Whether you're on honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary or just want an extra special moment, our specialists pick 10 unique experiences that can make your trip unforgettable.
1. Try an East African safari with a unique twist - Kenya
Fly in a traditional open cockpit biplane, the only one in East Africa, harking back to the "Out of Africa" era. The pilot, Will Craig, has more than 5,000 hours of flying experience and will not only point out landmarks you are flying over but also tell you more about the conservation work being done in Lewa, to benefit both the wildlife and local communities.
The scenery here is dramatic and beautiful, comprising rolling plains, valleys and rocky hills with the backdrop of Mount Kenya. From the air you can also look out for some of Lewa's prolific wildlife which includes good rhino populations, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, Grévy's zebra and more.
2. Grizzly bear watching - Canada
Knight Inlet in British Columbia offers some of the world's best bear watching. Observing these animals in their natural environment is very special; up to 50 can be seen during September’s salmon run. After a day outdoors, relax in the cosy lodge and enjoy seafood harvested right from Knight Inlet’s glacier-fed waters.
3. Morning trip to monks and waterfalls - Laos
A superb way to experience Laos' unique serenity is to rise early to give alms to the monks in Luang Prabang, and then head to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Arriving before the crowds, you can enjoy one of Laos' most beautiful spots alone.
A delicious breakfast will be laid out for you; then you can swim beneath the falls and bathe in the sun — a fine way to start the day in a fantastic country.
4. Ryokan spa stay - Japan
A night or two at a traditional ryokan spa is completely unique to Japan. Kimono-clad ladies greet you, ready to transport you into a bygone world where simple rooms and discreet service create a haven of peace. Spend the day exploring or simply unwinding in your private, open-air hot-spring bath. In the evening, indulge your tastebuds with an exquisite, multi-course kaiseki meal in your room.
5. Camping by Mayan temples - Guatemala
Set in the heart of a protected jungle reserve, the lost Maya city of Uaxactun has only recently opened up to visitors.
A two-day camping excursion here is an enchanting way to experience the temples. Accommodation is in simple yet comfortable tents with camp beds, night lights and purified water on tap. Cold-water showers provide welcome relief from the humidity of the jungle while the howler monkeys swinging in the trees above serve as a fantastic natural alarm clock.
In addition to taking a guided tour of these fascinating and little-visited Maya ruins, part of the attraction of staying at Uaxactun is climbing the canopy tower to watch the sun set over the jungle. Another treat is being served a delicious three-course local dinner by candlelight right at the foot of one of Uaxactun’s biggest and most impressive temples.
6. Wine tasting on horseback - South Africa
South Africa's Cape Winelands are the ideal place to relax and indulge in fine food and superb wines. For a tasting tour with a twist, we can arrange a horseback ride through the vineyards. As you go, you will stop at famous wineries such as Rickety Bridge and Mont Rochelle to sample the vintages and learn about wine-making techniques.
The stables here have knowledgeable guides and horses to suit different abilities, so whether you are a novice or experienced rider, this is a great way to spend an afternoon.
7. Swimming with sharks and rays - French Polynesia
French Polynesia's pristine isles (Bora Bora in particular) offer world-class diving. One of the most exhilarating experiences is to dive among rays and sharks — including black-tipped and lemon sharks. Although it's completely safe, swimming with these intimidating creatures really gets the adrenaline going!
8. Visiting floating villages - Cambodia
The former guesthouse of King Sihanouk, Amansara is a haven of tranquillity, and perfectly placed for exploring the temples of Angkor. The hotel also offers private cruises on beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, aboard the Amanbara. Discover floating villages and varied wildlife before enjoying a cocktail as the sun sets.
9. White-water rafting to a remote jungle lodge - Costa Rica
At Costa Rica's Pacuare Lodge, the adventure begins before you even arrive. Getting there involves a scenic white-water raft along the Pacuare River, via tumbling waterfalls and the rainforest-covered Talamanca Mountains.
There is a real feeling of seclusion at the lodge. Most rooms come with private terraces and are designed to blend into the natural surroundings — some even have private plunge pools. Accommodation is also eco-friendly and Pacuare conserves 740 acres of rainforest, as well as supporting a number of projects that benefit local communities. Evening meals in the candlelit restaurant are a treat as you listen to jungle sounds and the rushing river.
In the unlikely event you want to leave the tranquillity of your private terrace, the lodge can arrange canopy zip-lining, a gentle walk through the forest to a waterfall, a more challenging hike to a remote indigenous community or maybe just a relaxing hot-stone massage.
10. Private picnic on a sandbank - Maldives
Private-isle dining is just one of the unique experiences offered by the glorious Baros Maldives resort. You're taken over to a sandbank by boat, where you can enjoy breakfast, a picnic lunch or even an evening meal, where a personal chef and waiter will server you delicious seafood as you watch the sun set.
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