As 2014 draws to an end, we take a look at our most popular group tours this year. We see some old favourites as well as a rise in popularity of recently-added tours and certain destinations in response to 2014’s biggest international events (World Cup, anyone?).
10. Southern Cross
This Budget Expedition (for 18-35s) traverses South America from Lima on the Pacific Coast, to the party city of Rio de Janeiro on the other side of the continent. Travelling first through Peru’s coastal desert, you will then explore the dramatic landscapes of the Andes and the Bolivian Altiplano before reaching the flatlands of Brazil’s Pantanal region, and finally its dramatic Atlantic coast.
9. Cubano Jazz
Voted number 21 of Wanderlust’s ‘50 Best Trips for 2013’, this tour of Cuba emphasises understanding the country from a local’s perspective by staying mainly in local families’ homes. You will taste locally-made rum, enjoy Cuba’s unique blend of rumba and Afro-Jazz beats and wander through colourful colonial towns including Havana and Trinidad on this tour of the Caribbean’s largest island.
A Tucan Travel staple that has been running for many years, this all-encompassing tour of Peru will take you to all the country’s must-see destinations. In 3 weeks you will see the Huacachina Oasis, the Nazca lines, the Colca Canyon, the Inca Trail finishing at Machu Picchu and the Amazon Jungle. You’ll also visit the vibrant cities of Lima, Arequipa and Cuzco, where Peruvian culture and cuisine are all flourishing.
Voted one of The Guardian’s top 30 of the best bargain adventures for 2013, this recent addition to Tucan Travel’s repertoire has been very popular this year. In two weeks, you will travel the length and breadth of the country, visiting the well-preserved ruins of Anuradhapura, going on safari in Yala National Park, relaxing on the beaches of Unawatuna and visiting the cultural highlights of the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Kandy.
This Adventure Tour that visits four Central American countries in just over two weeks has seen a huge rise in popularity from people wanting to get more bang for their buck. You’ll explore Mayan ruins in Honduras, relax on the shores of Lake Nicaragua and get to sample delicious Costa Rican cuisine in San José.
Another Central America tour quickly moving up the ranks, on this group tour you will journey from Mexico City to Cancún on the Caribbean coast, stopping off on the way to explore ancient temples like Teotihuacan and colourful colonial towns including Oaxaca and Mérida.
4. Inca Trek
A must-do travel highlight for South America, the Inca Trail Trek is a challenging yet rewarding 3-day hike through the Peruvian Andes, finishing with a spectacular view of the Lost City of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate on the fourth and final day. This 7-day group tour also includes two nights in Cuzco, a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and a homestay with a local family in Ollantaytambo before beginning the trek.
Travelling through what was the heart of the Incan Empire, this two week tour incorporates an excursion into the Amazon Jungle, the Inca Trail Trek and a homestay with a Quechua family on one of Lake Titicaca’s islands, where strong local traditions have endured for centuries.
This is the ideal short tour if you want to explore Central America’s ancient temples, Caribbean beaches and colonial cities without breaking the bank. Mexico, Belize and Guatemala are all covered extensively, and while you’ll want to stay and keep exploring, this is a great option for the adventure traveller who may have other commitments at home.
With the world’s attention firmly fixed on Brazil during the FIFA World Cup in July 2014, it’s no wonder everyone’s now wanting to get a piece of the action. This incredibly popular tour visits the vibrant capitals of Buenos Aires and Montevideo before heading to the colossal Iguazú Falls, one of the wonders of the natural world. You’ll end up in the home of football, Rio de Janeiro, where world-famous beaches, rainforest-covered mountains and colonial architecture combine with Latin-American passion to create one of the most beautiful and atmospheric cities in the world.
Browse Tucan Travel’s group tours or start planning your tour for 2015 here.
About the Author: Marcus Hunt is Marketing Assistant at Tucan Travel. He has travelled independently throughout Europe and the Americas, and has studied or worked in France, Italy and Brazil. You can find him on Google+ or read his other contributions here.