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Yaxha archeological site in Guatemala. PHOTO: MICHELE PETERSON.

News and adventure to expand your horizons

 By Michele Peterson October 2019

Experience the culture of Guatemala

Explore the cultural traditions of the Maya indigenous people with Bella Guatemala Tours (BGT), a leader in small-group, fully-escorted-tours. These immersive, all-inclusive tours are led by professional, bilingual guides who are experts in archaeology, regional cuisine, culture and history. Guided itineraries include visits to Mayan weaving villages on mystical Lake Atitlan, Day of the Dead giant kite-flying ceremonies in November, Holy Week during Easter and luxury expeditions to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tikal National Park and nearby Yaxha archaeological site. Accommodation includes luxury eco-lodges, historic hotels in colonial Antigua and luxury resorts such as Bolontiku Boutique Hotel and Spa set in the rainforest overlooking Lake Peten Itza. bellaguatemalatravel.com

Masterpieces in miniature at Blenheim Palace

A prized collection of miniature portraits is now on display at Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The 40 miniature portraits, purchased along with 15 paintings from the Estate of Viscount Churchill, offer a fascinating glimpse into the personal histories of the Dukes of Marlborough and their families. Painted by some of the most renowned miniaturists of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Christian Friedrich Zincke, the most successful enamel painter of his era, the miniatures feature portraits of family members as well as Louis XIV, Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell and others, spanning 300 years of history. blenheimpalace.com

Go skiing in Lapland

Book now to enjoy one of the world’s classic winter holiday destinations. To celebrate its 85th birthday in 2019, Inghams, one of the world’s best-known ski tour operators, is expanding its popular Finnish Lapland program. The company will introduce a five-star boutique hotel, the Design Hotel Levi in the heart of the resort village of Levi, the leading ski resort in Finland. The chic new 77-room hotel features a traditional Lappish style and shares three on-site restaurants with the Levi Hotel Spa, home to multiple indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms. Special rates are available to guests who pre-book a Husky Safari, Reindeer Safari and Snowmobile Safari on January and February 2020 departures to Levi, Ylläs and Saariselkä. inghams.co.uk

Experience Norway Arctic Lights and Whales with Jill Heinerth. PHOTO: EXODUS.

Exodus launches adventures with Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Leading adventure tour operator, Exodus Travels, has partnered with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) to host a series of expeditions led by prominent anthropologists, authors, filmmakers, TV presenters and photographers. From the remote fjords of Norway to the ancient monuments of Jordan, these new RCGS Exodus Quests are designed for curious travellers. Tours in 2020 include exploring the mountaintop kingdom of Nepal with Javier Frutos, photographer and Canadian Geographic Creative Director, or joining filmmaker, photographer and underwater explorer Jill Heinerth beneath the Arctic lights of Norway on an exclusive northern journey. In Jordan, tour participants will explore the towering sand dunes with Wade Davis, award-winning novelist, filmmaker and adventurer. exodustravels.com

Michele Peterson is an Ontario-based travel journalist. She can be reached at michelepeterson.com.

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