Your adventure begins in New York City, where you’ll meet fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner
Your adventure begins when a chauffered transport arrives at your front door, ready to transfer you to your home city airport. The luxury continues in New York City, where you are personally greeted by our airport representative, and ushered to the private transfer vehicle that will deliver you to your deluxe downtown hotel overlooking New York Harbor. Take some time to rest, enjoy the plush amenities, or do a little exploring in the Big Apple. It may have changed since you've been here last — but then, of course, it is the City that Never Sleeps. This evening you’ll meet your seasoned Adventure Leader and fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Spend an afternoon shopping or exploring New York at your leisure; tonight, you’ll fly to Santiago, Chile
Start the day with a morning at leisure, perhaps shopping or venturing on your own to see the changing face of the area between the High Line and Hudson River, where the impressive Whitney Museum of American Art transforms the sky. Designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, it's the perfect accompaniment to the High Line elevated rail structure, one of the most innovative urban reclamation projects in the city's history. There's plenty of upscale boutique shopping, smaller galleries, and fun cafes in the area, too. Later this afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Santiago, Chile.
Embark on a tour of Chile’s historic, diverse capital city
Arrive in Chile’s sprawling capital, set between the Andes and the Pacific. You’ll have time to rest and settle in before our afternoon briefing and city tour. Santiago has been Chile’s capital since its founding by the Spanish in 1541, and you will note its architectural diversity as we pass many colonial, neoclassical, Art Deco, and neo-Gothic style buildings. We’ll ride along the famous Alameda — Santiago’s bustling main avenue — and see the Plaza de Armas. This large square dates to the city’s founding and is flanked by important buildings like the Metropolitan Cathedral, Central Post Office, and the Palacio de la Real Audencia. You’ll also see La Moneda Palace, the president’s residence, before we ride up Cerro San Cristóbal to take in the expansive views of the city and the massive Andean peaks that embrace it. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner in a fine downtown restaurant.
Touring markets and Santa Rita Winery before enjoying 360° views of Santiago from Sky Costanera
Our exploration today begins on the north bank of the Mapocho River where we visit the Mercado de Abasto Tirso de Molina, also called “la Vega.” Farmers from the la Chimba valley have always gathered here to sell their fine produce, but in 1895 a covered warehouse was erected. Today you will see eye-popping displays of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, clothing and more — not to mention a full complement of local color. Next we’ll venture to the outskirts of the city to sample another of Chile’s famous agricultural gifts: wine. Our destination is the Santa Rita Winery where you will tour the vineyards and cellars, and taste some delicious vintages, and enjoy lunch. Back in the city we stop at the Costanera Center and ascend nearly 1,000 feet above Santiago at Sky Costanera, an observatory tower that is South America’s highest viewpoint. Dinner this evening is on your own. Your Adventure Leader can make many suggestions as can your VIP concierge.
Discovering Chile’s folk tradition and cowboy culture at Puro Caballo ranch
After breakfast we’ll ride outside the city through vineyards and avocado plantations to Casablanca and Puro Caballo. The name means “pure horse,” but your experience at this ranch goes well beyond equestrian matters to present the traditional huaso or cowboy culture that is an important part of Chilean identity. The staff here dress in traditional costumes and will perform some folk dances, demonstrate ranch hand practices, and also regale us with a rodeo show. A barbecue lunch of Chilean specialties is also included. Tonight, relax before regrouping for dinner in our elegant hotel, which offers myriad sea views.
View Valparaiso through the eyes of its poet son Pablo Neruda before venturing to the resort town of Viña del Mar
Today we’ll explore a bevy of seaside villages on the Pacific Coast, , including famous Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, two cities that couldn’t be more different. Valparaiso or “Valpo” was the birthplace in 1904 of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, and today it is still a thriving center of art, as you will see from the creative graffiti adorning many old city walls. We’ll explore the historic center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is dotted with escaleras (stairways), funiculars, cobbled lanes, and pastel town homes in various architectural styles. Valpo’s gritty charm stands in sharp contrast to Viña del Mar, a glittering resort town whose sandy beaches and elegant malls attract an international clientele. We’ll also stop along the coast to see some other eclectic villages like Concón. Called “Con Con” by the locals, the name derives from the indigenous Chango word “co” for "water," and its duplication references the fact that here is where the Pacific Ocean and Río Aconcagua meet. Lunch will be at a local restaurant where you can try the freshest Chilean seafood.
It’s adios Santiago as we fly to sweeping Buenos Aires, home of the tantalizing tango, which we’ll learn in a private lesson and show
Say adios to Santiago as we transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s sophisticated, European-flavored capital and birthplace of the tango. We arrive late this afternoon and transfer to our exquisite 5-Star hotel, located in the heart of the city. Your bags will be delivered to your room by butler service, giving you the chance to unwind as you prepare for this evening’s special event—an unforgettable experience showcasing Argentina’s famous tango! Considered an integral part of the city’s culture and history, the sultry tango has been declared part of the world's "Intangible Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO. Cultural Discovery: We learn a few steps during a private tango lesson with professional dancers at El Viejo Almacén, a 19th-century tango hall that is considered by locals to be the most traditional in Buenos Aires. You’ll celebrate this famous dance with dinner and a fiery tango show, complete with colorfully costumed dancers and the passionate sounds of its distinctive music.
The essential Buenos Aires: Puerto Madero, La Boca, Plaza de Mayo, and lunch at the famous Café Tortoni
After breakfast, we begin our exploration of Buenos Aires with a private tour of the city’s highlights, starting with Puerto Madero—a former dockland along the Rio de la Plata that is now a stylish waterfront district. We also see the colorful La Boca district, once the gritty home of African slaves, Genoese sailors, and other immigrants. Argentinians claim that the tango was born here and especially along the cobbled street called El Caminito, you will see many stalls selling tango wares and dancers practicing their paces. La Boca is also famous for its rainbow of brightly painted houses. We’ll also see the central Plaza de Mayo, the main governmental square with its Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada, the President’s palace. Its balcony was where Eva Perón (Evita) famously addressed the masses, and her presence is still felt throughout Buenos Aires today, nearly 70 years after her death. Cultural Discovery: At the end of our tour we’ll walk to the famous Café Tortoni, a popular gathering place among the 19th century’s elite, for lunch. Inspired by a Parisian café, the ornately appointed, art-filled Café Tortoni is considered among the world’s most beautiful.
The balance of the afternoon is free for you to relax and explore or shop on your own.
Discover the pleasures and particulars of polo on an excursion to the Argentinean Pampas
Today you will be introduced to Argentina’s rich polo culture. The country is known for its champion polo players, and we learn about the sport’s rich history and tradition during an excursion to an estancia (ranch) in the Argentinean Pampas, or vast lowland plains. Cultural Discovery: Our day begins with a visit to a renowned polo ranch. We’ll learn more about the sport and horses, and witness some impressive horsemanship during a private exhibition of two chukkers — the best way to be introduced to the game. And once we’re inspired and knowledgeable, it’ll be our chance to ride during a polo lesson with some professional players. Our day at the ranch will also include a delicious barbecue lunch. Once we’ve returned to beautiful Buenos Aires, the balance of the day and evening is at leisure.
Fly to stunning Iguassu Falls for a walking tour from the Argentinean side, before a sumptuous dinner with a view
After breakfast, we fly to stunning Iguassu Falls, a series of cataracts that is taller than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls, and which comprises the largest waterfall system in the world. It sprawls across both the Argentinian and Brazilian borders and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, our VIP concierge tends to your luggage and assists with a private transfer to our luxury hotel. You room here offers a spectacular view of the magnificent cascades.
Unforgettable Moment: You’re in for a real treat this afternoon as we view Iguassu Falls from the Argentinian side. We’ll head out on a walking tour, following the pathways along the park’s upper trail. You’ll find that the Argentinean side offers the most varied up-close views. This evening, we savor an included dinner at Garganta del Diablo restaurant, where the views are as fine as the cuisine.
Cross the Brazil border to view Iguassu from some exhilarating angles, then take a rewarding boat ride into Devil’s Throat
Today's view of the falls from the Brazilian side offers a completely different perspective. We venture along a sturdy catwalk 3,600 feet over the falls for a remarkable view of the Devil's Throat, where water thunders down into a U-shaped canyon and multiple rainbows abound. Later, we savor lunch at the park. Then, for a closer and more thrilling view, we ride to Macuco, take in the exotic jungle flora and fauna, and then embark an inflatable expedition boat and zoom right into the horseshoe of the Devil’s Throat. Prepare to get a little wet!
Back at the hotel this evening, we gather for a private cocktail party accompanied by a harpist as you toast yet another peak experience during your global adventure.
Fly to fabulous Rio de Janeiro, breeze up Sugar Loaf Mountain in a cable car, then dine at a churrascaria
Today we'll transfer to the airport and fly to Rio, Brazil’s largest and most famous city. One look at its powdery white beaches, humped emerald islands, and mountain peaks, and you will know why the native cariocas call it Cidade Maravilhosa, or “marvelous city.” But the marvel of Rio is more than skin-deep: here is a cultural hub where the samba is literally danced in the street, where you will find most of Brazil’s major media and entertainment outlets, and where you can enjoy the nation’s hottest arts and culinary scene. Unforgettable Moment: This afternoon, we’ll arrive and ride a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain—the granite peak that overlooks the city, where we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the bay and its many curving beaches, and the peak of Corcovado.
This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at a local churrascaria, a popular rotisserie-type restaurant. The rodízio service we enjoy here has waiters come to our table to present different grilled meats on skewers, which they slice off for us with large knives. You’ll be able to sample various cuts, all accompanied by delicious side dishes. Later, relax at your deluxe hotel in the heart of world-famous Copacabana beach.
Rio’s Carioca Landscape, Christ the Redeemer, and legendary Copacabana
Set off on a scenic ride aboard a cogwheel rail train through the Tijuca Forest. Nestled among the hanging orchids and lush palm trees are many wildlife species. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful toucans with their giant beaks, scampering lizards, tiny tamarin monkeys, and butterflies. Unforgettable Moment: The area of Rio that sprawls between the mountains and the sea is called the Carioca Landscape and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site both for its natural and cultural significance. When we reach the top of Corcovado Mountain, you will behold the huge Christ the Redeemer statue—one of the New Seven Wonders of the World—and take in the best view of Rio de Janeiro.
Back in Rio we’ll stop along the beach and grab a cold coconut water from a streetside vendor, then continue to the Confeitaria Colombo. This opulent 19th-century café is adorned with gilded mirrors, marble counters, and stained glass, and has long been beloved for its decadent pastries and sweets. We’ll enjoy a buffet lunch upstairs at its Cristóvão restaurant, then have the rest of the afternoon free. Our historic hotel on Copacabana has its own private beach. Perhaps you’ll relax on a chaise lounge and let a waiter bring you a frosty caipirinha, the national drink made with cachaça (sugar cane liquor) and lime. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Fly overnight to Johannesburg, South Africa
After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to South Africa.
Fly to Victoria Falls and unwind in its elegant, eponymous hotel
Today, you’ll fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, home to one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. Unforgettable Moment: Upon arrival, we check in to the historic and gracious Victoria Falls Hotel. The “Grand Old Lady of the Falls” is a bastion of Edwardian elegance that offers the singular pleasure of being able to see the mists rise from the falls. History can seemingly be found in every corner of this esteemed hotel, yet it has also been upgraded with modern comforts you’d expect from a five-star hotel. We’ll enjoy an afternoon cocktail reception, sipping on signature libations while enjoy the ambiance of our five-star environs. Dinner is at the hotel.
See the “Smoke that Thunders” and nestle into your luxury riverside lodge
We enjoy a guided visit to Victoria Falls National Park. It’s an awesome experience to hear the roar of the falls and feel the mist on your face as we stroll through the subtropical rainforest created by the humid environment.
Our lunch location offers yet another commanding view. The Lookout Café sits right on the edge of a deep corner of the Batoka gorge. While we eat, we can watch as adrenaline seekers whizz across the gorge on a zipline, or jump straight into it on the Gorge Swing.
We’ll then transfer to Kasane in Botswana, where we’ll board a river safari cruise. This is our first opportunity to soak up our surroundings and start looking for wildlife. Then, we arrive at our secluded getaway: the Cascade Island Lodge. This luxurious island lodge is ensconced at the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers and the rushing waters offer a perfect soundtrack for the utter serenity you’ll enjoy here. Dinner is at the lodge this evening.
Discover the wild wonders of Chobe National Park and Impalila Island
After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll set off for a safari activity Chobe National Park, as you begin your discoveries of this region’s fascinating wildlife. We’ll have lunch in our “floating restaurant” in the middle of the river and feast on some local delicacies. Our adventures on the water continue as we board small boats to explore among the marshes near Sedodu Island. With the sounds of the river lapping against our boat, we’ll keep an eye out for wildlife, feeling fully immersed in this watery wilderness. Dinner is at the lodge this evening.
Experience life in local village and discover Livingstone’s Zambezi River
After breakfast we travel to a neighboring village, where some of the local people welcome us into their homes. You’ll learn about marriage and family customs, and witness the daily work and customs of our kind hosts, perhaps trying your own hand at some household chores. Then, the Zambezi beckons: we set off on a cruise along the very river that David Livingstone once floated down on a voyage of discovery that would echo through the ages. In the evening, a local storyteller regales you with myths and tales from this timeless region.
Fly to Lake Kariba and settle into your deluxe floating safari lodge, the African Dream
After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for your flight to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe, the world’s largest man-made lake. We’ll have a picnic lunch and pay a visit to the Kariba Dam wall. Built in 1955, the dam serves as a source of electricity for 70% of the country. Over 140 miles long and 25 miles at its widest point, the dam’s creation flooded flatlands, hills, forests and villages, creating strange and mysterious sunken landscapes. You’ll get to discover the history and legends surrounding the dam’s construction, including the tale of the NyamiNyami, the Zambezi river god.
The lake itself will be our home for the next few days, as we’ll be cruising it aboard the deluxe African Dream. We’ll board the ship and settle into our luxurious rooms, all of which have breathtaking views over the water. After dinner in the ship’s panoramic restaurant, you may want to head up onto the roof deck to watch the moon rise over the ghostly silhouettes of drowned trees.
A day of Kariba discoveries, including the Gache Gache River and Sanyati Gorge
Dawn today finds us sailing smoothly along this immense lake, as the rising sun turns our languid wake to gold. After breakfast, we’ll hop onto nimble tender boats to survey out-of-the-way corners of the Gache Gache River. The serpentine stream will take us past hidden inlets, patrolled by hordes of huge crocodiles and majestic fish eagles. Perhaps, if we’re extremely lucky, we might even spot Ermintrude, the fabled pink hippo of Gache Gache — a rare albino hippo who lives on the far reaches of this river.
After lunch on board our ship, we’ll explore the Sanyati Gorge next. Here, the lake narrows into a deep, winding valley with steep banks. Wildlife approaches the water to drink, and local men paddle traditional canoes, fishing for tilapia bream. While we’re marveling at the scenery, our guide will tell us more about the creation of the lake as well as its fascinating ecosystem. Tonight, we can look forward to another delicious dinner and a restful evening aboard our luxury ship.
Majestic Matusadona National Park awaits
One of the most unique and stunningly beautiful game parks in this region unfolds before us today: Matusadona National Park. Before Lake Kariba was built, this area was all but inaccessible. Today it’s an Intensive Protected Zone, where hunting is strictly prohibited, and is one of the last sanctuaries of the endangered black rhinoceros.
The history of the park is connected with that of Lake Kariba. The creation of the lake resulted in flourishing grasses around its edge. These support huge numbers of grazers like Cape Buffalo and zebra, and, consequently, their predators. In fact, Matusadona has one of the highest concentrations of lions anywhere in Africa.
In the morning, we’ll go for a game drive in the area, followed by a cruise around Matusadona in a small private boat. As we explore this dazzling waterscape, we’ll be looking out for white rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, leopard, and hyena on the shores, as well as some of the 240 species of birds in the sky and in the trees. As we cruise, we’ll also learn about Operation Noah, a monumental rescue operation which relocated more than 6,000 animals to Matusadona when the dam was created.
We’ll return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon cruising the lake in comfort, enjoying panoramic views from the lounge, or soaking up the sun on the roof deck.
From the placid waters of Kariba to the legendary city of Cairo
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Lake Kariba Airport and board a charter flight to Victoria Falls. From here, we fly overnight to Cairo via Johannesburg for the next leg of our adventure.
Arrive in Egypt to begin discovering one of the oldest civilizations in the world
You’ll arrive in Cairo in the morning and be transferred to your luxury hotel. You’ll have time today to relax and unwind after your travels, and this evening we’ll gather for a cocktail party and a Welcome Dinner.
Prepare to cross the Pyramids and Sphinx off your bucket list as you explore the Giza plateau
Unforgettable Moment: Your bucket list will get a little smaller after today because our morning excursion brings us to the Giza plateau to see the last of the Ancient Wonders of the World still standing: the amazing Pyramids. You will see all three of the pyramids: the smallest, Menkaure (Mykerinos), Chephren (Khafre), and the largest, the Great Pyramid of Cheops (or Khufu.) Also nearby you will see the Sphinx, the giant statue cut from the bedrock in the shape of a lion’s body with a man’s head. It is the oldest known monumental statue in Egypt, built between 2558–2532 B.C.
The Sphinx and the Pyramids comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with our next destination: The Step Pyramid of King Djoser at Sakkara. Built in the 27th-century B.C., this ziggurat-like mortuary temple is thought to be the world’s oldest cut stone building. From here we return to our hotel to relax a bit before our dinner at a local restaurant.
Tour Cairo’s Islamic quarter and Museum of Islamic Art, followed by a visit to the colorful, fragrant souk
Today we move forward in time to another period of Egypt’s 7,000-year old human history. Islam came to Egypt around 641 A.D. and though the invading Arabs admired the capital at Alexandria they founded a new one in present day Cairo around 969. This medieval section is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the focus of today’s exploration.
Cultural Discovery: Begin with a tour of Islamic Cairo, featuring visits to the fortified, medieval Citadel and its grand, domed Mosque of Muhammad Ali (aka the Alabaster Mosque). Be sure to have your camera at hand, as the Citadel’s hilltop site offers panoramic views of the city below. Then, transfer to Cairo’s scenic Al Azhar Park — a vast public green space in Old Cairo — for lunch at a popular restaurant. Your tour continues with a trip to the Museum of Islamic Art, home to one of the world’s most important collections of Islamic artifacts, followed by an excursion to Cairo’s Old Town. Here you will have a chance to wander the overflowing stalls and storefronts of the Khan el-Khalili bazaar — a traditional souk abounding with spices, brassware, carpets, clothing, jewelry, and all manner of souvenirs and collectibles.
This evening, recall your adventures in and around Cairo during dinner at the hotel.
Transfer to airport for a flight to Bangkok
After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport and board our flight, arriving in Bangkok the next day.
Behold the banks of the Chao Phraya River, your home for the next three nights
After arriving we’ll transfer to our Deluxe hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and have the rest of the day free. This evening we’ll get together for a cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel.
Bangkok’s Temple of Dawn, and inside the city’s surprising silk history at the Jim Thompson House
Get acquainted with Bangkok past and present during this morning’s cruise on the Chao Phraya River. Lined with high rise hotels and gilded temples, the river is just part of the city’s network of waterways and canals called klongs, where longtail boats ferry commuters from neighborhood to neighborhood. We will stop to see the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and to peek at the floating houseboats before we pause for lunch at a local restaurant.
Cultural Discovery: In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Jim Thompson House, the home of an American businessman who almost single-handedly revived the Thai silk industry after World War II. Here you will admire some exquisite textiles and learn how they are made, see some stunning Thai art and restored houses, and also hear the fascinating life story of Thompson himself. And enigmatic figure, Thompson was variously an Army officer, CIA agent, entrepreneur, spy, and a lover of Thai art and culture. His efforts to revive the silk trade helped to raise many local families from poverty, and he steadfastly ran the business as a cottage industry so local women could work from home, thereby retaining their household status while becoming breadwinners. Thompson mysteriously disappeared in 1967 and there are many conspiracy theories about his death.
Tonight you will be presented with a Dine Around certificate that can be used at your choice of local restaurants.
Meander the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha before a delectable Thai dinner and show
A day to explore the main attractions of Bangkok, starting with the floating Flower Market, where vendors sit astride their little boats laden with all manner of colorful tropical flowers and produce. Next, we tour the Grand Palace, a complex of gilded statues, royal residences, and temples including Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This tiny jade figurine is one of the most important symbols of Thailand. Cultural Discovery: This evening for our last night in Bangkok we’ll enjoy a special Thai Dinner and Show at the Sala Rim Naam restaurant. Set on the Chao Phraya River in a richly decorated, northern Thai-style pavilion, the restaurant offers a classical music and dance show as you dine on traditional fare such as Lon Poo Talay (sea crab meat cooked in coconut milk), Yaam Talay (spiced seafood salad) or Mussamun Nuea (southern style beef curry with sweet potato and onion).
Enjoy a morning at leisure before flying to metropolitan Singapore
Enjoy a leisurely morning before we transfer to the airport for our flight to Singapore, the cosmopolitan island-country at the southernmost tip of continental Asia. Cultural Discovery: Upon arrival late this afternoon, we are greeted in the traditional fashion with a special orchid lei presentation.
After, we transfer to our 5-Star hotel in the heart of prestigious Marina Bay—just a short distance from six of Singapore's most exciting malls. More than 1,000 shops, 300 restaurants, and an array of world-class attractions are right outside our door. Your bags will be brought to your room by our butler service. This evening, we gather for dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Enjoy a panoramic tour of Singapore hotspots, then take a trishaw ride before an indulgent dim sum lunch
Singapore is known by many names, the Garden City and the Lion City among them. As we witness both its beauty and its might during our stay here, we get insight into these monikers. During our panoramic city tour, we’ll see the cricket club, historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park—featuring impressive views of Marina Bay. We delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery.
Cultural Discoveries: This afternoon, explore the alleys around popular Bugis Street in “local” style during a trishaw ride. Then sample Singapore’s flavorful Chinese influence during a dim sum lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to relax at your Deluxe hotel as you look forward to a lovely evening at the world-renowned Raffles Singapore — an Asian legend since 1887. Here at the Long Bar the famous Singapore Sling was invented—and henceforward enjoyed by a long line of celebrities including Somerset Maugham, George Orwell, Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II, and many others. After raising your glass here you’ll adjourn to the Raffles Grill for dinner.
Singapore’s spectacular Botanic Gardens — then it’s on to paradise on earth, Bali
This morning we’ll visit a remarkable attraction: the Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, 60 acres of spectacular floral displays, including the National Orchid Garden. Founded in 1859, it is one of only three gardens on the planet to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll return to our hotel to check out and then proceed to the airport for our flight to Bali. Variously called the “Morning of the World” and the “Island of a Thousand Temples,” Bali is quite simply a bit of paradise on earth. Upon arrival, we are greeted with a traditional Balinese flower garland before transferring to the luxurious all-villa Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, a legendary hideaway listed among Travel + Leisure's 500 Best Hotels in the World in 2014. Our tropical resort is set on a sweeping ocean bay amongst lush greenery and brilliant flowers. During your stay, you'll enjoy your own Balinese thatched villa with ocean views and a private plunge pool.
Exploring Ubud: monkeys, markets, and a home visit with an historic Brahman family
Today we explore Ubud, the cultural and artistic heart of the island. We begin with a visit to the famous Monkey Forest to see the resident macaques, followed by visits to several remarkable temples and the Neka Museum. Then, we follow the forest road — lined with colorful shops, boutiques, cafés, and galleries — stopping to try our bargaining skills at a local market and visiting the Ida Bagus Marka wood carving workshop.
Cultural Discovery: For lunch, we’ll enjoy Balinese hospitality at its best as guests of a highly respected Brahman family whose ancestors brought Hinduism from Java to Bali in the 14th century. Their beautiful, traditional Brahman home will give us an authentic glimpse into their daily lives. Balinese Dinner ad Dance Show tonight.
Discovering the heart of Indonesia with a Balinese school visit and trip to a royal temple
Cultural Discovery: After breakfast, we visit a Mengwi village, where you will interact with students at a local school. Afterward, enjoy a bus ride through scenic villages to the temple of Taman Ayun — a scenic Royal Temple of the Mengwi Empire, surrounded by a large fishpond. The beautiful, open landscape garden in the front courtyard welcomes all temple visitors — and is an ideal spot for a stroll. This area is notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its iconic terraced landscapes and the sanuk system of democratic water management that sustains it. Lunch is provided at a local restaurant.
Cultural Discovery: Our last night in paradise begins with a Cocktail Reception at the resort, followed by a Farewell Barbecue Dinner at the hotel. Our meal will be punctuated by a performance of traditional Balinese dance, with beautifully costumed artists enacting myths and legends through graceful and symbolic movements.
Enjoy one last breakfast in Bali before flying to San Francisco
We depart our resort after breakfast and transfer to the airport, arriving in San Francisco later the same day in time for dinner on your own.
The San Francisco treat! Explore this dynamic cultural capital or relax for the day
Enjoy a full day to relax explore on your own, or do some last-minute shopping. Our elegant hotel is conveniently set on famous Nob Hill, within minutes of Chinatown and Union Square, and with a cable car stop right across the street. Your Adventure Leader and VIP concierge can offer plenty of suggestions for nearby attractions and lunch spots. Dinner tonight is at the hotel.
What a whirlwind it’s been, now it’s time to fly home
You’ll land back in your home city today, but your VIP treatment isn’t over just yet. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your chauffeur for your private transfer back to your doorstep. It’s the perfect way to end this incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.
(Please be advised that you may be picked up in a limo, a sedan, or something similar, depending upon vehicle availability at the time and place of your pickup.)
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or local representatives at the destination.
Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.
Note: That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.