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Around The World
Around The World
Browse our sample activities to get a taste of what it means to travel with us.
Chinchero & Weaving Demonstration
Travel outside the city of Cusco to the charming Andean village of Chinchero. Here, find a colorful market where locals in traditional dress conduct their business as they have for centuries. Visit a nearby textile center for a weaving demonstration by master Andean weaver, Nilda Callañaupa. Afterward, enjoy lunch on the shores of the Piuray Lagoon. Here, we can take in the beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Salcantay, with the stunning altiplano of the Andes surrounding us.
Sacsayhuaman & Plaza De Armas
Visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a monumental fortress just outside of Cusco. It is believed that the city of Cusco was laid out in the form of a puma whose head was the hill of Sacsayhuaman. Return to Cusco and explore the Plaza de Armas, including the grand Cusco Cathedral, with its exquisite altar of silver and vessel made of pearls and emeralds.
Casa Concha & Plaza De Armas
Visit the Casa Concha Museum, located in the restored former residence of José de Santiago Concha, a notable aristocrat during the early days of the Spanish conquest. Today it houses over 300 archaeological objects found by Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu, recently returned to Peru from Yale University. Afterward, there is time to shop and explore the central plaza on your own.
Korikancha, Central Plaza & Cusco Cathedral
Explore the ruins of Korikancha, or Temple of the Sun. This site was formerly the main Inca temple of Cusco and was fabled for its opulence, with walls that were once covered in sheets of gold. Here the Convent of San Domingo now stands, using the original Inca stone walls. After exploring, we walk back to the Plaza de Armas with time to see the beautiful Cathedral. Afterward, enjoy time to shop in the central plaza on your own.
Enjoy a full day visiting the iconic Machu Picchu. Travel aboard a privately chartered train exclusive to our group to Machu Picchu through the spectacularly scenic Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Still clouded in mystery, Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Inca and lost to history until it was rediscovered by American Hiram Bingham in 1911. Examine the artfully cut stone altars, temples, fountains, staircases and terraced gardens that make this one of the world’s most extraordinary archaeological treasures. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Sanctuary Lodge after our guided tour of the citadel.
North Coast (Alternate)
For those who have already visited Cusco and Machu Picchu, we offer the following alternate program in Trujillo, the commercial center of northern Peru. Explore the Temple of the Sun and the Moon, where excavations have uncovered extensive polychrome mural paintings in relief. Visit Chan Chan, a 500-acre royal palace complex built by the Chimu culture in pre-Inca times. This enormous complex, the largest in pre-Columbian America, is divided into nine separate citadels. The following day, we head to Chiclayo. Along the way, we visit the Lady Cao Museum, where the remains of a female Moche warrior are buried with amazing ornaments made of gold, silver and beautiful stones. Enjoy lunch at a local hacienda with a Paso horse demonstration before continuing on to Museum Tumbas Reales of Sipán (“Royal Tombs of Sipán”), which succeeds in evoking the full grandeur and sophistication of the ancient Moche civilization. Return to Lima by commercial air and enjoy a brief city tour before you meet up with the main group.
Orongo Birdman Excursion
Visit the Orongo ceremonial village, where the famous “Birdman” competition was held. Winning this dangerous race was the fastest route to prestige and power in Rapa Nui society.
Hike over grassy hills and volcanic rock outcroppings, taking in views of the island, the ocean, wild horses and the majestic moai. This is a moderately strenuous hike.
Ahu Tahai & Ahu Tongariki
Near the town of Hanga Roa we encounter Ahu Tahai, the site of three restored moai, the rock statues for which the island is famous. We also stop at the Rano Raraku quarry, where almost 400 giant statues remain in various stages of completion, giving us insights to how these mysterious icons may have been created. At Ahu Tongariki, we visit a monument featuring 15 large statues lined in a row.
You may choose to visit Ahu Akivi, considered to be a particularly sacred site and home to seven moai, all of which are positioned to face sunset during the spring equinox and have their backs to the sunrise during autumn equinox. The astronomical precision is unique to this location on the island.
Visit Vailima, “Treasure Island” author Robert Louis Stevenson’s last home and now a museum housing mementos from his final days in Samoa. We also enjoy a Kava ceremony.
Visit a traditional Samoan Women’s Committee to learn about village culture. These committees are an integral part of Samoan society, where women gather to help manage everyday village affairs. The women show us how they weave their traditional mats and craft garlands, and treat guests to a performance of traditional dance and song.
Great Barrier Reef
After breakfast we depart by coach for the Port Douglas Marina for a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. We explore two separate private reef locations. From a private pontoon, take a semi-submersible vehicle for stunning underwater views. Then snorkel or dive in an open water site. A buffet lunch will be served onboard. Afterward, choose to shop in Port Douglas or transfer directly to the hotel.
Daintree Rainforest & Botanical Ark
Explore the Daintree Rainforest instead of the Great Barrier Reef. Participate in a Dreamtime Walk through the Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal guide of the Kuku Yalanji people. The gorge is a rainforest sanctuary of rare and exotic fruit trees and wildlife facing extinction. After the walk, discuss rainforest flora and fauna with your guide and learn more about traditional Aboriginal culture. Head further north to the Botanical Ark, a private ethno-botanical garden specializing in plants that indigenous rainforest cultures still use for their everyday needs. The Ark emphasizes the link between plants and people with unusual and interesting tastes and sights. Enjoy lunch in the Ark’s garden, then choose to shop in Port Douglas or return directly to the hotel.
Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious structure built from stone. Opt for an early morning visit to beat the mid-morning heat. Tour the complex and meet with Buddhist monks for a blessing. Otherwise, explore this magnificent temple complex after breakfast and discover why it is also known as “the city which is a temple.”
Temples of Angkor
See the most popular sites at Angkor, traveling by vehicle, motorized Remok or bicycle. Visit Ta Prohm, a prominent temple left in a state similar to the way it appeared when it was discovered. Move on to the Bayon, a richly adorned temple that served as the center of Jayavarman VII’s capital. Finally, imagine the presence of a grand army as you take in the impressive Terrace of the Elephants.
Banteay Srei & Local Village Visit
Visit Banteay Srei and explore the “citadel of women,” where Hindu temples of red sandstone are beautifully preserved and magnificent carvings cover nearly every surface. We then go to the village Kor Kos, where we observe palm sugar production and have the opportunity to buy handmade products. Stroll through the village and meet local villagers before returning to the hotel.
Siem Reap Market & Artisans d’Angkor
Peruse the bustling Siem Reap Market where locals sell clothing, spices, housewares, fresh food and handicrafts; and visit the Artisans d’Angkor, who produce locally made treasures and small gift items.
Explore the Artisans d’Angkor silk farm with a local guide. Here you can learn about traditional silk production and shop for locally crafted silk goods.
Royal Khmer Cooking Class
Meet the chef at the hotel lobby prior to your hands-on cooking demonstration at the Restaurant Le Grand. After sharpening your culinary skills, you can enjoy the results of your effort.
Take a tour by boat of Tonle Sap, southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, passing Chong Khneas Floating Village. Its residents conduct the entirety of their lives on the lake, including shops, churches and schools.
Spend the morning visiting one of history’s great masterpieces, the Taj Mahal. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned this astoundingly beautiful monument in the 17th century as a tribute to the memory of his beloved second wife. We explore this enchanting work of art, which incorporates and expands on Persian, Hindu and Islamic styles. Choose to depart early, to enjoy a sunrise visit and beat the mid-morning heat, or opt to depart later and see the mausoleum in full light.
Drive an hour and a half outside of Agra to explore Fatehpur Sikri—Emperor Akbar’s crowning architectural achievement. An exquisite red sandstone complex, this walled city served as the Mughal capital from 1572 to 1585. The royal site is a wonderful example of pre-Islamic, Hindu and Jain architecture.
I’timad-Ud-Daulah And Kachhpura Village
Visit the Tomb of I’timad-Ud-Daulah, a charming mausoleum often referred to as the “baby Taj.” This grand display of Mughal architecture was commissioned by Nur Jahan for her beloved father, Mirza Ghiyas Beg, and predates the Taj Mahal by five years. We also visit Kachhpura village, the home of the Harijan people, otherwise known as the “Untouchables,” to learn about their life and culture.
Transfer to the small village of Sikandra, on the outskirts of Agra, where the great Mughal Emperor Akbar is buried. The structure is a beautiful display of ornate marble and black slate inlay in red sandstone and is surrounded by a char bagh, a formal Mughal garden.
Take your time visiting a local marble factory and store where locals create beautiful marble inlay products in the Mughal tradition, the same style found within the walls of the Taj Mahal. Also visit the Kohinoor jewelry shop, a long running, family-owned shop, known as the jewelers to the Mughals. A shuttle will transport you back to the hotel at your leisure.
Hot Air Balloon
Enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the vast Serengeti Plain. We have morning coffee and snacks, then transfer to a launch site where we will soar into the air for a spectacular view of the wildlife and scenery from above.
Enjoy an all-day game drive. Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, protects a wide variety of animals, large and small, including more than 30 species of large herbivores and nearly 500 species of birds. Year-round water and the acacia woodland in this area create an ideal environment for the wide variety of wildlife seen here—countless zebra, buffalo, lions, cheetahs, gazelle, wildebeest and other species make it their home.
Ngorongoro Crater (Alternate)
Journey into the Ngorongoro Crater for a full-day game drive. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. It is approximately 10 miles wide and creates a natural amphitheater for one of the densest populations of large animals anywhere. It hosts a spectacular array of wildlife, including rhinos, lions, water buffalo, zebra, elephants, Thompson’s gazelles and warthogs.
Jordan’s most valuable treasure, Petra was the capital city of the Nabateans. In its heyday, Petra was a fortress city that controlled important trade routes. Discovered by the West in 1812, Petra is now described by UNESCO as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.” Spend the day exploring the stone dwellings and tombs of this once-magnificent city.
This impressive desert feature played a notable role in T.E. Lawrence’s account of the Arab Revolt. The history of the Wadi Rum starts long before Lawrence of Arabia—petroglyphs dating from the earliest settlers can be seen on its rock walls. Temples and other structures built by the Nabateans, the same people who built the city of Petra, are also found here. You’ll travel to Wadi Rum by jeep, taking in the unspoiled desert wilderness.
Explore the city of Marrakech starting with historical sites including the Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Youssef Madrasa and the Bahia Palace. Enjoy the bustling Djemaa el Fna: a jumble of colorful markets, where snake charmers, acrobats and storytellers delight passersby. After lunch, you may choose from a selection of sightseeing activities.
Spend a full day in the spectacular scenery of the Atlas Mountains, the highest mountain range in North Africa. Berber tribes live throughout this rugged land, where farming remains central to daily life. Visit a Berber village and enjoy tea and a delicious traditional lunch.
Around The World
THE RITZ-CARLTON ORLANDO
A bit of elegance in sunny Orlando, the Ritz-Carlton features an 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed golf course, a gorgeous 4,000-square-foot pool and world-class dining. Guest rooms feature private balconies with views, marble baths and twice-daily maid service.
BELMOND PALACIO NAZARENAS
The Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a former 16th-century Carmelite convent that has been painstakingly restored to become the city's premier luxury hotel with prime access to the city center. Past the ancient Inca walls lies the tranquil courtyard, an elegant oasis just steps away from the Plaza de Armas.
HOTEL LIBERTADOR (NORTH COAST ALTERNATE)
Attentive and warm service greets guests to the North Coast of Peru at the Hotel Libertador Trujillo. With a prime location at the corner of the city's main plaza, it is only 10 minutes away from the Inca Chan Chan ruins, and the Sun and Moon Temples. The hotel also features a wide variety of services and amenities, including a bar, a restaurant, swimming pool, sauna and gym.
EASTER ISLAND, CHILE
HANGAROA ECO VILLAGE & SPA
This property was designed in homage to the village of Orongo, a ceremonial Rapa Nui location. Inspired by the architectural shapes of caves, rooms are smooth, cozy and organic, built with natural materials like cypress logs, clay and volcanic rock.
PULLMAN PORT DOUGLAS SEA TEMPLE RESORT AND SPA
Set on nearly 10 acres, this resort features extensive gardens and water features, including a lagoon-style pool, pool with waterfalls, pool bar and direct beach access. Guest rooms are equipped with modern amenities and private balconies or terraces.
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
RAFFLES GRAND HOTEL D’ANGKOR
Just five miles from Angkor Wat, this hotel has been restored to its original colonial architecture and features steam baths, a 35-meter lap pool and shops full of local crafts. Rooms are appointed with high ceilings and four-poster beds.
THE OBEROI AMARVILAS
Recognized as one of the best hotels in the world, the Oberoi Amarvilas overlooks the Taj Mahal, providing stunning views of this monument. Guests will enjoy this property's splendid gardens, fountains and reflection pools, and richly detailed interiors.
FOUR SEASONS SAFARI LODGE SERENGETI
Deep within Africa’s finest game reserve, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti gives you an unfettered look at the surrounding wildlife. Feel pampered as you enjoy outdoor dining, a rejuvenating spa and guest rooms featuring contemporary African décor.
NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE (Alternate)
Located on the Crater’s edge, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers uncompromising views and is the perfect base for game-drive explorations. Guest rooms feature antiques, leather-backed chairs and decks with magnificent views.
Around The World
Immersive experiences become even more meaningful when paired with knowledgeable experts and local guides. When you travel with us, each destination is an opportunity to enrich your understanding of the world. Our trip experts will move, challenge and inspire you in ways you would otherwise never experience.
We’ve invited Mary O’Neill and Wayne Ranney on our 2017 departure and Grant Nel and Jerry Leach on our 2018 departure. These respected lecturers will accompany you throughout the trip and offer real-time insights into culture, history and daily life.
Wayne Ranney has served as an Earth Sciences professor at Northern Arizona University in his hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the author of many award-winning books on geology. He is a veteran of expedition travel, having worked on all seven continents in over 85 countries, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. Previous TCS travelers love how he makes the diverse landscapes of our planet come alive by showing the connection between landscapes and the course of human history.
Mary O’Neill is an accredited art appraiser who lectures regularly on art history. She has lent her expertise as a Smithsonian Journeys Expert on trips to Mexico, Europe and the Middle East, and has published articles in several national publications, including a cover story for Smithsonian Magazine. In 2015, she was the resident art expert at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, leading a week of thought-provoking discussions on the history of art and politics, from ancient Athens to 20th-century Mexico.
Grant Nel, a conservationist with Smithsonian Journeys, travels the globe continuously, studying the Earth’s greatest wildlife. He received his ranger training at the world-renowned Mala Mala Game Reserve and has worked in the African wild for over two decades. Nel is the former CEO of the acclaimed Selinda Reserve and holds a postgraduate honors degree in zoology from the University of KwaZulu- Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Jerry Leach was President of the World Affairs Councils of America from 1996 to 2006. He has served as a Peace Corps regional director, a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in London and National Security Council Director of International Economic Affairs. Leach has taught all over the world and was most recently a professor at the American University in Cairo. He holds a PhD and M.A. from Cambridge University, as well as an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Around The World
- Transportation on a private Boeing 757 and local aircraft according to the itinerary.
- All meals , starting with the welcome dinner at the start of your journey to the last flight on the private jet.
- Complete program of special events and activities , including extensive program of customized options at most destinations.
- Enrichment program , including lectures by a team of experts.
- Services of professional staff , including an expedition physician to assist you throughout the trip.
- Cost of philanthropic activities as described in the brochure.
- $100,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons.
- Bottled water throughout the program (during sightseeing, at scheduled meals and in your room).
- All beverages, including liquor , aboard the private jet. Liquor during special events and cocktail parties on land. House wine and/or beer at lunch and dinner, and coffee, tea, milk and soft drinks at all scheduled meals on land.
- Baggage handling during the expedition.
- Tips and gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters and waitstaff.
Prices are in USD
Single Supplement: $8,950. For solo travelers who prefer private accommodations. Your guest services manager can provide details.Request More Information Request More Information
I had the best time on this trip! Besides the most amazing destinations, I never had to worry about a thing, everything was handled seamlessly and customer service was first class. I really felt like I got my money's worth.