If you’re after wide-open spaces, endless isolation and the kind of stark beauty that will stop you in your tracks, Namibia is the place to escape the crowds. Remote and extraordinary, it’s where desolate natural wonders, wildlife and people (although few) exist harmoniously in an untamed, harsh and striking land. Home to the plains of Etosha and the towering orange dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia is contemplative and enigmatic. Often described as Africa’s final frontier, the country’s allure lies in its quietude, from the rugged Skeleton Coast to the isolated Kaokoland.
Where to Stay
Omaanda, a 9,000-hectare private camp near the capital, Windhoek, is the perfect spot to combine wilderness, wildlife and relaxation, with ten traditional-style round huts, inspired by the architecture of the local Owambo people. Relax and enjoy distant mountain panoramas, head to the spa for a massage or have a cocktail by the swimming pool overlooking the African plains. By dawn or dusk go wildlife spotting with your guide, specifically tracking for elephant and cheetah or seeking out playful meerkats. There is also an opportunity for a private tour of the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary (founded in part by Angelina Jolie), and see the work done by anti-poaching units.
As Costa Rica is now open for business, a dose of tropical living could be just what you need. With Costa Rica’s motto of pura vida or ‘pure life’, the wild jungle, crashing surf of Pacific beaches, misty cloud forest and stunning Caribbean coastline will send your senses into overdrive. Ideal for nature-loving families or adventurous couples, no one can fail to be impressed with Costa Rica’s natural beauty. But it’s not just to be stared at. Raft the River Pacuare, surf the Pacific Coast, zip line the Monteverde Cloud Forest and hike around volcanoes, plus the Caribbean Coast is a trove of intriguing wildlife including tree frogs, sloths and turtles.
Where To Stay
Set on a jungle-clad peninsula on the west coast of Costa Rica, wilderness resort Kasiiya Papagayo is camouflaged within 123 acres of tropical forest. Wake up in your wooden-decked tented suite to the scamper of monkeys, the call of birds and the swish of waves. In just a few steps you can be overlooking the surf-crested Pacific Ocean from your terrace. Take an alfresco bath before padding through jungle tracks to a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit and just-picked avocado on toast. Ponder the day’s activities – perhaps a trip to one of the resort’s three beaches, one of which is accessible only by boat. For something more active, you can surf nearby breaks, take a yoga class in the jungle or paddleboard around turtles.
We’ve always thought that Sri Lanka has all the ingredients needed for the perfect holiday. And for your first getaway since the pandemic, we can wholeheartedly recommend somewhere that will tick all the boxes so thoroughly. Tropical beaches licked by the Indian Ocean, ancient sights draped in history, tantalising food, wild safaris and some of the friendliest people on earth, Sri Lanka is the feel-good holiday you need. With borders hoping to open from January onwards, you might want to take a sweep of the lush south-west coast, where white-sand beaches are framed by bendy coconut trees and the small fortified city of Galle makes for an interesting stop with its lighthouse, rampart walks and narrow streets lined with artisan shops. Those after intrepid adventure can take the train through brightly hued tea plantations, spot elephants and maybe leopard in national parks or climb Sigiriya, Sri Lanka’s lofty rock fortress.
Where to Stay
Up in the hills of Sri Lanka’s bucolic tea country, you’ll find Ceylon Tea Trails, situated on a tea estate. Historic tea planter residences are scatted around the hilly fields creating soothing views and doorstep walks to lakes, waterfalls and mountains. Most simply revel in the peaceful atmosphere and Tea Trails’ excellent service. The colonial-style cottages are steeped in heritage with antique teak furnishings, four-poster beds, roll-top baths and breezy verandas. Expect bed tea, personalised menus and spa treatments, and if activity strikes go on a tea plantation tour, play croquet or bike around the surrounding countryside.
If you’re looking for a way to blow out the cobwebs, then a trip to Chile, whose borders are now open, could do just that. With wild and windswept Patagonia in the south, the arid Atacama Desert with its lunar-like landscapes in the northeast and historic Santiago in the centre, you’re sure to find adventure. Pandemic notwithstanding, few visit Chile without feeling a profound shift. The power of nature can be incredibly rejuvenating and Chile’s wilderness won’t fail to move you – surely now is the time to seize that bucket-list opportunity. Talk to us about arrangments – maybe you’d like to take three weeks to explore 3,000 miles of Chile from north to south or perhaps you’ve always wanted to discover Patagonia in-depth with its glacial lakes, windswept steppes and jagged peaks of the Torres del Paine. With its staggering breadth of experience, Chile will fill you with the joy of exploration.
Where to Stay
Possibly one of the most remote hotels in the world, carbon-neutral Awasi Patagonia is found in a private reserve overlooking the awe-inducing rock-scapes of Torres del Paine National Park. From every viewpoint, visitors are stunned by a range of pristine panoramas from flower-filled pastures, dense forests, jagged mountains and glimmering lakes. With your own guide, get up close to these extraordinary landscapes, following a bespoke itinerary. Heading out by 4×4, watch condors whirl overhead or see a rare puma slink past. Hike to the Laguna Azul to spot aquatic birdlife or take a fossil tour of a 40-million-year-old geological steppe. Come back to Awasi and ponder the day in your own hot tub or in front of the log burner in your cabin.
Insight / Worldwide
Where To Go
Now & 2021
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