The New Year approaches inexorably. If you still don’t know where best to celebrate the holiday, think about celebrating New Years in Cuba. Crystal white beaches are undoubtedly pleasant, and blue waters seem more inspiring than snowdrifts outside the window.
Just imagine warm waves of the Caribbean gently caressing your body, and bright sunlight warming you on a beautiful beach. You will feel nothing but relaxation and joy when celebrating your New Year holidays like that. Add grandiose festivals, lively parties, and friendly locals – and you get a dream New Year Holiday!
New Year in Havana
If you have decided to celebrate New Year’s in Cuba, you should visit the most beautiful city of the New World – Havana. Here you can visit old monuments of architecture of the colonial period. Enjoy a colorful show made on New Year’s Eve in Havana at the main city Square – which will definitely not leave you uninspired. During the New Year celebration, huge tables with improbable amounts of food and drink are laid on the square.
January 1 is not only New Year’s holiday but also commemorates a very important event for all Cubans – Day of Liberation. The warm Caribbean Sea, a general atmosphere of fun, Cuban rum, and Havana cigars are a great combination for festive mood and a magical night!
New Year in Cuba will surely be remembered for its beauty, and unforgettable impressions will remain in memory for the rest of your life.
How to celebrate New Year in Cuba?
According to tradition, New Year in Cuba is not celebrated with a Christmas tree, but with a coniferous tree called an araucaria, or a room fir-tree. This low tree reminds one of a fir-tree with very rigid branches and prickly needles.
Before the day New Years is celebrated – Cubans fill jugs, buckets, and bowls with water. When midnight comes, all the water is poured out of windows. So they see off the old year, wishing to start the next one being clear like water.
While celebrating the Cuban New Year, it is necessary to remember as the clock clicks down to eat 12 grapes, making a wish on each one. Only in that case will you be accompanied by joy, success, and prosperity in the New Year. By the way, on New Year’s Eve clocks in Cuba strike not 12 blows as in other countries, but only 11. Cubans consider that the twelfth blow already falls on the New Year, and this holiday should be a rest for everyone, including the clocks.
Here they are, careful and kind Cubans. Before the holiday, Cuban children write letters, but not to Santa or Father Frost. They compose wishes for kind wizards – Baltasar, Melchor and Gaspar. In their letters Cuban children describe their most desired wishes. If you are interested in Cuban tours for New Year’s, you are advised to go to well-known Havana – the capital of the country, or to a popular resort with snow-white beaches and azure coast like Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, and Cayo Largo’s exotic islands.
Mexico is an amazing country to travel in. The capital, Mexico City, is considered one of the top world capitals, ranking fourth in population.
Nearly 20 million people live there. One of the most picturesque corners of the planet is a favorite place for fans of night clubs who prefer an incendiary rhythm of music and for judges of beach rest on the shore of an enticing, caressing sea.
Mexico is also a cradle of ancient civilizations, Maya and the Indian tribe of Aztecs, who disappeared leaving many secrets behind.
This amazing and beautiful country is vibrant with mystery and greatness.
Its amazing beaches, bewitching blueness of the cleanest ocean, and snow-white sands shine like diamonds.
Flora and fauna are rich with variety, a riot of colors and exoticism.
Having arrived here, it is worth paying attention to the best resorts of Mexico: Cancun, Maya Riviera or Puerto-Morelos, Playa de Carmen and Los Cabos; also to diversify the trip, travel around different corners of this amazing country.
Mexico has rich history, a variety of archaeological monuments, and a diverse mixture of cultures and tastes. It is capable of revitalizing with life energy.
But don’t forget about the one and only, the greatest city in the country – Mexico City. It is the heart and the capital of the country.
Mexico City was founded in 1325 by Aztec Indians. At first the city was called Tenochtitlan, which in translation from a local dialect meant “the home of cactaceous rock.”
Mexico City is not only about monuments and history. It has bright carnivals, colorful dance festivals, and a set of other holidays that fill the city with cheerful people and festive mood.
I’ve been booking travel for 42 years. I’m a Master Cruise Consultant with CLIA, and have been on over 70 cruises myself. Primarily I work with cruisers to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe – although I can coordinate itineraries anywhere.
What I want to achieve for travelers is pretty simple: I hope to deliver dreams, help clients cross items off their proverbial bucket list, and at core, I want you to come back happy.
If you’d be interested in working together, definitely reach out. I love customizing your history and travel preferences into the perfect experience for your family.
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- You will see many places, and unpack a suitcase only once
On a cruise you unpack only once, and then your floating hotel brings you from one city to the other, from one land to another. You don’t need to worry about train or ferry schedules, and you don’t have to drag a heavy suitcase along paved streets. Every morning you wake up in a new place.
Not able to decide between Saint Lucia and Barbados, or between Italy and Spain? There is no need to make a choice! Decide on a direction and visit all the cities you want to see.
- Cruising is a wonderful family experience
Cruises are an exciting adventure for people of all ages, from kids to teenagers, from grandmothers and grandfathers to grandsons. If you want to go on leave that will be pleasant for your 5-10 year-old child as well as the teenager, but in which there will also be entertainment for you – know that cruise liners organize leisure activities for all generations.
- You can choose the ship that suits you best
For one person, a cruise vessel could be a huge ocean liner with a rock climbing wall and a movie theater under an open sky, while another prefers a small cozy ship and a third dreams of swimming on a sailing vessel. All of them will be able to pick a cruise that takes their wishes into account.
You can choose entertainment paradises like Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean with thousands of passengers onboard. If you want to travel in style and elegance, choose Seabourn Odyssey; if you are drawn towards minimalism, shop Paul Gaugin Cruises.
- The ships are floating cities
If you worry that you will be thrown in the middle of the ocean – relax. Cruise liners are rather similar to big cities; they are equipped with all possible hi tech equipment such as Wi-Fi, cellular communications, and satellite television. While cruising on a ship, you can stay in touch with the entire world.
In the shops onboard you will be able to buy all the accessories you forgot to put in your suitcase.
If you need the help of a doctor, modern medical centers are at your service. You will even be able to wash clothes in the ship’s laundries so you won’t need to take too many things with you.
Onboard a cruise liner you will certainly find fitness centers, restaurants, movie theaters, spas, pools, stage shows and discos. You should also not be afraid of emergency situations since there are numerous safety and security devices on board.
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If you’re looking to get wild, “South Africa offers all the wildlife you’d hope to see,” says Myrna Arroyo, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Virtuoso travel advisor who recently visited the country on a group tour led by National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. “But I also love that you can combine a safari with all the attractions in Cape Town.”
With a confluence of cultural, cosmopolitan, and natural draws, the “Mother City” provides a perfect easing-in point for any South Africa vacation. Here are a few must-do urban adventures before you set out for the bush.
To Great Heights
For a city overview, start with an ascent of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s iconic plateau-topped peak. A five-minute ride in a rotating cable car leads to the 3,500-foot-high summit and panoramas of the City Bowl, Table Bay, and nearby Robben Island.
During South Africa’s apartheid era, its government imprisoned more than 3,000 dissidents on Robben Island. The most famous, Nelson Mandela, commenced his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, there before becoming the nation’s first democratically elected president. Former captives lead tours of the prison, now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage site.
State of the Art
Opened in September 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is now the world’s largest cultural repository dedicated solely to modern African art. More than 100 galleries showcase works from across the continent and as far away as the UK and United States.
Located in a church within Greenmarket Square, Heaven Coffee serves excellent espresso from South African-origin beans. “You’re also likely to meet its young owner who came from the countryside to make his mark in the city,” says Theresa Jackson, a Virtuoso advisor from Allendale, New Jersey. In lieu of tips, guests can make a donation toward a coffee for a homeless person.
In the Neighborhood
Cape Town’s multicultural history is on vivid display in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, rooted in a mix of Asian and African influences. Its cobblestoned streets wend past spice shops, historic mosques, and a kaleidoscope of pastel-painted houses.
Wine & Dine
On the menu at Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate: cellar tours, tastings (try the Grand Constance, a blend of red and white muscat favored by Napoleon Bonaparte), and alfresco meals overlooking its vineyards. Jonkershuis restaurant’s Estate Tasting Plate offers a sampling of traditional Cape Malay dishes, including oven-baked bobotie (curried mincemeat topped with custard), Karoo lamb, and chicken curry.
More than 7,000 species of indigenous plants thrive at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Linger-worthy stops in the 1,300-acre estate include the fragrance and protea gardens, the latter to honor South Africa’s national flower. Look for the medicinal pepper-bark tree planted by Nelson Mandela in 1996.
“For a special souvenir, Prins & Prins in the city center is a wonderful stop,” says advisor Myrna Arroyo. “The jewelry store manufactures all of its pieces in-house, and its rings based on South African flowers (set with precious gems) are stunning.”
Located on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the new 28-room Silo Hotel (one of seven centrally located Cape Town properties in the Virtuoso network) occupies six floors of a historic grain silo complex that also houses Zeitz MOCAA. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a 50-minute massage.
Adapted from: www.blog.virtuoso.com