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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Great International Vacations To Check Out

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Dec 25, 2017 9:29 PM

Whether your heart feels drawn to city skylines, open plains, or maritime trails, there's something in this wide, wild world for everyone. No matter if you're a laid-back foodie or an adrenaline-chaser, keep reading below for five of the greatest international vacations worth exploring:

1. Costa Rica

From corn tortilla tacos served up roadside to the spider monkeys and magnificent quetzal birds that populate its flourishing rainforests, Costa Rica teems with sights and delights that awaken the senses. Downtown San Jose boasts stunning Spanish colonial buildings and Neoclassical architecture. The National Theatre of Costa Rica, with its stone friezes and colossal columns is a great example of this, as well as a great place to catch a ballet. Away from the city, family-owned restaurants serve up renditions of patacones (flattened and fried Plantain chips) and tamales that have been passed down through generations. At the Manual Antonio National Park, tourists can snorkel in pristine waters and make acquaintances with endangered species like the white-faced Capuchin. Further inland, the active Poás Volcano and the Arenal Volcano which are responsible for Costa Rica's formation, make for incredible hiking trips and hot spring destinations. Adventure seekers know that the absolute best way to take in Costa Rica's beauty, hands down, is gliding over the canopy by zip-line. iVámonos!

2. Italy

Italy: Mediterranean home of ancient ruins, breathtaking cathedrals, famous artists, luxury fashion, and of course, pasta like you can't experience anywhere else. Tour high-end stores in Milan, Italy's fashion capitol, or soak in the sun as your gondolier croons Italian ballads down the Venice canals. Brush up on your history at the Colosseum in Rome, or indulge sampling slices from Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Admire Michelangelo works in Florence, sip limoncello seaside on the Almalfi Coast, and grab your photo-op "propping" up the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa. No matter which Italian cities you choose to explore, never skimp out on a chance to eat gelato. Or cannoli. Or tiramisu.

3. Tanzania

Tanzania's Serengeti plains serve as habitat to a multitude of safari creatures. From giant, floppy-eared elephants to majestic lions and playful chimpanzees, Tanzania is a wildlife mecca. Tanzania safari tours are an especially popular attraction if you wish to witness the wilderness up close. In addition to its incredible open plains, Tanzania also boasts one of the tallest mountain peaks in all of Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,895 meters above sea level, Kilimanjaro claims a spot on the bucket list of many avid mountaineers. The now dormant volcano is a popular hub for hiking and climbing, as well as spotting safari creatures. Offshore lies the tropical archipelago of Zanzibar, complete with 19th-century historical landmarks and coral reefs where you just might be lucky enough to spot a sea turtle or whale shark.

4. Bali

Bali isn't nicknamed the "Island of the Gods" for nothing! This forested Indonesian island is known for its iconic rice paddies, legendary volcanoes, turquoise waters, flourishing coral reefs, and sensational resorts. Its beauty is breathtaking. Long before it ever earned its top-rated spot as a vacation destination however, Bali was a sacred place for religious sites. The number of shrines and temples located here meanders well into more than 10,000. These sacred spaces are popular sightseeing attractions, given their peaceful atmosphere, rich history, and intricate architecture styles. While most are ancient, these sites spring to life with traditional dance, attire, and activities such as gambling during festivals or temple anniversaries. Bali's spiritual roots make it a popular destination for yoga and meditation retreats too! Rest, relaxation, and awareness are central to experiencing the island's wonders at their best. If yoga isn't quite your niche, catch a wave surfing at the famous Kuta Beach. Explore a monkey forest, prepare local ingredients at an Indonesian cooking class, try your hand at paddle-boarding, or stumble upon a hidden waterfall while hiking. From ropes courses to spas, Bali appeals to the thrill-seekers and R&R-seekers alike.

5. Australia

Do you prefer the city or the countryside? Perhaps you're more of a beach person or mountain soul? Forget choosing and get the best of both worlds with a trip to Australia! A visit to the outback might just render a kangaroo, platypus, or koala sighting. A trek to one of Australia's many canyons will certainly render incredible views and hidden natural spring pools with rushing waterfalls. Get your saltwater fix on the coast with a sailing outing, or snorkeling the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Foodies and fashion-lovers won't be able to choose which "Down Under" metropolis to visit first; Sydney offers stellar architecture (such as the Harbour Bridge and renowned Sydney Opera House) while Brisbane's museum scene features a bubbling hub for contemporary art and culture. Melbourne continues to burgeon with hipster haunts and is the ideal city for shopping, nightlife, and catching a music festival. Adventure on! 

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