Destinations • December 2013

Six of the best natural highs

Looking for an exciting way to start the New Year? Whether you buckle up for adrenalin-pumping adventures or escape to sky-high retreats, here is The Club’s choice of six thrilling ideas


The Andes, Santiago, Chile

The high: Escape into the Chilean Andes on a horseback adventure, snaking through grassy valleys and climbing rocky hillsides. Opt for a day trek or really rise to lofty heights on a three-night adventure, camping under star-scattered skies.

Back on earth: Swap a horse saddle for a bike in Santiago and explore the city’s foodie delights with La Bicicleta Verde


Namib Desert, Namibia

The high: You may never match Felix Baumgartner’s feat of skydiving from space, but swooping towards rippling sand dunes as they meet the Atlantic Ocean is a close second. The coastal town of Swakopmund is the place to take the plunge.

Back on earth: Watch the crashing surf while tucking into freshly caught kingklip fish and lobster at the Lighthouse Pub and Café in Swakopmund.


Limon, Costa Rica

The high: Disappear into the leafy rainforest canopy at Tree House Lodge, where a split-level tree house sits among bright flowers and tropical birds. The eco-lodge’s furniture is hand-carved from sustainable wood and a 100-year-old Sangrillo tree shelters a shower in its base.

Back on earth: The stunning Punta Uva beach is just at the foot of the tree house, and this part of the southern Caribbean Sea is a great spot for snorkelling.


Victoria Falls, Zambia

The high: Here’s an angle that Scottish explorer David Livingstone didn’t experience when he discovered Victoria Falls in 1855 – a bird’s-eye view, from a helicopter, of the thundering falls stretching across 5,600 feet and plummeting 360 feet. The trip ends by flying over the monumental gorges of the Zambezi River.

Back on earth: Back in the town of Livingstone, unwind from the thrill at The David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa with a view from the ground of the awesome spectacle you just witnessed.


Punakha, Bhutan

The high: From its towering position over the Mo Chu River, Uma by COMO is a Himalayan hideaway that delivers a more spiritual high. Looking out over emerald paddy fields with the snow-capped peaks in the distance, you’ll almost feel as if you’re in a Buddhist temple – except this one comes with floor-to-ceiling windows, a boutique spa and a tranquil courtyard guaranteed to restore your chi.

Back on earth: Make time in your busy Zen schedule to visit the nearby 17th-century monastery Punakha Dzong.


Cappadocia, Turkey

The high: Floating over the patchwork canyons and ancient rock formations of this central Turkish region at dawn in a hot-air balloon is a magical experience. The almost fairy-tale landscape is thanks to volcanic eruptions that took place three million years ago, which eroded to form its quirky cones and pillars.

Back on earth: Visit the multi-level underground city of Derinkuyu, an ancient haven that was large enough to protect 20,000 people from potential invaders.

This article has been tagged Adventure, Destination