The holidays have many of us hunting through department stores for the perfect gift. And yet a 20-year study by Cornell University psychology professor Thomas Gilovich, found that individuals gain greater satisfaction and happiness from experiences rather than things.
Gilovich explains, “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
There’s a great big world out there with boundless opportunity for life-changing experiences, and Acanela wants to help you experience it. Together, we can make 2019 your best travel year yet. No matter what kind of traveler you are, adventure awaits you and we'll help you explore the world, making memories that last a lifetime.
Nestled along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a highly underrated destination in southwestern Europe. Historically overshadowed by high-profile neighbors like Spain and nearby France, Portugal has just recently sparked major tourism interest within the past decade, and for a good reason! The country is full of beautiful coastlines, quaint beach towns, and historic architecture. Yet, it’s not just the beaches that are drawing people in, but also the charming metropolitan areas. Portugal’s cities are some of the most beautiful (and least overcrowded with tourists) in Western Europe. With over 100 “cities” in Portugal, we narrowed down the list to the 7 cities you should not miss during your trip to Portugal!
Nestled next to Canada’s westernmost province, and within the Northern Rockies, Alberta and particularly Banff is a popular tourist destination for the adventurous. Filled with many trails to hike and ski, along with the famous turquoise waters; there’s no wonder that this particular area ranks high on everyone's bucket list. Below is a list of the top ten things to do in and surrounding Banff, Alberta.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, with over 850 indigenous languages, making it the perfect trip if you’re longing to experience a unique culture. However it is still shrouded in mystery. Read on to see what rumors are true, and which ones need to be debunked.
It’s a secret to no one that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. Between the beauty, adventure, and the relaxed, laid back attitude, it is easily an ideal travel destination for travelers of all ages and preferences. But before you go, make sure to check out the following key tips that will ensure that your epic adventure to New Zealand is nothing but seamless!
Women love to travel. With incredible adventures, stunning scenery and delicious food around every corner, we have compiled a list of destinations that top the travel bucket lists of women around the globe. These places are culturally rich and generally easy to venture to as a woman- whether with your lady friends or flying solo!
Fiji is one of the few places in the world where the coral reefs have not been damaged, and thus diving here is known to be one of the best experiences in the world. Fiji’s pristine white sand beaches is the stuff of legends and have to be seen to be believed. Ready to dive in to Fiji but unsure where to stay? Fiji has a range of accommodations, so let’s take a look at some of the top hotels in Fiji!
Our world is a magnificent, mysterious place, which makes exploring it all the more exciting. But there are some sights that will remain a mystery to us as they are forbidden to tourists. More and more places are being shut down, as our impact can have devastating consequences on the environment. For instance Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, became a prime destination following its exposure in Danny Boyle film, The Beach, and is now closed to the public to protect its marine environment. However, we are blessed with a world of endless possibilities, and thankfully there is an abundance of alternatives and compromises for those longing for a particular experience.
Do you find yourself dreaming of Norway at night? Or perhaps your ticket is already booked? Regardless of your stage in the planning process, make sure to check out these essential travel tips before your next adventure to the beautiful country of Norway:
It is no secret that Norway has a multitude of fjords, each one with its own unique characteristics. A fjord is a long, narrow, deep inlet of sea wedged between high cliffs, formed by a submerged glacial valley and are found mainly in Norway, Greenland, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand. You could spend weeks just exploring Norway’s vast array of fjords! Read below for a guide to Norway’s famous fjords!
The idea of ‘Norway’ often invokes images of reindeer herds, dazzling Northern Lights, igloo hotels, and the impossibly beautiful Fjords. Yet, did you know that Norway also holds some of Europe’s prettiest cities and villages?As you can imagine, the people of Norway enjoy their nature year around. Yet, Norway has more to offer than its gorgeous natural sights. In fact, Norwegian cities are bursting at the seems with cultural beauty and activity, including breathtaking museums, architecture, and delicious culinary traditions. As travelers often note, Norwegians are serious about their food! So, if you are planning a trip to Norway, you may want to consider a visit to some of these lovely cities. Let’s take a look at some of Norway’s most popular ones!
Do you dream of going to Thailand? Sometimes traveling to a whole new place can be intimidating and unknown. Gather your courage and curiosity and brush up on some cultural tips and tricks to assist you in feeling more confident and prepared to make the trip of your dreams happen. Here is a list of cultural and travel tips to keep in mind when planning your trip to Thailand! Doing a bit of research can pay off big time when trying to not stand out in a new country and to travel more like a LOCAL!
Asia has been the go-to destination for young high school graduates to spend a significant amount of time exploring on their ‘gap year’. As such, it is essential to keep the whole trip as low-budget as possible to enable you to stay for an extended period of time, ticking several countries off your bucket list. Hence backpacking has become especially popular, allowing for easier maneuverability as you hop from hostel to hostel.
If you had asked me few years ago about Central Asia, my mind would have fumbled for country names; images of how a Central Asian city might look, thoughts about their local cuisine or even customs and clothing. But today, Central Asia is slowly coming into its own, and generating a rising awareness amongst travelers. Commonly referred to as the “Stans”, the countries that make up this region are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The five ‘Stans are located in Central Asia, and share borders with India, Russia, and China. What you’ll find in these five ‘Stans are a mix of desert, mountains and grassland landscapes. These countries were formed under Stalin’s rule but now 20 years post independence, they are emerging with identities of their own. Welcome to the lands of the five ‘Stans: Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Cambodia is best known for the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, but Cambodia has so much more to offer. A small country, part of the Indochina peninsula, its coastline is brimming with sleepy villages and beautiful beaches. Cambodia is as historic as it is scenic so let’s take a look at the top then things to do in Cambodia.
Can you actually describe the flavors of such a diverse and complex nation in just one word? We are certainly going to try. The flavor of Israel is fresh. Why fresh? Fresh is alive with possibility. Fresh is joyful. Fresh is young, welcoming, bountiful, and so much more. Fresh is life-giving, and when you are primarily a desert nation, fresh is as good as it gets.
If you love multicultural history, you will love Turkey. Home to 80 million inhabitants, Turkey is what I would call a dynamic country, with an array of historical places and archaeological excavation sites. The country is full of contrasts, and best known for its Ottoman mosques and palaces, its fairy tale-like Cappadocia to Classical cities like Ephesus in the Turkish Aegean. Here is my list of iconic places to visit while in Turkey:
urkey is a fascinating mix of cultures, straddling two continents, Europe and Asia. In fact, the city of Istanbul is part of both. Whether you want to see the hot air balloon covered skies and caves of Cappadocia or the bustling capital city, there is so much to draw you in.
When I think of the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution comes to mind, leading me to imagine giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, etc amongst other out-of-this-world display of animals. The Galapagos is really a bucket-list destination no doubt. Here are the best things to do in the Galapagos.
Have a trip planned to the Galapagos? Lucky you! These Ecuadorian islands are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved nature sites in the world. During your time on the islands, your days will most likely be filled with long hikes, boat rides, and water activities. Keep your eyes peeled for marine iguanas, sea lions, giant sea turtles, and Darwin’s famous finches. With such a variety of possible activities, it can feel overwhelming when trying to pack for this destination, especially if you have never been! To ensure a stress-free packing experience, here is a list of suggested items to bring with you, which will help you make the most out of your adventure!
Six-hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador lies a special, volcanic archipelago made up of 19 large islands. Formed around five million years ago through intense volcanic activity, the Galapagos Islands remained virtually untouched for millions of years. This extreme isolation allowed for the development of beautifully diverse and unusual animal and plant life--from giant tortoises and marine iguanas to huge cacti and flightless cormorants, the Galapagos contain a plethora of magnificent species that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. And though every traveler should have the opportunity to experience the glorious history and abundant biodiversity of these islands, the increase in foreign visitors has slowly begun to threaten the very source of the clamor: the native species and their natural environments. The Galapagos’ fragile ecosystem is immensely vulnerable to human contamination, overpopulation, development, and invasive species, all of which have increased along with the tourism influx. As travelers, we have the responsibility to follow responsible tourism practices, so that we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy the most beautiful places on earth without causing irreparable harm.
So, how do we travel responsibly in the Galapagos? Read below to discover important tips to treading lightly on these incredible islands!
Patagonia, an enigmatic region shared by Chile and Argentina, encompassing the southern Andes and recognized for its stunning landscapes and vast array of wildlife. It is the prime location for more adventurous explorers to track majestic pumas, gaze at the gargantuan condor soaring through the mountains, and look out for the 500+ species that roam this spectacular area. Some wildlife spotting is almost guaranteed wherever you go, such as guanacos and endemic birds like hawks and eagles, but some species will require more specific locations if you hope to catch a glimpse of them. Here’s a guide to some of the wildlife that (fingers crossed) you’ll be lucky enough to see on your visit to Patagonia.
Vietnam is a country filled with natural beauty. From its rice terrace fields to amazing limestone formations in the north, the country boasts incredible diversity. Vietnam is home to Buddhist pagodas, floating markets, world wonders, and bustling cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In short, Vietnam has everything for the discerning traveler, including some of the best cuisine I have experienced. Here are top ten things to do when in Vietnam.
Plan your upcoming travel to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to witness a magical floating world. Comprised of more than 1600 limestone pillars making up hollow caves, and several small floating islands across the emerald waters, it is not surprising to hear that Ha Long Bay is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. Be sure not miss this gem of Southeast Asia.
Though Vietnam will undoubtedly dazzle visitors at any time of the year with its delicious culinary specialties, luscious green landscapes, and cultural experiences, the country experiences huge regional and seasonal differences. The country’s narrow, snaking shape, which expands over 600 miles from the Red River in the north and the South China Sea at its south end, splits Vietnam into three separate climates: 1) a humid subtropical climate to the north; 2) a monsoon climate in areas closest to the South China Sea; and 2) a tropical savanna climate to the south. So, while Northern Vietnam experiences distinct winter and summer seasons, Southern Vietnam divides its year by its rainy and dry seasons.
So, the best time to travel to Vietnam depends largely on your destination! Continue reading below to find out the optimal time to visit each region of Vietnam!
The cuisine in Lisbon centers around seafood, which comes as no surprise as the capital city sits at the mouth of the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean! This city is also well-known for its delectable cheese and wine, and, of course, the famous pasteis de nata – the egg custard tarts. Let’s take a look at some of the popular dishes to eat and what to drink while in Portugal!
Spain, a welcoming country full of vibrant history, is home to over 44 million people. As with every culture, the Spanish have their own cultural values and norms that dictate their behavior and ways of life. So, a little pre-trip research always goes a long way Here are some things to know about Spain's culture and etiquette before your next trip!
The great civilization of the Ancient Maya serves as one of the most well-known indigenous cultures of the Americas. Dating all the way back to 2600 B.C., the Maya inhabited prominent areas throughout Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize, and constructed thousands of impressive cities and ceremonial sites throughout the region. Yet, though this ancient civiliation populated a vast region, the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula held special significance to the Maya. Between the 4th and 10th centuries, this region was considered the ‘gateway to the Mayan world,’ and, today, the Yucatan Peninsula remains peppered with the ruins of Maya’s spectacular metropolises. If you are planning to travel to the Yucatan, these awe-inspiring sites are absolute must-sees. Prepare yourself to take a step back in time and enter in to the ancient world by exploring these top five Mayan ruins of the Yucatan!