Unique Lodge Experiences

Settle In and Stay Awhile.

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is more than a selection of world-class accommodations. It’s a collection of rare experiences across the globe, offering guests intimate encounters with parts of the world not many get to know. We invite you to settle into one of these authentic retreats and stay a while, immersing yourself in a magical place. The itineraries below are filled with enriching activities, culinary experiences, and down time. They were designed for National Geographic guests, and you can customize them any way you like to fit your interests.

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Sacred Valley of the Inca, Peru

Discover rich cultural heritage and the natural beauty of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Explore the lodge’s extensive network of trails, take part in local traditions, make your own batch of corn beer, and gaze up at the stars with an expert in Inca astrology.

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Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru

Delve into the jungles of the Andes for a Machu Picchu experience that goes beyond the legendary ruins. From your base within the cloud forests below the site, explore the Andes on foot, spot exotic birds and orchids, and learn about the rare spectacled bear—and efforts to preserve it. Then join a guide to discover the incredible Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

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Cusco, Peru

Immerse yourself in centuries of Peruvian history and culture from your base at a storied landmark in the imperial Inca city of Cusco. Explore the handicraft markets, cobbled lanes, and impressive colonial churches of historic center on your own or with a local guide, and venture into the nearby Sacred Valley of the Inca on guided excursions.

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High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Get an unparalleled view of life in the High Atlas from this mountain hideaway imbued with authentic Berber hospitality and traditions. Led by trained locals, explore the surrounding mountains on foot on hikes, walks, and mule treks of your choice. Immerse yourself in village life on visits to family homes, and soak up the rhythms of rural Morocco.

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Limón Province, Costa Rica

Venture deep into the pristine Costa Rican rain forest by way of the Pacuare River to the remote hideaway of Pacuare Lodge. In this pristine wilderness, take guided hikes, experience world-class white water on one of the world’s most scenic waterways, get to know an indigenous culture, and explore the forest canopy a variety of unique ways.

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Punta Gorda, Belize

Experience a sampling of what makes Belize’s southernmost region shine—from its ancient Maya heritage to the dazzling intersection of jungle and sea. Join local guides on snorkeling and fishing excursions, inland adventures, and cultural explorations.

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Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya

Get an intimate perspective of the remote wilderness of northern Kenya as you explore lowland plains, wooded hills, and the pristine expanse of Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy on foot, on game drives, and during cultural encounters with the local Samburu people.

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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Enjoy an extraordinary safari experience in the far northern reaches of Serengeti National Park, from your base at the elegant tented accommodations at Sayari. Search for big cats, elephant herds and rhino on game drives with excellent guides, and learn to track wildlife on a walking safari.

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Atacama Desert, Chile

From your stunning base camp amid the sweeping landscapes of the Atacama Desert, set out to explore the red-rock formations, volcanoes, geysers, and flamingo-speckled salt pans.

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Western Montana Wilderness, United States

Encounter the spirit of old Montana at a working cattle ranch in the Rockies. Spend your day with top-notch guides, fly-fishing in cool mountain streams teeming with trout, or riding horseback through the hills. Hike or mountain bike on empty trails, or test your skills with a bow and arrow. Back at the lodge, enjoy world-class meals, live music at the saloon, and—in summers—the weekly rodeo.

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Minas Gerais, Brazil

Retreat to a historic haven in Brazil’s Minas Gerais region, where the Atlantic Forest converges with a fascinating quartzite landscape of caverns and canyons. Explore this hidden gem on foot or by horseback, bicycle, or 4x4; and venture off the property to discover traditional villages and the spectacular Ibitipoca State Park.

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Big Sky, Montana, United States

Bask in the magic of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem during the summer months, when wildflowers blanket the landscape. Venture into the wild backcountry by foot, bike, or horseback; or paddle along the shimmering Gallatin River, a Blue Ribbon trout stream.

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Patagonia, Chile

Natural splendor and awe-inspiring architecture collide at Tierra Patagonia. From your room facing the peaks of Torres del Paine National Park, head into this geological wonderland on guided hikes, driving tours, and horseback rides. Then return to the lodge for excellent meals and ultimate relaxation, with incredible views.

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Santorini, Greece

From your cliff-side perch inside meticulously refurbished, centuries-old cave dwellings, experience Santorini like an insider. See its stunning caldera from a variety of angles, explore ancient ruins and volcanic beaches, and enjoy the overflowing bounty of this one-of-a-kind place.

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Amazon Rain Forest, Peru

Venture into the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon, discovering the fascinating flora and fauna of this complex ecosystem. Explore the rain forest with naturalists on foot and by canoe, from high up in the canopy and while floating down the Madre de Dios River. Learn to make chocolate from the bean, and feast on cuisine inspired by the jungle.

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Selinda Reserve, Botswana

Soak up the allure of northern Botswana’s incredible Okavango Delta, where hippos, zebras, and huge herds of buffalo gather at a vast network of natural watering holes. Explore the bush in custom-built safari vehicles as well as on foot, and float past hippos and birds as you cruise the Zibadianja Lagoon.

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Chyulu Hills, Kenya

High-altitude mist forest, subterranean lava tubes, woodlands, savanna—the varied landscapes of the Chyulu Hills are a wonderland for discovery. Here in the land of the Maasai, encounter wild creatures big and small, from large herds of elephants to exotic birdlife.

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Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya

Experience the enchantment of safari expeditions of yesteryear at this intimate camp nestled in a private reserve. Get immersed in the legendary Great Rift Valley on exceptional game drives, bush walks, and cultural experiences.

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Chocó Rain Forest, Ecuador

Dive into the culture and marine-rich waters of the Mozambique Channel. Go on snorkeling and scuba excursions, explore Benguerra Island on horseback and guided drives, and glide across turquoise waters on a paddle board, sea kayak, or traditional dhow.

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South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Encounter the raw essence of Africa in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, a hidden gem of floodplains, grasslands, and forests. Get orientated at the main lodge, then venture among a collection of remote safari camps that put you right in the heart of wildlife-rich landscapes. Spend your days on walking and driving safaris, enjoying sundowners and stunning views, and dining and sleeping under the starlit African sky.

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Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

Get immersed in the land of lakes and volcanoes from a tiny isleta perch in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, with views of the Mombacho Volcano. Whether relaxing along the glassy water or basking in the glow of hot lava, experience the drama of this dynamic landscape with local activities and guided excursions.

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Shangri-La, China

Experience true Chinese serenity in this peaceful corner of Yunnan Province. Discover the enduring soul of Tibetan culture on visits to local farms, villages, and important Buddhist sites, and breathe in the spirit of Shangri-la on leisurely walks through this dramatic landscape ringed by the Himalaya.

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Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Discover Tanzania’s stunning Ngorongoro Crater, one of the planet’s greatest natural wonders, during an immersive stay on the rim. Walk along the rim, drive across the crater floor, savor sweeping views at every turn, and engage with the people who live in this incredible place.

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Western Cape, South Africa

Delve into early human history in the Cederberg mountains. Explore this unparalleled landscape—where an open-air gallery of ancient rock art meets a unique wildlife sanctuary—with guided hikes, walks, drives, and unforgettable dining experiences in the bush.

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Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Discover Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula, covered with some of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rain forest and fringed by sandy beaches. Delve into the jungle in pursuit of waterfalls, exotic birds and butterflies, and medicinal plants, and cruise the coast on the lookout for marine life.

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Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe

Enjoy private access to the mighty Zambezi, close proximity to Victoria Falls, and a private game reserve teeming with wildlife. Float down the river, explore the bush in open-air safari vehicles and on foot, and head upstream to experience one of the world’s largest waterfalls.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Get unparalleled access to one of the planet’s most important natural treasures. Encounter the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef by snorkel or scuba; enjoy secluded beaches and sweeping views; and discover the gentle turquoise waters by motorized dinghy, glass-bottomed kayak or paddle board, or on a sunset cruise.

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Mayo, Ireland

Step into the centuries-old story of Ashford Castle and live like the nobility that once graced these stately halls. Make yourself at home on the sprawling estate, and explore the surrounding countryside and Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lake, with a unique range of guided excursions and activities.

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Western Cape, South Africa

Journey to where two oceans collide at the tip of Africa and discover the magic of the Western Cape from a variety of vantages. Explore the bright fynbos reserve—the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms—on foot, horseback, or 4x4. Take a scenic drive and soar over the landscape, and delve into vast coastal caves. From June to December, the shallow waters of Walker Bay fill with southern right whales, and the coastlines of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offer spectacular viewing opportunities.

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Chocó Rain Forest, Ecuador

Immerse yourself in the cloud forest of the Ecudorian Chocó, discovering its rare biodiversity and learning about local conservation efforts from resident scientists. Over the course of four days, see the forest from many different angles: glide amid the canopy on a Sky Bike or gondola, follow along with birds on their morning forage, hike to hidden waterfalls, and peer at bioluminescent fungi on nighttime walks.

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British Columbia, Canada

Immerse yourself in the pristine landscapes and diverse ecosystems of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest as you hike, fish, and get out on the water during a four-day stay at Nimmo Bay Wilderness Lodge. Spend your evenings trading tales around a bonfire at the water’s edge, savoring gourmet coastal cuisine, and soaking in a cedar hot tub at the foot of a waterfall.

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Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

Tap into the rhythms of French Polynesia during a week at the Brando. Discover the natural wealth of the private atoll on outings with researchers and guides; delve into Tahitian culture; and go beachcombing, swimming, and snorkeling in tropical paradise.

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Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Settle into a private island fringed with pristine beaches and spend a week exploring every way you can think of. Venture out by glass-bottom kayak or sailboat, or simply stroll the beach to find a perfect spot. Dive or snorkel coral reefs, sail a sloop, and enjoy excellent cuisine delivered to you wherever you are.

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Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania

On a protected island in Lake Victoria, set out on an African wildlife experience with a twist. Go on safari by foot, vehicle, and canoe, discovering wildlife both terrestrial and aquatic. Then enjoy a rare opportunity to observe wild chimpanzees and participate in their habituation.

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South Andros Island, Bahamas

Dive into the unspoiled wonders of Andros Island—the largest island in the Bahamas, and one of the most overlooked—on a four-night stay at Tiamo. Explore the planet’s third-largest barrier reef on a snorkeling excursion, cast a line into some of the world’s best bonefishing flats, and dive into the mesmerizing blue holes that dot the coasts and lush inland forests.

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Newfoundland, Canada

Journey to Fogo Island—a Newfoundland outport isle that celebrates seven seasons—and embrace the prevailing rhythms of its enchanting landscapes and centuries-old culture. Watch icebergs drift past the shoreline in the spring, try your hand at jam jarring during berry season, celebrate the maritime festivities of trap berth season, and more.

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Lord Howe Island, Australia

Spend five days discovering the pristine tropical paradise of Lord Howe Island. Snorkel amid sea turtles and schooling fish in a crystalline lagoon, stroll sugar-white beaches in search of rare endemic birds, and scale the summits of the island’s jaw-dropping emerald peaks. Each evening, embark on a world-class culinary adventure at your waterfront lodge.

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Aristi, Greece

See an unexpected side of Greece during a four-day stay amid the rugged Pindus peaks in the country’s northern reaches. Trace the legacy of Ottoman traders along ancient mountain footpaths, explore the dramatic Vikos Gorge, and savor the region’s distinctive seasonal cuisine.

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Fregate Island, The Seychelles

Soak up the serenity of the Seychelles—and spot the rare wildlife of the archipelago—during an eight-day stay on the private isle of Fregate. Explore jungles inhabited by plodding tortoises and rare tropical birds; relax on picturesque beaches; and get out on the water for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking excursions.

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British Columbia, Canada

Saddle up to cowboy country during a six-day exploration of Canada’s Wild West. Channel your inner frontiersman as you explore British Columbia’s pristine Cariboo wilderness on horseback and foot, and try your hand at fly-fishing, skeet shooting, archery, and more.

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Morne Trois Pitons, Dominica

Discover a different side of the Caribbean on the untamed isle of Dominica, blanketed in jungle and studded by sharp volcanic peaks. Set out from your beachfront cottage to explore lush, tropical forests harboring gem-colored swimming holes, tumbling waterfalls, and a mind-boggling boiling lake.