DREAMWORTHY DESTINATIONS

 

Costa Rica

FUN FACT
A soda is a small, informal restaurant that serves traditional meals like chicken, rice, beans and salad for $2-$3 a plate.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT
December-April
The climate in Costa Rica is hot all year round in the plains and along the coasts, while it's milder in the plateau (in the so-called tierras templadas).  The best time to visit Costa Rica, either for swimming or for exploring its rich environment, runs from January to mid-April, and in particular the months of February and March.

 

LANGUAGE
Costa Rica's official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are bilingual. English, due to its status as the international language of tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica.

CURRENCY

Costa Rica’s currency is the colon (₡), named after Christopher Columbus. It comes in both paper and coin form.

KEY EXPERIENCES

  • Zipline through the Treetops

  • Soak in Volcano-Fed Hot Springs

  • Decompress at All-Natural Spas

  • Walk Through the Cloud Forest

  • Canyoning

 

THINGS TO DO

  • Turtle viewing in Tortuguero National Park

  • Horseback riding to Mulguri Waterfall

  • Canoeing, kayaking or boat tours on Damas Island

  • Discovering the quaint town of Quepos near Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Visiting chocolate factories and farm tours in Puerto Viejo

  • Snorkeling in Playa Cahuita and Playa Negra

  • Whale watching and boating in Bellena National Park

 

REGIONAL CULINARY DELIGHTS

Costa Rican cuisine can be described as simple but wholesome. The spiciness often associated with Latin America has typically originated in Mexico, most Costa Rican foods are not spicy, but, as they simmer in a large pot, the flavors are blended. Gallo pinto, which has a literal meaning of "spotted rooster", is the national dish of Costa Rica. It consists of rice and beans stir-fried together in a pan to create a speckled appearance.

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH HINT

The Osa Peninsula is located in the South Pacific of Costa Rica and is part of the Punterenas province. It is known as one of the most fabled and also most remote destinations in Costa Rica and the whole of Central America. With hundreds of types of exotic mammals, reptiles, insects, monkeys, amphibians, whales and dolphins it’s no wonder National Geographic declared Osa Peninsula as one the most diverse and wild places on the planet!

St. Lucia

FUN FACT
Saint Lucia is one of the only countries in the world that takes its name from a woman — St. Lucy of Syracuse.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT
April – June
Peak travel season runs from December to April when the weather is dry and sunny. Traveling in late spring means fewer tourists to contend with and less chance of encountering tropical rain. As a bonus, the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival takes place each May, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

 

LANGUAGE
English is the official language, but Saint Lucians also speak a French-Creole commonly called Patois, which is used in day-to-day affairs.

 

CURRENCY

The currency of Saint Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$).

 

KEY EXPERIENCES

  • The Pitons

  • Pigeon Island

  • Soufrière

  • Sulphur Springs

THINGS TO DO

  • ‘Jump Up’ on a Friday at Gros Islet. Be prepared to dance into the small hours, eat too much barbecued food and drink too much rum.

  • Snorkel around the Pitons – Instead of hiking St Lucia's green mountains, snorkel below them, to find reefs and fish all colors of the rainbow.

  • Indulge at Anse la Raye's fish fry – Every Friday, a crowd of foodies gathers at this pretty town on St Lucia’s west coast to devour the fresh fish of the day.

  • Watch turtles – Grab a guide and head to Grande Anse beach, where leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs from March to July.

  • Shop at Castries Central Market – Visit the rambling, chaotic and noisy market in island capital Castries. You can buy anything here, from bargain souvenirs to cheap eats.

REGIONAL CULINARY DELIGHTS

Saint Lucia cuisine is an eclectic mix of American, European, Indian and Caribbean flavors. The signature meal you should have in Saint Lucia is green figs and salt fish, the island’s national dish.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH HINT

Go Jungle Biking. Thanks to St. Lucia’s diverse terrain, it’s actually become a destination for serious bikers, who come to test their skills on Bike St. Lucia’s 12 miles of private trails. This is one of the best ways to get off the beaten path in St. Lucia and get deep into the rainforest.

 

Greece

FUN FACT
You need a natural sponge for your shower? Greece is the best place to find one. Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT
April-June, September & October
Just about everyone agrees that the best time to visit is Greece is spring and early summer (mid-Apr to mid-June) or autumn (Sept to mid-Oct). This way, you'll avoid the summer high season, with its inflated prices, hordes of tourists and high temperatures (heat waves of 100°F/+40C are routine).

 

LANGUAGE
Greek is the official language of Greece. It is spoken by about 99.5% of the population. It is also, alongside Turkish, the official language of Cyprus. Because of the membership of Greece and Cyprus in the European Union, Greek is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union.

 

CURRENCY

Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro. It is important to always have some cash money in Greece and the Greek Islands. Although many hotels, restaurants and tourist shops in Greece accept credit cards, you might encounter few studios or small shops in less-touristy islands that ask for cash.

KEY EXPERIENCES

  • Swim in Gaiola of Thassos

  • Traverse the Corinth Canal

  • Marvel at the Santorini Sunset

  • Make Waves on Lefkada

  • Get Up Close With History at the Acropolis

  • Rent a Sunbed in Mykonos

  • Hike Up the Santorini Volcano

  • Visit the Red Beach

THINGS TO DO

  • Percy Jackson Tour at the Acropolis Museum

  • Fun family sailing adventure at Milos Island

  • River Trekking in Crete

  • Mountain Biking around Lassithi Plateau

  • Taste and learn traditional Cretan Cheese

  • Stargazing at Cape Sounion

REGIONAL CULINARY DELIGHTS

Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine.  It is strongly influenced by Ottoman cuisine and thus, especially cuisine of Anatolian Greeks shares foods such as baklava, tzatziki, gyro, moussaka, dolmades, yuvarlakia, and keftethes with the neighboring countries.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH HINT

Chase Waterfalls on Kythira. Kythira stands apart from the other Ionian islands, and not just geographically. This mythical home of the Aphrodite is what you’d picture for the goddess of love: the island’s terrain is heavily wooded, with gorges, rugged cliffs, and romantic waterfalls. You can spend the day splashing around or explore more of Kythira’s magic.

 

Philippines

FUN FACT
Jollibee is considered iconic in the Philippines. Jollibee is the fast-food equivalent of McDonald’s in the Philippines, a well-known chain that is loved so much that several branches have opened up abroad.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT
November-April
The Philippines are most popular during the dry season, between November and April. At this time the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas. Temperatures are high during March and April, so it's best to travel during the cooler months of December to February.

 

LANGUAGE
In the Philippines, due to a history of multiple settlements, more than 170 languages are spoken and only 2 of them are official in the country: Filipino and English.

 

CURRENCY

The Philippine peso, also referred to by its Filipino name piso, plural pesos; Philippine peso (PHP) is the official currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos or sentimos in Filipino.

KEY EXPERIENCES

  • Float together on a river canyon

  • Swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu

  • Try cliff-diving at Siquijor

  • Climb and conquer Mount Pulag

  • Mingle with the locals on top of a jeepney

  • Learn to surf at Baler, Aurora

THINGS TO DO

  • Bike around Batanes

  • Go strawberry picking in Baguio

  • Take horseback riding lessons at El Kabayo in Subic

  • See wildlife at the Calauit Safari Park in Palawan

  • Visit all the islands in Hundred Islands National Park

  • Release turtle hatchlings back to the sea at Montemar Beach Club in Bataan

 

REGIONAL CULINARY DELIGHTS

Adobo is one of the most popular Filipino dishes and is considered unofficially by many as the national dish. It usually consists of pork or chicken, sometimes both, stewed or braised in a sauce usually made from vinegar, cooking oil, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and soy sauce.

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH HINT

A secluded beach that you can visit not too far from Manila is in Alibijaban Island in Quezon Province! You can totally enjoy lazy and carefree days here with its pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters. You’ll also have to pitch a tent if you plan to stay a night or two but you can have the entire beach all to yourself!