Travel Briefs

At press time, three international airports in Mexico were offering rapid COVID-19 antigen tests for outgoing international passengers. A COVID-19 test showing a negative result must be presented by any traveler flying into the US, even a returning US citizen. (At press time, the land border between Mexico and the US was closed to all but essential traffic until at least March 21.)

The three airports offering testing are Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City,...


Designed for ease of access by passengers with limited mobility, a new ship in the Tokai Kisen fleet, the Salvia-Maru, began passenger service between Tokyo and the Izu Islands of Japan in June 2020. Salvia-Maru makes one 12-hour voyage from Tokyo Harbor to Kozushima island each day, stopping at Toshima, Niijima and Shikinejima islands along the way.

Tickets can be purchased for reclining seats, shared cabins or a private cabin for two. ¥6,030-¥16,890 (near $57-$160) per...


In Trinidad & Tobago, visitors can take a 3-hour guided tour of the Gasparee Caves on Gaspar Grande island, a 15-minute boat ride from Chaguaramas. The limestone cave system features stalactites and stalagmites and, in the largest cave, a tidal pool called the Blue Grotto, 100 feet underground and illuminated by natural light.

The cost is TTD120 (near $18), adult, or TTD90, child. Call +1 866 225 4232, ext. 191, or email Melissa Bernard-Patel (



Visitors to the Indian Ocean island nation of Maldives can enter a resort bubble, allowing them full access to all of the facilities and activities at their resort while protecting the country’s general population.

While in a resort bubble, visitors are required to wear masks and social-distance in any indoor public space and also while participating in any guided or supervised activities. With prior permission, guests can stay in more than one bubble resort during their stay....


Turkish soldiers removed barriers at the abandoned Northern Cyprus resort town of Varusha on Oct. 8, 2020, allowing visitors in for the first time in 46 years. The town, once famous for its beaches and luxury hotels, is now mostly ruins. The entire town had been off-limits to visitors since Turkish soldiers invaded the island in 1974 and occupied the area.

The 1974 invasion created two countries: the Turkey-backed Northern Cyprus and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus,...


In Toyooka, Honshu, Japan, visitors can take the private “Oriental White Stork Observation Tour” to see the endangered birds in their natural habitat. Thanks to a captive breeding program, about 140 storks, once extinct in Japan, now breed in the area.

With an English-speaking guide, the 6-hour tour, offered only during breeding season (April-November), visits wetlands, rice paddies and the Oriental White Stork Museum. Based on group size (two to six), the per-person price...


Using the Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan, provided online by the Jordan Tourism Board, travelers can plan their trip to include any of nearly a dozen cultural experiences that benefit local communities. To view the map, go to Each thumbtack is the location of a different experience, with links to more information.

The president of Cuba announced on Dec. 10 that, as of Jan. 1, 2021, the country would no longer be using the convertible peso, or CUC. The CUC was created in 1994 and existed alongside the Cuban peso. It was meant to be used by non-Cubans, who were not allowed to exchange foreign currency for pesos while visiting the country. It exchanged at 1-to-1 with the US dollar but had more value on the black market.

At press time, the dollar/peso exchange rate was $1=CUP26.5.