For India in ‘tuk-tuk’ or a route to the foot of K2, in the Himalayas, the star routes of 14 Spanish adventure agencies for this year
A photographic safari in Africa; of raid in tuk-tuk in southern India; trekking in Lebanon, Pakistan or Siberia; a great route through the heart of South America; Expedition to discover Bhutan or tours of Costa Rica or Iran by public transport. We have asked 14 Spanish adventure travel agencies to recommend us their star route for 2018. Some have thrown away classic proposals, others are entering more unexplored territories, and others have wanted to give a more alternative turn to their expeditions by known destinations and consolidated. Prices usually do not include airfare, local payments or other supplements.
1. Trekking to K2
On July 30, 2018, and for 23 days, the Trekking and Adventure team will take a group to the “best and most spectacular trekking of the planet”, in the opinion of Jose Antonio Masia, director of the agency: the approach to K2 going through the Gondogoro La in the Baltoro region, in Pakistan. Abrupt and wild landscapes between glaciers and some of the highest mountains in the world.
With spectacular views from Concordia, the mythical crossing of the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen glaciers. This trekking, where you sleep in a tent, reaches 5,800 meters, but the journey is comfortable and stepped. “After some years affected by political conflicts, Pakistan regains its calm so that it can operate safely,” Masia emphasizes. From 2,950 euros, with accompanying guide from Spain.
2. A classic ‘Memories of Africa’
Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar
The route Memories of Africa (Classic option and Comfort option) lasts 16 days and is “a basic and unavoidable experience for all travelers who want to know the African continent,” they explain from the agency Kananga. A tour that proposes to discover the fauna and beautiful landscapes of Eastern Africa through safaris through the Masai lands of Tanzania and Kenya (Masai Mara National Reserve, National Parks of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, Naivasha and Victoria lakes, Ol Pejeta Reserve …).
The program includes a balloon flight over the savannah, a trip by plane and accommodation in Governors’ Camp , the emblematic permanent camp on the banks of the Mara River. The last days will be relaxing in Zanzibar. Departures from May to November, plus a Christmas special. From 1,995 euros.
3. Great Transamerican Route
Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina
Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and all the north of Argentina. The Great Transamerican Route that proposes Amber Travel traverses the heart of South America for more than 4,000 kilometers. It is an exclusive itinerary, created with the support of a local agency, and designed to discover spectacular landscapes such as the Salar de Uyuni , the Atacama desert , the Iguazu waterfalls , the Ibera estuaries, the Quebrada de Humahuaca.
Except for two internal flights almost forced by the magnitude of the territory crossed, the whole trip is developed by land, during 25 days, “to live as it owes the landscape changes and the contrasts of this part of the continent”, says Carlos de Alba, product manager of the route. There are six dates of departure between June and November 2018, from 2,695 euros.
4. Costa Rica by public transport
Costa Rica, the great destination of ecological tourism and adventure in Central America , is the trip “in direct contact with nature and the local population” of Horizonte Parallel for 2018. For a maximum group of 10 people who will move on public transport ” to get in touch with the population and fully experience a fun social experience with different customs, “and will stay in small eco-lodges , well located but away from other tourist.
The 14 days of the program include activities such as hiking, diving, trekking, canopy, canyoning, mountain biking, nocturnal wildlife sightings, boat trips. From 1,190 euros per person (no plane from Spain), with a monthly departure scheduled between April and December.
5. Northern lights in Finnish Lapland
The auroras boreholes do not depend on the travelers, nor paying extra, so to enjoy them is a matter of luck, as Jordi Vendrell, manager of Viatges Tuareg says. But luck can be forced a bit, as your agency does by scheduling a week-long trip to Saariselka, about 200 kilometers north of the Polar Circle, in Finnish Lapland, one of the places where it’s statistically easier to see them.
Specifically, on dates around the March equinox, when there are greater possibilities for observation. The group will stay at the Riekolinna hotel, on the outskirts of the town, at the entrance of the national park, without light pollution and with points enabled to bet, and will be directed by the photographer Ignasi Rovira. During the day, dog sledding, motorbike and snowshoeing. From 1,990 euros.
6. ‘Trekking’ through the African savanna
“We have always thought that East Africa gives much, beyond the typical safari with vehicles.” True to this belief, the Eland Expediciones team has designed a program that adds to the classic 4×4 safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya, a five-day trek along this reserve: travelers will walk five or six hours a day in sacred areas Masai, with a fauna without big cats or predators but giraffes, zebras, antelopes or ostriches; accompanied by local guards and guides, with donkeys and carriers for luggage, and a support vehicle.
The entire trip lasts 14 days and several departures are planned from June to October, and one more for Christmas. Price (for a minimum group of six people) from 2,285 euros, not including international flights.
7. Iran in small family hotels
“When we think of Iran, a dangerous place full of religious fanatics comes to mind, but when we visit it, preconceived ideas crumble and we become admirers of its rich cultural legacy, but above all, in love with its people.” Alvaro Blanchard, director of Paso Noroeste , invites you to discover ancient Persia – the cities of Isfahan and Yazd, the archaeological site of Persepolis- and to the Iranians, who, “knowing their bad external image, will go out of their way to make your stay unforgettable”.
This agency seeks accommodation in small family hotels and moves by public transport, to promote the local economy. Fifteen days from 1,090 euros, plus 670 euros of budget at destination for accommodation, transportation and food
8. Hiking in Lebanon
An eight-day hiking trail in Lebanon, with accommodation in three-star hotels in Beirut, local houses and some Maronite monastery. Bidon5 describes his star trip as follows: “We will start with Beirut, the capital , with its bourgeois neighborhoods and its reconstructed zone with all its modernity.
We will continue towards the area of cedar forests, Bekaa Valley, Mount Lebanon, the Temple of Bacchus, to finish in Tripoli and the wonderful Jeita Grottos “. It is a moderate trekking in summer and difficult in winter due to the presence of snow, according to warn. Guaranteed by two travelers on specific dates throughout the year, and a special Easter with a guide from Madrid. From 1,175 euros traveling in low season.
9. Siberia around Lake Baikal
” We are going to Siberia , to the confines of Russia, in the middle of Central Asia,” exhorts Luz Years , who, as a novelty for 2018, has prepared a 12-day trekking route around the huge, ancient and deep Lake Baikal., located in the most mountainous Siberia, north of the Mongolian border; travelers will embark to see two of its islands, Olkhon and Ogoy.
The program combines itineraries on foot with cultural visits: part of the Great Baikal Trail, a long-distance trail that goes into national parks such as Pribaikaslki; small towns such as Litsvianska and the city of Irkutsk; large rivers, forests of birches, larches, cedars and pines. There are two departures scheduled for August. The organizers say that the price is still in preparation.
10. Tuk-Tuk Raid
Teams of two or three participants will have to cross South India from Chennai (the old Madras) to Goa , from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea, through three States -Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa- and 1,500 kilometers traveled in eight stages . They will do it uploaded in tuk-tuk, or rickshaw, the Indian transport par excellence , whose maximum speed does not exceed 60 kilometers per hour.
Moving along roads and highways, through urban labyrinths, among a swarm of people, motorcycles, cars, trucks, cows, monkeys or elephants. The raid proposed by the agency Alventus It will take place from 2 to 14 September and has a special price for bookings made before April 15: 1,369 euros (amount per person in a three-passenger team), flights to India not included.
11. The best of Greenland in 15 days
Tierras Polaris proposes an active 15-day trip through southern Greenland , touring some of the most beautiful and spectacular Arctic. “The vertical rock walls of 1,500 meters in the fjord of Tasermiut, a trekking on the glacier and the bath in the thermal waters of Uunartoq surrounded by icebergs, are some of the unforgettable experiences in the land of the Inuit”, Stand out from the agency. Northern lights in August and September, local wildlife sightings – eagles, caribou, foxes and arctic hares on land and whales and seals on sea journeys – as well as the effects of climate change in these frozen lands. Departures in July, August and September, from 2,795 euros per person departing from Copenhagen.
12. Cuba beautiful (and in private)
Baraka Travel Club’s flagship program leads Cuba on a 12-day route for up to six people, on any date until October 20, 2018. Travelers visit the most important cities in the west of the island – Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad-, and the Cayos del Norte of Villa Clara, Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria; they travel through Havana in almendrones , the classic cars of the fifties with which Havanans habitually move; they eat at the house of a family in Tapaste; They see the local life bustling a sunset on the steps of Trinidad, with live music and people dancing. And they have the possibility to dine in palates like La Guarida , where it was filmedStrawberry and chocolate , or enter the famous Tropicana Cabaret. From 1,138 euros.
13. Bhutan, secrets of the Himalayas
Bhutan, on the southern slope of the Himalayas, South Asia, is a little-known destination, and of restricted access. Viajes Mundoexplora invites you to discover a country very attached to its traditions, which breathes Buddhism, with tremendously hospitable people, stunning views of the Himalayas and a monastery, Burrow of the Tiger, which hangs from the rocks and it is one of its biggest attractions.
Travelers will know the capital, Thimpu, and its beautiful valley, the characteristic monasteries-fortresses, called Dzong, or the village of Gangtay, considered one of the most beautiful places in all Bhutan. The 15-day program includes a brief stay in Nepal, in its interesting and chaotic capital, Kathmandu, and in its cities of Patan, Bhaktapur or Pokhara. Departures from January to December, from 3,190 euros per person.
14. Ethiopia away from tourism
Cradle of humanity, the only place in Africa that has been able to preserve all its history and cultures almost intact. Or, simply, Ethiopia, an “incredible and little known” country, according to Ferran Marti, director of Taranna Viajes con Sentido and a lover of this piece of Africa that, he explains, offers a north of millenarian history based on religiosity and an animistic, ethnic, tribal south.
Contact with different ethnic groups -Berta and Gumuz, the Suri, Bodi and Nyangaton, Hamer, Benna, Mursi, Karo, Dassanech, Tsemay or Konso, the MuGugi people- is precisely one of the highlights of the 15-day trip that your agency has planned for August, along with places very little or nothing frequented by the tourism that runs, such as the Benishangul region or the Gambella national park. The price will be around 3,600 euros.