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December 12/ 2004
- Press Releases

10 Hot Destinations in 2004


Sunday, January 4, 2020; Page P01

Far be it from us to turn travel into a competitive sport. When it comes to vacations, sometimes the best choices are the old standbys.
Still, we wondered. Where do all the cool people go when they get tired of South Beach?* If Prague is passé, what's Europe's new cutting-edge destination?** Is there anything new in Vegas beyond those standard-issue glitzfests on the Strip?***

To find out, we chased down the rumors, scoped the emerging markets, interviewed the experts and chatted up our more forward-thinking friends and colleagues. And the winners are on the following pages. Here's hoping your own travels in 2004 will result in a perfect combination of old standbys and next new things.


1. Athens
The real winner of the Summer Games? The tourist infrastructure.
2. The Bahamas
A new resort and more flights signal change on Great Exuma.
3. Botswana
Unlike other African safari centers, the animals actually outnumber the animal watchers.
4. Bulgaria
Prague: Out. Sofia: In.
5. Ecuador
South America's friendly one-stop shop for volcanoes, jungles, beaches.
6. Honduras
You've been to Belize, done Costa Rica. Now it's Pico Bonito's turn.
7. Montserrat
With few visitors, cheap hotels and a smoldering volcano, you'll lava the place.
8. New Zealand
RV'ing around this otherworldly country can be Hobbit forming.
9. Northern Manitoba
See polar bears from the comfort of a tundra buggy.
10. Taiwan
Whoever owns it, it's worth visiting for its ancient temples and mountain resorts.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Hot Spots 2004: International

By Elissa Leibowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, January 4, 2020; Page P08

Here are our choices for 10 hot international destinations in the new year.


Why go: First Belize was on everyone's Central American radar screen, then Costa Rica became the eco-tourist's darling. Now Honduras, with untouched rain forests, mountains and 400 miles of Caribbean coastline, is starting to get its due.

The details: Adventure seekers go to Honduras -- tucked between Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua -- to scuba dive or fish around the Bay Islands off the northern coast, to explore Pico Bonito National Park or to see the Mayan ruins of Copan, one of the top archaeological sites in Central America. Visitors marvel at the bird-watching and cloud forests of two seldom-visited national parks (La Muralla and Sierra de Agalta in the eastern part of the country) or the uninhabited tropical rain forests of the Mosquito Coast and the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, where about 80 percent of Honduras's species are protected. One word of caution: Street smarts are needed throughout the country.

Where to stay: The Bay Islands and wildlife such as jaguars and monkeys can be seen from the inland observation towers at the Lodge at Pico Bonito (888-428-0221; from $155), the nation's first eco-lodge. If you want to call the Bay Islands home for a few days, consider the town of Roatan, where the B&B; at the Sante Wellness Center day spa (510-315-1238; $95) is on the beach.

Info: Honduras Institute of Tourism, 800-410-9608, www.LestGoHonduras.com


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