Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
If you're thinking about going on this trip, just do it. What an amazing experience. We were a group of 21- not too big, not too small, all on the trip for pretty well the same reasons- a mix of adventure, relaxation, and to make new friends.
Me-time optionals: Our group pretty much all opted in for the exact same Me-time-optionals, and I think most of us were pretty happy with everything. No one did the ATVing or horseback riding though, because of past reviews or because it was too much activity for the end of the trip, but ziplining and canyoneering were amazing, the optional dinners were fantastic, and the kayaking, snorkeling, and kayaking was good too.
The nature walks/tours were great- we saw a ton of wildlife and the weather was great for them. If you like nature, wilderness, and wildlife, you'll be pretty happy. We didn't have crazy luck with our wildlife tours, but that's the luck of the draw so I can't be angry. It was still great to be out there enoying the beautiful scenery.
Weather: The weather varies tremendously depending on where you are in the country- from hot and dry, to warm and humid, to cool/windy/dry, to crazy hot and humid lol... We had pretty well perfect weather, so I can't complain. Just bring a variety of clothes. I brought a lot of quick dry active shorts/shirts to keep myself as dry and cool as possible.
Food: If you're worried about culture shock regarding food, don't be... the food is amazing throughout the country- no complaints from me. Try food you've never had before because you won't likely be disappointed.
Budget: I brought $1000 USD with me and that just about covered me for everything including tips and the optional activities. I paid for a few things by VISA, but the 1000 seemed to pretty much cover it. There were lots of ATMs around, but they seemed to be finnicky for almost everyone at some point (particularly the Canadians due to our chip cards). Almost everything can be paid for by credit card though.
Safety: I felt safe at all times. The bus driver Felix was amazing, tolerant, and friendly. Some of the terrain is poor or very scary looking and challenging, but we got to each place safely and in good time. Our Tour Manager, Gio, was unreal- what a great guy. He had only our best interest in mind at all times, making sure we were safe, relaxed, comfortable, and having a good time. Both of them took the planning and worrying out of the equation and allowed us all to just have a good time.
Accommodations: I had no problem at all with any of the places we stayed. Clean, comfortable, safe, beautiful. They were all excellent, and while some of them had spotty WiFi, that is not a reason to complain- we shouldn't have been on our phones anyway haha.
Best moments: Hard to say, I loved everything- the scenery, the culture, the wildlife, and the activities. I had to write out what we did each day on my phone because there was so many great moments and I didn't want to forget them. The beautiful beach days at Manuel Antonio were a great way to end off a busy holiday though, so maybe that would be near the top of the list.
Would I change anything? Nah. It was an amazing trip.
-Nick Buchok, Kincardine, ON, Canada
Had a fantastic time on Contiki in NZ! This was my second tour and loved it. Wonderful tour guide with a wealth of knowledge, and bus driver was just as great! Saw everything that I wanted to in an adequate amount of time. ME time optionals can't be faulted either! Only disappointment was not long enough with them at times. Definitely recommend this trip to anyone going to NZ. :)
Where do i start? This trip was hands-down the best experience I've had in life so far.
I've met some great personalities whom I'm sure I'll be friends with for life, some mind-blowing cities in Europe and had the most interesting experiences I will never forget!
Our awesome tour manager Greg was very informative and humorous and our friendly driver Francisco 'Chico' was also a great laugh and an extremely skilled coach driver.
The sites we saw were breath-taking from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the IAmsterdam sign in Amsterdam and all in between.
- pack layers, layers and more layers (I'm one to freeze even in Aussie winters ,but taking and wearing lots of layers helped a tonne!)
- it is likely you will catch the cold/flu, so pack enough vitamins, meds etc to get you started and there are chemists on every corner so stock up when needed.
- do all the optional extras and make the most of nights on the town with the group.
- be prepared to stay out late and wake up early
- take a book/ e reader, ipod, iPad, playing cards etc for bus days
- there was a mix of solo travellers, couples (we had 2 lovely married couples on our trip) and large friendship groups who all got a long and mingled with each other.
You won't regret going on this tour! #noregrets
I will start with a disclaimer. This is not your typical Contiki tour but man was it good! Being 5,000 meters above sea level, you get this light headed feeling, after taking 25 steps from the bus, you are short of breath. You look down and see a 4,000 meter deep canyon and as you look up, a pair of 2 meter long Condors fly right over your head. It was awesome!
This tour is deep in culture and heritage, action and adventure, and early early mornings. If you are looking to party all night and cure a hangover on a bus ride the next day, this is not the trip for you. If you want to hike the 10k Inca trail that zigs and zags across numerous mountains and ends in a stunning view of Machu Picchu, this is it. If you want a guide who spent 6 years studying their society and history in order to be able to be licensed to give tours, this is it. If you want to spend the night in the jungle surrounded by only the sounds of the birds, monkeys, and other animals, where power is only available 2 hours a day and there is no cellphone service, this is it.
This tour is full on. The altitude is higher than you have ever experienced (word of advice, make sure to get altitude sickness pills), and there are many early mornings to beat the heat and the other tourists. There are a few nights that are good nights to go out, but this is not a tour you want to or can even party hard throughout. If you want to party, stick to Asia or Europe. If you want an amazing time with non stop action, this is it. I would book this tour again in a heartbeat.
This trip was fantastic! It was my first Contiki tour and it was exactly what I was looking for - I wanted to do a short trip to get a feel for Contiki tours, see what they were like and see whether I would consider doing another one in the future. I travelled alone and that was definitely a great decision - I made so many new friends and I don't think I would have made as many friends if I travelled with someone else.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations. Our tour manager (Vinnie) was absolutely amazing - can't speak highly enough of him...he knew everything there was to know about all of the places we visited, he was laid back, hilarious, fun and really made it his mission for us to have the best time ever. He even organised transfers from the hotel to the airport for everyone flying out from Venice at the conclusion of the trip. The accommodation was pretty good (much better than I expected!).
This tour allows you to see all of the main tourist attractions in each city. The included activities were great. Considering that we also had a lot of free time (almost 6 hours in each city that we visited), you also had the chance to do exactly what you wanted, including experiencing the not-so-touristy aspects. I definitely ticked all of the things I wanted to see off my list! I would absolutely recommend climbing the Bell Tower and Duomo in Florence...the views are a must see and you can really appreciate the view after climbing the 3000 steps (approx. in total). When I first found out that we had so much free time, I did wonder what I was going to do to fill it, but our tour manager was able to give us great advice about what to see/do and what was worth our time and money. As it turns out, we had the perfect amount of free time.
The included dinners were nice, and the optional dinners were fantastic (highly recommend). The optional pasta making class was a lot of fun so I would also recommend doing that. The included breakfasts were pretty good so a lot of people filled up on breakfast on the days that we were going to have a big dinner, and then you could just have gelato or something small for lunch.
As it was a short trip, I did all of the optional things and I think that was a good decision. The optional night at the club in Florence is definitely worthwhile! There's not a lot of driving on this trip which I thought was a definite plus, it didn't take all that long to get from city to city. Everyone on my tour was fantastic and we had so much fun together....the people definitely make the trip!
The only downside is that we didn't have enough time in Venice (there's so much to see and we only saw a small portion)....a lot of people spent a few more days in Venice after the end of the tour which I would recommend. Also, whilst we did go out and party a bit on this trip, if your sole purpose is to go out and party, this probably isn't the tour for you. We had lots of fun and had two nights out, but I think everyone on my tour was there to experience the Italian culture more than anything.
I will definitely go back to Italy and spend more time in each of the cities we visited. I will also definitely do another Contiki tour - I highly recommend them to anyone and everyone!
All in all - a great tour.....Be prepared to drink a lot of wine!
This trip is a great way to start your travels and get a feel for Thailand. You get to experience the crazy and busy parts of Phuket, the stunning beaches and island surrounding Koh Phi Phi and the laid back area of Krabi.
My tour guide Cassie was absolutely amazing and full of energy. She made the trip educational and gave me an insight on other little options we could do on our free days.
I highly recommend this trip or everyone.
For a few reasons I was quite apprehensive about the tour - mostly spending a lot of times on the bus and with a big group of people (and you always wonder what kind of people you get for your tour). But this was, by a long shot, the best thing I have ever done. The crew was amazing - Our tour guide Chloe and drive Antonio were the absolute highlight of the trip for all of us. I had an amazing group of people - some I am glad to have met and will have the pleasure to call them my friends for the rest of my life. The included bits in the trips were amazing and so were the optionals. If you are still on the fence - DO IT! you won't regret it. The price was great value for what you get on the trip - and the is trip is very well planned out logistically to ensure a fantastic experience. amazing, amazing ,amazing.
This review is a bit overdue, but this tour was Simply Awesome!
This tour has it all--art, laughter, culture, dancing, great food and of course, friendships. You're definitely limited to the amount of time you spend in each area (only got to see the Pantheon for 15 min and did a quickie tour of the Vatican), but that's a small price to pay for all the amazing sights and adventures you have. You can choose not to do the Contiki optionals, but I definitely recommend it--from classic monuments/sites like Pompeii, opera singers at an underground restaurant to dancing to old school hip hop in Rome--no regrets! It's true that some of the optionals are pretty pricey, but it gives you a chance to experience something different--like seeing a braised pig lit up with sparks in an elegant restaurant overlooking the water.
Pics: Here's some pics from Capri http://shaireproductions.com/photos-capri-island/
Hotels: Generally nice accommodations, except the first night in Rome--the vent/air-conditioning was so loud, I couldn't sleep, while my tourmates next door complained of some flies buzzing around in their room, but aside from that it a was pleasant experience. In Sorrento, we were booked at a hotel right next to the beach--incredible! It was like a dream, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. In some of the hotel locations, you'll have to carry your luggage up/down stairs, so try not to pack a super heavy suitcase :)
Tour Guide: Enzo. Great character and so accommodating. He blasted Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" every morning on the bus, so it's forever etched into my brain as the Italian Trip song, but he added a great vibe to the tour. We picked up fun facts and history like Italian hand gestures and such.
TIPS: Bring a small first aid kit--tissues and some Vitamin C tablets or something. With 50 people packed onto a bus for hours & hours together, everyone got sick by the end of the tour :( Though, it was worth the trouble--lifetime of memories!
Chocolate Lovers--there's great quality of chocolate in Italy, so load up! Keep an eye out for Ferrero's Pocket Coffee too (small chocolates loaded with liquid espresso)--amazing treat! I wish I bought more.
Overall, this tour has a good mix of large cities, small towns and beaches. You can choose to check out the museums, party or just kick back with a drink. There's definitely something for everyone. Good luck!
This was literally the worst trip, and such a waste of time and money. You're on a bus for the entire time, and would have been much cheaper and efficient to just fly from London to Amsterdam. Once you're in Amsterdam, you stay at a one star hostel which has terrible reviews. Not to mention, it is a half hour away from the actual city. My friends and I could have saved so much time and money had we planned it on our own. I will absolutely never use Contiki again, and would never recommend it to others. I would advise anyone who is considering using a Contiki tour to DO YOUR RESEARCH. Contiki only posts positive reviews on the website, but if you google Contiki reviews, you will be more informed on the cons of using this company.
The Contiki motto is #noregrets when it should be #regreteverything
I loved everything about this trip, my main purpose was to visit Hobbiton from lord of the rings, and i sure did. it was amazing! but everything else on the trip was equally amazing, our tour guide was the best, she organized everything and made sure we having the best time of our lives! I also got to make new friends from all over the world. highlight of this trip was Hobbiton and black water rafting in Waitomo! next time i would probably pick a longer trip as 7 days is not enough.
I went on this contiki in January. and im so glad i did.
i wanted to see as much as i could in 2 weeks.
met some amazing people who i still talk too.
lost of stuff to tick off my bucket list!
definitely worth it.
This tour was everything I wanted in Australia, to explore Sydney, see the opera house, hold a koala, and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge! It was my first Contiki trip and I felt like Australia is a good place to go for a first overseas trip. Nick was a great tour guide and was very accommodating, he had great temperament considering he was dealing with a bus of 50 travelers! You will meet people from all over the world on this tour and that is seriously the best part.
However, I wasn't told that this trip was part of a larger Contiki trip that was traveling all over Australia. When you leave, a bunch of the travelers continue on. I definitely want to come back sometime and finish the rest of the trip. I recommend paying a little more for a longer trip if you can, otherwise you'll definitely have a case of FOMO when you get home!
I was recommended this tour from a Contiki friend on another trip. I asked him what his favorite tour was and he said China was the best and I had to do it. I'm so glad I did!
Alex was my tour guide and he was the best. He was always great about telling us what to expect and giving great recommendations. He had restaurants in every city to recommend, which was nice because sometimes you don't know what to expect (or what might make you sick!). Also, he went out of his way to make sure we did some extra activities like a night cruise in Shanghai or visit the copy markets. The massage place he recommended in Yangshuo was a highlight (I tried hot cupping!). In addition, the local guides were great, especially Lili and Linda. They were so welcoming and went out of their way to make sure we had a good time. We had lunch at Lili's house for one of the activities and Linda came out with us one night.
Some of my highlights include: The great wall of China, peking duck dinner, forbidden city, rickshaw ride, party on the train to Xi'an, the Terracotta Warriors, bike ride through Xi'an, dumpling dinner show, boat cruise in Shanghai, acrobat show, going out in Shanghai, the copy markets, Chinese cooking class, the tallest bar in the world, and exploring Hong Kong. Also, I loved all the little cultural tourist things like the jade factory, calligraphy lesson, and the tea house. I feel like I wouldn't have been able to get all those experiences on my own. It's nice because our group was 19 people and we all became very close. Some of my favorite moments was getting to know people while on a plane ride to the next city. Myself and one of the other girls are doing another contiki in the next month!
This trip was unforgettable. It's definitely the bang for you buck as well, so much is included! I was very nervous about traveling to China for the first time, but I loved it so much. Definitely don't hesitate to book this trip!
As my title states - there were only 6 of us and 3 of them extreme moaners! Now the fact that it wasn't a positive group isn't contiki's fault BUT when I called to book, I was told that the tour was almost full (blatent lie) as the previous year had over 25 people. If there were more people, it probably would have been a lot better and the moaners could have been avoided but in a group of six, you're kinda forced to associate with them. They should have rather cancelled this trip.
On a positive note, our guide was amazing, the hotel was very nice and the vibe at carnival is something else. I would go back, just not with Contiki.
So this tour was my first Contiki and I travelled alone and let me start by saying it was an absolute blast! I went in September so it was pretty hot the whole time with the exception of San Francisco. As I mentioned this was my first trip overseas alone and Contiki was the best way to do it. From the first night with the kickstarter meeting you meet all the people in the first leg of the tour (As I was on the Wild Western it starts and ends in LA but the tour includes about 4 different trips so people hop on and off all over) the great thing about traveling this way, you can make of it exactly what you want from the tour, if you want to party all night long you can if you want some alone time thats cool too! You'll never be too far away from an awesome bunch of people looking for a good time!
The crew they set you up with is amazing they know all the places and are always happy to give advice on what to do and where to eat! Our tour manager Rachel was awesome at arranging dinner and lunch for us when it was not included or letting us loose and pointing in the right direction when it was time to explore. Our driver Richard was always on hand for anything we needed on the bus and made sure we always had water and were comfy! They were both amazing if you go on this tour and get either you'll be lucky!
I won't do a massive run down of all the days (Spoilers!) I'll let you find that out for yourself but I will say this, make the most of all the optional activities. I went in with a plan to do some of the activities listed on the website and ended up doing almost every one on offer!! There are a few 'must dos' on this tour, the first being the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon (trust me not just a hole in the road) there are literally no words to describe it! Second must do I think is the Jeep rides through Sedona canyons. The ride is a little rough and tumble but a whole lot of fun and the guides themselves are some of the friendliest people I met who love the tours and will give you the best look into some amazing scenery. The hot air balloon ride is also a lot of fun but you do need to get up at 5am for that one so if you like your sleep more than sunrise in a balloon.... Who am I kidding you can sleep all day on the bus get up early for an awesome ride (watch the landing they can be interesting!)
On a practical front this tour is great for anything and everything you might need on holiday or left at home. Midday stops were often at a Walmart or close to shopping areas and the overnight stops always had amenities close by including laundries at most stops. And there is plenty of free time to kick back and relax and chat with all your new friends!
In short I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to get a taste of the USA but be warned by the end of the tour I didn't want it to end and am itching to go back!
I had my doubts at first but I am so glad I did this trip with contiki. Evan our tour guide was amazing , funny and informative at the same time with the Polish Prince driving the coach bus, it was a recipe for a good time. At first I wasn't too excited about taking the ferry but in the end it was worth seeing the white cliffs of Dover. Got to meet different people from around the world and made memories together exploring these cities. Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night was like magic.The best and saddest night was our "last supper" in Paris at the La Bonne Franquette restaurant. The food was amazing, try the escargots they are delicious! The pianist unforgettable ,lol. The only thing I regret is not doing the extension in Paris, but that'll just give me more of a reason to return. Loved this trip. #NoRegrets !!
If you want an adventure, here ya go.
If you want to choose how you experience NZ, here ya go.
If you want to make friends from all over the world, here ya go!
From watching dolphin watching in Paihia to walking to the bottom of a glacier in Franz Josef . This Big Tiki does it all. Our tour manager Josh and driver Nick were awesome and made the trip so much fun & special (I highly recommend getting them!)
The accommodation varies, some places you got tv's. Others had no wifi...at all. The Rotorua hotel is... definitely.. something.
When in Queenstown is it a must to try their Ferg Burger (only $11, and is epic!) and to also try the Money shot- only a few bars do it. So get exploring and you'll have a blast in NZ
Honestly it is the best way to see what Kiwi land has to offer :D
I would recommend this trip to anyone. I'd have stayed on this trip forever if the real world didn't come calling! Jimmy is the best tour guide ever born into this world and everyone on the trip was awesome and up for a good time. A lot of lasting friendships were made and had the time of my life.
Where do I start... THIS TRIP IS AMAZING!
This trip has everything I ever wanted to do. it was prefect, as a solo first time traveller I was a little nervous but I met a few people on the Meet ups before I left which really helped.
The tour guides!!
I had Trys and Benny for the outback part and Paddy and Gary for the East Coast. They were truly amazing so helpful and hands on working hard making sure everyone was happy. Each day Paddy walked up and down the coach making sure everyone was ok and if they had any questions he would answer them. All 4 tour guides had so much information and could talk for hours about Australia what we were doing and where we were going. Paddy really made everyone feel comfortable and started off on the first day knowing everyone's first and last names on the coach which was very impressive. Trys had great games each day on the long drives making the journey's really fun! They also made a great part of an amazing group of people that all got on so well. we all made friends really quickly and had the best time together. Our guides really did help make the groups by getting us up on the mic to talk about ourselves sharing stories. Trys had us do dares which really made the group come together.
I was impressed with each place. it was all so different. from staying on a cattle ranch to an amazing hotel on Day Dream island to sleeping in swags under the stars.
All the places we stayed were clean and tidy welcoming and prefect for 4 people to share. Some rooms were small and some showers were cold BUT this is "Straya"!!
awesome locations and clean bed sheets!
Each meal we had included was exactly what our tour guides said not a massive meal but a cheaper pasta pizza or fish meal which was prefect and filled you up. never had any problems with food, all tasty. The Daydream island stay was amazing, all you could eat buffet and we did eat a lot!!
Cheap food offered on the days without and we would all go together to certain restaurant for $10 meals
I done quite a few ME times Activities and they were amazing well worth every penny.
The white water rafting was incredible and the team in Tully really made the day. so friendly and joining in with all the fun!
Each activity was explained in full on the coaches and some activities were told as must do's and I see why.
I felt with the ME time activities I missed on seeing Cairn's during the day. As the first day I did the must do boat trip out to the great barrier reef and the second day I did the white water rafting, So I only got to see Cairn's during the night but never the day as we were so busy, so that's a downfall. But our days were still fun.
Also just to add some of these activities are on the same day so you might not be able to do all the activities you want. I wanted to the bungee jump and rafting but these two trips were on the same day.
There's not a lot, But we would rather spend our time visiting as many places as possible than have and extra 30 mins getting ready. some nights you had 45 mins to shower and get ready for a night out but that's the life when traveling. Everyone was happy to rush around making sure we made the most of our time.
Coach / Wi-Fi
Great Wi-Fi on the coach, I pretty much had it the whole trip perfect to contact friends and family. also to upload picture to Facebook. The coach is comfortable and does have a bathroom but they ask if you try not to use it too often as there are regular stops with toilet facilities.
I had heard that Contiki was all about the clubs and drinking .. but it doesn't have to be, some nights we stayed in or just went out for a few drinks with the group. and other night you had the opportunity of going out to the clubs and drinking all night but if you had an early morning you didn't have to stay out late. Cheeky Monkeys in Byron was awesome.
I didn't do the added Sailing part of the trip and quite a few others didn't , so we stayed on Day Dream island this hotel is amazing. As a Me time extra I did the day sailing which was prefect, Whitsunday's is beautiful and we snorkelled from the boat and saw turtles!
My favourite parts of the trip
Visiting Ayres rocks we have a very busy day getting up super early to watch the sun rise then walking around Ayres rock which takes about 3 hours then I did the Harley Davidson bike ride, then we jumped in the helicopter to see the Ariel view. We then had under an hour to dress up and get ready to watch the sun set. Jam packed day but loved every second.
The Tully white Water rafting was Amazing full day excursion lunch included. Adrenalin filled day with beautiful views. A must do!!
Fraser island with a guided off road tour around the island! visiting a lake and stunning beaches. We also watched the mango sunset taking awesome photos with the sun setting over the sea.
The Currumbin wild life sanctuary where we got to spoon a kangaroo and cuddle a koala. and see other ozzy animals
The Outback was really good for hiking and exploring. Heart attack hill is not for the faint hearted but most of our group made the climb.
The East coast was all about the beaches and chilled Ozzy life. Exploring cities and many beaches. with good clubs and great food.
I made some truly amazing friends, To which I am visiting
And I have also booked my next Contiki trip La to the bay this July.
All in all this trip is a once in a life time experience!
You can enjoy each day with no worries or stresses!
Would highly recommend this trip!
Visit my Instagram page for photos from my adventure
What can I say about this trip?
The description said easy pace but no it wasn't! And I wouldn't have changed that for the world!
I met some of the best people on this trip. Some that I hope will be friends for many many years. Leaving was a sad experience and still keeping in contact with my contiki friends I am not alone!
Our tour guide Jon, went above and beyond for us. He showed me things that I would never have seen had a organised to go U.S.A by myself and those experiences are what made this trip. Could not thank the man enough for all he did.
Vegas was one hell of experience and I am pleased to say that I did it right! Not much sleep was had but there is so much to see there I don't know why you would bother sleeping!
Our tour guide took us to a bar in San Francisco that was quite simply one of the best bars I have ever been too. Nothing like that here in Australia and I will be going back to it one day.
This will not be my last contiki, and if my first contiki is anything to go by, then the next one I do will be amazing. If anyone is um-ing or ah-ing about doing it. JUST DO IT!
You will not regret it #noregrets