New Zealand's exquisite coast is home to diverse wildlife, splendid landscapes, and a cultural heritage that blends the traditions of the indigenous Maori and the Europeans settlers. Aboard the National Geographic Orion, trace the eastern flanks of the North and South Islands, exploring little-known islands and inlets and breathtaking Fiordlands National Park. Along the way, get to know Maori culture; explore the lively cities of Auckland and Dunedin; go birding and whale watching; and experience incredible Milford Sound.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAYS 1-3: U.S./AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - Depart for New Zealand's North Island, crossing the international date line and losing a day. Arrive in Auckland on Day 3 and transfer to our hotel. Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome briefing this evening.
DAY 4: AUCKLAND - After breakfast, head out on a guided tour of this vibrant city that is home to some 50 dormant volcanoes. Learn about Auckland's history and culture and visit the picturesque harbor that earned it the nickname "city of sails." In the afternoon, embark the National Geographic Orion and take to the sea, following the coast further up the peninsula.
DAY 5: BAY OF ISLANDS - Our first stop is the Bay of Islands, an area rich in Maori culture set on the North Auckland Peninsula. Take Zodiacs ashore to visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of the country's most historically significant sites. Discover its immeasurable cultural, spiritual, and historical importance, and learn of the historical events for which these grounds are remembered. See the world's largest Maori ceremonial war canoe and take in a Maori cultural performance.
DAYS 6-7: GREAT BARRIER ISLAND/NORTH ISLAND COAST - Turn south today, stopping to stretch your legs with walks and hikes on beautiful Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Continue south along the North Island's verdant shores, letting nature guide us and stopping to make the most of wildlife opportunities or explore a stunning stretch of coast.
DAY 8: GISBORNE - The river port of Gisborne was the first place Europeans landed in New Zealand when Captain Cook's expedition came ashore in 1769. Today it is a bicultural city, with Maori making up nearly half its population, and Maori traditions are an integral part of local life. Stroll through the marvelous Eastwoodhill Arboretum, established in 1910 by New Zealander Douglas Cook, who collected thousands of trees and plants from all over the world. Cap off the day with a wine tour.
DAY 9: NAPIER - Spend the morning in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand. After the devastating earthquake of 1931 leveled the town, the townspeople rebuilt it as a shining tribute to the architecture of the era. View the town's art deco gems on an architecture tour, or head out of the city on a birding safari and observe a large Australasian gannet colony up close.
DAY 10: SOUTH ISLAND COAST - We'll navigate the Cook Strait and spend an exploratory day discovering little-known treasures among the many islands and fjords on the northern coast of New Zealand's South Island.
DAY 11: KAIKOURA - In Maori, Kaikoura translates to "to eat crayfish." The region's abundance of crayfish and nutrient-rich waters draw impressive quantities of whales, dolphins, and fur seals. Venture out in search of resident and migratory marine mammals, including, with some luck: sperm whales, dusky dolphins, humpbacks, and orcas, as well as the impressive albatross.
DAY 12: DUNEDIN - Known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture and boasting the world's only mainland albatross colony, Dunedin sits on the southeast coast of New Zealand's South Island. Discover the world's smallest penguin, the little blue penguin, and its endangered cousin, the yellow-eyed penguin, on an excursion to the beaches of the Otago Peninsula. Alternatively, explore the Otago Museum's exhibits on nature, culture, and science.
DAY 13: STEWART ISLAND - Stewart Island, also known by its Maori name, Rakiura, has a population of about 400 and the feel of a frontier outpost. Learn about the island's prominent place in Maori mythology and explore its podocarp forest, where rare tree species date back to the Gondwana era. In the afternoon, join naturalists for a hike through the pristine rainforests of Ulva Island, watching for unusual birds like the weka (a flightless rail) and the kaka (a forest parrot).
DAYS 14-15: DUSKY SOUND AND DOUBTFUL SOUND - Enjoy two days to explore magnificent Fiordland National Park, home to 14 individual fjords. Discover Dusky Sound, among the most remote of New Zealand's fjords, where the legendary Captain Cook spent five weeks recovering from his trip to Antarctica. Then continue along the western coast to Doubtful Sound, so named by Cook when wind conditions made him uncertain that his ship would be able to exit. Explore the shores of this exquisite fjord by Zodiac, looking for unique birdlife such as the rare Fiordland crested penguin.
DAY 16: MILFORD SOUND/QUEENSTOWN/U.S. - Sail into incomparable Milford Sound, whose mirror-like waters are embraced by soaring peaks. See the cascades of Stirling Falls and other natural wonders along the banks, keeping your eye out for dolphins and fur seals. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Queenstown for flights home.
Your 16 Day, 15 Night Trip Includes:
Venture to the land of the pharaohs and discover some of the greatest treasures of the ancient world with a private guide, from the Pyramids of Giza to King Tutankhamun's legendary tomb. Trace the dramatic feats of Egyptian rulers—and the powerful deities they worshipped—as you wander the soaring temple of Karnak, or gaze upon the colossal statues of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Couple your archaeological odyssey with a cruise down the Nile, the age-old lifeline of this fabled desert realm.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: CAIRO, EGYPT - Arrive at Cairo International Airport (CAI) and settle into your elegant hotel, located on the bank of the Nile River.
DAY 2: DAHSHÛR/MEMPHIS AND SAQQÂRA/CAIRO - Veer off the beaten path to the 5,000-year old ruins of Memphis with your Egyptologist guide, who will accompany you throughout your trip. Then stroll through the cemetery of Saqqâra, where you'll come across Djoser's step pyramid—one of the oldest known stone-cut buildings in history. Continue to the Dahshûr necropolis, which harbors some of Egypt's oldest and most well-preserved pyramids. Dahshûr's Bent Pyramid is said to be a first attempt at the flat-sided pyramid—at the time a formidable architectural feat—while the nearby Red Pyramid represents the world's first truly flat-sided structure.
DAY 3: GIZA/CAIRO - Discover the fabled Pyramids of Giza, constructed some 4,500 years ago and guarded by the mysterious Sphinx, these perfectly symmetrical structures were designed as gateways to the afterlife for Egypt's ruling elite. The Great Pyramid of Khufu—the largest of the three structures—stands at a staggering 481 feet and is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Enjoy lunch overlooking the pyramids, then explore the Egyptian Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world. Gaze upon the immaculate gold mask of Tutankhamun, the boy-king who died at the age of 19, and admire the many treasures recovered from his tomb.
DAY 4: CAIRO - This morning, venture to the 12th-century Citadel of Saladin, a hilltop fortress commissioned by sultan Saladin, and step inside the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, a multi-domed sanctuary built in the Ottoman style. Delve into the winding streets of Coptic Cairo, where Christianity flourished until the Islamic era. Visit the Coptic Museum; the nearby Hanging Church—one of the city's oldest and most iconic Coptic churches; and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. This evening, immerse yourself in the labyrinthine alleys of Khan el-Khalili, an enchanting souk
DAY 5: LUXOR - Catch a flight to Luxor, known in antiquity as Thebes. This extraordinary city served as Egypt's capital during part of the Middle Kingdom and at the height of the New Kingdom, and was dedicated to the god Amun, one of the most revered deities of the Egyptian pantheon. Explore the Karnak temple complex, a sprawling array of shrines, obelisks, and gateways where Amun and other deities were worshipped; then visit the Luxor Museum, located on the banks of the Nile. After lunch, take the afternoon to wander Luxor on your own. This evening, visit the striking Luxor Temple. With its colonnade of soaring columns and larger-than-life statues, this complex is particularly beautiful after dark, when evocative lighting creates a mystical, dream-like atmosphere.
DAY 6: LUXOR/NILE RIVER - Today, venture to the famed Valley of the Kings, where the pharaohs of Egypt's New Kingdom chose to build elaborate underground tombs instead of the pyramids typical of the Old Kingdom. Descend into the tomb of Tutankhamun—discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter—and see the remains of the boy-king. Admire the vivid wall paintings and hieroglyphics of the neighboring tomb of Seti I; then make your way to the beautiful Temple of Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's first female pharaohs. Round off your time in Luxor with a visit to the Colossi of Memnon—two 60-foot-tall stone statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, which have guarded the king's necropolis since 1350 B.C. Then board your vessel to begin your cruise down the river this evening.
DAY 7: WEST BANK OF LUXOR/ISNÂ LOCK - Sail to the West Bank of Luxor this morning and step ashore to explore the Ramesseum—Ramses II's mortuary temple. This temple—and the scattered granite remains of the king's giant likeness found here—inspired the poem "Ozymandias" by the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Discover the Valley of the Queens and visit the breathtaking tomb of Queen Nefertari, Ramses II's favorite wife; and wander through the funerary complex of Ramses III, set against the backdrop of the Theban mountains. Return to your boat for lunch, and enjoy a cooking class on board. Navigate through Isnâ Lock on your way to the city of Idfu.
DAY 8: IDFU/ASWÂN - Cruise amid lush sugarcane fields, sleepy rural villages, and oases of date palms as your boat glides up the Nile to the Temple of Kawm Umbū. Dating to Egypt's Graeco-Roman period, this unusual structure harbors two sanctuaries—one dedicated to falcon-headed Horus, god of the sky; and the other to Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of the Nile. Crocodiles were once kept captive at Sobek's temple, and many mummified specimens can be seen at the Kawm Umbū Crocodile Museum. Later, enjoy an epic Nile sunset from the deck of your boat as you continue south towards Aswân.
DAY 9: ASWÂN - Discover the Temple of Isis, an elegant Ptolemaic monument honoring the goddess Isis that was originally perched on the island of Philae. The site was threatened with flooding during the construction of the Aswân dams in the 1960s, which prompted UNESCO to relocate the temple complex to its present location on the island of Agilkia. This evening, board a felucca—a traditional wooden sailboat of the Nile—and enjoy sundowners as we cruise down the river. Round off the day with a visit to a lively souk in Aswân town.
DAY 10: ABU SIMBEL/CAIRO - Disembark our riverboat and fly to Abu Simbel in southern Egypt this morning, where you'll be joined by your local guide. Head out for a tour of this awe-inspiring ancient site, among Ramses II's most impressive building achievements. Four nearly 70-foot-tall statues of the pharaoh grace the entrance to the main temple, carved out of a dramatic sandstone cliff. Like the temple at Philae, the Abu Simbel temples were also dismantled and rebuilt at a higher elevation to make way for the Aswân High Dam—a feat of engineering to rival Abu Simbel's original construction. After lunch, catch a flight to Cairo via Aswân and relax at your hotel.
DAY 11: CAIRO - After breakfast, transfer to the Cairo International Airport (CAI) and catch your flight home.
Your 11 Day, 10 Night Trip Includes:
Discover the magic of Morocco on a journey that takes you from bustling markets to soaring desert dunes. Meet enchanting musicians and storytellers steeped in Amazigh (also known as Berber) heritage, and try your hand at cooking up colourful local dishes. Hike past stunning rock formations, climb windswept sands, and uncover ancient secrets in green oases and grand palaces.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: MARRAKECH - Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
DAY 2: MARRAKECH/OUARZAZATE - Wind past red slopes and green terraces as we make our way south through the stunning valleys of Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, stopping to enjoy a picnic lunch beside a sparkling river. Arrive in Ouarzazate, known as the "gateway to the Sahara," and step behind the scenes at a film studio to see how the surrounding dunes have starred on the silver screen.
DAY 3: OUARZAZATE/MERZOUGA - Today, travel between jagged peaks and palm oases toward the desert town of Merzouga. Settle into our hotel near the incredible Erg Chebbi, a sweeping sea of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. As the sun sets, savour a traditional Amazigh dinner, then spread a blanket on the sand for an evening of desert stargazing.
DAY 4: MERZOUGA - This morning, hop aboard a 4x4 and ride across the dunes to discover fossils left behind by an ancient sea, and be entranced by Gnaoua musicians in a local village. Return to the hotel for free time to cool off in the pool, or opt to explore the desert in style, riding a camel across the sands as ancient travelers once did. Enjoy a tasty Amazigh dinner, then gather around a glowing bonfire for a storytelling session.
DAY 5: MERZOUGA/DADES GORGE - Venture into the rugged landscape of the Dades Gorge, a dramatic and colourful valley carved by the waters of the Dades River. Visit a local village for lunch and enjoy a special dish—traditional Amazigh pizza! Wind through the valley on a guided walk as you learn about the amazing geology behind the weird and wonderful rock formations of the Gorge. This evening, enjoy free time to relax at the hotel.
DAY 6: DADES GORGE/AÏT BEN HADDOU - Drive through the Ounila Valley to the ancient fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site where clay houses crowd together in a traditional ksar behind defensive walls. Explore alleyways twisting between historic structures, and stand guard atop the clay brick ramparts, taking in views of the green oasis around this imposing fort. Entertain your taste buds at a hands-on tagine cooking class, followed by a delicious dinner.
DAY 7: AÏT BEN HADDOU/MARRAKECH - Journey through the mountains to Marrakech, known as the "red city" for its walls, houses, and many mosques built from red clay. After checking into your hotel and resting up, head to a local henna workshop to have your hands painted in this ancient temporary tattooing art. Then, explore the lively Djemaa el Fna, an ancient marketplace still used as the main square in Marrakech. After, enjoy free time to discover more of Marrakech.
DAY 8: MARRAKECH - Wake up as the call to prayer echoes across the city. After breakfast, set out on a guided walk through the narrow, maze-like streets of the medina, lined with colorful shops brimming with rugs, spices, and much more. Spend the rest of the day exploring Marrakech on your own, or opt to explore the Marjorelle Garden. In the evening, gather for a farewell dinner in a traditional riad, a grand house with an elegant interior courtyard.
DAY 9: MARRAKECH - Depart at any time.
Your 9 Day, 8 Night Trip Includes:
Introduce your family to the wonders of Peru, from the mysteries of the Inca to the amazing creatures of the Amazon. Venture into the colorful swirl of village markets and experience Andean traditions firsthand. Ride a train high into the mountains to explore the "lost" city of Machu Picchu, investigating its ancient ruins. Cap off the trip with a wild Amazon adventure, spying monkeys, sloths, butterflies, and toucans while staying at an eco-lodge nestled in the rainforest.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: LIMA - Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
DAY 2: LIMA/SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCA - Board an early flight to Cusco, the gateway to Peru's Inca heartland. Take in spectacular Andean scenery as we drive north into Urubamba Valley—also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrive at Piuray Lake, an azure oasis framed by snowcapped peaks. Enjoy a lakeside lunch and opt to go paddleboarding or kayaking, soaking up the mountain views. Continue to your hotel and settle in before dinner.
DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCA - Begin the day with a visit to a G Adventures–supported women's weaving cooperative, where we'll observe traditional weaving and dying techniques and meet some of the weavers. Next, test your Spanish skills as you bargain with vendors at the famed Pisac Market—a wonderland of colorful Quechua handicrafts. Break for a farm-to-table lunch at the G Adventures–supported Parwa Community Restaurant, tasting Peruvian dishes while learning how this resident-run restaurant helps fund community projects. In the afternoon, opt to relax at our hotel or visit the Inca ruins of Moray and the salt pans of Maras.
DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCA/AGUAS CALIENTES - Explore the former Inca stronghold of Ollantaytambo, stepping back in time amid ancient terraces, storehouses, and an enormous temple-fortress. Then hop aboard a train for the journey through the Urubamba Valley to the end of the line: Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled beneath Machu Picchu. The afternoon is free for optional excursions, including a visit to a butterfly farm or to the nearby hot springs.
DAY 5: MACHU PICCHU - Rise and shine! After a light breakfast, head to Machu Picchu to see the citadel in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive. Spend the morning exploring the ruins with our guides and pondering the mysteries of this "lost" city of the Inca, forgotten at the Spanish conquest and rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham with support from National Geographic. This afternoon, return by train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
DAY 6: CUSCO - Set out to explore the beautiful streets and plazas of Cusco, once lavishly adorned with Inca gold that was stolen by the Spanish during the conquest. Visit the sprawling San Pedro Market, where you'll find everything from pickled snakes to savory tamales, and visit the Machu Picchu Museum to see an array of Inca artifacts that were discovered at Machu Picchu. Later, enjoy a star-filled evening at the Cusco Planetarium, learning about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and peering at the glittering night sky through high-powered telescopes.
DAY 7: CUSCO/TAMBOPATA NATIONAL RESERVE - Today, we set out to discover a wilder side of Peru! Catch a morning flight to Puerto Maldonado, then continue by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River to our jungle lodge in the Amazon rainforest. Have lunch on board the boat and keep an eye out for wildlife and birds along the way. Upon arrival, settle into your thatched lodging, situated near Tambopata National Reserve—a biodiversity hotspot. In the afternoon, join a naturalist guide to seek out the wildlife of the rainforest—from colorful butterflies to huge spiders—and learn the uses for medicinal and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques.
DAY 8: TAMBOPATA NATIONAL RESERVE - Grab your binoculars and head out with naturalist guides to explore the rainforest's complex ecosystems. Search the forest canopy where colorful toucans, boisterous howler monkeys, and sloths may be spotted. Hike to an oxbow lake, and paddle dugout canoes to glimpse river otters, turtles, and, if we're lucky, an anaconda or two! This evening we'll venture out in a motorized canoe to spot the jungle's elusive nocturnal species. If we're lucky we'll spot caimans, the smaller cousins of alligators, hiding along the muddy banks.
DAY 9: TAMBOPATA NATIONAL RESERVE/LIMA - Enjoy a final breakfast at our lodge, then board a motorized canoe and return upriver to Puerto Maldonado. Fly to Lima and check in to our hotel. This evening, celebrate our adventure at the farewell dinner.
DAY 10: LIMA - Depart at any time.
Your 10 Day, 9 Night Trip Includes:
Discover the astounding landscapes and unusual wildlife of Borneo, the world's third largest island, on a journey through the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Experience the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Gunung Mulu National Park, witnessing its famed bat exodus; and encounter rescued orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Set off on a cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of elusive pygmy elephants, and learn about the customs and traditions of indigenous Bornean tribes.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: KUCHING - Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
DAY 2: KUCHING - Venture out of Kuching on a full-day excursion to a Bidayuh tribal village. The Bidayuh (also known as the Land Dayak) are the indigenous people of southern Sarawak, and we'll spend time learning about their culture, history, and lifestyle. Alongside our local guide, visit a traditional bamboo longhouse, where several families typically reside, and take a stroll in the village farmlands, passing through rice fields and fruit orchards. Witness a traditional dance performance, and observe how the Bidayuh prepare a daily meal, using fresh, local ingredients.
DAY 3: KUCHING - Head to the verdant Santubong Peninsula this morning, crowned by the jungle-covered Mount Santubong. Embark on a cruise down the Santubong River, taking in the stunning mangrove scenery and keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys and the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining an amphibian expert for an evening walk in fern-filled Kubah National Park. Enjoy a delightful jungle orchestra at nightfall and search for a variety of frog species, including the Kubah or Matang narrow-mouthed frog—one of the smallest frogs in the world.
DAY 4: KUCHING/GUNUNG MULU NATIONAL PARK - Catch a flight to Mulu and transfer to our hotel near Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its incredible biodiversity, old-growth tropical forest, and impressive karst features. The park is also home to the renowned Mulu Caves, one of the largest and most spectacular cave systems on Earth. Set out on a night walk with our local guide to look for the park's nocturnal wildlife, spotting blinking fireflies and luminescent fungi along the way.
DAY 5: GUNUNG MULU NATIONAL PARK - Hop on a longboat and glide along the Melinau River to a Penan settlement for a short visit. The Penan are a hunter-gatherer tribe native to Sarawak whose traditional way of life is increasingly threatened by deforestation. Continue to the Wind Cave, observing its surreal calcite formations and the cool breezes that blow through. Climb up a series of steps to reach the breathtaking underground river in Clearwater Cave, the longest cave passage in Asia. After a picnic lunch, walk through delightful foliage to the Lang and Deer Caves. Marvel at Lang Cave's magnificent stalagmites and stalactites, and tread with awe into Deer Cave—one of the largest cave passages in the world and home to more than three million bats. We'll try to time our excursion to coincide with the bat exodus, when these nocturnal creatures fly out en masse to hunt for insects.
DAY 6: GUNUNG MULU NATIONAL PARK/KOTA KINABALU - Spend the morning exploring Gunung Mulu National Park at leisure, and opt to discover the majestic landscape from Mulu Skywalk, the world's longest canopy walk. This afternoon, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the evening on your own.
DAY 7: KOTA KINABALU/KAMPUNG BILIT - Travel on an early morning flight to Sandakan and visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where injured, orphaned, or rescued orangutans are cared for and then reintroduced into the wild. Orangutans are among the planet's most critically endangered creatures, found only in Borneo and Sumatra. Later, head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to meet rescued Malayan sun bears. We'll enjoy a talk on these elusive creatures—the smallest species of bear in the world—and learn about the efforts underway to protect them. Afterward, transfer to our lodge in the small village of Kampung Bilit and embark on an evening cruise on the Kinabatangan River, seeking out monkeys, birds, elephants, and crocodiles.
DAY 8: KAMPUNG BILIT - Located along a curve on the thriving Kinabatangan River, the small village of Kampung Bilit offers a wide array of wildlife-viewing opportunities. Set out on foot into the jungle with local guides and naturalists; then cruise the rich waterways of the river, keeping your eyes open for proboscis monkeys and orangutans, as well as the rare pygmy elephant.
DAY 9: KAMPUNG BILIT/TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE - Drive to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and check in to our rainforest lodge. This stunning reserve is home to nine primate species, three species of cat, and hundreds of bird species. Embark on a hike along an elephant trail to the Lipad mud volcano, which provides a natural mineral lick for local wildlife, and climb to the top of the observation tower for incredible views of the surrounding forest. After dinner, enjoy a presentation on Tabin's natural wonders, followed by a night safari in search of the reserve's nocturnal creatures, such as the Horsfield's tarsier, the clouded leopard, the slow loris, and more.
DAY 10: TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE - Spend the day exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve with local guides. Enjoy an early morning bird walk, seeking out the park's colourful variety of avian species. After breakfast, trek through lush rainforest to the lovely Lipad Waterfall. Take a refreshing dip and shower here, or relax by the edge of the pool. In the late afternoon, set out on a wildlife drive through the reserve. After dinner, venture out on a night walk around our lodge in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and insects.
DAY 11: TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE/KOTA KINABALU - Spend the morning at leisure, opting to watch a video about Tabin Wildlife Reserve or fashioning a souvenir using mud from the Lipad volcano. Later, board a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy free time to explore the bustling coastal city.
DAY 12: KOTA KINABALU - Depart at any time.
Your 12 Day, 11 Night Trip Includes:
Andalucia exudes history and romance, from its grand plazas and iconic architecture to soulful traditions and evocative alleyways. Experience the spirit of southern Spain on a captivating voyage through five alluring cities. Explore Madrid's famed museums, join a local historian along the cobblestoned streets of El Greco's Toledo, and take a flamenco lesson in Granada. Along the way, glimpse the region's Moorish legacy amid a string of spectacular UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: MADRID - Arrive at any time.
DAY 2: MADRID - Drive south to the ancient walled city of Toledo, perched on a rocky headland overlooking the Tagus River. Join a local historian on a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site filled with churches, synagogues, mosques, and plazas. Explore the old quarter and glimpse the soaring tower of the city's 13th-century cathedral, a masterpiece of high Gothic architecture. Return to Madrid and enjoy free time to admire the world-renowned artworks at the Museo del Prado, relax at a café, or experience the city's legendary nightlife.
DAY 3: MADRID/CÓRDOBA - Take the high-speed train to Córdoba, a beguiling Andalusian town steeped in history. As the capital of Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) until its fall in 1236, Córdoba was once the largest city in Europe, known for its mosques, palaces, and libraries. Discover the medieval centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, or Mezquita, where a 13th-century Catholic cathedral stands in the center of a former Moorish mosque that dates to the 8th century. Afterwards, stroll the historic Jewish quarter's maze of winding lanes and traditional whitewashed houses. This evening, opt to savour the city's distinctive gastronomy—a mélange of Roman, Moorish, Christian, and Jewish traditions.
DAY 4: CÓRDOBA/GRANADA - Arrive in Granada and set out on a trip-leader-led orientation walk of this alluring Andalusian city. Here, in the birthplace of flamenco, take a private dance class in a professional studio. This evening, put your new moves to practice as you experience the city's upbeat nightlife on your own.
DAY 5: GRANADA - Spend today immersed in the majesty of the Alhambra, a pinnacle of Moorish architecture in Europe. This fortress and palace built by 13th-century Nasrid sultans crowns a hilltop overlooking Granada. On a guided tour of this extraordinary World Heritage site, marvel at the intricate stuccowork, elegant archways, and intimate courtyards bursting with blooms. Later, explore on your own time as you amble through the old Moorish quarter, the Albayzín, and enjoy views of the Alhambra glowing in the twilight.
DAY 6: GRANADA/SEVILLE - Journey to Seville, one of Spain's most colourful and beautiful cities. Set out on a trip-leader-led orientation walk and choose to climb the cathedral Giralda's bell tower or visit Casa Pilatos, a prototypical Andalusian palace that combines Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudéjar architectural styles. Get a glimpse of traditional gypsy culture by opting to witness a soulful performance of flamenco dance.
DAY 7: SEVILLE - Enjoy a full day of free time to follow your impulses in Seville. Lose yourself among the winding alleys, flower-draped patios, and picturesque squares of the charming Santa Cruz quarter. Opt to visit the ornate Mudéjar palace and gardens of Real Alcázar de Sevilla, a World Heritage site and former filming location for Game of Thrones.
DAY 8: SEVILLE - Depart at any time.
Your 8 Day, 7 Night Trip Includes:
On the western edge of mainland Europe, Portugal packs an alluring punch for curious travellers. Embark on an exploration rich in scenic beauty, fascinating history, and vibrant cultural traditions. Venturing from ancient streets and meandering rivers to an array of UNESCO World Heritage sites, encounter the multilayered legacies of Portuguese royalty and Romantics, the Knights Templar and Franciscan monks—and meet port wine makers, cork farmers, and fado folk singers along the way.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: LISBON - Arrive at any time. This evening, savour a traditional Portuguese dinner and performance of fado, a local folk singing tradition, in one of Lisbon's oldest neighbourhoods.
DAY 2: LISBON - Travel back in time to the fairytale castles and hills of Sintra, a 19th-century resort town and UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the colourful manors, medieval palaces, and lush gardens that enchanted English Romantic poet Lord Byron as well as Portuguese royalty. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover Lisbon's pastel-hued architecture and lively plazas. Opt to soar over Lisbon on the historic Santa Justa lift, an engineering marvel that ascends 147 feet to an epic viewing platform.
DAY 3: LISBON/ÉVORA - Head to medieval Évora, in the heart of the bucolic Alentejo region, for a fascinating foray into the past. Be mesmerized by the haunting Chapel of Bones, erected by 16th-century Franciscan monks. Then pay a visit to one of the best preserved Roman temples on the Iberian Peninsula, known as Diana's Temple.
DAY 4: ÉVORA - Venture into the Montemor-o-Novo countryside, home to centuries-old cork forests. Join a local expert at a traditional farm, and learn about cork harvesting and production. Then sit down to a traditional cork stripper's lunch at a local restaurant in town. This afternoon, return to Évora and explore its UNESCO World Heritage–designated city centre on your own, walking past whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balconies.
DAY 5: ÉVORA/COIMBRA - Spend the day in Tomar and delve into the Crusades era in Portugal. Go on a guided walk with a local expert around the vast medieval complex of the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Templar Castle, founded in 1160 by Gualdim Pais—grand master of the Knights Templar. Continue on to Coimbra for the evening.
DAY 6: COIMBRA/PORTO - This morning, enjoy a tour around the centuries-old University of Coimbra, Portugal's most prestigious university and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter through the 10th-century Porta Férra, the old entrance to the citadel of Coimbra. Following mosaic cobblestone paths around campus, stopping to see the baroque stylings of the Joanina Library, elaborate azulejo wall tiles adorning the Chapel of São Miguel, and the 18th-century Botanical Garden. Later, catch the train to Porto on the coast.
DAY 7: PORTO - Board a boat and float past scenic terraced hills on Portugal's "river of gold," the ancient trade route that port wine shippers took to age their fortified wines. Discover the rich tradition of port making at a local wine cellar. In your free time, explore the cobblestone streets of Porto's medieval Ribeira district, marvel at the baroque São Francisco Church, and admire the palatial Palácio de Bolsa, a one time stock market.
DAY 8: PORTO - Depart at any time.
Your 8 Day, 7 Night Trip Includes:
Sri Lanka was known by early Arab traders as "Serendib," a name which gave rise to the English word "serendipity." Set out on an adventure through this serendipitous Indian Ocean isle, exploring stunning palaces, ancient cities, and intricately decorated Buddhist temples. Take a stroll through fragrant spice gardens and lush tea plantations, tasting world-renowned Ceylon tea right at the source, and look out for elephants and leopards on safari in two celebrated national parks.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: COLOMBO - Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
DAY 2: COLOMBO/WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK - Begin the day with a visit to a coconut plantation. Coconut is one of Sri Lanka's major exports, and many local industries utilize coconut-based by-products. Continue north to Wilpattu National Park, one of the oldest parks in the country and home to a significant leopard population. Explore the park on a 4x4 with a local expert, hearing about conservation efforts and the issues of human encroachment on wildlife reserves, and keep an eye out for elephants, wild boar, sloth bear, spotted deer, and of course, leopards. Spend the night at a safari camp located just outside the park.
DAY 3: WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK/ANURADHAPURA - Travel to the sacred city of Anuradhapura, an ancient capital of Sri Lanka dating to the third century B.C. Take your time to wander the palaces, gardens, Buddhist temples, and monasteries of this splendid UNESCO World Heritage site, and opt to explore the ruins by bike with a professional cycling guide.
DAY 4: ANURADHAPURA/HABARANA/DAMBULLA - Venture to the thriving village of Habarana, where we'll get a chance to glimpse daily rural life. Explore the area by traditional bull cart, visiting lush vegetable fields and rice paddies. Take a stroll through town and meet some of Habarana's residents. Float in a canoe down a picturesque lake, and sit down for a lunch of local specialties. Later, continue to Dambulla for the evening.
DAY 5: DAMBULLA - This morning, discover one of Sri Lanka's most iconic sights—the striking fortress of Sigiriya, or the Lion's Rock. This royal city and UNESCO World Heritage site was built in the fifth century on the slopes and summit of an imposing granite peak. Climb up a series of steep steps to reach the top, and encounter beautiful gardens, caves, monasteries, and palaces adorned with frescoes. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle, and return to Dambulla for some free time around town.
DAY 6: DAMBULLA/KANDY - Set out to explore the impressive Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest and best-preserved collection of cave shrines in Sri Lanka. Admire stunning Buddhist murals and a trove of Buddha statues, including a spectacular reclining Buddha carved out of solid rock. Then visit a spice garden in Matale to learn about the therapeutic uses of local spices. Continue to Kandy and enjoy a tour of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, an important pilgrimage site which houses a tooth of the Buddha. This evening, we'll take in a performance of traditional music at a cultural show.
DAY 7: KANDY - Kandy served as the last capital of Sri Lanka's Sinhala dynasty before the British took complete control of the island in 1815. Spend the day exploring the city, visiting the breathtaking Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya, once accessible only to the royal family. Afterward, stop by Sthree Craft Shop and Café, a G Adventures–supported social enterprise that works to empower local women and youth. View a handicraft demonstration and hear a talk about the enterprise before enjoying a tasting of local teas, accompanied by scones and pastries. Later, opt for a stroll through the city and around Kandy Lake, or enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage.
DAY 8: KANDY/NUWARA ELIYA - Travel through scenic mountains to the town of Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of Sri Lankan tea country. Visit a tea plantation to gain insight into the cultivation and production of this beloved beverage, and savour a cup of perfectly blended Ceylon tea. Then head out on a tour of Nuwara Eliya and its lush surroundings, once governed by English and Scottish planters, following cool, misty roads through blankets of tea bushes. This afternoon, opt to take high tea at the colonial-era Grand Hotel, originally the holiday home of Sir Edward Barnes, the fifth Governor of Ceylon.
DAY 9: NUWARA ELIYA/HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK/UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK - Venture out early this morning into Horton Plains National Park, a protected natural area encompassing high altitude grasslands and hilly cloud forest. Enjoy a picnic breakfast, and culminate your trek at a point known as World's End—a majestic drop that provides incredible views over the verdant plains and coastline to the south. Then continue to our tented camp on the border of Udawalawe National Park. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration by the camp chef, learning about local specialties.
DAY 10: UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK - A sanctuary for large herds of elephants, Udawalawe National Park is one of the best places in the world to observe these majestic pachyderms. Embark on a jeep safari through the park seeking out the abundant wildlife, including water buffalo, jackals, and various species of deer. Afterward, visit the Elephant Transit Home, a refuge and rehabilitation center for orphaned elephants. Watch the resident elephants as they feed, play, and mingle with each other, and hear from one of the facility's conservationists.
DAY 11: UDAWALAWE/NEGOMBO - Drive to Negombo and spend the day at leisure. This small port town has seen Portguese, Dutch, and British rule—reflected in the architecture of the old quarter—and used to be a centre of the cinnamon trade. Choose to visit the Old Dutch Fort, step into one of the town's ornate Catholic churches, or enjoy a stroll on the beach.
DAY 12: NEGOMBO - Depart at any time.
Your 12 Day, 11 Night Trip Includes:
With a quarter of its land covered in national parks and wildlife refuges, Costa Rica is a dream for the nature lover and adventure buff. On this unforgettable journey, discover the country's diverse and breathtaking landscapes, from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. Explore the lush waterways of Tortuguero National Park, where thousands of sea turtles come to nest every year; assist in a tree-planting program in the cloud forests of Monteverde; and cap off your journey on Manuel Antonio's pristine beaches, experiencing the true meaning of "Pura Vida"—the Costa Rican way of life.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: SAN JOSÉ - Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
DAY 2: SAN JOSÉ/TORTUGUERO - Travel by land and motorized canoe to Tortuguero National Park. Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero—translated as "land of the turtles"—is one of the world's most important nesting sites for the endangered green sea turtle. Settle into our secluded lodge, then enjoy a guided boat trip along Tortuguero's tropical waterways. Later, opt for a nighttime boat excursion to spot some of the park's nocturnal creatures—such as the caiman.
DAY 3: TORTUGUERO - This morning, we'll explore the wildlife-rich canals of Tortuguero National Park once more, seeking out howler, spider, and capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds. Afterward, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the world's oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting sea turtles. Founded in 1959, the organization was inspired by the work of pioneering conservationist and National Geographic Grantee Archie Carr. Later, enjoy time to relax at the lodge pool, take a stroll along the beach, or head out on a kayaking excursion.
DAY 4: TORTUGUERO/LA FORTUNA - Depart early for the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. En route, visit a G Adventures–supported coffee cooperative to gain insight into the process of coffee production, from bean to cup. After a typical lunch—accompanied by an aromatic cup of coffee—continue to La Fortuna. Check in to your hotel and unwind by the pool, taking in views of the surrounding jungle, the verdant hills, and the dark silhouette of the volcano.
DAY 5: LA FORTUNA - Spend the day exploring La Fortuna and its surrounding areas on your own. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted after centuries of laying dormant, converting this quiet agricultural town into a hot spot for adventure travel. This evening, visit a local home to learn how to make tortillas. Chat with your welcoming hosts and dig into a traditional Costa Rican meal of black beans, plantains, and your own handmade tortillas.
DAY 6: LA FORTUNA - Enjoy a full free day in La Fortuna. Choose to go stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal, or venture into a world of stalactites, stalagmites, and subterranean species on a visit to the Venado Caves. Take a boat tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the world's most important wetlands; rappel down a rushing waterfall on a canyoning excursion; and relax in the shadow of Arenal Volcano at a naturally heated outdoor spa.
DAY 7: LA FORTUNA/MONTEVERDE - From La Fortuna, we make our way by road and boat to the misty mountain region of Monteverde. Spend two days exploring this charming little town and the nearby cloud forest reserve—a nature lover's paradise.
DAY 8: MONTEVERDE - Set out on a hike in the stunning Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, treading past giant ferns and vibrant orchids. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal—a sacred bird in Maya and Aztec cultures. In your free time, embark on a zip-lining adventure, gliding high above the treetops and zooming through the misty foliage; or experience the astonishing biodiversity of the forest canopy on a walk across hanging bridges.
DAY 9: MONTEVERDE - Pay a visit to the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear from a researcher about some of the institute's conservation initiatives, including a successful reforestation project; then roll up your sleeves and head to the nursery to help plant trees and collect data for the project. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, opting to visit the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens to see dozens of local species, explore forest trails on horseback, or go zip-lining.
DAY 10: MONTEVERDE/MANUEL ANTONIO - Leaving the cloud forest behind, travel to Costa Rica's sweeping Pacific coast and settle into your hotel in the seaside village of Manuel Antonio. Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the area, and opt to go surfing, horseback riding, or dolphin watching on a catamaran. Or, spend the remainder of the day relaxing on the beach.
DAY 11: MANUEL ANTONIO - Discover the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided day trip. Costa Rica's smallest national park—yet one of the most spectacular—boasts an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, iguanas, and countless species of birds. Hike through the dense forest, climb up to rocky outcrops for views of the dazzling Pacific Ocean, and go swimming in the park's lovely lagoons and tidal pools. Later, enjoy some free time at the beach.
DAY 12: MANUEL ANTONIO - Spend a full day exploring Manuel Antonio on your own. Ride along lush jungle trails on horseback, looking for toucans in the treetops. Opt to take a surfing lesson, or head out for an excursion on the nearby reef. Kayak amid the coastal mangroves or in the open sea, or set sail on a catamaran, keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales.
DAY 13: MANUEL ANTONIO/SAN JOSÉ - Return to San José. Tonight, choose to join the group for a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.
DAY 14: SAN JOSÉ - Depart at any time.
Your 14 Day, 13 Night Trip Includes:
Connect with the rich history and culture of France, journeying from evocative gardens at Giverny to hallowed battlegrounds in Normandy. Marvel at the medieval cities of Bayeux and Rouen, touch World War II uniforms and other D-Day relics, and discover the gravity-defying monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cap off your adventure exploring the sights and sounds of Paris—and toasting the captivating capital with fine French cuisine.
Full Trip Itinerary:
DAY 1: PARIS - Arrive at any time.
DAY 2: PARIS/BAYEUX - Travel to Giverny for an enchanting visit to artist Claude Monet's garden, inspiration for his famed series of water lily paintings and declared one of National Geographic's "top 10 most magnificent gardens in the world." Continue to the pretty port town of Honfleur for a trip-leader-led walk and some free time in this historic harbour where the Seine River meets the English Channel. This evening, arrive in Bayeux and enjoy a dinner at a local crêperie.
DAY 3: BAYEUX - Delve into World War II history alongside a recognized war historian. Gain insights during a lecture on the Allied invasion of Normandy, and examine and handle wartime relics such as vintage weapons, uniforms, and maps at a local museum. Then board a transport vehicle and head to Secqueville-en-Bessin War Cemetery to learn about the significance of poppies—the ultimate emblem of military sacrifice. This afternoon, conjure scenes of the D-Day landing at notable Normandy sites including Omaha Beach, the cratered cliff-top at Pointe du Hoc, and the American cemetery and memorial.
DAY 4: BAYEUX - Go on an excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel, an island commune off the coast of Normandy. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the medieval fortress dates to the 6th century and is considered one of Europe's most stunning and imposing sites. Get your bearings on an trip-leader-led orientation walk and then explore on your own. Opt to visit the abbey, monastery, or museums, or simply wander the winding lanes and cobblestone streets.
DAY 5: BAYEUX - Enjoy a free day to explore Bayeux and its medieval centre. Amble along its quaint streets, taking in the local scene at shops and cafés. Then opt to visit the 11th-century Cathedral of Bayeux, a Norman-Romanesque architectural gem, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy.
DAY 6: BAYEUX/PARIS - Depart for riverside Rouen and set out around the port city on foot. Discover the beautiful city centre, noted for its Gothic churches and medieval half-timbered houses, and hear about its place in history as the place where Joan of Arc was tried for heresy. Enjoy free time here before heading back to Paris to spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the City of Lights.
DAY 7: PARIS - Enjoy a trip-leader-led orientation walk this morning in the medieval centre of Paris; the Île de la Cité. Opt to step inside Sainte-Chapelle, a Gothic chapel that dazzles with 1,113 stained glass windows. Afterwards, indulge in a guided lunch presentation of French cuisine, then take advantage of more free time to visit iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre.
DAY 8: PARIS - Depart at any time.
Your 8 Day, 7 Night Trip Includes:
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