Fantastic Experiences, Great Value

020 7263 3000

Best of Japan

Fushimi Inari, Kyoto
Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo
Maiko, Kyoto
Bullet Train in front of Mt Fuji
Deer, Nara
Miyajima, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £3799 £3499
11 days

Holiday highlights

  • Explore the futuristic and quirky capital, Tokyo
  • See Mount Fuji rising above Lake Ashi
  • Marvel at the ancient traditions and shrines of Kyoto
  • Take the bullet train and visit the peace park in Hiroshima

View this Itinerary in Photos

  • Fly overnight from the UK to Tokyo. One of the great cities of the world, Tokyo has something for everyone, from ancient Shinto temples to futuristic cafes. The city is also a foodie’s dream, with options ranging from simple-yet-delicious ramen eateries to Michelin-starred sushi restaurants. Sakura season from late March to early April is an especially magical time for the capital and other Japanese cities, when the streets are doused in pale pink cherry blossoms.

    Meals included: Meal included on the flight.

  • You arrive into Tokyo airport and are met by an English-speaking representative who will accompany you to your Llama Travel vehicle for the transfer to your hotel. If there are six people or fewer, the transfer will be with a non-English-speaking driver. You will be taken to your hotel, where you check in independently. Please note, if your flight arrives in the morning, you won’t be able to check in to your room until official check in time, which is normally around 3pm. In this case, you will be able to leave your luggage in the hotel reception. If you would like an early check in, we can request this at an additional cost, subject to availability. Please let us know if you are interested in this option.

    You have the rest of the day free to explore Tokyo independently.

    Public transport in Japan is generally excellent and reliable, and is part of the experience of visiting the country. Llama Travel uses a mixture of private vehicles and public transport when it is a good option. In Tokyo, excursions and transfers are taken by private vehicle, including the journey from Tokyo to Hakone. The bullet train is used when travelling from Hakone to Kyoto, and from Kyoto to Hiroshima. For the short journeys between the main railway stations and hotels in Kyoto and Hiroshima, metros and trams and are used, which give a good feel for these cities. Your main luggage will be couriered separately to your hotels, so you will only need to carry an overnight bag. The Deer and Buddhas of Nara, and the Miyajima Island optional excursions use local trains, as these are fast and reliable, and keep the cost of the excursions down.

    This holiday is quite active as there is a lot of walking involved in city tours and at various sites, and you will often be on your feet, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.

     Meals included: Meal included on the flight.

  • Explore the Japanese capital independently or take our optional Tokyo City Tour excursion. This full-day excursion starts with a visit to the Meiji shrine, a rare enclave of peaceful forest inside sprawling Tokyo. Briefly visit the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing in Shibuya, then continue to the Tokyo Tower, where you’ll get some of the best views over Tokyo. Travel to Asakusa for lunch, then visit Sensoji temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple site, dating back to the 7th century. The entrance to the temple is preceded by the Nakamise-Dori, the oldest shopping street in Tokyo, where you can buy a variety of traditional Japanese snacks and souvenirs. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on optional Tokyo City tour excursion.

  • A free day to explore Tokyo for yourself. As the largest city in the world, Tokyo caters to every kind of person you can imagine – and quite a few that you can’t. There are neighbourhoods where people dress as their favourite comic book characters (Akihabara), and districts where you’ll find every fashion sub-culture from bubble-gum to Victorian hoop dresses (Harajuku). There are temples full of waving cat ornaments (Gotokuji) and even a giant Godzilla that glows menacingly whilst spewing steam (Shinjuku). This is a city where futuristic sits alongside the traditional, and there is something for everyone. If you want to experience something peaceful, you can visit one of the city’s traditional gardens, such as Hama-rikyu or Koishikawa Korakuen. If you want to experience something chaotic, then perhaps visit the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant. If you are interested in Japanese history, you can visit the Imperial Palace or the Tokyo National Museum.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Today you leave the bustling metropolis of Tokyo and depart for Hakone. The drive lasts around two and half hours, ending at a traditional tea house that’s been in operation for 400 years. The Yamamoto family have been welcoming guests for 13 generations, carefully preserving the cosy, smoky atmosphere of this mountainside rest stop. Maybe buy a snack and a cup of sweet Amazake before leaving for the lakeside town of Motohakone. To reach the town you can either walk for 2km on the historic Tokaido Trail through Japanese pine forest (taking around 45 minutes), or you can continue in the vehicle. As you descend to Lake Ashi you will get your first glimpse of Mount Fuji, provided the weather is clear. From here continue to the Hakone shrine, which has an impressive torii gate nestled on the lake shore.

    After lunch in Motohakone, take a 25-minute boat ride on Lake Ashi aboard a brightly-coloured pirate ship. Enjoy views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding forest, then disembark in Togendai on the north shore. From Togendai take a cable car up to Owakudani, enjoying more views of Fuji along the way. In Owakudani you can see the smoking crater that was created at the last eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. The region is famous for its black eggs, which gain their colour from being boiled in the mountain’s sulphurous hot springs, and are said to prolong one’s life by seven years. Take the cable car down from the mountain to Sounzan, where your vehicle will drive you to your hotel. Dinner is included with an open bar, then you are free to relax in the hotel’s thermal onsen baths.

    Onsen are an integral part of Japanese culture, with a heritage that goes back centuries. As such, there is a certain etiquette that must be observed when bathing. Onsen are communal and split by gender, and swimsuits are prohibited. Cleanliness is a key part of onsen culture, so all bathers must shower thoroughly before entering the baths. Guests can bring a small towel with them to use as a wash cloth and to provide a modicum of modesty when walking between the washing area and baths. Tattoos are forbidden in the baths, as these are seen to indicate criminality, however, you can cover your tattoo with a bandage if it is small. The hotel also has a smaller private Onsen that can be booked in advance, for those who would rather bathe in private.

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel.

  • Check out of your hotel in the morning and walk for five minutes to the nearby Gora train station. Here, accompanied by your guide, you board the first of three trains on your way to the historic city of Kyoto. The first train takes 40 minutes, and takes you to Hakone-Yumoto, where you will catch your second train to the hub station of Odawara. Here, you board the Shinkansen, better known as the “Bullet Train”, which will take you to Kyoto. The 400km journey takes only two hours, and on clear days there are spectacular views of Mount Fuji from the right-hand side of the train

    Upon arrival at Kyoto station, you are met on the platform and have lunch. You are then escorted by your guide to your hotel by metro. Kyoto is Japan’s cultural capital, where you’ll find some of the best-preserved temples, shrines and buildings in Japan. Depart on a walking tour of Gion, Kyoto’s famous geisha district. The ancient streets of Gion are lined with rustic wooden machiya houses, which house shops, restaurants and ochaya teahouses, where geisha and their apprentices entertain. If you’re lucky, you may even see a geisha whilst walking around town. You also visit the famous Yasaka Shrine, Kiyamachi street, and Pontocho, the atmospheric restaurant street that overlooks the river. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon, or perhaps make the walk up to Kiyomizudera, a stunning Buddhist temple with a wooden stage overlooking the forest. The temple is particularly spectacular in autumn, when the trees turn a vibrant shade of red, and during Sakura season, when cherry blossoms fill the air.

    Your main luggage on this day will be sent by courier to Kyoto, arriving the following day, so you will need to pack a separate overnight bag for your first night in Kyoto. This is due to limited luggage space on the Shinkansen bullet train.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in Kyoto.

  • A free day to explore Japan’s former capital, or take our optional Ancient Kyoto excursion. Start the day with a visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, walking through shaded avenues of towering green bamboo shoots. Continue to the Kinkakuji Temple in the north of the city, where the top two stories of the pavilion are coated in a thick layer of gold leaf, which gives the temple its name – “the Golden Pavilion”. Stop for lunch, then head to Fushimi Inari, famous for its tunnels of thousands of bright-red torii gates that wind through the forest. After a brief tour, you will have time to explore some of the mountain trails for yourself. Afterwards, return to your hotel and have the rest of the evening at leisure. Alternatively, if you wish to follow the complete trails through the torii gates, which takes a couple of hours, you can follow the path independently then use the Kyoto metro to return to your hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the optional Ancient Kyoto excursion.

  • A free day to explore Kyoto and the surrounding areas. Japan’s excellent transport network makes it easy to get to other cities such as Osaka, should you wish to do a day visit. Alternatively, you can take our optional Deer and Buddhas of Nara excursion, to visit Japan’s first permanent capital, established in 710. Depart your hotel in the early morning and transfer to Kyoto Station by metro, then take a train to Nara, taking around an hour and half. Then take a short walk to Nara park and the Todaiji Temple. Built in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan, the Todaiji Temple was so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara in 784 to prevent the monks from influencing government affairs. The Big Buddha Hall was until recently the largest wooden structure in the world, and true to its name, houses a 15-metre-tall bronze seated Buddha. Nara Park is also known for its friendly deer, and you can feed them with Shika Senbei: special deer crackers that you can buy locally. You also visit Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine, known for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns. Take the train back to Kyoto around lunchtime, and have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore the city.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Board a morning shinkansen bullet train to the western city of Hiroshima, taking around two hours. On arrival you are met by your guide and taken to your hotel on the local tram, taking around 15 minutes. Your luggage is transferred separately, so you will only be carrying an overnight bag. Depart on a walking tour of the city, starting at Hiroshima Castle, once an important seat of power in western Japan. After lunch, visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which commemorates the victims of the atomic bomb. The park is built on the site of what was once Hiroshima’s busiest commercial district, until it was flattened by the explosion. Here you can see the famous Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the few structures that was left standing after the blast; now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to your hotel in the early evening.

    Your main luggage on this day will be sent by courier to Hiroshima, arriving the following day, so you will need to pack a separate overnight bag for your first night in Hiroshima. This is due to limited luggage space on the Shinkansen train.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in Hiroshima.

  • Enjoy a free day in Hiroshima or take the optional Miyajima Island excursion. Depart your hotel in the morning and take the metro to Miyajimaguchi, from where you catch the ferry to Miyajima. The whole journey takes around an hour. This small island is famous for its giant torii gate, which appears to float on the water at high tide. The name Miyajima means “Shrine Island”, after the island’s famous Itsukushima Shrine, your first stop on the tour. Like the torii gate, the shrine buildings appear to float on the water at high tide. After a tour of the shrine, you have a couple of hours to explore the island for yourself, before heading back to Hiroshima in the early afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Transfer to Hiroshima airport for your flight back to the UK via Tokyo. If there are six people or fewer, the transfer will be with a non-English-speaking driver.  On clear days, you get stunning views of Mount Fuji from the left-hand side of the plane en-route to Tokyo. You usually arrive into the UK later on the same day, although some flights operate overnight

Accommodation

Accommodation in Tokyo

Hotel Metropolitan Ikebukuro

Included

Standard Hotel: An elegant  hotel in Ikebukuro with excellent train links to the main tourist areas of Tokyo. The Hotel Metropolitan Ikebukuro features a spa, two-lane swimming pool, and fitness area. There are six restaurants on the premises with dining options including Japanese, Chinese and Italian. There are also several bars including a piano bar with views of the city, and a bar modelled on the Orient Express. There are 800 rooms in total.

Why stay here: The Hotel Metropolitan Ikebukuro offers and impressive range of facilities, and is only a three-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station, which has great links to the main tourist areas of Tokyo.

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas

  • There is a spa, two-lane swimming pool and fitness centre

  • There are 6 restaurants and several bars.

About the room

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer.

Room types available

Standard Floor room.

Sunshine Prince Hotel

Included
Sunshine Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Standard Hotel: A stylish modern hotel in a good location for exploring Tokyo. Ikebukuro Station is 800 metres away, with direct access to Shinjuku, Ueno and Shibuya. There are four restaurants on site, including a Japanese restaurant, buffet and Chinese restaurant, serving both domestic and international cuisine. There are 1091 rooms.

Why stay here: The Sunshine Prince Hotel is a great base from which to discover Tokyo, with great transport links to the main areas of the city. The building complex also houses the Culture Hall, complete with a theatre, museum, aquarium and shopping centre.

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas

  • There are four restaurants on site

  • The hotel is directly connected to the Sunshine City Complex

About the room

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, tea making facilities, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer.

Room types available

City Floor Room

This hotel is used on the 21 March departure

Accommodation in Hakone

Hakone Yutowa

Included

Standard Hotel: A cosy and comfortable hotel appointed in the Japanese-modern style, with a peaceful library and delightful gardens. The hotel has its own onsen thermal baths, free for guests to use from 6am-9:30am in the morning and 3pm to 11pm in the evening. The atrium is equipped with a footbath and bonfire stove on a wood deck. All meals are included in your stay, and alcoholic beverages are free of charge for the duration of dinner. The Hotel Hakone Yutowa is a 5-minute walk from the train station and close to the Hakone Gora Park and the Hakone Open-air Museum. There are 72 rooms.

Why stay here: The Hakone Yutowa’s onsen baths are particularly special. The water is sourced from Ninotaria Onsen, one of the 17 hot springs that Hakone is famous for, and is highly praised for making skin smooth. There is also a sauna that guests can enjoy.

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas

  • There is a restaurant and bar.

  • There are four thermal onsen baths and a sauna.

  • Dinner with drinks (including alcoholic drinks) is included.

About the room

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer.

Room types available

Standard Twin Room

Accommodation in Kyoto

The Higashiyama Hotel by Kyoto Tokyu Hotel

Included

Standard Hotel: An elegant and modern Japanese hotel with sleek wooden fittings and cosy ambient lights that give the rooms a laid-back feel. There is a French-Japanese restaurant serving European classics with a Kyoto twist, as well a classy tearoom and bar serving traditional Japanese green tea and alcohol. There is also a spa and gym area.

Why stay here: The hotel has a fantastic location, close to the Gion area and with many historic sites nearby. There is an impressive range of bars and dining options. 

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas

  • There is a restaurant and a tearoom/bar.

  • There is a spa and a gym

About the room

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, a safety deposit box, and a hair dryer.

Room types available

Superior room.

Accommodation in Hiroshima

Rihga Royal Hiroshima

Included
Exterior, Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima

Standard Hotel: Standing head and shoulders above the Hiroshima skyline, the Rihga Royal Hiroshima is something of a local landmark. The exterior was supposedly designed to resemble the city’s Castle. The interior is spacious and modern, with wide windows offering views of the surrounding city. There are six restaurants on site, serving Japanese, French, Chinese and continental fare. There is also a lounge-bar and restaurant on the uppermost floor, where you can enjoy cocktails whilst taking in the glittering night views. There are 491 rooms.

Why stay here: The Rihga Royal is well-located for exploring Hiroshima, less than a 10-minute walk from the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park, and around 5 minutes’ walk from the art gallery and Hiroshima Castle.

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas

  • There is are six restaurants

  • There is a bar on the 33rd floor with stunning city views.

About the room

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a kettle, a trouser press, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer.

Room types available

Standard room.

Excursions

Excursions Package

Japan Excursion Package Save £61

Take the Tokyo City Tour, Ancient Kyoto, Deer & Buddhas of Nara and Miyajima Island excursions for a discounted price.

from £599

Tokyo City Tour

£220

This full day excursion visits some of Tokyo’s most iconic sights, from the Meiji Shrine, that sits in its own secluded forest, to the frenetic buzz of the Shibuya Crossing. This excursion provides an excellent introduction to Japan’s history and culture, which will provide context for the rest of your trip. You also visit the Tokyo Tower, with views over the city, and visit Tokyo’s oldest shopping street, followed by a tour of the city’s oldest temple. This excursion is carried out in a private vehicle and lunch is included.

Full Description:

Depart your hotel after breakfast and travel to the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Western Tokyo. The shrine sits within a large forested area and was built to commemorate the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort the Empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan, ascending to the throne as the feudal era was ending and the country was becoming industrialised. The emperor died in 1912 and the shrine was constructed eight years later, and rebuilt after the second world war. Continue from the shrine to Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, with as many as 3,000 people crossing at a time with large video billboards flashing overhead. A popular icon here is the statue of Hachiko, which commemorates a loyal dog who continued to wait for his owner for nine years after their death. From Shibuya, climb the Tokyo Tower, a giant steel structure based on the Eiffel Tower, and painted a bright “international” orange. The Tokyo Tower is in fact a few metres taller than the Eiffel Tower, and from the observation deck you are treated to excellent views of central Tokyo.

Continue to Asakusa where you have lunch, then see Tokyo’s oldest temple site, Sensoji. Between the temple’s outer and inner gates is a 200-metre-long shopping street known as Nakamise which has been in operation for several centuries. Here, you can buy typical Japanese souvenirs such as folding fans, yukata robes and traditional local snacks. Sensoji was first built in 645, but had to be extensively reconstructed after the second world war. It is one of Tokyo’s most colourful and important temples. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Ancient Kyoto

£220

A full-day tour covering some of the country’s most iconic sights, presenting many classic ‘Japan photo’ sites. Start the day with a stroll through the surreal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, continue to the serene golden temple of Kinkakuji, then finish the day at Fushimi Inari, where thousands of bright-red torii gates line the mountain paths. This excursion is carried out in a private vehicle and lunch is included.

Full Description:

Depart your hotel after breakfast and travel to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Located at the foot of the Storm Mountains to the west of Kyoto, this natural forest has several pathways for you to explore. Walking through the tall shoots feels otherworldly with the sound of the rustling bamboo all around you. Continue to the Kinkakuji Temple in the north of the city. The name translates as “Temple of the Golden Pavillion” in reference to the thick gold leaf that covers its exterior. The pavilion has been restored several times since it was first built in 1397, but has remained true to its original design. The last reconstruction was in 1955, after a crazed novice monk burned the temple to the ground because it was “too beautiful”. The shiny gold exterior is to reflect the holiness of what’s housed inside: holy shrines containing Buddha’s ashes. The temple is set in a beautiful Japanese strolling garden, and extends over a small lake that neatly reflects the pavilion.

After lunch in the city, travel to Fushimi Inari, an important Shinto shrine in the south of Kyoto. The shrine is famous for its thousands of torii gates, which straddle a network of woodland trails behind the main buildings. The gates are all donations from individuals and companies, and you can find the patron’s name inscribed on the back of each gate in black. Take a tour of the shrine, which is dedicated to the Shinto god of rice, then have some time to explore the trails for yourself. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. If you want to walk the full trail, which takes around two hours, you can follow the path independently then use the Kyoto metro to return to your hotel.

Deer & Buddhas of Nara

£110

Meet some of Japan’s friendliest locals on this half-day trip to Nara, where deer wander the park and even the streets. These four-legged natives will befriend you for the price of a small “Shika Senbei”, or deer cracker. The deer park is also home to one of Japan’s most important temples, the Todaiji Temple, which houses a giant bronze buddha; and to the Kasuga Taisha shrine, known for its hundreds of ornate lanterns.

Full Description:

Depart your hotel in the morning and transfer to Kyoto Station by metro, then take a 40-minute train journey to Nara. Nara was Japan’s first permanent capital, established in 710. Before then, the capital would move with each new emperor. From the station, it is a short walk to Nara Park, where you visit the Todaiji Temple, until recently the largest wooden structure in the world. The main hall houses an impressive 15-metre-tall seated bronze Buddha. Historically, the temple was not just physically imposing, but politically imposing too. Its influence was so pervasive, that in 784 the government moved the capital from  away from Nara to prevent the powerful monks from shaping national politics.

After touring the temple, spend some time getting to know the friendly deer in the park, who like to be fed Shika Senbei, special deer crackers that you can buy locally. You also visit Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine, known for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns. Return to Kyoto by train, arriving in the early afternoon, with the rest of the day free to relax or explore the city.

Miyajima Island

£110

Miyajima’s floating torii gate is possibly the most iconic view in all of Japan, and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This half-day excursion takes you to the gate, as well as the rest of the floating Itsukushima Shrine, then you have a couple of hours to explore this stunning island for yourself.

Full Description:

Depart your hotel in the morning and take a street tram and train to the port of Miyajimaguchi, from which you will get the ferry to Miyajima. The whole journey takes around an hour. Start with a tour of the centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine and admire the torii gate in the bay, which appears to float on the sea at high tide, and which you can walk out to at low tide. The shrine is so famous, that it gives the island its name – “Miyajima” literally translates as “Shrine Island”. After viewing the shrine and the famous torii gate, you have a couple of hours to explore the island for yourself, perhaps taking the cable car up to the summit of Mount Misen, or walking some of the island trails. Like Nara, the island is inhabited by friendly deer. However, unlike Nara, the deer on Miyajima must not be fed. Return to your hotel in Hiroshima in the early afternoon.

2024

2025

  • Thu 13 Mar - Sun 23 Mar Price £4199 SAVE £300 £3899 Single supplement Price £950 Book Now
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    Tue 25 Mar - Fri 04 Apr Price £4599 SAVE £300 £4299 Single supplement Price £950 Book Now
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Prices include

Return flights from the UK; any internal flights; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About Your Holiday

  • Prices listed are per person and based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within destination, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included.

  • All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

    For holidays not including any flights, financial protection is provided through IPP: https://www.llamatravel.com/ipp-protection

  • In many cases, the best way to describe our holidays is flexible tours, so you can choose where to visit by combining different extensions and excursions, and which hotels to stay in. In most cases, you will be with other Llama Travellers, but not necessarily the same people throughout. This allows you to get to know like-minded people, but not have to spend all your time with the same group. If we don't have anyone else taking a particular part of a holiday, we will normally operate this just for you.

    In some cases, we operate more traditional tours, with the same Llama Travel group travelling together for the majority of the holiday, which allows land travel from one location to another, and in this case we may have a minimum number of travellers required to operate the group.

    Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. These will usually be in English, although in some places, especially on wildlife excursions, the excursions may be operated by one of our local partners, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers and the group may be a mix of English and other languages. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be with more than 18 people.

    We get a wide range of people taking our holidays, with probably the largest group being couples aged in their forties to sixties, or even older. However, we also have a large number of customers in their twenties and thirties, especially for some of the more active holidays. What unites everyone is a sense of curiosity and a desire to discover new cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Although most of our customers travel with friends or family, we also have quite a few single travellers who are happy to mix and match as described above.

    Group Size
    Most holidays can operate with a minimum of 2 passengers, but some holidays have a higher minimum group size. If we have fewer than the minimum number of passengers, we will let you know two months before departure. In this case, we will refund you any monies paid or offer you an alternative option. It may be possible to operate the trip for fewer than 4 passengers for an additional cost.

    All holidays in Europe have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.
    All holidays in Namibia or South Africa have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Kenya have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.
    All holidays in Asia have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.
    All holidays in Costa Rica and Mexico have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.

Booking Conditions

How To Book

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

  • You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

Before You Go

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in destination will give you final details for hotel and excursions when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

  • Cards are widely accepted in most hotel and restaurants, and cash machines are common in most destinations. However, when travelling to remote areas, it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money. Travellers cheques are no longer widely used, so it may be inconvenient to take these.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals from your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

    More information on the situation regarding money, budgeting and tipping in specific countries is in the country information below.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy, but good medical insurance should cover medical evacuation and repatriation. If you are going to be taking part in any activity, please ensure your policy covers you for this, especially if this involves high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail.

  • To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Latin America

    Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel Latin American destination. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate.

    If you are flying via another country, especially the US, you need to comply with the appropriate immigration requirements. Please ask us for details.

    You need a full 10-year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    There is an entry fee to enter Chile for citizens of Australia, the US, Canada and some other countries which must be paid upon arrival. There is also an entry fee for US and Canadian citizens visiting Argentina, which must be paid in advance online.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate.

    Africa

    British nationals can enter Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana for a visit of up to 90 days without a visa. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate. You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For South Africa, you need a passport with two blank pages.

    For Zimbabwe, British nationals will be granted a KAZA Univisa (valid for travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia and day trips into Botswana) visa, for a fee, paid in cash. This is easiest to obtain upon arrival at the airport or border post, rather than via an agency in the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Zimbabwe consulate. You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.

    For Kenya, British nationals require a visa, which must be obtained online in advance, and for which there is a cost. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the e-visas website. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. Children aged 16 and below do not require a visa to enter Kenya. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Kenya consulate. You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate. In South Africa and Namibia, children under 18 must also carry an unabridged birth certificate.

    You need a full 10-year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Asia & the Middle East

    To visit Jordan, you need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. You will need a visa to enter Jordan. The Jordan visa is included in the price of your holiday. On arrival in Amman our representatives will meet you prior to immigration and this will be provided to you free of charge. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Jordanian consulate.

    All visitors to Sri Lanka, including British nationals, require an electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), which must be obtained online in advance, and for which there is a cost. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the ETA website. For more information, see the website of the Sri Lanka High Commission. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Sri Lanka consulate. You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    All visitors to India, including British nationals, require a visa, which can be obtained online in advance, and for which there is a cost. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the e-visa website. For more information, see the website of the India High Commission. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Indian consulate. You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    Visitors from 13 countries, including the UK, can travel to Vietnam visa-free for stays up to 45 days. For stays longer than 45 days, a visa is required at a cost. This can be applied for online on the e-visa website. Stays longer than 90 days are not permitted. You need a full 10-year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Vietnamese consulate.

    To visit Cambodia, a visa is required at a cost. This can be applied for online on the e-visa website. You need a full 10-year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Cambodian consulate.

    To visit Laos, a visa is required at a cost. This can be applied for online on the e-visa website. You need a full 10-year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Laotian consulate.

    If you are arranging a stopover in Singapore, you must complete an electronic SG Arrival Card up to three days before entry into Singapore.

    Europe

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.

     

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities, either through Llama Travel or through Llama Travel. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance.

  • Some countries have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

    Countries in Africa have particularly strict requirements regarding children travelling, and in both South Africa and Namibia, children need to carry an unabridged birth certificate. Additionally, in Namibia, adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel.

    Such requirements do change from time to time, and although we try to keep abreast of such changes and update this information, if you are travelling with children, we suggest you check current requirements carefully.

When Your Are Travelling

  • Most people who travel to the countries where Llama Travel operates experience no problems on holiday. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem, especially in large cities. Tourists can appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk, use common sense. Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive looking jewellery or cameras. Avoid empty streets, especially on your own. Take a taxi after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a trouble-free holiday.

    Each country has its own standards for health and safety, but these are often not as good as in the UK. We take this into account when selecting hotels and request that they comply with all local regulations, but cannot guarantee that these are equivalent to British standards. Please take reasonable precautions to protect yourselves whilst on holiday, e.g. by locating fire exit routes.

    Please also check the Foreign Office travel advice for the countries you are visiting at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers around the world can be very different from those in the UK.

    In Latin America and Europe, attitudes can sometimes be more conservative than in the UK, but there are not usually problems.

    In some African countries, including Morocco, Zimbabwe and Kenya, same sex relationships are illegal and conservative attitudes prevail. However, hotels and lodges do not discriminate and same sex couples can share rooms. In much of Africa and the Middle East, public displays of affection may attract negative attention, especially with LGBT couples, although the majority of people are friendly to visitors, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. In South Africa, the authorities have introduced legislation which bans any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    In most of Asia, attitudes to same sex relationships can be conservative, but there are not usually any problems. In Sri Lanka, same sex relationships are illegal, but hotels do not discriminate and same sex couples can share rooms.

    The UK Foreign Office has information LGBT travel on their travel advice for individual countries, found at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • For all wildlife excursions, please always follow the instructions of your guide, both for the animals’ welfare and for your safety. Staff are experienced at dealing with wildlife, but by their nature, excursions involving exposure to wild animals will always carry some risk.

    If you take a safari in Africa, you will be with an experienced guide at all times, who is usually unarmed. All of the game drives run according to schedule, although unexpected delays can occur, which the guide will deal with as quickly and safely as possible. Being in the wilderness means that the environment is unpredictable, so the unexpected can happen. For any excursions taken on foot, there will be a safety briefing to inform you of the possible dangers.

Health & Fitness

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. Advice for travellers is available at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

    When travelling, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    If you suffer from a disability or condition and are worried whether this will affect the enjoyment of a holiday, please call us. We will do our best to help. We recommend that you bring any medicines you require from the UK.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

    Outside of major cities, medical facilities can be basic, meaning a lengthy transfer if hospital attention is required.

    Latin America

    Yellow fever and / or malaria precautions are recommended for visiting the jungle, Iguazu Falls and some parts of Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Yellow Fever certificates are sometimes required if you have recently visited a country with an infected area. Children under 6 require proof of vaccination against polio to enter Brazil. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, please speak to your GP about zika. Please seek medical advice before you travel.

    Parts of South America are at high altitude. Most visitors do not suffer major problems. However, shortness of breath is common and we advise you to take things calmly during your first day at altitude. If you suffer from a heart or lung condition, or think that you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP.

    Africa

    Malaria precautions are highly recommended when visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the north of Namibia, including Etosha, Botswana and Kenya. Yellow Fever vaccination is highly recommended for Kenya. Travellers entering many African countries, including South Africa and Kenya Africa, coming from a yellow fever zone must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

    Asia

    Malaria precautions are not usually advised when visiting the areas that Llama Travel offers in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam or Cambodia, although malaria is present in some other parts of these countries. If you have visited a country with yellow fever recently, you will usually require a valid yellow fever certificate to enter. Please be aware that Shimla in the Himalayas in India is at a moderately high altitude, so we recommend you take things calmly during your first day at altitude. If you suffer from a heart of lung condition, or think you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP.

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

Getting There

  • Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare. You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Many airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy

    Some airlines offer Premium Economy cabins, which provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    Other airlines offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for an additional cost.

    Business Class

    Many airlines have long-haul business class cabins with seats that convert into full flat beds and often have a privacy screen.

    Business Class within Europe is often similar to economy class seating, but with better meals, and middle seats are often left empty.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 23kg per passenger for international flights, but internal flight allowances can be less. Exact limits can be found on airline webpages. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, we will advise you in advance. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    There may be additional luggage restrictions for specific countries. In this case, details of this will be in the country information below.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For internal flights, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

                        

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot guarantee specific seats.

  • Depending on the route and the airline, if you would like to break your journey to or from your final destination, and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible. Please ask us for information.

  • If you are interested in arranging your own international flights, this is sometimes possible. Please ask us for details of this and any discount we can arrange for removing international flights. Please do not book your flights until we have reconfirmed all services with our suppliers and you have checked the confirmation invoice.

  • All people transiting in a third country need to make sure they comply with any immigration requirements for that country.

    This is especially the case when in transit in the US when flying to Latin America. In this case, you must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the US and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the US. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    If your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page. It must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.

    If you have visited certain restricted countries, including Cuba, you may not qualify for visa-free travel.

    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.

    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    Details of the ESTA Visa Waiver Program can be found on the US State Department website at

    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

    In addition to the Visa Waiver Programme, the US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight.

  • Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare. You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

Travelling in Japan

  • The currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (approximate exchange rate £1 = 180¥). Credit and debit cards are generally accepted in hotels and restaurants, but many smaller establishments will only accept cash.

    All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately £15 – 20 for a meal. Bar prices are similar to the UK and a small bottle of beer usually costs around £3-4 in a hotel bar.

    Tipping is not customary in Japanese, but if you are satisfied with the service given, you may wish to show some appreciation. This is completely at your discretion, and no specific tipping levels are suggested.

  • Japan’s food is renowned worldwide, and many dishes are familiar in the UK, such as sushi, ramen, and teriyaki. Japanese cuisine has a strong focus on seafood and fresh seasonal produce, thanks to the country’s rich volcanic soil and extensive coastline.

    Some dishes to look out for include: yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish; okonomiyaki, a topped savoury pancake; tempura, vegetables in a light and fluffy batter; and yakitori, chicken skewers that are best enjoyed with a cold beer.

  • Temperatures in Japan can vary significantly depending on when and where you are visiting. In spring and autumn, daytime temperatures are usually in the mid-teens to low 20s, and night-time temperatures can drop to close to single figures. In the Japanese Alps, early Spring and late autumn temperatures can drop below zero and snow is common. Due to the variations in weather, we recommend taking a variety of clothing suitable for warm and cooler weather. Rain is possible throughout the year, and can be heavy, so waterproofs are also recommended.

    Electricity in Japan is 100V, which differs from the UK (230V) and the US (120V). As such, many UK devices will not work in Japan or may even get damaged. You will probably need a transformer for most devices, although hairdryers may not work effectively.

    There are two plug standards: Type A (two flat pins), and type B (two flat pins and a round earth pin). Most phones, laptops, cameras and tablets will charge fine with an adapter plug, but again, we strongly advise checking for your specific device.

    We recommend you carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.