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With spring now sprung across Europe, there is much on offer to the seasoned traveller. April is one of the best months to visit a number of destinations in Latin America. In Bolivia, the rainy season has just finished and the weather is mainly dry, but not too hot. For a glistening reflection on the world’s largest salt flat, see Salar de Uyuni in all its glory. Meanwhile, the Patagonian landscape is striking in autumn, with red and yellow leaves providing a beautiful contrast between the forests and the milky blue lakes and glaciers. Over in Guatemala, travellers can take in the colourful and impressive Easter processions, where floats are carried by hundreds of men in bright purple robes, candlelight vigils are held and striking flower carpets are made. Alternatively, for other colourful celebrations closer to home, pay a visit to the Netherlands’ Keukenhof, the second largest flower garden in the world.
In terms of climate, Malta experiences warm weather all year round. However, one of the highlights is visiting during a religious holiday. The tiny island nation is home to 359 churches and, as the locals are devout Catholics, Easter is taken very seriously. Sombre processions through the streets are followed by the ‘seven visits’ to different churches. The mood changes come Easter Sunday when bands play lively music in the streets and food can be eaten from outdoor carts. This is also when families meet to swap gifts and enjoy festive meals.
Central India is home to some of the best wildlife reserves in the country, including Bandhavgarh, Kahna, Panna, Pench and Satpura national parks. As one of the drier months, April is one of the better times for tiger sightings as they emerge looking for water. In Bandhavgarh, grassland meadows and a high density tiger population means there is a good chance of spotting big cats. The same is true for Kanha National Park, the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. Meanwhile, central India also plays host to beautiful temples in Orchha and exquisite carvings in Khajuraho. Travelling in April means you can enjoy cooler temperatures than the rest of the year.
April is the perfect time to enjoy Hanami – the Japanese custom of viewing cherry blossom. Both tourists and locals alike enjoy picnics underneath the pink and white trees that are in full bloom across the country. To continue the festivities through the night, lanterns are hung up. In Tokyo and Kyoto, the best time to visit for the blossoms is in early April. While the festival begins in the southern islands of Okinawa in January, it spreads through the central islands between March and May, ending in Hokkaido in early May.