If your travel dreams have always felt bigger than your bank account, we have good news for you. We’re excited to announce that we’re rolling out Acanela Local Expeditions — affordable tours to some of the world’s most extraordinary destinations.
We have planned our Acanela Local Expeditions with young professionals, college students, and other budget-conscious travelers in mind. On these trips, you can expect the same transformative experiences that you would find on a Classic Expedition, but you’ll have much more freedom to explore on your own. You’ll sleep in clean, comfortable hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and safari camps, and you’ll scout out local restaurants and markets to find the best places to grab a bite.
The beauty of these expeditions is that you can truly make them your own. If you’d like to spend a few hours sampling the best street food in a city, you can do so. If you’d like to check out a museum or hunt around for a destination’s hidden gems, you’ll have ample time to do that. And if you need an afternoon nap to recharge after a busy morning or rally for an exciting evening, you can make that happen, too.
We’ve designed these trips with the same values that shape every Acanela tour: the importance of connection, the power of travel, the respect due to talented artisans around the world.
ACANELA LOCAL EXPEDITIONS IN AFRICA
If you’re dreaming of Africa, you’re in luck. We’re launching 10 Local Expeditions on this continent ($900-$1,400 per trip), as well as a backpacking journey that ventures into 11 African countries.
On our Morocco Imperial Cities Adventure, we’ll explore urban Casablanca and enchanting Fez. We’ll pay special attention to the mosques, markets, craftsmanship, and food of both cities, spending our evenings resting and recharging in a beautiful riad.
On an Egyptian Pharaohs Adventure, you’ll step back in time and get to know the Egypt of old. You’ll experience history firsthand as you visit the Great Pyramids, sail along the Nile, explore a treasure trove of antiquities, and gawk at Tutankhamen’s gold.
If you choose to embark on our Ethiopian Cultural Adventure, you’ll get to know the country that’s known as the birthplace of humankind, exploring the connections between tradition, agriculture, and environment. Along the way, you’ll visit Lake Tana, Gondar, Axum, and Lalibela, among other cities and sights.
The Uganda Gorilla Trek is the perfect adventure for wildlife lovers. On this trip, you’ll venture into Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and look for mountain gorillas, red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, and many other incredible animal species. You’ll sleep in a safari camp and even spend a day in Rwanda.
If you’re itching for a quintessential African experience, our Kenya Wildlife Safari might be the trip for you. We’ll look for the Big Five — lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffalo — in Kenya’s stunning landscapes, visit a Masai village, and get to know the capital city of Nairobi.
Our Serengeti Wildlife and Wonders trip shows off extraordinary wildlife and beautiful natural wonders. Together, we’ll traverse national parks, small villages, and volcanic craters, seeing the best of Tanzania and creating memories that you’ll revisit in your daydreams for the rest of your life.
Our Victoria Falls Adventure takes travelers to Zambia and Zimbabwe, where we’ll visit traditional villages, embark on a game drive, and see the mighty Victoria Falls — one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This trip will help you redefine the word ‘adventure,’ but it comes at the expense of leaving your heart in Africa, even when it’s time to go home.
Our Botswana Wetlands Safari is a tour through one of Africa’s top wildlife destinations. We’ll spot hundreds of elephants, canoe through narrow channels, and enjoy jaw-dropping sunsets. Welcome to Chobe National Park, Savuti Marsh, and the Okavango Delta!
On our Namibia Deserts Adventure, Southern Africa’s dunes, clay pans, and canyons will cast a spell on you. We’ll climb orange dunes at dawn, see shipwrecks on desolate coasts, look for wildlife, and marvel at fiery sunsets and star-strewn night skies.
Get ready to immerse yourself in some of Africa’s most dazzling metropolises and landscapes on our South African Cities and Safaris. We’ll see wildlife on safari, chase waterfalls in river country, and spend time in cultural hotspots like Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Finally, on our Cairo to Cape Town Adventure, die-hard travelers can combine many of these Local Expeditions into one life-changing journey. We’ll visit Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa — always keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife, our hearts open to human connection, and our minds ready for enlivening cultural experiences.
ACANELA LOCAL EXPEDITIONS IN ASIA
In Asia, budget travelers will have the chance to choose their own adventure. Whether you’re dreaming of Uzbekistan, Bali, or Southeast Asia, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime — all for much less than you’d think ($800-$2,500). And if you’re dreaming really big, you can join us for a backpacking trip through five Southeast Asian countries.
Our Uzbekistan Local Expedition is a thrilling journey along the Silk Road. If you’re dreaming of the otherworldly cities of Khiva, Samarkand, and Bukhara, or if you’re eager to learn more about culture and history off the beaten path, you won’t want to sit this one out.
With its temples, beaches, rice terraces, and thrilling vistas, Bali has captured the world’s attention. If you embark on our Bali Local Expedition, you’ll have a glimpse into paradise as you get to know one of the loveliest places on Earth.
Dreaming of exploring Thailand’s temples, waterfalls, ruins, and vistas? Our Thailand Temples Adventure is the trip for you! From Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, and Chiang Mai, this tour highlights the best of Thailand and lets you discover the country alongside an experienced guide.
In Cambodia, on our Angkor Wat Adventure, we’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site that this tour is named for — but we’ll also explore natural wonders and discover additional cultural treasures. As we sail across Tonle Sap Lake, tour incredible ruins, and explore the capital city of Phnom Penh, you’re bound to fall in love with Cambodia, its culture, and its people.
If it’s Vietnam that you’re itching to explore, you’ll want to check out our Vietnam Cultural Adventure. On this trip, we’ll make our way to gorgeous Halong Bay and see sprawling rice fields. We’ll visit floating fishing villages and see the best of both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Buckle in for an incredible journey!
Our Laos Cultural Adventure will help you create beautiful memories and friendships in and around the cities of Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, and Pakbeng. From exploring local markets to swimming in river basins, riding in tuk-tuks, and visiting Buddhist temples, this trip promises to be the journey of a lifetime.
Join us on our Myanmar Cultural Adventure to feast on the country’s culinary delights and visit its exquisite temples. We’ll begin our journey in Yangon and move on to Nyaung Shwe, Bagan, Mandalay, and Mingun; on the shores of the picturesque Inle Lake, we’ll even join a local chef for a cooking class. This is a trip that you don’t want to miss!
Of course, it might be difficult to choose just one of these extraordinary expeditions. If that’s the case, we’d love to have you join us on A Journey Through Indochina, a backpacking trip across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. Along the way, we’ll experience the very best that these countries have to offer.
ACANELA LOCAL EXPEDITIONS IN THE AMERICAS
In South America, we offer nine budget-friendly trips to eight incredible countries ($800 - $1,200). We’re also happy to show enthusiastic travelers around the entire continent on our Rio to Lima Backpacking Adventure.
On our Best of Brazil Adventure, you’ll experience lively Rio de Janeiro (where you’ll see the sights and experience the local rhythm) and gorgeous Iguazu Falls (where you’ll marvel at South America’s most dazzling wonder). This trip is an extraordinary encounter with the very best that Brazil has to offer.
If you’re eager to get off of South America’s beaten path, then our Panorama of Paraguay trip is the one for you. On this journey, you’ll experience Paraguay’s exciting capital city, Asunción, and get to know the birds and wildlife of the Humid Chaco.
Our Uruguay Beaches and Vineyards trip is an invitation to get to know a dynamic South American country through its capital city, seaside resorts, and wine country. You’ll immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Montevideo, then experience other locales — like Punta del Este — on exciting excursions from the city.
Welcome to vibrant Argentina! On our Argentine Tango and Traditions expedition, you’ll explore the country’s cosmopolitan cities, small villages, rolling expanses, and terraced vineyards. This is sure to be a trip for the books!
A country that houses some of the world’s most impressive landscapes, Chile offers an abundance of wonders and adventures — and you’ll get to see them on our Chilean Cities and Sights trip. Together, we’ll explore a lunar landscape, indulge in good cooking and wine, and explore vibrant Santiago.
Our Best of Bolivia Expedition is a foray into the landscapes and cities of a bewitchingly beautiful country. On this trip, you’ll get to explore the planet’s largest salt flats, visit archaeological sites on Lake Titicaca, and acquaint yourself with Bolivian culture.
In Peru, we offer two Local Expeditions. On the first, our Incas and Andes Adventure, you’ll transport yourself back in time as you get to know the Incas through the sites, cities, and Sacred Valley they left behind.
On the second Local Expedition in Peru, our Cusco to Lima Adventure, you can do it all: hiking to the top of Rainbow Mountain, seeing the Nazca lines, and exploring all the gorgeous cities from Cusco to Lima.
Finally, on our Rio to Lima Backpacking Adventure, you’ll see the best of South America, from the world’s largest salt flats to its largest waterfall system. You’ll traverse one-of-a-kind landscapes, seek real cultural connection, and explore incredible cities.
ACANELA LOCAL EXPEDITIONS IN EUROPE
We love Europe and believe that you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to explore this continent. Our five budget-friendly Europe trips traverse 11 countries ($1,400-$1,800), and our weeks-long backpacking trip lets you explore each one of those nations.
On our London to Rome Adventure, you’ll explore Europe’s most dazzling cities and venture to the Alps for a breath of fresh air. Along the way, you’ll feast on delicious food and ride trains through gorgeous scenery.
Meanwhile, on our Rome to Venice Adventure, you’ll experience a few more of Europe’s most celebrated destinations — Rome, the Vatican, Florence, Pisa, and Venice — on a whirlwind journey through Italy.
On our Venice to Budapest Adventure, you’ll visit illustrious cities in Italy, Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary. Along the way, you’ll witness beautiful architecture and lively culture in gorgeous settings.
Like all of the Local Expeditions on this continent, our Budapest to Berlin Adventure will allow you to explore some of Europe’s top tourist cities and most beautiful hidden gems, all while enjoying Old World charm, delicious food, and world-class art and architecture.
Our Berlin to London Adventure will give you a chance to experience three of Europe’s biggest and brightest cities: Berlin, Amsterdam, and London. Get ready to marvel at Berlin’s museums and street art, Amsterdam’s scenic canals, and London’s historic bridges.
There’s a reason that travelers love backpacking through Europe. On our Europe by Rail trip, you’ll explore 11 countries and see the continent’s most stunning destinations: the mighty Alps of Switzerland, the historic wonders of Rome, the Old Town of Prague, to name just a few.
We’re very proud of our Acanela Local Expeditions — and we’re not planning on stopping here! We’ll continue adding our new local trips to our website and highlighting them in this blog article, so please check back for the latest news and announcements.
Last updated: September 3, 2019
Written by Whitney Brown