Trek through the hills surrounding Chiang Mai and meet the local people, known collectively as hilltribes, who have made their homes on these slopes. They have lived in peace and without modern conveniences for many years; a visit to these traditional communities is like travelling back to a simpler time. Learn about jungle food and the local way of life, and ride an elephant through the forest. After all that exertion, recline on a bamboo raft and float downriver, giving the friendly locals a wave as you drift past them going about their daily lives.
Highlights: Explore the vibrant colours of Chiang Mai, trek through Northern Thailand, meet the friendly locals, learn about the Karen tribe and witness their traditional weaving
Best of Panama (CPPQ)
Panama has been a destination on the cusp of the mainstream for ages, but somehow still remains a secret. More greatness for us to enjoy, we say. This 8-day trip opens the lid on the natural splendour of this overlooked gem of a country, giving travellers the chance to hike cloud forests, snorkel the Caribbean and even discover where that delicious morning cup of joe comes from at a coffee plantation. Panama is spectacular, and the best way to promote it is by word-of-mouth. Tell your friends!
Highlights: Snorkel in the crystal-blue Caribbean waters in Bocas del Toro, take in the crisp air of the lush green highlands in Boquete, explore the Panama Canal, learn where your morning coffee comes from on a tour of a local plantation.
Best of Sumatra (AESM)
Fabled for its rainforests and wildlife, Sumatra remains a destination most travellers resign to their “someday” list. Someday is now. One of the largest islands in the world, this lush Indonesian gem is ideal for adventurers looking for something beyond the ordinary. Beginning in Medan, this 8-day trip will bring you face-to-face with orangutans, the impressive supervolcano at Lake Toba, coffee plantations, village life in Berastagi (famed for its delicious passion fruit) and much more. What, exactly? You’ve gotta get here to find out!
Highlights: Explore Bohorok National Park and meet the orangutans, watch the sunrise from the top of a volcano, relax on an island resort, learn where famous Sumatra coffee comes from, soak in the natural hot springs
Taste of Mexico (CMEX)
Somehow, Mexico has become synonymous with boring resorts and crowded beaches. That’s not the Mexico we know. Come and experience ours on this 9-day journey into the country’s colonial past. Beginning in Mexico City, you’ll move on to Puebla and indulge in their famous spicy and chocolate-y mole sauce then explore Oaxaca’s pre-Spanish ruins and Baroque churches. Moving slowly, you'll have plenty of time to let this destination get under your skin.
Highlights: Indulge in the regional cuisines of Mexico, explore breathtaking colonial Puebla and Oaxaca, try out your salsa skills on the dance floor, get more from Mexico with a slow-paced trip.
Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)
Strange how a country that’s literally at the centre of the Earth can be overlooked, isn’t it? Stranger still considering how amazing Ecuador is. This 8-day trip shows off its best, rolling natural wonders (the Amazon!), stunning landscapes (the Ecuadorian highlands!), rich culture (Quito!) and active pursuits like hiking, horseback riding and mountain-biking everywhere you look. Good on its own, this trip also makes an ideal add-on to any Galápagos trip. (Trust us. It’s worth the time.)
Highlights: Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, witness Andean scenery, soak in the hot springs of Baños, shop the Otavalo Market
Best of Yunnan (ACBY)
China is developing faster than just about anywhere else, but after wandering the scenic highlands of Yunnan for a while, you can’t help but wonder, “What’s the rush?” This 10-day trip is ideal for travellers eager to dig into a side of China you won’t find in bustling Beijing. Hike the huge (and hugely gorgeous) Tiger Leaping Gorge, explore ancient villages and stroll the streets of the Ming-influenced old city of Dali. This is China, unfiltered.
Highlights: Explore the old town of Lijiang, hike Tiger Leaping Gorge, wander cobblestoned streets in Shaxi, indulge in the spicy cuisine of Yunnan
Best of Java (AEJV)
With a population of 135 million crammed into just under 140,000 sq. kilometres, you’d think there’d be no room on Java left for adventuring. Densely populated as it is, this amazing swath of Indonesia has loads of unexplored corners just waiting for travellers looking for something a little different. From Jakarta, you’ll venture to the curiously European-like city of Bandung (the “Paris of Java”) en route to Yogyakarta, home to the island’s monstrous volcanoes. Later, you’ll spend two days in Dutch colonial Batu before winding up on the gorgeous Balinese beaches of Sanur. (Hey, if you can’t beat the crowd, join it!)
Highlights: Explore vibrant Jakarta, take the train through terraced rice fields, visit a Buddhist sanctuary, meet the locals and learn the Javanese way of life
Best of Northern Spain (ESNS)
Spain has been described as less of a country than a collection of small nations all working together. Each region has its own distinct character, style, even language. This quick 8-day trip introduces you to Spain’s Basque and Catalan provinces the best way: through food, art, culture and first-person contact. Vibrant Barcelona, unhurried San Sebastián, Bilbao’s fabulous architecture, Logroño's famous cuisine, cosmopolitan Madrid and the mighty Pyrenees, all in just over a week? Yeah, we did that. Come find out how.
Highlights: Capture photos of stunning countryside and age-old cathedrals, indulge in the tapas lifestyle, wander through Gaudí's wonderland in Barcelona, live like a local in a 'casa rural' in the Pyrenees, experience the Basque way of life
Cape, Rails & Kruger Quest (DSKQ)
Stretched across nearly 2.5 million hectares of wild South African frontier and home to over 600 species of mammals and birds, Kruger National Park is massive by any measure. Designed for travellers who don’t have a ton of time, this 8-day trip devotes the, ahem, lion’s share of its length to exploring South Africa’s most treasured game reserve with a few bonus experiences mixed in along the way. Get treated to a traditional family meal in Cape Town, take the train to Johannesburg with the locals, track the Big Five on daily game drives in Kruger and the surrounding area, and visit Soweto and a Planeterra project, too. One week now, memories forever.
Highlights: Take the train across the country like a local, explore coastal Cape Town, bike around Soweto township, search for the Big Five in Kruger National Park, savour a local meal with a family, visit the kids at the Planeterra-supported G Hope Africa preschool
To truly understand China, you’ve got to get out and meet it on its own terms, which is exactly what this 12-day trip through the country’s northern reaches delivers. Up here, you’ll get to the big stuff (the Great Wall, Xi’an’s Terracotta Army, Beijing) and lesser-known treasures that only the hardiest of travellers ever get to see: village life in Inner Mongolia, the amazing Yungang Buddhist Caves and the nearly 3,000-year-old city of Pingyao, to name just a few. North China: No tourists allowed!
Highlights: Envision ancient times at the Great Wall of China, live like a local in an Inner Mongolian ger, marvel at the Hanging Monastery of Datong, stare down the Terracotta Warriors, learn traditional Chinese painting in Pingyao
Is there a better time to explore Romania's most (in)famous region than during Halloween? We don't think so. Yeah, this is indeed the place that popularized the vampire myth, but there's so much more to this charming swath of Europe beyond the spooky stuff. Incredible Gothic architecture, lush forests, captivating little villages filled with friendly people, and gorgeous cities like Sighisoara and Brasov. And on Halloween itself we'll even treat you to a costume party inside a genuine Transylvanian castle. Scared yet? Don't be. Your CEO is always there to hold your hand.
Highlights: Attend a special Halloween costume party in an authentic Gothic castle, take a peek into the ruins of Dracula’s castle, explore medieval towns like Brasov and Sighisoara with a little extra time, learn the true story of the infamous 'Vlad the Impaler'
We haven’t seen the original blueprints, but the Pacific Coast of California seems to have been custom built for road trips. Climb in and prepare for eight days spent cruising around Los Angeles and up the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, stopping in Santa Barbara, checking out San Simeon and Monterey, exploring San Francisco on foot, playing in the surf and generally having the time of your life, Cali-style. The best part? On this road trip, we do all the driving.
Highlights: Drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, ride a bike around Monterey and eat on Cannery Row, lounge on the beach in Santa Barbara, walk the hilly streets of iconic San Francisco, search for stars in Hollywood
Peel back the mask and uncover the secrets of Venice during the legendary Carnival. From the marvels of St Mark's Square to the exuberant crowds in full costume, Venice is a feast for the senses. Feel the pull of mystery at the Bridge of Sighs and visit the tiny fishermen's island of Burano, known for its lace-making and painted houses. Explore Byzantine basilicas and the famous traditional glass-blowing studios of Murano. And of course, immerse yourself in the sounds and energy of the crowds on festival night. Add in the highlight cities of Rome and Florence and you have a trip you'll never forget.
Highlights: Revel with the Venetians through the lively streets of Venice Carnival, explore Florence's museums and markets, set eyes on the Leaning Tower of Pisa, savour a local meal in Rome.
Hanoi to Hong Kong (AVHK)
Looking to mix a little rural living with your adventures in Asia’s big cities? This 15-day trip across China and Vietnam fits the bill and then some, getting you to the metropolises and out into the gorgeous countryside of both countries. Between Hanoi and Hong Kong, you’ll experience the stunning cliffs of Halong Bay and Guilin’s limestone karsts, and get a hands-on feel for the landscape by hiking, rock-climbing and rafting in Yangshuo. Toss in personal encounters with some of the region’s friendliest people and you’ve got yourself the perfect balance of rural and urban life.
Highlights: Cruise through the limestone karsts in serene Halong Bay, hang with the locals at a karaoke bar in Liuzhou, stroll over the 'wind and rain' bridges of Chengyang, walk between villages of the Longji Rice Terraces, enjoy a night out in glitzy Hong Kong
Want to tell a better travel story at your next dinner party? Tell ‘em about the time you went to southeast Africa. Nature is front-and-centre on this 14-day trip across three countries—South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique—with plenty of time devoted to the region’s amazing national parks and spotless beaches. Wander around the Portuguese-influenced cities of Mozambique, take a traditional dhow safari boat around Bazaruto National Park, track the Big Five in Kruger National Park, drive the legendary Panorama Route to Johannesburg and even stop in at a Planeterra project along the way. Your stories are improving already.
Highlights: Search for the Big Five on breathtaking game drives, enjoy a dhow safari in Bazaruto National Park, indulge in mouth-watering seafood, snorkel in the turqouise waters off Mozambique, visit a local Planeterra-supported preschool, experience the Portuguese flavour of the port towns.
Highlights of Ireland (EQHI)
We’re all a little bit Irish come March 17th, but if you’re in the market for something more meaningful than a pint of green beer, hop aboard this delightful 9-day adventure to the Emerald Isle. Yeats’ grave, Cork, Blarney Castle, the karsts of the Burren, traditional music in a local pub... seriously, it doesn’t get much more quintessentially Irish than this. We mix the essential sites and time in the villages and country to really round out the experience. Even if Ireland isn’t the Old Country for you, this trip will make you feel as though you’re back home.
Highlights: Drink a pint and listen to traditional music in a local pub, visit the famous sites of Newgrange and Drumcliffe, learn how to bake traditional goodies, sail to the Aran Islands, kiss the Blarney Stone for the gift of gab
Stretched across nearly 2.5 million hectares of wild South African frontier and home to over 600 species of mammals and birds, Kruger National Park is massive by any measure. Designed for shutterbugs with more memory cards to fill than time to fill 'em in, this 9-day trip devotes the, ahem, lion’s share of its length to exploring South Africa’s most treasured game reserve with a few bonus experiences mixed in along the way. Get treated to a traditional family meal in Cape Town, take the train to Johannesburg with the locals, track the Big Five on daily game drives in Kruger and the surrounding area, and visit Soweto and a Planeterra project, too. Best of all, you’ll get expert guidance in photography and adventuring from our Wanderer-in Resident Gary Arndt, founder of Everything Everywhere, and recipient of the Society of American Travel Writers award for 2014 Photographer of the Year.
Highlights: Learn travel photography tips from host Gary Arndt, take the train across the country like a local, explore coastal Cape Town, bike around Soweto township, search for the Big Five in Kruger National Park, savour a local meal with a family, visit the kids at the Planeterra-supported G Hope Africa preschool
Absolute Turkey: Winter (ETAW)
This comprehensive tour of Turkey combines history, man-made wonders and natural phenomena, as well as a vibrant and welcoming culture. Begin your trip roaming the palaces and mosques of Istanbul before journeying into the bizarre as you explore otherworldly Cappadocia. From the amazing white cliff waterfalls of Pamukkale to the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, our local CEOs will show you the region’s hidden gems and make sure your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you've left this crossroads of Asia and Europe.
Highlights: Discover historic cities and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus, marvel at the extraordinary scenery of Cappadocia, enjoy dinner in a local family home, meet a local family on a homestay
Belgian Beer Tour (EBBT)
Some people’s idea of a beer adventure is checking out that pub two streets over from the local. The true beer connoisseur, however, is a different breed. Designed with the fancy suds aficionado in mind, this 8-day trip takes you to the ancestral home of Trappist, one of the world’s finest brewers. In Belgium, you’ll visit the six Trappist monastery-breweries in Belgium (including the chance to taste Westvleteren, one of beerdom’s most celebrated brews), explore Brussels and Bruges, and stuff yourself with mussels, waffles and chocolate galore. (Hey, beer-tasting is hungry work.)
Highlights: Visit all six Trappist breweries in Belgium, indulge in delicious Belgian cuisine, explore quaint towns like Bruges and Rochefort, learn about (and taste) rare beers and visit the monasteries they're made in
Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)
Decades after the fall of communism, the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia remain a mystery to most travellers. We’re not complaining, though; more mystery means fewer crowds and an easier time getting to know these fantastic countries. Beginning in charming cobblestoned Vilnius and ending in St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, this 2-week trip gets to the very heart of the region. Get an up-close glimpse of Riga’s castles and art district, experience rural life in Estonia, and venture into the fortresses and medieval architecture of Tallinn before crossing into Russia by land. Make the Baltics your special travel secret.
Highlights: Explore the charming and enigmatic Baltic countries, ride a bike around the coastal dunes of Lithuania's Curonian Spit, picnic in beautiful Riga, live like a local on a farm in Estonia, wander through back alleys in St Petersburg
Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)
Best of Java (AEJV)
Highlights of Ireland (EQHI)
Absolute Turkey: Winter (ETAW)
Belgian Beer Tour (EBBT)
Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Northern Thailand Hilltribes Trek (ATHH)||5 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Panama (CPPQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Sumatra (AESM)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Taste of Mexico (CMEX)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Yunnan (ACBY)||10 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Java (AEJV)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Northern Spain (ESNS)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Cape, Rails & Kruger Quest (DSKQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Hidden China & Inner Mongolia (ACNC)||12 days||Classic||Basic||
|Transylvania Unearthed – Halloween Edition (EQHR)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Pacific Coast California Express (NUPC)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Winter in Italy with Venice Carnival (EIIC)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Hanoi to Hong Kong (AVHK)||15 days||Classic||Standard||
|Mozambique, Kruger & Swazi Discoverer (DSMZ)||14 days||Classic||Standard||
|Highlights of Ireland (EQHI)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Cape, Rails & Kruger Photography Tour (DSKQP)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Absolute Turkey: Winter (ETAW)||15 days||Classic||Standard||
|Belgian Beer Tour (EBBT)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)||14 days||Classic||Standard||