From Mayan ruins to Khmer temples, sometimes the truest treasures you find on holiday are those left behind by ancient civilisations. A journey of 1,000 miles, Confucius said, begins with a single step - and so does a journey back 1,000 years. Discover ‘the world that was’ on these incredible luxury holidays in Europe, Latin America and South East Asia...
Where: Chichén Itzá, Mexico
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is the largest Mayan city in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Built around the year 987, the fascinating site has witnessed ancient pilgrimages, human sacrifice and the rise and demise of the Mayan civilisation.
How to get there: Our Mexico Luxury Tour takes you on a journey into Mexico’s Mayan past, beginning with a visit Chichén Itzá and then on to the magnificent ruins of Uxmal. After spotting flamingos in Celestun National Park and snorkelling in magical cenotes, or ‘sinkholes’, you’ll finish your trip on Mexico’s Caribbean coast for some diving, snorkelling or lounging by turquoise seas.
Mexico Luxury Tour: Hacienda Hopping and the Riviera Maya | 10 Nights
Where: Rome, Italy
The 'Eternal City' was the centre of one of the world’s greatest civilisations, and has been in existence for around 2500 years. When in Rome, visit the ornate palaces, millennium-old basilicas, beautiful monuments and graceful fountains, and marvel at one of Europe’s most ancient and incredible cities.
How to get there: On our Classic Italy Holiday, you’ll begin your Italian getaway in Venice, wandering its picturesque canals, sampling its restaurants and even taking a helicopter ride over the city. You’ll then take a short train journey to Florence, where you’ll be treated to private night visits to its finest galleries, before heading to Rome to explore some of Italy’s finest ancient treasures.
Classic Italy Holiday: Venice, Florence, Rome | 7 nights
Where: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The magnificent remains of ancient Khmer capitals are spread across kilometre upon kilometre of pristine Cambodian forest. The sites date from between the 9th and 15th centuries, and the most staggering of the temples, Angkor Wat, is deemed so iconic of Cambodia that it even appears on its flag.
How to get there: Angkor Wat is the first stop on our Holiday in Wildest Cambodia and is followed by a trip to Kratie to explore the beautiful Mekong River. Heading on to the Gibbon Research Centre, you’ll venture into Cambodia’s jungle to spot red gibbons, civet cats and the pygmy loris.
After heading to Pnom Penh, where you may wish to visit the Killing Fields for a poignant reminder of Cambodian history, you’ll cross the Thai border to spend a few nights on the idyllic island of Koh Chang.
Holiday in Wildest Cambodia: Temples, Gibbons, and Jungle | 15 nights
Where: Machu Piccu, Peru
High up in the Peruvian Andes sits the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Built around 1430, the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ was rediscovered in 1911 but is still shrouded in mystery. The site was abandoned by the Incas during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, and with them they took many of its secrets.
How to get there: See the best of Peru on our Highlights of Peru itinerary, beginning with exploring the staggering Sacred Valley or heading to the nearby Maras salt pans. For the next three days, you’ll trek the Inca Trail all the way Machu Picchu before resting your weary legs in the colonial city of Cuzco. Finally, you’ll be taken into the heart of the Amazon rainforest in a dug-out canoe, where you’ll spend a few nights at the amazing Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica.
Highlights of Peru Luxury Holiday | 16 Nights
Where: Borobudur, Indonesia
The single largest Buddhist structure on earth, Borobudur is also one of the most ornate. With staggering volcanoes as its backdrop, the stupa and temple complex, which dates from the 8th century, is truly sensational. For centuries, Borobudur lay hidden under layers of volcanic ash and thick jungle, and it is still unknown who built it and why.
How to get there: You’ll spend the first few days of our Voyage to the Volcanoes itinerary in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital. Staying at the Uma Ubud, you’ll indulge in traditional spa treatments, explore the region’s many temples, galleries and museums and, if you’re feeling adventurous, trek through the pristine jungle or try white water rafting. Then on to Borobudur, where you’ll explore the sublime landscapes and volcanoes as well as visiting the ruin.
After taking a flight over Surabaya’s spectacular volcanoes, you’ll pay a visit to the Bromo National Park, a haven for nature lovers, and end your holiday on the idyllic beaches of Semiyak.
Voyage to the Volcanoes: Culture, Beach, and Trekking in Indonesia | 13 Nights
Where: Tikal, Guatemala
In the heart of the Guatemalan jungle lies the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Dating back as far as 400 BC, Tikal was abandoned during the decline of Mayan civilisation, consumed by the jungle until excavations began in the 1800s.
How to get there: Explore both Guatemala and Belize on our Guatemala and Belize Luxury Holiday, which begins in the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala. After a few days of sampling its cafes and dipping in and out of its charming markets, you’ll head to Lake Atitlan, a stunning lake surrounded by volcanoes and dotted with tiny Mayan villages. Before making your way to Belize, you’ll pay a visit to Tikal, keeping an eye out for parrots and howler monkeys loitering in the treetops while exploring the ancient ruins. You’ll end your journey in Belize’s beautiful coast, where you’ll spend a few days enjoying some of the continent’s best diving and snorkelling.
Guatemala and Belize Holiday Adventure Tour | 14 Nights