South American adventure holiday

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01273 823 700

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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South American adventure holiday

Environment

Activity:
Much of our activity is nature based and our guides are sure to make as little negative impact on the sites we visit as possible. The fees which tourists pay to view the sites on our itinerary contribute towards their upkeep, wildlife conservation schemes, educational facilities which engage and inform us, and the wages of local people working here. On this tour we visit Igazu Falls National Park, use an ‘eco-train’ which passes the Upper Igazu River, the National Reserve ‘Eduardo Acaroa’ and UNESCO sites Humahuaca Gorge and Paleta del Pintor.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation & Meals:
Accommodation is predominantly in hotels with two nights in mountain huts whilst in Uyuni. The hotels are locally staffed and provide training and career opportunities, whilst the lodge accommodation is a vital source of income for remote communities. We try to work with hotels with good environmental policies, like reducing energy waste by turning off lights when rooms are not in use and using eco-friendly laundry processes. Where meals are not provided, our local guide will be able to recommend local restaurants and markets, where you can try some authentic South American cuisine. We recommend you try an 'asado' (BBQ) with Malbec in Argentina and be sure to try a pisco sour in Chile!

Local Crafts & Culture:
South American culture is known for its boldness and vibrancy and this is definitely reflected by the array of traditional crafts which can be found in this part of the world. When we go from Northwest Argentina to the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, there will be the opportunity to stop at places like Purmamarca and Tilcara, where handmade products like clothes, embroidered bags, leather goods etc. will be on sale. We encourage our clients to purchase from local suppliers when buying souvenirs as a means of supporting those communities which rely heavily on tourist income

Charity:
Our local operators in Buenos Aires actively support local charities, including ‘Por Los Chicos’ – an Argentine not-for-profit organization that provides meals and support to homeless children. Two years ago, they also started their ‘Say Solidario’ Team, which responds to natural disasters and issues like homelessness and poverty by collecting donations and supplies for the needy.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 15 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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