Piracy of the Caribbean III: Now a Trilogy!

Much like our trip to the Caribbean early next year, the history of the Caribbean is not only told on land but on the high seas as well. Piracy is not only the theme of our adventure, but it was a way of life for hundreds of years as men and women fought the law, and other law breakers, for the ability to live their lives the way they wanted as well as to line their pockets with an appropriate amount of coins. Today we are going to take a look at the legendary Pirates of the high seas and highlight some great stories!

Samuel Bellamy, better known by the moniker of “Black Sam” Bellamy, was an English pirate who roamed the seas in the early 18th century. Bellamy was born in 1689 to parents Stephen and Elizabeth in Devonshire, England. The youngest of six children he took up sailing very early in his life and by the time he was in his teenage years he had joined the Royal Navy and fought in many conflicts. He had a wild affair with a woman by the name of Maria Hallett, sometimes called the ‘Witch of Wellfleet’ for the belief that she used witchcraft to curse Bellamy when he did not return to her in a prompt fashion. Bellamy turned to a life of piracy and was very effective in the year he was active, even crossing paths with the man who would one day become known as Blackbeard! Bellamy would go on to capture or sink 53 ships in that short span and he became feared throughout the New World for his brilliant tactics and the ruthlessness that he managed to display. Just two months after acquiring the Whydah, a massive ship which was the largest pirate ship up until that point, it crashed off the coast of Massachusetts and claimed Bellamy’s life. Much of Bellamy’s fame came after his death, as it was calculated by Forbes that Bellamy was actually the richest pirate of all time, being worth over 130 million dollars at the time of his death when accounting for inflation.

Captain William Kidd was a Scottish sailor who sailed in the 17th century. He was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a trip that had sent him to the Indian Ocean. Many historians now believe that Kidd’s piracy charges were actually trumped up and that he was a mere privateer. What has contributed to the great myth about the man though is the belief that he left buried treasure behind to be found. This belief has penetrated popular culture for a long time, earning mentions in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Gold-Bug” and perhaps most famously in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

Have you decided the pirate’s life is for you? Fantastic! We are proud to be hosting the Black Pearl Ball, which is our welcome aboard Masquerade party!We want you looking like a proper, landowning pirate of course! Can’t have you show up in rags, what would the ‘Gentleman Pirate’ think of that!? For some good ideas for pirate outfits as well as accessories, go here. And for all of the details about our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean, go here.

 

Amazing adventure awaits in Mazatlan, Mexico!

We are very proud to offer trips all around the world, and we are invested in letting others see why we are so passionate about the places we go. The world is a very big place, and within it are numerous sights to see that are as unique as they are beautiful, historically significant, or both.Today we stop into Mazatlan, Mexico!

 

The Malecón of the city is one of the most popular places for both locals and travelers to visit, regardless of the hour or the day! Malecón is a word used in Spanish-speaking countries and it refers to an embankment along a waterfront,  sometimes called a boardwalk as well. The strip of land, which runs for over 20 miles, offers a large variety of shops that will suit any need one could have. The best aspect though is the beautiful view you are treated to as you casually stroll, or run if you prefer, the length of it. The ocean will draw you in as you soak up the atmosphere and it will never let you go. The Malecón is a can’t miss experience!

The Huana Coa Canopy Adventure is not, perhaps, for the faint of heart. This zip lining tour is one of the more popular activities to do while in town, and it’s not hard to see why: the view among and above the trees is really something else. There are a myriad of different zip lines placed throughout the area so that you can get many different views, with varying amount of feet off the ground depending on just how much of a thrill seeker you are! The experience does not disappoint, with a vast majority of people who have discussed this on various trip sites rating it a five star experience! Aside from the amazing adventure to be had the guides there are noted for their friendliness as well as their knowledge of the area, allowing them to perfectly impart a lot of really great facts to their guests!

The Plaza Machado is the heart of Mazatlan, with the plaza being built around the original settlement of the area. During the day it is the center for culture, outdoor dining, and beautiful views of various portions of the city. The historic downtown area has a lot to offer anyone who ventures into it, and anyone who visits the city is going to definitely want to do just that. It is at night, however, when the plaza’s true magic appears. Music floats through the air and the energy of the entire place hums all around. There are many places to dance the night away and to watch as artisans of the night ply their various trades with fun banter and skill.

Mazatlan has an uncommon liveliness to it. From beautiful views to adventure atop trees to soaking in the heart of the city, there is a lot to do in this beautiful Mexican city! It just so happens that we have the perfect opportunity for you to experience it for yourself with our Atlantis Halloween Cruise, which travels from LA to Mexico! Don’t miss out on this great trip! To find out all of the details on what awaits you, go here.

Pizza off the coast of St. Thomas and Smoothies in St. John!

One of the great things about traveling is the chance to experience different cultures around the world first hand, and there are few better ways to do that then to take a bite of someone’s food. Like music, food is a universal language. We all eat, we enjoy food in vastly different ways, and one person’s supreme meal is another person’s garbage.  I have been doing a lot of research lately when it comes to the highlights of the world, and quite a bit of that time has been devoted to various eateries. Today we rock the boat in St. Thomas and lean back and relax in St. John. 

 

Pizza Pi is not, by any stretch of the imagination, your ordinary pizza place. Captain Sasha and Chef Tara endeavored for something different from the start, and by all accounts they have managed to accomplish this with their vision of taking the concept of a food truck to the high seas and making it into a food boat! It took the two of them two years to redo the ship to be the perfect pizza making machine! The pair are dedicated to serving New York style pizza in a unique fashion while still ensuring that the product is top notch, and people who have gone on the boat don’t have any complaints! Patrons of the floating restaurant cite the amazing atmosphere of the surrounding water as being a big selling point when it comes to visiting this place. That being said let’s be clear here: the pizza is amazing as well. Made with fresh ingredients and all sorts of toppings the food here is as just as good, if not better, than you would expect of any pizzeria attached to land. Everyone is in agreement that Sasha and Tara are amazing people who deliver over the top customer service with big smiles on their faces at all times. They clearly love what they do here, and it shows in the quality of the food and the relationships they form with their customers.

Our Market Smoothies operates out of it St. John and is, in a word, fantastic. It is the number one rated place to go for a drink according to several metrics on the entire island! First off the customer service here is top notch, with Thomas the owner and the person who is going to be doing most of the blending throughout the day. People simply rave how his smoothies are quite possibly the greatest smoothies they have ever had. Not only that though but he takes the time to regale you with stories from around the island or playing a game with you while you are there. Thomas being a great guy aside though, the smoothies are the real star of the show. Expertly blended, crafted with fresh fruit in just the right proportions to be savory, almost no one complains about their deliciousness! Crowd pleaders include the BBC, made with Light Rum, Bailey’s Coconut, and a Banana as well as Love City which is a mix of Cognac, Passionfruit, and Strawberry. You owe it to yourself to give one of the many flavor combinations a shot when you visit St. John, you won’t regret it!

 

Whether you are in the mood for eating at sea or drinking on land, the above choices are excellent for anyone who is looking for a great time! Remember to check back to the blog as the weeks continue for more great foodie options from all around the world and so much more! If this article go you excited to go traveling then remember St. Thomas and St. John are just part of our amazing adventure known as Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean! For all of the information we have on this exciting trip, go here.

Fortifying Your Knowledge of San Juan Landmarks!

We will be traveling to various places around the Caribbean as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean and we here know that people like a certain amount of adventure whenever they travel abroad. To that end we are going to look at some of the exciting prospects at our destinations and show you a few ideas for you to have a great time on this or any other trip to the Caribbean. Today we take in some of the landmarks of San Juan, where the people of the past are not forgotten!

Castillo San Felipe del Morro, otherwise known as Morro Castle, is a 16th-century citadel built by the Spanish. It is named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The construction of the building and its surrounding walls began in 1539 on the order of King Charles V of Spain. Sometimes referred to as el Morro, or ‘the promontory’, it was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay as well as defend the city against seafaring enemies. During the Spanish rule of the island, from 1539 to 1898,  the fort survived several attacks from other major global powers spread throughout the years. In 1595 the English led by Sir Francis Drake attacked the city with his fleet but were repelled. Later the Dutch would capture the city by bypassing the Fort’s natural defense of the Bay and going overland. However the fort withstood the long siege and eventually the Dutch were forced to withdraw, although they did sack the city before leaving. The last bit of activity for El Morro came in 1898 during the Spanish-American war, where American naval forces attacked three times. Eventually this assault led to the Treaty of Paris, which gave Puerto Rico, among other Caribbean islands, to the United States. In 1983 the citadel was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Over two million people visit it every year, making it one of the more popular tourist attractions on the island.

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is a colonial-era cemetery located in Old San Juan and construction began on it in 1863. Many of Puerto Rico’s most famous and well regarded citizens are laid to rest there. The location of the cemetery is central to the Puerto Rican belief in the barrier between life and death. The Spanish government who oversaw the construction of the cemetery viewed death with trepidation due to it being the great unknown. With this in mind, it was decided that the cemetery would be built to overlook the Atlantic Ocean in a symbolic gesture of the spirit’s journey to cross over to the next life. Many visitors come here every year to take in the beautiful work done on the various constructs all around the cemetery. Notable people laid to rest here include Aurora de Albornoz, Ricardo Alegria and José Ferrer. 

San Juan has a lot of history behind it, and that is shown in its buildings as well as how beautifully they honor their dead. However for all of its interesting past and intriguing places to explore, San Juan is just one of the many great places you can travel to as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean! For all of the information you could possibly want on this amazing trip, go here.

Piracy of the Caribbean continued!

Much like our trip to the Caribbean early next year, the history of the Caribbean is not only told on land but on the high seas as well. Piracy is not only the theme of our adventure, but it was a way of life for hundreds of years as men and women fought the law, and other law breakers, for the ability to live their lives the way they wanted as well as to line their pockets with an appropriate amount of coins. Every Monday we are going to take a look at the legendary Pirates of the high seas and highlight some great stories!

Stede Bonnet was a pirate from Barbados who plundered in the early 18th century. Bonnet was known as the “Gentleman Pirate” because he was a fairly wealthy landowner before he turned to his life of crime. He inherited his father’s estate when he was just six years old. He did not begin his campaign into piracy until the summer of 1717, and did so because he thought his life was boring and lacked the necessary adventure a young man should possess. He bought a sailing vessel, named it Revenge, and traveled throughout the eastern seaboard of the United States laying waste to people for glorious booty. Bonnet set sail for Nassau in the Bahamas but was grievously wounded on the way there. Upon arrival he met Edward Teach, otherwise known as the infamous pirate Blackbeard. He ceded control of his crew to Blackbeard for a time and the two of them went on to plunder many ships and cause all sorts of problems for the people in the region. Little over a year after his piracy career began he was captured for his crimes and begged for clemency, famously offering to cut off his own legs and arms so that he could no longer commit any untoward acts. His pleas fell upon deaf ears however and he was hanged in December of 1718, he was 30 years old.

Bartholomew Roberts, born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships all throughout the world betwen 1719 and 1722. He is widely considered to be the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy due to the fact that he plundered, sank, or captured over 470 vessels throughout his brief but highly busy career. He is known as Black Bart, but the name was attributed to him only after his death. He turned to a life of piracy after the ship he was third mate of was captured by one, Howell Davis, who recognized Roberts’ talents as a navigator and brought him into the fold. Roberts was reluctant at first but soon realized that the life of crime paid very well indeed. Roberts was killed in battle in 1722 when a gapeshot stuck him in the throat as he was standing on the deck. His death shocked the pirate world to its core, as many thought the man was invincible.

Have you decided the pirate’s life is for you? Fantastic! We are proud to be hosting the Black Pearl Ball, which is our welcome aboard Masquerade party!We want you looking like a proper, landowning pirate of course! Can’t have you show up in rags, what would the ‘Gentleman Pirate’ think of that!? For some good ideas for pirate outfits as well as accessories, go here. And for all of the details about our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean, go here.

Going to great heights to experience Antigua!

We will be traveling to various places around the Caribbean as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean and we here know that people like a certain amount of adventure whenever they travel abroad. To that end we are going to look at some of the exciting prospects at our destinations and show you a few ideas for you to have a great time on this or any other trip to the Caribbean. Today we’re going to Antiguawhere the great view is only the half of it!

Shirley Heights, as the name suggests, is a very high point on the island of Antigua. It used to be a military complex which served as a lookout over English Harbor and a small military installation. As the island’s Signal Station, it employed a series of flags during the day or a series of guns at night when they needed to get a message to St. John’s. Aside from the mild historical context the amazing view is what this place is really about. People are in complete agreement that watching the sun set at this particular vantage point is one of the most beautiful in the entire Caribbean, if not the world. Many of the views in postcards and magazines of Antigua, or in photos like the above, come from this location. The breathtaking view of the island is one that absolutely cannot be missed!

The Donkey Sanctuary on the island is a great deal of fun made from something with a more sinister past. Back in the days of slavery the donkeys were used to haul sugar all over the island, and as you can imagine the animals were treated very poorly and were overworked to the extreme. When slavery was abolished and there was no longer mass quantities of sugar to be transported the donkeys were abandoned to their fate. Luckily, a group of very kind people decided that the animals should be given a home and thus this lovely place come into being! Everyone who visits the sanctuary raves about how fun it is, and how remarkably gentle the creatures are. They are quite friendly and most of all the donkeys love all of the attention you can give them. The Sanctuary offers tours of the facility where a knowledgeable guide will give you some great information on the donkeys you are observing! Perhaps not what would expect on a beautiful island, but a must see replace regardless!

 

Hell’s Gate is a rock formation that holds a little bit of mythos behind it. You may have noticed the rock looks very similar to the continent of Africa. Local legend says that when people were being brought over by Africa they would have to pass this rock to reach the island proper, and that over time the formation shifted to match the land where these people came from. Regardless of legends though, the people who visit the rock formation really get a kick out of it and it is a lovely place to take some photographs. All of the pristine water surrounding the formation doesn’t hurt a bit either! You can even go snorkeling nearby, which is a treat due to all of the fish that swim in the waters.

Antigua is a very attractive island with a lot of fun activities to explore! It never ceases to amaze me just how beautiful so many of the islands of the Caribbean are, it is TRULY humbling to be able to view it. We are happy to be visiting here as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean! For all of the information about this trip, please go here!

The All Natural Approach to Fun in St. Croix!

We will be traveling to various places around the Caribbean as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean and we here know that people like a certain amount of adventure whenever they travel abroad. To that end we are going to look at some of the exciting prospects at our destinations and show you a few ideas for you to have a great time on this or any other trip to the Caribbean. Today we look at St. Croix, where nature dominates with all its splendor! 

The Buck Island Reef National Monument is, by all accounts, breath taking. The beach of Buck Island is beautiful and gets discussed quite a bit among tourists who have visited the island, easily marking it as one of the must-see places while visiting St. Croix. The beach is just the beginning of it though, as once you get your feet wet the real fun begins. The reefs off the coast of the island are said to be some of the most beautiful in the world, and people rave about what a great snorkeling spot it is. The area is also very accessible and you don’t need to be an expert snorkeler to take in this amazing sight!

Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is another example of the beauty of the island coming out in full force without the need for manmade constructs to clutter the landscape. The refuge is notable for the fact that it probably has the most sand for your enjoyment of any beach in St. Croix, with massive dunes dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see. Visitors describe the beach as a ‘total’ zen spot where you can forget all of your worries and just relax for a few hours in the gorgeous white sand. As for the animals, there is a wide variety of birds to check out, some more exotic than others that will surely excite you. A big fan favorite among the crowds that visit are the turtles though, who are noted for being notoriously adorable! Just remember: you aren’t allowed to take one of them home, so don’t do anything illegal!

Isaac Bay is yet another beautiful beach on the island, unlike some of the others though, it’s going to take a little bit of work to get to this out of the way location. The only way to get to it by land is to do a fair bit of hiking that can, at times, get a little bit hilly. Everyone is in agreement though: the effort is more than worth the amazing view this place has to offer. One of the great benefits of putting in a little bit of work is you won’t ever have to worry about this place being crowded, either! Like other locations around the island you can also get some premium snorkeling time in here, and it comes highly praised in this particular spot!

St. Croix’s natural beautiful is a sight to behold. While I am all in favor of beautiful cities, there is something deeply humbling to be able to take in nature that is largely untouched by the hands of man. You can take it in as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean! For all of the information about this wonderful trip, go here.

 

Introducing the Scoundrel to Spain, Sir Francis Drake!

Much like our trip to the Caribbean early next year, the history of the Caribbean is not only told on land but on the high seas as well. Piracy is not only the theme of our adventure, but it was a way of life for hundreds of years as men and women fought the law, and other law breakers, for the ability to live their lives the way they wanted as well as to line their pockets with an appropriate amount of coins. Every Monday we are going to take a look at the legendary Pirates of the high seas and highlight some great stories! Today I am highlighting one legendary man, who led many successful campaigns within the Caribbean as well as all over the world.

Sir Francis Drake is a man of contention between the English and the Spanish. To his people in England he was a national hero, and why wouldn’t he be? He led several attacks against their enemies and was a capable ship captain. Not only that, but he became the first Englishman to lead an expedition that circumnavigated the globe successfully. In a strange note about the man’s mannerisms it is said that before he had a supposed mutineer, Thomas Doughty, beheaded he granted the man’s request for communion and while they were eating they both laughed like old friends and kept good cheer despite the circumstances. Drake’s greatest early success is undoubtedly the raid he perpetrated at Panama in 1573. It was hard fought, and involved the Spanish dogging their steps, but eventually they made out with several tons of treasure to bring back home. Drake, having been sent ahead and looking quite a mess, played a joke on his men who were awaiting him off island by appearing disappointed before pulling out a necklace of Spanish gold and giving them the good news.

As much as such successes made him a hero to England, it equally made him a villain to the Spanish people. He led successful attacks on Vigo and Santiago before selling across the Atlantic and sacking Santo Domingo and capturing Cartagena de Indias, which is present day Colombia. To top it off, he raided the Spanish fort of San Augustin in Florida. So angered was the Spanish King Philip II he ordered the invasion of England. Drake, not nearly having finished with the Spanish yet, launched a pre-emptive strike and ‘singed the beard of the King of Spain’ in 1587 by going into Cadiz and Corunna, two of Spain’s most important ports, and took the harbors. Afterwards he patrolled the Iberian coasts and disrupted the Spanish supply line in a major way. Due to the nature of these attacks the Spanish invasion force was delayed by nearly a year. When the Spanish Armada finally made its attempt to invade England Drake, a vice admiral at the time, won many battles for the English and contributed mightily to the defense of his homeland.

All good things must come to an end though, and so Drake’s success against the Spanish would as well. In his fifties he failed to conquer the port of Las Palmas, and led a disastrous campaign against Spanish America where he suffered numerous defeats. In his final conflict he led an unsuccessful attack on San Juan, Puerto Rico, eventually losing the famous ‘Battle of San Juan.’ He survived the encounter, but died weeks later of dysentery while anchored near Panama. With his dying breaths he asked to be dressed in his full armor and to be buried at sea. His wishes were respected and he was buried in a lead coffin near Portobelo, where explorers still search for the infamous coffin to this day. A hero to some, a villain to others, Sir Francis Drake left an indelible mark on history.

Have you decided the pirate’s life is for you? Fantastic! We are proud to be hosting the Black Pearl Ball, which is our welcome aboard Masquerade party! You have to do Sir Francis Drake proud of course, you can’t be looking like a scoundrel now can you? For some good ideas for pirate outfits as well as accessories, go here. And for all of the details about our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean, go here.

An excellent culinary experience in San Juan!

One of the great things about traveling is the chance to experience different cultures around the world first hand, and there are few better ways to do that then to take a bite of someone’s food. Like music, food is a universal language. We all eat, we enjoy food in vastly different ways, and one person’s supreme meal is another person’s garbage.  I have been doing a lot of research lately when it comes to the highlights of the world, and quite a bit of that time has been devoted to various eateries. Today’s treats come from San Juan, where local ingredients are turned into something special!

Marmalade is a truly thrilling experience that any person who enjoys food should treat themselves to while in the city. Not to be mistaken for a wholly casual experience, sandals and shorts aren’t part of the dress code but the ambiance more than makes up for having to get dressed up. Customers note that the service is fantastic with friendly and knowledgeable staff. It was a consistent trend that the bar tenders here know their drinks and create absolutely delicious concoctions to be enjoyed! Speaking of drinks, this restaurant has won six awards of excellence when it comes to wine pairings, so you can expect very high quality wine that suits the food you are eating here.

 

There is a special pride here about how they go about their business. On an island where over ninety percent of the food is imported for consumption, they aggressively pursue and support small producers and local farmers who share their ideals for organic and sustainable means of producing and eating food. They have plenty of vegan options but what is the true common denominator in all of their food is the commitment to excellence and the explosive flavors they pack into every dish. For fish lovers they have the Queen Red Snapper, which is poached in a Thai style curry and coconut broth and then served over a bed of jasmine rice and spiced shrimp-sesame dumplings. Customers rave that the flavors mix beautifully and create a marvelous seafood experience. The Heritage Berkshire Pork Cheeks are another delicious item, served with barbequed black bean puree, garlicky greens roasted peanut and lime emulsion, and a Californian peach-pablano marmalade. The mixture of flavors are talked about as quite the delight!

 

No fine dining experience is complete without some delicious dessert, of course. One of the featured item is the Millionaires Ice Cream, which is churned with fresh French summer truffles on the inside and served with honeycomb & hazelnuts along with shaved truffles on the outside. It is a truly amazing ice cream experience that customers keep coming back for time and time again! For something truly organic one only needs to look towards the Blueberry-Lavender “No-No” cake. No gluten, no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, no refined sugar of any kind, no GMO’s… everything organic! Needless to say it also tastes absolutely fantastic and is one of the most ordered items off of the dessert menu! They also have a peanut brittle ice cream that wasn’t talked about much but that I personally would love to try, as a lover of peanut brittle!

Marmalade is an interesting and creative restaurant that is clearly striving to bring something amazing to the people of San Juan. Their commitment to excellence oozes off all of their decisions, and their welcoming staff proceeds what is world class food. You should stop in whenever you are in town, and you can get in town as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Pirates of the Caribbean! For all of the information for this amazing cruise, go here.

10 Life-Changing Festivals Around the World!

The article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

The Festival of Lights, India.

Traveling isn’t cheap. But some trips are worth the extra cash and the strict budgeting.

If you’re looking for a life-changing travel experience that gives you an intimate view of the history and character of a culture or country, consider attending one of these 10 festivals.

1. HOLI: THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS – INDIA

The Holi festival of colors celebrates the beginning of spring — in late February or early March — and is observed mainly in India and Nepal. Revelers shed the gloom of winter by throwing colored powder and water on others, dancing and singing. This is also a time when India’s social rules are relaxed, and the mending of broken relationships is encouraged.

2. MARDI GRAS – NEW ORLEANS 

Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is the final day of partying before Ash Wednesday. But in New Orleans, tourists and locals celebrate during the days leading up to Mardi Gras with parades, costumes, music, the throwing of beads, drinking and partying. The celebration brings in more than $1 billion every year in spending for New Orleans. In 2016, a lot of people will be celebrating from Feb. 5 to Feb. 9, and parades will begin as early as January.

Of course, there is more than one way to party for Mardi Gras! Next March Sydney is hosting a fabulous Gay Mardi Gras event in Sidney, and we’ve got you covered. To see how you can have a once in a lifetime experience, go here.

3. CARNIVAL – BRAZIL 

Brazil’s Carnival is considered the largest carnival in the world. From Feb. 5 to Feb. 9, there will be plenty of street bands, samba parades, balls and parties in Rio. This year, nearly 1 million tourists visited Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, and the city was able to generate $782 million in revenue, reports The Rio Times.

4. DAY OF THE DEAD – MEXICO

Day of the Dead — or Dia de los Muertos — is a ritual in which people celebrate and honor their deceased relatives. The holiday is celebrated in the U.S., Latin America and Mexico, where it originated. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 2,  people will remember their loved ones with parades, processionals and vigils.

5. RUNNING OF THE BULLS – SPAIN 

From July 6 to July 14, tourists travel to Pamplona, Spain for the San Fermin festival to see the famous running of the bulls where thrill seekers put themselves in the path of six bulls set loose in the streets. The run is followed by music, fireworks and more festivities.

6. OKTOBERFEST – GERMANY 

What started off as a celebration of the marriage between Bavarian Prince Louis and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen later became an annual festival in Munich, Germany. Today’s Oktoberfest includes more than 6 million people going to parades, dressing up in costumes and drinking lots and lots of beer.

Speaking of Oktoberfest, AL and CHUCK have a great deal on a 12 day Oktoberfest River Cruise that start from $1,799! For more details on this exciting trip, go here.

7. BURNING MAN – NEVADA 

Burning Man bills itself not as a festival but as a “temporary metropolis” in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 17, thousands of people gather to explore art, self-expression and community. The event encourages attendees to participate by creating art installations, theme camps or mutant vehicles. Inspiring creativity, individuality and inclusion, Burning Man will likely leave you feeling enriched and connected.

8. GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL – ENGLAND 

The world’s biggest music event, according to the New York Times, takes place in Somerset County near Pilton, England. The Glastonbury Festival celebrated its 45thanniversary back in June, and its line-up included Kanye West, Foo Fighters, The Who, Florence & The Machine, Pharrell Williams and more.

9. LOI KRATHONG – THAILAND 

Loi Krathong festival is a centuries-old festival that typically marks the end of the rainy season. Those celebrating make a wish and create decorated, lotus-shaped boats and baskets with candles or lanterns to float on the river. It’s a symbolic way for people to get rid of bad feelings or prevent bad luck. Loi Krathon is also know for its flying lanterns the light up the sky.

10. INTI RAYMI – PERU 

The Inti Raymi — or Festival of the Sun — in Cusco, Peru is a nine-day winter solstice celebration. The festival features colorful costumes, copious feasting and reenactments of Incan rituals that will transport visitors back to the culture’s ancient past. The festival occurs every June.

For more information on a wide variety of trips all across the world, please be sure to visit http://www.alandchuck.travel/