Explore these incredible countries, go offline and enjoy living in the moment
“Did you see that?” I hear my mom trying to get my attention as we’re cruising on a boat off the coast of Florida. “No, what happened?” I respond with excitement, lifting my head up from staring down at my phone. “There were two dolphins playing in the distance and one of them jumped out of the water, but I can’t see them anymore,” she explains. “No! I can’t believe I missed that!” goes my disappointed reaction.
Dolphins are one of my most cherished animals and I would’ve given anything to rewind time and see what occurred just a few moments ago. But I didn’t because apparently posting a new picture on social media was more important than embracing that experience with my family.
A similar situation might sound familiar, especially that it’s hard to imagine nowadays going on a vacation without sharing our trip online instantly. Our dedication, however, to sharing often costs us actually living in the moment. We miss the most important things of the holiday, which is to go offline and switch off from home.
When you’re thinking about filters, captions and hashtags, your mind becomes more concerned about what your friends and followers will think than the fact that it’s your vacation to enjoy. If you miss a moment, a movement or too blind to appreciate what’s right in front of you, keep this one thing in mind: You can’t go back in time, so make the most of the present. When you’re on vacation, enjoy the experience instead of looking for the perfect Instagram shot.
Here’re three adventures including stunning sights, glamorous glacial lakes and exotic lands in the Caribbean and South America that are perfect for unplugging from technology and leaving your phone in airplane mode.
Chile — Patagonia Torres Del Paine National Park and the Atacama Desert
Travel near the southernmost tip of the Earth in South America to explore Chile and its beautifully versatile landscape from deserts to glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Through different programs of the travel agency Cascada Expediciones, you can choose from several adventures, one of which is to visit the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia and stay at the EcoCamp luxury resort.
It’s the world’s first geodesic dome hotel which has won several awards for its sustainable design. Far away from city lights, the domes and their window ceilings provide the perfect opportunity to explore the night sky and fall asleep under the stars.
By the way, it’s wifi-free giving you the perfect opportunity to unplug. There’s so much to see and experience that scrolling on your phone will be the last on your mind.
The different hikes include visiting the Valle Frances (French Valley), stepping on a hanging bridge and marveling at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations such as the Hoja (Blade), Espada (Sword) and Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin). There’re walks to crystalline clear glacial lakes that reflect the surrounding mountains and a boat trip to the facade of Glacier Grey, a six-kilometer wide and over 30-meter high glacier wall.
It might sound like a frosty vacation, but Chile isn’t all snow and mountains. While the south can be icy at times, the north is dry. The Atacama Desert is considered to be the driest place on earth and rain is rare most times of the year. Nevertheless, its terrain is breathtaking as you embark on a journey through salt plains, geysers, volcanoes, and cultural history. One of the stops is the Laguna Chaxa, a lagoon in the middle of the Atacama Salt Flat, home to beautiful Chilean and Andean flamingoes.
Whether you enjoy cooler temperatures and an icy scenery or want to see the driest place on Earth and the amazing Geysers of Tatio in action, Chilean landscape offers adventures that are very rare around the globe and will leave you with one-of-a-kind memories to share…when you get home.
Jade Mountain, St Lucia
If you ever wondered whether there’s paradise on Earth, I think we just found it. Jade Mountain Resort was voted “Best Caribbean Resort” by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2017 and will easily take your breath away.
The scenery of the Caribbean coastline resembles a view from a magical world. The resort lies on a lush 600-acre estate overlooking a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Gros and Petit Pitons, 2,500-foot twin volcanoes. Don’t even bother staying in a room. Here you’ll have an entire sanctuary starting at 1,400 square feet where the bedroom, living area and the incredible private infinity pool glide into one another to form extraordinary platforms. The design of the sanctuaries reflects a tropical ambiance with hardwood flooring and an eclectic choice of furniture.
You could spend your days in complete luxury, having meals catered to your doorstep, but there’s a whole new world to explore. Trek in the rainforest, visit botanical gardens and a volcano where you can literally drive right into the crater and walk between the bubbling Sulfur springs. Have you tried a mud bath before? Here’s your chance. These are all within easy reach. Plus, there are deep sea fishing excursions, boat shopping trips to the capital, and hiking tours up Gros Piton mountain.
A holiday at Jade Mountain invites you into a world of wonders and will prove to be an escape from reality…and technology.
From Machu Picchu through the Amazon Jungle in Peru
Embark on a journey through altitudes and time in Peru as you travel from the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu through the exotic lowlands of the Amazon. One of Intrepid Travel’s trips will take you from a UNESCO World Heritage Site embedded in a dramatic landscape between the eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Basin, to the world’s most remarkable jungle.
Machu Picchu is among the utmost artistic, architectural achievements in the world and the most significant tangible legacy of the Incas. Walking among the ruins of 15th century villages, you’ll encounter the charm of historic towns and discover the heart and soul of the Inca civilization. And once you begin your descending journey towards the Peruvian Amazon, you’ll find an exotic flora and fauna in this incredible jungle. It’s one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth, providing home to more than 400 species of mammals and more than 3,000 species of butterflies. From magnificent cities to world-renowned natural wonders, this trip shows you all corners of Peru.