Expedition Dreaming: 20% Off Antarctica Fly/Cruises!

8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise
Welcome to Antarctica!

TWO SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES:

20% OFF **OR** FULLY REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS

In unparalleled times like these, sometimes holding on to a dream is what can help us get through them. Uniquely, our trusted Antarctica 8-day Fly/Cruise partner is trying to inspire travelers through 2 unique special offer opportunities to join one of the most elite, legendary experiences on planet Earth. You must book by June 30, 2020!

  1. 20% off for 2020-2021 Season
  2. Refundable Deposit for 2021-2022 Season
8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise
In Antarctica, you’ll get to know some of the greatest naturalist guides in the world

Option #1: 20% Off in 2020-2021

Here’s how it works: Just contact us and provide us your first and last names, before or by June 30, 2020. In July, we will send you one 20% off certificate per person (or per couple) with each passenger name listed on it. There is no cost for the certificate. We will need to have this certificate when you make the reservation with us for the cruise you pick from a select, specific group of 2020-2021 expedition dates that we will announce on September 1, 2020.

Prices start at $13,495/person — specific prices vary by ship, departure date, and cabin type. You can can book on any of those listed cruises and get the 20% discount. You can technically book anytime after September 1st, however the sooner the better so you can take advantage of the greater variety of trips and cabin types still available. The departures will be in the 2020/2021 sailing season ending in February 2021. Once you decide which departure you want, then a $2,500 per person non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking.

8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise
Snowshoeing and sea kayaking are among the fun outdoor options on the fly/cruises

Option #2: Looking at 2021-2002 instead? Refundable deposits are now an option.

For uncertain travelers seeking to postpone a fly/cruise expedition until the following 2021-2022 sailing season, we have an easy option to keep your Antarctic dreams alive without financial risk to you in the short term. Travelers who wish to book a 2021-2022 expedition can do so with a special lower $1,000/person fully refundable deposit, 100% refundable up to August 31, 2020. After that, this special lower deposit would revert to non-refundable status. This lower deposit is applicable for Antarctica fly/cruise expeditions scheduled between November 2021 until the end of February 2022. Once the dust settles, we expect a rush on spaces for the fly cruises, which in the recent past, would usually fill up about 1 year in advance. This lower deposit will get you on the fly/cruise small ship of your choice, on the exact sailing date and in the cabin type you prefer. There is simply no better way to avoid disappointment than planning far ahead like this.

8-Day Antarctica Fly/Cruise
The unique wildlife in a forbidden paradise like Antarctica simply cannot be beat!

To learn more about the rugged yet uber-comfortable small vessels used on the 8-day fly/cruises, please contact us for details or take a look at our Antarctica expedition vessel pages. Check out potential expedition dates and the day-to-day itinerary 8-Day Fly/Cruise Antarctica Expedition. Photos and others specifics on cabin types are available on request, as are specific prices and any other information you would like. We hope you can take advantage of one of these offers soon. Nothing gives us hope quite like a world-class exciting adventure awaiting us right around the corner!

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Announcing 2021-2022 Antarctica Dates & Rates

Antarctica Expedition Trips

Few life experiences can come even remotely close to the absolute thrill of expedition voyaging to the last great wilderness in the world, Antarctica. Whether it’s sitting in the midst of an animated penguin family or gazing upon the majestic skyscraper-sized icebergs that float your way, a treasure trove of amazement awaits the Antarctic traveler.

Adventures Within Reach is pleased to announce the new 2021-2022 Antarctica expedition dates. To make sure you get on the exact trip sailing in the exact Antarctica Expedition Cruise Vessel and kind of cabin you’d prefer, we urge you to book early and start the clock on the trip of your lifetime as early as possible.

On each of our different Antarctica Expedition Itineraries >>, we have listed the 2021-2022 dates below the 2020-2021 season offerings. Many have prices for the more basic cabins, such as sharing a quad cabin, or booking a twin cabin. However for upgraded cabins, or unique cabin types (for example, 3 travelers booking a triple, or a couple looking for a suite), contact us for the specific pricing. Past travelers of ours get the added advantage of using your special AWR past traveler discount privileges towards the expedition rate.

Whales in Antarctica
Humpback whale, breaching, Antarctica

While there are other highly specialized kinds of expeditions, such as the Weddell Sea and Ross Sea emperor penguin voyages, that we can help you with, the most popular expeditions are the 10-12 day Classic Antarctica, the 12-13 day Basecamp Antarctica, the 8 day Antarctica Fly/Cruise, and the longer Antarctica, Falklands, and South Georgia expeditions.

11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea
Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetlands, Danco Island

Classic Antarctica expeditions generally range from 10-12 days, and focus on the rugged Antarctic peninsula and the wildlife-rich outer islands surrounding the peninsula. The main advantage of the Classic voyages are they the least expensive of the expedition options out there. Solo travelers have options to share in excellent-value quad cabins or twin cabins, while couples have the choice of twin cabins or further upgrades into Superior cabins and the like. All cabins are outside cabins with views and come with private bath and comfortable berths.

10-Day Antarctic Peninsula Expedition

The 8-day Fly/Cruise expeditions are among the most elite travel experiences on Earth. Being one of the more expensive options for the region, they have the dual advantage of being the shortest expedition we offer and also the one and only way to experience the majestic wildlife of the region without having to sail the Drake’s Passage, normally a 2-day affair coming and going, by flying to Antarctica.

12-Day Active Basecamp Antarctica

Basecamp expeditions – which generally run 12-13 days – are often the preferred choice for the most adventurous travelers. These unique expeditions include the classic wildlife of the region, educational lectures, and exciting zodiac cruising – just like the standard voyages – plus a variety of other awesome experiences included with the rates: sea kayaking, camping, mountaineering, snowshoe hikes, and popular photo workshops.

19-Day Antarctica, South Georgia, and Falklands Expedition

Antarctica, Falklands, and South Georgia expeditions are the “grand prize” for those with the time and budget to do them. Often 19-20-21 days long, these majestic long voyages hit a greater variety of sites and habitats, netting an even wider variety of wildlife and historical places than the standard Peninsula-focused expeditions.

For more information about any of the expeditions or the vessels, check availability, get detailed day-to-day itineraries or specific cabin rates on the many options you have, or anything else related to these unparalleled journeys, please contact us. We hope we can help you experience the real greatest show on Earth: Antarctica!

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Get Fit At Home For your Next Trip!

Travel to Machu Picchu
AWR at Machu Picchu

We have put together some of our favorite training materials that will help get you in shape, maintain fitness, and reach potential fitness goals — even at home. Whether you are training for a serious trek or gentle walking, here are some at-home workouts for you to enjoy.

More Training and Trekking >>

1) Fit For Trips — Customized Workout Programs

Fit For Trips, in collaboration with Adventures Within Reach, has developed fitness programs specific to your itinerary to ensure that you have the adventure of a lifetime.  A Fit For Trips program will be customized specifically for you to make the most of the activities in your itinerary.

  • Select from 4-, 8-, or 12-week training programs
  • Choose home-based or gym-based training
  • Choose the resistance program that fits your level of experience
  • Instruction by audio, video, and personal support
  • Customization available for at-home quarantine, injuries, etc.
  • Example Workout: Hiking Training Plan Leg Workout Made Simple: 3 Step Workout Plan

Get started today and be fit for your trip!  For more information, and to receive a special 25% discount, go to Fit For Trips.

AWR Inca Trail

2) Online Video Workouts

Our South America and Spain program director, Gretchen, is a mountaineer and rock climber and shares her favorite free online workout videos here:

  • 35 Min Full Body Workout | No Equipment Bodyweight
  • 32 Min Full Body Workout No Equipment | Toning & Calorie Burning
  • 23 Minute Ab Workout | Rock Hard Abs Workout

3) Work Out Apps — Staff Selected

  • Sweat (Gretchen says, “I was hesitant about this one because you have to pay a monthly fee, but I have used it now to keep in shape for mountaineering over the winter months for the past two years and it never lets me down. The work outs change every week and you have a wide selection of types of work outs and challenges as well. I have been using this during quarantine and it has been awesome!”)
  • Strava (Free or paid membership- track your runs, ski trips and bike rides and meet others through the app’s community)
AWR Everest Base Camp Trek

4) BLOG: Physical Preparation For The Inca Trail (and other treks in Peru) >>

Torres del Paine
AWR Traditional W-Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

5) BLOG: Tips For Altitude Acclimatization in Peru >>

AWR Sunrise at Machu Picchu

Thanks again AWR travelers for staying positive and please feel free to share your personal favorite at-home work outs with us so we can share those with other travelers!

-Your friendly AWR team

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Guest Review: Family of 11 Explores Chile!

This family of 11 just finished an incredible journey to Patagonia and Chile together. While several members had Adventures Within Reach plan unique pre and post journeys, everyone enjoyed 6 days and 5 nights at Patagonia Camp yurt camp together where each day they chose from various hikes and alternative outings.

Patagonia Camp
Patagonia Camp

Three of the travelers in the group continued on after Patagonia to Easter Island. A boyhood dream, they finally were able to explore this absolutely culturally rich and captivating island. Below, enjoy the video they created of their Easter Island experience:

Want to plan your next Chile adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Chile expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Chile, Easter Island, Family Travel, South America, Sustainable Tourism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trip Report: Costa Rica Multi-Sport: December 2019

  • Staff Member: Dan Crandall
  • Travel Dates: December 7-16, 2019
  • Destinations in COSTA RICA: Playa Samara (northern Pacific coast), Rio Perdido (interior Guanacaste), Rancho Margot (Arenal), and San Jose
Sea kayaks awaiting paddlers on the long, serene beach of Playa Samara

December 7, 2020: Arrival in Liberia / Transfer to Playa Samara

The unassuming Liberia International Airport (“LIR”) is the main gateway for northwest Costa Rica, which is where our first destination, Playa Samara, is situated on the northern Pacific coast, about a 2-hour drive away. Our plan was a one-way trip from Liberia to San Jose, situated in central Costa Rica (and incidentally,the main international airport in Costa Rica), making a nice one-way trip through a pleasant swath of this beautiful country. Arriving in Samara, the first thing you notice in this dusty little hippie town is how easy-going everyone seems to be, the languid pace. The second thing, once you get your first glimpse of it, you notice is just how long and beautiful the beach is. Our modest accommodations were the Samara Treehouse Inn, an intimate little property right on the beach, composed of 4 raised mini-beach houses on high stilts overlooking the sea. The beach houses come with a small sitting area that views the beach, then a small kitchen and bathroom area, with the bedroom in the rear. The Inn has direct access to the sea and a small ‘plunge-style’ swimming pool. Within an easy stroll, conveniently, is the downtown area with a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars.

View of Samara Treehouse from the beach. Each unit has its own open air hammock, breakfast table, and grill beneath the chalet. Each chalet comes with a large panoramic window overlooking the beach.

December 8, 2020: Beach trek Playa Samara to Playa Carrillo

Today we hiked the length of Playa Samara to nearby undeveloped Playa Carrillo, walking the length of that impressively long beach as well. We’d estimate this to be about 8-9 km total including a short stretch on the road (careful here – no sidewalk but traffic is relatively light mid-morning). We were glad to bring water and snacks, as there was no development on quiet Playa Carrillo, and hats, since there is little shade. Both beaches feature find sand beaches, with rugged cliffs as headlands on each. We passed several small smiling parties of travelers enjoying horseback riding along the shore. There was great bird watching especially on Playa Samara, watching various shorebirds flit among the waves and brown pelicans dive in the surf. The the highlight of Carrillo meanwhile was it’s blissful solitude even on a weekend. Exhausted from the sand hike, we paid $10 to a local hanging out in the Carrillo parking lot to drive us back to Playa Samara. Getting back here, we hit the ocean to cool off. While one needs to practice caution and common sense, Samara is, overall, an excellent swimming beach, a notable attraction in a country loaded with dangerous riptides affecting many other beach areas. Surfers still hit the gentle waves here, with 3-4 surfing schools along the beachfront to rent or get instruction. Later we retreated to one of the several beach bars for a refreshing pina colada as the sun set over the water.

Surfing the gentle waves on Playa Samara

December 9, 2020: Sea kayaking Samara

After a sunrise beach stroll and breakfast at the Treehouse Inn, we hiked up to the northern stretch of beach where we knew a nice local was renting sea kayaks for about $10/hour. (For novices, there are guided sea kayaking trips daily to Isla Chora.) He claims to have been there at the same location every day for over 5 years running – that is dedication! He included snorkel gear at no extra charge and a dry bag. Our destination: Isla Chora, a rugged uninhabited tropical island literally right in front of us, a brief 20-25 minute paddle away. We timed our quest at low tide. With high tide, the beach on Isla Chora may be un-landable and even dangerous. Landing was tricky, with the powerful waves criss-crossing the main beach but once landed, we got out and easily explored the rocky island (a seabird preserve) on foot, admiring some friendly iguanas up-close, and also did some snorkeling. We returned the kayaks and spent the rest of the day enjoying the town and the beach. On the way back, you can’t help but notice the handful of fishing boats moored in the water. The local fisherman do more than just fish, they also take travelers out on unique 1/2 day dolphin watching trips, which are reputed to have a high success rate if the sea conditions are not too bad and there’s no rain. Local fisherman also take tourists out fishing on half day in-shore fishing trips. Another option for travelers here are 4-hour sea turtle nesting tours, offered in the evenings/nights, on a seasonal basis, generally between August and December, to nearby Ostional Wildlife Reserve, about an hour drive away. We help our travelers with options like this, depending on interests and time.

Heading to nearby Isla Chora, a beautiful undisturbed tropical gem

December 10, 2020: To Rio Perdido, in Guanacaste’s rugged interior

Today we transferred about 3.5 hours away to Rio Perdido, with a coffee stop at a macaw sanctuary en-route. (Normally, we’d have gone to Rio Perdido first, then Samara, then Arenal, but availability made us flip flop the beach and Rio Perdido.) Rio Perdido is an exclusive mineral hot springs resort with a variety of outdoor activities on offer immersed in the rugged hill country of Guanacaste. Travelers seeking lush rainforest need to look elsewhere in Costa Rica (we can help), but for travelers seeking a unique luxury eco-resort with first-world resort amenities and a unique ecosystem – the dry tropical forest – this is an outstanding property. Our first priority was hiking the hot stream trail on-site. This is a scenic natural little stream, in a forested canyon, with natural hot pools here and there to stop and relax in. After the hike and pool sampling, we checked out the developed hot pools attached to the main lodge area, including one with a swim up bar. We ate dinner at the lodge’s restaurant and retired to our free-standing chalet early since we had an early wake up planned the next day for rafting.

A Rio Perdido chalet
Rio Perdido interior
The hot stream in the Rio Perdido canyon, with various pools reached via a 1 km trail

December 11: Rio Tenorio whitewater rafting

After breakfast at Rio Perdido and early pick up, we were transferred to the rafting office for the Rio Tenorio where we had coffee and waited for the team to assemble. The Class 3 and 4 Rio Tenorio is a must for any whitewater rafting enthusiast who visits the area. On our full day excursion, we ran a number of big class 4 drops and jumped off ledges into others. In between, numerous Class 2 and 3 ledges and river funnels thrilled us. Howler monkeys yelled at us from the canyon canopy and lush forest was all around within the jagged canyon walls. Brief calm pools spelled us to allow for some easy river swimming. This is a small fast jungle river encased within a scenic rock canyon, with clear cool water and plenty of sun. After we ran the river and tipped our guides, we returned to the rafting base, had lunch, and returned to Rio Perdido. The put in for the river is approximately 1-hour from Rio Perdido.

Phase 1 of the famed “big drop” on the Rio Tenorio
And Phase 2 of the same Class 4 “big drop” on Rio Tenorio – the entire raft was submerged at the end – fun Costa Rica-style!!

After the rafting, we went on a sunset hike on the Rio Perdido trails. Many of the trails are designed for mountain biking (which you can rent on-site) but all of them make for fine hiking, with a variety of destination available, from dramatic footbridges over the canyon to hidden springs to scenic overlooks. Allow for extra time on any hike here since the maps are not super accurate, you can get a little “turned around” so bring extra water, a hat & sunscreen for sun protection and a flashlight if hiking at sunset.

December 12, 2020: Whitewater tubing, Zipline, and transfer to Arenal (Rancho Margot)

Rio Perdido also offers whitewater tubing and a zipline course and I did both. Allow for about an hour or more for each activity. I did them back to back this morning, before returning to the lodge for lunch and our transfer to Arenal.

The whitewater tubing would be best at moderate river levels. The tubing is done on the main river, which is a separate column of water from the placid, idyllic hot spring stream we checked out on our first day at Rio Perdido. It would be a fun exhilarating experience in lower water. I went, however, when the river was very high (the tubing had been closed the previous days due to high water) and it was terrifying. The river was extremely fast and pushy, with numerous tight Class 4 drops. The river canyon walls rise straight from the water, meaning this is more like tubing a deep slot canyon rather than a routine river. The hike out is steep! I would definitely do it again in low to moderate water levels but I would not especially recommend it when the water is very high unless you are looking for an extreme water challenge. Be prepared for some bumps and bruises. Wear closed toe river shoes or water shoes or a pair of tennis shoes if you don’t have them. The canyon itself is absolutely beautiful and the guides are fun guys.

After the tubing, we went on the Rio Perdido zipline course, which features a number of high but not particularly long ziplines, a tarzan swing, a challenge rope bridge, a pendulum swing, plus a few stretches of via ferrata climbing. While the ziplines don’t compare to the best ones in Costa Rica (like the Sky trek complexes), it’s still plenty fun to fly over the canyon and enjoy some of the diverse mini-experiences built into the course. It will bring the kid out in you!

After a quick lunch, we transferred to Rancho Margot, a mid-range eco-lodge situated in the Arenal lake area, about a 3-hour drive away. We checked in, had a brief orientation from the manager about this unique sustainable farm property, and went to our bungalow. Before dinner, we relaxed and had great fun watching several species of hummingbirds zip around the flowering plants adjacent to our unit. We enjoyed our first farm-to-table dinner here and went to bed early with the relaxing pitter-patter of a gentle rain falling on the roof.

Rancho Margot bungalow
Rancho Margot bungalow interior, modest but functional

December 13, 2020: Rancho Margot R&R and hiking

We had 2 full days here, so we decided to take it easy this morning. The secluded Rancho Margot is located in a quiet remove far from the hustle & bustle of La Fortuna, and the spacious grounds (which includes not just the farm and ranch but also the forested hills that ring the property) creates a welcome space to un-plug and relax. The views of jungle hills from the bungalow porch were plenty good all by themselves. I could even hear the river in the distance. On the porch, there’s a hammock, a rocking chair and a table with chairs. Plenty of space to relax, watch colorful birds as they come and go, and catch up on reading.

Space to relax at Rancho Margot
No shortage of colorful things to distract you however right from the bungalow porch at Rancho Margot
One of the bungalow’s other resident’s at Rancho Margot

Then in the afternoon, we went for a 2-hour hike up to the Mirador of the property, a viewpoint with expansive views of Arenal Volcano, the ranch, and Arenal lake. This is a steep hike on very uneven ground so bring your hiking boots and avoid a twisted ankle. The views are worth it. After the hike, we returned to freshen up in the lodge’s natural pool and ate another fine farm-to-table dinner.

Views as you hike up the steep Mirador trail at Rancho Margot, a substantial river slices the middle of this forested gorge. A huge white eagle soared just beyond.
Bird watching the Mirador trail. On clear days you’ll see great views of Arenal Volcano (in the distance, shrouded by clouds).
An abandoned ranch house that Nature is slowly re-claiming. Photo opportunities abound on the Mirador hike. Notice Lake Arenal in the background.

December 14, 2020: Exploring Rancho Margot

Before breakfast, my wife went to the yoga studio, situated near the riverside, for morning yoga with several other ladies visiting the property. (She gave the yoga instructor high marks.) Their are daily classes on request, included. Later this morning we enjoyed the guided sustainable farm tour, which was very interesting, learning just how self-sufficient Rancho Margot really is and how much they value people, wildlife, and the land. One project they are passionate about is nurturing native botanical, and in turn, the wildlife and insects that rely on them. We saw several species of frogs, a snake, butterflies, and loads of native flower & tree varieties and more on the tour. We visited the livestock pens and learned how they humanely treat the animals plus the grand vision & admirable goals of the eco-lodge. It was a beautiful day and our local guide was a wealth of knowledge. In the afternoon we did our own self-guided 1-hour hike in the private nature reserve on-site and in the evening, we joined a local guide for a 2-hour guided night walk on the property, seeing armadillos, frogs, spiders, a colorful snake, and more.

Meeting the passionate chief horticulturalist at Rancho Margot on the farm tour
Rancho Margot has a host of protected mini-habitats that nurture indigenous wildlife

December 15, 2020: Bogarin Trail for sloths, San Jose

After a leisure morning, absorbing our final tranquil moments of simple rural life at Rancho Margot, we headed to La Fortuna and a unique urban sloth & bird sanctuary, the Bogarin Trail. The actual trail is just over 1 mile, and the entrance fee is $10/person. This is a urban wildlife conservation project lovingly managed by local brothers. This is not a deep wilderness experience – the reclaimed forest is right off the main drag. It does however provide extraordinary views of the resident wild sloths (go on one of the scheduled guided walks… we saw both species of sloth) plus fantastic photo opportunities for poison arrow dart frogs via their little open-air frog habitat and lots of colorful birds, especially toucans, at their feeder, right near the entrance.

Bogarin trail’s open-air frog habitat
The bird feeder at the entrance to Bogarin trail draws an impressive array of colorful and rare species
Opportunities to see wild sloths is the main attraction at Bogarin Trail

After our 2-hour visit at Bogarin, we ate lunch at a local pub in La Fortuna and continued our transfer to San Jose. San Jose is one Latin America’s most humble capital cities with relatively little to excite an experienced international traveler compared to the grander cities elsewhere in Latin America but it still has it’s share of very fine hotels and a variety of things to do & see. After checking into our downtown hotel, the comfortable, clean, mid-range Park Inn, we walked about a mile to the downtown pedestrian area, which was chock-full of busy holiday shoppers. We stopped by the beautifully appointed, recommended National Theater for a glass of wine, and enjoyed some people watching in the National Theater Plaza, had some dinner and then returned by taxi to the hotel.

December 16, 2020: Departure from San Jose

After a fine breakfast and time to relax poolside, at the Park Inn’s third floor open-air swimming pool – soaking up our last bit of sun before heading back to the bitter cold awaiting us further north – we met our driver outside the lobby and transferred about 30 minutes to the airport. The modern San Jose airport is much more significant than Liberia’s, with more shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Adios San Jose!

For many more photos from the trip, check out the trip’s Smugmug page >>. For more itinerary options in Costa Rica, check out the Adventures Within Reach Costa Rica webpage >>. All of our Costa Rica tours are custom, and you can start one any day of the year. We’ve helped parties that range from solo trips of 1-person to large groups of over 20 people. Please contact us if you’d like help planning a Costa Rica trip and get a quote.

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When To Visit Brazil

It’s already February! Time to start planning your next escapes for 2020. Now that US travelers no longer need a visa to visit Brazil, we highly recommend venturing to this incredible country now more than ever!

Brazil is such a large country (roughly the size of the continental US) and there are endless opportunities for any kind of adventure our travelers might be looking for. To help our travelers this year, we have made a chart of the various regions of Brazil with the best times to visit them throughout the year and when to start you trip planning.

VISIT BEST TIME TO TRAVEL WHY? START PLANNING IN
Rio de Janeiro, Costa Verde Paraty, Ilha Grande May to October It is the time of least rainfall, although you can visit at any time. January
Lençóis Maranhenses and Jericoacoara June to September The rainy season ends in June and the lagoons are full. February
Pantanal and Bonito July to September Dry season in which you can see more animals. Since May you can see the jaguar. March
Ilha de Marajó July Excellent season for foodies in the exotic state of Pará. April
Amazonas July to November Although there is rain all year round, at this time there is less heat and less mosquitoes. May
Reveillon (New Year) December 24th to January 2nd Hurry to make reservations to celebrate the change of year in classic or alternative destinations. June
Route of Emotions September to November Good prices and it’s windy season for water sports practitioners like windsurfing and kitesurfing. July
Brasil’s Northeast (Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Salvador…) December to February Escape the cold winter on tropical Brazilian coasts with hot weather the whole year. August
Rio’s Carnival  2021 February 13th to 16th In September they release tickets and prices. September
Minas Gerais April to September It is the dry and less hot season, but you can visit at any time. October
Santa Catarina Easter Week Excellent destination to travel with the family throughout the year. November
Chapada Diamantina May to September Less rain and better roads for trekking activities. December
Foz de Iguacu All year long The falls are impressive throughout the year. All year long
Bahia All year long It is good weather all year round. Between November and January it rains less. All year long
Great Cities (Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador) All year long Urban experiences, with art, architecture and gastronomy for city adventurers. All year long
Bonito Brazil
Bonito Gruta Azul

Want to add Brazil to your next adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Brazil specialist,

Gretchen

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

San Blas: A Bohemian Gem in Cusco

Situated just a short walking distance from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas is one of the most beautiful districts in the city. It features a variety of beautifully restored buildings, narrow cobble-stone alleys, quaint streets, artisanal shops, as well as cafes and bars.

The neighborhood is well-known for its artsy bohemian barrio, which boasts an outdoor artisan market as well as a small plaza where artists sell their handicrafts on Sundays. Several art studios and workshops also lined the cobbled streets of San Blas.

Iglesia de San Blas is one of the top attractions to visit while in the neighborhood. The mid-1500s church features an intricate pulpit carved in the Spanish Churrigueresque style.

San Blas is surrounded by ancient Inca history, take a walk around the neighborhood and soak up the ambiance.

Want to plan your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,
Gretchen

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EcoCamp Patagonia Now Open In Winter!

Attention all adventure-seekers! We are so excited to announce that EcoCamp Patagonia is now officially open during Chile’s winter season. It’s the perfect chance to have that big, beautiful and snowy landscape all to yourself! Keep reading and learn what to expect on a trip to EcoCamp Patagonia this winter. 

EcoCamp Patagonia in winter
Winter at EcoCamp Patagonia

Get Your Facts Straight

  • Winter Months: May, June, July and August
  • EcoCamp’s Schedule: Open every other week this winter!
  • Available EcoCamp Domes: Due to Patagonia’s chilly temperatures, travelers can only book a Suite or Superior Dome. It’s a little too cold to stay in a Standard Dome (which doesn’t have heating).
  • Adventures to Book: Winter Flexible EcoCampWinter W Trek and Patagonian Winter Adventure. 

More About Our Epic Adventures

As mentioned above, we are offering three EcoCamp adventures in winter: the Winter Wildlife Safari, Winter W Trek and Patagonian Winter Adventure. Learn more about these snowy experiences to discover which trip is right for you: 

EcoCamp Patagonia in winter
  • Winter Flexible EcoCamp: (4- 7 Days): This is one of our most popular EcoCamp experiences! During winter, travelers can pick from one of two daily activities. Through each excursion, you will discover the park’s remarkable viewpoints and admire local fauna. Please note that during this season, we only have excursions available from Tuesday to Saturday. Click here to view our daily activities.
  • Winter W Trek (7 Days): Take on a wilder, more adventurous version of Patagonia’s classic W Trek. Along with cozy nights at EcoCamp, you will camp out along the trail and visit iconic scenery, such as the base of the Towers or the French Valley. Keep in mind that this trek is a bit more challenging during the winter season and snowshoes are advised! 
  • Patagonian Winter Adventure (5 Days)Explore the Magallanes region and spend a couple of nights at EcoCamp Patagonia. This is a great option for travelers who want to see Torres del Paine, as well as the surrounding areas. The itinerary includes a kayaking excursion, trekking, and much more. 

Why You Should Come in Winter

There are plenty of reasons why winter is the best time of year to visit Torres del Paine! For starters…

grey glacier, torres del paine in winter
  • It’s absolutely stunning! Imagine snow-capped mountains, crystal blue lakes and quiet forests that are all surrounded by a blanket of white, icy terrain.
  • Shy fauna come out to play! You have a better chance of spotting wildlife with fewer travelers in the park. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful birds, foxes, pumas and huemules (native deer).
  • Patagonia is your own personal playground! The park is practically empty around this time of year. That means you can enjoy the landscapes and hiking trails without any crowds. It’s great for people who are looking for a peaceful and remote experience. 
  • It’s perfect for true adventurers! The weather is colder and the conditions are rougher — but it is all part of the Patagonia winter experience. Wintertime is a dream for those looking for a rugged, outdoor vacation.  

Are you ready to book your winter adventure? Contact our Chile expert, Gretchen, today!

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7 Hikes You Can’t Miss Near Santiago, Chile PART 2

Continuing on from our last post, here are the final of our top favorite, can’t-miss hikes to do around Santiago, Chile!

5) Cascada De Las Animas
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.5 hours roundtrip
Location: Cajon de Maipo

Nestled in the Cajon de Maipo, is 3,600 hectares of beautiful land and nature. This nature sanctuary is just an hour or two from Santiago and offers fun adventure activities, as well as cozy accommodation. For hikers, there is a family-friendly trail that leads to three breathtaking waterfalls.

The hike cost 7,000 CLP and is led by an expert guide. Your guide will share some history and information about the area. Additionally, visitors will pass by the Refugio Animal Cascada and might be lucky enough to spot a puma! This Refugio is an animal sanctuary that has rehabilitation programs for native fauna and education opportunities.

6) El Morado National Monument
Difficulty: Intermediate
Length: 5 hours roundtrip
Location: Cajon de Maipo

Another fantastic hike near Santiago is at El Morado National Park. It’s an opportunity to see one of the region’s most beloved glaciers! Hike in the midst of the Andes, traveling through rocky terrain and amongst blooming wildflowers. The grand prize is a stunning view of San Francisco Glacier and lagoon — it makes a great stop for lunch!

After completing the full 5-hour journey, you can stop by the hot springs to sooth your muscles. Cascada Expediciones offers a fantastic all-day excursion to visit the glacier and the hot springs.

7) Cerro Pintor
Difficulty: Demanding
Length: 8 hours roundtrip
Location: Santiago (surrounding areas)

Cerro Pintor is a fantastic day trip for experienced hikers that are up for a challenge! The trail goes up a very steep hill and reaches an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level! Not to mention, the hike takes a full day to complete.

Cerro Pintor sits closeby a popular ski center in the Andes and offers some spectacular views of the surrounding area. Due to the route’s high altitude, it is recommended to stay well hydrated before and during the hike. Hikers should drink at least three liters of water per day for at least a week prior to the excursion. Additionally, everyone must come prepared with proper boots, layered clothing and hiking poles. Crampons should be used if snow or ice is present.


Want to add some of these hikes on to your next Chile Adventure contact us!

Stay tuned for the rest of the list of hikes around Santiago next week!

Your friendly Chile expert,
Gretchen



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7 Hikes You Can’t Miss Near Santiago, Chile PART 1

In Chile, hiking is not limited to just the Patagonian region! Many parts of the country have great trails to check out, including in the Central Valley. This region offers a distinct type of climate and landscape, along with beautiful flora and fauna to admire. In fact, there are many hiking opportunities right by or in Santiago, Chile’s capital city. That means, you can easily escape the hustle and bustle and hop right into beautiful nature within a matter of minutes!

There are so many great trails to pick from, but today we’ve listed some of our favorites. Without further ado, here are 7 great hikes near Santiago.

1) Aguas de Ramon
Difficulty: Intermediate
Length: 7-8 hours roundtrip
Location: Santiago

Located on the eastside of Santiago, Parque Aguas de Ramon offers a slew of wide, open land to explore! There are a few routes to take, but a common one is Salto de Apoquindo which leads visitors straight to a waterfall! That’s right — there is a waterfall in the middle of Santiago.

The park is home to local fauna, including foxes, tarantulas and various birds. There are also many opportunities to check out local flora that reside in the dry and sunny Santiago climate.

If you are going to complete the full hike, it is important to arrive early to the park! Every visitor needs to check in before embarking on the excursion and you won’t be allowed to complete the hike if the ranger does not think there is enough time. Arriving between 8 and 8:30 AM is recommended.

2) Mirador de Los Condores
Difficulty: Intermediate
Length: 4-5 hours roundtrip
Location: Cajon de Maipo

Just a couple of hours outside of Santiago is a great hike to the “Mirador de Los Cóndores.” This translates to “Condor Lookout” in English. Based on the name, you might guess that there is a lot of Andean condors on this trail! That’s right — it’s one of the best spots to marvel at this massive bird (one that’s wingspan stretches to 3 meters).

Keep in mind that you are entering the condors’ home. It’s important that all hikers are respectful of the birds and observe them from a safe distance.

3) Cerro Manquehue
Difficulty: Intermediate
Length: 2-3 hours roundtrip
Location: Santiago

The Cerro Manquehue trail can also be found in the middle of Santiago. But this one goes straight up hill! It is shorter in distance than Aguas de Ramon, the city’s other popular trail, but is significantly steeper. Prepare to strut through the dirt trails, up rocks and to one of the most beautiful spots above the city. You’ll sit right beside the clouds!

For those looking for an easier hike, in the same area there is Cerro Manquehuito. This is a smaller hill and doable for hikers of all ages. On a sunny weekend, it’s likely you’ll spot families, pets and groups of friends hiking up the hill.

For both hills, make sure to wear proper trekking shoes and bring plenty of water. Hiking poles are also helpful due to the steep terrain.

4) La Campana National Park
Difficulty: Intermediate
Length: 5-6 hours roundtrip
Location: Olmue

Palm trees galore! La Campana National Park is the perfect place to spot the Chilean palm trees. In this national park, there are hundreds of trees, as well as many beautiful landscapes. You can camp, bike, hike and more!

One great hike in the park is the Amasijo- Portezuelo Ocoa Trail, which leads visitors into an area filled with palm trees. Just make sure to pay careful attention to the pathway. An area with so many similar-looking trees can be confusing.

Want to add some of these hikes on to your next Chile Adventure contact us!

Stay tuned for the rest of the list of hikes around Santiago next week!

Your friendly Chile expert,
Gretchen

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