WHEN FRANCISCO PIZARRO and his 167 men defeated the Incas with guns, steel and horses in the 1500s, they conquered a short-lived but extensive empire. The Inca god-king ruled an area that stretched from Quito to Santiago.
The Spanish repurposed many of the Inca buildings in Cusco, but the original handiwork endures in the giant cut stones that fit perfectly together. Some luxury hotels, such as Palacio del Inka and JW Marriott El Convento, contain original stone walls dating back to when the New World was still untouched by Europeans.
One of the most important battles between the Spanish and the Incas happened at Saqsaywaman fortress, just a short taxi ride from Cusco. Many local residents still consider the immense structure a sacred site, and it hosts the grand Inti Raymi festival each June.
The Sacred Valley of Peru is home to many other Inca fortresses, temple sites and citadels. The most famous — Machu Picchu — lies at the end of the valley, but many others appear on daytrip itineraries. Those in a hurry may visit Pisac, Chinchero, Moray and Ollantaytambo in one loop. It’s also possible to get to Machu Picchu and back in one day on the Belmond Hiram Bingham Express train from outside of CuThesco, but what’s the rush? The experience proves much more magical if you stay in the Sacred Valley instead, making it possible to mix visits to the monuments with a deeper dive into the local culture and the Andes Mountains.
Hundreds of tour companies run the standard four-day Inca Trail trek, but a more luxurious option — with real beds instead of tent camping — involves taking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Mountain Lodges of Peru. You stay in small hotels along the route and can enjoy a hot shower each night. The company also runs a Lares Adventure trip along the Weavers’ Route in the mountains. Travelers pass through Andean villages, see high mountain lagoons and visit Inca ruins like Ankasmarca, where they may be the only people there. The tour includes a trek to the ruins and terraces of Pisac on foot from the opposite direction of the tour buses. It visits Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu on the last two days.
Another immersion option allows for a stay at the Explora Valle Sagrado lodge in the Sacred Valley and use of it as a base. Its all-inclusive packages offer a selection of 30 active tours, including visits to Machu Picchu, Chinchero, the terraces of Moray and Ollantaytambo. Top-notch guides lead hiking and biking trips, and a comfortable lodge, a spa and an open bar wait at the end of the day.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Aqua-Aston Hospitality, with hotels in Hawai’i, Florida and Costa Rica, introduced an intelligent text messaging platform at its hotels and resorts, streamlining real-time communication with guests. Since the mobile technology has been implemented, the platform has been successfully used to answer guest questions, manage check-in, deliver amenities, quickly communicate updates on services, send alerts and enable contact-less check-out.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
After more than a year of staying home and social distancing, Americans are ready to experience live entertainment again. According to Allianz Partners USA’s Vacation Confidence Index survey, 55 percent of Americans plan on attending at least one ticketed event before the end of 2021, with 16 percent planning to attend three or more events.