Summer is officially underway! Maybe our brains have overheated but we think it’s a perfect time to think about things that are hotter than a New York sidewalk in July. Here are Absolute Travel’s Hot Picks 2008!
Hot Spot: The Sahara Desert, Morocco
Absolute Travel staff member Katie Losey just returned from a two-week journey to Morocco and one of her favorite parts of the trip was the overnight in a Bedouin tent in the sandy Erg Chebbi region of the Sahara. She rode a camel, enjoyed a private concert by local gnawa musicians, and feasted on lamb tagine, couscous, harira soup, and exotic fruit. After dinner, her guide showed her the best spot to watch the sun sink into the dunes in and then pointed out the constellations in the impossibly starry night sky. Though daytime temperatures in the Sahara can be punishing, Absolute Travel guests are never outside during the sunniest times of day; exploration is reserved for the cooler early morning and twilight hours. Want to spend a night in the Sahara? Visit the Morocco section of our website or contact a travel specialist to discuss how to integrate the experience into a customized itinerary.
Hot Bite: India’s Ghost Chili Pepper
You may want to think twice before trying the Bhut Jolokia (also known as the ghost chili pepper). This fiery little number has been identified as the world’s hottest chili pepper – and it’s nearly twice as hot as the pepper that previously held that title! Where can you taste it? It’s cultivated in the Assam region of northeastern India, where climatic conditions are apparently perfect for potent pepper production (dare you to say that five times fast!). A visit to Assam can be incorporated into any customized South Asia itinerary but, geographically, it makes sense to pair it with Calcutta and possibly even Nepal. Talk to an Absolute Travel specialist about designing a tour to sample the Bhut Jolokia pepper – or any specialty food item you’ve always wanted to try!
Hot Rocks: Bhutanese Stone Bath
After trekking around the hills and valleys of Bhutan to see the many dzongs (temples), travelers need to soak their tired muscles. Luckily, the concept of a spa (though perhaps not called by that name, exactly) has been around for centuries in the form of hot stone baths! This exquisite ritual involves a scenic location or view, a deep tub, a lot of water, and some sizzling hot rocks dropped in to heat things up. The Bhutanese believe that when the heated rocks are submerged in the water, healing mineral properties are released and absorbed by the bather. In addition to these benefits, it’s just plain relaxing and fun. Visitors to Bhutan should not miss an opportunity to soak in a hot stone bath and our favorite spot to enjoy the ritual is the spa at the lovely Uma Paro.
Hot Trot: Argentine Tango
Temperatures are guaranteed to rise just watching this sexy dance! Tango started as a fusion of European, South American, and African dance styles and has, from its earliest days, been considered quite risqué. Our favorite place for visitors to take in a sensual tango show is Rojo Tango, considered the best tango venue in Buenos Aires. Located at the hip Faena Hotel + Universe, Rojo Tango includes a gourmet dinner and lots of local wine before the professional dancers take the stage. For those that want to try to tango themselves, Absolute Travel can even arrange a private pre-show lesson from the actual Rojo Tango performers!