There are any number of reasons that might make the prospect of getting away from it all particularly attractive at the moment. Perhaps the thought of another boozy family Christmas feels a little too overwhelming; perhaps the wintry weather is beginning to take its toll; perhaps the result of last night’s election has had you manically researching Canadian working visas.
In any case, we bring glad tidings of great joy with the news that there are a whole host of travel destinations and experience thats promise to take you off grid and leave any memory of an icy England firmly behind you. Read on to discover the wildernesses, deserts and Arctic landscapes ready to transport you far away from your troubles this winter.
Witness a total solar eclipse in Antarctica
Embark on the ultimate adventure to Antarctica, where towering icebergs and massive glaciers set the stage for a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon: a total solar eclipse. Abercrombie & Kent’s Total Solar Eclipse Cruise provides the best opportunity to experience this rare astronomical spectacle alongside experts including former astronaut Kathy Sullivan, award-winning astronomer Massimo Tarenghi and rocket scientist David J. Crain.
During a welcome event at Santiago’s Observatorio Astronómico Andino, Dr. David Crain will set the stage for the adventure ahead. Kathy Sullivan will share what it’s like to live in space, including the view from the Space Shuttle – 140 miles above the earth – in in-board lectures and informal conversations. Dr. Massimo Terenghi, who spent his career working with state-of-the-art telescopes in Chile’s Atacama Desert, will provide tips on photographing the eclipse.
Live like a cowboy in Arizona
Pull on a Stetson and leather chaps for a taste of real-deal cowboy life in Arizona’s desert. If you sign up to cowboy college, you’ll soon slot into the prairie picture. Saddle up and ride Western style, practicing horsemanship, as well as rope and wrangling techniques, as well as how to swing a lasso like a pro and mastering the art of shoeing.
You can show off your skills at the gymkhana, jumping fences and cantering around barrels – guaranteed family fun. Highlights include cattle round ups and kids’ camp specials that will have your darlings reading animal body language and driving mini horse-carts. But, while you might be living out in the wilderness during the day, those with a taste for 5-star luxury needn’t worry – the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, a desert oasis complete with waterways and gondolas, is just a quick canter away.
Meet a Brazilian tribe in the Amazon
Delve into a truly untouched part of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and gain an insight into the life of one of the country’s most powerful tribes. The odyssey, curated by Abercrombie & Kent, starts with a trek through the Central Brazilian Plateau, surrounded by river otter and deer — though it’s worth keeping an eye out for the elusive puma and jaguar, too.
You’ll then be introduced to key members of the Kayapo tribe, who live untainted by modern life. Learn how the women and children apply their body paint and decorate your face with the richly coloured designs. You’ll also be able to explore the Iriri River, a large tributary of the giant Xingu.
Ganga Aarti at Ananda Himalaya
The Aarti is a remarkable ritual of thanksgiving by the mighty river Ganges. The sunset ceremony, which takes place on the banks of the holy Ganga River at Rishikesh, is a truly spine-tingling sight, with its throngs of oil lamps swinging in the purple twilight. Accompanied by a local guide, you can listen to the hymns sung by saffron-robed gurus, smell the heady scent of incense and watch disciples sway in mesmeric unison.
The forest scenery and palatial architecture of the Himalayan foothills is an impressive backdrop to the ritual. Just be sure to check-in to the nearby luxury Ananda resort to enjoy its award-winning spa as a relaxing coda at the end of the night.
Alaska and Hawaii's extreme landscapes
This trip celebrates the best of both worlds. At one moment, the snow-dusted pine valleys of Anchorage on the Western edge of the Alaska Range; at the next, Hawaii’s tropical Oahu and Big Island. It is a sweep over the earth’s extremes. In Alaska, the slopes are primed for world-class skiing and the Chugach Mountains’ hanging glaciers are a once-in-a-lifetime sight.
Then there’s Hawaii’s prehistoric volcanoes, best seen from a helicopter, and the sunrise on Mauna Kea’s summit. Together, it is an awe-inspiring feast for the senses.
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