57 days. 5 continents. 1 epic adventure around the world. The kind of adventure that people put on their bucket lists, only to have it stay there forever. Until now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, “I must be dreaming, those can’t be real monkeys” experience. The memories from this trip will inspire stories you’ll tell your grandkids (and they’ll actually listen). You’ll explore the breathtaking ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, live lavishly in the dazzling city of Dubai, encounter elephants in Kenya, and taste exotic noodles in Thailand and Japan. And that’s just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg that is this trip. It’s the best of the best, wrapped up into one incredible journey across the map. This is Ultimate Earth.
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What are the top highlights?
- Hop from one country to the next, journeying through five continents over 54 days
- Become best friends with a lion or a rhino on an African Safari
- Walk across the busiest crosswalk at Shibuya, the Times Square of Tokyo
- Hike above the clouds at the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu
- Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night with a glass (or box) of wine in the Champ de Mars
- Stand in the Roman Colosseum, where gladiators battled to the head in mortal combat, and be glad you live in the 21st century
- Flood your Instagram with everything from Santorini sunsets and beachside selfies, to temples and floating markets
- Feed a monkey a banana on a beach in Thailand
- Watch surfers glide across the water in Sydney until you build up the courage to try it yourself
Your trip includes
- Around the world airfare
- Internal transportation on trains, ferries, and private deluxe motorcoaches
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- 53 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Daily breakfast
- Welcome Dinner with drinks & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Half-way Celebration Lunch
- Barbecue dinner and belly dancing performance in Dubai
- Guided tours in Cuzco, Paris, Athens, Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and more
- Elephant encounter in Kenya
- Sydney Harbor Cruise
- Entrance to the Colosseum, Acropolis Museum, Grand Palace, and other select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Board Your Overnight Flight to Peru
Hop on your flight to your first stop: Lima, Peru, once the center of the “New World” and now a bustling metropolis. Say goodbye to your old self, because in less than two months, you’re going to be a new person.
This tour requires a visa for U.S. citizens. Check entry requirements or call us with questions at 800-766-2645.
Days 2-9: Peru
Up the altitude and dive into jungles, cities and ancient ruins During this eight-day stretch, you’ll live like a local in Lima, journey to vibrant Cuzco, and hike around the always enchanting Machu Picchu, where you can learn about its mysterious past, watch the sunrise, and feast your eyes on a real-life llama.
- Land in Lima, head to your accommodation, and meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Walk through Cuzco, a modern city at a staggering elevation of 11,150 feet.
- Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, rich in Peruvian tradition.
- Hike to the Sun Gate for epic views of Machu Picchu.
- Visit several Incan archaeological sites, including the fortress at Ollantaytambo.
Days 10-13: England
You’re off to a new continent: Europe! Your first stop is England, home of the Queen, tea, a wonderfully different form of the English language, and the largest city in the European Union: London. It’s here that red busses zip down the left side of the road, Big Ben chimes at tea time and medieval castles accent a futuristic skyline. Brimming with history and unique architecture, you’ll soon understand why it’s one of the most visited cities in the world.
- Climb aboard a bus for a guided tour that rolls past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
- Experience a royal ritual during the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
- Get a proper view of London from both above and below on an optional London Eye and river cruise excursion.
Days 14-16: France
Next up: Paris, France, a city known for world-class art and gastronomical perfection. There’s nothing quite like a warm croissant, except for maybe croque monsieur AKA next-level French grilled cheese. From the major landmarks like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower to the serenity of the River Seine, you’re going to see it all. Study up on high fashion, watch the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and get used to having only one free hand since your other hand will always have a fresh baguette in it. Now you’re ready for France.
- Arrive to your accommodation and get settled in the city of love and cheese: Paris.
- Float down the River Seine during a scenic boat ride that makes its way through the true heart of the city.
- Watch the world-famous lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkle (every hour, on the hour after sunset).
- Find peace of mind at Luxembourg Gardens, a tasteful collection of tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, statues, and the Medici Fountain.
- Opt in for the optional (and oh-so-elegant) tour of the Palace of Versailles.
Days 17-18: Switzerland
You’re off to Switzerland, home to postcard-worthy views everywhere you look. Breathe in fresh lake air with hints of fresh chocolate (it might only be your imagination) as you explore a charming city overlooked by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps. It won’t take long to see why so many people flock to Switzerland—and seemingly never want to leave.
- Get introduced to the city with a guided tour from your Tour Director.
- Stand in wonder before Löwendenkmal, an impressive sculpture of a wounded lion carved into a sheer rock cliff.
- Stroll across the Kapellbrücke, a covered wooden footbridge featuring a series of paintings dating back to the 17th century.
- Shout from the top of a mountain during an optional excursion up the Swiss Alps.
Days 19-24: Italy
It’s everybody’s favorite boot-shaped country, recognized for Renaissance art, people that use outdoor voices all the time, and infinite carbs: Italy! It’s safe to say, whether you’re consuming art or pizza, Italy is a cultural mecca begging to be explored. And even though Italians don’t actually eat spaghetti and meatballs, it doesn’t mean you can’t finally have your Lady and the Tramp moment. Start in Venice, and make your way down through Florence and then Italy’s capital city of Rome, where hustle and bustle is served with a side of ancient ruins.
- Skip the line and gawk at the golden ceiling of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
- Stand in the footprints of history on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest spanning the Grand Canal.
- Enter the Piazza della Singnoria in Florence, home of the Uffizi Gallery and the world’s most famous nude man, Michelangelo’s David.
- Visit the final resting place of some of the most illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Basilica di Santa Croce.
- View Rome’s Colosseum, where gladiators battled to the death in mortal combat, and be glad you live in the 21st century.
Days 25-29: Greece
Hop over to Athens, Greece, a vibrant metropolis that was once the center of art, politics, and literature. Ancient monuments, feta cheese, and people socializing in the streets make this country stand out from the rest. After experiencing Greece, you’ll know two things for sure: The Mediterranean Sea is bluer than most things (including, but not limited to, Eiffel 65’s hit song from the 90s), and baklava is a dessert sent from the gods. After a few days in Athens, journey out into the Mediterranean to begin your epic Greek island adventure to Santorini. Get ready for beaches by day, and nightlife by—you guessed it—night.
- Switch from Italian to Greek as you make your way to Athens, the center of Greek mythology and home to The Acropolis, the remains of an ancient citadel built 2,500 years ago.
- Update your watch to island time on the ferry to Santorini, famous for its white-washed and blue-domed buildings, volcanic landscapes, and picture-perfect sunsets that you can happily post with #nofilter.
- Sit back and relax at your beachside hotel. (Seriously, this is all you have to do.)
- Head back to Athens for one more opportunity to see the sites and put tzatziki on everything.
Days 30-32: United Arab Emirates AKA Dubai
You are now entering the Middle East, a region made up of 15-20 (depending on who you ask) countries in North Africa and Southwest Asia. The first cities were born here, religions arose, and humans figured out how to express ideas through abstract characters on clay tablets (also known as writing). Touch down in Dubai, a futuristic desert city that is hard to put into words. Picture pet cheetahs instead of dogs, indoor ski resorts, and the most expensive hotel in the world. It’s incredibly wealthy, outrageously over the top, and expats make up 80% of its population. Prepare your mind, because it’s about to be blown.
- Kiss Europe goodbye, and hop on your flight to Dubai, a city plopped in the middle of the desert, that needs to be seen to be appreciated.
- Help yourself to a geography lesson, brought to you by the World Islands, 300 man-made islands off the coast, placed together to look like a map of the world.
- Put on your bargaining shoes, and walk through the Dubai souk, a traditional marketplace that sells everything from jewelry to textiles.
- Look waaaaaay up at Burj Khalifa. It’s the tallest building in the world, and almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
- Count the number of luxury cars you pass, not including the police in Lamborghinis.
- Hop aboard a Land Rover 4x4 for an adrenaline pumping, desert safari through the sand dunes outside the city, followed by a barbecue dinner and belly dancing performance.
- Cheers to being half-way through your trip with an included Half-way lunch.
Days 33-39: Kenya
New continent alert: welcome to Africa! When it comes to historical significance, Africa takes the cake; human beings literally came into existence here over 6 million years ago. You’ll spend the next seven days in the East African country of Kenya exploring national parks, coming face-to-face with countless wild animals, and simply enjoying the peaceful serenity of the great outdoors.
- Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city.
- Hit the open road towards Amboseli National Park, known for three things: elephants, birds, and jaw-dropping views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
- Enjoy two days in the Masai Mara, a huge area of savannah grasslands.
- Keep your eyes peeled during your game drives for The Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceroses).
Days 40-43: Thailand
Asia, unknown to much of the Western world, is a behemoth of a continent with a couple billion people, beautiful beaches, and thousands of years of rich history—the perfect adventure for the culturally curious. Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite, because you’re going to the home of delicious spicy noodles: Thailand. But this country is more than thin strips of dough and spices. There are tropical forests, floating markets, and golden Buddhas everywhere. On the way to Bangkok, sit back, relax, and practice some yoga. Try corpse pose, which, is essentially sleeping. Bangkok’s mixture of modern day norms is juxtaposed with traditions of the old world. As night falls, the energy of the busy city streets turns into world-renowned nightlife.
- Arrive in City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra's behest (a rough translation of the city’s full name).
- Board a longtail boat and find out why Bangkok is known as the “Venice of the East.” Hint: it’s not because of gelato.
- Look up at the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most important religious icon, which happens to be a two-foot-tall jade statue of Buddha.
- Gawk at the intricately adorned Grand Palace in the heart of Bangkok, and then travel by speedboat an hour outside of the city to behold the floating markets.
- Explore the busy streets of Bangkok as you search for the city’s best noodles.
Days 44-48: Islands of Thailand
Yes, you’re still in Thailand, but the islands are as special as they come, which is why they get their own section. After you’ve had your fair share of Southeast Asia’s mainland, it’s time for some island fun. Phuket and Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are your places to lounge in the sun on a white sand beach and snorkel in crystal-clear water among tropical fish. These islands are part tropical paradise, part party central. Which style will you pick? Spoiler: there’s no wrong answer.
- Snorkel, sunbathe, or take a walk along the beach in Phuket before picking from a breadth of dinner options and hitting the town.
- Feel pampered and relaxed during a Thai massage (#treatyoself).
- Enter a real life Planet of the Apes as you pass by a beach with hundreds of monkeys lining the sand and cliffs, hoping you’ll toss them a banana.
- Lounge at Maya Bay, where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach.
- Find a beach bar and watch Islanders test fate as they juggle flaming batons and you question whether you could do that, too. Spoiler: You can’t.
Days 49-52: Hong Kong
Take the short flight to Hong Kong. This city is modern, stunning (both in the natural and man-made sense), and home to some of the best food in the world. Combine this with the overabundance of neon, and prepare for sensory overload. By the end of this leg of the trip, you’ll be wishing you could stay a few extra days. Or weeks. Or months—yeah, you’ll want to stay forever.
- Take in spectacular views of the city as you float across the Harbor on the double-decker Star Ferry cruise. This used to be the main mode of transport, but now it serves as a fun, throwback experience (talk about #tbt, amirite?).
- Follow the lights as they jump from building to building during the Symphony of Lights. It’s like that Pink Floyd laser show you never went to (but way cooler).
- Ride the tram up to Victoria Peak for great views of the city, harbor, and neighboring islands.
- See Repulse Bay, Hong Kong's popular beach (not repulsive at all, contrary to its name), and Aberdeen Harbor, world famous for its floating restaurants.
- Put on your bargaining shoes, and walk through Stanley Market, a traditional street market on Hong Kong Island.
- Finish up at Man Mo Temple—this old and famous incense-filled temple is dedicated to two gods (one civil and one military).
- Enjoy an included dim sum lunch in the Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood. Dim sum is a traditional style of Chinese cuisine consisting of small bites, usually served in a basket. It’s like your grocery basket, but everything is already cooked and there are more dumplings.
Days 53-56: Australia
Sydney, Australia's oldest and largest city is the last stop on your adventure around the world. It has an energizing combination of beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture, and nightlife. The moment you step foot in Sydney, you’ll feel the buzzing energy all around you. It’s loud, it’s attractive, and it knows it. And there’s no better way to end your trip than with four days of beaches, delicious food, extravagant nightlife, and—wait for it—koalas.
- Check out all that Sydney has to offer on a guided tour from your Tour Director.
- Learn about Sydney’s most famous hydrated amorphous form of silica (it’s opal, if you couldn’t guess).
- Enjoy a scenic boat ride out on the picturesque Sydney Harbor.
- Hit Manly Beach, catch some rays and watch surfers in their natural habitat (like Planet Earth but instead of birds it’s bros).
- Get out of town for a day hike in the Blue Mountains, where you can balance out the constant endorphin-high of traveling with the peaks and troughs of the Jamison Valley.
- Come face-to-face with some of Australia’s best wildlife (lookin’ at you koala bears and kangaroos) at the Sydney zoo.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 57: Fly Home
Goodbye, friends family!
Let’s face it. After 57 days, you’re practically family. But your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?