Camino de Santiago — 2019 Group Departure Dates

Announcing our 2019 group departure dates for the Camino de Santiago!  This is a fantastic trip as the treks go from lodge to lodge, take about one week, and are a great combination of culture and activity.

We also offer self-guided treks that you can start on any day.  The Portuguese Coastal Route can also be done with luxury lodges.


8-Day Camino via the French Way

2019 Group Departure Dates:

  • March 26
  • April 13, 20
  • May 4, 11, 18, 25
  • June 1, 15, 29
  • July 18
  • August 31
  • September 7, 14, 21, 28
  • October 5, 12, 26

Prices:

  • Group Tours: $995/person
  • Self-Guided: $945/person

8-Day Camino via the Portuguese Way

2019 Group Departure Dates:

  • April 20
  • May 11, 25
  • June 22
  • August 31
  • September 7, 21
  • October 5

Women-Only Groups:

  • June 1
  • September 14

Prices:

  • Group Tours: $995/person
  • Self-Guided: $945/person
  • Luxury Tour: $1295/person
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Best Safari Destinations for a First-Time Visit to Africa

Elephant on 7-day group Tanzania safari

An African safari is often next on the minds of our returning travelers from Peru, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, and elsewhere. However, Africa is a huge continent, with almost limitless options for a wildlife enthusiast. Here is some advice to help you pick the right safari destination for a first-time trip to Africa.

Here is how to choose between:

  1. Tanzania
  2. Botswana
  3. Kenya
  4. South Africa
  5. Less Traveled Africa

Northern Tanzania

A safari in Northern Tanzania has outstanding scenery, classic African parks (the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and more), thrilling wildlife, and unique ancestral cultures that still cling to their ways even to this day.

As if this wasn’t enough,  you will also find an exotic tropical island – Zanzibar – that is a short flight off the mainland as well as Kilimanjaro, the quintessential trekking destination in Africa.

Tanzania is relatively easy to reach with numerous flights at Kilimanjaro Airport and Dar es Salaam from Europe, Qatar, and other half-way points from North America. It has a stable government, friendly nationals, and outstanding services for travelers, including fabulous guides, world-class lodges and tented camps, and fine food and drink. Visas are available on arrival so the red-tape is minimal for entry.

Try these safaris:

Botswana

Botswana is different altogether. Here you find little unique culture or epic mountains, but what you do experience here is on a par with an Antarctica expedition — it is that special.

Here, travelers fly from luxury tented lodge to tented lodge on small light aircraft. The flying adds to the heady sensations of marvelous starry nights, close encounters with lions and elephants in open vehicles, and sweet relaxation during memorable siestas around the lodge pool mid-day or around the campfire at night with a glass of fine wine.

The luxury lodges here are small and intimate while the remoteness breeds a sense of seclusion and offer unparalleled private interactions with wildlife. Activities here are more varied than many other safari destinations, with mokoro rides, game walks, boat safaris, fishing, and night game drives all possible plus traditional game drives.

The top settings here to see wildlife are in the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, the Savuti, and Chobe National Park, with some travelers making the trip to experience the true Kalahari as well. Trips almost always include 1-3 nights to majestic Victoria Falls, an original natural wonder of the world. For travelers with more time, a visit to cosmopolitan Cape Town is one you will not soon forget.

Try these safaris:

Kenya

One of the least expensive safari destinations is Kenya. Especially if a traveler is open to basic camping, Kenya provides excellent value. It is a lot like Tanzania only with more tourists yet also an expansive variety of parks to visit (such as the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu, Nakuru, and more).

If a traveler has a passion for rhinos, in particular, Kenya makes a great choice.  Game drives here are often in mini-vans with open hatches on top for viewing, and similar to Tanzania, most travelers get around by driving between safari parks.

Nairobi is the major gateway and features more daily flight arrivals and departures than Tanzania.

Try these safaris:

South Africa

An outstanding destination for a traveler who simply wants a taste of African wildlife coupled with a more varied urban and scenic experience is South Africa, often combined with 2-3 nights in Victoria Falls.

On a South Africa trip, travelers often do a 10+ day trip that combines

  • 4 days of excellent wildlife viewing in a leading private game reserve (such as Sabi Sands or Thornybush)
  • 3+ days in and around Cape Town – a leading city in the world –
  • 2 nights in Victoria Falls (in either Zimbabwe or Zambia, the experience will be similar)

The best private reserves in South Africa are renowned for making seeing the Big 5 routine (it’s remarkable).  So even with just 4 days on safari, travelers get an excellent introduction to Africa’s amazing wildlife.

Try these safaris:

Less Traveled Africa

Usually after a traveler visits one or two or three of the above, travelers expand to more “niche” locations like Uganda, Namibia, Zambia, Southern Tanzania, and the like. However, travelers make their own calls all the time. It’s countless how many people have visited Uganda first and not looked back, and we have travelers that do head to Southern Tanzania on first trips to Africa. There are no hard and fast rules.

Sometimes the destination is obvious in, like if you want to climb Kilimanjaro, then that makes choosing the destination very easy. Other ways to choose, though not always, are when you can go (best times can vary slightly), specific wildlife or experiences that might be critical for you, personally, to see and enjoy, and any personal special interests you might have.

A good second step after reading this is simply to contact us >> and tell us more about what you are looking for. We are objective specialists who will guide you in the right direction. No matter where you choose to travel Africa, we assure you it will rank among the best trips of your life!

Try these safaris:
Posted in Botswana, Kenya, Safari, South Africa, Tanzania | Leave a comment

Travel Insurance and High Altitudes

For those of our travelers who are planning adventures to high altitude destinations such as Kilimanjaro, The Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, etc., making sure that your travel insurance will cover you while at or above 15,000 ft is important.

As the recent TravelMarket article, “Travel Insurance May Not Cover High-Altitude Treks to Kilimanjaro, Everest”, discusses, many travel insurance providers do not cover travelers participating in activities at high altitudes.

Here is a quick breakdown of what they cover when considering altitude and trekking:

  • RIPCORD: Our preferred travel insurance for altitude is Ripcord. Ripcord has an incredible reputation for being one of the premier mountain rescue insurance companies. They do not have any altitude restrictions and have done numerous rescues of their clients all over the world including tricky high camp rescues on Mt Everest, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua.

  • TRAVEL GUARD: No altitude exclusions (mountaineering is EXCLUDED if ropes used) However, different states have different policies. For example: Travel Guard Plus for Colorado DOES include mountaineering. Double check for your specific state is considering Travel Guard.

Buy travel protection from Travel Insured International

  • TRAVEL INSURED INTERNATIONAL: No altitude exclusions. Mountaineering, using ropes, technical tools and equipment, however, is NOT included/covered.

Buy TravelSafe

  • TRAVEL SAFE: Different states have different policies. For example: Colorado has NO EXCLUSIONS for mountaineering or high altitude.

Image result for travelex insurance logo

  • TRAVELEX: No altitude restrictions. However, they have exclusions if using mountaineering equipment — ice axe, ropes, crampons, etc. That said, their travel select policy for around $20/person will remove the mountaineering exclusion.
Posted in Aconcagua, Argentina, Chile, Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, Nepal, Peru, South America, Travel Advice, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda — 3 New Options!

5-Day Fly-in Uganda Bwindi Gorillas Trek

Last year, Rwanda increased its gorilla permit fees from $750 to $1500. Uganda has kept their gorilla permits at $600. A year later, Uganda is fast becoming the most popular destination to visit the mountain gorillas.

4-Day Gorilla Express out of KigaliRwanda used to be the most popular destination for gorillas because of the shorter travel time. However, since Rwanda has chosen to focus on the exclusive luxury market, travelers have started to look for other options, and Uganda is the perfect fit.

When crossing the border to Uganda for gorilla trekking you have 2 National Parks in the Kisoro region where you can trek the gorillas:

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable NP
  2. Mt Gahinga NP

These are 2 different experiences. Mt Gahinga is a volcano part of the famous chain of volcanoes called the Virunga while Bwindi is a tropical rain forest. Trekking in Mt Gahinga is like trekking the Rwanda gorillas since the Gahinga Volcano is shared between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Genetically both gorillas species are mountain gorillas but they have been separated long time ago by human agriculture. Scientists consider that the Bwindi gorilla to be a subspecies of the “Rwanda” gorillas. This are 2 different experiences with different environments.


Option #1 — Kigali to Bwindi

5-Day Fly-in Bwindi GorillasThe first option is to fly into Kigali, Rwanda, and drive to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park area in Uganda. This is about a 4-hour drive one-way, adding about 1.5 hours from the gorilla area in Rwanda. This trip can be done in as little as 3 days, but often it typically becomes 4 days with the timing of international flights. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be added with extra days. Travelers will need 2 visas for Rwanda and 1 for Uganda.


Option #2 — Fly from Entebbe to Bwindi

5-Day Fly-in Bwindi GorillasThe second option is to fly into Entebbe, Uganda and fly to the Bwindi area. Flights are to either Kisoro or Kihihi depending on the availability of gorilla permits. There are many lodging options near Bwindi from budget to luxury. This trip can be done in 4-5 days.


Option #3 — 12-Day Grand Tour

12-Day Best of Uganda with Murchison Falls, Gorillas, and ChimpsThe third option is to make Uganda your main destination and add activities like the chimpanzees, safari game drives to see the Big 5, and Murchison Falls on the Nile River. This trip takes about 12 days total.

This ‘Uganda Grand Tour’ route allows you to visit Uganda’s Albertine Rift, and visit its most important protected areas including Murchsion Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It includes plenty of wildlife, birds, chimpanzee, and gorilla viewing. Uganda is safe and friendly, so this is really an amazing trip!

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Exciting New Flight Routes for Peru!

This month and next there are several exciting new flights that will be inaugurated within Peru and between Cusco and other major South American cities!

Iquitos

Houses along the waterfront of the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru

Iquitos

Pink Dolphin in Amazon near Iquitos

On July 2nd LATAM initiated their newest domestic flight in Peru between Cusco and Iquitos. This is a great option for travelers looking to have an even deeper Amazon experience than what is offered in Puerto Maldonado. Iquitos is located on one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River and has unique wildlife, such as the pink dolphins for visitors to see. This flight will depart 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:17AM from July to November.

Santiago, Chile Cerro Santa Lucia

Machu Picchu

In addition, a new flight between the city of Santiago, Chile and Cusco will be inaugurated on August 15th. This is an incredible option for passengers wishing to add-on a visit to Machu Picchu after a jaunt in Torres del Paine or the Atacama Desert or visa versa.

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine, Chile

Explora Atcama

Atacama Desert

Looking to book your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,

Gretchen

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Make a Difference Group Climbs Kilimanjaro to Help Local Tanzanian Children (August 2018)

Climb Kilimanjaro with Make A DifferenceClimbing the tallest mountain in Africa is not your average adventure. In fact, it can be life changing. In August 2018, Gina Galdabini of Chicago, IL, Paula Gambina of Redondo Beach, CA, and Joey Villarreal of Los Angeles, CA will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft) on the 7-day Machame Route. They are raising money for Make A Difference (MAD) to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth.

You can donate online to help the children!

The first week of volunteering will be spent learning about the local Chagga culture and at the children’s school. The second week will be spent climbing Africa’s highest peak, followed by a safari to the famous Ngorongoro Crater. They plan to summit on August 9, 2018.

Mount Kilimanjaro, located three degrees south of the equator in northeastern Tanzania, is the tallest mountain in Africa, and the highest freestanding mountain in the world.

Also known as the Whiskey Route, the Machame Route is the second most popular route. It is a more difficult route but incredibly beautiful. Although the climb is not a technical climb, summit day is long, strenuous and at high elevation.

Hikers who choose to participate in MAD’s Charity Hikes have many advantages over those who travel without supporting a cause. “We are very fortunate to not only have a great partnership with Adventures Within Reach,” said Theresa Grant, Founder of MAD Inc. “We are also extremely honored to have a strong relationship with many of the local schools in Tanzania. The schools have been matching all of our donations, which in turn enables us to be more sustainable.”

Make A Difference provides quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in developing countries. It raises funds through charity hikes, sponsorship programs and matching funds.

See All Make a Difference Volunteer Trips >>

Posted in Kilimanjaro, Safari, Sustainable Tourism, Tanzania | Leave a comment

One Month In the Peruvian Amazon: One Woman’s Solo Dream Adventure Come True

A couple years ago, an adventurous solo female AWR traveler, Tracey, went to the Peruvian Amazon with AWR for a week and stayed in Iquitos at the Muyuna Lodge. This year, she came back to us asking to put together a special customized package for her; she wanted to return to the Peruvian Amazon for a month and do a homestay this time. Read on to hear about Tracey’s month-long homestay in the Amazon!

“Wow!  Peru was amazing!  My experience there and with AWR was a definite 10!

Tracey in the cloud forest

During my trip everyone met me at the airports and stayed with me until I got checked in etc.  I kicked them out of the airport a couple of times 😊 the service was great but not always necessary 😊

The hotels were nice in Lima and Arequipa.

THE JUNGLE/CLOUD FOREST:

Making friends with local families

Sooo, I flew to Jaen.  1 gate open air airport in the middle of nowhere.  No problem. 😊 I would stay in Chachapoyas for the week.  I had been doing so much traveling etc. I wanted to relax and I had plenty of time for the forest. 

Local Market in Chachapoyas

My first day there I found a language school a block away from the hotel, signed up for Spanish Class and found a tour company on the square to book some tours.  I fell in love with Chachapoyas!  It is a destination for Peruvians!  I met very few Americans, just the way I like it!  Their sights have just started opening up to tourism in the past 15 years.  My first tour, I met a Peruvian family with 3 boys, the oldest spoke English.  What a wonderful family!  I spent another day with them on another tour, so fun!  The hotel staff was wonderful to me as well as the tour people.  I had a lot of down time and I met amazing people! 

View from homestay house

Hosts at homestay

Tracey helping in the kitchen

The next Monday, Vicky another daughter of the family whose homestay I would be at, brought me to the bus station to go to Bagua Grande to meet Leyda.  We drove maybe 45min – 1 hour into the mountains.  Then hiked 1.5-2 hours into the forest in mud and pouring rain, arrived at her parents house after dark…. I loved it!  Soooo amazing!  They raised 6 girls in this house, they walked an hour each way to go to school.  5 years ago they put in some hydroelectric lights and solar for hot water for the shower.  I always had a flash light in my pocket 😊. The house is in the clouds, 6,000 ft.  Cloudy and rainy every day and soooooo amazing!  Saw the sun a few times for a little while.  It really is beautiful.  I was there for 8 days, a group of 5 came up to study birds for 5 days.  2 were from Florida doing their PHD and 1 guy from Colombia, 1 guy from Peru and Vicky the younger daughter of the family who owned the house.  They were in the field during the day, so it was very peaceful, I read 2 books.  I went into the pasture and tried to milk the cows, (not very successfully) I made cheese 1 day and Vicky and I taught each other English and Spanish!   There are beautiful water falls on their property.  It is just a magical place.

Waterfalls on the property

I really went without expectations…and I would go back in a heartbeat!  I guess it reminded me what is needed for happiness, obviously not much…In general Peruvians there don’t have much and don’t need much to be happy warm people.  I came home and cleaned my house out of stuff, because that is all it is “stuff”.  And right now, it is hard to hang onto the magic I felt there, now being in this society that puts so much importance on the wrong things.

Homestay in the clouds

I left the cloud forest and went back to Chachapoyas for the last couple of days before returning to Lima. 

Thank you so much for making this happen for me!  It was an experience of a lifetime!  I will always recommend AWR!”

For more information on this homestay, please contact us or visit their website HERE.

Want to plan your next dream adventure? Contact us to make it happen!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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Top 6 Mind-Blowing Treks That Don’t Kill Your Knees

While some of our guests strive for a strenuous edge to their trekking adventures, many of our travelers prefer to put culture and dramatic scenery first and opt for a milder trekking option for their vacations.

For the latter type of traveler, we have gone ahead and put together a list of incredible treks that lead to mind-blowing destinations but still leave the ol’ knees intact, so travelers can enjoy the destination trekked to after the trek itself is over! 😊

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

Experience the Camino with a little bit of luxury!  On this hike, you stay in the very nicest 4-star hotels along the route.  This is an amazingly special experience!

The Portuguese Coastal Way is another very popular Camino route and is and excellent alternative to the French Way. This stunning walk weaves along the coastline of Portugal into Spain, taking in some beautiful fishing towns and scenery. The seafood along the route is gorgeous with fresh produce served in most restaurants.

Spend time on the white sandy beaches of Northern Portugal and Southern Galicia and soak in the laid-back atmosphere of maritime culture on this peaceful Camino way.

Meet fellow pilgrims, discover local traditions and get your pilgrim passport stamped as you walk through woodlands, farmland and rustic hamlets. Once in Santiago, get your “Compostela” certificate and explore the magic of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This will be a self-guided hike.  It can be customized (itinerary and accommodations), and we can arrange a private guide for you. The hike can be stretched to 9 days.

All treks include luggage transfer, so you just carry a day pack with the things you need for the day.

Pricing starts at: $1295 USD per person

Patagonia Camp

Patagonia Camp

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

Pricing starts at: $1690 USD per person

Atacama

Atacama Desert

Come explore the otherworldly landscape of the high Andes in northern Chile! Travel among turquoise and emerald lagoons, bubbling hot springs, rust-colored volcanoes and ancient geysers in the Atacama, the world’s highest desert. Here, crimson snow-capped volcanoes blend with pastel-colored desert expanses accented with orange canyons and epic dunes. Trek among the bizarre rock formations of the Valley of the Moon, mountain bike on narrow trails through mystical canyons, walk through the ruins of pre-Colombian villages, watch the daily eruption of the Tatio geysers, and photograph the ever-changing colors of the amazing scenery! As the moon rises, observe some of the clearest and most brilliant night skies in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pricing starts at: $1685 per person

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

4) 5-Day Lares Luxury Lodge Adventure to Machu Picchu

Choose your own adventure on the Luxury Lodge to Lodge Lares Adventure! This 5 day hiking and cultural experience is excellent for groups of diverse interests and abilities. Your incredible journey will lead you through the rich history, living culture and magnificent landscape of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and end at Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire. At each day’s sunset, settle into deluxe mountain lodges run in partnership with local communities, to prepare for a new day of multi-activity adventure and exploration.Majestic archaeological sites lead to remote and uncrowded trails taking travelers through mountains and valleys, abounding in natural beauty and dotted with Andean communities, where the locals are master weavers and their traditions are still firmly rooted in ancient Incan culture. Expert guides tailor the experience with an offer of a la carte daily activities (easy to challenging hiking or mountain biking) and cultural encounters. Decide on whim, what you feel like doing each day and make this trek your own!This program is also available as a 7 day itinerary, with 2 additional days of hiking and touring.  Contact us, if interested.

Pricing starts at: $2395 per person

Chapada Diamantina

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.

Pricing starts at: $845 per person

Trekking in Bhutan

In this tour, you arrive in Paro, the main city of Bhutan, and then fly the eastern region.  From there, you will drive back to Paro seeing all the cultural highlights plus day hikes to amazing monasteries and mountain vistas almost every day.  This is a great option for people who want to explore Bhutan’s culture and history, but also want to be more active.

Contact us for pricing

Want to book your next trekking adventure? Contact us!

 

Posted in Bhutan, Brazil, Camino de Santiago, Chile, Europe, Family Travel, Inca Trail, Luxury, Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Peru, South America, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lodging Overview on our Tanzania Group Safaris

Our 5-day Tanzania Group Safari and 7-day Tanzania Group Safari are among the very best value safaris that anyone could dream of. We wanted to help wildlife enthusiasts who may not want to splurge on a luxury safari, yet also don’t necessarily want to “rough it” with basic camping either. Our group safaris are the perfect tonic for travelers seeking the middle ground. Part of the solution that’s instrumental to their value are the carefully chosen, comfortable, excellent-value lodges we rely on for the safaris. We’d like to provide a helpful overview into more of what these properties are like.


Endoro Lodge (Lake Manyara / Tarangire)

DAY 1 of our group safari includes a 1-night stay at the very attractive Endoro Lodge. Endoro Lodge is one of Tanzania’s best deals. This comfortable property nestled in the rugged hills around Karatu features sunny, spacious, well-appointed individual chalets, each of which has its own private bath with a full tub and an outside shower, plus a private veranda and fireplace.

The lodge grounds are beautifully manicured amidst the lush Ngorongoro highlands forest. A swimming pool, a restaurant and lounge with views rounds out the property.

A place of simple elegance, travelers will find real tranquility here. A massage service is available here (in case you are joining the safari after Kilimanjaro or after a long flight). The property is approximately 30 miles from Lake Manyara/Tarangire.


Serengeti Halisi Camp (Serengeti)

DAYS 2 and 3 of our group safaris are at Halisi Serengeti Camp. Halisi Serengeti Camp’s humble origins lie in the idea of bringing the joy and beauty of luxury mobile tented camping – ala Hemingway’s day – from the expensive, exclusive camps to a broader market.

This camp is considered mobile since it moves with the migratory pattern of the wildlife around it. From December through March, you’ll find Halisi in the Ndutu region, where calving is happening, while from June through November, Halisi Serengeti is situated along the Seronera River in the Serengeti National Park in a more central stretch of this massive national park.

Set deep in the bush, the camp is composed of ten extra large, walk-in tents capable of single, double, triple or family occupancy, each furnished with traditional East African decor, and with king-size beds (or 2 twin beds) outfitted with a deluxe mattress for a good night’s rest. Each unit has an attached private en suite bathroom with bush shower, sink, stand, and a chemical toilet. All the tents also come with a private veranda to enjoy the sights and sounds of the African bush.

Power is provided via solar power and hot water is prepared by the staff at your request. In addition to exceptional wildlife viewing close at hand, private bush lunches can be arranged on request too. A lounge, dining and full bar tent plus a spacious fire pit with fires every night rounds out the camp experience.


Rhino Lodge (Ngorongoro Crater)

On the night on DAY 4, we overnight at Rhino Lodge. Rhino Lodge’s primary calling card is the old real estate axiom: “Location, location, location.” Strategically situated across from the Ngorongoro Crater near a main entrance point, Rhino serves as a convenient, cost-effective option to be close to the Crater without having to pay the premium of being right on the Crater rim. One of the advantages of not being on the rim itself is that the property grounds are expansive, providing a haven for grazing wildlife like waterbuck, zebra, and buffalo right on site.The lodge itself is a true budget lodge – nothing fancy about it – but the lack of pretension can feel refreshing.

There are 24 guest rooms, all with a veranda that overlooks the healthy high-montane forest found here. Every room has its own shower, toilet and hand basin. To ward off the chill at night (altitude), each room has a wood-burning stove, and hot water bottles can be filled at request (recommended).  In the bar/dining-room, there are two large fires where guests like to mingle and swap travel tales and wildlife reports. Outside is a broad lawn along with a spacious deck for relaxation and views.


7-day Safaris / Halisi Natron (Lake Natron)

On DAYS 5 & 6, of the 7-day group safari, we overnight at intimate, secluded Halisi Natron camp. Very similar in style and substance to Halisi Serengeti, Halisi Natron offers the most desirable accommodations around surreal and beautiful Lake Natron, a special place we visit on the 7-day group safaris.

Particularly noteworthy at Lake Natron – besides the scenery – are the excellent walking opportunities, the unique authentic Maasai interactions available, the archaeological site close at hand, and the super dense concentration of flamingos from August through early November.

The style of accommodation here is the same as at the Serengeti property (even down to having just 10 tents) with a similar dining tent and the wide-open fire pit blazing every night.  Sundowners are enjoyed at a nearby hill with thrilling views of not just the lake but also Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania’s third highest peak, which looms like a mountain God over all of Natron’s creation.


Contact us >> for more information about our group safaris, departure dates & availability, and for about details on the camps and lodges themselves.

Posted in Safari, Tanzania | Leave a comment

How To Avoid Crowds at Machu Picchu

In light of AFAR magazine’s most recent article, “The True Magic of Machu Picchu Isn’t Where You Think It Is”, we would like to highlight the items that they discuss, and we offer, that will help make your next adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu all the more special and away from the throngs of tourists that might take away from your personal journey.

Lares

Incredible vistas from the lodge to lodge Lares Trek

Choose your own adventure on the Luxury Lodge to Lodge Lares Adventure! This 5 day hiking and cultural experience is excellent for groups of diverse interests and abilities. Your incredbile journey will lead you through the rich history, living culture and magnificent landscape of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and end at Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire. At each day’s sunset, settle into deluxe mountain lodges run in partnership with local communities, to prepare for a new day of multi-activity adventure and exploration.

Majestic archaeological sites lead to remote and uncrowded trails taking travelers through mountains and valleys, abounding in natural beauty and dotted with Andean communities, where the locals are master weavers and their traditions are still firmly rooted in ancient Incan culture. Expert guides tailor the experience with an offer of a la carte daily activities (easy to challenging hiking or mountain biking) and cultural encounters. Decide on whim, what you feel like doing each day and make this trek your own!

This program is also available as a 7 day itinerary, with 2 additional days of hiking and touring.  Contact us, if interested.

>>Read more about this trek from our own Peru expert’s personal experience

Discover less-known Incan Ruins site along this trek to Machu Picchu

This is an outstanding mini-trip for those wanting “a taste” of the Inca Trail, avoid crowds and link it with other adventures in the area. The second day can be arranged with a hike up Huayna Picchu.

NEW FOR 2018! We are offering a set departure on Thursdays for the 2-day Inca Trail Express, with a special group price. Minimum for group is 2 people.

You will need Inca Trail permits for this trek.  This trek is available in private, for any day of the week. Set departure groups start on Thursdays.

>>Read more about this trek from our own Peru expert’s personal experience

Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain

Besides Machu Picchu, there are so many other mind-blowing sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. For those looking for something truly unique, we have combined two great day tours into one stellar package, with river rafting on the Urubamba River and an overnight at a river lodge on the first day and hiking to Rainbow Mountain on the second day.  This is one of our most popular tours!

The river rafting is in a group (small group in raft) and the hike to Rainbow Mountain is private.  These may be booked separately as day trips.

Want to start planning your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru Expert,

Gretchen

Posted in Luxury, Machu Picchu, Peru, Sustainable Tourism, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment