We all need a holiday sometimes, but we don’t all want to spend our days doing nothing on the beach… Sometimes we want to get out and explore, have an adventure, test ourselves and achieve something in our hard-earned free time. So, if you’re planning on making a trek all the way to the other side of the world, how best to experience a real adventure?
Trekking In Peru!
Peru is the ancient site of the Inca Empire, a once mighty kingdom that had influence across modern-day Peru, Ecuador and parts of northern Chile. One of their great cities, Machu Picchu lies high in the Peruvian Andes Mountains, near their ancient capital of Cuzco. A good solid day trek, a trip to Machu Picchu is an experience that many travelers put high on their bucket list – the route itself is lined with many other ruins that are as interesting as the great site itself. Entrance to Machu Picchu is US$50 but a full 4 day hike with guide and food is more likely around US$400.
If you have the time a trek into the Amazon jungle is also a must, with a trek starting from the jungle city of Iquitos one of the important stops on many South American travellers itinerary. Start with a cruise down the river in a long-boat and fish for Piranhas, before trekking inland and setting up camp for the night with your guide, an experience you will never forget! Prices for jungle treks including guides and food start at around US$35 a day.
Essentials for both of these treks are sturdy walking shoes, strong sunscreen and lots of insect repellent.
If you’re in Peru, other sites to see include the mysterious Nazca lines – best seen from a private flight from the city of Nazca.
Climb A Mountain!
Kilimanjaro is the great mountain of Africa, straddling the border between Kenya and Tanzania, it stands proud in the heart of the Masai Mara game reserve. Many companies offer the opportunity to climb Africa’s mightiest peak, some for charity others for the sheer hell of it. Be advised that you need to be very physically fit as this is a mountain after all, but if you’re up for the challenge and you really want to feel like you’ve conquered the world after your holiday, US$850 – 1000 will get you to the top with a guide, food and camping equipment.
You will still need to bring your own hiking boots and clothing for all weathers. At the base expect equatorial heat, at the summit expect mountain cold! The best advice to climbers is to wear several layers including a good lightweight fleece.
While in Kenya or Tanzania it’s essential to take in a safari at any of the world-class game reserves – the Masai Mara or Tsavo in Kenya or Selous in Tanzania. A safari with overnight stay in a hotel in the reserve is around US$200 per person – often including a meal. The only additional things to take on safari are a good camera, a wide-brimmed hat and strong sunscreen.
When not on safari or climbing mountains, explore the exotic island of Zanzibar on the Tanzanian coast, or go snorkelling or scuba diving anywhere along the whole stretch of coast line. The city of Mombasa in Kenya is also an enticing sight in its own right…
Go On An Adventure In India!
India has a lot to offer, including trips for the serious adventure seeker. The town of Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas is famous for it’s temples and holy men and for being one of the most picturesque sites of the great Ganges river. Head north out of New Delhi to Haridwar and then onwards to Rishikesh and you will find plenty of opportunities for adventure including white water rafting, elephant trekking and walking.
Take on the great Ganges in style by white water rafting, costing around US$25 including all equipment. Afterwards take a safari tour of the nearby Corbett national park – seeing wildlife like wild elephants and maybe even a tiger or two! Safari’s are around US$30 for full safari including over night stay.
During any visit to Rishikesh visit the temple at Lakshmanjula – avoiding the mugger monkeys on the bridge, and watch the pilgrims wading into the river to pray at Haridwar.
Whilst in India it is a necessity to see the magnificent Taj Mahal, the ultimate monument to love. A tour from New Delhi to Agra can be done in a day for around US$100-150, although it is best done at a leisurely pace. Travel in India is cheap, so long as you’re not in a hurry then you could do a trip on your own from Delhi to Agra for less than $100 – with around US$30 entrance fee to the Taj Mahal.
What To Take On Adventure Holidays
A standard a selection of lightweight clothes, cotton t-shirts and shirts, a lightweight pair of trousers and good walking shoes are handy. If you’re not planning on too much trekking you may be able to get away with just a pair of flip-flops or sandals.
Insect repellent and sun screen are always necessary – sun screen is often cheaper in tourist hot spots than it is at home, so bring enough for your trip.
Women may find that it is necessary to cover up as cultural norms dictate – temples in India for example require covered shoulders at all times and no bare midriffs or legs.
Also the weather can get bad anywhere, even the tropics. A lightweight rain jacket or poncho should suffice for those occasional downpours.
A small first aid kit also comes in handy, an assortment of plasters and some antiseptic should suffice. Water purification tablets are also handy if you think you might be away from a reliable source of bottled water for extended periods.
Almost as important as all of the above is a good camera to capture the memories and a backup memory card, plus batteries to ensure you capture it all.
We are jealous just thinking about it, so enjoy your travels!!
Photos courtesy of freedigitalphots.net by Arvind Balaraman, pat138241 & Pulsen