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When the Bottom is the Top: 5 Amazing Destinations South of the Equator

Last Updated On 2/03/2023

If you’re here, it’s probably because you love to travel. Have you ever found it tough to decide where to go, with so many incredible options available to you? We know we have.

One way we narrow it down is by the type of travel we’re doing, which is why we’ve tried to make it super easy for others who do the same by breaking down travel insurance options based on your travel style.

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Next, we narrow it down by location. That can be easier said than done, we know, so let’s start with the southern hemisphere and go from there. Here are some of our favorite spots south of the Equator:

ic_circleoneHead to the Beach
Bocas del Toro, Panama

If you’re looking for a warm weather escape, look no further than Bocas del Toro, a string of islands off the eastern coast of Panama. Bocas del Toro, known as “Bocas” to the locals, has something for everyone –from outdoor adventure, to exotic animals, to gorgeous beaches. Each island is unique, and all are easily accessible by a short water taxi ride.

Bocas del Toro, Panamá

World-renowned for its surfing, Bocas offers a range of surf breaks, so you can catch some waves whether you’re a beginner or a pro. You can also opt to stay at an eco-lodge on the mainland or try one of the small, privately-owned islands if you’re looking for a truly rare experience in the southern hemisphere. No matter what you do, make sure you hang around long enough to spot a monkey or two – it won’t take long!

ic_circletwoGet Up Close with Wildlife
Serengeti, Tanzania or Masai Mara, Kenya

Imagine this: Nearly two million wildebeest, zebras, gazelle, and other wild animals traveling in a pack before your very eyes. That’s what you’ll see if you travel to the Serengeti in Tanzania or Masai Mara in Kenya between the months of December and May, when the famous Great Migration occurs each year.

wildebeasts migrating in Serengeti

To know exactly where you should travel to in order to experience this epic event, you’ll have to do some research. The herds will be in different places depending on when you’ll be visiting. It’s also important to note that the migration is rarely linear—the herd will move backward and forward, as well as side to side, throughout that time period. But rest assured, when you catch it, it will be well worth it.

ic_circlethreeExplore the Great Blue Sea

Are you a certified scuba diver or looking to become one? We highly recommend you consider booking a trip to Belize. We didn’t name a specific city or dive spot here, because there are so many great options in close proximity to one another. The barrier reef in Belize, which is the largest in the western hemisphere, offers a number of unique diving spots. One is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is heavily protected and home to abundant marine life as a result. Another is the Shark Ray Alley, where you’ll find tons of nurse sharks and rays.

Perhaps the most compelling dive spot in Belize is the Great Blue Hole, a massive 1,000-foot hole that is 450 feet deep. In the hole’s clear waters, you’ll swim alongside a variety of fish, sharks, shrimp, rays, and other marine species. It’s a truly unparalleled experience. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy golden or white-sand beaches, Belize also offers plenty!

fish in reef in Belize

Most standard travel insurance policies exclude coverage for deep diving, so be sure to find a policy that includes “hazardous sports coverage”. If anything were to happen during this experience, your policy could provide medical assistance –the last thing you want on your return home is a steep hospital bill, right?

ic_circlefourGet off the Grid

When we say “off the grid,” we mean really far off the grid. Though it’s the fifth largest continent, 99% of Antarctica is covered in ice, and it is mainly uninhabited, with only 1,000 people living there in the winter and 4,000 in the summer. Though so few people live there, it is a breathtaking place, and an encounter unlike anywhere else in the world.

antarctica scenery

Most travelers choose to visit this destination by cruise, which takes anywhere from ten days to three weeks. These excursions will map out every element of your itinerary, allowing you to get a close-up view of its stunning landscapes and wildlife. You can also opt for a flyover of Antarctica, though flights only depart from Australia, so you’ll only get a view of it for a few hours. It’s the perfect travel idea to add to your bucket list if you’re looking to get away from the beaches and tropical weather!

ic_circlefiveOpt for an All-in-One Adventure
Cape Town, South Africa

If you’re not exactly sure what you want to do on vacation, check out Cape Town, South Africa. Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town truly has it all. Hiking enthusiasts should check out Table Mountain, an iconic landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. True to its name, it’s flat on top, and offers beautiful views of the city and ocean. For an even more intense encounter, you can try cave diving with Great White Sharks, or a safari on the Aquila Reserve.

cape town flyover picture

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing and inspiring, the beaches located on both of this destination’s shorelines are absolutely stunning. Plus, at Boulders Beach, you’ll share the beach with over 3,000 penguins! Make sure to capture a fun shot for your Instagram (and make sure to tag us!). Then, at the end of the day, you can kick back with the locals at a braai, where you’ll enjoy South African food, beer and music alongside new friends.

Craving more destination inspiration south of the equator? Be sure to add these places to your list:

  • Ecuador: Best for those seeking a mix of beach relaxation, history, and adventure (think the Galapagos Islands!).
  • Brazil: This place has beautiful beaches, rainforests, and vibrant cities.
  • Indonesia: Best for those seeking rich biodiversity, cultural heritage, and beautiful beaches.

What’s your favorite travel destination south of the Equator?
Or maybe you have one on your bucket list?
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