Here are five international destinations that go above and beyond.
Sri Lanka—or “Lanka the Blessed” in the local Sinhalese—has been seducing travelers for centuries. Hike and bike through the Kandy kingdom, Ceylon tea region and Cape Weligama, passing golden beaches, hilltop rock temples, lush rainforests, vanished empires and highland tea plantations. Sri Lanka is a colorful mosaic of tropical island paradise with a cultural, ethnic and historical diversity that will astound, seduce and surprise; butterfield.com or 866.551.9090.
Siberia & Mongolia
Wind your way through the remote Barguzin Valley to homestays in rural Ust-Barguzin. Join a country Naadam celebration, then enjoy the waters of the deepest lake on earth, Lake Baikal. Explore the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, before flying to the red sands of the Gobi Desert to sip tea in a ger. Complete your journey by riding a section of the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway; mircorp.com/trip/siberia-mongolia-spirits-nomads/ or 800.424.7289.
Venture deep into the rarely accessed Amazon Rainforest to meet the indigenous Achuar tribe of Ecuador, a tribe of 6,000 indigenous people still living traditionally in small Amazon communities along the Ecuadorian and Peruvian border. This 10-day intrepid adventure explores the world’s largest river system by foot, plane, motorized canoe and kayak. Enjoy a stay at the award-winning Kapawi Ecolodge while witnessing wild toucans, parrots, caimans, pygmy marmoset and howler monkeys. Hike in Cotopaxi National Park, visiting “Devil’s Cauldron” waterfall. Spend the night at a traditional hacienda. Finish the journey by exploring the lively streets of Quito; gondwanaecotours.com or 877.587.8479.
Africa & The Med
Indulge in sea, sky and safari during an exclusive journey that combines a jet experience with global yachting. A custom-configured Boeing 757 whisks guests off to Africa—Rwanda (think gorilla trekking), Botswana, South Africa—and then off to the mega-yacht in the Med to see Monte Carlo, Cannes, Provence and Portofino. Tres chic; TCSworldtravel.com or 844.495.7165.
Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands
This Southern Ocean experience takes guests into a magnificent white wilderness. Glimpse a king penguin colony—tens of thousands stretching as far as the eye can see—herds of elephant seals and wandering albatross with their 11-foot wingspan. Antarctica’s ethereal beauty is increased by monumental ice, tabular icebergs and the haunting Lemaire Channel; expeditions.com or 800.397.3348.