1. Trek with creature comforts, Peru Lares Adventure, Rainbow Tours When?
Flexible How long?
12 days Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru (Shutterstock)
Sleeping under canvas isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, on Rainbow Tours’ Lares Adventure
, 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. Walking the Lares Trek, Peru | Visiting Andean communities on the journey to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail travel guide | How to plan your trip
5 things I wish I'd known about Machu Picchu | Read this before you go!
2. See Africa in style, South Africa, Zimbabwe & Botswana African Cruise Safari, Aurora Expeditions When?
16 Apr 2015 How long?
14 nights Victoria Falls (Shutterstock)
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. 7 ways to see Victoria Falls | Make the most of your trip!
The Wanderlust guide to African safaris | All you need to know – in one place
6 of the best cruises for adventurers | Where will you end up?
3. Take a path less travelled, Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil Buenos Aires, Uruguay & South Brazil, Journey Latin America
8 Oct 2015 How long?
16 nights Participant in the annual festival "Patria Gaucha", Uruguay (Shutterstock)
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.
First 24 hours in Buenos Aires, Argentina | Hit the ground running...
At home on the range in Uruguay | How to live like a cowboy!
Brazil travel guide | All you need to know about Brazil
4. Tackle the 'Maya Trail', Guatemala Maya Trek to Tikal, Explore When?
18 Apr 2015 How long?
11 days Ancient Mayan pyramid and ruins in Tikal (Shutterstock)
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. El Mirador, Guatemala: lost city of the Maya | Discover the pyramids of Tikal
Travel blueprint: The Maya Route | All you need to know to plan your trip
5. Swash your buckles, Nicaragua Pirates of the Caribbean, Steppes Travel When?
15 May 2015 How long?
16 nights Little Corn Island Beach (Shutterstock)
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.
Revolutionary trails in Nicaragua | The revolutionary spirit stays strong...
Nicaragua travel guide | Discover volcanoes, beaches and colonial treasures
6. Explore the Andes, Bolivia & Chile Andes Majesty, HighLives Travel When?
Tailormade How long?
13 days High mountains in Bolivia (Shutterstock)
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. Bolivia's 10 unmissable street foods | Don't miss these tasty bites!
Cycling the world's most dangerous road, Bolivia | Don't look down...
10 roads you must ride in Chile & Argentina | Roadtripping? Don't miss these beauts
7. Make a musical roadtrip, USA The Great British Invasion, Abercrombie & Kent
9 April 2015 How long?
10 days Skyline of downtown Nashville, Tennessee (Shutterstock)
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. The ultimate USA road trip | We hit the road to celebrate Wanderlust's 21st birthday
Planning a great American road trip | Where, when and how to start
The USA's wildest national parks | Wilderness – on an epic scale
8. Reach for the stars, Chile & Bolivia Ultimate Stargazing Adventure, Rainbow Tours
Flexible How long?
14 nights Camping at Titicaca Lake in Isla del Sol (Shutterstock)
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. 7 things to do for free in Santiago, Chile | How to do the Chilean capital for free 10 roads you must ride in Chile & Argentina | Roadtripping? Don't miss these beauts 5 reasons to get friendly with Bolivia | As if you needed an excuse!
9. Hunt for treasures, Taiwan Taiwan Uncovered, Wendy Wu Tours When?
16 Mar, 28 Sept 2015 How long?
11 days Taroko National Park (Shutterstock)
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. Taiwan's most spectacular hiking trails | Don't miss these epic trails
Made in Taiwan: Hi-tech temptations and majestic mountains | Discover it all
Taiwan: Isle of the unexpected | Where are all the tourists?
10. Ride the trail, Thailand & Burma Railways Old & New, Selective Asia
Flexible How long?
18 nights Thai railway (Shutterstock)
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. 7 etiquette tips for travelling in Thailand | Read this before you travel
10 great rail journeys | Experience the thrill of the track...
Burma/Myanmar travel guide | All you need to know before you go
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 Polar bears, Svalbard (Shutterstock)
Don’t fear winter: embrace it! Sunvil Discovery’s Svalbard: The Land of our Arctic Dreams
trip 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.
5 tips for a successful Svalbard trip | A once-in-a-lifetime trip worth saving for...
Polar bear chasing in Svalbard | Europe's greatest wilderness... Main image: Motorcyclist on mountainous highway (Shutterstock)