Africa is home to some of the world’s friendliest people, most significant historic treasures, and famously wild places. From the timeless Pyramids of Egypt to Serengeti’s legendary plains teeming with gazelle, buffalo, and elephants and the lush vineyards of South Africa, Africa has something to delight every kind of traveler. And no matter which country you visit, you're certain to be welcomed with a sense of warm hospitality. Perhaps you'll share a shisha pipe with a local resident in a Cairo café … or spend a day in a Maasai village. Once you've come this far, exchanged stories underneath a star-filled African sky, and awoken to the birdsong in a nearby acacia tree while on safari—you’ll likely yearn to return.
Think of Asia, and images of devotion and spirituality likely come to mind. India's colorfully-dressed pilgrims crowding the holy ghats along the Ganges River. Thailand's glittering Buddhist temples sitting side by side with Bangkok's modern skyscrapers. Nepal's colorful flags and stupas, dwarfed by the Himalayan peaks rising up around them. From Japan's peaceful, timeless shrines, epitomizing the aesthetic ideals of Shintoism and Zen Buddhism to Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple ruins, rising up from the jungle, this part of the world has been shaped at every turn by the beliefs of its devout people and the mind-boggling diversity of its cultures—and therein lies its appeal. It is also a land of great natural beauty, from the soaring limestone rock formations of Halong Bay in Vietnam to the majestic gorges of the Yangtze River Valley in China. Asia is increasingly becoming a destination for gourmands as well, who come seeking India's spicy samosas and Vietnam's steaming bowls of pho. But regardless of whether it's inspiration or simple pleasures you seek, you won't be disappointed.
Central America is so much more than the Panama Canal—as our passionate local resident Trip Leaders will be eager to tell you. Whether your Trip Leader is a friendly Tico from Costa Rica or a Mayan archaeology buff, you're sure to see, through their eyes, a region rich in history and culture. Focus on the ancient Maya, who built the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere here while Paris was just a sleepy village. Or go off the beaten path to meet members of the Embera tribe of Panama, who have only known outside contact for less than 100 years. You’ll ascend the steps of storied Tikal, fly through the Costa Rican rainforest by zipline, or explore tranquil Taboga Bay near the Panama Canal by kayak. Regardless of which destination you choose, your journey to Central America is sure to be an adventure.
You’re certain to be inspired by Europe’s beauty, both natural and man-made, whether you’re passing whitewashed villages perched on sunbaked cliffs as you sail along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, cruising to Turkey’s hidden coves studded with submerged ruins, discovering the enduring treasures of antiquity, from the Parthenon to the Temple of Apollo and the monasteries of Meteora, or trekking past the waterfalls of Iceland. Throughout Europe’s palette of nations, you’ll find storied destinations you’ve read about all your life, there in full color: fairytale villages nestled along mountains and riverbanks, spectacular sight-filled cities, ancient castles, cobblestoned streets, world-class museums, and venerable landmarks. And as you embrace the continental spirit, you’ll understand why OAT’s European itineraries are among our most popular, year after year.
Visiting the Middle East allows you to look beyond the headlines to discover the reality of this fascinating region for yourself. Here, current events often seem like drops in the ocean of history, especially since the Middle East boasts some of the world's most beloved cultural treasures. The red ruins of Petra in Jordan, the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel, the ancient city of Damascus in Syria, the storied libraries of Alexandria in Egypt, the ornate Ottoman buildings and mosques of Turkey ... all remain as evidence of an incredible past that in some ways feels more vivid than the present. However, the friendly people of this region will keep you grounded with their sense of pride and hospitality, and will often go out of their way to make you feel at home. We strive to create these connections for our travelers on all of our Middle Eastern itineraries, so you truly can see for yourself why this part of the world should not be missed.
In South America, life is lived to the utmost: here, you can dance the tango with abandon in Buenos Aires, venture deep into the jungles of the Amazon, ascend to soaring peaks and mystical ruins in Peru, discover the remote islands of the Galápagos, or travel to the southernmost tip of the Americas in breathtaking Patagonia. Here, sophisticated cities with European flair brush up against lush rainforests filled with wildlife found nowhere else on earth. Each country on this continent boasts its own cultural traditions, informed by the ancient indigenous cultures who came before and the modern heroes who have shaped their present—but they all share a sense of warmth and joy that is distinctly South American. So pack both your dancing shoes and your hiking boots, and you'll be well on your way to discovering why our experienced travelers feel such a strong sense of amor for South America.
Images from the South Pacific always seem to appear in bright Technicolor, from the glowing red stone of Australia's Ayers Rock to the electric yellow fish of the Great Barrier Reef. And colorful experiences are what you'll have when you visit Australia and New Zealand, whether you're traversing the volcanic landscapes of Rotorua or strolling through the eclectic neighborhoods of Sydney. Famously settled by British outcasts and adventurers, this region of the world feels at once familiar and wholly refreshing, with traditions, dishes and words that are uniquely indigenous to these countries—and your friendly Kiwi or Aussie guides will explain it all to you as they reveal their countries to you on our action-packed itineraries.