Saturday snippets: 4th May 2019

By | Category: Travel news

One of the dream destinations for many people is Machu Picco in Peru. Most tourists usually start from the nearest big city which is Cusco and then use a variety of different transport to get there which seemed to almost always involve sitting around in road traffic. Now there is another and more comfortable way. Inca Rail has started a train service from the very centre if Cusco – San Pedro station – to Machu Picco. The service which starts this month and runs until December has four departures per morning from San Pedro and three return.

Macchi Piccu, Peru
Machu Piccu , Peru

Mastercard and Visa are to cut their fees for tourists using non-EU debit and credit cards in Europe by around 40%. Under the new deal, Mastercard and Visa will both charge a 0.2% transaction fee on non-EU debit card payments in shops and a 0.3% fee on credit card payments from October 19. Why am I including this in the snippets? Because by the end of the year, the UK might be out of the EU and higher rates might apply. As the new fees being charged by Mastercard and Visa will be in line with those charged for cards issued in the EU, we at least won’t face the chance of an increase.

One of Cornwall’s biggest attractions is going to take on a different slant in a fortnight’s time. On the weekend of the 18th and 19th of May, the Eden Project will host a wide variety of jungle-themed activities inspired by the beautiful Costa Rican rainforest – including a treasure trail and a dazzling exhibit of over 500 orchids. The aim of the Costa Rica Festival is to promote sustainable tourism and conservation as well as celebrate Costa Rica’s beautiful landscapes, extensive wildlife and incredible flora and fauna through diverse family-friendly activities. Entry costs £28.50 for adults and £15 for children over five years old (free for under 5s). Advance tickets purchased online benefit from a 10% discount.

Vivid Sydney has become a huge visitor draw for the Australian city. The combination of large-scale light installations and projections, free family events, and creative ideas and workshops for children, teens and families lasting over 23 days not only attracts locals and people from other parts of Australia but travellers from the Far East go there as well which might explain why over two million people visit. For Britons who happen to be in Australia it is something that should be on their list to visit, Before long travel agents will be pro-actively selling holidays to Australia that coincide with the event.

Many people complain that most exhibitions put on in galleries and museums are for a particular elite group and not for the majority. Here’s one exhibition to which that view cannot be held. For residents of Birmingham, the achievements of Black Sabbath in the music world are something of which to be proud. Now they are to be celebrated in a way that perhaps Ozzy Osbourne – the front man for those who have been living under a rock for decades and don’t know – never would have dreamed. The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is running an exhibition from next month called Home of Metal, which looks at the 50 year history and legacy of Black Sabbath. It opens on June 26th.

Black Sabbath’s 50 years is celebrated in Birmingham

Nicaragua was on the FCO travel advisory “don’t go unless essential” list for a while due to unrest. That advice changed two months ago and the country is already seeing more people travel there. Now the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR) has outlined its plan of the main activities it will develop for the summer 2019 season. Among the destinations in which it will focus were Villa El Carmen and its San Diego beach, Salamina beach where the turtle nesting point can be found, and the fresh waters of River Plate. Specialist tour operators and travel agents will be promoting the country which combines both a Spanish and British colonial heritage to you shortly.

Launched as a new initiative in Israel, the Jerusalem City Pass offers tourists a low cost and effective way to navigate through the ancient city. Priced at £28, the pass is valid for 7 days and includes a return transfer from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to the Old City, unlimited public transportation within the city and entry discounts to popular attractions, including audio-visual shows and night tours.

National Gardening Week continues up until May 6th so this bank holiday weekend would be a good time to go out and see the rainbow displays that are colouring the gardens. The idea is to publicise gardening and not gardens but when a garden is stunning it encourages people to plant something that – in the future – may look half-way respectable compared to what you see at places like Kew, Wisley, the botanic gardens in the capital cities and lots of stately homes around our countries.

Finally, in airline news, cutbacks by Flybe and the collapse of flybmi have affected many airports. East Midlands for example, had direct flights to Brussels. Now Loganair has stepped up to replace some of those routes. From September 2nd,  East Midlands will have services to Brussels and Inverness. Air Europa recently announced the launch of a Madrid – Puerto Iguazu route commencing June 2019. The route will be operated twice a week and becomes the first international service to grant easy access to the spectacular Iguazu Falls, the world’s largest waterfall system. LOT Polish Airlines started a direct service from London City to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on May 1st.  To emphasise it is a direct flight and not via a Polish city and there will be up to twelve flights per week.


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