• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Panama: Whale Watching in the Chiriqui Gulf

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Vicki Tester


From July to November whales migrate from the North and South Poles to mate and to have their calves, especially the humpback whales. The warm waters of the Chriqui Gulf are ideal for the calves who are born with hardly any body fat and would find the extreme cold waters of the Poles impossible for survival. They are also relatively predator free.

Along the Pacific coast of Panama, Colba Island and the south of Veraguas Province are considered the ideal places to catch your whale watching boats. The beautiful warm sea will entice you to stay to explore the corals and beaches as well as seeing these giants of nature.

Another excellent reason to visit this small but exciting Central America destination – indigenous tribes, rain forests full of wildlife, two Panama Canals and the city of Panama that has been built 3 times.

For more details please contact us.



Picture courtesy of Metropolitan Touring

Hawaii – Island Hopping

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Vicki Tester


This independent itinerary covers three of Hawaii’s Islands, full of beautiful beaches, Lush forests, active volcanoes and wonderful scenery.   With typically small variations in temperature between the seasons of summer and winter, this is a year round destination and is sure to have something to offer everyone.

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[wptabtitle] Summary[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Hawaii Island Hopping


Day 1: Oahu

Day 4: Big Island

Day 8: Maui


[wptabtitle] Description [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]



Hop between three islands by plane on this independent trip.  Relax on stunning beaches, explore the history of Pearl Harbor, drive the stunning sights along the Hana Highway and learn about the active volcano, Kilauea at Volcanoe’s National Park.


Day 1: Oahu                                                               

Your holiday starts with the chance of some rest and relaxation on the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu.  Home to the famous Waikiki Beach and historic Honolulu, the island has verdant forests, breathtaking valleys and beautiful beaches.  The events at Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 brought the USA into World War II and the Pacific conflict and now memorials remain.  The North Shore offers crashing waves and beaches perfect for surfing, Waimea Valley and Kualoa, Hawaii’s Private Nature Reserve.

Three nights Oahu


Day 4: Big Island

Today fly on to Hawaii Island, and pick up your hire car.  The island of Hawaii is often called the Big Island so as not to confuse the name with the whole state, and at almost twice the size of all of the other islands combined the name does seem appropriate.  The island has much to see, from sandy beaches to snow capped mountains, and waterfalls to the active volcano, Kilauea.


On the western sunny side of the island are the areas of Kona and Kohala with their excellent beaches. On the east coast lies the island capital Hilo, with quaint downtown wooden storefronts, thriving art scene and local history.  ‘Akaka Falls state park is home to two of the most gorgeous waterfalls on all of the islands, ʻAkaka is the state’s tallest “sheer drop” waterfall, more than 2.5 times taller than Niagara Falls and sits just north of Hilo.  To the south east you will find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – the islands premier attraction, Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Four nights Hawaii Island – We suggest two nights to the west and two nights to the east


Day 8: Maui

Take a flight between islands today, once again a hire car will give you the freedom to explore independently.  The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui, offers well planned tourist facilities with raw natural beauty.  Once a thriving whaling port in the mid 1800’s, the town of Lahaina is today a colourful town and hub for dining entertainment and water sports.  December to April is ideal for whale watching – the waters around Hawaii are the winter breeding and calving grounds of humpback whales. Drive the hairpin turns of the Hana highway. Starting in Kahului and snaking along 54 miles of coastline past lush vegetation and waterfalls – with 600 curves and 54 bridges, this is one of the world’s most scenic drives.  Surrounding the volcanic crater of Haleakala, Haleakala National Park dominates the south eastern side of Maui.

Four nights Maui – We suggest two nights to the west and two nights to the south east of the island.


Day 12: Depart Maui

Leave Maui today for the onward or homeward journey.

Consider adding to your trip, perhaps another island, plus stays in Los Angeles or San Francisco depending on your international flights.


Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority Tor Johnson


Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority


Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority


Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Tor Johnson


[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

Travel the Hana Highway.  The Road to Hana is more than just a great drive through a beautiful area of Maui. You travel through tropical rainforests, see beautiful water falls and get to experience breathtaking scenery on your 52 mile journey.  Its quite an experience.


[wptabtitle] What our client says[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

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Don’t be a Fool to miss the Fall – Your 5 must do’s

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Vicki Tester


Fall is a fabulous time to visit the Capital Region USA. Throughout the already scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and the valleys below, the landscape morphs into a kaleidoscope of colour. The fall harvest begins at farms and vineyards across Maryland and Virginia and is celebrated at festivals and events throughout the region. And the cooler weather brings a variety of outdoor festivals where visitors can experience authentic American culture. Here are five top experiences you should seek out on your autumn holiday to America’s Capital Region.

Take a Scenic Drive

Rent a car and follow one of the region’s National Scenic Byways to view the spectacular fall foliage. Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park, runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and features numerous overlooks where you can pull over, take in the view and capture some stunning vacation photos. Once outside the park, the drive meets the Blue   Ridge Parkway which continues another 217 miles through the mountains of Virginia. Known as the “road that built a nation”, Maryland’s Historic National Road passes through the mountains of western Maryland, travelling through small towns and historic sites along the way. Discover more scenic fall drives in Virginia and Maryland.

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org







Skyline Drive - Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation

Skyline Drive – Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation



Taste the Harvest

Celebrate the harvest at farms and wineries throughout the region. Virginia Wine Month is celebrated in October and features wine festivals and special events at wineries, restaurants and retailers throughout the state. Taste one of the region’s specialties in its peak season during the Urbanna Oyster Festival in Virginia or the St. Mary’s Oyster Festival in Maryland. Harvest celebrations include the Suffolk Peanut Festival. Washington DC hosts several food festivals in the fall including Capital Food Fight and Taste of DC.

Have Fun on the Farm

Enjoy the crisp autumn air while having some old fashion fun as farms throughout the region host fall festivals featuring corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides and more. Check out all of the corn mazes and pumpkin patches in Virginia and in Maryland, look to Bowles Farm, Butler’s Orchard, Cove Run, Forrest Hall and Warrington Farm for fall fun.

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Cheer on Favourite Teams

Fall kicks off the season for many of America’s favourite sports – particularly football. Fans pack the stadiums and sports bars, cheering on their favourite teams. See the regional hometown teams in action at Fed Ex Field, home to the Washington Redskins or M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens. Head to the VerizonCenter in DC to catch a hockey game with the Washington Capitals or a basketball game with the Washington Wizards. Steeplechase races are also prevalent throughout the fall. Checkout the Montpelier Hunt Races or the International Gold Cup in Virginia and the Shawan Downs Legacy Chase and the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day in Maryland.  

Get Cultured

Enjoy the fall weather while experiencing the culture of the region at one of many outdoor festivals and events.  Explore DC’s diverse neighbourhoods during the H Street Festival or Walking Town DC, an event featuring more than 50 free, guided walking tours throughout the city. Hosted in the scenic waterfront town of Easton, Maryland, the Waterfowl Festival celebrates the wide variety of waterfowl species in the Chesapeake Bay region with retriever, birds of prey, and fly fishing demonstrations, miniature decoy paintings, calling contests and more. The Virginia State Fair features animals and agriculture exhibits along with live music, shows, arts and crafts, a midway filled with games and rides, and lots of traditional fair foods. 

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org







Jefferson Memorial - Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Jefferson Memorial – Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org





To start planning you bespoke holiday to the USA to see the fall next year then please contact us so we can put your plans into actions and help make the most out of your holiday with our expert advice – Please call us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Christmas or New Year in New York

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Credit Peter Ellis


Empire State Building

I know it seems bizarre to be talking about Christmas or New Year just as summer is getting going for us, but there are good reasons to be doing just that. The key one is that y booking your apartments now you will pick up a good deal.
An apartment is a great way of seeing the city – giving you independence of agenda, the option to eat in and being located in the centre of the City. At the moment there is the chance to stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3 in certain places and often include maid service.
The Americans make a big deal about Christmas and New Year and the city looks at its best with all the decorations and the winter weather ensuring it feels like Christmas. All the usual attractions are there to be explored and the chance to ice skate in Central Park would be something to talk about on your return.
Booking flights now could well save you money that could then be added to your New York shopping experience.
Give us a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk for the full information on your special Christmas and/or New Year in New York.

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