Explore the mysteries of Angkor Wat
This temple complex, as big as a city in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was built as a Hindu temple for Vishnu 900 years ago, taking 37 years to construct. More than 6,000 elephants and five million tons of stone were used to create towering stone palaces crafted with faces, animals, and nearly 1,600 columns (you’ve probably seen Angelina Jolie famously standing in front of the Ta Prohm temple in Tomb Raider, and that’s only a fraction of the expansive temple complex). Although it may seem like you’d pay a fortune to stay in luxury near the largest religious monument ever built in the world, Anantara Angkor Resort, a lush oasis with air-conditioned suites set around an azure pool, offers rooms as part of a multi-night package that cost less than $190 a night. Anantara’s private Half-day Temple Tour will help you unravel the mysteries of the ancient Khmer capital, and includes a personal guide, air-conditioned sedan, entry fees, breakfast, and drinks for less than $150 for two people; you’ll feel like a movie star yourself as you tour the ancient site.
Go gorilla trekking
There are fewer than 900 mountain gorillas in the world, and nearly half of the highly endangered primates live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mount Gahinga National Park in Uganda. Not only was the East African nation of Uganda recently named one the friendliest countries in the world, but its gorilla trekking permits are one-third of what they cost in neighboring Rwanda, where many upscale gorilla trekking lodges are located (the highly coveted permits are $450 in the low season in Uganda compared to $1,500 in Rwanda!), so you can see these amazing animals, who can’t survive in captivity, in their natural habitats. Two of the top lodges to stay at in Uganda to experience a gorilla encounter are also incredibly affordable options: At Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi or Gahinga lodges, you’ll have a private chalet, luxury service, plus all meals and drinks for a low-season rate of around $200 (similar lodges in Rwanda cost $1,000 per night). These are the 10 best places to travel alone as a woman.
Sail the Caribbean
Courtesy Star Clippers
Picture this: The sparkling sea splashes all around you while the wind lifts the sails of the tall ship whisking you to a private golden beach in the middle of the Caribbean. Is it an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? No, it only feels that way. StarClippers offers week-long itineraries on its stunning tall masted ship The Royal Clipper, which holds the Guinness World Record as the largest five-masted square-rigged ship in service (so you can cross “set sail on the world’s largest sailboat” off your bucket list too) starting at $300 per night, which includes all meals on board. Climb the mast to the crow’s nest, lay out in the bowsprit netting with the turquoise water rushing under you, and soak up the sun while you cruise into ports big cruise ships will never be able to reach. While in the Caribbean, check out these 8 resorts that are actually affordable.