There are some destinations which draw lots of tourists; from hiking to Machu Picchu to going in search of gorillas in Uganda, these sites are nothing short of iconic and everyone wants to see them. As a result, travelers need to book much further in advance to secure that perfect itinerary. We want you to see and do everything you want on your vacation so our specialists have picked out some of the main destinations that need the most advance planning and identified how far ahead you need to start thinking about each one.
Best time to go: Throughout the year
With rolling tea-carpeted hills, wild jungle and golden beaches, Sri Lanka is as diverse as it is beautiful. Teeming with wildlife both on land and in the ocean and with fascinating colonial heritage, there's much to discover on this teardrop shaped island. To escape the crowds, we recommend visiting some of the less-visited spots, such as Gal Oya National Park where you can go in search of elephants. There's only one property in the area and it gets booked up quickly, especially during the summer months, so plan a year ahead.
Best time to go: December - June
A trip to the legendary Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The unrivalled bird, marine and wildlife viewing is second to none and to preserve and support these unique islands visitor numbers are strictly controlled. Whether you plan to explore on a cruise or a land-based trip it is important to book at least 12 months in advance. This will ensure we can tailor your itinerary to your exact requirements.
Best time to go: January - February & June - September
Uganda is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world and to track these fascinating creatures, visitors require a permit. The price of gorilla permits has risen sharply in recent years in Rwanda, while Ugandan prices have continued to remain much more competitive. Consequently, the demand for Ugandan permits is high as it is by far the most cost-effective destination to enjoy this iconic wildlife experience. To avoid disappointment, we recommend securing your permits up to a year in advance.
Best time to go: December - April
Costa Rica is the perfect mix of exclusive jungle hideaways, thrilling activities and blissful beach hotels, making it an ideal destination for adventurous families. It is also home to a startling amount of wildlife so it’s not hard to see why it gets booked up so quickly. The best time to travel to Costa Rica is from December to April and in order to get your first choice of accommodation, we advise booking a year in advance.
Best time to go: April
Images of Japan’s cherry blossoms have graced many travel inspiration lists, so much so that it has become synonymous with the country itself. Many tourists want to visit Japan in April so they can join flower-watching parties, called Hanami, and enjoy the rosy ambience, making cherry blossom season particularly hard to book. Japanese hotels release their rooms a year before travel so it's best to book in April for the following year.
Best time to go: April - September
Home to some of the most exotic and endangered animals on Earth, Borneo is a wildlife lover’s dream and there's one property which never fails to impress. Set amid primary rainforest in Danum Valley, Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge is a unique nature retreat that delivers on all levels. The guides are first-class, and the chalets offer a level of luxury incongruous with their location in the depths of the rainforest. The best time of year to visit is from April to September and to be sure to get a room you should book a year in advance.
"Excellent service throughout with great attention to detail and thoughtfulness. I believe Scott Dunn does deliver more than most high-end vacation companies and will go "the extra mile".