Desert Vs ice; an adventure travel showdown
The expert team at Rainbow Tours have put their heads together with the Travel Specialists at our sister company, Regent Holidays, to bring you a collection of some of our top trips.
For this pick, we’re all about pushing your holiday to the extremes – literally. It’s time for a showdown. We’re pitting the hottest and driest destinations against the chilliest.
From traversing the sand dunes of the Namib Desert to skirting glaciers off the coast of Greenland, the following pick of epic adventures combine off-the-beaten-track travel with some of Mother Nature’s greatest climatic extremes.
Desert or Ice – which would you pick?
Perito Moreno Glacier, Chile & Argentina
The stunning landscapes of Argentine and Chilean Patagonia are crowned by staggering natural ice features, from the jagged peaks of ice-topped Torres del Paine to the immense Perito Moreno Glacier. After exploring lively Buenos Aires, journey through the Argentine Lake District to Chile, to trek around the granite towers that erupt from the ground in Torres del Paine and roam vast stretches of rugged Patagonian steppe. Sidle up to the Perito Moreno Glacier for the chance to see the ice calve on a boat safari.
Sossusvlei Desert, Namibia
The winding, hippo-hiding waterways of Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the rust red sands of the Namib Desert make a fearsome combination. Combine the two on a journey through Botswana and Namibia; after taking traditional mokoro canoe rides through the Okavango region, move north to Namibia and embark on game drives through Etosha National Park. Camp in Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei and some of the world’s largest sand dunes and search for ancient engravings and rock formations in Twyfelfontein.
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland
As the name suggests, the arctic nation of Iceland is naturally armed and ready for chill-ready, thrill-seeking visitors. Great icebergs float in Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon overlooked by Europe’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull and the geothermal wonders of the Golden Circle – Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur geysir and Gullfoss waterfall – wait in driving distance from Reykjavik. During the winter months spend evenings in search of the natural light show; the aurora borealis flickers across the dark night skies and the remote volcanic countryside provides the perfect viewing point.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The boundless horizons and uninterrupted skies stretching out to the heavens above Chile’s Atacama Desert make for world-class stargazing. Lunar Altiplano landscapes, endless salt pans and lagoons await travellers who adore the great outdoors. Soak weary muscles in the geothermal pools near the towering El Taito Geysers before trading the Atacama Desert for Chile’s Lake District. Here, landscapes studded with azure lakes and active volcanoes set the scene for time spent hiking and horse riding.
Gobi Desert, Mongolia
The rolling steppe, endless grassland and sand dunes that sing in the wind which cover Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, remain home to nomadic yurt-dwelling communities, Ger camps and ancient Buddhist temples. Travel by 4WD and stay in traditional Ger camps, discovering Mongolia on an 8-day tour and journeying through history in a country where nomad life has barely changed for centuries. From echoes of Mongolia’s Communist era in Ulaanbaatar, visit the Flaming Cliffs at Bayanzag and discover 10th century ruins in Middle Gobi.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Torres Del Paine is the poster boy for Chilean Patagonia. At the foot of soaring granite mountains, vast glaciers cleave and icebergs drift in clear blue lakes, skirted by hiking trails and walking routes. After exploring the major historical sites of Spanish colonial Santiago, overlooked by the majestic snow-capped Andes, spend two nights on Chiloe Island to roam the lush hills of the north and the dense forested wilderness in the south. After walking, rafting and kayaking through the Lake District finish the trip by hiking through the Torres Del Paine National Park.
Discover this fascinating area through this splendours of Patagonia tour.