virtuoso communities Choose Your Own Adventure: Five Terrains for Active Travelers

Choose Your Own Adventure: Five Terrains for Active Travelers

Intrepid explorers know adventure travel takes many forms. 
Intrepid explorers know adventure travel takes many forms. 
Photo by Getty Images 
From kayaking along the coast of Chile to observing gorillas in Rwanda’s jungles, start dreaming of your next wild experience.

As parts of the world begin to carefully reopen for business, setting out on a new journey just might hold new allure. From paragliding off Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain to rafting Bhutan’s Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, active explorations of natural landscapes help us meet local people, appreciate native flora and fauna, and – perhaps most important – connect with ourselves. A special collection of Virtuoso hotels, tour companies, cruise lines, and destinations offer thrilling experiences surrounded by whatever terrain you’re craving most. Below, find your favorite jungle, ocean, mountain, coastline, or grasslands adventure.

Welcome to the Jungle 

Walk among gorillas. Observe the gentle giants in their lush, natural habitat on a four-day Rwanda itinerary with Micato Safaris

Swim in the Amazon. During Ladatco Tours’ 16-day Ultimate Colombia journey, take a post-hike dip in a natural jungle pool.

See tigers in India. Swain Destinations’ 11-night New Delhi-to-Jaipur itinerary includes a visit to Bandhavgarh National Park, where several of the big cats live. 

Go zip-lining. Float through a mangrove forest and zip-line among lush treetops on a custom Costa Rican journey arranged by Natural Habitat Adventures.


Hike a tropical forest. The world’s most intensively studied tropical forest thrives in Panama. Explore it on National Geographic Expeditions’ eight-day Panama-to-Colombia sailing.

Explore ancient ruins. Lindblad Expeditions’ nine-day Belize-to-Guatemala sailing will take you to the spectacular temples and pyramids of Mayan cities Tikal and Yaxha.

Learn a new culture. On a 12-day African itinerary with Big Five Tours & Expeditions, meet members of the Batwa tribe in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Take a walk in the treetops. A thrilling way to observe wildlife in Peru’s rain forests: Take a canopy walk. PromPeru can point you to the right one.

Encounter orangutans. The planet’s last remaining orangutans call Borneo home. See them on a ten-day journey with Intrepid Group.

Go canyoning. Navigate lush rain forests, volcanic gorges, and caves with the help of Tourism New Zealand.

Waterfall hikes, a local resident, and bird-watching from a hanging bridge in Costa Rica with Natural Habitat Adventures.
Waterfall hikes, a local resident, and bird-watching from a hanging bridge in Costa Rica with Natural Habitat Adventures.
Photo by Patrick Endres

Dive In

Sail the Greek Isles. Revel in sun, sand, surf, and local life with an eight-passenger yacht arranged by G Adventures as your base.
 
Dive a spooky site. Book one of Aqua Expeditions’ seven-night Raja Ampat cruises and go diving around the sunken wreckage of a WWII fighter plane.
 
Frolic with penguins. Australis offers eight-night sailing voyages in Patagonia that include a visit to Magdalena Island’s lively penguin colony.
 
Search for sea turtles.
On a seven-night Celebrity Cruises Galápagos voyage aboard the 48-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, ride a Zodiac to Black Turtle Cove to spot turtles, rays, and sharks.
 
Snorkel with stingrays. See sharks, rays, and other marine animals while snorkeling Ari Atoll on Zegrahm Expeditions’ 14-day Maldives sailing expedition.
 
Go paddleboarding. During UnCruise Adventures’ seven-night Mexican island-hopping itinerary, you can paddle (or float) around the calm waters of Isla Espíritu Santo.
 
Swim with whale sharks. Kensington Tours offers a nine-day Western Australia itinerary that includes snorkeling with the peaceful animals at the Ningaloo Reef, in a World Heritage Area.
 
Boat to Greenland’s ice fjord. Hear icebergs crack and shift, and marvel at their ghostly blue hue, on an excursion offered during Hurtigruten’s 16-day Greenland itinerary.
 
Watch for whales. Each year, humpbacks migrate from Antarctica to Colombia’s Atlantic coast to give birth, a phenomenon travelers can witness with planning help from ProColombia.
 
Explore underwater oddities. Fascinating dive sites abound in the Florida Keys and Key West, from shipwrecks to sculptures to coral reefs.
 
Parasail in paradise. Have your Virtuoso travel advisor team up with the Los Cabos Tourism Board to plan a tour that will provide bird’s-eye views of landmarks such as El Arco and Lovers Beach.

Exploring Isla San Francisco during UnCruise Adventures’ island-hopping voyage in Mexico. 
Exploring Isla San Francisco during UnCruise Adventures’ island-hopping voyage in Mexico. 
Photo by UnCruise Adventures

Peak Perspective

Take a hike. Let a guide at the 40-villa Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia lead you on a rigorous trek to iconic Donkey Mountain.
 
Ride the rapids. Bhutan’s 74-room Amankora – its five lodges are spread across as many valleys – can arrange rafting on the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers.
 
Trek Mongolia’s wilderness. Visit pristine rivers, lakes, and forests – and meet locals – on Nomadic Expeditions’ 11-day Altai Mountains itinerary. 
 
Ride a gondola. Guests settle in at Canada’s 757-room Fairmont Banff Springs, then ride the Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain’s summit for stunning views.
 
Ride a motorcycle. Whiz along dirt roads and through lush mountain forests during a 14-day northern Laos itinerary with Remote Lands.
 
Try cave tubing. Whoosh your way through Ruakuri Cave’s underground river system on a tube during Southern World Australia or New Zealand’s 14-day Auckland-to-Queenstown itineraries.
 
Climb a volcano. Visit Chile’s Atacama Desert, where travelers with explora ascend the steep slopes of Sairecabur volcano and see Bolivia from its summit. 
 
Master mountain biking. Traverse rugged terrain – and take in awesome views – on a guided ride while staying at Sedona’s 218-room Enchantment Resort.
 
Ride the rails. Travel through tunnels and soak in stunning scenery on a train journey through the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.
 
Go rock climbing. Activities staff at the 72-room Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado can arrange an excursion to the landmark Palisade rock formation or Unaweep Canyon.
 
Try clay shooting. Located near Park City, Utah, the 46-room Lodge at Blue Sky has an 18-stand, eco-friendly sporting clay course. Pull!
 
Watch the Iditarod race. The Iditarod Trail runs right past Alaska’s six-room Winterlake Lodge. Observe the action from its deck or frozen lakefront.
 
Ski the Austrian Alps. Alpine Adventures offers packages in Austria’s major ski destinations, such as the glamorous village of Lech, which has access to some 190 miles of ski runs and 125 miles of backcountry terrain. 
 
Take a sunrise canoe ride. The 552-room Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta can arrange an early-morning canoe outing that’s perfectly timed with the break of dawn.
 
Sample farm life. Venture 20 minutes north of the 528-room Fairmont Chateau Whistler to North Arm Farm, where you can taste veggies and pick berries.
 
Go paragliding. Virtuoso travel advisors collaborating with Tourism Vancouver have all the intel you’ll need to go paragliding at the city’s Grouse Mountain. You’ll feel like a bird – or James Bond.
 
Wander open spaces. Ted Turner Reserves’ luxury New Mexico ranches are the perfect base for exploring the state’s rugged landscape by foot, horseback, or four-wheel drive.
 
Cycle Switzerland’s winding roads. Whether gentle lakeside paths or challenging, hilly highways, Virtuoso travel advisors can tap Switzerland Tourism for recommended road cycling routes for riders of all skill levels.
 
Walk along a cliff top. Near the 442-room Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Canada, the Glacier  Skywalk leads to a glass-floor observation platform 918 feet above the Sunwapta Valley.

The Emirates One&Only resort amid the moutains of Wolgan Valley, Australia.
The Emirates One&Only resort amid the moutains of Wolgan Valley, Australia.
Photo by Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Go Coastal

Go glacier hopping. Explore waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches along the coast of southern Iceland on a seven-day itinerary with Iceland Encounter.
 
Kayak Chile’s coast. Paddle past unspoiled beaches and emerald hills in the country’s southern Lake District on a ten-day journey with andBeyond
 
Fish for salmon. Canada by Design Powered by Discover Holidays offers flying and driving packages for anglers looking to hook British Columbia’s famously delicious fish.
 
Camp out on the White Continent. Experience Antarctica like a true polar explorer while camping at Paradise Bay on a 12-day cruise with Austin Adventures.
 
Bike Spain’s sunny coast. A six-day itinerary with Backroads takes riders to the islands of Mallorca and Menorca for dazzling views and locavore food.
 
Paddle around Alaska’s Misty Fjords. View waterfalls and sea cliffs from a kayak on a Ventures by Seabourn cruise excursion.
 
Spot polar bears in Svalbard. You might also see walrus from the 254-passenger Silver Cloud during Silversea Expeditions’ 13-day Iceland-and-Norway itinerary.
 
Follow in Shackleton’s footsteps. Quark Expeditions’ new 20-day journey from Antarctica to South Georgia Island follows the route of the explorer’s legendary Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
 
Hang ten. There’s more to South Africa than safaris – Virtuoso travel advisors can team up with South African Tourism can help you find beaches renowned for surfing.
 
Drive the Great Ocean Road. This coastal highway boasts one of the world’s most scenic routes. Virtuoso travel advisors can plan the perfect itinerary with great advice from Tourism Australia.

Kayaking the Magdalenefjorden coastline in Norway with Silversea Expeditions. 
Kayaking the Magdalenefjorden coastline in Norway with Silversea Expeditions. 
Photo by Denis Elterman

African Grasslands 

Go horseback riding. In Tanzania, the 19-room Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro offers horseback tours of the 1,500-acre coffee estate it calls home.
 
Golf in two hemispheres. The 120-room Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is home to Africa’s only course bisected by the equator. Fore!
 
Go on a bicycle safari. Spot zebra and other wildlife while pedaling through the bush surrounding the 12-tent Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp in Kenya.
 
See Botswana from a balloon. Wilderness Safaris’ eight-day Bucket List Botswana itinerary includes a hot-air balloon ride over the Okavango Delta.
 
Stay up late for a moonlight game drive. The 51-room Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya can arrange a nighttime safari to spot nocturnal animals in action.
 
Soar over Victoria Falls. Staff at the 173-room Royal Livingstone Anantara in Zambia can arrange a helicopter flight over the cascade, complete with croc sightings.
 
Get to know Nairobi. Book a post-safari stay at the 170-room Fairmont The Norfolk and schedule a visit to the Elephant Orphanage or the Giraffe Center in nearby Langata – or, explore galleries and restaurants in Kenya’s vibrant capital.
 
Take a private jet. See East Africa’s splendid landscape – and animals – from the sky on a 12-day private jet safari with Abercrombie & Kent.
 
Zoom down a dune. After game drives and open-air dinners in the Etosha Private Game Reserve, sandboard down otherworldly sand dunes during African Travel, Inc.’s eight- and ten-day Namibia itineraries.

Taking a break for sundowners at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp in Kenya. 
Taking a break for sundowners at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp in Kenya. 
Photo by Elewana Afrika Ltd.

Popular Articles

You may also like...