Tired of all inclusives? 5 new adventures that will take you off the beaten path
New Adventures That Will Take You Off the Beaten Path
Amanda Ashford is a Brand & Communications consultant building brands with purpose and using business as a force for good. As a global traveller, Amanda is constantly inspired by the sounds, scenes and stories found around the world, and our shared passion for purpose that connects us all.

One of the (many) great things about leaving your 20s behind is graduating from three-to-a-room, all-inclusive beach vacations and expanding your travel horizons. A higher disposable income and the ability to focus on long term savings mean you can start exploring the world in a little more … style. Here are five upgraded adventures to add to your bucket list.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

For an upgraded beach vacation free of swim-up bars and poolside aerobics, try the secluded beaches of Harbour Island, lovingly referred to by those in-the-know (including an impressive array of stylish celebs) as the crown jewel of the Bahamas.

A paradise of pink sand, the beaches here are as pristine as they are peaceful. There are no large resorts on the island, just boutique hotels and quaint, colourful houses, some available to rent. Golf carts are the transportation of choice and residents and visitors alike cruise the island en route to one of the many exceptional eateries. Try The Landing for their famous ricotta hotcakes or chow down on a conch chili cheese dog at Sip Sip (local slang for gossip).

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If you can tear yourself away from the beach (unlikely), try a day-trip to the nearby Exumas, a breathtaking archipelago of 365 cays and islands, and tour the footprint-free sandbars and incredible marine life. You’ll find everything from friendly nurse sharks to a colony of wild pigs living their best life on an uninhabited island called Big Major Cay.

Fogo Island, Newfoundland

Rising up off the northeast coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic “Iceberg Alley,” Fogo Island is an active outpost community, just remote enough to keep crowds away, maintaining a rich wildness and a dizzying array of indigenous maritime flora and fauna.

It’s also the home of Fogo Island Inn, a destination for those in search of a true escape (Gwyneth Paltrow described it as ‘#heaven’ on her Instagram). The Inn has its roots woven authentically into the community that created it, with almost everything at the Inn either made or designed by residents and local artisans. Floor-to-ceiling windows in each room provide views of the Atlantic, where you’ll often spot pods of whales spouting offshore or icebergs drifting slowly past.

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What makes Fogo Island Inn truly unique is the way in which the local culture is integrated into every detail. Be sure to enjoy the full roster of daily activities, like caribou or seal watching, berry picking, nature walks, or a traditional boil-up with a community host, showcasing Newfoundland hospitality at its finest.

Kasese, Uganda

If you’re looking for a little adventure with your luxury, consider a more ambitious itinerary and head to East Africa to see the incredible beauty and wildlife on offer in Uganda. The area around Queen Elizabeth National Park (one of Africa’s most beautiful) offers a scenic home base for day trips and excursions, like Kyambura Gorge and Kazinga Channel where you’ll see some of the highest concentration of wildlife in the country.

It’s also adjacent to Kyambura Gorge Lodge, a luxury eco-resort offering an ideal location for tracking the lost chimps (or simply watching an astonishing array of wildlife right from your private deck).

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A trip to Uganda wouldn’t be complete without spending time with the gentle giants of the jungle, the beautiful Mountain Gorillas, found in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which was designated a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.

Madagascar

The world’s fourth largest island (and arguably the most famous, thanks to King Julien and his friends from the … ecologically inspired ... movie of the same name), Madagascar remains a largely under-the-radar tourist destination, although likely not for long.

About 250 miles off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean, it’s an admittedly long-haul, but those willing to put in the miles will be richly rewarded with some of the most dramatic and unique landscapes in the world. Madagascar is a biodiversity wonderland — over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth (including the 50+ species of lemurs, the iconic, shy, playful creatures loved around the world, which are worth the trip alone).

Don’t Miss:

A hidden gem on an isolated peninsula on the Mozambique Channel, Anjajavy le Lodge is a luxury eco-hotel nestled on a protected nature reserve that boasts some of the best lemur-spotting on the island.

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai

While the towering glitz and glamour of Dubai offers over-the-top opulence on every level, a quieter sort of luxury awaits those looking for a more private escape. Just an hour outside the city centre, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a breathtaking oasis of lush palm groves, emerald canopies and iconic sand dunes with the Hajar Mountain massif towering in the distance. There’s only one resort allowed within the Reserve - Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa - and aside from luxurious, five-star accommodations (each villa has an infinity pool), the property provides up-close access to the array of wildlife enjoying the reserve. Gazelles, Arabian Oryx and a cacophony of birds visit the infinity pools of each villa and regularly greet guests on their way to a champagne sundowner.

Don’t Miss:

Although it requires an awfully early wake up call, the falconry demonstration will leave you in awe of the resident birds who show off their astonishing aerial skills.


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