By Brook Wilkinson
Scoring a cheap flight and a discounted hotel room is relatively easy these days. But a simple Web search isn't going to gain you entrée to a Masai village in Kenya, where you'll sleep in a traditional cowhide bed. Nor can it help you grab a spot atop one of the most popular floats during Brazil's Carnaval, so you can shake your booty in front of thousands. Or secure you a ticket to St. Petersburg's Hermitage Gala—perhaps the world's most exclusive social event.
For this kind of insider access, you need the wisdom, know-how, and connections of a top-tier travel agent. For its annual Dream List feature, Condé Nast Traveler asked 12 of these experts—all hand-picked and approved by the magazine—to tell about the ultimate eye-opening experiences at the destinations they specialize in. So get dreaming—and get ready to see Spain, or Japan, or Dubai like never before.
© Condé Nast Traveler, 2009