The world is home to so many incredible adventures, it would be impossible to achieve them all in a lifetime. Beyond Travel Explorations always encourages clients to visit the places that intrigue them the most, however, I've curated a few incredible and authentic countries - one for each continent. Beyond Travel Explorations can design unique, custom itineraries for any of the countries outlined below, in addition to other places.
Dive into these destinations worth discovering.
Antarctica is a common bucketlist adventure for many - myself included. While you can head to a resort in Antarctica (check out White Desert), one of the best ways to visit the continent is on an expedition cruise. You'll get to see stark white icebergs, potentially view penguins and whales (among other wildlife), walk in the footsteps of infamous explorers, witness some of the most amazing sunsets, and bring home brag-worthy photographs to keep the memories alive.
While you're in the south, take the opportunity to also visit South Georgia. Several cruise lines offer itineraries that include a stop at this island, in addition to the Falkland Islands. It's worth the visit to encounter one of the largest colonies of King, Gentoo, Macaroni, and Chinstrap penguins in the world.
While cruising isn't one of the most sustainable travel options, consider utilizing a cruise line focused on preserving the Antarctic and minimizing their impact.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Cruise Line: Hurtigruten
Although landlocked and dominated by the semi-arid Kalahari Desert, which covers more than 70 percent of the country, travelers can experience one of the world's best wetland adventures in Botswana.
It's home to the Okavango Delta, one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. During the rainy season the waters of the Okavango spread out to cover an area of 6,500 square miles. The high concentration of resources in the Okavango attracts exceptional wildlife in large numbers, including elephants, hippos, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, many species of birds and more.
Another jewel of Botswana is Chobe National Park, which lies east of the Okavango Delta. It's a rich habitat of woodland, marsh, and floodplain, and one of the best places in Botswana to spot elephants. In fact, Botswana has Africa's highest concentration of elephants. Not to mention nearly 40 percent of its land is protected as national parks, sanctuaries, reserves, and wildlife management areas.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Property: Xigera Safari Lodge
While not exactly an uncommon destination, Beyond Travel Explorations loves Costa Rica for its strong ecotourism opportunities. Home to 30 national parks, self-sufficient regenerative communities, and numerous programs supporting Costa Rican Artisans, it is arguably one of the most sustainable destinations in the world.
Plus, Costa Rica is packed full of adventures to fulfill anyone's tastes. Culinary enthusiasts can enjoy touring and tasting the coffee region, and adrenaline junkies can zip high above the forests and surf atop waves along the West Coast of Costa Rica. Wildlife lovers will adore exploring the rainforests and snorkeling the offshore reefs, and those seeking cultural immersion will delight in San Juan's European architecture and heavy influence from Spain.
Not to mention travelers can relax and unwind in natural hot springs and many luxurious spas, or refresh and rejuvenate with a wellness journey that incorporates daily yoga, meditation and an abundance of healthy foods.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Property: Pacuare Lodge
Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean roughly 600 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, and comprised of nearly 1,200 coral islands. The pictures of crystal clear, shimmering topaz water you see in photos and videos of this gorgeous destination is exactly what you get.
Although we're bombarded with marketing of relaxing in overwater bungalows, calming spa treatments and lazy days on perfect sandy beaches, there are a ton of water-based activities for adventure lovers. Maldives is a utopia for snorkelers and divers, who can explore untouched reefs, caves, pinnacles, and incredible channels teaming with marine life. You can swim next to giant rays, curious turtles, peacefull whale sharks, and more than 1,000 species of fish.
If you're looking for something a little more thrilling, most resorts feature a water sports center with jetskis, local tours and activities, parasailing and more, in addition to nonmotorized water sports like kayaks and paddleboards.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Property: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Adventures and New Zealand go hand-in-hand. Without a doubt it's one of the best destinations for experiencing laid-back luxury and the great outdoors.
New Zealand is where bungee jumping and (modern-day) zorbing first got their start, but travelers can also get an adrenaline boost from other activities, such as canyoning, jet boating, heli-skiing, and glacier trekking. If extreme activities don't suit your style, you'll still love New Zealand simply for its gorgeous scenery. From rugged alpine terrain to shimmering waters of subtropical coves, New Zealand’s diverse landscapes will awe even those who are not outdoor enthusiasts.
Additionally, make sure to take the "Tiaki Promise" while there. This initiative promotes cultural respect and the preservation of nature. Tiaki means “to care for people and place” in Maori. Not only does this ideology connect travelers with New Zealand culture, it also embodies the sustainable philosophy of Beyond Travel Explorations.
Beyond Travel Explorations Resort Pick: Minaret Station Alpine Lodge
It may be Machu Picchu that puts Peru toward the top of many wish lists, but there's much more to discover beyond this touristy world wonder.
Peru is incredibly varied. It's home to a multitude of ecosystems, wildlife, cultures, languages, (Spanish is the official language, but 47 indigenous languages are also spoken), potato varieties, and cuisines. Speaking of food, travelers would be remiss without spending a few days in Lima sampling the city’s culinary gems. The country's capital is home to two of the top 10 restaurants in the world. You'll also want to try pisco - the country's official drink - as well as ceviche, lomo saltado and, for more adventurous foodies, cuy.
To get off the beaten track, consider heading north and exploring deep in the Amazon jungle or the eye-popping yet remote Andes. Some other Peruvian locations worth checking out include the sand dunes of Huacachina, the Nazca Lines, the white city of Arequipa, and Colca Canyon.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Property: explora Valle Sagrado
Although right in the heart of Europe, this lush and whimsical country is often overlooked. It's the perfect gem for travelers who love Europe, but are looking to getaway from the crowds and popular tourist routes.
Slovenia has an amazing outdoor playground. Travelers can enjoy green valleys, sparkling lakes, and thermal springs. What’s more, the country champions heritage food traditions. In fact, Slovenia was named Europe’s Official Region of Gastronomy for 2021.
In Bled, you'll experience a historic lakeside retreat backdropped by the snowcapped Julian Alps. And in the nearby Bohinj Valley, explore a series of mountain towns within Triglav National Park.
Better yet, the Slovenian Tourist Board recently developed responsible travel standards that enhances the country's sustainable practices with a new responsibility to local communities and guests. So far, more than 700 Slovenian tourism providers have obtained the GREEN&SAFE label that's part of the standards program.
Beyond Travel Explorations Featured Property: Otocec Castle Hotel