The last of the series..
Bhutan - Venture to the exotic and tranquil Buddhist kingdom of the Himalayas
Reason: The country that concocted the quotient of Gross National Happiness wants you to experience its enticing magic, but only on its own terms. Isolated from the world for decades, Bhutan has started allowing tourism since 1974. If you are willing to go the extra mile and go there, you will be rewarded with a traditional Buddhist society that has welcomed the modern. Visit the Taktsang Goemba (Tiger's Nest Monastery), perched on a perilous cliff, or the Jigme Dorji National Park to see the Takin, Bhutan's national animal, which resembles a goat crossed with a horse. Even though only two airlines are allowed to fly here and the country remains difficult to reach, the exclusivity is part of its charm.
Tip: Bhutan doesn't allow completely independent travel. The best option is to have a guide and go on a government-approved itinerary. Also the minimum cost would roughly be around $200 - $250 per day, if you stay in the country's most basic three-star hotels. The better part, this price includes your guide, meals, and transportation inside the country.
When: Optimum time to visit are spring and autumn so you can experience all of the lush greenery and popular regional festivals. Winter and summer attract fewer travellers, but you'll risk extreme cold or the monsoon season.
Cartagena, Colombia - The vibrant, historic city of South America's newest hotspot
Reason: Until a decade ago, travellers tended to keep away from Cartagena, because of the country's drug trade and international image. Today, with its stabilised, cleaned-up economy, tourists are flocking in to this stunning walled city on the splendid Caribbean coast of Colombia. Once here, do check out the Palacio de la Inquisicion for insight into the area's history from pre-Colombian days, including instruments of torture used during the Inquisition. For more light-hearted fun, head out to art galleries like NH Galeria, portraying work by local and international artists, check out restaurants serving the freshest, most delicious seafood, or try salsa dancing till sundown or sun-up to your heart's content.
Tip: Sightseeing is in abundance in this Old City. You can easily rent a bike to please the curious explorer in you. Are beaches your thing? Make the day trip to the nearby Islas del Rosario and feast your eyes on the wild beauty of Colombia's coral reefs, or if you have a few days to spare, head to Isla Grande off the coast of Panama.
When: December through April is the dry season, with temperatures in the mid 70s to the high 80s. During the rainy season, the water between Isla Grande and the mainland provides an excellent surfing environment.