While spring has only just begun and many are still living in the torment of winter (ask our Vermont office…) now is the time to start thawing yourself out and thinking about your next summer getaway! Whether you’re looking for simple beach lounging or embarking on daily adventures in the great outdoors, our expert Tour Consultants know just the place to enjoy your hard earned vacation time. Our travel experts have compiled a list of their top 5 destinations to spark your summer planning and to get ahead of the game before time and space runs out…
5) Victoria Falls – Devil’s Pool
Suggested Sample Itinerary; “The Smoke that Thunders”- Victoria Falls
Although the ominous name may deter one’s curiosity, Devil’s Pool is a once in a lifetime experience for unique views unlike any other. During the drier months when water levels are the lowest, usually beginning in August, the Zambezi River unveils a unique vantage point where swimmers (yes, swimmers) can peer over the edge of the falls’ 354-foot drop. To do so, adventure seekers leap into the flowing river and are pushed to the falls edge by the force of the rushing waters. The rock lip brings swimmers to a halt a mere few feet away from the fall’s crest as the raging waters rush past them, plummeting hundreds of feet below. Of course, a local guide will be there with you to reassure you and your safety while you capture photos for your Instagram story.
4) South Africa
Suggested Sample Itinerary; Wild Encounter at Sabi Sands Game Reserve
A skip, a hop and a 3-hour flight south from Victoria Falls you will find some of the finest beaches, winelands and safari options in all of Africa. With May through September considered South Africa’s dry season where many animals congregate around watering holes and safari’s are rarely interrupted by rain storms, the elements create the perfect scene for game viewing.
Many Yampu staffers and clients boast a South African Safari as an ideal family vacation. It is probably the easiest place to start your Africa experience – no shots, no visas, and relatively cheap airfare (usually nonstop). Safari lodges are made for kids with great programs, no long drives and kid-friendly food. This is where you’ll see the big five and it’s protected so you see LOTS of wildlife. Drive across scenic expanses in open-air safari vehicles to witness the majestic wild animals of South Africa up close and personal in their natural habitat. Children of all ages are welcome on these safaris.
Feeling adventurous? Book a shark cage diving experience as this is the best time as far as water clarity and Great White encounters…
3) Ranthambhore, India
Suggested Sample Itinerary; Introduction to India, and Tiger Safari
Though the park is open from October 1st to June 30th the chances of catching a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger are much higher during the summer months. Tiger Safaris through the park are conducted from a guided, open-top Jeep in dual shifts, morning and night. Besides the famous tigers, the park is also home to numerous animals, including leopards, hyenas and sloth bears. For marvelous views, visit the stunning Ranthambore Fort located in the heart of the park. Once serving as a royal hunting reserve, the mansion now serves as a prime vantage point for visitors to admire the forest from above.
2) Ski Portillo, Chile
Suggested Sample Itinerary; Markets, Mountains and Lakes of South America
We know what you’re thinking, “Skiing… on a list of summer destinations? Come on Yampu.” While the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the blistering summer heat, the Southern Hemisphere cools down as their winter season settles in with prime snow conditions beckoning skiers and riders from across the globe. The terrain and snow quality are first-rate, and unlike many European ski lodges nestled in lower valleys, Ski Portillo’s top-notch services, dining, entertainment, and lodging are all perched high in the peaks of the Andes serving remarkable views.
What better way to escape the maddening heat back home? In fact, Yampu Tour Consultant, Maggie is currently coordinating a unique Ski Portillo experience alongside Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort and famed snowboarder, John Egan this August! Make sure to be in contact soon to reserve your spot…
Suggested Sample Itinerary; Eco Tour of Peru
Between May and June is a fantastic time to visit Peru as this is the country’s dry season where days are majorly clear and sunny, the Amazon experiences more fauna activity with less bothersome mosquitos, and there are prime conditions for trekking and hiking. Just after the rainy season, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu will be at its greenest and visitors can expect warm sunny days and cool evenings. This is also the perfect time to beat the summer crowds, not to mention attending the second largest festival in South America, Inti Raymi or “Festival of the Sun” on June 24th!
Though the full season for the highlands is April to October, a visit to Peru can be made nearly any time of the year without limitations of experiences. Whether you’re a foodie in search of unique delicacies, an outdoorsman wanting to explore the Amazon, or a history fanatic hoping to trace back the Incan Empire, Peru is a destination that caters to all tastes and interests.
BONUS DESTINATION – Iceland
Repeat Yampu Travelers are able to unlock “hidden” destinations that are not listed on our website including the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland! With centuries of volcanic activity and glaciers, Iceland’s romantic nickname describes the island nation perfectly. A summer visit to the glaciers for hiking, snowmobiling, or glacier climbing is just as magical as visiting in the frigid winter, only with ideal weather conditions. The tiny Icelandic island of Heimaey is home to an active volcano worth exploring and hosts the world’s largest colony of puffins! Game of Thrones fans can also revel in the iconic scenery in which the series was filmed, including the otherworldly lava fields of Dimmuborgir where Mance Rayder sets up his camp in season three.
Unfortunately, during the summer months, visitors won’t be able to cross “view the northern lights” off of their bucket lists with the extended amount of daylight. On the upside, summer visitors can witness the “Midnight Sun” for a unique experience of the island. Enjoy activities like whale watching during that late-night golden hour or take a sunlit evening hike through the iconic glaciers for unworldly photography opportunities. As one of the happiest countries on Earth, Iceland has also been voted as the top place for solo female travelers making it a safe destination for all travelers.
Not quite decided on where to make your summer trip this year? Stay in touch with our newsletter for the latest travel inspirations, deals and travel recommendations from our Travel experts!