Travel Partner: TCS World Travel
Duration | 24 Days
Destination | Global
Starting Price | $79,950
Discover nine legendary destinations—including 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites—that have captured the imaginations of humankind on one seamless, all-inclusive journey. Follow in the footsteps of great explorers, crossing miles and spanning centuries on a custom-configured private jet.
Arrive in Orlando on your independent flight and meet fellow travelers and expedition staff at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
Machu Picchu is the most outstanding and best-preserved example of Inca architecture in existence today. Ride the privately chartered, historic Hiram Bingham train through the Sacred Valley of the Inca to the mountaintop stronghold of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the new seven wonders of the world. Wander through the ruins with your expert guide, learning about the Inca civilization and the history of this archaeological treasure.
In historic Cusco—once the capital of the Inca empire and our base for exploring Machu Picchu—trace the legacy of Inca and Spanish rule in the Plaza de Armas. Visit the Inca ruins in Chinchero where the Sapa Inka, or ruler of the empire, had a second home. Meet a master Andean weaver from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco who is working to preserve traditional Peruvian textile art.
Alternate: If you’re interested in something other than Machu Picchu, consider traveling by local air to Peru’s North Coast. Visit the Moche temples of Trujillo, whose burial chambers rival those of King Tutankhamun, or explore Chan Chan, the world’s largest adobe city.
Accomodations A former 16th-century Carmelite convent, the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, has been restored to become the city’s premier luxury hotel.
Accomodations Stay in the Hotel Libertador Trujillo, situated on Trujillo’s main plaza and just minutes away from the area’s famed archaeological sites. During our brief stopover in Lima, enjoy the Belmond Miraflores Park.
*For the September departure, we will enjoy four nights (Days 2 - 5) in Peru. Guests going to Machu Picchu will spend three nights in Cusco and one night in Lima at the Belmond Miraflores Park. Guests choosing the North Coast alternate will have two nights in Trujillo and two nights in Lima.
Local legend tells of a Polynesian chief who first sailed to Easter Island in a double canoe 1,500 years ago, a journey that would have taken at least two weeks at sea.
What happened to the Rapa Nui people in the centuries that followed remains a mystery. Their rapid decline has been attributed to everything from environmental degradation, civil war and disease to the impacts of constructing elaborate monuments—called moai. Experts still do not fully understand what the statues signify, nor how the Rapa Nui people moved the massive moai, which weigh as much as 20 tons.
Gain insight into the island’s fascinating history from former governor Sergio Rapu. Explore the striking ceremonial village of Orongo, home of the mysterious cult of the birdman. At the ceremonial complex of Ahu Tahai, see moai as the artists intended them to be; this site is home to statues carefully restored by the late archaeologist Dr. William Mulloy. In the fascinating quarry of Rano Raraku examine hundreds ofmoai left in various stages of completion and learn how Easter Islanders may have transported the massive statues.
On our last evening, indulge in a festive dinner complete with a scintillating performance of traditional Polynesian music and dance.
Accomodations The unique Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa was designed to honor the ceremonial village of Orongo and inspired by the architectural shapes of the ruins. The hotel features a pool and relaxing spa.
*Guests on the September departure will spend one night (Day 6) on Easter Island.
Cross the international date line, losing a day en route, before arriving in Samoa.
The complex celestial navigation and dangerous open ocean voyages taken on by early Polynesian settlers are considered one of the greatest stories of human exploration. Even today, the majority of Samoa’s population follows a traditional village lifestyle. During this brief stopover on our way to Australia, enjoy idyllic island surroundings and sample rich Polynesian culture in the middle of the South Pacific.
Tour Villa Vailima, the estate where Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson spent the last years of his life. Enjoy a private kava ceremony—an important tradition named after the Polynesian signature beverage.
Opt to visit a Samoan Women’s Committee, where you will learn more about island life and have the opportunity to support grassroots efforts. Women help manage everyday village affairs through these committees, which are an integral part of Samoan society. See how they weave traditional mats and craft garlands—skills that are passed down through generations—and get an up-close look at local village culture. Enjoy a festive fia fia feast and show. Held poolside, this spectacle of indigenous performance includes a dazzling fire-dance.
Accomodations Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, located by a white-sand beach and sparkling blue lagoon, is renowned for its warm hospitality. Enjoy a spa treatment surrounded by tropical gardens or relax with a cocktail by the lagoon-style pool.
Deemed one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is considered the largest structure made by living organisms. Though reefs cover about one percent of the ocean floor, they support roughly 25 percent of marine life. They also provide an important role as buffers against storms and waves.
Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef’s northern reaches and explore the famous seascape with a marine biologist. Many of the 1,500 species of tropical fish and 30 whale species that inhabit the reef can be found here. Explore the intricate marine ecosystem and meet the colorful inhabitants face-to-face on a guided snorkel tour. Turtle sightings are always likely—the reef is home to six species of sea turtles, including the endangered loggerhead.
Alternatively, embark on an expedition into one of Australia’s last pristine areas: the Daintree Rainforest. Stroll the winding paths through the old-growth forest with an aboriginal guide from the Kuku Yalanji people. Learn about their special relationship with the environment as you spot tropical birds darting through the trees and refresh in the mist of sparkling waterfalls.
Accomodations Set on nearly 10 acres on the secluded beachfront of Four Mile Beach, the Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort and Spa boasts extensive gardens, an expansive lagoon-style pool and a beautiful palm-lined beach.
Stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat with a local guide. Cross the temple’s protective moat and trace history as you admire intricate towers, polished stones and elaborate relief work created in the 12th century. The world’s largest religious monument, this multi-spired architectural masterpiece was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and the Khmer King Suryavarman II.
The many expansive temples and complexes in the vicinity of Angkor Wat speak to the strength and grandeur of the Khmer empire. Explore the vast Terrace of the Elephants, the intricate Terrace of the Leper King and the enigmatic faces of the Bayon Temple. Trek into the jungle to the remains of Ta Prohm, a partially excavated temple with giant trees growing up through its ancient stone walls.
In the evening, discover the culinary landscape of Siem Reap on a private excursion aboard the local mode of transportation—the tuk-tuk. Sample Cambodia’s national dish, curried fish steamed in banana leaves known as amok, and refreshing green mango salad and spring rolls. Conclude your visit with an Apsara dance performance in which graceful dancers relate ancient myths with subtle gestures and sinuous poses.
Accomodations Just five miles from Angkor Wat, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has been restored to its original colonial architecture and features elegant guest rooms, a pool inspired by the ancient royal bathing pools of Angkor and nearly 15 acres of tropical gardens.
Awake early for a morning visit to the Taj Mahal when the rising sun bathes the mausoleum’s white marble exterior in varying shades of orange and purple. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the new seven wonders of the world, with your expert guide, learning about its construction, as well as the history of the Mughal Empire. Emperor Shah Jahan dedicated 22 years of his life to building the Taj, a memorial to his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Walk the raised pathways and ponder the vision that brought white minarets, red sandstone walls and rich green landscaping together under vast blue skies. Discover the Taj’s inner sanctuary and admire the intricate Islamic geometrical designs in the marble. Designed as much for inner beauty as it was for its striking exterior, the Taj’s interior features white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, calligraphy, lattice and floral designs.
While in Agra opt to visit the Agra Fort; legend has it Shah Jahan spent his final days imprisoned here by his son. Tour Emperor Akbar’s grand tomb, which includes stonework and minarets similar to the Taj Mahal. Cross the Yamuna river for a taste of local life in the village of Kachhpura. Here you will witness a lifestyle rarely seen by visitors and experience the warmth and hospitality of India’s people. Before departing, join fellow guests and staff for a grand gala of Indian pageantry.
Accomodations One of the finest hotels in the world, The Oberoi Amarvilas overlooks the Taj Mahal, providing stunning views of this monument. Take a walk through the Mughal-inspired gardens, refresh your spirit at the reflection pools and marvel at the richly detailed interiors.
Your safari adventure begins immediately upon landing in the middle of the Serengeti, Tanzania’s largest national park. In the morning, start the day on a hot air balloon, flying high above the African plains—this serene flight is the perfect way to view the scale and grandeur of the ecosystem known to the Masai as the “Endless Plains.”
Embark on game drives across the seemingly unending landscape, which serves as the backdrop to one of the most ancient migration rituals on Earth. Throughout the year, more than one million wildebeest, accompanied by gazelles and zebras, make a circuitous, perilous trek across the Serengeti, seeking out fresh grazing and water. Along the way, they encounter lions, leopards, crocodiles and other carnivores always on the hunt, resulting in a primal spectacle unlike any other. Because this cycle is continuous, the Serengeti is always teeming with a dizzying array of wildlife.
Alternate: If you’d like to see a different side of Tanzania, opt to visit the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Observe its permanent population of about 25,000 animals, including critically endangered black rhinos.
Accomodations Deep within Africa’s finest game reserve, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti delivers an unparalleled luxury safari experience. You can even watch elephants at the local watering hole as you float blissfully in the infinity pool. Enjoy a rejuvenating spa and stylish, comfortable guest rooms.
Alternate: On the edge of the caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is the perfect base for crater exploration. Guest rooms immerse you in colonial-style luxury and your private viewing deck offers panoramic views of the crater.
Nearly two-thirds of Jordan is covered by great expanses of arid desert. Gold-tinged red sandstone cliffs arch up into the sky, while plateaus eroded by winds stretch toward the horizon. In the middle of this stark beauty lies Petra.
This naturally fortified city was located at an important crossroads used by caravans on trade routes accessing much of the Middle East. Elaborate water storage systems allowed its inhabitants to create a rich, sprawling metropolis of lush gardens, fountains and villas in the arid desert environment. Petra’s architecture reflects a fusion of ideas and styles, combining traditional Nabataean rock-cut buildings with Hellenistic façades featuring columns and intricate sculptures.
Imagine you’re one of the first explorers of this once-forgotten desert city as you walk through the Siq, a narrow chasm in the bedrock, and emerge before the elaborate Treasury. If you’re feeling adventurous, join your guide on the 1,000-step climb to the enigmatic Monastery. In the evening, enjoy a private celebration featuring local cuisine and a Bedouin folk show.
Early the next morning, embark in a four-by-four vehicle to explore the lunar-like landscape of Wadi Rum, made famous in the film “Lawrence of Arabia.” Spot exquisite Nabataean rock carvings in the Khaz’ali Canyon before marveling at the awe inspiring views of the desert from Lawrence’s Spring.
Accomodations Situated just steps away from the entrance to the Lost City of Petra, the Mövenpick Resort Petra smoothly blends Middle Eastern craftsmanship with modern conveniences.
Lying in the fertile Haouz plain at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech has some of the most impressive examples of Islamic architecture in existence. An 11th-century irrigation system is still used to water the city’s gardens and the city is surrounded by massive ramparts built in the 12th century.
Perhaps the highlight of Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fna square is the heart of one of the most vibrant and historic medinas in the world. This ancient walled quarter is filled with narrow, maze-like streets crowded with merchants, fire-eaters, snake charmers, musicians and entertainers. In the evening, sip a sweet mint tea while gazing out over the square as the sun descends behind the surrounding mountains.
Explore the venerable Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, founded more than 400 years ago as a center of learning in the region. Stop along the medina to visit local craftsmen plying their traditional trades of leatherwork, metalwork and jewelry. Stroll through the dreamlike landscapes of the Jardin Majorelle, arriving at the blue fountain that occupies the heart of the gardens. Alternatively, trek into the Atlas Mountains to visit a Berber village. Meet the chieftain, tour traditional homes and eat a Moroccan lunch before returning to Marrakech.
Accomodations Opened in 1923, La Mamounia has long been a favorite among travelers to Marrakech. This century-old glamorous retreat continues to define luxury with opulent guest rooms, decorated in traditional Berber style and offering striking views of the city. La Mamounia was named Best Urban Hotel in the World by Condé Nast Traveler in 2013.
We depart Morocco and fly to Orlando, where we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the Hyatt Regency. You will return home on your independent flight the following day.
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing. Room categories, dates of travel and changes to services will affect the price. Dollar conversions shown (if applicable) will fluctuate throughout the year. Contact the Andrew Harper Travel Office to customize this itinerary to fit your needs.
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