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by Brandi L. Brower, Travel Editor

Just north of Miami, there's a special place. White drapes with red trim tied back from the arched alcove, wisp in the light wind, waving a welcome as my car drives up the brick-paved incline to the several young valets dressed in a pressed white shirts trimmed in red. Just ahead is a Venetian statue in the middle of six water fountains in a pool of blue, flanked by some of the most beautiful luxury cars that I've ever seen. This resort is home to the highest collection of independently owned Rolls Royce vehicles out of any property in the world. For an instant, I regretted my choice of a rental car, as my Ford Fusion seems a bit out of place as the smiling valet graciously opened my door and offered to take my luggage.

by Brandi L. Brower, Travel Editor

"Pura Vida!" was my greeting as I stepped off the escalator at the Liberia airport, the driver offered to take my small carry-on and guided me into the waiting vehicle where a cold drink and chilled towel were offered to wipe away the air travel. The 30-minute drive passed by quickly as I appreciated the landscape of the Guanacaste Province, in a country that I had never been to before. As we made our way to the main entrance of the Papagayo Peninsula, I asked my driver to stop immediately. He didn't act surprised by my request, as I doubt that I was the first person who was struck by the breathtaking view from the top of the bluff. Equally striking, four large stone sculptures called Life Archipelago by Jorge Jimenez Deredia, a series of art pieces illustrating a drop of water turning into a woman holding the earth. Framed by a row of soaring palm trees, this served as a stunning gateway, welcoming me into a dream destination.

by Brandi L. Brower, Travel Editor

"There are other places where the water is blue and clear, but there is nothing like it is in the Bahamas. It is so expansive and so absolutely beautiful, " Astronaut Scott Kelly claimed after passing over it in space for an entire year. "I think one of the reasons why we know that aliens have never come to Earth is because they would've all been here in the Bahamas. If you're going to land in the most appealing place from space," he joked, Well, if it's that beautiful from space, it's even more gorgeous in person.

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