Best Last-Minute Summer Vacations | Fauna Travel

Best Last-Minute Summer Vacations

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Courtesy of Four Seasons

By: Scott Dubois, Fauna Travel Designer

Summer vacation is less than a month away! If you haven’t made plans yet, don’t worry. There are still plenty of great options for a last-minute getaway. With the hype around the Summer Olympics in France, Europe is predicted to be busier than ever. However, outside of Europe, there is still good availability for a summer getaway – here are some of our favorite ideas!

Northern Costa Rica

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Courtesy of Four Seasons

July and August are Costa Rica’s rainy season, but in the drier northern half of the country, there is a slight lull in the rains. There will still be daily showers, but they will keep the heat from getting excessive and are usually isolated to the afternoon. This gives you time to venture out in the morning and then relax at the hotel at the end of the day. Plus, the flight to Liberia Airport is only five and a half hours from New York City, and rates in the rainy season are relatively cheap. It’s a secret season that’s our favorite time to visit the country.

New Mexico

Horseback riding at Vermejo / Courtesy of Ted Turner Reserves luxury nature lodge
Horseback riding at Vermejo / Courtesy of Ted Turner Reserves

We visit New Mexico almost every summer. While the southern half of the state can get hot, the temperatures are more moderate in the north. This includes Santa Fe, Taos, and one of our favorite wildlife destinations in the United States—Ted Turner’s Vermejo Ranch. The 550,000-acre property is an outdoor lovers’ dream, with hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding surrounded by wild bison and elk. If you fly into Albuquerque and stay a night at Los Poblanos Farm and a few more at Bishop’s Lodge in Santa Fe, you have a world-class outdoor getaway that is perfect for families.

South Africa & Zambia

Chongwe Camp / Courtesy of Time + Tide
Chongwe Camp / Courtesy of Time + Tide

The Southern Hemisphere is currently in winter, so temperatures are mild in Southern Africa. June through September is generally the high season for safaris, and booking a safari over a year in advance is standard. Still, there are plenty of great camps in South Africa, and less touristed countries like Zambia will still have last-minute availability. Mornings are often cool enough that safari operators pack blankets and hot water bottles on game drives. South Africa is better for children of all ages, while Zambia works best for teens who are old enough to walk or canoe. If you haven’t been on a safari it will change your life!

Vancouver Island

Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort / Jeremy Koreski / Courtesy of Nimmo Bay

Canada’s Pacific Coast is an accessible destination with mild summer temperatures. We suggest flying directly to Vancouver for a few nights before moving to a wilderness lodge like Nimmo Bay or Clayoquat Resort on nearby Vancouver Island. Here you can relax in a luxurious cabin by the water and encounter animals like orcas and bears. This is a great option if you want a simple and relaxing itinerary and have the budget for a great hotel.

Ecuador

Galapagos Iguana / Simon Berger / Unsplash
Galapagos Iguana / Simon Berger / Unsplash

Ecuador’s winter is cool and dry, with fewer tourists, and Quito is only around five hours from Houston, making it an ideal quick getaway. Quito is a charming UNESCO World Heritage site, and we love hiking and horseback riding at the nearby Cotopaxi National Park. If you want to relax and can travel further consider the Galapagos Islands. The water will be a bit cooler this time of year, but the weather will be great. There are a variety of cruises for all levels of budget and adventure, and you can swim with sea lions and iguanas in one of the world’s natural paradises.

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