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Today’s post is part of a weekly series called “Travel Toss-Up,” in which we ask you to take your pick between two amazing travel experiences.

This week’s toss-up offers a choice of two places with spiritual significance to their respective cultures.

Would you rather…

… trek to Lamayuru, a Buddhist monastery in the mountains of Ladakh, India, or …

lamayuru monastery india



… visit the ruins of Xunantunich in Belize?

xunantunich mayan ruins belize


India’s remote Lamayuru Monastery, once home to as many as 450 Buddhist monks, is best reached by a difficult but spectacular two-week trek through the mountains of Ladakh. (Banjara Camps & Retreats is one company that offers trips.) Easier to reach are the ruins of Xunantunich in Belize, accessible by car and various tours. The site includes the ruins of several temples dedicated to Mayan gods.

India Trip Reviews
Belize Trip Reviews

Vote for your preference in the comments below!

– written by Sarah Schlichter

turtle inn belize seafront cottageWe have a winner! The correct answer to last week’s How Much Is This Hotel? contest is $425. With his guess of $399, Justin was the closest to the correct answer without going over. He has won a free IndependentTraveler.com T-shirt!

The room pictured in Friday’s post is a Seafront Cottage at the Turtle Inn, a luxury resort on the coast of Belize. Owned by Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor, the Turtle Inn offers 25 individual thatched cottages overlooking the Caribbean. Seafront Cottages (located right on the beach) cost $295 – $350 a night for singles and $385 – $425 for couples, with the lowest rates available during the summer and fall. (If you really want to splurge, check out the two-bedroom, two-bath Pavilion House, which comes with its own swimming pool, dining terrace and private attendant; it’ll set you back a whopping $1,600 – $2,400 a night.) Read more about the Turtle Inn in Belize Essentials.

Check back on Friday for another shot at winning a prize!

– written by Sarah Schlichter