June 01, 2020 — By Alessandra Motola

Dreams of a Getaway: 8 Destinations We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Stuck inside but daydreaming about your next journey or favorite past vacation? We can relate! With encouraging signs of reopening beginning in various stages across the globe, our itch to get out and discover remains as strong as ever. Lately, Blue Parallel staff have been “wander-lusting” about many luxurious adventures in our destinations across Latin America and the Mediterranean. Below, we will outline (in no particular order) eight delightful excursions found in various Blue Parallel destinations that we just can’t shake from our dreams.

Swimming in the San Blas Islands

Just off the coast of Panama lie 365 small remote islands, coated in coconut palms and white sand beaches. With Blue Parallel, you will discover these unique isles with your captain and crew on a private catamaran, dotting from island-to-island at a whim’s notice. Spend your days exploring the remarkably remote paradise and learn first hand the culture of the Guna, an indigenous people of the San Blas who embrace a deep connection with their customs (the Guna maintain one of the most well-preserved indigenous cultures in all of Latin America). In our dreams, we find ourselves enjoying a peaceful sunset swim after cocktail hour on the private catamaran.

Downhill Biking in the Atlas Mountains

A certain benefit of the quarantine has been time to relax and unwind. But on days we find ourselves most restless and ready for some heart-pumping activity and adventure, we dream of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. With Blue Parallel, enjoy an active downhill biking excursion, coasting over the red clay formations with a jaw-dropping background of the Atlas Mountains soaring above. As you enter the Toubkal National Park, home to the highest peak of North Africa, you will be biking practically alone in the remote and isolated valley. After stopping to enjoy an afternoon tea in the home of a local Berber family, return to your hotel – Richard Branson’s luxurious Kasbah Tamadot – and relax with a soothing hammam treatment. Afterward, we recommend a dip in Kasbah Tamadot’s legendary infinity pool, with views facing the marvelous Atlas Mountains themselves.

Sandboarding in the Atacama Desert

When the views of out the window get old, we find ourselves dreaming of places so remote they feel they don’t belong on planet earth. Perhaps no other destination rings more true in this sense than the other-worldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. The Atacama Desert is known as the driest place in the world (apart from the Poles), and the oasis community of San Pedro de Atacama lies at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level. With your private guide, embark on a delightful trek along the top of the cordillera which provides panoramic views of San Pedro, the salt flats, and the snow-capped Andean mountains that stretch up to 19,000 feet. Before returning to your luxurious lodge, descend the iconic dunes of the Mars Valley with an exhilarating sandboard ride.

Salsa Dancing in Cartagena

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone and into the local culture is one of the many joys of traveling. As we daydream of new adventures, we are inspired to move a bit – and remembering the moves of Colombian salsa dancing certainly come to mind! While in the beautiful colonial coastal city of Cartagena, take part in a private salsa class with a professional salsa teacher. Enjoy dancing these intricate and fun moves as you learn from the experts, all in the comfort of a privately owned 16th century home. In the evening, enjoy dinner out at one of Cartagena’s fantastic restaurants and sip on a traditional rum cocktail before continuing to a top salsa club in the city to witness the professionals. If you feel inspired, try some of your new moves yourself! Afterward, lay your head to rest in your luxurious hotel located conveniently in the heart of the old city center of Cartagena.

Going for a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

With fairy chimneys and pillars, river valleys and cliffs, Turkey’s Cappadocia region is certainly a dream-like destination. Initially shaped by volcanic eruption and erosion, locals worked the already-stunning landscapes into a remarkable network of underground tunnels thousands of years ago. From above, the endless valleys and breathtaking geological formations, coupled with the site of other floating hot air balloons, is truly a bucket-list experience. After your private hot air balloon ride, for the more active we recommend visiting the expansive and lush Ihlara Valley for some hiking. Afterward, return to relax in your historic lodging, the Museum Hotel, located right in the restored ruins of the houses and caves of an ancient cliffside village in Cappadocia.

White Water Rafting in Costa Rica

Craving an adrenaline rush? Rio Pacuare in Costa Rica offers some of the best white water rafting in all of Latin America, and perhaps the best part is you can raft directly to your luxury lodge in the middle of the rainforest. Upon arrival into the Pacuare region, you will be greeted by your host who will take you to the river to board your raft and embark on a 1 hour 30-minute private rafting expedition. This exhilarating rafting trek is over 4 miles and through class-II and class-III rapids. Upon arrival at your lodge, enjoy a welcome drink before retreating to your riverfront bungalow surrounded by lush tropical foliage, located on the banks of the Pacuare River, for some much-deserved rest before you continue your Costa Rican adventure.

Ice Trekking in Patagonia

No visit to Patagonia is complete without marveling in awe of Patagonia’s magnificent glaciers, and perhaps no glacier is more inspiring than the massive Perito Moreno, located in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. The Perito Moreno glacier is unusual in that it is advancing (not retreating!) and produces a cyclic phenomenon of forward and backward movement, with spectacular ice ruptures from its frontal walls which jut out 200 feet above the water. Your guide will accompany you across the glacial lake to the face of the glacier, where you will be fitted for crampons and begin your thrilling ice trek. This unique hike will introduce you to the captivating landscape of the glaciers, including small lagoons, crevasses, and various ice formations in distinct shades of blue. After the ice trek, return to solid land and enjoy a private picnic perched in front of the glacier itself. After lunch, continue to explore the myriad of catwalks on foot to fully appreciate all sides of the Perito Moreno, before returning to your luxury lodge located in the remote Patagonian steppe – time for a much-deserved glass of Argentine malbec.

Sea Kayaking in the Adriatic Coast

For those that dream of time out on the water, rowing in kayaks around the old city walls is a unique way to get acquainted with Dubrovnik from the sea. The magnificent 16th-century walls that famously surround Dubrovnik,  rising from the sea against the view of the old harbor, make for an unforgettable sight. After paddling around the walls, you will reach the hidden cave beach Betina, located close to the city, and enjoy time to relax and sunbathe. From there, head back to your luxury hotel located right along the water overlooking Dubrovnik Old Town.

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