Grand Adventures to Add to Your Clients’ 2024 Bucket Lists
January 10, 2024 by Hidden Doorways
As we step into 2024, our team is dreaming big and thinking boldly. From a grand African safari to the enchanting, flower-draped hills of India’s Himalayas, we’ve curated our picks for travel experiences that promise to leave lasting impressions. Dive into our exciting round-up of once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
African Splendor: The Very Best of East and Southern Africa
A safari itinerary that’s head and shoulders above the rest, Micato’s ultimate 17-day safari will take you through four of East and Southern Africa’s fabled countries. You’ll stay in a sterling collection of camps, hotels, and lodges. Witness the cascading waters of Victoria Falls, the horizon-defying plains of the Serengeti, and the mystical Ngorongoro Crater. Africa’s great and glorious wildlife will all be at your fingertips as you make memories that will be etched into your mind forever more. It’s no wonder Micato is the world’s most awarded safari company. And if 17 days on safari is a bit of a stretch, Micato has shorter adventures on offer or can custom-make your very own trail.
Panamanian Summits and Sunrises
This 10-day trip explores Panama’s highest heights, like Mount Barú. Observe the volcanic national park’s seven microclimates and, perhaps, a spectacular sunrise. This is the only place in the world where you can simultaneously see the Pacific and Caribbean oceans. Journey through jungle depths reached only by ‘dugouts’ (canoes crafted from hollowed tree trunks). The hustle of the city, the clarity of the mountaintop and the wonder of jungle life (on day three you’ll meet the indigenous Embera tribe who live on the banks of the Gatun Lake where its chief will talk you through their traditions and present you their handicrafts) promise an adventure rich in authenticity that you’ll never forget.
Eat Your Way through Northern Spain
Now, head to Europe to eat your way around Spain’s most authentic spots. This trip starts in San Sebastián – a city with more Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter than just about anywhere else in the world. From simple food market eats to elaborate haute cuisine creations, knowing the very best spots that blend delicious fare, magnificent wines, and just the right ambience comes only with experience, and this tour will guide you to ensure you taste nothing but the city’s finest.
One of the most unforgettable stops is sure to be at one of San Sebastián’s private gastronomic societies. These culinary clubs – the cradle of many renowned chefs and veritable temples of Northern Spain’s cuisine – are typically only open for local members, but your clients will have rare outside access alongside Madrid & Beyond.
From there, your seven days will be spent on land and water, driving to Bilbao one day and sailing to Hondarribia on another to wander its maze of cobbled streets that lead to traditional Basque wood-beamed houses and the fisherman’s village full of lively pintxo bars. Cycling tours, private Rioja wine tastings, and Basque cooking classes are all part of the adventure too, making sure you leave no gastronomic Spanish stone unturned.
Remote Himalayan Hideouts and Festival Spirit
India carries with it a legacy of diverse landscapes, many of which are seldom seen unless you hold the keys to hidden kingdoms like Banyan Tours. Its collection of highly curated itineraries cover India’s every inch, but to be truly carried away to magical lands, pick a trail such as its Cultural Mosaic that takes place during December for 10 days of total privilege. Witnessing the 16 tribal groups of distant Nagaland in Northeast India coming together for the little-known Hornbill Festival is something that few in their lifetime will get to experience. Or what about its Shakti Sikkim trail where you’ll travel to the untouched lands of India’s Eastern Himalayan range. Traverse the foothills and step inside serene, mural-filled monasteries. Walk through orchid farms and hillsides of kaleidoscopic rhododendrons before rest and recuperation call in the comfort of your very own colorful village home.
Vietnam ‘Off the Grid’
With seven mesmerizing stop-offs plotted on its ‘off-grid’ route, this cultural voyage is an intimate invitation to immerse oneself in Vietnam – its cities, its mountains, and its beaches. You’ll begin in the capital of Hanoi before being called to the Northwest mountains of the rural Mai Châu district. From here, decide whether to jump back into the cosmopolitan energy of the city by staying in Danang (home to one of Vietnam’s most prestigious beaches we hasten to add) or the calmer alternative of Hoi An – a smaller, cultural town with a relaxing nature. The rest of your trip will be peppered with captivating city hopping and plenty of beach downtime in-between, but to make it more memorable still, why not extend your getaway to cover Cambodia too? We can’t think of a better place to round off your Asian adventure than by recharging and rewinding your mind at Shinta Mani Wild in the heart of the Cardamom National Forest. Wild waterfall swims, jungle zip-line thrills, and luxurious tented accommodation is the cherry on the cake.
Dive into Fiji’s Crystal Depths
There’s an underwater world waiting to be uncovered on Fiji’s little slice of heaven, Kokomo Private Island. Home to the world’s fourth largest reef, the Great Astrolabe Reef extends for over 100 km with Kokomo offering exclusivity to dive sites that no other resort has — the ultimate deep-sea playground for diving enthusiasts. As you plunge its completely clear waters, expect to come face to face with manta rays, reef sharks and turtles as you flipper your way through vibrant coral gardens and into mysterious caves that the breathtaking South Pacific keeps secret.
Rest assured that when your adventuring is over for the day, the lap of luxury awaits, private island style. At the press of a button, your buggy will arrive to whisk you back to your beachfront villa where you can kick back on your terrace lounger, sundowner in hand.
Explore the Indigenous Arts of the American Southwest
And finally, if New Mexico’s capital Sante Fe is on your bucket list of places to visit then be ready to witness an art and culture scene so full and fabulous, your eyes will want to remain open for your entire stay. Planting yourself at The Inn of the Five Graces opens the door to a roster of first-rate adventures to fill your days. Head to Plaza Blanca, a landscape of white sandstone cliffs made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Palace painting series where you can enjoy a champagne picnic at Abiquiu Lake before visiting a renowned artist’s residence. Or travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taos Pueblo along the mountainous Historic High Road where you’ll pass through a traditional native weaving studio and enjoy lunch in a Puebloan home more than 500 years old for local specialties like stuffed fried bread and piñon coffee.
P.S. visit on August 30th and you’ll be able to observe the 100th anniversary of the region’s cultural tradition, Burning of the Zozobra. A 50-foot marionette known as Old Man Gloom, stuffed full of paper ‘glooms’ be they speeding tickets or divorce summons, are set alight as the community comes together in catharsis to release worries and press reset. Yet another for the burgeoning memory bank!