Surf's (always) up in Barbados. Photo by Rob Corso.
After you've been through a few bachelor parties,Vegas and Miami start to feel a little cliché. Think outside the box — and inside an active volcano, crushing big wave, or Alaskan forest.
Yet another typical bachelor party at yet another typical locale? Let’s guess what that will look like: Cheap thrills. Expensive bills. Raging hangovers. Blah, blah, blah.
Why don't you round up the guys for a real adventure? Man up for these six awesome bachelor parties.
Hike an Active Volcano
Where to: Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Gameplan: Head to the world’s largest lava lake. On Tchegera Island, Nyiragongo volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to wild animals like chimps, blue monkeys, eagles, bushbuck, and mountain gorillas; up top is often a layer of snow. Peer right into the churning liquid fire of the volcano while listening to gas explosions. Boom. Rest up at the summit shelter before retreating to the Mikeno Lodge, a series of luxe bungalows hidden in the forest.
Join a Motorcycle Gang
Where to: Alaska and the Canadian Yukon
Gameplan: Rev your engines in Anchorage, then head east. Ride through millions of miles of wild land bisected by a ribbon of paved road through tundra and taiga forest. Check out the vistas from the Trans-Alaska pipeline, drinking beers at small-town pubs after hiking glaciers. Park for the night at the fully equipped cabins in Denali National Park and Preserve. Link up with a touring company like Edelweiss Bike Travel to make sense of all the details (like hauling luggage and booking short-haul flights).
Give Yourself the Royal Treatment
Where to: St. Petersburg, Russia
Gameplan: Walk between the two marble lions and drop your bags at your new house: a 19th-century Russian royal palace. Now the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, it’s a brisk walk to the Mariinsky Theatre, where you’ll see the opera from box seats. Stuff yourself with Georgian delights — cheese-stuffed bread and spicy stews — at Hochu Harcho (Sadovaya St., 39/41). To gild the lily (this is Russia), order the lamb shashlik and call over a red-jacketed chef to slice it with a saber. Vodka, cigars, caviar to follow back at the opulent hotel bar.
Where to: Port Antonio, Jamaica
Gameplan: Book out Panorama, the latest villa offering at Geejam Hotel. The spacious, modern, four-bedroom house-on-a-hilltop has a private pool, killer views of the sea, and an on-staff chef and house crew. Request cold beers in the fridge, Jamaican specialties for dinner, and cake anytime. Don’t have a record to cut at Geejam’s in-house recording studio? You can still sidle up to the Bushbar to hear local Mento band Jolly Boys on Friday nights. Adventure into Kingston to explore Trenchtown with an open mind — and be prepared to experience a natural mystic blowing through the air. Start at the Culture Yard. Back in Portie, eat the best jerk chicken at Piggie's (Harbour St.) and drink cold Red Stripes at Soldier Camp (83 Red Hassell Rd.). And come home a very happy guy.
Ride the Andes
Where to: Patagonia, Chile
Gameplan: Check into The Singular, an incredible hotel borne from a 100-year-old storage plant in Southern Chile. The resort’s private expedition team will lead hiking in Torres del Paine, horseback riding along the base of the Andes, and kayaking in open fjords. Return to home base for a Patagonian barbecue — watching your locally raised beef cook on an open fire while drinking the homemade brew.
Do Like the Locals
Where to: Barbados, Caribbean
Gameplan: It’s about conquering Bathsheba, also known as the Soup Bowl, a beautiful big wave beach with a gnarly reef and tempting tide pools. Catch some waves or watch pros while lazing on the grassy, palm-tree lined shore of Bathsheba Park. Rent a car so that you can explore the rugged coast, stopping at Oistens Fish Fry (Oistins Bay Gardens), Angry Annie's (St James Parish Church, Hwy 1), and Cuz's Fish Shack for down-home local specialties. Crash at the super affordable Sea-U Guesthouse, a humble little inn for beach bums just a short walk from the beach. Or make it a blow-out at The House.