AS we neared the end of a very long climb up a very steep ridge, my guide, John Leivers, shouted at me over his shoulder. “It’s said that the Spaniards never found Machu Picchu, but I disagree,” he said. I caught up to him — for what seemed like the 20th time that day — and he pointed his bamboo trekking pole at the strangely familiar-looking set of ruins ahead. “It’s this place they never found.”
He was pointing to Choquequirao, an Incan citadel high in the Peruvian Andes that so closely resembles Machu Picchu that it’s often touted as the sister site of South America’s most famous ruins. Both are believed to have been built in the 15th century and consist of imposing stone buildings arranged around a central plaza, situated among steep mountain ridges that overlook twisting whitewater rivers, with views of skyscraping peaks — known as apus, or mountain deities, to both the Incas and their Quechua-speaking Andean descendants — in several
I WAS standing in Central Park in the middle of the Caribbean Sea near an Indian mangosteen tree, a Malaysian olive tree, a number of elephant ears and a total of 96 other species of plant. Birds were tweeting and mothers, as diversely global as the plants, pushed strollers along the paths. A little girl twirled in a pink dress.
At the far end of the park was a Coach store and, three decks below, a Starbucks, as if a moment might go by without a chai or a vanilla bean. And I thought: Why am I standing on a land mass on a ship? And: When did ships become less about the water on which they sail and more about the land they have left behind?
Not that ships, going back to the first ocean liners with their ballrooms and bowling alleys, haven’t always appropriated the trappings of land. (Never has a ship tried
When you’re on a business trip, you need to be comfortable and relaxed, ready to tackle meetings, conferences, client, business associates, etc. As your attention is going to be focused on the business side of things, you want to do nothing but rest and enjoy when you return to the hotel after a harrowing day.
You need to stay in a hotel that looks after you, that can provide you with the best rooms, excellent food and drinks and the best in class service. If you’re looking for a great hotel in Lima, you need to look no further than the Royal Park Hotel.
For a business traveler, location is very important and the Royal Park Hotel is very centrally located. San Isidro is the financial hub of Lima with several national and international companies headquartered here. The hotel is also quite close to the suburb of Miraflores, which is an upscale neighborhood and a popular tourist destination.
A great hotel in Lima should be located within easy distance of important architectural sites, parks and monuments. As Royal Park is located in San Isidro, guests will find offices and companies close at hand.
Kenya is situated in East Africa and spans across the equator, it is a country where you can come face to face with lions and hope to catch a glimpse of the all elusive leopards. Kenya amasses 224,081 square miles which makes it the world’s 47th largest country.
It is bordered by 5 countries and the Indian Ocean where the strategically important port of Mombasa is a hub of economic activity providing a cargo route for many landlocked countries in Africa. Kenya is situated in between the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean to its south-east and the largest of all African Lakes, Lake Victoria to the west.
Kenya has a population of over 43 million residents, with 73% aged below 30 years old. English and Swahili are the 2 official languages with up to 69 known other languages spoken across the region.
The climate varies from arid in the north to tropical along the coast and temperate inland. Summer clothes are worn throughout the year as the area benefits from sunshine every month; though it is usually cool at night. The main rainy seasons are March to April and May to June with
In Tuscany the Chianti Classico is certainly one of the most renowned worldwide wines. But this is just one of the many types of wines present in the region. Because of the great interest in Tuscan wines, and also to protect them, in Tuscany have been developed several wine itineraries – wine roads – called “Strade del vino”. At present there are almost fourteen wine routes in Tuscany, spread in several beautiful regions, different in landscape, uses and traditions. Let’s discover some of the most interesting ones.
– Wine road of the Lunigiana hills. Lunigiana is a region North of Tuscany between Emilia Romagna and Liguria, close to the marble querries of Carrara. Here is produced a gentle white wine called “Candia”.
– Wine road of the hills of Montecarlo, near Lucca. On the hills around Lucca is produced a white and red wine. The area goes from the Northern Pieve S. Stefano and Ponte a Moriano, than east to Valgiano, Segromigno and Gragnano, till Montecarlo, a lovely village to visit where there are several wine cellars.
– The Medici wine road between Pistoia and Florence. This is one of the most ancient wine itineraries
Everyone is born to roam. Make yourself free from daily work and go for holiday in stunning locations. Among the beautiful places of the world INDIA is one and perfect for spending quality holiday. Best of the best travel circuit to explore the nation is golden triangle circuit. The tourist route is popular all over the world and it is the best way to have unforgettable moments in the country. Spend couple of nights in every stop-over of the route and have some marvellous time by interacting with local people. The cities you will explore in the circuit are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Travel in and around the golden cities to have luxury vacation with your near and dear ones. Fly from your home sweet home and when you landed in the city of Delhi which is the first destination of your golden triangle tour. On the arrival at the metropolitan city, you will be guided by tour expert and make you feel comfortable in the region. You can start your city tour from visiting India Gate and next to other places like Rashtrapati Bhawan, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and Qutub Minar. There are also
Mexico City is having a magic moment, thanks to citywide efforts to bring this Aztec capital back to its former glory. The city is cleaner and safer than ever with refurbished neighborhoods, a slew of posh new hotels, restaurants, and museums, and a thriving art, craft cocktail, and locavore food scene.
Making a big splash on the hotel front is the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico, D.F., which has just undergone a 14 million dollar renovation. Located in the historic Paseo del la Reforma area, the Spanish Colonial-style building still remains the only low-rise hotel in the city with a mere eight floors accommodating 240 deluxe rooms and suites. It’s the hotel’s interior, however, which has been completely transformed. Furnished in rich butterscotch and caramel tones, the new lobby exudes a sense of luxurious warmth. In addition to reception, it houses a jewelry shop and Il Becco, an independent restaurant serving nouvelle Italian cuisine.
To reach your room, head down the main corridor designed to elicit the feeling of being in a hacienda. Glass doors on both sides of the passageway swing open into cushy sitting areas in soothing colors of cream, burgundy, and chestnut. The corridor spills out into spacious
“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams, awake,” –Henry David Thoreau
I was awake yet was, most definitely, in a dream – the SeaDream Yacht to be precise. Cruising along the Amalfi Coast of Italy, heading toward ports I’d only fantasized about, it was a pinch-myself moment. Yes, this was true life. Let the dreaming begin!
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the SeaDream Yacht Club, whose motto is “It’s yachting, not cruising.” That it is. Vive La Difference! It’s a family owned company, conceived by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad with a maximum of 112 guests on board and catered to by an award-winning crew of 95, insuring that you will receive the most incomparable, inclusive service at sea, bar none. The service onboard is comfortably transparent, like the way the bartender knows your name and what you’re drinking to the waiter surprising you with your favorite dessert. In fact, Conde Nast Traveler magazine recently ranked SeaDream number one in the category of small ships with a higher score than any other cruise ship regardless of category.The Great Equalizer
Cruising is my favorite mode of travel, and in that I’m not alone; even the esteemed Sir
For most people getting to Hawaii takes a good deal of travel time, so the Ooh and Aah factor of where you stay and what you do have to match the travel time.
The Big Island has resort options that blend the allure of the islands with lavish appointments and island charm. It is the kind of destination where focusing on a particular area yields the best travel experience. The Kohala coast, north of Kona, offers a bevy of resorts that combine beach, dining, stunning golf and relaxation in one of the most idyllic settings.
Plan on staying 10 days, especially if you want to stay at one resort, and then gallivant to cultural sites and wonders that span recreation, nature, and dining. The exact mix is best combining activities that are close in driving distance.
If you need to blend your stay plus give the children oodles of energy burning activities, then the Hilton Waikoloa Village might be the place. The entire property, all 65 acres is splashed with an Asian/Oriental theme. Pools abound, and while it’s big, whether you go in a small or large group, you can find your own little kingdom on the beach or at the
Behind the whitewashed walls of every Tibetan Buddhist monastery lurks a hidden world of golden sculptures and rainbow-coloured murals. These radiant artworks were clearly not inspired by the grey and ochre colour scheme of the Himalayan landscape; Tibetan Buddhist art is, at its purest level, art of the imagination.
Travellers who delve into this mysterious world are confronted by an incredible panoply of deities, mythical beings and symbolism. Everything, from the layout of buildings to the precise positions of human figures in paintings and murals, is dictated by ancient principles of spirituality, geometry, and numerology. There are even rules for the direction that pilgrims must walk around Buddhist monuments – always clockwise, the same direction that Buddhist prayer wheels should be spun.
For first timers, it can all be a little overwhelming, so here is Lonely Planet’s quick guide to gompas, to help you sort your lamas from your lha khangs.
The Wheel of Life
Helpfully, gompas provide a handy crib-sheet for the key principles of Tibetan Buddhism in the form of the Bhavachakra, or Wheel of Life, depicted in the entrance of almost every Tibetan Buddhist monastery. In this informative graphic, a
It may be India’s smallest state, but Goa can get mighty crowded over the Christmas-New Year period, when accommodation prices skyrocket. Nevertheless, there are fabulously festive local traditions at this time of year that make Goa unlike anywhere else in India. Almost a third of all Goans identify themselves as Catholics, a legacy of more than four centuries of Portuguese rule, and Christianity is highly visible across the region – the extraordinary 17th-century churches and cathedrals at Old Goa are the largest in Asia and every town and village has its own whitewashed parish church.
Christmas celebrations begin in earnest around mid-December with carol singing, concerts, street decorations, illuminated village nativity scenes and Christmas markets. Groups of carol singers, often accompanied by a costumed Santa, roam about raising funds for the community, while colourful five-pointed stars made from paper stretched over a wooden frame are hung outside homes and businesses.
On Christmas Eve many Goan families gather for a traditional feast before attending Midnight Mass at their local church, while Christmas Day is reserved for family and the exchange of gifts at home. In the lead-up to New Year’s Eve, local children
Old favourites such as Howzzat (Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15; 0124-4868000) are still popular, and new arrivals seem to be opening every week – try Sutra Gastropub (Cyber Hub; 09958636700) in Cyber City. If you want one destination with loads of options, promenade to Golf Course Road – this is definitely Gurgaon’s party street.
Staying in Gurgaon
With chain hotels all across the city, finding a place to stay within your budget is not going to be a problem. Anya (Golf Course Road, 0124-4901111) is a new boutique hotel that will definitely appeal to the artistically inclined, with a big collection of art and sculptures on display. Westin Sohna (Karanki Road; 0124-4508800), a little away from the city on the Sohna-Gurgaon road, is a sleek and indulgent retreat if you are travelling with family.
For something more offbeat, Tikli Bottom (Gairatpur Baas, 0124-2766556) is an eccentric boutique hotel with uniquely personalised service, set in a Lutyens-era bungalow off the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Or, for international convenience, there’s always Delhi Aero City, with everything from pricey a JW Marriott to a reasonably-priced Lemon Tree, just 20 minutes by road from Gurgaon.
Mumbai cuisine has been shaped by centuries of seasoning at the hands of Koli fishermen, Hindu dynasties, Muslim sultans and Portuguese and British colonists. All have converged on this flourishing trading port through the years, importing their own culinary know-how. As India’s most cosmopolitan city, Mumbai casts the culinary net worldwide, with abundant restaurants offering the flavours of Europe, the Middle East and East Asia to the city’s expats and backpackers, and to Mumbai’s rich and famous elite.
Colaba is where you’ll find the majority of cheap eats, usually aimed at the foreign backpacking crowd, while Fort and Churchgate cater to trendier and more upscale fine-dining establishments, a trend that continues as you head north. Posh Mahalaxmi and the western suburbs are where you’ll find Mumbai’s most international and expensive restaurants. Along the way, endless streetfood treats await, tucked in every nook and cranny around the city – just keep a look out for speeding dabba-wallahs, Mumbai’s miraculous network of some 5000 lunch delivery boys, who deliver untold thousands of meals to hungry city workers every day, with a level of accuracy that would challenge a supercomputer.
Eat the streets
Mumbai lives for streetfood,
Many travellers limit themselves to the historic neighbourhoods of south Mumbai and miss out on Mumbai’s modern cutting edge. Here’s a look at some of the sights and activities that help you to get under the cosmopolitan skin of India’s ‘Maximum City’.
Shop like a fashionista
Rising from the ashes of what was once a colonial cotton mill, High Street Phoenix (highstreetphoenix.com; 462 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel West) is Mumbai’s top destination for shopaholics, particularly those with a weakness for premium designer labels. Appealing to Mumbai’s icons of film, fashion and finance, this luxury shopping complex – the largest of its kind in the city – houses top global brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Jimmy Choo and Gucci. If you have any red carpet events coming up, this is the place to get kitted out in the latest catwalk chic. Refreshingly, High Street Phoenix also has a generous smattering of home-grown haute couture labels such as Rohit Bal (rohitbal.com) and Anita Dongre (andindia.com), whose gorgeous ethnic dresses and modern-medieval ensembles find their way onto the sales racks after being showcased at the Mumbai and Delhi fashion weeks.
Where India goes organic!
The trick to family travel in Delhi is escaping the crowds. Try crossing Connaught Place, amid careering traffic, in the heat, whilst gripping the arms of several toddlers, and you might find yourself racing back to the cloistered sanctuary of your hotel room. Relax in the calm confines of a Mughal garden however, and you might see the city in a very different light.
A good hotel is worth its weight in Mr Men books
Getting the best out of Delhi with kids in tow requires a certain amount of forward planning. Rather than staying in the busiest districts, life will be infinitely less stressful if you choose one of the quieter corners of South Delhi, where guesthouses and hotels offer a bit more room to breathe. Some even have enclosed gardens. As an added bonus, most of these hotels are also close to Delhi’s surburban district ‘markets’ – upscale retail complexes with shops, restaurants and supermarkets selling familiar European and American imports (breakfast cereals, wet-wipes and the like), plus, in many cases, decent kids’ playgrounds. Perhaps the most ideal base for families is the Lutyens Guesthouse, with parrot-filled grounds, sprawling lawns and
India is all these things, and more. How can you possibly prepare yourself? Start with our tips for taking the ultimate travel plunge: going to India for the first time!
1. Pick the perfect route
India packs a lot into a massive space, and you’ll never have time to see it all on one trip. Think about what interests you, what you like doing and how much time you have, and tailor your trip accordingly. Be realistic about how much you can fit in. Rather than trying to see the whole country, you may get more out of your trip if you concentrate on the south of the country, or on the north. However, internal flights are plentiful and inexpensive so you can hop from north to south if you want a taste of both worlds. The itineraries section at the front of Lonely Planet’s guidebooks to India can be a great help, but here are some possible itineraries to get the ball rolling.
The classics: The most popular India tour is the all-time classic Golden Triangle. If time is short this is a fantastic introduction to three of India’s top destinations,
India has always had something of a split personality. On one side is north India, with its spire-topped shikhara temples, colonial customs and abundance of British and Mughal monuments. On the other is the Dravidian south, where the culture, customs and cuisines of colonial powers had only a passing influence on the local way of life. The north-south divide is still politically charged – the Dravidians of the south see themselves as the original Indians, with the Indo-Aryans of the north as new arrivals, yet the power and money of India is firmly controlled from the north.
Travelling from north to south today, you can still see clear differences. People have darker complexions and speak the rhythmic, musical languages of the south. Shop signs use curling Tamil, Malayalam or Telugu script in place of neatly linear Sanskrit. Women wear saris instead of salwar kameez (flowing shirts and pyjama pants) and men sport dhotis and lungis (local variations on the sarong) instead of trousers. Even the menus are different – vegetables displace meat from curry sauces, and coconut milk and tamarind creep in as essential cooking ingredients. Then there are those distinctive South Indian temples, with their rainbow-coloured,
From new offerings by marquee chefs to more modest openings in out-of-the-way spots, here are 10 restaurants around the globe to keep an eye on in 2011, in alphabetical order.
In the exclusive world of America’s and Europe’s top chefs, Ángel León has been getting some hard-won respect. His 22-seat restaurant, Aponiente, which opened in 2005 in a small port village in southern Spain, specializes in sustainable seafood; it was awarded a Michelin star last year. Mr. León, 33, is an insatiably inventive and curious chef who is always trying to invent techniques with traditional products — using unusual (to say the least) ingredients like fish eyeballs (as a sauce thickener) and plankton.
Not long after Corey Lee, Thomas Keller’s wunderkind chef de cuisine at the French Laundry, left to open his own place, San Francisco’s food critics were waiting hungrily for the debut of Benu, which finally opened in August. Despite the high-altitude expectations and prices (the 12-course menu is $160), the response has been impressive. Michael Bauer, food critic at The San Francisco Chronicle, recently awarded the chef three and a half stars and
AS thousands of passengers who were caught up in the latest bout of snowstorms along the East Coast can attest, when weather disrupts the system, travelers are basically on their own. Just getting someone on the phone to confirm a new flight was a major headache for travelers who had been stranded for days in cities up and down the East Coast during the holidays.
Eventually the Brills were rebooked on a return flight four days after their original flight home was scheduled. It too was canceled the day of travel, but not because of the storm, which had stopped. Rather, the plane didn’t make it to the airport because it was stuck in a different city. Unable to afford any more time away from