Find a secret side of the world’s top tourism spots with these lower-key, nature-focused expeditions
It’s official: the 2020 traveler wants more nature and fewer crowds, and Natural Habitat Adventures is way ahead of them. We are introducing five new trips in 2020 that feature less-traveled sectors of top destinations including the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone, Norway, the Dolomites, and England’s Cotswold Hills.
According to Virtuoso’s 2020 Luxe Report, which claimed “Untouristed and Unexpected” as a key tourism trend for the coming year, more travelers are attracted to remote and unspoiled places. In its 2020 Travel Predictions report, Booking.com found that 54% of travelers are interested in visiting lesser-known locales next year in the name of reducing overtourism around the world.
Nat Hab is answering the call for less-discovered landscapes, and our newest small-group journeys reflect our quest to show travelers quieter corners of iconic tourism spots.
“There’s a reason why these destinations are so popular—they’re incredibly beautiful—but they’re also overwhelmed with travelers in certain areas,” says Ted Martens, Natural Habitat Adventures Vice President, Marketing & Sustainability. “We make sure our guests don’t miss coveted highlights, but we also want to reveal less-visited, emerging locations instead of focusing merely on the most crowded main attractions.”
Trips pair environmental exploration with unique luxury accommodations, showcase spectacular scenery and wildlife by private boat, carbon-offset helicopter and cable car, and include forays on foot to uncover the local flora and fauna with naturalist Expedition Leaders. In keeping with our commitment to conservation travel, Natural Habitat Adventures’ 2020 trips are also 100% carbon-neutral, and we will fully offset travelers’ flights booked for each trip.
Next year, choose conservation over crowds, and visit a more peaceful side to a popular attraction on these NEW 2020 trips:
Home to wolves, grizzlies, bison and legendary volcanic geology, Yellowstone and its surrounding regions are iconic Americana—and a mecca for wildlife lovers since becoming the world’s first national park in 1872. On this weeklong small-group safari, enjoy all Yellowstone’s highlights before stealing away into the park’s remote routes and hidden parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem outside the park boundary. See rush hour at its finest by negotiating herds of buffalo from Nat Hab’s custom-crafted North American Safari Trucks. Elude the crowds with sunrise wolf tracking in the secluded Lamar Valley, and join National Geographic wildlife photographer Dan Hartman for a private gallery visit to view his work chronicling Yellowstone’s wolves. Experience the geothermal phenomena of famous Old Faithful geyser before heading outside the park for some rustic luxury at a quiet lodge on the Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana.
Step into a bucolic world of ancient forests, rose-trimmed cottages and royal gardens during a week exploring the pastoral Cotswold Hills. As Britain’s largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds are a top day-trip destination for London tourists, beloved for their medieval villages and Downton Abbey-esque manor estates. Natural Habitat Adventures’ locally led 12-person tour takes a more intimate and immersive approach, exploring wildflower meadows and hardwood forests away from the motorcoach crowds. Hike estate land with conservationist National Trust rangers, meet farming families whose agricultural practices go back centuries and visit Highgrove House and Gardens – country home of the Prince of Wales. In the evenings, stay in elegant 17th- and 18th-century manor houses still surrounded by unspoiled woodlands once only available to the British upper crust.
A timeless emblem of untamed wilderness, the glacier-sculpted Canadian Rockies are home to a confluence of people and wildlife. While Banff, Lake Louise and Yoho National Park are main draws for many, Nat Hab’s naturalist-guided Rocky Mountain experience couples these famed highlights with a remote immersion into pristine wildland in the neighboring Bugaboo Range. Visit Banff, Canada’s first national park, and spend two nights at postcard-perfect Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Hike the forested shores of Yoho National Park’s Emerald Lake, then take a carbon-offset chopper ride into a land where grizzlies outnumber people. Heli-hiking with expert naturalist guides through alpine meadows in the secluded Bugaboos, track elk, bear and bighorn sheep, and sleep where elegance meets wilderness at a fly-in luxury lodge.
See a different side of Italy via cable car, private boat and gentle hikes with Natural Habitat Adventures’ exploration of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of alpine pastures, evergreen forests, rugged peaks and fairytale villages. Discover a land of edelweiss, glacier-carved lakes and native alpine fauna with a certified Italian Mountain Guide and naturalist Expedition Leader who are experts on the region’s geology, wildlife and natural history. Ascend 9,114-foot Mount Lagazuoi via cable car, hike around Tre Cime, discover the less-traveled Brenta Dolomites, then descend to the turquoise waters, olive orchards and citrus groves of Lago de Garda where a private speedboat tour awaits. Conclude with an overnight at a historic villa in Italy’s Valipocella region for a private wine tasting highlighting the most famous local varietal—Chianti. In the evenings, kick back in chalet-chic comfort with some supreme accommodations, including a charming family-run hotel, a 7,000-foot high lodge with sweeping views of the Dolomites, and a 5-star alpine modernist mountain retreat.
A wild kingdom of towering peaks, glacier-fed rivers and fjords flanked by craggy shorelines, Norway’s labyrinth of coastal inlets has recently become popular with cruise lines, but Nat Hab’s new sojourn into central Norway’s coast and interior aims to elude the crowds. Search for native musk ox and reindeer on the tundra in Dovrefjell National Park, board a high-speed Zodiac into the Atlantic to visit Grasoyane seal colony, and kayak the secluded Hjorundfjord, a “secret” fjord within the Sunnmore Alps—and off-limits to big cruise ships. Join naturalist Expedition Leaders for a hike in Amotan Gorge, a little-seen spot home to some of the tallest waterfalls in the world. In remote Norangsfjord, retreat to one of Europe’s most treasured small hotels, a 30-room haven favored by royalty, aristocrats, authors and adventurers since 1891.