Why Every Adventure Traveler Needs to Vacation to Chile

Although the only travel most people are doing right now is virtual, it’s still fun to fuel those travel daydreams and plan future trips for when travel is alive and well again. And what better time than now to plan a future trip to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

With more than 2,600 miles from north to south, Chile is a destination like no other. There are few other countries where you can plan a tropical scuba-diving excursion and an invigorating walk through ice fields within the same trip. It is this diversity in geography that makes Chile the prime destination for adventure seekers.

With such a varied landscape, Chile provides tourists endless options of places to explore and activities to do. Thus, the perfect Chilean adventure will differ from individual to individual based on personal preference.

There are many adventurous activities an adrenaline junkie can pursue while vacationing in this destination.

With more than 4,000 kilometers of coastal landscape, there are plenty of water sports to try out in Chile. Salt-water activities include kitesurfing, surfing and scuba diving. Fresh-water activities include kayaking, sportfishing and rafting.

South American countries are typically associated with tropical climates and environments, and while Chile does provide those features, it also sports stunning glaciers, magnificent ice fields and snowy mountains.

Adventurers who prefer colder temperatures can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking through ice fields and kayaking through glacial fjords.

Not all of Chile’s mountains are covered in snow, however. The country’s rockier terrain is perfect for rock climbing, biking, hiking and trekking. Tourists can explore anywhere from the mountain wilderness, desert landscapes or mighty volcanoes. Sandboarding is also another activity for people who appreciate the beauty of the desert.

Those who are not up for walking along mountain or desert paths can instead explore on horseback.

Tourists don’t just have to enjoy Chile from the ground. There are plenty of ways visitors can view the beautiful country from the air, including parasailing, skydiving and cable riding.

When planning a Chilean adventure, it is important to do your research. The best time of year to visit Chile and the best locations to visit vary based on the activities you wish to do.

For more information, contact a travel advisor or visit https://chile.travel/en/what-to-do/adventure-and-sports.

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Time Out Dubai launches buy now, eat later initiative, in support of home-grown restaurants

Customers can buy credit that can be redeemed at the chosen Dubai restaurant between September 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020

Time Out Tab has been launched to allow customers to purchase credit in advance and help keep much-loved local eateries in business.

Time Out Dubai and ITP Media Group have launched a new community initiative in support of home-grown restaurants in Dubai.

As the impact of Covid-19 starts to bear down on local businesses, Time Out Tab has been launched to allow customers to purchase credit in advance and help keep much-loved local eateries in business.

In return, the customer gets a greater value of credit back, which can be redeemed at the chosen restaurant between September 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

Time Out Tabs – which also make great gifts for friends and family in the city – are available from today (Monday March 30) for ten restaurants.

Tabs are on sale now priced at:

  • AED150 (worth AED200 in credit)
  • AED250 (worth AED350 in credit)

In the first round, Time Out Tabs are available right now for the following outlets:

  • Café Isan, JLT
  • Fibber Magee’s, Sheikh Zayed Road
  • LEENS Casual to Gourmet, Umm Suqeim
  • Little Erth by Nabz&G, JLT
  • Loca, Jumeirah 1
  • Maiz Tacos, JLT
  • Mythos Kouzina & Grill, JLT
  • Pickl., JLT
  • Streetery Food Hall, JLT
  • Tania’s Teahouse, Umm Suqeim

To purchase a Time Out Tab and support one (or more) of these brilliant local restaurants, click here now.

For Time Out Tab customer terms and conditions, click here.

To enquire about Time Out Tabs for your restaurant, click here.

One-hundred percent of customers’ money goes to the vendors for which Time Out Tabs are purchased – Time Out Dubai and ITP Media Group retain zero revenue from the vouchers purchased. In order to support the project Time Out Dubai and ITP Media Group cover bank charges associated with the purchase, to allow restaurants to receive 100 percent of customers’ investment.

In order to build, run and manage this project Time Out Dubai and ITP Media Group have offered the advertising space and editorial resource free of charge.

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Hawaii hotels augment eco experiences

Hawaii, in large part thanks to its isolation, is home to a wealth of species found only on the archipelago or in few other places. The Aloha State has been called the “endangered species capital of the world” with more than 400 threatened and endangered species in the state according to the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.

Hawaii’s unique flora and fauna are in peril but progress is being made as former sugar and pineapple plantations are restored with native plants and trees, water management improves, and wildlife protections carry greater force. Still, much work remains to be done to preserve much of what makes Hawaii special for future generations, and the state’s resorts are pitching in with new and innovative programs that bring visitors closer to birds, flowers, marine life and other species in need of protection.

“Our passion for creating a more sustainable world stems from the desire to protect and preserve this island that we love,” said Charles Head, general manager of the Fairmont Orchid, which recently introduced a new environmentally focused package. “It’s our company-wide commitment to integrate ecofriendly offerings throughout our property.”

A handful of properties across the Islands have recently introduced new programs to get guests outdoors for special experiences that also leave them more informed about the environment and how to protect it.

The Koa Kea Hotel and Resort at Poipu Beach has combined outdoor adventure, education and relaxation with its Endangered Kauai program. The package includes a sailing excursion to the towering seaside cliffs of the Napali Coast, and a guided oceanside walk to view marine life in their natural habitat. Additionally, 5% of each Endangered Kauai booking goes to the Kauai Surfrider Foundation.

Guests of the Fairmont Orchid on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast can opt for the Live Pono Hawaii package, which includes a snorkeling outing to the reefs of Pauoa Bay, where sea turtles are often spotted, and a “Fun and Sun” activity pass for two for unlimited beach and water equipment rentals including snorkels, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. Additionally, participants receive a jar of Rare Hawaiian organic honey, reef-friendly sunscreen and a water bottle, and a portion of the booking proceeds supports the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. 

On Maui, the Grand Wailea now offers a way to contribute to the native reforestation of the Valley Isle. Partnering with Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Project, the resort recently unveiled the Honua Experience. The restoration project is a coalition of public and private landowners and supporting agencies formed in 2003 with the objective of restoring native forest to more than 40,000 acres at an elevation between 3,500 and 6,500 feet. Participants ride a helicopter to the eastern slopes of Haleakala where they will get their hands dirty helping to grow Maui’s dryland forests. After putting in some work, the guests are treated to a sustainably sourced meal including wine pairings.

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All Is Not Lost: 5 Destinations That Are a Beacon of Hope

South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu once said: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Even as the world is grasping with the uncertainties of the Coronavirus, the light at the end of the tunnel is that history is replete with stories of overcoming tremendous adversity and the worst of times.

Life will eventually get back to some semblance of normalcy, and to the delight of so many of us, yes, we will travel again. There are countless cultures and destinations that have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of chaos and destruction. Here are some amazing examples.

Columbia

Kristy Mosolino, owner of Wishes Travel, a boutique travel agency in Birmingham, Alabama, says that when she and her family visited Bogota, Columbia a few years ago, a lovely woman teaching them to make tostones and empanadas shared the story of living the terror under Pablo Escobar and the Columbian drug lords. Families caught in the crossfire of violent attacks became everyday collateral damage. People lived in constant fear. Even walking to the grocery store or local market was dangerous because of car bombs.

So, many Columbians learned to grow most of their food in small gardens behind their homes. Only the wealthy could flee to other countries while the majority of residents had no escape. But as Kristy said, “Today their story is filled with hope and promise. The wars ended. Communities healed, and travel to Columbia became possible. And yes, our experience there was incredible.”

Today, Columbia greets visitors with its rich history, stunning scenery and some of the continent’s most friendly and welcoming people. The only South American country to border both the Caribbean and the Pacific, Columbia sports a massive range of ecosystems, cloud-forested mountains, palm-fringed beaches, Amazon rainforest, untamed rivers and snowcapped mountains. Add in the beauty and culture of its colonial cities and its delectable cuisine and it’s a travel lovers’ paradise.

Croatia

In 1992, Croatia splintered from former Yugoslavia to become a sovereign country. The world watched in horror as the country was thrown into chaos by various warring ethnic factions. Croatia was the scene for many human rights violations and brutal crimes against humanity. While living in Italy, the war became personal as my husband, a retired naval officer, was sent to Zagreb by NATO as part of a peacekeeping force.

Historic bridges and castles were destroyed. Buildings that survived, were scarred with war-torn holes. Despite all the devastation, I recall my husband telling me, “It’s such a beautiful country.” Years later, we had the chance to return to Croatia, and oh, was he was right. The country has healed, and it is a magnificent destination.

From the shimmering Mediterranean and rugged Dinaric Alps to the rolling hills near Slovenia in the north and the stunning Krka River waterfalls in the south, Croatia today is heralded as the jewel of the Adriatic. It is once more the preferred vacation destinations of many Europeans and other world travelers.

Germany

The reconstruction of Germany after World War II was a long and arduous process. Germany suffered horrific losses during the war. Cities were devastated by heavy bombing. Industrial and agricultural areas suffered immense damage. Add in the Holocaust and the massive civilian losses due to the war and you have a country whose spirit was broken.

West Germany’s economy recovered faster as the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany represented a clear delineation of not only borders but of culture, economics and lifestyle. 1989 was a pivotal event in world history with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of Communism in Eastern and Central Europe.

Today, Germany is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and Berlin happens to be one of its most visited destinations. The country is filled with fairytale villages, verdant forests and waterfalls, alpine meadows, majestic castles and glorious Baroque palaces. Modern and medieval cities are filled with treasure troves of great art, history and culture. Their varied simple to sophisticated lifestyles is all part of Germany’s charm. And there’s nothing more fun or more German than enjoying a stein of beer at a centuries-old Biergarten, especially during Oktoberfest.

Rwanda

Located in the east-central African Great Lakes region, Rwanda is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Dominated by mountains in the west, savannah to the east with numerous lakes scattered throughout, it’s hard to believe this “front seat to the jungle” as it’s often called was once home to ethnic violence and genocide during the Rwandan Civil War in 1994.

Today, this African country opens its arms to visitors with numerous wildlife tours led by local guides who know their region best. Who can resist a trip to see real gorillas in the mist and rare golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park? Or tracking chimpanzees and sighting Dent’s monkeys, grey-cheeked Mangabeys, olive baboons and more in Nyungwe Forest National Park?

This region, already on my travel bucket wish list, has been calling me like a moth to a flame, and I really can’t wait to visit!

Vietnam

Even those of us who were too young to remember the Vietnam War are familiar with this conflict from the countless movies, documentaries and stories chronicling its horrors. The long, costly and divisive conflict pitted the Communist government of North Vietnam and Viet Cong insurgents against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States.

Millions of combatants and innocent lives were lost. Hundreds of thousands of children were orphaned. The war literally ruined farmland, green fertile river valleys and lush tropical jungles. Harsh chemical warfare defoliated its richest forests and poisoned thousands.

But again, hope reigns supreme.

Vietnam is one of Asia’s most popular destinations, and for good reason. Two modern metropolises, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi feature skyscrapers mixed with colonial architecture. Add in the French boutiques of Hoi Ann, fascinating ethnic markets, the verdant valleys of rural Vietnam, glistening waters of the South China Sea, world-class beaches and tantalizing cuisine, and Vietnam is a feast for the senses. Today, whether former friend or foe, the Vietnamese people welcome all who come to visit and experience their slice of paradise.

When all is said and done, the adage “this too shall pass” is one travelers can cling to. Wanderlusters and globetrotters live to travel, and we will once more. If any lessons are learned from a world that has overcome plagues and pandemics, disasters and destruction, it is this. The sun rises, the sun sets, and life goes on. The world we live in is truly a beautiful place.

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COVID-19 Closes Hotels in Dominican Republic Beach Communities

The “majority” of hotels on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, which include the beachside towns of Cabarete and Sosua in the Puerto Plata district, have halted operations “to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said an official at the Puerto Plata Destination Tourism Cluster (PPDTC) a public/private tourism promotion agency, in a local press report.

On Wednesday, César José de los Santos, president of the Association of Playa Dorada Hotels and PPDTC said north coast hotels that are still occupied “will be closing in the next few hours,” in accordance with measures ordered by the government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

He urged residents in the population to “stay at home and take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

All properties “will be assuming the same protocol until June,” de los Santos added in a statement in ResumenTurismo.com. It is “inevitable that this measure will hit the tourism industry in the world significantly,” he said, especially “destinations whose main economic activity is tourism.”

He urged travelers “not to cancel reservations, but to reschedule them as a way to contribute to the recovery of tourism.”

“We are obliged to accept this difficult decision, but we understand that the preservation of life is first of all. We will take advantage of these days of seclusion to use our creativity and think about how we are going to continue reinventing our destiny to position Puerto Plata as a different, real, green and entertaining offer,” de los Santos explained.

He added, “This will be a mission for everyone, each member of the value chain must do their part to get up, recover and move forward in the sustained way as we were doing.”

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National Parks Ask Visitors to Practice Social Distancing

It seems as though some people cannot help but take advantage of the few establishments left open amid all the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. National parks around the country that waived entrance fees saw such a busy weekend that many are now urging visitors to practice social distancing as they hike around the parks.

The National Park Service announced last week that all national parks that remain open are following all guidelines by the CDC, keeping open park space free for visitors while shutting down enclosed spaces such as visitor centers and shuttles.

However, the weekend saw many park visitors not following one of the most crucial guidelines urged by the CDC: social distancing.

Shenandoah National Park made a statement via social media that some areas had to be closed due to congestion. The National Mall’s Tidal Basin area had to be closed Saturday because it was “increasingly difficult to maintain effective social distancing.” Zion National Park shared a photo of a crowded hiking trail while pleading with visitors to practice social distancing.

“We needed to close in order to reach the goals that most Americans would agree are important, that is to flatten the curve, make sure hospitals have adequate resources and make sure the National Park Service doesn’t inadvertently create a bigger problem,” said Phil Francis, a former park superintendent and chairman of the Coalition to Protect America’s Parks.

The decision for select national parks to remain open drew criticism from locals who were concerned that free entrance would draw large crowds and pose a continued risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

“These are, in many cases, rural communities that don’t have the facilities to handle a major outbreak if it were to occur, and they want to protect the people that live in the county. If you do the math, you just can’t handle tourists on top of people that live in the county,” said Kristen Brengel, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Despite many claiming the irresponsible nature of allowing parks to remain open during a pandemic, many national parks are determined to provide a haven for residents stuck at home. The National Park Service encourages visitors to follow CDC, state and local guidelines, including social distancing, frequently washing hands and covering the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Anyone who is feeling sick is urged to stay home.

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