Where We Want To Go In 2007
Saturday, January 13 2007 @ 09:46 pm EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Perhaps not surprisingly, eco-tourism is a big part of this trend. Ewing cites countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama, whose natural resources and wildlife put them front and center for American travelers in 2007. Of course, to offset the human impact of all that traffic, and preserve their rain forests and habitats, many of these countries have introduced resorts powered by sustainable energy and built with renewable resources. In Panama's northern coast, for example, the Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge was built using local materials like clay, bamboo and wild cane, and solar panels and bio-digesters, which clean waste water, are located in each of the nine cabins.
Another big destination for 2007 is Laos, where a series of new luxury hotels is making old cities attractive to a new generation of travelers. "I just came back from Laos, and I was totally surprised at the quality of the accommodations," says Pallavi Shah, founder of New York-based Our Personal Guest travel agency. "It's different and laid back--what Vietnam was." Shah visited Luang Prabang, Laos' formal royal capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, and observed local craftswomen working in textiles, silver and wood. The accommodations in Luang Prabang, however, are surprisingly modern: Shah recommends La Résidence Phou Vao, an Orient-Express resort with views over the surrounding mountains and rivers.
Once again this year, Forbes.com has compiled a list of where we want to go in 2007--and where you should, too. We spoke to industry experts and a few of our favorite globe trotters to find out what's hot this year, from wine tasting in Argentina to dune surfing in Africa and everywhere in between. For each destination, we tell you where to go, what to do there and what a round-trip plane ticket from Manhattan will cost. (Note: Airfare reflects flights booked the second week of February from Manhattan to the country's capital and were current as of press time.)
Panama: Best Eco-Tourism - At Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, built along the mile-long coral reef off the country's coast, the nine cabins were built of local, sustainable materials like clay, bamboo and wild cane and incorporate renewable energy in the form of solar panels and bio-digesters, which clean waste water. And at Canopy Tower Ecolodge and Nature Observatory, guests stay in rooms at tree-top level, bird watching above the Soberanía National Park. From New York: $560 on United and COPA Panama