Galapagos 2 for 1 Specials! And reduced single rates.

Have you always wanted to see the Galapagos Islands? Now is your chance to see it at reduced rates while travelling in comfort on the Santa Cruz.

Explore Eastern or Western Islands of the Galapagos and enjoy the spectacular wildlife.

6days/ 5 night cruise starting at $2,890 USD per cabin – $1,445USD per person based on two people!  or Solo rates  from $2,312 USD for main cabin – great deal for single travellers, the single rate is usually 150 – 175% of the twin rate! Available on the following departures.

May 16, May 25,  May 30, Jun 08, Jun 13, Jun 22, Jun 27

Cruise rates include: Accommodations, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish, snorkeling gear, taxes and transfers in the islands.

All sightseeing on shore is done with small groups.

PLEASE CONTACT US FOR DETAILS AND GRAB A CABIN BEFORE THEY ARE ALL SOLD OUT.  CALL ANNA  at  1 800 978 0544 or email: anna@yourjourney.com

Eastern Islands Friday – Wednesday May 25, June 8, June 22

FRIDAY Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal [Chatham] Island)

Arrival by plane to San Cristobal Island and transfer to the M/V Santa Cruz, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galapagos Islands. Cabin assignment and lunch. After lunch, introductory talk.

Interpretation Center and Cerro Tijeretas (San Cristobal Island)

In the afternoon, disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (dry landing) and visit the Interpretation Centre where visitors will acquire a greater understanding of Galapagos’ uniqueness throughout informative visual aids. From the Interpretation Centre, we stroll along an easy boardwalk to the north shore of San Cristobal, to the site considered as the spot where Darwin set foot for first time on Galapagos in 1835. A bust of the naturalist was placed there to commemorate this event. This area is teeming with life: Darwin finches, San Cristobal mockingbirds, marine iguanas, sea lions, etc. Hills frame this turquoise bay, home to two species of frigates. A staircase leads to the top of Cerro Tijeretas, from where a good portion of northern San Cristobal is visible: Wreck Bay, Lobos Islet, Punta Carola and the impressive Kicker Rock. Return on board. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.

SATURDAY Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)

A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes guests to Cerro Brujo’s white coralline beach (wet landing). The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding bird watching with good views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristobal) mockingbird, Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island, and seen nowhere else in the Galapagos. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835, as San Cristobal was the first island where he set foot in the Galapagos. Cerro Brujo is an excellent site for acquainting oneself with snorkelling gear and techniques. Back on board for lunch.

Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)

In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach or snorkel at the nearby islets. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.

SUNDAY  Santa Fe Island

After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right to be “Beach Master”, while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat for non-snorkellers. Lunch on board.

South Plaza Island

Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colourful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Expedition plan for Monday and dinner.

MONDAY Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)

Morning disembarkation (dry landing) visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like “Lonesome George” within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

After lunch, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with their impressive Scalesia forest and the geological formation of the twin pit craters known as Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the M/V Santa Cruz. Tuesday’s expedition plan and dinner.

TUESDAY Punta Suarez (Espanola (Hood) Island)

Morning outing at Punta Suarez (dry landing) for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April – December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow- tail gulls as well as a view of the Galapagos famous “blow-hole”. Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.

Gardner Bay (Espanola Island)

In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or a ride aboard the glass- bottom boat. Departure briefing, Farewell Cocktail and dinner.

WEDNESDAY  Baltra Island

Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

 

Western Islands Wednesday to Monday

May 16, May 30, Jun 13, Jun 27

WEDNESDAY  Baltra Island

Morning arrival to Baltra Island by plane and immediate transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch.

North Seymour Island

Afternoon disembarkation (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island, observing bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls and also sea lions and marine iguanas. Opportunity for snorkelling or coastal exploration. Expedition plan for Thursday, welcome cocktail and dinner.

THURSDAY  Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)

Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by panga, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. This is the nesting place for flightless cormorants, the only existing marine birds in the world other than penguins that have changed their condition of flying birds to diving birds. Wildlife here also includes sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, Galapagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, it will be possible to schedule a snorkelling outing along the cliffs of partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano, near the northern tip of Isabela Island. This area has a very rich marine life, and is seasonally visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola). Lunch on board.

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)

Afternoon visit to the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk over dark lava. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and a lot of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Snorkelling off the shore. Expedition plan for Friday and dinner.

FRIDAY  Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

After breakfast, dry landing on the northwest of Isabela. Secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti is still found carved on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf and spring back to life in the wet season. An uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. We include a panga ride along the volcanic shore of the cove to see boobies, penguins, flightless cormorants, terns, and sea lions. Possibilities to swim or snorkel. There is no beach in the area, so these activities are done from the pangas. Lunch on board.

Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)

After lunch (wet landing) disembark at Urbina Bay, located at the foot of volcanoes Alcedo and Darwin, western Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally); a good spot to observe Darwin’s finches. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkelling in this beautiful cove. Expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.

SATURDAY Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)

Morning disembarkation (dry landing) to visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like “Lonesome George” within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

After lunch, a 30-minute bus ride to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enter the famous Giant Tortoise Reserve, and witness the impressive migrations these giant reptiles must endure every year for feeding and reproduction. Santa Cruz hosts one of the largest tortoise populations in Galapagos. The enclosure is framed with lush vegetation and many unique land birds can be seen, such as the rare woodpecker finch, one of the world’s few tool-using species. Return to Puerto Ayora and back on board. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.

SUNDAY Post office Bay and Baroness’s Tower (Floreana (Charles)Island)

Morning visit to Post Office Bay. A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where mail can be left for other guests from other vessels to be hand-delivered to its destination. This tradition of over two centuries is unique. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. Rays, turtles and sea lions can be seen gently swimming next to our pangas. After a wet landing and a short walk up to a volcanic cone, we reach the Baroness’s Tower, from where the entire northern shore of the island can be seen. Learn more about the fascinating past of this island. Lunch on board

Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)

Disembark at Cormorant Point (wet landing) on an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others may be observed. This outing also includes a white-sand beach where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May). Possibility of snorkelling or a glass-bottom boat ride close to Devil’s Crown. Farewell Cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.

MONDAY  Baltra Island

Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

The itineraries and programme are subject to change without prior notice, due mainly to adjustments in the policies and regulations of the Galapagos National Park, weather conditions, seasonal changes and safety reasons.

• Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
• Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore

GALÁPAGOS RATES INCLUDE:
Accommodations, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages upon request for groups larger than 10 guests: German, French, Italian), snorkeling gear, taxes and transfers in the islands.
Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to / from Galápagos are included in these rates.  To coordinate these transfers we must have guest’s hotel contact.

NOT INCLUDED:
– Wet Suits available for rent,  rate $ 15 + VAT per guest for 5- or 6-day expeditions
– Air transportation to / from Galápagos please see rates below.
– Galápagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice).
– Migration Control Card (US $ 10 subject to change without previous notice).
– Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, gratuities, gifts and additional items.
– Internet / Wi-Fi

 

 

 

 

Posted in Galapagos | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Galapagos – No Single Supplement

Travel to the Galapagos on board the Legend

Galapagos Twin Share Guarantee!
Are you a SINGLE traveler wanting to visit the Galapagos Islands? When you travel to the Galapagos on board the LEGEND you pay NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!*

*For select departures. Passengers must be willing to share and will be matched with a fellow traveler of the same sex. Applies to cruise only.

M/V Galapagos Legend
5 days / 4 nights

Jul 12 – 16
Jul 19 – 23
Aug 09 – 13
Sep 06 – 10
Sep 20 – 24
Oct 25 – 29
Dec 06 – 10
Dec 13 – 17

M/V Galapagos Legend
4 days / 3 nights

Jul 23 – 26
Jul 30 – Aug 02
Aug 06 – 09
Aug 27 – 30
Sep 10 – 13
Sep 17 – 20
Sep 24 – 27
Dec 03 – 06
Dec 10 – 13

Contact Anna to reserve your spot today. anna@yourjourney.com

Posted in Galapagos | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PERU SALE UPDATE – MORE TRIPS ADDED

MORE TRIPS ADDED TO THE INTREPID SPECIAL! STILL THE 4 ORIGINAL TRIPS, NOW FOUR MORE TOURS ADDED- THESE ONES WITH SPECIFIC DATES.

Must be booked by Mar 31 2012, while space is available.

Visit Cuzco,travel to Machu Picchu – by foot or by train, explore the Amazon Jungle, visit the La Paz Boliva and Lake Titicaca. Explore with a small group of 12 or 16 people and have a real life experience!

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!! SOLO TRAVELLERS 30% OFF

Please contact Anna at Your Journey for details and to check availability, space is going fast. If you want to trek the Inca Trail, please have your passport details handy when you are ready to book, you will need this to confirm the Inca Trail permit. $250 CAD Deposit due at time of booking and full payment is due with 72hrs to hold space.

Email:anna@yourjourney.com toll free 1 800 978 0544  or local  Toronto    647 347 9150

PLEASE SEE THE DETAILED ITINERARIES BELOW.

PERU ENCOMPASSED 21 DAYS LIMA RETURN $3,715 CAD REGULAR PRICE VALID ON  8th March, 17th March, 5th April, 12th April, 14th April, 21st April, 3rd May, 10th May, 19th May, 24th May, 26th May, 2nd June, 7th June, 9th June, 14th June, 16th June, 21st June, 23rd June DEPARTURES

Welcome Arches in Arequipa

Arequipa

Day 1 Lima
Bienvenidos and welcome to Peru! Dive into the delights of Lima and let the Peruvian adventure begin.

Day 2 Pisco
Tour downtown Lima with a guide before heading to Pisco, the epicentre of the unmistakeable Pisco sour.

Days 3-4 Nazca
Wildlife-lovers can opt to visit the Paracas National Reserve, a haven for pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos and sea lions. Cameras poised to capture the dramatic sand dunes and lake of Huacachina, before heading to one of the world’s most mysterious archaeological sites, the Nazca Lines. Explore the eerie desert cemetery of Chauchilla, where the arid conditions of the desert have naturally mummified the remains of the Nazca people buried here.

Day 5 Arequipa
Built at the foot of El Misti Volcano, Arequipa’s colonial charm is enchanting. Marvel at the gleaming buildings made from pale volcanic rock.

Days 6-7 Chivay/ Colca Canyon
Spot llamas, alpacas and their cousins – vicunas – on the way to Chivay. Be impressed by the depth of the canyon while keeping an eye out for the resident Andean condors, one of the world’s largest flying birds. In the evening, relax in thermal baths, dine on a llama steak or listen to live Andean music at a pena. Experience traditional local life staying with a family on a homestay in the Colca Canyon.

Days 8-10 Puno/ Lake Titicaca
Cross the Andes to explore the vast expanse of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Visit the floating islands and learn about island culture during a homestay with a local family.

Days 11-12 Cuzco
Discover Inca ruins and baroque churches in the continent’s oldest city. Then perhaps take a local bus to the Sacred Valley or have lunch at Aldea Yanapay Cafe – all profits go to supporting Cuzco’s underprivileged kids.

Days 13-16 Inca Trail/ Machu Picchu
Embark on the trek of a lifetime through dense forest and high plateaus, up the steps of the Sun Gate to the Machu Picchu ruins. Spend a day exploring and learning about the fascinating ancient ruins.

Day 17 Cuzco
Shop or rest those weary legs at a cafe around the Plaza de Armas.

Days 18-19 Amazon Jungle
Fly to Puerto Maldonado. Travel by canoe into the lush Amazon Jungle to stay in an eco-friendly lodge. Explore the jungle with local guides to spot unique flora and fauna and learn about the practical and medicinal uses of native plants.

Days 20-21 Lima
Soak up Lima’s colourful history before bidding adios to wonderful Peru.

INCA ENCOUNTER 9DAYS LIMA TO CUZCO $2,490 CAD REGULAR PRICE. SPECIAL VALID ON 15th April, 22nd April, 6th May, 11th May, 27th May, 3rd June, 8th June DEPARTURES ONLY

Machu Picchu

Day 1 Lima
Welcome to Peru! Plaza Mayor, in Lima’s historic centre, the ideal place to begin an exploration of the city’s churches, palaces and ornate colonial mansions. Try the local seafood specialty – ceviche.

Days 2-3 Amazon Jungle
The call of exotic birds and dense jungle awaits. Learn about the Amazon’s complex ecosystem on a hike with a local guide.

Days 4-5 Cuzco
Become acquainted with Cuzco on a stroll around the city centre. Cuzco is a melting pot of Spanish and Inca influences, rich in history and legend. Visit a coca tea shop – tasting included – then haggle for wares at the colourful San Pedro market. Top off the stay here with a trip out to the archaeological sites of Qenqo, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman.

Day 6 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
See woolly llamas, and locals dressed in brightly-coloured traditional clothes on a trip through the spectacularly terraced Sacred Valley. Stay overnight in the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo and visit its fortress, which played a crucial role in Inca history.

Day 7 Aguas Calientes
Reach the mountain village of Aguas Calientes by train. Spend free time soaking in the natural hot springs or take an optional sneak peek of Machu Picchu.

Days 8-9 Machu Picchu/ Cuzco

Take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx 30 mins).
You will have a guided visit (approx 1.5-2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it’s time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time.

HOMELAND OF THE INCAS 21 DAYS LIMA TO LA PAZ, BOLIVIA. $2,865 CAD REGULAR PRICE.  SPECIAL VALID 9th March, 23rd March, 6th April, 15th April, 22nd April, 27th April, 6th May, 11th may, 27th May, 3rd June, 8th June

Day 1 Lima
Get to know the vibrant capital of Peru, Lima, starting with the bustling Miraflores district. Check out Parque del Amor (Love Park) for a sizzling view of Lima’s coast.

Day 2 Pisco
Explore downtown Lima before heading to the port town of Pisco on a local bus. Stroll along the main plaza then relax in a cafe and watch the world go by.

Days 3-4 Nazca
Start the day with an optional boat tour to the Ballestas Islands – a nature reserve for pelicans, flamingos and sea lions. Visit the oasis of Huacachina before continuing to Nazca to learn about ancient mummies perfectly preserved by the dry conditions.

Day 5 Arequipa
Welcome to the dazzling ‘White City’ of Arequipa, a charming place packed with colonial churches, mansions and monasteries.

Days 6-7 Chivay/ Colca Canyon
Enjoy expansive views – and possibly an Andean condor sighting – at Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

Days 8-9 Cuzco
Inca-built walls line the central streets of fascinating Cuzco. Choose to explore markets, cathedrals, ruins and fortresses before a visit to a coca shop for some tea.

Day 10 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Meet members of a Sacred Valley community then spot llamas en route to the Ollantaytambo ruins, one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.

Days 11-14 Inca Trail/ Machu Picchu
Trek the demanding, but incredibly rewarding, Inca Trail, part of a series of ancient highways that linked the Inca Empire from Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. Seeing the ruins of Machu Picchu for the first time is indescribable.

Day 15 Cuzco
Optional mountain biking and hiking options abound – or just rest those trek-weary legs at a cafe around Plaza de Armas.

Day 16 Puno
Travel through the dramatic scenery of the high Altiplano to Puno, Lake Titicaca’s waterside city.

Days 17-18 Lake Titicaca/ Puno
Set sail for Lake Titicaca’s isolated Uros floating islands, built from layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows. Stay with a local family on the lake and enjoy a trek and a game of soccer or volleyball on a local island.

Days 19-21 La Paz
Cross the border into beautiful Bolivia and end the adventure with a wander through the streets of market-filled La Paz.

INCA TRAIL 8 DAYS LIMA TO CUZCO $1,780 CAD REGULAR PRICE SPECIAL VALID ON SOME APRIL, MAY AND JUNE DATES. PLEASE CALL SINCE SPACE IS VERY LIMITED.

Day 1 Lima
The Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Lima’s historic centre, is an excellent place to begin explorations of the Peruvian capital. Nearby, the Museo de la Inquisicion offers an insight into the Spanish Inquisition and the beautiful Monasterio de San Francisco houses some fascinating catacombs and interesting art.

Day 2 Cuzco
Get acquainted with the intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish cultures and discover some of Cuzco’s lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Take the opportunity to taste unique mate de coca (coca tea).

Day 3 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Travel through the lush Sacred Valley and visit a local community. Learn about their traditional lifestyle, browse handicrafts and pick up a few words of the Quechua language. Look out for the maize crops alongside the river and covering the terraces that stretch high up the valley walls. Spend the night exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins – a magnificent example of Inca urban planning.

Days 4-7 Inca Trail/ Machu Picchu/ Cuzco
Trek the Inca trail, which once linked this ancient Peruvian Empire. The ancient paths wind around mountains, across high, rocky plateaus, through dense cloud forest and past crumbling temple ruins. Climb over challenging mountain peaks – including the 4,198m high Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) – and camp out in the evenings. On the final morning, climb the steps to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, and see mystical Machu Picchu appearing through the mist. Rest for a moment to take it all in before descending to the famous site to spend the day uncovering the mystery of these amazing Inca ruins before returning to Cuzco.

Day 8 Cuzco
Still seeking adventure? An optional trip from Cuzco to the Urubamba River provides whitewater rafting or mountain-biking thrills. For those with weary legs, have lunch at the Aldea Yanapay Cafe, part of a self-sustainable organisation that provides the underprivileged kids of Cuzco with health and education facilities.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Peru Special Bring your Friend for Free – 4 tours to chose from

Intrepid Travel have an amazing sale on 4 of their Peru Trips, departing from Jan – Sep 30 2012. Must be booked by Mar 31 2012, while space is available.

Visit Cuzco,travel to Machu Picchu – by foot or by train, explore the Amazon Jungle, visit the La Paz Boliva and Lake Titicaca. Explore with a small group of 12 or 16 people and have a real life experience!

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!! SOLO TRAVELLERS 30% OFF

Please contact Anna at Your Journey for details and to check availability, space is going fast. If you want to trek the Inca Trail, please have your passport details handy when you are ready to book, you will need this to confirm the Inca Trail permit. $250 CAD Deposit due at time of booking and full payment is due with 72hrs to hold space.

Email:anna@yourjourney.com toll free 1 800 978 0544  or local  Toronto    647 347 9150

PLEASE SEE THE DETAILED ITINERARIES BELOW.

Machu Picchu

CLASSIC PERU 9 DAYS LIMA TO CUZCO $1835CAD REGULAR PRICE

Day 1 Lima
Welcome to Peru! Admire ornate churches and palaces on a walk through the well-preserved historic centre of Lima. In free time, perhaps wander through one of the many excellent museums that shed light on the interesting history and culture of Peru.

Days 2-4 Puno/ Lake Titicaca
Spend the night in Puno before heading off to sail on iconic Lake Titicaca, where water stretches as far as the eye can see. Be welcomed by friendly locals during an overnight island homestay, travel by boat on the calm waters and pick up some quality knitted goods – handmade by the local men – on Taquile Island.

Day 5 Cuzco
Travel by local bus to Cuzco – the heart and soul of Peru. Take a slow stroll around the Inca-built walls that line the streets. Head to the buzz of Plaza de Armas – a great place to people watch and interact with the locals.

Day 6 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Travel through the lush, fertile Sacred Valley, known to the Incas as Wilcamayo. Spend the night in Ollantaytambo, a town built by the Incas with geometric precision.

Day 7 Aguas Calientes
Take a winding train ride through the Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes’s hot springs are a refreshing way to relax.

Days 8-9 Machu Picchu/ Cuzco
Spend the day at mesmerising Machu Picchu. Explore the iconic ruins, taking advantage of the abundance of awesome photo opportunities. Be sure to take time to stop and reflect on the profound beauty of this famous site. Travel back to Cuzco for a final night in this city that is big on charm.

Cuzco celebrations

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS 7 DAYS $1210 CAD REGULAR PRICE

Day 1 Cuzco
Welcome to Peru! Get acquainted with the intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish cultures and discover some of Cuzco’s lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Take the opportunity to taste unique mate de coca (coca tea).

Day 2 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Travel through the lush Sacred Valley and visit a local community. Learn about their traditional lifestyle, browse handicrafts and pick up a few words of the Quechua language. Look out for the maize crops alongside the river and covering the terraces that stretch high up the valley walls. Spend the night exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins – a magnificent example of Inca urban planning.

Days 3-6 Inca Trail/ Machu Picchu/ Cuzco
Trek the Inca trail, which once linked this ancient Peruvian Empire. The ancient paths wind around mountains, across high, rocky plateaus, through dense cloud forest and past crumbling temple ruins. Climb over challenging mountain peaks – including the 4,198m high Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) – and camp out in the evenings. On the final morning, climb the steps to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, and see mystical Machu Picchu appearing through the mist. Rest for a moment to take it all in before descending to the famous site to spend the day uncovering the mystery of these amazing Inca ruins before returning to Cuzco.

Day 7 Cuzco
Still seeking adventure? An optional trip from Cuzco to the Urubamba River provides whitewater rafting or mountain-biking thrills. For those with weary legs, have lunch at the Aldea Yanapay Cafe, part of a self-sustainable organisation that provides the underprivileged kids of Cuzco with health and education facilities.

Llamas at work outside of Arequipa

MAJESTIC PERU 15 DAYS $2,770 CAD REGULAR PRICE

Day 1 Lima
Visit Lima and uncover the treasures of the capital of Peru on a walking tour, beginning with the bustling downtown area.

Day 2 Pisco/ Ballestas Islands/ Nazca
Travel to Pisco and boat around the wild Ballestas Islands before stopping off at Ica’s sprawling sand dunes. Sample Peru’s tipple of choice at a Pisco distillery before crossing the desert to reach the puzzling Nazca Lines. There is an option here to take to the air on a flight that offers the best views of this ancient mystery.

Day 3 Puerto Inca
Stop by the eerie desert cemetery at Chauchilla. Travel down Peru’s rugged coast en route to Puerto Inca and watch sea lions lazing on the beach in Atiquipa.

Days 4-5 Arequipa
Get acquainted with the ‘White City’ of Arequipa that dazzles in the sunlight, an effect created by the pale volcanic rock used to construct most of the buildings.

Days 6-7 Puno/ Lake Titicaca
Learn about the incredible pre-Inca funerary towers at Sillustani. The floating reed islands of the Uros people are sure to fascinate during a boat tour of majestic Lake Titicaca. Pick up some handmade gifts on Taquile Island, famous for its knitted goods made – under strict tradition – by men only.

Days 8-9 Cuzco
Cuzco’s status as the hub of the Inca Empire is apparent in its traditions and architecture. Join the throngs at the busy San Pedro market.

Day 10 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Meet locals and learn about life in this fertile valley – a great opportunity to pick up a bit of Quechua, the language of the Incas. Visit a valley community and admire the perfectly geometric Ollantaytambo ruins.

Day 11 Aguas Calientes
Soak in thermal baths surrounded by cloud forest, high up in the Andes.

Days 12-13 Machu Picchu/ Cuzco
Enjoy a guided walk through the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, learning the history of the ancient site at Machu Picchu and marvelling at its structure and setting. Thought to have been constructed around 1440, some evidence hints it has existed for much longer. One theory suggests it was built as an astrological observatory. Take the time to contemplate and admire these incredible ruins and reflect on one of the world’s great wonders.

Days 14-15 Lima
Travel back to Lima and bargain at the markets for that perfect memento. Celebrate the end of this adventure with a Pisco sour.

Taquile Island Lake Titicaca

SACRED LAND OF THE INCAS 15 DAYS $3160CAD REGULAR PRICE

Day 1 Lima
Arrive in the capital of Peru, Lima, and unravel its fascinating history on a walking tour around the city’s major sights. The vibrant suburb of Miraflores is full of cafes, bars and restaurants so why not use free time to sample local gastronomic delights.

Days 2-3 Amazon Jungle
Fly to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado and travel by canoe into the dense Amazon Jungle. Macaws, monkeys, peccaries, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies all coexist in this amazing ecosystem. Learn about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants from a local guide.

Day 4 Cuzco
The heart and soul of Peru is definitely beating in Cuzco, a great town to explore on foot. Discover colonial churches and cathedrals as well as impressive Inca ruins dotted around the city.

Day 5 Sacred Valley/ Ollantaytambo
Travel by private bus through this lush, terraced valley on the outskirts of Cuzco, stopping at a village to gain insight into both modern and ancient Peru. Meet friendly locals on a community visit before spending the night in the ancient town of Ollantaytambo – one of the few places the Incas defeated the Spanish.

Days 6-9 Inca Trail/ Machu Picchu
Embark on a four-day trek along the iconic Inca Trail, accompanied by porters, cooks and a local guide. Take in the sights and sounds of this ancient route, hiking across high plateaus and through dense forests, stopping to observe the ruins of villages and temples along the way. After all that hard work, take the time to explore stunning Machu Picchu – an unforgettable sight worthy of many photos.

Day 10 Cuzco
Get reacquainted with Cuzco. Browse the food stalls of the bustling central market, pick up some colourful woollen garments or enjoy a more relaxed pace in one of the many cafes.

Days 11-13 Puno/ Lake Titicaca
On the border of Bolivia and Peru, Puno and mystical Lake Titicaca are nestled 3,800m above sea level, making Lake Titicaca the world’s highest navigable lake. Cruise to the incredible floating Uros Islands, constructed entirely from reeds. Sail to Taquile Island where the handmade woollens are strictly crafted by men. Make new friends and enjoy local hospitality on a family homestay.

Days 14-15 La Paz
Travel to Bolivia’s capital La Paz and hit the markets to pick up some souvenirs. The Witches’ Market sells a quirky collection of herbs, folk remedies, amulets and other items used in traditional rituals.

Machu Picchu

 

 

Posted in Peru | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Live from Japan – Almost

For the next little while we’ll be posting the observations, insights and anecdotes of Karl’s soon to be brother-in-law, Victor Pajek. He’s become a real Japanophile over the last few years, including living and working in Japan, learning to speak Japanese and visiting Japan many times since he’s moved back to North America. He recently spent 3 weeks in Japan and we asked him to share his thoughts about the trip. Here’s his first report:

Hi Karl,

Well, it was a tough year for Japan. The tsunami and earthquake and nuclear disaster affected the north (obviously) and the Tokyo region. However, radiation levels are normal everywhere except close to Fukushima, and have been since right after the disaster. There is some concern about contaminated food, but it is far from hysteria. Having said all that, it would impossible for a typical foreign tourist to notice anything different whatsoever. People are as friendly as usual and appear as upbeat as always. Japan has always had a lot of disasters, so they have some built-in coping mechanisms. The Kobe earthquake killed thousands of people in the 90’s. (I think Buddhism helps with the pain, it’s not all about the individual, like it is over here). And anyway, they don’t show their real feelings except to close friends. (Maybe you know the concept of the “private face” and the “public face?” )

The people in Kansai region don’t seem to have been affected very much at all. BTW, ever since I started going to Japan in 2002, people have talked to me about “escaping Japan.” This is due to the various pressures of Japanese life and the perceived freedoms overseas.

More on this later.

Victor

Posted in Japan | Leave a comment

Barry Kemp, director of the Amarna Project, speaks about Akhenaten’s ancient city

Posted in Egypt, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gayle Gibson Special Amarna Talk, September 15 at 7pm

Exciting news! An exclusive new talk has just been confirmed at the beautiful Arts & Letters Club in downtown Toronto – with limited seats available.

Join us for a rare and enlightening Ancient Egypt Talk on the Amarna Period with Canadian Egyptologist, Gayle Gibson.

Pharaoh Akhenaten – Mad Tyrant or Tragic Hero?

Thursday September 15 – 7pm – 9pm at the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto

Akhenaten: Freud called him the inventor of monotheism. The inspiration for Moses. The very first idealist. However, Barry Kemp’s team, working at the site of Amarna for decades, has unearthed evidence that Pharaoh Akhenaten, and his lovely Queen Nefertiti, may also have been ruthless despots who oppressed their people. In the 18th dynasty, they made their great exodus from Thebes to follow the sun and build the first planned city out in the desert. It all lasted only 17 years. Any way you look at it, the Amarna period, with its exciting revolution in religion and art, is one of the most colourful eras of Egyptian history.

Come learn about the drama, recent discoveries and the exclusive tour with Gayle Gibson that travels to Egypt next January!

The talk will cover:
·      The fascinating era of  Queen Nefertiti, King Akhenaten and his son, Tutankhamun

·      The Amarna period’s impact on Egypt’s history

·      Exciting new discoveries by Barry Kemp (recently awarded CBE) and his archaeological team

·      Insight on travel to the Amarna area – and what you can see today!

·      Gayle Gibson’s fabulous January 2012 two week guided trip – with a private tour of Amarna with esteemed CBE Barry Kemp. (Visit www.youregyptjourney.com for details)

What: Akhenaten – Mad Tyrant or Tragic Hero – Talk with Gayle Gibson
Where: The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto – Boardroom – 14 Elm Street (just blocks from Yonge and Dundas)
When: Thursday September 15 – 7pm – 9pm
Cost: Free – Coffee and tea will be served (Optional donation to the Amarna Trust)

RSVP Mandatory – Space is limited and we anticipate this will be a very popular talk. Please RSVP to anna@yourjourney.com or call (647) 347-9150 or 1-800-978-0544

Click Here to view a video of Laura’s interview with Barry Kemp, talking about his passion for the Amarna Project.  You can see him in person if you join Gayle’s January tour.
Find out all things Egypt on our Facebook Page dedicated to Archaeology Alive. We will be posting more video soon, so please check the page out again in the coming weeks.

Posted in Egypt | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What do Egypt, Kilimanjaro and Oshawa have in common?

This past weekend, May 28 and 29, we were very excited to be a part of the Boomerama show in Oshawa. We were invited to exhibit at this show, geared to the 50 plus crowd, and we were also asked to present a few seminars.

Never ones to shy away from an opportunity to spread the word about adventure travel, we had renowned Egyptologist Gayle Gibson speak about the wonders of ancient Egypt and our Archaeology Alive program and our very own Anna MacKay was on hand to speak and answer questions about how to safely and successfully summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Anna is leading a group there in September.

Anna speaking to a group of interested Kilimanjaro climbers at Boomerama in Oshawa

And finally, we are very happy to announce that the winner of the 4 Day Nile Cruise is Cathy Seguin. We will be contacting Cathy to inform her about the prize details.

Thank you once again for entering the draw. Please watch for our monthly newsletter in which we highlight new and exciting trips, traveller’s stories and special offers.

 

 

Posted in Egypt, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Barry Kemp updates from Amarna – Egypt

News from Amarna, May 2011

I see that my last report was dated 26th February, and was written with the optimism that flows from a crisis just passed.

Within a few days of arrival at the expedition house, seemingly with all obstacles cleared, it emerged that liaison between the regional police and the antiquities administration was no longer working as it had in the past. The local police had supplied their usual contingent to man the little police post that is attached to the house, and I have continued to live here until now without objections. But at a more senior level, the police had decided that they would have one thing less to worry about if they did not have foreign expeditions in their province. Amarna has remained throughout as rurally peaceful as ever, but in the towns and cities demonstrations against various aspects of government have sporadically continued and created a sense of unease, heightened by rumours of banditry blamed on escaped prisoners, though no extra hindrances have been placed in the path of tourist groups.

So for two and a half months I have visited or telephoned the police weekly. To begin with, a few members of the expedition arrived in Cairo and it seemed possible that the fieldwork was on hold only temporarily. But as that hope faded, we were forced to accept that no outdoor work would be possible this side of the summer.

Eventually, near the end of April, the police conceded that the last group due to come, the anthropologists from the University of Arkansas, could be allowed to stay at the house and work on the human remains we have stored in the magazine at the house. Despite this agreement, police caution made even this seem uncertain until the last moment. The first group arrived three days ago, and the magazine has been opened, and work has begun. Since a further excavation at the South Tombs Cemetery has not yet taken place, the purpose of the study is to go over certain areas of the recording done in the past to ensure consistency, and, with the benefits of hindsight, to review aspects where recording leads to evaluations, particularly in respect of aging the individuals and the related topic of the rate of childhood skeletal development. A review of the craniometrics – the precise scheme of skull measurements that is another way of defining a population – is also planned.

Looking beyond the summer, the hope is to use the autumn as a time to carry out the postponed fieldwork. This should cover both the repairs at the North Palace and excavation at the South Tombs Cemetery. The autumn is also the promised time for elections to Egypt’s new parliament that will lead to the formation of a new government, and beyond that looms the election for president. These, for Egypt, are uncharted waters. It may require a further period of patient discussion with the regional police to get a full expedition going again.

I hope that keeping the house open for this length of time has helped to maintain our credibility as a regular part of local life. It has also enabled the house staff – all local people – to be employed, if at a slightly reduced level. It is a pleasure to be able to report that, at the outset of the upheavals, when the house had to be closed for nearly a month, one well-wisher donated a sum of money specifically to cover the wages of the house staff for that period.

Two and a half quiet months at Amarna have not been without benefit, mainly in providing time for writing.

I brought to the expedition house copies of the archive records of the original North Palace excavations of 1923 and 1924. Over many years, from time to time, myself and others have turned our hands to bringing together a full report on the palace, a project originally disrupted by the early death of the main excavator, F.G. Newton, near the beginning of the second season (he died from Encephalitis lethargica in Asyut hospital on Christmas Day 1924).

Amongst the records are small-scale copies of inscribed and decorated fragments of limestone made at the time by members of the expedition who were then working and living at the northern expedition house. They number around 600. Many are fragments of conventional designs, but some showed traces of alterations in places where the name of the ‘owner’ of the palace was written. The alterations are a further example of a phenomenon documented from other parts of Amarna that has been much discussed, that bears on the status of female members of Akhenaten’s family, namely, his eldest daughter Meretaten, a secondary wife named Kiya, and Nefertiti herself. Are we looking at the rise and fall of one of them in an outbreak of harem politics?

Because the erasures and recuttings were done on soft limestone surfaces, it is tricky to discern what the original signs were. The man who made most of the copies in 1924, C.R. Duncan Greenlees, worked carefully but without the benefit of studies of parallel material. This would not matter if the stonework were still available. Hardly any of it was photographed and, apart from a small number of pieces that were sent to museums, it is not extant. Its most likely fate was to be buried beside the northern expedition house at the end of the 1924 season. It might seem that the next logical step is to look for the place of burial. The northern house stands, however, on part of the ancient site. Any disturbance to the ground immediately becomes another excavation, and this is not something to be undertaken lightly. So far geophysics has failed to point to a likely location. We will probably be left, therefore, with a study in which the exercise of judgement on archival sources plays a crucial part.

How far can we trust Greenlees’ copies? This is the norm for historians when interpreting documents from the past. Here, as is not infrequently the case, archaeology overlaps with research on historical archives. Having made a preliminary assessment of the evidence, I am not persuaded that a simple sequence, in which one woman’s name replaced another, reflecting their respective positions at court, is necessarily the correct explanation, but there is some way to go before this material will be ready for publication.

Over the same period, the Assistant Director, Dr Anna Stevens, has remained in Cairo, preparing the final publication of excavations and survey at the Stone Village, carried out between 2005 and 2008. At the same time, and with the assistance of Tim Kashmiri, a computer database specialist, she has developed an improved database design for the many thousands of objects that have been registered by the expedition since it began excavations in 1979.

The closing date for the work at Amarna is set for June 12th. We have obviously lost some money in air fares and expenses in Cairo for the first small group who came, but not disastrously so. The costs of keeping the house open are mostly covered from elsewhere. The donated funds for the North Palace remain untouched.

In the meantime, we have, through the Justgiving site, set up another appeal. See:

www.justgiving.com/amarna-project0

This is to help us move forward with one of the many publications of fieldwork, in this instance the painted wall plaster from an early Christian church that had been constructed over the remains of one of Akhenaten’s buildings at Amarna, the place called Kom el-Nana.

Thanks to all for continuing support and encouragement.

Barry Kemp, 21st May 2011.

The work at Amarna is supported directly by two institutions: in the UK by the Amarna Trust, and in the USA by the Amarna Research Foundation. In both cases, donations are tax deductible.

Amarna Trust:
Donations can be made directly to the treasurer:
Dr Alison L. Gascoigne
Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
Highfield
Southampton
SO17 1BF
+44 (0)2380 599636
or to the Trust’s bank account:

Bank: Nat West
Address: High Wycombe branch, 33 High Street, High Wycombe, Bucks,
HP11 2AJ
Account name: The Amarna Trust
Account number: 15626229
Branch sort code: 60-11-01
BIC: NWBK GB 2L
IBAN: GB66 NWBK 6011 0115 6262 29

or by electronic transfer through Paypal or Justgiving, available on the website www.amarnatrust.com (where a Gift Aid form is downloadable)

The Trust sends out a free newsletter twice a year, Horizon, to anyone who sends me a postal address. It is also available as a downloadable pdf file from our two web sites.

Amarna Research Foundation

The Amarna Research Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Colorado. It has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization, and contributions to the Foundation are tax exempt.

The Foundation receives donations and runs a membership list. See www.museum-tours.com/amarna/ where a membership form can be downloaded.

The Foundation publishes a regular newsletter, The Akhetaten Sun, available to members.

Posted in Egypt | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Friendliness and graciousness of the Peruvians has surpassed anything I had imagined”

Your Journey travellers Donna and Cindy recently enjoyed a 12 day small-group tour in Peru in March, 2011. Learn about their experience in their own words and with their own pictures.

 

Donna-

I just returned from a day trip, which I booked with the guide we had for the last few days, Marcial. He took me to the town of Chinchero, which had a market today and is different than Pisac. The whole town has improved their standard of living due to the revitalization of textiles and weaving. It is a lovely little town and the market still has a section where bartering is the norm for their groceries, potatoes for gourds, vegetables for bread, etc. Then I was taken to some potato fields to see about five different varieties all with different foliage and to see barley and oats cultivated right beside them. Also lupins, which I always assumed when I saw them were for decorative purposes, are grown for their beans.

Then I was shown the salt mines of Maras. That would be recommended as a side tour with an hour’s hike to get back down. Quite fascinating and unusual. All in all a very good Sunday spent on my own. Approx. cost for the taxi: $100 sols ($33), the tour was $30 and lasted about 5 hrs.

Market Day Pisac

The trip has lived up to my expectations and the friendliness and graciousness of the Peruvians has surpassed anything I had imagined. The hotels were all very comfortable and clean and each one had it’s own character. I especially enjoyed the grounds of the Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay and the quaintness of the rooms was unique.

Shy Peruvian Child

Baby Llama

 

Colourful dress everywhere

I did feel the altitude for about 3 days, but not too unbearable. I lost my passport (left it in the safety deposit box), and my keys in another hotel (left in the safety box)! Not usually like that, so the rest of the folks on tour chalked it up to the altitude (or early onset Alzheimer’s). Hope to get home tomorrow with everything I am supposed to have.

 

 

Cindy –

I thought I’d let you know how Peru was for me.

I am really glad I went despite my misgivings about my injuries. My knee and foot hung in there, with careful treatment while there.

The people in Peru are very friendly and helpful, I found that to be true everywhere we went. Even with the language barrier, we were always treated well whether in the hotels or in the towns. My memories of Peru will be llamas & alpacas, the colourful dress of the people, the various degrees of scenery, from stark to lush to breathtaking, the crazy traffic in the bigger cities, the craft markets and the altitude — phew, that one was hard. But overall, it was all worth it!

I made it!

Thank you for your help in guiding me there. I attached some pictures I especially liked.

Uros, Lake Titicaca - island made of reeds

llama, his mama & me

Colourful Peru

We were so happy to have found the right trip for Donna and Cindy. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the right trip for you.

 

Posted in Miscellaneous, Peru | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment