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Micaela Mesch′s Wishlist
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Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Adare is known as Ireland's most beautiful village and I saw why when we got there. There are such beautiful houses there. I adore thatches! It is absolutely charming. If you do not believe them or me, check for yourself :)
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8355 Giethoorn, Netherlands
Giethoorn is the most amazing village I have ever seen. Canals go through the entire village making it a little Venice of the Netherlands. You park your car at the boat dock and then you walk or rent a boat to see the entire place. Giethoorn is a...
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Albergue el Socorro is more than a place to stay, it's an experience. It takes a little adventure to get there - a 6 hour bus ride from San Jose - but the scenery is stunning and I found the fellow Costa Rican passengers were quite friendly and...
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Mesa Verde, CO, USA
For anyone who believes that truly historic architecture doesn’t exist in the states, Mesa Verde National Park will make you think again. Still standing in the park are cliff dwellings built in AD 600 by the ancestral Pueblo people who once...
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Campeche, Mexico
Of the many ruins I've visited in Mexico, those of Calakmul have been by far the best. Why? Because this site is largely still covered in jungle. Not many tourists visit the ruins here either. Located only 22 miles from the Guatemalan border in...
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Palenque was a classic Maya city-state located in Chiapas, Mexico, and has gained notoriety among Maya archaeologists for its extravagant architecture and refined art and writings. The temples perched upon a hill adjacent to the main plaza of...
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Tikal, Guatemala
Deep in the Guatemalan jungle lies the lost Maya city of Tikal. A stronghold of the ancient Maya world between 200 and 900 C.E., Tikal continues to fascinate. Be sure to arrange a sunrise tour, which allows you to watch the jungle wake up from the...
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Cusco, Peru
Nosh on some traditional aji de gallina and wash it all down with some Inca Cola at Los Candiles Restaurant in central Cusco before exploring all that this gorgeous mountain city has to offer. In the evening, weave your way through the maze of...
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Gil Ramirez Davalos, Cuenca, Ecuador
Ecuador is a local foodie paradise. And no more so than in Cuenca. A variety of lush produce grows all year round in small farms surrounding this Highland Colonial city. The volcanic soil of the Andean Mountains nourishes a rich array of fruits...
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Canoa, Ecuador
In the late afternoon every Friday, volunteers and students at Río Muchacho Organic Farm pile into the back of large, slow-moving trucks. They are then bounded along the bumpy, winding dirt road that leads roughly 10 miles southwest into the tiny...
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Daniel Cevallos Rd 1064, Quito, Ecuador
Welcome to the "Middle of the World." Actually, Ciudad Mitad Del Mundo is a little askew from the middle of the world – the equator lies about 800-feet north of the marked line. Nevertheless, in this city, located in Pichinita, you can climb...
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There are no guarantees the northern lights will start dancing on the night you look skyward, but it's so worth taking the chance. One of the great rewards for hanging out in Alaska once the dark and cold settle over the state, the northern...
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Central America
Adult summer camp – or a young person's retirement community, any way you cut it, Maderas Village offers a genuine experience in the art of relaxation. The sustainable community is built into the hillside of the lush jungle, overlooking Playa...
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Barra - State of Bahia, Brazil
A few years ago I stayed in this off the beaten path beach in Brazil called Taipu de Fora. From Bahia (Salvador), you have to take a local ferry, a local bus, and then a speedboat to get to the village of Barra Grande. Allow 1 day for travel....
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During a summer studying in Costa Rica I visited many ecologically stunning places I would recommend visiting, and only one inn that stood out from all the rest. This friendly family run Eco country lodge is la Quinta Sarapiqui. The grounds are a...
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Jamaica
This is one of the greatest places on the planet. The waters are unbelievable shades of blue and green, and the sunsets are equally chromatic. The resort is positioned between two of the most highly rated resorts in Jamaica, but is a cheaper...
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Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
An oasis for me, like most other people I imagine, can be different things. As far as vacations go, an off the beaten spot by the beach is a must for a relaxing retreat that will recharge me and help me restore my inner calm. But I don't always...
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Puntarenas Province, Punta Arenas, Costa Rica
Asian culture is popular in Costa Rica. This Thai-inspired guest house in Santa Teresa was a gem: the rooms were cheap, the Thai food was delicious, and the bar area attracted friendly locals and travelers. Readers will appreciate the copious...
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Igualdad Manzana 1 Lote 1, 77310 Holbox Island, Q.R., Mexico
Ideal beachfront location, far from the madding crowd? Check. Charming palapa-style accommodations with daily housekeeping? Check. Dreamy, draped, hanging beach beds and hammocks, perfect for siestas and sunset-viewing? Check. I loved Mawimbi’s...
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Central America
Corn Island, just off the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua (and a short flight from Managua with La Costeña airline), is one of the few Caribbean paradises that is still largely "undiscovered" (though I'd bet that's going to change soon). One of the...
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Finlayvale Road, Mossman QLD 4873, Australia
Imagine your hotel room looking out into the middle of the rainforest. At Silky Oaks, it's your reality. Some balconies have hammocks (my favourite feature in the room); other room balconies even have a bed! The restaurant also looks over the...
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Alto Paraíso de Goiás, GO, 73770-000, Brazil
The last thing I'd expected to find in the single dirt-road town of Sao Jorge, just an hour outside of Alto Paraiso was a chic little eco pousada complete with spa, but that is just what we discovered. Tiny villas with sleeping lofts and private...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. After climbing and hiking in the Colombian jungle for over 10 hours, I began to have second thoughts on my Parque Tyrona adventure. But the feeling quickly dissolved as I descended the final set of...
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Magdalena, Colombia
East of the city of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia lies the gorgeous, rugged Parque Tayrona, a true feast for all of the senses. The park doesn't have roads--you have to hike or go by boat in order to get past the entrance--so we...
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84250 Le Thor, France
Summer, mid-afternoon in the South of France--there's no better place to be than in the shade, cicadas singing overhead, taking a nap in a hammock hung from a medieval village-wall by a lazy, quiet river... My wife and I were visiting friends in...
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Ahipara, New Zealand
Sometimes when you travel, you find places that overwhelm you with peace the minute you step into their space. My husband and I found such a place on one of New Zealand’s most northern shores. New Zealand is a sparsely populated country,...
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British Virgin Islands
This family-run restaurant serves up some of the best conch fritters in the Caribbean. The relaxed vibe and plastic chairs make for an unusual place for a romantic dinner, but just add a sunset and a perfectly prepared lobster, and Cow Wreck...
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Calle Central Alfredo Volio, San José, Costa Rica
Out of all the beautiful places in Costa Rica the capital San Jose seems lacking and I wouldn't recommend wasting many precious travel days there. However I called this city home for three months and as the main travel hub between Costa Rica's...
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Col Satelite, La Ceiba, Honduras
Peaceful, serene getaway in the jungly mountains that border La Ceiba. Most people pass through this town en route to the Bay Islands but this hideaway is worth a night or two as is the rafting on the Rio Congrejal or the horseback riding. Oh, and...
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Rum Point, Cayman Islands
Among vacationers who’ve been coming to Grand Cayman forever, there’s a whole faction that essentially camps out at Rum Point all day every day, and you’ll understand why as soon as you see the place. Tucked away, super low-key,...
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Mikonos 846 00, Greece
From the outside, San Giorgio looks like one of Greece’s ubiquitous whitewashed homes. Inside, traditional Greek textiles and locally made furniture adorn the 33 unfussy rooms. Most feature rough-hewn wooden dressers, large circular jute...
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Carlisle Bay, P.O. Box 288 St. John's, Old Rd, Old Road, Antigua and Barbuda
Draped across a picturesque bluff jutting out into crystal clear seas in the south of the island, Curtain Bluff is an Antigua classic. Originally opened as a small 22-room labor of love in 1962, constant love, improvement, and expansion has turned...
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Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica
The Osa Peninsula is a place like any other in Costa Rica; it is a place where time stands still and all your worries melt away. Blue Osa is the perfect place to let them melt, and to let yourself fully relax, while swinging in a personal hammock...
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Provincia de Puntarenas, Pavones, Costa Rica
I volunteered here for almost a month and had an amazing time. You can also just stay as a guest, but staying a little longer to participate with other volunteers made for an incredibly rewarding experience. Described as a "rustic yoga center and...
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Sjøgata 21, 9008 Tromsø, Norway
But bring a change of underwear (or two), as "the night" in Tromsø lasts from November 21 until January 21, with the short dawn bringing stunning light conditions. Despite the dark, the town is alive with festivals and cultural events, with an...
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Noreste de Centro de la Fortuna de San Carlos 13 Km, Provincia de Alajuela, Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica
A luxury hotel in the shadow of Arenal Volcano features a series of pools—one equipped with slides—and waterfalls set amid tropical gardens. Lava streaming from the volcano may provide an after-dark show. Tabacón Thermal Resort...
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1, Persiaran Lagoon, Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled in a 16-acre valley and sheltered by towering, rugged limestone karsts. It may be just two hours outside of Kuala Lumpur, but with each of the 25 villas featuring lush garden views or perched over the...
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Iceland
Most people know about the Blue Lagoon but a nicer thermal pool to visit is the Jarobodin Nature Baths (close to Lake Myvatn) in Northern Iceland. The water is clearer and it is less touristy. It seems cleaner too because they don't offer the clay...
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52068 W Fork Rd #38, Dolores, CO 81323, USA
Among the most lauded hotel openings in recent years, Dunton Hot Springs is a glitterati mainstay, with its batch of former mining community cabins that look straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue. You don’t have to book a pricey stay at...
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Jl. Raya Petitenget, Gang Cendrawasih No. 68, Kerobokan, Badung, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Bali, 80361, Indonesia
Although it’s located right near a popular stretch of Seminyak beach, this inexpensive, 16-room Puri Madawi hotel, set 300-meters back into the jungle, feels hidden and secluded. The resort is filled with authentic Balinese touches such as woven...
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Camino Escénico a Playa la Ropa S/N, Playa La Ropa, Playa la Ropa, 40880 Zihuatanejo, Gro., Mexico
When we decided to spend a long weekend in "Zihua" we wanted a hotel with great views, conveniently located near a beach, and within walking distance of town. Casa Que Canta delivered these in addition to a tasty good restaurant with helpful,...
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Southern Asia
The Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, India (also simply known as the Lepakshi Temple), isn't the easiest place to get to. It's a 120 km journey north of Bangalore through rural villages. Your best bet for getting there is to hire a driver for the...
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Turistično društvo Gorje, Podhom 80, 4247 Zgornje Gorje, Slovenia
There is nothing like the power of water. What it's done along the one mile trail through the Radovna River gorge is an engineering masterpiece. Built on wood scaffolding, the trail winds its way down river, crisscrossing the current in the...
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Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu archipelago – 78 coral reef atolls spread north and east of Tahiti – are just remote enough they’ve not been spoiled by excessive tourism. There are a few high-end hotels, but just a few. Instead of tourism, the local economy is still...
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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Emerald Pool Trail, Dominica
Stroll 15 minutes down through a lush rainforest to a gorgeous 40ft (12m) waterfall grotto. Railings and a broad, well-maintained trail make this trip accessible even to non-hikers. Located in the World Heritage Site of Morne Trois Pitons National...
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Dr Nicholas Liverpool Hwy, Dominica
Leap into this deep mountain pool, which shines turquoise in the sun. On the upper reaches of the Hampstead River, the swimming hole even has a natural water slide, a chute of smooth, chafe-free rock! Pack a picnic and wear shoes suitable for the...
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Dominica
Sip a passion fruit punch at this small beach hut beside Soufrière's splendid Roman Catholic Church, Saint Mark, built in 1880. Then hop in the homespun sulfur soaking pools on the shoreline. A fumarole warms the sea water and injects bubbles into...
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Batibou Bay, Dominica
Soft, gray, secluded sands stretch along the island's northeast coast, where the Atlantic is calm enough for swimming. A tiny, rustic bar—complete with hammocks—serves snacks and rum punch; the scene gets especially lively during Sunday barbecues....