High End Promo Dee Shultz & Erin Copper : Page 25

PHOTO COURTESY CLASSIC JOURNEYS PHOTO ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/UNIQUEHOMESART Panama — As an enormous ecosystem that is fueled by water runoff from the rain forest, the Panama Canal is much more than just a canal. It’s a central location for migrating birds, and you can get to enjoy them while staying at a luxury resort on the banks of the Chagres River. You’ll also meet one of the seven area indigenous tribes. “We go down to the banks of the river and waiting there for us are tribesmen with real dug-out canoes,” Piegza says. “They take us up the river, about an hour and a half to their village, and we spend a day there.” An elder brings the group on a tour of the rain forest and its medicinal plants. In addition to meeting this tribe and seeing its authentic life, travelers can opt to fly to Panama City and visit “the land of eternal spring,” a place known for its 72-degree and sunny atmosphere. Here, you can trek the highlands to view the Quetzal, a bluish-green iridescent bird. Other offerings include river rafting, zip lining and the chance to participate in a tasting at a coffee plantation as well. Visiting the bamboo huts on stilts along the Chagres River in Panama, travelers mix in with an indigenous tribe, learning their way of life. Cinque Terre — Built along the rocky, rough terrain of the Ligurian Sea (a segment of the Mediterranean Sea), five small Italian villages stand the test of time, and preserve a slower pace of living. As settlers came Spanning 18 kilometers of jagged cliffs, to this area to escape the wrath Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s tucked away of barbarians in the 1300s and treasures. 1400s, they found a way to survive, by terracing out from the hillsides to enjoy the beautiful southern exposure that allowed for a way of life. In exploring these “captured-in-time” villages, travelers can go on an adventure to the tiny monastery of St. Fruttuoso, which is reachable only by foot or boat. As the locals love to stop and talk to visitors, it is not uncommon to have cultural interaction along the tour. “It is completely a different lifestyle then what we are used to,” says Piegza. T HE H IGH E ND 25

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