Inca Trail Permits Going Fast for 2008!

Inca Trail permits are already sold out for many dates in May and June! Permits for July and August just went on sale, but they always sell the fastest.

To get a permit for the Inca Trail, the national park service requires the hiker’s passport information and a non-refundable deposit. The permits are issued for a specific person on a specific date at a specific point on the Inca Trail. Once purchased, these permits are not transferable or changeable in any way.

There are a number of alternative treks in the Cusco area that are not as famous as the Inca Trail, but are in many ways much more interesting and beautiful.

The Quechua Villages and Inca Ruins Trek takes you through the rural countryside from Cusco to Ollantaytambo through the villages of Parpishu, Chilipahua, and Peroniyoc. You will not see other tourists on this trek, but you will have the opportunity to interact with the local people as well as magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. This trek is finished off with two days at Machu Picchu including tour and overnight in Aguas Calientes — either with a day hike on the Inca Trail through the Sun Gate or via the train.

If you are planning on hiking the Inca Trail this summer, contact us as soon as possible to reserve your preferred dates! We have some set departures available, if you want to join a group. These also require permits, but are more reasonably priced for the single traveler or two people traveling together.

Fun with Geocaching!

Geocaching is a treasure hunt for travelers and GPS users. People have set up caches all over the world, and you get to find them!

Sometimes they can be found at famous tourist sites, but sometimes they are located in a travelers favorite off-the-beaten-track spot. When you find the cache, there may be a token reward inside, and you can add your name to the list of people who have found the cache. It may be possible to find a geocache without a GPS, but it’s much easier and more fun with the GPS.

Adventures Within Reach has it’s own geocache located at Saddle Hut on Mt. Meru. Other geocaches in Tanzania include Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro, Serengeti Visitor’s Center, Olduvai Gorge, and Jozani Forest on Zanzibar.

In Peru, you can find geocaches at Machu Picchu, in Lima, and at Lake Titicaca. In Nepal, there are geocaches at Kala Pattar, Annapurna Base Camp, and Kathmandu.

Tibet and Bhutan can definitely use some more and better geocaches. AWR can help maintain them in country.

If you have a GPS, you may want to bring it with you on your travels and have fun with geocaching!


Travel Shows: Winter 2008

Meet the AWR staff at one of these exciting travel shows!

  • February 9-10, 2008
    LA Times Travel and Adventure Show
    Long Beach, CA
  • February 29-March 2, 2008
    NY Times Travel Show
    New York, NY

We have discounted tickets to all of these shows, so contact us if you plan on attending!


Kenya unrest not hurting Tanzania

Update on Kenya

We are deeply saddened by the recent events in the magnificent country of Kenya. Political unrest in any country only hurts the local people and country’s economy.

Tourists are still going to Kenya, and no visitors have been harmed as a result of the post-election unrest. Tourist areas and the Nairobi Airport remain unaffected by the situation.

Update on Tanzania

We are happy to report that Tanzania remains a safe destination, and the problems in Kenya have not affected Tanzania in a negative way at all. In fact, Tanzania has been getting some visitors who originally planned on going to Kenya but wanted a “worry-free” experience.

Travel Advice

For flights to Tanzania, you may want to consider the Northwest/KLM flights that are non-stop from Amsterdam to the Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), and thus avoiding flying through the Nairobi Airport.

Another thing to consider is that U.S. travel insurance will not cover your expenses if you want to cancel your trip to Kenya due to terrorist activity — because there is a current U.S. travel warning.

If you are still nervous about Kenya, consider another destination for your holiday. For wildlife, we offer the Galapagos. For trekking, consider the Inca Trail in Peru or the Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal. For culture, there’s Tibet and Bhutan.

We hope and pray for calm in Kenya!

Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirement in Tanzania

Tanzania has installed Health Surveillance Desks at all borders, ports, and international airports to check all travelers for their yellow fever vaccination certificate. All travelers will be required to get a stamp at the health desk before going to the immigration desk.

This certificate is required for entry into Tanzania if you have been to an infected country. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days prior to entry.

The Yellow Fever Endemic Zone in Africa includes Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome, and Principe, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan, and Equatorial Guinea.

The Yellow Fever Endemic Zone in the Americas includes Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Bolivia.

Travelers flying non-stop from Europe or South Africa to Tanzania (i.e., KLM from Amsterdam) will not need the yellow fever vaccination certificate.

However, any traveler on a flight that goes through Nairobi or Ethiopia or other affected area, even if you do not get off the airplane, will need proof of vaccination.

The yellow fever vaccination will be available at the Kilimanjaro Airport for US$50.

Galapagos Airport and Itineraries Update

The San Cristobol Airport on the Galapagos is scheduled to reopen on February 7, 2008. Here is the planned schedule:

  • Quito-Guayaquil 9:09am-9:54am
  • Guayaquil-San Cristobal: 10:30am-11:15am
  • San Cristobal-Guayaquil: 12:15pm-3:00pm
  • Guayaquil-Quito: 3:45pm-4:30pm
  • Price: $430/person round-trip

This will change the itineraries for Eric, Flamingo, and Letty boats starting in February.

We have also updated the start dates for the family cruises and women-only cruises.

The Galapagos Transit Control Cards are already being issued to all travelers to Galapagos, and starting at the end of February, there will be a $10 fee for this.

The international Guayaquil Airport departure tax has increased to $27.15 as of February 1.


Safari Photography Tips

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind while photographing on safari.

  • Don’t forget to change lenses — Use telephoto and wide angle lenses to get close ups of different parts of the animals as well as vistas of the landscape.
  • While watching one particular animal or group of animals, look around you. It’s easy to focus on one particular thing, but there might be a bird, interesting outline of tree, etc. worth recording.
  • Bring twice as much disk and battery than you think you need.
  • With digital photography, you don’t have to wait for the perfect shot and the perfect lighting. Get a picture first, and then wait for the a better shot. You never know if the animal will move to make a better picture or just walk away, and the shot is lost.
  • The roof of the safari vehicle is open for better game viewing, but sometimes you can get a good angle from down low or from the front/back of the vehicle.
  • Put your camera and lenses in plastic bags to keep the dust out.
  • Use a mini-tripod or bean bag to keep the camera steady.
  • Take lots of pictures!


Happy Holidays from AWR

Whenever I travel to a third world country, I bring an extra bag or two of gear for porters and school supplies for children. After completing my trek, I donate my warm clothing to the local porters project. This partly explains why the pictures of me on summit day always contain the ugliest hat I own…. However, it is well worth the embarrassing pictures to see the faces of the porters and the children when I hand over the needed items.

As we close out the year, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves. In so many areas of the world, people cannot put food on the table much less travel to far away places. Travel should be more than just observing interesting things, it’s an opportunity to view the world through a different set of eyes.

Please consider donating to Charities Within Reach where 100% of your donation goes directly to the projects, which include the Shalom Orphanage in Tanzania, Free A Child in Nepal, and porters in Tanzania, Nepal, and Peru.

I wish everyone a very happy new year and wishing you wonderful travels and adventures in 2008!

Robin Paschall
Adventures Within Reach

Everest Base Camp with Alex Shockley

Join Alex Shockley, Adventures Within Reach employee, in his quest to be the youngest person to climb the “seven summits” at just 20 years old!

On this trip, you will join Alex as he acclimatizes in the Khumbu Valley in Nepal in preparation for his summit attempt.

DATES: March 12-28, 2008

  • 13 days of trekking to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar
  • 2 days of cultural tours in Kathmandu Valley

Only $1665 per person

New 2008 Brochure

Our new 2008 brochure is hot off the press, but you can view it on-line today!

Our brochure outlines the highlights of each of our destinations and includes maps, the best times to travel, elevations, and sample itineraries with prices.

Contact us if you would like a brochure mailed to you!


Adventure Travel… Your Way