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Why 2016 is THE Year to Travel to Peru

Can you hear the Andes calling? Are you longing to hike into Machu Picchu? Do the ancient secrets of the Inca whisper to you? Me too. The good news is that Peru is listed as one of the Top 10 Value Destinations for European Travelers in 2016. The strong currency makes it a great year to go.

Canadian travelers, Australian adventurers and those with the ultra-strong US currency in their wallets will also find Peru a great value in 2016.

Looking for Reasons to Visit Peru?

If you’re in to adventure then you’ll want to check out Peru’s Hidden Adventure Tourism Gems.

And, of course, no trip to Peru is complete without a visit to Machu Picchu. Here’s the Step by Step Guide.

Peru is a great destination for travelers of all ages. If you happen to be a little older than 25, with boots & a backpack, here are Nine Reasons Why You Should go to Peru as a Senior.

Moth larvae, pig hearts, cow nostrils, coca leaves and guinea pig… have you tried them? There are some Exciting Edibles in South America.

Sand surfing in Peru. I want to do this when I go back!

Peru is more than the high Andes, it’s also home to the headwaters of the mighty Amazon. Check out the rainforest, take a river boat adventure and maybe even go Gator Huntin’ in the Amazon!

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Featured Articles

Inspiration for Your Trip to Turkey in 2016

The Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, the Ottoman Palaces… the grand sights of Istanbul pull with an Oriental flavor on a romantic traveler’s heart strings. But Turkey is far more than it’s big ticket tourist sights.

This year BootsnAll named Turkey one of it’s Top Value Destinations for Canadian Travelers. What that also means is that it’s an excellent value for those traveling with Australian money, US Dollars or Euros in their wallets.

2016 is a great year to visit Turkey and we’ve got plenty of inspiration for you:

Let’s start the count with 10 Experiences Not to Miss in Turkey: Oil wrestling anyone? Pamukkale’s pools? Cappadocia balloon flights?

Have you ever written a love letter to a city? Or read one? Check this one out: A Love Letter to Istanbul.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave Istanbul without eating these ten dishes. You’ll be glad you did.

You’ll want to read this First-Timer’s Guide to Avoiding Embarrassment in a Turkish Bath. Do you get naked, or not? What exactly goes down behind those closed doors? This will take you inside a hammam before you venture there in person.

Istanbul is the city everyone talks about, but it’s not the capital of Turkey. That’s Ankara. It’s got a pretty great Saturday night in store for you.

Last, but not least, if you’re looking for an escape from a harsh, cold winter, then Selcuk on the Turkish Blue Coast will take care of that. Visit some ruins and dip your feet in the sea. It’s way better than shoveling snow!

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Articles Featured Articles

Why 2016 is THE Year to Travel to Vietnam

Vietnam has long been a pillar on the Southeast Asian circuit. It’s a great value, culturally fascinating, historically rich and an adventure to travel in. People come here to eat food, have clothes made, explore the recent history of the Vietnam War, and bask along the coast of the South China Sea.

In 2016 it’s on our list of Value Destinations for European Travelers, but it’s also a great deal for folks with American money, Canadian, or AUD 

Here’s a list of some of the best adventures the country has to offer:

Indie travel is still possible in Vietnam for around $30 USD per day. That’s a fantastic reason to add it to your RTW itinerary right there. Learn how to stretch your budget and enjoy this country.

Visit Nha Trang, Vietnam’s Happiest Beach Town and relax by the sea for a few days, or a few weeks.

Take some time in Hoi An and get some clothing custom made. Suits, traditional Vietnamese dresses for women, party gowns and more are available, made to measure, by some of the best tailors in the world.

Gorge yourself on Pho. At about a buck a bowl, it’s available, street side, in every one horse town and down every side street from Hanoi to Saigon. Eat it until you can taste the subtle differences by region and recipe. You haven’t been to Vietnam if you haven’t had Pho.

When you’re ready to get out of Hanoi, head to Sapa. Up by the Chinese border, just getting there is an adventure. The landscapes are stunning, the air is clear, and you’ll experience a part of Vietnam that’s a bit less traveled.

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General Info

9 Things to Do in Sweden in Summer

Booking a vacation to Sweden can be the trip of a lifetime -especially in summer. While in country, there are many options for places to visit, things to see, and activities to do. Although each visitor may be into something different, Sweden truly has an activity to please everyone — especially in the summer months.

Visit Stockholm – Not only is this the capital city, Stockholm is full of more than government buildings. Museums, historical architecture, and friendly, open-minded residents make this city a must-see on any visit. Each section of the city has its own distinct vibe, and the buildings tell the story of the city throughout the years.

Sampling Local Cuisine – Although different by region, Swedish cuisine is world known. Breads, “exotic” meats like reindeer, dairy products, and many unique vegetable and fruit dishes like blåbärssoppa, or blueberry soup are common depending on the area. Of course, meatballs are a specialty in this country, as is fish, especially fermented herring.

Liseburg Amusement Park – One of the largest amusement parks in Europe, this attraction offers beautiful landscaping, holiday celebrations, and over 35 rides. Opened in 1923, this park has rides for every age group, as well as food choices to match. Also present in the park are games with various prize awards and a movie theater.

Beaches – In summer months, Swedish beach locations are not only a good relaxation spot, but nice to look at as well. The Gotland beach is easily accessible, and a perfect example of Swedish beach beauty.

Kingdom of Crystal – 15 different glassworks are present in this southern area, and it is a  great place to pick up a souvenir for someone at home, or even to keep. Museums, adjacent to the glassworks, offer visitors the chance to examine other glassblowing projects.

Viking Burial Mounds – These mounds in the Swedish countryside can be scoured for remnants of the country’s Viking leaders of long ago, and there is a museum called The Museum of National Antiquities filled with already found and preserved relics from these long-gone people.

Exploring by Boat – A long coastline and large number of lakes and rivers make Sweden an ideal place to explore by boat. From sightseeing tours and canals, visitors can get a glimpse of Swedish life. Boats and other water-faring vehicles can easily be rented, with a skipper for those unable to drive themselves.

Falu Kopparbergsgruva – This copper mine is what remains of one of Sweden’s earliest national treasures. From 1288 to 1992, the precious metal was mined from the grounds, and this location can boast that at one time, it was the world’s most important copper mine. From a giant pit (the result of a 17th century cave in) to various mining structures, and look out points, a trip to the copper mine in Falun is an ideal way to pass a day.

Explore the Parks and Canals – Visitors to Sweden can take time to appreciate the natural beauty of the country by walking or biking through the parks and traveling along the canals on foot or by boat. With extensive systems in each portion of the country, it is easy to see why this activity is such a practiced tradition.

Photo by Claudio.Ar

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travel guide

7 Historical Landmarks to Visit in Vietnam

With a booming economy and heavy investments in infrastructure and the restoration of landmarks since 1990, Vietnam has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.

Sandwiched between China, Laos, Cambodia and the South China Sea, Vietnam is comparable in size to the state of New Mexico in the United States. Despite the small size, however, the country is full of cities and landmarks worth visiting. Unless visitors intend on staying an entire month, though, it’s near impossible to schedule visits to every site during a single trip. For help planning your trip, here’s a list of the top seven historical landmarks worth visiting in Vietnam.

1. Ha Long Bay

Located in the province of Quang Ninh, Ha Long Bay, or Bay of Descending Dragons, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bay is comprised of over 2,000 islets, many of which were made from limestone that underwent millions of years of transformation from environmental conditions. Also located on many of the islands are caves, some of which are open for tourists to explore.

2. The Imperial City

Located in Huế, Vietnam, the Imperial City is enclosed by a fortress that’s surrounded by a moat, and was built in the early 17th century for the imperial family of the Nguyễn dynasty. Much of the city was destroyed during war but today restoration and reconstruction projects are well underway.

3. The Royal Tombs of Huế, Vietnam

Located along the Perfume River are the tombs of nine Nguyễn dynasty rulers. Each were individually designed, some by the rulers themselves.

4. Hoi An Ancient Town

Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ancient Town is a beautiful preservation of a trading port that dates back to the 15th century. The architecture of the buildings dates as far back as two centuries and the city design itself reflects the broad multicultural influences common to port cities.

5. Ho Chi Minh City

There are too many sites within Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon when it was the French colonial capital — to list them separately, so instead visitors should put aside a day or two to visit as many sites as possible. The most popular are the Reunification Palace, the Jade Emperor Table, which was built in 1909, and the Municipal Theater whose architecture reflects a French colonial influence. In fact, throughout the city the architecture reflects a French influence that dates back to colonial times.

6. The Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

Originally built in 1070, the Temple of Literature is a temple of Confucius and the first university in Vietnam. The architecture and layout of the temple is a magnificent preservation of Vietnam’s culture and history.

7. One-Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam

One of the most iconic temples in Vietnam, the One-Pillar Pagoda is a Buddhist temple built in 1049 by the emperor Lý Thái Tông.

Photo by David McKelvey

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Planning a Trip

Visiting Trafalgar Square and London Eye

The city of London is one of the most well-known and popular destination on earth. As the capital city, London is often referred to as the capital of the world, and in fact has the largest population of any urban area in Western Europe. Visitors will find countless fantastic attractions in the city, from world-class museums and art galleries to historical landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Tower and Bridge of London. Two of the most popular attractions in the city are the London Eye and Trafalgar Square. The following is an introduction to these two attractions.

The London Eye

This giant wheel is an impressive structure that dominates the skyline of England’s capital city. Due to a recent sponsorship deal, the official title has changed from the British Airways London Eye to the EDF Energy London Eye. It stands at 443 feet tall, and is located along the Thames River. As the tallest ferris wheel in the Europe, and the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, it should come as no surprise that it the most visited paid tourist attraction in the entire country of England.

Each year, well over 3 million visitors take a trip on the London Eye and climb into one of the 32 glass domes, many of which have tour included within their London holiday packages. Each domed pod holds up to 25 people, who can sit or stand during the 30 minute revolution. The speed is quite slow, meaning anyone can ride it and few people complain of motion sickness or discomfort. Since the opening of the London Eye in 2000, it has become an icon in the city of London. For significant national occasions, the wheel is outfitted with stunning lights in themed colors. Recently, it donned patriotic colors to resemble the Union Jack for the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, and in 2012 it will be outfitted with the Olympic rings.

Trafalgar Square

This public space is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city of London. Created in the 19th century, it was designed to be a public area that was a central focus of culture and politics in the city. Indeed, it has served that purpose for decades. The focal point of Trafalgar Square is the Nelson’s Column, which dominates the look of the area. The column stands at 169 feet in height, and was created to in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died during the Battle of Trafalgar. At the four corners of the base of the column are lion statues, who are meant to guard the column constantly. Until the last decade, the square was known for the massive population of pigeons who called the square home, thanks to millions of tourists who fed them. Those were eventually removed and feeding made illegal, and today it is more commonly used for political demonstrations, screening sports events, and holiday celebrations like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Photo by: Thamer Al-Hassan

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Things to Do

5 Most Popular Los Angeles Attractions

You can call it the City of Angels, Southland and even lala-land. But no matter what you nickname Los Angeles, it really is one of the biggest and most fascinating cities in the United States, and one that is worth visiting. With year-round sunshine and sandy beaches, Los Angeles holidays provide many tourist attractions that can keep anyone entertained for days.

Universal Studios

Not only does Universal Studios make movies, it also has guided tours where visitors take a look at how movies are created, and entertaining rides with movie themes.

During the guided tours, you will learn the ins and outs of special effects, be a part of the movie-making experience, and perhaps even meet a few stars. Afterwards, enjoy many of the studio’s eateries and gift shops and hop onto a few rides for an adventurous time.

Hollywood

Whether you go by foot or take a narrated tour bus, Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’s most famous attractions. After all, people from all over the world go there to become stars.

In Hollywood, you will find many famous landmarks such as the notable Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood & Highland Center, The Hollywood History Museum, The Kodak Theatre, the Madame Tussaud’s and the star-studded Walk of Fame.

Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive

As one of the most affluent areas in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is certainly worth a visit. If you take a drive around the neighborhood, you can get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous by peeking at their mansions and beautifully groomed yards.

Beverly Hills also has Rodeo Drive, which is a world-renowned shopping street known for its high-end designer shops such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. For anyone who loves high fashion and luxury goods, Rodeo Drive is the perfect place to browse around.

Santa Monica

If you want to spend a day on the beach, do some shopping, and then enjoy the nightlife, then head to Santa Monica. This area has a beach you can surf, run and tan at, a pier that offers a ferries wheel, fishing and classic arcade games, and a shopping street that turns into lively nightlife when it gets dark. You will find many people cruising on third street promenade at night, hanging out or enjoying street entertainment.

Venice Beach

Want to visit a quirky, beach-y place that represents L.A’s relaxed and artsy lifestyle? You should spend a day on Venice Beach. This vibrant place has a stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing, surfing, rollerblading and strolling, and is a great place to spend a lazy, relaxing day at. It is also home to many of Hollywood’s favorite stars like Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale and Nicolas Cage.

What’s your favorite thing to do in LA?

Photo by: donielle

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Featured Articles

Top Resources for Traveling in Southeast Asia

A good portion of indie travelers come to Southeast Asia and spend a considerable amount of time there. Those who take round the world trips often plan their trips around spending as time in the region as they can, and with good reason. The relative ease of travel, the budget friendly nature of most countries, the friendliness of the people, and the natural beauty all combine to create the perfect storm for the indie traveler.

Sifting through all the information out there can be maddening, so BootsnAll wanted to simplify it for you. Here are some of the best articles and resources put together by the world’s indie travel leader for traveling in and around Southeast Asia:

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Featured Articles

Why You Should Add Vietnam to Your Indie Trip

Vietnam. Some people love it. Some people hate it. There are very few people who just kind of like it or kind of dislike it. I’m not quite sure I’ve ever been to a country that has such a love-hate thing going on with the people who visit it.

I am in the “love it” camp when it comes to Vietnam. Though it was hectic, chaotic, dirty, the traffic was insane, and some of the touts were quite pushy, I was able to overlook those negatives because of all the positives the country brings.

If you are planning any kind of travel in the region, here’s a few reasons why I think you might want to add Vietnam to your indie trip.

  • While the people aren’t as smiley as in Thailand or as laid back as in Laos, they are quite friendly, but you have to open yourself up to them.  If you come across as aggressive and standoffish, then you will get the same treatment from them.  But if you let your guard down a bit, you will find that the Vietnamese people are amazing.
  • If you happen to be traveling with children, then this is the place to go.  I have never seen a culture so enamored with kids and babies.  The men, in particular, go gaga over the little ones.  It might take a little getting used to, but they are so kind and gentle and just want to meet your child.
  • Mountains, bays, jungles, rivers, beaches, big cities – Vietnam has a wide variety of sites for all travelers.
  • The French influence on Vietnamese cuisine makes it stand out among the rest of the food in SE Asia.  A steaming bowl of Pho for breakfast, crazy sweet and strong coffee, home made beer (Bia Hoi) for the equivalent of a quarter – I could go on and on and on about the food in Vietnam – it’s my personal favorite in the entire world.

For more on traveling in Vietnam and SE Asia, check out some of BootsnAll’s most popular Indie Travel Guides for the region:

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travel guide

10 Days in Panama: Itinerary Ideas

Panama is still quite away from the tourist trail, as most backpackers prefer to visit Costa Rica or Guatemala. But that’s what makes Panama interesting, the fact that most of its highlights are located off the beaten path. And you’ll either love or hate the country or parts of it…there isn’t a middle way. Accessible even to those on a low budget, Panama offers beaches, mountains and rain forests.

Itinerary assumptions:

  • Fly into and out of Panama City
  • Stay in budget hotels or hostels
  • Use public transportation to get around. Alternatively, you can rent a car.

Day 1-3 Panama City

Arrive in Panama City, check in and get used to the surroundings. With a camera in hand explore the area close to the hotel, stopping for a bite to eat.

On the second day, explore Casco Viejo, strategically built on a peninsula after the pirates devastated the original town, Panama Viejo.

On the third day, take a trip to Panama Canal and learn about this masterpiece. And also, go to nearby Soberanía National Park, a tropical rainforest known for its diversity.

Alternatively, you can catch the scenic train along the historical trans-isthmus route to Colón. Skip the city, but go outside of it and visit the ruins of Fuerte San Lorenzo and Fort Portobelo.

Other things to do in Panama City include shopping , visiting Iglesia de San Jose and seeing the city from above.

>>book a cheap hostel in Panama City

Day 4 -6 David and Boquete

Catch a flight into David , then drive or take a bus to Boquete. Plan to take a tour of one of the coffee farms in the area.

The climate in Boquete is considered almost perfect and you can often hear people refer to the area as the valley of eternal spring.

The next day, plan to go hiking in the area around Barú Volcano, known for the incredible number of birds. You can also try mountain biking or just relax in the hot springs.

Day 7-9 Bocas del Toro

Travel to Bocas del Toro and enjoy the beach. Get to island Bastimentos and have fun ziplining in the forest. You can also plan to spend a day in Zapatilla, with its two islands known for the snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. You can also hike in the forest.

>>book a cheap hostel in Bocas del Toro

Day 10 Panama City

Fly back to Panama City and catch the flight home.

>>read more about how to get from Bocas del Toro to Panama City

Photo credits: Panama City , Vulcan Baru , Bocas del Toro