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As the world opens up again, avid travelers are finally able to follow their dreams of venturing into distant lands in search of the ultimate holiday. From sailing through serene seas and soaking up the culture in small local villages to trekking through the wilderness and seeing majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, we reveal the destinations that should be at the top of your travel bucket list.
A magical part of Indonesia, Raja Ampat is nothing short of otherworldly, featuring jewel-toned seas and prehistoric rock formations. The best way to explore this pristine paradise is via Phinisi yacht. Modelled after traditional Indonesian sailing boats, the majestic vessels incorporate aesthetically pleasing materials such as ironwood and teak while housing all of the luxurious comforts for which travel by yacht is known. Prime for traveling through this serene destination, the ship will sail around the immense limestone rocks jutting from the emerald waters and white sandy bays, while providing the ideal base to return to after days spent diving and snorkelling.
Time is best spent on the water. However, there are plenty of local villages to explore and the Komodo Islands feature pink sand beaches and Komodo dragons relaxing on land and swimming close by. Other days can be spent resting on empty beaches, hiking through thick jungle and enjoying a bespoke oceanside lunch. Motorized water sports are fantastic for discovering tiny limestone coves, and the calm, crystal seas are perfect for waterskis and jet skis.
A two-in-one holiday, this trip offers a breathtaking opportunity to experience two of the world’s most iconic landscapes: the world’s driest desert and the world’s largest salt flats. The Atacama Desert is exceptionally arid, located between the Andes and Chilean Coast mountain ranges, and may be the oldest desert on earth. The supernatural landscape has led to comparisons to Mars, but among the cracked, red earth, there are incredible flora and fauna and exceptional wildlife. Don’t miss the sunrise from Valle De Luna – the 4am wake-up call is absolutely worth it.
The salt flats are equally surreal. Stay at Kachi Lodge, which is located on the salt flats close to the foothills of the Tunupa volcano. Comprised of six domes, all designed with open panels that enable you to take in the view from your cosy bed, it feels as if you’re one with the landscape. Delicious local food by the celebrated restaurant Gustu provides sustenance between hours spent exploring the flats, seemingly one with the sky; a visit during the rainy season turns them into an endless reflective lake that can be explored via canoe. At night, the stars are a sight to behold.
Located on the edge of the Gulf, nestled between its much larger neighbours of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Oman is a region filled with ancient character and charm. Explore the varied landscape via car to see as much as possible, driving your own adventure through a land of outstanding beauty. Along the way, see spectacular Islamic architecture at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, get lost in the maze of the Muttrah Souk, tour the rosewater distilleries in the Al-Hajar mountains, and experience the unprecedented hospitality of the Bedouin community.
First, wind your way up to Jebel Akhdar (The Green Mountain). Entering the Al-Hajar mountain range, you’ll soon discover dramatic vistas of the valleys, covered in orchids and flourishing with apricot, almond and pomegranate orchards. Next, the mountainous tracks will make way for the towering desert dunes of the Wahiba Sands. Under spectacular stars, sit around camp fires into the early hours for the ultimate Arabian night in Bedouin-style luxury. End the trip in the ancient port city of Muscat. With a no skyscraper policy, the views of the craggy Al-Hajar mountains remain an unobstructed backdrop, unchanged for centuries.
Beginning with experiencing the cultural highlights of Kigali, this week-long trip is also an immersive experience of Rwandan wildlife and history. After arriving and spending a night in Kigali, you’ll travel via private helicopter to Bisate, a luxurious safari camp adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park. Led by experienced guides, over several days you will be able to see and experience the wildlife from unprecedented levels of access. The trip will culminate with a trek through the mountainside to track and witness majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat – where Dian Fossey conducted her groundbreaking research. This is truly a life-changing experience.
Later, travel again via helicopter to Nyungwe Forest National Park to stay at the One&Only Nyungwe House. The luxury resort is set among a working tea plantation. The attentive staff will teach you how to gather leaves and make your own tea – Rwanda’s largest export – before partaking in a traditional tea ceremony. Incredible excursions, such as tracking chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys and hikes through the rainforest, will solidify this holiday as truly special. Make sure to cross the 656-foot-long Canopy Walkway, suspended 197 feet above a deep forest-filled valley amid brilliant birds and butterflies.