Cambodia / Ecuador / Guatemala recommended for January
Come January and Cambodia is ready to welcome you with its clear skies, favourable temperatures and a serene sunset over Angkor Wat which is the largest temple in the world.
Cambodia is a story teller: it's temples narrate stories etched in stone, which make you time travel. As you drive from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, it narrates the stories of Banteay Srei, a sandstone temple built in the 10th century. In the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh, hear the tales of how the colonial French architecture blends seamlessly with the medieval gems of the Khmer era. Turn the pages of history by cruising down the Mekong river and visiting the Genocide museum and the famed Killing fields.
Cambodia will continue mesmerising you with its Silver Pagoda, the ornate Royal Palace and a picturesque boat ride to Battambang, where you get to witness the famous circus Phare Ponleu Selpak. For those who wish to indulge there are relaxing Khmer massages, Sihanoukville for white, sandy beaches to laze and party and a luxurious private island stay at Song Saa in the untouched Koh Rong Archipelago.
With perfect temperatures all year round and diversity like none other, Ecuador is a tiny gem that boasts of seas and forests. Strike a mandatory Instagram pose in the middle of the earth ( Latitude 0” 00') at Quito, shop at South America’s largest market place at Otavalo and take the iconic Devil’s nose train journey which winds its way on mountains. For the adrenaline junkies, there is mountain biking at the snow capped Cotopaxi volcano, a high altitude trekking adventure at Quilotoa Loop, visiting Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador, known for rafting, canoeing, paragliding and surfing at Montanita.
For nature lovers, there are innumerable guided tours to get close and personal with the Amazon rainforests. For wildlife enthusiasts there is Galapagos, where you can spend time with Giant tortoises, Iguanas, White tip Reef sharks and Sea lions. Explore this paradise via an Exclusive experience package by Namaste Tourism where you can snorkel, learn fishing and even harvest cacao!
A country with incredibly vibrant landscapes and a climate known as ‘Eternal Spring’, Guatemala is best visited in it’s dry months. This is when Lake Atitlan has blue skies and Kayak-worthy cobalt waters and Flores, an island town hosts the Dance of the Chotana festival (a quintessential Guatemala celebration with parades, firecrackers and processions!)
Stroll in a typical Mayan market: the Chichicastenango market with local fragrances and flavours, visit the San Juan La Laguna village to see the hand weaving and natural dye process at the women’s textile cooperative.
Wander in the cobbled streets of Antigua to explore it’s villages, museums and ruins and photograph Antigua’s three volcanoes without the looming risk of rain.
Appease the nature lover in you by visiting the natural reserve of San Buenaventura, which educates visitors on the flora and fauna of the region and do not miss the visit to La Azotea coffee farm to learn the plant to cup coffee process. The highlight is of course the ancient Mayan city of Tikal: a blend of nature and archaeology, best explored through Namaste’s Guatemala Itinerary.
Camp in the Tikal National park overnight to wake up to an unforgettable sunrise over limestone pyramids.