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Imagine seeing the sunrise at the top of Machu

Picchu, waking up on the beaches of Thailand after

a crazy night partying or camping, surrounded by

wildlife, in the middle of the African Serengeti.

Here at STA Travel, we reckon the world is one big

playground and we want to help you get out and

explore it. And if life’s an adventure, then this is

your ultimate road map! The Adventure Seekers

guidebook puts our favourite trips under the

spotlight, ranging from the iconic, like hiking the Inca

Trail, to the once-in-a-lifetime, like cruising through

icy Antarctic waters. Tango all night in Buenos Aires

or shake your bon bon in Brazil. Dive with exotic

fish in Thailand or come face to face with the Big 5

in Kenya. Down shots of tequila in Mexico City or

vodka in St Petersburg. Get patriotic at Gallipoli or

overwhelmed in Vietnam. Stroll the Great Wall of

China or hike the all-mighty Everest.

We’ve searched across the globe for adventures that

will have you constantly reaching for your camera

and give all your mates back home a serious case of

FOMO. One thing’s for sure, each adventure is sure

to get your heart rate up – either from pure adrenalin

or some pretty breathtaking sights!

Our travel experts are also adventure junkies! So we know which countries to explore, what trips to take

and the ‘must do’ sights to tick off your travel bucket list while you’re there. We are the world’s largest

travel company for students and young adults – but whatever your age we are more than happy to show

you our unique perspective of planet Earth.

We’ve been sending people on adventures around the world for more than 30 years and we think we’re

pretty good at it. We know the best airlines and the cheapest routes to get you there, so check out our tips

to help you get the best deal:

• Buy an ISIC or IYTC card to be eligible for our exclusive negotiated student and under 26 year old deals.

• Try to avoid booking flights at the last minute; the best prices are available in advance.

• Think about flying outside of peak times – like school holidays.

• Look at what meals and perks are included in your tour.

We’ve got thousands of exclusive offers on flights and tours plus all the essential extras to help you get

out and explore! So read on for a selection of our favourites… adventure awaits you.

Come and talk to us by dropping into one of our branches nationwide,

calling us on 0508 STA TRAVEL or visiting statravel.co.nz

2


4 Important stuff

5 G Adventures & Planeterra

7 Kenya & Tanzania Overland

8 Nairobi to Cape Town

10 Joburg to Vic Falls Overland

10 Kruger & Swaziland Adventure

11 Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

12 In Search of the Big 5

13 Egypt & Jordan Adventure

14 Best of Egypt

15 Zambia Community & Safari

17 Roam Vietnam, Laos & Thailand

18 Indochina Discovery

20 Roam Cambodia & Vietnam

21 Classic Vietnam Hanoi to Saigon

21 Southern Thailand Sojourn

22 Thai Sailing Adventure

23 Roam China

24 Uncover India

25 Thai Elephant Conservation

Thanks to our mates at Bivouac for

providing The Adventure Seekers gear

– from clothing to shoes, backpacks to

travel essentials, they’ve got you covered no

matter how big or small your adventure.

www.bivouac.co.nz

27 Inca Discovery

27 Amazon to the Andes

28 Peru on a Shoestring

29 The Inca Trail

30 In Search of Iguassu

31 Mexico Ancient Civilisations

32 Bolivia Crossing

34 Mayan Sun

35 Project Cuzco Kids

37 Antarctica Classic

38 Trans Mongolian Express

40 Everest Adventure

41 Best of the West

42 Absolute Turkey

3


Fly with STA Travel

Aside from our great prices, many of our airfares

are unique and exclusive. We offer a wide range of

flights negotiated just for you, and we can book just

about anything you desire, from simple return tickets

to tailor made complex round the world itineraries.

Travel insurance

We hope you have an awesome trip, but to put it

bluntly, if something does happen (and it happens

all the time), you’ll want really good travel insurance,

not a $50,000+ medical bill.

STA Travel insurance gives you much more than

medical cover. It also covers emergency transport

and accommodation costs, cover for cancellation

and for your gear should it be lost, damaged, stolen

or delayed.

Discount cards

Take advantage of over 41,000 discounts worldwide!

If you’re a full time student you can buy an ISIC card

or alternatively if you’re not a student but are under

30 years old you can buy an IYTC youth card. They’re

only $25 each and can be used both at home and

abroad. You’ll save loads while you’re travelling so

they are well worth the spend!

You can access cheaper student and youth airfares

exclusively at STA Travel, get discounts on local

transport, savings on museums and art gallery

admissions, retail discounts, hotel bonuses like free

internet and welcome drinks, deals at restaurants,

pubs and more.

Here are a few of our insurance highlights:

• Unlimited overseas medical and dental cover

• 24-hour emergency assistance

• Luggage cover

• Flexible policy length

• Cover for the adventurous (that’s you!)

Hi there, Hola, Jambo... Lonely Planet loves adventure.

At Lonely Planet we want to help you make the

most of your overseas adventure. Our travel

guides are chock-a-block full of savvy tips and

recommendations for travellers who want to

get the most out of their adventures without

skimping on the experience. Explore the best,

get off the beaten path and discover the

places that memories are made of with your

Lonely Planet Guide.

Ask your STA Travel expert for the guide

to suit your trip.

4


Your amazing adventure

STA Travel partners with leading tour companies who

provide fantastic experiences across the globe. So who

better than the ‘great adventure people’ themselves,

G Adventures, to lead you into the unknown.

G Adventures, formerly Gap Adventures, was

founded more than 20 years ago and set out on a

journey to transform the way people think about

travel. Combining the convenience of small group

touring with the joys of independent discovery, their

authentic and sustainable travel experiences embrace

the world’s most fascinating cultures, customs and

awe-inspiring wildlife.

Can’t wait to get your hiking boots on and climb a

mountain? Exploring museums or trying new foods

at the local markets more your thing? Everyone has

different travel preferences and budgets, so we have a

trip style for you, whether you want to add a little (or

a lot) of adventure to your holiday! Keep an eye out for

these icons so you know exactly what’s in store:

CLASSIC

Designed to ensure an authentic and unforgettable

travel experience, our Classic trip styles are all about

the exploration of unique landscapes, awe-inspiring

wildlife and foreign cultures.

ACTIVE

Challenging physical adventure meets fully immersive

exploration - from trekking and biking to whitewater

rafting and kayaking, work up a sweat as you venture

off the beaten path.

YOLO

You Only Live Once. Mix adventure, affordability

and authenticity together with a bunch of 18 to

30-somethings. Add local transport and authentic

accommodation with a side of sustainability.

OVERLANDER

Using a combination of camping and hotel

accommodation, you’ll experience the most amazing

vistas and remote locations, for a truly authentic

backcountry experience.

EXPEDITION

Climb aboard the MS Expedition led by our

extraordinary team of naturalists, biologists,

anthropologists and historians to experience incredible

wildlife and amazing scenery.

Responsible travel

Responsible travel has been with STA Travel in various

shapes and forms since our pioneering days. Over three

decades, we’ve helped millions of travellers make deep

connections to the places they visit and to come away

with a greater sense that we’re sharing this world.

We’ve embarked on a responsible travel journey

with Planeterra; a non-profit organisation built on

the belief that people, and the planet should be as

important as profit in the travel business. Planeterra

has been supporting local people to develop their

communities and conserve their cultural heritage since

2003, and they have staff on the ground to make sure

it all happens.

VOLUNTEER

Volunteering is all about making a greater contribution.

Giving back (and gaining lots too). You’ll make a positive

difference to the lives of others on a much deeper level,

by donating your time, energy and experience.

VOLUNTOUR

Voluntours help you learn about the people and place

you are visiting on a much deeper level than a normal

tour. It’s the perfect way to give back to the community

you are visiting through projects focusing on health,

education, conservation and more around the world.

You’ll find a small selection of volunteer projects included in this brochure, for more information ask your travel

expert for our Volunteer, Work & Learn brochure.

5


6

With 54 countries to explore, Africa promises heart pounding adventures for every

explorer. Spot ‘the Big 5’ on safari, come face to face with mummies in Egypt or brave

gorilla-infested parks in Uganda. When the heat gets too much, cool off in the Dead

Sea, ride the Zambezi rapids or relax on the beaches of Zanibar.


10

kenya & tanzania overland

NAirobi > NAIROBI

OVERLANDER

fr

$2,299

days

GADKTO

Highlights

• Marvel the Rift Valley views

• See legions of flamingos at Lake Nakuru

• Search for wildlife in the Serengeti

• Camp by Lake Victoria’s shores

DAY 1: NAIROBI/NAKARU

Say adios to Nairobi in the morning and hello to

Lake Nakuru National Park that afternoon! After a

brief welcome you’ll head north, passing through

the Great Rift Valley before arriving at the park,

where you’ll be flabbergasted by the hundreds

of thousands of flamingos lining the shore. Keep

your eyes peeled for white and black rhino, buffalo,

impala, hyena and even leopard. (L, D)

DAY 2: LAKE NAIVASHA

Enjoy the surrounds of beautiful Lake Naivasha.

Fill your day with various optional activities, like a

walking safari on Crescent Island to view giraffe

and antelope, a visit to the flamingo-filled Green

Crater Lake, or checking out wildlife around the

camp. You’ll spot ibis, lovebirds, fish eagles, hippo,

and the black and white colobus monkey on the

lake’s banks. (B, L, D)

DAY 3-4: MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE

With its vast open plains and distinctive flat-topped

acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete

without stopping here! Spend time game viewing in

small safari vehicles and try spot the ‘Big 5’ - lion,

leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Marvel at

gazelle, impala and ostrich from wonderful vistas

along the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment. You’ll also get

the chance to experience local Masai culture with a

stop at a traditional Masai village. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Masai Mara

Reserve

Lake

Victoria

Serengeti N.P.

Ngorongoro Crater

TANZANIA

KENYA

Nakuru Lake Naivasha

Kisii

Arusha

Nairobi

DAY 5-6: KISII/MUSOMA

Approaching Kisii, you will experience breathtaking

views of the vast rolling hills covered by tea

plantations – one of the economic backbones of

the local economy. Cross into Tanzania on Day 6

and park up at the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s

largest lake. Take a boat or canoe ride on the lake,

or stay on shore for fantastic bird watching.

(2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 7: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

This is touted as Africa’s best game park for a

reason! The world famous Serengeti National Park is

to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is

to Kenya, although with an area of 14,763 sq km, it

is actually over seven times larger! (B, L, D)

DAY 8-9: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK/

NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA/ARUSHA

Top up your wildlife cravings with even more

Serengeti game driving in the morning, before

journeying to the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s

largest intact volcanic caldera. The crater serves

as an extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of

Africa’s most dense population of large mammals,

who remain on the crater floor due to the constant

water supply. On Day 9 you’ll descend to the bottom

and view the herds in front of the crater walls –

they’re surprisingly photogenic! Spend your last

night camping in the bustling town of Arusha.

(2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 10: NAIROBI

Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye. Travel through the

land of the Masai people and catch a glimpse of Mt

Kilimanjaro on your way back to Nairobi. (B)

7


40

nairobi to cape town

fr

$5,499

days

OVERLANDER

NAirobi > Cape town

Waterberg

Plateau

Highlights

• Search out the ‘Big 5’ in the Serengeti

• Laze on the legendary beaches of Zanzibar

• Swim in Lake Malawi’s clear waters

• Feel the thunder of Victoria Falls

• Bush camp in the Okavango Delta

• Explore Etosha’s animal infested plains

• See giant sand dunes in the Namib National Park

• Cap it off in cosmopolitan Cape Town

DAY 1: NAIROBI/ARUSHA

Head south from Nairobi through the dry lands of

the Masai people into the ‘safari capital’ of Tanzania,

Arusha. (L, D)

DAY 2: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Cruise through the acacia-spotted savannah of

the Serengeti; the ‘Big 5’ roam this vast expanse of

grassland and the Masai people can often be seen

herding their cattle. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: NGORONGORO CRATER

Continue on to the Ngorongoro conservation area,

where the views from your campsite – right by the

crater’s rim – are stunning. The rich pasture and

permanent water supply of the crater floor is home

to more than 25,000 large mammals! (B, L, D)

DAY 4: NGORONGORO CRATER/ARUSHA

Venture down to the crater floor and watch the high

concentration of wildlife bound by the crater walls.

Continue back to your campsite near Arusha. (B, L, D)

Damaraland

Gweta

Ghanzi Maun

Swakopmund

Namib Desert

Windhoek

Fish River Canyon

Gariep River

Serengeti N.P.

Ngorongoro Crater

TANZANIA

Iringa

KENYA

Lake Malawi

Kasane/Chobe River

Chipata

Lilongwe

Okavango Delta

Lusaka

Etosha N.P. Livingstone

NAMIBIA

ZAMBIA

SOUTH AFRICA

ZIMBABWE

MALAWI

Mt. Kenya

Nairobi

Arusha

Zanzibar

Dar Es

Salaam

DAY 5: DAR ES SALAAM

Travel past the iconic Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest

mountain and head towards Tanzania’s largest city

and the departure point to Zanzibar’s beaches, Dar es

Salaam. (B ,L, D)

DAY 6-9: ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar, the ‘spice island’, has a rich history and

culture. Relax on the beautiful beaches, explore

the fascinating streets of Stone Town and soak up

the island spirit. You can choose to visit the spice

plantations, slave pits or the ruins of the Sultan’s

Palace. (4B)

DAY 10: RUAHA RIVER

Catch the ferry back to Dar es Salaam and continue

travelling to the Ruaha River. (B, L, D)

DAY 11: IRINGA

Continue the journey to Iringa and spend the night

just outside the town. (B, L, D)

DAY 12-14: LAKE MALAWI

Cross into Malawi, known as ‘the warm heart of

Africa’. Spend the next three days relaxing on the

shores of the enormous Lake Malawi, walking along

the beaches, swimming in the crystal clear water and

snorkelling or scuba diving among colourful, tropical

fish. As you travel down the lake’s shores you’ll stay

the night at various camps. (3B, 3L, 3D)

DAY 15: LILONGWE

Head to the sleepy capital of Lilongwe. Check out the

bustling markets in the Old Town or just sit back and

chill out on ‘Malawi time’. (B, L, D)

DAY 16: CHIPATA

Visit some of Chipata’s local shops, owned by the

small Indian population who live here. (B, L, D)

DAY 17: LUSAKA

Camp on a private game farm just outside the capital

of Zambia, Lusaka. (B, L, D)

DAY 18-21: LIVINGSTONE

Spend the next few days exploring the breathtaking

Victoria Falls. Here you’ll find Adventure with a

capital A – whitewater raft or canoe on the Zambezi,

go on an elephant safari, bungy jump over the river or

take a chopper over the falls. (4B, L)

8

Cape Town


DAY 22: CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Journey to the Chobe River, home to one of the

largest elephant populations in southern Africa. The

best way to appreciate Botswana’s largest national

park is by cruising the Chobe River. (B, L, D)

DAY 23: GWETA/MAKGADIKGADI PANS

Venture south to the village of Gweta near the

shimmering salt pans of Makgadikgadi. (B, L, D)

DAY 24: MAUN/OKAVANGO DELTA

Pick up any supplies and prepare for your

unforgettable journey into the delta. (B, L, D)

DAY 25-26: OKAVANGO DELTA

Based at a bush camp, you’ll enjoy two days of game

walks and a traditional mokoro excursion, while

marvelling at the wide variety of wildlife that calls the

world’s largest inland delta their home. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 27: KALAHARI (GHANZI)

Continue through the western part of Botswana, the

heart of the Kalahari, to Ghanzi. Take the opportunity

to walk with a local San Bushman and learn

fascinating bush skills. (B, L, D)

DAY 28: WINDHOEK

Journey to the historic city of Windhoek and take a

break from camping and stay in a hotel. (B, L)

DAY 29: WATERBERG PLATEAU GAME PARK

Head north to Waterberg Plateau Game Park where

you can take a scenic forest walk and enjoy the

natural beauty of the area. (B, L, D)

DAY 30-31: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Etosha National Park offers a great variety of wildlife

and phenomenal natural beauty. Here, you’ll spot lion,

giraffe, elephant, hippo, rhino and herds of antelope

and wildebeest on game drives. (2B, 2L, 2D)

The beautiful country of

Tanzania is home to the

highest point in Africa,

Mt Kilimanjaro - and the

lowest, the lakebed of Lake

Tanganyika.

DAY 33-34: SWAKOPMUND

If time allows, you’ll get a chance to visit some of

Damaraland’s local attractions, such as historic rock

engravings and a petrified fossil forest. You will then

spend two nights in coastal Swakopmund – make sure

you try dune boarding or quad biking. (B, L)

DAY 35-36: NAMIB DESERT

Head to the immense Namib Desert, where you’ll

spend the first night in the mystical village of Solitaire.

The next day you’ll visit Sossusvlei, a clay pan

enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes. You’ll also

stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon that’s invisible

from even a short distance away. Spend your second

night on the edge of the Namib Desert. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 37: FISH RIVER CANYON

Journey to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in

Africa. Watch a spectacular sunset slip under the

canyon rim. (B, L, D)

DAY 38: GARIEP (ORANGE) RIVER

Travel through the drier regions of Namibia, camping

on the Gariep (Orange) River. Take a walk in the nearby

village, have a swim, relax or ride down the river in a

canoe. (B, L, D)

DAY 39-40: CAPE TOWN

Journey to the famous city of Cape Town where you’ll

say your goodbyes. (2B, L)

GADKNC

DAY 32: DAMARALAND

Enjoy one last game drive before heading to the stony

desert landscape of Damaraland. (B, L, D)

Tour also available in reverse

Cape Town to Nairobi (GADCN)

9


9

days

JOBURG TO VIC FALLS OVERLAND

JOHANNESBURG > LIVINGSTONE

DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG

Your journey starts in exciting Jo’burg.

OVERLANDER

Highlights

• Spot white rhinos in Polokwane Game Reserve

• Marvel at the barren Makgadikgadi Pans

• Spot the ‘Big 5’ while cruising Chobe River

• Tackle the rapids of the Zambezi

DAYS 2-3: GREATER KRUGER AREA/KRUGER

NATIONAL PARK

Drive through scenic mountains, eat a traditional

Shangaan dinner, learn some local dance moves and

visit a Shalati village. Of course, there is also plenty

of animal spotting opportunities. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAYS 4-5: POLOKWANE/PALAPYE

Spend the night at Polokwane Game Reserve, where

animal residents include the rare tsessebe, sable

antelope and white rhino. Fall asleep to the wild

sounds of Africa. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 6: NATA

Nata is located on the edge of the Makgadikgadi

Pans, which was once one of Africa’s biggest inland

lakes. If the weather plays nice, you can go into the

pans or take a game walk in the forest, where the

‘Big 5’ are present. (B, L, D)

DAY 7: KASANE/CHOBE RIVER

Chobe National Park is home to the largest

population of elephants in Southern Africa. Cruise

Chobe River at sunset and try to spot elephant,

crocodile and hippo. (B, L, D)

DAY 8: LIVINGSTONE

Get up close to the immense Victoria Falls,

whitewater raft the Zambezi, and for the adrenalin

junkies, there’s the chance

to bungy jump. (B, L)

DAY 9: LIVINGSTONE

Depart at any time. (B)

GADAJV

Kasane/

Chobe River

ZAMBIA

Nata

Palapye

BOTSWANA

NAMIBIA

fr

$1,149

Tour also available in reverse

Vic Falls to Joburg (GADZKF)

SOUTH AFRICA

Livingstone

ZIMBABWE

Kruger NP

Polokwane

Johannesburg

TANZANIA

MALAWI

8

days

KRUGER & SWAZILAND ADVENTURE

JOHANNESBURG > JOHANNESBURG

CLASSIC

fr

$2,649

10

Highlights

• Visit the Apartheid Museum in Jo’burg

• Game drive at sunset in Manyeleti

• Spot the Big 5 in Kruger National Park

• Live like a local in a Zulu community

DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG

Fondly known as a place of gold, Jo’burg is the

economic heart of South Africa. Take a trip out to

Soweto or visit the famous Apartheid Museum. (D)

ZAMBIA

DAYS 2-3: MANYELETI GAME RESERVE

Visit Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and

God’s Window before arriving at the Manyeleti Game

Reserve. Interact with locals at Shalati village and a

Planeterra supported

school. Those keen to

spot the ‘Big 5’ can

take a sunset game

drive through the

reserve. (2B, 2D)

Johannesburg

SOUTH

AFRICA

Kruger NP

SWAZILAND

TANZANIA

Hluhluwe

MALAWI

DAY 4: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Welcome to big game country! Search for lion,

elephant, rhino and more in one of Africa’s greatest

wildlife areas. If you’re not afraid of things that go

roar in the night, there’s the chance to go on a night

game drive. (B)

DAYS 5-6: SWAZILAND

Visit Malolotja Nature Reserve before arriving in tiny

Swaziland. Spend the next two days horse riding,

mountain biking, bird watching or hiking. Tuck into

lunch at one of the local homesteads. (2B)

DAY 7: HLUHLUWE AREA

Re-enter South Africa and travel to the Hluhluwe

area. Tonight, you’ll eat dinner with a Zulu family, stay

overnight in their village and be a local for a day. (B, D)

DAY 8: JOHANNESBURG

Take a walking tour around the village before

travelling back to Johannesburg, where your tour

sadly ends. (B)

GADAKW


14

kenya & uganda

gorilla adventure

NAirobi >NAirobi

OVERLANDER

fr

$2,749

days

GADKKU

Highlights

• Marvel at the Lake Nakaru flamingoes

• Trek deep into Bwindi National Park

• Connect with the king of the apes

• Visit the source of the River Nile

DAY 1: NAIROBI/LAKE NAKURU

After an early start, travel north of Nairobi through

the Great Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru National Park,

home to a vast variety of birdlife, including hundreds

of thousands of flamingos. Watch the shifting mass

of pink on the lake’s surface. Spend the rest of your

day searching for white and black rhino, buffalo,

impala, hyena and even leopard on an afternoon

drive in this renowned game park. (L, D)

DAY 2-3: ELDORET/KAMPALA

Travel over varied landscapes as you cross the Mau

Mau Escarpment and arrive into Eldoret. Continue

to Uganda and across the northern shores of Lake

Victoria to camp in Kampala, Uganda’s vibrant

commercial centre and largest city in the country.

(2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 4-5: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to more than

95 species of mammals and 10 primate species,

including the chimpanzee. Enjoy a nature hike

before setting out on game drives hoping to glimpse

buffalo, hippo, elephant, lion and the ever elusive

leopard. For a different perspective relax on a boat

cruise on the Kazinga Channel. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 6-9: LAKE BUNYONYI

Journey south through gorgeous countryside to

Lake Bunyonyi, where you’ll be based for the next

few days. Undoubtedly, one of your trip highlights

will be exploring lush undergrowth of mountainous

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to track the

mountain gorilla - the world’s most endangered ape.

The park’s steep slopes are home to approximately

half of the world’s population of these fascinating

creatures and a close encounter with these amazing

animals is simply breathtaking. Spend the rest of

your time swimming, fishing, canoeing or mountain

biking, or simply revel in the peace and quiet around

the lake. (4B, 4L, 4D)

DAY 10: LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Today takes you on a scenic journey to Lake Mburo

National Park for further nature encounters in

one of Uganda’s most precious locations. Game

drive through the acacia woodland in search of the

diverse resident wildlife. If time allows, go for a

nature walk or take a boat trip on one of the lakes,

with hopes of spotting hippo, crocodile and a variety

of water birds. Fall asleep at the camp by listening to

the sounds of the African wilderness. (B, L, D)

DAY 11-12: JINJA

Arrive at the shores of Lake Victoria and ‘the Source

of the Nile’. Jinja is fast becoming the thrill-seeker’s

capital of Africa. Spend a full day rafting or kayaking

down the Nile, mountain biking in the Mabira Forest,

volunteering with a local project, or just enjoying the

relaxed vibe of the area. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 13-14: ELDORET/NAIROBI

Cross over into Kenya for a night in Eldoret before

returning back to Nairobi through the Rift Valley in

the afternoon. (2B, 2L, D)

UGANDA

Kampala Eldoret Mt. Kenya

Queen

Elizabeth N.P.

Jinja Lake Nakuru N.P.

Lake Mburo N.P

Lake Bunyoni

TANZANIA

KENYA

Nairobi

11


10

In search of the Big 5

fr

$3,949

days

CLASSIC

NAIROBI > ARUSHA

Highlights

• Spot the ‘Big 5’ in Kenya

• Cruise along the waters of Lake Victoria

• Game drive in the Serengeti

• Spend a night with Arusha locals

DAY 1: NAIROBI

Wander the streets of central Nairobi, taking in

old colonial architecture and the brightly coloured

crowds. Check out the National Museum, head out of

town to the suburb of Karen, named after the author

of ‘Out of Africa’, or hand-feed rare Rothschild

giraffes at Langata’s Giraffe Centre.

DAY 2: NAKURU

Descend into the Great Rift Valley before arriving at

Lake Nakuru National Park, home to black and white

rhino, buffalo, impala, leopard and thousands of

flamingo. Try and spot the lake under the masses of

pink feathers or hop on a safari game drive. (B, L, D)

DAYS 3-4: MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE

No visit to Kenya is complete without a visit to the

world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. Set up

your campsite and then make your way into the

reserve for an afternoon game viewing drive. This is

your best chance to spot the ‘Big 5’ – lion, leopard,

buffalo, elephant and rhino. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 5: LAKE VICTORIA

Cross the border to Tanzania and set up camp just

outside Serengeti National Park, within easy reach

of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake

in the world. Pop on your walking shoes and take a

guided walk to Speke Bay. (B, L, D)

DAYS 6-7: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Venture to the world famous Serengeti National

Park, one of Africa’s premier game parks. Here,

you’ll find plentiful animal and bird life while cruising

through the acacia-spotted savannah. Watch the

animal kingdom come alive over the day as you go

game driving. Thrill-seekers can take a boat or canoe

ride on Lake Victoria. (2B, 2L, 2D)

DAY 8: OLDUVAI GORGE/NGORONGORO

CONSERVATION AREA

Cross the Serengeti plains and journey to the

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, stopping to check

out the archaeological site of Olduvai Gorge on the

way. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are

stunning and there is plenty of wildlife to spot in the

crater, due to the permanent water supply on the

crater floor. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: NGORONGORO CRATER/ARUSHA

Venture inside the Ngorongoro Crater, which has

a resident population of more than 20,000 large

mammals, including zebra, gazelle, buffalo, eland and

warthog. Your last night on safari will be spent in

Arusha, where you’ll enjoy a traditional dinner at the

home of a local family. (B, L, D)

DAY 10: ARUSHA

Sadly, the time has come to head back to reality –

and begin to plan your next African safari! (B)

Lake

Victoria

Serengeti N.P.

TANZANIA

KENYA

Masai

Mara Reserve

Nakuru

Ngorongoro

Crater

Nairobi

Arusha

GADKBF

12

International runners fly over to Kenya to train

in the mountains, claiming the high altitude helps

build their fitness and make them more competitive.


17

egypt & jordan adventure

fr

$2,649

cairo > amman

CLASSIC

days

GADPJA

Highlights

• Explore the bustling city of Cairo

• Cruise the Nile on a felucca boat

• Watch the sun set on top of Mt Sinai

• Float in the Dead Sea

Cairo

Amman

Aqaba

Nuweiba

JORDAN

Madaba

Petra

Wadi Rum

DAY 1-2: CAIRO

Drink in the views of the ancient pyramids of Giza

and learn about the history of these impressive

monuments. Then, head over to the mammoth

Egyptian Museum in the afternoon, filled with over

10,000 pieces from Egypt’s past. In the evening

of Day 2, you’ll jump aboard the sleeper train to

Aswan. (B, D)

DAY 3-4: ASWAN

Spend the morning exploring Aswan, located on

the Nile, before boarding a traditional felucca boat

to experience the area from the water. Cross the

West Bank to visit a Nubian village, where you’ll

walk around the community and eat a traditional

dinner at a local home. The next day, head out to

the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel or remain in

Aswan for the day, exploring and relaxing. (2B, D)

DAY 5: FELUCCA BOAT

Watch life on the Nile banks by day and sleep under

the stars on the deck of a traditional Egyptian boat

at night. (B, L, D)

DAY 6-7: LUXOR

Step off the felucca and arrive into Kom Ombo to

have a look at the well preserved temple before

continuing to Luxor. On Day 7, you’ll travel to the

West Bank by donkey(!) to visit the magnificent

Valley of the Kings. Check out the impressive Karnak

Temple and Luxor Temple before returning to Cairo

on an overnight train. (2B, L, D)

EGYPT

DAY 8: CAIRO

Explore Cairo on foot and shop ‘til you drop in Khan

El-Khalili Bazaar. (B)

DAY 9-10: MT SINAI/RED SEA

Travelling towards the coast via the biblical Mt Sinai,

choose to climb the mountain for a stunning sunset

or sunrise. The next day, you can rest your tired feet

in the Red Sea. (2B)

DAY 11: AQABA

Cross the Gulf of Aqaba and arrive into this coastal

town to spend the night. (B)

DAY 12: WADI RUM

Set off to the home of the nomadic Bedouin people.

Head deep into the desert by 4WD and spend the

night at a traditional camp learning about this

ancient culture. (B, D)

DAY 13-14: PETRA

Visit the remarkable ancient Nabatean city of Petra

– featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last

Crusade. Explore this immense Hollywood site on

foot. (2B)

DAY 15: MADABA

Mt. Sinai

Luxor

Aswan

Driving down the panoramic King’s Highway you’ll

make stops at Shobak and Kerak Castles, Mt Nebo

and the town of Madaba. (B)

DAY 16-17: DEAD SEA / AMMAN

Snap a pic of yourself floating in the dense saltwater

of the Dead Sea. Try and sink, it’s impossible! Travel

to Jordan’s atmospheric capital, Amman before your

tour sadly comes to an end. (2B)

13


8

days

best of egypt

fr

$1,199

Cairo >cairo

CLASSIC

Highlights

• Be awestruck by the Pyramids of Giza

• Sleep under the stars on a felucca boat

• Enjoy a traditional dinner with a local family

• Explore Luxor’s West Bank by donkey

DAY 1-2: CAIRO

Arrive at any time and meet the rest of your group.

Play tourist and get lost in the bazaars or sip coffee

with the locals in a cafe. On Day 2, you’ll visit the

famous Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Forget

all the pictures you’ve seen – they’re much more

impressive in real life. Continue on to the huge

Egyptian Museum, before boarding an overnight

sleeper train to Aswan. (B, D)

DAYS 3-4: ASWAN

Famous for its relaxing pace of life, spend the

morning exploring Aswan before boarding a

felucca to visit a Nubian village for a home cooked

local dinner. On Day 4 you can choose to visit the

magnificent temples of Abu Simbel and more time to

wander the streets of this laid back city. (2B, D)

DAY 5: RIVER NILE/FELUCCA

Spend the day floating along the Nile in a felucca

and the night under a blanket of stars. (B, L, D)

DAYS 6-7: LUXOR

It’s goodbye to the water and hello to the well

preserved temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo. Arrive

into Luxor and spend the rest of the day exploring.

On Day 7 you’ll travel (by donkey!) to the Valley of

the Kings to experience firsthand the decoration

and design of the tombs of the Pharaohs. (2B, L)

DAY 8: CAIRO

Fly back to Cairo, where you’ll say your teary

goodbyes to your group and to Egypt. (B)

GADPBE

Cairo

EGYPT

Luxor

Aswan

14


TANZANIA

14

Zambia Community & safari

fr

$2,049

days

GADZPT

LIVINGSTONE > JOHANNESBURG

Highlights

• Help out on a community volunteer

project

• Whitewater raft the mighty Zambezi

• Spot the ‘Big 5’ in Kruger National

Park

• Visit Jo’burg’s famous Apartheid

Museum

Day 1: Arrive Livingstone

Livingstone is a great base to kick off your southern

African adventure. Get up close (and a little wet) at

the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of

the mighty Zambezi, or if you’re feeling brave, do a

bungy jump.

Day 2-6: Community Volunteer Project

Over the next five days you’ll be helping out with

volunteer projects in Livingstone. You don’t know

which project you’ll be helping out with until you

arrive, as it depends on how far along they are at the

time, but you don’t need any experience. Some of the

projects are helping out the children (and staff!) at a

local school with PE lessons, building or renovating

schools or public buildings, community farming,

helping kids learn how to read or volunteering at an

old people’s home. You will also get the opportunity

to play sports with the local children, which is a

highlight of the week! (5B, 5L, 5D)

Day 7: Livingstone

Enjoy another full day in and around Livingstone. (B)

Day 8-9: Bulawayo

VOLUNTOUR

Cross the border from Zambia to Zimbabwe, where

you’ll stay at a campsite near the Matobo National

Park boundary. On Day 9, explore the park by foot

or in an open safari vehicle. The area is specially

protected for both white and black rhino, but you’ll

get the chance to spot leopard and a selection of

plains game. If you’re keen to see how the locals live

in the area, take a tour to the nearby Ndebele village

and the secondary school. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 10: Musina

Another day, another border crossing. Travel in

to South Africa and head north to a town called

Musina. Low shrubs and thorn trees dominate the

landscape and expect hot conditions – the Limpopo

River only flows with water along its river banks on

average once every seven years. (B, L, D)

NAMIBIA

ZAMBIA

Livingstone

BOTSWANA

Johannesburg

Volunteer

Project

Cairo

EGYPT

SOUTH AFRICA

Day 11: Kruger National Park

Aswan

Luxor

Welcome to big game country! Search for lion,

elephant, hippo, rhino and many other animals

in one of Africa’s greatest wildlife areas on your

full-day game drive. (B, L, D)

Day 12: Greater Kruger Area

Enjoy more spectacular wildlife today on your

game drive and travel to Manyeleti Game Reserve,

which means ‘Place of the Stars’ in local Shangaan

language. In the evening, you’ll get the chance to

view the spectacular Southern Constellation while

you sit around the campfire. (B, L, D)

Day 13-14: Johannesburg

ZIMBABWE

Matobo N.P. Bulawayo

Kruger N.P.

Today, you’ll travel to Johannesburg, the largest

city of South Africa. This is the final leg of your

trip before leaving on Day 14, so go explore this

exciting city! (2B, L)

The Kalahari Desert is the best place in the

world to spot the loveable meerkat, which

incidentally has closeable ears.

15


16

Asia and adventure go together like Asia and beautiful beaches, ancient temples,

stellar shopping and crazy parties. Chill out on the shores of Koh Samui, party all night

in Koh Phangan, bag some new threads in Ho Chi Minh, step back to wartime Vietnam,

enter the Forbidden City or get snap happy atop the Great Wall.


22

ROAM VIETNAM, LAOS & THAILAND fr $2,499

ho chi minh city > bangkok

YOLO

days

GAAVVL

Highlights

• Tour Ho Chi Minh’s markets and museums

• Munch on superb seafood in Nha Trang

• Get yourself a tailored suit in Hoi An

• Sail UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay

• Wander the relaxed streets of Vientiane

• Get off the beaten track in Vang Vieng

• Learn about Luang Prabang’s rich history

• Mooch around the markets of Chiang Mai

DAY 1-2: HO CHI MINH CITY

Lose yourself in the maze of Ho Chi Minh City’s

central market, where you’ll find everything from

woven silk fabrics to flanks of beef. Admire the many

French-era colonial buildings in the city.

DAY 3-4: NHA TRANG

Take a boat trip into the dazzling blue bay that

surrounds this vibrant beach town and see the

underwater world. Stop to swim at a pristine beach

or take a motorbike tour of the area. (B)

DAY 5-6: HOI AN

Wander through the picturesque streets of this

16th century trading port, where the buildings bear

traces of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French

architectural styles. (B)

DAY 7-8: HUE

Reflect upon ancient Vietnamese culture while

exploring the riverside garden tombs built for

Vietnam’s last emperors, or take a motorbike trip

out to the stunning countryside. Overnight train to

Hanoi. (2B)

DAY 9: HALONG BAY

Float through the islands that dot this vast emerald

bay in a wooden junk boat and munch on fresh

seafood in a sumptuous lunch. Spend the night

in the harbour town of Bai Chai and sit out under

the stars. (L)

DAY 10-11: HANOI

Luang

Prabang

Pakbeng

Chiang Khong

Chiang Mai

Explore traditional guild streets in Hanoi’s Old

Quarter or join Buddhist monks for lakeside

prayers. (2B)

DAY 12: VIENTIANE

Vang

Vieng

A short flight takes you to the capital city of Laos.

Quiet and relaxed, Vientiane has a wealth of charms.

DAY 13-14: VANG VIENG

Admire the fantastic limestone rock scenery and

get the adrenaline pumping by hiking, biking

and caving. (B)

DAY 15-16: LUANG PRABANG

Explore this beautiful town of historic temples,

multicultural traditions and rich culture. (B)

DAY 17: MEKONG RIVER

THAILAND

Bangkok

VIETNAM

Hanoi

Vientiane

Prepare for a breathtaking journey as you cruise up

the mighty Mekong River. (B)

DAY 18: CHIANG KHONG

Continue by slow boat up the Mekong and cross into

Thailand at the Houeisay border. Chiang Khong is a

small riverside town with cross border trading from

nearby villages. Spend the night here. (B)

LAOS

CAMBODIA

Halong Bay

Hue

Hoi An

Nha Trang

Ho Chi Minh City

DAY 19-20: CHIANG MAI

Arrive in Chiang Mai. Free time here to explore the

town, visit the temple of Doi Suthep, catch a Thai

boxing match or grab a bargain at the famous night

markets. Overnight train to Bangkok on Day 20.

DAY 21-22: BANGKOK

Arrive into Bangkok with its chaotic streets and

colourful markets. Depart on Day 22. (B)

17


30

INDOCHINA DISCOVERY

fr

$3,449

days

YOLO

bangkok > Bangkok

Highlights

• Witness the wonders of Angkor Wat

• Lay back and relax on golden beaches

• Kit yourself out in Hoi An

• Cruise magical Halong Bay

• Explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi

• Get adventurous in Vang Vieng

• Absorb rich history in Luang Prabang

• Live like a local on the Mekong

DAY 1: BANGKOK

Spend your first day relaxing, exploring and adjusting

to the frenetic pace and humidity of Bangkok. There’ll

be a group meeting in the evening where you meet

your fellow travellers.

DAY 2-3: SIEM REAP/ANGKOR WAT

Leave Bangkok and journey through some spectacular

scenery into Cambodia. You’ll travel to Siem Reap,

home of the amazing Angkor Wat. The former capital

of the Khmer Kingdom, Angkor is one of the wonders

of the archaeological world. Marvel at the tantalising

blend of Hindu and Buddhist art and architecture and

check out Ta Promh, the ‘Tomb Raider temple’. A local

dinner is included to tantilise your tastebuds! (2B, D)

DAY 4-5: PHNOM PENH

Explore this pleasant riverside city. Check out the

colourful cafes, shady streets and thriving markets

full of vibrant textiles and curios. Options over

these two days include visiting the Killing Fields, the

Central Market, the National Museum and the Royal

Palace. (2B)

DAY 6-7: SIHANOUKVILLE

Relax on the white, sandy beaches of Cambodia’s

southern coast. Take a boat trip out to one of the

many uninhabited islands to enjoy fresh seafood and

a cold drink as the sun slowly sets. Some would call it

perfection on a (satay) stick. (B)

Pakbeng

Chiang Khong

Chiang Mai

Bangkok

Hanoi

Luang

Prabang

Vientiane

Vang Vieng

THAILAND

Phnom Penh

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

Sihanoukville Chau

Doc

Halong Bay

Hue

Hoi An

VIETNAM

Ho Chi

Minh City

(Saigon)

Nha Trang

DAY 8: MEKONG DELTA

Sit back and relax on a Mekong Delta boat trip. Check

out this rich green river world of orchards, rice fields,

floating markets and cottage industries. Watch local

life as you float on by.

DAY 9-10: HO CHI MINH CITY

Lose yourself in the maze of Ho Chi Minh City’s central

market. Write a quick postcard in the stately colonial

post office, one of the many French-era buildings that

add grace to this modern metropolis. Dine like a king

at a local restaurant and take a step back in time at

the spine-chilling war museum. On the evening of Day

10 you take the overnight train to Nha Trang.

DAY 11-12: NHA TRANG

Sit on a perfect beach soaking up the sun. Opt for

a nearby island boat trip to get in some snorkelling

before caking yourself in mud at a natural mudbath.

Head off on an optional motorbike tour of the area. (B)

DAY 13-14: HOI AN

Wander the picturesque streets of this 16th century

trading port. The buildings bear traces of Chinese,

Japanese, Vietnamese and French architectural styles.

Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists and

tailors can produce virtually anything overnight so get

yourself kitted out! For sun worshippers, the white

sands of Cua Dai Beach is 4km from town. (B)

DAY 15-16: HUE

Explore riverside garden tombs built for Vietnam’s

last emperors or take a motorbike trip out into the

stunning countryside. On the evening of Day 16 board

the overnight train to Hanoi. (2B)

LAOS

18


DAY 17: HALONG BAY

Arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam,

before driving out to beautiful Halong Bay. Float

through strangely shaped islands that dot this

vast, emerald bay in a traditional wooden junk

(boat). Eat a fresh seafood lunch and later enjoy a

pre-dinner swim before heading to Cat Ba Island,

where you’ll enjoy a night of relaxing. (L)

DAY 18-19: HANOI

Explore one of dozens of traditional guild streets

that make up Hanoi’s ancient Old Quarter and join

Buddhist monks for prayers in a serene lakeside

pagoda. In the evening you get the chance to attend

a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre

and sample some of Hanoi’s amazing eateries. (2B)

DAY 20: VIENTIANE

After a short flight, you’ll arrive in the capital city of

Laos, where there is a wealth of cultural delights to

discover on foot, by bicycle, or for the less energetic,

by tuk-tuk. Visit Laos’ most important national

monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the

dusty riverside tracks to find villages full of friendly

children, dogs and chickens. Find plenty of local

treasures at Vientiane’s vibrant markets. Round off

the day with a spectacular sunset over the Mekong at

one of the many riverside restaurants.

DAY 21-22: VANG VIENG

The quiet town of Vang Vieng is set along the Nam

Song river amidst rice fields and limestone cliffs.

Explore the caves by bike or float down the river in a

tyre tube, stopping off for a cold drink and a zip line

ride at one of the numerous bamboo bars. This place

is an adventure seeker’s heaven! In the evening, soak

in the beauty as the sun sets over the rippling river. (B)

DAY 23-24: LUANG PRABANG

Nestled in the hills of northern Laos on the confluence

of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, Luang Prabang

is dotted with ornate temples and French colonial

architecture. Check out the impressive Royal Palace

Museum, untouched since the royal family departed

in 1975. Opt to hop on a songthaew to the beautiful

Kuang Si Falls, where turquoise waters cascade

over limestone formations or cook up a storm in an

optional cooking class. (B)

In Vietnam, women cover up not because of

religion or pollution, it’s to make sure they stay

white (tan is considered low class).

DAY 25: MEKONG RIVER

Begin a two day river cruise – an amazing ‘live like a

local’ experience. Head up the mighty Mekong River

through magnificent jungle covered hills to Pakbeng,

an ethnic minority town. Get your woollies out if

you’re travelling from November to February, it can

get a wee bit chilly! (B)

DAY 26: CHIANG KHONG

Continue by slow boat up the Mekong and cross over

into Thailand at the Houeisay border. Chiang Khong is

a small riverside town with cross border trading from

nearby villages. (B)

DAY 27: CHIANG MAI

A drive through the hills of Northern Thailand takes

you to Chiang Mai, the largest and most culturally

significant city in the north of this country. Visit the

temple of Doi Sutthep, catch a Thai Boxing match or

grab a bargain at the famous Night Market.

DAY 28: CHIANG MAI

Free day to further explore Chiang Mai. In the evening

board the overnight train to Bangkok.

DAY 29: BANGKOK

Arrive into Bangkok early in the morning and

immediately set out exploring. Check out the Grand

Palace, Wat Po, National Museum and Jim Thompson’s

House before getting a new perspective of life in

this city by cruising down the Chao Phraya river and

through the canals (or khlongs). Get out and about in

the colourful nightlife and enjoy a few goodbye drinks

with your new friends.

DAY 30: BANGKOK

It’s the end of your Southeast Asian adventure! Your

tour ends after breakfast. (B)

GAATID

19


20

ROAM CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

fr

$2,149

bangkok > hanoi

YOLO

days

GAATCV

Highlights

• Wander Bangkok’s vibrant streets

• Marvel at the impressive Angkor Wat

• Relax on Cambodia’s sandy shores

• Bag a bargain in Ho Chi Minh

• Chow down fresh seafood in Nha Trang

• Get fashion happy in Hoi An

• Sail UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay

• Sip cheap and cheerful beer in Hanoi

Day 1: Bangkok

Arrive into Bangkok nice and early – you’ll need the

whole day to explore this bustling city.

Day 2-3: Siem Reap/Angkor Wat

Spend the day exploring the Khmer Empire gateway.

At the Empire’s peak in the 12th century, Khmer

civilisation culminated in the construction of Angkor

Wat, one of Asia’s most incredible sites. (2B)

Day 4-5: Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is filled with funky cafes and bars,

shady streets and thriving markets full of colourful

textiles and crafts. Satisfy your inner history buff

with a walking tour of this vibrant city. (2B)

Day 6-7: Sihanoukville

Relax on the white, sandy beaches of Cambodia’s

southern coast. You can head to the nearby islands,

explore underwater with an optional snorkeling trip

or chill out with a good book. (B)

Day 8: Mekong Delta

Cross into the Mekong Delta surrounded by a rich

green world of orchards and rice fields, floating

markets and cottage industries. Cruise along this

world famous river and watch the world go by.

Day 9-10: Ho Chi Minh City

Lose yourself in Ho Chi Minh City’s central market.

Tour also available in reverse

Roam Vietnam and Cambodia (GAAVVC)

Check out the War Remnants Museum and write a

quick postcard at the stately colonial post office. If

you’re up for it, take a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an

immense network of wartime tunnels.

Day 11-12: Nha Trang

Take a boat trip into the dazzling blue bay that

surrounds this fun beach town. Go for a dip offshore

and take advantage of the fresh fish on offer and

the buzzing bars. (B)

Day 13-14: Hoi An

Wander through this pretty 16th century trading

port, where buildings are influenced by Chinese,

Japanese, Vietnamese and French architectural

styles. Shopaholics beware – your wallet may take

a hit thanks to the hundreds of miracle-performing

tailors here. (B)

Day 15-16: Hue

Reflect on ancient culture and explore riverside

garden tombs built for emperors. (2B)

Day 17: Halong Bay

Float through the dreamlike islands

that dot this vast, emerald bay in a

traditional wooden Junk boat. Tuck into

a sumptuous seafood lunch before spending

the night in the harbour town of Bai Chay. (L)

Day 18-20: Hanoi

LAOS

THAILAND

Bangkok

Hanoi

CAMBODIA

Explore one of dozens of traditional

guild streets that make up Hanoi’s

ancient Old Quarter and join Buddhist

monks for prayers in a serene

lakeside pagoda. Spend your last

night intertwined in this city’s

buzzing atmosphere and vow to

return again – and again –

and again! (3B)

Halong Bay

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap

Phnom Penh

Sihanoukville

Hue

VIETNAM

Hoi An

Ho Chi

Minh City

(Saigon)

Nha

Trang

20


10

CLASSIC VIETNAM HANOI TO SAIGON fr $1,399

hanoi > ho chi minh city

CLASSIC

days

GAAVCH

Highlights

• Get lost in crazy, chaotic Hanoi

• Cruise the scenic Halong Bay by boat

• Explore ancient Vietnamese culture in Hue

• Spend up large at Ho Chi Minh City’s markets

Day 1: Hanoi

Arrive into Hanoi at any time and head straight into

exploring Vietnam’s crazy capital!

Day 2-3: Halong Bay

Cruise the clear waters of Halong Bay by boat, where

thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from

the sea. Go swimming or kayaking before a scrummy

seafood dinner. (2B, L, D)

Day 4: Hue

Stroll past ponds covered with pink lotus buds and

mossy statues and explore the palaces and garden

tombs of Vietnam’s last imperial court. Sit back and

watch bronze-casters create Buddha statues and

ceremonial wares for Hue’s many beautiful shrines.

Day 5-7: Hoi An

Wander through colourful,

colonial homes tucked in

between wooden shop

houses, pagodas and

Chinese communal houses.

Hoi An is a shopping

mecca – tailors can produce

virtually anything overnight

– so kit yourself out with a

new wardrobe or make your own silk lanterns that

turn the streets into a light show after dark. (3B)

Day 8-9: Ho Chi Minh City

Discover the infectious energy of Vietnam’s

biggest city, with its neon lights and overflowing

markets. Crawl through the narrow spaces of

the underground Cu Chi tunnels, dug by local

Vietnamese to hide and fight during the war, and

experience life as they did. (2B)

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Sadly, today your trip comes to an end. (B)

Hanoi

LAOS

THAILAND

CAMBODIA

Halong Bay

Hue

Hoi An

VIETNAM

Cu Chi

Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City

(Saigon)

9

days

SOUTHERN THAILAND SOJOURN

fr

$999

bangkok >bangkok

YOLO

Highlights

• Check out the chaos of Bangkok

• Relax in Khao Sok National Park

• Lap up Koh Samui’s idyllic nightlife

• Dive deep and explore the Koh Tao reefs

Day 1: Bangkok

Head out into the chaotic streets of Thailand’s

capital city and take it all in!

Day 2: Bangkok

Marvel at the dazzling Grand Palace and countless

pagodas before shopping your heart out in the many

malls and open-air markets. Sleep aboard a Thai

train as you journey south. (B)

Day 3: Khao Sok National Park

A diverse area of natural beauty, Khao Sok National

Park is a tranquil paradise. Spend the day hiking,

swimming or just chilling out in a riverside hammock,

watching the nearby monkeys play.

Day 4-5: Koh Samui

You’ll soon see why Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s

most popular resort spots! From the buzzing beach

of Chaweng to the quieter coves, you’re bound to

find your own little piece of beach paradise. (B)

Day 6-8: Koh Tao

Spend the next few days snorkeling or diving around

some of the best reefs in the world, before jumping

on an overnight train on Day 8 back to Bangkok. (B)

Day 9: Bangkok

Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye.

Khao Sok NP

THAILAND

Bangkok

Koh Tao

Koh Samui

GAATSS

21


7

days

Thai Sailing Adventure

fr

$1,999

Koh Samui > Koh Samui

CLASSIC

Highlights

• Swim off the coast of Koh Samui

• Trek through tropical jungles to hidden

waterfalls

• Top up your tan on the deck of your private

catamaran

• Party the night away in Koh Phangan

Day 1: Koh Samui

Arrive at the island paradise of Koh Samui before

3pm and join your skipper and fellow sailors for a

cruise and swim around Bo Phut Bay. What a way to

start your trip!

Day 2: Koh Ang Thong National Park

Set sail to Koh Ang Thong National Park, best known

as Leo’s hangout in ‘The Beach’. Swim and snorkel in

the aqua blue waters before heading to the beautiful

island of Koh Wua Talab (sleeping cow island) near

where you spend the night. (B, L, D)

Day 3: Koh Mae Koh

Put on your hiking shoes and explore the awesome

scenery or put your feet up and top up your tan

before setting off to Koh Mae Koh. Keep your eyes

on the water – dolphins love to call these waters

home. (B, L, D)

Koh Ang Thong

National Park

THAILAND

Koh Tao

Koh Phangan

Koh Samui

Day 4: Koh Tao/Koh Nang Yuan

Sail to the diving mecca of Koh Tao, where you’ll

get the chance to dive deep and check out the

underwater world. When you’re all dived out, start

your exploring inland on the island locally known

as ‘Turtle Island’. In the afternoon hoist the sails

and head to Koh Nang Yuan where you’ll spend the

night. (B, D)

Day 5: Koh PhaNgan

Jet across the warm waters to the infamous Koh

Phangan, home of the Full Moon Party. After a quick

stop for lunch at the gorgeous Ao Chalok Lamn

beach, you’ll have the rest of the day to relax on

deck and work on that tan! (B, L, D)

Day 6: Koh PhaNgan

If your head’s not hurting from the night before,

take a hike – literally – to the stunning Than Prawet

waterfalls. There are more chances for swimming

and superb snorkeling before you and your jandals

dance the night away. (B, L)

Day 7: Koh Samui

It’s time to set sail for the final time, back to Koh

Samui. You have to say goodbye to your new mates,

but you can take your tan and your memories

with you. (B)

22

Some silly Thai laws: it’s illegal to leave the

house without underwear, you can’t swim

across a river without a coin in your pocket and

you must wear a shirt while driving a car.

GAATSM


18

roam china

fr

$2,349

days

GAACRG

beijing > hong kong

Highlights

• Wander Beijing’s old world backstreets

• Get snap happy atop the Great Wall of China

• Step back in time in the Forbidden City

• Bag a bargain (or 10!) in Shanghai

• Meet China’s most famous warriors

• Take in the sights of the Three Gorges

• Sample local cuisine in Xi’an

• Explore the bright lights of Hong Kong

Day 1: Beijing

Set out to explore the bright lights and big business

Beijing is famous for.

Day 2-4: Beijing

Walk in the footsteps of history as you explore

Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great

Wall of China and the Temple of Heaven. Be sure

to venture into the backstreet hutongs for a look

at how old world China is still thriving today. Jump

aboard the overnight train to Shanghai on Day 4.

Day 5-7: Shanghai

YOLO

Skyscrapers clash with the traditional architecture

of the Bund in Shanghai, the vibrant pulse of new

China. Marvel at the spectacular array of art decostyle

buildings or take in the sights of Pudong, a

modern financial centre with towering skyscrapers.

Explore the busy Yu Yuan Bazaar or shop ‘til you

drop in China’s hippest stores. Take the overnight

train to Xi’an on Day 7.

Day 8-9: Xi’an

This ancient city, the capital of China for many years,

is home to one of the Middle Kingdom’s greatest

archaeological treasures – the Terracotta Warriors.

Spend time exploring this historical wonder before

checking out the vibrant Muslim Quarter with its

serene Great Mosque, exotic local street food stalls

and the majestic Ming Dynasty City Wall. Cycle

along these ancient city walls to see the city from a

different (and lofty!) perspective.

Day 10-13: Three Gorges

An inspiration to painters, poets and a source of

international controversy, the Three Gorges remain

one of the world’s natural scenic wonders, while

the massive dam is an incredible feat of modern

technology. Experience it firsthand as you travel

down the mighty Yangtze River in a Chinese style

riverboat, stopping at various sites en route.

Xi’an

Three Gorges

Day 14-16: Yangshuo

Beijing

Yangshuo

Arrive in Guilin in the early morning before travelling

by bus to the small country town of Yangshuo. The

scenery in this area is stunning, with the Li River

and limestone Karst Mountains interspersed with

riverside villages and markets. Spend a day in the

countryside, meeting locals and seeing rural China

in action. Another overnight train awaits you on Day

16 to take you to Hong Kong.

Day 17-18: Hong Kong

CHINA

Yichang

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Boasting an unbeatable array of cultural sights,

shopping and restaurants, Hong Kong is one of the

world’s most electric and vibrant cities. Ride the Star

Ferry into Victoria Harbour, wander through Stanley

Market and catch the views of Hong Kong from The

Peak. Don’t forget to pick yourself up some bargains

before heading home on Day 18.

Tour also available in reverse

Hong Kong – Beijing (GAACRC)

There’s a huge number of people in China -

around 20% of the world’s population lives

here! An amazing 34 babies are born every

minute – that’s a whole lotta kiddies.

23


15

UNCOVER INDIA

fr

$1,499

Delhi > goa

Highlights

CLASSIC

• Fall in love with the Taj Mahal

• Watch the sun rise over holy Pushkar

• Soak up the glitz and glamour of Mumbai

• Party all night in Goa’s bars and clubs

Pushkar

Ranakpur

Udaipur

Jaipur

Delhi

INDIA

Agra

days

GAAHUH

Day 1: Delhi

Let your imagination run wild in the slightly

intimidating but exceptionally invigorating city

of Delhi.

Day 2: Agra

No visit to India is complete without at least one

trip to Agra, best known as the site of the Taj Mahal.

Visit this icon of Mughal architecture either in the

morning or late afternoon for the best light. Ride

one of the cycle rickshaws to visit the Lal Qila or Red

Fort – the Taj’s less famous, but no less impressive,

sister monument.

Day 3-4: Jaipur

Clothed in pink stucco, wide-avenued Jaipur is one

of the most important heritage cities in the country

and home to the Hawa Mahal (‘Palace of the Winds’).

Follow in the footsteps of the royal harem or ride

an elephant to the spectacular cliff-top fort palace

at Amber.

Day 5-6: Pushkar

Drive over Snake Mountain on your way to Pushkar,

the site of the world’s only temple to the Hindu

god of creation – Brahma. No Hindu pilgrimage is

considered complete until the pilgrim bathes in the

sacred waters of Pushkar Lake. Pushkar is so sacred

that no meat, alcohol or eggs are allowed within

it. Before dawn on Day 6 you’ll climb to the hilltop

Savitri temple to watch the sun rise. Try out a camel

ride in the desert later on or wander the markets of

this holy centre.

Day 7-9: Udaipur

Continue southeast to Udaipur, India’s most

romantic city. Known worldwide for its breathtaking

lakes and Raj-era palaces, the most famous is the

Lake Palace, where white marble buildings entirely

cover a small island in Pichola Lake. If you can pull

yourself away from the fabulous shopping, there

are many other attractions, such as the Jagdish

Temple, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (the Garden of Maidens)

and City Palace with its museums, crystal gallery and

royal treasures.

Day 10-11: Ranakpur

Check out the distinctly carved halls and pillars

of the marble Jain Temple and older Sun Temple,

regarded as amongst the finest of their kind in India

before boarding a sleeper train to Mumbai.

Day 12: Mumbai

Face westwards out to sea and check out the

Gateway to India. From here boats leave for

Elephanta Island, famous for its rock carved temples.

In the evening visit one of Mumbai’s many top-notch

restaurants and sample the amazing nightlife.

Day 13-15: Goa

Mumbai

Goa

Swap buzzing Mumbai for chilled out paradise, Goa.

Relax on a beach, visit the many Portuguese-built

monuments or wander around Old Goa - a UNESCO

World Heritage site. The local cuisine is recognised

throughout the world for its fiery punch and strong

Portuguese influences, so stuff your stomachs while

you can, before your tour ends on Day 15.

24


7

days

THAI ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

fr

$679

chiang mai, thailand

VOLUNTEER

Highlights

• Keep track of the elephants’ health

• Join the elephants in the water for

bath time

• Help with the park’s conservation

projects

• Work alongside local professionals

Chiang Mai

Volunteer Project

THAILAND

Bangkok

Day 1: Chiang Mai

Arrive nice and early in Chiang Mai for orientation

before being transferred to the Elephant Park,

located 60km from Chiang Mai. The park is in a

rural area, giving you a different, local perspective

to most other tourists or volunteers coming into

Thailand. You’ll stay in traditional Thai huts on the

park’s grounds, where your neighbours will fish in

the nearby waterways, work their land and deliver

produce to the markets. (L, D)

Day 2-6: Volunteer Elephant

Conservation project

Each day is jam packed with activities from 7am to

5pm. Don’t worry – you will get fed each day, but

expect to pitch in and help prepare and clean up

afterwards. Each day helping the elephants will be

different, but some of your tasks will include:

• Veterinary inspections: You will likely be asked

to join the vets as they check on the health and

physical condition of the elephants. Despite

being a large animal, elephants often have issues

relating to their feet, ears and tusks. Elephants

that have been subjected to hard labour and

logging will have long term effects as a result.

You might even get to help give the elephants

their medicine as well.

• Daily food preparation: Have you ever seen how

much an elephant can eat? Asian elephants need

lots of leaves and fruits that are found naturally

in the highlands in their diet each day. Each day

you’ll help prepare the food and feed it to the

elephants. This is one of the ways the Karon

people of Northern Thailand establish strong

bonds with elephants, so don’t be surprised if

over the week these magnificent creatures start

to recognise you.

• Bathing: Elephants love the water and you’ll love

being in the water with them! They’re pretty

good at bathing themselves, but in muddy and

tropical climates their thick skin and hair often

needs to be washed off more rigorously. This is a

great time to be up close with the elephants.

• Grounds maintenance: Working in the organic

garden would likely be a regular addition to

your day. (5B, 5L, 5D)

Day 7: Depart Chiang Mai

After a final day with their loveable creatures, you’ll

have to say your goodbyes and head back to Chiang

Mai. Is that dust in your eye? (B, L)

GATATECT

A hundred years ago over 100,000 Thai elephants

roamed the kingdom. Sadly, today there are fewer

than 4,000 elephants left – around 2,000 in the

wild and 2,000 are domesticated.

25


26

Home to tango, tequila, tacos and The Trail. Get bronzed on Brazil’s beaches, whip out

your binoculars in the Amazon Jungle or work up a sweat hiking the Inca Trail. When

the sun goes down, go crazy with football fans in Buenos Aires, sip caipirinhas in

Copacabana or brave mouth-watering mole poblano in Mexico City.


Lima

8

days

INCA DISCOVERY

fr

$1,599

Lima > Cuzco

ACTIVE

Highlights

• Explore the mysterious Ollantaytambo ruins

• Wander through the Sacred Valley

• Conquer the Inca Trail’s high passes

• Watch the sun rise over Machu Picchu

Day 1: Lima

Spend the day exploring Lima’s charming colonial

centre. Why not take in the sights via paraglider?

Chow down traditional Peruvian cuisine in the

evening and wash it down with Peru’s famous

cocktail, the Pisco Sour.

PERU

Machu

Picchu

Ollantaytambo

Cuzco

Lake Titicaca

Day 2: Cuzco

Fly over the spectacular

Andes into Cuzco. Head

to the markets and pick

up some local bargains or

poke your nose into the

museums and churches.

If time permits, head out on a biking, horse riding or

river rafting trip.

Day 3: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Today, you’ll explore ancient Inca sites through the

Sacred Valley and the Ollantaytambo ruins. Plenty

of shopping opportunities here at a local community

weaving project and the Pisac markets. Rest well

tonight before tomorrow’s epic adventure.

Day 4-7: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Time to tick the Inca Trail off your bucket list! Walk

through dense cloud forest and over high passes,

with the most challenging standing 4,200m tall. On

Day 7, you’ll climb the steps to the Sun Gate to watch

the sun rise over Machu Picchu. Make the most of

exploring the sights before catching the train back

to Cuzco. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 8: Cuzco

Head off on your next adventure!

GAPID

12

AMAZON TO THE ANDES

fr

$2,799

Lima > Lima

CLASSIC

days

GAPAA

Highlights

• Check out Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley

• Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

• Spot exotic wildlife in the Amazon Jungle

• Sip Pisco Sours in Lima

Day 1: Lima

Land into Lima and spend the day exploring before

tucking into a traditional meal and your first

Peruvian cocktail – the Pisco Sour.

Day 2: Cuzco

Fly over the Andes into Cuzco, where you’ll spend

the day strolling cobblestone streets, marvelling at

museums and churches and snagging a bargain at

the markets.

Day 3: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

An important source of food for the Incas, Sacred

Valley still supplies Cuzco with much of its produce.

Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and haggle for

souvenirs at the artisan market before finishing up

in Ollantaytambo.

Day 4-7: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Climb mountain passes, trek

through cloud forests and

marvel at incredible Inca sites

before ending with a magical

sunrise over Machu Picchu.

Spend the day exploring the

ruins before heading back to

Cuzco. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 8: Cuzco

Today you can either rest your muscles or push them

even further with biking, rafting or horse riding.

Day 9-10: Amazon Jungle

Explore the Amazon Jungle and Tambopata

Rainforest Area by motorised canoe. Your guides

will point out some of the 1,300 bird species, 200

mammal species, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly

species and 10,000 species of plants. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 11-12: Lima

Lima

PERU

Head out for a final night of celebrations before

your trip ends.

Machu

Picchu

Ollantaytambo

Cuzco

Amazon

Jungle

27


15

PERU ON A SHOESTRING

fr

$1,949

lima > cuzco

CLASSIC

days

GASPPS

Highlights

• Catch Lima’s changing of the guard

• View the mysterious Nazca lines

• Devour a traditional Pachamanca dinner

• Explore the beautiful city of Arequipa

• Wander Cuzco’s cobbled streets

• Buy souvenirs at a weaving cooperative

• Stay with locals in the Sacred Valley

• Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Lima

PERU

Nazca

Machu

Picchu

Ollantaytambo

Arequipa

Cuzco

Day 1: Lima

Roll up, check in and head out and explore. Catch

the colonial-style changing of the guard downtown

and check out the captivating catacombs at the

cathedral. For the adrenaline junkies, soar off a

cliff on a tandem paraglide for an aerial view with a

difference.

Day 2-3: Nazca

Here you’ll find the mysterious Nazca Lines etched

into the side of the landscape. Fertility symbols,

giant astronomical calendars and spaceship landing

areas are just some of the varied explanations for

their existence. If you fancy a bird’s eye view you

can jump on an optional plane tour, or for the more

grounded, there’s the chance to explore a pre-Inca

desert cemetery (complete with mummies!) or get

the blood pumping with a bit of sandboarding. Feast

on a traditional Pachamanca dinner, where a variety

of delicious treats are slow-cooked by pre-heated

rocks buried in the ground. (D)

Day 4-6: Arequipa

Arequipa’s beautiful city is set in the shadow of the

El Misti volcano, surrounded by the Andes. Spread

your wings like the Colca Canyon’s resident Andean

condors and take an overnight trip to explore

its dark, deceptive depths. Or spend your days

roaming the city, exploring museums and the Santa

Catalina Convent.

Day 7: Cuzco

Check out the markets, artisan style shops and tuck

into some local grub – nibble on roast guinea pig

or try taste the difference between Peru’s 3,000

potato varieties.

Day 8: Ccacaccollo Community

Travel by bus into the Sacred Valley, to the

community of Ccacaccollo. This leg of the trip is all

about mingling with the locals. You’ll visit a women’s

weaving cooperative and get a chance to pick up

some high quality souvenirs for your mates back

home. At night, you’ll stay with a local family. (D)

Day 9: Ollantaytambo

Travel through the Sacred Valley to the quaint

tongue-twister town of Ollantaytambo. There’s the

chance to take a tour through the valley where there

will be plenty of alpacas to befriend and fascinating

Inca empire ruins to explore – all a little teaser for

the Inca Trail ahead. (B)

Day 10-13: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

At the risk of sounding like one of those cheesy

inspirational quotes you only hear in movies, dreams

really will come alive on this epic once-in-a-lifetime

trek along one of the most revered trails in the

world. Take in the insanity of the superb views with

the rest of your group. Having scaled high passes,

on your last day you will arrive at the gateway to

Machu Picchu, to greet the Inca world at sunrise. If

your legs will carry you any further then there’s the

option to climb up to Huayna Picchu or visit the Inca

Bridge before returning to Cuzco. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 14-15: Cuzco

Chill out or party hard in the aftermath of the

Inca Trail. If you’ve got any energy left, you can go

mountain biking, rafting or horse riding. Sadly, on

Day 15 your trip comes to an end.

28


7

days

THE INCA TRAIL

fr

$1,249

Cuzco > Cuzco

ACTIVE

Highlights

• Explore Cuzco, the continent’s oldest city

• Shop with the locals in the Sacred Valley

• Trek the epic Inca Trail over mountain passes

• Watch the sun rise over Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cuzco

Cuzco is always buzzing with travellers preparing for

the Inca Trail and those recently returned from treks.

It’s the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited

city, steeped in history, tradition and legend so

make sure you head out and explore. Wander the

cobblestone streets, lap up the atmosphere and

altitude and head to the museums to learn about the

area’s Inca and colonial past.

Day 2: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Head out for a full-day guided tour of the Sacred

Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. You’ll see Inca

ruins, stunning scenery and definitely a llama or

two. Visit a women’s weaving cooperative where

you can pick up some beautiful textiles and shop

further at a local market before arriving into pretty

Ollantaytambo ahead of tomorrow’s epic adventure.

Machu

Picchu

PERU

Ollantaytambo

Cuzco

Lake Titicaca

Day 3-6: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hiking boots and woolly alpaca hats may not be the

height of fashion at home, but here they’re standard

issue. You’ll hike over mountain passes, through

cloud forest and past incredible Inca constructions

and be left in awe of the ancient civilisation. A team

of local porters will speed ahead to make sure

camp is set up each evening. On the last morning

you’ll climb the steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, to

catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu through

the rising morning mist. You’ve got time to tour the

famous Inca ruin, climb up to Huayna Picchu or visit

the Inca Bridge before catching the train back to

Cuzco. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 7: Cuzco

Celebrate the fact that you’ve conquered one of the

Seven Wonders of the World with either a day of

relaxation or adrenalin before leaving your tour.

GASPIT

Two important Inca Trail tips: You cannot hike alone,

you must go with a government authorised company

(don’t worry, G Adventures is one of them!). If you try

to go alone you will be turned back at the trail head.

You should book well in advance as only 500

people are permitted to hike the Trail per day.

This number includes support crew such as

guides, cooks and porters – precious few

spots are available for hikers!

29


17

IN SEARCH OF IGUASSU

fr

$2,699

days

GAJBR

Buenos Aires > Rio de Janeiro

Highlights

• Tango the night away in Buenos Aires

• Catch a football game at La Bombonera

• Absorb the rich history of Colonia

• Hang out in uber cool Montevideo

• Gaze at Iguassu’s thundering torrents

• Lay under palm trees in peaceful Paraty

• Snorkel in Ilha Grande

• Chill out with a caipirinha on Copacabana

Day 1-2: Buenos Aires

Dubbed the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is

splashed with vibrancy, class and more than a hint

of tango. Walk through colourful working-class La

Boca, boho chic San Telmo, high-class Recoleta and

party-central Palermo. Tango those twinkle toes

at a Tangueria and order a juicy Argentine steak.

If you can, catch a football game at La Bombonera

(the chocolate box), La Boca’s famed blue and gold

stadium.

Day 3: Colonia del Sacramento

Cross the Rio de la Plata by ferry to Colonia del

Sacramento, Uruguay. Stroll along the riverfront

and up the cobbled streets or hire a golf buggy to

explore. Beware of motorised mayhem though –

there are no traffic lights, few road signs and they

drive on the wrong side of the road. Once the sun

sets, spend the evening sipping sangria and tucking

into superb seafood.

Day 4-5: Montevideo

This uber cool capital is renowned for hosting

Buenos Aires’ socialites on the weekends. The

urban landscape combines art deco and neoclassical

buildings with the historic downtown business

district and 80s style skyscrapers. Explore the

streets or rave it up on the sandy white beach that

surrounds the city.

Tour also available in reverse

Rio de Janeiro – Buenos Aires (GAJRB)

YOLO

ARGENTINA

Day 6-7: Salto

PARAGUAY

Salto

Colonia

Finish up your Uruguay experience in Salto, relaxing

in the thermal baths, indulging in spa treatments and

getting wet and wild at the water park. Board a night

bus on Day 7 bound for Iguassu Falls.

Day 8-10: Iguassu Falls

You’ll be lost for words as you breathe in the warm

waterfall vapour and hop over the border to Brazil

for a different view or two. Take the opportunity to

ride under the huge torrents of thundering water on

a speedboat.

Day 11-12: Paraty

Iguassu Falls

URUGUAY

Buenos Aires Montevideo

Palm trees and sandy shores make up the most part

of Paraty, a quaint colonial town with a relaxed,

friendly feel. Jump on a boat tour of the beautiful

bay and nearby beaches or if you can tear yourself

away from the shore, visit a cachaça distillery to find

out exactly how they brew this local tipple.

Day 13-15: Ilha Grande

After a bus trip and ferry ride, you’ll arrive at the

stunning island of Ilha Grande, famous for their

chilled out attitude. There are over 100 beaches to

choose from, so grab your snorkel, get your flippers

on and head out into the surf.

Day 16-17: Rio de Janeiro

BRAZIL

Sao Paulo

Río de Janeiro

Paraty

Ilha

Grande

According to the locals, ‘God made the world in

six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio’. With

Copacabana and Ipanema’s stunning beaches, Christ

the Redeemer’s sweeping views and sunsets atop

the Sugar Loaf, it’s not hard to see why. Soak in the

intoxicating colour and a caipirinha or two before

heading home.

30


15

MEXICO ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS

fr

$1,449

Playa del Carmen > Mexico City

YOLO

days

GAMCM

Highlights

• Snorkel in the warm Caribbean sea

• Climb Chichén Itzá’s incredible ruins

• Take a refreshing dip in a cenote

• Discover Palenque deep in the jungle

• Experience local life in San Cristóbal

• Try mouth-watering mole poblano

Day 1: Playa del Carmen

Get your snorkel and flippers ready – the warm

waters of the Caribbean are calling!

Day 2: Playa del Carmen

Spend today lazing on the beach and sampling the

cool bars and restaurants of the area. For something

more active, head across the water to Cozumel,

renowned for its world-class diving. Check out the

ruins down the coast in Tulúm, which are pleasantly

located on a palm fringed, white sand beach, where

you can go swimming within the ancient walls.

Day 3-4: Mérida/Chichén Itzá

Check out the legendary Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá

on your way to Mérida, which you can explore the

colonial centre on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage.

It’s also the gateway to the Mayan ruins of the Puuc

Route. After a day of exploring, refresh yourself at

some nearby cenotes (underground pools) in the

town of Cuzama, not far outside Mérida.

Day 5-6: Palenque

Leaving sunny Yucatán behind, you’ll hit the highway

and travel through the states of Campeche and

Tabasco to the state of Chiapas, home of

Palenque. One of the most beautiful

Mayan sites in Mexico, Palenque, set

in the Chiapas jungle, is rich with

colourful wildlife and plentiful

flora. The Palenque ruins are

incredibly impressive, particularly

the Temple of the Inscriptions,

MEXICO

Mexico City

Puebla

Mérida

Playa del

Carmen

Oaxaca

Palenque

San Cristobal

de las Casas

Chichén

Itzá

where a large sarcophagus containing the mummified

remains of Lord Pakal was found in 1952.

Day 7-9: San Cristóbal de las Casas

Known for its ties to the Zapatista revolution, San

Cristóbal is an architectural and cultural wonder.

Take the chance to visit indigenous Mayan villages

and learn how the locals combine traditional beliefs

and modern religion with intriguing results. You can

also journey to beautiful Sumidero Canyon for a

relaxing boat ride.

Day 10-11: Oaxaca

The lively markets and the impressive Zapotec ruins

of Monte Alban are just two of many reasons to visit

wonderful Oaxaca. Here, your taste buds will be on

overdrive – from mezcal to chocolate and cheese –

even dried grasshoppers covered with chilli and lime!

Day 12: Puebla

After a short drive on one of Mexico’s comfortable

buses you’ll hit Puebla, famous for its hand-painted

tiles which adorn the city’s buildings, unique

handicrafts and the creation of the rich chocolate

and chilli, mouth-watering sauce mole poblano.

Day 13-14: Mexico City

Explore the world’s largest metropolitan area. Check

out the regal Palacio de Bellas Artes building or grab

yourself a bargain at the silver markets. You can

choose to explore the famous Aztec archaeological

site of Teotihuacán, with its impressive pyramids,

but be prepared to haul yourself up under the

altitude! Spend the final night with your group

tucking into nachos, fresh guacamole and

sipping on yet another mojito or margarita.

Tequila shot anyone?

Day 15: Mexico City

Depart at any time and head off on your

next adventure.

Tour also available in reverse

Mexico City – Playa del Carmen (GAMMC)

31


26

BOLIVIA CROSSING

fr

$4,899

days

CLASSIC

Lima > Buenos Aires

Highlights

• Explore culture rich, colonial Cuzco

• Spend sunrise at Machu Picchu

• Challenge yourself on the Inca Trail

• Stay with locals on Lake Titicaca

• Explore the bustling heights of La Paz

• Stand awestruck on the Salar de Uyuni

• Marvel at fantastic coloured lagoons

• Take up the tango in sultry Buenos Aires

Day 1: Lima

Get yourself down to Plaza de Armas in the heart of

old Lima, where you’ll find the Cathedral, Government

Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The rich coastal

districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer

good nightlife and cafés so why not spend your first

night with your group there – it’s a great place to mix

and mingle over some tasty ceviche and a Pisco Sour

cocktail or two.

Day 2-3: Cuzco

After an early flight to Cuzco, spend the rest of your

day exploring all this town has to offer – markets,

cobblestone streets, colonial buildings and churches

galore. Stop off at a cafe overlooking the main square

for a cup of coca tea - it will help you to acclimatise to

the altitude.

Day 4: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Today your guide will take you into the Sacred

Valley where you’ll see some impressive Inca

ruins. Planeterra have a weaving project in a local

community here so you’ll see how they produce their

textiles and you can even purchase a quality cloth

or two. You can further quench your shopping thirst

at a local market before settling down at the pretty

town of Ollantaytambo. Tuck into a hearty meal at

a local restaurant – you’ll need the energy for the

hike ahead.

Day 5-8: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Over the next few days you’ll hike across spectacular

scenery, climb mountain passes and be mesmerised

by the Inca Trail views – which will all help take your

mind off the hard work you’re putting into getting to

Machu Picchu. On Day 8 you’ll arrive at Machu Picchu

from Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, at sun rise and watch

the incredible constructions unfold beneath the mist.

There will be plenty of time to explore, climb up to

Huayna Picchu or visit the Inca Bridge before heading

back to Cuzco by train. (3B, 3L, 3D)

Day 9: Cuzco

Today is all about relaxing and recovering. Unless you

can find the energy for a spot of white water rafting

or mountain biking.

Day 10: Puno

Get your camera ready for the stark, beautiful scenery

that will greet you as you travel through the Altiplano

region from Cuzco to Puno. Located at 3,830m above

sea level, Puno is the highest altitude of any place

you’ll sleep while on this tour. The weather can be

extreme with very cold nights, but don’t fear, there

are plenty of cheap alpaca sweaters at the local

market to keep you warm.

Day 11-12: Lake Titicaca/Taquile Island

At 3,811m above sea level, Titicaca is the highest lake

in the world. Jump aboard a boat and head to Taquile

Island for lunch and the chance for some shopping in

the local weaving cooperatives. It may sound unusual,

but it’s the men of the community that do all the

knitting, while the women do the spinning. Next up

is Amantaní, where you’ll stay overnight with a local

family. They’ll entertain you with local music and

give you the opportunity to experience their lifestyle

first-hand. The next morning you’ll visit the floating

islands of Uros en route to Puno. The Uros began

their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an

effort to isolate themselves from the Colla and Inca

tribes. They use the Totora reeds that grow in the

shallows of the lake for making everything from the

islands themselves to the model boats

that the islanders sell. The islands

are made up of layers upon layers of

reeds; as the layers closest to the

water start to rot, they are replaced

with fresh reeds on top. (B, L, D)

32


Lima

PERU

Machu Ollantaytambo

Picchu

Cuzco

Puno Lake Titicaca

La Paz

CHILE

Salta

BOLIVIA

Potosi

Uyuni

Salt Lakes

San Pedro de Atacama

Day 13-15: La Paz/Tiahuanaco

Winding your way along the shores of the lake, you’ll

cross into Bolivia and arrive at La Paz, the world’s

highest capital city. Explore the city’s historic religious

structures, like the Iglesia de San Francisco, with

architectural details that reflect the indigenous

and mestizo heritage of modern Bolivia. The city is

also renowned for its many markets, including the

Mercado de Hechicería (Witches Market), where

Paceños and visitors can buy potions and incantations

to remedy illnesses (real or imagined) and protect

from evil spirits. Streets are lined with market stalls

and vendors and it’s a great place to pick up some

souvenirs for your mates back home, like alpaca wool

products, silver jewellery, woven textiles and leather

goods. If you’re all shopped out, take an optional

trip to the Valley of the Moon, or visit the world’s

highest ski resort, Chacaltaya. You’ll also spend a day

at Tiahuanaco. Little is known about the Tiahuanaco

people who constructed the great ceremonial centre

on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca over 1000

years ago, but the ruins are fascinating.

Day 16-17: Potosí

After another day of exploring La Paz, you’ll hop

aboard a night bus to Potosí. This UNESCO World

Heritage Site has a tumultuous history as a silver

mining centre during colonial times. If you’re keen, you

can take an optional tour to the working mines of the

Mountain of Silver, an eye-opening excursion. You can

also learn about the history of the area at Casa de la

Moneda museum.

Day 18-20: Uyuni/Salt Lakes Excursion

After travelling to Uyuni by bus, you’ll embark

on a three day 4WD excursion into the stunning

landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and the

Atacama Desert. Driving across the salt flats is a

fantastic experience – absorb stunning views of the

salt-encrusted lakebed surrounded by golden-hued

mountains, snow-capped peaks and an endless azure

horizon. The area’s unusual landscape of mountains,

active volcanoes and geysers is like nowhere on

earth. The bright lagoons’ colour depends on the

concentration of minerals; Laguna Colorada is a large

ARGENTINA

Buenos Aires

red lagoon, due to algae and plankton growth in the

mineral-rich waters, while Laguna Verde is a striking

blue-green due to high concentrations of lead, sulphur

and copper. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 21-22: San Pedro de Atacama

Sticking with your 4WD you’ll cross into Chile and then

descend by bus to San Pedro de Atacama. Here there

are optional excursions to nearby ruins, mountain

biking, or a visit to the Valley of the Moon.

Day 23-24: Salta

Today, you’ll tick off country number four on this trip

– Argentina. Cross the border and travel to Salta by

bus, where you’ll take a trip out across the mountains

following the ‘Train of the Clouds’ route. Once you

get back into town, why not tuck into a couple of

Empanadas Salteñas – a tasty local specialty. Then, sit

back, relax and enjoy a guitar filled evening at a ‘Peña’

folklore show with a glass of local Argentine vino.

Day 25: Buenos Aires

Fly south to the vibrant metropolis of Buenos Aires,

the Paris of South America. Jump on a city tour or go

off on your own around the colourful neighbourhoods

of La Boca and San Telmo, the huge French-style

cemetery in high class Recoleta and the many

museums. One thing not to miss is a tango show and

dinner, complete with juicy steak. If the show leaves

you inspired then join a tango lesson and take your

dancing skills home with you – what better souvenir of

Latin America?

Day 26: Buenos Aires

The tour comes to an end and you can depart at any

time. But we suspect you’ll want to stick around to

make sure you get to experience all that Buenos Aires

has on offer.

Tour also available in reverse

Buenos Aires – Lima (GASXBM)

GASXMB

33


16

MAYAN SUN

fr

$1,589

Playa del Carmen > Antigua

YOLO

days

GACMMD

34

Highlights

• Go diving in Playa del Carmen

• Marvel at Tikal’s towering ruins

• Swim with nurse sharks and stingrays

• ‘Go Slow’ on Caye Caulker

• Take a morning monkey kayak tour

• Explore charming colonial Antigua

• Haggle at the Chichicastenango market

• Stay with the locals at Lake Atitlán

Day 1-2: Playa del Carmen

Step out into the humidity and breathe in all things

tropical. Soak up the sol with a cool margarita on

the beach, snorkel among the mangroves or head to

the diving mecca of Cozumel with its underground

caverns. Make sure you tick off a trip down the

coast to the Mayan ruins of Tulúm, perched on a cliff

above the beach.

Day 3-5: Caye Caulker

The motto of the tiny island of Caye Caulker is ‘Go

Slow’. Chill out to the reggae that pumps through

every islander’s veins or hire a golf buggy for a tour

of the small island. Hire canoes, set sail on a sunset

and starlit cruise or snorkel with stingrays and nurse

sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Day 6-7: San Ignacio

San Ignacio is the perfect base for exploring Belize’s

little known inland scenic beauty. Set out exploring

on foot, canoe or horse, take a caving trip or visit

the Mountain Pine Ridge Area for a refreshing dip in

the pools and rivers.

Day 8: Flores

Flores may be known for its stunning sunsets, but

nothing is more impressive than the vast Mayan

MEXICO

Chichicastenango

Homestay/

Panajachel

Playa del Carmen

MEXICO

San Ignacio

Flores/Tikal

GUATEMALA

BELIZE

Rio Dulce

Antigua

Caye Caulker

ruins at Tikal. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on

a trip to see them. Climb to the top of Temple IV,

the tallest structure in the Mayan world, where

spectacular views of the surrounding jungle canopy

and the sound of howler monkeys will greet you.

Day 9-10: Río Dulce

Río Dulce, which means ‘sweet river’ in Spanish, is

nestled on the shore of Lake Izabal, surrounded

by dense jungle. Take an optional trip to view

protected manatees, ride horseback through a

rubber plantation, explore San Felipe fort, take a

morning monkey kayak tour, relax in the thermal

springs or hike through the jungle-strewn trails in

the Chocón-Machacas Natural Reserve area.

Day 11-12: Antigua

Once the most important city in all of Central

America as the seat of the Spanish Colonial

Government, Antigua’s colonial buildings are now

protected as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Take a

guided tour, relax with a coffee in Central Park or

head off to climb smoking Pacaya Volcano.

Day 13: Panajachel/Chichicastenango

The famous market of Chichicastenango is pure

shopper’s paradise. Here a simple ‘por favor’ or

‘gracias’ will earn you points and a toothy smile.

Watch the locals hunt for bargains or grab a

handicraft or two for yourself.

Day 14: Lake Atitlán homestay

Surrounded by volcanoes and small indigenous

villages, Lake Atitlán is a truly beautiful spot. Jet

across the lake and spend the night with a local

family experiencing true Guatemalan life. (D)

Day 15-16: Antigua

Buy some last minute souvenirs or shake what your

mother gave you with a salsa dancing lesson before

heading home on Day 16.

Tour also available in reverse

Antigua – Playa del Carmen (GACGAC)


14

PROJECT CUZCO KIDS

fr

$1,029*

Cuzco, Peru

VOLUNTEER

days

GATSPJMN

Highlights

• Explore the colonial city of Cuzco

• Volunteer at a local drop-in centre

for kids

• Teach local kids English

• Help at-risk kids discover their

potential

Day 1: Cuzco

Arrive into the bustling city of Cuzco, the continent’s

oldest continuously inhabited city. You’ve got the

day to yourself so grab a comfortable pair of shoes

and a map and set off exploring!

Day 2-6: Volunteer with Children

You’ll spend the week ahead volunteering at a

drop-in centre for children supported by Planeterra.

Open during the day and run by a staff of teachers

and social workers, the home acts as a haven for

children and teenagers who live in extreme poverty.

Children come in to get help with homework, a warm

meal and to take part in classes and workshops

that teach them valuable skills. You’ll get the

chance to help out the children and staff with the

various activities going on in the centre, including

teaching English, helping children with their

homework, playing games, helping in the kitchen and

participating in the various children workshops, such

as leather working and jewellery making.

Amidst the mountainous surroundings, stunning

architecture and rich culture of Cuzco, you will

see the bitter reality of children either working or

begging on the streets. Many of these children are

unable to cope with the stress of both working and

going to school, which results in giving up their

studies in order to help provide for their families.

Other children leave home because they have

been abused, neglected or abandoned, turning to

P E R U

Cuzco

alcohol, drugs or sniffing glue to help relieve their

hunger pains. Some children resort to begging or

prostitution to survive.

The centre wants to keep these kids off the street,

by giving them guidance, support, hope, confidence

and skills needed to create a better future. So far,

the centre has raised a total of $150,000, which

was used to purchase a permanent home to support

underprivileged children in Cuzco.

Day 7-8: Cuzco

You’ve got a free weekend to enjoy all the sights

that Cuzco has to offer. Inca-built stone walls line

most of the central street and there are plenty of

colonial churches around the city to poke your nose

into. If you feel like getting more active, you can go

horseback riding, river rafting or take a guided tour

down to the Sacred Valley.

Day 9-13: Volunteer with Children

You’ve got another week helping out the kids at the

drop-in centre. Help them with their homework,

teach them English (and maybe some Kiwi slang!),

play games and help out with the cooking and

workshops.

Day 14: Cuzco

After two weeks of eye-opening experiences, it’s

time to leave Cuzco.

Volunteer requirements

You don’t need any experience to volunteer, but we

would strongly recommend at least an intermediate

level of Spanish.

* Price based on minimum two travellers.

35


36

Adventure spreads its wings far beyond Africa, Asia and Latin America! Explore the

icy continent of Antarctica, climb to dizzying Everest heights, fly the Kiwi flag high at

Gallopoli or travel from the Great Wall of China to the Red Square in Russia.


11

ANTARCTICA CLASSIC

fr

$7,999

USHUAIA > USHUAIA

EXPEDITION

days

GAXVCASX

Highlights

• Stroll the streets of Ushuaia

• Hike up to the Marshall Glacier

• Enjoy a sunset sail through the Beagle Channel

• Spot icebergs, whales and albatross in the

Drake Passage

• Learn stories of past Antarctic expeditions

• Explore the Antarctic Peninsula by foot

• Get up close with penguins and seals

• Sail through the Southern Ocean’s nutrientrich

waters

Day 1: Ushuaia

Today begins the journey of a lifetime! Wrap your

head around the days ahead as you arrive into

Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.

Day 2: Ushuaia

Rise and shine! Spend the morning shopping around

this town of 40,000 people, take a trip to Tierra

Del Fuego National Park or throw on your hiking

boots and climb up to the Marshall Glacier. In the

afternoon, you’ll set off on the MS Expedition, while

the evening is spent sailing through the Beagle

Channel at sunset. (B, D)

Day 3-4: The Drake Passage

Your adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of

the passage that bears the name of 16th century

English explorer Sir Francis Drake. Cross the

Antarctic Convergence, home to the most nutrient

rich waters on the earth and keep an eye out for

the first sightings of icebergs, whales and albatross

following in the sturdy ship’s wake. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 5-8: The Antarctic Peninsula/

the South Shetland Islands

Today you’ll set foot on the Great White Continent!

You’ll attempt two shore landings each day (weather

conditions permitting), where you’ll get up close

with some of the most unique wildlife and inspiring

scenery in the world. Encounter gentoo, chinstrap

and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater

and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke

whales in the cold Antarctic waters. Hear tales

of some of the most important and dramatic

expeditions to this remote corner of the world.

(4B, 4L, 4D)

Day11

Ushuaia

Day 9-10: The Drake Passage

Today we begin our journey north to our home

port of Ushuaia. Take the time out to reflect this

once-in-a-lifetime trip – in between bird watching

and whale watching, of course. The best way to

experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is up

on deck. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 11: Ushuaia

Day1

Ushuaia

Days 9-10

Drake Passage

Days 5-8

Days 2-4

Drake Passage

Antarctic Peninsula

Cape Town

Days 5-8

Unfortunately, this crazy adventure comes to a

close. Say your goodbyes and leave Ushuaia in the

morning. (B)

South Shetland

Islands

37


21

TRANS MONGOLIAN EXPRESS

fr

$5,649

days

CLASSIC

BEIJING > ST PETERSBURG

Highlights

• Explore ancient China’s Forbidden City

• Walk along the Great Wall of China

• Get your fortune read in Ulaanbaatar

Travel along the famous Trans Siberian Railway

• Take a dip in Lake Baikal

• Learn all about the Romanovs in Ekaterinburg

• Wander through Russia’s Red Square

• Down a shot of vodka in St Petersburg

Day 1: Beijing

Travellers like yourself will arrive here from all corners

of the world during the day. Head out and explore this

chaotic city, before meeting up with your group in the

evening to get the low down on the trip ahead.

Days 2-3: Beijing

Step back in time to ancient China with guided tours

of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Once

you’re back to the 21st century, set out on foot or

bicycle and tick the Temple of Heaven, the Summer

Palace or the Lama Temple Monastery off your

sightseeing list. On Day 3, you’ll come face to face

with the Great Wall. This incredible structure was

originally constructed to protect the Chinese empires

from the ‘barbarians’ of the north and stretches

6000km westwards from the mountain ridges north

of Beijing.

Day 4: China-Mongolia Railway

Try and get a window seat when you jump aboard the

Ulaanbaatar Express, so you can enjoy fantastic views

of the Great Wall as the train tackles the mountains

before crossing into Mongolia.

Days 5-7: Ulaanbaatar/Terelj

National Park

Crammed between superpowers Russia and China,

the now independent nation of Mongolia is a very

new tourist destination. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, is

the most remote capital in the world. Check out the

Gandan Monastery, where you’ll see chanting monks

and if you’re lucky, get a glimpse into your future

from the local fortune teller. Continue to the Winter

Palace of the last Mongolian King (the only surviving

King’s palace from the Revolution) before finishing

up at a WWII monument on Zaisan Hill. Unwind with

something less strenous, like sampling dumplings

(booz) at a local restaurant. On Day 7, you’ll travel

into Mongolia’s Terelj National Park, a beautiful alpine

retreat with imposing rock formations and endless

forests. Walk through valleys, visit nomadic families

and live simply overnight in a Ger camp. (2B, 1L, 1D)

Days 8-9: Trans Mongolian Railway

After a quick stop back in Ulaanbaatar, you’ll board

a two-night train which will take you from China into

southern Russia. Make sure you stock up on snacks

before you hop aboard – this train is not known for

its fine dining. After a 40 hour journey, you’ll arrive at

the charming Siberian city of Irkutsk. (1B)

Days 10-11: Irkutsk/Lake Baikal

Head out to Listvyanka for a guided tour of Baikal

museum, a unique complex dedicated to the world’s

largest freshwater lake. After some learning, you

can wander along the shores of Lake Baikal, which

contains one-fifth of the earth’s fresh water. If you’re

feeling brave, strip down to your togs and jump in

for a swim! It’s back to Irkutsk on Day 11 for a tour

around the city, before, you guessed it, another leg

of travel. (1B, 1D)

St. Petersburg

RUSSIA

Irkutsk

Moscow Ekaterinburg

Ulaan Baatar

MONGOLIA

Listvuanka

(Lake Baikal)

Ger Camp

CHINA

CHINA

Beijing

38


Days 12-13: Trans Siberian Railway

For the next two days, you’ll travel along the world’s

most famous train line to Ekaterinburg. At platform

stops, rush out and grab some food from the

Babushka-run stalls. Keep an eye on the time though –

it’s a long wait for the next train!

Day 14: Ekaterinburg

Founded by Peter the Great in 1723 and based just

40km inside Asia, Ekaterinburg’s main attractions are

drenched in history. Set out on a guided walking tour

around the city, where you’ll visit the Church of All

Saints on the Spilled Blood, the Black Tulip monument

and learn all about the murder of the famous Romanov

family, an event which ushered in the Communist era

in 1918. (1B)

Day 15: Trans Ural Railway

Cross the Urals by train and enter Europe aboard the

train to Moscow. (1B)

Days 16-18: Moscow

Russia: home of vodka, fur hats and centuries of

revolution. Despite the glamour and show of modern

capitalism, exploring Moscow is like taking a step back

in time. Places such as the Kremlin and Red Square

bring forth unforgettable images of the Cold War

era. Visit Ivan the Terrible’s extraordinary St Basil’s

Cathedral or spend the day strolling the streets of this

evocative city.

Russia is the largest country in the world, taking up

one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spanning a

whopping eight time zones. This mighty expanse means

it neighbours more countries than anywhere else on

the earth, as well as touching 22 bodies of water and

holding 12 seas within its borders. As if Russia wasn’t

busy enough with all the other stats and big figures,

it’s also home to more than 100 ethnic groups and

indigenous people.

Days 19-21: St Petersburg

After another overnight train, you’ll arrive in St

Petersburg, one of Europe’s finest cities. You’ll spend

the morning wandering around streets filled with

baroque European architecture and Russian palaces –

some call it ‘the northern Venice’. Take a tour around

the Hermitage museum, one of the biggest in Europe,

famous not only for its amazing art collection, but

for being Tsars’ palace for almost 200 years. Drink to

your amazing journey with your new mates on your

last night, before ending your journey on Day 21. (2B)

GAACTM

Tour also available in reverse

St Petersburg – Beijing (GAARRT)

39


15

Everest Adventure

fr

$1,599

KATHMANDU > KATHMANDU

ACTIVE

days

GAANEA

Highlights

• Trek to Everest Base Camp

• Conquer high passes, valleys and glaciers

• Walk around glaciers and ice walls

• Witness your first Himalayan sunset

• Stay in teahouses high in the mountains

• Hike through Sherpa villages

• Gawk at stunning Everest views

• Relax in Kathmandu’s chilled out cafes

Day 1: Kathmandu

Arrive at any time and go exploring!

Day 2-4: Pakding/Namche Bazaar

We promise you everything about this trip is

spectacular, even the landing into Lukla, with one

end of the runway 60m higher than the other!

Heading through pine and cedar woods along the

Dudh Kosi to Pakding, you’ll encounter your first

yak caravans carrying equipment and supplies.

Spend a day acclimatising on a trip to Thame where

intricately carved stones mark the path to this

large valley.

Day 5: Tengboche

The route leaving Namche is unbelievably beautiful.

The Dudh Kosi is far below and Thamserku, Kantega,

Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest rise in front of you.

Hike through Sherpa villages, forests and across

streams to reach Tengboche Monastary, home to

Tengboche Rinpoche – a Lama incarnate. Get up

early and enjoy the morning view from Tengboche,

considered one of the most magnificent in the world.

Day 6-7: Dingboche

At the bottom of a flight of stone steps lies the

small village of Dingboche and its convent. From

Dingboche the mountain views are outstanding. An

acclimatisation day here can be used to hike up the

Imja Khola to Chhukung, a small summer settlement

from where the views of Island Peak, Lhotse and

the fluted ice walls are one of the highlights of the

entire trek.

Day 8-10: Lobuche/Everest Base Camp

Walk through alpine meadows and summer pasture

toward the end of the Khumbu Glacier where there

is a steep, tough climb. From Lobuche the view is

straight towards Nuptse and the sunset is truly

magnificent. On Day 9, deal with dizzying altitude

as you climb onto the Changri Glacier, before

heading off in the afternoon for Everest Base

Camp. The route to base camp follows the Khumbu

Glacier with its intriguing 15m high seracs of ice,

a feature unique to Himalayan glaciers. Colourful

expedition tents give a bizarre appearance to this

desolate place surrounded by walls of rock, snow

and ice. Early on Day 10 you’ll make a side trip up

Kala Pattar for sunrise where you can see the best

views of Everest, before the scenic descent back to

Pheriche.

Day 11-13: Tengpoche/Mongo/Lukla

Descend the Imja Khola past Pangboche, the highest

permanent settlement in the valley. Its gompa is built

over the religious retreat of Khumbu’s Saint Lama

Sanga Dorje. The juniper trees on either side are said

to have sprung from hair cut from his head. A rocklike

projection is said to be a piece of mountainside

he pulled out for protection one day. Continue down

through Namche Bazaar and Phakding to Lukla.

Day 14-15: Kathmandu

You made it! Flight back to Kathmandu where you

can rest, shop, go sightseeing or just enjoy your last

day with your fellow trekkers in one of Kathmandu’s

many rooftop cafes. Your adventure may come to an

end on Day 15 – but the memories will last a lifetime!

CHINA

40

Kathmandu

Everest

Base

Camp

NEPAL

Lukla

Mt Everest

Nepal’s flag is the only one that is not a

square or rectangle, but rather two red

triangles on top of each other.


15

Best of the West

fr

$2,249

los angeles > los angeles

OVERLANDER

days

GANUAA

Highlights

• Spot celebs in LA

• Hike through the Grand Canyon

• Dance with lady luck in Las Vegas

• Take a pic by the Golden Gate Bridge

Day 1-2: Los Angeles/san Diego

Go star spotting in Hollywood, shop down Rodeo

Drive or rollerblade down Santa Monica before

driving along the Pacific coastline to San Diego,

where history, food and fun awaits. (D)

Day 3: San Diego

Spend the morning at Coronado Island and Balboa

Park before the afternoon is yours for the exploring.

Spend the evening on Mission Beach or hop in the

water for an optional surf lesson. (B, D)

Day 4: Phoenix

Visit the Imperial Sand Dunes, the largest mass of

sand dunes in California. In the evening, get rowdy in

downtown Phoenix in a real cowboy bar. (B, L)

Day 5: Grand Canyon

Start the day with a visit to Montezuma Castle and

Oak Creek Canyon. After lunch in Red Rock State

Park, you’ll arrive at the grandest of landmarks – the

Grand Canyon! (L, D)

Day 6: Grand Canyon National park

Today is all about conquering this spectacular beast!

Wander along the trails and climb boulders for

different views. After lunch, get a bird’s eye view of

the canyon with an optional helicopter flight. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Las Vegas

Drive along famous Route 66 and stop at the Snow

Cap-Drive In, one of the wackiest burger joints

around. Explore the famous Vegas Strip or if you’re

feeling flush, opt for a VIP limo experience. (B, L)

San Francisco

Monterey

Big Sur

Yosemite N.P.

Bishop

Los Angeles

Santa Barbara

San Diego

Day 8: Las Vegas

Try your luck at the tables, relax poolside or if your

stomach can hack it or ride one of the many roller

coasters. Ensure you leave some cash in your wallet

for another night on the town!

Day 9: Death Valley National park/Bishop

Visit the hottest, driest and lowest point in North

America: Death Valley. In the evening, soak in

secluded hot springs. (L, D)

Day 10-11: Yosemite National park

Visit the ancient Mono Lake and marvel at

spectacular views of Yosemite National Park’s

magnificent peaks and granite domes. Take short

hikes to majestic waterfalls, clear lakes and vast

meadows. You may be lucky enough to spot black

bears, deer or coyotes. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 12: San Francisco

Today you’ll tick off all of San Fran’s landmarks.

Fisherman’s Wharf? Check. Golden Gate Bridge?

Check. Take an optional cable car ride over the steep

hills or explore the city by bike. (B, L)

Day 13: San Simeon

Drive down the California coast to historic Monterey,

where you’ll be awestruck by the mountain ranges of

Big Sur and explore Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

(L, D)

Day 14: Santa Barbara/Los Angeles

Visit the wacky Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo and

relax in Santa Barbara, before finishing in LA. Spend

your last night chilling at Santa Monica and Venice

Beach or hit the town at night. (B)

Day 15: Los Angeles

Depart at any time.

Death

Valley N.P.

Las Vegas

U S A

Phoenix

Grand

Canyon N.P.

41


15

Absolute Turkey

fr

$2,199

istanbul > istanbul

CLASSIC

days

GAETAT

Highlights

• Wander through Istanbul’s spice market

• Explore Derinkuyu’s underground city

• See the famous white cliffs in Pamukkale

• Feel the Kiwi pride at Gallipoli

Day 1-2: Istanbul/Ankara

Celebrate your arrival into Istanbul over dinner

and drinks with your tour group. Day 2 is all about

exploring this old city. Pass Haiga Sofia, Topkapi

Palace and wander through the Spice Bazaar. Jump

on a local ferry along the Boshporus for some great

views of the city and head to a hammam (Turkish

bath) for a relaxing end to the day. (B)

Day 3-5: Ankara/Cappadocia

After an overnight train into Ankara, you’ll travel to

Goreme, your base for exploring Cappadocia. You’ve

got your pick of activities over the next two days;

hire a bike or catch a bus to explore the surrounding

villages. You’ll also visit a pottery centre where you

can create your own masterpiece before sitting

down to dinner with a local family. (2B, D)

Day 6: Cappadocia/Konya

Today you’ll explore the underground city of

Derinkuyu, famously used as the hiding place for

Christians being persecuted by the Romans. Then,

head to the Ihlara Valley with cliff-like walls standing

100-150m high. After lunch, admire Konya’s

beautiful buildings before travelling to a local village

for a glimpse into their lives. (B, D)

Day 7: Antalya

Today you’re off to Antalya, where you’ll spend your

afternoon strolling the charming cobbled hillside

streets of the district of Kaleici. Stop for a cheeky

drink at one of the restaurants overlooking the

marina. (B)

1

1

Çanakkale (Troy)

Ayvalik

Selçuk

Istanbul

2

1 1

Pamukkale

TURKEY

1

Antalya

1

1

Konya

Homestay

Göreme

(Cappadocia)

3

Day 8: Antalya/Uçagiz

Arrive in the beautiful coastal village of Uçagiz where

after lunch, you’ll board the boat for an unforgettable

night on the sea. Enjoy dinner with your group before

sleeping on deck under the stars. (B, D)

Day 9: Uçagiz/Kas

Soak up the sunshine as you travel around Kekova

Island. Later, climb up to the Simena Castle to take

in the views and archaeological ruins. Cool off with a

refreshing dip in the sea or top up your tan on deck.

After lunch, check out the coastal town of Kas, filled

with cobbled streets, white washed buildings and

quirky antiques stores. (B, L).

Day 10-11: Kas/Pamukkale/Selçuk

Travel to new heights today – literally. At 2,700m

wide, 160m high and visible from up to 20kms

away, Pamukkale is made up of 17 hot water springs

ranging from 35-100 degrees. Check out the ancient

site of Hierapolis, built on top of the white ‘castle’.

On Day 11, travel to the town of Selçuk where

you’ll visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of

Ephesus. (2B)

Day 12-13: Selçuk/Ayvalik/Troy/

Çanakkale

Fall in love with Ayvalik’s old Ottoman architecture,

cobbled streets and attractive harbour. If you’re

itching to get back in the water, Sarimsakli beach is

a short bus ride away. On Day 13, pay a visit to Troy,

made famous by the Homer’s Iliad and more recently,

Brad Pitt! This evening you’ll enjoy the delights of

the harbour town Çanakkale. (2B)

Day 14-15: Çanakkale/Istanbul

Your patriotism will kick in at Gallipoli, where

thousands of ANZAC’s gave their lives during WWI.

Continue onto Istanbul where you can pack in some

last minute sightseeing or shopping before leaving

on Day 15. (2B)

42

Kas

1 1

Uçagiz


Terms and conditions apply. Minimum life-time deposit of $250 is non-refundable. Full

payment to be received within 60 days of departure (90 days for Expedition tours). Yolo tours

are designed for 18 to 30-something travellers. Tours are either guaranteed, or they become

guaranteed when they reach minimum numbers. G Adventures reserves the right to cancel

a tour for any reason, but will not cancel a tour less than 60 days before departure except

for Force Majeure, unusual or unforeseen circumstances. All prices are based on same-sex

shared accommodation. My Own Room option is available on most tours, where you can pay an

extra tariff to guarantee your own room. STA Travel takes no liability or responsibility for any

injuries sustained whilst on tour, and travel insurance is required for all trips. It is mandatory

to have minimum medical coverage of US$200,000. All clients are obligated to review and

acknowledge a medical form. Clients with pre-existing medical conditions as defined on the

medical form and those on an Expedition trip, must return a signed form with final payment.

For all Inca Trail trips, client details including full name as it appears in the passport that the

client will be travelling with, passport number, passport expiry date, date of birth & nationality

are required to confirm a booking. Any cancellation by a client must be made in writing & be

acknowledged by G Adventures in writing. The date on which the request to cancel is received

by G Adventures will determine the cancellation fees applicable. The above does not constitute

the full terms and conditions for G Adventures. For full terms and conditions please speak to

your STA Travel Expert. All prices are correct at time of print (May 2012) and are subject to

availability and change without notice, ask your STA Travel adviser for up to date prices. Prices

based on cash payment and payment by any other means may attract a nominal administration

fee. Amendment, cancellation and administration fees apply. Prices are displayed per person in

NZD unless otherwise stated. Full STA Travel terms & conditions are available at www.statravel.

co.nz/terms_conditions.htm

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