The Next Big Thing: 3 Great Places to Explore Now

The Next Big Thing: 3 Great Places to Explore Now

April 28, 2011

So you’ve been to Costa Rica, done Belize, cruised through the Galapagos, and seen Machu Picchu at sunrise.  Where to now?

Latin America is full of undiscovered gems, but a few stand out as on the brink of major tourism.  You might want to check out these places soon, before everyone else realizes how great they are too.

One that’s already big and is going to become huge is Brazil.  Rio de Janeiro will host the World Cup in 2014, and the summer Olympics in 2016.  That’s a lot of free publicity, and sure to generate plenty of interest in Brazil.  So get there now, before the masses – and see more than Rio!

Brazil is huge, diverse, multicultural, and friendly.  Going only to Rio and

The Amazon as it winds through Brazil

thinking you have been to Brazil, is like going to New York City and thinking you have now seen the US.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The 5th largest country in the world in terms of area, Brazil has beaches, waterfalls, mountains, and jungles. Take some time to explore Brazil’s many wonderful national parks, as well as beaches and world class cities.  See the Amazon river.  Immerse yourself in music and art in Salvador.  Go diving in the islands of Fernando de Noronha.  See and be seen on the beaches of Rio.  It’s an incredible country. Visit now, so you can add your own commentary to the Olympic broadcast (“hey, I’ve been there!”)

 

Another up-and-coming destination is Colombia.  Yes, Colombia.  Things aren’t perfect there yet, but are certainly on the right track.  Many, many areas of the country are safe for tourism, and have much to offer the visitor.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and with good reason – the old city and fortress are beautiful.  The beaches right in town aren’t amazing, but a short boat ride will take you to world class beaches. The annual cumbia festival, in the northwest department of Magdalena, attracts musicians and dancers from all over the world.   San Agustin Archaeological Park, another UNESCO World Heritage site, contains over 500 carved statues and monuments erected by the pre-Colombian society of the area.  And for world-class diving, head out to San Andres Island to explore reefs and wrecks.

 

Too much to chose from in Colombia?  How about Nicaragua?

Isla de Omatepe, Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s smaller size makes it ideal for a vacationer with limited time off.  In short order you can visit beautiful beaches, colonial cities, dense jungles, and towering volcanoes.  The city of Granada, one of the oldest in Nicaragua, is a treasure trove of colonial architecture.  From there, it’s a short ferry ride across Lake Nicaragua to visit Isla de Omatepe, with beaches, nature reserves, volcanoes, and pre-colombian carvings.  Back on the mainland, the Pacific coast offers surfers some of the best and most consistent waves in the world.  If you prefer to be under water instead, head for the Corn Islands on the Caribbean coast, for affordable diving and a relaxed, slow-paced atmosphere.

So, what are you waiting for?  Call Exito, book your trip, and head out to some of the most diverse, beautiful, interesting destinations around.

 

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