Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Such a great trip, as it was my first contiki trip ever it did not disappoint in the least and resulted in me booking another trip shortly after returning home. I had reservations for it being such a short package and feared I wouldn't get to experience enough or see all the things I wanted to. But I was very happy with it and didn't feel shorted in the least. Of course there were places I would have liked to stay longer I still wouldn't have changed a thing either. The guide and driver were awesome and helped me find some of the best off the beaten path places and we're very knowledgeable for all the areas we visited. As for the group I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of people who I'm sure have become long time friends because of it. A few of my personal highlights had to be Edinburgh in general I loved, and I had the great pleasure of spending my birthday swimming in lochness and tasting a 107 year old Scotch! As the title says I'd recommend this to everyone who wants to see these places.
Check out more about my trip and tips at www.sageoftheworld.com
I initially chose to go to South East Asia because I wanted to travel to a tropical location for my winter holiday. Other then wanting to catch some rays, I had no other aspirations. But I now have a new love and appreciation for asian culture and solo travel.
This trip introduced me to a completely foreign culture, new (amazing) foods, friendly people, peaceful cultures, exotic adventures and stunning landscapes. This trip put me out of my comfort zone and completely emerged me in different ways of life. I can honestly say I have returned as a stronger, braver and more confident person. I recommend going on this adventure alone. You will meet many like-minded travelers and you will discover so much about yourself.
When I booked this trip I expected to stay in mostly hostels and cheap hotels...expectations were blown out the water. We stayed in mostly 4 and 5 star hotels. Every place was nicer then the last. But my favorite places we stayed we not the 5 star hotels. We stayed at two charming guest houses and on a beautiful junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Every place we stayed had free wifi, water bottles, safes and hot water!
I couldn't have asked for a better group of fellow travelers. I will forever be friends with many of the people I met. Especially my tour manger Lee (Hailey). I can safely say she made my trip. Lee is super cool, chill and fun. She showed us the best bars, hangouts and foodies in town. She was familiar with the locals and even spoke most of languages. I told her initially I planned on turning my brain off for most of my trip. So it was awesome having her plan most excursions and helping me have the time of my life.
The coolest thing about this trip is you're not stuck on a bus all day long like many other contiki trips. Don't get me wrong there are bus trips. The longest was 6 hours. To get through the different countries you will take an overnight train, boats, tuk tuks, buses, vans and jets. I loved our overnight train ride. It really gave everyone a chance to bond.
My favorite things I did on the trip were the Wat Phrathat in Chiang Mai, Thai cooking class in Chiang Rai, Elephant riding, "Kangaroo Sunset" bar and kayaking in Luang Prabang, causing a street dance party in Siem Reap, jumping off our boat in Nha Trang and sailing in Ha Long Bay.
I would recommend this trip to everyone. I always felt safe, culturally submerged and had a blast.
Tips I wish I had been given:
-Bring temple wear (Long pants, t-shirts)
-Pack your bag and then take out half. It's super easy to do laundry.
-Bring only one swim suit. There are water activities, but not consecutive ones. You only need one suit.
- You should not need more then $25 a day if you don't plan on doing much shopping.
- Invest good pair of flip flops. You have to remove your shoes a lot and they're easier to get on and off then sandals.
-Don't bring a huge suitcase. A back pack is better.
-You don't need to bring makeup. Most of the girls on the trip won't wear it. It will just sweat off.
-Bring your own bug spray.
-Bring or be prepared to pull out american dollars. You will need to pay for most excursions with USD. Also Cambodia widely prefers USD over Riel.
-If you're coming from the states you don't need an adaptor. All outlets take the US plug!
-Wifi is everywhere. Turn your phone on airplane mode and don't bother getting a plan. Just Skype and iMessage people using wifi.
-Pack playing cards!
-Pack your own portable charger!
Want to read more about my trip? Check out my blog:
This sail in Croatia is probably my most favourite thing I have done travelling.
I was fortunate enough to get a really good group of people with a diverse mix, however we instantly came together as a group of individuals on day one and were like a family by the end of the trip.
In relation to Croatia, WOW what a country. I'm sure in the winter time it's a bit different, however in summer this place is incredible. They Croatians are very welcoming and their is just a good vibe in all of the places you visit.
The night lift is great, everything is really well priced, and it's a well organised trip by Contiki.
It is much different to the European Contiki's etc, you actually get time to relax!
I will be paying Croatia another visit very shortly.
This is my second Contiki trip, and it was even better than I had expected it to be. The tour guide, Sherif, was exceptionally knowledgeable on Egyptian history and was an excellent guide. He truly made the world of a difference, making this trip as much fun as it was educational. There were 21 of us on the group and we all had a great time and made some new friends. Also, Egypt was totally safe - we never had any issues and never felt unsafe. Their tourism has been suffering and I'm happy Contiki added this tour back because it felt totally safe to be there!
I am just writing in to say that this Contiki trip was absolutely amazing! Rhi (our tour manager) and Sandro (our coach driver) were beyond a doubt the best any trip could ever ask for! I have #noregrets whatsoever and that's all because of these two fantastic people!! Thank you Rhi and Sandro making this a trip of a lifetime!! xoxox
I currently write this as I am trying to pass time at the airport making my way home from the European discovery back to NY. Man what a great 2 weeks. So many unforgettable moments and so many great memories with people you will never forget. So many lifelong friendships were created with people on the other side of the world who you probably may never see again. Tears will be shed when it's time for goodbyes... Big thanks to Evana and Miki for being great leaders for our tour. They absolutely made this the best trip possible. If anyone is reading this trying to decide whether to book or not I say DO IT! You won't regret it. This was my first time doing a group tour and being in Europe so I had a few reservations about how things would go coming into the trip. I also booked it very spontaneously around 1 week before the actual trip. So I did not know what to expect and how much I would enjoy the vacation. But in then end I am incredibly happy with my decision. Not only do you learn about other countries and cultures, but you also learn a lot about yourself. Such a great 2 weeks and I wish I could just keep reliving them over and over with the people I met and never go back to work! Will definitely do Contiki again
A life changing experience which I would recommend to anybody wanting to see the amazing islands of Thailand. Being my first Contiki trip and traveling alone, the group of people on our tour made it feel like we'd known each other for years and have made some life-long friends because of it. Partying on Koh Phi Phi and swimming on Maya Beach were amongst some of the greatest things i've experienced in my lifetime. This may have been my first Contiki Tour, but definitely will not be my last!
This was the most amazing experience of my life. Matt was the best tour guide in the world. There was never a dull moment and I couldn't have asked for a more life changing experience. Between elephant riding and hanging out with tiger's my life has been forever changed. This tour is worth every penny and more. I wish it never ended.
Had a wonderful time in NY. Unfortunately the description and itinerary is a bit deceiving. Thought we were going to see a lot more than we did. It was more of a drive by than actually stopping, which was disappointing. Would have liked to see more of the touristy places. However it was still a good tour!
Optional tours were fantastic though!!
I went on this trip alone, straight out of high school, knowing no one and never having travelled overseas by myself before. And I have to say, it was the best decision I've ever made!!
Not only was the tour manager (Enzo - a local Italian) AMAZING and beyond funny, but the places we went, the food we ate, and the benefits we got as Contiki travelers, were just incredible. Contiki really does go the extra mile to make sure every part of your trip is well taken care of and that you have the time of your life, without having to worry about the finer details.
Most importantly, however, were the friends I made. I was 18 years old - one of the youngest on the trip - and I found myself forming my closest friendships with 28 and 29 year olds. I was able to have mature, intellectual, emotional and deep conversations; connecting with people on a level I have never been able to do with people my own age. I grew up tremendously on Contiki, and I have made life-long friends from all over the world.
That was my first Contiki trip and I am already planning my next trip for 2015. Without a doubt one of the best experiences ever!
And just a note on going alone (for those of you who are concerned about that): I asked two people to come with me and was let down by both of them. I didn't let that stop me though, and I went by myself anyway. And as I said earlier: BEST DECISION I've made! So if you're looking for advice, I say: Leave your friends behind and GO ALONE. I promise you it will be worth while. You will be forced out of your comfort zone and you will make friends that you may never have considered if you had had the safety net of a friend. Also, being alone means you have no one to consider and no one to please - you go where you want, with whoever you want, and that's that.
Thanks again Contiki, you'll be seeing more of me! :)
This tour is absolutely amazing and exceeded all my expectations in terms of accommodation, food, tour manager, local guides, sightseeing and every thing else.
Our tour manager was Alex and his knowledge of everything China made the trip even better.
I booked this tour at the last possible minute and it ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. I was in a group of 16 and we all got along really well. I know that the people I met on tour will be friends for life.
The tour includes all the essentials but it doesn't feel rushed at any point. Each city you visit has its own highlights whether it's the Great Wall or Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an, the nightlife and shopping in Shanghai, the karsts and beautiful sights in Yangshuo or Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. My personal highlights were the Great Wall, the Shanghai nightlife and two days of unwinding in Yangshuo.
I can't recommend this tour enough and I will be encouraging all my friends to do it. China is an amazing country, the people are so friendly and the culture is fascinating. If you're considering doing this tour just book it. You won't be disappointed.
This trip for me is what urged me to want to travel more. It was my first ever overseas trip. And to say it was amazing would be an understatement. This trip has it all. Whether your a party animal, culture seeker, adrenaline junkie or there to meet new people.
From the day my tour started the people were wonderful. From all around the world friendships were formed. The entire energy throughout the whole trip was awesome.
Id say the two greatest things I enjoyed most was the Waitomo caves and OGO Ranges. And most definitely cram as much of the optional activities in. You will not be disappointed.
It was also so great to have a really great tour guide and driver. Sarah, our tour guide and Ricky, our driver. We're so full of life, great humor and knowledge. They really made the trip.
All in all, I had a wonderful time. And am now eager to follow my contiki adventures. Next stop Asia !!
This tour was FULL ON. In a good way and with some hiccups. Definitely make sure you're up for constantly being on the move because this tour is nothing short of fast paced. I found myself sick when I arrived to start the tour and honestly I got worse as time went on. I ended up having to see a doctor in Cusco, Peru and was diagnosed with bronchitis, a throat and sinus infection, YAY ME. Haha. First things first, TRAVEL INSURANCE. Get it.
Take lots of meds with you, cold and flu, altitude sickness, normal panadol etc, gastro, everything. Apparently our group was the least sick any group has been, but I'll tell you what, you're pushing your body to the limits with lots of walking and exploring and weather changing at every destination. We had sunny weather in Miraflores, pouring rain, thunderstorms, snow slush in Puno. See what I mean? So I recommend taking a jacket and warm clothes, or if you're up for buying alpaca jumpers and crazy pants like I did, do that.
In South America, you'll rarely see an elevator, so if you have a suitcase, prepare to be dragging that thing up staircases, which is what I did, didn't really bother me, but just for the heads up.
SPANISH! Oh gosh, how could I forget. Okay, if you're going to SA, I HIGHLY recommend learning some simple phrases or if you're like super talented, learn more than that. The language barrier was much more intense than I thought. I couldn't flip through my language book fast enough to understand what they were saying. You'll be playing charades, a lot. But for your own sake and for fun, learn some things. It's actually rewarding when you smash out a full sentence AND they understand what you said.
I was never let down by the food in SA. Churros, chocolate, empanadas, you name it. Oh and for the Guinea Pig, well, that tasted like chicken, and it was 'meh'. But alpaca was definitely nice, try that. Just be open to everything. Especially pisco sours, be very open to them, mwuahaha.
Money wise, I think I spent a good $2000-$3000. Including optionals and food, gifts etc...I can't remember, but I came home with money. It's very cheap over there apart from the major cities. Peru, cheap cheap cheap. Argentina, a bit more expensive…and Brazil, relatively cheap!
Okay so skipping along, Machu Picchu, was just far better than anything I could have imagined. Really. Like a dream. We luckily had amazing weather so we were very lucky. I dipped out on the Inca Trail as something was stuffed up in my booking but me and one of the boys ended up climbing Machu Picchu Mountain, and that was INCREDIBLE. Take photos, LOTS of photos. If you love photography like I do, definitely take an DSLR with you. You'll capture some crazy moments.
Places I LOVED. Colca Canyon was definintely a favourite. very remote, but beautiful views. The little cabin-like hotel you stay in is gorgeous. A warm fire to laze around, board games, it's just cosy. There's also a crazy pet alpaca that roams the halls like a ghost in the middle of the night and you don't want to get on his bad side. But when waking up there was the snowy mountains in the distance, gorgeous. If you get the chance, do the zip lining. That was a rush for sure!!
Honestly just driving around on the bus, you get to see so many beautiful views…Peru is just landscape heaven. Make sure you do take good shoes to walk in, runners etc…
GIRLS YOU WILL NEVER NEED HEELS. DON'T BRING THEM.
I loved Puno/Lake Titicaca - seeing the floating markets, having lunch on the island and playing soccer with the locals was a great experience.
I must say you don't get a lot of rest time on this tour. I found it very exhausting in the sense that you will some days be up at 4am. Yep, 4am. Haha, but the early bird gets the worm right? I guess every tour is like that, 5-6-7am wake ups. But be prepared for that. This wasn't a huge party tour. We went out some nights, karaoke, played drinking games, had a few big nights, but it wasn't 'that' kind of tour. Which was fine.
Argentina, Buenos Aires was actually a little daunting for me. I didn't really like it there. Just a lot of men harassing you on the streets, so make sure you cover up ladies - if you don't want that attention. But we didn't have a lot of time there anyways, so I'm sure there would have been more to see?
Iguassu Falls was amazing. DEFINITELY recommend doing the speedboat tour. As you go right in and under those waterfalls. Waterproof camera, check.
Brazil, brazil, brazil. So Buzios, was a time to relax. Pool time, go for some walks, do a bit of shopping, definitely go to the crepe place for food. Oh so yum. But yeah this is the chill out time.
And then onto Rio, Rio was reeeeally cool. Saw a lot here. Christ the Redeemer was amazing! Again, perfect weather, so we saw him in all his glory. Haha. We went to Sugarloaf mountain, a huge view of Brazil, that was awesome. Ended up getting to go to a soccer game in maracana stadium - EPIIIICCCC. If you get the chance, do it. The crowd is so insane, you think your country is sport crazy - go there.
Okay so things I wouldn't recommend in Brazil. The Favela Party - hit or miss. We ALL had to go together to this party which was in a huge club in the Favelas. Lots of seedy men and locals, we had our own sectioned off area upstairs, but It just wasn't that good. it's good for a few hours and then a few of us wanted to go home, but in that, EVERYBODY has to want to leave because you all came together.
Another thing I didn't like was we couldn't end up hang-gliding because the weather wasn't good, so they cancelled it, but we couldn't get our money back because they were going to see if we could do it the 'next' day. But that day was meant to be our free day to explore. So we all wanted our money back but didn't get it unless the next day again was cancelled. It was, so we got our money back. But I didn't like the mess around, because we would have lost spare time in Rio. With that day we ended up going to these really good markets in the centre of the city, lots of bits and bobs, I then went and soaked up some sun on Copacabana beach, sooo nice. Had lunch at some restaurant where the waiter gave us a rose - sweet.
I left the day after our tour ended - kind of wished I had another day or two to relax because we didn't get THAT much free time. So definitely do that if you can.
The people on my tour, were awesome. We had the best mix of people, from South Africa, London, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. PERFECT. Quite a few couples on this tour - but everyone became really good friends, like brothers and sisters. You really get to know everyone on a personal level and I loved it. I've already met up with some of these people and know I will see them all in the future!
I could keep writing but my hands are sore now. All in all, the good comes with the bad. You've honestly got to make the tour your own. If you want to do something, DO IT. If you really don't want to do something, DON'T DO IT. It's your holiday at the end of the day - and my best advice would be, listen to your body, listen to your mind, and just take each day as it comes. Soak up every opportunity.
I hope this helps! And if anyone wants more information, feel free to message me or email me, I'm happy to share my experiences :) I also have a blogging website you can check my adventures out on!
What an amazing trip! I highly recommend everyone to do this trip. What an unbelievably great Contiki crew that I had to make my trip absolutely awesome. Rachel and Ricky were so helpful the whole trip AND after the trip. I had an absolute ball. #family #noregrets
Amazing time. Excellent mix of free time and planned activities. Time for cultural things like the Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza ruins, museums, unwinding on the beach and crazy nights in Cnacun. Ish was a wonderful guide with heaps of local knowledge. Best.
This trip was the first time I had travelled solo, and I was feeling super nervous when I met my tour group that first night in London. My concerns quickly vanished within minutes of meeting my tour group, within five minutes I felt like I had known them forever. Our group was about half couples and half singles which normally would have annoyed me, but literally everyone on this tour was so wonderful and fun it didn't matter at all. Our tour manager Matt and our driver Jonny were the most UNREAL duo I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Their knowledge and passion for the job was evident from day one. If you get lucky enough to have these two as part of your team you will have the most amazing trip of your life. I honestly cannot say enough good things about them.
The trip itself was busy, we had long bus days and early mornings a lot of the time but that is the cost of getting to see all the beautiful places we got to see. The Swiss Alps and Rome were highlights for me, but every single city we went to was great.
Do ALL the optionals (especially paragliding) they make the trip a once in a lifetime experience, and most people do them all anyway so if you don't do them then you end up missing out.
The friends I have made on this trip are all amazing people, and I am so lucky to have them as part of my life. If you choose this tour be prepared to come back home a different person because this experience changes you, and in my opinion it is for the better.
There are no words to describe how absolutely amazing this tour is. The people you will meet, the places you will go are what makes this trip the best ever. Thanks to our amazing tour guide Mohawk Matt and Coach Driver Vania who made this the best trip ever… compared to all the other managers and drivers we met these two were the best they went out of their way to make sure everyone had the most amazing experience.
You will start the tour with a bus full of strangers and leave with a whole new family that you will miss everyday and will end up travelling the world just to see them. Do all the optionals minus the walking tours because hungover walking through Venice in +25 weather is a waste when you could explore it yourself. If your manager says off nights don't listen.. off nights aren't real. Skip the leather demo in Florence but do the glass work in Venice... Do everything!!!! You will not regret it… In Vienna make sure to hit up the hostel bar with its 4 for 10 euro jager bombs, do the 5 story club in Prague and spend the money to go into the ice bar.. pack your neck travel pillow the only time you get a good sleep is on the coach… eat all the european food and drink all of the wine you may gain 10 pounds but it will be completely worth it in the end.
This tour would have to be the best decision of my life. The tour was amazing, the places you go are breathtaking. Our tour manager Joe was amazing, very knowledgeable and insightful. Our bus driver Jonny was incredible if you ever get these two together on a tour you won't be disappointed.
The me time options are great. I would have to say Amsterdam is a night you won't forget. The group of people on the tour were fantastic and was very hard to leave. It's surprising on how close we got and the bonds we made within a short amount of time.
This is a tour that everyone should do if you want a taste of Europe. :) #NOREGRETS
This is an amazing way to see so much in a short space of time. From biking around the Grand Canyon to pool parties in Vegas to boat rides in Miami, there was so much to see and do. The optionals were fantastic, great variety of activities. I went on my own and it was my first time travelling out of Europe but I met so many great people, there was a fantastic atmosphere between everyone. The accommodation was good, some lovely hotels and some basic but we were so busy that we hardly spent much time in the hotel rooms. Our tour manager and bus driver were amazing, they were always there to help, give advice and just have a chat. It takes the hassle out of planning and organising and allows you to make the most of travelling and having fun!
I would highly recommend doing a contiki tour, it is one of the best things I've ever done. I'm doing another contiki next year in Australia!
I have a few suggestions for Contiki..
Boston; The motel was in Dorchester, which is South of South Boston (Southie area) Opposite the hotel is a clothing liquidator, a sure sign that it's hardly a great neighbourhood. Getting a taxi was expensive. All the Uber drivers I had told me I was lucky to get an Uber out there as it was a seriously unfriendly area after dark. The wifi was limited in the motel...
Again the hotel was a 15-20min drive out of the centre of Quebec. The wifi was atrocious. The second night we stayed in at the motel which had a bar. There were people doing meth in the toilets of the bar and there were drugs being exchanged, witnessed this with my own eyes.
Again, out of town but near a subway stop. You can stay one street away from the Anglo area of Montreal for under $100 per night yet we were out in the white lower class (read into that how you like) area of 'Longueuil' (I know a few people in Montreal) We should have stayed on the Montreal Island, not on the other side of the bridge. Taxi's again very expensive.
Single beds. I am 6ft3 I couldn't fit on the beds. I had to upgrade the room at my own cost of $38 per night after tax so I could get a double bed and my room mate could have two singles... This was one of the better located hotels for access to amenity and sight seeing. I know this area well (was born here) pity about the rooms.... Oh and they didn't have free wifi.... In 2014....
Kenab, Utah: That motel was disgusting. The carpets, I only wish I took a photo, with a black light I hate to think what I would have found there!!!!
Harrah's Las Vegas: Again no wifi... in 2014..... Hard to believe.
I will give credit for the hotels in Chicago and Harrah's in regards to their locations, which were really good!
Lastly, I made some awesome friends, and Vegas was a trip. I'm glad I met some cool people and had a good room mate. I only wish I had the option to pay more for better located accommodation. All the money I saved by being in fringe areas was wasted on taxi and Uber rides....
Cities I recommend: Montreal (Anglo Area), Toronto, Chicago, Madison (Wisconsin), Las Vegas
Feel free to contact me with any feedback or questions....