The festive season is in the rearview mirror – a brand new year awaits, bringing with it a sense of optimism, opportunity and a blank canvas from which you can etch out your travel fantasies for the next 12 months. January is the perfect time for an adventure, and we’ve chosen our top destinations to hit the ground running in 2023.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Bali, for a serene start to the year
This real life tropical paradise is a place to escape to, so drop off your mental baggage at the airport and unwind in Blissful Bali. With average January temperatures at a dreamy 26C (78F) – glorious sunshine will be interrupted by the odd tropical downpour – you can leave your Vitamin D tablets behind, too. The beauty of Bali is that you can enjoy ultimate relaxation or hair-raising adventure, or perhaps a healthy balance of both.
The last option is what we aimed for with our 12-day Epic Trip in Bali, which features sunrise mountain hikes and snorkelling with sea turtles, alongside yoga classes, traditional Balinese ceremonies and plenty of time beside the pool.
Mexico, for adventures of every kind
January might just be the perfect time to visit Mexico. It’s in the thick of dry season, with average temperatures in the mid-20s (C), but also avoids the busier school vacation months of December and February. So whether you want to chill on the pristine beaches of the Yucatán, explore ancient Mayan ruins or dive deep into the country’s many vibrant towns and cities, this is the time to do it.
We have a whole range of trips in Mexico, with plenty of January departures, too. Discover the architectural beauty of vibrant cities in Central Mexico, cruise through towering canyons in Chiapas or see the epic Copper Canyon by train.
Northern Thailand, for off-the-beaten-path fun
The Chiang Mai region of northwest Thailand is a place of extraordinary beauty. Picture cascading waterfalls that reveal themselves from deep within the overgrown shrubbery of tropical jungles. Imagine canyons, mountains, incredible sunsets and elephants playing in the water. That’s Northern Thailand. A place of natural splendour just waiting to be explored – and in the middle of dry season, January is the perfect time to do it.
Join us this January on a 10-day Epic Trip to Northern Thailand for jungle treks, waterfalls dips, sunsets at Pai Canyon, sunrises from Thailand’s highest mountain and fun with the elephants at a rescue sanctuary.
Morocco, where vibrant culture meets natural phenomena
Sample a little bit of everything with the ever-changing landscapes of North Africa this January. In Morocco you can go from the bustling hive of energy that is Marrakech, with its mazy alleyways and sensory stimulating markets, to the otherworldly expanses of the Atlas Mountains and the dusty vastness of the Sahara desert. There’s always something new to discover here, and with so much to see, do, taste and smell, we think Morocco should be right at the top of your bucket list in 2023.
Join us this January for an epic 11-day exploration of Morocco’s many faces. We’ll start in Casablanca, before heading to the brilliantly blue houses of Chefchaouen and the thrilling alleyways of Fez Medina. Then, we’ll go deep into the Sahara for sunrise camel rides and Berber-style dining under the stars, before heading to the Atlas Mountains to see the stunning Todra Gorge. Finally, you’ll end up in Marrakech, for a street food tour and a traditional cooking class.
Belize and Guatemala, for sunny shores and laid-back living
This pair combines Central America’s fascinating cultures with a laid-back Caribbean spirit – perfect for a little January detox. In Guatemala, you can expect the quaint beauty of colourful old colonial towns and the striking majesty of volcanic landscapes. Meanwhile, Belize offers coastal heaven, with pristine Caribbean beaches, vibrant wildlife and gorgeous, temperate waters for swimming and snorkelling.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.