For those of you who have some kind of reason to celebrate this year, be it some major birthday, anniversary, marriage or divorce, rewarding yourself with a trip is one sure way to remember it. Whatever the occasion, you’ll want a getaway destination that’s special, unique, and highly memorable. But you also have limited time and don’t want to go so far that you’re exhausted when it’s time to come home. The Caribbean (again???) is out, and you’ve done London, Paris, and Rome.
Here are 10 ideas for Globetrotters wanting to squeeze a great celebration trip into less than 10 days (essentially a one-week trip if you leave on a Friday and return the following Sunday). We chose them based on ease of getting there and tried to keep time zone changes – and resultant jet-lag – to a minimum. Some will be easier from the east coast than the west and vice versa, but all will guarantee you a milestone celebration to remember.
1. Buenos Aires
It’s about tango, night-life and oh so good food. Buenos Aires is a direct flight destination from numerous North American gateways. Once there, it’s easy to get around the city and explore colourful neighbourhoods such as La Boca. Check out this super popular Latin long weekend getaway.
2. Rio de Janeiro
Be forewarned: Rio’s seductive powers can leave you with a serious case of saudade (indescribable longing) when you leave. Planted between lush, forest-covered mountains and breathtaking beaches, the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City) has many charms at its disposal.
Just outside Rio, the beaches of Buzios come alive at sundown to create one of Brazil’s best parties. With that said, pace yourself. A ‘great party by Brazilian standards could redefine your concept of a big night out! Not up for the nightlife? Buzios is also one of Brazil’s best destinations for sophisticated dining and water sports. In other words, it’s the perfect place to unwind from the excitement of Rio, in the town where Brazilians go to play.
Northern lights, geysers, mud pools, volcanoes, cracked lava, glaciers and harsh tundra are just a few of the elements that define Iceland. A unique destination for adventure and natural beauty seekers alike, Iceland is easily accessible from all east coast gateway cities.
The island that invented the over-water bungalow, Tahiti may just be the world’s number one celebration destination. Indulge yourself in an over-water bungalow experience for your entire stay. Swim in the warm blue ocean under the stars, from the deck of your own private suite. Enjoy the sunrise with a steaming cup of coffee or sip a cocktail while watching a magnificent sunset.
5. Cook Islands
Turn the phone off and kick back in your private beach bungalow on the island of Rarotonga, where no building is higher than a palm tree and the phrase ‘laid back lifestyle’ seems like an understatement. This is the perfect spot to simply get away from it all. Direct flights depart only once a week, on a Saturday from Los Angeles to Rarotonga, so choose between either a 5-night or 12-night stay.
Snorkellers and divers rejoice! Fiji’s remote islands offer solitude, world class snorkelling, diving, and hospitality in discerning small boutique properties. In fact, many specialize in catering to special occasions and celebrations.
One week is just about the perfect time frame for seeing Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Anyone wanting an active sightseeing adventure that includes one of the new Seven Wonders of the World will want to give this one serious consideration. You’ll find UNESCO World Heritage sites galore, and the best cuisine in Latin America, plus fantastic markets, ripe for exploration. A quick overnight flight from numerous North American gateways, Peru is an ideal 7-day trip.8. Costa Rica
Enjoy a Costa Rica self-drive with a twist. Pack your sense of adventure, pick up your rental car, and explore this land of misty rainforests, towering volcanoes and much of the colourful wildlife that epitomizes Central America. Not just another Caribbean beach vacation, this is a trip you’ll be talking about for years. Just a short flight from pretty much all of North America, with minimal time zone change, it’s an ideal one week vacation.
The food and wine lover’s choice, embark on an adventure where you’ll gain amazing insight into the wines of Chile, plus get a unique perspective on Santiago and Valparaiso. Though better known for sweeping wilderness areas like Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, Chile does have a cultural heart, and Santiago puts you right on the pulse. There are direct overnight flights to Chile from both North American coasts.
Small is beautiful, and in Ecuador’s case, an adventure and nature lover’s dream. The mainland makes a pretty great week-long trip on its own, but there’s no escaping that no other nation on Earth has the Galapagos Islands. Find your inner Darwin, spending 8 days on an intimate motor yacht exploring the Galapagos Archipelago.
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