Many of us get tired of seeing things eye-level. Few of us, however, realize that there is an amazing view that awaits us: from on high. Just the feeling of going up makes you feel giddy already; upon seeing the view, you feel as if you are in a different plane altogether.
Things indeed look different seen from the top. For many, one of the best ways of seeing things is through an aerial tour. Best of all, there are no crowds in this kind of tour. Whether you are a fan of Mother Nature or you prefer a city’s nightlights, joining an aerial tour can turn out be a rewarding experience.
Just make sure that you prepare beforehand, as there are certain things worth considering when joining this kind of tour. Aside from choosing which kind of view you’d prefer, things like weather and seasons also come to the fore. Thankfully, many groups now offer this, as it has become more and more popular among tourists.
The Nazca Lines in Peru
Over two-thousand years old, these carvings which are shaped like humans, animals and trapezoidal lines are amazing, seen from above. People have long theorized about what these mysterious lines mean and who made them, which makes it even more fascinating. The tour is a thirty-five minute flight where you can clearly see the distinct shapes. Since the Nazca Desert has a dry climate, you can plan your trip at any day of the year. However, make sure you fly in the morning or late in the afternoon, so that the sight isn’t marred by the dusty haze during the midday heat.
The Iditarod Flight in Alaska
It’s a 1, 161-mile sled dog race; a contest that tries the strength of dogsledding teams by pitting them against extreme weather and rough terrain. The tour itself is a long, twelve-day trip where you will track the teams, and look at other landmarks around Alaska. The tour is interesting as you will play an active role in it, instead of just being a sightseer. You will drop in at checkpoints so you can see the teams up close, and become a handler at the race’s starting chute. If you are a fan of the dogs themselves, you will be able to visit the kennels of some of the champion sled dogs. The trip is scheduled on the first Saturday of March.
The Zeppelin Ride over Tokyo
Are you more of an urban person, finding neon lights and skyscrapers beautiful? Then Tokyo is the place to go—and see overhead. Experiencing Tokyo from above is a far more beautiful—and less tiring—experience than touring it on foot. Floating gently away, a zeppelin ride will give you a smooth travel similar to a hot-air balloon ride. Unlike the latter however, one can maneuver the zeppelin, making it go at 45 miles per hour; a slow movement that will give you a floating sensation which will be matched perfectly by the magical view of Tokyo. Though you can take this tour at any time of the year, it is best to catch the view while the sun is setting, and to see the neon lights come to life as the city descends into darkness.
The Serengeti Balloon Safari in Africa
You may have heard of people taking a tour in South Africa to see the wildlife. In East Africa, particularly in Serengeti, a new tour is being offered: a hot-air balloon tour that will give you a vast view of the plains, and the numerous animals that make it their home. From zebras to lions, jackals to hippos, you will be amazed at the tranquil life of these animals. To end your one hour tour, there will be a champagne toast, and you will have an English breakfast under a shade tree. Tours are available all throughout the year, but booking a tour during the wildebeest migration from May to June and November to December is best.
Kaikoura Whale Watch Flight in New Zealand
At the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island is kaikoura, a place to go whale watching. If you are not one to brave the waters for this magnificent sight, an overhead tour is the best alternative (in fact, the waters are said to be too rough for this particular activity). Below Kaikoura is a three to six thousand-foot-deep canyon attracting squid and fish, which then attract sperm whales. Over five hundred feet above the whales and half an hour’s flight will enable you to see the whole whales, instead of just a portion. A trip sometime in May and June would yield the best whale sights, as this is the period when they come to breed.
The Himalayas by Balloon in Nepal
If you like an Asian trip, the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal will show you a splendid view of the snow-covered mountains, rice paddies, and monasteries. It is a perfect tranquil trip to take, if you just want to relax and enjoy a stunning view of nature. For an hour or two, you will be transported to a different world. Be prepared for the thin oxygen, and altitude sickness might beset you as you will reach almost ten thousand feet above. Still, the view over Nepal more than makes up for this. Many choose to fly from March to April and October to November, and during sunrise, to see the mountains light up.
Grand Canyon Heli-Flight in Arizona
Two hundred seventy-seven miles long, the stunning, mile-deep chasm is a sight to behold. It took the Colorado River just six million years carving this, and according to the first man who traveled across the canyon in the nineteenth century, its beauty is beyond words. The takeoff is in Las Vegas, and you will first head to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, before reaching Grand Canyon West, where helicopters are allowed. You will then transfer to another craft and go four thousand feet down to the floor of the canyon. One of the tour’s highlights is that after landing, you can explore the area on your own—seeing the Hualapai Indians’ stomping grounds. Traveling can be done at anytime of the year, but be forewarned that it can really be hot during summer.
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