Finding Your Way on the Camino de Santiago

Many people ask how they will be able to find their way on the Camino de Santiago trek. Just follow the signs!

Most markers come with the kilometer distance from Santiago.
Arrows on the side of a building.
Decorated with rocks on top.
As part of a shrine.
Well worn shoe!
Modern sign.
Also artsy….

Plan your own Camino trek!

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The Torres del Paine Circuit Trek: Join Now!

Are you ready for an exciting, out-of-this-world adventure? Patagonia is the place to come! This southern region is full of amazing treks, biking excursions, running opportunities and more. There are tons of adventures for different ages and abilities, all fun and active! As we kick off this year’s trekking season in Patagonia we would like to highlight one of our wildest and most spectacular treks: The 9-Day O-Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

The Paine Circuit is one of the best trekking experiences in Torres del Paine. It’s a 9-day trip, covering all of the park’s major highlights and some off-the-beaten-track areas. We recently made a video of this exceptional multi-day excursion! Check it out and see what makes this experience so special.

For more information about this trek, check out the full itinerary here:

9-Day Patagonia: Torres Del Paine Circuit Trek with EcoCamp

This trek is a circuit around the famous Paine Massif. This is the best adventure for trekkers who seek a challenging trip in Torres del Paine and a true wilderness experience.

The accommodation is camping every night. Guides provide the tent and trekkers only need to bring a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad.

Torres del Paine O- Circuit

Trekkers only carry a day pack with box lunches and personal belongings. The guides provide two duffel bags and porters will carry them during the trek.

Group size is normally 8 to 12 trekkers with a maximum group size of 12. There is 1 guide for every 6 trekkers.

Season and departures: Departs every Wednesday from November to March

Your friendly Patagonia expert,
Gretchen

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

3 Ways to do the Famous W Trek in Torres del Paine

Trekking season in Patagonia is upon us! Read on to discover three different ways to do the famous W Trek in Torres del Paine with us this season.

  1. Self-Guided with Rifugios (basic)
  2. EcoCamp (comfortable)
  3. Explora (luxury)
Torres del Paine
Traditional W-Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

1) Self-guided 5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine (Staying at Refugios)

This is the most traditional way of doing the W Trek. Start off in Puerto Natales where you will have a briefing and be given maps, directions, bus tickets and refugio vouchers. Then head off to Torres del Paine and enjoy 5 days and 4 nights of trekking while staying at the traditional, cozy refugios throughout the park. End back in Puerto Natales. This is the cheapest option and is great for experienced hikers looking for a non-frilly, incredible trekking experience. This hike can be done with a guide as well for additional cost. Please note that we include all bedding at the refugios for our travelers so all you need to carry are the clothes and personal items you will want during the trek.

5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine


EcoCamp (Standard Dome)

2) 5 and 7-Day W Trek options with EcoCamp

Enjoy the W Trek in a slightly more comfortable way with EcoCamp. These two options are group departures and are based from EcoCamp, which is your home-base for the trek and offers a variety of dome accommodations. Depending on if you do the 5-Day or 7-Day option, you will spend 1 or 2 nights respectably in one of the refugios in the park but the rest of the nights will be back at EcoCamp. This option is great for solo travelers looking to join a group or people that would like a bit more comfort during the trek than the traditional refugio to refugio option. With this option you do not have to carry anything more than a day pack with your personal items that you will want for the day in it.


View from rooms at Explora

3) 5-Day Patagonia: Torres del Paine Luxury Explora

This final option is the most luxurious way to hike around Torres del Paine. Base your self for 5 days at Explora Patagonia in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park. Each day you have the opportunity to choose from dozens of hiking options around the park. For those wishing to do the W Trek, you can complete the trek as three day hikes with Explora: Base of the Towers Trek, French Valley Trek and Glacier Grey Valley Trek. At Explora, your stay is all inclusive so all meals and alcohol are included as well as transportation out to the various hikes and private guides.

Want to plan your W Trek adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Patagonia expert,
Gretchen

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

Galapagos for the Holiday Season 2019

There are still 11 Galapagos Cruises with availability for Christmas and New Years 2019! These trips will fill up fast, so contact us for more information!

And you are free to travel early to mid-December or mid- to late January, there is even more availability. The holiday season for 2020 is already booking fast, so plan ahead!

1) Nemo I

  • DATES: December 23-30, 2019 or December 30, 2019 – January 6, 2020
  • PRICE: $3745/person

2) Blue Spirit

  • DATES: December 18-25, 2019 OR December 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020 (8 days)
  • PRICE: $4895/person Lower Deck or $5195/person Upper Deck

3) Tip Top II

  • DATES: December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020 (5 days)
  • PRICE: $5395/person — Includes Galapagos Flight!

4) Camila

  • 8-DAY DATES: December 21-28, 2019 (8 days)
  • 8-DAY PRICE: $7695/person
  • 5-DAY DATES: December 31, 2019 – January 4, 2020 (5 days)
  • 5-DAY PRICE: $4895/person

5) Cachalote Explorer

  • DATES: December 18-25, 2019 (8 days)
  • PRICE: $4195-$4595/person depending on cabin

6) Aqua (Diving Trip)

  • DATES: December 24-31, 2019 (8 days)
  • PRICE: $3895/person Lower Deck or $4095/person for Upper/Main Deck

7) Isabela II

  • 5-DAY DATE: December 23-27, 2019 (Central Islands)
  • 5-DAY PRICE: $5295/person
  • 7-DAY DATE: December 31, 2019 – January 6, 2020 (Northern Islands)
  • 7-DAY PRICE: $6545/person

8) Santa Cruz II

  • DATE: December 27, 2019 – January 2, 2020 (7 days)
  • PRICE: $6945/person

9) Millennium

  • DATE: December 27, 2019 – January 1, 2020 (6 Days / Itinerary C)
  • PRICE: $3245/person

10) Beagle

  • DATE: December 31, 2019 – January 7, 2020 (8 Days / Southeastern Islands)
  • PRICE: $3595/person

11) Danubio Azul

  • 4-DAY DATE: December 21-24, 2019
  • 4-DAY PRICE: $2395/person
  • 5-DAY DATE: December 17-21, 2019
  • 5-DAY PRICE: $2495/person

Contact us for more information!

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Discover The Ballestas Islands of Peru

The Ballestas Islands are located right off the coast of Paracas, a vibrant wildlife sanctuary filled with a stunning scenery and a variety of wildlife species. Discover the islands and see the stunning rock formations and landscapes that surround them.

Sail around the rock formations and marvel at the colorful birds that inhabit the islands. Get up-close and personal with the Humboldt penguins and sea lions as well as many other endangered birds and animals that live on the islands.

To learn more about visiting the Ballestas Islands, please contact us or check out some of the following itineraries:

1-Day Paracas and Ballestas Day Tour

Combine the Ballestas with the Nazca Lines:

3-Day Nazca Lines, Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.cuponidad.pe/images/Deals/paracashuellas2d.jpg?w=640&ssl=1

Your friendly Peru expert,
Gretchen

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The More You Know: Argentina Travel Tips

A successful trip to Argentina begins before the adventure! Read on for our tips on weather and when to go, packing and literature.

Laguna Los Tres
Laguna Los Tres

WHEN TO GO:

The best time to visit Argentina depends on the region you’re traveling to. October to March are the warmest and most accessible months for visitors heading to Patagonia, in the south of the country.

Meanwhile, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Iguazu Falls and the Northwest are truly year-round destinations. June, July and August are popular months for skiers in the mountains around Bariloche, while April’s displays of fall leaves in Mendoza’s winelands make this month an appealing time for a visit.

>>Argentina Destination Weather

WHAT TO BRING:

Packing for Argentina can be tricky especially if you are visiting a combination of say, the Northwest and Patagonia. Consult our packing lists to guide you.

>>Argentina Packing Lists

ADDITIONAL READING AND ADVICE:
Travel Advice: How to Pack for The Atacama & Patagonia In One Trip (Even though this was written for Chile, it applies to Argentina as well)
Sustainable Travel — Reducing Plastic on Your Trip

Laguna Los Tres
Laguna Los Tres, El Chalten

THE MORE YOU KNOW:

Before you travel, consider picking up one of these trusted guide books about Argentina to read more about the areas you will be visiting and get ideas for restaurants and activities you may want to do on any free days you may have.

>>Argentina Books

Want to plan your next Argentina adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Argentina expert,

Gretchen

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NEW VIDEO: Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Embark on a journey with us along the extraordinary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Permits are going on sale in October and our special Inca Trail promotion of 10% off is over at the of September- sign up now!

Machu Picchu
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 from Cusco or Ollantaytambo, hiking from km 82 into Machu Picchu, 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.


When to go: 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 2019! Permits for 2019 go on sale in October 2018.

Want to plan your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Inca Trail, Peru, South America, Trekking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Summiting Kilimajaro Via The Lemosho Route

Summiting Kilimanjaro is an amazing goal and definite must for any adventurer! There are numerous routes that trekkers can choose from to attain this. HERE we have a great comparison of all the routes and their individual ins and outs.

One of our travelers, Barbara just returned from a successful summit along the Lemosho Route. The Lemosho Route is typically completed in 8 days. This is a great option if you want a longer trek for acclimatization. It connects with the Machame Route at Shira 2 Camp. The drive to trail head is about 4 hours.

Check out some of Barbara’s photos here:

Want to plan your own Kilimanjaro adventure? Contact us!

Posted in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Travel Advice, Trekking, Trip Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The More You Know: Chile Travel Tips

A successful trip to Chile begins before the adventure! Read on for our tips on weather and when to go, packing and literature.

Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine, Chile

WHEN TO GO:

The best time to visit Chile depends on the region you’re traveling to. October to March are the warmest and most accessible months for visitors heading to Patagonia, in the south of the country.

Meanwhile, Santiago, the Central Valleys, and the Atacama Desert are truly year-round destinations. June, July and August are popular months for skiers in the mountains around Santiago, while April’s displays of fall leaves in Chile’s winelands make this month an appealing time for a visit.

>>Chile Destination Weather

Licancabur Atacama
Licancabur, Atacama, Chile/Bolivia

WHAT TO BRING:

Packing for Chile can be tricky especially if you are visiting a combination of say, the Atacama Desert and Patagonia. Consult our packing lists to guide you.

>>Chile Packing Lists

ADDITIONAL READING AND ADVICE:
Travel Advice: How to Pack for The Atacama & Patagonia In One Trip
Sustainable Travel — Reducing Plastic on Your Trip

Santiago, Chile Cerro Santa Lucia

THE MORE YOU KNOW:

Before you travel, consider picking up one of these trusted guide books about Chile to read more about the areas you will be visiting and get ideas for restaurants and activities you may want to do on any free days you may have.

>>Chile Books

Want to plan your next Chile adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Chile expert,

Gretchen

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

NEW TRIP: 9-Day Northern Spain Luxury Adventure (Mountains, Ocean, Dining, and More!)

Ancient mountains, glittering sea, rich gastronomy, historic cities, and fine wines. Five elements that make our new 9-Day Northern Spain Luxury Adventure exceptionally unforgettable. It is in very few places in the world where one can enjoy these five elements in such close geographical proximity as the Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarra.

Enjoy hiking from the pastoral landscapes of the middle mountains of the Basque Country, to the high levels of the Navarrese Pyrenees. Test yourself on the Cantabrian waves and visit hamlets where you can taste the typical artisanal cheeses of the area. Get carried away by the historic towns and picturesque streets of cities like San Sebastián, Vitoria and Pamplona. Relax while taking in the views of the endless vineyards in La Rioja, and taste the wines that bloom from their vines. Throughout the trip, we will have endless opportunities to savor one of the most famous gastronomies in Spain and the world! Welcome to northern Spain, land of legends, vineyards, waves and mountains.

This is an excellent add-on before or after a Camino Trip and can be modified in any way that travelers see fit!

Starting at $3295/person!

ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrival, transfer in Pintxos dinner (D)
Day 2: Visit Zarautz + Optional Activities (B)
Day 3: Hiking in Murrumendi + Visit to Tolosa (BL)
Day 4: Trekking in Txindoki + Idiazabal Cheese Tasting (BLD)
Day 5: Obarenes Mountain Trekking + la Muga Wine Tasting (BLD)
Day 6: Hiking in Urbasa Natural Park (BLD)
Day 7: Hiking in Valle del Echo + Craft Brewey Tour (BLD)
Day 8: Hiking in Foothills of Mesa de los Tres Reyes + Kortariko Gasna Cheese Tasting (BLD)
Day 9: Departure (B)

Want to book your next Spain adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Spain expert,

Gretchen

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