5 Off the Beaten Path Ski Destinations

December 13,2011

With the cost of lift tickets rising each year at popular North America ski resorts and crowds continuing to grow, a ski or snowboard vacation can include its fair share of headaches. Look off the beaten path for some unique ski resorts and take advantage of fewer crowds in these quaint mountain towns.

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen, Japan

Japan’s ski industry has been steadily growing, with places such as Hokkaido becoming a popular stop on Japan tours. Myoko Kogenis one of Japan’s oldest skiing areas, but is typically less crowded than other skiing destinations. Located on the slopes of Mt. Myoko, Myoko Kogen offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan. The mountain town is popular for more than just mountain sports, including delicious food, unique restaurants and bars, and onsen hot springs which are perfect for relaxing after a long day on the slopes!

Oukaimeden, Morocco

Skiing doesn’t typically come to mind when planning a Morocco eco tour. Oukaimeden Resort is one of the few places it is possible to ski in Morocco. It is Africa’s highest ski resort and has lifts that cater to all levels. Oukaimeden is about an hour drive south of Marrakech, located high in the Atlas Mountains. The resort has 1 chair lift, with 5 runs to take you back down again. The best time to go skiing in the Atlas Mountains is typically in January and February. The resort has ski rentals, ski schools, unique restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Enjoy the sun, sand, and snow in Morocco!

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Global Basecamps Photo of the Month: Taormina, Sicily

November 22,2011

Photo By Shanti Zinzi September 2011

"This is a view from the streets of Taormina, Sicily, adjacent to the gorgeous pebbly beach of Isola Bella, a marine reserve known as 'The Pearl of the Ionian Sea'. Snorkelers and divers will find Isola Bella's clear waters home to moray eels, starfish, sea horses, octopus, stonefish and several other small, colorful sea creatures.

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Staying in a Japanese Ryokan

November 15,2011
Ryokan

Staying in a Japanese ryokan is a highlight for a lot of travelers on Japan tours. It can be daunting to some, as it is a very traditional experience leaving many non-Japanese confused by the customs common at a ryokan. This guide will give travelers some information on what to expect when staying at a ryokan and tips on how to best enjoy the experience.

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Discover Mainland Ecuador

November 08,2011
Bird Watching

Mainland Ecuador can often be quickly bypassed or rushed through in lieu of a Galapagos cruise. However, the mainland offers a diverse mix of sites and eco tours including the colonial capital of Quito, Mindo Cloud Forest, tropical rainforests, many national parks, and the colorful culture of Otavalo, among many other attractions. Below are a few popular destinations and Ecuador eco tours.

Quito

Quito is the second-highest capital in the world. The city is spread across an Andean valley and has an abundance of unique colonial buildings. Much of the UNESCO World Heritage listed site of centro histórico, or old town, has been restored, though it still reflects the indigenous culture and history of the region. A walk through old town will take you past picturesque plazas and cathedrals, with snow covered peaks in the background. A 20 minute from Quito’s old town, you’ll find Quito’s new town, full of trendy cafes, international restaurants, unique bars, and boutique hotels. Step just outside the city and you’ll find primary Andean forest. Hacienda Rumiloma is an excellent addition to any Ecuador travel itinerary. The hotel gives travelers a view of Quito not many get to see. The hacienda is located on about one hundred acres of primary Andean forest next to the Volcano Pichincha. The land behind the lodge has several trails, a small river, many grazing llamas, and native birds. Just minutes away from the capitol, Hacienda Rumiloma is an incredible accommodation option in Quito.

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Bathing with and without Swimsuits in Budapest's Thermal Waters

November 03,2011

Bliss and Patrick left their jobs in finance and law in New York City to travel around the world with their two-year-old son, Jude. They blog about their adventures traveling with a toddler at Around the World with a Two-Year-Old. Among other adventures, the family has taken the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow, and recently spent a week in India. We here at Global Basecamps authentic travel service are happy to share this guest blog with you, enjoy! 

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