Set off in open safari vehicles by day to discover a breathtaking array of animals& gaze at wildlife from the comfort of your private veranda.
Appalachian Trail, East Coast, U.S
A window into the cultural and historical heritage of the longest settled part of the country. It is the oldest of the great long-distance hiking trails, traveling through farm country, centuries-old towns, and storied battlefields. The Appalachian Trail is the ultimate badge of honor, and some 11,600 people have done the whole thing. A storied trail culture has formed, in which thru-hikers earn trail names and local residents and supporters offer "trail magic"–free food, gifts, and other unexpected kindnesses–at many points.
There, in August, if you're lucky, you might spot a few shaggy-haired, bearded thru-hikers taking the last few steps of their journey from Georgia, glimpsing, for the first time, the signposted terminus of the trail. They're almost always in tears.
Java's Volcanoes, Indo
Camp on Rakata Island's shores, soak in hot springs, hike up to peer into craters, and, if they're lucky, watch as an active volcano spews glowing hot lava down its shoulders. They also see the lasting effects of these cataclysmic eruptions, including lunar-like landscapes of ash fields, lava flows, turquoise lakes, steaming craters, and simmering mud pools.
Mexico, Yucatan's Cenotes
Offers a window into the Earth's belly: stalactites formed over millennia hang from the ceiling, fossils hide in the corners, and holes in the rock bring in a laser show of electric blue and green light. Delving deeper into the caves–past the signs with death warnings, skulls, and crossbones–requires an advanced cave diver certification, but no matter. Even within a few hundred feet of the surface, the cenotes offer a glimpse into what the Maya believed were the sacred passageways to the underworld.