Solo Travel 2018: Adventure Into the Great Outdoors
Get your adrenaline pumping by land or by sea.
Still waiting for this miserable winter to end? When the itch to get outdoors becomes too much to bear, logic dictates that it’s time to head someplace where you’ll only be inside when you’re sleeping. Belizean Dreams is a resort that will make that happen in a single-traveler-friendly way. Located in Belize, the Central American country that combines the warmth of the Caribbean with the adventure of nearby rain forests and coral reefs, it has much to keep you busy. Of the resort’s three solo-traveler, all-inclusive packages, the “Mayan Jungle & Beach” option is the most adrenaline-inducing: It includes climbing Mayan ruins and cave tubing. Be sure to check out the scuba diving, too: Belize is home to the famous Great Blue Hole. This circular underwater cave is the biggest sea hole in the world, and hammerhead sharks and hawksbill turtles are known to swim its crystal-clear waters. (No worries if you’re a newbie — on-site lessons are available.) The resort’s more relaxed activities are also made for one: Pick up a complimentary kayak, bicycle or set of snorkel gear and head out for self-guided excursions. Wind down the afternoon with local spirits at the outdoor tiki bar (your room comes with an unlimited drink tab), then head around the corner to Love On the Rocks, where one last thrill awaits. At this beachside restaurant, entrées are cooked on 700-degree lava slabs at your table.
If you’re looking to hit more than one locale while you travel, REI Adventures is the way to go. (The tour company, which plans trips on all seven continents, will waive your single supplement if you agree to a roommate, even if they don’t find you one.) Not into the ocean? Trade blue for green with a two-week coast-to-coast hiking trek through Ireland. Bring a sturdy pair of boots, pack plenty of Dri-Fit, and don’t skip the traditional egg-and-black-pudding breakfasts, because you’ll be walking anywhere from one to 10 miles a day while ascending elevations of 1,800 feet. Some of the sites you’ll hit: Glendalough, an Irish monastery “city” of ruins; waterfalls along the 135-mile Kerry Way; and the Cliffs of Moher — better known as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from The Princess Bride. You’ll be the best kind of exhausted by the time you hit Ennis, a quaint country town, on your last night, but don’t fall asleep before downing one last pint of Guinness — the beer on your flight home just won’t taste as good.
The resort: Belizean Dreams
Rates: Starting at $1,160 for 4 nights
The Group: REI Adventures
Where: Almost everywhere
Rates: Start at $549, airfare not included
Published as “Me, Myself And I: Adventure Into the Great Outdoors” in the March 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.