Leap Year: Five Epic Adventures to do in a Day

With 366 days in 2020 instead of the usual 365, it’s got us thinking about how much you can experience in just a day. So, we challenged our Experts to come up with the ultimate 24 hours in destinations across the globe and boy did they come up with mind blowing ideas. Prepare for some serious wanderlust, from mystical ceremonies in Peru to leopard spotting in Sri Lanka, here are five ways to make the most of your extra day this year.

Leap Day Experiences

Diamond Circle, Surfing, Whale Watching and Northern Lights

Iceland

Staying at the luxurious Deplar Farm, wake yourself up with a morning surf in one of the best swells in the country. Yes, it’ll be cold, but their 6/5/4 wetsuits will keep you warm and surfing surrounded by snow and ice it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Reward your hard work with a helicopter tour of the Diamond Circle, a route that connects three of the most spectacular phenomena in the region and a great alternative the more renowned (and much busier) Golden Circle. Lunch is a private BBQ in remote cave only accessible by helicopter, Then, swap the skies for the high sea, as you’re picked up for an exclusive whale watching trip in the afternoon. After an action-packed day, alternate between Deplar’s Viking sauna with dips in the cold plunge pool for the ultimate health benefits, before getting a front-row seat to the Northern Lights as you sit back in their geothermally heated outdoor pool. For the icing on the cake, tantalize the taste buds with a five course, farm-to-table dinner that celebrates your surroundings made by Iceland’s 2018 chef of the year.

Walking With Wildlife

Kenya

Begin the day with a caffeine kick as fresh Kenyan coffee is brought to your tent before setting out on a two-hour immersive walking safari with your team of friendly camels and expert Samburu warrior guide, learning the intricacies of the African bush while spotting the elusive ‘Northern Five’, endemic to Northern Kenya. As you round a kopje (hill), scramble up the side to your awaiting bush breakfast cooked over an open fire by your private crew, with sweeping views of the vast Laikipia Plateau below. Following an adrenaline-filled rock-climbing session, take a break and “jump on a hump!” Ride one of the accompanying camels through the game rich ecosystem. In Out of Africa style, enjoy a scrumptious bush lunch under the shade of an acacia tree. Fill your plate with organic and fresh fare, take your time to relax in the shade and absorb yourself in the sounds of the bush. Set out on foot again in the afternoon, tracking prints and learning about flora and insects along the way before coming upon your refuge for the night: the permanent Tumaren Camp. Indulge in the creature comforts of camp, enjoy sundowners by the fire and a delicious meal under the stars swapping tales from the day.

The Ultimate Heli-Adventure

New Zealand

After a breakfast prepared by your private chef at your ultra-luxe lodge, Blanket Bay, you’ll take off in your personal helicopter. The morning is yours to play with as you choose, from glacier hiking with crampons to kayaking on breathtakingly remote alpine lakes and traversing ridge tops and challenging peaks. Whether you’re after something reflective or exhilarating, your guide is there to make it happen. A delicious lunch of pure indulgence awaits showcasing the country’s famed cuisines. Lamb racks, fresh crayfish and seafood gathered from remote beaches during your journey will be prepared by a private chef and matched with the finest wines, while you soak up the idyllic wilderness views. Your adventures continue for the afternoon before you’re flown to your bed for the night. Accessible only by helicopter, a luxury camping experience awaits, set up just for you. Enjoy the peace and quiet over another freshly served dinner before sleeping under the stars in your own little corner of the world.

Reach New Heights

Peru

Your morning starts in the Sacred Valley, surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks and terraced farmlands. We’ll arrange a private shaman for a traditional Peruvian mystic ceremony, designed to give thanks to the earth along with any other special requests. A moment of calm and contemplation before heading into the adventures of the day. Head further into the valley as you embark on an adrenaline-filled paragliding adventure over the Peruvian Andes, taking in a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking valley below. Then, you’re on to lunch at one of the most unique properties in South America. strap on a helmet and begin your Via Ferrata along a series of ziplines to SkyLodge, where three glass domes are suspended above the valley. After your adventure-filled morning, slow the pace and explore the local area on horseback, you’ll discover a traditional way of life, passing through remote rural communities where locals dress in clothing little changed since the Inca period. Finish your day with a private pisco sour making class and toast to your new memories!

Tea plantations, private picnics and leopard spotting on safari

Sri Lanka

Wake up in a charming colonial bungalow as a private butler delivers a cup of the estate’s world-famous tea in bed. Sit out on your private veranda as the sun rises over an undulating landscape of tea plantations, their blanket of emerald green punctuated by the colorful clothes of the tea pickers. Then, it’s time to start the day’s adventures. Head out with a private expert guide to kayak across Castlereagh Lake. Mornings here are simply dreamy as the sun gleams over the glassy water and the tea-carpeted mountains start to emerge from the thinning mist. After a short hike, arrive at a picturesque, tumbling waterfall - the spectacular setting for a private picnic breakfast made from fresh, home grown vegetables, herbs and teas from the surrounding estates. Head back the hotel to catch a private helicopter to Wild Coast Tented Lodge in Yala National Park, home to one of the densest leopard populations in the world and other animals including elephants, sloth bear and monkeys. After a thrilling private game drive, enjoy some much-needed R&R back at the lodge with soothing treatments at the Sanctuary Spa, like the Ceylon Spices Herbal Compress Massage. End the day with cocktails and gourmet candlelit dinner under the stars in a beach garden overlooking the ocean.

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