The south-eastern US city of Miami is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Florida. Many visitors come to Miami every year to relax and unwind on one of the finest beaches in the world, while many more come in search of the fine New World cuisine, which was created in the 1990’s and is highly acclaimed.
Situated 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is one of the southernmost located islands of the Caribbean. It is also one of the four countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dutch influence is clear to see across the island. Brightly coloured houses may be perhaps the most iconic symbol of this island, but there are many more landmarks situated across the island including the ruins of a gold smelting station, a 400-foot German cargo shipwreck and, of course, an array of beautiful beaches.
The island of Curacao is one of the southernmost located of the Caribbean islands, situated just north of Venezuela. It is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and, thus, the culture and heritage is representative of this fact, with many brightly coloured houses located across the island. Curacao is also home to a plethora of beaches, many of which present fantastic scuba diving opportunities.
The Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers a tropical escape, filled with calm beaches and surrounded by waters that are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling. Bonaire is also a haven for wildlife, with lucky visitors able to catch a glimpse of native iguanas and pink flamingos.
St George’s is the capital city of Grenada and is surrounded by the hillside of an old volcanic crater. The moderate climate here ensures the continuous production of spices including nutmeg, cocoa, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and much more. In recent years, the city has also become a popular tourist destination, while ensuring the culture, history and heritage are maintained.
The volcanic island of Saint Vincent is the largest island of the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and Grenadines, situated in the Caribbean Sea between Saint Lucia and Grenada. This beautiful island is blessed with many stunning natural features including waterfalls, rainforests, vibrant flora, colourful coral reefs and an active volcano. It has to be seen to be believed.
The sun-kissed city of Castries was founded by the French in 1650 and is the capital of St. Lucia. Castries is home to a population of little more than 11,000 and a stroll through one of the local markets will give you a flavour of the vibrant local culture. Soak in your surroundings on the gorgeous Vigie Beach, which is located just outside the city.
Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados, as well as being the Caribbean nation’s only city. Many visitors come to the island in search of duty-free shopping opportunities, while others will come to soak up the sun on one of the many spectacular and heavenly beaches. The Mount Gay Rum Distillery offers tours, which provide a fascinating insight into the local production of rum, while the Kensington Oval provides a chance to watch a West Indies cricket match.
The smaller of the two islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago; Tobago is widely regarded for its pristine beaches, each of which specialise in different factors. Mt. Irvine Beach is popular among surfers, while Turtle Beach is named for its role as a spot for nesting turtles between February and August. Elsewhere on the island, visitors will find an unspoilt rainforest, filled with an exotic range of flora and fauna.
Devil’s Island, of French Guiana, is home to the former penal colony of Cayenne – a famous prison which was in operation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries before being closed down in 1953. It gained a notorious reputation for being used as an exile for French political prisoners during this time. Today, you can see this brutal site for yourself and learn about the history associated with it.
Belem is situated in northern Brazil and guards the entrance to the Amazon River. This city benefited handsomely from the rubber boom and this becomes apparently upon seeing the range of colonial buildings. This friendly city is home to a range of cathedrals, fortresses, theatres and much more.
Situated on the northeast coast, in the state of Ceara, is the city of Fortaleza – one of the largest and most vibrant cities in Brazil. While many cities in Brazil offer a relaxed culture and an array of beautiful beaches, Fortaleza has gone to great lengths to also blend in a wealth of historical colonial architecture – much of which has been restored in recent years. Examples of this include the fully operational Theatre of Jose de Alencar, the cathedral and an array of museums. Round off the day by admiring the stunning sunset from Ponte Metalica or Praia Iracema.
Situated on the west coast of Namibia is the commercial port of Walvis Bay – which plays a large role in the nation’s economy. Many fishing companies operate in Walvis Bay and it is also a safe haven for sea vessels, due to the natural deep water harbour. One of the most appealing areas for visitors are the wetlands, which provide an important habitat for flamingos and a range of migratory birds.
Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and one of the most iconic cities in the world. It is overlooked by the impressive Table Mountain which, as the name suggests, gets its name for having a flat summit. A cable car ride to the top will enable you to explore this magnificent landmark, while also being able to enjoy fantastic views of the city below and out to sea. The city is home to many monuments, museums and galleries which collectively paint a picture of the history and culture of this amazing city.
Port Elizabeth is the fifth largest city in South Africa and is located on the Indian Ocean coast between Cape Town and Durban. As well as a number of spectacular beaches, Port Elizabeth is also the perfect spot in which to enjoy game viewing – with a range of elephants, birds and animals residing in the Addo Elephant National Park. The city is a great location for shopping, with the Boardwalk offering a highly pleasurable experience. Port Elizabeth is also part of the picturesque Garden Route and offers incredible whale watching opportunities, with regular sightings of humpback and southern right whales.
The city of Durban is among the most prosperous areas in South Africa, and is an important manufacturing hub. Though the city is largely cosmopolitan, with a population of 3.5 million and known for being the busiest port in South Africa, Durban is also teaming with nature and wildlife. In and around the city there are over 20 nature reserves including the New Germany Nature Reserve and Umgeni River Bird Park which are home to several species of owls, cranes, hornbills, macaws, kookaburras, toucans, vultures, common duiker, impala, and mongoose
Richards Bay is situated on a lagoon of the Mhlatuze River in South Africa, and is one of country’s largest harbours. The area is very flat, with most of it situated on a coastal plain, and enjoys a subtropical climate throughout the year. One of the main attractions is The Richards Bay Game Reserve, which holds some of South Africa’s most spectacular wetland scenery, including a lagoon where hippopotamus and crocodile, are protected.
The origins of the Tanzanian city of Dar Es Salaam can be dated back to colonial times, when it was held by the British and Germans. Today, it is an important trading hub, with many vibrant markets – but there are also plenty of beaches on which to escape the hustle and bustle.
Situated just off the eastern coast of the African mainland is the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar – which world-renowned for its gorgeous and pristine white sand beaches. The Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for its blend of Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African architectural styles. It is also worth noting that Zanzibar is one of the few places on earth where saffron is grown and it is possible to visit farms dedicated to spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
As the largest island of the Seychelles, Mahe is home to 90% of the country’s entire population. With over 60 beaches and coves within which to be able to relax and unwind, Mahe is the perfect tropical destination. Beyond these gorgeous beaches, you will also be able to discover a natural world of waterfalls, jungle, mountains and scuba diving opportunities. Wildlife and marine life around the island can be spectacular, with more than 1000 fish species being recorded and vast selections of corals.
Named after the goddess Mangaladevi, the port city of Mangalore is one of India’s fastest growing cities. This city is home to many historic and beautiful temples, particularly the Kudtheri Mahamaya Temple – which is around 600 years old. A short distance outside of the main city will take you to an array of beautiful beaches – each of which is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun.
The cosmopolitan city of Cochin – also known as Kochi – is a bustling commercial centre and is the financial capital of Kerala. This city has certainly played a significant role throughout history and much of this is reflected in the palaces, museums, and temples. Three faiths are represented in Cochin – Hindu, Christianity, and Islam – each of which is depicted through some of India’s most spectacular glistening landmarks.
Known as Rangoon until 1989, Yangon is the mesmerising capital of Burma, now known as Myanmar. The city's history revolves around the ancient Shwedagon Pagoda, a must-see for all visitors, which is adorned with over five thousand diamonds and thousands more precious stones besides. Other places of interest include the National Museum, Zoological Garden, Wildlife Park in Hlawga and the Peoples Park on Pyay Road.
A Buddhist monarchy ruled Burma throughout the 11th century, followed by the Chinese Mongols and the Shans. During this time, the city was known as Dagon and then Yangon, and it wasn’t until the British came to occupy Burma that the name Rangoon was introduced. However, in 1937 it was declared an independent nation and reverted back to the preferred Yangon 50 years later.
Situated off of the north-western coast of mainland Malaysia, the island-state of Penang contrasts beautiful and historical temples with golden relaxing beaches. There are many untouched beaches on the island of Penang – many of which also provide an ideal location for which to partake in water sports and snorkelling. The Kek Lok Si-Temple of Supreme Bliss is highly regarded to be the largest Buddhist temple in South-East Asia – which is home to many images of Buddha and Ban Po Thar (Ten Thousand Buddhas Tower). Another landmark well worth visiting is the old historical area of Georgetown – which has gained UNESCO World Heritage status.
The twin Petronas skyscrapers tower over the iconic Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, which offers shopping opportunities and superb cuisine, as well as also providing a base from which to travel to some of Malaysia’s most iconic landmarks. The city can be broken down into a variety of sub-areas – each of which offers a unique landmark or attraction. The Old City Centre provides an insight into the former colonial administrative centre, while those looking to sample local delights will appreciate the offering available in the Kampung Baru food haven, located in the Golden Triangle.
Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, Singapore has developed into a bustling metropolis with Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. Walking between the rows and rows of towering skyscrapers, you will discover a world of exotic culture, with fantastic food, large shopping complexes and the famous Singapore Sling cocktail. If, however, you find yourself seeking an opportunity to escape this busy metropolis, you will be glad to know that Singapore is also home to a wonderful collection of colourful and peaceful gardens.