4 BEST NEW BUCKETLIST BUDDY TRIPS

SEEK­ING AC­TION AND UN­FOR­GET­TABLE THRILLS? LOOK NO FUR­THER.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - TRAVEL -

EAT LIKE A CAVE­MAN MEN­DOZA, AR­GENTINA FLY INTO MDZ

Come for the steaks, stay for the wine. In a na­tion fa­mous for its beef, Men­doza shines. The asado—fire-grilled lo­cal meat served with viner­ipened toma­toes—is the coun­try’s sig­na­ture dish and ex­pe­ri­ence. Other beef spe­cial­ties in­clude stew and em­panadas. Wash it down with a lo­cal Mal­bec or lighter-bod­ied Tor­rontés. We rec­om­mend Azafran, a fine restau­rant in town, where the som­me­lier main­tains a 500-bot­tle wine list. After you’ve got­ten your fill, head west out of town to the Par­que Pro­vin­cial Aconcagua. There you’ll find gen­tle hik­ing trails and pic­ture­post­card scenery—and the im­pos­ing, 6.9km Aconcagua, the high­est peak in the Western Hemi­sphere. Scal­ing it re­quires se­ri­ous fit­ness and per­mits (short treks start at SGD$136), but you can also ex­plore the trails that

lead to the base­camp.

STAY Huen­tala Ho­tel, SGD$122+, huen­tala.com

RIDE THE WAVES OFF AFRICA CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA FLY INTO CPT

The po­ten­tial for fun in this bustling South African port city is un­par­al­leled. Surf­ing is pop­u­lar, and surfers of all skill lev­els will feel com­fort­able rid­ing the waves. Begin­ners should hit Muizen­berg and its gen­tle rollers while dare­dev­ils will en­joy Dun­geons, an off­shore reef where waves crest as high as 18m. If climb­ing’s your thing, hike up 1km Ta­ble Moun­tain for sweep­ing vis­tas of the re­gion be­low. (Not a climber? There’s a “ca­ble­way.”) And if you’re a sports fan, be sure to catch a cricket match at the New­lands Cricket Ground, home to the Cape Co­bras. You might even see the fa­mous (for South Africa) bats­man Hashim Amla work his magic. The re­gion is also known for its vine­yards; we rec­om­mend Groot Con­stan­tia and its world-class sau­vi­gnon blanc. Cape Town’s Mediter­raneanstyle cli­mate means the weather is com­fort­ably warm in sum­mer and cool-but-not-freez­ing in win­ter, so you can plan your visit for any time of year.

STAY Vic­to­ria & Al­fred Ho­tel, SGD$332+, new­markho­tels.com

PARTY ALL NIGHT CARTA­GENA, COLOM­BIA FLY INTO CTG

Jet­ting off to the Caribbean for per­fect weather and pris­tine beaches is all well and good, but you’ve been there and done that. For a more cul­tural Caribbean ex­pe­ri­ence, Carta­gena’s your port of call. Si­t­u­ated on Colom­bia’s coast, this 16th-cen­tury sea­side city is draw­ing vis­i­tors thanks to its nightlife, bur­geon­ing art scene, and new crop of lux­ury ho­tels. Re­cover from your late-night shenani­gans by checking out Carta­gena’s day­time diver­sions. The beaches are as stun­ning as the best in the Caribbean. If you’re look­ing for ex­clu­siv­ity, you can rent a speed­boat or snorkel in the co­ral reefs at Isla de Rosario. There you’ll also find Ocea­nario out­door aquar­ium, which has lively dol­phin shows.

STAY Bastión Lux­ury Ho­tel, SGD$550+, en.bas­tion­lux­u­ry­ho­tel.com

PEDAL INTO THE WILD GRAND CANYON, ARI­ZONA FLY INTO PHX

See­ing the Grand Canyon on a fam­ily va­ca­tion is one thing, but bik­ing the rim of this nat­u­ral won­der with your friends is pretty ex­cep­tional.

Bright An­gel Bi­cy­cles of­fers two dif­fer­ent tours, both of which yield panoramic payoffs while a pro­fes­sional guide pro­vides back­ground on the area’s ge­ol­ogy, an­thro­pol­ogy, and wildlife. If you pre­fer to hoof it on the trails, hik­ing equip­ment is also avail­able — and you can grab sand­wiches and soups on the go from the cof­fee shop. (Don’t set off with­out plenty of wa­ter, of course.) Or con­sider tak­ing to the skies: Just south of the canyon, Mav­er­ick He­li­copters of­fers bird’s-eye tours of Amer­ica’s grand­est and most iconic beauty.

STAY El To­var, SGD$289+, grand­canyon­lodges.com

JOUR­NEY TO PAR­ADISE TAVANIPUPU IS­LAND RE­SORT, SOLOMON IS­LANDS FLY INTO RUS

Re­garded by many as the last par­adise on earth, the Solomon Is­lands are nearly 1,000 specks of sand and palm trees in the South­west Pa­cific. Once a co­conut plan­ta­tion, this get­away was pur­chased and de­vel­oped by a Bri­tish de­signer back in the 1970s. To­day, Tavanipupu Is­land Re­sort is both wild and luxurious. Since the is­land has only a hand­ful of pri­vate bun­ga­lows, you’ll be treated roy­ally. (Cu­ri­ous about how ex­clu­sive, ex­actly? This is where Prince Wil­liam and Kate Mid­dle­ton chose to stay dur­ing their visit to the Solomon Is­lands.) The clos­est air­port is Ma­rau, 15 min­utes away by boat. Dur­ing the ride you’ll pass many small, un­in­hab­ited is­lands, each more idyl­lic than the last. This is quin­tes­sen­tial trop­i­cal bliss: Spend your time ex­plor­ing the is­land, snorkelling the reefs, kayak­ing, ca­noe­ing or stand-up pad­dle­board­ing around the turquoise la­goon, or just kicking back in a ham­mock. As for food, you’ll en­joy is­land-grown fresh veg­eta­bles and seafood, served at the wa­ter’s edge, be­fore you re­tire to your se­cluded digs.

STAY Tavanipupu Re­sort, SGD$206+, tavanipupu.com.sb

SWIM WITH SHARKS ISLA GUADALUPE, MEX­ICO FLY INTO SAN

One thing’s for sure: This trip is not for the faint of heart. For a once-in-a-life­time ad­ven­ture, sign up for a mul­ti­day ex­cur­sion with Guadalupe Great White Sharks, known as the world’s top shark-cage div­ing des­ti­na­tion, and its fleet of Nau­tilus ves­sels. You’ll head to Ense­nada, Mex­ico, where you’ll have the chance to de­scend 30 feet into the crys­tal-clear depths off Isla Guadalupe to get up close with big ocean preda­tors in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. After you come up for air, sip cock­tails on the boat’s sun deck, kick back in the hot tub, or en­joy an evening open-air film screen­ing.

STAY In a cabin on the Nau­tilus; trips last five, 10, or 15 nights. SGD$3,726+, guadalu­pe­greatwhite­sharks. com

View of cape town city with ta­ble moun­tain, cape town har­bour, lion's head and devil's peak, South Africa.

TRAIL BLAZE: Drink 473 to 936ml of wa­ter per hour when hik­ing the Grand Canyon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.