Affordable Myanmar (by bus): Visit Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Inle-Yangon

sule-pagoda-yangonToo often we’ve seen solo travelers wanting the professional services and security of booking a custom trip with a tour company only to be rudely awakened by the sobering costs of solo touring. In magical Myanmar, we’ve created an attractive solution, offering a special affordable 7-day “Best of Myanmar by Bus” tour with reasonable pricing for solo travelers. You can start it any day of the year so it has all the benefits of a custom tour without the steep prices. Instead of expensive internal flights, on this tour you’ll travel via scheduled bus services within Myanmar, traveling in comfortable modern buses with fully reclining seats, bus attendants on board, air-conditioning, and blankets.  Please contact us for more details, to make your reservation and/or to check availability for you.

This Best of Myanmar by Bus trip can easily be combined with an affordable custom Best of Thailand 5-8 day tour or a trip to Angkor Wat (3-4 days).  You can also easily extend this Myanmar tour with 3 nights on a Myanmar beach too – the beautiful beaches in Myanmar are quickly gaining more publicity – the secret is out!


Day 1: Yangon-Bagan by comfortable overnight bus

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Try to arrive in the morning, otherwise we’d recommend adding a pre-tour night in Yangon. On arrival at the international airport, you will be met by your guide. Experience Yangon’s highlights including the old colonial-style buildings in central downtown Yangon, the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years, and shopping for Myanmar specialties within hundreds of stores (closed on Mondays) including rare gem shops. We’ll visit fabled Shwedagon Pagoda , the world famous golden stupa, and enjoy the sunset there. Take the evening bus to reach Bagan overnight.

Day 2: Early Morning Arrival Bagan



Tour the best Bagan highlights, including the Gubyaukgyi temple to see the original 12th century Mural paintings, frescoes and base-relief works; Ananda temple – the best preserved masterpieces of Mon architecture and nearby brick monastery, one of the few that survived from the Bagan period. We’ll also visit the Thabyinnyu temple – the highest monument of universal science, and Gawdawpalin – one of the largest and most imposing monuments in Bagan, plus Dhammyangyi – known for its unique double images of Buddha and the Shwesandaw temple  – for a panoramic view of entire ruins. Stay overnight in Bagan Zfreeti Hotel.

Day 3: Bagan-Mandalay by day-time bus

Take the morning bus at about 8 AM, absorbing the colorful sights of the countryside en-route, and arrive into Mandalay about 3 PM.  Your local guide will pick you up at the bus station and transfer you to the hotel. The balance of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at Mandalay Royal Power Hotel.

Day 4: Mandalay Sightseeing

Mandalay Palace view

Mandalay Palace view

Start your day in Mandalay by sightseeing Amarapura, U Bein Bridge, and other tour highlights including: “the largest book” at Kuthodaw Pagoda where the entire Buddhist canon, Tripitaka, has been recorded on stone tablets totaling 729 in number; Shwenandaw “Golden Palace Monastery,” the ex-palace complex of former Myanmar kings, to observe finest Myanmar wooden architecture; and Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, a large Buddha image carved out of single block of marble. After this great day of seeing Bagn’s best sites, you’ll take this evening’s overnight bus from Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe.

Day 5: Inle Lake Sightseeing by boat

Inle Lake2

Inle lake by boat

Arrive in Nyaung Shwe in the morning where your guide will meet you to board a traditional long motorized boat for a sightseeing tour of famed Inle Lake. Traveling on the lake is an exhilarating experience for nature lovers and a chance to observe the unique traditions of the Intha people. Wonder at unique leg rowing fishermen, floating farms, houses, and monasteries on the stilts. Visit the floating village of Ywama; the lake’s downtown; 11th century Phaungdaw Oo pagoda housing five sacred Buddha images; the weaving village of Inpawkhon, famous for traditional silk-weaving; Se Gaung Village, famous for the blacksmith work; and Nan Pan Village with cheroot making and boat-building dockyards. After a visit to famous Ngaphechaung, a museum-like monastery where the belongings of many old monasteries are restored, stay overnight in Nyaung Shwe Paradise Hotel.

Day 7: Inle-Yangon by Bus

Inle Lake3

Inle Lake fisherman

Free day in Inle Lake. You can spend a day photographing the locals going about their everyday lives or enjoy an optional tour, from biking in the countryside to sea kayaking on the lake. Later in the evening, take the bus overnight from Nyaung Shwe to Yangon.



Day 7: Yangon Departure

Arrive Yangon in the early morning and then transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight or remain in Yangon for more sightseeing.

2016 PRICES: 

  • Solo traveler (single occupancy): US$1,495
  • 2 or more travelers (twin or double occupancy): US$945/person

Price includes:

  • All accommodations including breakfast
  • Private car with air-conditioning/driver for station transfers and sightseeing
  • Bus tickets
  • Private professional local English-speaking tour guides
  • Touring as indicated
  • Entrance fees on scheduled tours
  • Boat for Inle Lake visit
  • Services and support of the local office


  • International flights
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Visa fee
  • Departure airport tax
  • Optional tours / extra days / extra nights

See all Myanmar Tours >>

Please contact us for more details or to check availability for you. We hope you can find a way to join Adventures Within Reach for beautiful Myanmar!

Posted in Myanmar, Southeast Asia | Leave a comment

Beach Getaways: Thailand’s Many Islands

Thailand long boat

Thailand long boat

It’s no secret that Adventures Within Reach is primarily in the adventure business, specializing in treks, countryside biking, and guided explorations of the amazing archaeological sites, cities, villages, cultures and landscapes of Southeast Asia. But many of our travelers also appreciate some quality down-time on the beach, to unwind and relax, and in Thailand, beaches are never really far away. And everyone knows how beautiful the beaches are. While many coastal areas have been overwhelmed by development, there are just as many that are still incredibly beautiful and worthy of your time, whether it’s a quick 3 days or a full week. Many of the nicest ones are on islands, so we’ll touch on a number of the better- and lesser-known islands in this post. It’s easy to add beach time to any custom AWR trip in Thailand, just ask!


This is the most famous island in Thailand and probably the #1 choice for most of our travelers. It’s super easy to get to from Bangkok, with numerous flights daily. Unfortunately the island gets a bad rap because it can be quite the party place and sometimes can seem overloaded with Russian tourists on certain beaches. However the reality is that about 90% of American travelers to Thailand will stay on Phuket (or Krabi) at some point in their trip. We help our travelers avoid the crowded party beaches and put you in places that are more quiet and relaxed. There are a ton of accommodation options so you can stay in everything from backpacker guesthouses to 5-star elite places in Phuket. The real plus here, besides its beautiful beaches and compelling beach hotels, is that there’s a lot to do here activity-wise, so if you are not strictly a beach lounger, you’ll have loads of fun things to do and see. I’ll outline a few of the best excursions in Phuket and sites in and around.  We can carefully arrange guides and transportation in advance or you can simply wing it while you are there:

  • If time allows, be sure to enjoy a stroll on the enchanting long and empty beach at Thai Muang situated about an hour drive’s north of Phuket in Phangnga province. Travelers always ask for long deserted beaches and this one works to perfection. It is a wild, protected area, with sea turtles arriving to lay eggs from December to February.Gibbon-rehabilitation_Phuket
  • Hiking in the Khao Phra Taeo forest, the island’s last surviving rain forest, can be a magical experience. The forest here is home to hornbills, macaques, assorted snakes and the rare white palm, considered endemic only to Phuket.
  • The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center in the Khao Phra Taeo forest reserve rehabilitates gibbons that have been used as photo props for tourists. Here they are gradually rehabbed and released into the surrounding primeval forest. This is one of the most successful primate projects in the world with scores of releases over the last 20 years.
  • Travelers can hire a long tail boat and take a day trip to the island of Koh Yao Noi from the small local pier at Bang Rong on the northeast side of Phuket. Here the rugged green vista of Phang Nga Bay opens up, with its towering limestone outcrops rising straight from the sea.
  • This may be a little further afield, but well worth considering for nature lovers is a guided day trip from Phuket to Khao Sok to visit the oldest rainforest in Thailand. The highlight of the trip is Cheow Lan Lake with its towering peaks, peaceful green waters and quaint floating houses. It’s only a few hours’ drive north of Phuket.
  • Phuket-food-market

    Phuket food market

    Closer in, right in Phuket, is the fresh market on Rassada Road. We’d suggest an early morning visit, maybe around 7 am or so, when it is bustling with action. The sights, people and smells are sure to surprise even the most well-seasoned traveler. Not terribly far away is the unique amulet market in the small soi (side street), just opposite of the Shrine of Serene Light (Thai Saeng Jao Tham) on Phangnga Road in Phuket town. At the market, amulets can be “rented” either for luck or protection. Located above a small klong (canal), the market is one of the hidden gems in town. The Shrine of the Serene Light is itself a pleasure. It is one of the oldest shrines in the city and is the place to ask the Chinese gods what will happen to you in the future. Then on Thalang Road in Phuket town, you can check out the Nguan Choon Tong Herb Shop (look for the sign, “Oldest Herbs Shop”). This is the oldest traditional pharmacy in town. They have been creating potions and remedies for over 70 years. Just tell them what you need and they will prepare a custom-made medicine or tea based entirely on natural products. The shop is living history.

Ko Samui

Emerald Lake, reached from Ko Samui

Emerald Lake, reached from Ko Samui

The most popular of the islands on the east coast of Thailand. Typically it’s most popular with our travelers when Krabi and Phuket are in their monsoon season, which is generally June, July, and August. Samui is great because you can fly directly there from Bangkok or take an easy ferry from Surat Thani. A ton of amazing hotels are located on the beaches with a nice variety of water-based activities including snorkeling Ang Thong Marine Park, sunset cruises and sea kayaking.

Ko Tao

Thailand offers fantastic underwater diversity

Thailand offers fantastic underwater diversity

This island is best known for its diving resorts. A lot of people come here primarily because it’s a cheap place to get your dive certification. Located off the east coast of Thailand, it’s primarily the haunt of backpackers looking for cheap accommodations and divers, so we rarely send travelers here. Another minus is that it’s the furthest island of the three main ones of the East Coast Islands and there’s really not much to do activity-wise here other than diving.

Ko Lanta

This is a much quieter and laid-back island compared to a popular tourist island like nearby Ko Phi Phi. Most people who travel here are luxury clients who stay at Pimalai Resort and Spa and Layana Resort and Spa. This island is much more easily accessible from Krabi and most people go there to have time free at their leisure to explore the sights on their own. Lanta is not nearly as busy as Phuket or Krabi but one should also bear in mind that there’s also much fewer choices in restaurants, bars, etc.

Ko Phangan

Most notable for its “Full Moon Party,” it’s heavy on the backpacker and party scene. While not popular with our travelers, there are some really beautiful resorts for the high-end American travel market. It’s located in between Samui and Ko Tao.

Ko Yao Yai

Most often reached by boat from close-by Phuket with Yao Yai resorts usually organizing the service, like a private water taxi. This is a quiet, relatively undeveloped island with stunning beaches and nice views of nearby karst islands. There are almost no cars on the island. You are probably more likely to hear the sounds of fisherman setting and lifting nets. This is a great island to “unplug” and get away from it all. Ko Yao Noi is nearby and another nice island to visit, though a little more developed.

Learn more about our customizable trips to Southeast Asia >>

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Last-Minute Galapagos Specials 2015

Galapagos Cruise Specials 2015Great last-minute specials for November-December 2015!  We also have availability on two boats for Christmas. 

Contact Us to Book >>

Galapagos PetrelPetrel – Half Price

  • Dec 4-7 (4 days) $2245/person
  • Dec 7-11 (5 days) $2695/person
  • Dec 11-18 (8 days) $3995/person
  • Plus FREE Galapagos flights

Galapagos CormorantCormorant – 10% Off

  • Nov 25-28 (4 days) $2645/person
  • Nov 28-Dec 5 (8 days) $5595/person
  • Dec 9-12 (4 days) $2645/person
  • Dec 12-19 (8 days) $5595/person
  • 4 Days: FREE 1 hotel night + 2 transfers
  • 8 Days: FREE 2 hotel nights + 4 transfers

Galapagos Ocean SprayOcean Spray – 10% Off

  • Nov 21-24 (4 days) $2645/person
  • Nov 28-Dec 3 (6 days) $2995/person
  • Dec 3-8 (6 days) $2995/person
  • Dec 8-12 (5 days) $3545/person
  • Dec 12-19 (8 days) $5595/person
  • Jan 2-5 (4 days) $2795/person
  • 4, 5 & 6 Days: Free 1 hotel night + 2 transfers
  • 8 Days or more: Free 2 hotel nights + 4 transfers

Galapagos MajesticMajestic – 2-For-1

  • Nov 30-Dec 3 (4 days) $2340 for 2 people ($1170/person)
  • Dec 7-14 (8 days) $4740 for 2 people ($2370/person)
  • Many 2016 dates at $500/person off

Galapagos GalavenGalaven – 2-For-1

  • Dec 18-22 (5 days) $2540 for 2 people ($1270/person)
  • Many Feb-Mar dates $500/person off


Galapagos CachaloteCachalote – Discounted

  • Nov 27-Dec 2 / Dec 16-23 / Nov 25-Dec 2 (8 days) $2795/person
  • Nov 20-25 / Nov 27-Dec 2 / Dec 18-23 (6 days) $2095/person


Galapagos EricEric & Letty – 5% Off

  • Jan 10-17 (8 days) 5% off regular prices
  • Feb 7-14 (8 days) 5% off regular prices
  • Regular Prices: $5145/person Dolphin Deck, $4775/person Booby Deck, $4295/person Iguana Deck, $4095/person Triple Cabin

Galapagos IntegrityIntegity – Discounted

  • Dec 12-19 (8 days) $4695/person



Galapagos AnahiChristmas Cruises

  • Anahi – Dec 18-25 (8 days) $4195/person
  • La Pinta – Dec 18-25 (8 days) $6495/person

See All Galapagos Tours >>

Posted in Ecuador, Galapagos, Specials | Leave a comment

Antarctica Specials 2015


We have last minute discounts on 2015 trips and early bird discounts on 2016-2017 trips.

50% off Companion

CRUISE DATE: January 8-19 2016

A companion of a full paying passenger in any twin cabin pays only 50% of the regular rate on our WEDDELL SEA QUEST January 08 – 19, 2016.

Must book by by November 30, 2015!


Christmas in Antarctica – Free Upgrade

antarctica-1CRUISE DATE: Dec 19-28, 2015
ITINERARY: Antarctica Peninsula with South Shetland Islands

Twin Porthole: $7050 (reg. $8650)
Twin Window:  $8650  (reg. $9150)
Superior:            $9650 (reg. $10550)
Quadruple:            On request
Twin Deluxe:        On request
Triple Porthole:    On request


20% Off Last-Minute November Trip

antarctica-2CRUISE DATE: Nov 21 – Dec 1, 2015
ITINERARY: Antarctica Peninsula – Basecamp Plancius

Quadruple Porthole: $7050
Twin Window: $7320 (reg. $9150)
Superior: $8440 (reg. $10550)


Save $1600 on 2016-2017 Trips

antarctica-3Get a $1,600 air credit reduction per person on the Antarctica Express Air-Cruises of the 2016-17 season. With this promotion, you can travel for as low as $2,995/person (triple accommodation or $3995/person double).


  • December 18-23, 2016
  • January 10-16, 2016
  • January 14-19, 2016

Must book by December 31, 2015!


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Save $100 off Safaris with Serengeti Halisi Camp in 2016

Tanzania SafariAll Tanzania safaris of 5 days or more with 2 nights in the Serengeti Halisi Camp are $100/person off in 2016!  This includes our popular 5-day Group Safari. (Excluding Dec 20-31, 2016)

‘Halisi’, meaning authentic or real in Kiswahili, is a state of mind as well as place. The Serengeti Halisi Camp is a true bush camp safari experience, intimate and inviting, based on good food, friendly personal service, and providing all the comfort you need. A camp fire at the end of day is a wonderful place to share stories of the day, surrounded by the darkness of vast plains and the symphony of nature.

Comments from Halisi Camp guests:

“I may go back and do a day of cooking lessons with the cook at the Halisi Camp.  The food is great.  However, the best thing about the Halisi camp was when I was tucked into my bed at night  and I could hear a very large elephant rooting around in the bushes in the very near vicinity.  And then a lion would be doing his huffing type of roar and then I would fall asleep because I was so tired from driving and looking all day but I would be falling asleep so thrilled to be experiencing all of this.”

“The Halisi camp was a cool change from the lodge and the staff there were excellent. Also the food at Halisi was surprisingly good and fancy for the setting of the camp out in the middle of nowhere.”

“We were glad that we stayed at the Halisi camp. The staff there was so friendly, and the setting was spectacular. Staying in the bush like that was a great experience.”

Posted in Safari, Specials, Tanzania | Leave a comment

Luxury Kilimanjaro Climb

Luxury Kilimanjaro TrekOur Luxury Kilimanjaro Climb includes:

  • Special Kilimanjaro guide with Wilderness First Responder certification
  • Personal porter for carrying day pack
  • Hyperbaric pressure bag
  • Oxygen
  • Portable toilet
  • Camp shower for groups of 4 or more
  • Large comfortable dining tent
  • Dining chairs with backs
  • Hot lunches on the mountain
  • Solar lighting in dining tent and personal tent
  • Camp pillow
  • Extra sleeping pad
  • Hot water bottle for sleeping bag at night
  • Solar panel for charging batteries
  • Filtered water with Katadyn filter
  • Membership to Flying Doctors (emergency evacuation)
  • Kilimanjaro map for the group
  • Celebration dinner at hotel after returning from trek

All of our Kilimanjaro treks include:

  • Morning tea in tent
  • Wash basin with soap in morning and upon arrival at camp
  • Wash water with soap and towel before meals
  • Daily health monitoring (twice daily with oximeter, or more if needed)
  • Dining tent with table and stools
  • Boiled water at camp in morning and in evening
Posted in Kilimanjaro, Luxury | Leave a comment

Kilimanjaro Marathon 2016

IMG_0908The next Kilimanjaro Marathon is scheduled for February 28, 2016.

We have some group Kilimanjaro treks and group safaris that coincide with the marathon to make it the ultimate marathon trip!

OPTION #1 — Kili + Safari + Marathon

The price for this itinerary is $4495/person, double occupancy.

OPTION #2 — Safari + Marathon + Kili 

More on the Kilimanjaro Marathon >>

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Hacienda Concepción vs. Reserva Amazónica

The two Inkaterra Amazon Lodges are Hacienda Concepción and Reserva Amazónica, located about 4.5 miles apart from each other.  Both are great options for touring the Amazon Rainforest in Peru.  Here we compare the two options — excursions offered by each property, accommodations and meals, some unique offerings made only by Reserva Amazónica, and, of course, rates at each property.

See also 8 Top Peru Amazon Rainforest Lodges >>


Canopy Walkway takes you into the rainforest canopy

Canopy Walkway takes you into the Amazon rainforest canopy

The Hacienda Concepción offers 14 different quarter- and half-day excursions in a fixed rotation.  Depending on the day you arrive and the length of your stay, you will do the excursions planned for that day.

The Reserva Amazónica offers you a suggested itinerary consisting of a combination of quarter-, half-, and full-day excursions that you choose and organize with your guide. A couple are special and extra.

Accommodations & Meals

Dugout canoe in the Peru Amazon

Dugout canoe in the Peru Amazon

Regarding accommodations and meals, the two Inkaterra properties are different in style from each other.  The Hacienda Concepción is more casual, and the Reserva Amazónica has a more upscale atmosphere.

Hacienda Concepción also offers six standard rooms in the main lodge as well as 19 stand-alone cabins.  So, for instance, the Hacienda Concepción might be a good choice for a group or family who would like to stay in the main lodge together.

The Reserva Amazónica offers cabins, separated from each other.  These cabins might appeal to couples seeking more privacy from their fellow travelers.  As for size of accommodations, the cabins in Reserva Amazónica are bigger and more nicely appointed than the cabins in Hacienda Concepción.  And all rooms and cabins are available either with one king bed or two twin beds.

As for food and drink, Reserva Amazónica offers meals à la carte, whereas Hacienda Concepción has a fixed menu. Moreover, your drink and wine options in Reserva Amazónica are better than at Hacienda Concepción.

Special Amenities at Reserva Amazónica

Reserva Amazonica Tree House

Reserva Amazonica Tree House

Reserva Amazónica also offers some special treats that Hacienda Concepción does not have.  Reserva Amazónica has a spa, ENA Spa, that uses local indigenous ingredients in its signature treatments.  Reserva Amazónica guests can also experience the marvels of the jungle while spending a night in the Canopy Tree House, which is set 90 feet above the ground.  This experience is restricted to two clients, double occupancy, at any one time, who will enjoy full room and board, guide service, and a personal butler.  This unique experience does require an additional fee.


Hiking in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

Hiking in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

Regarding rates, price is almost always a consideration.  Maybe you like to live in the lap of luxury while exploring the amazing nature found in the Amazon.  Then the Reserva Amazónica could be the right place for you.  Maybe you enjoy your creature comforts, but think if you save a little on this trip, there will be more money for the next trip!  If so, then you may want to stay at Hacienda Concepción.  At both Hacienda Concepción and Reserva Amazónica, rates are all-inclusive, covering your room and board and excursions.

Hacienda Concepción:

  • Standard rooms in the main lodge (6)
  • Cabanas (19)

Reserva Amazónica:

  • Superior Rooms (24)
  • Superior Rio Rooms (8)
  • Amazónica Suite (1)
  • Tambopata Suites (2)


      • For a third person in a cabin, use the double rate for the additional person
      • Children rates (for children under 12) are 50%, but must be accompanied by one or two adults.  Limit 2 children per cabin.
      • Rates include: round trip transportation to/from airport, assistance at the airport, accommodations, full board, programmed excursions in Spanish and English, basic equipment for each excursion, entrance fees to Lake Sandoval, Inkaterra Canopy Walkway and Butterfly House, bottled water, and a 10% service charge

PHOTOS – Hacienda Concepcion

PHOTOS – Reserva Amazonica

Posted in Family Travel, Luxury, Peru | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gorilla Permits Half-Price in November!

Gorilla trekkingGorilla permits in Uganda are discounted to $365/person/day for November 2015.  That’s almost half-price!

You can visit the gorillas in Bwindi National Park in Uganda in as few as 3 days from Kigali, Rwanda.


DAY 1: Arrival in Kigali (LD)

You will need to arrive in Kigali in the morning.  Your guide will meet you at the airport and brief you on your trip. You will have lunch in Kigali, Ruhengeri or Kisoro depending on your arrival flight.

The drive to Ruhengeri is about 2 hours, and the Uganda border post (Cyanica) is only 40 minutes from there. The border crossing should take about 20 minutes.  After border crossing you will be in the Kisoro region. Depending on the location of you hotel or Lodge you will drive another hour or so.  The average transfer time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Overnight and dinner at the lodge of your choice (see details below):

  • Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (Luxury)
  • Bwindi Jungle Lodge (Mid-range)
  • Travellers Rest (Budget)

DAY 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi (BLD)

After breakfast,  depart from your lodge at 6:30am. The reporting time at Nkuringo or Rushaga headquarters is at 8:00am.

You will have a briefing by the park rangers and trek the gorillas. The average time is 4 to 5 hours. After the trekking, return to your lodge for a late lunch.  In the afternoon, you may visit the nearly Lake Mutanda, visit the Batwa community, hiking, or just relaxing.

Enjoy your evening and dinner at the lodge of your choice.

DAY 3: Transfer to Kigali, depart (BL)

After breakfast, drive to Kigali via Kisoro (Cyanika) and Ruhengeri. If there is time, you can visit the genocide Memorial. Transfer to Kigali Airport for departure.


The land-only price for this itinerary:

  • $1595/person with luxury accommodations
  • $895/person with mid-range accommodations
  • $845/person with budget accommodations
  • $365/person for the gorilla permit


The price is inclusive of ground transportation in a 4 x 4 safari vehicles to all visited areas as per the program, the services of Driver-guide, all park and entry fees, all activities as per program, accommodation, meals on full board basis, and all government taxes.  Prices are based on 2+ people in the group.


Airline ticket, personal expenses, visa fees, drinks except mineral water during road transfers.


LUXURY: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Guests at Clouds stay in their own cottage.  Built of local volcanic stone, every cottage has a large sitting room with fireplace, vast overstuffed armchairs, hand-woven carpets, and includes a personal butler.  The main lodge feels like someplace else – soaring ceilings, massive exposed wooden beams, big picture windows with endless views of treetops, volcanoes and mountains.

MID-RANGE: Bwindi Jungle Lodge

Bwindi Jungle Lodge is located on Lake Mulehe, Mucha, about 10 km from Kisoro town along the road to Rubuguli, about 20 km from the Southern gate of Bwindi National Park in Rushaga and Nkuringo. Bwindi Jungle Lodge is made by cottages, all en-suite and with raised verandah overlooking Lake Mulehe, built using the local volcanic stones and timber. The large restaurant and bar enjoys a verandah overlooking the lake and the design and architecture utilize the local tradition of volcanic stones and fencing.

BUDGET: Travellers Rest

The Travellers Rest hotel is located just outside Kisoro in the southwest corner of Uganda.  It has 12 rooms and was often visited by Dian Fossey.

See all Gorilla Trekking Trips >>

Posted in Uganda / Rwanda | 2 Comments

AWR’s Dean Paschall Finishes the PCT!

Dean9r PCT FinishDean Paschall, of AWR, finished hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on September 12, 2015.  It took 150 days, just under 5 months, which was better than his expected 5 1/2 months.  He thru-hiked the PCT from Mexico to Canada for a total of 2650 miles, starting on April 16, 2015.

“Adventures Within Reach was so honored to sponsor this amazing adventure.  We are so excited that Dean made it to the finish and in great style,” said Robin Paschall, President of Adventures Within Reach. “It was much more challenging than any of us imagined.  He had to overcome physical challenges, bad weather, and forest fires.  While this adventure is not “within reach” for most people, it exemplifies adventure travel with activity, culture, and nature.  It has been inspiring to watch his progress along the way.”

Dean describes his experience:

IMG_0058“The first part of the Pacific Crest Trail is in the desert in southern California.  Some days were so hot, I had to hike at night in cooler temps to preserve precious water resources.  This section was particular hard because water was so scarce.  In some cases, 42 miles between natural water resources which meant I had to carry a lot of extra weight in water, up to 8 liters or 16 lbs in water alone.  This made trip planning critical to make sure I preserved enough water to reach the next source.  However, some nights in the desert were also extremely cold, I encountered more snow in the mountains of the desert than in the high peaks of the Sierra.

IMG_0280“The second section of the hike was in the Sierra Mountains in California also known as the John Muir Trail.  This was one of my favorite sections because I am very familiar with this area from my years as a back-country ranger in Yosemite.  It was also exciting to summit Mt. Whitney [At 14,505 feet, Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the continental U.S.].

“Oregon was made difficult because all the nearby forest fires.  I was  often forced to hike with my bandanna over my face because of all the smoke and ash in the air.

IMG_0380“Although it was intensely beautiful, from very my first steps into Washington, it started to rain and snow didn’t seem to stop until the week before I finished.

“Although my life on the trail consisted of waking up at 4:45am every morning,  hiking a marathon (20+ miles), finding a place to sleep at dusk, and getting up the next day to do it again, there was never a day when I would not feel like hiking.  I saw remote wilderness areas that few people ever get to see, but probably the best part of the hike were the many amazing people I met along the way — new friends for life.  It was the most challenging and yet the most satisfying physical endeavor I could have ever imagined.”

20150914-pct-return-dean-robin-2Dean returned home from Canada on September 14, 2015.

“It was great to be able to able to meet and congratulate him when he returned home from this great adventure!” said Robin. “He lost about 30 pounds, but he looked good and was in great spirits.”

Dean will giving presentations on his trek this winter in Boulder, Colorado and in Sun Valley, Idaho.

His Blog follows his progress along the trail.

Dean Paschall is 63 years old and has been an avid adventurer and outdoors-man for his entire adult life. Dean has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier, has hiked on Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley, and was the first person to fly a hang glider off of Half Dome, and El Capitan.  He also loves to mountain bike, road bike, ski, and rock climb. He was a park ranger at Yosemite National Park, CA for 10 years; created and ran the outdoor program at the Community School in Sun Valley, ID;  worked for NOAA and was a Division Manager with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks for 13 years; and is a principal at Adventures Within Reach.

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