Destinations You Canít Miss
After years of violence owing to the drug cartel wars, Colombia has begun to emerge as a safe and vibrant travel destination.
Cartagena has a highly developed tourist infrastructure Ė and with a gorgeous 17th century colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and an emerging foodie scene Ė there are activities for everyone.
Most people who go to Cambodia do so to visit to Angkor Wat, the famed ruins in the jungle, but cast a net beyond the limits of Angkor Wat and see a bit more of the country.
Among the highlights are boat trips up the Mekong River and through the jungle to catch a glimpse of the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins or spend some time in vibrant, energised Phnom Penh.
Whether youíre after nights filled with dance parties or sipping decadent cocktails in the born-again area of Kreuzberg, Berlin seems to offer something for almost anyone.
Visit the vast Tiergarten park with lakes, canals, palaces and the eco-aware zoo that is home to superstar polar bear Knut. Tour Karl-Marx-Allee in an authentic Trabant car and walk the remaining stretch of the Wall at the East Side Gallery.
Where: South Africa
A city situated on the water where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, Cape Town will host the 2010 World Cup and promises to have one of the grandest venues for the event.
Visit the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach, along False Bay, or Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.
WATERTON NATIONAL PARK
Where: Alberta, Canada
Waterton is the least-traveled of Albertaís Rocky Mountain Parks and positively otherworldly, with its abrupt shift from prairie to mountain terrain, as well as its icy-blue lake that fills an ancient gully surrounded by mountains and glaciers.
Itís one of the only places in the Canadian Rockies where you can feel apart from the modern world.
Representing Istanbulís up-and-coming and thriving arts scene, the European City of Culture 2010 has already started its build-up with street theatre, art and music galore.
You can throw off that old image of a kebab-laden diet, with sushi bars that would do Tokyo proud and cocktails perfect for chic rooftop bars.
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
Located in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, Waiheke Island is located about 17.7 km (about 35 minutes by ferry) from Auckland. At the forefront of New Zealandís massive wine and olive industry, Waiheke Island still retains a lot of the summer holiday, beach-quality Europeans and creative types come to expect, but there are plenty of deals to be found.
Where: United States
Thereís the influx of new blood and governing energy from January 21 when Barack Obama is inaugurated as US president, but the city is also one of the worldís great budget cities as almost every major attraction Washington has to offer Ė from the Smithsonian Museums to the National Monuments Ė is free.
New for 2009 is the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.
Where: Northern Ireland
In little more than a decade, Belfast has been transformed from feared city into hot destination.
The army check points that once encircled the city centre are a thing of the past and you can amble along the Golden Mile for relaxed drinks or enjoy Irish music in Cathedral Quarter bars.
Try the Laganside for orchestral concerts at the riverfront Waterfront Hall and international cuisine from teppanyaki at Harbour View to seafood at Tedfords.
LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
Where: California, USA
Located 180 miles north of Sacramento, California, Lassen National Park is filled with hot springs, heat vents, sulphur ponds and dormant volcanoes.
Open year-round, thereís only one place to stay within the park thatís not a campsite, of which there are eight, and everything from B&Bs to chain motels surround the park, all reasonably priced.