Australian tour company Intrepid Travel continues to expand its already excellent offering of adventure tours. From expeditions to women's only trips, from Real Food Adventures to hiking, cycling and cultural tours, here are the best new trips for 2020.
Brazil - Northern Brazil: Hiking & Beaches 8 days from CA$2,520 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Experience the heart and soul of Brazilian culture and its remote interior wilderness as you embark on an eight-day adventure that breathes vibrant history and natural beauty. Feel the pulse of Afro-Brazilian beats on the streets of Salvador, sip Caipirinhas on the palm-fringed shores of Morro de Sao Paulo and traverse rugged plains and thundering waterfalls in the verdant landscapes of Chapada Diamantina National Park. Find yourself among lush jungles, picture-perfect beaches, colourful colonial houses and jaw-dropping caves on this perfect Brazilian blend of relaxation and exploration. Contact us about this trip.
Sudan - Northern Sudan Expedition 12 days from CA$4,645 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 You’re going where?!’ Expect to hear a lot of this – accompanied by a slack jaw and wide eyes – when you tell people you’re heading to Sudan. Few people know that among vast stretches of sand dunes, Sudan holds some of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites, ancient ruins and resilient cultures. That tucked under palm trees in oases you can meet people who live in Nubian houses painted with colourful murals, who speak unique languages and practice their own kind of Islam. On this truly Intrepid tour, you’ll discover the remnants of great empires, learn powerful recent history in museums and from the locals you travel with, explore ancient cities and necropolises, and encounter modern Sudan in souks, chai houses and nomadic settlements along the way. Contact us about this trip
Armenia: Trek the Transcaucasian Trail 12 days from CA$1,905 Physical rating: 4 out of 5 Follow the spectacular Transcaucasian trail through the stunning mountain ranges of Armenia on this world-class, long-distance hike that traverses one of the most biologically and culturally diverse regions in the world – and few have had the chance to explore. Feast your eyes upon the dramatic gorges and rocky canyons of the Vayots Dzor province, witness beautiful Armenian architecture at the UNESCO listed Noravank Monastery and indulge in a delicious drop or two as you navigate your way through one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Follow over 3000 kilometres of trail through the impressive scenery of the Great Caucasus and join the community of international hikers helping to put this intriguing region on the map. Contact us about this trip
Iran: Tehran to Azerbaijan 9 days from CA$1,955 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Ever thought of Iran as a country of historic significance, natural beauty and cultural diversity? Wonder no longer with a nine-day Iranian adventure covering the northwest of this ancient land. Beginning in Tehran, discover the sloped village of Masouleh in Gilan Province, explore architectural wonders including the Soltanyeh Dome and Tabriz’s Blue Mosque, wander some seriously old bazaars and make your way into neighbouring Azerbaijan for a peek at its highlights. It’s proud history, ancient archaeology and traditional hospitality all wrapped into one – something that may be out of your comfort zone but is oh so fascinating to experience. Contact us about this trip
Cambodia Expedition: Elephants & Jungles 8 days from CA$1,230 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Cambodia has been largely in the tourist eye in past years, but don’t let that stop you exploring some of its lesser-known historical and natural wonders. Spend eight days wandering lush forests, swimming in remote lakes and waterfalls and traversing through countryside that is sure to delight and surprise you. Observe elephants in their natural habitat, enjoy delicious Khmer food with a local cooking demonstration, and visit the temples that are lesser known than Angkor, but no less fascinating. Your expedition through the outlying eastern haunts of the country will move you away from the usual tourist trail and into a more insightful Cambodian journey. Contact us about this trip
Sulawesi Expedition: Tana Toraja Trek 11 days from CA$1,505 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Experience an island that ventures way beyond the imagination. Hike deep into the mountainous core of Sulawesi and witness the compelling combination of art, ritual and death that’s central to the existence of one of Indonesia’s more confronting cultures, on an unforgettable expedition that’s not fit for the faint-hearted. Inhale the fresh mountain air and traverse dense bamboo forests, undulating landscapes and deep fertile valleys on a breathtaking trek that sees you interacting with the locals and resting in remote villages. Leave the terraces of rice paddies behind to discover elaborate wooden effigies on the cliff-face tombs of Lemo, and meet the Taroja people – who, by faithfully following ancient traditions, preserve the belief that death is all a part of life’s journey. Contact us about this trip
Borneo Expedition: Sabah's Lost World - Maliau Basin 8 days from CA$1,320 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Deep in the heart of Borneo’s Sabah lies a land so wild, rugged and isolated that its beauty has been seen by few people. Welcome to the glorious Maliau Basin, a circle of lush forest and waterways rimmed on all sides by steep cliffs and embankments. Our new 8-day Expedition takes you into this protected, restricted-access area to discover wild orchids and cascading waterfalls set in forest so green it seems to glow. With a homestay in a historic village and a well-earned night in a hotel bookending a three-and-a-half-day trek, this trip is for people seeking active adventure, natural splendour and a personal challenge. Contact us about this trip
Indonesia: Spirit of Bali & Nusa Lembongan 9 days from CA$1,395 Physical rating: 5 out of 5 Why do I need an organised small-group tour through one of Asia’s most visited islands, you ask? Well, a nine-day real adventure of the sights, sounds and smells of traditional villages, untouched countryside, striking beaches and true Balinese cuisine isn’t easy to come by, but we’ve done all the hard work for you. Take part in a water purification ceremony, experience an authentic cooking class away from the crowds, learn the ancient art of Jamu and focus on wellness and relaxation with plenty of free time for you to explore at your own pace. You’ll be understanding why Bali is so highly regarded as a slice of paradise, but you’ll get to carve your own path past some of the serene highlights that it has to offer. Contact us about this trip
Kazakhstan to Mongolia: Altai Mountains Expedition 18 days from CA$6,410 Physical rating: 4 out of 5 Go wild – very wild – as you unlock the beauty of the Altai Mountains on an 18-day far-out adventure through Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. Beginning in Nur-Sultan (Astana), travel to the depths of Russia and the Uch-Enmek National Park, making your way to some of the most isolated and spectacular mountain passes in the world. Weave your way into western Mongolia and discover the secrets of the Ice Age with a glacier trek in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, and see truly wild Takhi horses in Khustain National Park. If you crave those weird and wonderful places, then this is about as uncharted as you can get. So much so, that our inaugural Intrepid Uncharted Expedition, which this trip is based on, sold out in days. This definitely isn’t the usual itinerary you’ll pick up from your local travel agent - except if your travel agent is Adventure Coordinators of course! Contact us about this trip
Russia Expedition: Baikal-Amur Railway 15 days from CA$4,050 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Every bit as rewarding as its famous Trans-Siberian counterpart, this lesser-known Russian rail route follows the Baikal-Amur Mainline and ventures from Russia's Far East, across Eastern Siberia and north of Lake Baikal, where it’s even more stunning than in the south. Learn the traditions of the indigenous Nanai and Evenki people, visit the astounding rock formations of Stolby National Park, soak up the rich history of Vladivostok and Moscow, and learn the hard facts of Russia’s Soviet past in places that saw unspeakable drama and revolution. With the Trans-Siberian Railway so well known, the Baikal-Amur Railway is your ticket off the beaten track and into next-level expedition travel in Russia. Contact us about this trip
Russia Expedition: Permafrost Railway & Ysyakh Festival 15 days from CA$5,175 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Siberia – the very word has become symbolic for all that is remote, rugged and mysterious. This 15-day Expedition is your chance to discover a region that is as enigmatic to outsiders as it is vast. Travel into Russia’s Far East on the historic Baikul-Amur Railway, then board the new Permafrost Railway to Yakutsk, a city built on frozen ground. Learn the secrets of life in the Sakha Republic and immerse yourself in the traditions of the Yakut people. Celebrate the beginning of summer in what is normally one of the coldest cities on earth, revelling in the sun and warmth with locals during the Ysyakh Festival. Admire the wild beauty of the landscapes and tenacity of the people who call rural Russia home. Contact us about this trip
Sri Lanka Expedition: Village & Tea Treks 14 days from CA$2,215 Physical rating: 4 out of 5 Venture off the tourist trail and uncover the raw beauty of Sri Lankan paradise on this heart-pumping, soul-warming, active adventure that takes you behind the scenes of this irresistible island. Trek deep into steamy jungles amid birdlife and butterflies, traverse the undulating peaks and folds of misty mountain ranges, climb winding staircases to the grounds of an ancient fortress, meander through tea plantations dotted with quaint villages and cool down on a hike through the picturesque highlands – then reward your efforts with an epic sunrise on the summit of Adam’s peak, panoramic vistas from the crown of Sigiriya and a lazy day on the palm-fringed beach of Unawatuna. So, lace up your boots and pack your sense of adventure as you prepare to traverse the enchanting terrain of the Teardrop Isle. Contact us about this trip
India Expedition: Wilderness & Wildlife 15 days from CA$3,765 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Embark on a wild adventure of the subcontinent with a 15-day small group tour of natural India. Head to the lesser-visited regions of Madhya Pradesh and Bengal and be struck by the immense beauty and diversity of the surrounding landscapes. Spot Bengal Tigers deep in the jungle on your series of included safaris, discover the ancient tribal art and culture in Bhopal, see the critically endangered Indian Pangolin in Tadoba Andhari, and taste your way around the complex flavours of this region. There’s no wonder why this dreamy wilderness provided Kipling inspiration for The Jungle Book – it’s truly a slice of jungle paradise. Contact us about this trip
New Zealand Active Adventure 9 days from CA$3,445 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Get active in one of the world’s most outdoor-oriented destinations – mighty New Zealand. This nine-day southbound adventure has all of the ingredients for an energetic escape – jet boating down the Whanganui River, hiking to Taranaki Falls, and so many optional thrill-seeking adventures to choose from – helibiking, bungy jumping, kayaking and more! You’ll stay in secluded areas at unique lodgings to get up close and personal with nature, and spend time chilling out in so many idyllic surrounds. From the scenic views of the Marlborough Sounds to the hustle and bustle of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, uncover the wild side of New Zealand. Contact us about this trip
Papua New Guinea Firedance Festival 9 days from CA$4,225 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Travel deep into Papua New Guinea to experience local cultures, natural splendour and island life on a nine-day adventure culminating in the spectacular Baining Firedance Festival. Watch as local villagers invite you into their communities and perform a traditional dance around the fire – a culturally rich and awesome sight to see. Along with this festival, discover the wild beauty of the Duke of York Islands, learn of the fascinating military history of East New Britain, encounter resident spinner dolphins, and let local island life delight your senses. For those interested in a South Pacific adventure which is definitely one-of-a-kind, let Papua New Guinea’s islands capture your imagination. Contact us about this trip
Australia - East Coast Encompassed 18 days from CA$7,124 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Explore Australia’s stunning east coast from the iconic cityscapes of Sydney to the eco-paradise of the Daintree on an epic trip that hits all the highlights in under three weeks. Sample wine and cheese in the picturesque Hunter Valley, meet cute and cuddly koalas in an animal hospital near Port Macquarie and hang loose in the bustling beachside town of Byron. Next, follow the sun-kissed coastline to Queensland and take an off-road adventure across Fraser Island, sail through the picture-perfect islands of the Whitsundays and explore the colourful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Finally venture deep into the world’s oldest tropical rainforest to understand the power of native plants from a First Nations guide, encounter crocodiles on a cruise through mangrove thickets, and stroll along the rainforest-rimmed beach of Cape Tribulation. Contact us about this trip
Canada - Haida Gwaii Islands Expedition 8 days from CA$3,245 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Journey to Canada’s most remote and stunning region on this 8-day expedition. At the heart of this trip is Haida Gwaii – an isolated and wildlife-rich archipelago continuously inhabited by the Haida Nation for over 10,000 years. Discover the beauty of the ‘Galapagos of the North’ and search for ancient totem poles and the remnants of colonial life among evergreen rainforest. In addition to the splendid nature of Haida Gwaii, this takes you on a rare voyage into Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, where you will cruise through the waters of a protected area very few people are permitted to enter to spot wild grizzlies, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. This trip is a breath of fresh air for nature lovers. Contact us about this trip
Canada: Discovery Islands & Orca Camp Expedition 8 days from CA$3,770 Physical rating: 3 out of 5 Escape to orca country with an eight-day kayaking expedition in Canada’s Wildcoast wilderness. Launching from the pristine Quadra Island, take an adventure on the glacial waters of Johnstone Strait to Wildcoast’s Orca Camp: prime killer whale territory, alongside porpoises, dolphins and humpbacks. Be encapsulated by misty forests lining the banks of northern Vancouver Island to the east, and mainland Canada to the west. After each day of exploring, nestle in a cedar hot tub and relax in your oceanfront glamping site. This is a nature lover’s dream to the remote Discovery Passage, without leaving any creature comforts behind.
Ukrain - Highlights of Ukraine 8 days from CA$2,000 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Ukraine may be off the tourist trail, but it certainly piques your interest – a confronting nuclear history, beautiful natural scenery and a charm that permeates through each place you explore. Spend time on this eight-day exploration of Ukraine to meander your way through laneways and boulevards teeming with history, culture and traditional cuisine. You’ll see Chernobyl’s abandoned ghost towns, the Carpathians’ charming villages, and two cities similar in spelling but unique in style: Kiev and Lviv. Put the ‘u’ in Ukraine while you journey the essentials of this far-flung nation. Contact us about this trip
Romania, Moldova and Ukraine: Eastern Europe Discovery 29 days from CA$6,865 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 From the beautiful Baroque churches of Budapest and the haunted castles of Transylvania to the breakaway republic of Transnistria and the nuclear exclusion zone at Chernobyl, this 29-day Europe trip isn’t like the usual ones. Let your mind wander as you make your way through the Romanian countryside, past the Black Sea and deep into the Carpathian Mountains. This itinerary showcases some of the least visited sights in Europe, but will certainly include experiences that will pique your interest. Get ready for an adventure to head east. Far east. Contact us about this trip
Highlights of Romania, Moldova & Ukraine 20 days from CA$4,820 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Discover the hidden and the unexpected on this 20-day tour of Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. From the breakaway republic of Transnistria – where Soviet values persist – to the eerie wastelands of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, this itinerary showcases some of the least-visited and most rewarding sights in Europe. Go beyond images of stark buildings and stone-faced people and discover whimsical palaces set in picturesque hillside, share songs and stories with welcoming families and feast on borscht, chicken Kiev, pierogis and Moldovan wines. Contact us about this trip
Poland and the Baltics Explorer 18 days from CA$5,295 Physical rating: 2 out of 5 Uncover the cultural riches and historical intrigues of four fascinating countries on a journey through Poland and the Baltic states. This 18-day highlights tour of Poland and the Baltics will get you in the know with Soviet history, inspired by the variety of architecture and cultural richness of the country, and full of as much pierogi and vodka you can manage. Let Poland please you with a journey through its urban attractions, then cross into Lithuania, before exploring the Baltic capitals of Riga and Tallinn. Encompassing both historical attractions and outings for the active, a bit of Europe both old and new, this is the trip for travellers wanting to check out a side of Europe often overlooked. Contact us about this trip