The Small Group Travel Experience

Just 12-24 Guests, Guaranteed

We design our escorted tours specifically for small groups of just 12 to 24 guests, which allows us to move about more flexibly and efficiently; enjoy more spontaneous encounters; and experience a degree of freedom and independence simply not available to travelers on conventional group tours of 40 or more.

Traveling on your own you’d see the major sights, but chances are you’d stick close to the traditional tourist routes. Our goal is to show you the major sights and take you where you’d like to go on your own but don’t have the access or opportunity to plan yourself: behind the scenes, into private homes and traditional villages, to local schools and neighborhood restaurants, off the beaten path. And this is all in the company of experienced, knowledgeable tour directors who share their countries – and their lives – with you, bringing destinations alive in a truly personal and meaningful way.

Not only do these opportunities enhance your travels, but someone else makes the arrangements and manages all the details – leaving you free to savor the small group experience.

“We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.”
 

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

SOUTH AMERICA

MACHU PICCHU TO THE GALAPAGOS

They rank as two of South America’s greatest treasures, and a small group tour is the natural selection for both: the enigmatic ruins at Machu Picchu, where we overnight at an intimate on-site hotel; and the fascinating Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s “living laboratory,” for a four-night island-based adventure.

DAYS                :15 
FROM               :
USD 7,693 per person
TIME OF YEAR : Jun - Nov 2020
CITIES & LANDMARKS: Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Quito, Santa Cruz Island

 

Itinerary

DAY 1 

Depart for Lima, Peru

We depart today for the Peruvian capital. Upon arrival tonight we transfer directly to hotel.

DAY 2 

Lima

This morning we visit a prominent art museum in Lima. Then we encounter colonial Lima on an afternoon tour, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel. B,D

DAY 3  

Lima/Cuzco/Sacred Valley

Arriving in Cuzco today, we stop at the important Incan site of Koricancha, dedicated to the Sun God. Then we continue on to Sacred Valley, a region of Inca sites and indigenous villages. We visit the colorful Indian market at Pisac before reaching our hotel late afternoon. B,L,D

DAY 4 

Sacred Valley

Today we explore Ollantaytambo, both a living town and site of massive Incan ruins that still inspire wonder. Then we visit the Incan farming town of Chinchero, where residents live much as their ancestors did and where we see a traditional weaving demonstration. Before dinner at our hotel tonight, we attend a native “Offering to the Earth” ceremony. B,L,D

DAY 5  

Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

This morning we board a train for the 1½-hour journey to Aguas Calientes, where we transfer by shuttle bus to our hotel for lunch. Then we embark on our first guided visit of the stunning ruins at Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Thanks to the small size of our group, we will be able to move nimbly through the ruins and have the leisure to absorb both the beauty and the mystery of this impressive site. With an overnight stay here, we have the rare privilege of seeing the ruins after the tourists have departed. B,L,D

DAY 6 

Machu Picchu/Cuzco

This morning before the day trippers arrive, we enjoy our second guided tour of this UNESCO site. Following lunch at our lodge, we return to Aguas Calientes with some free time before our mid-afternoon train to Cuzco. B,L

DAY 7  

Cuzco

Known for its Incan and Spanish colonial heritage, Cuzco is the archaeological “hub” of the Americas and the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. This morning we tour this UNESCO site then stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman fortress, a masterpiece of Incan architecture. We enjoy lunch today in the home of a gracious Cuzco family. B,L

DAY  8

Cuzco/Lima/Quito

Early today we fly via Lima to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, arriving late afternoon. We attend a briefing about our Galapagos adventure then dine at our hotel. B,D

DAY  9

Quito

Nestled in Andes foothills, Quito boasts a well-preserved historic center, as we see on today’s city tour that includes the Intiñan Museum and the Middle of the World Monument. B,L

DAY  10

Quito/Baltra/Santa Cruz Island

Today we fly to the island of Baltra then transfer to Santa Cruz, our island-based home for our Galapagos exploration. We reach our beautiful hotel set on 370 lush, unspoiled, and secluded acres in the highlands adjacent to Galapagos National Park in time for lunch. Then we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see and learn about the giant Galapagos tortoises. B,L,D

DAY  11

North Seymour Island/Bachas Beach

This morning we embark on our first excursion aboard the Santa Fe, our privately chartered yacht. We set out for North Seymour, a flat, low-lying island with ample opportunities for close encounters with the wildlife on our naturalist-led walk. After lunch, we head back to Santa Cruz island for a nature walk. B,L,D

DAY  12

South Plaza Island/Punta Carrion

Today’s destination is the small in size but rich in flora and fauna island of South Plaza. Boasting abundant wildlife and colorful flora, and surrounded by turquoise waters, South Plaza ranks as one of the most popular (and colorful) of the Galapagos Islands. During our nature walk, we are on the lookout for such local residents as land and marine iguanas, bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, red-billed tropic birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and a male colony of sea lions (“the bachelors”). Then we cruise to Punta Carrion, where we have the opportunity to snorkel in the calm waters of a shallow cove. B,L,D

DAY  13

Santa Cruz Island

Today we explore Santa Cruz itself, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands. We see the giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat; the huge twin craters of Los Gemelos; and Garrapatero, a secluded white-sand beach where we see an abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife. B,L,D

DAY  14

Santa Cruz Island/Baltra/Quito

This morning we transfer to Baltra for the flight to Quito, arriving mid-afternoon. Tonight we celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. B,D

DAY 15

Quito/Depart for home.

This morning we visit Quito’s Botanical Gardens, featuring an orchidarium with more than 1,200 species of orchids; and Iñaquito Market, a colorful riot of fresh produce and spices. Then we return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure before tonight’s transfer to the airport for flight back home. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain. Also, there are both wet and dry landings in the Galapagos. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest. In addition, Cuzco’s high altitude (11,150 feet) could pose problems for travelers with certain health conditions. Please consult your physician if you have concerns.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour prices include: 

  • Domestic flights within itinerary

  • 14 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels

  • 34 meals: 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners

  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Galapagos National Park fee of $100

  • Services of local Odysseys Unlimited Tour Directors; plus, experienced naturalist guides while in the Galapagos

  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip

  • Luggage handling for one bag per person

  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Tour prices exclude: 

  • International flight, visa, travel insurance, personal expenses, any other services not specified above.

AFRICA

SOUTHERN AFRICA ODYSSEY

It’s a small group journey of astonishing beauty and consummate adventure, one that captures the magnificence of four distinct nations. It’s nature’s showcase come to life: ocean and mountains, desert and plains, waterfalls and wildlife extraordinaire. It’s Southern Africa, where diversity reigns and where visitors are welcomed as never before.

DAYS                :17
FROM               :
USD 7,254 per person
TIME OF YEAR : Jan, Mar - May, Aug - Nov 2020 
CITIES & LANDMARKS: Johannesburg, Victoria, Botswana, Namibia, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Cape Town 

 

Itinerary

DAY 1 

Depart for Johannesburg, South Africa

DAY 2 

Arrive Johannesburg

Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in the suburb of Rosebank, where our rooms will be ready for our early check-in. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned. B

DAY 3  

Johannesburg/Soweto

We meet our fellow travelers today as we embark on a tour of the Soweto district of Johannesburg. Here we see the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit the home, now a museum, of the late Nelson Mandela; and tour the moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, where we learn more about apartheid and the Soweto uprising of 1976. Then we hear fascinating stories from a local Sowetan who was present during the uprising, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. B,L,D

DAY 4 

Johannesburg/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We fly this morning to Victoria Falls, first “discovered” by explorer David Livingstone and claimed for Great Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1855. With its 300-foot-deep gorge and thundering spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world. This afternoon we see it for ourselves on a guided walk. B,D

DAY 5  

Victoria Falls

This morning we visit a local school where we have the opportunity to interact with the children and teachers, then spend some time exploring the town of Victoria Falls. Late this afternoon we embark on a Sundowner dinner cruise on the Zambezi River. B,D

DAY 6 

Victoria Falls

This morning we set off on a rhino safari in open-top safari vehicles. This afternoon is at leisure; this evening we attend a talk on David Livingstone’s travels, trials, and travails. B,D

DAY 7  

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Known for a diverse terrain that attracts an exceptional array of wildlife, Chobe National Park in nearby Botswana boasts one of the largest concentrations of game in all Africa, including the world’s largest elephant population (some 120,000), as well as zebra, lion, hippo, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, buffalo, and more. We’re sure to see some of them on today’s full-day excursion to Chobe, where we take a morning game drive and an afternoon game cruise. B,L,D

DAY  8

Victoria Falls/Windhoek, Namibia

Today we fly via Johannesburg to the Namibian capital of Windhoek, arriving late this evening. B

DAY  9

Windhoek/Namib Desert/Sossusvlei

After a brief tour of Namibia’s largest city, we set out through the central Namib Desert of vast gravel plains and rocky mountains. Isolated and immense, tranquil and romantic, this endless expanse offers a glimpse of a land before time. Late this afternoon we reach our lodge in the heart of the dune desert. B,L,D

DAY  10

Namib Desert/Sossusvlei

We rise with the sun to see the world’s highest crested dunes at Sossusvlei, their red-orange hues constantly changing in the early morning light. Here we have the opportunity to climb the velvet-like sand of Big Mama, as the locals call the largest dune. B,L,D

DAY  11

Sossusvlei/Swakopmund

We travel to­day through the Namib desert en route to Swakopmund, Namibia’s largest port. B,L,D

DAY  12

Swakopmund/Walvis Bay/Namibian Coast

From Walvis Bay this morning, we take a cruise along the storied Namibian coast, getting a mariner’s perspective on this striking region known by local tribespeople as “the land God created in anger.” Along the way we’ll see Cape fur seals and sea birds, including petrels. We enjoy lunch on board before disembarking and returning to Swakopmund, where the remainder of the day is at leisure. B,L

DAY  13

Swakopmund/Cape Town, S.A.

We fly today to Cape Town, the “Mother City” and South Africa’s oldest. After time at leisure to explore as we wish, we dine together tonight at a local restaurant. B,D

DAY  14

Cape Town/The Winelands

Today we tour the Winelands, South Africa’s renowned wine-growing region just 45 miles east of Cape Town. Amidst the beautiful scenery, we visit a winery for a tour, tasting, and lunch. We return to Cape Town mid-afternoon; dinner tonight is on our own in this cosmopolitan city. B,L

DAY 15

Cape Town/Cape of Good Hope

This morning we travel to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to more than 250 species of birds, and where we ride a funicular to the summit for stupendous views. After a seafood lunch in historic Simon’s Town, we visit Boulders Beach to see a colony of enchanting African penguins up close. Then we return to Cape Town, where dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

DAY 16

Cape Town

Our tour of Cape Town this morning features a visit to the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the city’s historical center of Cape Malay culture. We also pay a visit to acclaimed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, nestled against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. One of the world’s great botanic gardens, Kirstenbosch champions South Africa’s rich biodiversity as it cultivates only native plants. Then we enjoy glorious bird’s-eye views of Cape Town as we ride by cable car 3,500 feet to the flat top of the city’s signature Table Mountain. This afternoon is at leisure; tonight, we celebrate our southern Africa odyssey at a farewell dinner. B,D

DAY 17

Depart for home.

We transfer to the airport today for return flight back home. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour prices include: 

  • Domestic flights within itinerary

  • 15 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels

  • 34 meals: 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners

  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all ­entrance fees

  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip

  • Luggage handling for one bag per person

  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next ­Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Tour prices exclude: 

  • International flight, visa, travel insurance, personal expenses, any other services not specified above.

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