Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

  • Aimee Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

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!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Noregrets, Fantasticimisso

  • LloydD Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

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!

My Contiki was: Tom rocks!, Vietnam is amazing, Contiki are best.

  • Shecontiki Level 7 Traveler
  • 7 Contikis
  • 25 Countries

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.

My Contiki was: amazing, value, life-changing

  • Kacie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 8 Countries

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!)

My Contiki was: Breathtaking, Cultural, Fun

  • Ayla Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

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!!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Fun, Time of my life

  • Toriitums Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

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!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Wow, Unforgettable

  • Meagan Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

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!

  • Meagan Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Mainly booked this trip for convenience. The fact that it was flying instead of being on a bus really appealed to me as America is A LOT bigger than Europe and thought being on a bus would be average. Although comparing USA to Europe Contiki (they are chalk and cheese but if I had to) I definitely think they do Europe a lot better. If you are keen for a lot of free time its definitely the trip for you! I mean.. Contiki in Vegas, can you go wrong?!?!!?

This trip was seriously great. We had an amazing tour guide and a great bunch of people on our tour, which I've learnt is very important. Loved the combination of big nights out in places like Vegas and Miami and the more relaxed places like the Grand Canyon.

My Contiki was: Epic, Party, Scenery

  • Luke Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Explored the North and South Islands in 18 days. Met incredible people and made great friends. Tour manager and bus driver were great and a lot of fun. Highly recommend this tour, great value for money. Optional activities are endless and there is plenty to see and do.

My Contiki was: Awesome, Amazing, Worthwhile

  • Emily Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 7 Countries

It was a great trip, great people I meet over the trip!
The optionals are good to do! You learn and see lots!
I recommend to do this trip if you want to explore the UK and Ireland!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Breathtaking, Fun

  • Meaghan Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

This was my second contiki in Asia and can't think of any other way I would want to experience the culture, fun and history of these beautiful countries better than on tour! I had so much fun traveling around South East Asia with my highlights being: visiting the breathtaking Imperial palace, receiving a blessing from a monk and the hill tribes in Thailand, giving Alms to the Monks, visiting the waterfall and kayaking down the river in Laos, Meeting a survivor of the Khmer Rougue at the Tuol Sleng Prison, watching the sunrise on Angkor Wat and Pub Street in Cambodia. This tour is fast paced and your days are filled but you leave for home at the end feeling as though you have experienced the three countries and done them all justice!

A few tips:
> Do all the Me Time extras plus the ones your tour manager offers as you go. They are all great and heaps of fun! Bring US$ as your tour manager will probably ask for it in this form on the first night
> Budget for extra activities. Not all the activities listed on the itinerary are offered for free and often activities will be offered along the way (eg China town, Siam Square and Wat Phra That temple in Thailand, walking up Mt Phu Si, giving alms, several 'family dinners', elephant riding, all the activities at Vang Vieng in Laos, the floating markets and Cambodian circus in Cambodia) The idea is that there are lots of additional activities so you can choose what you do but you will be asked to pay extra or you can make your own plans. In this way the tour may not be the best value for money compared to other tours however often the extra cost is worth it when you consider the exchange rate.
>take advantage of your local guides. Although some guides are nervous answering questions about communism/ their government/ their leaders they are willing to answer lots of other questions. Laos and Cambodia have rich and very recent histories that your guides know all about or has been personally effected by! To get these insights into what life is really like you have to ask!!

>My tour was in January and some of the days in Laos particularly those on the boat were quite chilly so come prepared with a jumper or even tracksuit pants if you get cold easily
>Thailand and Cambodia are Hot during the days so shorts, singlets, t-shirts, summer dress and skirts are all culturally appropriate and comfortable
> I brought a cheap target backpack with me as carry on and it was a good choice! For the train and Pak beng you are asked to pack an overnight bag as you can't necessarily access your big bag so this came in handy here. Also just generally a backpack, bags that are hidden under your clothes or a bag that crossed across your chest are a lot safer than carrying a handbag or your wallet around as pick pocketing and stealing are common.
> pack light - you can (and probably will) buy clothing over there super cheap at the markets
> We were able to wash clothes in Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Siem Reap as you stay in these places 2nights, bring enough undies/ clothes to get you to this point.
>bring appropriate temple wear (clothing that covers your ankles and shoulders) as you visit a lot of sacred sites and temples. You can buy them over there but some people found the Asian sizes did not necessarily fit western body shapes and the fabric sometimes split. They won't let you in without it so come prepared with it in your day pack.
>bug spray and sunscreen are a must everyday! The mosquitos in Vientiane were ruthless and we were warned about Malaria in the areas we traveled.
> Buy any western toiletries/ medications you may need in Thailand or bring them from Home. Laos and Cambodia are still developing their tourist industry and you may not find what you need in their mini marts
> Also consider bringing/ buying some toilet rolls and hand sanitizer/ wipes and keeping them in your day bag. Although most places are generally pretty good- being caught out, without loo paper or a place to wash your hands in a squat toilet in Laos is not pleasant but conditions can be improved if you're prepared

>consider bringing some 'travacalm' or car sickness medication as the bus trip between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng is super windy and bumpy. I don't get travel sick usually but I (and all but 1 person on our tour) was grateful to have something to take. It's also worth considering taking it easy the night before this drive as being hungover on this drive would be torturous!
>it's also worth asking your trip managers generally before having a huge night out before a travel day/ drive. Some of my tour mates had some unpleasant bus trips with their head in a plastic bags after a big night out when we had an early start the next day.
> The Sleeper Train in Thailand is not something to be feared! Contiki pretty much books out a carriage so your belongings are safe (use bag locks if you are nervous) and you are surrounded by likeminded people. Yes the toilet is gross (might need that loo paper here) and the food isn't great and it probably won't be the best sleep of your life but the view is beautiful, it is a lot of fun with your tour buddies (playing cards are a good idea) and the beds are clean, comfortable and safe! It was one of the highlights of my trip in the end!

> Visas seem scary but seriously they are not worth stressing over! For Aussies we can get all our visas at the boarder. All you need are some spare pages in your passport, 4 passport photos (2x Laos and 2x Cambodia) and US$35 for each Visa. Thailand gives you a visa on arrival for free. It's not a big deal if you are prepared
> Currency wise: Thailand is Baht, Laos is Kip and Cambodia is US$ and some locals will give you change in Riel. Bring some US$ for visas ($70) / your Me Time extras ($60) and Thai Baht to get you started but the rest you can exchange at the boarder or get at ATMs. (I took AU$400ish in Baht and it lasted me until I got to Cambodia {I exchanged some of it to Kip at the border} but everyone is different and some people spent more/ less than me.) Generally shops/ stalls/ places you eat won't accept card so your best bet is it carry cash and get money out when you need to/ can safely.

Finally bringing a positive, flexible and open attitude to your travels is essential! It doesn't matter if you are a solo traveler or have a friend (I have done it both ways in Asia) SE Asia is unpredictable, exciting and different to home! You will find the challenges you face much easier if you are open to every experience even if it's not what was planned, if you can go with the flow and accept its all part of your Asian Adventure or as the locals say "sabai sabai"

My Contiki was: Adventure , Picturesque , Fun

  • Jeremy Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 23 Countries

This trip was a great way to see the 3 countries. Starting in the capital of Spain, Madrid then seeing the breath taking Alhambra in Granada to the Fez Medina, embracing their culture and their way of life to fast pace city of Marrakesh then seeing the amazing Alcázar in Seville and outrageous night life and fantastic food in Lisbon. One word Fantastic. The optionals were great, with excellent choices of food, to make the trip that much better. The accommodation in Spain and Portugal was fantastic. Great hotels. The Moroccan hotels were good, but not amazing. But that didn't bother me as it was a place to rest. The trip manager and coach driver (Feddo and Jojo) were amazing. Full of history and information to make the trip that much better. I would recommend this trip to anyone having any interest in going to these countries. It is a fantastic trip for a first Contiki.

  • Belinda Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

The tour is great for a first time traveller, you get to see a lot throughout Scotland, it's beautiful and worth every second. Tour guide and driver were great made everyone comfortable. Was only a short trip so you have to expect a lot of coach time. Some days we were on the coach all day excluding the required stops.
Because it's the uk some of the hotels were old and didn't have elevators so make sure you are okay to carry your suitcase up the stairs. Sometimes it's the best option as some of the elevators are slow and slightly terrifying. All accomodation was nice though, no complaints.
This trip was great for giving me a look at the UK defiantly makes me wants to go back for more.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Not long enough, Beautiful

  • medeir86 Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

I have to say this tour wouldn't have been half as good if it wasn't for our amazing tour guide Ellie and our amazing driver Matt. They were extremely informative, knew everything about every site we visited, and were incredibly funny, nice and overall great people to spend 10 days with. Our group was a fun bunch, and the pace of the trip was perfect. Every activity we did was fantastic. The only problem with the trip was literally having to leave. If I could leave for the same tour tomorrow, I wouldn't skip a beat in booking. Overall, the most amazing experience with some of the most amazing people!!!!

My Contiki was: life-changing, breath-taking, educational

  • Olivia Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

No words to describe how amazing this trip was. It was honestly the experience of a lifetime; exceeded my expectations BY FAR!

I went on this trip solo, and I have to say this was the way to do it in my opinion. I met so many incredible people, and made connections and friendships that will truly last a lifetime.

I have nothing negative to say about my first Contiki experience. This was my first time to Asia, as well, and I am so happy that I went through Contiki to get my feet wet in this new culture. I studied abroad in Europe for 6 weeks, and I would say that the culture in Europe is comparable to that of the United States. The countries are developed countries, and it was easier for an American girl to make her way around. However, Asia was a totally different story. I was actually going to plan a trip on my own, but I feel that I would not have done as much as I did having gone through Contiki. I was able to enjoy the trip and experience the culture much more. Contiki took all of the stress off when it came to hospitality, traveling, language, crossing boarders, etc.

I was a little nervous about doing a "tour group"; I didn't want it to be like a stereotypical tour group where you are sitting on a bus all day viewing sites out of the window with a guide feeding you boring facts about stuff you don't care about. However Contiki was NOTHING like this, and I was so happy. We actually were IMMERSED in the culture, doing this firsthand, and it was amazing. I have to admit, I am one of those people who does love a good history lesson and I wanted to learn about Asian culture entirely while on this trip. Between the tour guides we had in each city, to our tour manager (Margie I

A few tidbits of advice for this trip:

- Girls, do NOT bring a hairdryer. Seriously, you will not need it, as all of the hotels have hairdryers in the rooms. Also, I did not dry my hair once on this entire trip. You're in Asia for goodness sake, you don't need to be dolled up. Save time by skipping hair and makeup and actually get out there and experience Asia!! :)

- Definitely get a lot of cash converted BEFORE you leave for the trip. I was planning on using a travel credit card (not a debit card) for majority of my purchases, but I quickly noticed that almost zero places accept credit cards. Most shops, stands, and restaurants are cash only. I ended up paying ridiculous fees every time I pulled cash out of the ATM.

- Most importantly, go into this trip with an open mind. Do all of the optional "Me Time's"; they are so worth it. Also, don't be afraid to just be yourself and do what YOU want. Every person wants something different out of the trip, so make this a trip YOU will remember. I'm not a huge drinker, so I didn't go out to the bar every single night. Seriously, no one will judge you for doing your own thing.

I recommend this trip to ANYONE. This was the best experience of my life so far- between experiencing the Asian culture, to the connections I made with everyone on the trip, Contiki has something for everyone. I would do another Contiki again in a heartbeat.

  • Chandy Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Started off in Vegas, went a saw a Cirque De Soleil show went hit a nightclub that had a view over the Vegas strip at night! Next morning was tough! 10 hour bus ride to Bass lake. I recommend not going too hard before a bus ride :) Finally got to Bass lake and it was a nice holiday retreat to appreciate nature.

The next day we headed up to Yosemite National Park, and what a view!! A definite must see!! Hiking up Yosemite was great to but its a shame no everyone can get to the top. Later that night we had our Thanks Giving dinner. Being from Australia, we dont celebrate thanks giving but being a food lover, might as well!! After dinner, we did some Karaoke! Everyone was a bit shy to get on the mic so I jumped on first, singing a Backstreet Boys classic "I want it that way". Once that song was done, everyone had the courage to go up.

Next up, San Francisco!! What a great city to visit! People were friendly, the food was great, the gays were some of the nicest people I have ever met!! We had plans during the night but the days were for ourselves . Shopping there was a great experience. Definitely check out the Westfield there on Market st. Having a free day, I got to check out Alcatraz and bought a ticket on the day! Personal tip, if the tours are booked out, if you go really early in the morning before the ticket gates opens, the sell about 40 extra tickets. its first come first serve. In the day we did a bike tour of San Fransico which was the best way to see the city. We rode for hours and ferried it on a boat on the way back. Later that night, we had a ugly Christmas sweater night. Everyone buys an ugly sweater and we head out. 6 of us guys couldnt find any sweaters, so we bought Santa outfits! People loved us in our santa outfits! Even got a few photo ops with randoms. The next day was a free day to check out the city at my own pace. Got to see Lomard street then walked all the way to Lucas Arts studio. Silly of me didnt realized it was open to the public and I didnt go in. Finished off the night with a group dinner, then ventured back to our hotels.

The next day we drove off the Santa Barbara with a pitstop in a small town. I cant remember the name of the town but it had one of the best hamburgers I have ever had! I almost cried because I was looking everywhere for a great burger but didnt succeed. Finally we got to Santa Barbara, a small beach town, that had that "Californian Surfer" vibe about it. A few of us boys found a bar in the backstreet which had a wide variety of beer. The bar tender was nice to us. He thought it was funny seeing an Australian, Canadian and a French walk into bar together because thats how all jokes start :) Finished off the night by have a pub meal at a bar. Food was good the atmosphere was relaxed. Most of us were getting fatigue by this time. So we went back to the hotel for casual drinks at the bar.

Next morning we drove off the Los Angeles. There was plenty of seats left so we all just spread out and slept most of the time on the bus. Getting to L.A I got off early to check into my hostel, and meet with the team later that night to attend an ice hockey game. Everyone else did tours, some slept, but I did regret not being able to to join the others around Hollywood. I did get to see them before the game. Finishing off our night watching the L.A Kings vs the Boston Bruins was a great experience. Only watching ice hockey of tv, being there live was amazing!! once the game was done, I said my final goodbyes to my contiki buddies. Its a shame i only hanged out with these guys for 8 days but they will always be friends of mine for life!

My Contiki was: Fast, Fun, Amazing

  • Tash R Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 7 Countries

Guys, this is a great trip but DON'T do it. I would instead do the Island & Rainforest (Start Cairns) trip... It still has everything you want but instead of two nights on a boat you get an optional day-sail, which undoubtedly would be better...

The boat (calling it a 'yacht' is technically correct but extremely misleading) is an old racing sailboat and therefore REALLY NOT MEANT to accommodate holiday-makers. The deck has nowhere to comfortably sit and is surfaced with a material similar to sandpaper. And there's very little shelter from the burning hot sun up there. The bunks are, lets say, not great if you have any inkling of claustrophobia, and it is about 45-degrees-Celsius down in the cabin so attempting to sleep was awful. You get a 1 minute shower on each of the nights. The food is good though! And, usually, on Contiki the "party people" and the "not so party people" get along really well - but they're crammed together on this boat, so the people who want to drink and chat into the next morning get annoyed because the people who want to sleep get angry at them... and the people who think midnight is a reasonable bed-time for a 5am start, get extremely peeved at the people who want to drink and make a racket at 2am.

Overall, the time on the boat was extremely uncomfortable and soured the trip, so I really wouldn't recommend it.

HOWEVER there were some really good things about this trip, which is why I think you should still do it, but do the Island/Rainforest (Start Cairns) instead -
- the Daintree is an incredibly old rainforest and you get guided through it by a hilarious, knowledgeable Indigenous guy named Skip. He's great!
- If doing the trip at NYE like I did, you get to spend the night at a huge party at the Beach House at Cape Tribulation - NYE on a beach in a rainforest?! How many people have done that?!
- White Water Rafting (optional) was the best fun! It's a level 3 rapid, perfect for people who haven't done it before, and it's just the right amount of terrifying.
- The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see of course, and it's a great day out on the water.
- Whitehaven Beach is such a beautiful, untouched, incredible place. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Word to the wise - Summer is Stinger season in Queensland, so you can't enjoy the water as much as you otherwise would. It's also HOT and HUMID in Summer. I would recommend planning the trip for a time between March-October.

SO -
Please come and explore Australia!! Contiki are a great company, but just DON'T do this trip - do this one instead:

I hope this was helpful!
- Tash

My Contiki was: unique, hot, beautiful

  • lachie123 Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 12 Countries

No regrets !!! Do it do it all especially the Bungy jumping in the Swiss alps ...

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