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SOUTH AMERICA

The Coolest Places in the World You Can Travel to

Wildlife in the Galápagos, cenotes and Mayan temples in Mexico, geothermal springs in Japan – book a place on one of these TRIPS by Culture Trip and you’ll get see the very best of the planet.
Emma Gibbins
14 Dec 2021
With so many wondrous places to visit in the world – across nearly 200 countries – how do you possibly pick where to travel to next? To help narrow down your search and inspire your next adventure, we’ve compiled a selection of some of the coolest places in the world to visit. By joining one of these specially curated TRIPS by Culture Trip, you don’t even need to worry about the logistics.
1. The Galápagos Islands, for abundant wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes

Situated around 1,000km (620mi) off the coast of mainland Ecuador and dispersed on either side of the Equator, the Galápagos Islands are without doubt one of the most unique places to visit in the world. This pristine Pacific archipelago is home to an extraordinary array of wildlife – including giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins and magnificent frigatebirds – as well as numerous remote, uninhabited islands. From kayaking or stand up paddleboarding in the Itabaca Channel to hiking along lava trails on San Cristóbal and swimming with sea lions at Punta Carola beach, this five-day TRIPS by Culture Trip tour will give you a real sense of all that it has to offer.

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2. Iceland, for glaciers, black sand beaches and the Northern Lights

A sparsely inhabited volcanic island on the edge of the Arctic Circle, boasting geothermal springs, vast glaciers and lunar-like desert landscapes, Iceland warrants a place on any traveller’s bucket list. Harsh, volatile weather conditions shouldn’t deter you from visiting this extraordinary country – where the brightness of snow-capped mountains is juxtaposed with ribbons of green as the Northern Lights frequently shimmer in the sky for much of the year. Standout experiences on this TRIPS by Culture Trip five-day adventure include bombing across a glacier on a snowmobile, visiting the three main sites of the Golden Circle – Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Hot Spring Area and Gullfoss waterfall – on a private Jeep tour and soaking in the milky, therapeutic waters of the Blue Lagoon.

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3. Japan, for hot springs, bamboo forests and sushi-making

Japan is a country that truly has it all – neon-lit skyscrapers, bamboo forests, ancient temples, breathtaking mountains and so much more. By joining this TRIPS by Culture Trip 12-day adventure, you’ll get a true sense of Japan’s history, culture and natural beauty. Beginning in the foodie capital, Osaka, you’ll head south to learn about the devastating history and resilience of Hiroshima, before exploring the backstreets of Kyoto by bike and hiking through the vermilion-coloured torii gates of Fushimi Inari – one of Japan’s most important shrines. Sip ‘sake’, soak in ‘onsens’ and marvel at bubbling volcanic geysers in the mountains – you’ll also be treated to fabulous views of Mount Fuji on a cruise across Lake Ashi. Top it all off with sushi-making, taiko drumming and sightseeing in Tokyo – the perfect place to wrap up your trip.

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4. Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, for wild cenotes and ancient Mayan ruins

While towering Mayan temples and idyllic, sandy beaches are its main draws, Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is full of hidden treasures if you know where to look. Join our local insider on this nine-day TRIPS by Culture Trip adventure, in which you’ll enjoy a private catamaran cruise off the coast of Holbox, swim in secluded wild cenotes and discover the photogenic town of Izamal, as well as visit the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza and Coba. A stay in a traditional Mexican hacienda, a traditional Yucatecan cooking class and a cocktail making workshop offers an authentic cultural insight into this vibrant destination.

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5. The Colombian Andes, for mountain escapades and effervescent cities

Colombia is one of the coolest places in the world for a number of reasons – gorgeous architecture, delicious food and spectacularly diverse landscapes, ranging from tropical rainforests and Caribbean beaches to snow-capped mountains. On this eight-day TRIPS by Culture Trip adventure, starting in Bogotá – the fourth-highest capital in the world – you’ll learn about the country’s history and culture before embarking on an epic road trip through the Andes. Raft down the Río Negro, sample world-renowned coffee in the Zona Cafetera and marvel at gigantic Quindío wax palms as you hike through the Cocora Valley. You’ll end up in Medellín, a flourishing, cosmopolitan city which has come a long way since the conflict-ridden Pablo Escobar era – as you’ll discover on a historical walking tour.

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