When Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Torres del Paine?

It’s the question that all travelers to Torres del Paine want to know: when is the best time of year to visit?

Chile

Torres del Paine

Our partners at EcoCamp give us the breakdown here:

To make it simple, there is no single best time. Each season has its advantages and drawbacks, and deciding when to go is entirely up to you, based on your expectations and preferences. For example, photographers may love the color contrasts between the blue lakes and the autumn foliage, or the brilliant green of spring, while sociable types bond with other hikers during the peak season. Lower prices in the shoulder seasons draw in more budget-conscious travelers, while some wildlife lovers may try to visit during birthing season to watch new life entering the park.

Torres del Paine

Domes at EcoCamp

There is no wrong choice: Torres del Paine is beautiful and wonderful to explore year-round. But, unless you plan on moving to Patagonia for a year to experience them all, for now, you have to choose a time to visit (don’t worry, you can come back and explore other seasons as well!)

To help you make a decision that’s right for you and those traveling with you, here’s a breakdown of each season in Torres del Paine, discussing variables such as temperatures, crowds, hours of daylight, what the landscape will look like, and more, so that you can make an informed decision and choose the best time of year for you to plan your dream trip to the eighth wonder of the world.

Spring at EcoCamp

Spring

If you don’t mind a slight nip to the air and some chilly nights, spring is a wonderful time to explore Torres del Paine. Watch as plants come back to life and wildlife once again proliferates around the park, where you can see the sights ahead of the high season crowds, surrounded by peace and quiet.

Months: mid-late September, October, November

Avg. Weather: Warm during the day but can still be chilly, strong winds, cold nights, strong possibility of rain (especially in March and April)

Avg. Temperature (Fahrenheit): Lows in the 30s (3-7 degrees Celsius), highs in the 60s (14-18 degrees Celsius)

Landscape/Flora and Fauna: Blooming and blossoming plants, snow and ice still present in some areas of the park/on high peaks.

Crowds: Low. Spring is low/shoulder season in Torres del Paine, so it’s a great time to visit if you don’t enjoy crowded outdoor places.

Hours of Daylight: 12 in September, 14 in October, 16 in November, 17 in December

Advantages: Fewer crowds, lower prices, great time to examine plants and wildlife, lower rates

Disadvantages: can be cold at night, snow and ice still a possibility, unpredictable weather, strong winds

Accessibility: Limited to good. In early spring, some hotels/campsites/stores/roads/areas of the park/etc may not yet be open or available. Please research beforehand to ensure that the things you want to do or the places you want to stay will be open and operational. EcoCamp is one of the first hotels opening in the park in spring, generally opening in early/mid September.

Torres del Paine

Summer at the Base of the Towers

Summer

Summer is Torres del Paine’s busiest time of the year, especially for people hoping to take on the popular W Trek. If you’re a sociable person who enjoys meeting and getting to know people while out exploring, or you like being outside during good, warm summer weather, this is the time for you.

Months: December, January, February, early March

Weather: Warm days, cool but not cold nights, strong winds, possibility of rain

Avg. Temperature (Fahrenheit): Low in the 30s (6-8 degrees Celsius), highs in the 60s (17-20 degrees Celsius)

Landscape/Flora and fauna: Height of growth season, landscape in full green. High likelihood of seeing wildlife, but the large crowds may drive some species (such as pumas) away into more secluded areas of the park. Mostly clear skies and good visibility during the day and night.

Rain: Summer is the best time to avoid the rain, but it’s still a strong possibility (average rainfall in the summer is 2.36-2.95 inches).

Crowds: High. Summer is high season, so it will likely be very crowded, especially on the W Trek. Please make reservations and book campsites, hotels, etc, well in advance in preparation.

Hours of daylight: 17 in December, 16 in January, 14 in February, 13 in March

Advantages: Warm weather, not too cold at night, longest hours, best access to amenities, most popular time to visit due to weather and beautiful views

Disadvantages: Most crowded and busy, harsh winds, unpredictable weather/rain

Accessibility: As summer is Patagonian high season, this is when all hotels/campsites/trails/roads/paths/stores/ranger stations/etc will be open, offering the greatest ease of access to explore the park.

Torres del Paine

Fall in Torres del Paine

Fall

Lovers of fall foliage, rejoice! The memorable and captivating landscapes of Torres del Paine are covered in autumnal splendor, full of young wildlife exploring and good, clear weather with that crisp, autumn feel to the air. Best of all, the crowds of high season are gone and the park is peaceful and quiet.

Months: late March, April, May, early June

Weather: cool days, night starting to get cold, possibility of rain, possibility of snow later in season

Avg. Temperature (Fahrenheit): Lows in the 20s (-3 – 3 degrees Celsius), highs in the 40s/low 50s (5-13 degrees Celsius)

Landscape/Flora and fauna: Fall foliage, plants and trees changing colors, great chance to see young animals

Rain: Strong possibility, especially later in season

Crowds: Still pretty crowded in early March, fewer crowds and people in April/May

Hours of daylight: 11 hours in April, 9 in May, 8 in June

Advantages: Beautiful foliage, fewer crowds and less people, lower rates, good accessibility to areas of the park and amenities, great opportunities to see wildlife, great time for photographers

Disadvantages: Colder nights, can be cool during the day, possibility of rain and cold weather, possibility of snow and ice later in season, some areas of park may be closed near end of season

Accessibility: Good to limited. As the season gets closer to winter, more hotels/roads/areas of the park/etc can start shutting down for the season. Please do research beforehand to ensure the areas you want to visit and the places you want to stay will be open.

Wtrek

Wtrek in winter!

Winter

Winter in Torres del Paine is perfect for people who enjoy exploring the great outdoors during cold weather, seeing dynamic landscapes covered in snow and ice, and having a space almost entirely to themselves.

For the first time, EcoCamp is offering the classic W trek during the winter, a great chance to be amongst the few to see the iconic sights of the W trek, like Grey Glacier, the base of the Towers, and French Valley, in all its wintery majesty.

Months: June, July, August, early September

Weather: Cold, low temperatures, milder winds, possibility of snowstorms and low visibility, unpredictable weather at times

Avg. Temperature (Fahrenheit): Lows in the 20s (-3 – 0 degrees Celsius), highs in the low 40s (5-8 degrees Celsius)

Landscape/Flora and Fauna: Although arguably the most challenging time of year to visit, winter in Patagonia produces captivating landscapes, showcasing the classic sights of Torres del Paine (Los Cuernos, Los Torres, Grey Glacier, etc) covered in glistening snow and ice. Very little plant life. Still able to see wildlife such as guanacos, pumas, etc.

Rain: Likely; snow, ice, and precipitation, very likely.

Crowds: None/extremely low

Hours of daylight: 8 in June/July, 10 in August, 12 in September

Advantages: Isolated, lack of people, beautiful winter weather and landscapes, ideal for people who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the winter

Disadvantages: Cold, possibility of snow and ice, lack of access to amenities

Accessibility: Low. Winter is Patagonian off-season, so very few places (hotels, campsites, stores, etc) will be open. Please research in advance to ensure availability.

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine

FOR MORE EXACT INFORMATION REGARDING TEMPERATURES, WIND SPEEDS, ETC, PLEASE CONSULT THIS TIMETABLE

THAT SAID, YOU MAY STILL ASK: BUT WHEN’S THE WEATHER BEST?

Again, it’s hard to say. The weather in Torres del Paine is unpredictable. It may be sunny one moment but raining the next, in any season of the year. However, there are some general trends that can serve as rules-of-thumb:

1) Summer is warmest, less rainy but has the strongest winds.

2) Winter sees more rain and snow, but with milder winds, you have a better chance of seeing clear skies.

EcoCamp

Cozy domes at EcoCamp

Finally we have to say, the best time to visit Torres del Paine is whenever you choose to visit! If you’ve taken the decision to take time off your daily routine and spend time with your loved ones in one of the most stunning natural areas on Earth, not even the rain can stop you from having an unforgettable experience!

Your friendly Patagonia expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Chile, Family Travel, Patagonia, South America, Sustainable Tourism, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing The Right Inca Trail Trek Option For You

We asked our Peru experts, who have done the 5-day, 4-day and 2-day Inca Trail Trek options, which one(s) they liked best. The resounding answer was the 5-day (2-day was in second place). Read on to see why.

Our experts say, the 5 and 2-day are definitely best (though if you have the time and stamina, the 5 is in first place!) in comparison to the 4-day. The 5-day is designed in a way where you are NOT walking on the trail when most other tour companies are on the trail. Also, the last day does not feel like such an exhausting rush.

In the 4-day, on your final day of trekking, you have to wake up at 3AM and, in the dark, wait in line along the trail to get through the gate to the main Machu Picchu sanctuary. You don’t get to SEE the trail that day because you are walking in the dark. You get to Machu Picchu at sunrise and then you have the tour of the city when you are feeling very gritty and tired.

On the 5-day: you wake up on your fourth morning at a regular time and enjoy the day. You don’t have to wait in line to get into the sanctuary. You arrive at Machu Picchu through the Sun gate in the afternoon when almost no one is there and then you get to walk down through Machu Picchu (get a first taste) and then continue to Aguas Calientes where you have a hotel room waiting for you with a hot shower and fresh clothes. You get to rest that night and then, when you’re feeling fresh, you get to go back up to Machu picchu on day 5 to have the tour that day (and, if you’re ambitious, you can add Hauyna Picchu peak that day too). The 2-day Inca Trail is the same as the last two days of the 5-day Inca Trail option.

To summarize, we like the 5 and 2-day options as you are not rushed, you are not with so many crowds and you get the maximum amount of time in Machu Picchu.

Want to book your next Machu Picchu adventure? Contact us!

Check out our Inca Trail Trek options here:

Alternative Inca Trail Treks:

Your friendly South America expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Argentina, Inca Trail, Luxury, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America, Sustainable Tourism, Travel Advice, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Pick AWR for your Tanzania Safari?

Tanzania Safari

When picking a safari company, here are the things to look at:

  1. Safari Guides
  2. Customize your Itinerary
  3. Selection of Accommodations
  4. Value for Money
  5. Knowledge & Passoin
  6. Happy Travelers
  7. Responsible Tourism

1) Safari Guides

Tanzania SafariOur guides are professional, experienced, well-trained, certified, English speaking safari guides.

They will show you the animals that are most important to you, including the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Big 5 Animals, and help you take the best safari photographs possible.

2) Customize your Itinerary

Maasai on SafariWe can help you customize your itinerary that meets your interests, time frame, and budget.  We have special itineraries for families, if you are interested in culture (Maasai, Bushmen), off the beaten path, hot air balloon safari.

We can also help with combinations in East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Zanzibar), and in Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia).

See our top safari itineraries:

3) Selection of Accommodations

Tanzania SafariWe can book any accommodations for your safari.  You can choose from safari lodges, and bush camps from budget to luxury.  We can mix the options to meet your budget.

See our favorite options:

4) Value for money

For a great value, we offer group safaris in Tanzania and in Kenya.  Or we can book accommodations that will match your budget.

5) Knowledge & Passion

Tanzania SafariWe LOVE talking about Africa!  Our safari experts are knowledgeable, offer fast response time, and have over 18 years of first-hand experience.

Our staff know all the little details that go into making a safari great. The best times to go, where to go, and where to stay – you can rely on our safari expertise to guide you in the planning.

We can help you find the best safari destination, and answer all of your safari questions.

6) Happy Travelers

Our goal is to create the dream safari for all our guests.  See what our happy travelers have to say:

7) Responsible Tourism

Tanzania SafariWe are partners with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), which monitors the proper treatment and wages for all our porters.

We follow and encourage responsible tourism:

Posted in Kenya, Safari, South Africa, Tanzania | Leave a comment

New Peru Group Trekking Departures for 2018

Happy New Year! As we roll into 2018, we would like to highlight our newest Group Trek Departures for Peru. This is the year to grab your trekking boots, meet new travel companions and explore the magic of Peru!TREKS WITH GROUP DEPARTURES FOR 2018:

5-Day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu 
5-Day Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek
4-Day Cordillera Blanca Trek / Santa Cruz Loop
4-day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
2-day Inca Trail Express Trek to Machu Picchu

*** VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE INCA TRAIL (4 & 5 day itineraries): Permits are already sold out for April, May and June. Now is the time to book for 2018! ***

Inca Trail Machu Picchu

Inca Trail Machu Picchu

1) 5-Day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

The legendary Inca Trail takes you through the diverse wilderness of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, passing numerous Inca ruins on the magnificent stone highway before descending to the famed citadel of Machu Picchu. It starts in Cusco or Ollantaytambo and returns to Cusco with an overnight on the fourth night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Set departures are on Sundays and Wednesdays!

Starting at $1235/person!

Salkantay

Salkantay Peak: One of the coveted vistas throughout this trek

2) 5-Day Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek

This trek is a good alternative to the Inca Trail when permits are sold out!

From Cusco, Trek across the Cordillera Vilcabamba, past Mt. Humantay and Salkantay into the headwaters of the Santa Teresa valley. Hike through lush cloud forest and stunning 360 views until arriving at Machu Picchu!

Group departures are every Sunday.

Starting at $1135/person!

Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca

3) 4-Day Cordillera Blanca Trek / Santa Cruz Loop

This trek is called the Santa Cruz Loop and offers a hike amidst towering peaks–Huascaran, Alpamayo, Taulliraju, Huandoy, and Chacrerau–in the glacial canyons of Peru’s first mountain national park and biosphere reserve.

2018 set departures for the group rates are every Sunday from April through October. Minimum 4 people. For groups of 2 or 3, please add US$195 per person.

Starting at $495/person!

Inca Trail to Machu PicchuInca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

4) 4-day Inca Trail to Trek Machu Picchu

The legendary Inca Trail takes you through the diverse wilderness of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, passing numerous Inca ruins on the magnificent stone highway before descending to the famed citadel of Machu Picchu. It starts in Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Arrive Machu Picchu at sunrise on the fourth day; then a guided tour of Machu Picchu, option to climb Huayna Picchu, and ending with your return to Cusco and your hotel.

Set departures are Saturdays and Wednesdays (and some Mondays) in high season!

Special rates for students and teens! Early booking discount of US$25 per person for set departures, booking 6 months in advance

Groups starting at $1110/person!

Inca Trail Express Hike

Inca Trail Express Hike

5) 2-day Inca Trail Express Trek to Machu Picchu

This is an outstanding mini-trip for those wanting “a taste” of the Inca Trail, but either lack the time or energy for the full 4- or 5-day Inca Trail. There is one day of hiking; second day is at Machu Picchu.

NEW FOR 2018! We are offering a set departure on Thursdays

You will need Inca Trail permits for this trek. NOW is the time to book for 2018!

Groups starting at $625/person!

 
READ MORE:

South America Treks for Every Month of the Year

Transformative Father-Daughter Inca Trail Journey

Tips for Altitude Acclimatization in Peru

Ready to plan your next adventure to Peru? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Family Travel, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America, Travel Advice, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10-Day Bhutan to Bumthang and Fly Back

10-Day Cultural Tour driving to Bumthang Valley and then flying back

With this trip, you really see EVERYTHING in Bhutan, going all the way from Paro in the west to the Bumthang Valley in the east.  To do all this and not have to drive all the way back, you will fly back to the Paro airport, cutting the drive time in half.

We can customize this trip to including more hiking each day, and you can schedule your trip around a local festival/Tshechu.  You can also upgrade the accommodations.

Look closely at the map — you really see everything except for the Haa Valley to the west….

10-Day Cultural Tour driving to Bumthang Valley and then flying back

Itinerary in Brief

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro, drive to Thimphu (Simtokha Dzong, Tashichho Dzong)
  • DAY 2: Sightseeing in Thimphu (Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Handicrafts Emporium, Traditional Medicine)
  • DAY 3: Drive to Punakha, afternoon sightseeing (Dochula Pass, Divine Madman Monastery, Punakha Dzong)
  • DAY 4: Drive to Gangtey, afternoon sightseeing (Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Gompa)
  • DAY 5: Drive to Trongsa, afternoon sightseeing (Chendebji Chorten)
  • DAY 6: Drive to Bumthang, afternoon sightseeing (Jakar Dzong)
  • DAY 7: Sightseeing in Bumthang (Iron Castle, Monasteries)
  • DAY 8: Fly to Paro, afternoon sightseeing (National Museum, Paro Dzong)
  • DAY 9: Sightseeing in Paro (Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Kyichu Monastery)
  • DAY 10: Depart Paro

Pricing

The price for this itinerary with mid-range accommodations:

  • $2495/person for groups of 4 or more
  • $2995/person for groups of 2-3 people
  • $250/person for the flight back from Bumthang (estimate)

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Adventure Life: Follow One of Our Travelers in Torres del Paine For a Day

Come experience the grandeur of Torres del Paine National Park with our traveler, Diego Arelano, as he takes us from the cozy and luxurious yurts at Patagonia Camp, up the little-known Pingo Trail and finally to the epic banks of Lago Grey!

With its awe-inspiring nature, intense weather, epic dramatic landscapes and magnificent flora and fauna, Torres del Paine has something for everyone.

While staying at Patagonia Camp, choose from a multitude of various excursions to explore the park with expert, bi-lingual Patagonian guides. Excursions vary in difficulty, length and activities allowing guests to choose what best suites their personal interests and skill levels. Trek through ancient forests, past electric blue and green lakes, rivers and streams with the jagged mountains and captivating glaciers as your backdrop.

Return to the warmth of your personal yurt as the sun slips below the horizon and take part in local quincho, Patagonian barbecue, while sipping a glass of local Chilean wine to end the perfect day!

Want to you book your next Patagonia adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Patagonia expert,

Gretchen

 

Posted in Argentina, Chile, Family Travel, Luxury, Patagonia, South America, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 New Luxury Galapagos Yachts for 2018

2018 is a big year for luxury in the Galapagos!  These 4 yachts are brand new in 2018 and offer the very highest standards found in the Galapagos Islands.  They also offer intimate settings of 16-20 passengers.


Infinity Yacht

Infinity luxury Galapagos

Infinity Luxury Yacht

This brand new luxury yacht will begin operations in March 2018.

Her modern design will host 20 passengers comfortably in ample and well-appointed cabins and suites, all with private balconies.

All details have been taken care of: 2 luxurious suites, interconnected cabins, 1 Naturalist guide per every 10 passengers for excursions and activities and a resident cruise manager on board. All these features plus top notch service and logistics offered by Royal Galapagos, guarantee that your clients will have an unforgettable experience while cruising the Enchanted Islands aboard the Infinity.

Whether traveling with your family or a group of friends, or on a vacation or honeymoon, the Infinity will help bring your dream of a Galapagos cruise to life. All-inclusive 4, 5, and 8-day cruises are available to visit the Galapagos Islands’ remote and untouched points of interest, all in comfort and with high quality service.

Discover the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s most famous and pristine natural laboratories, through excursions lead by expert Naturalist Guides appointed by the Galapagos National Park. They are eager to share a wealth of knowledge about the many historical and natural highlights of the Galapagos archipelago.

Varied activities await you at each of the visitor points to be explored in Galapagos. Kayak on tranquil bays of turquoise waters, take a peek at colorful sea wildlife while snorkeling, and trek through moon-like volcanic landscapes.

2018 Prices:

  • 4-Day Itinerary: $2945/person Standard or $3245/person Suite
  • 5-Day Itinerary: $3945/person Standard or $4345/person Suite
  • 8-Day Itinerary: $6545/person Standard or $7245/person Suite

Origin Yacht

Luxury Origin Yacht Galapagos

Origin Luxury Yacht

The 20-passenger Mega Yacht is the newest and most comfortable yacht with amenities catering to guests with a highly evolved lifestyle. The 142 foot Origin features 10 deluxe staterooms all on the main deck with large windows for ocean views.

Expansive indoor and outdoor social and observation areas allow for easy and comfortable viewing of the islands’ unique scenery and topography. On board enjoy locally inspired gourmet style menus, open bar policy, a sun deck with wet bar and day beds and a fitness Center.

Modern sophistication with understated luxury await with a crew of 13 including high-level Captain, two naturalist guides and a concierge to attend your every need. The ORIGIN is ideal for family travel, offering connecting cabins and triple accommodations.

2018 Prices:

  • $7845/person Double 8-day cruise
  • $7645/person Triple 8-day cruise

Endemic Catamaran

Galapagos Endemic Luxury Catamaran

Endemic Luxury Catamaran

The Endemic Catamaran is synonymous with elegance in the Galapagos Island with a strong silhouette, warm, intimate, and sophisticated style.  It offers the intimacy of a small boat but with luxury and comfort, complemented by personal service and delicious gourmet cuisine.  It has 8 cabins for 16 passengers.  Starting operations on July 1, 2018.

2018 Prices:

  • 4-Day Itinerary: $3345/person
  • 5-Day Itinerary: $4395/person
  • 6-Day Itinerary: $5295/person
  • 8-Day Itinerary: $7045/person

Camila Trimaran

Camila Trimaran

Camila Trimaran

Brand new in March 2018, this luxury trimaran is very stable and can move quickly between the islands.  It has 8 cabins for 16 passengers.  Each large cabin has a private balcony.  It also has a dining room, lounge, al fresco dining area, sun deck, kayaks, and jacuzzi.

2018 Prices:

  • 4-Day Itinerary: $2945/person
  • 5-Day Itinerary: $3945/person
  • 8-Day Itinerary: $6195/person
Posted in Ecuador, Galapagos | Leave a comment

South America Treks for Every Month of the Year (October, November & December)

This post concludes our “Trek a Month South America” overview highlighting our favorite treks each month to help you pick a great adventure for your travel dates. Check the final three months of the year and what we’ve got in store!

>> Read about top treks for January, February and March! >>

>> Read about top treks for April, May and June! >>

>> Read about top treks for July, August and September! >>

>> Read about top treks for October, November and December! >>

Salta

Salta Trekking to the Clouds

OCTOBER: 4-Day Northwest Argentina: Trekking to the Clouds

This trek begins at the foot of Cerro El Golgota in Ingeniero Maury and ends four days later in Quebrada de San Lorenzo, right next to Salta city. Explore an old Inca trail amid landscapes of great contrasts. The first part of the tour takes place in a dry and arid climate. During the final segment we will enter the rainforests of Salta’s Yunga. Along the route, we will be in contact with nature and the culture of a special area of Salta.

Starting at the Quebrada del Toro, our first ascent will be surrounded by cardones (giant cacti) and will reveal the snowy peaks of Cerro San Miguel and Acay. The trail leads to the archaeological site of “Sillon del Inca” (Inca Seat), ruins that once belonged to the southern part of the Inca empire. We will continue the trip visiting the local inhabitants of the area, who work the fields and breed livestock over in villages over 3,000 meters high. Camp sites and dinners will be the time to share moments with the group and sometimes with locals when we camp near their homes at night.

GROUP DEPARTURE DATES 2018:

  • April 28**
  • May 26**
  • June 23
  • August 25**
  • September 22**
  • October 27
  • November 24

Private departures available upon request (2 person minimum)

  • *New Moon
  • **Full Moon

PRICE: $590 per person (group departure)


Ecuador

Trekking in Ecuador

NOVEMBER: 14-Day Seven Ecuadorian Peaks With Cotopaxi and Chimborazo

A program directed specifically to mountain lovers. This trip is also relatively demanding physically.

The treks and the ascents are linked to assure a perfect acclimatization to the altitude and to increase your physical resistance.

You will pass almost 14 days at high altitude and will climb 7 of the most famous Ecuadorian volcanoes: Fuya-Fuya, Culbiche, Imbabura, Pasochoa, Illinizas, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

The itinerary also includes several days of rest and recovery that will allow you to discover 4 of the most famous tourist attractions in Ecuador: the old colonial city of Quito, the equator, the famous Indian market of Otavalo and the charming thermal city of Banos.

PRICE: Available upon request


Colombia

Los Nevados Trekking

DECEMBER: 8-Day Los Nevados Trekking

Enjoy an awesome mix of city, mountains, and rural coffee country on this custom, private trekking tour that you can start any day of the year. The trek has a number of days at over 12,460 feet (3,800 meters) above sea level so we would consider it physically challenging (similar to the Inca Trail). Walking can be adapted, however, to suit a traveler’s needs and pace; that is, the distance and inclinations can be increased or decreased in difficulty based on a traveler’s needs. Your baggage, food, and equipment will be carried by mules for the duration of the trek; you need only carry your daypack. A logistics manager, chef, and trek leader make up the trek team with additional helpers depending on group size. Camps will be made ready for when you arrive and the trek has been designed so you typically arrive for lunch, with the rest of the afternoon to relax and take part in further activities like optional day hikes. 3-season Marmot tents, warm 0 degree F Marmot sleeping bags, Thermarests, and sleeping bag liners are all provided for you along with lighting and a toilet tent. Depending on a given location, food may be served either in a support structure or a mess tent. All meals on trek are included, plus meals in remote locations, such as the flora and fauna sanctuary of Otun-Quimbaya.

For your city stays, you’ll stay in refined 3-star hotels with excellent service and ratings in both Bogota and Cartagena. These can easily be changed for 5-star options on request. In the cities, most meals are up to you, since there are so many choices to pick from, but we will help with transportation if necessary, so you can experience some fabulous local dining.

PRICE: Available upon request


Want to join one of these treks? Have questions? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Family Travel, Inca Trail, South America, Sustainable Tourism, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

6 Tips to Prepare for Climbing Kilimanjaro

For many people, climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the hardest things they have done.  Being prepared will increase your chances of summiting, and will just make the hike more enjoyable.  Here are some tips to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro you may have missed!

1) Fitness

Cardio should be the core of your training program.  Get out and hike, run, bicycle, swim, whatever you like to do.  The more in shape you are, the easier the hike will be.  With reduced oxygen levels on the mountain, a strong cardiovascular system will help in reaching the summit.

Strength is the next area to work on.  A strong body will help carry you to the top!

And finally, trim down your weight.  The less you have to carry up the mountain, the easier it will be.

2) Train with day pack

Get out and walk, walk, walk.  Go up and down hills as much as you can.  And wear your day pack.  It will be light, but it can feel like it weighs a ton if you are not used to it.  This will also test out what items you will need for hiking for the day.

3) Get the gear

Staying warm and dry is so important.  Get the right clothes and sleeping bag.  They need to be warm, moisture wicking, and lots of layers.  Spend a little money to get good gear that won’t rub in the wrong places, that dries quickly, and is comfortable.

4) Break in boots

How many times have you heard that?  It is still so important on Kilimanjaro.  Also test out your socks, and wear your boots up hills and down hills to see how manage in both extremes.

5) Talk to doctor

We highly recommend that you visit your primary doctor to discuss high altitude, fitness, pre-existing conditions, and general health.  The climb is strenuous, and your doctor can provide guidelines whether you should do the trek and also on training.

Talk your doctor about vaccinations, or go to a travel medicine clinic.

6) Don’t over pack

You are limited to 15kg / 33lbs in the bag that you give to your porter.  Bring the right gear, an you won’t need to bring too much.  Share common items with your travel partners so that you don’t bring double of things.

Posted in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Trekking | Leave a comment

South America Treks for Every Month of the Year (July, August & September)

This post is the third installment of the Adventures Within Reach “Trek a Month South America” overview highlighting our favorite treks each month to help you pick a great adventure for your travel dates. We’ll write 1 more post, with the last 3 months of the year with the best treks for those times of year.

>> Read about top treks for January, February and March! >>

>> Read about top treks for April, May and June! >>

>> Read about top treks for July, August and September! >>

>> Read about top treks for October, November and December! >>

Brazil

Trekking in Chapada Diamantina

JULY: 6-Day Trekking the fantasy world of Chapada Diamantina

Near Salvador we find the most important trekking spot in Brazil: Chapada Diamantina. Large quantities of rivers are born in this spectacular region, forming over the years, beautiful streams, bubbling waterfalls and clear, natural pools. Some natural attractions include the Cachoeira da Fumaca, with its free fall of 380 meters, or the dazzling cave, Poco Encantado. Throughout the trek, the marvelous natural landscape will continue to surprise and amaze.

PRICE: $1095 per person (private based on 2 people)


Lencois Maranhenses

Trekking through the dunes of Lencois Maranhenses

AUGUST: 4-Day Barefoot Trekking through the Hidden Pools and Dunes of Lencois Maranhenses

The name of this park makes reference to the immense dunes that look like a bed sheet (lencois) spread across the land. Near Sao Luis, this park is divided into Grandes Lencois and Pequenos Lencois, separated by Rio Preguicas. The zone contains beaches, mangrove swamps, lagoons and dunes, and it was declared a National Park in 1981. This experience takes us across the shifting dunes of fine white sand and crystal clear blue lagoons that seem to glow under the sunshine or the moonlight; a true spectacle for our eyes.

  • This trip can be made throughout the year. Between January and April the weather is unstable, from May to September is the period when lagoons are fuller, and from October to December is the dry season when it’s windier and there is less tourism.
  • The period of June and July are the celebrations of Sao Joao in the region, there is less accommodation availability, but there are many folk festivals on the weekends.

PRICE: $985 per person (private based on 2 people)


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Inca Trail Trek

SEPTEMBER: 5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The legendary Inca Trail takes you through the diverse wilderness of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, passing numerous Inca ruins on the magnificent stone highway before descending to the famed citadel of Machu Picchu. It starts in Cusco or Ollantaytambo and returns to Cusco with an overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

  • Set departures are on Sundays and Wednesdays.
  • Minimum two people.
  • Groups are limited to 12 people, but most groups are smaller than that.
  • Season: All year, except February, when the Inca Trail is closed; best season for trekking is April through October. Note that you may start your trek on any day of the week for a private trek. Check with us for availability! Now is the time to book your trek for 2018! Permits for 2018 go on sale in October 2017.

Groups to Join:

If you are a single traveler or a small group that wants to join others, we have a number of groups that you can join. Permits may be sold out for some of departures so it is best to contact us for availability. We can help with an alternative trek, that is just as challenging as the Inca Trail and gets you to Machu Picchu!

 

PRICE: $1235 per person (group departure, budget accommodations)


Want to join one of these treks? Have questions? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Brazil, Family Travel, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America, Sustainable Tourism, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments