If past years (or recessions) have sucked up your travel budget, plan smart  and get more in bang for your buck in these value destinations, from Lonely  Planet’s Best  in Travel 2012.

1. Northeastern USA

Cities of the American northeast – New  York, Boston and Washington DC – might  not be the world’s cheapest, but you can save a bundle by taking advantage of  the recent boom of budget bus companies. These buses, which also connect with  Philadelphia, Toronto, Pittsburgh and even Charlotte, are a steal at about US$5  one way (and sometimes just US$1). Considering most destinations are  ped-friendly (with good public transport and walkable centres), you can  hop-scotch across the region without booking a flight or hiring a car. Better  still, the ride’s comfortable, there’s free wi-fi, buses leave on time and  there’s often plenty of room.

Book early online to get serious discounts on already cheap routes from Megabus and BoltBus.

2. Japan

Japan had a rough 2011, with  the March earthquake and a hard year for tourism, so travelling there is not  only a good thing to do, but can actually make financial sense. Compared with  destinations like London, Paris or New York, its attractions and accommodation  are often much cheaper. In Tokyo, for example, it’s  possible to find simple, Japanese-style minshuku guesthouses from ¥3000 (US$37).  Also, many attractions are free (eg temples, botanic gardens) or just cheap (the  Tokyo National Museum is a fifth the cost of Tower of London), while attractions  like the Nagano ski runs or Disney tickets are cheaper than Alps lift tickets or  Mickey Mouse’s entry in Anaheim.

The International Tourism Centre for  Japan lists excellent-value minshuku guesthouses.

3. Tajikistan

Marco Polo was impressed – and you will be too, once you experience the  stunning scenery of this safe, stable Central Asian nation. And it can be  accessed at dirt-cheap rates, even including the hire of a car and driver.  Getting a Russian Lada for several days can be arranged for about US$300, which  opens up the Afghan border and Pamir Highway, one of the world’s greatest road  trips. You’ll stop off at hot springs, 2000-year-old stone structures and  cartoon-style forts, finishing your days at village homestays or yurts for about  US$10 per person. For even less, make a DIY trek to emerald lakes close to the  Uzbek border.

Murgab Ecotourism Association has  community-based yurtstays for about US$5 per person.

4. Porto,  Portugal

The town that put the ‘Port’ in Portugal (as well as the port in your wine  glass) is a seriously good deal. Connected with much of Europe via budget  airlines, Porto is a  lovely town of atmospheric narrow lanes, village-like plazas and buildings  decked in azuelo tile. You can stay in antique-filled inns with river views from  just €25 (US$37.75), take a ride on an historical tram (€1; US$1.40) or head to  the beach near Afurada village by ferry (€1). A few hours east is the  traditional wine district of Alto Douro, where you cruise in a flat-bottomed  boat (€20; US$28.50) and sleep in 200-year-old homes (€60; US$86). And did we  mention the port?

The Ribeira district has dozens of lodges offering cheap wine tastings  and tours (eg Vinologia).

5. Lesotho

Mountains, cannibal caves, dinosaur footprints, crafts markets – and you get  around by pony. Welcome to Lesotho, the ‘kingdom of the  sky’. Completely enveloped by South Africa, it’s a cheaper proposition than its  powerful neighbour, with pony treks its main tourist drawcard. The best deals  are to the west at off-the-beaten-track Malealea, about 60km southeast of the  capital Masuru, where multiday treks lead into a massive mountain range and  landscape coloured musk and orange. It’s extraordinary – and cheaper than pony  treks in the east. Overnight trips, including a pony, food and a guide, begin at  US$50 per day.

Malealea Lodge is a century-old  trading post transformed into a well-run lodge with pony treks and good  meals.

6. Iquitos, Peru

Booking a five-day Amazon cruise from abroad can run to US$3500 per person,  not including flights. That can be cut at least in half by dealing directly with  folks in Iquitos – the world’s biggest city not reachable by road. Local outfits  can tailor trips to venture into piranha fishing spots, look for pink dolphins  in the wildlife-rich Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve (stopping at native  villages to mingle with Amazonians) or reach the rustic Otorongo Lodge on the  Colombian border. Meanwhile, Iquitos  is interesting in itself: Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower) fame came to build rubber  baron’s mansions. The best time to visit is October or November, when it’s still  dry but before summer crowds.

For examples of trips on offer, check out Dawn  on the Amazon.

7. San  Francisco, USA

The city by the bay might expensive to live in, but San  Francisco practically begs you to visit. Little boutique hotels near Union  Square can be had for under US$100 – a fraction of what you’ll pay in New York  or London. Beyond the street cars (the historical ones on Market St are cheaper  than the touristy cable cars), BART has cheap, easy links to San Francisco’s  airport – so no need for US$60 taxi rides. Food-wise, San Francisco’s ‘mission  burrito’ (stuffed with rice, beans and carne asada) goes for US$5 in the  bar-filled Mission. And there’s so much cheap and free stuff to do: walking on  the Golden Gate, Pacific beaches, vintage arcade Musée Mécanique and a host of  free art galleries.

Check out the Diego Rivera Gallery,  featuring a 1931 trompe l’oeil mural.

8. Ohrid,  Macedonia

There’s always a race for the next big thing in Europe, and budget-friendly  Macedonia is rising in popularity for its mountainous setting of vineyards,  lakes and Byzantine churches; it’s also a mainstay stop-off on Balkan trips.  Beyond the lively capital Skopje, the spiritual heart is three road hours’ west  at Ohrid,  a lovely town with a medieval castle looking over church-lined hilly streets and  the lush coastline of Lake Ohrid. Private rooms are easy to find for €10 euro or  less, while opulent historic villas turned into B&Bs run for under €50  (US$71.50). Bus services run to sites along the lake coast, including Galičica  National Park with hiking, boating and swimming spots.

For info on local services, contact Lost in Ohrid.

9. Mekong  Delta, Vietnam

Vietnam is always good value, but you can now skip the package trips arranged  in Ho Chi Minh City that tread the same worn-out routes. It’s become easier,  more rewarding and just as cheap to go on DIY multiday adventures to  destinations like Ben Tre, Chau Doc and the floating markets of Vinh Long, and  some less-seen ones like Ha Tien or Tra Vinh. Go by air-conditioned bus or hire  moto-taxis as you go; the latter know ferry crossings on roads not on any map.  Boat trips go for US$5 to US$10, while most guesthouses run US$10 to US$25.

Take a ferry or plane from Rach Gia to the beaches of Phu Quoc Island,  then fly back to Ho Chi Minh City. Short flights are cheap – under  US$50.

10. Mérida,  Mexico

Most equate the Yucatan with the beaches, but the best place to experience  the food, life and architecture of the ‘real Mexico’ is a few hours inland at  this lively city. Historical homes have been turned into inns, often for the  fraction of the cost of Cancún resorts. The Spanish colonial centre of Plaza  Grande has 16th-century cathedrals and free art museums; on weekends it becomes  the scene of dance, food and parties. Day trips to five Mayan sites on the  public Ruta Puuc bus loop go for about US$40, or head to the village of Celestún  and hire a motorboats (US$17 per person) to see hundreds of pink flamingos in  the mangroves.

Vía: Lonely Planet

5 comentarios en «Top 10 destinos del Mundo 2012 “Mérida Yucatán” incluida vía Lonely Planet»
  1. Juices from green vegetables and sprouts are recommended, especially if they are clinically
    overweight or obese people. Top secret, fat loss
    secretDr. Kelly Osbourne rocks a bikini for the cover of Life &
    Style, lost a whopping 160 pounds of pure body fat
    being added to your life. When you do, make sure that your body looks more natural and you can last longer without feeling hungry.

  2. Growing in downloads today is ‘Flower Garden ‘ Grow Flowers’, a free app today that puts
    a virtual garden on your i – Phone, i – Pad or i – Pod Touch.
    I wish I could see the back again include or flaps on the publications to study the summaries or
    learn more about the authors. Sellers did not do their research when
    posting their app-loaded phones on e – Bay.

Deja un comentario