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Affordable 5-Star Hotels around the world

Updated: Apr 12

"Travel is an investment in yourself."

I dream about staying at amazing 5-star luxury resorts around the world and in this blog post I will tell you about some fabulous hotels that are grand, but also affordable. Traveling in style doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. With the right mindset and a bit of savvy planning, you can indulge in luxury experiences that enrich your life and feed your soul, without sacrificing your budget.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that attracts tourists from around the world.

Best time to visit: Spring and Autumn

Where to stay:

Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake

InterContinental Hanoi Westlake is an iconic hotel in the heart of the vibrant district of Tay Ho, offering travelers luxurious guest rooms and bespoke Club InterContinental service. Experience multi-award-winning dining at Saigon Restaurant or capture a magnificent sunset at Hanoi's only overwater bar, Sunset Bar. The hotel is minutes away from the city’s most alluring attractions while at the same time offering a peaceful escape in a beautiful and iconic lakeside setting.

Things to do in Hanoi:

  • Historical and Cultural Attractions: Hanoi is steeped in history and boasts a wealth of cultural attractions. The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets and traditional architecture, offers a glimpse into the city's past. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases Vietnam's ancient capital and dynastic history. Additionally, sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Temple of Literature are must-visit landmarks.

  • Culinary Delights: Hanoi is renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. Visitors can sample iconic dishes such as pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and egg coffee. The city's street food scene is bustling, with countless stalls and markets offering authentic Vietnamese flavors.

  • French Colonial Architecture: Hanoi bears the influence of its colonial past, particularly evident in its French colonial architecture. Landmarks like the Hanoi Opera House, the French Quarter, and the Presidential Palace exhibit elegant French-style buildings and boulevards.

  • Cyclo Tours: Exploring Hanoi's bustling streets by cyclo (cycle rickshaw) is a popular tourist activity. This leisurely mode of transportation allows visitors to soak in the city's atmosphere while navigating through its vibrant neighborhoods and markets.

  • Cultural Performances: Hanoi offers various cultural performances and traditional art forms, including water puppetry, which originated in the rice fields of the Red River Delta. Visitors can attend water puppet shows at theaters like Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to witness this unique art form.

  • Shopping: Hanoi offers diverse shopping experiences, from bustling markets like Dong Xuan Market and Night Market in the Old Quarter to upscale boutiques and galleries in the French Quarter. Visitors can shop for local handicrafts, silk products, lacquerware, and souvenirs.

  • Day Trips: Hanoi serves as a gateway to several scenic and historical sites in northern Vietnam. Popular day trip destinations include the UNESCO-listed Trang An Landscape Complex, the Perfume Pagoda, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, and the handicraft villages of Bat Trang (ceramics) and Van Phuc (silk).

  • Coffee Culture: Hanoi has a vibrant coffee culture, with countless cafes scattered throughout the city. Visitors can savor Vietnamese coffee, known for its rich flavor and unique brewing methods, while immersing themselves in the city's relaxed cafe atmosphere.


Tunisia offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for travelers seeking history, culture, adventure, and relaxation in a North African setting. However, it's essential for travelers to stay informed about safety and security considerations, particularly in light of the country's geopolitical situation.

Best time to visit: Spring or Autumn

Where to stay:

Movenpick Resort & Marine Spa Sousse

On the horizon of Tunisia’s liveliest town lies the Mövenpick Resort & Marine Spa Sousse. Stretched out along a sparkling beachfront, this exquisite getaway offers all you expect from a perfect holiday experience. This 5-Star resort is located in the heart of Souse and has access to a private beach as well as our saltwater outdoor pool at the hotel. Mövenpick’s Marine Spa gives a new meaning to indulgence and offers a large range of treatments as well as a sauna to extend your period of relaxation. Explore the range of rooms and suites, all with air conditioning, a LCD TV and private bathroom as well as much more. The views on offer include an array of palm trees, outdoor pools and stunning Mediterranean vistas.

Things to do in Tunisia:

  • Historical Sites: Tunisia boasts a wealth of archaeological sites dating back to ancient times. The most famous is Carthage, once a powerful Phoenician city and later a Roman colony. Other notable sites include the ruins of Dougga, El Djem with its impressive Roman amphitheater, and the Medina of Tunis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Desert Adventures: The Sahara Desert covers a significant portion of southern Tunisia, offering opportunities for desert excursions, camel treks, and visits to oases. The town of Tozeur serves as a gateway to the desert, while the nearby Chott el Djerid salt flats provide surreal landscapes.

  • Beach Resorts: Tunisia's coastline along the Mediterranean Sea is dotted with beautiful beaches and resort towns. Popular resort areas include Hammamet, Sousse, and Djerba, where visitors can relax on sandy beaches, indulge in water sports, and enjoy vibrant nightlife.

  • Cultural Experiences: Tunisia's diverse cultural heritage is influenced by Berber, Arab, and Mediterranean traditions. Visitors can explore traditional markets (souks), sample local cuisine such as couscous and tagine, and attend festivals celebrating music, art, and religious events.

  • Medina Exploration: Tunisia's medinas (old town quarters) are vibrant hubs of activity, featuring narrow alleyways lined with shops, mosques, and historic buildings. In addition to the Medina of Tunis, other medinas worth exploring include those in Sousse, Kairouan, and Sfax.

  • Film Tourism: Tunisia's unique landscapes have served as a backdrop for numerous films and TV shows, including the "Star Wars" series. The desert town of Tataouine inspired the name of the fictional planet Tatooine. Fans of the franchise can visit film sets and locations used in the movies.

  • Adventure Activities: In addition to desert adventures, Tunisia offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking in national parks like Ichkeul and Boukornine, birdwatching, and exploring underground cave systems.

  • Spa and Wellness Tourism: Tunisia is known for its therapeutic hot springs and spa resorts, where visitors can indulge in spa treatments, mud baths, and relaxation therapies.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's rich history, architectural beauty, cultural offerings, and lively atmosphere make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a memorable European experience.

Best time to visit: Spring and Autumn

Where to stay:

Almanac X Alcron Prague

Dive into life in the city of a hundred spires at the Almanac X Alcron Prague, formerly the historic Alcron Hotel. A chic place to stay and be, just a few steps from Wenceslas Square and the Old Town, with an epicurean focus, authentic cuisine, unique design and stunning city views.

Things to do in Prague:

  • Historic Architecture: Prague is renowned for its stunning architecture spanning various periods, from medieval to baroque, renaissance, and art nouveau. The city's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, including the iconic Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock (Orloj), and the colorful buildings of Lesser Town (Mala Strana).

  • Cultural Heritage: As the cultural heart of the Czech Republic, Prague offers a plethora of museums, galleries, theaters, and concert halls. Visitors can explore institutions such as the National Museum, National Gallery, Prague Jewish Museum, and the Estates Theatre, where Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" premiered.

  • Charles Bridge: Spanning the Vltava River, Charles Bridge is one of Prague's most recognizable landmarks. Lined with baroque statues and offering panoramic views of the city, the bridge is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

  • Old Town Square: The historic center of Prague, Old Town Square is a bustling hub of activity surrounded by architectural gems like the Old Town Hall, Tyn Church, and the iconic Astronomical Clock. The square is home to street performers, outdoor cafes, and vibrant markets.

  • Cuisine and Beer: Prague boasts a rich culinary scene, with traditional Czech dishes such as goulash, svíčková (beef sirloin in cream sauce), and trdelník (chimney cake) being popular choices. Beer lovers can indulge in the city's famous Czech beers, enjoyed in atmospheric pubs and beer gardens.

  • River Cruises: Exploring Prague from the Vltava River offers a unique perspective of the city's skyline and landmarks. River cruises, both during the day and at night, provide a leisurely way to take in sights such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Dancing House.

  • Day Trips: Prague serves as a gateway to the picturesque Czech countryside, with nearby destinations like Karlštejn Castle, Český Krumlov, Kutná Hora with its Sedlec Ossuary (Bone Church), and the spa town of Karlovy Vary attracting visitors seeking cultural and natural beauty.

  • Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, Prague hosts a variety of festivals and events celebrating music, arts, and cultural heritage. The Prague Spring International Music Festival, Prague Fringe Festival, Christmas markets, and Easter celebrations are just a few examples of the city's vibrant cultural calendar.

Puerto Rico

Tourism in Puerto Rico is a significant industry, drawing visitors from around the world to explore its diverse landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.

Best time to visit: Winter to Spring

Where to stay:

Magnificent Spanish Revival architecture stunningly opulent interiors and dramatic ocean views frame the graceful facade of one of the most storied hotels in San Juan Puerto Rico. Since its inception in 1919 the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel has catered to sophisticated travelers who place one aspiration above all else to pursue lifestyle of five-star luxury and leisure within some of the world's most exclusive destinations. Restored to its original grandeur by virtue of a meticulous renovation this cherished landmark stands today as a monument to timeless elegance and style. Discover Puerto Rico as it is meant to be experienced where bespoke service exquisite amenities and fine dining are a hallmark of every stay. Become part of the Condado Vanderbilt legend during your next escape to San Juan.

Things to do in Puerto Rico:

  • Explore Old San Juan: Wander through the historic district of Old San Juan, characterized by its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and historic forts. Visit landmarks such as El Morro and San Cristobal forts, walk along the Paseo de la Princesa promenade, and admire the vibrant street art.

  • Visit Forts and Historical Sites: Explore the impressive fortifications that once protected San Juan from invasions. In addition to El Morro and San Cristobal forts, visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro, La Fortaleza (the Governor's Mansion), and Casa Blanca, the former residence of the Ponce de León family.

  • Relax on the Beaches: San Juan boasts beautiful beaches where visitors can soak up the sun and enjoy water sports. Popular beaches include Condado Beach, Isla Verde Beach, Ocean Park Beach, and Balneario de Carolina. Relax on the sand, swim in the turquoise waters, or try activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.

  • Shop and Dine in Condado: Explore the trendy neighborhood of Condado, known for its upscale shopping, dining, and nightlife. Browse boutique shops, dine at world-class restaurants serving Puerto Rican and international cuisine, and experience the vibrant nightlife at bars and clubs.

  • Experience Puerto Rican Cuisine: Sample authentic Puerto Rican cuisine at local eateries and street food stalls. Don't miss trying classic dishes like mofongo (mashed plantains), lechón (roast pork), tostones (fried plantains), and fresh seafood. Visit La Placita de Santurce, a lively market and nightlife hub, to experience the local food scene.

  • Take a Food Tour: Join a guided food tour to explore San Juan's culinary delights and learn about the city's gastronomic heritage. Sample traditional dishes, visit local markets and eateries, and gain insight into Puerto Rican cuisine and culture.

  • Enjoy Water Activities: Embark on water-based adventures such as sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Take a sunset cruise along the coast of San Juan, paddle through the scenic lagoons of Condado, or snorkel among colorful coral reefs and marine life.

  • Attend Cultural Events and Festivals: Experience the vibrant culture of San Juan by attending cultural events and festivals. From the San Sebastian Street Festival in January to the Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, the city hosts a variety of celebrations featuring music, dance, art, and cuisine.

Bacalar, Mexico

Bacalar offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and adventure, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in Mexico. Whether you're interested in water sports, cultural exploration, or simply unwinding in nature, Bacalar has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Best time to visit: February to May

Where to stay:

Our Habitas Bacalar

Our Habitas Bacalar is our holistic oasis for recharging the body, mind and soul. Set between the tranquil lagoon and the Mayan jungle, we draw energy and inspiration from this unique natural power source, and give back to it in equal measure. A-framed tented rooms provide comfort and tranquility as we reconnect with nature. The kitchen is authentic and rustic while refined, with techniques that highlight the power of plant-based cooking and honor the environment. Centered around the belief that food is medicine, seasonal ingredients are hand-selected at local farms based on their health and wellness benefits. Walk through the botanical garden and learn about medicinal aromatic herbs and visit the cacao and melipona honey huts where you can immerse yourselves in the local traditions and practices of Mayan culture.

Things to do in Bacalar:

  • Lagoon of Seven Colors: The main attraction in Bacalar is the mesmerizing Lagoon of Seven Colors (Laguna de Bacalar). This freshwater lagoon is renowned for its crystal-clear waters that shimmer in shades of blue and turquoise, creating a stunning visual spectacle. Visitors can swim, kayak, paddleboard, or take boat tours to explore the lagoon's various cenotes (underwater sinkholes) and mangrove forests.

  • Fort San Felipe: Bacalar's history is intertwined with the colonial era, and Fort San Felipe is a testament to that. Built in the 18th century to protect the town from pirate attacks, the fort offers panoramic views of the lagoon and surrounding area. Visitors can explore the fort's ramparts, cannons, and historical exhibits to learn about Bacalar's past.

  • Cenotes: In addition to the lagoon, Bacalar is surrounded by numerous cenotes, natural sinkholes filled with freshwater. These cenotes offer opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and diving in crystal-clear waters surrounded by lush vegetation. Some popular cenotes near Bacalar include Cenote Azul, Cenote Negro, and Cenote Esmeralda.

  • Sustainable Tourism: Bacalar is known for its commitment to sustainable tourism practices, with many local businesses and eco-friendly accommodations promoting responsible travel. Visitors can participate in eco-tours, wildlife watching, and conservation efforts aimed at preserving the region's natural resources and biodiversity.

  • Mayan Ruins: Bacalar is situated in close proximity to several Mayan archaeological sites, allowing visitors to explore ancient ruins and learn about Mayan history and culture. Sites such as Kohunlich, Dzibanché, and Chacchoben offer a glimpse into the ancient civilization's architectural achievements and religious practices.

  • Adventure Activities: Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of adventure activities to enjoy in Bacalar, including zip-lining, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The region's diverse landscapes, including jungle, mangroves, and wetlands, provide opportunities for exploration and outdoor adventure.

  • Relaxation and Wellness: Bacalar's tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty make it an ideal destination for relaxation and wellness retreats. Visitors can indulge in spa treatments, yoga classes, and meditation sessions amidst the serene surroundings of the lagoon and surrounding nature reserves.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a diverse array of attractions and experiences for tourists, from adventure and nature to culture and relaxation. Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Costa Rica has something for everyone.

Best time to Visit: Winter to Spring

Where to stay:

Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar is a gateway to Costa Rica’s cloud forest wonderlands. As the 37-year flagship hotel of the Monteverde region, this family-owned destination charms with spirited hospitality, enchanting views, unforgettable eco-adventures, delightful cuisine, and regenerative sustainability. It caters to mindful travelers who embrace nature’s transformative energy and unique experiences that elevate travel as a conduit for holistic wellness. The culinary arts must entice all senses! Hotel Belmar's restaurants will wow you with flavors, aromas, colors, textures, and sizzle. Cuisine and mixology are elevated by a caring selection of fresh, sustainable ingredients that pay homage to Costa Rica's agrarian traditions.

Things to do in Costa Rica:

  • Natural Beauty: Costa Rica is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, including lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore national parks and reserves such as Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero, and Monteverde to experience the country's biodiversity.

  • Adventure Activities: Costa Rica offers a wide range of outdoor adventures for tourists. From zip-lining through the canopy of the rainforest to whitewater rafting on raging rivers and surfing along the Pacific coast, there's something for every adrenaline junkie.

  • Eco-Tourism: As a leader in eco-tourism, Costa Rica prioritizes sustainable travel practices and conservation efforts. Visitors can stay at eco-friendly lodges, participate in wildlife conservation projects, and support local communities through responsible tourism initiatives.

  • Beach Destinations: With both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, Costa Rica boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Travelers can relax on white sandy shores, swim in turquoise waters, and enjoy water sports like snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

  • Cultural Experiences: Costa Rica's rich cultural heritage is reflected in its vibrant festivals, traditional music and dance, and delicious cuisine. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by attending fiestas, tasting traditional dishes like gallo pinto and casado, and learning about indigenous traditions.

  • Wellness Retreats: Costa Rica is also a popular destination for wellness retreats and yoga vacations. With serene natural surroundings and a focus on holistic health, travelers can rejuvenate their mind, body, and spirit through yoga, meditation, spa treatments, and organic cuisine.

  • Volunteer Opportunities: Many tourists choose to give back to the local community by volunteering during their stay in Costa Rica. Whether it's teaching English, working on conservation projects, or assisting with community development initiatives, there are plenty of ways to make a positive impact.


Scotland offers a wealth of experiences for tourists, from exploring ancient castles and dramatic landscapes to enjoying cultural festivals, outdoor adventures, and warm hospitality. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or whisky connoisseur, Scotland has something to offer for every traveler.

Best time to visit: Winter to Spring

Where to stay:

Marine Troon

The new Marine Troon offers 89 guest rooms, an all-day bar and restaurant,

expansive meeting and event spaces, and a luxurious spa and fitness centre

with indoor pool, sauna and steam rooms, a squash court and more.

Throughout, enjoy unobstructed views of the breath-taking Ayrshire coastline, the Isle of Arran and the legendary Royal Troon Golf Club, a nine-time host of The Open.

Things to do in Scotland:

  • Historic Sites and Castles: Scotland is home to numerous historic sites and castles, reflecting its tumultuous past and medieval heritage. Iconic landmarks include Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, and the ruins of Dunnottar Castle perched atop cliffs.

  • Scenic Landscapes: Scotland's landscapes are breathtakingly diverse, ranging from rugged mountains and rolling hills to pristine lochs (lakes) and dramatic coastlines. Visitors can explore the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, Isle of Skye, and the North Coast 500 route for stunning natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

  • Whisky Distilleries: Scotland is famous for its whisky, and whisky tourism is a significant draw for visitors. Embark on whisky tours and tastings at distilleries across the country, such as Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Laphroaig, and Macallan, to learn about the whisky-making process and sample Scotland's finest drams.

  • Cultural Heritage: Scotland's rich cultural heritage is celebrated through its festivals, music, dance, and traditions. Attend events like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, and experience traditional Scottish music at ceilidhs (folk dances) and Highland games.

  • Outdoor Activities: Scotland offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Hike the West Highland Way, go mountain biking in the Tweed Valley, embark on a wildlife safari in the Cairngorms, or enjoy water sports like kayaking, sailing, and surfing along the coast.

  • Golf: Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and the country boasts some of the world's most famous golf courses. Play a round at historic courses like St. Andrews Links, Royal Troon, Muirfield, and Gleneagles, where you can tee off against stunning backdrops.

  • City Breaks: Scotland's cities are vibrant hubs of culture, history, and entertainment. Explore Edinburgh's UNESCO-listed Old Town and New Town, Glasgow's cutting-edge art scene and Victorian architecture, and Aberdeen's granite buildings and coastal charm.

  • Wildlife Watching: Scotland's diverse ecosystems support a variety of wildlife species, including red deer, golden eagles, puffins, seals, and dolphins. Join wildlife tours and cruises to observe these creatures in their natural habitats, such as the Hebrides, Shetland Islands, and Cairngorms National Park.

  • Scenic Rail Journeys: Experience Scotland's stunning scenery from the comfort of a scenic rail journey. Travel on iconic routes like the West Highland Line, Kyle Line, and the Borders Railway, passing through majestic landscapes and historic towns along the way.


Indonesia offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for travelers seeking adventure, culture, relaxation, and natural beauty. With its warm climate, welcoming people, and diverse landscapes, it's no wonder that Indonesia is a top destination for tourists from around the world.

Best time to visit: Spring or Fall

Where to stay:

Grand Angkasa Medan

Things to do in Indonesia:

  • Visit Lake Toba: Lake Toba is one of the largest and deepest volcanic lakes in the world, and it's a must-visit destination in North Sumatra. Explore the picturesque island of Samosir in the middle of the lake, visit traditional Batak villages, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

  • See Traditional Batak Villages: Explore the traditional villages around Lake Toba to learn about the culture and way of life of the Batak people. Visit places like Ambarita, Simanindo, and Tomok to see traditional architecture, visit museums, and experience Batak dance performances.

  • Trekking in Bukit Lawang: Bukit Lawang is a popular destination for eco-tourism and wildlife viewing, particularly for its orangutan rehabilitation center. Join a guided trekking tour through the lush rainforest of Gunung Leuser National Park to see orangutans, monkeys, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

  • Explore Berastagi: Berastagi is a charming highland town known for its cool climate, fruit markets, and views of two active volcanoes, Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung. Hike to the summit of Mount Sibayak for panoramic views, visit traditional markets, and enjoy the local cuisine.

  • Relax in Sipiso-Piso Waterfall: Sipiso-Piso Waterfall is a stunning waterfall located near Lake Toba. Take a short hike to the viewing platform to admire the waterfall cascading down a sheer cliff into the valley below.

  • Visit Medan: Explore the bustling city of Medan, the capital of North Sumatra. Visit attractions such as Maimun Palace, a beautiful royal palace with Dutch and Malay influences, and the Great Mosque of Medan, one of the largest mosques in Indonesia.

  • Sample Local Cuisine: North Sumatra is known for its delicious cuisine, influenced by Batak, Malay, and Javanese flavors. Don't miss trying traditional dishes such as nasi goreng (fried rice), soto Medan (spicy soup), and babi panggang (roast pork).

  • Relax on Nias Island: Nias Island, located off the western coast of North Sumatra, is known for its beautiful beaches, surfing spots, and unique culture. Spend a few days relaxing on the beach, surfing, or exploring the island's traditional villages and stone jumping rituals.


Guatemala offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, culture, history, and natural beauty in Central America. Whether exploring ancient ruins, hiking volcanoes, or immersing oneself in indigenous culture, Guatemala has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Best time to visit: Autumn to Spring

Where to stay:

Villa Bokeh

Take advantage of free continental breakfast, a terrace, and a firepit at Villa Bokeh - Relais & Chateaux. Treat yourself to a massage at the onsite spa. Be sure to enjoy a meal at Bókeh, the onsite fine-dining restaurant. Free in-room WiFi, with speed of 25+ Mbps, is available to all guests, along with a garden and an arcade/game room.

Things to do in Guatemala:

  • Mayan Ruins: Guatemala is home to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the world. Tikal, located in the northern region of Petén, is one of the largest and most iconic Mayan archaeological sites, featuring towering pyramids, temples, and palaces nestled within the jungle. Other notable Mayan ruins include Yaxhá, El Mirador, and Iximché.

  • Colonial Cities: Guatemala's colonial cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer visitors a glimpse into the country's colonial past. Antigua Guatemala, the former capital of Guatemala, is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant cultural scene. Quetzaltenango (Xela) and Guatemala City also boast colonial-era buildings and historic landmarks.

  • Lake Atitlán: Surrounded by volcanoes and picturesque Mayan villages, Lake Atitlán is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Visitors can explore the lakeside towns of Panajachel, San Pedro La Laguna, and Santiago Atitlán, go kayaking or paddleboarding on the lake, and hike to viewpoints for breathtaking panoramic views.

  • Volcanoes: Guatemala is known as the "Land of Eternal Spring" due to its temperate climate and abundance of volcanoes. Volcán Pacaya, Volcán Acatenango, and Volcán de Fuego are popular destinations for hiking and camping, offering stunning views of lava flows and eruptions.

  • Indigenous Markets: Guatemala's indigenous markets are vibrant hubs of activity where visitors can experience traditional Mayan culture and craftsmanship. Chichicastenango Market, held on Thursdays and Sundays, is one of the largest and most famous markets in Guatemala, selling textiles, handicrafts, and local produce.

  • Cultural Festivals: Guatemala hosts numerous cultural festivals and celebrations throughout the year, showcasing the country's diverse cultural heritage. The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) celebrations in November, Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions in Antigua, and the Giant Kite Festival (Día de los Muertos) in Santiago Sacatepéquez are just a few examples of Guatemala's vibrant festival calendar.

  • Ecotourism: With its diverse ecosystems and abundant biodiversity, Guatemala offers numerous opportunities for ecotourism and outdoor adventure. Visitors can explore cloud forests, wildlife reserves, and national parks such as Semuc Champey, Rio Dulce, and Sierra de las Minas, home to diverse flora and fauna.

  • Cuisine: Guatemala's cuisine is a delicious blend of Mayan, Spanish, and Caribbean influences. Visitors can sample traditional dishes such as pepian (spicy stew), tamales, and atol (corn drink), as well as street food favorites like tacos, pupusas, and garnachas.


Turkey's dynamic capital city of Ankara blends modernity with rich historical and cultural heritage.

Best time to visit: Summer to Fall

Where to stay:

Hotel Ickale

Located close to Ethnographic Museum and Kizilay Square, Hotel Ickale provides a coffee shop/cafe, a hair salon, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Treat yourself to a Swedish massage, a facial, or a body treatment at Marin Spa, the onsite spa. Be sure to enjoy Turkish cuisine at the onsite restaurant. Enjoy the gym, as well as activities like ecotours. In addition to a fireplace in the lobby and a bar, guests can connect to free in-room WiFi.

Things to do in Ankara:

  • Anitkabir: Anitkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. It's a significant historical and cultural landmark in Ankara. Visitors can explore the mausoleum complex, including the Hall of Honor, the Peace Park, and the Ceremonial Ground.

  • Ankara Citadel (Hisar): Explore the ancient Ankara Citadel, which dates back to the Roman era and offers panoramic views of the city. Within the citadel, you can visit historical sites such as the Alaaddin Mosque and the Roman Bath.

  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations: Discover the rich history of Anatolia at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Housed in a restored Ottoman building, the museum features artifacts from various civilizations that have inhabited the region over thousands of years, including the Hittites, Phrygians, and Romans.

  • Atakule Tower: Enjoy stunning views of Ankara from Atakule Tower, a prominent landmark in the city. Visitors can take an elevator to the observation deck at the top of the tower to admire panoramic views of the cityscape.

  • Kocatepe Mosque: Visit Kocatepe Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Turkey and a prominent symbol of Ankara. Admire its impressive Ottoman architecture and intricate decorations both inside and outside the mosque.

  • Gençlik Park: Relax and unwind at Gençlik Park, one of the largest parks in Ankara. The park offers recreational activities such as walking trails, cycling paths, and boat rides on the lake. It's a popular spot for picnics and outdoor gatherings.

  • Ankara Ethnography Museum: Explore the cultural heritage of Turkey at the Ankara Ethnography Museum. The museum exhibits traditional costumes, textiles, handicrafts, and artifacts representing various regions and ethnic groups of Turkey.

  • Shopping and Dining: Stroll through Ankara's bustling streets and vibrant neighborhoods, such as Kızılay and Tunali Hilmi Avenue, where you'll find a wide range of shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants offering Turkish cuisine and international fare.

What's next on your bucket list?


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