Break away from the structure of meticulously planned activities that are sold to you as dream getaways. Venture out into the unknown, chart your own path, discover your own treasures, conquer your own fears and be one with nature.
The Lost World
Often considered the last frontier for adventure travellers, Papua New Guinea offers unparalleled diving experiences, Stone Age villages, the Mudman and Wigman, and fascinating ancient cultural rites. This is a wonderland of mountains and lowland rainforests, which boast incredible biological diversity.
Wetlands, exotic bird habitats, unique flora and fauna, intriguing cultures (some Neolithic), primitive art and remarkable underwater exploration beckon a true adventurer. The destination attracts the most experienced traveller as well as the spirited rookie who is drawn towards the unusual.
Trek across vine bridges to a secluded waterfall or take a hike to view the bird of paradise orchids and rhododendrons that cover the valley. Stay at a lodge along Karawari River and visit isolated villages to witness ceremonies few outsiders have ever seen.
Swimmers and surfers should head to the eastern beaches.
Once a star of the hippy trail, an inspiration to many poets, philosophers and artists including rock legends Led Zeppelin, Kashmir dropped out of the travel map in the ‘90s. This crowning jewel sits at the intersection of two gargantuan mountain ranges —the Himalayas and the Karakorum. Now back on the scene, it is more flamboyant than ever.
You could stick to a structured itinerary of a travel agent or take the unbeaten path, exploring its overwhelming beauty and enchanting spirit of India’s northernmost state. Today’s Kashmir possesses an uncanny character that is proud of its infinite magnificence yet shy and hesitant as it emerges from the scars of decades past, making it mysterious and alluring.
Hit the slopes at the ski resort of Gulmarg or immerse yourself in the serene tranquillity of Dal Lake. For the trekking enthusiast in you, head to the Pir Panjal trail to experience the challenges and rewards its terrain has to offer.
Jungles, Salt Flats and Deadly Roads
Its silver was looted by the conquistadors, but Bolivia is still a land gleaming with innumerable treasures and a multitude of adrenaline pumping escapades. From its snowy slopes of 20,000-foot peaks to being the poorest country in South America, Bolivia is indeed a land of extremes. However, over the past decade these extremes have helped it transform into a growing hub of adventure and eco-tourism.
The country attracts thousands of young tourists who are willing to trade safety and comfort for thrills for cheap. A huge draw for bikers, the famous Death Road descends 12,000 feet over 40 miles from a mountain pass near La Paz to the balmy resort town of Coroico.
Although the jungle experiences are similar to Peru’s, Bolivian ones come at a discount. Do not miss the beautiful salt flats at Uyuni that offer a breathtaking and inimitable experience.