Discover the slightly weird but definitely wonderful quirks of new places as you explore some incredible countries.
Part of being an Intrepid traveller is collecting offbeat experiences like souvenirs. Have you ever ridden a chicken bus in Guatemala or hunted dinosaur tracks in Morocco? If not, these new experiences added to trips for 2024 make it worth taking the road less travelled to see something new and discover local culture and history along the way.
1. Spend a night in Mt Aso’s caldera in Japan
Spend a couple of nights in the caldera of Japan’s largest active volcano. On Intrepid’s 12-day Southern Japan Experience, you can now hike the moon-like Sunesenri trail to Mt Aso’s largest crater – Nakadake – and soak up the magic of your surreal surroundings by staying in a Japanese inn on the caldera surrounded by tranquil countryside.
2. Ride a 4WD through Wadi Al-Hitan (Valley of the Whales) in Egypt
You definitely can’t skip past the Great Pyramids when you visit Egypt – but imagine seeing a waterfall in a desert. Intrepid’s new Premium Egypt in Depth runs deep into the heart of this fascinating country. After checking out the lush oasis of Fayoum, you’ll visit Wadi El Rayan – a natural park home to two lakes connected by Egypt’s only waterfall. If this isn’t enough, you’ll hop in a 4WD to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi Al-Hitan (or Valley of the Whales). This desert is home to a collection of fossil remains of the earliest ancestors of whales.
3. Sip on local spirits with the shamans of San Simon in Guatemala
Volcanoes, rolling hills and ancient Maya villages surround Lake Atitlan. Intrepid’s new Heart of Guatemala trip will have you sailing these waters in a lancha to visit the local shrine of San Simon – a somewhat perplexing deity with a fondness for indulgence, often seen with a cigar hanging out his mouth. This figure is one of the few remaining Guatemalan deities to survive colonisation. To pay your respects, you can gift a bottle of local spirits to the shamans who watch over the deity and share in the spoils while you learn about the shrine and the shenanigans of San Simon.
4. Hike a new section of the Quarry Trail in Peru
If you’re between 18 and 29 and want to check one of the Seven Wonders of the World off your bucket list you can take a new path to get there. On Real Peru and Real Peru to Bolivia, you could be among the first travellers to see the tombs of Qory Sonq’o Hill. Intrepid has worked closely with the local community here to open a new section of the Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu. On the first day, you’ll take a short climb to a viewpoint of the Soqma Perolniyoc, Pachcar and Huarocondo Valleys, then make your way to ancient tombs that have never been seen before by travellers.
5. Skip stones like a champion on Scotland’s smallest isle
The World Stone Skimming Championships take place on the shores of Easdale. With just 60 people calling this isle home, this is the smallest permanently inhabited island in Scotland, yet it draws in aspiring champions from around the globe each year. On the new Premium Scotland trip, you can visit the glassy pond where the pros compete and try your hand at the craft of skimming stones. See if you can top the 2023 champion’s longest throw of 63 metres.
6. Spend two nights in a medieval monastery in Sweden
Vadstena – dubbed by some as the fairytale small town of Sweden – is home to a family-run monastery hotel called Klosterhotel that was once home to princes, nuns and monks. On the new Premium Sweden and Norway trip, you can now spend a couple of nights behind these historic walls. This monastery is among some of the oldest buildings in the country. Spend your time wandering the gardens, sitting down to a freshly prepared dinner in the restaurant and relaxing in the lounge with a brandy. The stone floors and high cross vaults will inspire dreams of what life must have been like centuries ago.
7. Explore Star Wars filming locations in Tunisia
Named after the tribe that live here, Matmata is a small town in Tunisia known for its underground troglodyte cave dwellings that were built to protect the people from the summer heat. You can now explore some of these dwellings on the new Tunisia Expedition and spend a couple of nights in a troglodyte. If you’re wondering why they look familiar, it’s because they were used as Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars. You can also have lunch at a local troglodyte restaurant where scenes from Star Wars Episodes I, II, III and VI were filmed.
8. Trek the Happy Valley in Morocco’s mountains
When you think Morocco, your mind probably goes to the Sahara, camel rides, bustling souks and the classic Casablanca film. With Intrepid’s Trekking Morocco in the Happy Valley you’ll discover different layers of this gorgeous country from the vantage point of the High Atlas Mountains. This adventure winds through Ait Bougmez which is home to Morocco’s third-highest peak Jebel M’goun where you can now hike in the shade of the walnut and apple trees, share mint tea with the locals and even spot ancient traces of dinosaurs!
9. Walk in the steps of The Doctor in Wales
If you’re a fan of the sci-fi cult classic Doctor Who, then you’ll love the themed walking tour on Intrepid’s new Best of Britain trip. In the home of the show – Cardiff, Wales – you’ll meet with a local guide and explore various filming locations, as well as a few of the city’s hotspots that are closely related to The Doctor. After walking in the footsteps of David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker and Matt Smith, you’ll have a free afternoon to head back to your accommodation and binge your favourite season.
10. Ride a chicken bus in the heart of Guatemala
On the brand new Heart of Guatemala trip, you’ll embrace the local way of life in Quetzaltenango by hopping on a chicken bus, now an iconic symbol of the country, for a ride to the market. Chicken busses are old American school busses that have been passed down to their new owners, who deck them out however they see fit – usually in bright colours, decorations and slogans. This is a form of cultural expression, fun and a great example of how you can give something old a new life.
11. Dress like Samurai with real, modern-day ninjas in Japan
If you’re wondering what contemporary ninjas might be like, you’re in for a treat on the new Premium Highlights of Japan trip. In dynamic Tokyo, you’ll head to a non-profit, family-owned dojo that has been in operation for over 400 years. Here, you’ll meet the contemporary ninjas who run the dojo, and take part in an authentic Samurai experience with a descendant of an original clan. Learn about the history and culture of Samurai, see and touch the historic weaponry and maybe even try on some traditional costumes for yourself.
12. Learn the art of woolly willy warmers near Plitvice, Croatia
When you visit Plitvice Lakes National Parks on the new Croatia & Slovenia trip, you’ll not only get to take in the beauty of the Bijela and Crna (White and Black) Rivers as they flow into misty waterfalls and bright blue lakes, you’ll also visit Licko Petrovo Selo – a small village right next to the park. This village is home to an organisation that focuses its efforts on preserving the art of men’s woolly, um, underwear. With a short tour, you’ll learn about this cultural practice and see if you want to pick up a pair for yourself or someone very close to you.
13. Cruise through UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjords in Norway
On the new Premium Sweden and Norway trip, you’ll wake up in Flam – a scenic paradise on the edge of the world’s deepest and second-longest fjord – and spend your day cruising. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed West Norwegian Fjords are considered some of the most beautiful in the world. You can’t get here by road, so the only way to explore this area is by boat. You’ll stop in picturesque Undredal, a small village home to 100 people and 500 goats, for cheese tasting and the village of Gudvangen, where you’ll have lunch surrounded by mountains.
14. Trek the Northern Way of el Camino de Santiago in Spain
Calling all trekkers, pilgrims and intrepid travellers – you can now hike the final stretch of the 800-kilometre Northern Way of the Camino de Santiago with Intrepid. Take on a challenge on the brand new Camino del Norte Hike and walk in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrimages that have come before you to Santiago de Compostela. The entire trek takes about four to six weeks to complete, but this 11-day snapshot will let you in on why the experience has been drawing people from all over the world for centuries.
And that’s just a slice of what’s new for 2024. Get even more travel inspiration with The Goods.