Have yourself a very different Christmas with Rickshaw Travel

Christmas is coming and the penguins are getting fat. For those looking to try something different this festive season and celebrate in a faraway land Rickshaw Travel has created a shortlist of their top Christmas and New Year picks including new tours and advice on how to make the most of the winter holiday.

Swap mulled wine for mojitos in Cuba
Cuba is a hot destination right now so Rickshaw Travel recommends booking early to secure a spot in a family-run Casa particular (Cuban B&B) for a relaxed Christmas and taste of local hospitality and Cuban soul. Christmas – previously banned in Cuba (from 1969-1998) – remains a relatively quiet affair in the country but this could be set to change over time with recent new rules and eased restrictions on travel and access to Americans. After a relaxing Christmas it’s worth sticking around for New Year when the Cuban party really kicks off – Rickshaw Travel advises dusting off the dancing shoes in preparation.

Rickshaw’s ready-made itinerary: Mi Casa, Tu Casa’ is an alternative homely way to experience the Cuban culture. During this special 2-week holiday travellers will stay with local families in each destination. The family prepares breakfast in the morning and guests have their own key so they can come and go as they please. The trip begins in Havana where guests are transferred by classic American car to their hotel in Latin America’s largest colonial city centre. The vintage cars, abundance of music in the air and bustling plazas make it feel as if you’ve stepped back into the 1950’s. From Havana travellers head to the rolling tobacco hills of Vinales, hike through the coffee fields of Las Terrazas and take in the colonial colour of Trinidad before spending some lazy days on the paradise beaches of Varadero.

This 14 night trip with Rickshaw Travel costs from £1075 per person and includes transfers, accommodation with breakfast and all tours.

Escape the winter blues in Vietnam & Cambodia and experience two world wonders in two weeks with a new itinerary.
For a completely different Christmas dinner Rickshaw recommends scooting through Saigon on a vintage Vespa and sampling the best Vietnamese street food before travelling on to neighbouring Cambodia and Ankgor Wat for an unforgettable New Year sunrise.

A new itinerary from Rickshaw Travel – ‘Sapphire Seas and Towering temples – helps travellers discover the diversity of Vietnam, and authentic charm of Cambodia in just two weeks. Kicking off with two nights in Hanoi, guests can amble through the maze-like alleyways of the Old Quarter before embarking on their journey with an overnight stay on a junk boat in Bai Tu Long Bay and travelling south to discover the delights of both Hoi An and the Mekong Delta. Arriving in Cambodia by boat they will visit the Killing Fields and glimmering Royal Palace in Phnom Penh before ending the itinerary with a magical sunrise trip to Angkor Wat.

This new 14 night itinerary with Rickshaw Travel costs from £1168 per person ‘standard option’ or £1385 per person travelling ‘in style’ (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation with breakfast and all tours.

Go in search of snow…and penguins in Argentina and Chile
Vineyards & volcanoes in Chile or glacier trekking & icebergs in Argentina? Both are ideal for an epic December adventure and it’s easy to combine the two if choosing between them is just too difficult. According to Rickshaw Travel’s experts December is the best time to visit both Argentina and Chile. Argentine Patagonia with its towering glaciers, mountain lakes and dazzling white snowy plains ensures a white Christmas while Chile with its varied and rugged landscapes and different climate zones means travellers can enjoy a spot of winter sun in the New Year. Holidaymakers can choose a specific itinerary that explores the best of Argentina or Chile or they can combine a selection of bite-size trips in both countries and build an individual itinerary to suit.

Argentina – go in search of snow this Christmas and sail amongst the glaciers
On this Rickshaw bite-size trip to the frozen heart of Patagonia travellers will sail between icebergs, trek across dazzling frozen landscapes and explore a world of endless mountains, lakes and cool blue glaciers bigger than the entire city of Buenos Aires. Travelling through this wintery wonderland gives rise to a very different Christmas experience.

The bite-sized trip costs from £355 per person (based on 2 sharing) and includes accommodation, breakfast, transfers boat excursion, glacier trip and entrance fees to the national park. The trip can be combined with a variety of other trip options or holidaymakers can select a ready-made 17-day itinerary which features the glacier trip.

Trek through mighty glaciers and mountain peaks’ is a 17-day itinerary that encompasses Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, El Calafate, El Chalten and Bariloche. The itinerary combines the sizzling city scene of Buenos Aires with the Great Outdoors at its most epic where travellers will Hike, kayak, float and scramble through the beautiful, larger-than-life scenery.

This 16 night itinerary costs from £1375 per person and includes transfers, accommodation with breakfast and all excursions detailed online.

Meet the penguins at the edge of the world
Everyone loves penguins! (Don’t they?) Especially at Christmas when being surrounded by a raucous crowd of Magellanic penguins takes on a whole new level of magic. This Rickshaw bite-size trip takes guests to Magdalena Island, off the coast of Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan, which is renowned for its huge colony of Magellanic penguins. Punta Arenas, on the southernmost tip of Chile is a surprisingly lively place and a fun spot to be based for some New Year celebrations. The town has the rugged atmosphere of a remote sea port, but travellers will also find brightly coloured houses, leafy parks and an interesting history.

This bite-sized trip costs from £2748 per person ‘in style’ (based on 2 sharing) and includes accommodation, breakfast, boat excursion to Magdalena Island and transfers. The trip can also be combined with a variety of other trip options or holidaymakers can select a ready-made 16-day itinerary which includes it.

Through volcano valleys to National Parks’ is a 16-day itinerary that packs a variety of different landscapes and three different climate zones into one holiday. The journey begins amongst the vineyards of the Maipo Valley before flying south to explore the volcanoes and sapphire lakes of the Chilean Lake District and finally travelling to the end of the world to spot penguins, hike in Torres del Paine and chill out in Valparaiso.

This 15 night itinerary costs from £1715 per person and includes transfers, accommodation with breakfast and all excursions detailed online.

Forget Reindeer and spot dolphins instead on a new bite-size trip option in Thailand

December is an ideal time to visit Thailand when it is dry and bright.The islands off the coast can get busy at this time of year but in comparison, the mainland beaches are relatively undiscovered and offer a quieter experience just a short ferry ride away. Rickshaw Travels new ‘Relaxing on Dolphin Beach’ bite-size trip ensure travellers can enjoy miles of white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees without the crowds. The trip includes an excursion on a traditional longtail boat to spot the rare pink dolphins which can be found in the coves along the shoreline.

Rickshaw Travel offers many wonderful ways to experience life in Thailand with the people that live it and know it best. Holidaymakers can combine three or more bite-sized trips to create an individual voyage through the country or select from a series of recommended itineraries.

This bite-sized trip costs from £185 per person (based on 2 sharing) and includes 2 night’s accommodation in Khanom with breakfast and the dolphin-spotting excursion as described. Rickshaw recommend combining the trip with homestay option Village Life by the River’ in Surat Thani and the ‘Giant Trees and Lakes of Khao Sok’ trip where guests stay in a floating cottage, for a truly authentic Thai experience and Christmas escape.

For more information visit: www.rickshawtravel.co.uk, email hello@rickshawtravel.co.uk, or call +44 (0) 1273 322 399