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The tiny hamlet of Jaco is located in the Pacific Coast province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. It’s the ultimate hideaway for sun seekers and active travelers, with cinnamon-hued volcanic-sand beaches, lush green rain forest and verdant mountains. Surfers flock here from around the world, but families, and honeymooners also find much to love, thanks to the multitude of beaches, outdoor activities, dining, shopping and nightlife. Explore the Costa Rican rain forest by horseback, learning about the flora and fauna in this impressive eco-system. Take an ATV tour to beaches, remote villages and waterfalls. Try your hand at sport fishing, paragliding, sea kayaking or even bungee jumping. Spend an afternoon at the Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls, where you’ll find millions of plants, flowers and orchids from around the world. Zip line through the jungle, play a round of golf or take an aerial tram tour of the rain forest. Expert surfers will want to check out La Roca Loca and Playa Hermosa for a challenge.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is at the centre of an array of geological wonder. The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica's most active volcano, routinely bursting with lava and ash, and the Catarata de La Fortuna is a waterfall pouring from a seventy-metre cliff. The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day's excursion.
If waterfalls, hot springs, wildlife and volcanoes are your thing, then Arenal Volcano National Park will take your breath away. One of the world’s most active volcanoes burps tufts of smoke in the background as you make your way through forests and old lava fields. Take a rafting tour or hit the beach, then retire to a comfy hotel.
If you’re a history buff and a die-hard foodie, Chicago’s your kind of town. Take an architectural-history walking tour, then dine at Alinea (the most celebrated molecular-gastronomy restaurant in the U.S.). And don’t miss the Museum of Science and Industry, the biggest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
We've heard Toronto described as "New York City run by the Swiss," and it's true—you can find world-class theatre, shopping and restaurants here, but the sidewalks are clean and the people are friendly. The best place to start is literally at the top—the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.
Known for its markets and its striking 19th-century limestone architecture, Kingston is a great base for exploring the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence River and its national park. Visit Wolfe Island on the free ferry, or hunt for antiques in nearby villages.
Ottawa is a compact, clean, cleverly planned centre of culture and politics. And it's an ideal choice for a weekend getaway. Start downtown at the architecturally stunning National Gallery of Canada, and don't miss the Canadian Nature Museum and the National Aviation Museum. Rideau Canal offers boating in the summer and ice-skating in the winter. Gatineau Park attracts cyclists and walkers, while Byward Market blends old and new Ottawa.
Montreal, c’est si bon! This French-speaking city is considered the cultural capital of Canada, and is a cosmopolitan celebration of Québécois style. A horse-drawn carriage ride around the cobblestone streets and grand buildings of Vieux-Montréal will give you a taste of European flavour. The Basilique Notre-Dame is a confection of stained glass, and the Plateau Mont-Royal district will delight you with its quaint boutiques and cafés. Dig in to a massive plate of poutine to fuel up for a tour of the epic Olympic Park.
Quebec City may be the only fortified city north of Mexico, but it welcomes visitors with open arms. Explore the Citadel, where you might catch Canadian troops staging a military ceremony. As for food, you could splurge on afternoon tea at the Chateau Frontenac, or do as the locals do and snack on poutine—french fries with gravy and cheese curds.
Anne of Green Gables! There, we got that out of the way. Besides chasing the famous fictional heroine, you'll find Charlottetown's own history, culture and nightlife keep you more than busy. Enjoy outdoor activities from golfing to boardwalk strolls and biking by day, and theatre and performance arts by night.
Soaring mountains, jewel-coloured lakes and pristine wilderness await you in Canada’s first National Park. The irresistible beauty of the landscape invites travellers to immerse themselves in the outdoors all year round — whether hiking through untouched forests and paddling the turquoise lakes in summertime, or skiing the slopes and soaking in the steamy hot springs during the winter. Travellers also enjoy the warm hospitality of Banff or Lake Louise, the region’s charming mountain townships.
Located on the sunny Lake Okanagan, Kelowna offers a cure for whatever ails you. Spend the weekend golfing, relaxing on the beach or exploring a nature trail. The Okanagan Valley is chock-full of orchards, while many local vineyards offer wine tasting and tours. Stop at the mid-19th-century Father Pandosy Mission for a glimpse of Kelowna's history, then plan a moonlit cruise on the lake to end your day.
What happens when a "gassy" Englishman rows into town feeling thirsty? A pub is born. And from that a city—in this case Vancouver. Though the pubs are plentiful, food and drink aren’t the only things to take in during your trip. In its 150 years, Vancouver has grown into a cosmopolitan city nestled in the great outdoors. Enjoy the snow-capped mountains, waterfront forests, cityside beaches, Olympic history and the world’s highest suspension bridge. Hipsters welcome. (Don’t worry, they don’t bite.)