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10 beautiful landscapes to discover with reward points

To the point Our planet abunds with beautiful landscapes. Here is our list of the ten most beautiful places in the world, where you can go with points.

The list of beautiful landscapes isn’t exhaustive, obviously. However, the peculiarity of these destinations is that it is easily imaginable to visit them by redeeming points; you either get there sing points, or you use points to pay for expenses on the spot.

In Canada, Aeroplan points are among the easiest to earn!

Indeed, with one or two rounds of cards and good planning, the trick could be done.

The Grand Canyon

Planning

The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place that is easily accessible with the help of any Aeroplan credit card. The region’s magnificent landscapes are breathtaking!

grand canyon
grand canyon

It is possible to find award tickets for as little as 20,000 Aeroplan points for a round trip in economy class.

Several credit card , including the AeroplanMD* American ExpressMD card , can earn a couple enough points to pay for airfare!

In addition, this destination is eligible for a companion pass that is earned with the CIBC AeroplanMD Visa Infinite Card.

On the lodging side, overnight stays in Las Vegas, your gateway, can be covered with Marriott Bonvoy points.

Secondly, hotels and motels around the Grand Canyon are not very expensive; rates start around $60-80 per night.

From Las Vegas or other airports in the area, a rental car will be needed to properly explore the beautiful lunar landscape. For this, you will have to turn to earning AIR MILES Dreams, for example.

Grand Canyon

National park entry fees are $35 US per vehicle for up to 15 people and this pass is valid for 7 days. Single person access is $20 US for one week as well.

In terms of activities, I highly recommend taking a helicopter ride or hiking to the bottom of the canyon. You will then be able to fully take in the immensity of the place.

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: starting at 20,000 Aeroplan points + $82 tax
Accommodation

Marriott Bonvoy

Reward points

Rental cars AIR MILES
Activities Reward points
Grand Canyon 2

The Galapagos Islands

Planning

In this archipelago, the landscapes are sublime on the right and on the left.

For more information, I recommend you to read our complete guide to the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos

To get there, Avianca serves airports in the Galapagos Islands so Aeroplan will be the program of choice. Award ticket costs start at 60,000 Aeroplan points for round-trip economy class.

I strongly recommend a cruise, then using rewards points to offset the cost.

Galapagos 2

Admittedly, this destination requires a credit card strategy that is a little more complex, but it is still very accessible with points. In fact, applying for 4 credit cards could help you earn up to $2,500 worth of rewards points. Prices for Galapagos Island cruises start at $2,000 with G Adventures.

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 60,000 Aeroplan points + $262 tax
Accommodation Reward points
Activities (Cruise) Reward points

Iguaçu Falls

Planning

Located on the border between Brazil and Argentina, you can visit the beautiful Iguaçu Falls from both countries to see them from a different perspective.

Iguassu

On the Brazilian side, the waterfalls are further away so the view is more of an overall perspective. Being a photographer with a penchant for landscapes, I was very spoiled. The panoramas are magnificent!

Iguassu 2

In Argentina, there is a footbridge to get to the heart of the Garganta del Diablo, the biggest waterfall. The latter is not always accessible, especially when the flow of the cataract can compromise the safety of visitors. However, if the path is open, expect to come out all wet!

The helicopter tour and the boat tour are also worth the price.

For Canadians, visas are no longer required to enter Brazil and Argentina has abolished reciprocity fees.

Vol hélicoptère Iguaçu
Vol hélicoptère Iguaçu 2

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 80,000 Aeroplan points + $136 tax
Accommodation Reward points
Activities Reward points

The Sahara Desert

Planning

The Sahara Desert covers an area of 9.2 million km² in the north of the African continent. After my experience on the dunes in Morocco and Egypt, I can confirm they are really more beautiful in Merzouga, Morocco.

Sahara 4

Casablanca and Marrakech are easily accessible with Aeroplan points. A train connects both cities in 2 hours and 40 minutes (at a cost of 80-150 MAD) if you land in Casablanca. The route between Montreal and Casablanca is the only sweetspot to cross the Atlantic on Aeroplan’s new program.

Then, for accommodation, Morocco is also a sweetspot for Marriott Bonvoypoints!

However, it should be noted that in order to fully grasp the pulse of the magnificent landscapes of the Sahara desert, I recommend a 3-day excursion.

Merzouga is located about 10 hours drive from Marrakech. I had the chance to go twice and I really enjoyed the experience even though the drive was tough… both times!

Sahara 3
Sahara 2

In town, there will be plenty of choices for tours, but in my experience, the majority of these camps are paltry and travelers are treated like numbers.

It is best to book the tour on Viator through Rakuten for the best return on purchase. We tried both and the difference is great.

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 60,000 Aeroplan points + $114 tax
Accommodation Marriott Bonvoy
Activities Reward points
Sahara

The Cappadocia Valley

Planning

This historic region is known for its beautiful scenery of atypical rock formations, its legendary heritage and its hot air balloon tours.

Currently, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® welcome bonus provides enough reward points to cover the expenses related to hot air ballooning for a family!

Turkish Airlines provides direct service between Montreal and Istanbul.

Our complete industry guide is here!

Cappadoce 2

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 80,000 Aeroplan points + $141 tax
Accommodation Reward points
Activities Reward points
Cappadoce

Iceland

Planning

When we talk about beautiful landscapes, we can’t forget Iceland!

It is a destination mainly focused on nature and the outdoors. There is a lot of diversity in the panorama. Indeed, the country abounds in black sand beaches, sublime waterfalls, glaciers, geothermal springs and spectacular caves.

Islande

The cost of living is high in Iceland. However, it is a great place to go camping to cut costs.

Also, I suggest renting a car.

Islande 3
Islande 2

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: starting at 70,000 Aeroplan points + $99 tax
Accommodation Reward points
Activities Reward points

Ha Long Bay

Planning

Ha Long Bay is huge; in fact, it covers more than 1,500 km². Besides its size, what is most impressive is the thousands of limestone islands that rise out of the emerald waters.

The best way to experience this natural beauty is on the bay itself. Whether it’s a kayak tour or a one- or two-night cruise, you’ll be immersed in the bay’s beautiful scenery!

Baie de Ha Long 2

Although it is possible to choose an operator on the spot, for the sake of quality, I recommend using a platform like Viator. Local agencies are a hit or miss just like for excursions in the Sahara.

In addition, there are often interesting cash back promotions on Viator when using the Rakuten portal.

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 96,000 Aeroplan points + $175 tax
Accommodation Marriott Bonvoy
Activities Reward points
Baie de Ha Long

The island of Bali

Planning

A trendy travel destination, Bali also offers beautiful scenery to discover with the help of points.

Beyond the sublime landscapes and magical temples, Bali has all kinds of natural beauties. Beautiful beaches, mountainous areas, picturesque waterfalls, emblematic rice fields, etc., make up the island’s panorama.

Terrasse de rizières à Bali
Terrasse de rizières à Bali

Although it is expensive and time-consuming to travel to Indonesia from Canada, this country is another one of my favourites. Once there, the cost of living is relatively low, and Marriott Bonvoy points can go a long way!

With the Marriott Bonvoy Credit cards Welcome Bonus, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card (or the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card), you could get up to 15 free nights in Bali!

It is a great destination to try with your family as well as Indonesia in general. There is something for everyone, young and old!

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 115,000 Aeroplan points + $180 tax
Accommodation Marriott Bonvoy
Activities Reward points
Lever du soleil sur le Mont Batur
Lever du soleil sur le Mont Batur

The Maldives

Planning

This luxury destination is definitely one of the best places to maximize points.

Firstly, the Maldives is served by several airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. They offer great products in both economy and business class, but also in first class!

The program of choice will be with Aeroplan as it is easier to earn points with the multiple credit cards available.

Maldives

On the lodging side, I strongly advise you to use your Marriott Bonvoy points before the massive devaluation next March. This kind of experience will quickly be out of reach for the points hoarder.

With the abolition of categories and the introduction of dynamic pricing, the number of points required could be exorbitant.

Of course, a minimum of 130,000 points is currently required for a 5-day stay in the beautiful landscape of the archipelago. That might sound like a lot, but it will be much more unattainable after next spring.

By looking at the current promotions, we can see that by taking only one card , the American Express Cobalt® Cardyou can earn 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points!

Points purchase promotions could prove to be an interesting way to treat yourself to luxury at low prices. Finally, the quickest way to earn them is through the welcome bonuses on the Membership Rewards giving cards, the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card and the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card.

Maldives Snorkeling

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 130,000 Aeroplan points + $312 tax
Accommodation Marriott Bonvoy
Activities Reward points

The Great Barrier Reef

Planning

Australia is full of beautiful landscapes. On the other hand, the beaches of the east coast and the immensity of the coral reef will leave you speechless.

This wonder is located in the state of Queensland and extends from the north of Brisbane to Cape York.

For scuba diving or snorkeling enthusiasts, the Great Barrier Reef is a must-see. It is the largest coral reef in the world. The aquatic life over there is amazingly diverse.

Grande Barrière de Corail 2
Grande Barrière de Corail

In addition, there are a variety of activities to please everyone. The white sand beaches are perfect and the water is crystal clear.

The ideal trip would be to rent a campervan and drive along the coast. However, since it’s not always possible to have that many vacation days, here are my favourite spots.

  • Airlie Beach
  • Fitzroy Island
  • Port Douglas

To reach these places with short-haul flights on Qantas, it is better to turn to Avios. These flights are sweetspots in this program!

Whitsundays 2

I particularly liked having a base at Airlie Beach which is the gateway to the Whitsundays. Of all the beaches I have seen, this is the most beautiful.

And yes, I get on plane and helicopter rides everywhere!

For more information on individual reefs and what they offer, go here.

Whitsundays 3

The strategy

Suggested Points Programs
Airline ticket Aeroplan: from 97,000 Aeroplan points + $302 tax
Accommodation

Marriott Bonvoy

Reward points

Activities Reward points

The strategies

Points for travel or cash back? Here are my two strategies with credit cards:

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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