Puzzle Partners Program

Puzzle Partners Program is an exclusive offering from Puzzle Israel & International, designed for travel agents based in North America who is looking to provide their clients with tailor-made luxury travel experiences around the world. This program is an opportunity for travel agents to leverage Puzzle’s expertise in operations and curation of personalized trips, enabling them to provide unparalleled service to their clients.

As a Puzzle Partner, travel agents will gain access to Puzzle’s global network of luxury accommodations, local guides, and exclusive experiences. Puzzle’s team of experienced travel experts will work closely with each agent to understand their clients’ preferences and create customized itineraries that are tailored to their unique needs and interests. This includes personalized recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, and activities and insider access to local events and cultural experiences.

Puzzle Brasil

Moreover, Puzzle Partners will have access to Puzzle’s in-house operations team, who will oversee all logistics related to their clients’ trips, including transportation, reservations, and other travel arrangements. This enables travel agents to focus on building relationships with their clients and providing exceptional customer service, while Puzzle takes care of all the details behind the scenes.

Overall, the Puzzle Partners Program is an excellent opportunity for travel agents in North America to differentiate themselves in the luxury travel market by providing their clients with personalized, high-quality travel experiences curated by Puzzle’s team of experts. With access to Puzzle’s global network of luxury providers and personalized support from their team, travel agents can confidently offer their clients a truly unforgettable travel experience.

COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS SITUATION

Shalom Salam Peace from Puzzle Israel and Puzzle International!

As we are writing these words, COVID-19 has resulted in a near total lockdown in Israel and in many parts of the world. Though these measures seem extreme, they will hopefully lead to better news in the weeks ahead.

This is a great opportunity to spend time with your beloved family, dedicate TIME for self-improvement, practice mindfulness and to plan for the future.


Though travel today is not top of mind, and many of our plans have been postponed, we know this will not last forever!


We are here working toward the time when travel will resume its glory days, and as soon as you are ready to think about where you wish to go next, we will be ready!


The safety and well-being of all our travelers and our team are of paramount importance to us and we are adhering to all protocols and recommendations offered by global and local public health authorities.

To all the Puzzle family who have traveled with us in the recent past or who are scheduled to travel with us in the future and have chosen not to cancel their travel plans, we would like to say THANK YOU for your confidence.

If we are currently working with you on your plans for travel in the summer, fall, winter, or even next year, we are ensuring all bookings are in order and ready to go when the time comes!

Rest assured we will take care of you as we always have.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have or even just to say hello ūüôā

In these rough times, we feel it is our duty to continue guiding people from around the world, therefore we are preparing several fun and interactive virtual get-togethers, be on the lookout for more details.

Looking forward to brighter days for our wonderful planet.

 

Travel, Eat, Connect Back in 1492

In 1492 Christopher Columbus embarked on a culinary journey…..headed to the West Indies in hopes of bringing back some amazing spices.¬† Well, his journey went a bit astray, leading to what might be considered¬† the most important culinary events of the millennium! Rather than arriving to India, he found a gold mine! After all, the guy discovered America!

Columbus brought back from the “new world” to = the “old world” a plethora of foods – the avocado, pineapple, all kinds of beans, sugar cane, chocolate, vanilla, peanuts, rubber (including the gum!), tobacco, tapioca, turkey, paprika, and cilantro. And perhaps the¬†most important discoveries:

tomatoes, all kinds of peppers (forming the basis for most of the chili spices found in Indian food), corn, and perhaps most important of all ( might be the sole thing worth discovering in America)- the potato.

Just think what a meager and bleak world it was only half a millennium ago! For without these discoveries, there would be:

Pasta without tomato sauce! 

Hamburger without fries to go with it!

Bean soup with no beans! (so what exactly was there?)

Movies without popcorn!

Sporting events without eating peanuts!

No chocolate OR vanilla ice cream! 

No satisfying cigarette after sex, as there was no tobacco…

Try to imagine our lives without this long grocery list..

 

Based upon a piece by Ali Mohar

 

A Culinary Experience of Special Flavors and Authentic Dishes in India

Each of the 29 Indian states has a unique cooking tradition based on local ingredients. As a rule, Indian food is vegetarian and made by special ancient techniques, though carnivores and omnivores will certainly be happy as well! While not exact, the variations of the food can be broken down by region.  Join us on a culinary adventure throughout India! 

 

The cuisine in the northern part of India is heavily influenced by central Asian countries, therefore you will find many rice dishes. Perhaps the most prevalent culinary style found outside of India, Northern Indian cuisine also reflects a strong Mughal influence. It is characterized by a high use of dairy: milk, paneer (an Indian mild cheese), ghee (clarified butter), and yogurt. Samosas, fried pastries stuffed with potatoes and occasionally meat, are a distinctive Northern snack. Clay ovens known as tandoors are popular in the North, giving dishes like Tandoori Chicken and Naan bread their distinctive charcoal flavor. 

In the West, we see a lot of fish and coconut milk.  In addition, due to Chinese influence, much of the cuisine has a sweetness to it.  Since the dry climate of this region produces smaller vegetables, this region is well known for its chutneys, which are popular Indian condiments that use cooked, fresh, or pickled vegetables and fruits with sweet, sour, or spicy flavors. Goa acted as a major trade port and colony for Portugal, resulting in a distinctive and unique blend of Indian and Portuguese culinary elements, as well as significant use of vinegar. This region is famous for Dal casserole: lentil casseroles combined with pickled and preserved vegetables, as well as Vindaloo is a traditional Goan dish that is an Indian restaurant mainstay, its name deriving from Vinho de Alho, a Portuguese marinade consisting primarily of garlic, wine, vinegar, and chilies.

East India’s kitchen is a combination of rice and fish; one of the most recommended dishes is the Tulsa (a fish cooked in a pumpkin leaf). You will encounter special ingredients used in dishes, such as the bamboo whip plant and milk used to make cheese balls, cooked in rose water. And this region is also known for its desserts.¬†¬†

South Indian¬†cuisine is a bit more off the beaten path and not readily seen outside of India (which is too bad, because its fantastic!).¬† South Indians can’t do without rice. It’s the staple in their diet. In Kerala, most dishes are coconut-based and seafood is a specialty. In Tamil Nadu, watch out for Chettinad cuisine, perhaps the most fiery of all Indian food. Cuisine from Andhra Pradesh is also hot and spicy. Hyderabad is famous for its biryani. And, the Udupi region of Karnataka is renowned for its simple but vast vegetarian fare.¬† You might need a side dish of water (or actually yogurt is recommended), because in southern India, the food is very(!) spicy.

The most important and frequently used spices and flavorings in all of Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chilli pepper, black mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Its just about the proportions that are used differently throughout – and each combination is known as “masala”.¬†¬†

Just what the doctor ordered! Take a bite, why don’t you? ūüôā

 

Giant India

Giant India,  consisting of 29 states, is a panoply of colors & flavors, is comprised of innumuerable diverse cultures, and exemplifies spectacular human encounters between spiritual and material. India offers countless sights to behold and experiences to have. A trip to India may last a few days (or a couple of weeks), but the powerful experiences will  become a part of your soul forever.

Though there are many religions represented in India, Hinduism, the world’s third-largest religion, is the predominant religion in India. One can travel all throgouht India and see elements of Hinduism spiritual practice everywhere. The Hindu doctrine is primarily spread through storytelling and in the temples built to honour the religion‚Äôs myriad gods.¬† The Hindu religion is rumoured to have over 330 million gods, however there are a few main gods that are seen in various forms in temples and elsewhere as you travel.

Supreme Brahma is the Om, and is seen in all things; as he is formless, he is not worshipped. Under the Supreme Brahma is the Hindu Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Brahma is seldom worshipped, but both Vishnu and Shiva are popular. These two gods have their own sects, the Vashnavites and the Shaivites, which make up the two largest religious sects in India. Each of the gods has incarnations, or ‚Äúfaces,‚ÄĚ which can be very different from their original form.

 

‚ÄúDharma‚ÄĚ, or the way of life, contains a broad range of philosophies …

Hinduism can be found in idols and fanciful interpretations of nature; The Hindus believe in different idols and worshiping statues. They believe that all idols represent one infinite creator, whom they call “Brahman” (others might call it “God”). In other words, they worship the one and only creator of the world. This is one example of how India gives and demonstrates a deeper meaning to the concept – ‚ÄúAll Is One‚ÄĚ.

Broaden your horizons and experience this exploding cluster of spiritual beliefs.

If a country can have a soul, India‚Äôs is in Varanassi, located on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. Varanasi is a nexus of Hinduism, which is both a religion and an everyday way of life. Indelible is the experience of a slow, misty morning boat ride along the Ganges ghats, thronged by women in pink saris, businessmen in grey suits, laughing children, old beggars, and Brahmin grandees making pilgrimage to the holiest waters in all creation. Walking down to the banks of the Ganges in the morning, or especially in the early evening, joining thousands of pilgrims‚ÄĒmothers and children, holy men and businesspeople, Brahmin grandees, and wide-eyed visitors from all over India and the world‚ÄĒis a great moment in a traveller‚Äôs life, a swirlingly colourful, deeply moving, utterly fascinating daily epic.

A visit to Madurai  allows all to experience the most prominent landmark in Madurai РMeenakshi Temple Р visited by at least 15,000 Hindu devotees  daily. The temple is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai river and is dedicated to two gods РMeenakshi (Godess Parvathi) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva). Each evening there is a ritual procession in the temple, and visitors witness the trememdous spirituality of the devotees Рa true sight to behold.

The son of Shiva, the elephant-headed and pot-bellied Ganesh, is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism, as he is the remover of obstacles and deliverer of good luck. No trip to India is complete without an encounter with Ganesh – in temples, in museums, in gift shops, and beyond!

No matter your personal practice and religion, a trip to India will be spiritual in a way you never would have imagined.

 

A Virtual Trip to Exotic Morocco

Hiking the snow covered fresh cedar-filled  Atlas Mountains,  camel trekking to a Sahara Desert camp, shopping for Moroccan handicrafts, meeting local Berber women at argan oil cooperatives, discovering the tanneries in the Fes medina, dipping your toes in the Atlantic ocean on the white sand beaches of Essaouira, or tasting traditional Moroccan food at Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech. Bustling bazaars, age-old remains of civilizations past, hidden alleyways of ancient medinas.  Musicians, artisans, nomads.  Different cultures Рold and new, vibrant markets filled with colors and sounds, welcoming hospitality.

Join us as we journey through Morocco

Puzzle Morocco

Begin in Marrakech, also known as the “Red City” for the red stones from which the city was built. It is a vibrant city in southwest Morocco at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Since most of Marrakech’s inhabitants are descendants of the Berbers, the origin of its name is likely derived from the barbarian language, in which the words ◊īmur◊ī and ‚Äúakuch‚ÄĚ mean “the city of God.”¬†

The great beauty of the city, its intense colors and its sensual atmosphere make this nickname live up to its name! Take in the flavors and aromas as we join together for a couscous rolling and tagine making workshop.¬† There’s nothing better than fresh spices straight from the market!

Take a moment to imagine Morocco’s wonderful beaches

Legzira Beach is windy and rocky: The most unique Moroccan beach is a home for a stunning stone arch that formed naturally after years of erosion.

Agadir is a modern city, along its beautiful coastline there are plenty of tourist resorts and exotic palm trees. Paradise Beach Kaf Lahmam is a slice of a shoreline with panoramic views. You can find fresh fish and traditional tagine (stew) being cooked on the beach.

Essaouira (once known as Mogador) has beaches that extend as far as the eye can see.  White sand.  Beautiful blue ocean.  And just adjacent to the beaches are fishmongers Рmaking fresh fish each day.  What an amazing lunch!

Any seaside recreation that comes to mind could be found in Morocco. Just take a pick!

Visit the Fes medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meander through its lively alleyways, stopping to enjoy leather craftsmen and taste the abundant spices.

Make your way to Casablanca via Meknes Рand visit 2 UNESCO world heritage sites: the ancient walled city of Meknes and the well-preserved Roman ruins and stunning mosaic floors of Volubilis. 

We will finish in Casablanca 

Here’s looking at you kid!

 

 

 

 

‘The Land of Fire and Ice’

Thinking about Iceland, one can imagine spectacular scenery, ice all around, the breathtaking aurora borealis, dog sleds, glaciers and much more. Well, this is all true! Besides, The Land of Fire and Ice has plenty of adventures to offer.

Iceland is known for its diverse festivals for music, arts, and culture.

June is a busy time with 13 festivals taking place! 

Brei√įholt Festival for music and arts presents artists with a connection to Brei√įholt and puts a spotlight on the diverse arts from the neighborhood.

The Vaka Folk Arts Festival is an opportunity to enjoy Iceland‚Äôs very best folk musicians and dancers along with performers from northern Europe ‚Äď all deeply rooted in the traditions of their place.¬†

The annual Viking Festival will make you feel like you have been transferred back in time a thousand years or so. The Viking Village hosted the festival presenting a Middle Age market where true Vikings sell their wares at the market; leather goods, fur, silver jewelry, swords and exquisite horns made of bones. They roast lamb, fight, dance, tell stories and show the ways of living of the old Vikings. 

H√∂fn‚Äôs town’s main trademark is the tasty lobster, so that’s where the Lobster Festival takes place. food lovers, this is a place for you to enjoy!¬†

With the courtesy of the Icelanders, everyone can fit in with a suitable celebration!

Have you ever seen an Icelandic horse? 

The Icelandic horse arrived in Iceland with the first Vikings inhabitants and has a very special place in the hearts of the Icelanders. When you will have the honor of meeting one, you will immediately fall in love; They are more curious, intelligent, and independent than other horse breeds. 

In 982 the Icelandic Parliament passed a law against the importation of other horse breeds into the country, thus keeping the breed in complete isolation within the island for over a thousand years. It is one of the purest horse breeds in the world, with an average lifespan of 40 years. This lifetime measure allows the Icelandic horse to become part of an Icelandic family!

If you are a traveler that is looking for some new adventures, then add diving in Iceland activity to your bucket list! Diving in Iceland is considered a must among divers around the world. Iceland represents a unique opportunity to dive into a crack created by connecting the two tectonic plates of the Americas and Europe. While scuba diving you can simultaneously touch the two continents! The Siplera diving site (means “the silver lady”) is known for its clear waters (up to 100 meters view) and the low temperature (from 2-4 degrees). This is a mesmerizing experience.

Snorkeling is open to anyone! Take a briefing, wear the suits and jump into the water.

Are you ready to book an adventure in Iceland? Click here 

Fascinating Egypt

Prepare to step back in time when you witness the Egyptian pyramids. 

They are magnificent man-made ancient shaped structures, built during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world. Most were built as tombs for the country’s pharaohs.

The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built and one of them is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence. Take a glimpse at these majestic monuments which will take your mind into the country’s glorious past.

In addition to all these pleasures, Egypt has wonderful beaches and fascinating coral reefs along the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

The Nile River is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa and is the longest river in Africa.

The Nile has been the lifeline of civilization in Egypt since the Stone Age, with most of the population and all of the cities of Egypt resting along those parts of the Nile valley.

The River was critical to the development of ancient Egypt. The Nile River delta was also an ideal growing location for the papyrus plant. Ancient Egyptians used the papyrus plant in many ways, such as making cloth, boxes, and rope, but by far its most important use was in making paper.

Besides using the river’s natural resources for themselves and trading them with others, early Egyptians also used the river as a trade route, as well as for irrigation, bathing, drinking, recreation, and transportation.

The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible tells of the finding of Moses as a baby, in the River Nile, by the daughter of Pharaoh. Even today, families come to gather water from the riverbank, surrounded by ruins left by ancient civilizations. 

Egypt and the Nile River manifest a place where you will see the old and new coming together.

Don’t miss The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in Aswan, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. They are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The relics of this ancient human civilization were under threat from the rising waters of the Nile due to the construction of a Dam. The salvage began in 1964 by a multinational team of archeologists, engineers, and skilled heavy equipment operators working together under UNESCO. he two Abu Simbel temples were cut into large blocks, dismantled and completely moved, in one of the greatest challenges of archaeological engineering in history. Their new location is set 65 meters higher, 200 meters away from the Nile. Today, a few hundred tourists visit the temples daily. You can be one of them!

Meet the Maasai women!

No doubt you are familiar with the Maasai tribe – perhaps not because you actually know about them but rather have seen photos – bright colored sashes (called “shukas”) in vibrant red, purple or blue, the men with their spears or the strong Maasai women, bejeweled with brightly colored neck adornments or earrings. This beadwork they wear, while very appealing, has more than just an ornamental value. The women who create it express their identity and social status with these handcrafted pieces.

The Maasai are one of the most impoverished tribes in East Africa. A noble and dignified people, they have proudly mantained their traditional lifestyle and cultural identity despite pressures of the modern world. They live a nomadic lifestyle raising cattle and goats, wearing traditional clothes, and living in small villages called manyattas, which are circular arrangements of mud huts.

Yet despite this impoverishment, the women are notable in that they remain strong, are getting better educated, and have become hopeful for a brighter future.

A highlight of your safari vacation to Kenya or  is a visit with these Maasai people. Many of the tribes welcome visitors to their villages to view up close their culture and lifestyle.

The Maasai tribe women learn the wisdom of the tribe beginning in their childhood by hearing oral stories that are passed from generation to generation. 

The Maasai live in small mud huts (“boma”) made by the women (though the men gather the materials).¬† Some women are married to the same husband (yes, polygomy is a thing) and some to relatives. Women’s life is conducted in a small area of ‚Äč‚Äčonly a few square miles, which includes the village and neighboring villages.¬†

The women meet their neighbors at ceremonies, on the river and on the weekly market day. Though their lives seem somewhat small, never going beyond the village where they were born and the village where they live after marriage, their culture is vibrant and very much alive. 

Masai land boasts the finest nature and wildlife areas in East Africa, so it does seem somewhat weird to go bouncing around on someone’s ancestral land without at least sparing an hour or two to meet the people and learn about their ancient traditions. We will visit, meet, and of course, buy handcrafted souvenirs!

Sing a praise for the amazing Maasai women

Mama Africa

Africa’s incredible wildlife is the central reason to go on safari, of course. The opportunity to see these charismatic animals up close, wandering freely in their beautiful, ancient homeland cannot be overstated. That, combined with a winning combination of powerful landscapes and indulging resorts, Africa is cementing its status as one of the most sought-after destinations for travel.

Each day on safari brings new perspectives and experiences. Snow-capped mountains. Cavernous valleys. Sweeping savannahs. Vast deserts. Lush forests. Sparkling lakes. Arid plains. Romantic beaches. Vibrant waterfalls. And, most especially, animals by the thousands.

And safari is not ONLY about the animals and landscapes.  When we combine safari with local culture, you will witness for yourself the full beauty of Africa, reflected not only in its natural resources but also in the graciousness of the local people. Now imagine yourself having a picnic on a safari, in the midst of all this and soaking it all in. Or perhaps dinner with a local family.  Playing soccer with local children.  Anything is possible!

Your safari can also be truly enhanced with visits to and engagement with local humanitarian and conservation efforts. Africa has given so much to us, now it’s time to GIVE BACK! So if philanthropic travel is your thing, Africa is a great place to be – to enhance the lives of its children and ensuring the maintenance of its environment.

Don’t miss out on an unforgettable experience that will feed your spirit and nourish your soul forever.