Virtual experiences have always been available to the curious traveller, but with flights grounded and most of us facing a prolonged period at home, more people than ever before are looking for some remote escapism. Culture Trip has looked beyond the obvious and picked out a series of unique experiences to enjoy right now.
Hawaii has always been a source of inspiration thanks to the diverse culture and incredible landscape it offers. You can now enjoy authentic experiences and visit the islands thanks to the latest technology with Hawaii VR. Float along the clear waters of the archipelago on a relaxing catamaran ride or dance along to original hula performances with local celebrities and musicians. The islanders are known for their warm welcome and incredible hospitality, something you can now take part in from anywhere.
Nordic countries are traditionally associated with the spectacular natural light show we all want to see at some point in our lives. It might come as a surprise then, to learn that you can also see the Northern Lights in many parts of Canada too. The Manitoba region experiences more than 300 days of the phenomenon and best of all, you can hunt them down from your own bedroom. Check out all the features of the Explore site too, as it has live cams from all over the world.
Exercise is an important part of every daily routine when stuck at home, arguably even more than usual. People are undertaking all manner of activities online to keep the blood pumping, but how about heading down to Puerto Rico and learning some moves from the experts? You’ll find a full guide to all the scintillating dance styles online as well as easy to follow full-length video tutorials. This is one of those experiences you can perfect now and put to good use later.
Let’s be honest, most of us will never get to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, but you’ll feel like pulling on your hiking boots and putting on your thermal underwear when you wrap your eyes around this impressive virtual reality set up. The immersive Everest VR experience is something we recommend at any time of year, and is an excellent showcase of how far technology has come in a short amount of time. Armchair travel and cloud tourism have been elevated to the next level by this gold standard package.
One of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon has a fascinating archaeological history that can be delved into with a virtual tour along the Colorado river. This informative journey is packed with facts that most people overlook, and the views you can get online are different to the ones you can access when you physically visit the most popular observation points of the canyon. This is one for those who are less interested in social media and more invested in real search histories.
There’s something reassuring about the thought of having an expert guide through wild terrain, so Ranger Minutes – a collection of videos around Nevada’s Great Basin National Park led by park rangers who know the area better than anyone else – is an incredibaly comforting resource. The wide variety of subjects covered in the short videos is superb as you can learn about the wildlife of the area or look up and glance at the star-filled night sky.
Florida’s Palm Beach Lake Trail is as enticing as it sounds. The southern state is famous for its seemingly endless sunshine, and in an innovative attempt to bring the scorching weather to the rest of the world, a series of virtual bike rides are now available. Palm Beaches is considered the cultural capital of Florida, and although an online cycling tour might not give you the exercise you need, you can at least look around at your leisure and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the many attractions along the route.
Chile is the world’s longest country. When you look at South America on a map, you can easily see how that is possible as the country runs along the entire west coast of a continent. However, what a map won’t tell you is how impressive the awe-inspiring landscape really is. Chile 360 is a downloadable app that comes preloaded with 360-degree views of the deserts of the north and the Patagonian peaks of the south. It’s the best way of seeing everything the country has to offer without the need of an expensive fleece…
The majestic Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy have featured in films such as 90s action blockbuster Cliffhanger (1993) and James Bond adventure For Your Eyes Only (1981). The rugged scenery boasts vineyards, sweeping mountain roads and rocky outcrops making it perfect for those looking for a slice of Italy. Trentino, the region the Dolomites are in, can be experienced via VR, which will almost certainly get you in the mood to plan the ultimate road trip in the future.
As apps like Houseparty are proving, nights in don’t have to be solo activities anymore. People are taking part in pub quizzes, birthday parties and raves, all the while sharing a screen with their friends. Virtual clubbing might seem counterintuitive, but if you commit to the concept you can really get a sense of communal enjoyment. We’re not saying you can replicate the euphoria of Ibiza’s superclubs and sunsets, but at least you can get in the party mood in some small way.