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The word “graceful” is not the first I’d use to describe myself. Though I strive to keep in shape, I stick to activities like cycling and running that allow minimal falling and bruising. Still, ever the adventurer, I jumped at a chance to surf in Costa Rica, a country I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. It didn’t cross my mind until I got on the plane, bikini and flip-flops in tow, that I may end up making a total fool of myself. Read more
This whiskered mug (shown at right) was my last hurrah on Kauai before it was time to board a plane bound for covert Nextpedition destination #2.
Considering that I’m obsessed with any adorable wild creature – let alone one that waddles from the surf onto the beach before my very feet – this, I decided, was going to be a tough surprise act to follow.
When the plane’s wheels rolled down the runway in Honolulu, I have to admit that I still wasn’t entirely convinced that the second leg of my mystery trip could possibly live up to the past four days.
If you think adventure travel is just for the younger set, think again: A growing segment of senior travelers are looking to amp up their next trip with some adrenaline and adventure. And increasingly, tour operators are targeting this valuable demographic.
Case in point: Consider the incredible “Your Age is Your Discount” offered by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality Resorts for six eco-luxe properties in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Back by popular demand, the promo works like this: The age of the oldest traveler in the room equals the percentage discount off the total hotel room rate.
In general, Australians have a reputation as being well-traveled folks. Sally Fitzgibbons, a native of Genoa, is no different – but the 20-year-old has an enviable reason for globetrotting: her career as a professional surfer. The Roxy-sponsored athlete recently claimed her third win of the 2011 surfing season with the trophy at the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour in Huntington Beach, CA, becoming the youngest and fastest surfer – male or female – to ever qualify for the ASP World Tour.
Here, Fitzgibbons speaks to ShermansTravel about her favorite surfing spots around the globe and some of her travel secrets.
Even with newfangled GPS gadgetry out there in increasing numbers, a good, old-fashioned map remains a staple for any self-respecting adventure traveler.
To that end, the National Geographic Society, the gold-standard source for maps for nearly a century, recently announced plans to expand its AdventureMaps line. The expansion will bring travelers a slew of new options for finding their way in increasingly popular adventure destinations such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand. Countries and cities in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Asia, and Europe are also on deck for a total of 60 new destinations by the end of 2012, and 30 more by summer of next year.
In June, futbol fans from all over the world will flood South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. No doubt that many visitors will incorporate a safari – an item on many an adventure junkie’s wish list – into their soccer-centric trip. Our advice? Kick off your own South African adventure now. You’ll score some great deals at newly built and nearly vacant hotels before the crowds pile in, and restaurants and attractions will be equally welcoming of ahead-of-the-rush guests. And if you’re not game for a safari, there there are plent of other endorphin-heavy options:
This outdoor-pursuits mecca offers adrenaline opportunities that can quicken the pulse of even the most calloused traveler. The seriously brave should consider a nail-biting dive among great white sharks (don’t worry; you’re in a cage) with Apex Shark Expeditions, which has worked with the likes of Discovery Channel, Planet Earth and National Geographic. Spotting a shark is also possible during a sea kayaking tour, though you’re probably more likely to see penguins. Overcome a fear of heights by rappelling down Table Mountain, a prominent landmark where you’ll work your way back down from 3,000 feet above sea level (Table Mountain has oodles of hiking options, too.). Visit our Cape Town Travel Guide for more trip-planning resources.
Adventurous travelers should consider booking this action-packed excursion to Costa Rica, available throughout 2009. The Volcanoes & Surf itinerary kicks off in San Jose then heads up through the mountains to Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. When night falls, your group will hike around the volcano for an unforgettable experience. Other tour highlights include the chance to hone your surf skills at the Zopilote Surf Camp on Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific coast with several days spent at the Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde, a bird lover’s paradise. Rates for this exciting GAP Adventures tour start at $749 per person.
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