MY TOP TEN TRIPS
Each journey can be done in around three weeks.
1. GALAPAGOS, MACHU PICCHU and EASTER ISLAND. Fly to Quito, Ecuador. One day there: fantastic city. Fly round trip from Quito to Galapagos. You need to take a seven-day boat tour of the islands. Only way to get around. Take zodiacs from the mother ship to different islands every day. See amazing wild life, including 400 pound tortoises. Fly back to Quito and direct to Lima, Peru. One night there, fly to Cusco (10,000 feet). Two days there to acclimatize. You need a coca based tea to overcome altitude sickness. From Cusco take a train to Machu Picchu. Overnight there (but you need to book months in advance to stay on top of the mountain). Back to Cusco and Lima. Fly direct Lima to Santiago, Chile. One night there and a quick city tour. Fly direct, a four hour flight, to Easter Island. Three or four nights there. Unbelievable. Then back to Santiago and home. A brilliant trip. Easily our number one.
2. SOUTH AMERICA, Part Two. Fly to Rio de Janeiro and then Buenos Aires. At least two days there, a stunning city. Take a side flight to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine/Brazil border. You won’t regret it. The most spectacular in the world. In Rio see Christ the Redeemer statue (Another of the Seven Wonders), Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Two nights there and back to BA. Use BA as a base to take a trip to Antarctica either from BA or from Ushuaia, right down by Cape Horn. All sorts of cruises and price points available. And, if possible, come back to BA via the Falklands. Fascinating.
3. INDIA. Do a two week trip with Perfect Travels from Delhi. Consider a side trip for three days to Kathmandu, Nepal, from Delhi. Short flight and you get to see Everest. From Delhi do a guided tour Rajasthan. Visit Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and of course Agra to see the Taj Mahal (a Wonder of the World). Also from there you can get to the tiger parks. End up with visits to Mumbai and Varanasi, on the Ganges, and fly home via Jordan. Petra is a MUST-SEE. Second only to Mach Picchu.
4. ASIA. I would do a trip starting in China. Beijing and Shanghai are wonderful, but make time for a stopover to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. You can easily see the Great Wall within a few miles of Beijing. A Wonder of the World. Take in Hong Kong for a few days. From there to Vietnam. See Saigon, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay for sure. Then fly to Cambodia and see Angkor Wat (A Wonder)….need a few days in that area. Fly home, maybe via Bangkok or Singapore.
5. AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND. The pick of Australia would be Sydney and the Blue Mountains close by. The Great Barrier Reef north of Brisbane. Ayers Rock, for sure, which requires a flight to the centre of Australia. Perth if you have time. In New Zealand, you must get down to the tip of the South Island and go by boat to Milford Sound. Include Bay of Islands and Rotorua on the North Island.
6. EUROPE – PART ONE. I would divide Europe into at least two parts. One through Eastern Europe, taking in Hungary – Budapest is one of my favourites cities – the Czech Republic (Prague is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world), Austria (Vienna), Poland – Krakow and Warsaw are well worth seeing. From Warsaw an easy trip to Berlin and the rest of Germany. Maybe fly home through Scandinavia. Stockholm superb and Oslo interesting. Copenhagen would be on the way there and well worth a day.
7. EUROPE PART TWO: Spain, France and Monaco then into Italy. Spain is a fairly easy driving trip. You must see Barcelona and Seville, and several of the smaller towns like Salamanca and Sergovia close to Madrid. You could include Portugal. Lisbon worth seeing. But work in the South of France – Carcassonne and Avignon and Arles in Provence. Monaco for a day, Then drive or train into Italy and work your way through Venice, Florence and down to Rome. Don’t forget the Colosseum, one of Seven Wonders.
8. RUSSIA. The Russian tourist agency is Intourist. Trips can be planned with them. St. Petersburg a must for three days (Hermitage Museum, Saviour of the Spilled Blood Church, Peterhof, Winter Palace and Catherine Palace) and Moscow for another three. (Red Square, Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Boshoi Theatre and St. Basil’s Cathedral). Then fly to the south east and the countries of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan…..must see the spectacular scenery and religious artefacts and ruins. Samarkand on the old Silk Road a must.
9. AFRICA: In addition to Botswana, think of a trip to include the pyramids of Egypt, the gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda, and more safaris in Kenya or Tanzania. And if you can include Namibia well worth it – the highest sand dunes in the world, and they are spectacular. The skeleton coast well worth a detour – ship wrecks galore along the coast. Plus wildlife at Etosha National Park and cheetahs and leopards at Africats. And think about South Africa – Cape Town, (Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope) and the Garden Route all the way along the coast from Cape Town to Durban. And visit Cairo at the beginning or end of this adventure to see the Great Pyramid of Gizza – one of the Wonders of the world
10. CENTRAL AMERICA: Costa Rica is well worth a trip. The volcano at Arenal and the rain forests. Go to the ruins at Tikal in Guatemala and somehow work in and in Chechen Itza in Mexico., another Wonder of the World.
This travel list also includes the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, The Great Wall of China (Beijing); Petra, Jordan; The Colosseum in Rome; Chichen Itza, Mexico; Machu Picchu, Peru; Taj Mahal, India; and Christ the Redeemer, Rio. There are actually eight wonders – the Great Pyramid was given honorary status.
And remember a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.