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Posts Tagged ‘Peru’

Sailing through Venice, Italy aboard the Crystal Serenity. Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

BY: BROOK WILKINSON

Lupins bloom above the ancient Inca ruins of Choquequirao in the Andes, Peru. Photo: Adriana Von Hagen

Lupins bloom above the ancient Inca ruins of Choquequirao in the Andes, Peru. Photo: Adriana Von Hagen

Where to go in April? That’s easy: Flowers in full bloom, festive celebrations, and mild temperatures make this early spring month a lovely time to visit many parts of the globe. The best deals usually appear starting one week after Easter (April 1 this year).

 

Washington, D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C. Photo: National Cherry Blossom Festival

National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C. Photo: National Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington, D.C., is great in the spring before Memorial Day, when you can avoid the high season while taking advantage of the balmy weather. Several fun events take place in April this year: the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Petalpalooza Parade (April 15); the Home Opener Day for the Washington Nationals (April 5); the Smithsonian Craft Show (April 27–30); and the Wine and Food Fest just down the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland (April 28–29).

 

Paris

There’s nothing more romantic than a view of the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Paris Perfect

There’s nothing more romantic than a view of the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Paris Perfect

Discover the first hints of spring in Paris while strolling through the Tuileries or pausing a moment under the blossoming trees by Notre Dame Cathedral; in April, the weather is usually mild and the city is bedecked in blossoms. You’ll beat the tourist crowds before they arrive later in the spring and catch some excellent art exhibits, too: a long-awaited retrospective of Mary Cassatt at the Musée Jacquemart-André, a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the creation of Guernica at the Musée Picasso, and an exhibition illustrating the beginning of modernity at the Centre Pompidou, to name a few.

 

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Tulum, Riviera Maya. Courtesy Journey Mexico

Tulum, Riviera Maya. Courtesy Journey Mexico

Starting a week after Easter Sunday and running through May, rates are low, resorts aren’t too crowded, and the weather is pleasant (mid to high 80s) with little rain.

 

Hawaii

Makena, Maui. Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Makena, Maui. Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

April means an optimal combination of great weather and relatively low prices in the islands. (Just make sure to avoid the crush of visitors and higher rates that Spring Break brings.)

 

Peru

Lupins bloom above the ancient Inca ruins of Choquequirao in the Andes, Peru. Photo: Adriana Von Hagen

Lupins bloom above the ancient Inca ruins of Choquequirao in the Andes, Peru. Photo: Adriana Von Hagen

April sees the best mix of weather both inland and on Peru’s coast; it’s sunny and warm in Lima, and dry and temperate in the Andes. Since the rainy season has just ended, the air is clear, and the fields are green and lush, dotted with the yellow, pink, and mauve hues of quinoa, amaranth, lupins, and potatoes ready to harvest.

 

Seville and Andalusia

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Spain is always at its best when people are celebrating something—such as Feria, Seville’s April Fair (it always take place two weeks after Easter, so occasionally falls during May). If you visit then, we can get you into a private casita belonging to a respected family, not a corporation—a huge deal. April is also a lovely time to relax in the sun on the Costa del Sol, before it gets crowded with summer visitors. 

 

Netherlands

Spring is tulip time in the Netherlands. Photo: Keukenhof Gardens

Spring is tulip time in the Netherlands. Photo: Keukenhof Gardens

April is bright and pleasant, and it’s prime time for Tulipmania, when the Keukenhof (one of the world’s largest flower gardens) is full of blooms. King’s Day, on April 27, is the biggest street party of the year in Amsterdam; it’s very busy, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Dutch joie de vivre (you can also enjoy the parades and festivities in a more rural setting). There’s also the Spring Beer Festival in the Posthoornkerk, a beautiful old basilica, on April 22. By traveling in April, you’ll also miss the public holidays in May that bring out large crowds.

 

Mediterranean Cruises

Sailing through Venice, Italy aboard the Crystal Serenity. Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

Sailing through Venice, Italy aboard the Crystal Serenity. Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

April is the perfect month to enjoy the brilliant blue skies in the Mediterranean, when the sunny days start to outnumber the cold and cloudy ones of winter. Cruise ships have just re-positioned to the region, so you can explore iconic ports such as Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome, and Venice without the crowds and heat of summertime. And fares are lower, since this is considered the off-season.

 

Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey. Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

Istanbul, Turkey. Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

During the annual tulip festival in April, the city is awash in millions (literally) of colorful blooms. The weather is temperate, perfect for visiting the outdoor ancient sites that can be scorching in summer—and the tourist hordes have not yet arrived. Since it’s shoulder season, there are deals to be had at hotels.

 

Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Joseph Pisani

Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Joseph Pisani

April means mild weather, springtime flowers, and no bus-tour crowds in Eastern Europe. This year Easter is April 1 and there are charming holiday markets and festivals in Vienna leading up to the holiday. In Budapest, the Spring Fair runs all month long with folk music, dancing, and concerts. In Prague, popular Easter Markets are running through April 8. Crowded summertime destinations, such as Lake Balaton in Hungary and the Wachau Valley in Austria, are relatively tranquil. In the Czech Republic, all the countryside castles are just reopening from their winter dormancy.

 

Crete

The island of Spinalonga, Crete, Greece. Photo: Blue Palace Resort and Spa

The island of Spinalonga, Crete, Greece. Photo: Blue Palace Resort and Spa

Renowned for its rich local culture, Crete is a wonderful place to visit in April when Greek Orthodox Easter falls during that month, as it does this year (on the 8th). Experience renowned Cretan hospitality throughout the festive celebrations, which are distinctive to Greece’s most southern (and thus warmest) island. There are also beautiful wildflowers in April, fewer crowds, and lower hotel rates than you’ll find later in spring.

 

Maldives

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives. Photo: Huvafen Fush

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives. Photo: Huvafen Fush

European vacationers drive up prices from Christmas through Easter, but for the few weeks after this period, you’ll find a sweet spot of lower hotel rates and ideal weather: Temperatures are consistently in the high 80s year-round, but in late April there is almost no rain or wind, so the water is calm for snorkeling and diving.

 

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea. Photo: Pixabay/freesally

Papua New Guinea. Photo: Pixabay/freesally

In April the rainy season is just ending, so prices are better than in the high months of May, June, and July.

 

Luang Prabang, Laos

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo: Flickr/jayarc

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo: Flickr/jayarc

Songkran, the Lao New Year, is celebrated in mid-April with a whole week of parades, street markets, and concerts. Tradition holds that revelers douse one another with water in order to wash away the past year’s sins; unlike in Thailand, where you might well be ambushed outside your hotel in the morning, in Laos the locals usually ask before splashing you.

CroatiaCuba

England: Castles,

Germany: Bavaria

Greece: Athens

Israel

Israel: Jerusalem

Italy: Lake Como villas

ItalMexico City

Myanmar

Namibia

Nepal

New Zealand

New Zealand: Bay of Islands

New Zealand: Queenstown hiking and cycling

Patagonia

Peru: Machu Picchu

River Rafting in the American West

Russia: Moscow

Russia: St. Petersburg

Scotland: wildflowers and deals

Seychelles

South Africa: Cape Town and Vietnam: north and Central region

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