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10 unusual trips to book in May

Eschew the popular tourist hotspots this summer in favour of somewhere more surprising. From wine tasting in rural Georgia to bog walking in Estonia, there are some extraordinary experiences to be had on your next trip.
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1. Heights of Machu Picchu

New for 2020, our Heights of Machu Picchu trip now includes the alternative rainbow mountain trek - the Palccoyo trek. Made famous by Instagram (this site couldn’t be much more photogenic), the rainbow trek is so-called due to its unique landscape of multi-coloured layered mountains. The Palccoyo trek follows a shorter, quieter trail through the Vilconota mountain range of the Andes, passing flocks of llama and alpaca, and gradually ascending to the top of the breathtaking red mountains.
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2. Spirit of Laos

Make sure you set your alarm early one morning when in Luang Prabang. Sneak out just before daybreak and secure a spot street-side as the sun rises to witness some 300 monks line up and begin their daily walk, collecting alms from devoted locals as the city wakes up around them.
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3. Discover Georgia

Affectionately known as the ‘Paris of Georgia’, Kakheti is the country’s premier wine region, producing some wonderful red and white wines. Break bread (literally) with a Georgian family as they show us how the local ‘Shoti’ is made, and tuck into a hearty lunch before touring the vineyard and sampling the wines made on-site.
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4. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Foot

Clip on special shoes and walk through Estonian bog land, entering a mystical world of moss, pine trees and small lakes. Wearing these specially-adapted shoes traditionally used by local villagers, we’re able to cover this unique ecosystem on foot. A fun and fascinating experience unlike any other.
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5. Contrasts of Colombia

Food and drink mightn’t be top of mind for Colombia, but you’ll be surprised by the excellent dishes on offer here. Tamales wrapped in banana leaves, ‘pandebono’ cheese bread with guava jam, ajiaco (a thick Andean soup with chicken and potatoes, served with corn and avocado) and cheese-stuffed arepas are all mouth-wateringly good. Save room for Colombia’s national specialty, Bandeja Paisa. Beef, plantain, pork crackling, avocado, corn, beans, rice and avocado all topped with a fried egg – this is an English fry up on steroids, and it’s totally delicious!
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6. Ukraine in Depth

Discover the Strategic Missile Force Museum at Pervomaysk. Before being decommissioned, this was an actual nuclear weapon launch site. Go down to the original control room and see the most powerful Cold War Soviet missile - the R-36M2 'governor' bomb - which was nicknamed 'Satan' by the Americans.
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7. Family Belize Adventure

Active families will love swimming in the spectacular Blue Hole and surfing or kayaking off Caye Caulker, whilst wildlife buffs can expect turtles and stingrays, monkeys and sloths, as well as a visit to the world’s only jaguar preserve.
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8. Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal

On day three of this cycling holiday to Nicaragua we explore the highlands near Granada as we cycle along backroads between villages to get an insight into local Nicaraguan life. We visit a local farming family’s house to try various fruits that they’ve prepared.
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9. Highlights of Lebanon

Feeling dwarfed by the enormous ruins at Baalbek. The scale of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is incredible – it’s not until you get close to the columns that your appreciate their enormity. Baalbek is famous for its gigantic pillar stones – each one 40 times the size of the stones at Stonehenge. See if you can make out our Programme Manager Hannah here!
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10. Best of Belarus

See Belarus' three most famous and impressive castles. Brest Fortress was the largest in the old Russian Empire and became an infamous prison during the Soviet trials of the 1930s, while Nesvizh Castle is home to some of the largest landscaped gardens in Europe. Mir Castle is widely credited as one of the most splendid castles in the world, with its red and white towers reflected in the waters of the surrounding moat.
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