We've all done it - parked our bum on a beach down south. And after three days of drinking sweet cocktails, eating buffet food and watching mediocre caberet, we wonder...
WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
If you are tired of all-inclusives and are looking for a different type of travel, look no further than these short adventure tours in the Caribbean, Central and South America and Europe.
A country where the clock has stood still for over 60 years, where road-side billboards declare "Socialism or Death" and where commercialism is still refreshingly absent. A land proud of its heritage where people greet you warmly on every corner. A place where old classic cars mingle with horse-drawn carts and where palms and sugar cane sway in a gentle breeze. Throw in a beguiling mix of revolutionary music, salsa and decaying colonial towns and you have a country you do not want to miss. This tour shows you the best of the west - from the capital Havana to the limestone cliffs of Viñales, the pretty towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad and sites associated with the revolution, such as the Bay of Pigs and Santa Clara.
A country proud of its cultural and natural heritage, Belize occupies a sliver of land between Central American jungles and the Caribbean. The Barrier Reef has some of the best snorkelling and diving anywhere on the planet, while the jungles of the interior are a haven for myriad flora and fauna. Lost within are Mayan archaeological sites with numerous temples and tombs.
Beautiful Belize is an adventure playground, a nature lovers' dream come true and a beach paradise all rolled into one. This adventurous tour will give you all the time you need to discover the highlights and engage in the adventure activities of your choice.
From the cosmopolitan Costa Rican capital of San José, travel to Poas Volcano National Park, one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, located in the tropical rainforest. Via Sarchi, known for its beautiful arts and crafts, we continue to La Fortuna, set at the base of Arenal Volcano. Take a walk on the flanks of the volcano or hike to waterfalls, join a wildlife spotting tour in search of sloths, or relax at the local hot springs.
Next we venture into the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for night and nature walks as well as some of the many optional activities, including hanging bridges in the rainforest canopy, zip lining or a visit to the local butterfly or orchid garden.
Via the Carara Biological Reserve, famed for its scarlet macaws and other birdlife, we reach Manuel Antonio National Park where we explore the beautiful beaches and encounter its rich wildlife. You can also opt to do a spot of white water rafting or join a snorkelling trip.
Starting off in the capital, this adventure tour of Mexico promises a wonderful selection of ancient sites, colonial towns, colourful markets and natural scenery. Enjoy a city tour of Mexico City and visit the mysterious pyramids of Teotihuacan, once the largest city in North America. Next fly to Chiapas State for an exploration of the spectacular kilometre-deep Sumidero Canyon before visiting the colonial town of San Cristobal and the surrounding indigenous villages. Via the beautiful natural swimming holes at Roberto Barrios we descend the road to the jungles surrounding the Maya ruins of Palenque, before exploring the stunningly well-preserved colonial city of Campeche.
Uxmal with its Maya palaces and pyramids is next before we continue to Merida to absorb its beautiful Spanish-Moorish architecture. Finally, en-route to the stunning beaches of Playa del Carmen, we visit the famous pyramids, palaces, temples and ball court of Chichen Itza.
This adventure tour of Colombia shows you all its highlights in little over a week. From bustling Bogota, travel to the coffee region and the beautiful village of Salento. Walk through the Cocora Valley or opt to do the more strenuous hike to the Acaime Reserve known for its colourful hummingbirds. Learn all there is to know about coffee during a two-night stay at a traditional coffee estancia before travelling to Medellin, now one of the most exciting cities in South America.
Finally, we fly to Cartagena with its UNESCO's World Heritage listed old fort, its nearby group of small coral islands and stunning beaches, a fitting end of this holiday in Colombia.
Ecuador packs a lot of variety into a small country. The undisputed highlight is the Galapagos Archipelago, with their otherworldly volcanic landscapes and stunning array of wildlife. Snorkel with sea lions and penguins, come close to boobies and albatrosses, iguanas and tortoises and watch whales. This is nature in its primordial state, nature as it used to be.
This seven-day cruise package will give you 4 nights in the Galapagos Islands, giving you a good introduction to the wildlife and natural history.
Sail into the Amazon headwaters in Peru on this 8-day luxury expedition-style cruise. Discover the hidden lakes and lagoons of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and the two Amazon tributaries that flow through it, the Marañon and Ucayali rivers. Spot rate pink Amazon dolphins, kayak, canoe and swim in pristine waters and visit remote settlements to learn about local culture. Your experienced guides will teach you all there is to know about flora, fauna and life in the Amazon.
The subtropical island of Madeira, a piece of Portugal far out in the Atlantic Ocean, offers dramatic scenery, black sand beaches, volcanic craters and gushing mountain streams. Hiking along the levada irrigation channels is a unique experience, allowing you to access the rugged interior.
Discover the island of Cyprus on this walking holiday through the beautiful Troodos Mountains and the remote Akamas Peninsula. Walk through ancient villages where age-old traditions are carried on, discover 12th century Byzantine churches and explore the Tombs of the Kings in Pafos. Watch out for wild mouflon, myriad bird species and in spring, plenty of wildflowers.
Steep mountains rising from the turquoise Mediterranean, slopes covered in lemon groves, white-washed villages lining deep valleys where they meet the ocean. Explore covered alleys leading to hidden courtyards and sit down for a glass of wine or some gelato. Follow ancient footpaths and stairs up the hills to hamlets tucked away in forest-covered hills. Hike up to a vantage point and marvel at the views over this, the Amalfi Coast. This is one of the best coastal hikes in Italy.
A five day adventure along the south coast of Iceland, chasing the Aurora Borealis while being active!
This tour starts in Iceland's capital Reykjavik from where we head out along the south coast to find the beautiful waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. The coastline is one of stark beauty, of black sands and basalt rocks, while the mountains of the interior form an imposing backdrop.
We drive across the barren Skeidararsandur floodplains to reach Svinafellsjokull glacier. Here we stop for an exhilarating glacier walk. We reach Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon when the sun is low in the sky, to all the better take advantage of the gorgeous photographic opportunities. The blue and white ice against the black sand while the sun is setting is a sight not easily forgotten.
We retrace our steps and visit the famous Golden Circle, where the original geyser at Strokkur, the mighty Gulfoss Waterfall and a walk through Thingvellir National Park await.
After a final night in Reykjavik drive along the spectacular Reykjanes Peninsula to the airport. If time allows, be sure to visit the Blue Lagoon for a wonderful relaxing swim.
In the south of Spain, in the heart of the Andalusian countryside, amid olive groves and picturesque farmland, lies your cortijo, a converted farmhouse, your base for a week of walking. Explore the rugged hills and limestone peaks of the Sierra de Grazalema and walk the famous El Chorro Gorge on the Caminito del Rey. A sure highlight of the trip will be your visit to beautiful Seville.
Exploring the undiscovered Greek island of Evia on foot you will find an authentic vibe, original tavernas, historical treasures and hidden beaches.