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Your Travel Guide to Totally Unique Spring Break Adventures

Drinking to excess on sun-soaked beaches are wonderful — if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’ve outgrown frat-boy parties and wet t-shirt contests, you may be searching for a more meaningful or impactful spring break (that you’ll actually remember!). Cruise our travel guide for some unique spring break adventures that could fit the bill.

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Get SCUBA certified on the Komodo Islands of Indonesia

The Indonesian hub of Bali is swiftly becoming popular with spring break travelers, and although we wouldn’t begrudge its appeal (from ankle-deep snow to tropical bliss in just a day!) there are certainly plenty more fish in the sea. Pardon the pun. Indonesia, in fact, has over 15,000 insanely enticing islands to explore, and the islands of the Komodo Marine National Park rate as some of the best. This superlative UNESCO-listed archipelago is home of the magnificent Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on our planet, and boasts one of the world’s richest marine biodiversity. SCUBA-certification trips to unspoilt coral reefs, meeting schools of tropical fish, the ever-elusive manta rays and reef sharks, is an out-of-this-world spring break experience. Although many people base themselves in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island and take day trips to various dive sites every day, we recommend you plan a liveaboard experience to make the most out of your spring break in Indonesia.

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Explore the remote Amazon Jungle in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

A multitude of nature lovers on spring break head to Costa Rica for a week of jungle experiences. Bona fide travel explorers and nature fanatics, however, choose to dive into the heart of the Amazon rainforest instead. In Bolivia’s Rurrenabaque, a remote and fascinating place about as far away from civilization as one could get, you’ll find your springboard to fantastic jungle experiences. From La Paz, the Bolivian capital, you must hop on a 6-seater plane, fly over the highest peak of the Andes Mountains, land on a strip of grass in the jungle basin and take a 4-hour SUV & canoe transfer to reach a smattering of incredible jungle lodges. These, by the way, are nothing more than simple cabanas on stilts. What a Bolivian Amazon experience lacks in comforts and luxury it more than makes up for in wilderness and wildlife perfection. Sloths, pink-bellied dolphins, caimans, howler monkeys and an infinite array of other creatures will be your daily companions, as you walk and canoe your way through impenetrable forests and ethereal waterways. This is one of the most remote – and expensive – places to visit in South America, but if you’re looking for a life-changing wilderness experience then it’s also one of the very best.

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Take a historical tour de force in Colombia

The hit Netflix show, Narcos, may have caused a resurgence in interest in Colombia, a country which was – once upon a time – plagued by crime and drugs. Yet the country has actually been one of the most rewarding off-the-beaten-path spring break destinations for a number of years now, and recognized as one of the most culturally immersive places to visit in South America. The capital, Bogota, is only a 3-hour plane ride away from Florida and is the ideal base from where to explore the rest of the country. As vibrant and interesting as Bogota is, however, Cartagena is the city you really ought to spend most of your time discovering. This is one of the most revered destinations for US families wishing to experience a spring break vacation with a little more substance.

A UNESCO-listed architectural and historical gem, Cartagena boasts one of the best-preserved colonial Old Town Centers in all of the Americas. Stay in the heart of town for an added dash of old-school romance, or stay in Getsemani – a tried and tested backpacker haunt – and even the beach hood of Bocagrande, which is only a half-hour’s walk away from Old Town. Easter celebrations in Colombia are the largest and most important of the year, with the Good Friday procession a vibrant and culturally-enriched affair. Take a week or 10- day tour of Colombia and you’ll come home with a host of incredible experiences under your belt, as well as an enviable suntan.

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Tackle an African safari on an overland expedition

Spring break adventures don’t come much better than on an African safari, yet if you think that driving around in a nondescript SUV, just one of two dozen vehicles looking out for a lion, then you obviously haven’t heard of overlanding adventure tours. With unique tour companies like Overlanding West Africa, you get to experience a side of Africa not many get to and have the chance to see off the beaten path attractions and have more in-depth cultural experiences with locals. On a tour, you get a professional and expert travel guide to take care of all the logistics and your own totally cool expedition truck to take you away from the hustle of tourist-ville. The Dakar to Marrakech tour stretches for a month starting from 17th April, which would require additional holiday time, yet know that there are at least a dozen other African overland companies running shorter tours throughout all of Africa. If your heart is set on endless savannah plains and roars of wild lions, then trust your travel agent to find you an available seat on an African adventure truck.

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So take your next school vacation up a notch and follow our travel guide to a totally AWESOME and unique spring break adventure.

Written by

Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 11 years. She’s tour guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and is now, along with her partner in love and travel, riding a motorbike from Germany to Australia. Laura moonlights as a freelance travel writer and, between adventures, loves sharing her travel ramblings on her personal website: http://laurastraveltales.com/