Incredible new outdoor adventures, hotels, and cultural experiences abound in the summer season. From Zurich’s perfect blend of nature and urban culture to family-friendly offerings on the Inca Rail to Machu Picchu, these experiences make already wonderful vacations even more special. If you need an excuse to take a once-in-a-lifetime summer vacation this year, read on.
Stay Cool in the Caves of Belize
At the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, expert local guides are on hand to help guests beat the Belize heat in the naturally beautiful and historically fascinating caves of the surrounding area. Many of these cave tours take guests into caverns used by ancient Mayans. The caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, for one, feature burial chambers, artifacts, and calcified human remains. Che Chem Ha cave is considered to hold the largest collection of Mayan pottery in Belize. Go on a refreshing tube ride through the mesmerizing stalactites, stalagmites, and other rock formations of the Jaguar Paw Cave System, or canoe through Barton Creek Cave, whose crystal clear waters flow from a giant crack in a mountain. Guests can even climb cave waterfalls with rappel ropes and dive into their invigorating cascades. For larger groups and families, San Ignacio Resort Hotel recently opened River and Jungle View Suites, which boast large outdoor living spaces and dining areas perfect for guests to come together and enjoy scenic views of the Macal River, its surrounding rainforest valley, and Belize’s natural jungle setting.
Swiss Culture on Display at Zurich’s Street Parade
On August 10, the streets of Zurich become host to a demonstration of love, peace, freedom, generosity, and tolerance. The purpose of the Street Parade is to generate enthusiasm for electronic music and art, and it has grown into a well-established cultural experience that encourages diversity in music and club life. To add luxury to the experience, travelers should stay at Giardino Atlantis, an urban retreat that offers guests a natural oasis in a bustling city. The Atlantis’ proximity to the activities of Zurich make it an ideal spot for festival-goers, while its location at the foot of the Üetliberg Mountain offers ample opportunity to experience the peaceful, natural beauty of Switzerland. The hotel itself has impressive musical history — Freddie Mercury once gave a private performance on the grand piano at the hotel bar!
New Luxury Lodge Opens in Bolivia
Be among the first to stay in the luxurious, space station-esque Kachi Lodge on Bolivia’s remote and stunning Salar de Uyuni. The geodesic domes of the new lodge, which opened in May 2019, have a minimalist design to highlight the beauty of the stark surrounding landscape and the wide open skies that offer views of the stars unsullied by light pollution. Summer is the dry season on the Salt Flats, allowing guests of Kachi Lodge adventure opportunities such as trekking to the Tunupa Volcano’s crater or mountain biking on the edge of the volcano, hiking among Incahuasi Island’s giant cacti, and watching the sun rise and set from the peak of Kachi Island. For an authentic Bolivian culinary experience, guests come together in a central dome to dine on cuisine from the award-winning Gustu Restaurant and school in La Paz.
Exclusive Access to the Magic of Bhutan
In the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan summer is the low season for tourism, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a less crowded, less expensive trip. From June through August high-altitude flowers are in peak blooming season, lighting the lush forests of Gangtey Valley with color. The Gangtey Lodge offers a luxurious home base for travelers seeking to explore the mysterious and unknown Gangtey Valley, which is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Bhutan. The Kingdom has only been open to tourists since 1974 and takes great care that the landscape and culture remain unspoiled, thus preserving the spiritual, mythical atmosphere that encompasses Bhutan. Gangtey Lodge offers luxurious insight into the relatively unexplored destination with offerings such as traditional hot stone baths, spiritual cleansing rituals, and guides with special knowledge of the area.
See Machu Picchu Like Never Before with Inca Rail
School’s out, and it’s the time of year to make family memories that will last a lifetime. For a vacation guaranteed to entertain and educate, visit the wonders of World Heritage Site Machu Picchu together by way of Inca Rail, the only train service to Machu Picchu that offers en route entertainment programming for kids. The programming on-board the First Class Train, carefully designed to be both fun and informative, offers children coloring books themed around Peruvian culture, cuisine, and landmarks, entertainment kits, a variety of board games and a new gourmet kids menu inspired by Andean organic ingredients and locally-sourced herbs. Inca Rail turns visiting Machu Picchu into an immersive experience filled to the brim with culture, spectacular views of the Peruvian landscape, and fun for the whole family.
Discover Outdoors: Get Out of the City
If the heat of the city is too much this summer, Discover Outdoors has a wide variety of trips planned to take adventurers out into the vast wilderness right outside their doors. Summer is the perfect time to visit some of the farther north destinations on the Discover Outdoors menu of trips, like hiking among the looming peaks and lush river valleys of three national parks in the Canadian Rockies or circling the base of Mount Rainer on the Wonderland trail, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful backpacking trails in the US. The mild temperatures of the summer season make it the most pleasant time to experience these northern locales.
See Alaska from the Side of a Glacier
Experience Tordrillo Mountain Lodge’s new summer activities and the first via ferrata route in Alaska, opening in June. The new hiking and climbing route is located on the edge of the Triumvirate glacier, and will include taut steel cables, two suspension bridges spanning from arrete to arrete, steel rungs, and other components that help climbers ascend 800 vertical feet of rock. In February 2019 the property reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation, and thrill-seeking guests of all abilities can experience endless new summer activities such as helicopter-accessed fat tire mountain biking, world-class salmon fishing, kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, glacier hiking wake surfing, waterskiing and wildlife viewing.