This year, why not travel to a place that’s really got something to celebrate?
Prim and proper Singapore is letting her hair down for her 50th. In its Golden Jubilee year, the sovereign city state plans to whoop it up as host of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games (June 5 to 16) and celebrate the opening of major architectural projects, including a redesigned National Museum, a brand new National Gallery and Jubilee Walk, a pedestrian trail with public art that links historic sites to the 57-storey ultra-modern Marina Bay Sands resort.
Italy’s design capital has always attracted certain types of travellers: those who appreciate its big-city vibe, its industrious upmarket fashion houses and its impossibly well-dressed (and often snooty) locals. From May 1 to Oct. 31, however, Milan will attract a broader audience when it hosts Expo Milano 2015, a world’s fair with 144 participating countries. The theme – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life – explores what we’ll be eating in the future and renewable energy. The expansive grounds will be set up like a classic Roman city, complete with a canal and a lake surrounded by pavilions where visitors can watch cooking demonstrations and indulge in food and wine-tastings.
Instead of animal sightings, the vast plains of the Serengeti often becomes overpopulated with humans in Jeeps in peak migration season. If you’re after a more authentic wildlife-viewing experience, venture into the eastern Serengeti’s Soit Le Motonyi region. Until recently it’s been closed off to tourists, and has been used instead as a research centre to study big cats and as a breeding ground for cheetahs. Tanzania National Parks Authority has opened up the area but allows only one mobile safari camp – Asilia Africa’s Namiri Plains, pictured top right – to pitch six luxury canvas tents, which limits the number of visitors. The nearest camp is more than 45 minutes away, so when the migration passes through from October to May, you’ll feel like it’s a private showing.
Canadian travellers destined for South America have often bypassed Colombia, choosing instead to explore destinations where the tourist trail is better established. The country that we once associated with violent drug cartels and armed rebels has, however, evolved into a refined getaway with significantly lowered crime rates and hotels and restaurants that cost a fraction of what you’d spend in neighbouring Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. Thanks to new direct flights from Sunwing and Air Transat, you can now reach the country from Toronto and Montreal in less than six hours.
The Nicaragua of the 1970s and 1980s was a dodgy place associated with revolutionary Sandinistas and the Iran-Contra affair, but the country has evolved into Central America’s “it” spot. Less visited than Costa Rica and Guatemala and less Americanized than Panama, it has lots to do: active volcanoes that can be climbed and surfed with a sand board, hot springs to soak in, and lush rainforests to explore. When the country’s new Emerald Coast Airport is up and running later this year, Nicaragua’s pristine beaches will be even more accessible. Soon to open on the southwest Pacific coast are The Inn at Rancho Santana (a boutique hotel run by the Rancho Santana beach villa resort) and AquaNicaragua Wellness Resort, pictured bottom right, introduces a larger spa, new restaurant and treehouse accommodations. If you’re heading inland to Granada, check out its colonial-chic boutique hotels Tribal and Bubu.
Be sure to check our website for all the latest travel advisories and warnings! We keep you up to date on what you need to know before you head off to enjoy your vacation! Get all your travel vaccine and immunization services before you go.
Source: Top 10 Destinations for 2015
Photo Credit: Shutterstock