Every year, millions of puffins visit the Faroe Islands to breed and nest on land. The cuddly looking creatures are actually sea birds of prey and spend most of their lives on the water, so getting a chance to see them up close is a real treat. On Mykines island, huge colonies of puffins occupy the sea-facing hillside, where they dig burrows for their young and dive into the ocean to fish. Hike along scenic trails to see these incredible birds as they go about their daily lives.
As home to the largest population of wild mountain gorillas, Rwanda is a wildlife enthusiast's dream. The apes live in groups, led by a male silverback, and inhabit densely forested mountain slopes in Rwanda. Guided hikes in these lush tropical jungles allow visitors an in-depth glimpse at the lives of these highly intelligent and endangered creatures. Observe interactions between family members, watch them as they forage for food, and you’ll notice uncanny similarities between gentle gorillas and humans.
In a remote corner of the Russian Tundra, Okymakon is a tiny collection of homes with a rather distinct claim to fame. This is the coldest inhabited place in the world, where temperatures often hover around -40C and the landscape is a frozen blanket of white. Just a few hundred miles from the Arctic Circle, the city is an entirely different world, where locals are swathed in fur coats and reindeer forms a major part of the diet.
In the heart of Namibia, an endless expanse of pink and orange sand extends far into the horizon, ever-shifting with the wind and forming some of the highest sand dunes in the world. The Namib Desert is an ancient, remote landscape, and at its very heart is Sossusvlei - home to starry African night skies and graceful Oryx. Watching the sun’s last rays paint this magical landscape golden is an unforgettable sight.
A diverse country with more than a 1000 tribes and over 800 known languages, Papua New Guinea’s cultural fabric is rich and colourful. Traveling around the country offers fascinating insights into unique customs, like the skin scarification of the crocodile people on the Sepik River or the mud-mask-wearing, bow-and-arrow-wielding Asaro tribesmen. Tribal festivals are some of Papua New Guinea’s most celebrated events, and participating in a vibrant celebration is an unforgettable experience.
Thousands of forest-covered islands are scattered in the turquoise waters where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. Raja Ampat is a tropical dream - unparalleled marine life and vibrant coral reefs, secret coves and secluded bays, along with some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. Swim with manta rays in the waters off the ‘Four Kings’ or kayak amidst the mangroves of Mioskan Bay, listen to birdsong in lush rainforest or sail through pristine waters aboard a luxury yacht.
A volcanic island in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island remains shrouded in mystery even today. The Chilean territory is best known for its odd collection of over 800 stone statues called Moais, but no one quite knows why these were created or how they were transported all over the island. Regardless, exploring Rapa Nui is a fascinating experience. The grassy slopes are dotted with monolithic statues sculpted in the shape of gigantic human heads, estimated to date back to the 16th-century or even earlier.
The vast wilderness of Mongolia is a breathtaking mirage of shifting sands and red cliffs, exotic wildlife and green mountains. The ever-changing landscapes of the Gobi often take visitors by surprise. Picture nomadic people traversing the singing sand dunes of Hongoryn Els, named for the music they emit when the wind blows. Wind through the craggy juniper-clad peaks of the Gobian Altai, with icy streams and bone-eating vultures. And don’t miss the red sandstone spires of the Flaming Cliffs, where dinosaur eggs were found as recently as 1923.
At 5,897 metres, Cotopaxi is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. A magnificent snow-capped crater and perfectly symmetrical cone rises out of a plateau, offering some of the most stunning views of the Andes. Climbing Cotopaxi is challenging but extremely rewarding, especially for seasoned mountaineers. The surrounding national park offers grand views of the volcanoes, as well as several easy biking and hiking trails through local vegetation and ancient Incan ruins.
Sir Richard Branson's 74-acre private island defines unparalleled luxury. A remote isle part of the unspoiled British Virgin Islands, Necker Island has fabulous al fresco spaces with unrivalled views of the Caribbean, free roaming wildlife like flamingos, tortoises and lemurs, palm-fringed pools and some of the most glorious beaches in the world. Guests can book the entire island for a truly exclusive getaway, or choose to rent out individual villas during select weeks in the year.