TRAVERSING THE AMAZON RAINFOREST IN PERU

Fly over the Peruvian Amazon in a plane and what you can see is an endless array of mist-covered broccoli florets only interrupted by the mighty river barging in fiercely, drawing a snake-like pattern.

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The spectacle leaves you with a million emotions; that of excitement, curiosity, wonder, thrill – all at the same time. All you want to do is get off the plane and set foot in the jungles to find out what the little-visited wildlife haven would be like.

 The Amazon Rainforest is a life spring of the planet. It produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen and 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water. More than half of the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in these tropical rainforests.

Given names like “The Jewel of the Earth”, “World’s Largest Pharmacy”, “The Lungs of the Earth”, the dense tropical rainforest and the jungle region of Peru makes for the 60 per cent of the country’s territory and shares its borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. If you have around four to five days on hand, it is a good idea to explore the northen selva which is accessible from Iquitos; a flight of an hour and a half from the capital city Lima. Sitting at the mouth of the Amazon, the jungle-locked Iquitos can be reached by boat or plane and is the only gateway to the remote and extraordinary Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Read more

ROMANCING THE DECCAN ON WHEELS!

Rediscover the old-world charm of travel by unravelling the architectural marvels of India from the comfort of an award-winning luxury train

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Many love trains but never end up taking them as they’re always in a hurry to reach where they can start their vacation. But, why just get somewhere when you can make the journey as glorious as the destination? In this age of all things instant, trains give us that perfect opportunity to experience the simple pleasures of going slow. Not just that. They often evoke a sense of nostalgia and bring memories and stories of faraway sojourns. Though we may like the idea of reaching a destination in hours rather than days, there’s nothing that can quite match the thrill of rail travel. The rhythm of the wheels, the guard’s piercing whistle, the sound of horn as the train approaches and departs a station, watching the ever-changing landscape from the window seat, chatting with fellow passengers; these little things come together to create a certain magic on board a train. Besides, train journeys reveal a country as flights can never do.

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BUCKET-LIST EXPERIENCES FOR 2018

Let 2018 be the year of fulfilling of travel goals. From Deccan rail travel to floating in the Dead Sea, here are a few must-do, once-in-a-lifetime experiences

ROMANCE DECCAN INDIA IN A WORLD-CLASS LUXURY TRAIN


Many love trains but never end up taking them as they’re always in a hurry to reach where they can start their vacation. But, why just get somewhere when you can make the journey as glorious as the destination? Though we may like the idea of reaching a destination in hours rather than days, there’s nothing that can quite match the thrill of rail travel. The rhythm of the wheels, the guard’s piercing whistle, the sound of horn as the train approaches and departs a station, watching the ever-changing landscape from the window seat, chatting with fellow passengers; these little things come together to create a certain magic on board a train. Besides, train journeys reveal a country as flights can never do. Lured by the idea of a long, leisurely train trip with a cabin to yourself. Look no furthur than the luxurious Deccan Odyssey.

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CUSCO – FOR EVERY CULTURE VULTURE

Often regarded as the gateway to the “lost” city of Machu Picchu, Cusco in Peru is a powerhouse of culture and a living monument to Inca history

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Enter the colonial city of Cusco and the first thing that strikes the eye is its archetypal architecture and stone-walled alleys. For individuals used to living in fabricated urban spaces and cities dotted with skyscrapers, a visit to South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city is nothing short of time travel!

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LOOKING DOWN ON ETHEREAL MACHU PICCHU

From a splendidly old-fashioned train journey through the Sacred Valley to losing oneself in the tranquility of the terraced ruins, the Machu Picchu experience is everything but ordinary

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Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.”

Taking inspiration from Twain’s words, I let everything else take a back seat and took off to South America. Reaching a place that’s diametrically on the other side of the globe requires a lot of patience. After 30 hours of hovering, I finally landed in Lima (the capital city of Peru) only hoping the beauty of Machu Picchu would be worth the jet lag. And, it turned out to be nothing less than spectacular!

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ROBBEN ISLAND – A DAY TRIP FROM CAPE TOWN

If you’re someone with a deep interest in politics, a visit to the former political prison on Robben Island should top your list of “must-dos in and around Cape Town”

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Robben Island is famous, or rather infamous, as the place where South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

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CAPE TOWN – A DELICIOUS SLICE OF THE “RAINBOW NATION”

Known as the most European city in South Africa, Cape Town is a magical melagne of art, history, culture, and striking topography

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Many talk about quitting the city life for the beauty and tranquility of the mountains, but very few end up taking the plunge. With a paradise like Cape Town in existence, you may want to change your plans. When you visit the city, you come to the realisation that you can savour the best of both worlds without having to give up on either. Yes, Cape Town is a jewel in South Africa’s crown that’s endlessly fascinating. While its beaches and mountains burst with flora and fauna, the harbour and streets are buzzing with contemporary coffee joints and nightlife destinations. This is where age-old architecture blends seamlessly with minimalist avant-garde designs.

Jaw-dropping scenery, immaculate beaches, delicious food, untouched wildlife, rich history, diverse culture, gorgeous hiking trails, world-class wine – Cape Town has it all and a lot more.

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