Winter in the Ohio Valley can be brutal. In recent years, snowfall and ice have become more common in our area. If winters wrath is not your thing, why not take a trip to warm things up? Here are 5 great places to escape the chill.
Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Scenic. Beautiful. Fun. Most coastal cities offer a nice beach for visitors to enjoy. Rio offers two iconic beaches in which to take in the rays. Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are very long and filled with tourists and locals alike! The cities iconic Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountains loom over a city that is teeming with excitement. In February, be sure to schedule time to attend the Carnaval to see the fantastic pageantry in the Sambadrome!
For the more adventurous type, Peru offers a visitor a chance to glimpse life “at altitude.” At over 11,000 feet above sea level, Cusco is one of the highest cities in the world! Cusco’s history in the Andes includes influences from the ancient Inca culture. A train ride to the town of Ollantaytambo is the beginning of the 4 day hike on the Inca trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu. The hike is guided and has semi permanent shelters installed for folks on the trail. Machu Picchu is a city that went undisturbed for almost 400 years. It was found in 1911 and is partially restored. Visitors can climb the steps and view the ancient city from the Huayna Picchu Mountain to the north. Get there early though, they only allow 500 visitors a day up on Huayna Picchu.
Not in the mood to spend big to go overseas? Try checking out Miami in beautiful Florida. About a 4 hour flight and a 16 hour drive, Miami is just far enough away to properly relax. Lovely South Beach is nice and comfortable during these months and hotel costs are usually cheaper this time of year (excluding New Years, college bowl season, etc.). To the north is Fort Lauderdale and multiple golf courses in between there and West Palm Beach. A train runs from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm and only costs about $10. For the gambling types, the Seminole Indian Casino lies in the heart of all this!
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Maybe you want to travel internationally, but you have kids and don’t think its such a good idea. Allow me to present you La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A two hour drive from San Jose, Costa Rica, La Fortuna is a town built near the base of an active volcano! Arenal (R-EE-NOLL) Volcano is active on one side and visits to the observatory give visitors a chance to view the pyroclastic flows (Red Lava). Additionally, Lake Arenal to the west is one of the most scenic areas in all of Costa Rica! The town of La Fortuna is quaint and working-class, so there is little to no crime in this area (unlike most of Central America). Children can marvel at the multitude of wildlife and foliage in the forests. Another bonus, the seismic activity and lava flows close to the surface heat up the springs and create soothing hot springs. Check out Baldi and Tabacon for a nice stay and hot spring experience.
Still can’t decide which fantastic city to go to? Fear not and cast away on one of the hundreds of Cruises offered in the Caribbean. Cruises depart from Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tallahassee and can last anywhere from 3 days to over a month! Choosing the right cruise depends on your departure date, length of time and ports of call. All food costs are covered and many ships offer different types of fun entertainment on board! Cruises vary by price, but usually its best to book with a travel agent and receive their preferred fare and room selection vs. the online booking.
These are but a few of the places and treks I will look into in-depth in the future. After reading this article, take time and picture yourself in tall these places. Picture yourself learning the Samba on the street in Rio. Imagine the magnificent view of Machu Picchu. See yourself golfing in West Palm Beach or showing your kids a giant lizard in the forest around a rumbling volcano. Lick your lips while thinking about the bounty of food and drink aboard a large ship in the Caribbean.
After all that, glance out the window at all that snow and cold and ask yourself why you can’t get away from winter for a little bit.
For more information, prices, or to book one of these trips listed, contact me at Traviscoletravels@gmail.com today to get a quote at no cost!