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10 Alternative Spring Break Destinations That Will Make You Say, "Take Me There"

We all know the usual suspect list of destinations for a wild Spring Break, but some of us want more from life than beaches, bars, and bikinis. Here's a ranking of the top 10 travel spots that offer you the luxury of trading "party time" for "once in a lifetime." When you set your sights on incredible places, life takes you there.

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10. Boquete, Panama

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If coffee means more to you than just an A.M. pick-me-up, you NEED to get to Boquete. Nestled in a steep mountain valley in Panama, the microclimate here fosters the growth of the fabled geisha bean, considered to be one of the most flavorful coffee beans in the world. If you'd rather get your jolt from adrenaline than caffeine, then trek up Volcán Barú, Boquete's resident ACTIVE VOLCANO.

9. Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Kruger is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, which makes it one of the largest in the world. The park houses 147 species of mammals, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs. Add 517 species of birds, 114 species of reptiles, and the park's stunning sunset vistas to the mix and you've got yourself quite a day of sightseeing.

8. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

beautifulplacestovisit.com

It may be called Plitvice Lakes, but this national park contains a vast interconnected web of lakes, waterfalls, and caves. This region has been explored by tourists for a long time. A prehistoric encampment was discovered here, complete with Bronze Age tools, and the park has been a coveted destination spot ever since Julius Caesar incorporated it into the Roman Empire. No wonder, since it's been said that the color of each lake changes from day to day, depending on the composition of the water that flows into it from the falls.

7. Fjords, Norway

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Edvard Munch painted The Scream here, which is odd since the whole area emanates tranquility. The sheer enormity of it. The way those rock faces arc down toward the placid surface of the rivers. The fjords in Norway are a sight the must be seen to be believed. Throw in sailing, climbing, and fishing in the warm months, and skiing in the winter, and you'll be screaming about how you wish you'd found this place sooner.

6. Mauritius, Africa

travelvista.net

This one has all the appeal of your traditional spring break spots, and none of the drawbacks. Mauritius Island, off the southeastern coast of Africa, was awarded the title of World's Best Beach by in the World Travel Awards in 2012. The island's collection of flora and fauna is unparalleled. Before the Dodo met its fate, Mauritius was the world's only habitat for the infamously extinct bird. For wayfarers less inclined to venture into the wild, Mauritius also boasts ultra-luxe resort areas like Mont Choisy, Trou-aux-Biches, and Flic en Flac. No, really, those are the names of the resorts.

5. Torres del Paine, Chile

photorator.com

For lovers of the outdoors, Torres del Paine in Chile literally has it all: mountains, prairies, rivers, glaciers, and serene lakes. National Geographic has named it as "the 5th Most Beautiful Place in the World," and who are we to argue with National Geographic? Torres is best known, however, for a mountain formation of three massive jutting peaks dubbed "Cleopatra's Needles." Hiking the whole park takes 8 to 9 days, and travelers camp out at way stations called refugios along the trail. If you're not quite ready to commit to that level of mountaineering, there is a luxury hotel near the park's entrance.

4. Tassili n'Ajjer, Algeria

getintravel.com

So maybe taking your spring break in the Sahara Desert is a little bit of a tough sell, but just look at that sunset. No need for Photoshop, here. Those rock formations and that palette of dazzling colors are au' natural. Tassili is the site of some of the world's most distinctive geological formations, known as "rock forests." If history is more your thing, scope out the huge array of ancient rock paintings and engravings discovered here in 1933. This Neolithic art has been dated back as early as 10,000 years ago.

3. Komodo Island, Indonesia

bsdtraveler.com

For fans of Game of Thrones, how could you pass up the opportunity to see FOR REAL DRAGONS. But if walking around with real life dinosaurs doesn't appeal to you for some reason, Komodo offers plenty of other attractions. The island is the site of a beach with naturally occurring PINK SAND, one of only seven such beaches in the world. And the jungles aren't the only place in Komodo that you can check out the exotic wildlife. The island's beaches are also famous for epic scuba diving.

2. Iguazu Falls

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To call Iguazu Falls jaw-dropping is kind of a joke. Just imagine two Niagara Falls that FACE EACH OTHER across a narrow canyon. The falls appear along the Iguazu River, part of which forms the barrier between Argentina and Brazil. Legend has it that the falls were created by a God who sliced a lake in two when he was spurned by a human paramour. But no matter what created this geographical marvel, the results are absolutely captivating. From the Argentinian side, you can reach the falls by a train ride through the jungle, but for a real OMG moment take the helicopter tour from the Brazilian side.

1. Cinque Terre, Italy

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Two words: Italian Riviera. A hiking trail called the Azure Trail connects the five picturesque villages that comprise Cinque Terre. You can stop along the way as you traverse the Azure to taste any of the region's signature delicacies. The steep, terraced seaside hills are perfect for growing olives and wine grapes, and the town of Corniglia, in particular, is famous for its gelato made from locally sourced honey. Trust us, after you've spent the day wandering through this Mediterranean paradise, you won't be sorry you skipped out on Cabo.

No matter where you're headed this spring, get there in comfort and style with the new Sports Utility Hybrid. Tweet your own non-traditional vacation spots with the hashtag #TakeMeThere.

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