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January 25th, 2016

Brazil - Rio Grande do Norte

This is the year of the Rio Olympics, which means Brazil is even more of a tourist destination than usual. It also means the country has pulled out all the stops to make sure visitors have the best possible experience. The part of Brazil recommended by those in the know, however, isn’t Rio de Janeiro itself, but an area of the north coast called Rio Grande do Norte. It’s around a three-hour plane trip from Rio de Janeiro, and travellers are rewarded with a beautiful sunshine coast, welcoming locals and a vibrant taste of Brazilian culture.

You can visit all year, although if you want to see the largest off-season carnival in Brazil, make sure you’re there for the first weekend in December for Carnatal. There is an increasing variety of places to stay too, from family-friendly beach resorts to secluded B&Bs.

Safari – Botswana

Recently named by Lonely Planet as the top destination to visit in 2016, Botswana celebrates 50 years of independence this year, and is home to the Okavango Delta, a Unesco World Heritage Site. With a great range of luxury safari accommodation and the chance to see a wonderful range of animals in their natural habitat, both through traditional game drives, and on boat trips through the country’s range of waterways, this is a great 2016 destination for safari-newbies and old hands alike.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

On the island of Hawaii, this national park houses several volcanoes, two of which are said to be among the world’s most active. This is a unique landscape, where, according to National Geographic, hundreds of acres of new land have been created since just 1986, where molten rock has been spewed into the Pacific Ocean. The volcanic land is home to plants and animals that can only be found on Hawaii, and which you can see either by heading out on a self-guided tour, by taking a guide, or even by booking an air experience, where you can see the true majesty of the volcanoes from a helicopter. Stay at Volcano House where, if you’re quick, you can get a room with a crater view.


Most travellers only think of Manila when they conjure up the Philippines, but the country has far more to offer than the busy, smoggy capital. Its 7,107 islands make up an entrancing chain of potential destinations – about 2,000 of them are inhabited – and there are simply thousands of outstanding beaches to choose from. Even the sands change in colour depending where you go – from pretty pink to black – and there are plenty of opportunities for spectacular diving, to take in the coral and fish in the area. A SuperCat high speed catamaran helps you to get from one island to the next and there are several luxury water-stilt hotels where you can arrive by boat to an unspoilt island location.

Eastern Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka captures the heart of the visitor, and so benefits from a lot of return-trip tourism. The Eastern coast of the island has seen a rise in popularity over recent years, and travel experts in the know advise that you visit sooner rather than later. Trincomalee is a harbour town on the coast, and you can take an internal flight there from Colombo, putting you right in the heart of a growing water-sport mecca, with surfing and diving particularly popular. If you want to temper your activity with some culture, there is a range of interesting historical sites, including ancient temples just a short trip away, and when you’re ready to relax, take in some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, sample the local food and relax in one of the growing number of good hotels.

Need help whilst you’re on vacation? At Quintessentially People, we can source exactly the right people to manage your properties while you’re away. Talk to us about nannies – either to come with you or to look after the children while you take a well-earned break – and we can source a wide range of other household staff to make sure you can really sit back and relax.