We all have a memory of travelling to somewhere so remote, so beautiful that we always day dream about returning… Whether you’re doing the washing up, going to work or cleaning your car, we all have those moments where we fantasise about a tropical paradise to escape to!
Here at www.CRUISE.co.uk we couldn’t help but sit and think about some of the world’s quietest corners to visit to explore the world’s wonders, indulge in the local foods and cultures or simply kick back and relax on the sand…
So read on for our brand new Bucket List selection of tropical spots to escape to!
Disclaimer: This article may inspire wanderlust and lead to you booking a much needed holiday straight away. You have been warned!
Iguazu Falls (South America)
Deep in the jungles of South America you’ll find the incredible Iguazu Falls. They lie in the split between Brazil and Argentina inside Iguacu National Park (which has apparently been appointed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984). For a once in a lifetime experience, head to the spectacular Devils Throat observation point.
Stand on the edge of the walkway and you’ll be blown away by the sheer size of the hundreds of waterfalls stretching along the splits edge for 3km. All around you will be the sounds of the rainforest teaming with a whole host of wildlife as well as the crashing of the cascading water.
Niagara falls, watch out!
Read more about how to experience this tropical paradise here!
Halong Bay (Vietnam)
Halong Bay encapsulates the idyllic picture of paradise with azure water dotted with hundreds of tiny little islands. The weird, wonky, abstract rock shapes are formed by fierce wind literally carving the rock down to strange lumps and formations sticking out of the sea. The silent rock formations don’t hold much life – just acres of quiet, tropical shrubbery.
Sailing around these formations is as relaxing as it gets, and there are plenty of ways to explore the water channels around these mini oases.
This quiet spot can also discovered by kayak and our top tip would be to visit in late afternoon to see the area lit up in sunshine before watching night descend and create an eerie, spooky atmosphere around the bay. Alternatively, spend the night in a traditional Junk Ship and sail around the floating islands by moonlight. We promise it will be a magical experience!
Find out more about trips to Halong Bay here.
Tauranga (New Zealand)
Next on your bucket list should be Tauranga, the largest city in the Bay Of Plenty. We admit, you’ve probably never heard of it, but this city is just 15 minutes from one of the best beaches in the world. The award winning Maunganui Beach is every tired cruisers paradise, with yellow sands, rockpools, plenty of sunbathing space, nearby shops and cafes and the best bit? It’s always fairly quiet, and is rarely packed in the summer months.
Travel a little further inland and you’ll find the almost hidden Kaiate Falls. At the end of a ten minute walk you’ll stumble across a secluded waterfall with three falls and a series of pools waiting for you to dive in!
If nature is more your thing you’ll also be able to go sailing, diving and dolphin watching in the bay. Sign us up already!
Browse cruises that travel to this area of New Zealand here.
Lake Louise (Banff)
Visiting Lake Louise in winter and summer is like visiting two different worlds. In winter you’ll be surrounded by snow as you enjoy your favourite winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding or sledding whilst in summer when the snow has melted you’ll be in a world of natural beauty where you can go camping, climbing or canoeing.
If you stand just outside Chateau Lake Louise you’ll be greeted by this spectacular view of the lake framed by forest and surrounding glaciers. (Just imagine yourself on the rock instead!)
The bright blue lake itself is a stunning highlight for most, whilst others come to enjoy the abundance of warm lodges with hot chocolate, beer and that great Canadian hospitality.
In winter the lake also hosts an annual Ice Magic Festival where competitors can join in an ice carving challenge. Get your ice pick ready!
You can read more about venturing to Lake Louise here.
Floating Markets Of The Mekong
Forget markets that you’ve scoured in Marrakesh or even Beijing, the markets of the Mekong will be like nothing you’ve seen before. Set upon a literal sea of boats, the markets sprawl along the tops of every boat, dingy and shakily floating vessel in sight. Even the houses around here float on top of the water or sit upon stilts in a world that has literally made the water its home.
It’s an amazing experience to see all the brightly coloured produce sold by the eager, deal savvy vendors. You should arrive early to buy the best local produce including fresh soup, fruit and fish dishes.
Some of the more unusual items sold on the water include lottery tickets, unusual meat (which could really be almost anything…) and alien looking breakfast dishes, all of which are rapidly traded early in the day.
Often missed by guests who are more interested scuttling straight off to the nearby Machu Picchu, Cusco is a spot not to be missed by those who love discovering the culture, traditions and wild landscapes of their destinations.
Locals call Cusco the “belly button of the world” because of its central location between historical ruins, other towns, valleys, and ancient unchanging landscapes.
What few people know is that Cusco also offers great food (we’d recommend the Peruvian steak although we’d probably skip the local delicacy of guinea pig!) and is close to the stunning Sacred Valley which is well worth your afternoon exploration.
Whilst visiting you should also remember that this city stands a 3,400m above sea level – so give yourself a while to acclimatise before you start sipping those beers in the evening!
You can find out more about journeys to Peru here.
Ubud Monkey Forest (Bali)
Finally, the Indiana Jones in us all dreams about exploring far flung forests that have barely been touched by man. In Bali, you can do this and explore an area that has had only one very permanent resident – the monkeys! Fans of snow monkeys, (and come on, who doesn’t dream of meeting one of these snow monkeys?) will jump at the chance to explore an ancient forest that has been home to the crab-eating macaques for thousands of years.
The forest also plays host to a series of small Hindu temples that have quietly carried out traditional ceremonies in this sanctuary since 1350. Elsewhere the forest is clear of people, with only the monkeys, trees and thousands of species of plants for company!
So would you want to sail to any of these destinations? Have you been to any of them before? Are there any destinations you would like to see added to the list? Let us know in the comments below…