Destinations making a comeback!

It’s a big world out there, and while every country has something unique to offer, political situations or natural disasters can put destinations out of commission for a while. Fortunately, these wonderful places are making a comeback.


The land of the pharaohs was not safe for several years in the wake of the political upheaval of the 2011 Arab Spring. Thankfully, major tour operators have returned, bringing travelers to such world treasures as the pyramids of Giza, the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and cruising the Nile. Egypt tourism surged more than 40 percent in the first half of this year, signaling that a place so full of history the Romans considered it ancient, is retaking its rightful place on the world stage.


Fears of ISIL presence near Turkey’s southern border coupled with a bombing at the Istanbul airport and coup attempt in the summer of 2016 made Turkey a no-go. Things have settled down, and now travelers are safe to take in the beauty of the Bosporus and the Hagia Sophia in the Turkish capital, as well as explore the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Istanbul served as the capital of three empires and contains an immense amount of cultural heritage.


Travel to Cuba was all the rage in 2015 when the Obama administration thawed relations with and eased restrictions on the island just 90 miles off the tip of Florida. Things changed when the Trump administration reversed some of those policies and when the State Department issued a travel advisory concerning alleged attacks on embassy personnel. This year, however, Cuba travel is up 40 percent over 2017 as uncertainty has dissipated. We are so excited about this destination, that the advisors at Master Travel are going to Cuba this winter. We can’t wait to report on our adventures, look for it in a future blog!

The Caribbean

After the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria last year, several islands that had their lifeblood industry, tourism, decimated are back open for business. Many resorts in Puerto Rico have reopened, as have some in the British Virgin Islands and St Barth’s.
St. Martin’s top resorts will be open in time for the holidays, as will Anguilla’s. As word trickles out slowly, there are great deals to be had at places that are normally filled months in advance. The region needs travelers to help in its recovery, so it’s a win-win situation.
Because of all of our wonderful partnerships in the Caribbean, Master Travel knows all the best places to visit!

Why I Love St. Lucia

….And you should too!!

With the tragic hurricanes of 2017, many of the Caribbean islands have been unable to receive tourists and get running back to normal. The number 1 question I get from my clients, “Can I go to the Caribbean?”. Well, of course the answer is “YES”, there are many islands that were not affected, but space is a premium with limited choices. The number 1 destination for our clients this season has been St. Lucia.

The St. Lucia experience is unlike any other in the Caribbean. The luxurious spas and resorts alone make it one of the top destinations for honeymooners. But St. Lucia offers so much more than romance and relaxation. This island has earned its status as the “Hawaii of the Caribbean” due to its lush mountainous landscape and paralleled outdoor adventures. Unique culinary creations, breathtaking scenery, and lively culture guarantee a trip to St. Lucia is an adventure for the senses.


A Different Point of View

From waterfalls, to rainforests, to the mesmerizing mountains, St. Lucia’s awe-inspiring scenery captivates from every angle. But the best views aren’t found from your suite’s balcony.

The Pitons

The iconic Gros Piton and Petit Piton peaks rising from the sapphire waters of the Caribbean Sea can be seen for miles from the beaches and resorts surrounding the city of Soufrière. This World Heritage Site is an official symbol of the country, and there are many ways to get your dose of views; air, land, and sea are a few options. But the best way to see the Pitons has to be from the trails traveling up the mountains themselves. Not only will you revel in the flora and fauna that call the mountainsides home, but the vistas of the island from their peaks offer a one-of-a-kind sight.


The plush greenery of St. Lucia’s beautiful rainforest draws nature-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. For a thrilling look at this natural paradise, we recommend a fast-paced ride through the trees. Speed through the canopy by zip lining between platforms on some of the longest and swiftest cables in the Caribbean. Expert guides are there for assistance and to point out the species of plants and wildlife of the island.

Soufriere Volcano

Driving through the Soufriere Volcano crater

Perhaps one of the most striking geographical traits of the island is its volcano. However, St. Lucia’s volcano has a special trait; it’s considered the only drive-in volcano in the world. A road running through the middle of this volcanic crater allows visitors the chance to get up close and personal with hot steam, mud, and water bubbling up through cracks in the crust. This unique experience is a must-see for every traveler.

Food for Thought

St. Lucia’s warm tropical climate permits aromatic spices, rare fruits, and even cocoa beans to thrive here. Combine this with fresh seafood from the surrounding seas and you have the perfect recipe for culinary creations that push the boundaries of your taste buds.


You’ll seldom find a person to admit they dislike chocolate. This sweet treat was once known as the Food of the Gods, and it all starts with a bean. Cocoa is one of St. Lucia’s key exports, and they are very enthusiastic about sharing its history, cultivating process, and decadence with you. Ever been curious about how they turn those brown gems into the quintessential bars we love today? Find out with a tree-to-bar lesson from Hotel Chocolat. You’ll learn all about the anatomy of the pods, how they harvest them, grind down the beans, and make a candy bar of your very own! The experience is completed with a lunch at Boucan, whose tantalizing menu features the cocoa plant in every one of its dishes.

Fish Fry

A trip to the Caribbean is never complete without sampling some fresh seafood and the locals always know how to make it just right. Anse La Raye, a once small Gros Islet fishing village turned into a bustling cultural town, has perfected the Friday Night Fish Fry. What began about 20 years ago as a means to entice tourists into town, is now a favored tradition for vendors, locals, and travelers. Stalls offering the catch-of the day fried, grilled, and baked prepared with local ingredients line the streets, and the tantalizing smells are accompanied by calypso music, creating a feast of the senses for hungry patrons. And trust us, you’ll want to go hungry and sample all the delicacies, such as Accras, or “fish cakes,” and whole King Lobsters, available at a fraction of restaurant costs and, frankly, fresher. Be sure to wash it all down with locally distilled rum or a cold Pitons Beer.

Castries Market

Spice Blends to make your own Spiced Rum

Nothing reveals more about a culture than a visit to its markets, and the one in Castries, the island’s capital, has everything you need to experience the flavors of St. Lucia. Nibble on homegrown exotic fruits and vegetables while browsing for unique spice blends and bottled sauce concoctions to bring the tastes of your travels home. Open every day of the week except Sundays, the market is busiest on Friday and Saturday mornings, which many understandably may wish to avoid, but there are also more vendors on those days, so plan your visit accordingly.

Mixed Signals

St. Lucia’s tropical climate assures warm beautiful weather all year round. However, contradicting touches of hot and cold can be found here. The best option for experiencing this phenomenon is with a tour of the beautiful waterfalls that also includes a stop at Sulphur Springs. Cool down in the pools beneath the many waterfalls that dot the island, and let the cascading water massage the tension from your shoulders. If that didn’t do the trick, rejuvenate at Sulphur Springs. Thanks to the Soufriere Volcano, pools of hot mineral water create the perfect natural soaking tub. You’ll also want to lather up in a warm mud bath, whose thick grey silt is believed to contain medical benefits and healing properties.

A Hint of Sweet and Spicy


Surround yourself in the sweet scents of St. Lucia’s many botanical gardens. While stopping to enjoy the majesty of Diamond Falls, be sure to take a walk through the surrounding 2000-acre grounds, home to the oldest botanical garden on the island. The signature scent of Plumeria, a fragrant flower that also flourishes in Hawaii and commonly used for leis, attracts not only visitors but different species of hummingbirds and butterflies at Mamiku Gardens. Three areas of different themes showcase the various species found on St. Lucia, including a medicinal garden with guides to the plants and their uses.

Jump Up and Get Down

St. Lucia’s colorful culture shines through in its energetic music scene. Afro-Caribbean inspired Calypso and pulsating Soca music appear to be the front-running styles, but notes of Reggae and R&B can also grace the air. For the best showcase of these eclectic melodies visit during the annual Lucian Carnival. The islands top and aspiring artists come together to share their songs and compete for various prizes. Dancers wear bright costumes, and hopefully you’ll pick up some of their impressive moves. If you won’t make it to Carnival, then head over to Gros Islet for their weekly Jump-Up Street Party. Every Friday night, live bands and DJs entertain the crowds, creating the perfect opportunity to mingle and groove with locals.

From sights and sounds to scents and savory tastes, a vacation in St. Lucia will awaken the senses. While romantic luxury resorts and picturesque beaches are definitely the main draw, step out to experience everything this fascinating island has to offer.  Go to our Virtuoso page on St. Lucia to see some of the fabulous properties we offer and contact us to book!

2018 Top Travel Pick: CROATIA

Until 1991, Croatia was a part of Yugoslavia, and while it was never as isolated as other Eastern Bloc nations, it generally remained off the beaten path for tourists. Today, however, traveling to Croatia isn’t just for adventurous backpackers – in fact, the country has become one of Europe’s hottest new destinations. This should come as no surprise: Travel to Croatia offers the chance to explore the Adriatic coast and the urban cities of Zagreb and Dubrovnik, as well as a rich interior that, even today, is still overlooked by many travelers.

Things Not to Miss in Croatia
From seaside resorts to pristine parks and sleepy, atmospheric villages, there are countless places to visit in Croatia. Plan your visit with our Croatia travel guide, starting with these can’t-miss sights and cities:

• The Dalmatian Coast
• Diocletian’s Palace
• The Mediterranean city of Dubrovnik
• The stunning waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park
• The architectural marvels in Zagreb

When to Go to Croatia
The Adriatic Coast has a brief, expensive peak season in July and August, when the climate is at its most agreeable. At any other time of year, you may find steep travel discounts, but you’ll also miss out on the buzzy excitement of peak season. Away from the coast, however, hotel rates are fairly consistent year-round. Winter occasionally brings snow, although it rarely snows on the coast.

Explore our offerings in Croatia by CLICKING HERE, or we can custom curate an itinerary to fit your exact wishes!