At Esplanade Travel we understand that planning a trip right now can be a bit overwhelming. The pandemic has left us wondering what countries are open? What restrictions are in place in this country? Will I need to take time off to quarantine? This is where we can help! We have compiled a list of our favorite destinations that are currently welcoming U.S. citizens without requiring you to quarantine as long as you are vaccinated.
We are starting off this list with the country that has it all: Peru! The Andes Mountains trickle their way into Peru from the southern border and is home to the famous Machu Picchu. Head east to get a glimpse into the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. You can either explore on foot or walk through the canopy 40 meters above the ground on a series of rope bridges. Tour Lima on a bike or ride horseback through the historic city of Cusco. There is no shortage of ways to get around Peru!
Find yourself surrounded by turquoise blue water and thriving vegetation in the island nation of the Maldives, located in the Indian Subcontinent. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, the Maldives might just be the perfect spot. Spend your nights in an overwater villa, and enjoy your days underwater diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Make sure you don’t leave without trying their Keyn! It is a traditional dish of the islands made from the freshest coconut, fish, and starches.
A trip to the wonderful Celtic island of Ireland will prove to be worthwhile because there is so much to see and do. One of the captivating sights you can find is the Cliffs of Moher. You can find it by traveling along the island’s 1500 miles of coastline known as the Wild Atlantic Way. For dinner, head over to the 18th century market for a hot stew and cozy up in the evening by entering a local pub to enjoy some traditional music and some of the best whiskey you will ever have.
Esplande Tip: Pack clothes for every season. Weather changes in a blink of an eye in the North Atlantic!
4. South Africa
South Africa has a beautiful and vibrant culture. The best starting point is their V&A waterfront, which hosts an abundance of restaurants, bars, and activities for all ages and interests. To escape the city, head down to Boulder Beach and get to know some of the African Penguins. Make your way up Table Mountain National Park to admire the view of South Africa from one of their flat-top peaks. Lastly, ride along on a Safari through Kruger national park for some amazing wildlife views of elephants, lions, zebras, and more!
The Island of Iceland may be cold, but the hospitality of their small and tight-knit community is some of the warmest and inviting that you can find. Head down to the south coast to find some of mother nature’s most unique creations. Jump on a boat to cruise through the glaciers of Jokulsarlon Lagoon, and walk along the salt columns and black sand of Reynisfjara beach. End the trip by heading up north to take a dip in Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon hot spring.
Esplande Tip: Travel here between the months of January and March for the best viewing of the Northern Lights!
The middle eastern country of Jordan is the perfect blend of everything old and new, as the city of Amman conserves its heritage with pride. Make your way down to Petra to view their rock-cut architecture and kick back with some of their camels. For a little adrenaline rush, camp in Wadi Rum and ride through the desert dunes by a 4×4 or a sandboard. To relax, take a dip in the Dead Sea and treat your skin to its natural salt, mineral, and muddy composition.
For all the history buffs out there, Greece could be the perfect journey for you. Visting the city of Athens feels like stepping into an old storybook. Walk the ruins to get a sense of the Greek Mythology, and see the remnants of what is commonly referred to as the “Cradle of Western Civilization”. Board one of the ferrys on the mainland to go island hopping through the Mediterranean paradise. Discover the white-washed stone buildings of the Cyclades that once upon a time, guarded civilization against Pirates.
Esplanade Tip: Bring a good pair of sneakers. You will want to be walking a lot, and you can’t enter ancient ruins in heels!
In Northern Africa the culture of Morocco is visible wherever you go. Enter the Imperial city of Marrakech to shop among the souks where you can find anything from handmade rugs, leather goods, pottery, and piles of spices. Visit Chefchaouen to see all the vibrant blue architecture, and travel to the lower valleys of the wadis Ziz and Gheris to walk through the world’s largest desert oasis. Head from the desert valleys to the snowy mountain tops and hit the slopes of Oukaimeden. Not a sight many expect to see in Morocco!
9. Costa Rica
How does it sound to be Ziplining through the treetops of the Costa Rican rainforest? What about white-water rafting down the jungle floor? The Central American country holds plenty of surprises for any visitor. Stay in one of their luxury treehouses where you can watch the sunrise from your own porch where you can completely immerse yourself in the country’s diverse natural wildlife. At the end of the day, you can always keep things low-key by relaxing on one of their many, many tropical beaches.
Covid-19 has transformed the world of international tourism in a way that leaves most travelers hesitant. Reopening borders presents its own challenges, and there are only a select few countries right now that will let US citizens enter without a mandatory quarantine requirement. It is important to remember that the precautions in place ensure that we can travel respectfully by keeping the people of each country we visit, healthy and happy as they share the beauty of their home with us. So grab your vaccine card and check the expiration date on that passport (make sure it is valid for at least 6 months!) because the world is waiting for you!