From Caving to Cooking, Unconventional Holiday Options
Today’s traveler is looking for something more than unashamed luxury.
Today’s traveler is looking for something more than unashamed luxury. Sure, location is paramount—but the harder to reach and the more extreme it is, the more attractive the challenge becomes. Here are some great unconventional holiday options.
It’s not one for the faint-hearted: This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers travelers the unique opportunity to spend a night precariously perched in a transparent, condor nest-style capsule suspended on the edge of a cliff. The exhilarating 300-degree view affords guests an unparalleled look at the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas below. Getting to the world’s first hanging lodge is no easy matter; guests must first scale a daunting rock face, climbing 400 meters using steel cables, or get to grips with zip lines and a rugged trail.
From $2,213 per night, including transportation. www.naturavive.com.
Alexa Private Yacht, Indonesia
If you long for a romantic getaway with a difference, then the single-cabin private yacht Alexa is a honeymooners’ dream. The yacht, lovingly converted from a former cargo boat, sleeps just two guests as it flits around the picturesque Indonesian islands. You can dine on deserted beaches, take an expedition to remote tribal villages, sleep under the stars or just relax and indulge in onboard spa treatments provided by the vessel’s very own therapist. Bookings can be a standalone experience or as part of a greater Indonesian itinerary.
Prices from US$3,000 ($23,250) per night, inclusive of gourmet meals, diving, treatments and trips. Minimum booking three nights. alexaprivatecruises.com
Caving in Son Doong, Vietnam
Visitors to Vietnam are treated to many cultural, historical and sightseeing highlights, but a recent addition to the list is the wondrous Son Doong Cave, which has only been open to the public since 2013. This cave on the Laos-Vietnam border is home to the largest cave in the world: A trek here is physically demanding, but truly invigorating. Remember to bring a camera.
Prices from VND66,000,000 ($2,095). oxalis.com.vn.
A BBQ cook-off on Route 66
Why not do something different on an iconic road trip across America? Trafalgar Tours has launched a 15-day-long Route 66 Tour taking in all the sights along the legendary highway that runs across eight states, from Chicago to Los Angeles. This is your chance to meet the national barbecue champions of the United States, the Randles and the Mellows, at a “Be My Guest” dinner. You’ll chow down rib-sticking classics in St. Louis’ historic Forest Park, home to the 1904 World’s Fair, before splitting into teams for an American-style cook-off with your fellow travelers.
Prices start at US$4,545 ($35,224) for the full two-week trip. www.trafalgar.com, email [email protected] for more.
Asian luxury tour company Lightfoot Travel runs custom itineraries to all of these locations except for the Route 66 trip: see lightfoottravel.com for more.