Some people choose vacation destinations that have the best beaches, while others are looking for the trendiest cities or the most exciting dance clubs. Then there are travellers who enjoy a healthy dose of history when they visit a far-off hotspot. If you fall into the latter group, we have a few suggestions for your next getaway.
The magic of the Incas
When it comes to historic sightseeing, it’s hard to beat South American travel. There is evidence of ancient, indigenous cultures in many nations in South America. However, some of the most well preserved evidence is located in Peru, a country the once massive Incan empire once called home. Visitors to this area have a number of hotspots to choose from, but one that you should not miss is Cuzco, a city located high in the Andes mountain range. This city was once the seat of the Incan empire, and the Incan architecture and culture is still evident throughout the narrow streets and low-slung houses. There are a number of tourist-friendly hostels in the area for those embarking on student travel, but individuals who prefer something more luxurious have many nice hotels to choose from as well.
Cuzco isn’t too far from the one of the most well-known historic spots in the world: Machu Picchu. These ruins remained largely undiscovered in the mountainous rainforest of the Andes until the early 1900s, when Hiram Bingham uncovered them from the mists of time. Since then, thousands of visitors have taken the trip up the steep slopes to experience this stunning vantage point overlooking these ancient ruins.
The mystery of Pompeii
If you want to see history suspended in time then you should visit Pompeii, Italy. Pompeii is the site of one of the most devastating natural disasters in history. In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted, sending lava and ash over the ancient city. It happened so quickly that most of the city’s citizens didn’t have time to escape. However, the explosion didn’t destroy the city - it preserved it like a time capsule. Today, you can walk around the ancient streets and see the old Roman shops, baths and even brothels. You can also see some fascinating (and macabre) human figures - actual denizens of Pompeii - preserved in place by the falling ash. There’s even ancient graffiti on the walls of the city - still in Latin – and sure to delight anyone who enjoys Roman history.
One of the best places to visit when you’re in this city is the Villa of the Mysteries. There are many villas that are well-preserved in Pompeii, but the Villa of the Mysteries stands out because of the large and peculiar frescoes still visible inside the main room. These colourful paintings look as though they were recently painted, yet they date back to the days when the Roman Empire was thriving.
The splendour of Boston
The United States may only be a few hundred years old, but it’s still steeped in a rich and unique history. There’s no better place to see this history firsthand than Boston, which was one of the earliest modern cities in the United States. Begin your visit at the Boston Common, a large green space in the center of downtown. That’s where the Freedom Trail begins - a red-painted line that leads you to all of the most important historic sites within the city limits. You can easily take yourself on a walking tour if you prefer to move at your own pace, or you can take a guided tour led by an actor dressed in colonial costume.