Celebrating 30 Years of KE
Where will you be waking up this Christmas?
We may be in the middle of summer but Christmas is not that far away, especially if you dream of waking up on Xmas morning with a view to kill rather than worrying what Santa may have dropped down your chimney! To celebrate our 30th year this month we've put together our list of the most amazing places where you could be waking up on 25th December.
Classic Treks for Christmas
Happily, Christmas Day coincides with an acclimatisation day above Dingboche and we have the luxury of returning to the same lodge tonight after a spectacular 10 kilometre return hike into the Imja Valley. We are treated to the sensational views of the Khumbu peaks, including the spectacular Ama Dablam, throughout the day.
On our fourth day of trekking, we are starting to get into the swing of things; descending to cross the Chomrong Khola and continuing through terraced fields, pretty villages and rhododendron forest to the collection of lodges known as Bamboo. With luck, after lunch, our Christmas Day present will be spotting langur monkeys.
After spending the night at a Nagarkot lodge, we awake early on Christmas morning with the promise of the best mountain views, as we take a short hike along the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Descending to our hotel in Kathmandu, we can look forward to an extra special Christmas Dinner.
The first part of this sensational holiday is behind us, as we leave the Kali Gandaki River behind and begin our approach to the ‘Sanctuary'. Today's walk up to the ridge-top at Ghorepani is one of the finest in Nepal, with super views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna South - what a Christmas Day!
Christmas Day finds us in Kandy. From our hotel, a stroll around the lake to the famous ‘Temple of the Tooth' will give us an appetite for a delicious Sri Lankan breakfast, before we head up into the Knuckles Range and to our mountain resort base, for 2 days of trekking.
Probably the first time since we were children, we wake with excitement to make an early start for the steep ascent to the summit of Jebel Toubkal (4167m). After time to enjoy the panoramic views across the High Atlas we return the cosy refuge to enjoy a typical lazy Christmas day afternoon.
Trekking through a number of villages we receive a warm welcome and stop to enjoy Berber min tea as we head to the village of Hanedour. Nestled against ochre red hills, we set up camp and par-take of some traditional games!
Waking to the crashing sound of Saharan silence on Christmas day, experience breakfast al-fresco in the surrounds of shifting sands and spend the day trekking through a fascinating and varied desert landscape to the large dunes of Erg Ez-Zahar.
After breakfast against the backdrop of the Jordanian mountains we head south towards Jebel Um Adaami (1832m). Our climb to the top of this rocky mountain involves a round trip of a little over 3 hours. On our descend we transfer to our desert camp and spend the evening under starry skies.
Destination Petra is our Christmas day objective! We enjoy a superb trail through rocky canyons to a high plateau where the mountains of Petra come into view. Descending into our camp Beidah via Little Petra we spend the evening at spectacular campsite in anticipation of our visit to this UNESCO sight tomorrow.
Breaking camp, we follow a trail down to an abandoned village and we meet our vehicles for the drive to Nizwa, Oman's former capital. Noted for its 17th century fort and atmospheric souqs full of silversmiths and friendly locals, we kick back and enjoy local cuisine in the evening.
The excitement of Christmas day begins at the end today! We awake at Mawenzi Tarn with views of our objective head of us. We trek across the Saddle to the Kibo camp beneath the Kibo crater wall and enjoy some traditional festivities in preparation for our summit effort, which we set off for at midnight!
Hike to the finest viewpoints in the Simien National Park whilst spotting grooming Gelada Baboons and majestic Lammergeier swooping overhead en route. Our objective, the promontory known as Imetgogo (3925m), has fantastic views across the dramatic escarpment. Returning to camp we celebrate with a slap up meal courtesy of our cook.
As part of our preparation for climbing Ecuador's three biggest peaks, our Christmas Day volcano is Imbabura (4616m); a sleeping giant rising from cultivated fields of maize and sugarcane with its sensational rocky summit. Our Christmas gift will be the spectacular views of our objectives Chimborazo (6310m) and Cotopaxi (5895m) yet to come!
Celebrate Christmas on top of San Pedro, the last volcano on KE's Magnificent Seven, before returning to our stunning lakeside accommodation on the shores of Lake Atitlan. We can spend the afternoon swimming in the lake or swinging in a hammock, before the evening festivities commence.
Discovery and Wildlife this Christmas
Wake up to the sounds of the Ricon de la Vieja rainforest, with its bubbling mud pools, steaming fumaroles and exotic wildlife. You wont see a partridge in pear tree here; just toucan, quetzal, hummingbirds and parrots! Tropical rainforests, active volcanoes, deserted beaches and colourful wildlife make Costa Rica the 'Jewel of Central America'.
Spread your Christmas cheer across Central America on our Pacific to the Caribbean holiday. Celebrations begin in the vibrant city of Leon, Nicaragua and, having crossed the Gulf of Fonseca with the chance of spotting turtles, dolphins and whales, end in style on the beautiful white sandy beaches of El Cuco, El Salvador.
We spend the day amongst the colourful hill tribes of North Vietnam. We'll trek to the summit of Xin Man (2000m) before descending to Coc Dong, a village of the Nung people, where we'll overnight in the traditional home of one of the local villagers.
Wake up to a sunrise on the Mekong Delta, from our village home-stay in a riverside cottage. We take a boat trip on the Bassac River and spend the day exploring the atmospheric temples, floating villages and islands and meet some of the local Cham People, one of South East Asia's ethnic minority groups
A day spent in history as we visit the famous Bridge over the River Kwai and the nearby war cemetery, before taking a ride on the infamous `Death Railway` to Nam Tok. After lunch at Hell Fire Pass, we'll transfer via long-tail boat for a journey up the River Kwai to the jungle clad Raft Houses where we will spend the night. Discover Thailand's other side this Christmas Walking In the Kingdom of Siam.
For a REAL Christmas experience
We awaken to a real winter wonderland, on the second day of our overnight husky safari. After helping to prepare our team of dogs, we leave our wilderness cabin behind us and drive our sleds across the snow and frozen lakes back to our comfortable hotel. We'll arrive in time for a sauna before the evening celebrations on our Active Arctic Wilderness Week.
Get on your biKE this Christmas
Our Christmas day gift to you is 'downhill!' Taking a short transfer to a ridge, north of Lake Atitlan, we cycle back down to the lake, enjoying technical singletrack and sections of slickrock ridge riding. We then transfer by boat to the cliff-side hotel of Casa del Mundo for some well-earned celebrations.
Wake up in the idyllic resort town of Pokhara and take an early morning stroll along the picturesque lake shore of Phewa Tal, before cycling the 'Khali Horseshoe'. Superb views of the Annapurnas and the beautiful Macchapucchare (Fishtail) and the awesome descent through the village of Hot Chilli take us to our lakeside camp at Begnas Tal.
After four days of biking to reach the Valley of Moses and Wadi Musa, the gateway to Petra, we take a timely day off on Christmas day to discover this ancient city. Rose-Red, world famous and superbly preserved, this ancient Nababtaean rock-hewn city makes for a brilliant day of exploration.
Family Adventures this Christmas
Imagine waking up this Christmas in a real winter wonderland in the snowy depths of Swedish Lapland. Take a snowmobile sled to search for a Christmas tree, join a traditional Swedish 'Smorgasbord' for Christmas dinner, see Santa arrive on his sled pulled by his reindeer and join a torchlight procession.
Wake to watch the sunrise over the beautiful beaches of Phan Thiet, as local fishermen come and go in their colourful boats, from our comfortable beach resort. Whilst the children spend the day swimming and snorkelling or searching for exotic shells on the beach, why not treat mum or dad to some relaxation time in the spa.
Having already visited the incredible Taj Mahal you may wonder how Christmas day could get any better! Well waking in the Ranthambore Reserve, and searching for Tigers is one experience you will never forget. We take two game drives in the company of our expert naturalist guide and inbetween there is time to cool down in the hotel swimming pool or enjoy a friendly game of cricket with the local children.
We'll visit a silk farm where we can learn all about the production of this beautiful and exotic fabric; from farming to weaving. We might even be able to pick up some last minute presents! The rest of the day is free to relax or explore around atmospheric Siem Reap.
Spend your Christmas on the edge of the Sahara, searching for fossils in the high sandy dunes of Saredrar. In the evening celebrate around the campfire and enjoy a Moroccan feast before spending the night camped out in the desert, beneath the stars, like the Bedouin. Want to join them this Christmas?
Wake up to the sounds of African wildlife in our remote safari-style camp and spend the full day game viewing in the immense and admissible plains of the Serengeti, accompanied by experienced guides and wildlife trackers.
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