Cultural tours vacations and tours, 2014 and 2015

Cultural tours are often the best way to see the the main highlights of a country & immerse yourself in it's culture. All our cultural tours & vacations are run by responsible operators who will also ensure that your vacation benefits the destination & local people.
Thailand and Laos vacation, tailor made
Overland adventure through Northern Thailand and Laos, from US $2725 (15 days) ex flights
Bangladesh vacation
Bangladesh is waiting to be discovered, from £1599 (13 days) ex flights
Cultural vacation in Ethiopia
Discover the historic wonders of Ethiopia, from £2250 (14 days) ex flights
Japan golden route vacation
9 night classic Japan trip: Tokyo, Fuji, Kyoto, from US $2057 (10 days) ex flights
Burma highlights tour
Crumbling colonial architecture, overgrown temples & stunning landscapes, from US $2220 - US $2360 (9 days) ex flights
The Essence of China vacation
Explore cultural & religious heritage, from US $3705 - US $4000 (21 days) ex flights
Family tour to Morocco
Live like nomads, from US $696 - US $726 (8 days ) ex flights
Tailor made Rajasthan tour, India
Discover the cultural wonders of Rajasthan, from £1650 (14 days) ex flights
Cuba tours
Tailormade vacations in the pearl of the Carribean, from €640 (15 days) ex flights
Bolivia small group vacation
13 Day Bolivian Odyssey, from £1850 (13 days) ex flights
Burma cultural vacation
Discover a side of Burma hidden beyond the tourist trail, from £1499 (15 days) ex flights
Jordan vacation, a week in Jordan
A week to explore the spectacular sites and scenery of Jordan, from US $1190 - US $1345 (9 days) ex flights
Vietnam adventure vacation
A comprehensive north to south exploration , from US $1750 - US $1900 (14 days) ex flights
Sri Lanka vacation, island explorer
An ideal introduction, from US $2200 - US $2400 (15 days) ex flights
Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
Japan's classic sights on a shoestring!, from US $1105 (8 days) ex flights
Family vacation to India, sightseeing and safari
Taj Mahal in Agra to the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, from US $900 - US $1013 (10 days ) ex flights
India vacations, The Golden Triangle, tailormade
An ideal trip for the first-time visitor to India, from £1465 (8 days) ex flights
Cambodia country tour, temples & sea
Explore Angkor Wat before relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, from £749 (9 days) ex flights
Israel vacations, small group tour
Israel, a Hidden gem this 8 day tour hits all the main spots, from £979 - £999 (8 days) ex flights
Thailand vacation, culture and beach
Temples and elephants, jungle and beaches - with a twist!, from £1050 (15 days) ex flights
Tailor made vacation in Bali, Off the beaten track
Fabulous cultural heritage & beach relaxation, from US $1795 (14 days) ex flights
Japan small group vacation
Japan's must-see cities and beautiful, rural countrside, from US $4420 (14 days) ex flights
South India small group tour
Beautiful cities, colonial hill stations & colourful temples, from US $2100 - US $2360 (20 days) ex flights
Small group holiday to Burma
South East Asia as it used to be, from US $2585 - US $2920 (12 days) ex flights
Ethiopia holidays, tailor made
Discover the natural beauty and culture of Ethiopia, from £1456 (14 days) ex flights
Family holiday in Burma
A fabulous family vacation including the best of Burma, from £1025 - £1450 (12 days) ex flights
Golden Triangle & Northern Laos vacation
Discover remote Northern Thailand and Northern Laos, from US $2250 (11 days) ex flights
Malaysia Tour
Ethnically and culturally rich, scenic Malaysia awaits, from US $1970 - US $2125 (14 days) ex flights
India small group vacation, a food adventure
2 week discovery of the sights, sounds & flavours of India., from US $1855 - US $2320 (14 days) ex flights
Vietnam small group vacation, a food adventure
Exotic 2 week culinary and cultural tour of Vietnam., from US $1675 - US $2270 (12 days) ex flights

1427 reviews for cultural tours vacations4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent cultural tours vacations reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.

Sabah & Sarawak vacation in Borneo
It was an amazing wildlife adventure - I feel very fortunate to have seen freshly hatched baby green turtles and wild orangutans. (more)Claire Onody
There were many memorable moments. Too few to fully list out! One destination was the Gomantong Birdnest Caves. The main cave tests all your senses. Certainly a location for the next Indiana Jones film, not for flip-flop wearing tourists! (more)Jonathan Reed-Lethbridge
From US $2495 excluding flights
Malawi tailor made vacation
The most memorable part was locating and visiting Rita's brother's grave in Blantyre. Huntingdon House and meeting Chip. Safaris at Mvuu Camp...Excellent - the trip of a lifetime for all of us. (more)John Christie
Very good, we went to four very different locations and saw a great deal. (more)ian macbeth
From £2195 - £2245 excluding flights
Kerala culture and backwaters vacation, India
Memorable parts? We (a married couple of mature years) spent two nights at a homestay situated within a bird sanctuary. The family, four generations, gave us a touchingly friendly welcome ('this is your home'), and at dawn our host took us to a rocky promontory where we sat as the sun rose over the jungle and the birds began their day - hornbills, bulbuls, sunbirds, woodpeckers, mynahs, parakeets, etc, etc. We counted at least 35 species including, on the way back, a pair of frogmouths,... (more)Robin Fox
From £750 - £890 excluding flights
Vietnam culture and beach holiday
It was excellent. I would definitely recommend this sort of tour for a first visit. We had never had a guide or arranged tour before so it really made the difference knowing that tours had been prepaid and pick ups and cars had been pre arranged. (more)Val Bodington
Both the visit to the Cu Chi tunnels and the day on the Mekong Delta was the most memorable. (more)Emma Miller
From US $1038 excluding flights
Adventure holiday in Egypt
Very good, saw some amazing places and had a great time...Pyramids/ Petra were my personal highlights (more)James Adams
Excellent, sensational, a must-do....Prepare yourself for an amazing mix of adventure and antiquities. (more)Julie Henry
From US $1599 excluding flights
Spain self drive vacation, Rioja & Pyrenees
Memorable parts? This vacation was so packed full of fantastic memories.........From the moment we arrived in Bilbao with the awesome Guggenheim Museum and delicious tapas, through to the final day when we walked down to the beach in Barcelona to paddle in the Mediterranean Sea like a couple of teenagers! Tips? Go with an open mind, and enjoy the real Spain. Local benefits? All the hotels we stayed in, apart from the first night, were family run hotels. The spanish people... (more)Janet Herbert
From £1811 - £2117 excluding flights
China tours, Beijing to Hong Kong
Memorable parts? One evening after a show we needed to get a snack, our CEO was going to get noodles an she let us join her we sat in the street with local people and enjoyed a supper of noodles. The local children tried to speak English and the adults were very friendly it was a lovely atmosphere. Tips? If they are traveling in summer they need to understand how exceptionally hot it will be, thy will need enough thin clothing to have two outfits a day and they will need lots of... (more)Laura McKenna
From US $0 excluding flights
Laos adventure holiday, Bangkok to Vang Vieng
5*++++++++ It was absolutely superb! The operator may be a small company but it's dedication to providing the best service and most rounded and authentic personal experience of the country meant that I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. (more)Alice Ross
This trip was an amazing introduction to southeast Asia for me. I felt that my experience of Thailand and Laos was enhanced by this trip...Trekking throughout the north of Laos was amazing. We had a wonderful guide that was proud to show of his country, people, food, history and culture's. (more)Amy Worthington
From £1775 excluding flights
Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
10/10...Hiroshima, sumo , Magome and Koyasan were the highlights (more)peter deen
Excellent. We had a nice mix of major cities, the Hakone National Park Region, and Miyajima Island. (more)Sally Vogl
We absolutely had a blast on the whole trip. It was a busy, we tried to see a much as we could but enjoyed the vacation...I would do this again in a heartbeat! (more)Rebekah Schultz
From US $1105 excluding flights
Amalfi coast easy walking holiday, Italy
Memorable parts? It is difficult to identify just one part as the whole vacation was wonderful. I think the views from the last two walks were spectacular - Valle delle Ferriere and Sentiero degli Dei. Tips? Be prepared for hundreds of steps but well worth the climb up and down as every view is stunning. Local benefits? Definitely, in the attention to using local restaurants, shops and public transport. Overall rating? It was amazing. June and Aubrey are welcoming,... (more)Hannah Wilson
From £1155 - £1181 excluding flights
Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia
Memorable parts? The actual festival and living with the nomads Tips? Be prepared for the unexpected Local benefits? Yes it probably did I always find this hard to evaluate. May be by interacting with us they lose part of their innocence or should you ask did we benefit from our interaction from the local people Overall rating? This was a great vacation, well organized, well run, excellent guide (more)allen gray
From US $2072 - US $2866 excluding flights
Romania vacation, the Beauty of Yesterday
It is difficult to pick out the 'most' memorable as the whole vacation was absolutely wonderful. The guide made it possible to visit small museums and 'cottage industries' such as a rural tile maker, which involved a pony cart ride, none of which would have been possible without her local knowledge. (more)Julie. Stokes
It's difficult to pick one thing. For me the Carpathian Forest Steam Train trip and the visit to Viscri Weisskirch are the two most memorable items. (more)Martin Sutton
From £995 excluding flights
Archaeology vacation in Greece
We will have lasting memories of the wonderful ancient sites, beautiful villages and towns, fantastic food and the friendly people of this diverse and attractive region (more)Andrew Douglas
Walking on tracks that were not tourist tracks was the most memorable part of the vacation. (more)Louis Mcmanus
Great! It enabled us to feel we were really gaining some insights into the country and the people. (more)Joanne Deller
From €1150 excluding flights
Romania adventure vacation
Excellent...there were too many highlights for us to single out any one experience as the most memorable. Every day was memorable and for all the right reasons. (more)Gerald Sherry
Successful (more)Marcia Westreich
One of the most memorable things was the beautiful Carpathian countryside and the people working in the fields as of yesteryear. The haymaking and haystacks were fascinating and we all fell in love with rural Romania. (more)Joan Houston
From £1875 excluding flights
Small group holiday to Burma
Burma is such a fabulous country to visit - our itinerary included one or more highlights every day. The crowning glory of our tour was our guide Po. He looked after our group of six as if we were family. (more)Stephanie Diggon
It was all new and exciting for that reason …… very heart warming to see what is flourishing in Myanmar and also fearful that some not such good things come with the advent of more tourism. Our trip to Pagan and Inle Lake are the highlights for me. (more)Jane Edington
The most memorable parts are hard to choose between the wonder of Shwedeagon Pagoda with all it's glittering gold, river journey down the Ayeyarrwady and first sight of Bagan, then cycling around it, relaxing time on Inle Lake, and visiting the botanic gardens in Pyin U-Lwin and the hills of Kalaw. (more)Janet Sutherland
From US $2585 - US $2920 excluding flights
Argentina vacation, Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls
Memorable parts? We loved every element of our vacation in South America, the beautiful and spectacular scenery, the warm-hearted people and the amazing opportunity to embrace a new culture Tips? To be prepared for an unforgettable adventure Being prepared for early starts in the morning but you are rewarding with some incredible and breath-taking views. Having US Dollars to exchange was helpful in Chile and Argentina. Having the right clothing for trekking and high altitude.... (more)Mala Mistry
From £1725 - £1980 including domestic flights only
Tailor made vacation in Bali, Off the beaten track
The people are so nice, always happy and the island is like nowhere else. (more)michele allix
Absolutely fantastic from start to finish. They put together the perfect package for our honeymoon. We can't thank them enough. (more)Christina Lloyd
Most memorable was sailing down the river in our private boat in kalamantan looking at the orangutans swinging through the jungle and staying on a remote island near komodo snarkling and watching the birds. (more)Amanda Law
From US $1795 excluding flights
Japan small group vacation
Memorable parts? the whole vacation was memorable as we went from the busy metropolis of Tokyo to the quiet of the Japanese Alps. The travel was easier than expected due to the Japanese efficiency and all accommodation was satisfactory. Tips? Not as expensive as expected and Wi-Fi more available than anticipated. Local benefits? Local travel and local businesses were encouraged. Overall rating? Excellent thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it (more)Amanda Johnson
From US $4420 excluding flights
Japan golden route vacation
Memorable parts? We enjoyed it all. The travel arrangements all worked perfectly. Hotels were fine. Amy at the tour operator was terrific. Tips? 6 hour day tour of Tokyo was a bit stressful for seniors, in the amount of stairs and walking particularly between subways. The guide could have given us more options for traveling. Two tour guides to Geisha district were poor and overly talkative The tour and experience was great. The two tour guides in Tokyo and daytime Kyoto were... (more)Howard Rosenthal
From US $2057 excluding flights
Cultural vacation in Ethiopia
very good....rock cut churches of lalibela and tigray, waking up in the crisp cool morning in tigray with the gheralta mtns in clear view, right in front of my room in beautiful gheralta lodge, nice evenings by the lake tana (more)berta pires
There were so many memorable parts of the vacation. Ethiopia's amazing scenery, the rock hewn churches of Tigray and Lalbela, and the Blue Nile Falls; and all the magnificent paintings in their churches. (more)David Evans
Saviour it and enjoy!...Much to appreciate and enjoy (more)Ken Edwards
From £2250 excluding flights
Japan small group vacation, Japan unmasked
The most memorable part is hard to sum up, so much of the trip was truly great, but would have to pick the Maiko session...Fantastic. Still raving about it. (more)Roslyn Fraser
I enjoyed everything that I did. The food and accommodation were as expected and mostly better as it was not an expensive tour. The Japanese people were delightful - very polite, helpful and thoughtful and were a highlight in themselves. (more)Gillian Armstrong
Excellent...The Japanese people are very nice and go out of their way to help you. The food is also fabulous! (more)Lisa Gould
From US $2975 excluding flights
Indonesia vacation, Isle of the Gods
Borobudur is one of the world's great monuments. The people of Java were as friendly and approachable as you can get. (more)STEVE CRABB
It was great, I learned a lot and enjoyed the company. the most exciting part was Getting to the crater of Mt Bromo. (more)Philippa Drew
From US $1695 - US $2090 excluding flights
Peru tailor made vacation, Machu Picchu & Tambopata
Memorable parts? Taking boat trips on the side tributaries of the Amazon! We loved seeing all the animals. Tips? Allow more time at the Ankatera Maccu Picchu Hotel. There is a lot to do there and we didn't allow any time there (except for seeing the ruins). Local benefits? The Amazon portion of our trip benefited local villages and supported conservation of primates. The time in the Sacred Valley definitely benefited local cooperatives and individuals. Overall rating? 9/10 (more)Nadia Al-Alawi
From £2000 excluding flights
Small group vacations to Madagascar
The most fantastic vacation we have experienced and totally different from any location we have been to. The tour company was first class in every respect...Be prepared for poverty, humble experiences, lack of electricity but don't let this put anyone off going to this wonderful country. (more)George Bannister
As I expected not 'comfortable' but an amazing experience (more)Jean Maclean
Seeing five out of six possible types of lemur in the first National Park we visited...Excellent. (more)Gill Berry
From £2195 - £2395 excluding flights
Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made
The vacation overall was amazing, there were so many memorable experiences it is difficult to name only one thing. If we had to choose it would have to be turtle watching on Rekawa beach. (more)Jude Lambert
Great!...Sri Lankean nature and food were just amazing. The chefs are real professionals! (more)Heli Aru
The elephant safari, or swimming in the Indian Ocean at sunset were the most memorable parts of the vacation (more)Emma Coleman
From £1755 including UK flights
India Golden Triangle tour
The temples and history were fascinating, especially the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Amer Fort, Pink city etc and were very interesting the animals, birds, environment, and landscape were amazing with stunningly beautiful scenery in many locations. (more)Elizabeth Gooch
Seeing the Taj Mahal and Baby Taj in Agra was so amazing. I got to see the Taj at sunset and it really does change colors. The biggest surprise was Mumbai. (more)Patricia Iris Mayo
From £1199 - £1399 excluding flights
Laos small group vacation
Memorable parts? The boat trip down the Mekong. So relaxing. Tips? Keep luggage to a minimum. Laundry facilities are widely available and you'll have more room in your case for purchases. Local benefits? Yes. Local village people, prosthetics provision and literacy help having a direct effect on Laos citizens. Overall rating? Very interesting and well paced. (more)Chris Williams
From US $1810 - US $2340 including domestic flights only
Genghis Khan warrior training in Mongolia
Memorable parts? The whole trip was very memorable, horse riding, local, landscape, culture everything was amazing Tips? just be ready to let yourself go and enjoy being in a very different authentic existence for a while Local benefits? The locals were key to the whole trip and were very happy to be sharing their culture Overall rating? absolutely amazing experience (more)Dave Redfern
From US $3500 excluding flights
Scotland, luxury rail vacation
Excellent....Time on Skye, and the rail journeys on the West Highland line and from Kyle of Lochalsh to Dingwall (more)Andrew and Hilary Walker
Wow, a number of exciting parts, firstly the train journey from Queen Street station to Fort William, absolutely superb. Staying at Inverlochy Castle, truly breathtaking location. Steam train. (more)Anne Feeley
From £1750 - £1820 excluding flights
North India cultural tour
A very good trip. Varanasi, the camaraderie of group members and our group leader and seeing India in action were the best parts of the trip. (more)Michael Adams
I am in my 50s and I found the pace excellent - no more than 3 nights anywhere - arrive - shower/rest - orientation walk then choose your activities and what a great diversity of activities. I found it stimulating and fun. (more)Hazel Durbridge
From US $1120 - US $1490 excluding flights

Vacation Reviews

You can trust responsiblevacation.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations. In addition, we don't run these vacations ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Want to know more about cultural vacations before you go?

Find out more about cultural vacations by reading these articles.

Few of us enjoy the feeling of sticking out like a sore thumb when we are on vacation. We giggle about the strange habits of overseas tourists here in the UK, but maybe it’s them laughing at us when we are away on vacation? However sometimes cultural faux pas are no laughing matter. Although our intentions might be good some of our behaviour can inadvertently cause great offence in destinations. For example, that little pink mini skirt which looks great in Brighton or Miami can, when worn away from the beach in Muslim countries, cause offence. The same types of culture clashes happen in conservative Christian communities in Polynesia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Beyond causing offence to individual people tourism can impact on the culture in entire destinations. The tourism industry packages up and sanitises religious rituals, dress, ethnic rites and festivals to conform to tourist expectations. Once a destination begins to see itself through the eyes of tourists it begins to lose its sense of itself and its identity (and pretty quickly the reason why tourists came in the first place). Read more about cultural vacations in this cultural vacations article.
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