Teesta River, Sikkim
Eight hours east, along the wormy roads is Sikkim's capital, Gangtok with an altogether different personality. The drive is educational. Outside the car window, endless mountain-sides and alpine forests pass, while inside, our guide explains Sikkim's inner-workings: how monks (or lamas), spend three years, three months and three days in solitary confinement before they are fully-fledged holy men; how a young boy's greatest honor is to be packed off to a monastery for life.
So start planning your trip now!
Argentina is renowed for its excellent and diverse selection of wine - Malbec, Mendoza - there are many rich varieties. The terrain seems to complement the European grade varietals with interesting notes not present when produced in other climates.
That's why you should definitely do some wine tasting when you visit. You can always try new bottles out during dinner, but we recommend taking a tasting tour towards the beginning to guide your palette throughout your trip.
One such tour is the Wine Tour Urbano - from their website:
"It is a different way of tasting wines. If you're looking for the best Argentina has to offer, you can miss it. Wineries in shops, you walking around with a glass, poured in each spot."
Sounds incredible! Check out their Spring schedule here.
And when you're ready to take your next trip, be sure to travel with Nexiin Canada Professionals!
See Brazil from the eyes of our agent, Latin America specialist Johanna Turres.
Looking for something exotic?
Nicknamed the "Spice Island" for good reason, this beautiful archipelago off the coast of Tanzania is a hotbed of spices and fruit. Take a tour with Zanzibar locals to see and experience first-hand the unique farming culture.
Spices found growing on Zanzibar include cardamon, ginger, nutmeg, anise, cinnamon, jack fruit, kukurma, vanilla, tamarind, and menthol, in addition to henna and soap berry trees, and much more.
The island once produced 3/4 of the world’s cloves, the clove industry being the foundation of the golden age of development in Zanzibar. Cloves are still cultivated today. The island is also one of the few places in the world that saffron - long the world’s most expensive spice by weight - is produced.
Guides will describe in detail uses for the various plants. While some are for flavoring, others are curative: the neem tree, once used as a cure for malaria and indigestion, and the iodine tree, that produces red sap used to fight infection.
Tours are about $10-$15 USD/CAD. Visit plantations, private gardens, and forests, where you have the opportunity to visit local farmers and speak with them about traditional spices and fruits.
Most tours are by dala-dala - pick-up trucks converted into buses.
Other places of interest include the old Sultan Rest House to view the Persian Baths built in 1850 by Seyyid Said bin Sultan (the first Sultan of Zanzibar) for his wife Princess Shehzard, as well as the Maruhubi Palace Ruins.
Most tours provide lunches of seafood or Zanzibar curry, coconut milk and fresh fruit.
Avoid buying a spice tour on the street. The “guide” may very well just take your money without a booking. Another common scam is when “guides” act like club promoters, meaning they follow you into (or give you directions to) the office, and the tour price changes from $10 to $15, with you paying the commission.
Zanzibar Magic Spice Tour: Spices and Fruits of Zanzibar
No matter how exotic your next trip is, we can take care of all of the arrangements. Our knowledgable and experienced staff loves adventure and can make your dream trip a reality. Just contact us for more information.
If you are looking for natural beauty both above and below the water surface, The Great Barrier Reef has become one of the worlds most sought after tourist destinations. I recently travelled to Australia and planned a couple days to experience this spectacular underwater attraction.
This Great Barrier Reef is the world largest reef system in the world. It is composed of 900 islands, 2900 individual reefs and stretches over 2,600 kilometers in the Coral Sea. The Coral Sea is located North-East of Australia, just off the coast of Queensland. This remarkable natural gift to Australia has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
To tour the Great Barrier Reef, you have many choices. There are a variety of boat/cruise tours offered that range from single day trips to longer voyages including your accommodations on board. Boat sizes range from Catamarans to Super Yachts, Glass Bottom boats to speed boats. I ventured on 3 day/2night Catamaran and was ready to jump right in and explore these impressive coral gardens. The Great Barrier Reef offers unforgettable world-class swimming, diving, snorkeling and sailing experiences.
Don’t forget to bring your underwater camera because once you are in the water you will be quickly introduced to some of the over one thousand species of fish that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. Some of them include the yellow-faced angelfishes, fusiliers, blue tusk fishes, cardinal fishes, tervallies, mandarin fishes, mantra rays, tiger sharks and many many more.
Why not view the Great Barrier Reef from the Sky? This living masterpiece can be detected from outer space, but an affordable Helicopter tour is just as spectacular. If this is your once in a lifetime experience, then go for it!
A must stop while you are touring the Reef is the Whitehaven Beach located along Whitsunday Island. This stretch of snowy sand beach is only 7km long and the views are breathtaking. This island is only assessable by boat from the mainland tourist ports of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbor and Hamilton Island. Relax and enjoy the calm tropical waters but have your camera ready and immerse yourself in scenery like no other. This National Marine Park is protected like a rare gem, so tranquil and natural.
There are many towns along the coast that you can visit before or after your tours of the Reef. I really enjoyed one of the most popular holiday spots, Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach offers a variety of accommodations from hotels to youth hostels with a budget to suite anyone’s needs. Cairns is another coast city option and it is a modern and sophisticated city that offers an abundance of shopping, tempting dining choices and a variety of day and night entertainment options.
If you are planning to visit Australia during any season, I recommend you take a couple days to relax and experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. The true beauty cannot always be captured by a camera, but by seeing it with your own eyes.
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