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Ecuador

I spent nearly two years living in Ecuador and have a soft spot for the South American republic. There are few places where you will find such diversity.  A country most famous for the UNESCO protected Galapagos islands, it has a rich Andean life, shaped by the high mountains. From Quito, the capital follow the 325km long, Avenue of Volcanoes, where you will find the 9 tallest peaks in Ecuador, ranging from 5000 to 6300m in height. If your feeling really adventurous you could attempt to climb, Cotopaxi, the tallest active volcano on the planet.

Cuba

The jewel of the Carribean, Cuba is one of the most memorable places I have ever been. A drive in a classic car and a mojito in Ernest Hemingway’s old haunt, La Floridita are almost obligatory. Try travelling on one of the enormous old Russian articulated trucks used as buses and better still spend an afternoon in one of the islands Cigar rolling factories. Hundreds of Cuban’s sit at desks hand rolling the iconic cigars while listing to the Cuban alternative to the Archers or learning from visiting teachers.

Nepal

The Himalaya mountains must rank amongst the most beautiful in the world, and certainly no visit to this remote kingdom is complete without a trip into the snowy peaks. For the really adventurous, you can trek to Everest base camp or as I did, to Panch Pokhari, at 4050m,  the highest lake in Nepal, but Nepal isn’t just about the mountains. In the South of the country are Chitwan and Bardia National parks which are home to an impressive array of wildlife from Elephants and Rhinos to Tigers.

Costa Rica - a great place for your first adventure holiday

Costa Rica is a great place to experience your first adventure holiday. The country is small enough to explore and packed with unique adventures, from climbing the Arenal Volcano to watching Turtles hatch at the Costa Rica national park.

This blog post is from a visitor who spent a year in Costa Rica, and shares some personal insights into this beautiful country.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller, from its rich coast life to its striking archaeology. Colombo is a hub of activity. I’d recommend tea in the Colonnial Galle Face hotel and then a stroll along the promenade where hundreds of children and their families fly kites. Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress in the middle of the tear drop shaped island is a well worth a climb. Hot and sweaty but mind bogglingly impressive. My favourite place was Kandy and a hotel called Helga’s Folly, run by an eccentric Englishwoman and her pack of dalmations.

Tanzania

The home of the mighty Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is the perfect introduction to Africa for those visiting the continent for the first time. Home to the Serengeti and the Ngororo crater and its rich abundance of spectacular wildlife but also the highest mountain in Africa. My advice for those attempting to climb the 5893m peak is to train properly and give yourself enough time to summit safely. Don’t underestimate Kilimanjaro, but respect it and you will have an experience you will never forget.

Peru

Having spent nearly four years in Latin America, I have a weakness for South America, and Peru in particular. The country has many hidden treasures, including the majestic Inca settlements of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu and the impressive cities of Arequipa and Cusco. My personal favourite is the Cotahausi Canyon in the South of the country. At 3500 m, it is the deepest natural canyon on earth, it not only provides one of the most spectacular hikes in the country but is also home to the Solimana river from which there is some pretty spectacular rapids to raft.

What is adventure travel?

Adventure has many faces. It doesn’t have to be adrenaline pumping action. Adventure is all about experiencing things differently. It is a unique, exciting, interactive way of enjoying a country. Adventure combines cultural interactivity and a historical immersion to create a unique experience totally different from the normal. It is a break from a break. A gentle trek across the foothills of the Andes can be just as exciting as a gruelling hike to Everest base camp in the Himalaya’s. It all depends on who you are, and how you approach it.

Solar Eclipse Tahiti July 2010

I was fortunate enough to accompany our trip to Tahiti this summer to witness a total Solar Eclipse along with 130 Explorers Eclipse travellers, a trip operated through our sister company. This trip combined all the best elements of an adventure trip with the chance to see a unique solar event. The sighting of the Eclipse, lasting just over three and a half minutes was from a remote atoll in the Tuamota Islands, known as Hao. This island is itself over 2 hours away from Tahiti by plane.

Jordan

Jordan is rich in history and culture and is the perfect place to get a feel for the Middle East. I shall never forget visiting the magnificent stone carved temples and monuments of Petra which have made it UNESCO world heritage site. Perhaps my most memorable experience was a night in the desert. We trekked on with camels and slept under the stars, overnighting in the desert is a must here if only for the night sky. Trekking through the Wadi Dana Valley is one of my walking highlights and was where my passion for deserts was born.