The Indian Ocean islands of Africa play host to a number of experiences from culture, history and nature exploration to exciting watersports. It’s where romance meets exotic culture. These islands are best to experience towards the end of an African safari holiday. There are luxury resorts, private island getaways and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Below are just a few of the standout destinations to round off your client’s vacation of a lifetime.
Founded in 1983, AIRCALIN is New Caledonia’s international airline, operating flights to the Pacific Region countries and providing a gateway to the world. The airline’s key missions are facilitating travel abroad for New Caledonian passengers, developing visitor traffic to expand the tourism industry and ensuring the freight transport essential to New Caledonia’s economy. As a member of IATA and an IOSA certified operator, AIRCALIN meets the most stringent international standards for safety and reliability. With its fleet of Airbus A.330-200 and A.320 aircrafts, Aircalin operates direct flights from Noumea to Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Port-Vila, Nadi, Wallis and Papeete. More than 100 Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and United States destinations are offered in conjunction with their partners.
Macau, with its famous “Cotai Strip”, is often considered the Las Vegas of the East. Nevertheless, I went to Macau for five nights; stayed at the Sheraton Macao (www.sheratonmacao.com), the largest hotel in this entire Special Administrative Region of China, and did not gamble once! Instead, I discovered the destination’s cultural and familial side and learned that it’s a great place for international corporate meetings.
Feathered leafy trees hang over a stream that gurgles from the earth and then slips and falls over ancient rock. This water has, over the last 10,000 years, etched grooved spouts and rugged steps into that stone. Hot enough for an idyllic soak, the water then slides down and becomes a stream flanked by moss and greenery.
Late spring 2014 saw the opening of a new Sandals resort in Grenada, and the addition of the new Key West Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos. As usual, these openings were celebrated in grand style with celebrities and dignitaries in attendance, and grand opening parties in true Sandals/Beaches style, featuring name brand entertainment, excellent food, free-flowing spirits and fireworks.
All about upscale indulgences, hyper-attentive service and pampering over price points, vacationing like a VIP is a grand guilty pleasure. Delivering above expectations, luxury in the Caribbean runs the gamut from personal chefs on private islands and butlers who pour afternoon tea to seaside suites that leave no stone unturned. “Our region continues to deliver by embellishing our natural paradise with offerings that easily exceed the standards of elegance,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). “The Caribbean has much to offer in terms of luxury, even in an economy that is making a slow return to a steady state.“
A melting pot on bold display with more than a hundred nationalities calling the cosmopolitan island home, Curacao is below the hurricane belt making it a popular choice for travelers who can do without the angst of weather delays. Thirty-eight curvy beaches ring the coast and with a pastel-painted promenade, delightfully narrow streets and gabled colonial architecture in the capital city of Willemstad, Curacao is Caribbean chic at its finest. www.curacao.com
The first images that come to mind when thinking of a Mexican holiday are beaches and guacamole, but there is so much more to this beautiful country. And while those quintessentially Mexican vacations are a great way to unwind and chill out, the Spanish Colonial cities in the interior of Mexico are filled with not only culture and history, but are chock full of adventure.
Belize remains one of Latin America’s lesser-known destinations and one of its best kept secrets. From beaches to rainforests, from Mayan ruins to the world’s second largest barrier reef, Belize has a plethora of offerings for the outdoor and soft adventure enthusiast. What your clients won’t find in Belize are large, name-brand resorts. What they will find are smaller, most often family run, more intimate hotels, inns and lodges offering a high level of personalized service. To me, the real appeal of Belize is its compact size and the ability to combine both sides of its tourism product, coastline and rainforest interior, in a one-week trip.
Holding onto a raft through level three and four rapids, while spotting orioles jumping from branch to branch, is one way to find relaxation. Another is taking a lazy, day-long excursion on the sea with plenty of time for swimming, snorkeling and fishing. In Costa Rica, both the adventurous and languorous sides of relaxation are easy to find. Interspersed with these activities, the country’s rich cultural history can be experienced, from museums in the capital, San Jose, to visits with indigenous cacao growers in the country.