From the Air: A Bird's Eye View of Spectacular Places

Get a bird’s-eye view of some spectacular places—from Uluru to Patagonia to the Serengeti—with our gallery of aerial photos from our lodges.

andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge – Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe

On its way towards Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi churns past Matetsi River Lodge, where guests enjoy river safaris, canoe outings, and game drives in a vast private reserve.

andBeyond Benguerra Island – Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

The deep teal waters of the Mozambique Channel lap the shores of Benguerra Island, where 13 beachfront cottages are a base for snorkeling, sailing or kayaking, horseback riding, and diving with dugongs.

Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas – Aristi, Greece

Sunset and snows light up the Pindus peaks above the traditional stone buildings of Aristi Mountain Resort, a bastion of northern Greece’s age-old Zagori culture situated near the stunning Vikos Gorge.

Ashford Castle – County Mayo, Ireland

An 800-year-old castle once owned by the Guinness family, Ashford is a majestic gateway into country life in Ireland’s enchanting west, where guests can go boating and horseback riding, eat dinner in a dungeon, and try out traditional pastimes like archery and falconry.

Banyan Tree Ringha – Shangri-La, China

Fall colors set off the refurbished Tibetan farmhouses of Banyan Tree Ringha, situated on a hillside in China’s beautiful Yunnan Province, and deeply connected to the traditions of the surrounding ethnic Tibetan community.

Belcampo Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Perched on a hilltop above a 12,000-acre nature reserve in southern Belize, Belcampo is an elegant hub for snorkeling reef-filled seas, kayaking jungle waterways, visiting Mayan sites, and learning to make chocolate.

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat – Western Cape, South Africa

In the rocky outcrops near South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains, more than 130 ancient San rock art sites are protected within this private wildlife reserve—and the experts at Bushmans Kloof are on hand to interpret them for guests.

Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island, Australia

The tiny isle of Lord Howe, set in the Tasman Sea, is home to turquoise lagoons, two dramatic mountains, and a host of endemic species—and Capella Lodge invites guests to explore it all with a naturalist.

Churchill Wild – Manitoba, Canada

The two lodges of Churchill Wild are perched on the shores of the Hudson Bay in prime polar-bear viewing country—and they offer walking safaris to see these incredible creatures. The Arctic Safari at Seal River Heritage Lodge also includes time at a remote tundra camp, where you’re liable to see caribou; three species of bear; and, with luck, the northern lights.

Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel – Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

At this lodge on Santa Cruz Island, guests can stroll to the beach to find sea lions and other wildlife, go on a yacht outing to some of the archipelago’s wild islands, or just relax at the pool and watch endemic birds pass by.

Fogo Island Inn – Newfoundland, Canada

The wild shores of Fogo Island are a great place for exploring, contemplating life, and foraging for ingredients with the chefs at Fogo Island Inn, a lodge that has revived the community and its traditions following the collapse of the cod industry.

Fregate Island Private – Fregate Island, Seychelles

This private island in the Indian Ocean has been returned to the wild after years of plantation use, and guests at the secluded waterfront villas here have an excellent chance of encountering unusual flora and fauna—both on land and underwater.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – Western Cape, South Africa

Tucked into thousand-year old trees and exotic fynbos, the two lodges at Grootbos look out over Africa’s dramatic southernmost coast and Walker Bay, where southern right whales migrate to breed every June.

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción – Amazon Rain Forest, Peru

Hanging bridges loop through the treetops in the rain forest near Lake Sandoval in southern Peru, allowing guests a close-up view of the canopy ecosystem.

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba – Sacred Valley, Peru

Lights shimmer as evening falls on Hacienda Urubamba, a beautiful tribute to colonial and Inca architecture with extraordinary views of the sacred peaks of the Andes.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel – Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru

Nestled in a narrow gorge beneath the mountaintops that surround Machu Picchu, this lodge is a portal to the legendary Inca site, but also to the orchids and wildlife of the cloud forest, reached by trails on the property.

Jicaro Island Lodge – Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

An excursion from the treehouses of Jicaro, on an islet in Lake Nicaragua, includes a hike in the surrounding mountains with vistas of emerald slopes, the lake, and the colonial town of Granada.

Kapari Natural Resort – Santorini, Greece

Dusk falls on the whitewashed terraces of Kapari, where centuries-old cave dwellings have been converted to stunning guest rooms overlooking the caldera.

Kasbah du Toubkal – High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

On a hilltop beneath the tallest peaks of the High Atlas, this traditionally designed kasbah is a center of Berber hospitality, a vibrant hub of Moroccan culture, and a welcome base for hikers.

Lapa Rios Lodge – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Thatched roofs peek out from thick jungle on the tip of the Osa Peninsula, where guests can explore beaches, primary forest, and waterfalls with lodge naturalists—and spot scarlet macaws from their private terrace.

Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Swirls of turquoise surround Lizard Island National Park, where the only accommodation on the island allows guests access to rare flora and fauna and remote sections of the Great Barrier Reef.

Lone Mountain Ranch – Big Sky, Montana, United States

Amid the pine forests of southwestern Montana, this historic ranch invites you to fly-fish, hike, and cross-country ski, or ride a horse into the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park.

Longitude 131˚ – The Northern Territory, Australia

A crescent of stunning tents facing the sacred monolith of Uluru, Longitude 131˚ draws you into the unusual landscapes of Australia’s Red Centre and the ancient indigenous culture that calls it home.

Mara Plains Camp – Olari Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya

Seasonal rains bring shades of green to the acacia-dotted landscapes surrounding this camp, set in a Maasai-owned conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara.

Mashpi Lodge – Chocó Rain Forest, Ecuador

Lights from this eco-lodge—built without felling a tree—illuminate the forests of the Chocó, one of the planet’s biodiversity hotspots. You can explore this rare wilderness by open-air gondola, by foot, or by pedaling a “skybike” through the canopy.

Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort – British Columbia, Canada

Perched over the water on an inlet near the Great Bear Rainforest, nine chalets are the starting point for paddleboarding and kayaking adventures, hikes and fly-fishing excursions, and soaking in hot tubs at the foot of a waterfall that provides all of the lodge’s power.

ol Donyo Lodge – Chyulu Hills, Kenya

This lodge in southern Kenya has its own views to the sky: Mount Kilimanjaro towers on the horizon here, adding drama to the backdrop of every game drive and horseback ride. And starbeds on the roof of each bungalow make constellation-gazing easy when night falls.

Pacuare Lodge – Limón Province, Costa Rica

A bend in the Pacuare River—one of the world’s top white-water rafting spots—borders this rain forest lodge, accessible only by boat or raft. From its elevated bungalows, guests can go zip-lining and hiking, and get acquainted with the indigenous people who have long lived in these forests.

Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort – Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

This private Caribbean refuge is home to 22 villas, each looking out over empty beaches and azure seas where sailing, fishing, and kayaking await, as well as diving with experts from the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Centre.

Reserva do Ibitipoca – Minas Gerais, Brazil

A beautifully restored 18th-century farmhouse in the hills north of Rio de Janeiro invites you to discover quartzite beaches on mountaintops, sparkling waterfalls and canyons, and the Atlantic Forest—a threatened ecosystem that the lodge owners are helping to revive.

Rosalie Bay Resort – Morne Trois Pitons, Dominica

Beneath the lush peaks of the Caribbean’s “Nature Island,” nine charming cottages along a black-sand beach make up a retreat where you can hike to waterfalls and boiling lakes, enjoy a massage in a treehouse, and monitor turtle hatchlings as they emerge from their nests.

Rubondo Island Camp – Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania

The still, sapphire waters of Lake Victoria end at the leafy shores of Rubondo Island National Park, where guests at the island’s only accommodation can go on safari by land or lake, sail a dhow at sunset, and observe chimpanzees in the wild.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

After the evening safari, dinner is often served under the stars in an enchanting boma enclosed by tree roots at Earth Lodge, one of the four distinct accommodations at Sabi Sabi.

Sayari Camp – Northern Serengeti, Tanzania

Set amid low woodlands on the Serengeti’s northern frontier, the simple and elegant safari tents of Sayari Camp look out over a vast and wild landscape—and the view can be enjoyed from your private veranda or even your bathtub.

Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort – British Columbia, Canada

In a clearing amid the pine forests of British Columbia’s Cariboo wilderness, this resort offers a back-to-nature experience that will have you horseback riding, fly-fishing, kayaking, and hiking with naturalists—and developing a deep appreciation for the ecosystems you encounter.

Southern Ocean Lodge – Kangaroo Island, Australia

From above the turquoise Southern Ocean, this lodge appears as a sliver of architecture along the cliff top, designed to blend in and look out over extraordinary vistas at every turn. A host of endemic creatures and fantastic rock formations can be found on Kangaroo Island, and the lodge naturalists are on hand to interpret it all.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge – Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

The forests that flank the Kinabatangan River harbor many of the creatures that have made Borneo famous: pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and all manner of birdlife. This lodge, founded by one of Borneo’s ecotourism pioneers, introduces guests to this unique wildlife on riverboat outings and forest walks.

Tswalu Kalahari – Kalahari, South Africa

The raw and mystical landscapes of the Kalahari are on full display at Tarkuni, one of the accommodations at this National Geographic Unique Lodge. Guests set off with private safari guides to explore some 250,000 acres of wilderness where lions and cheetah roam as well as unusual species like pangolins and aardvarks.

The Brando – Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

This private atoll is a Polynesian paradise with a mission. You might choose to loll on the beach or settle in at the spa, or go on nature walks and snorkeling adventures with guides. Or you can visit the scientists at work at the research station here, whose innovations include mosquito eradication and an air-conditioning system that runs on coconut oil and sea water.

The Bushcamp Company – South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

In addition to the main lodge, Mfuwe, the Bushcamp Company invites guests deeper into the wilderness to stay in intimate Bushcamps, each with its own distinct style and setting. After a day of walking safaris and game drives, guests at Zungulila Camp take their sundowners with their feet in the cool shallows of the Kapamba River.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, California

Shielded by canyon walls, but just yards from the beach, this coastal ranch between Los Angeles and San Diego offers hiking trails, watersports, a sustainable golf course, and easy access to picturesque seaside towns of Orange County.

The Ranch at Rock Creek – Western Montana Wilderness, United States

Snowcapped Rockies fill the skyline at this 6,000-acre working ranch where the spirit of old Montana is alive and well. Hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, great food, and fun are the order of the day here, and summers feature a lively weekly rodeo on site.

Three Camel Lodge – Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Traditional ger tents dot the desert landscape, each filled with hand-crafted furniture and textiles, and offering a window into the nomadic culture of the Gobi. The Flaming Cliffs, “singing” sand dunes, and spectacular nature reserves are within easy reach here.

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa – Atacama Desert, Chile

Native plants surround this lodge in the world’s most arid desert, and large windows face the starry skies and conical volcanic peaks. Built of local materials using existing adobe walls, the lodge left the ground beneath it intact out of respect for the indigenous people who once lived here.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa – Patagonia, Chile

The serpentine form of this lodge sets off the sharp crags of the Torres del Paine massif, one of Patagonia’s true gems. After a day of hiking or horseback riding in the park, you can pamper yourself in the spa or enjoy fine Chilean wines—always with a view.

Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge – Nosy Komba Island, Madagascar

Set between an idyllic bay and lush tropical forests on an island in the Nosy Be archipelago, this intimate lodge is a wildlife encounter, a marine adventure, a beach vacation, a cultural journey, and a culinary experience all rolled into one.

Tutka Bay Lodge – Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, United States

Floatplane and water taxi are the only ways to get to this gem, situated on the remote shores of the Kenai Peninsula. Boating, hiking, bear-watching, and mountain biking fill the days here, and evenings have a culinary twist, with cooking classes and demonstrations in the kitchen.

Winterlake Lodge – South-central Alaskan Wilderness, United States

Deep in wilderness near Denali, at the edge of a lake along the historic Iditarod Trail, Winterlake is a gateway to the Alaskan backcountry, where dogsledding, glacier trekking, heli-hiking, and kayaking are just some of the possibilities.

Zarafa Camp – Selinda Reserve, Botswana

On the edge of a lagoon surrounded by more than 320,000 acres of private, protected land, the elevated tents at Zarafa offer an intimate encounter with one of Africa’s great wildernesses.

Zhiwa Ling Hotel – Paro, Bhutan

Designed to celebrate Bhutanese artistry, this lodge in the verdant Himalayan hills houses a temple, a meditation house, and tea house—and on a clear day, the views reach to the legendary Tiger’s Nest Temple.