5 Alternative Summer Holidays with TravelLocal
The ‘buy local’ expert in tailor-made holidays, TravelLocal allows independent travellers to explore under-the-radar destinations all over the world, putting them in direct contact with tried-and-trusted travel companies to develop exciting bespoke itineraries.
Pioneering a new way to explore the world, TravelLocal not only delivers to travellers direct access to on-the-ground expertise from regional experts, ensuring a much fairer deal for local suppliers, but also makes undiscovered gems accessible to its UK customer base via local know-how.
Here are TravelLocal’s top five unusual summer trips, packed with adrenalin-based activities, little-known beaches, authentic food and unfamiliar sightseeing spots. These trips are just a taster of TravelLocal’s offering, and all can be tailored in any way to suit different interests and budgets.
Caving, lobster festivals and ancient Mayan temples? You’d better Belize it
The Central American idyll of Belize is small but packs a punch, encompassing steamy jungle, wildlife-rich national parks, ancient cities, vibrantly hued coral reef and palm-fringed Caribbean coastline.
In June and July it is less crowded than high season, with cheaper airfares too; if visitors can cope with cooling morning rain showers, which wash away humidity, they’ll be rewarded with glorious sunshine and highs of up to 30 degrees C. June and July also mark the start of the lobster season; festivals in towns all around the country – such as San Pedro and Placencia – mark the occasion by putting on live reggae music, plus lobster beauty pageants and copious ways of serving up the delectable crustacean in dishes including ceviche, thermidor, curry and chowder.
On this adventure-packed ten-day tour, visit buzzing San Ignacio to explore incredible underworld realms in the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves, Caracol to hike jagged forested peaks and explore Mayan temples, and San Pedro to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays in a marine reserve.
This 10-day tour costs from £2,860 pp, including nine nights’ accommodation.*
Take the kids to Kenya
When the all-new live-action adaption of The Lion King arrives in UK cinemas on 19 July, children will be wilder than ever to meet the actual creatures the movie characters are based on. And not only the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo – but also warthogs, baboons and zebras, to name but a few.
Witnessing unique and endangered animals in their natural habitat is a travel experience that many parents undoubtedly want their children to have. This comprehensive two-week Kenyan adventure ticks all the safari boxes, with plenty for children and adults to enjoy together, including wildlife spotting in the arid lands of the north, learning how to track wild animals, fishing with a traditional line, farm visits to a working cattle ranch, swimming in waterfalls and snorkelling in the Lamu archipelago.
Travelling from late July to early October, families will be lucky enough to be present for the famous Wildebeest Migration as it reaches the Maasai Mara, before the animals return to Tanzania in October. Accommodation is in a series of fun and comfortable wildlife eco-lodges and farm cottages, as well as a private home on the banks of the Mara River.
This two-week tour costs from £3,600 per adult and £2,660 per child under 16 for a family of four (two sharing), including 14 nights’ accommodation.*
Magical medinas, Berber brunches and mountain mules – family Morocco tour
Get a truly authentic taste of Moroccan culture in the summer months, when high temperatures keep the crowds away but excursions in the cooler early mornings and late afternoons allow for refreshing pool and spa time during the heat of the day.
Kids and adults alike will love watching the acrobats and storytellers in Marrakech’s El Fnaa Square, visiting a Berber family in the High Atlas Mountains, seeing dinosaur footprints at Rabat, windsurfing in Essaouira and swimming with barbary monkeys in the pools of the Cascades d’Ouzoud waterfall.
This 10-day tour costs from £920 per adult and £782 per child under 16 for a family of four (two sharing), including nine nights’ accommodation.
Live the wild life in Vietnam
TravelLocal’s secret Vietnam tip is that it’s best to travel from March to September, when airfares are lower and the hordes stay away, leaving warm, dry (albeit humid) days to those in the know. It’s a fantastic time, too, to explore the country’s national parks at their lushest, with flora and fauna at their best.
Bathe in cool waterfall pools, spot black bears, monkeys, flying vampire frogs and up to 300 varieties of orchid in the little-visited Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, go hiking and mountain biking in Cat Tien National Park, take a solar-powered boat ride to Tram Chim National Park and go fishing on the lotus fields with locals.
This 10-day tour costs from £1,080 pp, including nine nights’ accommodation.*
Coffee and archaeology tour of Colombia
Discover the lush landscapes, ancient treasures and traditional way of life in central Colombia’s coffee region. Begin in vibrant Bogotá for some urban exploration, then take a domestic flight to the high Andean town of Popayán, gateway to the Cauca region and home to whitewashed colonial architecture, historic churches and the famous indigenous Silvia Market.
In San Agustín, the UNESCO Archaeological Park is one of the most important sites in Colombia, with 500 stone carved figures covering an enormous expanse of green hills. Little is known about their origin but they are believed to be the work of a mysterious ancient culture that flourished between the first and eighth centuries BC.
Passing through the Tatacoa Desert, travel to the coffee region and stay at a rustic hacienda overlooking the Quindio River, where two days of coffee tours, tastings and traditional village visits await.
This 10-day tour costs from £1,780 pp, including nine nights’ accommodation.*
* Prices are based on two sharing. TravelLocal trips include B&B accommodation, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. Travel to the destination is not included, giving more flexibility and allowing customers to book their flights via points schemes if preferred.
For more information, or to plan a tailor-made trip to suit your personal interests and to match your budget, call TravelLocal on +44 (0)117 325 7898 or visit www.travellocal.com.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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