NEW TRIP! 6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route)

6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)

AWR announces a new route on Kilimanjaro — 6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route).  Our 6-day “alternative” Rongai trek includes a night at super scenic Mawenzi Tarn Hut camp. Soak up the rugged mountain views while camping in the shadow of one of Kilimanjaro’s tallest sub-peaks, Mawenzi.

Starting at $1845/person!

This trip is a hybrid version of our “easiest” trek (the 7-day Rongai) and our standard 6-day Rongai, which also has one of the highest success rates possible. If you are looking for a slightly more challenging hiking experience than the standard Rongai trek, yet something still “easier” than a 6-day Machame, then this is an excellent choice! On a standard 6-day Machame, you have 2 long days of hiking; on this trek, you have just one, on Day 2.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Drive to the trailhead, hike to Simba Camp
  • DAY 2: Hike Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp
  • DAY 3: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn
  • DAY 4: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
  • DAY 5: Kibo Camp to Summit and descent to Horombo Hut
  • DAY 6: Final descent, transfer to Moshi

PRICING

  • 2-3 People: $2145/person
  • 4-6 People: $1995/person
  • 7+ People: $1845/person
NOTE:
  • Save $150/person when you book a Kilimanjaro Trek and Safari in 2016!
  • Low Season: Discount $50/person in April, May, and November

6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route) >>

Posted in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Trekking | Leave a comment

NEW TRIP — 4 Day Thailand Beach Extension to Ko Samui

4-Day Thailand: Beach Extension to Ko Samui

AWR announces a new trip extension in Thailand — 4 Day Beach Extension to Ko Samui!  This is a great combination with any of our other trips in Southeast Asia.

Starting at $405/person!

Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui are the three most popular beach destinations in Thailand. Trying to decide which one to visit? Use Thailand’s climate to guide you.

Thailand has 2 distinct monsoon seasons. One – the main one – occurs in Thailand’s interior and west cost, while another occurs on the Gulf side. Monsoons are not just marked by heavy rains but also rough seas, which can really jeopardize good-time fun on the beach. Avoid the monsoon at the beach by picking the right beach destination at the right time.

Travelers typically visit Samui from April through August, while Phuket or Krabi is better November through April. The good news is that no matter the time of year may want to travel in Thailand, you almost always have a nice beach area to visit with good weather.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Fly to Ko Samui
  • DAY 2: Relax on the beach or optional kayak tour
  • DAY 3: Relax on the beach or optional snorkel tour
  • DAY 4: Depart

HOTEL OPTIONS

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: Samui Jasmine, Deluxe Building, garden view
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, Garden Deluxe bungalow
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: SALA Samui, Deluxe balcony

*** Optional tours are available on both of your free days if you’d prefer to be a little more active and see more of the area.

PRICING

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $405/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $695/person
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: $795/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 2016 through October 2017.

4 Day Beach Extension to Ko Samui >>

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NEW TRIP! 9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth

9-Day South Vietnam: In Depth

AWR announces a new trip — 9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth!  On this special trip, we explore in-depth the deep traditional ways of life in the south, enjoying countless encounters with gentle genuine people living on the land and rivers, the lifeblood of the region.

Starting at $1095/person!

For trekking, rugged mountains, Hanoi and Halong Bay, travelers will want to visit North Vietnam, but for travelers seeking a quieter, personal look deep into the traditional river cultures of Southeast Asia and specifically Vietnam, plus some quality beach time in a beautiful beach area, South Vietnam beckons.

As a stark and colorful contrast, we also tour bustling Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the gateway for this trip. Saigon is a fascinating mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, and is the undisputed economic hub for the country.

We wrap up the tour with relaxing days on the beach island of Phu Quoc. You’re welcome to add days here if you’d like more beach time.

One easy way to extend your trip is the 4-day Angkor Wat and Siem Reap in Cambodia, just over the border and a quick flight from Saigon.

*** The best time of year for this trip is November through May, the dry season and the time we see the calmest seas.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
  • DAY 2: Explore Ho Chi Minh City
  • DAY 3: Travel Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Cho Lach
  • DAY 4: Culture and countryside of South Vietnam
  • DAY 5: Nga Nam Floating Market and Pagodas / Can Tho
  • DAY 6: Delta explorations / Speedboat transfer across the sea to Phu Quoc
  • DAY 7: Free day on the beach
  • DAY 8: Free day on the beach
  • DAY 9: Transfer to airport / Depart

PRICING

2-3 People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $1345/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $1545/person

4+ People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $1095/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $1295/person

9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth >>

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Peru Overnight in a Sky Lodge with Ziplines and Via Ferrata

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred Valley

For a truly unique adventure experience, spend the night in the Sky Lodge!

2 Days / 1 night: Just $415/person!

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred ValleyThe Sky Lodge is a clear luxury “capsule” that hangs off the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru.  This hanging bedroom offers a spectacular 300-degree view of this beautiful valley.  There are 3 capsules with 4 beds, a dining area, and private bathroom.  They are 24 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet high.  Gourmet dinner with wine and breakfast are included.

To reach the Sky Lodge, you must climb 1300 feet of via ferrata or hike up a steep trail. Decent is by repelling or via zip lines to the base of the mountain.

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred ValleyA via ferrata is a method of climbing a mountain with ladders, metal handholds, and bridges.  This allows a non-rock climber to climb the mountain safely and more easily.  Everyone climbs with a guide and wears a climbing harness, helmet, gloves, and via ferrata lanyard.

There are 7 zip lines from 150 meters to 700 meters long for a total of 2800 meters.  You access the zip lines by a 30-40 minute hike, or doing the via ferrata.  Everyone goes with a guide and wears a climbing harness, helmet, gloves, zip line kit, and via ferrata lanyard.

2016 Price: $415/person

Price includes:

  • 1 night accommodation in the Sky Lodge
  • Via ferrata or zip lines (extra cost for both), equipment, and guides
  • Gourmet dinner with wine and breakfast
  • Transportation from Cusco or the Sacred Valley round-trip

See 2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred Valley >>

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NEW TRIP! 16 Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia

16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia

AWR announces a new amazing trip in Southeast Asia to include 4 countries — 16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia!

Starting at $2445/person!

If vacation time is limited, but your travel goals expansive, this is an ideal “Best of” trip to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, four spectacular countries in the region that will not disappoint the curious traveler.

You can start this trip any day of the year, however the best time to visit the region is October through April. October and April are “best value” shoulder season months, meaning significant discounts yet the climate remains decent on the whole.

You can request changes to the itineraries, such as adding or subtracting days — just let us know. All tours are custom and private. We can also help travelers with elite luxury 5-star hotels in addition to the recommended “best value” 3-star mid-range and 4-star luxury options listed.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Bangkok arrival
  • DAY 2: Bangkok exploring – best of Bangkok by boat
  • DAY 3: Travel Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • DAY 4: Full day with the elephants, at Patara
  • DAY 5: Travel Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • DAY 6: Explore Luang Prabang
  • DAY 7: Discover Laotian culture
  • DAY 8: Travel Luang Prabang to Hanoi
  • DAY 9: Experience Hanoi like a local
  • DAY 10: Explore Halong Bay
  • DAY 11: Travel Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An
  • DAY 12: Explore the Hoi An countryside or enjoy a free day on the beach
  • DAY 13: Travel Hoi An – Danang – Siem Reap
  • DAY 14: Explore Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
  • DAY 15: Discover the Roluos Group & Tonle Sap
  • DAY 16: Depart

PRICING

2-3 People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $2845/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $3495/person

4+ People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $2445/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $2995/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 1, 2016 through March 30, 2017.

*** Discounts for travel April 1 – October 20.

16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia >>

Posted in Laos, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam | Leave a comment

NEW TRIP — 4 Day Thailand Beach Extension to Krabi

4-Day Thailand: Beach Extension to Krabi

AWR announces a new trip extension in Thailand — 4 Day Beach Extension to Krabi!  This is a great combination with any of our other trips in Southeast Asia.

Starting at $445/person!

Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui are the three most popular beach destinations in Thailand. Trying to decide which one to visit? Use Thailand’s climate to guide you.

Thailand has 2 distinct monsoon seasons. One – the main one – occurs in Thailand’s interior and west cost, while another occurs on the Gulf side. Monsoons are not just marked by heavy rains but also rough seas, which can really jeopardize good-time fun on the beach. Avoid the monsoon at the beach by picking the right beach destination.

Travelers typically visit Phuket or Krabi between November through April – the cooler dry season. For the island of Ko Samui, travelers target April through August. The good news is that no matter the time of year may want to travel in Thailand, you almost always have a solid beach area to visit with good weather.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Fly to Krabi
  • DAY 2: Krabi beach time – optional sea kayaking adventure
  • DAY 3: Beach time or optional boat trip for snorkeling and sun
  • DAY 4: Depart Krabi

HOTEL OPTIONS

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: The Ban Sainai Resort, Cliff Cottage
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: The Nakamanda Resort & Spa, Sala villa
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: The Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Beach, Superior room

*** Optional tours are available on both of your free days if you’d prefer to be a little more active and see more of the area.

PRICING

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $445/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $715/person
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: $795/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 2016 through October 2017.

4 Day Beach Extension to Krabi >>

Posted in Southeast Asia, Thailand | Leave a comment

Trip Report: Grand Canyon June 2016

Staff Members: Robin & Dean Paschall
Travel Dates: June 19-30, 2016
Route:  Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry Landing

DAY 1 – June 19 – Mile 0-20

Our put-in spot is Lee’s Ferry.  Some of the group went out in duckies and the rest in the giant raft.  We saw hawks and condors.  There was nice jumping rock. Lunch was at the Badger Creek Rapid.  House Rock Rapid was the largest rapid of the day.  Camp #1 was at 20 miles across from North Canyon.  A great spot to celebrate Father’s Day!


DAY 2 – June 20 – Mile 20-34

Today we went through the “roaring 20” rapid — fun and wet.  Lunch was at Shinumo Wash, but we did not hike to the Silver Grotto.  We stopped at Cave Springs, which some interesting artifacts including old miner’s pots, and we did a quick hike to Stanton’s Cave.  The afternoon was spent in the shade of the giant Redwall Cavern, which is big enough for a large game of frisbee.  Camp#2 was at Little Redwall.


DAY 3 – June 21 – Mile 34-53

Happy summer solstice!  From the river, we were able to see the Anasazi Footbridge, crystals in the walls of the canyon, and the Bridge of Sighs (a natural bridge).  We did a stop at the Marble Canyon Dam Site, which has 3 dark tunnels to explore.  Then a hike to Saddle Canyon with its waterfalls and pool.  Camp #3 was at Lower Nankoweap.  From there, we hiked up to the Granaries for sunset views.  We even had beavers swim across the river right at the camp.


DAY 4 – June 22 – Mile 53-69

Our big stop today was at the Little Colorado River.  Beautiful blue and warm water with small rapids, which is great for swimming down in your life jacket.  Plus a healthy mud bath.  We stayed a long time, so lunch was on the boat.  It was actually raining when we went through Furnace Flats.  Camp #4 at Below Tanner Rapid.  From there, we hiked to a butte in Tanner Canyon overlooking Unkar Rapids.


DAY 5 – June 23 – Mile 69-115

This was a big rapids day — staring with Unkar Rapids and all the way through the Gems.  We scouted Hance Rapid and Crystal (ABC: Alive Below Crystal).  We stopped at Phantom Ranch for a lemonade and gave a ranger a ride to the next boat stop.  The next stop was Shinumo Creek with super warm waterfall, waterfall and cave.  Lunch was in a shady spot tied off to the wall of the canyon.  Camp #5 was Upper Garnet.  Everyone was happy to have a nice bathing spot!


DAY 6 – June 24 – Mile 115-134

Our first stop was at Elves Chasm.  It has a lovely waterfall and pool, which is great for jumping.  Lunch was at Blacktail Canyon.  We hiked into the narrow, deep canyon to see the Great Unconformity.  The afternoon hike was to Stone Creek with a beautiful waterfall but no swimming.  The water was almost hot as were the rocks around it.  Camp #6 was at Talking Heads.


DAY 7 – June 25 – Mile 134-137

Today we spent a full rest day at Deer Creek.  The Patio has a lot of shade plus a stream, pools, and small waterfalls — great for relaxing.  We also hiked up to the Springs and Throne Room, but there was no water at the Springs.  Camp #7 was at Across Deer Creek.


DAY 8 – June 26 – Mile 137-149

We made more miles today, but it was another rest day at Matkatamiba.  It was a lovely canyon with a stream and small pools (and good shade).  Some of us hiked up the canyon where a flash flood had gone through in recent years.  Camp #8 at Matkat Hotel.  Tonight was our first golf tournament!


DAY 9 – June 27 – Mile 149-171

We got to Havasu today.  Some of us hiked the 3.5 miles one-way to Beaver Falls (a dozen sheep seen).  Some hiked the 17 miles round-trip to Mooney Falls and Havasu Falls.  There are many spots along the river to enjoy the pools and waterfalls.  Camp #9 at Stairway Canyon with wreckage from the Lee’s Ferry ferry.  And another round of golf.


DAY 10 – June 28 – Mile 171-213

This was a big river day.  We had two youngsters aboard to kiss the Vulcan’s Anvil before jumping into Lava Falls Rapid.  We also saw 5 condors, lots of sheep, and a helicopter landing at Whitmore.  Camp #10 at Pumpkin, which some interesting hot springs and a popular cliff jumping spot.  We hiked to the potholes, which were fun to climb through.


DAY 11 – June 29– Mile 213-250

Our first stop was a 30-foot diving board rock for the adventurous. A group got in the duckies around mile 217 for the fun rapids ahead.  We did a hike at Travertine Canyon with ropes and ladders to a lovely waterfalls that can be climbed.  Lunch was at Bridge City (239), which has an old dam establishment.  On past Separation Canyon.  Camp #11 was at Tomahawk, but it took some weed whacking to get it ready.


DAY 12 – June 30 – Mile 250-280

The last day!  There are no more rapids as we approach Lake Mead.  We could see the Sky Walk from the river, and the helicopters and jet boats were numerous.  Our take out was at Pearce Ferry Landing. Fond memories of an amazing trip!

20160618-lees-ferry-view (3) (Large)

Posted in Trip Journals | 1 Comment

Update on Argentina visa fees of U.S. citizens

For our clients who are planning on going to Argentina:

As of March 24, 2016, Argentina has decided to waive visa fees for U.S. citizens. You will not have to pay for a visa regardless of whether you are visiting for work or as a tourist. As long as your visit is less than 90 days, which should give you plenty of time to explore this amazing destination!

For more information about visas, please visit the Argentina Embassy’s website.

Posted in Argentina | Leave a comment

NEW TRIP! 8 Day Costa Rica Girlfriend Getaway

8-Day Luxury Costa Rica Girlfriend Getaway

AWR announces a new trip to Costa Rica designed for women looking for luxury, pampering, and adventure — 8-Day Luxury Costa Rica Girlfriend Getaway!

Just $1465/person!

8-Day Luxury Costa Rica Girlfriend GetawayOne amazing country, two premium hotels, and eight days to relax, laugh, explore, and have fun with your best friends. It’s your turn to be pampered!

The 2 special properties in this luxury girlfriend getaway are

  • Hotel Punta Islita
  • El Silencio Lodge & Spa

At Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica’s best experiences are enjoyed in feel-good equilibrium. Surrounded by lush tropical forest and colorful local communities, this destination resort gazes upon a secluded beach cove along Guanacaste’s wide-open Pacific coastline.

Silencio (“silence” in Spanish) befits a destination where daily stress is silenced by nature’s crisp melodies. El Silencio Lodge & Spa features a 500 acre private cloud forest reserve, hidden trails and waterfalls, an upscale organic restaurant, a spa, and an organic mini-farm.

ITINERARY

  • 8-Day Luxury Costa Rica Girlfriend GetawayDAY 1: Arrive Costa Rica and Transfer
  • DAY 2: Guided Cloud Forest Hike / Community Tour
  • DAY 3: Free day at El Silencio / Complimentary Wine Tasting and Massage
  • DAY 4: Transfer to Pacific Coast / Arrival Cocktail and Sunset
  • DAY 5: Guided Tour to the Local Fishing Village / Beach R&R
  • DAY 6: Beach R&R / Wellness Massage at Casa Spa
  • DAY 7: Beach R&R / Private Beach Garden Dinner
  • DAY 8: Depart Costa Rica

PRICING

  • $1465/person

Price valid through December 19, 2016.

8-Day Luxury Costa Rica Girlfriend Getaway >>

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NEW TRIP — 3 Day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Express

3-Day Bwindi Gorilla Express

AWR announces a new short gorilla trek in Uganda — 3-Day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Express!  This trip starts and ends in Kigali, Rwanda, but you drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Forest in Uganda for the gorilla trekking.

Starting at $895/person + Gorilla Permit

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a unique rich and varied ecosystem and has lowland rainforest and afromontane forest. It is considered as one of the most unique and important forests of Africa. UNESCO declared it as a Natural World Heritage site for Humanity for his many values and because it is vital to the survival of many endangered species.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Morning arrival at Kigali and Transfer to Kisoro region in Uganda
  • DAY 2: Gorilla Trekking in southern region of Bwindi National Park
  • DAY 3: Transfer Kigali for departure

HOTEL OPTIONS

  • 2-STAR BUDGET: Travellers Rest
  • 3-STAR MODERATE: Bwindi Jungle Lodge
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

PRICING

  • 2-STAR BUDGET: $895/person
  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $995/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $1995/person

NOTE: Uganda gorilla permits are $600/person/day. Low season permits are $465/person/day for March, April, November.

3-Day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Express >>

Posted in Uganda / Rwanda | Leave a comment