9 ways to learn from Indigenous communities in 2024

written by Gemma Music December 3, 2023
a woman in a mask with owl-like features

Discover the wisdom and cultures of Indigenous people with these experiences across the world. 

In the new year, Intrepid is bringing travellers more ways to connect with Indigenous cultures, traditions and communities worldwide. As part of The Goods for 2024, this round-up of experiences will take you into the heart of Indigenous heritage.   

1. Spend time with the Terraba community in Costa Rica 

Costa Rica has it all. Impressive beaches, dense jungles and arguably one of the most iconic birds in the world – toucans! And we can’t forget about sloths. One way to unearth the best of Costa Rica is to spend time with an Indigenous community on the Terraba River. On the super-cool and new Best of Costa Rica Family Holiday, travellers can hang with locals to uncover 500 years of life on land. Kids will love the hands-on traditional wooden mask carving and chocolate-making experience, and a home-cooked lunch will help fuel their curiosity and satisfy tummies.  

2. Dig into some bush tucker with a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) guide  

Hungry to learn about native bites? Drive along the Tasman Peninsula, stopping at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) on the Best of Hobart & Southern Tasmania trip to savour a bush tucker learning experience. Uncover centuries-old secrets of the land with a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) guide, taste hand-picked treats and listen to cultural stories as you walk the land together.  

3. Sleep in a hogan, a traditional Navajo hut in Monument Valley  

The crew will love sleeping under the stars on the new Western USA Family Holiday. There’s a big chance the kids will say: ‘Best! Sleepover! Ever!‘ after staying in a traditional Navajo hut made of logs and earth. The memories will last forever, and the knowledge shared by your Navajo guide on a 4WD tour will deepen your understanding of the history and culture.  

Hogans in Navajo nation reservation at Monument Valley, Arizona, USA

4. Join a Cree medicine walk in Banff, Canada  

You’ll find many reasons to love the new Classic Canadian Rockies trip – magnificent mountains for starters, but it gets better. Discover another side of Banff on a guided Indigenous medicine walk. Kick things off with a traditional tobacco blessing and trace the edge of Cascade Ponds with a local Cree guide. Listen closely and absorb traditional knowledge, including generations of wisdom about the area’s plants, trees and bushes, and how nature can be harnessed for natural remedies.  

5. Get to know the Atayal tribe in Taiwan  

Only approximately 2.5 per cent of the Taiwanese population are identified as indigenous, and the Explore Taiwan trip allows travellers to meet one of the 16 main groups, the Atayal tribe. This is a rare chance to learn from an incredible community, delving into the cultural significance of their face tattoos and clothing. Foodies will love making local bamboo rice before the group comes together to share a flavourful indigenous home-cooked lunch. Before leaving, you’ll see the tribe’s traditional hunting and trap-setting techniques.    

6. Head out on a First Nations-guided eco-tour near Cairns  

Gain insights about the world’s oldest living culture on a guided tour with traditional owners near Cairns. Learn about Country at Mandingal Bay, where mountains are home to rainforests, and vast wetlands are home to local birdlife. Walk to Hills Creek, where the sea meets fresh water and connect with Country during a traditional smoking ceremony to cleanse and ward off bad spirits and deepen your understanding of ancient culture from traditional owners. Experience all of this on the Daintree & Cape Tribulation Adventure.  

Gain insights about the world’s oldest living culture | Credit of maningalbay.com.au

7. Meet a local mask maker at an indigenous artist’s village  

Nicaragua, Central America’s largest country, has natural beauty and a fascinating history. Learn about different chapters in time at the Monimbo artist village outside Leon on the Nicaragua & Beyond trip by meeting a traditional mask maker. Get to know the artist and learn about the significance of the masks, how they are created and the Indigenous perspective of the revolution.  

8. Hike through Lower Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide  

Prepare to feast on the awe-inspiring beauty of the Lower Antelope Canyon and join a Navajo guide on the new Zion Glamping Adventure or the LA to Vegas: Grand National Parks trip. Descend into the lower canyon via a series of staircases. At the same time, take in local history and fascinating stories to deepen your connection to the landscape with local knowledge. This experience will be one for the books. 

9. Walk in the footsteps of a Ngarrindjeri Elder at a winery in South Australia  

Don’t miss a chance to learn about First Nations culture at Gemtree Wines in McLaren Flat. Join Ngarrindjeri elder Mark and trace the Gemtree Eco Trail as he shares ancient stories of his people, plus the importance of caring for the land, waters and ecosystem and finding a connection to Country. Keep the conversation flowing over a native food plate and an optional flight of biodynamic wine. You can find this new experience on the Best of South Australia trip. 

Want more? Check out The Goods to learn more about Intrepid’s new trips and experiences for 2024.   

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