words Al Woods
When you find yourself trading your sunscreen and beach towel for a city’s smog and tall buildings, it’s time to explore somewhere new. If you’re tired of spending all of your vacation time lying on an unforgiving beach, start this summer off with someplace wholly unexpected. We’ve compiled a list of places that will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a whole new world.
Spend your days swimming in water so clear it’s like looking into space, kayaking between icebergs, and taking amazing selfies with the penguins. One of our favorite places to bring out-of-towners is Antarctica—you feel like you’re on another planet.
Usually, you will need a local guide with some experience in Polar regions for such a trip. They will help you choose the best ships that meet the requirements for Antarctica boats. They have professional guides on board who are well-chosen of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). It is also crucial that your ship’s captain has undertaken relevant ice navigation training. This ensures that both you and your crew are safe and that you minimize your environmental impact.
The Sahara Desert
The Sahara is one of the most famous deserts in the world, but you probably wouldn’t expect to find a 4-star hotel there. Spend your days sipping cocktails on an infinity pool overlooking the dunes before taking an excursion into the desert to see some beautiful views and experience local culture.
From there, you can take a camel tour to the famous Erg Chebbi dunes. You will also see some of Morocco’s Berber nomads who live in tents in the desert, learn about how they use camels as their primary form of transportation, and feed them some dates.
Tobago Cays, Grenada
Tobago Cays is an archipelago of five small uninhabited islands that’s perfect for those who love snorkeling and diving. You’ll find incredible wildlife and some of the bluest water on Earth.
It’s a perfect place to get away from the world and enjoy the serenity of nature. Nearby you can find other great places to go. For example, Grenada is home to half a million bats that take flight at sunset. Or St. Vincent, which has some of the best dives in the Caribbean.
Underwater Sculpture Park, Cancun, Mexico
Underwater Sculpture Park has more than 500 sculptures submerged in the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. If you love to snorkel or scuba dive, this will be a truly unique experience! Spend your days gazing at jellyfish and sharks while taking in the colorful coral reefs.
You can find the Underwater Sculpture Park outside Puerto Morelos. It is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. You’ll spend hours gazing at dolphins and turtles as you swim through schools of brightly-colored fish, surrounded by a vibrant reef full of life. You may also enjoy Cancun’s famous nightlife and world-class restaurants.
Rainbow Mountains, China
Instead of spending your summer climbing another ‘World’s Tallest Water Slide,’ try something new and explore China’s Rainbow Mountains. The area is filled with unique mountains that you won’t find anywhere else. Spend your days exploring the waterfalls, caves, and cliffs.
You can find the unique mountains in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China’s most popular national minority autonomous area. If you’re lucky, you might even see some of the area’s famous monkeys. The entire region is filled with natural beauty and local customs, making for a memorable experience.
The Dead Sea, Israel, and the West Bank
Spend your days floating in one of Earth’s saltiest bodies of water and rejuvenate yourself by testing some of its mud at The Dead Sea. You can also go on a therapeutic float while looking down into the deep sea below. Or visit an oasis on Mount Sodom where you’ll find sulfur pools and even a public hot spring bath!
Jerusalem and Amman are two of the most important cities for people who practice Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They have many cultural and religious sites that are worth visiting. You can explore the city’s markets and get a sense of the region’s rich history while enjoying its beautiful weather.
From there, visit the West Bank, which is filled with some truly unique sites that will broaden your knowledge of Middle Eastern politics and culture. After, go to Bethlehem to see the birthplace of Christianity and Hebron, a city where some of Judaism’s oldest burial sites are located.
Enjoy your days, taking in all of Lamu’s unique culture. If you want to see some beautiful sunset views over the water, you can visit one of the old mansions, forts, or castles at night.
You can also go on a safari that will take you through the local forest, which is full of crocodiles, zebras, monkeys, baboons, and much more. Another great way to explore the area is by fishing or scuba diving. The coral reefs near the islands are beautiful and offer an excellent opportunity to see fantastic wildlife.
In addition to its beautiful landscapes and culture, Lamu is famous for being one of the best places in East Africa for unique handicrafts like wood carvings, metalworks, and pottery.
To Sum Up
Whatever destination you choose, it’s essential to get out of your comfort zone and make some new memories. You can even brush up on your language skills by trying to speak with locals in their native tongue. Whatever goes, just have fun!