7 Amazing Nature Vacations Around the World: From Reefs to Glaciers
Getting out and seeing nature is one of the main reasons why people travel – but with so much nature out there, how do you go about picking the best nature vacation?
These eight destinations around the world have it all – from reef biodiversity to glaciers, from tigers to turtles to grizzly bears.
Any one of these destinations would be the nature vacation of a lifetime; taken together, they’re testament to the wonders around us.
7 Best Nature Vacations and Tours
1. Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
A former battlefield is now a splendid example of how once-warring factions can work together to restore a place of great beauty and diversity. This million-acre park at the edge of the Rift Valley offers Lion King landscapes that change from grasslands to waterfalls in a heartbeat. The park teems with more than 80,000 large animals, including elephants, lions, hippos, African buffalo, and wildebeests. And you can see it all on a Jeep safari organized through the Montebelo Gorongosa Lodge & Safari.
2. Belize Barrier Reef System, Belize
Long regarded as one of the best places to scuba and snorkel in the Western Hemisphere, a dive trip to Belize lets you see one of the natural world’s greatest wonders: a healthy coral reef. The Belize Barrier Reef System provides a home for threatened species like the loggerhead turtle, manatees, and the American marine crocodile, and well as more than 500 different species of fish. Extensive ongoing restoration and remediation have made the BBRS an environmental showpiece. Many tour and dive operators offer reef tours, above and below water, including Island Expeditions.
3. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
There’s nothing in the world like Alaska. Words can’t describe its beauty and vastness; you only have to see it for yourself. While many people would recommend you start your Alaska sojourn with a tour of Denali National Park, the better bet is this breathtaking intersection of glaciers and water on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Driving is limited; hiking is a better way through the park’s interior, though conditions can change in a flash. A better bet is a boat tour run out of Seward by a National Park Service concessionaire. However you get there, prepare to be awestruck.
4. Madhya Pradesh national parks, India
There are hundreds of reasons to visit India, but one huge reason to visit the parks in India’s Madras region: tigers. Numbers of the big cats are up, and several national parks in the region cater to tigers and tiger-watchers, including Bandhavgarh and Kanha. There’s even a Tiger Express train that shuttles between parks. To make sure you don’t come up empty-handed in the tiger-watching department, book a tour through Responsible Travel.
5. San Ignacio Park, Baja California, Mexico
It’s okay to take a nature vacation with one purpose in mind – especially when the purpose is getting up close and personal with whales. San Ignacio is the best place in the world to see eastern Pacific gray whales, which can grow up to almost 50 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons. Lagoon tours, like those run by Ecotourism Kuyima, let you get close enough to the mammals to pet and nuzzle them – and who wouldn’t accept a friendly kiss from a whale?
Also read: Mexican Vacations Off the Beaten Path
6. Lapland, Finland
There’s getting away from it all, and then there’s getting away from it all in Finland. The country’s northern regions are breathtaking, especially in winter, when temperatures can stay below zero for weeks at a time. However, the tradeoff is more than 200 nights of northern lights a year, cozy lodges, and lots of opportunities for outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, reindeer sledding, and downhill skiing at the world-famous Pyhä-Luosto, Ruka, Levi, and Ylläs resorts.
7. Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Talk about a place that has it all. You want lush jungle? Check. Cliffs to hike? Check. Waterfalls and pools to plash in? Check. Oceans to kayak? Got that too. Just about anything nature-related that you want to do this side of skiing you can do on Kauai, and do it bigger and better than anywhere else. It’s arguably the most beautiful spot on earth, but it’s fragile, so you want to see it with an experienced guide like Hike Kaua’i With Me. Sure, you can take an aerial tour and be blown away, but Hawaii is so much better on the ground. Aloha!
Travel Insurance for Nature Vacations
The nature of traveling to the wild corners of our planet means getting off the beaten path to some areas where one wrong step or bug bite could spell big trouble. Are you ready to foot the bill for a $100,000 emergency medical evacuation on your trip?
With a travel insurance plan from Generali Global Assistance, you can be covered for that kind of life-threatening situation, and other specific events that could wreck your trip or put you in danger. Plus, our 24/7 Emergency Assistance hotline means help is always just one call away. For more information read: What Does Travel Insurance Cover?