Essential China (ACEC)
Encounter the essence of China in all its wonderful diversity—climb the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors before heading down south on this 3-week tour of China's cultural and natural highlights. Rest your gaze on the giant Buddha of Leshan and explore ancient mountainside monasteries at Emei Shan, then float down the world-famous Three Gorges of the Yangtze River before stepping out to experience the vibrant rural life and stunning scenery of Yangshuo. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our expert CEOs, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.
Highlights: Bargain in bustling markets, hike the Great Wall and explore the Forbidden City, stand face-to-face with Terracotta Warriors, visit a panda sanctuary, cruise the Yangtze, bike through Yangshuo's karst landscape
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
Trans Mongolian Express (ACTM)
From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in Mongolian ger tents and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.
Highlights: Explore the courtyards of the Forbidden City and walk along the Great Wall of China, ride the rails through Mongolia's grassy steppe and Siberia's taiga forests, stay in a local village on Lake Baikal, admire the grand structure of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square, marvel at the rich art collection in the Hermitage.
Volunteer China – Pandas (ACZJ)
This unique itinerary introduces the highlights of the Middle Kingdom — from the historic gems of modern Beijing to the ancient walls of Xi'an and cosmopolitan glitter of contemporary Shanghai — while allowing you to give back to the community at the same time. From the palaces and temples of Beijing, venture to the countryside to experience the grandeur of the Great Wall and offer vocational training at a school with people who have developmental disabilities. In Xi'an, witness the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. In Chengdu, indulge in the culinary spice that is Sichuan cuisine, and volunteer at the largest panda reserve in the world to help ensure these distinctly Chinese icons are around for future generations to admire.
Highlights: Volunteer at a school for people with developmental disabilities offering vocational training, come face-to-face with pandas in Chengdu, explore the bustling streets of China's biggest cities, hike along the Great Wall, meet the Terracotta Warriors.
From Buddhist monks of Koyasan to the high rollers of Tokyo, capture the many faces of Japan on this condensed tour beginning in Osaka. Savour the region’s culinary delicacies and the beautiful views at Mt Fuji. You'll stay in a traditional ryokan and really soak up local culture in onsen hot springs. A great combination of included activities and free time, this adventure provides a taste of the rich culture of Japan.
Highlights: Take in the views of Mt Fuji, stay in temple lodging and a traditional ryokan, gaze at the famous floating gate Miyajima Torii, explore Kyoto's Nijo Castle
Discover Cambodia (ATDC)
Ideal for the traveller who is short on time but wants to experience Cambodia’s highlights, our CEOs will help you discover Phnom Penh’s markets, shrines and temples—and the horrors of the Killing Fields. In Siem Reap, we’ll devote plenty of time to the wonders of the Khmer Empire at Angkor Wat. Witness crumbling temples and monuments cloaked in vines as you explore this massive complex of ruins. From the glories of the ancient past to the upheavals of recent times, this week-long journey will introduce you to Cambodia's rich history.
Highlights: Shop in the bustling markets of Bangkok, wander through the temples of Angkor Wat, explore colonial Phnom Penh by cyclo.
From the vibrant cityscape of Bangkok to Halong Bay's magnificent limestone karsts, this trip encompasses the highlights of Indochina. Marvel at the majestic granite peak of Doi Suthep, explore a traditional Hmong village, and savour noodles in Chiang Mai. Shop for souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City and join the locals sipping coffee at a lakeside café in Hanoi. With hotels, transport, and a number of included activities arranged by our CEOs, this adventure offers up the perfect combination of must-see highlights and free time.
Highlights: Explore the canals of Bangkok, float down the mighty Mekong, visit majestic caves and stunning limestone karsts in Halong Bay, browse the tailor shops in Hoi An, squeeze through the Cu Chi tunnels
Uzbekistan Discovered (AUUK)
From the remarkable mosques and Soviet architecture of Tashkent to the ancient capital of Khiva, follow the legendary Silk Road through the exotic best of Uzbekistan. Indulge in steamy marble hammams, roam the twisting lanes of ancient bazaars and explore the monuments and minarets of Samarkand. Your CEO will lead the way, taking care of the hassles and leaving you free to explore a land rich in culture and history. For a great taste of enigmatic Uzbekistan, this 12-day adventure serves up only the best.
Highlights: Discover ancient cities of the Silk Road, sip hot drinks in tiny Khiva teahouses, bargain at colourful bazaars, admire the fountains and madrassas of the Registan, stay in a traditional yurt.
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.
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.
Budapest to Istanbul (EABI)
From pastoral countryside to forbidding forests and magnificent mountain ranges, experience the romance of the east on your way from Budapest to Istanbul. In two well-paced weeks, explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces and mosques in Istanbul for an introduction to the artistic and cultural heights of two very different empires. With an intriguing combination of cultural colour and outdoor activities, you'll come away with a real feel for this lesser-explored corner of Europe.
Highlights: Discover the rich and varied culture of Eastern Europe, visit 'Dracula's Castle' and charming Slavic villages, explore the spectacular capitals of Budapest and Istanbul
Best of Greece (EGBG)
When you saddle a trip with a moniker as lofty as 'Best of Greece', you’d better make sure it lives up to the hype. This one does. Compiling the top moments from our best-selling trips in the region, this comprehensive tour through the cradle of Western Civilization brings the distant past and vibrant present into sharp focus. Between the must-see historical sites of Athens and Delphi, the rugged plateaus of the fabled Samariá Gorge, personal encounters in isolated Cretan villages and the breezy sway of Santorini at sundown, you won’t have a moment to waste. Witness Greece—in all her timeless glory—with us.
Highlights: Discover Greek history and culture, marvel at classic architecture both ancient and modern, explore old cities and quaint villages, witness a Mediterranean sunset while eating fresh seafood, soak in Cretan culture
Croatia and the Balkans (EJBT)
The Balkans are just getting noticed as a great European travel destination - we can’t believe it took so long! Situated on the balmy shores of the Adriatic and home to some of the most wondrous landscapes, monuments and villages you’ll ever see, this part of the world still feels like a well-kept secret. This adventure showcases the region’s compelling history and scenery and allows time for outdoor pursuits like kayaking and hiking. You may not know much about Croatia and the Balkans now, but once you’ve been, you’ll be hard-pressed to stop talking about them.
Highlights: Kayak to tiny islands in the crystal waters of the Bay of Kotor, enjoy beach time in Hvar, explore the ancient Roman palace of Diocletian on a guided tour
Eastern Turkey Adventure (ETET)
Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient mud brick cities to exotic bazaars and the mysterious fallen stone heads at Nemrut Dagi, this 8-day trip is Turkey at its most fascinating. Travel to the land beneath the snow-capped peak of Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah's Ark and immerse yourself in the magnificent sights and legendary hospitality of the people in this lesser-known, and lesser-travelled, region of Turkey.
Highlights: Explore ancient mud brick cities, bargain in bazaars, taste regional specialties, visit the mysterious stone heads of Mount Nemrut
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
Yucatan Panorama (MYP)
If you’re short on time but want to delve into the Yucatan, this wide-ranging itinerary in one of Mexico’s most fascinating regions is an authentic alternative to the mainstream. Snorkel Caribbean reefs and laze on beautiful white-sand beaches. Enter the world of the ancient Maya at Chichén Itzá and the incredible jungle ruins of Palenque. Your experienced CEO will reveal the region’s hidden gems, taking the hassle out of travel so you can focus on ancient ruins and vibrant sites—or revel in a tranquil sunset cruise off Isla Mujeres.
Highlights: Soak up true Mexican culture, marvel at the beauty of Palenque, explore the jungles of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, relax on world-class beaches
Classic Peru (PPC)
This compact tour of the archaeological highlights and cultural treasures of the Andean highlands has it all. Cruise Lake Titicaca and immerse yourself in rural life with a homestay in a small village. Wander the cobblestoned streets of Cusco before breaking a sweat hiking mountain passes along the Inca Trail on your way to Machu Picchu. Because we run our own treks, we can ensure the fair treatment of our porters and the quality of food and equipment so that you’re free to enjoy the beauty of the region.
Highlights: Feel like a local at a Lake Titicaca homestay, climb the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, sample the seafood in Lima, explore ancient ruins and villages
Iguassu & Beyond (SAIB)
For the nature lover who also wants to explore the nightlife of the urban jungle and have plenty of time on the beach, this 9-day adventure offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture. Travel from the tango palaces of Buenos Aires to the samba pulse of Rio de Janeiro and discover spectacular wilderness in between. Encounter thundering Iguassu Falls with views from both Argentina and Brazil. Then continue to the coast and soak in the sun on Ilha Grande's beaches and colonial culture in Paraty. Go beyond a vacation—and step into adventure!
Highlights: Experience the sophistication of Buenos Aires, stand in awe of Iguassu Falls, sip a caipirinha in Rio, explore the cobblestoned streets of colonial Paraty
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
Get off the beaten path in the highlands of Peru and discover stunning mountain scenery and remote cities few tourists visit. Getting to Cusco is half the adventure—travel by public bus keeps costs down and allows you to connect with the locals in the rarefied mountain air of the Andes. Climb the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the 'Lost City of the Incas'. We operate our own treks in Peru and can ensure the fair treatment of our porters—and an exceptional experience for you.
Highlights: Gaze at Andean vistas, experience the culture and mingle with the locals on public buses, conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, savour the diverse cuisine Peru is known for.
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Essential China (ACEC)||21 days||Classic||Standard||
|Hidden China & Inner Mongolia (ACNC)||12 days||Classic||Basic||
|Trans Mongolian Express (ACTM)||21 days||Classic||Standard||
|Volunteer China – Pandas (ACZJ)||14 days||Classic||Standard||
|Japan Express: Osaka to Tokyo (AJJR)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Discover Cambodia (ATDC)||7 days||Classic||Standard||
|Thailand, Laos and Vietnam Adventure (ATLV)||22 days||Classic||Standard||
|Uzbekistan Discovered (AUUK)||12 days||Classic||Standard||
|Taste of Mexico (CMEX)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Panama (CPPQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Budapest to Istanbul (EABI)||14 days||Classic||Standard||
|Best of Greece (EGBG)||15 days||Classic||Standard||
|Croatia and the Balkans (EJBT)||15 days||Classic||Standard||
|Eastern Turkey Adventure (ETET)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)||14 days||Classic||Standard||
|Yucatan Panorama (MYP)||10 days||Classic||Standard||
|Classic Peru (PPC)||12 days||Classic||Standard||
|Iguassu & Beyond (SAIB)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Backroads & Highlands of Peru (SPBH)||17 days||Classic||Basic||