Get Away from It All!

Four vacations that offer more than rest and relaxation.

Business travel can feel like an extreme sport: lots of stress, no sleep. So, if summer's arrival gets you thinking about taking a break, why not opt for an extreme vacation? Why not visit a remote destination where you can really get away from it all? Here are four vacation alternatives (including some for winter) that provide peace and tranquility -- plus as much cold, heat, or remoteness as you can handle.

Where Cost Scene Postcard Tip
Botswana
Jacana Safari
Wilderness Safaris
800-552-0300
www.african-safari.com/jacana.htm
The land cost ranges from $3,400 to $4,300 (including food), depending on the season. This 13-day cross-country safari departs about twice a month. After sleeping in a tent, head out for a drive in an open-topped vehicle. Along the way, you'll encounter cheetahs, lions, leopards, and elephants in their natural habitats. Two-time visitor Stephanie Grant found her safari to be out of this world: "It's like going back into some sort of Eden, where evidence of humanity is just not there." While this part of Africa doesn't pose any major health risks, and while no shots are required for Botswana, you should visit your physician before going on this trip.
Canadian Rockies
Hike the Awesome Classics
Back of Beyond Adventure Co.
800-732-7251
www.backofbeyond.ab.ca
The trip -- six nights in a lodge -- costs $1,605 per person (meals and activities included). The weeklong hike takes place four times this summer. Hike through the Canadian Rockies and encounter glaciers, waterfalls, pristine lakes, foliage, and animals of all kinds. Then relax in the luxury of a cozy lodge with gourmet dining. Betty Peterson found this trip both invigorating and relaxing. "Climbing mountains is very motivational," she says. "In fact, hiking has become my new hobby." Get in shape before you go. Travelers who are more physically fit are better able to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Expect to hike 6 to 12 miles a day.
Fiji
Marlin Bay Resort
800-542-3454
www.marlinbay.com
A beachfront unit runs $185 per night, and a two-bedroom unit costs $285 per night. For $55 a day, guests can sign up for a gourmet-dining plan. Beqa Lagoon is one of the world's top dive locations. After dark, don't miss the traditional fire-walking ceremony, in which native Fijians tread barefoot across scalding-hot rocks. Roger Mauermann, a repeat visitor to Marlin Bay Resort, says it's a total vacation: "The tranquility of Fiji helps me put my life in perspective." Be prepared to be cut off from the outside world. At this luxurious resort, the rooms contain neither television sets nor fax machines nor telephones.
Antarctica
Cruise on the A & K Explorer
Abercrombie & Kent
800-323-7308
www.abercrombiekent.com
Depending on your cabin choice, prices range from $6,455 to $14,335 per person. The ship sets sail on several dates between November 5 and February 19. An intimate cruise: The ship holds a maximum of 100 passengers. Small excursion boats, called Zodiacs, take you on day trips to islands with magnificent iceberg scenery. Jane Nerison renewed her sense of wonder on this trip. "I've been to a place that few people have ever visited," she says. "It enhanced my desire to explore new ideas." Don't forget your waterproof gear. Zodiacs often make wet landings, and you'll be exploring snow-covered territory. Rubber boots and Gore-Tex pants are a must.

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