On March 11, 2011 Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. The 9.0 magnitude quake was followed by a deadly tsunami that hit the nation’s northeast coast. The death toll continues to rise and thousands remain missing in the aftermath of the tragic catastrophe. The disaster has greatly saddened us and our thoughts are with those affected. Below is a list of organizations contributing to relief and recovery for Japan.
Colombia offers a wide variety of travel adventures and terrain to experience with its tropical beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines, snow covered peaks in the Andes, humid rainforests in the Amazon, dry savannahs in “Los Llanos”, and lush valleys that produce some of the best coffee in the world. In recent years Colombia has made a drastic turn around, once a place deemed too unsafe to travel for tourists the beautiful country’s tourism industry is flourishing. Colombia is ideal for those looking to explore historic cities, visit pristine tropical beaches, or simply relax in beautiful colonial villages full of Spanish architecture and history.
The historic city of Cartagena has long been a favorite vacation spot for many. The city offers unique festivals, colonial architecture, delicious restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Global Basecamps offers a Cartagena and the Caribbean Coast itinerary filled with visits to untouched islands, historic cities listed as UNESCO world heritage sites, local indigenous communities, night clubs, amazing National Parks, and isolated beaches perfect for relaxing. Some of the trip highlights include a Cartagena City tour, Tayrona National Park, Pink Flamingo Sanctuary, and the breath taking beaches of San Andres and Providencia Island.
We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Steve Wilson. Steve is taking an amazing trip and is chronicling his adventures on his blog, A Hungry Man Travels. Follow his travels by reading his blog and checking out his photos. Thanks, Steve, for sharing your Indonesia experience with us!
Julia Roberts and I haven’t had the priviledge to meet, but we've been close to each other – inadvertently AND innocently I might add. If I had the chance to meet Ms. Roberts, the first thing I would say is “Hi Julia, did you know that you and I shared a room at the Rimba Orangutan Eco lodge in Borneo?" If that fails to get a reaction (and lets’ face it, it wouldn’t), I would then quickly ask her: "what were you thinking getting so close to that Orangutan in your documentary?" Ok, I wouldn't quite say it like that but I sure would have to wonder what would possess one of the biggest stars on the planet to do something even us nobodies were told over and over by the guides, signs, and locals not to do if you ever meet an orangutan, especially the King of Orangutans, face to face. Ah Julia, the crazy world you live in. I know in your documentary you weren’t giving us your world famous laugh when Kusasi, then the King of Orangutans, grabbed you and held on while the guides had to pry him off you and I don’t blame you – it probably wasn’t a good time for you I’m sure.
July 24th, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Machu Picchu’s rediscovery. Machu Picchu was discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham on July 24th, 1911. Though there has been some debate as to whether Bingham is truly the first to discover Machu Picchu, he introduced the ancient ruins to the world and turned Machu Picchu into Peru’s cultural icon. Almost 100 years after the discovery of Machu Picchu, it has become one of the most famous historical sites in the world and is visited by thousands each day.
Peru’s chamber of tourism hopes the celebration will create a surge of interest from visitors, similar to 2007 when tourism grew as a result of the announcement of the new Seven Wonders of the World, which included Machu Picchu. The economic crisis caused a decrease in tourist to the ancient citadel, along with floods that closed Machu Picchu for 2 months. The anniversary is a great opportunity to create growth within the tourism industry.
"This photo was taken at the Kayotei Ryokan in Kaga, Japan, February 2011. This simple yet classic, traditional Japanese room served as my sitting area, dining room and in the evening, my bedroom. It was definitely winter weather, as you can see from the window and balcony shot, but inside it was toasty, warm, and beautiful. There is a slight moodiness to the shot but for me it brings back vivid memories of a type of hotel not seen in any other part of the world, a place where Japanese traditions are strictly followed. There are kimono clad attendants; Japanese robes and slippers to replace western style clothing and must be worn at all times; incredible food that was beautifully created, presented and eaten with pure happiness on my part. What amazes me the most is how easily I’m transported right back there the minute I view this shot. I love how something so simple can harken feelings of history and tradition that is so quintessentially Japanese."