Intrepid travelers will love safe, peaceful Nicaragua, from its Caribbean shores to its rustic farms in the northern highlands. And you'll find inexpensive rooms everywhere — in intimate coastal resorts or mountain retreats. Birdwatchers should head to Rio San Juan to spot Tennessee warblers and red macaw, or float down the jungle river to view the tropical birdlife undisturbed. Enjoy the turquoise waters of unspoiled Picnic Beach on the Caribbean Corn Islands.
It pays to keep up with the latest political developments, as pockets of this treasure-laden country might be safe enough for savvy travelers — and have bargains galore. You might avoid Cairo's pyramids and Tutankhamen's treasures, but find space on the beaches of Sharm el Sheikh for a budget winter break. Or sit back on a felucca (small wooden sailboat) cruise down the Nile to the dramatic Karnak Temple.
In no time at all, you'll be shouting "Na zdravie!" ("To your health!"), drink in hand, to toast this friendly, compact and relatively young country (independent for just 20 years). Hop from cafe to cafe in the Old Town of the capital, Bratislava; explore the medieval Spis Castle; and enjoy ancient folk culture in traditional villages for a song.
9. Northern Ireland
You can get great deals in Northern Ireland this year, when Derry reigns as the United Kingdom's City of Culture. Pritzker-winning architect Zaha Hadid's cutting-edge Titanic Belfast museum brings fresh life to the dockyard where the doomed cruise liner was built. Stay in an inexpensive guesthouse near Antrim's seaside Giant's Causeway, where you can scramble around the astounding interlocking rock columns.
There's plenty on offer in this South American gem — and that's even avoiding busy Machu Picchu. If you like dramatic scenery and natural beauty, explore the Amazon rainforest or visit the Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Lima's locals love their food, and you can sample Peru's world-renowned cuisine at restaurants in the city's Miraflores district. At Pasquale Hermanos — one of several restaurants operated by acclaimed Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio — traditional sanguches (sandwiches) make for an affordable, authentic meal.
Also of Interest
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- AARP Health Law Answers Tool: Learn how the law can work for you and your family
- Join the discussion: Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains
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