Last updated on: Oct 11, 2021
In this era of social distancing, an outdoor escape is the way to go. In fact, adventure and outdoor travel will drive the recovery of the travel industry. Though travel to some of these places might currently be out of reach, here are a few of my favorite outdoor escapes that will make amazing places to visit and revisit once tourism resumes in the future.
Costa Rica is am eco-friendly jungle paradise and the ultimate place for an outdoor escape. It’s one of the greenest places I’ve ever been, and by that, I also mean eco-friendly.
There are so many coastal and mountain towns to spend time in and countless outdoor activities to do. If you seek beaches, you can have it. If you seek adventure, you can have that, too!
There are so many amazing places to stay in Costa Rica. For all-inclusive resorts, Riu Hotels has several of them near Liberia such as Riu Palace Costa Rica.
Las Catalinas is a modern, resort community offering upscale accommodation, dining, and activities. It’s a great place to stay with a small group and if you prefer not to stay in a large resort.
Casa Chameleon is perhaps the most well-known hotel in the region. This adults-only hotel has been named one of the Top 100 hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure.
Tamarindo Beach is a popular place to stay and offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and activities, unlike some other resort areas, which are more remote. JW Marriott Guanacaste and the W Costa Rica are just a few properties nearby.
While Morocco is known for its dazzling cities, it has some equally incredible landscapes from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert
Staying overnight at a luxury desert camp is a truly magical experience. Getting to the Merzouga Desert takes about 8 to 9 hours driving from Marrakech, so the best use of time is to stop at other points of interest along the way, including Ait-Ben-Haddou in Ouarzazate.
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One of the best ways to experience the Sahara is to stay in a luxury glamping location such as Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp.
This luxury camp of ten tents is set in the heart of the desert and offers a variety of activities, including camel rids, sandboarding, visits to Bedouin villages, and romantic dining under starlit skies.
With such unbelievable waterfalls; dramatic cliffs; massive glaciers; and active volcanoes, visiting Iceland makes the perfect outdoor escape.
The Golden Circle, South Coast, and the Blue Lagoon are among the most popular attractions, and for good reason. There are so many picturesque landscapes, gorgeous waterfalls, and black-sand beaches, too.
Related post: How to Spend 7 Amazing Summer Days in Iceland
Located just outside Hella, Fagrebrekka Guesthouse is four-cottage property offering beautiful views of the Icelandic countryside. Each cottage has a large deck and modern Nordic decor.
Peru is definitely a bucket-list destination with gorgeous mountain backdrops, ancient ruins, vibrant cities, and fantastic food.
While Machu Picchu is a major tourist attraction, the country has so much more to offer, including historic sites in Cusco and wonders like the Nazca Lines and Rainbow Mountain.
For a true glamping experience, Titicaca Lodge Peru offers a serene stay on a floating island.
Related post: Glamping at Titicaca Lodge Peru
Sedona is such a lovely place! There’s something calming about the region, and maybe it’s the vortexes, which are said to promote healing and meditation.
If doing an outdoor escape in Sedona, you should aim for a minimum of five days to explore this amazing place. With tons of beautiful red rock vistas, hiking is a must.
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For a truly fine stay, check into the L’Auberge de Sedona, Casa Sedona Inn, Hyatt Residence Club Pinon Pointe, or the Hilton Sedona. With in-room fireplaces and stunning views, you won’t want to leave your room.
While I may be a bit biased living in the “DMV”, the region has a lot to offer outdoor lovers, from the Atlantic Coast to the Shenandoah Valley.
There’s even a wine country and so much history, and it’s all accessible within a six-hour drive.
Within Southwest Virginia, there are a ton of beautiful trails for hikers of all ages, including Cascade Falls Trailhead, Peaks of Otter, Smith Mountain Lake, The Channels Natural Area Preserve, Natural Bridge State Park, and Natural Tunnel State Park.
Related post: 5 Best Scenic Hikes in Virginia for Families
There are so many places to stay in the Virginia Blue Ridge region. The Inn at River Bend is an ideal place to stay when visiting Cascade Falls Trailhead in the Jefferson National Forest.
You could also rent a number of luxury yurts that are set within the Shenandoah Valley.
For visits to Smith Mountain Lake, browse the Smith Mountain Lake Vacation Rentals site.
Blessed with amazing cities and gorgeous coasts, South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Given the prevalence of wildlife, the country is a popular place to go on safari, and seeing animals in their natural habitat is far more exciting than any zoo.
Related post: Safari Clothing Guide
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is home to 24 luxury lodges. Offering the ultimate glamping experience, you can often spot animals from your room.
Here is a list of lodges on the reserve:
The Atacama Desert is the highest nonpolar desert in the world and one of the driest places on earth. It’s often used as the location for films featuring the planet Mars, because the landscapes are so otherworldly.
Though San Pedro de Atacama, the main tourist town, reminded me of the ‘Wild Wild West’, it’s a step beyond old saloons and corrals. The town has a number of amazing and intimate boutique hotels and wonderful places to eat, from café-style to bonfire style.
I also loved shopping in the markets, and while I bought many items, I wanted to bring home more!
Related post: Things to Do in the Atacama Desert
While Bolivia is not a popular international tourist destination, the landscapes are epic.
Places like the Uyuni Salt Flats, look like they’re from another planet. The diversity of topography is boundless in Bolivia.
Related post: The Best Way to Take an Uyuni Salt Flats Tour
Opened in 2019, Kachi Lodge is the most luxurious address in Uyuni. This five-star property offers glamping igloos located directly on the salt flats.
Known as the bungee jump capital of the world, New Zealand is synonymous with adventure.
Though the two main islands of New Zealand, the North and South Islands, are very much well known, New Zealand actually comprises more than 600 smaller islands.
The country is full of beautiful fjords, sounds, mountains, lakes, glaciers, and rivers.
On the North Island, take a trip to the beautiful Lake Taupo region. Located in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano, Lake Tahoe is the largest lake in New Zealand. Lake Taupo Lodge and Hilton Lake Taupo
On the South Island, there’s no shortage of luxury accommodation in Queenstown, the gateway town to Milford Sound. Azur and Hulbert House are among the most upscale accommodations, and of course the views are lovely.
Have you taken any of these outdoor escapes? Tell us in the comments!