Latest in Travel: New rules to see Hawaii crater, Argentina seeks digital nomads, a Dylan museum

Also in the news: three more countries—Croatia, Japan, and New Zealand—announce plans to reopen while the Behali Reserve Forest in Assam is now a wildlife sanctuary.

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Hawaii’s iconic Diamond Head (Lē’ahi) crater, depicted on everything from Hollywood movie posters to USPS postage stamps, will now require advanced reservations from travellers. Photo by: Norbert Turi/Shutterstock

Hawaii demands prior reservation to see Diamond Head crater 

Hawaii’s iconic Diamond Head (Lē’ahi) crater, depicted on everything from Hollywood movie posters to USPS postage stamps, will now require advanced reservations from travellers starting May 12th. Out-of-state and international visitors can make online reservations up to 14 days in advance in order to access the 475 plus acres of Diamond Head State Monument, including the 350-acre expanse of the broad crater. Hawaii residents with local forms of ID do not need to register to visit the national park, but access to the Diamond Head still depends on parking availability. 

The reservation system aims at mitigating the popular site’s current state of overcrowding. This adds Diamond Head State Monument to the list of Hawaiian parks and preserves laying out parameters to battle the environmental impacts of overtourism, including Hā’ena State Park, Wai‘ānapanapa State Park, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

 

Argentina woos digital nomads with brand new visa

On May 10th, Argentina joined Brazil as the second South American nation officially implementing strategies to attract digital nomads, and the spending power they bring with them. In lieu of Argentina’s regular three-month stay period for tourists, the nation now offers a 6-month digital nomad visa, which can be extended from the same amount of time, once. Discounts on flights with Aerolíneas Argentinas are also reportedly part of the bargain. Candidates for the visa will have to submit their resume to the Ministry of the Interior and prove at least one active work relationship. Only applicants from nations that do not require a tourist visa to enter Argentina are eligible. Argentina is only the newest in a long list of places that are welcoming digital nomads from around the world.  

 

A new museum dedicated to Bob Dylan in the American city of Tulsa 

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s recently unveiled, 29,000-square-foot Bob Dylan Center holds a trove of exhibits and approximately 100,000 special items and artefacts spanning the decades-long scope of the folk artist’s career. Museum-goers can expect to find handwritten lyrics, recordings never-before-released, rare film footage, iconic photography, and an interactive studio. A museum dedicated to one of Dylan’s most influential songwriting inspirations (The Woody Guthrie Center) lies 100 feet down the road. The Bob Dylan Center also plans to focus on new material its namesake musician creates. 

 

New Zealand, Japan and Croatia to open to tourists

The list of countries reopening up to tourists is growing increasingly, though the checks and balances for each nation remain distinctive to their government’s overall policy. For example, Croatia has recently joined the roster of European countries dropping all COVID-19 requirements for entry, reversing their international tourism stance to what it was before the pandemic. New Zealand, known for its stringent border measures, has announced plans to open the island nation up to international travellers on July 31st with an emphasis on driving more visitors to offbeat and unique destinations in the country. Japan, also known for its tight borders, is currently allowing pre-approved business travellers who adhere to the country’s entry protocol, and has announced they plan to ease restrictions by June, though no concrete way forward has been published yet. 

 

Electric bus between Manali and Rohtang Pass 

Himachal Road Transport Corporation’s new eco-friendly bus service currently includes three electric busesthat respectively travel from Manali at 8 a.m., 8.30 a.m., and 9 a.m.offering a round trip journey to the popular, snow-dusted tourist destination, Rohtang Pass. The 25-seat buses, at ₹600 per booking, allow travellers to visit the 13,000-foot site (stops last two hours) in an environmentally-conscious manner while circumventing the process of obtaining online vehicle permits. They are limited to 1,200 vehicles per day and are often sold out in peak season. 

 

Taiwan reopens its cloud-kissing highway after 13 years of construction

After a 13-year hiatus, early this May Taiwan reopened its Southern Cross-Island Highway, linking Tainan City and Taitung City through the nation’s prized Yushan National Park. Back in 2009, Typhoon Morakot decimated this 154-kilometre stretch of highway, and following storms and inclement weather marred the reconstruction efforts for over a decade. Thousands of vehicles have already taken to the new road, a route well stocked with vistas of the Central Mountain range, hiking trails, hot springs, and lofty lakes.

 

Assam gets a new wildlife sanctuary 

Assam’s Behali Reserve Forest has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary to curb encroachment and timber theft. Behali Wildlife Sanctuary now comprises a 157-square kilometre swathe of the Borgang Forest Range. Behali houses nearly 950 species of flora and fauna (White-winged Duck, Bengal Slow Loris, Capped Langur and hornbills, among them) and is also the home of many archaeologically significant historical ruins.

 

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

  • Julian Manning can usually be found eating a crisp ghee roast with extra podi. The rare times his hands aren’t busy with food, they are wrapped around a mystery novel or the handlebars of a motorcycle. He is Assistant Editor at National Geographic Traveller India.

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