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Happy New Year, Friends!!
Wishing you and your loved ones a fabulous 2018 full of great adventures and lifelong memories. As always, travel is evolving to match the changing world. Here are a few destinations and experiences that will be popular in the coming year.
More and more travelers are focusing not so much on getting to a particular destination but a particular state of mind. Dozens of Virtuoso-preferred resorts and cruise lines are putting an emphasis on helping their guests restore mind, body and spirit. Using spa treatments, fitness activities, nutrition and education, these preferred partners enable travelers to achieve or restore balance in their lives and come home feeling refreshed and more connected to the world around them.
Another way to escape the everyday and experience the beauty of the world is to go to remote places and challenge yourself. Whatever is on your bucket list: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, heli-skiing, tracking elusive wildlife or just getting away to the far corners of the earth, there is a Virtuoso-preferred partner specializing in that exact type of experience. If you really want to go to the middle of nowhere, that can be arranged too. Black Tomato offers a Get Lost experience, where travelers arrive at the airport without knowing where they are going, then dropped in a remote area and tasked with finding their way out. There is a team tracking your progress, and you have all the necessary supplies, so you’re in no danger of being stranded. But you’ll need to journey into yourself to find your way out.
From the otherworldly landscape of the Uyuni salt flat to hydrofoil cruises on Lake Titicaca, Bolivia has a lot to offer without the crowds you’ll find in its more trafficked South American neighbors. One of two landlocked countries on the continent (Paraguay is the other), Bolivia has unique geography, ranging from the Amazon basin to Andean highlands, and is full of Inca trails and ruins ripe for exploring. The silver mines of Potosi produced so much for the Spanish Empire that it was once the second largest city in the Americas, and the lagoons of the Salar de Uyuni are home to a wealth of unique flora and fauna and serve as a breeding ground for several species of flamingos.
Living like a local means immersing yourself in a destination, from where you eat, to where you shop, to, increasingly, where you stay. Utilizing the vast resources of the Virtuoso network, you can have a home away from home knowing you’re staying somewhere that has been properly vetted and offers amenities such as housekeeping and a private chef if you’re so inclined. From a villa in Tuscany to an apartment in New York City, there is a place for you in more than 180 destinations worldwide.
Just like its counterpart the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland is full of natural beauty. It’s so alluring that is has served as a frequent filming location for Game of Thrones and the Star Wars franchise. Giant’s Causeway, made of thousands of interlocking basalt columns, is a unique geological site and right outside the town of Bushmills, home to one of Northern Ireland’s many whiskey distilleries. There is uncertainty about Northern Ireland’s future in the wake of the Brexit decision, but the country has come a long way since The Troubles and is asserting itself a top destination in its own right.