Machu Picchu has long been on everyone’s list. Next year the captivating ruins will be even more accessible when British Airways launches a direct route to the capital Lima on May 4, with three flights a week departing from Gatwick. It is home to stunning colonial architecture and pre-Inca ruins, which are often overlooked. So before you head inland, you can explore this bustling coastal city and its excellent museums, great shopping, lively nightlife and some fine seafood.
Relations between Cuba and the USA are thawing to such an extent that visitors to the Caribbean island are set to soar. So it’s worth getting out there before the place has a Disney makeover. Soak up the fading colonial beauty and enjoy an idyllic beach break. Take in the Unesco World Heritage site of Old Havana, visit Ernest Hemingway’s home and a cigar factory during the first three days of the tour in the capital. Then head off to Trinidad to soak up more of the cultural wonders before hitting the beach in Varadero.
3: KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Kotor is drop-dead gorgeous and next year’s must-visit city, according to Lonely Planet’s new book compare travel market. The coastal town, which dates back to between the 12th and 14th centuries, is in a secluded spot in the Bay of Kotor where the super yachts drop anchor in summer. See in the New Year in style at the Hotel Astoria, which was originally a Gothic Palace in the beautiful walled city of the old town. Set in the centre of Kotor and close to its historic attractions, the exquisite hotel is the perfect base to soak up the labyrinth of tiny piazzas and Juliet balconies of the medieval town.
Following the lifting of Western sanctions and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi as leader, Burma is becoming increasingly popular. Get there now for a chance to see a country where the 21st century has barely intruded – before it all changes.
The land of fire and ice has been blinking on the hip holiday radar for a few years, but trips to the island just below the Arctic Circle are set to soar. Volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs – and capital Reykjavik is a great place to party on long summer nights. Low-cost Wow Air will fly from Bristol in May.
6: COSTA RICA
This Latin American paradise is the hottest ticket in town. With coasts on the Pacific and the Caribbean, it is loved by surfers who ride the waves off the soft, white sands as well as trekkers through the dense rain forests. After a day or two relaxing on the beach in Playa Tamarindo, head into the jungle and go zip-lining over the treetops at the Rincon de la Vieja volcano national park. Or traverse hanging bridges at Monteverde Cloud Forest on wildlife treks.
7: KALAMATA, GREECE
Laid-back Kalamata, which lies in the far south of mainland Greece, is known for long beaches, olives and honey. And with the news British Airways will be launching direct flights to the ancient Peloponnese city in April, it looks set to attract a lot more Brits. The clear warm water is popular with sunbathers and swimmers, and has a raft of water sports. There is also a wide choice of bars, restaurants and shops lining the busy marina, and plenty of history for culture vultures.
8: SAN JOSÉ
Next May, British Airways will start direct flights from Heathrow to the Californian city that is tipped for big things. It’s between San Francisco and LA, making San José the ideal base from which to visit Yosemite National Park, the Napa wine region and for the famous drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.
9: PUERTO RICO
With 270 miles of sandy beaches, all-year sun and designer malls, it’s a twist on a Caribbean holiday. Low-cost airline Norwegian has launched the UK’s only direct flights from Gatwick to the capital San Juan, with its Unesco-protected fort and fantastic restaurants, bars, galleries and lovely beaches.
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