Top Places to Visit in China in September 2017

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It is not a secret that in recent years South East Asia has remained one of the most popular tourist destinations around the Globe. For many years, China has been the leading itinerary in the entire Asia Pacific region. There are a lot of reasons for travelers to stay in love with this unique Asian country: its centuries-long traditions, friendly people, bright architecture, and distinctive culture.

Places to Visit in China in September 2017

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Although crowds of tourists come to China in the high season of summer, there are thousands of reasons why you should visit the country in autumn. With the lower flow of tourists, decreased fares and milder climate, China looks even more attractive in the months of fall.

In this article we have decided to point out the main Chinese destinations that are worth visiting in September.

Beijing

Places to Visit in China in September 2017

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It is well-known that Beijing, like many other Asian destinations, has four distinct seasons. They are windy spring (even with sandstorms), scorching summer (with temperatures up to 35C), brisk autumn, and fresh winters. That is why autumn remains the best season for travelling to Beijing, and September is the most convenient month for visiting the Chinese capital.

In September you can fully enjoy China, and not be afraid to miss summer events – since there are plenty of them in the Chinese capital in every season. This month you can experience less crowded Beijing attractions (as the summer holidays are already finished and the National Day holidays have not yet arrived).

Tibet

Places to Visit in China in September 2017

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September is festival season in Tibet. While in August the temperatures here are mild in the lower areas, in the mountains it is still really hot.

That is why it is a well-known fact that summer is a great season for exploring Tibetan traditions, lifestyle and culture, while autumn is a perfect season for climbing up in the mountains. September is known for cooler weather than in summer months, which gives travelers an opportunity to hike and trek, with a possibility to take marvelous photos of mountain peaks, in this season where you will see fewer clouds.

Shanghai

Places to Visit in China in September 2017

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With average temperatures around 24C and average rainy days no more than 12, Shanghai is one of the favorite destinations of autumn visitors to China. Enjoy a light cool breeze coming from the north, and appreciate the shining full moon. You should not miss the beauty of blooming osmanthus flowers, which you can see in the Park of Sweet Osmanthus, famous for the so-named flowers and ancient architecture.

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Travel Tips while Visiting Chile

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Geographically, Chile is one of the narrowest countries in the world, stretching no more than 150 miles at its widest point. It is also safe, friendly, and interesting; any traveler can find a number of exciting places to visit from beautiful snow-capped volcanoes to delightful wineries, and the famed Maoi sculptures of Easter Island.

Here are our main suggestions, which we advise you to read before going to this South American country:

Visit Chile’s Capital

Travel Tips while Visiting Chile. Santiago, Chile

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Chile is one of the most innovative and advanced countries. If you come here, you should plan to visit its fabulous capital Santiago for a few days. This is a highly innovative and attractive city, very cosmopolitan and energetic, with amazing urban landscapes, historical museums and busy nightlife.

Enjoy the beauty of unique architecture and the grandeur of the capital’s big fashion malls located in the central area of the city called “Centro”. Here you can feel the bustling vibes and lively commercial life, witness its varied cosmopolitan population, and understand how expansive this metropolis is.

After a few hours in the “Centro”, take a calm relaxing stroll along the pedestrian pathways of Hillside Park. You can enjoy an afternoon picnic in one of the greenest and most natural areas of Chile’s urban capital.

Travel Tips while Visiting Chile. Santiago, Chile

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Enjoy your evening while taking pictures of the innovative buildings and try local foods at sidewalk eateries. For those who want to enjoy the energetic nightlife of Santiago, we suggest visiting one of the many bars and clubs of the famous Barrios Brasil, Lastarria and Bellavista. For those who are amused by calmer high-class evenings, the city can offer you many luxury restaurants and hotels located east in wealthy neighborhoods like Providencia and Las Condes.

Cross the country from the North to the South

Travel Tips while Visiting Chile. Chile

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The territory of Chile extends from the tropics down to Antarctica, and the climate, traditions, cuisine, and way of life vary depending on location: many issues in the north of the country differ from the ones you can experience in the south. Those differences make Chile even more attractive to tourists from various corners of the world.

Start from the high-tech hub of Santiago, and continue on to discover Patagonia National Park where you can hike along glaciated landscapes. After coming to Puerto Montt, hike a volcano and enjoy biking, fishing, and rafting while having a Lake District adventure. Move on to southern Torres del Paine, Easter Island, and Chiloé Island to learn more about the culture, history and cuisine of the country.

Try some seafood at the local fish markets

Travel Tips while Visiting Chile

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Though there are a huge number of restaurants, cafes, and even street shops offering seafood meals, we suggest that you not refuse buying seafood at a fish market. There is no doubt that it would be the tastiest seafood you can possibly try in Chile.

The most popular traditional seafood dishes in Chile are zos (large sea urchins), caldillo de congrio (a soup made of pink cusk-eel, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs and spices), cochayuyo (seaweed), and sopa de mariscos (seafood soup).

Take a ride in a micro or colectivo

Travel Tips while Visiting Chile

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“Micros” are the buses that take you from one Chilean city to another. “Colectivos” are a special, very interesting kind of taxi that takes four passengers and drives them along a specific route. It is a very comfortable means of transportation considering that the fare is low and the route is close to main attractions.

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Great Places to Experience Fall Foliage

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Summer is coming to an  end, and the highest travel season will soon be over.   

There is a stereotype that the best season for traveling is summer; however, autumn travel is often underrated as there are many positive aspects of touring in the fall – for example, principal attractions are not so crowded, prices are lower, and temperatures are not so high. Autumn is also a very romantic season, and many people like to ruminate in the colorful landscape.

We have made a list of several destinations where you can enjoy extraordinary fall foliage:

New York City, USA

Great Places to Experience Fall Foliage. New York City Central Park in Autumn

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New York City’s foliage is amazing and incredibly beautiful. Depending on the week in autumn, you can view varied shades of orange, yellow, red, and vinous colors. You will never forget the surprising beauty of the vibrantly colored trees.

There are a number of wondrous locations throughout the city where you can experience marvelous, stunning foliage: Central Park, Alley Pond Park, Greenbelt Nature Center, New York Botanical Garden, Bloomingdale Park, Wave Hill, treed sections of Manhattan, and many other places.

Kyoto, Tokyo

Great Places to Experience Fall Foliage. Fall in Kyoto, Japan.

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From mid-November to early December, there is remarkable foliage in the majestic cities of Japan. Some of the country’s best is located in the city of Kyoto. It is not a secret that Japanese people love fall foliage as much as they do cherry blossoms, and there are a number of sites where you can find prodigious, brightly colored leaves. To avoid crowds, you should go on weekdays in the early morning.

For the best colors, bright impressions, and wonderful ambiance we suggest going outside the city to  enjoy these venues:

Tofuku-ji Temple: This spot is lovely in mid-November when you can enjoy the calm rustic setting of softly falling leaves. Stroll along three different bridges, take pictures, and feel the distinctive Japanese style of the surroundings. The view from Hojo Garden is superb in autumn, so don’t miss that while you are there.

Ginkaku-ji Temple: This is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful gardens; there is a lot of space to wander and fully admire the amazing foliage.

Nanzen-ji Temple: Viewed in November, the bright maples are striking as you meander around San-mon gate – where the carpet of colorful leaves makes you feel … romantic.

Honen-in Temple: One of Kyoto’s most iconic autumnal locales with a captivating atmosphere, lots of trees, and delightful meadows for strolling.

Fontainebleau, France

Great Places to Experience Fall Foliage. Beautiful autumn landscape in the Fontainebleau forest located in France close to Paris.

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This well-known commune 55.5 km southeast of the center of Paris is a favorite place for travelers to visit when they come to France. It is famous particularly for its magnificently decorated and furnished castles. Travelers come here to enjoy the historic atmosphere of the royal chateaux and grounds, as well as the fascinating medieval hunting lodges. Exploring the territory surrounding a castle on a bicycle is a marvelous experience, especially in the fall with the orange, faded green, yellow and red leaves – and an ambiance that is truly mythical.  

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Essential Things You Should Always Pack

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Most travelers plan their trips carefully. One issue is not to forget the most essential things for your  travel; you don’t want to create problems by forgetting something really important. Our clients often ask us about the most necessary things to bring with them on a trip.

Here is a list of those essentials:

First Aid Kit

Essential Things You Should Always Pack

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This is essential, especially for adventure travelers. Even if you’re just planning to do a little shopping and sightseeing, it doesn’t mean you won’t need a first-aid kit. Accidents can happen anywhere.  Especially if you travel to a different climate, your body may feel stressed and weak as it struggles to acclimatize. Always bring medications you require in your travel kit, especially if you are allergic to something. Health is a primary issue everyone should think about in their lives, and there is no exemption when you go on a trip.

Copies of Your Travel Documents

Essential Things You Should Always Pack. Collection of Travel Documents - Passport, International Driving Permit, International Vaccination Certificate and Airline Boarding Passes.

An important thing for any traveler is identification documents. Today, if you have lost your passport in a foreign country, you can face a lot of troubles and difficulties. A lot depends, of course, on the country and its laws, but keep in mind that there are always positive and negative aspects of going abroad. You may need several copies of documents for bureaucratic purposes, or in case you misplace the original.

Wet Wipes

Essential Things You Should Always Pack. Essential things for travelers

From refreshing your hands to wiping dirty surfaces – wet wipes come in handy when traveling, especially with kids. There are different types of wet wipes that you can use: facial, for hands, hypo allergic, for the whole body, for sensitive skin, antimicrobial, and many more. They are useful and compact so it shouldn’t be a problem to take some in your travel kit.

Chargers for electronic devices

Essential Things You Should Always Pack. different types of chargers for phones and tablets on white background

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There are numerous apps that you can be useful on your cellphone, tablet or notebook. There are lists of extremely useful apps to use for travel. Think about taking several chargers with you to be sure that your devices will keep working for long periods of time.

Cash

Essential Things You Should Always Pack. Essential things for travelers

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Try to take some currency of the countries you plan to visit in case there are problems with card payments, ATM withdrawals, or currency exchanges. Be prepared for unexpected circumstances and to buy something you need urgently.

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Traveling with Your Cat or Dog: Essential Tips

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Traveling with Your Cat or Dog: Essential Tips

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Check the policy of your airline before taking a flight with your animal.

 All necessary information is usually available on a company’s website. Check it carefully and note the most important things.

  • Carefully read all the info about the veterinary certificate every pet must have before boarding a flight. This document is necessary to confirm that your pet is healthy.
  • Consider rules regulating the size, weight, and type of carrier.
  • Attentively read the entire pet travel policy of your airline to avoid problems and know your rights (rules can vary depending on the company you choose).
  • Carefully read all the regulations concerning bringing pets into the country you plan to travel to. Rules vary and are sometimes contradictory.

Arrive at the airport early

Remember, when you have a pet with you, there will be additional measures required to verify your documents at the security check point. These will probably include weighing and measuring the pet carrier, and may involve paying a fee.

Traveling with Your Cat or Dog: Essential Tips

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Book a direct flight

The most important thing that every pet owner should consider when traveling with pets is the health and safety of other passengers (besides his own well-being and that of his pet, of course).

You should understand that long layovers, airport transfers, and even changes in climate and air pressure can have an effect on your pet. Moreover, they can influence the animal’s behavior, health, and psychological condition in unexpected ways. Don’t make your pet suffer from being overly stressed.

Don’t let your animal drink for 4 hours before the flight, and don’t administer any analgesics or sedatives. They could have negative side-effects on your cat or dog as their temperature rises or falls during a flight. Pills might just complicate your whole trip.

Traveling with Your Cat or Dog: Essential Tips

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Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian well before the flight

You’ll need a special certificate about your pet’s vaccinations dated within 10 days of departure. Have a specialist check your pet’s physical condition, and discuss the upcoming flight with them – especially if it’s a long one.

Preparation of your pet is A MUST. If you are planning a long trip, you might need to take your pet on several short trips to gauge its reaction and ability to stay calm while traveling. Consult your veterinarian for more information concerning your pet’s breed, health condition, and other circumstances.

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My Luxury Is Personal

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What’s your luxury? A YYZ Travel advisor can help you create your personal journey.

How Virtuoso and YYZ Travel Work

1. Choose an Advisor

Tell us your preferences and we’ll quickly match you with the perfect advisor to plan your upcoming travel.

2. Plan with Your Advisor

Your advisor will collaborate with you, catering to your travel needs to create a truly personalized trip.

3. Travel like a VIP

Our travel network allows your advisor to book exclusive perks and upgrades only offered to Virtuoso travelers.

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Tips for Travel Addicts

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Tips for Travel Addicts

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Book tour packages rather than discrete services

Tour packages have a lot of advantages since everything is included in one deal; so, you don’t have to think about each step of the trip – booking flights, reserving hotel rooms, and planning excursions– by yourself. A tour package is a time-saving and problem-solving proposition.

You don’t have to adjust anything according to availability of hotels and tour guides, or to think about possible variations. It is all done for you in the best possible way!

Reserve panoramic restaurants

They offer incredibly beautiful views, and they usually prepare the most popular traditional dishes of the local cuisine. Besides the restaurant, such places often have a bar area where the prices are more affordable – and the fantastic overlook is the same.

Tips for Travel Addicts. Hiker woman in Bryce Canyon hiking looking and enjoying view during her hike wearing hikers backpack. Bryce Canyon National Park landscape, Utah, United States.

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Buy tours and cruises through travel agencies

There are many benefits to using the services of an agent to arrange travel. Bookings made through travel agents are more effective for tourists as they can provide bonuses and discounts.

For example, cruises booked through travel agencies may cost the same as when purchased online or through the cruise company itself, but you might also enjoy bonuses like “sip and sail” promotions or other discount opportunities.

Use travel gadgets

While traveling to diverse destinations, you should take advantage of the great variety of technological gadgets available to make your life easier. New technologies are ubiquitous these days, and they generally make our lives more comfortable. So, why not use them while traveling? From smart suitcases to cozy high-tech pillows, a lot of shops have everything to satisfy the needs of even the finickiest traveler.

Tips for Travel Addicts. Travel addicts

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Get acquainted with locals

The best way to learn about the culture and traditions of a foreign country is to communicate with local residents. That is the easiest and most effective way of learning interesting information about a country,  finding out more about popular attractions, and getting to know native traditions.

Visit less popular places

If you want to explore a country beyond its stereotypes, and avoid thousands of tourists at the major attractions, try exploring less popular locations where you will encounter the unique atmosphere of out-of-the-way places and get acquainted with the country’s hidden gems.

Tips for Travel Addicts. Nothing but friends and road ahead. Group of young happy people enjoying road trip in their white convertible and raising their arms up

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Study foreign languages (at least at a beginner’s level)

If you don’t speak the language in a foreign country, you start feeling like an outsider who will never quite fit in. On the other hand, when you know some of the most important words and useful phrases, you can more easily find your way, order properly in a café or restaurant, and possibly make friends with locals!

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Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss

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Nevería Roxy’s – Mexico City, Mexico

Indulge in Mexico City’s most beloved ice cream produced using artisanal methods. Fresh, fruity flavors shine, including strawberry, pineapple, and lemon – try any of the four locations across the capital.

 

Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss. Nevería Roxy’s
Nevería Roxy’s, Mexico City.

Amy’s Ice Creams – Austin, Texas

Many Austin locals will send you to Amy’s for your sweet tooth cravings – their colorful parlors and funky servers stay true to the city’s pledge to weirdness.

Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss
Amy’s Ice Creams.

Berthillon – Paris, France

Perfect your Parisian stroll across Île Saint Louis accompanied by a double scoop of Berthillon’s iconic glace, introduced to the city over sixty years ago.

Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss
Berthillon, Paris.

Glacé – Sydney, Australia

Known for their inventive ice-cream-based desserts, such as bombe Alaska and checkerboard terrines, this shop (located in the Summer Hill neighborhood) is a must for all the Australia-visiting gourmands out there.

Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss
Glacé, Sydney.

Kurt Farm Shop – Seattle, Washington

In the heart of Capitol Hill, you’ll find an ice cream shop that stays true to the “go green, go local” spirit of Seattle. The owner, Kurt, somewhat of a Seattle food legend, provides fresh products (notably ice cream!) from the cows and crops he raises on his small farm in Vashon. Try one of the more unusual flavors, like rose and fig, or tomato jam.

Published: 11.08.17
By Evan Upchurch

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A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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Like any form of insurance, travel insurance can be overwhelming. When do you need it? Do you need it all? What does all the fine print mean? We turned to Virtuoso travel advisor Tiffany Figueiredo, who is based in Fort Worth, for details on when and why she advises her clients to purchase insurance.

A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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Should clients purchase travel insurance for every trip, even a weekend getaway?

“I recommend insurance on domestic trips that have non-refundable components like hotels, transfers or tours, and on all international trips. In fact, if clients are traveling internationally and choose not to purchase insurance, I require them to sign a waiver. I want them to have medical coverage in the event they are sick or injured while traveling.

People assume their regular insurance will cover them abroad and that is not always the case. The companies I work with offer policies on a trip-by-trip basis, but I also recommend MedjetAssist, which offers annual plans.

What insurance companies do you work with the most, and why?

I work mainly with Travelex because of my good relationship and history with them. They have gone to bat for my clients in several instances, and while filing an insurance claim is not something anyone wants to do, Travelex has provided assistance with the process and has been very fair. In some cases, vendor insurance, like that offered through a cruise line, is sufficient.

A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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When has travel insurance mattered for a client of yours?

The primary purpose of travel insurance is to cover the cost of delays or cancellations, but the medical assistance benefits cannot be overstated. Last year, I had a client traveling alone in Europe who suffered a serious, totally unexpected heart episode on her second day in Rome. She had purchased Travelex insurance, and they stepped in right away, talking with her family, making sure her doctors in Italy communicated with her doctor at home, and even covered the cost to upgrade her return flight once she was released, as her doctors would not let her fly economy.

They provided assistance for the five days she was in the hospital and again once we were ready to file the claim. That same week, I was on a work trip in Spain when one of my fellow travelers took a hard fall over a loose cobblestone and broke her hip. She was flown home via medical jet with a nurse onboard thanks to travel insurance.

What do plans actually cover?

Each policy is different. You may not get 100 percent of your money back for a thunderstorm that causes a huge delay. It’s up to the client and agent to thoroughly understand what they are buying and what they foresee needing to cover.

Terrorist activity is usually only covered when the client’s exact destination has been attacked within a specific timeframe. So, you can’t cancel Normandy because there was a subway bombing in Paris. And you can’t cancel Paris because of something that occurs more than 30 days before your trip there. However, I haven’t had a single client want to cancel a trip because of a terrorist attack.

To get a policy that you can cancel for any reason, shop early, because this benefit is only available for a short amount of time from the initial trip deposit date. Once the first payment is made toward the trip –  whether for a flight, lodging, cruise, or other –  travelers have between 14 and 30 days to buy coverage. Most policies offer this benefit as a selectable upgrade, which will raise the premium cost by about 50 percent.

“Cancel for any reason” requires that all prepaid and non-refundable trip costs be insured on the policy. This means travelers don’t have the option to only insure a flight and not the cruise. Bottom line, if it’s paid before the departure date and the money would be lost if the trip were cancelled, it has to be listed on the policy.

A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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Any tips or tricks to filing claim paperwork and getting the maximum reimbursement?

Save all receipts, first and foremost. I will have already documented the cost of the trip, but if it’s delayed or cut short, clients will have to provide receipts for the cost of meals, taxis, hotels, clothing, and toiletries that were incurred as a result. For a medical situation, they’ll need to make sure the doctor fills out his or her portion of the paperwork very specifically and correctly. Don’t be vague – that’s the general trick to not having the claim kicked back or denied.

There are gray areas on the forms, and my best advice is to fill out the claim with your travel advisor, who can call the insurer directly to clear up any questions. If the claim is denied, the advisor can help again, providing additional details or calling his or her insurance company rep to see if it’s something that can be remedied.

A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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Any more tips?

If you feel that the cost of insuring a trip is prohibitive (or don’t care about getting your money back), you can purchase a plan without trip cancellation.

You won’t be reimbursed for the cost of the trip if it’s cancelled, but you will still get many of the in-travel benefits such as trip delay, emergency medical, lost or delayed baggage, and so on. The cost is quite a bit lower and worth looking into for those services.”

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Why Cuba is One of the Top Caribbean Destinations

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Why Cuba is One of the Top Caribbean Destinations. Colorful kayaks and sailing boats on a tropical beach in Cuba

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Cuba remains one of the top Caribbean destinations in 2017 and continues to be a favorite holiday location. It is on the list of most popular tourist spots in the region – along with Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, and Guadeloupe. Every year Cuba attracts millions of visitors to its hospitable culture and wonderful natural sights.

There are reasons why many Canadians choose Cuba over other Caribbean destinations: Cuba has seen huge advancements in the tourism sector in recent years, especially in its accommodations infrastructure, with many new hotels and resort complexes built and high quality services instituted. Moreover, a number of new agreements were concluded with various air companies to develop new routes – making Cuban destinations more accessible to many travelers.

Why Cuba is One of the Top Caribbean Destinations

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Cuba is a favorite Caribbean destination where people return over and over again 

Among the factors which contribute to this tendency are undoubtedly Cuba’s nature and crystal clear turquoise waters – as well as its very special atmosphere.

The beautiful nature is specifically and exotically Caribbean and has been declared a Biological Reserve by UNESCO. Not all Cuba’s territory is considered a Biological Reserve, but there are many protected areas around the country which have unique biodiversity and fragile ecosystems.

Why Cuba is One of the Top Caribbean Destinations

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In the seas of the western coast, for example, Guanahacabibes Peninsula has one of the best preserved coral reefs in the world. Furthermore, you can see here special kinds of animals and plants, 22 distinctive beaches, and, the most exciting thing – along the shore are the remains of some pirate ships from the colonial period.

In addition to coastal regions being protected Cuban territory, marine areas – which reach depths of 200 meters – are protected zones as well. In total, reserves cover one fifth of all Cuban territory; the most famous are Sierra del Rosario, Guanahacabibes National Park, Cuchillas del Toa, and Buenavista.

Although the tourist sector in Cuba is developing quickly and attracting a lot of investment into the country, ecological issues are studied thoroughly – assuring visitors a holiday in a safe and ecologically balanced environment.

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