital of Belize, there are a number of lodges and places to stay in the jungle. The Belizean rainforests are incredibly beautiful and deeply rooted in the history of the Mayans. Among the ruins, you'll see birds and plant life that are completely out of the ordinary. The Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve is the ultimate destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Activities like birding, horseback riding, hiking and swimming in the crystal clear water can all be done against the striking scenery of the rainforest.
When visiting Belize, it's important to remember that this is a fragile ecosystem and to choose accommodations that respect the environment.
Santorini is an enchanting island featuring stunning natural beauty. Santorini is allegedly near the location of the fabled city Atlantis. It is famous for its sunsets and endless black sand beaches. Its beautiful scenery is complemented by the equally attractive and tanned local people. You'll find the same bronzed gods and goddesses at the beachfront nightclubs as well.
Among the Greek islands, Santorini is one of the best known. Keep in mind, though, that it's a place for adults, not families. As an added bonus, you won't need to charter a flight to this exotic locale-regular flights are scheduled between the island and Athens.
If you can believe it, you can actually surf in Canada! On the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, you can check out the unrivalled beautiful of the Canadian wilderness. In the winter, there are unbelievable storms with waves crashing onto the lovely shores of Long Beach. In the summer, Tofino offers great camping, whale watching, surfing or bliss in world-class spas. It's a small town that offers big-city amenities like yoga, kayaking, fishing and adventure sports.
Lucca is a quick train ride away from Pisa, Bologna and Florence, yet it's still an undiscovered secret. What you might imagine about a trip to Tuscany, with its blue skies, ancient towns and bustling piazzas, you can actually experience in Lucca. Its charm is its idiosyncrasies, like the locals racing through the streets on bikes. The narrow streets of the ancient central section of the city do not allow you to drive, so if you visit, you'll have to do like the locals and either walk or use a bike.
On Sundays, the town hosts a market with live music where everything from antiques to jams are sold. Like any visit to Italy, you'll be well-fed.
Discover the World
These are just five of the hundreds of places that probably no one you know has visited yet. We haven't even touched on the wonders of Asia, Oceania or Africa. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but for many of us that doesn't mean sitting around for a week sipping umbrella drinks. We want to truly taste different flavours in life. For most, breaks only come around once in a while, so make them extraordinary!