Get your heart pumping with these exciting vacations. Go abseiling in Antarctica, sign up for a balloon safari in Myanmar or snorkel with sea turtles in the Galapagos – you’ll be having an adventure of a lifetime!
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Now, what’s next? Deciding on where to go on your next vacation can be a challenge if you consider yourself an intrepid traveller. When quick getaways to popular destinations like Bangkok, Bali or Taipei won’t do, let Singapore-based luxury tour operator, Lightfoot Travel, check off your bucket list with these thrilling holiday ideas – from the vast plains of Namibia to an adrenaline-pumping skydiving experience in New Zealand. Ready? Then gather your fellow adventurers and embark on a jet-setting trip around the world!
The Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range is a paradise for remote wilderness, boasting volcanoes, glaciers and wildlife such as bears, moose and even goats. It is also the highest coastal mountain range on earth and a playground for adventure: take to the skies in a plane and land in untouched regions of Alaska, or hike on Alpine Tundra and sled down glaciers. Bear Grylls wannabes, you might even want to try your hand at salmon and trout fishing too! When you’re done, take a breather with a lunch on an icefield located in the middle of the world’s largest non-polar glacier.
Not your average holiday backdrop; the haunting beauty of the planet’s Southernmost continent is a land of extraordinary landscapes and incredible wildlife. You’ll be accompanied by expert guides on adventures ranging from kite-skiing to abseiling and rock-climbing, and even searching for penguins. Who knows, you might even be joined by New Zealand mountaineer and writer, Peter Hillary, who often makes appearances on selected trips!
It’s a country relatively untouched by modern evolution – kept isolated from the rest of the world until 1974, this beatific region is one you must visit before the crowds arrive! Journey deep into the heart of the country by exploring the capital of Thimpu for its museums and monuments, or the tropical Punakha valley to admire its magnificent dzongs and the emerald valley of Paro, with its rice paddies and ancient temples. It’s also a must to climb up to the Tiger’s Nest, a sacred Himalayan Buddhist site perched precariously on the side of a cliff – with Lightfoot Travel, you’ll be setting up camp there before waking up to an incredible view of the sunrise.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of wildlife in The Galapagos, where you might spot native species such as the blue-footed booby, sea lions, eagle rays, penguins and iguanas. You can even get up close to Galapagos green sea turtles by snorkelling with these gentle creatures, which are said to weigh up to 700 pounds! Other must-dos are nature hikes around the islands’ sandy white beaches, sprawling lava fields and breathtaking volcanoes. For the best picture moments, try chartering your own boat, accompanied by an expert wildlife photographer.
This land of fire and ice boasts views straight out of an epic Viking saga, complete with majestic geysers, Arctic glaciers, volcanoes and imposing valleys. Make sure you go on a Nordic expedition – this tour includes thrilling activities like dogsledding through Haukadalur Valley, snowmobiling on Myrdalsjokull (Iceland’s fourth largest glacier) and a helicopter ride over the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Hop on a super-jeep to Thorsmork, a magnificent mountain ridge named after Thor (who needs no introduction), and tuck into a yummy Icelandic barbecue.
Soar over the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast of Namibia – it’s expansive and isolated deserts will make you feel like you’re the only person left on earth. Rolling sand dunes, expanses of uninhabited desert plains, fossil beds, unique geological formations and desert-adapted animals all come together to make this an unforgettable trip! These natural sights may look like a scene out of an Indiana Jones movie, but you’ll be staying in plush tented camps, with en-suite bathrooms and views of the spectacular scenery. There will even be opportunities to interact with the Himba people, close to the Angolan border.
A destination popular with adrenaline junkies, New Zealand’s mountainous landscapes are the perfect setting for an activity-fuelled holiday. Kick-start your vacay by bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge, before black water rafting through the enigmatic Waitomo glow worm caves or mountain biking in the Whakarewarewa Redwoods forest. Still not enough thrills for you? Make your way to Queenstown and skydive above the stunning Central Otago, or explore the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest and longest glacier.
Admiring the temples of Bagan from a hot air balloon may be a must-do for most visiting Myanmar, but the bird’s eye view of Inle Lake is just as picture-worthy. This gorgeous freshwater lake boasts scenes of ancient pagodas, rustic villages and sparkling waterways. Besides soaking in the sights of the country, have a peek into the everyday lives of locals by visiting a bustling market, taking a Burmese cooking class, or cycling to Ta Mae Village (just outside Pindaya) for a sunset dinner under the banyan trees.
Delve deep into the heart of Papua New Guinea if you’re looking for a holiday that’s truly off the beaten track. Visit the Highlands for a glimpse of the country’s tribal cultures, fly over an active volcano in a helicopter, cruise along the jungle-fringed waterways of the Karawari River, and stop by the Isurava memorial on the Kokoda Track. Of course, it’s also no secret that Papua New Guinea’s teeming with wildlife – the surrounding waters are home to exotic marine life such as hammerhead sharks, manta rays, turtles and barracuda.
Observe the elusive mountain gorilla in its natural habitat in the lush forests of Rwanda – according to the WWF, there are only 786 of these highly endangered primates left in the wild. This excursion will be guided by experts, who’ll bring visitors through the Volcanoes National Park for a chance to spot these rare creatures from a distance. For animal lovers and fans of National Geographic documentaries, it’s a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as permits to track mountain gorillas are increasingly difficult to obtain due to their dwindling numbers.
This article is sponsored by Lightfoot Travel.