Inca Trail in South America
If you want to get to Machu Picchu you’ll not only need to trek for four days, you’ll need a permit. These are restricted to 500 per day for trekkers plus accompanying guides and crew. Permits for 2020 were released this month, and the most popular months of March, April and May will be sold out by the end of November, such is the demand to see the sunrise over the Lost City of the Incas. Most specialist operators include the cost of the permit within their tours.
From £1,684 pp for an 11-day Classic Inca Trail tour with a four-day trek and some meals, excluding flights and transfers, departing from May 2, 2020 (worldexpeditions.com).
Arguably one of the best places in the world to visit, these remote islands off the coast of Ecuador are a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So, it’s best to do it right, and get a place on one of the smaller boats that cruise the island. Unsurprisingly, they sell out fast, so now is really your last chance to book for a primetime slot. One of the most popular boats is the 14-berth motor-schooner, The Beagle. But other top picks include the 18-berth, 1920s-style cruiser, Grace and the elegant tall ship, Mary Anne, which only accommodates 16 passengers.
From £2,520pp for an eight-day cruise (dependent on which yacht you choose), excluding international flights and US $100 park tax (galapagosspecialists.co.uk).
Gorillas in Africa
There are endangered mountain gorillas in the forests of Rwanda and Uganda, and while trying to spot them is a magical experience there are, understandably, restrictions. Namely, access is controlled with a limit of ten or 11 permits per day for groups of up to eight people. These permits sell out far in advance, especially during the drier seasons of mid-December to early February and from June to August, when the gorillas are easier to spot at water sources.
From £4,095pp for a nine-day Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Discovery adventure, full board, including mountain gorilla, golden monkey and chimpanzee trek permits, departing Jan-Dec 2020 (trailfinders.com).