With British Springtime being reluctant to show its face, the lure of foreign shores soaked in sunshine has never been stronger. Burma topped the â€˜hot for 2012' lists, but 2013 has brought its own set of must-visit holiday destinations for you to choose from. This year’s picks are places filled with natural beauty, biodiversity, and above all else, lashings of sunshine and glorious beaches. With last year's top destinations still stuffed with tourists, why not set off to one of our top rated 2013 destinations before anyone else does….
The Philippines lie in the Pacific Ocean, with Hong Kong to the north, Indonesia and Malaysia to the south and Vietnam to the west. Situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, these idyllic clusters of islands are blessed with a tropical climate and incredible beaches-almost deserted…
If you'd rather spend less time on dry land, the Philippines is an underwater paradise for divers with unspoilt coral gardens full of fish and sea turtles. In the Bicol Region the brave can swim with the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark, whilst the not-so-brave can head off on a boat trip to watch.
With islands full of palm-fringed beaches, lush green mountains, crystal-clear waterfalls and architecture from the Spanish Colonial Period, you'll be spoilt for choice for places to visit, but an absolute must see are the Chocolate Hills in Bohol Province. Covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, the hills are featured in the Philippine Tourism Authority’s list of tourist destinations.
The home of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is in the spotlight right now. The largest country in both South America and Latin America, Brazil is also the only Portuguese-speaking nation in South America. Home to diverse natural environments and a wide range of wildlife, a trip to Brazil can see you taking in the bustling metropolis of Latin America’s biggest cities, Rio de Janeiro and SÃ£o Paulo, mountainous coastal roads, and the lush Amazon rainforest. Rio may have the Olympics, but SÃ£o Paulo is Brazil’s biggest city-the financial and design capital, and the chi-chi bars, restaurants and boutiques are full of the best Brazil has to offer.
In December last year thousands of tourists flooded to Mexico to join in the â€˜end of the world' celebrations, and although the Mayans might have been wrong in their prophecies, they were spot on in sending us to an amazing holiday location.
The Mayan Riviera is on the eastern tip of Mexico and shares the warm waters of the Caribbean sea. A ten-hour flight from the UK, the Mayan Riviera is a playground for both America’s â€˜rich and famous' and hippy travellers alike, making it full of a wide range of accommodation including large all-inclusive resorts, small boutique hotels and luxury villas. It boasts the second longest barrier reef system in the world, and offers tourists the chance to swim with dolphins. Make sure you spend a day viewing the archaeological sites of Tulum, before you head off on a guided jungle tour.
4. The Congo
Until very recently there was a lack of hotels in the Congo, which was fine because there was a volatile and dangerous political situation which meant that no one wanted to visit. But with the political situation calmed down, the country is safe for tourists to visit, and hotels have been built-the Congo are opening to tourists, so why not be the first and beat the crowds to this exotic location.
With the second largest rainforest in the world, the majority of the Congo is a vast and unknown wilderness, and the untouched is what makes the Congo so appealing-there is no where else you can see the endangered mountain gorillas, African forest elephants and pygmy chimpanzees. With the country now split into two, the Republic of Congo has the best safari lodges, and is the â€˜monkey capital of Central Africa'.
Known for its canal and not a lot else, Panama connects North and South America, bordering the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Until now, Panama has been hidden in the shadows of its neighbours, but with its growing economy and abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds, 2013 is its year. This fascinating place has a little secret to draw you back to-the government offers tax and price discounts to foreign guests and retirees. Panama also has beautiful beaches, complete with turquoise waters and tropical fish, plus magnificent old colonial buildings.
Written by Faria Ahmad, Ecommerce Executive at Heidi Klein. heidi klein is the one-stop destination holiday shop offering everything you need for the perfect holiday wardrobe from luxury kaftans to designer swimsuits and beauty products. To see more information about some beautiful holiday destinations visit: http://www.heidiklein.com/passport/category/destination-guides