Into The Blue
Cave diving in the Bahamas
For the truly adventurous, diving down into the huge vertical caves known as blue holes in the crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas is an experience that will be carved in your memory forever. Known as one of the world’s most dangerous diving sites, these cathedral-like underwater caves were originally formed from limestone, each filled with tight passageways lined with fossil and ancient formations. Weave through stalagmite forests past 10,000-year-old rock structures in Dan’s Cave on Abaco Island and you might just come across prehistoric fossils of now-extinct creatures. Of the 1,000 or more blue holes in the Bahamas, less than 20 per cent have been explored – a statistic that makes these caves all the more mysteriously enticing. If the claustrophobia and the dark don’t put you off, then a cave dive here will certainly make for an eerie and life-affirming adventure.
Where to Stay
End your diving adventure with a relaxing stay at Tiamo Resort on South Andros Island. Accessible only by seaplane or boat, this boutique eco resort offers a slice of Caribbean tranquility. With only 11 minimalist, designer villas, choose from ocean-front accommodation or the backdrop of a tropical ambiance, for a holiday that’s exceptionally private. With a long stretch of private beach running around the hotel, and a focus on personal and utterly discreet service, Tiamo cultivates the joy of being anonymous and is so untouched it’ll make you feel like you own the entire island.
Tiamo Resort: http://www.tiamoresorts.com/
Photo Courtesy of Tiamo Resort
Volcano-hopping in Indonesia
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country, and is the go-to destination for the most memorable mountain climb of your life. One of our favourites, and perhaps the most beautiful in the world, Mount Rinjani is located on the island of Lombok. Measuring an impressive 3,726 metres tall, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano is also known for its magnificent views and the beautiful azure-blue lake that surrounds it. For the full experience, opt for the 17-day trek from Volcano Adventures crossing Java from West to East, ending in Bali. Throughout, you’ll come across some of Indonesia’s most active (Gunung Agung) and highest (Mount Semeru) volcanoes.
Where to Stay
Rest your feet and mind with a stay at the spectacular Hanging Gardens Ubud. Surrounded by ancient trees on the edge of a densely forested valley, each of the property’s 38 villas cling to the mountainside and offer magnificent views over the lush jungle below. The main attraction, and also competing for best vantage point, is the resort’s signature infinity pool. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, it is one of the most photographed pools in the world, and sits against a geometric wall of solidified volcanic ash, suspended over a tropical rainforest.
Hanging Gardens Ubud: http://hanginggardensubud.com/
Photo Courtesy of Hanging Gardens Ubud
Living On The Edge
Cliff Camping in Colorado
Open 24-hours, 365 days a year, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, United States, is over 1,000 square kilometres of pure alpine awesomeness. Offering everything from rock climbing to horse riding, coyote spotting and an endless choice of hiking trails, the most extreme way to experience this place is through cliff camping. Best accompanied by a professional guide (we recommend Kent Mountain Adventure Center), embark on a hike through thick pine forests until you emerge onto the base of a cliff. It’s here where you’ll set up your portal edge – or deployable hanging tents – along the ledge of the mountain. Suspended 150 metres above the ground, overlooking the lights of Estes Park (the biggest town in the Rockies), this is sure to be a tale to tell the grandchildren.
Where to Stay
Recuperate from what has to be the most exhilarating experience of your life with a stay at Dunton Hot Springs in San Juan Mountains. Located in a former mining town, it’s not an easy place to find, but that’s half the appeal; a one-hour plane ride from Denver to Durango, followed by a two-hour drive to the Hot Springs – it’s a journey that is worth every moment. Consisting of 12 cosy cabins, the hotel harks back to another time. Hand-hewn log cabins, saloon restaurants set against an alpine valley and a waterfall – there’s simply no better way to unwind and disconnect after your epic adventure. And for those that want to relive their mammoth mountainside exploits, the hotel even has its own climbing wall.
Dunton Hot Springs: http://duntonhotsprings.com/
Photo Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs