Northern California is home to some of the most spectacular wilderness in the world. Visitors are offered the chance to explore everything under the sun, from iconic peaks like Yosemite’s Half Dome to the sublime forestry in the Redwood rainforests. Read on to get to know our favorite spots around – and maybe start planning for your next adventure!
Yosemite National Park
Possibly the most famous park in northern California, Yosemite National Park stretches over nearly 1,200 square miles and is filled with sweeping valleys, decadent meadows, grand forestry and a vast wilderness area. People flock from all around the world to visit Yosemite, where you can camp and experience any number of outdoor activities. Hike to the famous Half Dome and El Capitan peaks, explore giant waterfalls like Vernal Falls, interact with fascinating wildlife and fall asleep under a gorgeous star-filled sky in this natural haven.
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.
The Desolation Wilderness is located to the west of Lake Tahoe and covers over 63,000 acres. The wilderness is filled with forestry, granite peaks and a series of valleys and lakes, embodying values like solitude, physical and mental challenge, scientific study and recreation. The Crystal Range runs through the wilderness, including the highest point at Pyramid Peak, which is nearly 10,000 feet high. There are a number of waterfalls included here, too, as well as bodies of water like Pyramid Lake and Lake Aloha.
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a cape on the Pacific coast in Marin County, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. This area includes a diverse selection of natural sights, including vast sand beaches, huge grasslands and forested hills. Visit Point Reyes to catch a glimpse of over 1,500 plant and animal species and explore a historical location that has been home to a number of prominent cultures throughout the years. One of the most popular spots to visit is the Point Reyes Lighthouse, which overlooks an incredible ocean view.
Mount Shasta Wilderness
On the high slopes of Mount Shasta stands the Mount Shasta Wilderness, reaching up higher than 14,000 feet. The wilderness covers nearly 37,000 acres of snow-capped, volcanic beauty. Although Shasta is technically an active volcano, you can rest assured that there hasn’t been an eruption since 1786. Instead, you can enjoy the natural wonders and benefits left behind by past eruptions, like ancient lava flows, a hot sulphur spring, raging waterfalls and deep canyons. The wilderness is also filled with thriving plant life, including picturesque forestry and colorful wildflowers in the summer.
Redwood National and State Parks
Located on the coast, Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests best known for being filled with some of the tallest trees in the world. The parks consist of Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast State Park, Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, spanning over 133,000 acres. These four parks preserve nearly half of all the coast redwood old-growth forests, the largest tree species on Earth, in addition to many other species of wildlife and plant life.
Since its establishment in 1969, the boundaries of the Ventana Wilderness have spread to include almost 236,000 acres today. The wilderness spans across the Santa Lucia Mountains, filling the space with steep ridges, rocky peaks and deep valleys. Visitors can explore everything from the Big Sur River to the Junipero Serra Peak, reaching up 5,750 feet high. While adventuring through the wilderness, enjoy nearly 200 miles of trails and keep an eye out for the largest population of mountain lions in the country.
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.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
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.