Grand Voyages

International Getaways Just Around the Corner

International image Maybe you assume you cannot go international for a quick weekend trip. Guess again. In fact, lots of international destinations are close enough to be a viable three-day weekend trip. Below are spots great for an exceptional long weekend you won’t soon forget.

Montreal, Quebec
Beautiful Montreal, Canada boasts captivating French influence and old-world charm with all the advantages of a larger city (it’s second in size only to Toronto). Visitors always enjoy the beautiful Vieux Montreal area with its appealing boutiques and inviting cafes and restaurants. The popular Mount Royal Park is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon if the weather permits, as you can hike, rent a bicycle, or find a lovely spot for a luscious picnic.

If you can stand the cold, you can also go snowshoeing, ice skate, or do a myriad of other winter sports in the park area.

Bermuda
Bermuda is a British territory in the mid-Atlantic popular with US visitors due to the quick two-hour flight from many east coast cities, its beautiful beaches of distinct pink sand, and its warm weather year-round. You don’t have to like beaches to adore Bermuda; history enthusiasts will be fascinated by the old military forts complete with cannon installations, traditional colonial buildings, and enchanting cobblestone streets.

If you’re adventurous, you might also ride a jet ski into the Bermuda Triangle.

Baja California Sur, Mexico
The beautiful beaches of Baja California Sur, Mexico are an uncomplicated weekend trip for surfers and anyone who just wants to lie in the sun and the sand. At the southern tip of Baja California is Cabo San Lucas, known for its exotic resorts, high-end dining, and lively bars and nightclubs.

It’s also the ideal escape for those who want to enjoy the water, and perhaps a little romance, with Lover’s Beach featuring some amazing caves, rock formations, and strikingly clear azure waters.

Costa Rica

In Central America, Costa Rica is fairly easy to get to from many U.S. airports and is well-known for its gorgeous tropical rain forest and jungles.

One of its claims to fame is its 800 miles of shoreline, so it is a fantastic destination for beach goers who want to enjoy some fun in the sun. Adventure seekers will find no end to their thrilling choices: hikes through the tropical jungle; zip-lining in the lush rain forest; rappelling down a thundering waterfall; seeing exotic birds, monkeys, and sloths in their natural habitat; and relaxing in volcano-fed hot springs.

Cartagena, Columbia

While you might not think of Cartagena when you imagine the Caribbean, it is in fact situated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast and has long stretches of white sand beaches, warm blue water, and unique coral reefs. The 500-year-old coral stone forts and much of the walled city are admirably intact and present some of the finest examples of civil and military architecture of Spanish colonial times.

Toronto
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is a contemporary, cosmopolitan center perfect for city lovers.

It is an unusual melting pot of diversity, with more than half of the current residents not originally from there. After a weekend in Toronto you might feel like you’ve been on a world tour if you visited its Little Italy, Chinatown, Koreatown, and Greektown.

Whether you are looking for extreme adventure, relaxing on the beach with a cold drink, or something in between, there is an international weekend getaway perfect for you. Anything you are looking for – love, adventure, culinary treats, history – can be yours.

A Myriad of Experiences Await in the Americas and the Caribbean Islands

There is an abundance of natural wonders in all areas of the Caribbean and the Americas, as well as extremely diverse cultures and lifestyles throughout. Relish the laid-back lifestyle of all Caribbean islands, while noting the range of languages and cultures that speak to the early inhabitants of each island from faraway lands including Spain, France, Britain, The Netherlands, and Africa.

Central America, rich in both natural wonders and history, is the land mass that connects North America to South America. From the remains of long lost civilizations including the Aztec, Maya, and Olmec to the lush jungles of Costa Rica, there is something for everyone. Navigate through the Panama Canal and learn exactly how it functions. A cruise around North and South America will treat you to a wide array of breathtaking landscapes as well as many attractions built by both ancient and modern cultures.

In Canada, discover Quebec City and enjoy its French influences, or go back in time to the 11th-century Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows.

Discover the natural beauty of Alaska’s glaciers when you cruise along the west coast of the United States, or go to the East Coast instead, if you fancy more cosmopolitan cities.

Head South
Continuing further south, travelers will encounter jaw-dropping ruins, a broad diversity of cultures and peoples, and world music we have danced to on many nights. Just illustration Brazil offers a wide range of experiences, from the vibrant nightlife and gorgeous beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the fascinating rain forests of the Amazon.

Visit South America’s west coast with a stop in Chile, with its jagged massifs and gorgeous fjords as well as the vibrant, colorful hillside community of Valparaiso. Head to Buenos Aires and have a Tango lesson.

Farther south, discover the icy natural beauty of Antarctica.

Explore the Mediterranean

It is held that coastal Europe was the birthplace of present day civilization, including democracy, science, art, and wine. The thousands of years of history of the "Old Country" are discernible along its many shores.

It will be hard to go back home once you've lain on the beaches of Italy and Spain, studied the historical sights of Jerusalem and Greece, and seen the stunning scenery of the Greek Islands and Santorini. Visit Rome and its renowned Pantheon and ancient Coliseum; or the home of the Pope, The Vatican, with its Holy Catholic Church of St. Peter’s. Fans of architectural design will enjoy a stop in Barcelona to see Antoni Gaudi’s unforgettable work.

For wine drinkers, top attractions include France’s Provence region, Chianti in Italy, and Port in Portugal.

On the Adriatic coast, see the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dubrovnik, the historic city bordered by ancient stone walls.

The Broad Choice of Things to Do and See in Asia

Recognized for its sophisticated cosmopolitan way of life, Hong Kong is an international trade, style, and culinary hub for Asia.

To explore some of Thailand’s most iconic scenery, beaches, and culture, be sure to make a visit to Phuket, its largest island. Known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, Cochin (or Kochi) in India’s Kerala state, features splendid old cultural icons including a Jewish community with seven synagogues dating back to the 12th century and the Church of St. Francis, built by Portuguese settlers in 1503. In Jordan, be sure to set aside time for UNESCO World Heritage City Petra, which was built from rose-colored rock, earning it the moniker “Rose City”.

When you travel the world by cruise ship, you can see bustling metropolises and tiny tribal villages, rain forests and mountains, polar bears and lions, all while relishing in the luxurious comfort of your ship.

The Ideal Tour for You

Your bucket list may be chock-a-block with exciting adventures from hiking Peru’s Inca Trail, surfing the waves in Costa Rica, to horseback riding through the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, or running with the bulls in Pamplona. Some more adventure tours out there include an Air Combat experience, along the lines of Top Gun, in San Diego, or a fast-paced Ferrari drive along the curvy coast of the French Riviera. If any of these adrenaline- filled escapades speak to the daredevil in you, make sure they are part of your next getaway.

Exploring the World’s National Parks
A national parks tour, no matter what country, will bring you to some of the most impressive landscapes on earth. Keep on reading to find out which are some of the world’s most celebrated national parks.

The Galapagos Islands
One of the world’s most frequented UNESCO sites, and also Ecuador’s oldest park, is an island chain called the Galapagos Islands. Giant Galapagos tortoises and the world’s second smallest penguins roam liberally all over the islands making it easy to get close to these remarkable animals.
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the magnificent Incan citadel high in the Andean Mountains, is one of the most important archaeological sites on earth.

The power and achievement of the Incan Empire is plainly noticeable at this breathtaking site.

Yellowstone

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Yellowstone “absolutely unique in the world” upon encountering the extraordinary geological formations and substantial wildlife found there. Corner photograph In his eyes, developing a national park was the ideal way to showcase natural beauty as a social resource to be shared by all.

Serengeti National Park
Both Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and South Africa’s Kruger Park are renowned worldwide for its extensive of wildlife and fauna found there.

There you will discover landscapes different to any other and also hear the roar of lions not faraway.

Great Barrier Reef
A absolute must on anyone’s bucket list should include the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park located off the northeast coast of Australia, home to the world’s largest coral reef system.

Fiordland National Park
Norway’s amazing fjords don’t compare with those seen in nearby Fiordland National Park in New Zealand.
Special Interest Tours Galore

These days, more people than ever are choosing to go on specialty tours.

There continues to be an uptick in the number of specialty tours offered to anyone with a favorite hobby or special interest.

For all the Wine Lovers
Regardless where you are on the wine connoisseur spectrum, there's a spot for you in wine country.

Understanding and tasting the outcome of the intricate process of wine making are a just some of the reasons people embark on wine-tasting tours. With all the options on the marketplace for wine tasting tours, there is undoubtedly one for you whether in Napa Valley, or the Stellenbosch Wine Route in South Africa, or the most noted regions of France such as Bordeaux or Champagne to name just a few.

For the Lover of Food
Nowadays, gourmets can take a trip just about anywhere to satisfy their palates.

Culinary tours are a great way for the connoisseur to get a taste for local ingredients and artisan products as well as to learn the history and traditions of the area, and especially how these influenced the evolution of local cuisine. Some of the rewards of taking an one-of-a-kind culinary tour might feature meeting a celebrity chef or cooking with a Michelin-starred expert.

For the Yoga Lover in All of Us
Yoga tours are also proving to be an emerging craze in travel.

In order to reach a state of tranquility, enthusiasts of this ancient tradition blend meditation with specific techniques to control breathing which help to balance and strengthen both body and mind. A stylish and alluring setting add that additional touch to make a yoga tour a relaxing and enlightening experience.

For All the Nature Lovers Out There
Some of the fundamental aims of eco-tours is to keep any hint of human presence to a bare minimum in areas that continue to be fragile and relatively undisturbed.

Eco-tourism is geared to nature-lovers who not only appreciate the natural beauty surrounding them, but those who also recognize the necessity in protecting the world’s natural resources. These tours are not solely about visiting unspoiled natural terrains, but also about understanding how to improve the everyday lives of local denizens as well as the importance of conservation.

For Women Only

Tours aimed specifically at women are becoming more and more popular.

Women only tours are expressly tailored for female tourists of all ages who want a safe and exciting travel experience. Being on a women’s only tour where you can get together with other like-minded travelers makes any vacation more delightful and interesting.

For Spiritual Seekers Only

Are there areas where you can go to ponder as well as better understand the people who had the biggest influence on your faith? A faith-based tours are a fantastic way to contemplate your spirituality and also gain a better outlook on how essential your faith is to you. No matter what type of tour speaks to you, there is no doubting that you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.

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