Discover unchartered landscapes, little-known cultures and far-flung treasures on these off-the-beaten-track trips
This list was taken from the 57 best trips for 2016 article, in the February 2016 issue of Wanderlust. To get your copy, or subscribe from just £5 for 5 issues, click here
1. Traverse Thailand's unspoilt north
Avoid the crowds and head to lesser-visited Thailand on Selective Asia’s Northern Explorer
10-day tour. Head to the cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, home to lively markets and arguably the country’s best cuisine. Tea plantation hut in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Shutterstock)
Then, go more offbeat. Trek through Doi Phukha NP, which is laced with waterfalls and caves; meet the Malbri people, a hill tribe of around 300 people; and hike through Doi Pha Hom Pok NP, looking out for its 300 bird species and 50 types of orchid. See the trip When?
Year round How much?
From £1,074 (excl flights)
2. Hike in Kyrgyzstan's celestial mountains
Take a trek through a Central Asian wilderness on Walks Worldwide’s Heart of the Tien Shan
trip. Begin your marvellous mountain adventure walking the sandstone Seven Bulls Gorge, then ascend the Telety Pass and trek to the base of Karakolskii. Floating in Issyk Kul Lake (Shutterstock)
Rise up through the forested Altyn Arashan Valley, relax by alpine Issyk Kul Lake and reflect on your trip in capital Bishkek. An action-packed 14 days. See the trip When?
16, 23 & 30 Jul 2016 How much?
From £1,999 (incl flights)
3. Venture into Equatorial Guinea
Enjoy a tiny slice of Africa that packs a big punch on Undiscovered Destinations’ 10-day Equatorial Guinea – Encompassed
trip. On the Atlantic coast, explore Bioko Island, home to the country’s capital Malabo and nesting sea turtles; on tiny Corisco island, find a mix of Benga culture and Spanish ruins; and on the mainland, head to Monte Allen NP to search for elusive gorillas and chimpanzees. See the trip Sunset at Bome beach in Bata in Equatorial Guinea (Shutterstock) When?
26 Nov 2016 How much?
From £2,499 (excl flights)
4. Tread Guyana's uncharted jungle
Celebrate 50 years of Guyanan independence in 2016, with HighLives Travel’s Uncharted Guyana
trip. Over 10 days you’ll see it from all angles: by air, river and on foot. Soar over Mount Roraima by helicopter before spotting otters and black caiman on a river cruise. Kaieteur Falls (Shutterstock)
Fly over the Pakaraima Mountains to be wowed by Kaieteur Falls – one of the world’s highest free-falling waterfalls. Finish on a musical note with an evening of steel pan in capital Georgetown. See the trip When?
Year round but dry season (Feb-Apr & Oct-Dec) recommended How much?
From £4,000 (excl flights)
5. Discover secret Kazakhstan
Explore mysterious Kazakhstan and its turbulent Soviet history on Regent Holidays’ 8-day Back in the USSR
tour. Whizz around futuristic Astana, taking in sites such as the iconic 105m Bayterek Tower, and head to the once-closed city of Kurchatov, now home to the National Nuclear Centre. Karkaralinsk, Kazakhstan (Shutterstock)
If you’re lucky you might spot golden eagles in the mountain oases of Yedry and Ku, then finish on a Soviet note with visits to the Stalin-era labour camps of Karaganda, home to a Lenin statue. See the trip When?
2 Jun 2016 How much?
From £1,550 (incl flights)
6. Mix it up in Georgia
Combine medieval fortresses, abundant churches, delicious cuisine and military history on Travel The Unknown’s colourful Georgia Explorer
trip – a 12-day journey through the country’s history. Martvili Canyon in Georgia (Shutterstock)
Take in Tbilisi’s Narikala Fortress, enjoy views of the Caucasus while trekking in the Kakheti region, sail down Martvili Canyon and visit Gori, Stalin’s birthplace. Also, learn to make traditional breads and sweets, and wash it all down with fine Georgian wine. See the trip When?
26 May, 13 Oct 2016 How much?
From £1,995 (incl flights)
7. Hike the Himalayas, Nepal
Take a 16-day journey deep into the Himalayas to discover the Secret Trails of Nar Phu
with Lost Earth Adventures. Covering terrain unaffected by the 2015 earthquakes, you’ll begin amid lush river gorges, utilising some of the classic Annapurna Circuit. Himalayas, Nepal (Shutterstock)
Then you’ll veer off into a region only opened to outsiders in 2003 to reach the ancient villages of Nar and Phu – virgin trekking territory. Prayer flags, stupas and the dominating peaks of Annapurna II and Gangapurna line the way. See the trip When?
9 Apr, 1 & 22 Oct, 12 Nov 2016 How much?
From £1,295 (excl flights This list was taken from the 57 best trips for 2016 article, in the February 2016 issue of Wanderlust. To get your copy, or subscribe from just £5 for 5 issues, click here Main image: Roadside waterfall, Nepal (Shutterstock)