Lindsay Lambert Day

May 14, 2021

Waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica. Kayaking Mongolia’s largest lake. When you’re ready, a whole world of adventure awaits.

After months of travel restrictions, the siren call of adventure has never been louder. Here to answer that call: a special collection of Virtuoso hotels, tour companies, and cruise lines. To whet your appetite – and inspire your next trip – browse these animal encounters, remote expeditions, heart-pounding thrills, sky-high explorations, and cultural deep dives in some of our favorite destinations.

Animal Encounters

Track tigers in India. Micato Safaris’ custom tours in Rajasthan can include visits to Ranthambore National Park, a former hunting ground turned Royal Bengal reserve.

Take to the bush on foot. On a seven-day northern Botswana journey with Wilderness Safaris, get up-close views of zebras, giraffes, and other iconic animals on a walking safari.

Support anti-poaching efforts. While staying at Kenya’s 12-tent Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp, visit Loisaba Conservancy’s team of sniffer pups for an anti-poaching demonstration.

Picnic among wild game. Staff at the 19-room Elewana the Manor at Ngorongoro can arrange a picnic on the Ngorongoro Crater’s floor. Nibble on gourmet bites as animals graze nearby.

Watch for whales. Keep your eyes peeled for spouting gray and humpback whales on a chartered excursion arranged by your Virtuoso travel advisor and the Los Cabos Tourism Board.

Go wild in the Galápagos. Celebrity Cruises offers seven-night “northern loop” voyages in the Galápagos Islands aboard the 48-passenger Celebrity Xpedition. Stops include Rabida Island’s red-sand beaches, where pelicans and sea lions lounge.

Swim amid life under the sea. The warm, clear waters surrounding the Florida Keys and Key West are ideal for spotting tropical fish, coral reefs, and other sea creatures while snorkeling or scuba diving.  

 Meet Arctic animals. Polar bears, Arctic foxes, and whales are just a few of the elusive animals you might spot on Hurtigruten’s ten-day Svalbard sailings.

Snorkel with sharks. In Bora-Bora, Swain Destinations can arrange an outrigger canoe tour, complete with a stop to safely snorkel among coral reefs and young sharks.

Track migrations in the Serengeti. AndBeyond Tanzania offers luxe tented accommodations, perfect for nightly stargazing, alfresco dining, and game drives to watch migrating herds of buffalo, zebra, and more. (For more African adventures, consider andBeyond South Africa or andBeyond Kenya.)

View wildlife from the Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp’s infinity pool. Silverless

Far Corners of the World

Soar like a bird. Remote Lands custom Nepal trips can include heart-pounding activities such as paragliding, zip-lining (on the world’s highest course), trekking, and helicoptering to Mount. Everest’s base camp.

Paddle a pristine lake. Kayak across crystal-clear Lake Hovsgol – Mongolia’s largest – on a 13-day Nomadic Expeditions voyage.

Sleep on a mythical island. Perched on a tranquil hilltop, Easter Island’s 30-room explora Rapa Nui – Posada de Mike Rapu is built almost entirely from local wood and volcanic rock.

Chill out in Antarctica. Kayaking, stargazing, and hiking the continent’s icy shores are all part of Silversea Expeditions’ ten-day Antarctic cruises.

See otherworldly icebergs. In Chilean Patagonia, stay at the 49-room explora Patagonia – Hotel Salto Chico and hike to Grey Lake for views of a ghostly blue glacier and icebergs – or head north to the 50-room explora Atacama’s Andean landscape of volcanos and deserts. 

Decipher ancient cultural artifacts. Explore religious architecture, giant moai sculptures, petroglyphs, and more while visiting Easter Island on Ladatco Tours’ 13-day journey through Peru and Chile.

Cozy up in an African treehouse. At the 21-room One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda, travelers can sip a cocktail at Nest Bar, explore Volcanoes National Park, and – most importantly – embark on day trips for gorilla encounters. 

Play polar explorer. On Abercrombie & Kent’s 24-day expedition cruise through the little-trafficked Northwest Passage, sail from western Greenland to the Canadian Arctic, the Bering Sea, and, finally, Alaska.

Go glacier trekking. From Alaska’s six-room Winterlake Lodge, take a short helicopter ride to the Trimble and Hayes glaciers, where an alien landscape of crevasses, icefalls, and snowfields awaits.

Sail to the edge of the earth. Discover some of the planet’s most remote landscapes on Australis’ four-night sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Go on an Arctic safari. On a ten-day journey with Natural Habitat Adventures, explore Greenland’s isolated east coast, complete with glacier walks, sea kayaking, and zipping around icebergs in a Zodiac.

Feel at home in the Himalayas. Starting in the capital of Thimpu, a ten-day tour with andBeyond Bhutan takes travelers on a journey of Buddhist monuments, magnificent scenery, and a hike up to the legendary Tiger’s Nest monastery.

Explore Russia’s remote coast. Extinct volcanoes, craggy ice cliffs, and an assortment of elusive animals are among the unforgettable sights on Quark Expeditions’ 22-day expedition sailing in the high Russian Arctic.

Quark Expeditions’ new vessel, the 199-passenger Ultramarine, will transport travelers to remote polar destinations.

Mountain State of Mind

Play in the snow. Alpine Adventures offers custom vacations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where deep powder is perfect for skiing and snowmobiling.

Go white-water rafting. Alberta’s 442-room Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is within easy striking distance of class II and III rapids on the Athabasca and Sunwapta rivers. 

Take the train. Rattle past the mighty Fraser River and majestic Mount Robson – the Canadian Rockies’ highest peak – on a rail journey from Vancouver to Kamloops aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.

Rev-up a motorcycle. With recommendations from Switzerland Tourism, Virtuoso travel advisors can tailor motorcycle road trips through the country’s iconic Alps.

Go snowshoeing. Crunch your way through fresh, deep snow on a snowshoe excursion in the wilderness surrounding Canada’s 552-room Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Explore Peru on foot. Tap PromPeru for tips about visiting Ancash in the Andes Mountains, where turquoise lakes and towering mountain peaks are a dramatic backdrop for trekking and climbing.

Bike through Banff National Park. Leaving from the 757-room Fairmont Banff Springs, guests can take a scenic bike ride along the Bow River and Vermilion Lakes with a private guide.

Tee off. The 528-room Fairmont Chateau Whistler is home to an 18-hole golf course with a 400-foot elevation change.

Take your pick of snow sports. During winter, Austin Adventures’ six-day tours include snowshoeing, skiing, and dogsledding, in Big Sky and Yellowstone National Park.  

Hike four peaks. Guides at 27-room Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve ranch in Northern New Mexico will lead guests on a five-day hike that summits four peaks.

Take in the Sierras – then head to the spa. A six-hour drive south from Vermejo, the 18-room Sierra Grande, a Ted Turner Retreat sits near geothermal hot springs, perfect for a mineral soak or rose-oil massage. For a more intimate getaway, the nearby Ladder, a Ted Turner Reserve is a private, four-bedroom ranch house with an on-site chef and access to the same spa services.

Go mountain biking. With Utah’s 46-room Lodge at Blue Sky as your base, set out on a fat-tire bike ride along the area’s many multi-use trails.

Soak in the Willow Stream Spa’s outdoor hot tub at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Chris Amat

Adrenaline Rush

Paddle off the beaten path. Ventures by Seabourn cruise excursions in the Amazon include kayaking through a seasonally flooded forest while looking for sloths and howler monkeys. 

Strap on a parachute. Soak in stunning mountain and lake views while skydiving on an adrenaline-fueled day planned with insight from Tourism New Zealand.

Walk inside a volcano. Iceland Encounter’s adventures outside Reykjavik include spelunking in one of the country’s longest lava tubes.

Catch a wave down under. Tourism Australia (and your Virtuoso travel advisor) can set up surf lessons and help you find the best beaches for shredding waves.

Fly down a zip line. Southern World AustraliaNew Zealand & Fiji offer trips to Fiji’s Denaru Island that includes a cave safari, a waterfall walk, and zip-lining.

Cycle the Dolomites. Biking through villages, hiking along World War I routes, and zip-lining among treetops are all part of Backroads’ six-day multisport Dolomites tour.

Give rappelling a go. Take surf lessons, rappel down the face of a waterfall, and raft the Savegre River during a 12-day Costa Rica journey with G Adventures.

Ride the wind. Virtuoso travel advisors can team up with South African Tourism to deliver the perfect spot for windsurfing atop whitecaps and waves.

Take a floatplane. Tourism Vancouver can offer your Virtuoso travel advisor tips on planning a heart-pounding floatplane ride past a cascading waterfall or to a nearby island for fishing and camping.  

Go off-roading. Stay at Colorado’s 72-room Gateway Canyons Resort and drive an open-sided UTV over rocky, dusty roads to scenic spots and historic mining sites.

Brave Whistler’s waterways. Ask your Virtuoso advisor to work with Tourism Whistler to arrange white-water rafting on the Green, Lower Cheakamus, Elaho, or Squamish rivers.

Visit Saudi Arabia’s Hegra archaeological site with Experience AlUla to see ancient desert tombs.

Culture Fix

Feel the rhythm. On a ten-day journey through Argentina and Brazil with Intrepid Group, cultural activities include watching a samba show (and learning to dance) and taking a cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro to watch the sunset.

Meet the Finns. In 2021, Finland topped the World Happiness Report. Your Virtuoso travel advisor can work with Visit Finland for a soul-satisfying vacation of steaming saunas, nature walks, cold-water plunges, and, if you’re lucky, awe-inspiring northern lights. 

Learn a new craft. Guests staying at Sedona’s 218-room Enchantment Resort can learn to make Southwest-style pottery while enjoying a glass of wine.

Follow in Madiba’s footsteps. On African Travel’s nine-day South Africa journey devoted to the late president and activist Nelson Mandela, guests visit sites where major events in his life occurred.  

Get a taste of Slovenian honey. Your Virtuoso travel advisor can arrange visits to Ljubljana and beyond with the Slovenian Tourist Board, where travelers can learn about the country’s beekeeping traditions through apitherapy spa treatments, cooking classes, and honey tastings. 

Do some salsa dancing. Cali is widely known as the salsa capital of the world, and ProColombia can help Virtuoso travel advisors find the just-right place to try it out.

Watch a weaver at work. For guests traveling in South America, andBeyond Chile can arrange a stop in the town of Curarrehue for a visit with a local Mapuche weaver, followed by lunch in a Mapuche ruka, or house. 

Step onto the Silk Road. Experience AlUla invites travelers to visit the city of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, an ancient UNESCO site that was once on the crossroads of incense-trading routes.

Peruse a busy market. During a seven-night sailing from Saigon to Siem Reap along the Mekong River with Aqua Expeditions, visit a bustling floating market and shop street-vendors stalls.

Learn all about anime. Big Five Tours & Expeditions offers a nine-day tour of Japan that’s devoted to all things anime, from learning its history to visiting sites featured in films and comic books. 

Attend a Bedouin feast. Ask your Virtuoso travel advisor to collaborate with Arabian Adventures for cultural excursions in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Fujairah, from belly-dancing performances to flightseeing by helicopter.

 Appreciate ancient art. Guests on Lindblad Expeditions’ 21-day Indonesia cruise visit Asmat’s stilted villages by Zodiac to learn about the region’s traditions and woodcarving.

Visit Peru’s Sacred Valley. Follow the Urubamba River by bike, visit archaeological sites, and learn about Incan culture at the 50-room explora Valle Sagrado.

Produced with support from Virtuoso Adventure Travel partners. Find out more about Virtuoso hotels, tour operators, on-site tour connections, cruise lines, and destinations that specialize in adventure travel.