6 Destinations Where Americans Can Stay for Up to 6 Months without a Visa
There is nothing like slow travel. If you really want to
experience a place, get to know it intimately -- its culture, people,
geography, and idiosyncrasies, you have to stay for a while. Most
travel destinations limit visa-free stays to anywhere from 15 days to
90 days. It is rare to find a country willing to let the lingering
traveler stay longer. Luckily, we have found six intriguing countries
that have graciously flung their doors wide open to visitors for a full
180 days, visa-free.
sovereign darling of the Lesser Antilles, gives tourists an authentic
taste of Caribbean culture with the annual summer Crop Over
celebration. Expect to party all day and all night, move to the rhythms
of competing calypso bands, and eat your way into a decadent food coma.
The two-month-long event finishes with the lavish Grand Kandooment
street parade. Experienced surfers flock to this tiny island to surf
the Soup Bowl, one of the best waves in the world, breaking off
Bathsheba Beach. Use your six-month stay to hang around past summer for
the Independence Classic Surfing Championship, an international surfing
event held each November where world class surfers will surely dazzle
10 provinces and three territories offer tourists a veritable banquet
of attractions. One prominent event you won't want to miss in British
Columbia is the annual Celebration of Light
held in late July, which features three international teams competing
in an epic fireworks competition. Alberta is where you want to be for
spectacular national parks, like Banff or Jasper. Another way to
experience the natural grandeur of Alberta is with a rail tour of the
Rockies on Royal Canadian Pacific. If it's the arts you love, head to Montreal
Quebec, touted as Canada's cultural capital. Want to be amazed?
Horseshoe Falls in Ontario is the biggest and most thrilling of the Niagara Falls
; get a great view from Rainbow Bridge.
offers up nature's bounty to both the eco and the adventure traveler.
Witness the bubbling, steaming second largest boiling lake in the world
at Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Trek to impressive Middleham Falls
and take the leap into the natural pool below. Hike the lush
mountainous rainforest alive with exotic birds and rare plants. Dive
the depths of the magical Champagne Reef for a surreal underwater
experience. Capture unforgettable images of Papillote Tropical Gardens
with photos or on canvas. Travelers can enjoy moonlit island nights
with Dominica's traditional lime rum punch.
The Kingdom of Lesotho
a small nation completely surrounded by the country of South Africa, is
sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Africa. This high altitude,
mountainous country is perfect for the adventure traveler. Witness the
Maletsunyane Waterfalls, three times higher than Niagara Falls, visit
the petrified forest of Thaba-Tsoeu, or check out the Bearded Vultures
while bird watching in Moorosi. You can even take a fascinating tour of
dinosaur footprints near Moyeni! Travelers to Lesotho can experience
Basotho village life by day and spend nights in one of the village
huts. Nearby Bushman Paintings give visitors another window into the
past. Before you leave Lesotho, spend some time in Maseru, the capital,
and take in the historic architecture of the King's Palace.
Extended travel to Mexico
must include visits to two famous Maya sites, the Palenque Ruins in
Chiapas and Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the
equally famous Aztec site, Teotihuacan northeast of Mexico City. Mexico
is also a gastronomic wonderland. Spend a good part of your 180 days on
the ultimate culinary tour. Taste regional cuisines like fish tacos and
Caesar salads in Baja, mole in Puebla, pozole in Morelos, or Asian
inspired Poc-Chuc on the Yucatan
Experience the lively cultural diversity along the way. You can enjoy
the beaches of the Riviera Maya, snorkel with whale sharks off Isla Mujeres
indulge in a snorkel adventure on Cozumel, or shop Playa del Carmen's
popular 5th Avenue; all must-do experiences on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Panama is not only a traveler-friendly destination, it was named
the World's Best Place to Retire in 2014. What better way to explore
this Central American beauty than to spend 180 days traversing it end
to end? Hike Volcan Baru, Panama's highest point and only volcano,
located in the coffee highlands of Chiriqui Province. Visit the
stunning Pearl Islands, made famous by the reality show Survivor, off
the Pacific Coast, or the San Blas Islands, sovereign home to the Kuna
indigenous people, off the Caribbean Coast. Hang out in laidback Bocas
del Toro, or enjoy glamorous Panama City, the only first world city in
Central America. Before you leave, take a once-in-a-lifetime a trip
through the Panama Canal.
For those of you lucky enough to be able to use your entire six
months to fully explore one of these unique destinations, now you have
somewhere to start. Each of these tourist-friendly countries has a
wealth of activities waiting to be experienced, so take your time, dig
in, and really get to know them. Use the money you save on visas to
explore more and get a deeper understanding of the people and culture
of each location.
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