Get access to the most secluded scuba diving sites by hiring a yacht from SamBoat.
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.
Charge up your GoPro for this thrilling immersion into the world of sharks. In protected waters, five hours’ boat ride off the south coast of Cuba, you’ll dive with dozens of curious silky, nurse, lemon and Caribbean reef sharks that glide over vibrant colourful gardens of elkhorn and staghorn coral, fans and pillars. Bored with the sharks? Eyeball 600 pound Goliath groupers resting on the seabed.
The Caribbean Sea – with its shades of indigo and sapphire – is so beautiful here, it’s no wonder the Castros’ secret holiday home lies nearby. You’ll find the spot on the edge of the Zapata Swamp, 100 miles (160km) southeast of Havana. Clamber over the fretted limestone shore to spot a 1961 invasion wreck in the shallows before heading out to a richly coloured coral wall, some 300m (984ft) deep. Search for sinkholes, black coral, lobster and hawksbill turtles here in the Cazones Gulf.
Walk the gentle white-sand crescent of Punta Francés, and look for long-gone pirates’ lairs on the ragged limestone coast and American croc nests in the forest before donning your scuba gear. The shimmering turquoise waters of the Bay of Siguanea are remote, found off this southwest sandy spit of the Isle of Youth, 60 miles (96km) off mainland Cuba. The “Pirate’s Coast” shelters 56 dive sites. Keep your eyes peeled for great hammerhead sharks and rays.
Cayo Largo is the best destination in Cuba for a diving and sunbathing retreat, boasting some of the most beautiful virgin sands in the Caribbean. Most divers come for the dolphins, groupers, and eagle rays but there are schools of nurse sharks and marine turtles. Hawksbill, green and loggerhead turtles lay their eggs on the coral key beaches. Cayo Largo’s Sea Turtle Rescue Center, open to visitors, protects eggs until hatching time in the autumn months.
Looking for a proper dive scene? This small resort is the only scuba resort of its type on the island. Smart wooden bungalows are set on a palm-strewn, white sand beach. It’s less about the big fish than the plentiful coral, lobster, moray eels, barracuda and a couple of 18th-century shipwreck relics. Most of the dive sites are just offshore or a short boat ride away. This place is perfect for novice divers.
A dramatic naval battle in eastern Cuba left a trail of wrecks on the seabed. In 1898, during the Cuban war of independence from Spain, the Spanish and Americans fought in the Bay of Santiago de Cuba. The US Navy attempted to scuttle the battle-scarred collier USS Merrimac at the entrance to Santiago’s harbour to block the Spanish fleet from escaping. She lies at a depth of 22m (72ft) and measures 98m (322ft) long. Note: you can only dive here on an incoming tide, due to huge amounts of floating sediment in the harbour.
You’ll love the lo-fi vibe at the resorts on these two sandy keys. Offshore, there’s a lengthy coral reef brimming with parrotfish, snappers, angelfish, barracuda, and turtles. Out of the more than 20 dive sites, you’ll want to explore La Jaula where sharks and rays lurk, Las Coloradas for its caves and tarpons, plus Los Tiburones, famous for its narrow tunnels favoured by reef sharks. After checking out the underwater world, why not learn to kitesurf on the pale sapphire sea?
Adrenaline junkies, look no further. Off-the-beaten-track but oh-so-worth the journey is the tiny fishing village of La Boca and its gorgeous palm-tree dotted Los Cocos beach. In a small Atlantic channel, a bevy of bull sharks come to feed around a 1905 Spanish galleon wreck. The experience is carefully managed with the Sharks Friends Dive Center where you can get a close-up of these predatory creatures. July to September and February to March are the best times to visit.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Jack Guy.
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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.
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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!
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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.