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

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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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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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LAKE TAHOE IN CALIFORNIA – WHERE WINTER BRINGS OODLES OF SNOW

Escape the endless Indian summer and set out on a quest for adrenaline-pumping adventure and surreal vistas. A quick guide to ski resorts in Lake Tahoe – where California and Nevada meet

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Living in a country that doesn’t see a lot of snow, an all-white landscape is bound to give you a singular feeling. And when at Lake Tahoe, it’s difficult to even find words that do justice to its jaw-dropping vistas and scenery. The best way to soak in the beauty is to put on a pair of skis or strap a board to your feet and hurtle down a snow-covered mountain, shredding powder along the slopes. But wait — there’s more to this ski heaven.

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“GO BUSH” WITH KANGAROOS

Kangaroo Island is all about simple things that truly matter in life – peace, beautiful landscapes and good food. Here’s what you can do in South Australia’s animal kingdom

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Picture an island 4,405 sq km long with a population of merely 4,600 humans and uncountable wildlife. A place where you aren’t greeted with morning newspaper, but Australian sea lions basking on pristine white beaches, koalas dozing on towering eucalyptus trees and kangaroos – many carrying their young joeys in the pouch – hopping around in vast verdant spaces. A place where people have deep values, simple genuineness and a special connection with each other as well as the nature around. That’s Kangaroo Island (KI as locals call it) for you – a remote, rural Australian experience.

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BAROSSA VALLEY – EVERY WINE-LOVING COUPLE’S RETREAT

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With its majestic hills, quiet country roads, picturesque villages, garden-fresh gourmet fare and timeless beauty, Barossa is a little slice of ecstasy

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