Exploring The Exotic And Unusual
For many of us, travelling is about experiencing something new, going somewhere exciting and getting a taste of the exotic. There are certainly plenty of places around the globe where this is possible – if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next break, check out our recommendations for places where you can see or do something unusual.
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail is one of the world’s most famous and popular hiking trails, but don’t let this put you off. This is a wonderful choice if you’re after a mixture of amazing scenery, incredible nature and fascinating culture.
Most people take four days for this hike, ending up at Machu Picchu, the most impressive of the remaining Inca sites. However, if you want to take a little longer on your Inca Trail tour you can book a space on one of the trips that leads you through some beautifully unspoilt parts of the Andes before linking up with the main trail.
This is a great choice if you’re keen to spend some time in the stunning Andean scenery with no one else around. You will have two days of hiking on little used routes that were also part of the Inca’s network of trails, as well as the usual four days of walking past various Inca ruins on the way to Machu Picchu.
Grand Canyon, USA
There are few natural attractions that are quite as spectacular as the Grand Canyon. Although you’ve probably seen it in countless films and on the pages of travel magazines, nothing will quite prepare you for its sheer scale.
Standing on the cliff edge looking down into this vast scar across the American landscape is truly breathtaking, with the gorge stretching as far as the eye can see towards the horizon. Of course, simply looking at the Grand Canyon from above is not enough to get a sense of its true beauty – you also need to descend into it.
There are various hiking tours that will take you on walks around the canyon’s rim, as well as leading you down its steep sides to the bottom, where you can appreciate the majesty of the copper-coloured walls from their base.
Mount Roraima, Venezuela
Mount Roraima in Venezuela is one of the country’s table mountains, which juts up out of the surrounding rainforest, and its exotic and otherworldly appearance is often enhanced by the mist that shrouds its slopes.
Climbing to the top of this tepui, as the flat-topped mountains are called by the locals, is a fantastic experience and one that will certainly make you feel as though you’re a million miles from everyday life. At the summit are bizarre-shaped rock formations, while the views on a clear day are outstanding.
On the way up and down, you’ll also have the chance to hike through areas of pristine rainforest, where there’s the opportunity to spot a range of exotic creatures, such as black frogs, hummingbirds and coatimundis. The plantlife is also very unusual, with a host of carnivorous species located at the top of the tepui, including pitcher plants and sundews.
As well as visiting Mount Roraima, many tours in Venezuela will also take you to see the spectacular Angel Falls, where the water cascades over 900 m down and plunges into a deep gorge at the base of the mountain where the waterfall originates.