(CNN) — Well, guys, July has arrived and still Covid-19 and its variants are refusing to pack their bags and take a summer break.

Luckily CNN Travel is here to guide you through this week’s news on which destinations are opening their borders, loosening their regulations or battening down the hatches.

The Americas

CNN’s Pete Muntean reports that the Fourth of July weekend is expected to be one of the busiest days for US airports since the start of the pandemic.

This is not a drill.

The United States’ July 4 weekend is set to be as busy as pre-Covid times, with lines at airports and jams on the highways guaranteed.
And after a pandemic-induced hiatus last year, many places known for their Independence Day fireworks celebrations will be back in action for 2021. CNN Travel has put together a roundup of some of the top spots and when to go.

In the Empire State, New Yorkers will be able to celebrate the holiday with not one but two Statues of Liberty.

France has gifted the US with a second statue — a “little sister” 1/16th of the size — and it’ll be available to view on Ellis Island until July 5, before making its way to its new home at the French ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Visitors will also be able to finally get back inside the Statue of Liberty itself. Its interior reopened Thursday, right up to the pedestal.

The famous monument’s “little sister” is leaving Paris for New York City ahead of Independence Day. A gift from France to America, it will first be displayed on Ellis Island, and will then stay in Washington, DC for 10 years.

Last weekend, CNN was on board the first cruise ship to sail out of a United States port in more than 15 months.

Celebrity Edge departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a seven-night voyage with ports of call in Mexico and the Bahamas. We’re happy to report there were no lines at the buffet and plenty of lounge chairs available by the pool.

Over in Hawaii, the pre-travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers will end July 8, which coincides with the Aloha States’ vaccination rates hitting 60%.

On the same date, other new rules will come into effect. Indoor gathering sizes can go from 10 people to 25, and restaurants can have up to 75% capacity.

Starting July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents arriving into the country after traveling abroad will be able to leave the mandatory two-week quarantine early if they test negative for Covid on entry.

Newfoundland and Labrador, the country’s easternmost province, has also reopened its borders to other Canadians, meaning that the delights of UNESCO World Heritage site Gros Morne National Park and Fogo Island can once again be enjoyed by all citizens in the country.

There’s good news for adventure travelers as permits for Peru‘s Inca Trail have gone on sale for the
The top 5 reasons to hike the Inca trail to machu picchu

Located at the top of the Andes in Southern Peru, Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. As a UNESCO World Heritage site and a highly regulated Peruvian Historical Sanctuary, it’s also an exciting spot for history enthusiasts.

Visiting Machu Picchu isn’t like a regular weekend trip. It demands a lot of proactive planning. When you book your travel package, you’ll find there are several routes leading to the city. However, we think that there are plenty of great reasons to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

To start, Machu Picchu was intended to be accessed by foot! The Incas created thousands of miles of stone paths and staircases, forming a link to their impressive mountaintop cities. Only a fraction of these trails have been rediscovered and cleared of flora and fauna. Whichever Inca trail trek you take to get to Machu Picchu (there are a few to choose from), you’ll love being able to get a glimpse of what traveling an Inca would have experienced more than 500 years ago.

This guide emphasizes some top reasons to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route:

1) Archeological Ruins
If you’re an archeology enthusiast, the Classic Inca Trail route presents an excellent adventure for you. During the tour, you’ll repeatedly come across archeological sites that are 600-year old. Through the end of the trek, you ascend the Sun Gate and are rewarded with the legendary Machu Picchu site. Of course, you’ll be led by a licensed guide who will give you an in-depth look into the ancient Inca civilization.

2) History
Also known as Camino Del Inca, the Inca Trail is among the most amazing features of South America’s past. There exist very few trails around the world that will take you through history, like Inca Trail. The Inca Empire extended in parts of what are now Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina, stretching around 25,000 miles across these states. It also used to be a major transportation route in the 15th and 16th centuries. To dig deeper into Inca Trail history, take a look at The Complete Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2021.

3) Extraordinary Nature
The natural beauty of the Machu Picchu, as well as the trail, is simply unmatched. Though Machu Picchu itself is incredibly gorgeous, the hike to get there is unbeatable as well. To get there, you’ll manage three mountain passes, cross rivers, and go through tunnels. During the journey, you get to experience the incredibly gorgeous landscape and discover four different climates and ecosystems. You notice thousands of orchids, three-ft thick moss, flocks of parakeets, burrows, and cacti, and spiders with trumpet-shaped webs.

The hike takes you through four separate climates and ecosystems that range from vistas to subtropical forests. Those who choose to simply take the train and not the hike will miss the scenery, tunnels, rivers, and more.

4) Challenge
One of the most compelling reasons to hike