If cultural immersion and living like a local is important to you, selecting a vacation rental in a typical neighborhood is a great idea. Visit the local markets, shop and eat in places filled with locals, and get to know another country from an insider's perspective. Iceland's capital Reykjavik is ideal for this kind of vacation, and is just a short distance from many of island's most stunning landscapes. Close to the city are many sputtering geysers, which will make you appreciate the energy that lies below the surface. There's also the world-famous geothermal spa, The Blue Lagoon, perfect for a day of relaxation.If observing and photographing rare animals and birds is high on your to-do list, you can't go wrong with a vacation on the Galapagos Islands. Giant iguanas and tortoises wait for you on the islands, and in the surrounding ocean you can swim with dolphins and snorkel or dive through schools of colorful tropical fish. You could also consider the KwaZuluNatal Region in South Africa with its vibrant beaches and stunning wildlife which you can explore on a safari.Hikers and other outdoor aficionados will enjoy Auckland, New Zealand, as their home base for forays into the stunning landscape that served as film location for many famous movies. There are a wide range of hiking paths that vary in difficulty level. Each day, you can choose a new one that takes you from your vacation rental to another amazing spot on the island.