Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janerio (Dreamstime)
Article Words : Gwenllian Jones | 26 April

7 trips worth blowing your budget for

These amazing trips are as big on wow-factor as they are on price – if you've got the budget, you'll want to blow it!

1. Epic Northeast Passage (Kapitan Khlebnikov) 2016, Intrepid

How long? 26 days
How much? From £21,600 (excluding flights) 
The wow-factor: Travel to the Arctic Circle

A journey across the Arctic Circle to some of the most remote islands in the world is an adventure few travellers have undertaken. Intrepid's Epic Northeast Passage trip may blow a huge hole in your budget, but you will be able to brag about it for many years to come.
  
Glacier on Novaya Zemlya (Dreamstime)
Glacier on Novaya Zemlya (Dreamstime)

You will fly to Alaska and spend the day exploring the urban wilderness of Anchorage. You then take a short flight across to Russia to join the famous icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov to embark on your unforgettable expedition through the Bering Strait.

On this epic 26-day tour you will meet the indigenous people of the Chukotka peninsula, take a helicopter to Wrangel Island, sail across the East Siberian Sea, visit the remote Novaya Zemlya archipelago and encounter polar bears, before reaching Spitsbergen. It is a trip that should be on everyone's bucket list. 

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2. Ultimate Northern Tanzania & Mnemba Island, Rainbow Tours


How long?
14 days
How much? From £10,425 (including flights and transfers)
Wow-factor: A front-row seat for the Big Five

Fancy some luxury on your East African adventure? Rainbow Tours' Ultimate Tanzania trip serves it up in spades...

Fly into the Serengeti National Park and to the lavish Grumeti Tented Camp, located at the heart of the wildlife action. This exclusive accommodation not only offers luxury in abundance – with opulent décor and fantastic gourmet meals – but also a front-row seat to witness the Big Five in action. Take a balloon flight over the Serengeti for an aerial twist on the traditional safari, sip sundowners while keeping one eye out for lions and leopards, and stargaze under clear, crisp skies.

Safari in Ngorongoro Crater (Shutterstock)
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater (Shutterstock)

The trip continues in the same vein – with enviable experiences and exclusive lodges. Stay in Lake Manyara National Park – home to tree-climbing lions and flamingo colonies – and perch yourself at the end of the caldera at the Ngorongoro Crater, where your lodge will boast unshared views over the lake below, four-poster beds, and even your own butler.

Wrap up the trip by flying to the private island of Mnemba, home to one of the Indian Ocean's finest coral reefs. Snorkel, scuba, kayak, or cruise your way along the shore at sunset, feast on exquisite cuisine, and relax on the divine powder-white beaches. See the full itinerary here...

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3. Botswana Safari and Cape Town with Belmond, Wexas Travel


How long?
13 days
How much? £5,895 (including flights)
The wow-factor: The ultimate African safari

This luxury 13-day Botswana Safari And Cape Town trip is the ultimate African adventure.

Your trip begins in Botswana's Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge in Chobe National Park. Spot exciting wildlife including elephant, hippo, zebra, lion and cheetah on game drives guided by expert trackers. You will then travel across the extraordinary Okavango Delta exploring its diverse wildlife by boat and helicopter. The last days of the trip are spent South Africa's mesmerising capital city of Cape Town, staying at the luxurious Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel at the foot of Table Mountain.

Okavango delta, Botswana (Shutterstock)
Okavango delta, Botswana (Shutterstock)

Experience star-quality treatment in elegant accommodation on this unforgettable African trek that will spoil you rotten.

4. Circuito 1, Tucan Travel

How long? 171 days
How much? From £7,246 (excluding international flights and local payment)
Wow-factor: An entire continent in 5.5 months

South America is so incredibly diverse, it needs plenty of time to get to grips with – 171 days might seem like a lot, but we can assure you you'll need every one! The people, the landscape, the traditions – you'll see them change from one day to the next as the Tucan truck makes its way around on this Circuito 1 overlanding trip.

Starting and finishing in Ecuador's capital, Quito, you'll get to witness the drastic variations in the country's makeup – from the dryness of the Atacama to the drenched fruitfulness of the Amazon Rainforest, and from Bolivia's stark salt flats to the paradise beaches of Tayrona National Park.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil (Shutterstock)
Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil (Shutterstock)

You'll get to visit all the major cities and towns en route, so throw yourself into the madness of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, soak up the Caribbean tempo of Cartagena, and reflect on the the hardship endured by the miners of Potosi. You'll also get the chance to take a big bite out of your bucket list – walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, sail down the mighty Amazon River to Manaus, visit the communities on Lake Titicaca, find a tango partner in Buenos Aires, and soak yourself in the thundering waters of Iguazu Falls. If all that isn't worth a big price tag, we don't know what is! See the full itinerary here...

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5. Silk Route And South East Asia Between Istanbul And Yangon Via Myanmar, Dragoman

How long? 121 days
How much? From £7,635 (excluding flights)
Wow-factor: Explore Asia with the continent's leading tour operator

Delve into the continent where over-landing trips were born on this Dragoman's Silk Route and South East Asia tour that takes you from Istanbul, across the Caspian Sea, to the Great Wall of China and the intoxicating city of Yangon where you'll visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Buddhism's most sacred sites. You'll even get the chance to bed down in a yurt for a night in the Kyzylkhum Desert.

Shwedagon Pagoda at dusk (Shutterstock)
Shwedagon Pagoda at dusk (Shutterstock)

Dragoman was the world's first tour operator to run overlanding trips through Myanmar, giving you a truly exclusive insight into this fascinating nation. You will also take a ferry along the Yangtze River through the spectacular Three Gorges, spot Giant Pandas in Chengdu, admire the awe-inspiring scenery of Yunnan province and learn about the Naxi culture of Dali.

This 121-day trip is quite a commitment, but you'll explore every inch of South East Asia's many charms and you will certainty not regret reaching into your pockets for it.

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6. Nunavik's Big Three Safari, Discover the World

How long? 8 nights
How much? £6,100 (excluding flights)
Wow-factor: Experience the Inuit way of life

An Arctic safari like no other. On Nunavik's Big Three Safari, that takes a maximum of 8 people, you will immerse yourself in the Inuit lifestyle, as local guides will be your hosts for the duration of your stay.

Departing from Montreal, this short trip will take you right into the heart of the Canadian wilderness where you'll spot polar bears, musk ox and caribou. And the excitement doesn't end there, you'll also track ghostly white beluga whales, Eider ducks, seals and seabirds on a motorised canoe ride while your Inuit guides will fill you in on their lifestyle and history.

Polar bear family in Canadian Arctic (Shutterstock)
Polar bear family in Canadian Arctic (Shutterstock)

You'll stay in comfortable Co-op hotels in three Inuit settlements in Tasiujaq, Quaqtaq, and Kangirsuk. Each are managed by local staff, allowing the community to thrive whilst retaining its cultural identity. 

This once-in-a-lifetime experience available in July allows you to admire the breath-taking beauty of the Nunavik coastline, miles away from the tourist trail.

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7. Mongolia and the Nadaam Festival, Wendy Wu

How long? 23 days
How much? £4,990 (including flights)
Wow-factor: Tour one of the world's least-visited destinations

The land of Genghis Khan is rife with vibrant culture, stunning landscapes and unspoilt desert. It remains unscathed due to lack of tourists, so there is no better time to invest some savings into a trip across this mesmerising country.

The Mongolia and Nadaam Festival trip begins in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. A two-day tour of the city includes a visit to Gandan Monastery and the bustling local markets. From here you'll trek into Mongolia's outback, travelling through the Gobi Desert, journey to the ancient town of Kharkhorin and even take a gentle stroll up Khorgo Volcano in the Great White Lake.

Kazakh men, Western Mongolia (Shutterstock)
Kazakh men, Western Mongolia (Shutterstock)

On your last day you will be at the centre of Mongolia's Naadam Festival and witness a colourful parade of athletes, monks, soldiers, musicians and participants dressed as ancient warriors. You then get to enjoy the Three Manly Games: horse-racing, wrestling and archery. This is a trip that doesn't come around often.

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Main Image: Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janerio (Dreamstime)