Aruba, a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, has dry, sunny weather, blond beaches and gentle surf. Constant trade winds keep things cool and cause the divi-divi trees to slope southwesterly. European influence shows in both its architecture, in which Dutch gables mingle with tropical pastels, and language, with English, Dutch and Spanish spoken alongside the local tongue, Papiamento.
Antigua, also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda.
Belgium, a country in Western Europe, is known for its medieval old towns, Flemish Renaissance architecture and international headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country is divided into 2 distinctive multilingual regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north and French-speaking Wallonia to the south. The bilingual capital, Brussels, is home to ornate guildhalls at Grand-Place and an art nouveau-influenced European Quarter.
Brazil, a vast South American country, stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná.
Canada, stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, is filled with vibrant cities including massive, multicultural Toronto; predominantly French-speaking Montréal and Québec City; Vancouver and Halifax on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, respectively; and Ottawa, the capital. It’s also crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast swaths of protected wilderness.
Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known for its beaches tucked into coves and its expansive coral reefs rich with marine life. The capital, Willemstad, has pastel-colored colonial architecture, floating Queen Emma Bridge and the sand-floored, 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. It’s also a gateway to western beaches like Blue Bay, where scuba divers can access a vertical coral wall from the shore.
Denmark is a country comprising the Jutland peninsula and its offshore islands, linking Northern Europe and Scandinavia via the Öresund bridge. On Zealand, the capital, Copenhagen is home to the rococo Frederiksstaden district and its royal palaces, Tivoli pleasure gardens and the “Little Mermaid” statue. On neighboring Funen is Odense, storyteller Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown, with a medieval core of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses.
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments still sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including the colossal Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza and the hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs in Luxor. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks such as Muhammad Ali Mosque.
Lithuania is a country and the southernmost of Europe’s Baltic states, a former Soviet bloc nation that borders Poland, Latvia and Belarus. Its capital, Vilnius, near the Belarus border, is known for its medieval Old Town, subsequent Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture, and its 18th-century cathedral. Hilltop Gediminas' Tower, a symbol of the city and the nation, offers sweeping views.
Arid Lanzarote, one of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa, is known for its year-round warm weather, beaches and volcanic landscape. East-coast resort Puerto del Carmen has whitewashed villas, a harbor and dive centers. Caletón Blanco is a string of northern coves with calm, clear water for snorkeling, and Famara beach has cliffs for hang gliding and surf schools.
Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, is an archipelago comprising 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa that were settled in the 1400s. It’s known for its namesake wine and warm, subtropical climate. Popular outdoor pursuits include hiking along old levada (aqueducts) in the mountains, golf, surfing and scuba diving at sites such as the Garajau Marine Nature Reserve.
Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Marrakesh’s walled medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, offers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling traditional ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water.
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory with a landscape of green mountains, waterfalls and the tropical rainforest of El Yunque National Forest. It's known for its white-sand beaches and coral reefs, popular for snorkeling, diving, surfing and sailing. In San Juan, the capital and largest city, the Isla Verde area is known for its beach bars, nightclubs and casinos.