6. Puglia and the South – Undiscovered Italy
Puglia is home to pretty clusters of whitewashed buildings, the azure hues of the Adriatic Sea, medieval villages with imposing churches and a warren of fascinating caves. Experience it all on this trip around Italy’s South, exclusively for Solo Travellers…
You’ll start on the shores of the Adriatic, where you can dip in a toe or set off on two wheels to explore the nearby harbour of Torre Canne. From there, you’ll explore the old-town charms of Cisternino, Ostuni and Alberobello, where olive groves, vineyards and the famous stone-roofed houses await.
Next, you’ll explore the Baroque beauty of Lecce, home to a charming old town and well-preserved Roman ruins. After that, it’s time to explore the region's many caves. Perched on a rocky clifftop, Matera’s base is carved with ancient cave-dwellings which hold a fascinating history. More caves can be entered over in Castellana where you’ll have to stoop to get under the low-hanging stalactites. Locorotondo offers a perfect ending, where you can reflect on your trip with a glass of local white wine in hand.
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7. Costa Rica – Nature’s Paradise
Birds flit in front of a green background, sloths shuffle slowly from tree to tree, caimans creep and monkeys chatter: Costa Rica has one of the liveliest and most diverse wildlife scenes on the planet, and you’re almost guaranteed many sightings on this exclusive solo travel tour…
You’ll travel through the pristine jungles, sight nesting turtles, manatees and even ‘Jesus Christ Lizards’ (named for their ability to walk on water). Turn your head skywards to brighten your view with butterflies, toucans and over 350 other types of birds.
Swap wilderness with luxury as you plunge into natural hot springs whilst gazing at the Arena volcano ( the source of these pools' heated water) and then indulge a little more by learning about (and tasting) the chocolate production in Costa Rica.
Conclude your trip with some mesmerising treks with opportunities to walk round Lake Arenal and search through the misty Montverde cloud forest for jaguars and pumas. The long, narrow rope bridges that hang high in Selvatura Park will bring you eye-level with the creatures of the canopy (expect to see hummingbirds and butterflies) while the one km zipline offers a thrilling ride back to the ground. The adventure doesn’t end there: Costa Rica’s forests are best explored after dark, when creatures such as tarantulas and fireflies come out.
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8. Lake Como and Alpine Railways
The glassy surface of the huge swell of Lake Como, casting rippling reflections of the pastel-hued houses along its edges makes for a magical winter escape. Add in a backdrop of snow-dusted mountains and a cosy train carriage with a window view and you’ve got the whole package…
Wrap up warm for a walk around the lake’s main town, Como. Getting lost here is a pleasure, and you’ll find yourself weaving down warrens of boutique shops, comfy cafes and past the dominating cathedral. Don’t miss a ride on the funicular for a birds-eye view of the town and the rising and falling horizon of the Alps. Buildings are dwarfed by the funiculars that travel up over Lugano. The old train to the south displays the azure lake in all its glory, while another takes you above the mountain-climbing chalets of Gandria village.
There’s time to soak up some culture in stylish Milan before hopping aboard the Bernina Express for the trip’s grand finale. The journey is truly thrilling as you’re cautiously wound round cliff edges, taken across dizzyingly-high viaducts and chuffed past panoramic country scenes. You’ll eventually disembark at St Moritz, whose golden-lit bars and restaurants offer a cosy ending to your trip.
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9. Peru - Machu Picchu and Cuzco to Titicaca by Train for Solo Travellers
Visiting Machu Picchu is on many people’s wishlist – and with good reason. But there’s more to Peru than this ancient citadel, as you’ll soon find out on this solo tour…
You’ll start in the UNESCO-studded capital of Lima where colonial buildings, grand palaces and ocean views await. Next, it’s onto the mountain-flanked Sacred Valley to meet locals and see the Inca art of fabric-dyeing and weaving. Don’t miss the colourful market of Pisac or Ollantaytambo’s Inca fortress in all its faded glory.
A trip here just isn't complete without a visit to Machu Picchu which is why you’ll spend the next day on a train climbing steep tracks through thick jungle, before transferring to a bus and being dropped off at the most iconic site in all of Peru. To make the most of this amazing site, you’ll be shown round by a guide who will teach you its fascinating history.
At Cuzco, the oldest continually inhabited city in South America, you’ll find more Inca temples alongside grand cathedrals and colourful markets. The next day will be spent on a 1920s train, which promises captivating views over the Andean Plains during the 10-and-a-half-hour journey until you reach Puno, home to the world’s highest lake.
The icy-blue Lake Titiccaca, with its small grassy islands and Andean views is a real Mecca for wildlife. Expect Andean foxes, giant frogs and wild guinea pigs, as well as a plethora of birds. Talking of birds, your next stop is the Colca Canyon where you’ll gaze out from a cliff edge to spot huge condors gliding in front of a blue sky, before descending into the valley for a tour of the Inca villages.
Before heading home, there’s still time to tick off the city of Arequipa. Surrounded by three volcanoes, this city offers wild adventure and colonial charms: Monasterio Santa Catalina entices visitors with its orange walls and the gold-encrusted Jesuit La Compañía church literally dazzles, reflecting light off all of its walls.
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