Whether it is the most fabulous up and coming designer, the best new restaurant in town,or the pop culture phenomenon everyone is buzzing about (twerk!), we love keeping up with the latest trends from around the world. As the New Year approaches, our industry insiders have already been taking note of the destinations everyone can’t stop talking about. Here’s our list of the hottest places to travel in 2014.
With the massive success of the 2013 Rio Carnival and soccer fans from across the world flocking here for the FIFA World Cup, it is no wonder that Brazil is one of 2014’s most sought after destinations. While Rio used to be the main tourist hub, known for its electric nightlife and endless stretches of beaches, Sao Paulo is now the place to be. Brazil’s largest city, travellers can get a taste for local designers, sip caiprinhas as the sun goes down or enjoy amazing cuisine at trendy restaurants and cocktail bars spread across the city. For those longing for an escape from city life, get swept away to the luxurious archipelago of Fernando de Noronha and relax in a haven of powdery white sand or explore the lush landscapes of Iguazu Falls and Brazil’s tropical rain-forests.
Nestled between Thailand and China, this beautiful country is the new Thailand for South East Asia enthusiasts. Filled with undiscovered treasures, travellers can explore glittering temples, ancient ruins or simply relax on pristine stretches of soft white sand. Check out the former capital city of Yangon. Boasting the golden stupa of Shwedegan Pagoda, visitors can escape from the bustling streets and enjoy a moment of peace. Or, venture to the great plains of Bagan or the Mrauku ruins and travel back to ancient times and civilizations past. Rent a horse or a cattle cart and explore at your own leisure. After so much adventure, head to the coast and relax on the beach. Listen to the rustle of coconut palms on Ngapali Beach, snorkel, kayak or simply watch the local fisherman bring in the day’s catch.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Still a relatively unexplored region, the Congo’s lack of accommodation and previously unstable political situation had rendered it a no-fly zone for tourists. Today, the D.R.C. is growing in popularity mostly due to the presence of the second largest rainforest in the world and its population of indigenous mountain gorillas. New and luxurious safari camps are springing up sotravellers can explore this mysterious country and observe its great diversity of wildlife. From the secretive gorillas to African forest elephants and pygmy chimpanzees, many of the species here are also endangered making it the ultimate adventure trip for nature enthusiasts and anyone who loves to travel on the edge.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been, have you? From the colourful colonial buildings of Havana to sparkling turquoise waters and exquisite beaches, make sure you’ve packed your Wayfarers for the ultimate Cuban adventure. Take to the streets of Old Havana. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site, it used to be the main centre for shipbuilding for the entire Caribbean. With its cobblestone walkways lined with bright 1950’s American cars, Old Havana is a great place to relax and explore. Spend a few days snorkeling and lounging along the shores of Varadero Beach. One of the island’s most famous, it is home to pristine sands a perfectly manicured golf course and numerous resorts, restaurants and clubs. No trip to Cuba would be complete without seeing how the country’s most popular export is made. Travel to the Vinales Valley and explore the endless tobacco fields or tour a cigar factory.
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