World Cultural Journeys
Espirita does not operate these itineraries 
but recommends them to the devoted traveller

Sri Lanka - Africa - SE Asia - Australia - Scandinavia - The Americas


Ancient Buddhist Cities of Sri Lanka
When travelling in South India


Samadhi - a state of inner communion with the object of contemplation - is one of the ultimate stages of Buddhist spiritual practice. To this day, whether local Sri Lankans or visiting dignitaries, supplicants place flowers at the base of the divinely beautiful 5th century Samadhi Buddha statue, situated amongst the extensive remains of the ancient religious city of Anuradhapura.

In the 12th century, after 1,000 years at Anuradhapura, the capital of Sri Lanka moved to Polonnaruwa where there is an eduring legacy of temples, rock carvings, monuments and reservoirs. These connect with the major temples of Burma and Indonesia, and speak of a vast spiritual history in Asia, of a divine grace in previous times.

In addition, the countryside around these sites abounds with all forms of natural life, which, combined with the impact of the historical remains, convey a profound experience of universal form.

Those in reasonable shape should consider the deeply moving experience of the pilgrimage to the Temple at the top of Adam's Peak. Viewed at dawn, the panorama is of truly awe-inspiring proportions.

1. Transfer from Chennai or Trivandrum to Colombo

2. Visit Anuradhapura.
Transfer to Pollonaruwa

3. Visit Sigirya Dambulla
and Aukana Buddha

4. Visit Pollonaruwa

5. Transfer Colombo to Chennai

Main Season: June-September 14 days/13 nights
(April/May - October)



As well known to many travellers, the Okavango offers a unique combination of nature, space and 'The Wild'.

After recuperating and orientating at game lodges, the ultimate purpose is to journey into the Okavango Delta in dug out canoes. Camping and walking in 'The Wild', in the expert company of local guides, is a daunting prospect to the uninitiated, but one which the local tourist industry is fully equipped to deal with, albeit often at regrettably inaccessible prices. (e.g. $400-600 per night). Another good reason for joyfully pitching a tent!

First time travellers to Africa will have an experience of Wildlife and Nature, at least as good as anywhere else, and, arguably, the best on the continent. 

The journey starts with comprehending the vast open spaces of Namibia and the famous red sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Then transferring To Kasane and game drives in Chobe National Park in Botswana, with flight schedules pivoting around either Kasane or Johannesburg airports.
1. Arrive Windhoek, Namibia Transfer to Sossusvlei
( 4 days )
2. Transfer to Kasane Chobe National Park. Botswana 
Visit Victoria Falls
( 3-4 days)

3. Transfer to Maun Okavango Delta
(5-6 days)

4. Transfer to Kasane / Depart Johannesburg


The Golden Arc

Burma / Cambodia / Indonesia - 15 days/14 nights
Main Season: October-February

1. Overnight flight to Bangkok
2. Fly Angkor Wat (4 nts) Car & Driver (4 days)
3. Fly Bangkok / Yangon (1 nt)
4. Fly Yangon / Bagan (3 nts)
5. Fly Bangkok (1 nt)
6. Fly Yogyakarta (2 nts) 
7. Transfer Borobudur (2 nts) Car and Driver (2 days)
8. Return Flight

Throughout recorded human history, between a half and three-quarters of the world's population have always lived in Asia. The volume of world history and culture residing in Asia is commensurate with this fact. Enormous empires and cultures have flourished and fallen throughout the millenia. To begin to grasp the scale of these events, the Golden Arc itinerary visits the world class cultural sites of Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Pagan in Burma

Yogyakarta in Indonesia, the acknowledged cultural capital of Java, is centre of a region enriched by its varied cultural, artistic and spiritual legacy - from a Buddhist and Hindu past through to the Islamic Society of the modern era. The enormous 8th century Buddhist monument of Borobudur, and the fine carvings of the 9th century Hindu temple of Prambanan serve as focal points for a deeper enquiry into Javanese culture.

No less impressive are the extensive archaeological remains of the 500 year long Khmer Empire (9th-13th Century) centred around the world famous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. A local car and driver can be hired at reasonable rates and is especially recommended for convenience and value.

The picture would be completed by exploring the fascinatingly beautiful remains of the 11th-13th century Buddhist city of Pagan in Burma. Although for many years, as tourism only further prolonged Burma's military dictatorship, Espirita supported Aung San Suu Kyi's invocation: 'not to travel to Burma...yet...'.

Given recent political developments, we are glad to say that this embargo can now be lifted, and one can now feel free to hire a bicycle in Bagan and wander around these vestiges of Indochina's great history.

Travelling through three countries with varying visa requirements, the main international flight will require the expense of a multi-city routing to both Bangkok and Jakarta. The three other routes inside South East Asia (Bangkok-Angkor Wat return, Bangkok-Bagan return, and Jakarta-Yogyakarta return will include various one way flights. The exact time spent in each place varying slightly with flight times and availability. Espirita believes that the depth of perspective gained, by combining these high quality locations within one itinerary, fully justifies any extra costs.

Ocean Forest Dreamtime

Nature in Australia 14 days/nights
Main Season: May-September


Situated in the remnants of the original rainforest and within easy reach of the Barrier Reef for excellent diving and snorkelling, Cape Tribulation National Park is spacious, refreshing and relatively undeveloped - a unique place to relax and explore two completely different natural environments.

And Partly to address the spiritual injury inflicted on all 'First Peoples', whose cultures Western colonialism consistently refused to understand, whilst at the same time investigating original, intuitive forms of consciousness.

The itinerary continues by enquiring into Aboriginal culture at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the stunningly beautiful 'Red Centre' rock desert environment.

Sacred to the Aboriginal people, World Spirit supports their request not to walk upon Uluru.
1. Travel to Cairns -
Transfer to Cape Tribulation.
(2 days)
2. Relax, explore rainforest
and reef environments.
(7 nights)
3. Transfer to Cairns - Tjapukai Aboriginal culture park. (1 night)
4. Transfer to Ayers Rock/
Alice Springs.
(1 day)
5. Red Centre & Aboriginal culture - by car.
(4 days/nights)
6. Transfer to Cairns - Return.
(2 days).

Aboriginal Art Aboriginal Food

Light of the World

Norway and the North 10/11 nights
Main Season: June, July & August


Arguably 'the most beautiful country in the world', Norway presents an ancient human environment where forces of nature are overpowering and ever present - it is the archetypal Northern European experience.

A way of life that encompasses Scandinavia, the Baltic, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and to a lesser extent England, Germany and the low countries, Northern European culture is thrown into sharp relief against Norway's magnificent backdrop of unending mountains, forest and ocean.

The journey to the North culminates in the wonderfully energising feeling of living in twenty four hour daylight.

Tours? - no instruction is required for the contemplation of outstanding natural beauty.
1. Arrive Oslo / Bergen / Stavanger.
(1-2 nights)

2. Transfer to Trondheim -
Boat to Lofoten Isles.
(1 1/2 days)

3. Lofoten Isles.
(3-4 nights)

4. Boat to Honningsvag.
(2 days)

5. Northcape and area.
(3-4 nights)

6. Return flight to international port of entry.


Lofoten Village

Avenue of the Americas

Macchu Picchu in Peru, Tikal in Guatemala
Jazz in New York 15 days/nights


Nothing dispels faster the illusory Eurocentric view of World Culture than on-site visits to the spectacular natural locations and awe inspiring archaeological remains of Macchu Picchu in Peru and Tikal in Guatemala.

Perched precipitously on a rock promontory that towers above the Urubamba river way below, and surrounded by forest covered and snow capped peaks towering high above, Macchu Picchu, the fabled 'Lost City of the Incas', despite obvious economic 'pressure' on visitors, still fully justifies its status as the premier destination in South America.

Situated in Tikal National Park, adjacent to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and rising above tropical rainforest as far as the eye can see in all directions, the pyramids and temples of the partly excavated remains of the massive first millennial Mayan city of Tikal, are just about as extraordinary as it gets in the world of travel.

Logistically awkward, yet subject to large numbers of day trip visitors, both sites necessitate a two day visit. Dawn and sunset viewing, and avoiding the midday rush are essential for beginning to absorb the enormity of these experiences.

Last but not least, the journey to these sites involves an 11 day odyssey through everyday Latin American Culture.

There is only one 'City' to visit in the world - New York. It is, without a doubt, the extreme variant of its type. One of the great creations of the modern world, Manhattan is magnetic, compelling, addictive - the 'Temple of Modernity'.

There is one thing to do in New York - jazz. Arguably 'the only truly original American art form', jazz sits quite naturally in such a pure urban environment. Travellers, who might not ordinarily take to jazz, should set aside personal musical preferences and hit the clubs and hear the sounds as perfect expressions of modern world culture - spontaneity, rapidity, openness, diversity, exploration, anonymity. Modern art, also exceptional in New York, and Gospel singing in Harlem are other interesting options.

There is no need to be overly concerned about mugging in New York. Day by day living can empty the contents of one's wallet just as effectively!

Flights - this itinerary involves an expensive one way flight between Peru and Guatemala, New York being a scheduled stopover. There are reasons for and against incurring this expense. On balance, for people who have never been to New York and Central and South America, the argument is compelling.

1. Arrive Lima Peru.
(1 night)

2. Fly to Cusco - transfer
to Ollantaytambo.
(1 night)

3. Transfer to Macchu
Picchu. (1 night)

4. Return to Cusco.
(1 night)

5. Fly to Lima.
(1 night)

6. Fly to Guatemala City.
(1 night)

7. Fly to Flores.
(1 night)

8. Stay in Tikal.
(2 nights)

9. Fly to Guatemala City.
(1 night)

10. Fly to New York.
(4 nights)

11. Return Flight.

(Note: entrance charges to New York jazz clubs are $30 minimum - incl. $10 drinks. Two sets per night costs about $60 - 70 per person).