Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I took this trip back in June 2013 but just now I'm getting around to writing a review. I had an absolute blast on this trip. The lodging in Split was OK but it wasn't expensive so I was perfectly content with it. The trip itself is amazing because Emma our tour guide was always organized and updating us on info for the day... aka tour options, dinner plans, best photo ops of the stop, etc... There were plenty of people to party with or lay low- something for everyone.
This contiki tour was absolutely amazing.
The food, the skiing, the accommodation and the whole atmosphere of the trip was incredible. I experienced some crazy things like paragliding, bob sledding on an olympic track and tobogganing. The night times were so much fun, just chilling at the contiki palace or going to ambiente.
The best part of the trip for me was getting to know not only the people on the tour with me but getting to know the staff. Every single one of the team members were such great people. In particular Minni, she is one of the most lovely people i've ever met. She was wlling to help whenever we needed it. She was always having fun with us and truly went above and beyond her job description, making my trip that much more enjoyable.
This trip was an amazing experience and i definitely recommend it, you wont regret it.
Mexico was so much better than I even imagined. I felt safe the entire time and we stayed in really nice hotels. The food was different to westernised Mexican food but still good! The atmosphere in Cancun is crazy, I've never been anywhere like it. I enjoyed everyday in Mexico with a great combination of culture and night life. Also it was SO cheap (except for Cancun) for food and drinks. Highly recommend doing this tour :D
Such an intense crazy and wild experience.
If you are not a party person this is not your kind of tour. You will just be a party pooper and a total down buzz for everyone else.
I had a great bunch of people who all got along with each other. No douche bags causing trouble. It was easy to get along with everyone even tho I was the only Kiwi with a bunch of Aussies on board lol. I have made so many friends and I still keep in touch on facebook.
Every night besides the nights at the Grand Canyon was a party night. Everyone got together to start the nights with drinking games and for good banter.
Every morning we all had great stories about the the ruthless nights we had.
Activities were great fun. No activity we did was bad or boring.
Our Tour manager Ryan Fockler was great. He made things easy. He was well organised. He really knew his stuff. He taught me a lot about western side of America. He wasn't boring and he was extremely helpful.
Bus driver Adrian was the man. He always got us to our destinations safely and always got us to or destinations early. He was great to party with too.
Overall this tour was a trip of a life time.
Recommend to everyone who loves to party.
Wow! This trip has EVERYTHING! Adventure, relaxation, partying, sights...everything! The perfect getaway that gives you MORE! Cassie was our TM and she was AMAZING! She literally knew anything and everything we threw her way and showed us an amazing time!
Koh phi phi was by farrr the favorite island! Our hotel was right on the beach and the beach parties were insane! (So many beautiful people!)
Contiki offered safety and knowledge...which made us feel confident on our free days to roam about and explore!
James Bond island
Zip lining (if you have an extra free day in Phucket)
Seriously the most well rounded tour! You have time to do everything you want and still be able to chill out and relax on the beach or by the pool! The accommodation is amazing! You MUST check this tour out!
This was my 2nd Contiki...and I will be back for a 3rd! Never disappoints!
I went on this trip by myself and before I had even got to LA I was already speaking with 15+ people who were also doing this trip. We had such a great group of people who all got along and it was our tour managers first trip by himself taking a group. There were big days and long nights out partying and sightseeing of course, but it evens itself out when you have long bus days so you can sleep it off! Never say no to anything because you will regret it. Met so many awesome people, and keep in contact with alot and planning future holidays together even. This really was a trip of a lifetime, there is so much to see and do in America, and travelling solo via Contiki is the best way. Hopefully one day I will do the Grand Northern and have the same experience. 26 days is the perfect amount of time. Don't think about it for too long, this is something you wont' regret!
Highly recommend this tour to anyone out there looking to getaway to somewhere warm and beautiful. The sights are stunning and list of activities to do are endless. My favourite part was probably making friends with the contiki group from all around the world!
Australia was never really on my bucket list, I simply wanted to go somewhere different and the timing worked out for me. This was an unexpected adventure of a life time. This is my no.2 favorite contiki tour yet. worth every penny. If you love outdoor sports, Australia is just the spot for you. Every city brought a new and different treat. I got to bungy jump, sky dive, sail, snorkel, surf, camp (first and last time hehehe), pet a koala, hang a python around my body, hang with kangaroos and also ate quite a bit of their succulent meat. I probably would never travel to Australia again, but I made sure I enjoyed a lot of what it had to offer. A tip for those going to the northern territory, take a bug repellent for your body! I also purchased a face net that made my life much easier...bugs everywhere! lol. But that definitely added to the experience. I took a separate trip to Melbourne to enjoy yarra valley wine and try out their popular food culture...loved it!
oh yeah, Australia is insanely expensive. I had a water bottle which I refilled at every hotel we went to...that helped a lot instead of spending $5 on water, ridiculous.
Courtney is the best tour manager EVER and you seriously have to do this tour. it was the best time of my life by far!
This tour had AMAZING potential. the cities were beautiful and the other members of the tour were really what saved it. Our tour manager was literally the worst I had ever heard of, and I sincerely hope he no longer works for Contiki. I was on this tour from July 21 to August 4 2013, and it was the last part of my 10 week holiday. I had previously been on two other Contikis, which were 10/10 amazing, so ending my trip with this complete dud of a tour was even more disappointing after having such great experiences in the past. Our tour manager, Emmo, was better suited for tour groups aged 65+. He completely discouraged any sort of fun-having, right down to refusing to let us have a Day Song. If you have been on a contiki before, you know that a Day Song is what is played in the coach every morning, plays at the bars you go to, and is overall just the "theme song" of the tour. Having done two contikis before, my self and the girl i was travelling with already had ideas of what we could suggest to be our day song. after sitting through a 2 hour (literally two hours, could have even been more) lecture that was 100% unnecessary, we boarded the coach, only to be shouted at for the slightest muttering about a day song. Our fun-sucking tour manager would not allow a day song and refused any of our protests, as though he wasn't the one we were paying to show us a good time. after two days of arguing with him, we finally got our song. after that, each day was filled with Emmo lecturing us for entire 9 hour drives, not letting us sleep on the coach as we had wanted, him leaving us in a random spanish town, giving us nothing but shotty directions on how to WALK back to the hotel. now this was the real kicker, because my previous tour managers had never left us to our own devices, as they were the ones who were supposed to be the experts. we all ended up getting lost for 2 hours walking around, terrified, constantly asking locals for directions. we were all so upset and scared and it honestly ruined the tour for us. in summary, i would recommend this tour only if Emmo is no longer the tour manager, for that matter, i would recommend not doing any tour that he is working on, if he still works for Contiki.
I had hands down the greatest time in Australia. From the gorgeous views to the tasty food! I took advantage of sky diving in Cairns and it was the best thing I've ever done, I recommend everyone do it even if you're scared. Everyone on the tour got along so there was always someone to hang out with. I'll never forget laying out under the stars on the farm stay. It was breath-taking! I only wish we were able to spend more time in Byron bay... and that the trip was longer! There was nothing on the trip that I didn't love!
Wow. I've been back from my trip for a few months now and I'm still in awe of all that I've seen and experienced. This trip is non-stop with each city showing a change in culture and different experiences. So many amazing things happened on this trip! To name a few: elephant ride, Thai cooking class, Thai boxing, blessing by a Buddhist monk, visits to countless and unique temples (including sunrise at Angkor Wat!), river boat rides, city bike ride, visits to the hill tribes and floating villages and jumping into a waterfall! This trip really shows you how happy people can be with so little and after suffering so much in past wars (the people of Laos especially being the happiest people I've ever met!) I feel so blessed to have met the people I did (both locals and my tour mates!) and have come back with a new outlook on life! I felt safe everywhere we went and with our amazing guide James, everything was taken care of. An incredible way to see everything you could possible want to in these 3 countries, with no hassle. Would highly recommend. This trip definitely makes you richer :)
This trip was absolutely amazing, would recommend to anyone wanting too see what's out there. :) Great bunch of people.
This was my first Contiki trip, went alone not knowing what to expect, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life! Met a lot of wonderful friends, our tour guide was helpful and entertaining. The tour was long enough where I didn't feel rushed from place to place, but short enough where I didn't feel homesick. It's a great taste of Italy, just enough of an intro to make you want to come back to your favorite cities. Definitely recommend Italian Espresso!
Overall the tour was good. We saw many sites and had fun doing it. The biggest problem encountered was the flights booked by Contiki. The airline booked our flight on a Wednesday morning from Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls instead of Tuesday morning when it was supposed to be. Contiki should have confirmed the correct departure date and time well enough in advance to avoid this situation. As a result we had to change our departure flight from Iguassu Falls to Rio de Janeiro. That flight had to be changed to the following morning due to technical problems with the jet. It is not Contiki's fault for the technical airline problems but if Contiki had us on the proper flight the first time, we would not of encountered the delay in our flight from Iguassu to Rio. This resulted in condensed time in both Buzios and Rio de Janeiro. The tour manager did her best under the circumstances and did well to ensure we did everything we planned on doing during the tour however we were very rushed in Brazil with no downtime. I only hope that Contiki has learned from this mistake and doesn't let it happen again.
Great way to see the East Coast of America should your travelling time be limited. Met some amazing people. The pace was varied through out - Party nights in Miami, touring Washington and arriving in New York.
I took my husband for his 30th birthday and we had a blast! All of the people in our tour group were friendly and all about having fun. Mike was our tour guide and did a great job of answering any questions we had. Overall I was very satisfied!
I went on this tour a few years ago in 2011 and I have just booked another Contiki because I had so much fun on the last one. My tour guide was Cam and he was a very knowledgeable guide but was also very relaxed which made for a really fun 2 weeks!
I met up with some fellow Contiki crew the day before the tour started at the hotel, which was a nice welcome to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Bangkok was certainly an experience, although I was very glad to make our way north on the overnight train to Chiang Mai in the country. The train was a very different experience but loved it, I did feel sorry for the 2 monks we had in our carriage though.This felt like the real Thailand! I loved the Thai cooking class, and making big flames with my cooking! The Tigers were absolutely amazing, scary at first until I gave him a big belly rub.
The Long neck people in Chaing Rai was very eye opening as I had never seen anything like this before, and they were so friendly. We had a nurse on our trip which was helpful to the locals who had a sick little boy at the time.
The boat was a nice relaxing time, being able to chill out was just what we needed to prepare ourselves for the next week, a great time to read a book!
Pakbeng was a really cute little place, and glad we got to stop by there.The accommodation was nice, as Cam said about the bathroom "you can sit on the toilet, have a shower and brush your teeth at the same time" that's how small it was :)
Luang Prabeng was great fun, the elephants, the water falls, and a night out a Utopia! Riding bikes around the town was super fun with our local guide Tooey! I did miss out on the giving of the alms which is the only thing I regret about the trip ( I turned my alarm off in my sleep ) So make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time for this activity! Once again the accommodation was nice, and they even have a laundry service so take advantage of this!
The bus trip to Vang Vieng was a very long and adventurous journey. It was supposed to take 8 hours it took almost 13!!! These roads were very very very rough due to the wet season and landslides etc. So be patient and remember its about the journey not the destination. We had a lot of fun singing to old classics and taking in all the local village life. We came to a section of the road that was literally a river! we had to stop and take our bags out of the bottom of the bus and put them into the bus as the water was going to go through the baggage area, it was an unexpected event but gave us a real insight into how the Laoation people live. The locals took the flooding as a chance to go fishing, drink beer and laugh at the tourists is the bus!!
After a very long day we arrived in Vang Vieng, this place is amazing! the accommodation is set right on the river amongst some beautiful mountains.
One thing you must do is Vang Vieng is to split up into some smaller groups and go on a local tour. It cost about $15 AUD, but worth every cent. They picked us up from the hotel and took us to a local street and talked all about their way of life, cost of building a house etc. They then took us into some caves and into a water cave on tubes that attached to a rope with headlamps on, meanwhile it was pouring rain, so don't wear anything you care about, buy a Lao Lao singlet or something! I also recommend taking some sandals such as Teva, that way you can wear them in the water without them coming off. Thongs were kind of impractical at times. The we had lunch in a hut by the river which was delicious! Our guides took all of our bags and followed us down the river tubing, making sure we were all ok. I know this part of the trip has been taken off the itinerary, which is unfortunate but I can understand. I am certainly glad I had a local guide with me when we did this for extra safety.
Vientianne was nice, I think we were only there for a night so I don't recall anything too crazy! We did go to a restaurant that had amazing local food that supported a charity.
We flew from Vientianne to Pnohm Penh which was a nice change to a long bus trip. Pnohm Penh was crazy! We hadn't even pulled up to our hotel and young locals were selling us thing through he windows, such as books and sunglasses. This is great if you want some bargains, but be careful, they wont leave you alone!! The tour to the Genocide museum was sad, but its great to have a real insight into their history.
From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap was also by plane! They save the best till last, I LOVED Siem Reap, the accommodation was just beautiful!! Visiting the floating villlages was unique, great photo opportunity here. Siem Reap had some nice shopping and cafes, I even bought and ipad there! I was envious of everyone else with one which made swapping photos with each other a lot easier. So having a computer or some spare USBs is handy at this point as the trip is about to end. Angkor Wat was just crazy!! Especially drinking champagne watching the sunrise up over the landmark. It made getting up early that little bit more interesting!
The last night in Siem Reap will be the best yet as you have made some really great friends. Believe it or not you only met them 1 days ago and you wont want to leave them :(
I went on this tour on my own and don't regret that at all. I am still in touch with some of the girls and guys 3 years on, and plan more trips together as they are all like minded people. That's why your on this trip right?! To meet people from the other side of the world, gain more contacts for your next adventure, visit them in their country!
All in all this was a life changing trip as I am still talking about this trip, it gave me such an unforgettable cultural experience and I still use the Language I learned on the trip on Thai restaurants here is AUS. I recommend using their language as much as possible, just to see the smile on their faces!
I'm sorry for the long review, once I got started i just couldn't stop, so I hope this was helpful - things may have changed from my trip to your trip though.
My next tour is the Thai Island hopper East in April!!
The tour manger and the coach driver were real real good. I could not ask anyone else to guide me like them. The group was best of all and i had a great time with them. The extra actives were fun and the night life were really good and all the fun we had.