Best Places to Travel in 2015

old castle in Cuba
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Stephen Wilkes/Gallery Stock

The world is getting smaller, but the chances of having an extraordinary new experience are only increasing. Whether it's an emerging style hub in North Africa or a quiet stretch of sand in the Caribbean, this year's standout destinations are changing the travel map.

Cuba

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Update: Cuba is hotter than ever now that President Obama has announced sweeping changes to U.S.-Cuba relations. What it means for travelers >

Reduced travel restrictions are making it easier than ever for intrigued Americans to explore Cuba. Tour groups like Insight Cuba, Smithsonian Journeys, and Central Holidays operate under the “people-to-people” license focused on education and cultural exchange—the one Beyoncé and Jay-Z obtained for their much-publicized anniversary trip in 2013. Beyond visiting World Heritage Sites like Trinidad, travelers may meet jazz musicians, tour a cigar factory, see the Havana Art Biennial (which starts May 2015), and dine at a paladar—a restaurant operated out of a family’s home. Recent overtures to attract tourists include new luxury golf resorts (which were banned under Fidel Castro), airport renovations, and the revamped Mariel port, now with added space for luxury yachts. Cruising is a major draw, with 200 ships expected to drop anchor during the 2014–2015 winter season. G Adventures’s new Sailing Cuba itinerary explores the Canarreos Archipelago by catamaran. Finally, market reforms designed to boost small business such as restaurants are beginning to attract marquee names. Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz and Mexico’s Enrique Olvera just announced plans to partner on a gastronomic hot spot in Havana. —Corina Quinn

old castle in Cuba

Best Places to Travel in 2015

Cuba

Update: Cuba is hotter than ever now that President Obama has announced sweeping changes to U.S.-Cuba relations. What it means for travelers >

Reduced travel restrictions are making it easier than ever for intrigued Americans to explore Cuba. Tour groups like Insight Cuba, Smithsonian Journeys, and Central Holidays operate under the “people-to-people” license focused on education and cultural exchange—the one Beyoncé and Jay-Z obtained for their much-publicized anniversary trip in 2013. Beyond visiting World Heritage Sites like Trinidad, travelers may meet jazz musicians, tour a cigar factory, see the Havana Art Biennial (which starts May 2015), and dine at a paladar—a restaurant operated out of a family’s home. Recent overtures to attract tourists include new luxury golf resorts (which were banned under Fidel Castro), airport renovations, and the revamped Mariel port, now with added space for luxury yachts. Cruising is a major draw, with 200 ships expected to drop anchor during the 2014–2015 winter season. G Adventures’s new Sailing Cuba itinerary explores the Canarreos Archipelago by catamaran. Finally, market reforms designed to boost small business such as restaurants are beginning to attract marquee names. Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz and Mexico’s Enrique Olvera just announced plans to partner on a gastronomic hot spot in Havana. —Corina Quinn

Stephen Wilkes/Gallery Stock
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