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7 Destinations You Wouldn't Have Considered 10 Years Ago

May 10, 2015 -

The worldwide travel landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Several countries have opened up to tourism, many have become safer, and a handful of new nations have even been formed.

Numerous “hot spot” travel destinations for 2015 wouldn't have even been considered a decade ago. Myanmar's military junta relinquished control of the government in 2011. North Korea lifted its restrictions on American travelers the same year. Iran is quietly positioning itself to become a prime-time luxury travel destination. Colombia's government invested a worldwide advertising/pr campaign promoting the country as a top-notch destination in 2008.

1. Once Forbidden Iran - The countries of Uzbekistan (pictured above), Turkmenistan and Iran are woven together like the burnished threads of a fine Persian carpet. From earliest recorded history, these lands have exchanged rulers, architecture, art and religion. Explore the dazzling bazaars and extravagant desert architecture along the byways of the old Silk Road between Tashkent and Tehran on this 20-day journey with MIR Corporation.

2. North Korea Adventure - Seize the window of opportunity to enter North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for an unusual weeklong exploration. A country few western travelers have seen since the 1950s, the DPRK encompasses some of the finest landscapes in Asia. Survey its historic sites and modern monuments, and enjoy the mind-boggling spectacle of 100,000 costumed people moving in sync at a performance of Pyongyang's Arirang Mass Games.

3. Myanmar River Cruise - Tom Harper River Journeys invites travelers to discover the Irrawaddy on a journey filled with wonders few Westerners will ever see, from sacred stupas believed to contain relics of the Buddha himself to Bagan's breathtaking collection of temples dating back to the 11th – 14th centuries. Sensual, spiritual, mysterious and magical, the ancient kingdom of Myanmar is one of the most unique locations on earth.

4. Colombia Journey - Enjoy majestic views of the Andes and pristine white sand beaches of the coast. Visit Tayrona National Park, Chicamocha National Park, and soak in the charming and historic atmosphere of Cartagena on this leisurely paced Colombia vacation.

5. Ha Giang, Vietnam by Bike - In an ever-shrinking world, Ha Giang, with its uniquely preserved tribal culture (nearly 90 percent of the population is ethnic minorities), is one of those rare places that hasn't been corralled by modernity or pre-packaged for visitors. Ride & Seek is the first company to run a road bike tour in the area and it is not one for the faint hearted. Terraced rice paddies and primary forests provide an attractive canvas as we wind our way up through vertiginous passes on the road less travelled. The elevation profile is immense and so this tour leans towards the ‘epic' scale of our tour portfolio.

6. Venezuela Bone Fishing - Los Roques is no longer the well-kept secret it used to be, just one that many anglers do not care to share with the rest of the angling community. Once you have fished it, it becomes the standard by which you'll judge all other flats destinations.

7. Rwanda Gorilla Tracking - A gorilla tracking journey takes you to Uganda or Rwanda on an unforgettable expedition into the misty forests of Africa and gives you a privileged insight into the fascinating world of the great apes. Tracking the mountain gorilla requires patience and stamina, often walking for hours through dense vegetation. Finally meeting them in the undergrowth is an awe-inspiring experience.


 

Featured Luxury Hotels

 


 

LUXURY PARTNERS

 

Calala Island - Nicaragua
A luxury resort named one of "The 10 Best Private Islands in the World" is nestled in the undiscovered part of the Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua. Come experience barefoot luxury in a pristine paradise!

 

 

 

Carneros Resort and Spa - Napa Valley, California
The resort features 86 charming private guest cottages and suites and nightly private luxury home rentals, each furnished with casual elegance and nestled in a lush garden courtyard with private deck.

 

 

 

BINA - Luxury Yacht Charter 142'
Offering remarkable quantities of luxury for a yacht of her size category, nothing but unadulterated bliss awaits you on board BINA. Sleeps 10-12 in 5 cabins.

 

 

 

Villa Sabai Jai - Koh Tao, Thailand
Three exclusive, boutique pool villas for rent on the small island Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand -- the perfect place for those seeking privacy, luxury and tranquility.

 

 

 

Hotel del Coronado - San Diego
The iconic Hotel del Coronado has been the world's choice for creating inDELible moments and connections for over 128 years.

 

 

 

Eden Roc at Cap Cana - Punta Cana
Offering exclusive luxury in the Dominican Republic, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, the only Relais & Chateaux hotel on the island, features 34 freestanding suites with private pools and stunning views.

 

 

 

The Luxury Signature - The Finest Luxury Villas in Southeast Asia
The Luxury Signature is Southeast Asia's most exclusive collection of luxury villas rental and vacation homes, located in some of the most beautiful destinations including Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, and Bali in Indonesia.

 

 

 

Primland - Meadows of Dan, VA
A pristine Blue Ridge Mountain resort offering 12,000 acres of space, sky and shifting moods. Primland is the ultimate getaway for world-class golf, refined dining, and outdoor activities in an environment of rare natural beauty.

 

 

 

Rawai VIP Villas - Phuket, Thailand
A brand new family community and kids' park that epitomizes modern Thai luxury. Each of the 40 villas boasts a private pool in terraced courtyards.

 

 

Meadowood Napa Valley
Owned by vintners and dedicated to showcasing Napa Valley wines, Meadowood is a member of Relais & Chateaux and features a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant!

 

 

Hurtigruten Cruises
Go beyond a traditional cruise line - explore the world in an authentic, unique & natural style. Hurtigruten offers voyages to Antarctica, Norway, Iceland, Greenland & more.

 

 

Carrington Italia - Amalfi Coast
Luxury Villa Accommodations and Personalized Service on Italy's celebrated Amalfi Coast. Experts in providing exclusive travel experiences and local knowledge of the Amalfi Coast.

 

 

Anse Chastanet - St. Lucia
Set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia's iconic twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach.

 

 

Home in Italy: The Most Stunning Villas Imaginable!
The portfolio includes handpicked properties located in the most beautiful regions of Italy; a team of specialists personally selects each villa and only the finest properties become part of the exclusive Home in Italy collection.

 

 

AutoEurope - Luxury Car Rental
Rent the car of your dreams and treat yourself to the best in style, comfort and automotive engineering on your next getaway.

 

 

Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor - Siem Reap, Cambodia
Set across from the Royal Palace, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor is one of the landmark historic hotels of the legendary Grand Tour of Indochina. The hotel first opened its doors in 1932 but the legend lives on today after careful restoration.

 

 

Hotel Valley Ho - Scottsdale, Arizona
A hideaway for celebrities, this Downtown Scottsdale resort features generously sized guest rooms with all-glass walls opening onto airy patios or balconies, many with views of Camelback Mountain.

 

 

Argentario Golf Resort & Spa - Tuscany, Italy
The Design Golf Resort - named 'Best Luxury Hotel in Italy' by Overseas Living Magazine - offers 73 design rooms, one luxurious villa for rent and a number of sophisticated homes for sale.