Luxury travel isn’t always about staying in five-star hotel and eating at Michelin-rated restaurants. If you’re a thrill seeker, your idea of an epic travel adventure may be to cruise the world in your private jet to escape the suffocation of sophistication and experience quests outside of the boardroom. Sound like you? If so, check out some of the world’s best adventure hotspots.
Extreme Sporting| Patagonia, Chile
Race to the end of the earth on a journey that has you trek to Chilean mountain summits and down to the Pacific Ocean through a frontier that you’ve never seen. Patagonia is in the southern region of the South American Andes that stretches from the Pacific Ocean in Chile to the Atlantic in Argentina.
Start your trip at Chile’s Futaleufú Valley with horseback riding lessons from local cowboys so you can make your way along the rugged trails to the Tres Monjas (Three Nuns) base camp. Then conquer the 6,600-foot summit of Tres Monjas’ volcanic spires so you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Patagonia’s landscape. Tap into your abseiling skills to negotiate your way back down Tres Monjas to the glacier below.
After a night of well-deserved rest, trade in the horses for mountain bikes as you head down to the Futaleufú River, which has some of the world’s most brutal white waters. Spend a couple of days in seemingly endless Class V waters in a kayak as you float to Lake Yelcho and the find your way to the Pacific Ocean.
Patagonia trivia: The region’s name comes from the word patagón, which the Portuguese explorer Magellan used in 1520 to describe the South American native people that he encountered. He thought the Tehuelches were giants because their average height was 5 feet and 11 inches. The average height of a European at the time was about 5 feet and 1 inch.
Heli-Surfing | North Island and South Island, New Zealand
Chase the perfect waves and tunnels as fast as possible across New Zealand, one of the last places in the world that humans settled on and home of some of the craziest extreme sports. New Zealand is popular among the surfing crowd because you can find great waves all year round, but the optimal times are from October to November and February to April.
Start by hiring a helicopter service and a pilot, watch the weather and then chase the swells. You’ll find some of the best around the Taranki coast’s Surf Highway 45 and its 180-degree curve. Take the chopper to Raglan for its legendary left-hand point-breaks at Manu Bay, Indicators, Whale Bay and more. On the South Island, check out Dunedin and Kaikoura. Other epic surf spots include Stent Road, Coromandel’s Double Brown, Pommy Reef and Fitzroy Beach.
As you make your way from beach to beach, be sure to look out the window at the country’s waterfalls, glaciers and rainforests. Keep in mind that New Zealand is the “Land of the Long White Cloud” and has temperatures that mimic those of Vancouver Island, so pack your best wetsuits.
Safari Excursion | Botswana, Africa
For one of the best safari and extreme sport holidays, charter a private jet and head to Botswana, a landlocked country that borders South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Start your adventure with a helicopter ride over the Okavango Delta. With the 2009 water levels reaching their highest since 1963, you’re sure to see an abundance of wildlife. Book a luxury tent on Xaxaba (pronounced “ka-kaa-ba”) Island and spend your days cruising through the waters and deeper into the Delta in a Mokoro canoe and an open-top 4-by-four so you can see animals like elephants, hippos, rhinos, storks, lechwes, tiny reed frogs and much more. At night, roam the bush for a glimpse of the “big five” in action.
To get your heart pounding even more, head to neighboring Zambia to see Victoria Falls up close with a micro-light flight, bungee jump or helicopter ride. If you want to get into the water, book a whitewater rafting tour or take a dip in the “Devil’s Pool,” a safe, natural pool formed at the edge of the falls.
About Solairus Aviation:
Solairus is a US-based private aviation services company whose core business is assisting aircraft owners with the safe, reliable, and efficient management and operation of their aircraft. Our services are customized to meet the client’s individual travel and financial requirements, and to support their flight operation with the highest standards of safety and personalized service, regardless of the location of the aircraft.
Solairus was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Solairus has over twenty-five base locations across the United States, Europe and Asia, employing more than two hundred flight crew and support personnel to operate a fleet currently numbering over fifty aircraft. Solairus is an Aviation Research Group/US Platinum-Rated and Wyvern Wingman certified charter operator. Solairus has also received the NBAA Commercial Business Flying Safety Award and is an IS-BAO stage two certified company. Solairus offers a full range of services in addition to aircraft management, which includes aircraft charter sales, aviation support services, and consulting. For more information about Solairus Aviation, visit www.solairus.aero or call 800-359-7861.