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Eight Trending Trips For 2018 – What Will Be The Hottest Destinations Of Next Year?

Story by KE Adventure Travel

Posted: November 29, 2017

KE Adventure Travel gives an expert opinion on where adventure travelers will be vacationing in 2018.

Alex Greenwood, Head of Development says, “2018 hottest vacation destinations all show that adventure travellers are looking for genuine transformational experiences. Gentler adventure activities like entry-level trekking and wildlife watching are as popular next year as summiting major mountains.”

1. Bhutan – for entry-level trekking on the Royal Orchid Trail to ‘The Last Shangri-la’

Why? Bhutan is a traditional Himalayan kingdom where a traditional Buddhist culture is carefully welcoming limited numbers of travellers. A NEW entry-level comfort trek follows the beautiful Royal Orchid trail in the rarely visited Eastern realm of an already isolated realm. The area is known as ‘The last Shangri-la’ on account of its isolation and sheer beauty. In this region, live the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes.

Tour: Black Necked Cranes & Royal Orchid Trek 15 days

• Enjoy a flight across Bhutan along the chain of the Himalaya

• Visit the Tiger's Nest, the beautiful Tang Valley and the monasteries of Bumthang

• The Phobjika Valley, winter home of the rare Black Necked Crane

• Camp in comfort and experience 'the last Shangri-la' on an easy paced 5 day trek

Price: $4750 land only (KE Adventure Travel can book onward return flights from the UK)

Includes: An experienced English-speaking local guide plus support crew, Bhutan flights and transfers with visa migration agent, Bhutan visa fee, all accommodation, all meals and full service camping on trek


Himalayan experts, KE Adventure Travel now offers the most comprehensive range of treks in this mysterious and magical country – from the one of the hardest treks in the world, The Snowman Trek, to an easier hiking and iconic sightseeing tour for 2018, Spirit of the Dragon.

2. Mighty Cotopaxi, newly re-opened for 2018 – stand on the furthest point from the center of the Earth in Ecuador

Why? Having been closed since August 2015, on 20 October 2017, the Ministry for Tourism in Ecuador announced that the summit of Cotopaxi (19,347 feet), one of the world’s highest active volcanoes and Ecuador’s second highest volcano, is declared safe and open for climbing.

Tour: Ecuador’s Triple Crown 17 days

• Climb Chimborazo (20,702 feet) and stand on the furthest point from the center of the Earth!

• Summit Cotopaxi and Cayambe (18,996 feet), Ecuador's second and third highest peaks

• Acclimatise on Imbabura (15,144 feet) and Yanaurco (14,878 feet), plus skills training on Cayambe

• Unique 4-day acclimatization trek through the Cotacachi-Cayapas bio-reserve

Price: $3645 land only

Includes: Qualified mountain guides 1:2 guide to client ratio. Local leader throughout, all accommodation in simple guesthouses, homestays and mountain huts, full trek service when camping.


3. Valley of the Marvels, France - set to get UNESCO status in 2018

Why? At the heart of the range on the French side, the Parc National du Mercantour covers 7 valleys and 28 “perched” villages, including famous Belvedere at the entrance to the spectacular Gordolasque valley. One of the most interesting aspects of France’s 10th national park is the valley below Mont Bego (9,422 feet), the “Vallee des Merveilles”, the aptly named Valley of Marvels. In this valley are 40,000 mysterious ancient petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age illustrating weapons, cattle and human figures – the largest concentration is the whole of Europe.

Tour: NEW Undiscovered Alps and the Valley of Marvels 8 days

• A superb one week walking holiday in the heart of the French Mercantour National Park

• Go off the beaten track in the “Vallee des Merveilles” with our specially qualified guides to see the ancient petroglyphs

• Quiet trails and wild trekking in the land of chamois, ibex and marmot

• Enjoy French food in characterful refuges and gites

• Visit Nice, the epicentre of Riviera glamour

Price: $1495 land only (KE Adventure Travel can book onward return flights from the UK)

Includes: 2 nights hotel, 2 nights gite, 3 nights mountain hut, all meals, guides, baggage transfers and transport


4. Peru – the alternative Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Why? Machu Picchu remains, unquestionably on everyone’s wish-list. The classic trip, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, can be successfully completed in 8 days (get your permit now as many 2018 dates are full). However, this alternative Inca Trail for travelers with a bit more time, the trek starting near the lost Inca fortress of Choquequirao, is now rivaling the classic route.

Tour: Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, 13 days

• Visit the lost Inca fortress of Choquequirao, a rival to Machu Picchu in terms of size and splendor and llama-decorated terraces and called the ‘Cradle of Gold.’

• Hike down to the Apurimac River through its awe-inspiring 6,560 feet deep Canyon

• Follow the Inca Trail past untouched traditional Quechuan villages

• Trek between the premier Inca sites of Peru finishing in Machu Picchu, this is the ultimate Peru holiday

Price: $2025 land only (take advantage of early cheaper flights to Peru)

Includes: An experienced English-speaking local leader, all accommodation, full camping service, all land transport, Machu Picchu Entrance fee


5. For Families – unspoiled Portugal continues to break sales records

Why? A center-based family holiday in a farmhouse in South West Alentejo, with extensive gardens featuring a fresh-water swimming lake, jumping platform, kayaks, table tennis, an African shower and hammocks. Home-cooked organic food cooked by the hosts, with veggies from their kitchen garden and lots of local wine. Immensely relaxing for adults while children can run, almost completely, free in the grounds. Guided group activities, with expert qualified leaders, every day including surf lesson, rock climbing, river-kayaking and bike riding. Pleasing for children aged 8-18!

Tour: Family adventures in the Algarve, 8 days

• Centre-based at a charming farmhouse in a remote and unknown corner of Portugal

• Kayak along the river and the fresh water lake at the accommodation

• Surf lesson, rock climbing, beach time, t-shirt painting, boat trips and much more!

• Enjoy delicious home-cooked food and local wine

Price: Child $1020, Adult $1165 land only (KE travel can book onward return flights from the UK)

Includes: 7 nights country farmhouse accommodation, all home-cooked meals and lots of local wine, qualified expert guides, and necessary equipment


6. Greenland – has never been more accessible for 2018

Why? With the rise of Icelandair flights from across the USA and Canada to Reykjavik and a new American Airline service from Dallas-Fort Worth arriving in 2018, Iceland is already popular. What’s especially exciting, however, is that the proliferation of routes has suddenly made Greenland so much more accessible, just a short hop across from Reykjavik, and the ice-filled fjords of this spectacular continent are attracting visitors who want some truly unique trekking. The Inuit settlements are full of colourful houses, friendly people, vocal husky dogs and smiling children and it’s very special to experience these traditional hunting and fishing villages. Trekking is simply superb and we believe it’s some of the world’s most dramatic peak and glacier landscapes. The ascent of Kuummiut Mountain (1000m) with views of the Greenland ice-cap is surely a lifetime highlight.

Tour: Icefjords and Remote Villages of East Greenland, 12 days

• Trekking beside ice-filled fjords and on rocky peaks

• Some of the world’s most dramatic peak and glacier landscapes

• Visit remote and colorful villages of Inuit fishermen and hunters

• Two nights in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik

• Exciting boat transfers amongst the icebergs

• Fully accommodated, using hostels, village houses, and a mountain hut

Price: $4890 land only

Includes: Return flights from Reykjavik to Kulusuk Greenland, boat transfers, all accommodation in hotels, simple guesthouses and hostels, an English-speaking professional leader throughout, all meals in Greenland, B&B in Reykjavik.


7. Sri Lanka – will welcome a record number of adventurers for 2018

Why? Sri Lanka has been left off itineraries due years of uncertainty but it burst back on the scene in 2017 and next year is set to beat traveler numbers again. A small gem of an island, it hosts an abundance of absolutely everything – ancient Buddhist ruins, rain-forested peaks, spectacular colonial trains, vibrant green tea plantations, a cuisine bursting with flavor, many, many elephants, and the charming former capital Kandy home of the wonderfully named Temple of the Tooth. KE’s Sri Lanka more leisurely walking trip takes in all the classic sights but also has a 2-day trek of the spectacular Knuckles Mountain Range, and a climb to the summit of the scared Adam’s Peak (3,280 feet) to catch the sunrise.

Tour: Sri Lanka Tracks and Trails, 14 days

• Visits to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the natural rock fortress of Sigiriya, the cave temples of Dambulla and the former capital of Kandy, home to the 'Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic'

• Watch the sunrise from the summit of Adam`s Peak

• Trek to World's End and through The Knuckles Mountains

• Wildlife spotting in Sri Lanka's world-famous national parks

• Relax on palm-fringed, paradise beaches

Price: From $2455 land only, from £2400 flights included

Includes: English-speaking professional leader throughout, all accommodation in hotels and simple chalets & guesthouses in the mountains, all breakfasts and all dinners except one, guided sightseeing and all entrance fees, a full service when trekking


See also KE’s sell-out Sri Lanka Family Island Explorer, land-only prices start from $1305 Child, $2025 Adult (KE travel can book onward return flights from the UK)

8. Costa Rica – the ‘Pura Vida’ buzz gets louder for 2018

Why? An absolute perennial favorite, Costa Rica as an adventure destination just goes from strength to strength.

Known as the ‘Jewel of Central America,' its mix of tropical rainforest, active volcanoes, deserted beaches, colorful wildlife, perfect climate and friendly people, makes it the most popular Central American country in 2018.

Tour: Costa Rica Walks and Wildlife, 15 days

• Trek the slopes of Arenal Volcano & visit Corcovado National Park by boat

• Rainforests, waterfalls and beaches on this Costa Rica holiday

• Walk amongst abundant birdlife, including the elusive quetzal

• Wonderful wildlife, including coatis, sloth and tapir

Price: From $3115 land only (Take advantage of early flight deals to Costa Rica now)

Includes: English-speaking professional local leader throughout, boat trips in Drake Bay and Corcovado, entrance fees at national parks, all accommodation in hotels, lodges and rustic cabins, all meals except 2 dinners in San Jose


Check out KE’s other best-seller, Costa Rica Family Holiday Adventure, Land-only prices start at Child $2310 and Adult $2740. One of KE’s most successful and popular Family adventures of all time.

KE Adventure Travel offer over 350 holidays worldwide which include summiting Mount Toubkal in Morocco to trekking to Everest basecamp. Established in 1984, KE Adventure Travel is an IATA Accredited agent, a member of ABTA (W4341), AITO (5075) and holds ATOL license (2808).

Please contact Emily Stiles [email protected] and Alex Greenwood [email protected] for any further information or images.