Cultural Tours & Trips 2020
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Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Activities & Interests
Attractions & Cities Visited
Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Impacted by Climate Change
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
- You've never seen true colour until you've been to a Mexican market. Practice your bargaining skills, snap some photos and pick up traditional handicrafts at the markets in Mexico City and Puebla.
- Eat your way through arty Oaxaca at its many market vendors and authentic restaurants – mole poblano and mezcal for dinner? Delicioso!
- Escape the Mexican heat in the highlands of San Cristobal de las Casas. This town is surrounded by indigenous villages where traditional customs and roots are thriving.
- Chichen Itza is one the New Seven Wonders of the World. It's not hard to see why – strolling around the ancient Maya ruins feels pretty wondrous.
- Cool off with a swim in the waters of Agua Azul, a series of waterfalls named for their stunning blue colour.
- Explore the remote northern reaches of Albania and take one of the world’s best boat trips with a cruise through the mountainous corridors of Lake Koman
- Experience daily life in the Valbona Valley with a stay at a local guesthouse. Clink glasses with the locals in the village and hike the rugged valley passes.
- Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder North Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go.
- Kososvo is rich in history and contrasts. Step back in time and learn about the infamous Battle of Kosovo on a day trip to the Field of Blackbirds, before embracing the modern culture thriving in Prishtina, Europe’s youngest capital.
- Lose yourself in Tirana, the Albanian capital full of a revitalised urban energy, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: drinking coffee and people-watching.
- Explore Copenhagen like a local and hop on a bike. There is no better way to see the major sites, as well as explore hidden corners of this beautiful city.
- Don't miss Gothenburg's Haga district, with its picturesque wooden houses and the iconic Skansen Kronan, as well as laid-back Langgatan street.
- Take a ferry to Vrango Island, a stunning fishing town in the Gothenburg Archipelago, and discover this rocky nature haven by kayak (summer months only).
- Admire the World Heritage-listed architecture of Dubrovnik and Montenegro’s Kotor, climbing along their ancient city walls.
- Loose yourself in Tirana, Albania's colourful capital, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: drinking coffee and people-watching.
- Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid – one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder North Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction; nobody would want to let it go!
- Explore the endemic flora and fauna on an easy hike of Pelister: North Macedonia’s oldest national park.
- Hike the slopes of Mt Olympus, the ancient seat of the 12 Greek gods. According to mythology Zeus unleashed his thunderbolts from one of Olympus' peaks.
- Keep your eye out for kangaroos on your way to a cheese, chocolate and wine-filled lunch in the chilled-out Hunter Valley – a picturesque region in the rural hills of New South Wales.
- Soak up the beachside vibes of Byron Bay with a free day in this surfer’s haven. Go for a dip in the ocean, listen to buskers by the beach, join a yoga class or just hang loose in a quirky cafe – it’s a hard life!
- Set sail along the azure waters of Port Macquarie on an incredible sunset cruise. Keep an eagle eye out for local pods of dolphins as you enjoy the perfect end to a scenic day.
- Get in touch with Australia’s wilderness and wildlife. Meet cute and cuddly koalas at an animal hospital and explore rainforest and waterfalls in Dorrigo National Park.
- Enjoy amazing local food including a 'farm to plate' experience in beautiful Byron Bay. Head out and collect local ingredients before indulging in a healthy and delicious dinner.
- Experience local life during homestays in the Mekong Delta and Da Bac. Get to know local families, participate in their activities and enjoy a homestyle meal.
- Travel to both popular and lesser-known destinations in Vietnam, including tourist hotspots like Halong Bay and hidden gems such as Da Bac
- See Vietnam through an exciting mix of transport, including motorbike, sampan, junk-style boat, bus and train
- Visit the mind-boggling Phong Nha and Thien Duong Caves. These labyrinthine systems were used to shelter civilians during the Vietnam/American War
- Spend a day in Hue, touring the city's sights on a motorbike and eating lunch at a serene nunnery
- Wander the fossilised coral formations of Hang Rai, which sometimes appear to float on the water
- Admire the World Heritage-listed architecture of Dubrovnik and Montenegro’s Kotor, climbing along their ancient city walls
- Lose yourself in Tirana, Albania's colourful capital, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: coffee-drinking and people-watching
- Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder North Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go
- Sitting alongside its Ottoman past, the North Macedonian capital of Skopje has reinvented its centre with gleaming neo-classical monuments and buildings, adding a new layer to this fascinating city
- From flashy Las Vegas to the arid desert of Zion National Park and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, you will discover a range of American landscapes at your own pace.
- Admire the oasis of Emerald Pools during a hike past waterfalls and lush vegetation in Utah’s Zion National Park.
- Ride a jeep through Utah's iconic Monument Valley, and then share stories and a meal by the campfire with members of Navajo Nation.
- Be left gobsmacked by the steep red-rock escarpments and gorges of the Grand Canyon, experiencing a bird’s eye view of the park with an optional unforgettable helicopter adventure.
- Explore a city that’s home to dreamers, fortune seekers, and celebrities in the City of Angels: Los Angeles.
- Take a cruise on stunning Lake Ohrid – which straddles the mountainous border between Macedonia and Albania – and watch shorefront villages stream by.
- Albania's pastel-coloured capital Tirana is on the verge of becoming Europe’s next big thing, so pay it a visit before the rest of the world does.
- Head to a remote village outside Syros for a sunset feast of local specialties, all served up in a small taverna that overlooks the Aegean Sea.
- Spend a half-day exploring the ruins that decorate the island of Delos, a living museum of crumbling palaces, columns and statues.
- Take a hike around the rim of the caldera Santorini is built on, walking through little villages, passing steep cliff faces and taking in breathtaking views.
- Take an incredible 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape of Fraser Island. Venture across undulating sand dunes and vast golden beach in search of that iconic outback creature, the dingo!
- Cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the world-famous Whitehaven beach. Surround yourself with dazzling white sands and azure waters as you discover this idyllic corner of Queensland.
- Enjoy a free afternoon in the tropical bliss of Mission Beach. Soak up the salty sea breeze and laze on the palm-fringed sands, stretch your limbs with a yoga class or go for a dip in the pool – it’s a hard life!
- Venture into the wilderness of the Atherton Tablelands – take a dip in a magnificent plunge waterfall nestled in dense tropical rainforest and admire the beautiful blue-green hues of Lake Eacham.
- Witness the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef on a bucket-list-ticking snorkelling adventure. Brimming with colourful coral and tropical fish, enjoy an included cruise from Cairns to explore this underwater paradise.
- Under the eye of a local tour guide, feel like you've travelled back to the Middle Ages in the labyrinthine medina of Fes.
- Stay in a traditional Berber homestay high in the Atlas Mountains, to better understand the culture and tradition of an indigenous population who have stood the test of time.
- Take the opportunity to trek through the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara on a camel, experiencing an unforgettable sunset experience.
- Kick back in the coastal town of Essaouira and discover at your own pace, enjoying a fresh seafood barbecue on the waterfront.
- Marrakech’s Djemaa el-Fna is a city within a city. Explore one of the world’s largest meeting places, joining the night’s carnival atmosphere of fortune-tellers, dancers, and medicine men.
- Experience the rugged scenery of Alaska by land from the most populous city of Anchorage, through quaint towns like Palmer, all the way to the untouched back country.
- Head on an Alaskan safari for a unique chance to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves in their natural habitat in Denali National Park.
- Witness the land mammals of Denali before getting up close to sea otters, puffins and humpback whales on a boat trip among glaciers in Valdez.
- Discover Seward, one of Alaska's oldest and most scenic communities, which offers a bustling harbour, quaint shops and galleries, and is a great base from which to explore Kenai Fjords National Park.
- Sit back and take in stunning views along the dramatic coastlines of the Turnagain Arm from Seward to Anchorage, while someone else does the driving.
- Discover Lima’s grand colonial facades, Spanish houses, endless culture and delicious cuisine during your free time in the Peruvian capital.
- Take the opportunity to board a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines – whether they’re the work of ancient civilizations or something more supernatural, it’s an incredible experience.
- Trek the Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, no matter how you get there, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a majestic destination.
- Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city, with its ancient foundations and interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences.
- Experience the untouched world of the Amazon rainforest. Stroll along jungle trails on the lookout for monkeys, parrots, otters and caimans.
- Learn some Spanish during an informal lesson in old-world Antigua, then put it to good use during the rest of your Central American adventure.
- Wonder at steep, granite steps that reach into the sky while exploring the temples and monuments of Tikal: the seat of Maya power that mysteriously collapsed in AD950.
- Explore Livingston: a unique riverside town where the local culture is heavily influenced by the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna population.
- Walk along cobblestone streets and shop for local handicrafts in the tiny inland island town of Flores and learn the traditional methods of making tortillas in a small-group workshop.
- Recharge and rejuvenate on the white sands of the Yucatan Peninsula, relaxing in stunning Bacalar and laidback Tulum.
- Bigger and more beautiful than any photo can capture, the Taj Mahal is a triumph of Mughal architecture that promises to inspire even the most seasoned travellers.
- Learn to whip up some central Indian staples during a cooking demonstration at home with friends in Orchha; the perfect opportunity to experience an authentic slice of Indian family life.
- See pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during an unforgettable sunrise cruise in Varanasi – one of India's holiest cities.
- Stay in a lodge and wake to the calls of the jungle in Chitwan National Park, then embark on a safari in search of rhino, deer, monkeys, and a wide array of birdlife.
- Spend a memorable night at a Madi Valley Homestay – an Intrepid project that provides sustainable incomes and encourages local communities to conserve the wilderness and wildlife around them.
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Top Cultural Experiences
Visiting ancient temples such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Phrom in Cambodia
Watching early morning ritual performance in Ganges River
Visiting archaeological sites and museum collection in Greece to learn about ancient Greek culture
Discovering monuments of Roman Empire in Italy
Visiting the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo, Japan
Watching the monks chant prayers in Taktsang Palphug Monastery also knows as “Tigers Nest,” in Bhutan
Cultural Trip Reviews
31,558 Cultural Tour Reviews - Summary 96% Recommend
All Cultural tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Cultural trips.