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Experiences of a Lifetime: Trip Ideas for the Culture Lover

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Uluru Aboriginal Tours at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru Aboriginal Tours at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Photo courtesy of James Fisher/Tourism Australia

Our list of four cultural experiences of a lifetime focuses on unique ways in which you can create memories by sharing distinctive traditions or unparalleled customary connections.

Culture takes us beyond the visual beauty of a destination to explore how communities have connected, rooted, and uncovered the secrets of their surroundings to reveal an exciting new world that differs from the familiarity of home. Whether traveling across Africa or wandering beneath star-studded skies, culture displays the connection between people, place, and time.

Our guide to the four best cultural experiences celebrates histories and customs, while immersing you in what makes each destination special to inspire your custom trip.

  1. 1. Find Sacred Sites and Desert Sunsets in Australia
  2. 2. Enjoy an Opulent Train Experience across Africa
  3. 3. Tango with Locals in Argentina
  4. 4. Witness a Private Sumo Demonstration in Japan
  5. Planning Your Dream Experience Can Start Now

1. Find Sacred Sites and Desert Sunsets in Australia

Field of Lights at Uluru

Field of Lights at Uluru. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Uluru lives in shadow and light. The colors shift throughout the day, adding to stories about the region during a unique, star-studded Sounds of Silence experience by the local Anangu First Nation in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center.

Whether between the shifting hues of the Red Centre or as constellations burn on a cool desert evening, the sounds of the didgeridoo and the epic tales carry a message about important relationships between communities and the landscape forged over millennia. Each angle of the monolith demonstrates how the rock resembles a cathedral, a space of connection and worship, creating an unforgettable ambiance at any time of day. Discovering the sacred site at sunrise, sunset, and underneath the night sky can be a serene experience filled with the sounds, colors, and smells of the desert.

Australia Trip Idea

Culture and tradition intertwine with nature as you experience instead of explore during the 12-day Natural Wonders of Australia Tour: Uluru to Great Barrier Reef, where myth, legend, and history add extra depth to the scenery.

Highlights: Witness the natural colors shifting across the face of Uluru • Experience the Field of Light Uluru, Sounds of Silence, and Flames of the Forest that reflect on traditional legends •  Listen to the mythologies of the Kuku Yalanji nation during a Dreamtime Walk • Dive into the Coral Sea to snorkel or scuba at the Great Barrier Reef

2. Enjoy an Opulent Train Experience across Africa

Couple watching a herd of antelope from the Rovos Rail

Photo Courtesy of Rovos Rail

Exploring South Africa and beyond by train demonstrates that travel is as much about the journey as the destination. When traveling on one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the journey is also the destination.

While the Cape to Cairo railway is not yet complete, the train operator does service many countries across Southern Africa. In doing so, you are connected to a unique cultural experience that occurs when shifting plains and undulating mountains meet the unique history of millennia of local communities, centuries of colonization, and the wonders of wildlife.

The opulence of the experience accentuates unbridled nature, whether you travel along the established train route that carries you between countries or explore the depth of nature and heritage in South Africa.

Train Culture South Africa Trip Idea

High-End South Africa Luxury Safari celebrates the unforgettable shifting scenery of the country and connects visitors to a unique cultural experience on one of the world’s most luxurious trains.

Highlights: Take a journey on the luxurious Rovos Rail train to Pretoria • Surprise your palate with chocolate and wine pairings • Enjoy convenience and interaction with experienced private guides • Experience the highlights of Cape Town • Enjoy thrillingly close encounters with wildlife

3. Tango with Locals in Argentina

Couple dancing the tango in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina

La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tango is an essential part of Argentine life and the pulsing spirit of Buenos Aires. Moving like a local immerses you in emotion and passion, with the milonga a tradition that speaks to the once-forbidden nature of the dance and its importance as a staple of national culture.

While the dance has taken on a veil of romance, the steps remain passionate, an alluring glimpse into the dedication of a partner and the elaborate interconnection between the partners, the music, and the meaning of hidden tango parlors. Devotion, excitement, and intensity become part of the relationship as you engage with or watch those who dance the famous milonga.

Argentina Trip Idea

Seductive culture meets extravagant nature on this 13-day Patagonia and Tango Adventure in Argentina, where you can discover movement and immerse yourself in the staggering landscape, each new dance step capturing the nation’s diverse beauty.

Highlights: Learn the history of tango and how to move to the music during private classes • Watch a show to view the best tango performers • Wander the colorful La Boca district and view tango street performers • Meander the frozen trails of the Patagonian ice fields • Visit a traditional Argentinian estancia

4. Witness a Private Sumo Demonstration in Japan

Sumo wrestler giving private demonstration on Tokyo, Japan

Sumo wrestler in Tokyo, Japan

Sumo is more than the national sport of Japan. It embodies the importance of tradition and dedication to a craft. Witnessing sumo in Japan is like watching a ballet performed with intense focus. However, taking a step beyond a professional match and into a practice demonstration reveals a much more sophisticated scale of achievement.

From the healthy yet filling diet to the amount of practice they engage in during the season, ritual undertakings to graceful movements, you can find an incredible level of knowledge, spirit, and connection. Witnessing a live sumo match and experiencing what it takes to compete at a high pedigree will further accentuate the artistic and artisanal charms of Japan.

Japan Trip Idea

Skyscrapers, Sumo & Shrines: Exclusive 10-Day Japan Tour offers a distinctive perspective of the evolution of architecture and culture as it intertwines with artists, artisans, and the importance of authenticity.

Highlights: Spend time inside a sumo stable • Stand in awe of the world’s largest wooden building • Learn kaiseki cooking in a Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant • Enjoy a private ceramics workshop in Kyoto • Discover Taiko drumming, Fushimi sake, and the nuance of Kyoto’s temples

Planning Your Dream Experience Can Start Now

Rovos Rail in traveling through South Africa

Photo Courtesy of Rovos Rail

Travel is about the experiences you wish to have and by focusing on how you want to enjoy your trip, you can plan around those activities. From viewing the rigorous training regiment of sumo wrestlers to enjoying a luxury train trip with priceless views and unparalleled connection to the shifting landscape and local culture, how and where you travel depends on the type of experiences that inspire you.

Witness art, meet local communities, or dive into history. Your outcome depends on your goal and the memories you wish to make. Find out more about how you can plan your custom trip with inspiration from our Trips of a Lifetime Travel Guide.

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