This is how you connect to the indigenous culture in 2023

Travel isn’t just about the places you go. It’s about the people you meet – and the connections you make – along the way. From learning about Australia’s First Nations culture while digging into delicious bush tucker to meeting a Mayan shaman in a traditional village in Guatemala, these experiences may be right for you and the communities you visit.

On our new and improved Indigenous experiences for 2023, you’ll have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with and positively impact Indigenous communities around the world. Check them out below.

1. Get smart with members of the local community in Guatemala

Finish your Real Central America go across Mexico, Belize and Guatemala with a trip to San Juan La Laguna. Visiting this quiet Mayan village on the shores of Lake Atitlan will give you a taste of local life and teach you a thing or two about the culture that runs strong in this region. You’ll explore a local medicinal garden, then be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors used in a hands-on Mayan textile weaving and dyeing workshop. All that creativity will no doubt work up an appetite, so sit down afterwards to a home-cooked lunch with your village hosts.

2. Take a road trip to one of Australia’s most important heritage landscapes

After an epic few days of road tripping in Victoria’s scenic southern coastline on our Great Ocean Road and Grampians Adventure in Australia, it will be time to turn the wheels towards Budj Bim. Horrified travelers will learn the incredible story Budj Bim Cultural Landscape as First Nations guides tell the story of how their ancestors created one of the earliest aquaculture projects here – designed to harvest kooyang (short-finned eel). All this exploration is sure to work up an appetite, so you end the day filling your bellies with bush tucker like grilled kooyang, grilled macadamia nuts, pickled vegetables, kangaroo, emu and other local bush foods.

3. Get an insight into tribal life in East Africa

When you’re not four-wheeling in search of the Big Five, you’ll find yourself connecting with the Hadzabe culture of Lake Eyasi, Tanzania. The Hadzabe people have lived on Lake Eyasi for more than 10,000 years and, fascinatingly, they are one of the only cultures in Africa who have not adopted modern lifestyles. We have introduced a special experience for us East African highlights tour that allows travelers to mingle with society and even participate in village activities such as hunting, gathering and, if you’re keen to shake your hips, traditional dancing. You’ll even learn about their unique ‘click’ language – one of the oldest languages ​​still in use today.

4. Meet a native shaman in Chichicastenango

Under our Mayan encounter trip through Central America, intrepid travelers will head to Chichicastenango, a traditional town that celebrates its deep indigenous roots. You’ll get a chance to wander wide-eyed through the town’s sprawling market square packed to the brim with traditional handicrafts, fruit and vegetables. Plus, a special new addition to this 2023 tour, you will meet a Mayan shaman and expand your knowledge of their ancient beliefs and rituals.

5. Mingle with Terraba community members in Costa Rica

When you’re not traversing the green jungle or lounging on one of the Costa Ricas endless white sand beaches, you will have the chance to meet a small indigenous community living on the banks of the Terraba River on our The best of Costa Rica fairy tale. Rub shoulders with the locals here and learn how they have lived off the land for more than 500 years. Plus, get hands-on with a traditional wooden mask carving workshop before enjoying a home-cooked lunch with your hosts.

6. Walk in the footsteps of the world’s oldest culture in Australia

Traveling on our Walk Queensland’s Scenic Rim adventures will lace up their most comfortable hiking boots to traverse the incredible landscapes found within Queensland‘s southeast. Walking amidst ancient open bushland, rock pools and meandering streams is one thing, but to really get to know this area you need to meet the people who have called this place home for thousands of years. Enter our First Nations experiences. Connect with Country during a traditional smoking ceremony to cleanse and ward off evil spirits and gain a better understanding of the ancient culture directly from the country’s traditional owners.

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