Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This trip was awesome! Had a great time beginning to end. Though it says easy pace you are moving and hopping around to the different cities within Italy at a fast pace. You are pretty much in each city for a day so try to maximize your time and plan out 2-3 things you would want to see/do. I recommend adding a day or two at the beginning or end of the tour in Rome.
We had a nice group of 50 including couples, solo travelers and friends joining from all over and diff age ranges. By the end of the trip we were tied at the hip.
It was hottt in August so dress light/airy, wear comfortable shoes and carry water and a fan.
Most of the optionals were worth it especially the dinner in Sorrento, the Tuscan Feast and the last dinner in Rome. The dinner meal in Verona was probably the least tasteful. Hotels were decent. If you stay extra days in Rome I recommend getting a hotel that is more center city. When you are in Cinque Terre at the bed and breakfast, if you are offered the homemade meal....have it! Best lasagna ever.
Our tour guide Maggie did a great job of keeping the group together and on schedule. She made sure we got to know each other, using the hours on the coach to play games. She was also super helpful and shared many tips and tricks.
Overall would recommend if you want to see a lot of Italy in a short time with the goal of one day returning to your favorite places.
This was my first Contiki, and it was honestly the best traveling experience of my life! I met so many amazing people on my tour, some of which I know I will be lifelong friends with. Our tour manager, Gaby Puma, was excellent at her job – there is not a problem that she cannot solve! She was so organized and friendly and loved showing us her phenomenal country of Peru.
I will start with the things that I did not like about the tour because there were not very many of them. Firstly, the “Peru Uncovered” tour is actually a small section of a larger tour that includes other countries like the Galapagos, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil. I believe a lot of Contiki tours are sold this way. They have one huge month-long tour that they break up and sell in parts. I would recommend looking for the longer tours because you get more “bang for your buck” (if you have enough finances and vacay time). Secondly, the Amazon portion of the trip was kind of underwhelming. We barely saw any animals, and the accommodations and exclusions in the Amazon were just “okay”.
Back to the good stuff – basically everything else was awesome. I found that I enjoyed the social element of the tour much more than the tour itself. You make fast friends with people you spend 24/7 with, and experiencing a new culture with them is fantastic. Peru has so much to offer – food, different landscapes and climates, friendly people, and most importantly… ALPACAS! Touching a real alpaca was one of the highlights of my trip, lol. Soooo soft. I recommend buying a ton of alpaca wool scarves as souvenirs for people back home because there is not much else in terms of souvenirs in Peru.
Machu Picchu was also amazing, obviously. You’ve seen so many pictures of it that when you get there, it seems almost unreal, like you are still looking at a picture of it. You just gotta find a nice empty spot and sit and look at it for a while. I did NOT do the Inca Trail because of some confusion and misinformation from Contiki, and I somewhat regret it. It was nice having a chill day while most of the group was hiking up the trail (some mornings we have to get up at 4AM… that, combined with drinking the night before makes for some tiring days), but it sounded like an awesome experience from the rest of the group. If you are of a below-average fitness level, I’m pretty sure you could do the hike and not die. Good luck if you do, haha!
My favourite city of the tour (by far) was Cusco. It has such a cool vibe and is just overall a beautiful city with amazing food and culture. I wish I could have spent more time there. I also think that I liked Cusco the best because Gaby was from there and she was the one that showed us around. I found the other tour guides in Lima and Lake Titicaca somewhat impersonal and slightly boring.
I recommend trying EVERYTHING in terms of food and excursions (Me Times). Peru really does have diverse and amazing food, and you will most likely (99% chance) have stomach problems at some point, so you might as well live it up and eat everything ;)
Make sure you get a selfie with an alpaca, eat an alpaca steak (preferably not from the alpaca you got a selfie with), go to the cat park in Lima, and let loose and have fun. You will have #noregrets if you go on Peru Uncovered trip!
This was my first solo trip overseas and it could not have been better. I went to some amazing places, tried some amazing food and participated in activities I would never have considered doing. But the highlight was the amazing new friends from all over the world that I made. They made this trip what it was. If you can do the full 19 days so you can experience New Zealand and all it has to offer. Try as many new things as you can and do as many metime optionals as you can. This trip really brings you out of your comfort zone and for the best!!!
This was my third Contiki and it did not disappoint. It was my first trip though going to multiple countries as in the past I've spent 2 weeks in Greece and 2 weeks in Peru. So the format was a little different and took some getting used to. It's hard to really dive into a country's culture. However, it's a great way to get a little taste of each county and to experience Europe if it's your first time. If you really want to explore a country in depth, this tour is not for you. With that said, I had a great time! We had a group of 51, which was by far the biggest tour I've been on. Late nights, early mornings, and lots of driving time. However, we made a lot of great memories in some of the world's most beautiful places! Venice was definitely my highlight. Was also, extremely surprised by how beautiful Austria was. Wish we could have had longer there. All in all, a great trip and a great intro to Europe if you're a newbie!
This was my first Contiki trip, and I loved it! I did hear from some of my Contiki mates that most other trips are much more fast paced and a little bit more party oriented (depending on what you choose). This was very slow paced and easy going with lots of in depth ventures into cities you never would have been able to find on your own. Our tour guide Mike filled out short drives (2-3 hours) with historical facts and pointed out sites we were passing by.
England was wonderfully full of history, and Liverpool had to be favorite city there. We got a nice Beetles tour and then had a night out on the town venturing through places the Beetles were known to have frequented. It also had charm all in its own.
In Scotland, jumping into Lochness was one of the funniest, most freezing, yet awesome experiences I'll treasure for ever for sure! The hotel you stay at that night is quite a site to behold. It's like living inside your Grandma's mind, tartan EVERYWHERE! But those most comfortable leather couches you will ever sit on.
Go up top for the ferry ride over to the Irelands! The water and vastness is breath taking!
Northern Ireland, I felt incredibly ignorant for not knowing the history with all the trouble they have/had. Our local tour guide (forgive me I can't remember his name) gave an INCREDIBLE tour taking us around to the peace wall, giving tales of his own encounters with the IRA, and so on. It was eye opening.
Ireland Republic was continually great. The inner Irish woman in me fell in love at the Jameson distillery and was ready to move in. Obviously the country has much more to offer then that but it was my high light :)
I am usually a solo traveler, having done England once before by myself as well as Iceland. It was fun having people to always grab dinner and drinks with as well to share the fun experiences. I also liked having the ability if I so desired to do something on my own when at times having 50 people around felt a little over whelming.
I loved everyone on my trip and plan to stay long time friends with quite a handful of them. I will definitely be doing another Contiki because I can't imagine being able to get the in depth experience I got from this company on my own without wasting time and money and patience!
This was a whirlwind tour of everything you need to see on the North and South Islands. A perfect mix of big city fun and small town culture. The scenery was incredible , swim every chance you get. I highly recommend doing the whole 19 day tour instead of just the north or south island, it is 100% worth it and you meet a ton of people who hop on and off at different points along the way.
Do as many optionals as you can afford, the guides are great and will tell you which ones are the best. Highlights:Skydiving in Queenstown over the remarkables,seeing a eel while black water rafting in waitomo glow worm caves and scrumpy(just drink it, trust me).
Just do it and enjoy every moment. Trip of a lifetime
This trip was amazing! Not too long, not too short, the perfect timing. Our guide Kate and driver Jimmy were outstanding. I would do this again in a heatbeat.
The sites we saw were great and the whole experience was awesome. If you're a firdt time Europe traveller, I'd do this exact trip!
Okay so its taken me 1 year to write this review.
Ever since I finished this tour I have been planning the next one. If your looking for an awesome fast paced trip choose this one.
I met so many amazing friends that I still keep in contact with today and actually planning to meet up with this Christmas.
As for the trip there was so many beautiful sights and so many awesome parties. Every single night we just partied hard and everyday took in the sights while traveling to our next location and exploring once we got there.
I recommend doing every extra me time activity and leave at least 1 week open at the end of the tour so you can keep the party going with the awesome guys and girls you will meet that are still around London or Paris or even Amsterdam(its not hard to get back).
Even tho the tour is short you still make the best friends and its super sad to say goodbye at the end.
Definitely no Regrets! and my next tour I do will be much longer as you never wanna leave!
Happy travels people look forward to meeting you all on the next tour!! :)
Seriously the most fun I've ever had.
Massive group, walked away with some awesome new friends.
I'm not a big drinker, thank god, its expensive to have a night on the town here!
Hotels were pretty great, stand out was Harrah's in Vegas. Wow, buffet breakfast, DO IT. Shopping is so much better than at home.
Wasn't a big fan of San Fran, lots of creepy people there. Did the bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, happy to say that I did it but, never again. No one said it was almost 20km. My knees did not appreciate that flogging. Spent the next 2 days writhing in agony from the waist down.
Vegas. Wow, just wow.
Grand Canyon, do it. An absolute must.
New York, not bad. Times Square is just like the movies. But, there is literally garbage, like massive bags pilled on the streets everyday everywhere and it kinda smells.
Went to a Yankees game. Even if you're not a baseball fan, the atmosphere alone is fantastic and you're guaranteed a great time. Food cart tour was cool, yummy, but its a lot of walking!
We added on Waikiki for 2 nights, 3 days at the end of this tour. Excellent idea, needed the wind down!
Would love to see the whole country. One day, hopefully.
Definitely worth doing before starting a tour! Especially if you're flight is delayed at home and then you miss your connection (yes, this did happen to me!). So instead of having 3 extra days in LA, it was more like 1 & 1/2 with 12 hours wasted in an airport while waiting for another flight!
Still, worth it, otherwise we would've missed the beginning of the Best of USA tour.
Managed to drop some serious money at the Citadel outlets and explore some cool local places to eat.
This tour was pretty much do what you want. No guide.
Stayed at the Figueroa and the staff were pretty rude actually, when I called from Hawaii to say we were delayed 12 hours they pretty much said "Tough shit, we'll give your room to someone else. " Wasn't until the travel agent from home got wind of the hurricane that was destroying the start of our trip and called these assholes to make sure we had somewhere to sleep.
Guess you could say the room wasn't too bad, turned out the only contiki hotel we stayed at that had a mini fridge in it and the included breakfast was pretty awesome.
I had just moved to London before Christmas when this little gem of a trip came up, and I and so glad it did.
I had travelled through France a few years prior and this trip is incredible value for money! Your accommodation isn't great, but your in Paris for new years! Tour manager pointed out all the places to see and what to do, which was great as you really feel you see everything. Night tour was beautiful especially at such a festive time of year.
For anyone not too sure what your doing for new years, put this in your diary now! You won't regret it!
This trip was amazing, the one day inca trek was the most rewarding experience of my life. Our tour manager Gaby was very helpful and knowledgable!
I went to Vietnam with Contiki and I have to say, I had the best possible time. I was really unsure about what I was booking when I was in the travel agent, I had never done anything like this before and was a little apprehensive. I (as usual) failed to do any real research and just wanted to get out of the UK so I could see the sun. I didn't have any friends that were travelling at the time and decided to book with Contiki for one trip and another tour manager for my Thailand portion of the trip, this was suggested to me by the travel agent and I agreed.
I started in Vietnam, using the app to meet some of my group before the official start of the trip, which was great. Eventually came the official meeting time and I met my tour manager, Tom Morris. Was very clear with all the 'boring' administration things we had to do first but made us feel completely comfortable considering it could have been a little intimidating meeting all these new people.
Meetings over, I will summarise the whole trip in a lot less detail but we got to go around all of Vietnam, I had an amazing time with a fantastic group of people and it was all topped off by how good Tom was, he was a fountain of knowledge about every little place we visited, he was professional when things went wrong (I got my my stolen in a night club and we managed to get it back!) but he was also a great deal of fun! He made sure the whole group were happy all of the time and as a result, we all got to do everything we wanted to do individually and we also managed to spend heaps of time together. It was the perfect mix of free time and group activities (which we chose at the beginning of the trip).
I still have amazing memories of this trip and I give Tom a lot of the credit because, I went on my second trip straight after with a different company... Although I had a fun group and the place was amazing, the tour manager was very formal and nowhere near as informative. I didn't really know where to go and eat, I ended up in some dodgy places because I didn't know what to avoid, I took 2 books for the whole holiday (including Vietnam) by the start of Thailand, 10 days into my holiday, I was 2 pages in because I was having too much fun to read, by the end of Thailand, a week later, I was half way through my second book. That was all because I didn't know where to go and didn't know what I could do so I sat and read instead. Yes, this can all be solved by me doing research but isn't that why you go on these trips?
I had a great time in Vietnam and if I could change 1 thing about my trip as a whole it would have been to book Contiki for the entire trip.
Thank you Tom and thank you Contiki!
Contiki the explorer review September 2015
This tour is amazing I don't know where to begin - yes you probably look at the this tour and say it's expensive I thought the same but believe me for what you get is good value for money yes you could probably do it cheaper if you organised it yourself taking overnight buses & staying in hostels but this tour you get it all accommodation, transport (a few short flights but better then 12hours on a bus), breakfast everyday Peru was basic food but Argentina & Brazil a hot breakfast every morning (just no bacon if that's a priority to you) great tour manager, local guides and the best thing is they will help you communicate unless your fluent in Spanish & Portuguese you will struggle so they help also the best thing is you feel safe. I never felt unsafe while with the group they tell where to go & which areas to avoid.
This tour you will join the adventure tour which has already been traveling together for a week, there is multiple Peru trips and people will go in Cusco before the jungle lodge & then in Lima after the jungle lodge then you will head to Argentina where you will and the rest of your group will meet the people traveling on the Argentina & Brazil tour.
If you can do the inca trek I'm glad I did it it took a while but I finished and I'm no means fit but it's just an amazing feeling when you get to the top. Be sure to pack bug spray and put lots on as there are these little midgy insects and they make you itchy as anything so stop itch cream would also help.
Tips: currency bring lots of US dollars as you will get a better exchange rate over there rather than in Australia and it's easier to exchange money rather then having to find an atm that will accept your card or as many of the Americans on tour found out the bank but a hold on their card even though they had notified the bank prior to leaving the US thus resulting in high phone bills having to call their bank multiple times & no money and you don't risk your card being skimmed. Also it's easier to pay optionals in US dollars as the local rates change so much.
Altitude sickness: I joined in Cusco and had 2 days before I joined the group I drank lots of water & that is the key and water is really cheap depending on where you buy it but you could get 2.5 litres for 5 Peruvian souls and eat light, some people on tour did take altitude sickness tablets and I found these were the people who got sick needing the doctor to come this may have just been a coincidence but definitely take it easy drink lots of water & avoid alcohol. The altitude affects everyone differently and they have hot water & coco tea & leaves in all the hotels in Peru.
Take gastro stop (lots) you will need it at some point on the tour or someone else will this is guaranteed and a basic first aid kit. Now let's talk about the toilet paper situation in South America this can seem a bit odd but you are not allowed to flush toilet paper so you have to put it in a bun next to the toilet so my tip to avoid the awkwardness of sharing with a stranger and dealing with the toilet situation - take little plastic bags such as doggy bags and put the paper in there.
Just be aware that in South America they eat late so buy some snacks and by late I mean you usually don't meet for dinner until 8/8:30
this tour was mid September so end of the winter some people found it cold but I thought the weather was quite warm even got sunburnt in Cusco.
But in saying that this tour was absolutely AMAZING the people, the sites and the experience go with an open mind.
This was one hell of a trip! Such a whirlwind, I can hardly believe all of the incredible things I got to experience. If you're looking for a way to sample a variety of what Europe has to offer, but don't have 2 months to take off from life, this is the perfect trip. They aren't kidding when they say "high energy" though, so I hope you plan on sleeping when you're dead! But it was absolutely worth it. Would do this trip again in a heart beat. So well organized too! I was surprised and impressed with how smooth it all went down, in regards to the travel, accommodations, meals, and excursions - I was never left waiting around which was shocking travelling with 39 other people!
All in all, an amazing and exciting adventure. And felt 100% safe as a female travelling by herself.
I had the time of my life on the Peru Uncovered Trip. My only complaint is that I didn't continue on to do the full Argentina and Brazil extension (not that I didn't try to join - visa problems). Overall the trip was a great way to dive into Peru and the rich history it holds. My trip manager, Clarisa, is one of the main reasons the trip was so incredible. She was so energetic and passionate about her country, it helped immerse us and see the most from every place. My group was also absolutely amazing. We had people from all over, the States, Australia, Britain and all of us became one big family. I came as a solo traveler and had the best time!! I definitely recommend this trip to anyone wanting to take a dive into Peru (and make sure to hike the Inca trail - it's breathtaking!)
Had the best time of my life! Met so many amazing people who will become life time friends. This is something you will never regret doing!!
This was easily the best 14 days of my life. We had Rammel as our tour manager and he was so knowledgeable. I learnt stuff about USA I never knew and fell in love with places I didn't even think I would. It's definitely the best of USA and I would recommend this trip for anyone to get a taste of the states. Currently planning to go back!
Now.. 20 year old new to travelling with out parents goes on a trip to Europe. What could go wrong!?!? Contiki definitely are excellent to lead a novice traveller in the right direction. This trip changed my entire world. I swear by Contiki because of this trip and sell it to all of my friends followed by the comment "MAKE SURE YOUR TRIP INCLUDES PRAGUE! DO THE PUB CRAWL!" Such a decent trip!