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11 of the world's most incredible journeys

Wanderlust logoWanderlust 4/03/2016

Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru (Shutterstock).

Up for an extraordinary expedition? Whether by foot, car, boat or train, these adventures will fire up your wanderlust

1. Trek with creature comforts, Peru

Lares Adventure, Rainbow Tours

When? Flexible

How long? 12 days

Sleeping under canvas isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, on Rainbow Tours’ Lares Adventures, hikers keen to explore the Sacred Valley don’t have to. On this route, you can swap tents and hostels for high-quality lodges, hot showers and tasty meals. After each day’s amble in the postcard-perfect Andean valley, you can retire to a comfy bed. You’ll get to visit Machu Picchu and other highlights of the Inca heartland too.

Victoria Falls (Shutterstock) © Wanderlust Victoria Falls (Shutterstock)

2. See Africa in style, South Africa, Zimbabwe & Botswana

African Cruise Safari, Aurora Expeditions

When? 16 Apr 2015

How long? 14 nights

Explore the great plains by plane, boat, bus and jeep on Aurora Expeditions’ opulent African Cruise Safari. Whether you’re searching for the Big Five, watching wandering wildebeest, ooo-ing over Victoria Falls or sipping sundowners amid the baobabs, you’ll be doing it in style. Top it all off with a float aboard the Zambezi Queen, the most luxurious way to appreciate the wild Chobe River.

Participant in the annual festival "Patria Gaucha", Uruguay (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Participant in the annual festival "Patria Gaucha", Uruguay (Shutterstock).

3. Take a path less travelled, Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil

Buenos Aires, Uruguay & South Brazil, Journey Latin America

When? 8 Oct 2015

How long? 16 nights

Explore off-the-beaten track South America on Journey Latin America’s Buenos Aires, Uruguay & South Brazil trip. A local favourite rather than a gringo trail, the route runs from electrifying Buenos Aires across the River Plate into Uruguay – where you can try your hand at riding and gaucho-ing on an estancia. Next, follow the coast up to Brazil to see the canyons and waterfalls of the Aparados da Serra NP, finishing with a ride on the historic Serra Verde train into the Atlantic forest.

Ancient Mayan pyramid and ruins in Tikal (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Ancient Mayan pyramid and ruins in Tikal (Shutterstock).

4. Tackle the 'Maya Trail', Guatemala

Maya Trek to Tikal, Explore

When? 18 Apr 2015

How long? 11 days

Fancy a Latin hike that isn’t the Inca Trail? Then try Explore’s Maya Trek to Tikal. Rather than arriving at the Mayan temples by coach, you’ll trek through the wildlife-infested jungle for four days, wild camping, where you’ll be woken by howler monkeys, discover hidden ruins and duck the crowds. The trip also includes a hike up Pacaya volcano for sunrise and navigating Lake Atitlán by boat to meet the indigenous peoples that live on its shores.

Little Corn Island Beach (Shutterstock) © Wanderlust Little Corn Island Beach (Shutterstock)

5. Swash your buckles, Nicaragua

Pirates of the Caribbean, Steppes Travel

When? 15 May 2015

How long? 16 nights

Feel part pioneer, part buccaneer on Steppes Travel’s Pirates of the Caribbean trip. Trace the Rio San Juan – a once-infamous pirate passageway – as it cuts through the jungle, passing tombs and 17th-century forts en route. Then sail the Indio River, its forested banks rich in wildlife, to reach Indio Maiz Biological Reserve – 3,000 sq km of pristine rainforest harbouring big cats, manatees, macaws, toucans, monkeys and more. Finish with some R&R on the Corn Islands, a stay on the shores of Lake Nicaragua and strolling colonial Granada.

High mountains in Bolivia (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust High mountains in Bolivia (Shutterstock).

6. Explore the Andes, Bolivia & Chile

Andes Majesty, HighLives Travel

When? Tailormade

How long? 13 days

Duck the spray from erupting geysers, pass vibrantly coloured lakes, hike over snow-dusted volcanoes and cross salt flats that stretch as far as the eye can see. Using a private 4WD, HighLives’ Andes Majesty trip visits the lesser-known national parks that straddle the Chile-Bolivia border – a combination of jaw-dropping landscapes, Aymara villages, alpaca herders, giant geoglyphs, Inca ruins, flamingo flocks and old adobe churches. And once you’ve exhausted both yourself and your camera’s memory card, you can enjoy the Pacific coast beaches of Iquique.

Skyline of downtown Nashville, Tennessee (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Skyline of downtown Nashville, Tennessee (Shutterstock).

7. Make a musical roadtrip, USA

The Great British Invasion, Abercrombie & Kent 

When? 9 April 2015

How long? 10 days

Abercrombie & Kent’s The Great British Invasion – a Deep South roadtrip accompanied by legendary rockers, Sons of Royalty – is the ultimate celebration of North American music heritage. Fire up your Harley (or car, if you prefer) in Nashville to start your journey through the Mississippi Delta. Visit the Jack Daniel Distillery, Tupelo (birthplace of Elvis), Memphis – home to Graceland, Beale Street and Sun Studio – and the Delta’s Rock ’n’ Roll Museum. Even better, this epic drive raises money for the NSPCC too.

Camping at Titicaca Lake in Isla del Sol (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Camping at Titicaca Lake in Isla del Sol (Shutterstock).

8. Reach for the stars, Chile & Bolivia

Ultimate Stargazing Adventure, Rainbow Tours

When? Flexible

How long? 14 nights

Chile’s inky-skied Atacama Desert and Bolivia’s remote and sparkly Salar de Uyuni salt flat are two of the planet’s best places for gazing up at the great beyond. In the Atacama especially, high altitudes and extreme dryness keep the weather clear; it’s no wonder that so many world-class observatories are located in the area. Rainbow Tours’ Ultimate Stargazing Adventure makes the most of the astronomical opportunities you can find here, travelling the altiplano, skirting Lake Titicaca and visiting the Atacama’s ALMA Observatory, which will be open for public tours in 2015.

Taroko National Park (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Taroko National Park (Shutterstock).

9. Hunt for treasures, Taiwan

Taiwan Uncovered, Wendy Wu Tours 

When? 16 Mar, 28 Sept 2015

How long? 11 days 

Taiwan is a marvellous mishmash of Chinese, Japanese, Western and indigenous influences. Take in its best, and most off-the-beaten-track, bits on Wendy Wu Tours’ Taiwan Uncovered trip. Eat well – and cheaply – in lively Taipei; find natural beauty at peak-fringed Sun Moon Lake and dramatic Taroko Gorge; feel a gold-rush thrill in the mountain-side mining town of Jinguashi, home to the Gold Ecological Park; experience the verdant landscape of volcanic Yangmingshan National Park; and lie back on the glorious beaches of Kenting National Park.

Thai railway (Shutterstock) . © Wanderlust Thai railway (Shutterstock) .

10. Ride the trail, Thailand & Burma

Railways Old & New, Selective Asia

When? Flexible

How long? 18 nights

Selective Asia’s Railways Old & New trip is not your average train journey, taking you along a variety of rails, including rarely used tracks. Starting from Bangkok, you’ll journey to Kanchanaburi to learn about the Burma-Siam Railway; then, thanks to the new Hti Khi border crossing, you can continue west into Burma to see more of this infamous track. Other train rides include the Yangon circle (a lively commuter ride) and the overnight journey to Mandalay. The trip also includes a cruise on the Dutawaddy River, a cycle tour of Mandalay and a dramatic drive through the Gokteik Valley.

Polar bears, Svalbard (Shutterstock). © Wanderlust Polar bears, Svalbard (Shutterstock).

11. Seek out snow fun, Svalbard

Svalbard: The Land of our Arctic Dreams, Sunvil Discovery

When? Flexible, departures to 17 May 2015

How long? 5 nights

Don’t fear winter: embrace it! Sunvil Discovery’s Svalbard: The Land of our Arctic Dream strip heads Pole-wards to have fun in the snow. Based in Longyearbyen – the world’s most northerly permanently populated town – you can zip across the frozen tundra on a snowmobile, explore by dog-sled or discover what it’s like to live up here at the fascinating museum. Plus the 24-hour darkness provides the perfect canvas for the northern lights.

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