Posts tagged with "ecotourism"

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

MOTHER’S DAY ADVENTURES

Sure, any mom would be happy with flowers and a nice dinner, but some moms deserve a bit more this year.  People are switching it up and taking their mothers on an unforgettable trip-of-a-lifetime – an ecotourism adventure. 

 

While ecotourism – travel intended to support conservation efforts while enjoying nature – has been around since the 1970s, the resurgence comes with 21st-century buzzwords of “sustainability” and “green living.”

 

Oceanic Society, America’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation remains at the forefront of the trend, and is hosting an exclusive ecotourism trip to Trinidad where travelers can explore the island’s beaches and experience the amazing mother leatherback turtle at one of the world’s most important nesting sites. The trip is timed to coincide with the peak of the turtle’s nesting season and Mother’s Day.

 

This fun and educational trip could create a one in a lifetime bonding opportunity for any mother and child. The expedition is from May 11 – 15, 2019 and is $3,600 per person. For more information about the trip to Trinidad, click here.

Vagabond Adventure Tours

Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands and 13 percent discounts on two Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries if booked by end October 2018.

This award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel.

Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Book a March or April date before Oct. 31, 2018, and save 13 percent.

Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.

Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4×4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”

The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour offers spring departures April 7 and 21 where if guests book before Oct. 31, 2018 they save 13 percent.

“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30; July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.

For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online; https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/special-offers/.

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification

Natural Habitat Adventures

Get Wild This Green Season with Natural Habitat Adventures

 

From taking in lush, tropical landscapes to viewing new animal births during the Great Migration, discover where the grass grows greener around the globe.

 

Rainy season brings out a special bounty of nature encounters from flourishing flora to new fauna. Ecotourism leader Natural Habitat Adventures proves it’s easy to be green with trips to see some of the most incredible wildlife spring into action around the world. From experiencing sea turtles nesting and spotting whales along Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast to taking in breathtaking views of huge herds making a great circuit across the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, see where the grass grows greener this season with Natural Habitat Adventures:

 

Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
10 Days | From USD$5,495
NEW! Green Season Departure: Aug 4 – 13, 2018

In July and August, “green season” is a time of new birth and plentiful transitions among Costa Rica’s lush rainforests, mist-veiled mountains, wild beaches and active volcanoes, containing some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Enjoy peak turtle season in Tortuguero, when Pacific green sea turtles settle into their annual nesting pattern. On the new green season departure, Nat Hab makes an extended boat expedition in search of whales, particularly humpbacks, and dolphins during time exploring around Isla del Caño. In Monteverde’s cloud forest, resplendent quetzals and three-wattled bellbirds feed on abundant ripe avocados at this time of year, creating some of the best opportunities to encounter these threatened species in the wild. Nature is especially lively during the green season—the extra moisture tends to animate more birds and mammals in the canopy, as well as frogs, interesting insects and nocturnal wildlife.

 

Botswana’s Green Season Photo Safari
10 Days | From USD$11,795
Green Season Departures: November 2018 to March 2019

Botswana’s prolific wildlife is legendary, so it’s no wonder that it is a top destination for photography-focused African safaris. There’s nothing like seeing it during the “green season,” when intermittent rains bring dramatic skies, new grass and new animal life. Join accomplished photographers and naturalist guides on an adventure designed to reveal Botswana’s abundant wildlife and staggeringly diverse ecosystems, from the fossilized salt pans of the Kalahari Desert to the emerald marshes and sprawling channels of the Okavango Delta. Photograph wildlife in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as it bursts to life during brief summer rains: where lush grasses lure throngs of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok and other prey, while the region’s legendary black-maned lion, cheetah and other predators follow in close pursuit.

 

The Great Tanzania Migration Safari
8 Days | From USD$9,995
Green Season Departures: Dec 2018 to March 2019

On Africa’s Great Plains, each year, boundless herds of wildebeest and zebra traverse the Serengeti in search of new grass that sprouts with seasonal rains, and to birth their young. Lion and cheetah lie in wait, finely tuned hunting machines ready to stalk and take down the weakest members of the herds. In the center of the world’s greatest ancient migration route, wildlife lovers will join a small-group safari led by expert expedition leaders to witness a primal spectacle as the drama of predator and prey unfolds before them. Enjoy unparalleled seclusion, comfort and vintage safari atmosphere at Natural Habitat’s remote private camp, immersed in the wonder of one of the world’s truly epic wildlife events.

 

###
About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

Vagabond’s Irish Adventure

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors and More On 12-Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure :

COUNTY WICKLOW – Glimpsing how people lived in times gone by is part of the fun of exploring Ireland and a painless way to absorb history.

 

On an active 12 Day Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland “Giant Irish Adventure” that circumnavigates the island nation out of Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and everyone’s favorites – castles. The theme common to these sites is stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit.

 

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

 

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes.

 

This tour answers the needs of active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing are optional, as is biking in Killarney National Park. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

 

Following are a sampling of the historic stone structures that guests have the option to visit on this tour. Each tells its own story about how people have lived and worked here for the past 2,000 years and longer.

  • Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland.
  • Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) comes with 360˚ views the Celts would have enjoyed.  Bronze Age farmers constructed defenses against cattle thieves, using easily accessible materials, building earthen mounds with timber that fenced in the flat, lush green pastures of the Midlands or by the coast hauling granite to strategic heights to create circular stone forts. These were stone structures of such precision that no mortar was required.
  • Uragh (Neolithic) Stone Circle
  • Dry stone walls coursing across Dingle Peninsula are a fraction of its 6,000-year-old history reverberating with Stone Age standing stones.
  • Glenveigh Castle and Gardens is a Victorian (1867) edifice in now-Glenveagh National Park. The original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; today an Irish-American philanthropist has gifted it back to the Irish nation.
  • Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress.
  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832. Vagabond guests overnight here.
  • Aughnanure Castle is an Irish tower house from 1500 and the lore of the O’Flaherty clan whose motto “Fortune favours the strong” sets the tone for its setting on a rocky island.
  • Dunguaire Castle is 16th century fortress.
  • Listowel Castle is a 15th century fortress.
  • Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars).
  • Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
  • Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.
  • The tomb on Knocknaree Mountain is thought to be that of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
  • Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden date to the 20th century, thanks to the Benedictines.
  • Ancient monastery on Skellig Michael, an island.

 

On the daily walks and hikes intrinsic to this tour, guests will access…

  • Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs
  • Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway
  • Glenveagh National Park’s low mountain trail leading to Glenveigh Castle
  • Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe
  • Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven
  • Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic
  • Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul

 

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond staff will arrange stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the company’s mission is to have their guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.

 

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland 
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and was the recipient of the Irish 2017 Green Awards in the Tourism and Travel category.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/.

 

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:           
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland
Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/
Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland
YouTube:       https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Natural Habitat Adventures

Natural Habitat Adventures Announces New Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trip Linking Two South American Icons in One Seamless Journey 

Natural Habitat Adventures, the world’s leader in nature-based travel, introduces a new 15-day expedition that pairs Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands with Peru’s Machu Picchu.

 

“These are two of South America’s quintessential destinations,” says Natural Habitat Adventures founder and president Ben Bressler. “This is a rare opportunity to combine two coveted UNESCO World Heritage Sites in one exclusive itinerary, traveling in a small group with top guides and unprecedented access.”
Galapagos & Machu Picchu: Icons of Nature & Culture combines two of Nat Hab’s most popular trips on a single itinerary. A week of live-aboard Galapagos exploration by private chartered yacht is followed by a land-based journey to Machu Picchu and the Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley.

This comprehensive itinerary adds time for more exploration, circumventing logistical hassles of trying to piece together distinctly different destinations. A professional naturalist Expedition Leader leads guests from start to finish on a rich, interpretive dive into the natural and cultural history of these diverse locations. Small groups ensure a personalized experience.

 

The trip begins in Quito with a transfer to Ecuador’s Andean Highlands. During a 2-night stay at the deluxe Hacienda Zuleta, guests are immersed in 400 years of colonial history, enjoying locally grown food from the 4,000-acre estate as they look for rare spectacled bears, pumas, condors and owls in habitat protected as part of the estate’s conservation mission.

 

After a flight to the Galapagos, guests explore the islands aboard the Ocean Spray, a 113-foot luxury motor catamaran. With just 16 passengers accompanied by two Expedition Leaders, this is the best guide-to-guest ratio in the islands. Travelers split into smaller groups for daily snorkeling, panga excursions and walks among iguanas and boobies. Guests also have the option to overnight at Nat Hab’s exclusive private Tortoise Camp, sleeping in a raised canvas safari-style tent or treehouse while ancient tortoises roam freely on the grounds.

 

On the final leg, travelers fly to Cusco for a 5-day discovery of ancient Inca civilization. Luxurious accommodations include Palacio del Inka in Cusco, the award-winning Sol y Luna boutique hotel in the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, set among orchid gardens along the Urubamba River.

Four departures, capped at 16 travelers each, are offered in 2018: March 29-Apr. 12, June 7-21, Aug. 2-16 and Nov. 8-22. The per-person double rate is $12,995 ($2000 single supplement). Included are activities, accommodations, land transportation as detailed in the itinerary, round-trip train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, airport transfers when using Nat Hab’s preferred hotels, snorkeling gear and wetsuit, all but two meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 15, guiding by Natural Habitat Adventures’ professional Expedition Leaders, most gratuities, taxes and service charges. Internal airfare and park fees are not included.

For complete details please see: http://www.nathab.com/galapagos/machu-picchu-galapagos-adventure/ 

For information about all of Nat Hab’s trips, including descriptive itineraries, availability and reservations, call 800-543-8917 or visit http://www.nathab.com/. Click HERE to order a copy of the new 2018 catalog.

 

About Natural Habitat Adventures

Natural Habitat Adventures is a world leader in responsible adventure travel and nature-based ecotourism. Since its founding in 1985, the company has offered eco-conscious expeditions and wildlife-focused small-group tours to the planet’s most remarkable nature destinations. Inspired and created from years of scouring the planet for the singular and extraordinary, Nat Hab’s itineraries are artfully crafted experiences that are far from “typical.” Trips are guided by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, and Nat Hab enjoys a longstanding reputation for hiring some of the world’s best guides. Conservation is at the forefront of everything NHA does, and its philosophy is simple: tourism must work with and benefit local communities, which will in turn find value in protecting natural resources and wildlife. NHA is proud to be the travel partner of World Wildlife Fund, sharing a mutual commitment to travel as a means of helping to protect the world’s wondrous natural places. Nat Hab has donated more than $2 million to WWF and will continue to donate 1 percent of gross sales plus $100,000 annual through 2018 in support of WWF’s mission.