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February 10, 2023

The Best Vacation Spots in the World According to E4C

contributor: Rob Goodier

Engineering for Change runs by the good graces of a small team of nine people who live on four continents and, at least until the pandemic, we had well-used passports. Where would such a travel-conscious group suggest to go for vacation? We asked ourselves that question, then we asked our colleagues at ISHOW and IDEA LAB, who share our place under the umbrella of the Engineering Sustainable Development department at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Those of us not too shy to answer, and not unwilling to divulge the locations of our hideaways, offer this list. If you take one of these suggestions, bon voyage and please send a postcard.

Copán Ruins, Honduras

Copán is the excavated site of some of the most important ruins of the Mayan civilization, located in western Honduras near the border with Guatemala. The ruins that once flourished as a Mayan city are the main attraction. Visitors can explore the temples, plazas, and ball courts, as well as see the famous Hieroglyphic Stairway, one of the largest Mayan inscriptions in the world.

It is a magical place. As a Latina and Honduran, every time I visit this place I connect with my heritage.

-Carolina Rojas, E4C Program Associate

Santa Marta, Colombia

Photo: Eli Duke (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Santa Marta resides seaside on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It’s known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Beach + mountains + rainforest + history = awesome

-Iana Aranda, President of E4C

Cusco, Peru

Photo: Nina Pascal / Unsplash

Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes, is the former capital of the Inca Empire known for its history, colorful textiles and rocky architecture. Colonial churches and homes are built atop the foundations of an Incan city. It’s also a jumping off point for trips to Machu Picchu.

I spent several weeks there and fell in love with Aji. It’s a beautiful city with old architecture integrated throughout.

-Adam Horbinski, Product Designer at Catapult Design and consultant to ASME ISHOW

Galapagos, Ecuador

Photo: Alan Alquist / Unsplash

The volcanic archipelago off Ecuador’s coast is not only the famous inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, it is also the favorite vacation spot of Juan José Plaza, the face behind the magic of E4C’s social media. Incidentally, JuanJo is one of two resident Ecuadorans on our staff.

I went there when I was 14 i think, and it was just a magical and peaceful place. beautiful views and amazing weather.

-Juan José Plaza, Community Manager and Design Lead (social media magician)

Tangan Columns, Quito, Ecuador

Photo: Francisco Plaza / E4C

Basalt columns tower over the cloudforest at a two-hour drive from Quito, Ecuador. The Tangan Columns are a climbing destination in an area that was significant to prehistoric civilizations. Archeologists have found carvings and other signs of the Sigchila and the Inca, and that’s where Francisco Plaza has found his happy place.

This is magical place to reconnect with nature in the middle of a cloud forest in the Andean mountain range. This is a fantastic place for crack climbing, bird watching, and just reconnecting with yourself.

– Francisco Plaza, Program Specialist

Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Photo: Humphrey Fombe / Unsplash

Expect hippos, elephants, antelopes, vibrant birds and the chance of lions, rhinos and cheetahs when you visit Liwonde National Park in Malawi, says Jonathan Kemp, E4C’s Program Specialist,  British expat and safari aficionado living in Malawi.

“Even better, being a compact national park, you don’t have to search for the animals, they essentially come to you. While visiting the country, be sure to also go to Lake Malawi and hike Mt. Mulanje,” Jonathan says.

This is my favourite place in the world to safari and watch animals.

Jonathan Kemp, Program Specialist and someone who spells “favorite” with a “u,” as is proper, some might say.

The Algarve, Portugal

Photo: LXMax Design Studio / Unsplash

The Algarve region on Portugal’s southern coast is known for its beaches, surfing, golf and rocky cliffs. But its cultural attributes and sustainable lifestyle are what drew James Creel to recommend the Algarve for a European vacation.

Great outlook/perspective on life embedded in the culture. Everyone grows food. A sustainable mentality is inherent.

James Creel, Senior Program Manager in the Engineering Sustainable Development department at ASME

Wli Falls, Ghana

Photo: jrwebbe (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Wli Falls in the Volta Region of Ghana crashes into tropical forest pools where visitors can swim after their hike.

It is the highest waterfall in Ghana and one of the tallest in West Africa. It’s absolutely beautiful and a great hike.

Erin Peiffer, Research Manager

Schwangau, Germany

Photo: Hans Permana (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A photo of Schwangau is on the page for the word “quaint,” (or if not then it should be). This picturesque alpine town in the Allgäu region of southern Germany is home to historic churches and a crystal-clear lake, making it the cutest and coldest place on our list.

“You can get great winter sports, hiking around the Alpensee and a view of two castles- Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. It’s a great family holiday vacation,” Leah says.

I generally prefer warm travel but visiting here at New Year’s was beautiful.

LeahPutman, Senior Program Specialist

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Photo: Julie Romaniuk / Unsplash

Turtles are like the cats of the beach towns on the north shore of Oahu in the Hawaiian islands. They lay around in the sun and go wherever they want. They also bump into surfboards and probably lay eggs, so that’s where the comparison to cats falls apart. They’re easy to spot in Haleiwa, the biggest town on the North Shore. Take a paddle board up a short inlet near the bridge and you can steer between them while they relax away from the sharks.

Beaches near the town have big-wave surfing in the winter, and visitors can swim, watch outrigger kayak races, throw shakas and enjoy the aloha.

You can find warm conversations, snorkeling just down the highway, and, if you look for it, even rock climbing.

Rob Goodier, News Editor

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tags : travel

Rob Goodier

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