A glampers' guide to the Glastonbury Music Festival

By Fred Jéquier

Somerset, England, is famous for its rolling hills, sleepy towns and villages, and some great cider. But every June, thousands of people make their way to the quiet county for a wholly different reason. Since 1970, Glastonbury Music Festival has been a mecca for music and contemporary art fans across the world. With rock acts, such as T-Rex and Rage Against the Machine, Britpop favorites like Blur and Oasis, hip hop represented by the likes of Jay-Z, Divas in the form of Beyoncé, and country legends like Johnny Cash all gracing the world-renowned Pyramid Stage, the race is on to reserve a place at this iconic annual event the moment tickets are released.

Photo from Festicket.

The 2019 festival is no exception to previous years, with a plethora of new and established artists getting ready to play in front of thousands of fans, hoping to make their way into the annals of Glastonbury folklore like so many before them. Bands, such as The Killers, The Cure, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, and Wu-Tang Clan are just some of the many artists that fans can look forward to seeing this year.

To make your festival going experience as fun and hassle-free as possible, we've created the ultimate glampers' guide for the Glastonbury Music Festival.

Location, location, location

Despite being named after the historic town of Glastonbury, the festival itself is not actually in the town. The festival is held on Michael Eavis' family-owned Worthy Farm, which lies on the edge of the idyllic village of Pilton. You might be thinking that the last thing a small village in the West Country would want is over 100,000 people descending upon them for the biggest party of the summer. However, the villagers are allotted a certain amount of free tickets each year, which I'm sure we all can agree is both right and proper!

Photo from Geograph.

How to get there

With at least 135,000 people expected to make their way to Worthy Farm this summer, it is hardly surprising that getting there will prove to be an event in and of itself. The A303, the road connecting the West Country to the rest of Southern England, gets busy around Glastonbury and Pilton in the days leading up to the festival, so your best bet is to take the train to Castle Cary, the nearest station to both Pilton and the festival site. In fact, Castle Cary has become so synonymous with the festival that the station received an official dedication as "Castle Cary, Station of the Glastonbury Festival" in April of this year.

Photo from Somerset Live.

National Rail Enquiries has regular updates on departures and arrivals at all of the U.K.'s train stations, and for ease, there is a free app for your phone. Once you arrive at the station, there are shuttle buses to take festivalgoers to the site, which is about six miles from Castle Cary.

Food and drink

We're sure if you've ever been to a festival, you've had your fair share of overpriced, yet underwhelming, food. The last thing you want when you're in need of energy is bland and boring food, and thankfully, the stalls at Glastonbury this year promise to be anything but. Here are a few examples of food stalls that are sure to get your taste buds zinging before you head to the main stage and your ears start ringing.

1. Paellaria

Founded by four friends over 10 years ago, Paellaria cooks up various types of paella with some delicious, bold flavors, bright colors, and pretty generous portions. This is sure to fill you up before you head out on your next festival adventure.

2. Anna Mae's

Based in London, the Anna Mae's stall serves up mac 'n' cheese, the perfect comfort food after a day on your feet. Expect a load of cheese and a range of tasty sauces.

3. Biff's Jack Shack

Biff's Jack Shack is the perfect place to indulge in some junk food with a twist. With an entirely vegan menu, everyone can enjoy their stunning burgers and range of vegan fried chicken dishes. Biff's Jack Shack is gaining popularity as they hone their craft, so don't be surprised to see them at several other festivals this year, too.

4. "Food For A Fiver"

There's no getting away from the fact that at festivals, we often pay a premium for food and drink. The organizers at Glastonbury have teamed up with various vendors to provide affordable food for festivalgoers on a budget. Participating stalls all carry the "Food For A Fiver" sticker, and you can look forward to drink deals, meal deals, and even smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, and cakes.

Photo from NME.

What to bring

There are certain items that we always need to pack when getting ready for a festival. Beyond the obvious items, such as a tent and a roll mat, thanks to British summers being somewhat unpredictable, there are obviously a few essentials that you'll need to remember so you're ready for all eventualities.

Photo from GlastoFestFeed.

1. Wellies

All it takes is a couple of hours of rain, and the whole site can end up covered in wet mud. Wellies are a real must to keep your feet dry and your mood bright through any rainy weather. There's nothing worse than going for a three-day camping trip and having to endure soggy socks and damp trainers.

Photo from The Independent.

2. Portable phone charger

It happens to all of us. It's the final night of the festival, and half of the group want to see The Killers, but the rest of the group want to head to the other side of the site to watch The Chemical Brothers. Once the sets are done, you need to find the rest of the group so you can enjoy the rest of the festival together, but after a whole day, your phone will inevitably be running low. Thankfully, there are numerous portable phone chargers of varying sizes and prices to choose from, so you can rest assured that you'll be able to find the rest of your group when the time comes.

3. Reusable water bottle

After the festival has come to an end, and everyone has made their way home to hot showers and comfy beds, the work for the organizers is not yet over. The end of the festival means the start of the clean-up, and over the years, there has been an enormous amount of rubbish to be disposed of. After 1.3 million bottles of water were bought at the festival in 2017, the organizers decided to ban plastic water bottles, so you will need to bring your own. There are free water stations throughout the site, so you can fill them up while going from stage to stage.


If you enjoy festivals but want to avoid muddy campsites, check out some of our great festival glamping sites!

Travel Guide: California's wine regions

By Eric Wright

Over 200 years ago, Franciscan missionaries, led by Spanish priest Saint Junípero Serra, started the first Roman Catholic mission to California—Mission San Diego de Alcalá—and the future of The Golden State was altered forever. Along with planting palm trees to provide palm fronds for Palm Sunday, wine was needed for communion, leading to the first sustained vineyard. Serra went on to found a further eight California missions earning himself the nickname "Father of California Wine."

Although wine production continued to steadily grow in the region, marketing became a problem for Southern California winemakers during the mid-1900s until a blind tasting competition was held in Paris in 1976. The panel of French wine experts selected three of the Californian Chardonnays in the top four, shocking the wine community and effectively opening up the U.S wine market to the world.

Nowadays, California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, with thousands of vineyards shipping up to 250 million cases throughout the globe annually. The winding country roads and elegant wineries attract visitors from all over the world—providing a getaway full of good food, quaint towns, and of course, fine wines!

Before you go and good to know

Getting there and around

Whether you're heading up north to check out the vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Mendocino Anderson Valley or making your way south in search of Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), and Sacramento (SMF) airports all offer a great central starting point to explore California's wine regions.

Most visitors to the area rent a car at the airport upon arrival, and with the charming country lanes and great year-round weather, cruising around with the windows down and a favorite tune on the stereo is sure to be a highlight in this idyllic region.

Culture

Events

Apart from world-renowned wines, California's wine country is full of rich history, imaginative artistry, and unforgettable aerial exploits. Napa Valley's centuries-old settlements offer a fascinating afternoon while the plazas in town showcase curious Napa ARTwalk exhibitions. During June, the Country Summer Music Festival boasts some of the countries best musicians, while the Beerfest fundraiser in Santa Rosa provides a mouthwatering respite for the lager lovers in the group.

For a truly magical experience, rising up through the clouds over the stunningly beautiful meadows and valleys in a hot air balloon will make for the perfect end to the vacation.

Food and drink

With literally thousands of options for wine tasting in the region, it's important to keep those stomachs full and content while roadtripping through the scenic meadows. The customary cheese board may leave you feeling a bit peckish, so a visit to a high-end Michelin star restaurant or a traditional farm-to-table experience may be on the cards.

Some highlights in the area include Kenzo Napa, a sushi restaurant in Napa that is led by three-Michelin-starred chef Hiroyuki Kanda; Guiso Latin Fusion in Healdsburg with its Caribbean and Salvadorian mix; St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa with its multi-course small dishes and wine pairings; and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton that offers locally-sourced farm-to-table meals.

Places to visit

1. Anderson Valley in Mendocino

With over 90 wineries, an incredible variety of grapes, and sustainable eco-friendly and organic practices, the progressive winemakers and tasting rooms of Mendocino County offer a less crowded and more wallet-friendly alternative to the more well-known Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Just a two-hour drive north of San Fransisco on Highway 101 through Sonoma County and forested hillsides will lead you to Anderson Valley, famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Alsace varieties of Pinot Gris and Riesling.

One of the premier spots to savor refined Pinot Noirs is Goldeneye Winery in Philo, which offers seated wine tastings from just $15, as well as more personalized experiences, such as elevated tasting sessions, bubbles and caviar, and a guided wine tour of the estate.

The friendly, small-town atmosphere in the area means that visitors can often expect to find themselves chatting with the founder of the winery while enjoying a wine tasting for as little as $5! One such family-owned winery is Foursight Wines in Booneville, which the Charles family has owned since 1943. Other stops include Balo Vineyards with its relaxed atmosphere; Drew Family Cellars tasting rooms; and the father-and-son-run Baxter Winery that boasts a reputable Pinot Noir.

2. Napa Valley

Generally regarded as one of the premier winemaking regions in the world, Napa Valley's fertile soil and pleasant year-round weather allow for top-quality wine grapes to thrive here. Commercial wine production in the area dates all the way back to the 1800s, although it wasn't until the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that the area's fine wines received global recognition.

Today, some 5 million people visit the over 400 wineries every year, allowing vacationers to sip some award-winning wines while soaking in the stunning vineyard views and vibrant sunshine. Whether its fruity Merlots, full-bodied Cabernets, or superior Chardonnays you're looking for, the tasting rooms at Darioush Winery, Chateau Montelena, V.Sattui Winery, Luna Vineyards, and Andretti Winery offer an eclectic mix of celebrity-run wineries, modern estates, and grand châteaus—all while serving some of the best wines found anywhere in the world.

With the valley floor spanning just five miles across and 30 miles at its longest point, Napa Valley is actually one of the smallest winemaking regions, in addition to being one of the most famous, making it the ideal day trip. When touring the gorgeous estates and vineyards, be sure to try a glass of the renowned king of Napa, the prized Cabernet Sauvignon!

3. Sonoma Valley

Less than an hour's drive from Napa, Sonoma Valley is home to over 80 wineries and picture-perfect vineyards that sprawl over 10,000 acres of land. Heralded as the birthplace of California's commercial wine industry in the 1850s, visitors to this fabulous spot can experience a wine-tasting afternoon at Gundlach Bundschu, the state's oldest continuously family-run winery that was founded back in 1858.

The Carneros wine region in the south abounds with top-notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Syrah and regional white varietals, such as Roussanne and Marsanne, are also becoming popular in the quaint tasting rooms. Traveling on past the Boyes Hot Springs puts you in the mountainous terrain of Glen Ellen, where old-vine Zinfandel has been grown since the 1850s.

A visit to Sonoma wouldn't be complete without a trip to Buena Vista Winery, the oldest commercial winery in California founded in 1857. Other top stops in the area include Ravenswood Winery with its superb Zinfandel; Benziger Winery with its stunning setting in an impressive volcanic bowl; and the picturesque, 16,000-square-foot Ledson Winery inspired by French Normandy.

Those looking for some small town charm shouldn't miss the chance to wander the adorable streets of Healdsburg, with its eclectic shops, buzzing art galleries, and top-notch restaurants and bars. Set between three of the premier wine-growing regions in the area—the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley—Healdsburg makes for the perfect Sonoma Valley pit stop.

4. Santa Cruz Mountains

Encompassing approximately 480,000 acres and 1,300 acres of wine grapes, the majestic ridges and coastal mountains of Santa Cruz create the ideal microclimate for world-class wine production. An iconic drive from San Fransisco along an epic 50-mile stretch of towering peaks and endless ocean will lead you to this special terrain that is home to over 70 wineries.

Santa Cruz itself is a charming coastal town, surrounded by soaring redwoods and full of stylish boutiques and eateries. The city even enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year! Winding country roads make their way up from the coast to the mountainous wine region, where Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir tastings can be enjoyed at former mill, Storrs Winery, or Pelican Ranch, which has some of the best Burgundy and Rhone-style varietals in the area.

These quiet hillsides are dotted with small vineyards just waiting to be explored like Ridge Vineyards, generally regarded as one of the best in the area; the MJA Vineyards Tasting Room, with its racy selection of wines, such as "Still Horny," "French Kiss," and "Sweet Thang"; and Storrs Winery & Vineyards, which offers Pinot Noir varietals, including Dijon and Pommard, as well as French varietals like Burgundy.

With so many tasting rooms and vineyards to discover in this unique region, it's advisable to allow a few days to truly soak up the mellow atmosphere of the mountainous wine country, as well as the boho-chic vibe and stunning coastline of the city of Santa Cruz.

5. Paso Robles

Home to more than 200 wineries, the enchanting area of Paso Robles is easily accessible from both Los Angeles and San Francisco via the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The area abounds with wines made from grapes originally grown in Rhône, France, including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne, with Cabernet Sauvignon increasingly gaining in popularity. The optimal grape-growing conditions found here are thanks to the best day-to-night temperature swing in California, which brings with it a long growing season, unique microclimates, and a variety of soil types.

Wine aficionados are spoiled for choice with the selection of tasting rooms to explore, and the expansive river valley floodplains and boundless slopes offer brilliant driving conditions. One of the top winemakers to visit is Justin Winery, with its 25 vintages, including Isosceles—owner Justin Baldwin's interpretation of a big Bordeaux,, which was named in the top 10 wines on the planet in 2000 by Wine Spectator.

Other unmissable stops include the gorgeous Bianchi Winery, California's Zinfandel Champion in 2014; the romantic Villa San Juliette, owned by American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe; Halter Ranch, with its sustainably farmed Rhône and Bordeaux wines; and Eberle Winery and its incredible wine cave!

The town of Paso Robles town itself has a laid-back atmosphere, with a strong wild west soul. After some quality wine tasting during the day, visitors can head over to the Vina Robles Amphitheater for some live music; dine at some farm-to-table restaurants, such as Thomas Hill Organics; or crack open a cold one at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. while listening to local bands.

6. Santa Barbara

The unique geography and mild climate of Santa Barbara's wine country make the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys two of the most beautiful wine producing regions in the world. The perfect location of "America's Riviera" means that visitors can enjoy the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, all while having world-class surfing and stunning coastlines at just 30 minutes away.

The rolling hills of Santa Barbara wine country can be found nestled between two epic mountain ranges, rising up to 3,400 feet, and the most popular wines made here include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Within the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard spans over 900 acres and is renowned for its top class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while the 77,000 acres of the Santa Ynez Valley are known for their Bordeaux blends, Rhône blends, and Zinfandels, as well as a crisp Sauvignon Blanc at Brander Vineyard, which offers tastings seven days a week.

Some other highlights in the area include Presqu'ile Winery, located in the north, with its beautiful tasting rooms and sweeping view; Municipal Winemakers, which offers a casual, beach vibe; Brander Vineyard and its ongoing quest for the perfect Sauvignon blanc; and Rusack Vineyards, a boutique vinyeard with seemingly endless fields of gorgeous vines amid the natural beauty of Ballard Canyon.


Debating where to stay in California's Wine Country? Let us help you out—click here!

Travel Guide: The Netherlands

By Eleanor Stanesby

Located in northwestern Europe, the Netherlands is best known for its interconnected canals, fields of tulips, and iconic windmills. This flat and low-elevation country borders Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea, and everything you'll stumble upon is bound to be picturesque...the famous cities, the quaint towns, and even the beaches! Approximately 15 million tourists visit the Netherlands each year, yearning to be immersed in its modern culture and relaxed way of life.

We've created this travel guide to give you some top tips on how to have the best trip possible in this famed European country!

Good to know before you go

Getting there and getting around

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main international airport in the Netherlands and the third largest in Europe. If you're planning on traveling to the Netherlands from outside of Europe, this airport puts you just 6 kilometers away from the busy capital of Amsterdam. Conveniently accessed by train, Dutch Railways has a service that goes directly to Amsterdam Central Station, allowing you to access all that the city has to offer in just 15 minutes.

City Travel

Photo from SmarterTravel.

The public transportation here is second to none—ranked fourth in the world!—and is the best way to travel with ease, both inside the cities and across the country. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and experience the Netherlands' cycling culture.

Biking around the city is truly the best mode of travel, not only for viewing the city, but also to skirt around quickly. You are sure to see thousands of them on your trip, but be sure to keep an eye out when crossing the roads, as it's likely a bike will becoming your way instead of a car! A bike can be rented for anywhere from 10€ to 40€ per day, depending on how long you're renting for and from which shop.

Cross-country travel

Photo from EuRail.

Traveling across the country is made easy, thanks to Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the national railway, which connects almost every town in the nation and boasts over 400 stations. To cover long distances, the high-speed trains are recommended, as they allow you to get to a different city or town very quickly. The prices are dependent upon how far you're traveling—the further you go, the more expensive! Be sure to snag a window seat to enjoy the serene views of the Dutch countryside.

The most effective way to travel on trains is to buy a 7.50€ OV-chipkaart that you can use for all trains in the Netherlands. The card acts as the ticket and can be topped up at the machines that are conveniently located at every station. As you start your journey, swipe in at the barriers and swipe out when you arrive at your destination; this calculates your route and deducts the correct amount from your card.

Useful phrases

Culture


Food and drink

One of the best experiences of visiting a new country is tasting all the different foods and drinks it has to offer. The Netherlands has a very traditional way of cooking and serving food, and every dish you try is guaranteed to be hearty and wholesome, with ingredients grown by skillful farmers or freshly caught on the coast. Stamppot is the traditional dish usually eaten on a cold winter's day: a mix of mashed potatoes, kale, carrots, sauerkraut, and rookworst sausage.

Religion

The Netherlands is one of the most secular countries in the world, with just over half of the population not identifying as being of any religion. The most predominant religion, however, is Roman Catholicism, dating back to the 16th century.

Events

The tulip festival Amsterdam. Photo from TulipsinHolland.

The Tulip festival in Amsterdam sees the streets being filled with vibrant colors every which way you glance. The tulip is the symbol of the Netherlands dating back to the 17th century and the Ottoman empire, withstanding economic impact for the country, both historically and in present day.

Amsterdam celebrates this through the thousands of tulips throughout the city, diverse in both color and variation. The motto of the annual Tulip Festival is "A tulip for every citizen," and there are 85 locations around the city that boast over 500,000 flowers total. The unique sea of colors create natural beauty in the middle of a built-up city and is not a sight to be missed.

Places to visit

Most people visiting the Netherlands head straight for Amsterdam. While it's definitely a city you'll want to check off your bucket list, make sure to hit up other cities to experience even more of the Dutch culture, architecture, and artistic jewels.

The Hague

Head to The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, for a number of sites rich in history and politics. If your heading there in summer, even better, as you'll get to relax on the serene beaches lining the coast of the North Sea.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam is far from a traditional Dutch city. After being destroyed in WWII, it was rebuilt with a totally unique architecture. You can check out the unconventional cubed houses and the city's art scene, both on the street and in the museums. This is sure to be different from anything else you will visit on your travels in the Netherlands!

Outside the city

If big cities aren't your forte, make sure to check out the incredible natural sites scattered throughout the Netherlands, ensuring a more tranquil sightseeing experience.

Hoge Veluwe National Park

Photo from Planetware.

Become acquainted with nature in the largest continuous nature reserve the country has to offer. The landscape is so diverse that you can choose to either hike or cycle, all while looking out for the abundant wildlife the park holds.

The Windmills of Kinderdijk

Photo from Holland.com.

Located in the wetlands of Dordrecht—the oldest city in Holland—these windmills were built in 1740 to help control flooding. Now declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the long-standing windmills are one of the most photographed places in the whole country.

The Garden of Europe

Nicked name "The Garden of Europe," Keukenhof is the world's largest flower garden. The garden holds more than 7 million flowers all diverse in color, lining streams and waterfalls. A peaceful meander of this vibrant landscape sounds heavenly for a little bit of relaxation.

Safety while abroad

Luckily, the Netherlands is one of the safest countries in Europe. You can never be too careful, though, and adequately preparing before visiting a new country makes travel plans a lot smoother.

Visas

The worry of traveling to different countries can be the long-winded visa processes and documentation. The Netherlands, however, is a Schengen country, which means traveling there is made straightforward for most.

Due to the Netherlands forming part of this agreement, the country is completely visa-free. This means American, Australian, and Canadian citizens can visit without obtaining a visa, as long as their stay does not exceed 90 days. EU citizens also have the freedom of travel without the hassle of any visa processes.

What you'll need:

  • Valid Passport
  • Documentation with purpose of stay and proof of sufficient financial means

Any citizens traveling from one of the other 25 Schengen countries are granted free movement, with no internal borders in the whole of this area!

These are our top tips, but don't forget to consult your home country's government websites for updates on travel and more information:

Health and Safety

  • The European emergency number is 112 and will connect anyone to the police, fire department, or to an ambulance.
  • There is safe and drinkable tap water throughout the country.
  • No vaccines are required in order to travel to the Netherlands.

Where to stay

Vacation in this modern cabin just outside the city of Amsterdam.

Be truly immersed in nature with a stay at this pod rental in Veluwezoom National Park.

Keep exploring on Glamping Hub to find some unique accommodations for your stay in the Netherlands! Don't forget to check out our other travel guides for more top tips for other destinations, too.

Travel Guide: Rio de Janeiro

By Mikaela Amundson

Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant gem on the eastern coast of Brazil, drawing 2.8 million international tourists each year. With 80 kilometers of beaches, countless natural wonders, and a strong sense of culture, Rio is a dream getaway. This large metro area, with 12 million residents, is located in the southeastern part of Brazil, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, on Guanabara Bay. Surrounded by mountains, ocean, forests, and more, a visit to Rio is a nature-lover's paradise, while still allowing you to turn to the city for music, dancing, food, and festivals for an amazing cultural time.

With so much to do and see, we've created a travel guide so you can experience it all. Read on and see what's waiting for you in Rio!

A view of Rio de Janeiro and it's most iconic landmark: the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado.

Good to know before you go

Getting there and around

Galeão International Airport, otherwise known as Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, has international connections with 19 other countries, as well as domestic flights within Brazil. Located conveniently on the island of Galeão right in the bay, this airport is accessible and super convenient.

Within the city, buses are the main form of public transportation, along with Rio's three subway lines and 60 Bike Rio bicycle sharing stations. Public transportation in Rio is extremely affordable, with bus rides costing only $3.80 reals (BRL), or $1 USD. Rio also boasts the Santa Teresa Tram, the oldest operating electric tram in all of South America, which is a popular tourist activity.

Useful Phrases

Culture

Food and drink

What better way to see a city than to eat your way through it? Try some of the street food that Brazil is known for, like pão de queijo (cheese bread), picanha, cassava chips, and feijoada—Brazil’s national dish. Açaí, the mega-popular, millennial smoothie ingredient, originates from the Amazon and is available all over Rio, especially by the beach. Have a pastel for breakfast from the local market, commonly filled with meat, cheese, and other tasty treats. Sardines are the most popular fish in Rio and are best served grilled with lime.

Events

When you think of Rio, you immediately think of its most famous event—Carnaval. This six-day party, which culminates the day before Lent begins, is known for it's outrageous costumes, parade floats, and all-night celebrations. Rio is said to have the largest carnival celebration in the world and draws insanely large crowds.

The largest parade is held at the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, a huge amphitheater that seats 90,000 people, all craning to see the outlandish parade floats and scores of dancers and musicians. Local neighborhood groups, which are called "samba schools," put together displays and parade down through the Sambadrome with music, dancing, and celebrations for huge cheering crowds. Outside the "samba parades," there are rowdy street fairs near Ipanema, lavish balls at Copacabana, and other parties just about everywhere you turn.

Other than Carnaval, New Year's Eve is a huge celebration at Copacabana Beach. Dressed all in white, people crowd the beaches for shows, music, dancing, and an enormous fireworks display. It also wouldn't be complete without the traditional spraying of champagne at midnight!

Religion

The majority of the population of Rio is Christian, with the larger part of that identifying as catholic, which stems from the country's Spanish and Portuguese roots. Catholicism traveled to these colonies in the early 16th century, when the city of Rio de Janeiro was established.

Places to visit

Ipanema

Voted the best city beach in the world by CNN in 2012, Ipanema is famed for more than just the woman in Frank Sinatra's legendary song. This beach has surfing, perfect sand, walking trails, and amazing sunset views—all within walking distance of the city.

Copacabana

Another location enshrined in song with local bossa nova flair, Copacabana is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Rio. It's famous, crescent-shaped beach and lovely boardwalk lined with mosaics are loved by locals and visitors alike.

Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado

At almost 100 feet tall and perched atop the most visible mountain the Rio, this iconic statue has become a symbol both for the city and Brazil as a country. Accessible only by train, visiting Christ the Redeemer, named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World," is a must-see.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Another remarkable natural feature within the city, Sugarloaf Mountain offers unbeatable views of the bay, the city, and the ocean. Named after piles of sugar cane exported out of the country in the 16th century, this peak is accessible by cable car and known as the best view in all of Rio.

Tijuca National Park

The world's first urban forest and an UNESCO Environmental Reserve, Tijuaca is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. Offering super accessible hiking, view points, waterfalls, and wildlife, this park is an easy drive from the city and shouldn't be missed.

Outside the city

Large sprawling parks abound outside of Rio, like Juarez Frotté Municipal Park, offering waterfalls, rainforest views, and hiking—a total nature immersion for adventurous travelers.

Stay in this rainforest suite to be close to hiking trails, waterfalls, and amazing nature views.

Remote beaches are also a must-do in this area of Brazil, and Paraty-Mirim Beach is one of our favorites. With gorgeous sand, tropical fjords, and amazing lookouts, this area is a perfect spot for a getaway.

Immerse yourself in the rainforest from this amazing hut near the beach—complete with an outdoor bathtub.

Safety and essentials

Health

  • The CDC recommends typhoid, malaria, and yellow fever vaccinations for those traveling to Brazil, especially if planning to head into the forest or other natural areas.
  • Mosquitoes are common and can carry harmful diseases. When traveling out in forested areas, wear long pants and sleeves and bring along a strong insect repellent.

Visas

Brazil's visa requirements are reciprocal, so if your country requires Brazilian citizens to obtain one for your home country, then you need one to visit Brazil. U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens need to obtain visas in advance for tourism purposes, but U.K., New Zealand, French, and German citizens do not.

Safety

  • Important emergency numbers are 190 for Police, 193 for Fire and Ambulance, and 021 for Tourist Police.
  • Tap water may be safe to drink in larger cities but is generally known to taste awful. In remote areas, the water quality is questionable. We recommend that you stick to bottled or boiled water only.
  • Be cautious of petty crime and theft. Walk with purpose and in groups, don't carry large amounts of cash, and always stay alert.

Remember to always consult your home country's travel agencies and websites for more information, too:

Rio awaits!

Armed with this guide, you're now ready to get on out there and explore Rio and the surrounding area. Whether you choose to celebrate Carnaval or go hiking in the Amazon, you're bound to have an amazing time—enjoy!




Keep exploring on Glamping Hub to find your perfect Brazilian getaway! Be sure to check out a few of our other guides here and here for even more options.

Travel Guide: Banff National Park

By Amber Woolley

Banff National Park is home to sensational mountains, vast, white glaciers, stunning alpine meadows, and an abundance of wildlife. Located in Alberta in the Rocky Mountains, this is Canada's first-ever National Park, and it's quite amazing. From a quaint peaceful town with plenty of restaurants and boutiques to an array of outdoor activities, Banff is one place that is never short on adventure. Since this breathtaking place has so much to offer, we don't want you to miss out on any opportunities, so we've created a travel guide to make your trip even more spectacular.

Good to know before you go

Getting there and around

If you are flying in, Calgary, in Alberta, is the main city and the easiest way to get to Banff National Park. Calgary International Airport (YYC) is 88 miles from the charming town of Banff, which will take you approximately 1.5 hours to reach by car. You can also get to Banff and Lake Louise by the readily-available local bus services for around $71 per person.

If you want to travel to Banff by direct train and fancy traveling in style, it is recommended you take the Rocky Mountaineer—where you can uncover this hidden world of unparalleled beauty and experience incredible views of the Canadian Rockies.

The best way to get around Banff National Park is to drive your own car or rent one from a car rental service. It is also important you pick up a park pass, which can be purchased upon entry to the park or in advance online.

For those wanting a truly relaxing getaway where they can focus solely on the incredible scenery, public transport runs throughout the park, making travel from one beautiful spot to the next completely stress-free. Roam is a regular hybrid bus service and you can find out more information here.

Useful Facts

Popular spots you don't want to miss

Every destination in Banff National Park is beautiful and it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.

Upper Hot Springs

Banff Upper Hot Springs
Photo sourced from Banff and Lake Louise.

First, we'll begin with the discovery that led to the development of Banff National Park: the hot springs. These were discovered in 1883 by three railway workers looking for healing and wellness. The Upper Hot Springs are one of nine naturally occurring hot springs at Banff. You will experience a striking and scenic backdrop while unwinding in steamy, hot mineral water—sure to be a highlight of your vacation!

Bow Falls

Another popular destination that can't be missed is Bow Falls, which is within walking distance from Banff. The stunning waterfall is shallow, but wide, and is caused by the change of course in the Bow River. Enjoy the view, take a picnic, or hike along the trail by the side of the falls.

Banff Gondola

Fancy a thrill? The Banff Gondola is a must! Experience a 360-degree, bird's eye view of six scenic mountain ranges from 7,486 feet above sea level! This scenic cableway ride will provide beautiful mountain vistas in every direction and will take you up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

Trip savvy: Activities on a budget

Visiting Banff doesn't have to be a costly trip; being in the heart of Canada's most renowned park is sufficient enough! Banff National Park is not short of low-cost and free activities that you should definitely take advantage of.

Wildlife viewing

When you step into Banff National Park, the chances are very high that you'll catch a glimpse of a grizzly bear, a mountain goat, or one of the many amazing bird species in the area. Wildlife viewing is also a perfect and exciting activity that can be done with the whole family and is completely free.

Sometimes, it really does help to know the right spot and the right time to be there. Here are some tips to optimize your chances:

1. Choose a quiet area. You have a higher chance of spotting wildlife if there are fewer tourists. A good recommendation is Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A), which is a less-traveled road. Typically, this is where you will find wolves, black bears, deer, and sheep.

2. Search at the right time. Yes, you probably guessed, this means early mornings. Animals are more likely to be feeding at lower levels. If you are not an early riser, the next optimal time is just before dusk.

3. Be respectful and keep your distance. Getting too close to animals can threaten their survival. Seeing them in their natural environment and giving them space is an important wildlife viewing tip.

Self-guided walking tours

Historic Ski Village of Banff
Photo sourced from SKI Magazine.

Do you want to discover more about Banff? A self-guided walking tour is a fun and interesting way to learn about the town's history. Download this easy PDF, which will provide you with five tours that have been optimized for mobile viewing.

Hiking

With a 1,000 miles of trails, hiking in Banff National Park is full of adventure, has some of the world's most spectacular views, and is completely free of charge. The park is perfect for those wanting an easy stroll, as well as those who desire a more ambitious hike. Plain of Six Glaciers is a rewarding hike that should definitely make it onto your bucket list. This hike has one of the most accessible trails and offers extraordinary views of the mountains surrounding Lake Louise.

Banff National Park is also dog-friendly for those traveling with their pet. The only stipulations are that your dog must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. There are, however, some trails where dogs are not allowed so be sure to check this out beforehand.

Hot tip: Check the latest trail conditions with Parks Canada before you begin your adventure.

Upcoming Events

Events in Banff National Park and Lake Louise.
Photo sourced from Banff and Lake Louise.

There are many exciting events all year round at Banff National Park, so be sure to check the calendar before you book your vacation. The following are some examples of the types of events offered:

  • Alpenglow Festival at the Banff Gondola: March 1, 2019
  • Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: April 26, 2019
  • Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival - October 26-November 3, 2019

Safety

Before you depart to one of the worlds most beautiful and wild places, it is important you are all clued up on some important safety tips.

Natural Hazards

Natural hazards can be a big part of the National Park experience, but their impact can be reduced if you are well informed and prepared. If you want to read more on how to keep safe in the outdoors, visit AdventureSmart!

Driving

If driving, you must be prepared for a variety of weather conditions, even at all times of the year. At higher elevations, it may even snow during the summer. This is why it's extremely important to drive with caution at all times. A top tip is to equip your car with the essentials in case of an emergency, such as a shovel, a flashlight, a blanket, food, and water.

Mountain safety tips

  • Never hike alone.
  • Plan your trip beforehand and take a map.
  • Pack a flashlight.
  • Take extra clothes.
  • Bring a first aid kit.
  • Ensure your cell phone is fully charged.

Animal Safety

Wildlife behavior is unpredictable, and animals can get stressed when their space is invaded by humans, especially when they are trying to protect their offspring. It is important to view and photograph the animals from a sensible distance. In general, it is recommended to stay back 100 meters from bears (unless you are inside a vehicle); 30 meters from all other large species; and 200 meters from coyote, fox, or wolf dens.

Health

  • Be sure to take out comprehensive health insurance before your trip.
  • Canada has no essential vaccinations; however, as always, there are some that are recommended by the World Health Organization, such as hepatitis A and B, rabies, meningitis, and MMR.
  • Even though Canada is an industrialized country, bug bites can still spread diseases. Try to avoid bug bites, especially when you will be spending a lot of time outside and in wooded areas. It is recommended to take an insect repellent along.

Where to Stay

If you're visiting Banff National Park, it is already clear you love the outdoors and adventure. This cozy lodge is situated right in the heart of Banff National Park and has breathtaking views of Bow Lake. The lodge is located in the ideal spot to access the famous Canadian Glaciers, waterfalls, and Rocky Mountains, as well as being only a 30-minute drive from the town of Banff.

If you are looking for an authentic ski chalet, this log cabin is the perfect spot for you. With a central location that gives you access to an array of activities, guests are never far from adventure, all while knowing they have a cozy sanctuary to relax in at the end of the day.


Want to keep exploring our glamping accommodations in Canada? Check out our complete collection here!

Travel Guide: Pro Tips for Traveling In and Around Mexico

By Alexandra McGowan

Mexico is an extraordinary country with a rugged and mysterious landscape ready to enchant. Uncovering the mysterious of Mexico's ancient history, while discovering the exciting cuisine and the stunning architecture, is only part of what will make this vacation something a little different. Sprinkle on top sprawling jungles, soaring peaks, and luscious beaches, and it's sure to become unforgettable.

This is a photo of El Castillo

Good to know before you go

This is an infographic of Mexican travel essentials
This is an infographic about Mexican slang

Getting there and around

With 30 Mexican airports with direct flights from the U.S., it couldn't be easier to start your next vacation in this Central American paradise. Fear not if you're coming from further afield, Cancun is particularly easy to reach if you're heading in from Europe.

Taking a car across the border is also an option and gives you the flexibility that perhaps a flight wouldn't. With 40 official crossing points along the border, there's no excuse not to pack your surfboard and hit the waves on the Mexican coast.

Just a word of warning, it's an idea to pack some spare parts with you. In the case of a break down along the way it's good to be prepared. Also, be sure to take a look at the safety information along your planned route in advance, just in case you need to adapt your plans.

All cars must have a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, which must be canceled before you drive back across the border. This little extra bit of paperwork is sure to be worth your while when you hit the open road with no boundaries on your adventure.

This is a picture of a road trip.

If you prefer, head across the border with one of two bus companies, Greyhound or Omnibus Mexicanos. Not only do they have great links across the border, but will also give you a fantastic opportunity to take in the scenery as you head south. Traveling with like-minded travelers might also be the perfect way to enrich your travel plans with some new tips and pointers.

Fancy arriving into Mexico a little differently? We'd suggest zooming across the water in the Belize Water Taxi. This out-of-the-box travel option will make sure you enjoy new experiences from the get-go.

Mexico isn't known for its cycling tours, and if you plan to tour the country on two wheels you might be in for a bumpy ride. However, cycling in cities is becoming more popular with some of the bigger cities, such as Mexico City and Guadalajara, introducing a few cycle lanes. This could be a wonderfully relaxing way to explore the city while also keeping active. If you're looking to travel a little further, you can head out on the high seas and take a boat between Baja California and the Mexican mainland.

This is a picture of a boat

Mexico has frequent buses and a good road network though there can be occasional safety risks. To avoid risks, try to use toll highways whenever you can. Traveling first class will also reduce risks. It's best to keep valuables with you, but putting baggage in the hold should be safe; make sure to get a receipt for your baggage, though. It's fine to buy bus tickets on the day of at the bus stations. If it's a particularly busy route, buying from a bus ticket agency in the center of town would be advisable.

Hitting the open road with your own set of wheels will be sure to give you a freedom like no other and is the ideal way to lead your own adventure. With 6,000 kilometers of toll highways, the road conditions are fair. There are frequent gas stations, but it's good practice to fill up when you can in rural areas.

It's best to avoid driving at night due to visibility issues. Also note that if you plan to travel the roads of Mexico City, your gallivanting will be brought to a halt on Sundays. Cars are banned from the city's road one day a week.

Luckily, if you ever need a helping hand Mexico boasts "Green Angels," which are mechanics that patrol the highways to help out tourists in motoring difficulty. Taxicolectivos and microbuses are also great ways to hit the open road in a less cumbersome vehicle.

If you prefer to let the train take the strain, why not enjoy the famous Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico Route, starting from the Sierra Madre Occidental to Los Mochis and Chihuahua? The Copper Canyon Railway will impress. Be sure to experience this exhilarating railway journey and pass over its 37 bridges and through its 86 tunnels!

This is a picture of a train

Useful Facts

This is an infographic of facts about Mexico

Culture

Food and Drink

This vast and complex country has a vibrant culture that you are sure to enjoy, no matter where you choose to go. The complexity and variation is echoed in the colorful cuisine and striking history, commemorated and remembered in many events throughout the year.

This photo is of Mexican tacos

The most important staple in Mexican cuisine is corn and has been since the crop was developed there over 7,000 years ago. Travelers need not worry, though; this seemingly simple staple can produce so much more than the typical, albeit delicious, taco. Try fried tortillas in the form of tostadas, piled high with beans, cheese, meat, and/or seafood.

Wake up to a beautiful coastal view and try the spicy shrimp and octopus cocktails. Or how about enjoying a quick tasty snack of elote, corn on the cob with a variety of herbs and spices? Then spend a lazy afternoon with huevos rancheros as comfort food or try some churros for a sweet treat? Heading into the evening kick back and relax while enjoying Kahlúa, a famous Mexican liquor made with coffee and rum.

History and Heritage

Mexico's history is as varied as its cuisine. The country boasts awe-inspiring ancient ruins from the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzáto to the Aztec sights of the Pyramids of Teotihuacán. For the budding archaeologists or the aspiring historians, these sights will undoubtedly be the highlight of the trip.

If your visit is lucky enough to coincide with the Winter Solstice, you could get to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichén Itza in all its glory. This marvel of ancient architecture was built in such a way that at this specific point on the calendar, the shadow of a serpent appears to run down the side of El Castillo.

This is a photo of Mayan ruins

Events

Mexico has numerous vibrant events adding to its rich culture. The Day of the Dead, which ends on November 2, is one such festival, and it is believed that on midnight on October 31, the spirits are released from Heaven to visit their families. This festival is celebrated across Mexico and commemorates family ancestors.

Family altars are prepared with ofrendas, or offerings, and are decorated with flowers, candles, ceramic skulls, and pictures of loved ones. Pan de muerto is made specifically for these altars. Festivities continue into the night, as some relatives choose to spend the night in the cemetery. This ancient tradition reaches far back into Mexican civilization, all the way to the Aztecs, 3,000 years ago.

September 16 is celebrated across Mexico to commemorate Mexican Independence. On this day in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla issued a rallying cry against colonial rule in Mexico. He is known in some cases as the "father of Mexican independence" for encouraging resistance to Spanish rule. Mexico’s throwing off of colonial rule is now celebrated each year on the very date of this rallying cry. Celebrations include parades, bull fights, fairs, dancing, fireworks, and rodeos.

This is a photo of Mexico City

Safety and Essentials

Documentation and Customs Regulations

Let us clue you up before you set off. Our low-down on the ins and outs of documentation is sure to save you a headache at the departure gate. Be aware that documentation and visa checks are carried out before boarding the plane and make sure you have them ready to be checked.

  • Note that duty-free allowances restrict imports to two cameras, two cell phones, and one laptop per person.
  • U.S. and Canadian travelers do not need to apply for tourist visas.
  • All tourists must have a Mexican-government tourist permit, or Forma migratoria multiple, and the maximum stay is 180 days.
  • Travelers must pay a departure tax, Tarifa de Uso de Aeropuerto (TUA). This is normally included in the cost of your flight. If not, this must be paid in cash at airport check-in.
  • If you intend to drive, you must have your home country's driving license with you.
  • Mexican liability insurance is needed when driving. No other policy will be recognized.
  • A temporary vehicle permit will also be required, which is valid for six months. This should be canceled upon leaving Mexico.
  • U.S. and Canadian citizens can apply online for these permits to have them mailed in advance.
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is needed if arriving from a country at risk.

Health

  • Bring insect repellent and anti-malarial medication.
  • The following vaccines are recommended when traveling to Mexico: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus, and Tuberculosis if visiting rural areas.
  • Water purification tablets are essential for rural areas.
  • Bring medical prescriptions if bringing in drugs from outside of Mexico;
  • Bring altitude sickness medication.

Dangers

  • Follow travel information and guidelines to avoid areas of carjacking and robbery.
  • Altitude sickness.
  • Snake or scorpion bites.
  • The sun is powerful in Mexico. It is important to stay hydrated and cool.
  • Zika, Malaria, and Dengue Fever are present in Mexico and precautions should be taken.
  • Don’t drink tap water.

For comprehensive travel advice, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.

Places to Visit

Ruins of Tulum

This is a picture of the Ruins of Tulum

The Ruins of Tulum are set on 39-foot cliffs on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and are an example of particularly well-conserved Mayan ruins. The city of Tulum was built by the Mayan civilization and was most prosperous during the 13th and 15th centuries. While there, tourists can also visit the Sian Ka’an Reserve, where you can even catch a glimpse of some nesting sea turtles hunkering down on the beaches.

This is a photo of an Air-Conditioned Beach Cabana in Tulum, Mexico

Why not stay in a relaxing beach cabana in Tulum, Mexico?

Islas Marietas National Park

This is a photo of a humpback whale

Travel across the waters from the mainland to Islas Marietas National Park. You'll be crossing into a world of natural beauty and tranquility, so be sure to grab your snorkels and your scuba mask to head down into the crystal clear waters of the Marieta Islands. They are just off the coast of Nayarit and boast stunning marine life, you'll be mesmerized by its sparkling waters and hidden beach. If you're heading there between December and March, you could even catch a glimpse of some humpback whales!

This is a photo of a Premium Tropical Villa Rental with Private Pool near Puerta Vallarta, Mexico
Relax and Unwind in this tropical villa near Puerta Vallarta, Mexico!

Espíritu Santo

This is a picture of a Mexican beach

This UNESCO World Heritage site is made up off 244 Sea of Cortez Islands. This stunning spot is a paradise of ocean wildlife. These uninhabited islands are also a Biosphere Reserve and a popular ecotourism destination. It's home to, among other creatures, such as dolphins, sea lions, and hummingbirds.

Sea kayaking is a popular way to tour the island to take in the stunning scenery, reefs, and wildlife, all while keeping a respectful distance from the wildlife inhabiting these islands. This would be a nature enthusiasts paradise—and the perfect spot to capture some fantastic outdoor photographs.

A picture of Luxury Camping Experience on a Picturesque Beach of Isla del Espiritu Santo, Mexico
Discover a luxury camping experience on on a picturesque beach of Isla del Espiritu Santo, Mexico!


What are you waiting for...? Grab your sunglasses, and start glamping in the enchanting country of Mexico!

Australia Travel Guide: Pro Tips for Traveling the Land of Oz

By Xavier Vale Buisson

Author's note: This was co-authored by Alexandra McGowan.

The great southern continent is a place of wonder just waiting to be explored. Its vibrant cities, marine wonderland, and rugged landscape are all only a part of what gives Australia its magic. To find out what gives Australia its aura of adventure, you’ll have to head there yourself. Luckily, you have our travel guide to point you in the right direction, and we’ll give you a sprinkling of some glamping inspiration, too.

Good to know before you go

Getting there and around

As if you need any more excuses to embark on your next adventure, it’s great to know that this is a lot more straightforward than you may have first thought. Traveling to the southern hemisphere may feel like an odyssey to the other side of the world, but Australia has many international airports, making this far-off wonder very accessible. The international airports are in a number of Australia’s major hubs: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Once you’ve touched down Down Under, traveling around Australia presents you with various options. Australia’s wide reaching and reliable road system gives you the perfect opportunity for a road trip. Car hire is reasonable, so buckle up and head out on the open road; but remember, in Australia the cars drive on the left side of the road! Just be sure you have a driving license issued in English or an International Driving Permit.

If you fancy a road trip but driving doesn’t appeal to you, why not try the Australian bus system? Greyhound Australia has a national network of comfortable buses and offers a short "hop on-hop off" bus pass for 30 days. You could even join a backpacker bus to take in all the sites along the way. Groovy Grape Tours offers small group tours ranging between one day to one week.

The sheer size of Australia, however, can make land travel time consuming. Head up into the skies to cut your travel time with the many domestic airfares on offer. Jetstar, Qantas, Tigerair, and Virgin Australia are all well-known domestic airlines. It’s also good to know that if you’ve arrived in Australia with Qantas or American Airlines, you can apply for a "Walkabout Air Pass." This offers benefits for customers when booking domestic flights.

Alternatively, you could even head onto the high seas and enjoy a short distance regional ferry ride to Kangaroo Island, Rottnest Island, and Bruny Island. Long-distance boat trips can also be enjoyed on the Spirit of Tasmania when departing from Melbourne to Devonport.

Useful facts

Culture

Food and Drink

The vast majority of Australia's hot spots are based around its incredible coast line. This creates the opportunity for travelers to indulge in some of the world’s best seafood. Whether you're looking for a three-hat ('hats' being Australia's answer to Michelin stars) experience or simply some "fish 'n' chips" by the beach, Australia has got you covered. For those that are a fan of lobster, look out for the Moreton Bay Bug or marron, which are unique shellfish native to Australia. If there is any seaafood that describes the local cuisine and atmosphere the best, that is the simple prawn or tiger prawn. Australians love this simple crustacean that can be cooked in a variety of different ways to tantalise the taste buds.

Seafood aside, Australia has many other popular culinary traditions. You can’t get more local than sizzling some steaks on the "barbie" and having a beer with your family and friends. Kangaroo meat is becoming an even more popular choice among locals and is perfect for a barbecue. For snacking in between meals, you should try a bit of toast with the infamous Vegemite spread. Very similar to British Marmite, guests will either love or hate this acquired taste!

Despite popular belief, Fosters beer is not actually readily available in Australia. Popular local beers include VB, commonly known as Victoria Bitter, XXX, and Carlton Draught. The coffee culture has grown intensively over the past few years, too. Melbourne, which is the sport capital of Australia, can also be dubbed as one of the coffee capitals of the world. So for that morning burst of energy, or that simple relaxing brew, Australia has got you covered.

Sporting Events in Australia

Melbourne is home to numerous sporting events throughout the calendar year. One of the first events to arise is one of the four major tennis competitions held between January 15-28. Watch the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battle it out on court to enter the history books. Next on the calendar in late January is the festival of sails held in Geelong. This festival is a week of festive fun with fireworks and free sailing entertainment for all.

For the motorsport fanatics, Melbourne always plays host to the opening race on the Formula 1 calendar. This includes four days of action-packed drama. Albert Park hosts this event, which is right in the centre of Melbourne. Finally, the events keep on flowing for motorsports fans, as MotoGP comes to town in late October and offers even more exhilarating drama.

The State of Origin series is one of Australia’s biggest sporting events. It’s all about one very bitter rivalry between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. Rugby League is already huge within Australia, but this event tops it all. Players are selected to represent their state, and it is a huge honor for these players to battle it out in front of a sold-out crowd. Make sure to try and catch one of these events either live in the stadium or in a bar around Australia—it is an experience not to be missed!

Australia Day

This important moment in Australia’s calendar is a national holiday to commemorate its settlement in 1788 by the British. Be sure to celebrate in style with the locals on January 26, and check out one of the many events, shows, and ceremonies that run throughout the day. The biggest events take place in Sydney Harbour, which the British fleet sailed into in 1788. There will be fireworks, performance acts, and a buzz in the air on a day that cannot be missed.

Alongside Australia day there is another festival hosted called the Yabun Festival. It celebrates the survival of the aboriginal culture during one of the most frightful days in their history. These side by side festivals highlight the great diversity of cultures and beliefs in this sprawling country.

Safety Essentials

Documentation and Customs Regulations

Let us clue you up before you set off. Our low down on the ins-and-outs of documentation is sure to save you a headache at the departure gate. Be aware that documentation and visa checks are carried out before boarding the plane, and make sure you have them ready to be checked.
  • Proof of a yellow-fever vaccination if arriving in Australia within six days of staying overnight in an affected country is required.
  • A "travel history card" and an "incoming passenger card" must be filled out on arrival.
  • Tourists require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority).
  • All food, plant material, and animal products must be declared on arrival. Be aware that due to strict biodiversity protections, most food, animal products, and plant or wood products are not permitted to enter the country, at the risk of severe fines or even jail time!
  • Prescription medicines must be left in original packaging and accompanied by a doctor’s letter noting the dosage. No more than a three-months supply can be brought into Australia.

Health

  • Tap water is safe to drink. Treat any water that is not tap water.
  • Do not underestimate the strength of the Australian sun. Be aware of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Apply plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated, and seek shade.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing, and bug spray to protect against insect-borne diseases.

Dangers

  • Be aware that many areas are far from each other. Always carry a means of communication and First Aid supplies when taking a trip outside of the city.
  • Take care on rural roads, especially at night time, due to roaming wildlife.
  • Check the regulations regarding Interstate Quarantine of fruit and vegetables, if traveling between states.
  • Take note of warnings from local authorities about possible natural disasters including bush fires, floods, and cyclones.
  • Be aware when swimming in Northern Australia. Check with locals to find out if crocodiles frequent the waters.

Places to visit

Great Ocean Road

Rated by many as a true bucket list item the Great Ocean Road is not to be missed. Located just west of Melbourne, explore one of the greatest coastal drives the world has to offer. Stretching for 243 kilometers you can sightsee, sunbathe, and surf your way down the coast. The biggest attraction along this road is the 12 apostles that have been formed by thousands of years of constant wave erosion. As the coast line gets pushed back, several of these apostles continue to stand tall and strong embedded in the ocean floor.

Elsewhere along the Great Ocean Road, you can partake in numerous outdoor activities, including mountain biking and bush walks. For the animal lovers out there, take a detour off the road and visit one of the many koala sanctuaries and share some incredible moments with these charming creatures.

Why not completely immerse yourself in nature by staying in a Romantic Canvas Bell Tents for Two in Natural Bush Setting near Melbourne?

Great Barrier Reef

Arguably the southern hemisphere's most famous natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef provides color, life, and adventure for those who seek to dive in its magical waters. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef, and it is made up of over 3,000 different coral systems. The magnitude of this reef cannot be overlooked, quite literally, as it can be spotted from outer space.

The best way to visit the reef is by partaking in one of the numerous activities on offer including snorkeling, scuba diving, and for those that are not a fan of swimming, glass-bottomed boat sailing. The Great Barrier Reef is located on the North Eastern coastline of Australia and is easily accessed from Cairns, in the state of Queensland.

Start your next adventure by staying in the Gorgeous Glass Cabin Rentals in Bushlands of Queensland on Sunshine Coast

Blue Mountains

Just west of the thriving bay city of Sydney are the glorious Blue Mountains. This National Park is a heritage site spanning over 1 million hectares. The best way of exploring the parks is via the walking trails. You should look out for the famous Three Sisters, a uniquely shaped rock formation that marks the skyline. Once at the top, take your time to walk around, relax, and watch the sun cross this stunning bush greenery at one of the many viewing platforms provided.

For those that are not afraid of heights and are up for the challenge, check out the Giant Stairway, which is a trail spanning from Echo Point to Scenic World. This 4.7 kilometer trek can take around three hours in one direction, so food and water provisions are a must while taking on this walk. .

Treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime vacation by staying in a Romantic Airstream Rental with Outdoor Shower near New South Wales Coast

Uluru

Right in the center of Australia, within the heart of the desert outback, exists an enormous sandstone rock named Uluru, a sacred site to many of the aboriginal people of the area. If it is total seclusion that you're looking for, glamping around this area would be perfect, as Uluru is located 450 kilometers from the nearest big town of Alice Springs. Uluru stands at 348 meters high; however, this is a very minute part of the rock. The rest of it is a whopping 2,500 meters underground.

The best way to appreciate this beautiful red natural wonder is by taking a 10-kilometer trek around the base of the rock. This incredible experience will take you three hours and 30 minutes and will be sure to leave you with lasting memories of Australia’s incredible landscape.

Head out to the great outdoors and stay in this incredible safari tent on the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory of Australia

Ready for your Aussie adventure? Take a peek at our stunning Australian accommodations here!

Travel Guide: Pro Tips for Traveling Kiwi-Style

By Xavier Vale Buisson

Author's Note: This post was co-authored by Alexandra McGowan and Ben Clarke.

New Zealand’s evergreen pastures are sure to enchant. Being known for its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming vibe, New Zealand is the perfect place to explore the Great Outdoors. Whether you’re a travel expert or have a newfound sense of wanderlust, our knowledgeable travel guide—complete with a dusting of glamping magic—will supply all you need for a fabulous trip to New Zealand!

Mitre Peak on the South Island of New Zealand.

Good to know before you go

Guide to New Zealand customs and tourist season
Guide to New Zealand currency and slang

Getting there and around

Air New Zealand

New Zealand consists of two large islands. Both are easily accessible via airplane and have excellent infrastructure, so guests can easily travel to their unique glamping accommodation. The main international airports are Auckland, Hamilton, and Rotorua on the North Island, and Christchurch, Dunedin, and Queenstown on the South Island.

All of the main rental companies are represented at major airports, so you can get straight on the road after your flight. Younger visitors need to be wary that the rental age in New Zealand is commonly 21 and older. We strongly recommend renting a car, as it is the easiest way to explore this magnificent country and the best way to access our glorious glamping sites. You should also note that in New Zealand you drive on the left!

  • Rail travel in New Zealand tends to be more scenic than efficient, but guests will be able to get a unique perspective of the New Zealand countryside that is not available from the roads. The country’s cities are well-connected by rail, especially when compared to the U.S.
  • For a cheap and easy way of getting around, visitors can find bus fares from as cheap as $1NZD. The main companies are InterCity and StrayBus.
  • The quickest way to visit New Zealand's major cities is via plane. It takes under two hours to fly from Auckland in the North Island to Queenstown in the South.

Train Travel in Wellington.

Useful facts

Guide to population and climate of New Zealand

Culture

Food and Drink

Dairy cows grazing in the countryside.

Dairy production is extremely important to New Zealand's economy. Here are some quick facts:

  • New Zealand is the world's eighth largest dairy producer, and accounts for 3% of total world production.
  • New Zealand exports 95% of its dairy.
  • New Zealand exported $8.5bn worth of dairy products between June 2015 and June 2016.
  • There are over 5 million dairy cattle in New Zealand.

Many consider New Zealand’s lamb to be the best in the world. It is produced so efficiently that it is often cheaper after shipping than U.S. lamb, so it’s likely that you already have a taste for it. Lamb from New Zealand is grass-fed throughout its life and tends to have a more pronounced, richer flavor. In New Zealand, only animals under 12 months old can be labeled as "lamb." There are no such regulations in the U.S.

Wine in New Zealand is a young industry. In the 1960s and 1970s, many young New Zealanders traveled, lived, and worked in Europe, due to the rise of commercial airlines. This was the first time that many New Zealanders came into contact with the well-established wine cultures of Europe. For many years, New Zealand has produced what many consider to be some of the world’s best Sauvignon blanc. More recently, the country has began to develop many other types, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet/Merlot blends, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Syrah. Visitors can find wineries all over.

Mānuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native mānuka bush. It is commonly sold as an alternative medicine. Its advocates cite the natural antibacterial properties of honey. Although it is four times more antibacterial than standard antiseptic, there is little scientific backing for its medicinal use. Nevertheless, the Māori have used its honey and oils for centuries, and honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of mānuka honey called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. Therapeutic honey starts at 10 UMF.

Mānuka honey being poured.

History and Heritage

Māori traditions.

New Zealand is a relatively new country. It was the last habitable part of the world to be discovered and settled. The first inhabitants were the Māori, who arrived from Polynesia in the 13th century. According to legend, New Zealand was discovered by captain Kupe. The first European to visit was Abel Tasman in 1642. He gave it its Dutch-sounding name, Nieuw Zeeland. It was later colonized by the British in the early 19th century. At Waitangi in 1840, over 500 Māori chiefs signed a treaty with the British Crown.

War broke out on the North Island in the 1860s and swathes of Māori land was either bought or confiscated over 20 years. The South Islands prospered, chiefly from gold. The British continued to invest in New Zealand, and railways and new towns sprang up. In 1882, the first shipment of frozen meat arrived in England, and paved the way for New Zealand as an exporter of meat and dairy products.

In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. State pensions and housing were also first offered in New Zealand. New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907. It contributed many troops to the ANZAC in both World Wars, as part of the British Empire, most famously at Gallipoli. New Zealand became independent in 1947. When Britain joined the EEC in 1973, New Zealand began to accelerate its export diversification, and today exports farm goods and other exports to many other countries.

Events

A music festival.

New Zealand's music festivals take place during the peak of summer, from November to February. The two biggest music festivals happen in late December. Rhythm and Vines is situated amongst the sunny vineyards of Gisborne, the first city to see 2018, thanks to its location on the international dateline, and Rhythm and Alps is set among the picturesque peaks surrounding Wanaka on the South Island.

Rugby Sevens has been a big festival for several years in New Zealand and it's taking place in Hamilton on February 3rd-4th. The competition will involve 16 of the world's greatest sevens teams, and attendees will also be treated to live performances and competitions.

Rugby

The Marlborough Wine Festival on February 10 involves 40 wineries and an evening of great music, delicious food, and excellent wine!

For those with an adventurous palate, the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika on March 10 is well worth visiting! There's a whole range of exotic food, including huhu grubs and bats. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, wear fancy dress, and party all night.

Matariki (Māori New Year) has had a revival in recent years and is celebrated nationwide on June 15. It is a time for remembering the dead and celebrating new life and is marked by kites, fireworks, and hot air balloons.

Fireworks

Māori religion

Traditional Māori religion has changed very little from the beliefs of their Polynesian homeland. The believe that everything, including natural elements and all living things, are connected by common descent through whakapapa. All things are thought to possess a life force (mauri). Tangaroa was the god of the ocean and ancestor of all fish, Tāne the forest and all birds, and Rongo peaceful activities, agriculture, and the ancestor of cultivated plants.

The Māori have traditionally believed that people and objects contain mana, spiritual power or essence. Society was stratified according to this belief. Tapu implies rules and prohibitions. There are two types: public and private. A person, an object, or a place that is tapu may not be touched or in some cases not even approached. Nowadays, tapu is mostly observed in matters relating to sickness, death, and burial.

Since the early 19th century, Christianity has become increasingly important amongst the Māori. Large numbers became affiliated with the Church of England and the Catholic Church. Nowadays, Christian prayer (karakia) is often the expected way to begin and end Māori public gatherings.

Māori Temple

Safety and essentials

Documentation and Customs Regulations

Let us clue you up before you set off. Our low-down on the ins and outs of documentation is sure to save you a headache at the departure gate. Be aware that documentation and visa checks are carried out before boarding the plane and make sure you have them ready to be checked.

  • For duty-free allowances, check out the New Zealand customs website here.
  • It is advisable to declare any unusual medicines. Have the medication clearly labeled with a signed and dated letter from your doctor explaining your condition.
  • Plant and animal products must be declared. Any type of food or wood product must also be declared.
  • The United States is a visa waiver country of New Zealand and therefore a visa is not required to visit for three months or less. Consult the US government's state department link for passports and visas here.

Health

  • Be sure to take out comprehensive health insurance before your trip.
  • New Zealand has no essential vaccinations; however, as always, the World Health Organization recommends that all travelers should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, and hepatitis B.
  • Do not drink untreated water from streams or lakes. Giardiasis can be passed through untreated water. That said, tap water in New Zealand is normally safe to drink.
  • Insect repellent is advisable to ward off sand flies in coastal regions.

Dangers

  • Hypothermia can be a big risk during the winter. Be sure to keep warm at high altitudes or when exposed to high winds.
  • Be aware of the ocean! Rip tides and undertows are common.
  • Occasional earthquakes do occur in New Zealand so be sure to know the protocol in such an occurrence.

For comprehensive travel advice please refer to the US Department of State website.

Places to visit

Auckland

Auckland's Skyline

As you’re most likely to end up here after your international flight, it’s well worth staying for a couple of days to explore New Zealand’s largest city. The Auckland Art Gallery is the country’s largest and is great for a cultural fix. It features over 15,000 works of art from a variety of styles and eras.

The Auckland Domain Park is the city’s oldest park, and at 185 acres, it has a bit of everything. The park has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano, and features exquisite Winter Gardens, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Formal Gardens, and several duck ponds. The city is also home to a wide range of international restaurants and has an excellent nightlife.

For those who are more adventurous, there is a Auckland Bridge climb, and even a bungee jump.

Luxury Tent Resort and Tree House Paradise above Karioitahi Beach, New Zealand

How about renting a luxury tent or treehouse within easy reach of Auckland?

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

Located in the northeast of the North Island, about a three hour drive from Auckland, this archipelago consists of over 140 subtropical islands. It’s famed for its beautiful undeveloped beaches and big-game fishing. It is also an important historical site, hosting both Māori artifacts and the whaling town of Russell, the nation’s first colonial capital. It is the perfect place to go sailing, boating or fishing. You can also take up a new hobby; Paihia Dive offers an introduction to scuba diving course which ferries you out far into the bay. There are also opportunities for both dolphin watching and even swimming with dolphins. Don’t forget to check out the Hole in the Rock, an opening in a rock formation that you can sail through, tide permitting.

Deluxe Private Suite with a Hot Tub at a Bed and Breakfast in Kerikeri, New Zealand

Look over the stunning bay from this deluxe private suite with a hot tub.

Rotorua

Rotorua Hot Springs

A geothermal town in northern New Zealand centered around Lake Rotorua, Rotorua is renowned for its effervescent mud pools, impressive geysers, and natural hot springs. The surrounding nature is also stunning. There are crystal-clear streams, encapsulating redwood forests, whitewater rivers for rafting, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia, the Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, a Polynesian spa, and the Skyline Gravity Mountain Biking Park, which takes visitors to the top via gondola and allows them to cycle back down.

Peaceful and Romantic Bell Tent for Rent near Tauranga, New Zealand

Get back to nature and kick back in this peaceful, romantic bell tent.

Waiheke Island

Vineyard on Waiheke Island

Situated to the east of Auckland, the island is easily accessible by ferry. The island is home to many excellent vineyards, so you’ll definitely want someone else to transport you around. Waiheke Island Wine Tours will shuttle you to three different vineyards to sample 14 varieties of wine. Waiheke is also home to a popular arts community, beaches, forests, and olive groves. It’s also a great place to go hiking. The Headland Sculpture on the Gulf hiking trail is particularly worth seeing. We also recommend the Connells Bay Sculpture Park, which hosts nature-inspired sculptures by New Zealand artists.

Romantic Studio Rental for Two for Wine Tasting Getaway near Auckland, New Zealand

Why not treat yourself and your partner to this romantic studio rental in Waiheke Island wine country?

Queenstown

Queenstown

Queenstown has long had the reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand, and with good reason. During the winter and spring (June to October) it is a premium skiing destination, with the Remarkables Ski Area of particular note. Other adventure activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, and river rafting attract adrenaline junkies year-round. At 182 meters, the Shotover Canyon Swing is the world’s highest cliff jump. Queenstown also has some of New Zealand’s best dining, including burger joints, steak houses, and fine dining options.

Sunny Farm Cabin Rental with Wood-Burning Stove near Lumsden, New Zealand

Escape to the picturesque South Island countryside in this cabin rental on a farm.


Get your suitcase ready and check out more of our New Zealand glamping accommodations here!

Travel Guide: Pro Tips for South African Safari Travel

By Alexandra McGowan

Author's note: This post was co-authored by Xavier Vale-Buisson.

Get ready for the trip of a lifetime from the minute you touch down in South Africa! There’s so much to see and do in this spectacular country, so it can be challenging to fit it all into your vacation.

Luckily, we’ve created a one-stop shop for all the travel info and pro trips you’ll need to make your South African safari dreams come true. You'll be out exploring a beautiful country in a stylish way in no time!

A group of lions laying down together in South Africa.

GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

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Getting There and Around

Airplane

Getting to South Africa by plane has never been easier. The principal international airports are Cape Town International Airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport (for Johannesburg), and King Shaka International (for Durban), all with plenty of international connections to choose from.


Fan of the getting up high among the clouds? While traveling in South Africa why not try something a little more unique! Head up into the skies at sunrise in a hot air balloon. This balloon has only one destination: Kruger National Park. Soar over the western edge of the park as you scan the horizon for the Big Five.


Kruger National Park

Bringing you back down to earth for a second, the Baz Bus can be a reliable and fun, everyday method of transportation. This handy hop-on, hop-off idea can get you to Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, all while traveling with fellow explorers. This safe, reliable, and user-friendly initiative gives you the perfect excuse to discover the stunning beaches of Durban, such as Ballito, ranked among the most beautiful and environmentally-friendly in the world.

If you fancy heading back up into the sky, fear not—domestic flights are super reasonable and are an alternative to the longer Baz Bus routes. Mango and Kulula are two inexpensive airline options, which will get you to major cities quickly and with little hassle. Just kick back and relax, and you’ll be across the country in no time.

Off-road driving at sunset.

Fancy going solo? A 4x4 is highly recommended. Traveling by car will give you a fantastic opportunity to make your own itinerary. Why not visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park? It's one of South Africa’s eight World Heritage sites. This stunning park is home to hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos—sure to be an unforgettable experience. Then again...that will likely be the case with your entire vacation here.

Useful facts

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Culture

Food and Drink

Braai

South Africans are world famous for their braai. Such pride is taken in this traditional South African barbecue that it has become an art form. Of course, no meal is complete without drinks, so be sure to head into the Cape Winelands, mostly found on the beautiful Garden Route, one of the most spectacular coastal roads on Earth. This area is famous for spectacular grapes and boasts wine tasting routes where you can savour as many glasses of the nectar of the vine as you could wish for.

South Africa is full of diversity and this is reflected in its cuisine. Trying the traditional South African flavors such as biltong (cured meats) is a must, but so is sampling the wide variety of other flavors on offer. Durban has close ties to the Indian subcontinent and offers a spectacular array of Indian cuisine. Cape Town offers tantalizing Malay cuisine that is also sure to impress.

History and Heritage

Cape-Town

This beautiful country has indeed suffered a turbulent history, but there is nothing better to represent its resilience than its rich cultural and social diversity. From the Mediterranean feel of the Cape coast, to the traditional villages of Zululand, and the Gumboot mining dancers of Johannesburg, you are bound to experience a country that embraces the many influences of its past.

Events

Art festival

Kicking off in mid-March is South Africa’s largest street festival; the Cape Town Carnival. This vibrant festival has many different activities going on. There are a variety of beer tents, music venues, art galleries, and film installations to keep visitors fully entertained. This event takes over the suburb of Observatory, for a street party like no other!

The National Arts Festival in South Africa is the biggest collective celebration of arts on the whole African continent. This festival is held in Grahamstown, a small town just east of Port Elizabeth. Each year, visitors are treated to new and thought-provoking art forms making every year different from the last. Included in this festival are music, film, and visual arts productions. There really is something for everyone. This event runs from the end of June until mid-July.

SAFETY AND ESSENTIALS

Documentation and Customs Regulations*

Let us clue you in before you set off. Our low-down on the ins and outs of documentation is sure to save you a headache at the departure gate.

  • In terms of visas, British and American citizens visiting South Africa for tourism purposes can stay in the country for up to 90 days.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the return date.
  • There must be at least one unused visa page in your passport for the South African Immigration Services.
  • A certificate of a Yellow Fever vaccinaction is required of those traveling from countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
  • In terms of customs regulations, if you have anything to declare you must fill out at TC-01 form upon arrival.
  • A Traveler Card must be filled in before heading to immigration.
  • Excess currency, animals and plants as well as their products, medicines, and herbal products all need written authorisation

Health

  • It is advised that all your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Among others, the vaccinations of tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and rabies are recommended.
  • The tap water is drinkable but not in rural areas.
  • Malaria is present, so be sure to take the relevant precautions. These include using insect repellent and mosquito nets.

Dangers

  • For safety, all hiking trails should be completed in groups consisting of a minimum of three people.
  • Travelers should avoid walking alone at night particularly in isolated areas.
  • When driving keep doors locked and windows closed.
  • Beware of ATM scams. Don’t leave your card unattended and take a friend when withdrawing cash.
  • Use ATMs in shopping malls or ATMs with guards.

    For comprehensive travel advice please refer to the United States Travel Department.

PLACES TO VISIT

Kruger National Park

Elephants

South Africa is famous for its stunning wildlife and luscious landscapes. Kruger National Park is the ultimate place to unleash your wild side. Buckle up in your 4x4 and head out into the wilderness. With the help of your safari guide you’ll have the best chance of spotting the Big Five.

There are three local airports that serve the park; Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport, and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. Alternatively, travelers could drive from Johannesburg, 260 miles away (420 kilometers).

A view from the exterior of these luxury vacation rentals near Kruger National Park.

Take in South Africa from these luxury vacation rentals near Kruger National Park.

Namaqualand

Namaqualand desert filled with flowers in spring.

The arid desert region of Namaqualand stretches through South Africa and Namibia, covering an impressive 170,000 square miles (440,000 square kilometers). But come spring and this dry expanse bursts into color and life, becoming home to countless flowers of an infinite color palette. Famous among locals, this is must-see for those looking to go off the beaten track.

Cape Town

Cape-Town-at-night

Cape Town is a must see during your visit to South Africa. This vibrant ocean city sits on the southern tip of the continent and is surrounded by breathtaking ocean views, as the cape separates the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These far-stretching waves are home to whales and dolphins, which you can even catch a glimpse of. More adventurous travelers can even try their hand at cage-diving with Great White sharks near Gansbaii! Be sure as well to head up to Table Mountain. Trekking up this six-hundred-million-year-old peak won’t only stretch your legs but give you stunning views of the breath-taking city below. A cable car service can also cater for those who not wanting to hike!

An exterior shot of the beautifully-furnished tree house in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Discover the treetops of South Africa from this incredible tree house rental.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Flamingo

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is one of South Africa’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Exploring this nature reserve will be an experience you’re unlikely to be able to replicate at home. As you’re surrounded by unique wildlife such as hippos and flamingos, you won’t be able to help but gaze in awe, while maybe snapping a few photos too. A trip to iSimangaliso Wetland Park is sure to impress while creating unforgettable memories.

A view from the exterior of these exotic, upscale suites on a game reserve near Johannesburg.g

Treat yourself to a slice of luxury at one of these upscale suite rentals near Johannesburg.


Ready for your South African adventure? Take a stroll through our South African wonders here!