Itinerary—where to first on a RTW trip?

| September 8, 2009 | 20 Comments
itinerary Itinerary—where to first on a RTW trip?

Faced with the prospect of leaving North America in July, where would you go?

Okay. Here’s a theoretical question. Thanks in advance for indulging us! Faced with the prospect of leaving North America in July on a long-term trip, where would you go? Keeping in mind that we prefer to travel away from crowds and prefer shoulder season to low season—and like to avoid high season wherever possible. Cost is a consideration, as are crowds. Our budget would be considered mid-range—occasional nights spent in hostels and dorms supplemented by private rooms here and there. You may select up to two options.

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Faced with the prospect of leaving North America in July on a RTW trip, where would you go?

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With so many options and ‘must-visit’ sights on the world map, we’re in need of some ideas of where to go and how to plan our experience. What would you suggest? We’re also trying to account for, in addition to the points above, what would be the best region to start from that would allow for onward travel while incurring the least expense. For example, we’re leaning away from Europe owing to the fact that it’s high season and extremely busy. That being said, we’re leaning toward Central and South America, as it’s shoulder/low season at that time. However, the cost of travelling onward from South America is much greater than Europe (and one’s options are reduced relative to Europe). For my wife and I, the most important question that we face is not: “Where are we going to go?”, but rather “Where do we begin?”. The only thing that we’re committed to thus far is a departure date—the first week of July 2011—and the duration, 12 months—the length of our sabbaticals. The date is the only thing we’ve set in stone.

We will avoid the temptation of overplanning. However, in the interim before our departure, we would like to start by reading guidebooks and novels set in the destination of our choosing. Our plan is to be away for 12 months, and we’re not attached to any destination in particular.

So, given that your must leave in July, where might you go? Which of the following ‘circuits’ might you start with? In the poll, we’ve not included an exhaustive list, just some regions that have interested us.


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About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. His latest book, The Physics of Flocking, gathers his favourite writing featured over the past two years on Two Go Round-The-World in columns like 'Looking Back' and 'The Whole Picture'—along with new reflections.

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  1. I would suggest heading to Cental and South American — Ecuador, the Galapagos, Peru, and Bolivia perhaps. July in Ecuador is dry, warm and the weather is perfect for trekking. There is still enough water in the rivers for a gentle raft journey on an indigenous-style raft. The tropical vegetation is still lush and green.

    On the Galapogos, there’s less rain and the islands are drier, though cooler. The water temperature drops considerably, though this is the ideal time of year to see more aquatic life, as the animals prefer the colder currents. Whales & dolphins are more likely to be observed around these times.

    Like Equador, Peru has a favourable climate throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season from May to September. In the highlands—for example if you wanted to visit Macchu Piccu—the dry season is between June and October, but even the mountains’ wet season isn’t always really wet and the dry season sees its share of downpours. Temperatures during the day in the dry season can get hot making shorts rather inviting. At night, temperatures can drop quickly and a warm sweater makes walking around the plazas comfortable.

    Likewise, Bolivia offers favourable weather that timeof year. Although the peak tourist season is from June to September, due to the climate and the festival season. In my opinion, the best time of the year is the cool, dry period from May to October.

    • Daniel says:


      Thanks Steven—a lot of information to consider here. Much appreciated! We’re certainly interested in heading to the Galapagos, and Macchu Piccu as well