Whether you’ve braved the quarantine quagmire or haven’t set foot on a plane in two years, we’re all looking to 2022 with high hopes! With borders gradually opening, what better way to put our travel frustrations at ease than by making some holiday plans? Here, the team from luxury tour operator Lightfoot Travel share some exciting (and remote!) destinations to keep on the radar for your travel bucket list for the year ahead.
5 Far-flung Destinations for Your 2022 Holiday Travel Planner
A country that has thus far managed to escape the backpacking tourist trail that has crisscrossed its way over the Indian subcontinent, Bhutan is, in a word, magical. With staggering Himalayan peaks, meandering valleys and crystal-clear rivers, the landscapes will take your breath away. What’s more, with over 75 percent of its population being Buddhist, this is also an extremely tranquil place. Casual walkers can take to the myriad of trails, avid trekkers can opt for some of the overnight camping treks, and cyclists will love the twisty roads that link the undulating valleys. Make sure to enquire about the various festivals, as that is also something that should not be missed. Whether you’re staying at one of the exquisite lodges by Aman, Six Senses or COMO, or in a family owned hotel a little more off the beaten path, Bhutan will steal your heart.
Peru, perched on the western edge of Latin America, packs a big punch when it comes to offering something for every type of traveller. Starting with culture, you can witness firsthand how communities of the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca live a tough subsistence lifestyle high up in the Andes, visiting weaving cooperatives that are empowering local women to set up businesses and provide for their families and communities. Ancient history is visible across the country, too, from ruins in central Lima and Machu Picchu, to Peru’s little-explored north. When it comes to adventure, there’s superb river rafting, horse riding, surfing, mountain biking and excellent hiking. A foodie’s delight, Peru’s sheer diversity provides everything from the freshest ceviche and market experiences with chefs, to world-class gastronomy in Lima’s high-end restaurants. Finally, wildlife enthusiasts can jungle trek to seek out giant river otters, macaws and sloths amongst other species, or venture down the remote Amazon aboard a luxury expedition vessel.
The region of Finnish Lapland makes up about one third of Finland’s total area, but it’s home to just over three percent of the population, with as many reindeer roaming the area as people. It’s also the official home of Santa Claus, making it particularly exciting for families! Other outdoor winter activities include snowmobiling, husky sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing and skiing. The Sami people are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia living in areas around the Arctic Circle region. Reindeer herding, fishing, hunting and small-scale farming are all considered to be part of the traditional lifestyle, and a trip to Finnish Lapland should include some Sami experiences to learn more about their traditions. Oh, and if the sky is dark and clear during a trip, there’s a good chance of enjoying the magical Northern Lights – a true bucket-list experience for many!
Fiji tops our list of island destinations to visit from Hong Kong next year. While the country is known for its exclusive resorts and luxurious private islands, you need to venture outside your beach villa for a taste of what the country is really about. Water babies will love the diving, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking. Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at white water rafting, skydiving or bouncing through rugged jungle terrain in a buggy. Nature lovers can explore rainforests, mangroves, river gorges, waterfalls and hidden swimming holes. And from June to October, majestic humpback whales frolic through Fijian waters creating a true natural spectacle. In addition to all of this, though, the country’s real charm comes from the Fijian people with their warmth, openness and unique culture that is a blend of Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, Indian, Chinese and European influences.
Often overshadowed by neighbouring safari destinations South Africa and Botswana, Namibia boasts some of the most remote and spectacular lodges and landscapes in Africa. Twice the size of France and home to just three million people, it’s full of vast open spaces where solitude and social distancing were things long before COVID came calling. This is a country with an incredible diversity of scenery including desert, mountain, wild coastline (the Skeleton Coast is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world), salt pans and wetlands – all easy to combine in one itinerary. The unique desert-adapted wildlife – from the desert rhino to the oryx – is unlike anything you’ll find throughout the rest of Africa. And, last but not least, there are some fantastic conservation projects such as the Save the Rhino Trust and the AfriCat Foundation, which guests can get involved in long after they’ve returned home.
Lightfoot Travel is a luxury tour operator specialising in tailor-made travel to countries spanning all seven continents; to book your holiday visit lightfoottravel.com or call 6438 4091 to speak with a destination specialist.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.