Time Off: Festivals, Wellness & Visa-Free Travel

By Katrice L. Mines

It’s that time of year again when you can hardly ignore the itch to hop on a plane to some place with a cabana and an umbrella-ed drink. I mean, for me, travel anytime is a good idea. But, there’s something about summer that’s just … special. And the thought of new scenery and an experience you’ve not yet had makes it even better. In case this very thought has crossed your mind and you need a jumpstart on where to go, where to stay and what to do, I’ve got you covered.

Panama City Turns 500!

This August, Panama City celebrates its 500th birthday. Throughout the summer season, Panamanians and tourists alike will celebrate the modern and cosmopolitan Central American capital with an events-packed calendar paying tribute to the rich history of the first Hispanic city founded on the American Pacific. Panama City became the starting point for Spanish expeditions to conquer the Inca Empire in Peru and its central location earned it a position as a vital trade route stopover. A modern city framed by the Pacific Ocean and man-made Panama Canal and anchored by the settlements of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo, most of the gold and silver bound for Spain passed through the city. In honor of its role in shaping world history, festivities are a range of cultural, educational, culinary and musical events available throughout the summer season. Designed to showcase unique elements of Panamanian culture, a modern city framed by the Pacific Ocean and man-made Panama Canal. Getaway to an eye-catching hotel located at the epicenter of the business district just steps away from the bars and restaurants of the vibrant city. A sleek, modern beacon capped with a crown of gold, W Panama proudly disrupts the Panama City skyline with 50 stories of playful space inspired by local art, fashion, culture and cuisine. You’ll be perfectly situated.


Experience Peruvian Culture Up Close

Escape to a luxurious and mystical journey like no other in the heart of the Sacred Valley. The only hotel with a private train station at a lower altitude to acclimatize and the ideal point of departure in your journey to Machu Picchu, Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa guests are treated to an up close and personal learning experience centered on the Incans’ and Peruvian culture with the resort’s new Andean Bread Baking Class and Incan Legends Storytelling session. Guests learn about how the Incas had no written language, so storytellers and performers recited the myths and legends of the cultures they conquered through lore and narrations. Elegantly designed hotel rooms include mesmerizing views of the Andes and the Vilcanota River from private balconies while the resort’s refined dining options feature organic ingredients and local products.


The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Launches “Well-Rested in Waikiki” Wellness Program

Designed with the resort’s jet-setting, global clientele in mind, the “Well-Rested in Waikiki” wellness program at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach features a curated menu of five unique wellness experiences designed to help promote better rest and sleep. In addition to three nights in luxurious accommodations, the rejuvenating package includes a “Midnight Meditation” session in the resort’s private yoga studio to help combat jetlag, a luxurious “Cabana Nap” to enhance the irresistible poolside “vacation nap,” a “Sleep Workshop” in the Spa Relaxation Lounge, a 50-minute “Beauty Rest” spa treatment, and “Suite Dreams” turndown service featuring essential oils, a calming bath, and more. Package starts at $2,400++


This Month, U.S. Citizens Can Officially Travel to Brazil Without a Visa

Beginning June 17, 2019, Brazil will no longer require visas upon entry from citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan, making it the opportune time to travel to the destination. The Brazilian Hotel Association recently revealed a major 52% increase in flight bookings since March. These flights were booked directly following the original announcement that Brazil will no longer require visas. With a goal to increase its tourism, the country is already seeing an influx of tourism ranging from business to leisure. Located in the heart of downtown Sao Paulo, the Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel encourages guests to explore the culture of this vibrant city during the day, eat local Brazilian cuisine, and wind down with a relaxing treatment at the Spa at Renaissance. The Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort offers newly renovated guestrooms and suites with private balconies overlooking the sea. Located between trendy Barra da Tijuca and famed Ipanema Beach, the it’s the city’s only beachfront resort and has an extensive recreational area, spa, and amenities.

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