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Mountain Travel Sobek

1266 66th Street, Suite 4 Emeryville, CA 94608-1117 1 888 MTSOBEK (687-6235) +1 510 594 6000 +1 510 594 6001 FAX info@mtsobek.com Follow Us On

The Original Adventure Travel Company Since 1969

©2014 Mountain Travel Sobek Cover photo: ©Jon Arnold/DanitaDelimont.com

Praise for MTS

Printed in the USA on paper containing pre- and postconsumer recycled content

Our trip members say it best!

“I love your company. In travel, if I get poor treatment, I never go back and if I get great treatment I never look to change. I

am hooked on MTS

“This trip was so

far beyond our

for future adventures and certainly am an advocate

expectations. At the end of the first day, after

for you with my fellow travelers.”

a spontaneous swim with more than 3 dozen dolphins

Bob Jackson • Alto, MI

and having had a baby sea lion lick her toe, our 10-yearold daughter said “Mummy, this is the best day of

“I want to compliment

and

salute MTS for providing a thorough experience for me. I only wish I had more time to have added additional excursions in Ecuador. I would

look to them for another adventure journey.”

recommend MTS as well as

Sharon Socol • Coral Gables, FL

my life.” It was all gravy from that point and just

kept getting better. Thank you.” Alison MacKenzie-Armes • Toronto, Ontario

“This was the best

experience I have ever had in my life. I loved everything about it and have no complaints. Thank you for making this trip so awesome!” Monica Brase • Indianapolis, IN

“The accommodations, activities, and service were

all superb. It was wonderful to have all the hard work done for us, and just basically show up ready for a vacation!

“Top class company—

Especially since we were a family of 6, with widely differing

I will definitely book another trip with MTS,

and Mountain Travel Sobek in general.”

Dan Steinberg • New York, NY

interests. We’d highly

recommend this trip,

and recommend them highly to others.”

Gwen & Daniel Morales • Windsor, CT

The World’s Greatest Adventures 2015_01_cover_jul30.indd 1

Mountain Travel Sobek • The Original Adventure Travel Company Since 1969 • 2015

CST2014882-10 Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute endorsement by the state of California

Mountain Travel Sobek 2015

Scheduled Small Group Adventures, Private Itineraries & Custom Journeys Africa & The Middle East Alaska & North America Asia Europe The Galápagos Latin America The Pacific Polar Regions www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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OUR PLEDGE TO YOU Authentic journeys that promote personal achievement, genuine encounters with other cultures, responsible travel, and the

Photos on this spread ©Andrushko Galyna, Patitucci Photo, Luka Poznic, Anne Wood, MTS Photo File

sheer joy of discovery.

Hiking

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Trekking

Family Vacations

Safari

Wildlife

Kayaking 8/1/14 2:29:42 PM

M


Embrace a World of Adventure Dear Fellow Travelers & Adventurers,

Your Source for Adventure

Hard up against the eastern flank of the Karakoram lies a magical, even slightly mysterious place. It is a place not defined by political boundaries, but by its topography, its people and their long-held traditions. The land’s savage, breathtakingly sere beauty is softened by the warmth and genuineness of its native inhabitants. Our group wandered serendipitous back alleys where the old ways and gracious customs endure, hiked to pristine, crystalline high altitude alpine lakes, broke bread with locals (naan fresh from the oven, heavenly…), explored cities as old as history itself, visited young children in their schools and slept under the stars next to our camels on the legendary Silk Road. We were truly transported to

Photos on this spread ©Andrushko Galyna, Patitucci Photo, Luka Poznic, Anne Wood, MTS Photo File

another, parallel world. Officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, this ancient land is running up against an inexorable future (think donkey carts vs. motor bikes, hand crafting blacksmiths vs. plastic imports). We were there not only to witness life before the onrush, but to see how the timelessness in particular breathes life into the future. We saw that future, and hope, in the children’s eyes. Reverent, scintillating, transformative exploration is what Mountain Travel Sobek journeys are all about. We go beyond, immersing ourselves in new worlds and in new ways, opening doors and making friends everywhere we go.

Our Heritage........................................ 4 How We Build Our Trips..................... 6 Trusted Reputation.............................. 9

Our Journeys Africa & The Middle East...................10 Alaska & North America....................28 Asia..................................................... 44 Europe................................................ 66 The Galápagos....................................88 Latin America..................................... 94 The Pacific......................................... 118 Polar Regions....................................124 For a complete index of all our trips, see the Calendar & Travel Planner on page 130.

Next Steps Calendar & Travel Planner...............130 What You Need to Know.................134

What’s your journey? Call me, write me—I would love to hear your story. And join us as we wander the globe in search of adventure and energizing, fresh perspectives! Preferred Travel Outfitter For

Yours for adventure,

nationalgeographicadventures.com

Kevin Callaghan President & CEO nytimes.com/times-journeys

3 MultiSport

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Rafting

Cultural

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Our Heritage An Unparalleled Pioneering Legacy Perhaps it was a sign of things to come, but our three founding

Little did the founders know at the time that the cornerstones they

organizations—Mountain Travel, Sobek Expeditions, and Alaska

were laying would endure for nearly half a century, continuing apace

Discovery—all began within four years of each other in 1969, 1973,

today. In fact, Mountain Travel’s founding statement of principles

and 1972 respectively. Fueled by the spirit of adventure, the love of the

explicitly stated:

outdoors, an incurable wanderlust, and the desire to protect and share special places with others, the leaders of these intrepid companies

“Many of these wild and beautiful places need

started as passionate pioneers and have since become adventure travel

protection, which can only be accomplished through

legends. Mountain Travel’s Leo Le Bon, the “godfather of adventure

awareness by enlightened citizens.”

travel,” was the first to offer travel to newly opened countries, while accomplished climber Allen Steck blazed trails in Yosemite National Park, earning a climbing route named in his honor. Sobek Expeditions’ Richard Bangs, John Yost, and Lewis Greenwald are all renowned, world-class rafting pioneers, responsible for first descents of over forty of the world’s greatest rivers—and today, Richard’s reputation has earned him his own travel show on PBS. Alaska Discovery’s Ken Leghorn is a seasoned wilderness leader and a nationally respected conservationist in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, where the company’s deeply rooted ethics have landed some of the rarest permits and helped set standards for national parks and other travel companies.

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A History of Firsts We couldn’t possibly continue calling ourselves “The Original Adventure Travel Company” by simply resting on our laurels. The spirit of adventure continues to motivate us to seek the most pristine destinations to explore in the best ways possible—by foot, kayak, raft, dugout canoe, historic train, bush plane, yacht, expedition ship, or 4x4 safari vehicle. Back in the 70s and 80s, few were brave (or crazy!) enough to attempt adventure travel. Not us. We were the first to open the doors to commercial trekking in Nepal, to adventure safaris, to many first descents of classic rivers including Ethiopia’s Omo River and the Bio-Bio in Chile, and to expedition cruises in the Galápagos, blazing a path for travel aficionados. The list continues on today: going into

All photos on this spread ©MTS Photo File

Bhutan, Bosnia, Morocco, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, and Tanzania are some of our proudest accomplishments. Our history in exploration inspires all that we do and infuses into us the thoughtfulness, the know-how, and the friends around the world to create enriching experiences in the planet’s most beautiful and often most off-the-beaten-path places.

Call toll-free! 1-888-687-6235

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How We Build Our Trips We Start With the Best Guides and Regional Experts in the Business Every great trip at Mountain Travel Sobek starts with our talented team of guides, onsite staff, and in-house regional experts. Their collective experience, knowledge, and long-term relationships throughout the

members. Each one is regularly in the field, scouting some of the world’s most far-flung destinations and cultivating close relationships with our field teams. Working in tandem with our professional guides, they iron out the fine points of each of our itineraries to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch, giving you simply the best possible service.

world offer us a wealth of resources in scouting the best locations. Our guides are highly accomplished professionals who know their regions like the back of their hands, and they are the key to the success of every one of our trips. Many are locals who live in-country year-round, and others are so in love with a place that it has become their second home. Among this enthusiastic, resourceful, and highly competent team we have teachers, photographers, professors, park rangers, naturalists, conservationists, published authors, and mountaineers. While their talents are varied, in each guide you also get a participatory co-traveler, a translator, a cultural liaison, a skilled adventurer, a history buff, a leader, a cheerleader, a safety nut, a problem-solver, and a new best friend. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Our in-country staff and in-house regional experts are among the most respected in the business, renowned for their in-depth knowledge,

“Traveling with Mountain Travel Sobek made me feel like a kid again. All you have to do is pack

exceptional customer service, and worldwide network. Whether they

your clothes and get in the car and your

were born in another country or lived abroad, they come equipped with

‘parents’ take care of everything!”

a passion for travel and a willingness to go the extra mile for our trip

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Mary Janeway • Keene, NY

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We Design Every Trip’s Activities to Be Tailored to the Destination, Offering You the Most Eye-opening Experience

inspiring landscapes. From easy excursions to monumental

We are always looking for new ways to see the world and many of

Karen Blixen, and Ernest Hemingway, MTS established the first

our itineraries have MTS exclusive elements—unique, authentic and

commercial walking safaris. After a thrilling day of active tracking,

distinctive components that you simply can’t get with another tour

a cold sundowner awaits at our serene eco-lodges and deluxe camps.

company, let alone on your own. Designed for passionate travelers,

Adventure Cruising. An MTS odyssey gives you access to

our trips challenge your preconceptions, touch your heart, and possibly

otherwise inaccessible glaciers, fjords, beaches, and jungles. What’s

even change your life.

more, mere seconds are all that separate you from snorkeling with

Creating a unique MTS travel experience is no small task. Each

tropical fish and unwinding in the comfort of your stateroom.

destination requires careful thought, a lot of research, and the feedback

Rafting and Sea Kayaking. Thanks to the high ethics of our

of many. We draw on the talent of our regional experts and guides to

pioneering founders, MTS has earned rare permits to explore some

find the best places to see, the best ways to avoid the crowds, and the

of the globe’s most exciting waters. Choose your own adventure,

best inns, hotels and lodges. Then, we consider the best ways to show a

be it through slow tidal currents or thunderous rapids!

Photos on this spread ©Don Paulson, MTS Photo File (3)

place to you, whether from a zip-line ride through a tropical jungle or a slow paddle through Alaska’s Glacier Bay. What sounds fun to you?

expeditions, MTS has it all. Safaris and Wildlife. Following in the footsteps of the Maasai,

Cultural Excursions. Is your appetite for discovery satiated more by historical landmarks than nature? We roam the globe from

Private and Custom Journeys. A one-of-a-kind travel adventure is

Rajasthan to the Baltic Triangle crafting the most enriching cultural

a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s what we do best. So dream big.

excursions and offering you authentic encounters with the locals.

A family trip aboard a private yacht in the Galápagos? A weeklong

Family Adventures. Our exhilarating, family-friendly itineraries

getaway with friends down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?

create unforgettable memories for every generation, from multisport

An alumni gathering on an Amazon cruise through the rainforest?

journeys to wildlife viewing. Shake up the family dynamic, and

Hiking and Trekking. Our hikes and treks follow the path less

don’t be surprised if it brings out the inner child in everyone!

traveled through some of nature’s most breathtaking and aweCall toll-free! 1-888-687-6235

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In Building Our Trips We Consider How We Can Best Give Back From our very first trip in 1969, our founders instilled in us a strong appreciation for what it means to leave as light a footprint, and to travel as sustainably, as possible, in order to continue enjoying these special places year after year. That is why we limit our group sizes and give back in multiple ways to the local communities we visit. As an example, we think our local guides and porters are among the best paid in the

the people and places they’ve visited, be it by donating to a health clinic, conservation group, school, or an individual. As appreciative stewards of these lands we are honored to support worthy groups who fight the good fight to protect our planet, for example:

Alaska Conservation Foundation • The Wildlife Trust The American Himalayan Foundation • The Fund for the Tiger The Galápagos Conservancy • WildAid

industry. What’s more, we partner with local conservation organizations by contributing a portion of our proceeds to wildlife groups and nature preserves—the very essence of what attracts our trip members to a destination in the first place. Opening the doors to adventurous travelers in many destinations around the world has given us an authentic presence in these communities, enabling us to foster fulfilling, long-term relationships with local suppliers and national parks. This allows us rare access to areas that have not been touched by modern civilization or commercial development. One of the great joys we experience at Mountain Travel Sobek is that our trip members often end their trips inspired to help 8

Find out more at www.MTSOBEK.com

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Trusted Reputation Our Deep Expertise, Impeccable Service, Hand-crafted Approach, and Stewardship Earn Us a Loyal Clientele and Broad Recognition Over 85% of our trip members have either traveled with us before or come to us via personal referral. What keeps them coming back? Our talented and accommodating guides, the professionalism of our office staff, our unique itineraries, encounters with nature that exceed expectations, and our access to isolated cultures and places.

Photos on this spread ©Keren Su/Chinaspan, MTS Photo File, Brian Weirum

Over the years our reputation has spread such that not only have prestigious global nonprofits and international media companies enlisted our services, but also our distinguished record has earned us numerous awards, press accolades, and features from leading publications, including Travel+Leisure, National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times, Outside, The Wall Street Journal and Men’s Journal. While we are rich in reputation, we encourage you to give us a try for yourself. If seeing is believing, allow the original adventure travel company to open your eyes to the world’s most spectacular destinations!

Call toll-free! 1-888-687-6235

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Namibia

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Madagascar

Highlights NEW! All New Botswana Journeys...........p.13–15 NEW! Undiscovered Kenya............................p.18 NEW! Best of South Africa...........................p.20 NEW! Secret Isles of Mozambique...............p.24 NEW! Madagascar Discovery....................... p.25 10

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Kenya

“Absolutely remarkable experience. I expected to love the gorillas and chimps if we saw them (and we did—and how) but did not expect the savannah wildlife to be as wonderful as it was.” Suzette & John Sommerer • Laurel, MD

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t

Custom Travel

In Africa

Experience and Access

Benefits of Private and Custom Experiences

Our years of experience exploring Africa and the Middle East have

Any of our scheduled journeys to Africa or the Middle East can be

solidified long-term relationships, offering us access to rare permits

enjoyed as a private trip, giving you an accomplished itinerary that’s

and private wildlife concessions—two great advantages in avoiding the

ready to book. With MTS anything is possible, including the many

crowds. A few of our memorable pioneering adventures include the first

family trips we’ve designed around select child-friendly destinations.

commercial descent down Ethiopia’s Omo River, the first U.S. trek to

With our sterling safety record and expert knowledge, let our team

the Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, and the first Serengeti walking safari.

create something truly one of a kind for you.

Photos on this spread ©David Crookes, Ben McRae, Mike Myers, Keren Su/Chinaspan, Johan Swanepoel

Endless Possibilities Whether you have something in mind or need suggestions, our expertise in Africa will stretch the imagination. Our trip members have lauded the unique experiences we have crafted for them. Examples of Custom Designed Itineraries • A luxurious journey into Morocco that includes the best golf courses in the Kingdom, an immersion into history, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, and staying in palatial world class accommodations. • Honeymooning in Tanzania while basking in the finest eco-lodges, unbelievable wildlife viewing in Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary, and all while avoiding the crowds thanks to the expertise of our staff. • A getaway to discover the richness of Cape Town, from prime game viewing of the ‘Big 5’ to world class vineyards, topped off with a meal prepared by celebrity chef Bruce Robinson in his private home. www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Linyanti

Livingstone (Zambia)

Khwai

Xigera

Maun

Central Kalahari Plains

Botswana Air Travel

Activities Game viewing, boat travel, night drives, mokoro ride Trip Level Easy Lodging Deluxe safari camps 10-Day Trip Departs Feb, May–Jul, Sep, Oct, Dec Land Cost From $7,835 Photo ©Dana Allen

Botswana

Botswana Flying Safari • Explore the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Linyanti Game Reserves • Travel by charter flights to cover more ground and enjoy fantastic bird’s-eye views of wildlife • Bask in the comforts and exclusivity of our luxury tented camps in Botswana’s finest private concessions In 1982 Mountain Travel Sobek was one of the first American outfitters to operate safaris in Botswana. Ever since, we’ve carefully honed our itineraries to work only with the country’s finest concessions, streamlining transportation time and covering more ground through the use of private charter flights. On our Botswana Flying Safari you’ll take in the country’s most incredible parks and game reserves by mokoro and 4-wheel-drive vehicle: the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta, the Moremi and Linyanti Game Reserves, and Chobe National Park! After days of tracking classic game, you’ll bask in the comforts of our exclusive, luxury tented camps—complete with your own en-suite bathrooms and private verandas. No one does safaris like MTS! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BUL in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Maun, Botswana and meet your MTS representative at the airport. Board a short connecting flight to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. En route we’ll enjoy a game drive to our deluxe tented camp.

Days 7–8: Fly to the Linyanti Game Reserve to view exciting game like hippo, elephant, sable, roan antelope and lion! Tonight we may go out in search of reclusive predators like the serval cat and leopard.

Day 2: Take an optional trip to Deception Valley, one of the best places to observe the wildlife of the Kalahari including gazelle, gemsbok, red hartebeest, eland, antelopes, cheetahs and wild dogs.

Day 9: Fly to Kasane for an exciting wildlife cruise on the Chobe River. Transfer to our camp against the Zambezi River. Enjoy a sunset cruise with views of iconic Victoria Falls before tonight’s farewell dinner.

Days 3–4: Fly to the dry Okavango Delta where high concentrations of wildlife and birds make for exciting game drives! Look out for antelope, hippo, zebra, giraffe, cheetah and elephant.

Day 10: Enjoy a morning walking tour of Victoria Falls to admire the incredible views. Transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

Days 5–6: Fly into the pristine interior and paddle the waterways of the Okavango Delta where wild grasses create a haven for waterbirds. Tonight we return to our furnished tented rooms.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Okavango Delta

Linyanti Santawani

Jao

Maun

Botswana Kalahari Plains Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Game viewing by boat and 4WD, night game drives, mokoro rides, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate Lodging Adventure safari camps 12-Day Trip Departs Aug, Oct Land Cost From $7,695 Photo ©Dana Allen

Botswana

NEW Classic Botswana Safari • See the absolute best of Botswana, including a visit to a just-opened private concession, in a way that only MTS’s 35 years of pioneering experience can show you • Enjoy phenomenal wildlife viewing by way of rare walking safaris, classic game drives, and traditional mokoro rides • The perfect Botswana alternative for those who want an authentic permanent tented safari camp experience Wildlife viewing in Botswana is always exceptional, but it’s at its peak during the dry season when cooler temperatures and sparser vegetation make the animals both more active and easier to spot. Our hand-tailored itinerary lets you take full advantage of the season’s abundance. You’ll stay at carefully selected camps in the Kalahari Plains and the Okavango Delta, offering a vast diversity of bird and animal life including a number of rare species. Since no Botswana safari is complete without water activities, we’ve included camps that are surrounded by water, so you can get up close to elephants and crocodiles on serene mokoro rides through the channels. With MTS you’ll experience Botswana at its most enchanting. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BUI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Depart from Maun Airport and arrive at Kalahari Plains airstrip. Transfer to Kalahari Plains Camp, a 100% solar powered eco-camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. You’ll stay in en-suite canvas tents with unique rooftop sleep-outs. Days 2–3: Enjoy game drives, guided walks (on request), and cultural experiences with local Basarwa bushmen. The open grassland is home to a wide variety of plains game and their predators—leopard, cheetah, brown hyena, and the legendary Kalahari black-maned lion. Day 4: Depart overland for Maun. Fly to Santawani airstrip and transfer to Gomoti Tented Camp in the private Santawani Concession. Comfortable canvas tents with teak furnishings provide classic safari ambiance. Days 5–6: Discover an enormous diversity of wildlife, including leopard, lion, wild dog, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, and grazing animals, on day and night game drives and nature walks.

Day 7: Fly to Chobe and transfer to Linyati Discoverer Camp in the remote Linyati Concession which has an incredibly dense population of elephants. Days 8–9: Cover a broad range of habitats on game drives in the private northern sector, home to rare roan and sable antelope and the reclusive sitatunga along with lion, leopard, and the endangered wild dog. Day 10: Fly to Jao and transfer to Pelo Camp, located on a small, heart-shaped island deep within the Okavango Delta. The island is permanently surrounded by water— perfect for mokoro safaris. The camp consists of spacious en-suite tents with covered verandas. Day 11: View elephants, hippos, crocodiles, lechwe, and a plethora of birdlife from your mokoro canoe as your guide poles you quietly through the shallow channels. Day 12: Fly to Maun airport for your departing flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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AE u f rrope i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Okavango Delta Xigera

Linyanti Santawani

Botswana Maun Kalahari Plains

Deception Valley

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Game viewing by boat and 4WD, night game drives, mokoro rides Trip Level Moderate Lodging Adventure safari camps, three nights dome tents 12-Day Trip Departs Feb, Mar, Nov Land Cost From $6,795 Photo ©Hilton Kotze

Botswana

NEW Botswana Green Season Safari • An option for those interested in Classic Botswana who want the thrill of experiencing the magic of green season—a photographer’s delight • Green season rains bring the Delta to life overnight with lush landscapes and an abundance of diverse wildlife • Stay in four exceptionally well-appointed camps selected specifically for the season’s wildlife viewing Botswana in the green season offers a completely different but equally compelling experience. Lush landscapes, dramatic skies, and scores of baby animals are a photographer’s joy! Predators are especially active this time of year as the usually arid grasslands come alive with migrations of zebra, buffalo, springbok, and birds. Explore the vast diversity of Botswana, from the sweeping Kalahari to the winding waterways of the Okavango Delta, on our specially designed itinerary. Spot rare and reclusive species as well as Africa’s most famous fauna on game drives and boat cruises. Stay in tented elegance in some of the region’s most exceptional private concessions. Join us and discover the other side of Botswana. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BUS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 14

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Depart from Maun Airport and arrive at Kalahari Plains airstrip. Transfer to Deception Valley Trails Camp for three nights of camping. Comfortable dome tents provide a sublime “back to nature” experience. Days 2–3: Explore the game-rich Piper’s Pans area of the Kalahari and the Letiahau and Deception Valleys. On extended game drives you’ll watch for a variety of predators including lion, cheetah, bat-eared fox, African wild cat, and brown hyena plus a wide range of bird species. Day 4: Depart overland to Maun. Fly to Santawani airstrip and transfer to Gomoti Tented Camp in the southeast corner of the Okavango Delta. Accommodations are in elegantly furnished canvas tents. Days 5–6: Discover the prolific wildlife of the private Santawani Concession on day and night game drives and nature walks. Game here includes leopard, lion, cheetah, giraffe, and elephant along with a multitude of grazing animals.

Day 7: Fly to Chobe. Transfer to our camp in the remote Linyati Concession where airy canvas tents provide a classic safari ambiance. Days 8–9: Enjoy game drives in the private northern sector where the range of habitats offers fantastic wildlife viewing. You may spot the seldom-seen sitatunga and the rare roan and sable antelope along with their predators including the endangered wild dog. Day 10: Fly to Xigera airstrip and transfer to Xigera Camp on the aptly named “Paradise Island.” Nestled in a riverine forest, this camp embodies the essence of the Okavango. Relax in your comfortable en-suite tent or take a plunge in the pool. Day 11: On mokoro and motorboat outings you’ll spot wildlife such as the red lechwe, spotted-necked otter, elephant, leopard, and a delightful range of birds. Day 12: Fly to Maun Airport for your departing flight home.

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Kasane Okavango Tsodilo Delta Hills

Savuti

Khwai Xakanaxa

Victoria Falls

(Zimbabwe)

Maun

Botswana Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring, houseboat safari, game viewing by vehicle and boat Trip Level Easy Lodging Houseboat, dome tents, hotel 10-Day Trip Departs Mar–May, Aug–Nov Land Cost From $4,795 Photo ©Dana Allen

Botswana

NEW Botswana Culture & Wildlife • Visit the mecca of ancient bushmen religion and culture, revered as the birthplace of the world • An alternative journey perfect for those seeking a rich cultural experience paired with excellent game viewing • Enjoy a private river tour on the mighty Chobe River culminating with epic Victoria Falls as the final destination Discover the hidden Botswana on this one-of-a-kind land and water excursion. Delight in unforgettable experiences few others can claim as you cruise the seldom-traveled waterways of the Okavango Delta’s northern panhandle, search for elusive cheetah on the sands of the Savuti Marsh, and witness a vast herd of elephants bathing on the mighty Chobe River. Traveling by luxury houseboat, private motorboat, and safari vehicle, you’ll be in prime position to view Botswana’s astonishing variety of game. Your journey includes a visit to mesmerizing Tsodilo Hills, a World Heritage Site boasting over 4,000 San bushman rock paintings, and wraps up at magnificent Victoria Falls. Enjoy a Botswana adventure like no other—only with MTS. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BUW in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Maun and fly to Shakawe, gateway to the Okavango River. Board your en suite Kabbo houseboat on a serene, remote stretch of the river. In the afternoon, enjoy a tender boat excursion, looking for a variety of birds as well as crocodile and water monitor lizard. Day 2: Head out by vehicle and boat to Tsodilo Hills, a World Heritage Site featuring over 4,000 San bushman paintings, perhaps the world’s most important collection of rock art. Day 3: After breakfast, depart for a flight over the scenic heart of the Okavango Delta. Arrive at Xakanaxa and transfer to your private campsite in the Moremi Game Reserve. Day 4: On morning and evening game drives, discover the rich diversity of mammals and other wildlife this area is known for.

focus is on game drives, as the drier landscape causes the wildlife to concentrate near the channels. Days 7–8: Depart to the Savuti region of Chobe National Park. Enjoy two days of game drives on the Savuti Marsh, searching for lion, hyena, and other game. Day 9: Fly to Kasane and embark on a private boat cruise on the Chobe River, home to the world’s largest elephant populations as well as lion prides and large herds of buffalo and hippo. After the cruise, transfer to the Victoria Falls Hotel. Day 10: Enjoy an early morning guided exploration of magnificent Victoria Falls. Transfer to Victoria Falls airport for your journey onward.

Days 5–6: Drive to our camp in the Kwahi region, one of the best gameviewing areas anywhere. Our

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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AE u f rrope i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Serengeti National Park

KENYA

Kilimanjaro Ngorongoro Crater Arusha Tarangire National Park

Tanzania Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Game viewing Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Deluxe tented camps, basic camping, hotels 12-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Jun–Aug, Dec Land Cost From $5,995 Photo ©Axiom/DanitaDelimont.com

Tanzania

Ultimate Tanzania Safari • Explore the remote, untraveled wilderness of the Serengeti on foot—only with MTS! • Combine a three-day walking safari with vehicle safaris in Tanzania’s most legendary parks. This journey has it all: wildlife, authentic lodges, culture, and ancient history • Stay in style and comfort at private, deluxe safari camps and exclusive lodges It’s hard to top a classic game safari in Tanzania—unless you add the rare experience of exploring the Serengeti on foot. We’re the first to offer this unique combination. Walking in remote areas of the plains that haven’t been visited for half a century and observing the sounds and smells of wild Africa at close range, you’ll get a truly immersive safari experience like no other. You’ll even learn to track game! Leading up to your walking safari, enjoy game drives in Tanzania’s most celebrated parks: Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti. It’s the best of both worlds and the ultimate way to see the astounding wildlife of Tanzania. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code UTS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Arusha, where you’ll be met by an MTS representative and escorted to Moivaro Lodge. Day 2: Drive to Tarangire National Park, arriving in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive. Overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge. Day 3: Today is a full day to explore Tarangire, home to lions, leopards, zebra, elephants, and antelope. Day 4: Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, then continue to the highlands above Ngorongoro Crater. Enjoy an unscripted encounter with the Maasai including traditional welcome dances and opportunities to learn about their culture. Overnight at our private, magical camp in the Crater highlands. Day 5: Enjoy wildlife viewing in the celebrated Ngorongoro Crater, which teems with an incredible variety of bird and animal life. This evening we join the Maasai for an Ol Pul (meat feast) festival.

Day 6: Descend to the Serengeti, stopping at famed Olduvai Gorge, one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological sites. Day 7: Today is a full day of game viewing by vehicle, including giraffes, baboons, lions, cheetahs, and hyenas. Days 8–10: After breakfast we begin our foot safari. We’ll slowly follow stream beds and stop at watering holes to increase our chances of spotting game. With your guide interpreting what you see and hear, you’ll learn how to track wildlife. Day 11: Drive out of the Serengeti and overnight at wonderfully charming Gibb’s Farm, an historic working farm with 20 en-suite cottages. Day 12: Enjoy a half day at Gibb’s Farm, taking a guided nature walk or indulging in a spa treatment. After lunch, drive back to Arusha for dinner before transferring to the airport for your departing flight.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:31:25 PM


A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Serengeti National Park

KENYA

Kilimanjaro Ngorongoro Crater Arusha

Tanzania Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Game viewing Trip Level Ultimate Challenge

Short on time? Ask about our ClimbOnly option. We can also arrange private touring options for travel partners that prefer not to climb!

Lodging Deluxe tented camps, basic camping, hotels 15-Day Trip Departs Jan–Mar, Jun–Sep, Dec Land Cost From $6,695 Photo ©Christopher Bettencourt

Tanzania

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

Climb Kilimanjaro • Climb Africa’s highest peak with the best trained guides and staff on the mountain (our summiting rate is 98%!) • Trek the spectacular but rarely-traveled route featured in the IMAX® film, Kilimanjaro • Celebrate with a classic, very comfortable camping safari in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti plains Mount Kilimanjaro whose iconic, white-capped summit rises 19,340 feet above the African plains. Reaching that summit is a one-of-a-kind there. With nearly 40 years of experience, we know to take the most direct route and acclimatize at a higher point than our competitors, allowing us to claim the highest summiting rate on the mountain! Of course, no trip to Africa would be complete without seeing its famed wildlife, so we cap off your journey with a classic Tanzania safari and authentic encounters with the Maasai. It’s two bucket-list African experiences in one and truly the journey of a lifetime! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code TKM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Day 8: Ascend the Great Western Breach to the edge of Kibo’s crater, camping within the crater at 18,300'.

Day 2: After a briefing and equipment check, enjoy a hike along the slopes of 14,000-foot Mount Meru.

Day 9: Rising at dawn, we should complete our 1,000' summit bid by 9 a.m. After photos and high-fives, we’ll start our descent on the Mweka Route. Camp is at Mweka (10,200').

Day 3: Drive to the starting point of the Machame Route, beginning our hike at 6,400' and traveling through cloud forest to our camp at 10,000'.

Few peaks capture a climber’s imagination (or ambition) more than

adventure, and no company is better equipped than MTS to get you

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha and transfer to our deluxe camp in Arusha National Park.

Day 4: Climb to our camp above the Shira Plateau at 12,650', enjoying our first views of the Western Breach. Day 5: Trek east toward the Kibo Massif, climbing towards the base of the Great Barranco Canyon. Tonight’s camp is at 13,000'. Day 6: Leave the Machame Route and begin the 2,300' climb toward the Western Breach route. Camp is near Arrow Glacier at around 15,300'. Day 7: Today we rest and take an acclimatization hike along part of tomorrow’s route.

Day 10: Hike to the Mweka Gate and transfer to the Moivaro Lodge for a celebratory dinner and overnight. Day 11: Drive to the highlands above the Ngorongoro Crater where we’ll visit a Maasai boma (homestead). Day 12: Enjoy an epic day of wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater. Day 13: Descend to the famed Serengeti Plains, arriving at camp in time for an afternoon game drive. Day 14: Explore the Serengeti, where vast herds roam and big cats hunt. Day 15: Return to Arusha and transfer to the Moivaro Lodge to rest before evening departure.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Kenya Lake Nakuru National Park

Masai Mara

Lake Naivasha Hell’s Gate National Park NAIROBI

Loita Hills Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Game viewing by vehicle and boat, bike and walking safaris, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate Lodging Luxury tented camps, lodges, one night dome tents 11-Day Trip Departs Feb, Apr, Jul–Sep, Nov Land Cost From $5,495 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Kenya

NEW Undiscovered Kenya • Experience a fresh look at Kenya—visit the pristine and secluded Loita Hills in an untrammeled corner of the Rift Valley, an MTS exclusive • Hike among unexpectedly lush terrain, replete with plunging waterfalls and spectacular vistas, led by genuine, local Maasai guides • See big game—elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards—of the Mara, including biking among zebras! For many who dream of Africa, Kenya is synonymous with safari and with good reason. Kenya was the original safari destination and encompasses some of the world’s most storied wildlife parks. Our unique itinerary offers the classic Kenya experience and more— mobile tented camps and luxurious eco-lodges, morning and evening game drives, a two-day walking safari, and the chance to observe Africa’s famous wildlife up close. You’ll explore beautiful Crescent Island on Lake Naivasha by foot, and discover the bounty of the Masai Mara where your Maasai guides will share their boundless knowledge of the landscape. Join us and make your African dream a reality. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code KEA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi where you’ll be greeted by an MTS representative and transferred to your nearby hotel. Day 2: Depart after breakfast for Lake Naivasha where you’ll enjoy a boat ride to Crescent Island, one of Kenya’s most beautiful parks. After lunch, continue to Lake Elementaita. Overnight at Sunbird Lodge on the shores of the lake. Day 3: Explore Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for large concentrations of rhino. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the waterfall before returning to Sunbird Lodge for sundowners. Day 4: Depart for Hell’s Gate National Park for an exciting morning of bike riding amid giraffes, zebras, and buffalo. Return to Sunbird Lodge for an afternoon at leisure. Day 5: After breakfast, fly to the Masai Mara and drive to Jan’s Camp in the Loita Hills where you’ll be greeted by your Maasai guides. Overnight at Jan’s Camp.

Day 6: Leave on a full-day walking safari through the Masai Mara, widely considered to be Africa’s finest wildlife reserve. Today’s morning and afternoon walks are around three hours each. Overnight at Oltyani Trail Camp. Day 7: Walk through the Mara, celebrated for its concentration of wildlife, including big cats and vast herds of wildebeest. Overnight at Jan’s Camp. Day 8: Drive to Speke’s Camp, in a private, secluded area of the Mara. Days 9–10: Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the Mara Reserve. Day 11: Transfer after breakfast to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi. You’ll have use of a day room at House of Waine. In the afternoon, get up close to baby orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Return to House of Waine to rest before your departure flight.

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8/1/14 2:31:30 PM


A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Land/Sea Travel

UGANDA Kibale Forest

Entebbe

Queen Elizabeth National Park Ishasha Kinigi KIGALI

RWANDA Activities Gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking, game drives Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, lodges 11-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul, Sep, Dec Land Cost From $6,295 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Uganda , Rwanda

Primate Encounters in Uganda and Rwanda • Track mountain gorillas in Rwanda—our trip members say this is simply one of the most powerful experiences ever! • Enjoy a classic game safari in Uganda including a chance to see Ishasha’s famed tree-climbing lions • Benefit from MTS’s expert planning which guarantees permits even during peak season There’s something deeply moving about seeing gorillas in the wild. Those who experience that thrill say they’ll never forget it. On this exceptional MTS adventure you’ll spend two days tracking and observing endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans. It’s the highlight of an itinerary filled with amazing wildlife encounters, from Uganda’s Kigali forest, dense with hooting chimpanzees, to the Eden-like jungles and savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park. On classic game drives you’ll have a chance to see leopards, elephants, the world’s largest congregation of hippos, and the renowned tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Stay at deluxe tented camps and intimate eco-lodges that make your journey all the more remarkable. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code URG in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda. An MTS representative will escort you to our hotel on Lake Victoria. Day 2: Drive through the lush countryside of Uganda to our tented camp in Kibale Forest National Park. Day 3: Spend an incredible morning tracking chimps—Kibale is home to more than 500 of them! After lunch, walk along the swamp in search of vervet monkeys and other primates. Days 4–5: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Great Rift Valley where you’ll stay two nights at a treehouse lodge at the edge of Uganda’s largest crater lake. Enjoy a classic African safari, viewing an amazing variety of wildlife including elephants, leopards, and the world’s biggest congregation of hippos. Days 6–7: Explore the remote southern Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to antelopes, elephants, and the area’s renowned tree-climbing lions. Spend your nights in spacious tents at Ishasha Wilderness Camp.

Day 8: Drive through the aweinspiring “Switzerland of East Africa,” famous for its mountains, and cross over into Rwanda. After a long but very scenic drive, settle in at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge in the Parc National des Volcans. Day 9: Follow your experienced trackers through misty rainforest in search of the free-ranging primates. Once found, you’ll be able to observe the gorillas closely for an hour—a uniquely profound experience. Day 10: Trek up the forested slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes for your second unforgettable gorilla encounter. Then, drive through the richly cultivated countryside to the capital, Kigali. Overnight at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Day 11: Tour bustling Kigali before transferring to the airport for your departing flight.

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Thornybush

South Africa Johannesburg

South Africa

NEW Best of South Africa Sabi Sands

Stellenbosch

CAPE TOWN

Activities Cultural/historical touring, game viewing by vehicle, hiking, biking, culinary experience

• Explore South Africa for an in-depth, behind the scenes perspective crafted exclusively by MTS • Immerse yourself: bike the wine country, hike Table Mountain, and savor cuisine in the home of South Africa’s best known chef • See the Big 5 and experience two dramatically different ecosystems (most tours only offer one), including Sabi Sands which has the world’s densest leopard population Whether you love history, scenery, cuisine, wildlife, or all of the above, South Africa has it in abundance. On our exclusive tour you’ll delve deep into the many nuances of this intriguing country. Hike to the summit of Table Mountain, explore the cobbled streets of Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap district, and enjoy an unforgettable

Trip Level Moderate

meal with renowned Chef Bruce Robertson. Commune with African penguins on the Cape Peninsula.

Lodging Luxury hotels and safari lodges

Cycle and taste your way through the winelands. Spot cheetahs, rhinos, and other fauna on game drives

11-Day Trip Departs Mar–Sep

through the bush. Relax at some of South Africa’s finest hotels. With expert guides accompanying you all

Land Cost From $6,795

the way, your only worry is choosing which highlight you like best.

Photos, left to right: ©MTS Photo File, Warren Goldswain, Will Davies

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SAX in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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8/1/14 2:31:38 PM


A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive at Cape Town Airport where you’ll be met and introduced to your tour guide. Transfer to the One&Only Cape Town Hotel on the lively Victoria & Alfred waterfront. Day 2: Head to iconic Table Mountain where you’ll ascend by aerial cable car and begin a 2-hour hike to the mountain’s highest point and back, enjoying incredible vistas along the way. After lunch in the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood (formerly known as the Malay Quarter), take a private city tour of the Company Gardens, the South African Museum, and the Castle of Good Hope. Day 3: Set out on a private tour of Cape Point and the Peninsula which includes an African penguin colony and the famed Chapman’s Peak drive. Enjoy spectacular views of False Bay and a very special 5-course lunch with Chef Bruce Robertson, South Africa’s most celebrated chef. Day 4: Today it’s off to Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town, in the legendary Winelands region. On a guided culinary walk through town you’ll sample traditional Cape food and wine. After lunch, enjoy wine tastings at the Delaire Graafe and Grande Provence wine estates. Overnight at Franschhoek Country House.

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Day 5: This morning we explore the Cape Winelands on a scenic cycling tour. This afternoon, enjoy wine tastings at two estates at the foot of a remarkable granite outcrop. Day 6: Transfer to Cape Town airport and fly via Johannesburg to Timbavati. Set off for Thornybush Game Reserve, a premier game viewing area with a huge diversity of wildlife including cheetah and white rhino. Overnight at the luxurious Shumbalala Game Lodge. Day 7: Partake in guided morning and afternoon game drives (and bush walks by request). Day 8: Depart for Sabi Sands Game Reserve, traveling via the scenic Panorama Route. The high escarpment offers stunning views of the Lowveld and features a host of natural wonders such as God’s Window and Lisbon Falls. Arrive at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge in time for “high tea” and an afternoon game drive. Days 9–10: Discover the prolific wildlife of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve on morning and afternoon game drives and mid-morning walks.

More Options in Southern Africa From edge to edge, Southern Africa is chock full of fantastic destinations for wild adventure.

Botswana We have several great options— see pages 12–15 for details.

Zimbabwe Lots of iconic wildlife, but relatively few tourists. Plus, canoe safaris— see page 22 for details.

Namibia Truly unlike any other destination in Africa—see page 23 for details.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Day 11: Fly from Sabi Sabi Airstrip to Johannesburg for your departing flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Mana Pools National Park

Victoria Falls

Kariba Matusadona National Park

Zimbabwe Hwange National Park Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Walking safari, game drives, canoeing Trip Level Moderate Lodging Lodges, deluxe tented camps 12-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul Land Cost From $7,895 Photo ©Michael Poliza

Zimbabwe

Classic Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari • Get hands-on safari experience in Hwange, Mana Pools, and Matusadona National Parks—three of Africa’s most stunning and least-visited parks • Canoe the calm waters of the Zambezi River, and track endangered black rhinos on foot • Enjoy the expert knowledge of our Zimbabwean guides— the best “bushmen” in Africa If you love being close to nature, this intimate Zimbabwe safari is for you. Imagine canoeing down the tranquil waters of the great Zambezi River past bathing elephants and pods of hippos. Picture yourself tracking endangered rhinos through the wilds of Matusadona National Park. This is the real Africa, and our adventure lets you experience it to the fullest. Along with river and walking safaris, you’ll take private game drives through the wildlife-rich Hwange National Park. You’ll be led by our select group of Zimbabwean guides (which means they’re the best of the best!). Wrap it all up with a visit to the thundering cascades of Victoria Falls. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ZIM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Days 1–3: Stay at an idyllic camp in a private concession in Hwange National Park. Enjoy complete privacy as you watch the continuous procession of lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, southern giraffes, wildebeests and more, in addition to 400+ bird species. Days 4–5: Transfer to a luxurious tented camp situated on Lake Kariba within a private concession in Matusadona National Park. Look forward to magnificent views of Hydro Bay and the Matusadona Mountains. Enjoy activities focused on a true wilderness and wildlife experience in this walker’s paradise. Days 6–8: The Mana Canoe Trail is a luxurious mobile camp allowing you to canoe unhurriedly to your next destination. Canoeing offers a unique game viewing experience where you safely glide alongside elephants crossing the Zambezi and watch game that regularly visits the river. Gaze at the stars as you share stories from the day’s adventures.

Day 9: Set on the banks of the hippofilled Zambezi River, the biodiversity surrounding Ruckomechi Camp is a paradise. A picturesque mountainous backdrop across Zambia sets the scene while herds of elephant, buffalo and eland create excitement. For your comfort we have a bar, library, lounges and a separate deck with an infinity pool for swimming and sunbathing. Your activities include game drives (day and night), guided walks, boating, and fishing. Days 10–11: Step back in time at The Victoria Falls Hotel, situated perfectly within the national park itself, a World Heritage Site. Enjoy world-class service, culinary delights, and incredible views from Stanley’s Terrace, an adventurer’s rendezvous point for over a century. Day 12: Tour Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side before heading for the airport to board your afternoon flight home.

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8/1/14 2:31:46 PM


A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Etosha National Park

Twyfelfontein

Okonjima WINDHOEK

Walvis Bay

Sossusvlei

Namibia Land/Sea Travel

Activities Game viewing by vehicle and on foot, sea kayaking, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, luxury/deluxe tented camps 13-Day Trip Departs May, Jun, Aug, Oct Land Cost From $5,845 Photo ©Otto du Plessis

Namibia

Ultimate Namibia • Track exciting wildlife: elephant, leopard, cheetah, and the world’s only free roaming black rhino! • Experience the world famous AfriCat Foundation where you can track cheetah and leopard • Visit an authentic Himba village and learn about their nomadic way of life Namibia’s arid deserts have stood the test of time. Its majestic sand dunes of Sossusvlei, stone age rock art, and 280-million-year-old petrified forest have long endured change. Namibia’s wildlife has had to adapt, leaving it as the last haven for exotic creatures like the black rhino and desert-adapted elephant. On this eye-opening safari your experienced guides and trackers will enliven your curiosity with landscape after landscape of surreal beauty. Every day a new adventure awaits! You’ll visit the saltpans of Etosha National Park and the AfriCat Foundation to track cheetah on foot and leopard by vehicle, enjoy authentic encounters with the Himba—Southern Africa’s last nomadic people—and see Burnt Mountain “catch fire” at sunrise. At sunset, the comfort of MTS’s mobile camp oases promise a relaxed ending to the day. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code NAM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek. Day 2: Our morning drive takes us to Okonjima where we’ll visit injured or captured leopard and cheetah at the AfriCat Foundation. Drive tonight to view nocturnal animals. Day 3: Enjoy another visit to AfriCat followed by a game drive to Etosha National Park whose waterholes attract wildlife day and night. Day 4: Today we have a full day of game viewing in Etosha where famous saltpans attract game like giraffe, lion, rhino, and elephant. Day 5: We’ll head west to Damaraland, view game, and meet the pastoral Himba people, Namibia’s cattle and goat herders. Day 6: We’ll spend the day learning how to track black rhino with our experienced guides. Day 7: Travel to Camp Kipwe—the heart of Damaraland—known for its colorful mountains and desertadapted elephants.

Day 8: Explore the prehistoric rock engravings at Twyfelfontein—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Day 9: Drive along the scenic coastal road to Pelican Point for bird watching and then to Walvis Bay for a Namibian kayaking adventure. Day 10: Our fascinating drive today takes us southeast through an awesome, ever-changing desert until we reach the dunes of Namib Naukluft National Park. Day 11: Catch sunrise at Namib Naukluft National Park, home to the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Day 12: Bid farewell to the Namib Desert, traversing the Great Escarpment and scenic Khomas Hochland to Windhoek. A farewell dinner is at the hotel tonight. Day 13: Relax at the guesthouse or explore town until it’s time to transfer to the airport for your flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Mucojo

Pemba

Quirimbas Archipelago

Ibo Island

Mozambi que Ilha de Mozambique Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Historical/cultural touring, snorkeling, dhow cruising, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate Lodging Dome tents (beach camping), luxury lodges 10-Day Trip Departs Apr–Jun, Oct–Dec Land Cost From $4,595 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Mozambique

NEW Sailing the Secret Isles of Mozambique • Discover a different Africa through the complex history and vibrant culture of the Quirimbas Archipelago and Ilha de Mozambique • Sail the unexplored coast and islands on traditional dhows, returning nightly to eco-camps and luxury lodges • View diverse land and marine wildlife in a tropical African paradise—an MTS exclusive If exotic hideaways are your idea of paradise, come with us to Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago, some of the least explored islands in the world. This conservation jewel houses a stunning mosaic of wildlife, from whales and sea turtles to elephants and dugongs. As you sail on a traditional wooden dhow through crystalblue waters and over breathtaking corals and camp on the shores of an uninhabited isle, you’ll have ample time to swim, snorkel, kayak, and simply unwind. You’ll also discover the region’s rich local customs and fascinating history on expertly guided walking tours. Only MTS offers this exceptional itinerary, and it’s your chance to step on the untraveled sands of one of Africa’s most exciting new destinations. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MOJ in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 24

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive at Pemba International Airport and transfer by road to the coastal village of Mucojo. Board your traditional dhow, bound for Mogundula Island. Spend two nights at our comfortable mobile camp on this uninhabited paradise. Day 2: Swim off pristine sandy beaches, snorkel, birdwatch, and explore Mogundula’s sacred lake and unspoiled tropical forest. Days 3–4: Sail the clear blue waters of the Quirimbas Archipelago with a stop (conditions permitting) at tiny Rolas Island to snorkel the reefs and swim at white sand beaches. Camp at stunning Matemo Island where you can take guided walks to the rural fishing villages on the northern shore. Days 5–7: Sail to Ibo Island and explore its 200-year-old ghost town and 16th century forts. On guided walks you’ll discover the day-to-day life of the Kimwani people and learn about the island’s turbulent history.

You’ll also travel by dhow to one of the most renowned and secluded beaches in the Quirimbas. Overnight at Ibo Island Lodge, located within renovated colonial mansions. Days 8–9: Fly by light aircraft to Pemba and transfer by road to Ilha de Mozambique. Stop en route at a Catholic church with well-preserved murals and a fascinating history. For centuries, Ilha de Mozambique was the capital of Mozambique under Portuguese colonization and a major base for Arab traders. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On expertly guided tours you’ll visit the island’s beautiful, historic buildings, palaces and temples, and have leisure time to explore and relax on your own. Overnight at the simple but atmospheric Terraco das Quitandas boutique guesthouse. Day 10: Transfer by vehicle to Nampula International Airport for your onward flight.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:31:55 PM


A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Isle Ste. Marie

Madagascar Tsingy de Bemaraha

Tsiribihina River Miandrivazo

Bekopaka

Morondava

Antananarivo Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, snorkeling, wildlife viewing, river cruising, cultural/historical touring Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges, dome tents, beach resorts 12-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep Land Cost From $3,995 Photo ©Keren Su/Chinaspan

Madagascar

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

NEW Madagascar Discovery

Day 1: Arrive in Antananarivo, the capital. You’ll be met and transferred to the Royal Palissandre Hotel.

• Experience a world unto itself—over 1,000 unique endemic animal species and pristine untouched rainforest. Gain special access to remote areas via private air charter • Be awed by the the otherworldly geologic formations in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site • Marvel at the beauty and isolation of Ile Sainte Marie and witness today’s vibrant mix of cultures, including a real pirate cemetery!

Day 2: Drive to Lazaina, a traditional Merina village. Browse the markets and discover the local culture. After lunch, visit sacred Ambohimanga Hill to explore the ruins of the palace of King Andrianampoinimerina. Return to Antananarivo in late afternoon.

Rarely visited but rich in culture and natural wonders, Madagascar is Africa’s best-kept secret. Separated from the continent by 250 miles of ocean, it is home to thousands of species found nowhere else on earth. The human culture is just as vibrant—a mix of African, Southeast Asian, and French influences and deeply held local traditions. Discover the magic of this otherworldly place as you journey by barge down the peaceful Tsiribihina River, spot lemurs in the distinctive canyons of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, and share meals and songs with villagers. Your remarkable Madagascar adventure ends with two relaxing days on the tropical island of Ile Sainte Marie. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MAD in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 3: Depart for Miandrivazo, stopping in the village of Antsirabe which is known for its handicrafts. Day 4: Transfer to Masekampy for your descent of the Tsiribihina River. You’ll cruise past tobacco plantations and Salakava villages before entering the river gorge. Overnight in tents on the riverbank. Day 5: Continue on the river, with a stop for a swim at a beautiful waterfall. This evening local village children join us for a small party. Day 6: The river cruise ends at Belo Tsiribihina. 4WD vehicles will take

you to Bekopaka. Overnight at Le Soleil des Tsingy. Day 7: Enjoy a canoe expedition on the Manambolo River, then explore Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Tsingy” are cathedral-like limestone peaks found only in Madagascar. Day 8: Drive back to Morondava, stopping to observe the baobab trees at sunset. Overnight at Palissandre Cote Oeste. Day 9: Transfer to the airport and fly back to Antananarivo where you’ll board your private charter flight to Ile Sainte Marie and the Princesse Bora Lodge. Days 10–11: Spend two peaceful days on Ile Sainte Marie, a lush tropical island with amazing opportunities for snorkeling. Day 12: Fly back to Antananarivo. Transfer to an airport hotel for a farewell dinner before your homeward flight.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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AE u f rrope i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t Jebel Barkal Karima

Old Dongola

Meroë

KHARTOUM

Sudan Land/Sea Travel

Activities Cultural/historical/ archaeological touring, boat cruising Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, guesthouses, dome tents (desert camping) 12-Day Trip Departs Feb, Nov Land Cost From $4,995 Photo ©John Warburton-Lee/DanitaDelimont.com

Sudan

Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan • Get inside one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating civilizations which boasts 578 ethnic groups, communicating in 145 different languages, in a microcosm of Africa • See temples, tombs, and pyramids that rival the glories of Egypt—but without the crowds • Camp in comfort under the desert sky, and overnight in traditional Nubian guesthouses Discover the splendors of Sudan, Egypt’s less-traveled southern neighbor, on this unique adventure. With twice as many pyramids as Egypt, but far fewer tourists, Sudan is rich with historic treasures from the ancient Kushite kingdom. Your journey will take you from Khartoum to the sacred mountain of Jebel Barkal, the painted tombs of El Kurru, and the steep-sided pyramids of Meroë. Along the way you’ll tour lavishly decorated temples, visit lively souks and colorful tribal markets, travel through striking desert landscapes, and camp in comfort under the Nubian sky. You’ll see whirling dervishes perform their famous dance and dine with locals in their homes. Gain a true insider’s perspective on this untouched but fascinating land. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SUD in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Khartoum, where your MTS guide will meet you and bring you to your hotel. Day 2: Visit Khartoum’s worldclass archaeological museum and tour the vast Omdurman Souk. At sunset watch a display of whirling dervishes followed by dinner in a local restaurant. Day 3: Travel through the Western Desert, stopping at Wadi Muqaddam for panoramic views. Camp among the sand dunes. Day 4: Explore the Coptic temple at Old Dongola before continuing into the Nubian Desert. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals and a night of desert camping. Day 5: After crossing the Nile by ferry, tour the Egyptian-styled temple of Soleb. Tonight we dine and overnight in a traditional Nubian house. Day 6: View the trove of rock engravings at Sebu. Later, head towards Tombos, with its massive statue of King Taharqa. Camp under the stars near Tombos.

Day 7: Travel to the village of Kerma to see the ancient brick “Deffufa.” Then, cross the Nubian Desert towards Karima. Dinner and overnight at a Nubian rest house in Karima. Day 8: Visit the temple at sacred Jebel Barkal Mountain, dedicated to the god Amon. Next, view the richly adorned royal tombs of El Kurru. Overnight in Karima. Day 9: After a visit to the local market, enjoy a Nile cruise and a leisurely tour of the Pyramids of Nuri. Day 10: Explore the dry wadis and volcanic peaks of the Bayuda Desert, home to Bisharin nomads. Overnight in Meroë. Day 11: Tour the famed Royal Necropolis of Meroë with its striking pyramids and the Royal City of Meroë. Day 12: Visit the lively market in Shendi before touring the unique temples at Naga and Musawwarat. In the afternoon, return to Khartoum to rest before your departing flight.

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A f r i c a & t he m i dd l e ea s t

Meknès

Fès

Morocco Marrakech Erg Chebbi

Ouarzazate Zagora

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Walking, camel trekking, cultural touring Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, desert camping 14-Day Trip Departs Feb, Mar, Oct—Dec Land Cost From $4,895 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Morocco

Morocco Camel Trek • Explore the magical Sahara Desert by camel, and sleep under the stars on an ancient caravan route as Berbers have done for thousands of years • Tour exotic Marrakech, the route of 1,000 kasbahs, ancient Fès, and the remarkable Roman ruins of Volubilis • Gain special access to authentic Berber culture far from Morocco’s urban centers—an experience offered only by MTS From the towering sand dunes of the Sahara to the mazelike souks filled with dazzling wares, Morocco begs for a real immersion into its mysteries, and no company offers a deeper or more authentic experience than MTS. Our local guides will share their insider’s perspective as they lead you through the medieval cities of Marrakech and Fès and remote Berber villages far off the tourist track. We’re also the only ones to offer an unforgettable four-day camel trek through the spellbinding Sahara landscapes, camping beneath the stars. Add interactions with local villagers and stops to explore ancient fortified cities and Roman ruins, and this is truly the Moroccan adventure of a lifetime. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MOC in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech where you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel. Optional afternoon walk in the medina (old town). Day 2: Enjoy a guided tour of exotic Marrakech to important religious and public monuments and browse the maze of souks in the medina. Day 3: Take a scenic drive across the High Atlas to Ouarzazate, stopping at wonderfully preserved Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, a World Heritage Site. Day 4: You’ll head east along the Dades Valley, exploring the Skoura oasis and its many kasbahs. Enjoy a hike and picnic lunch in the Berber region of Toundout. Day 5: Drive along the Draa Valley, arriving in Zagora, a former French colonial outpost, in late afternoon. Day 6: Head deep into the Sahara Desert to meet your camels and guides at your camp in the dunes. Day 7: After a camel riding lesson, hike and ride for about 7 hours to your camp at Ouzina.

Day 8: Continue by camel and on foot, meeting the vehicles at lunchtime. Travel by 4WD to Erg Znagui where you’ll enjoy a spectacular sunset and sunrise over the dunes. Day 9: Travel on foot and by camel about 7 hours to Erg Chebbi, home to the largest dunes in Morocco. Day 10: Spend the day exploring the dune “mountains” on foot. Drive to Erfoud in the lush Ziz Valley in late afternoon. Day 11: Drive to the imperial city of Fès, considered the most complete medieval city in the region. Day 12: Spend a full day sightseeing in Fès with its magnificent medina and authentic souk. Day 13: Tour the spectacular Roman ruins at Volubilis and the ancient fortress city of Menkes. Day 14: Transfer to the Fès airport for your homeward-bound flight.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Middle Fork of the Salmon River

ALASKA Region& NORTH RegionAMERICA

Alsek River

CONTENTS Highlights Our Alaska What. ............................................................ Journeys................................ p.30-35 p.00 NEW What..Alaska ........................................................... by Water, Land & Air................p.00 p.34 Heli-hiking What............................................................. in the Canadian Rockies............p.00 p.36 What. NEW .National ........................................................... Parks of America..................p.00 p.38 What. Middle ............................................................ Fork of the Salmon River..................p.42 p.00 What............................................................. p.00

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Southeast Alaska

“This was a trip of a lifetime. The group was fantastic. To make pumpkin purée from a sugar pumpkin: start I think we would all take another trip together, that’s with a small-medium sugar pumpkin, cut out the stem and how much fun it was...The guides were off the charts scrape out the insides, discard (save the seeds, of course). fantastic—and that is an understatement.” Cut the pumpkin in half and lay cut side down. Mae Ferguson • Mentor, OH ~ Jane Doe • Peoria, IL

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A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

Photos on this spread ©Chad Case/MTS, Laura M. Parent, MTS Photo File (3)

Custom Travel

In Alaska

Experience The Best

Private and Custom Experiences

Our heritage in Alaska goes back to 1972 with deep roots in

Any of our scheduled journeys to Alaska can be enjoyed as a private

conservation leading us to become a founding member of the Alaska

trip, giving you a thrilling itinerary that’s ready to book. Travelers

Conservation Fund. Since then, we’ve become Alaska’s premier

find these options to be best when there’s a trip that interests them,

wilderness guiding company, leading thousands of trip members on

but prefer to travel with their own group or on their own schedule.

unique adventures throughout the state and even earning some

If you’ve always wanted to create your own wilderness excursion,

accolades along the way. For instance, our “Rafting and Hiking the

our team can create something truly one of a kind, whether you want

Alsek River” adventure was named as a 2014 bucket list adventure

to charter your own boat for up-close encounters with whales and

by Outside Magazine.

glaciers or yearn to hike in the most desolate corners of Alaska. Let

True Wilderness—the Southeast Alaska Specialists

us share our decades of experience and insider knowledge to develop

Although we offer trips throughout Alaska, the Southeast region holds

a unique and customized adventure for you.

a special place in our hearts. If you’re looking for truly wild wilderness, this is it. Our journeys here are so remote that many destinations are only accessibly by helicopter or bush plane, with no civilization to be found for miles. Our permits in Alaska’s finest wilderness areas give you greater access than any other company. In addition to holding one of very few permits to guide overnight sea kayaking expeditions in Glacier Bay National Park, we are also one of the few companies permitted to operate in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/ Tatshenshini-Alsek World Heritage Site. www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

Glacier Bay National Park CANADA Gustavus Point Adolphus

JUNEAU

Alask a Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Kayaking, hiking, beach walking, wildlife viewing

Alaska

Southeast Alaska Kayaking & Wildlife Adventure • Take a one-of-a-kind journey through Glacier Bay National Park with the Southeast’s wildlife experts • Observe whales and porpoises at Point Adolphus, a world renowned humpback feeding ground • Paddle among icebergs and marvel at the size of whales and glaciers up close—a rarity given that MTS is one of only two companies with permits to kayak Glacier Bay Southeast Alaska’s beauty is the stuff of legends: massive glaciers, towering peaks, shimmering icebergs, and the most incredible wildlife viewing in North America, bar none. This one-of-a-kind adventure allows

Trip Level Moderate

you to take in its splendor by kayak on a pair of two-night camping expeditions based out of the bush town

Lodging Backcountry camping, lodges

of Gustavus—gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. Our seasoned guides will tell you all there is to know

8-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $3,695 Photos, left to right: ©John Hyde, Laura M. Parent, John Baston

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about the whales, sea otters, and exotic birds of Point Adolphus before bringing you to the remote upper west arm of Glacier Bay, where the sheer scale of the landscape quickly puts size into perspective. Our rare permits in the park allow you an up close and personal experience with nature as you’ve never had before! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code UEX in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:33:11 PM


A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in the charming town of Gustavus, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park, via a beautiful and scenic bush plane flight. We’ll check in to our cozy lodge where we’ll have a pre-trip meeting and welcome dinner. Take advantage of the extended daylight to explore the beach and meadows after dinner. Days 2–3: After breakfast a charter boat will bring us across Icy Strait to the whale-feeding grounds of Point Adolphus on Chichagof Island. We’ll set up camp here for two nights and begin our leisurely paddling exploration along the shore. Kayaking the waters along Chichagof Island is one of the best ways to experience Alaska’s Inside Passage. Along the way we’ll keep our eyes out for whales, sea lions, otters, seals, bald eagles, loons, and other wildlife, stopping on shore to go beachcombing or hike the island’s rich forests. Enjoy hearty camp dinners cooked by your guides. Day 4: After breakfast and breaking down camp we’ll kayak along the shore to meet our charter boat for our trip back to Gustavus. This afternoon we’ll have time to freshen up and explore town. Tonight we’ll dine at a local restaurant before settling in for a great night’s sleep.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Days 5–6: After breakfast we’ll board our charter boat for a spectacular scenic cruise into Glacier Bay, a journey through geologic time. Then, switching to sea kayaks, we’ll set off again for our two-day kayaking expedition, paddling at a leisurely pace. Along the way we’ll have plenty of time to take photographs and enjoy our surroundings. We’ll feast our eyes on tremendous glaciers, electric blue icebergs, magnificent mountains, countless wildflowers, seals, and birds. Sit back and relax while your guides prepare hot dinners at camp. Day 7: This morning we’ll return by boat to Gustavus, our home away from home, and check back into our lodge. We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together, and then you are free to go for a stroll, take a bike ride, or just relax. Day 8: We’ll have time this morning for a relaxed hike around Gustavus for one last chance to marvel at the majestic beauty around us. At noon we’ll board an air taxi to the airport in Juneau where you can connect with your homeward-bound flight.

More Great Options in Alaska In addition to our flagship Southeast Alaska Kayaking & Wildlife Adventure, we have these terrific options available:

Glacier Bay Expedition A rare chance to kayak and camp in one of America’s most stunning national parks!

Southeast Alaska Wildlife Explorer The most comprehensive wildlife adventure in Southeastern Alaska—and perfect for families! See p. 32 for details.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E urope A las k a & N orth A mer i ca Glacier Bay National Park CANADA JUNEAU Gustavus

Alask a Wrangell Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, wildlife viewing, boat tour Trip Level Easy Lodging Lodges 7-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $4,095

Photo ©Randy Harris

Alaska

Southeast Alaska Wildlife Explorer • Experience the most untamed region of Alaska, the wild Southeast, by chartered plane and boat • Enjoy up-close wildlife sightings including black and brown bears, rare seabirds, and 40-ton humpback whales • Explore remote areas only accessible by foot all while taking in the landscapes of forests, glaciers, and mountains Southeast Alaska offers some of the world’s largest protected wildlife habitats in the world. Visit Glacier Bay National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to majestic humpback whales and abundant marine wildlife, and Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate forest in the United States and home to the country’s largest population of coastal brown bears! Taking it all in by foot, boat, and charter planes, you’ll experience the Southeast’s whales, porpoises, sea lions, seals, unusual sea birds, and bears amid a spectacular backdrop of glaciers, icebergs, and thick carpets of wildflowers. Perfect for amateur photographers and families, our Southeast wildlife adventure will leave you in awe! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code INN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in the frontier town of Juneau, the capital of Alaska. You’ll meet your guide at our hotel in the center of Juneau’s historic district for an orientation and welcome dinner. Juneau’s small town charm and frontier spirit offers a great introduction to southeast Alaska! Day 2: Today we’ll hike the trails of the Tongass, our country’s largest national forest, experiencing the power and beauty of this incredible rainforest. This afternoon we’ll take a small charter plane to the charming bush town of Gustavus. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll head to Glacier Bay National Park where we’ll board a high-speed catamaran. The park ranger on board will educate us about the geological wonders around us. This afternoon we’ll return to Gustavus for a relaxing evening. Day 4: Today we spend the day in search of humpback whales at Point Adolphus, the best place in North America to observe these majestic,

endangered creatures. Protected Chichagof Island is a paradise for marine mammals and bald eagles… as well as photographers! Day 5: Today we’ll explore Alaska’s Anan Bear Observatory, one of the best places on earth to watch bears. The salmon draws the bears from miles to feed, making this an unusual convergence of coastal brown bears and black bears, both of whom are typically solitary creatures. Day 6: This morning we’ll fly back to Juneau, board a tram, and ride into the mountains. Our hike begins at treeline and quickly ascends into high alpine meadows strewn with colorful wildflowers and offering magnificent views of the fjords below. Our farewell dinner is in Juneau tonight. Day 7: Today you are free to depart from Juneau at any time. If you’re not in a rush, we recommend exploring town for an extra day or stopping in Sitka for a few nights on your way home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:33:20 PM


A las k a & N orth A mer i ca CANADA

Haines Junction

Alsek River

Yakutat Dry Bay

Alask a Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Rafting (Class II/III and one Class IV rapid), hiking, wildlife viewing Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Camping 13-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $4,095 Photo ©Laura M. Parent

Alaska

Rafting & Hiking the Alsek River • Join the expedition praised by National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine and Men’s Journal • Raft on the Alsek River through one of the largest protected wilderness areas in the world • Take an exciting helicopter ride above Turnback Canyon and enjoy optional day hikes in search of wildlife There is nothing like rafting down the Alsek River to get the adrenaline pumping! Starting in Canada’s Yukon Territory, you’ll ride Class II to Class IV rapids through one of the largest areas of protected wilderness in the world, rolling past large bedrock islands, deep canyon gorges, calving glaciers, and icebergs of mammoth proportions. Along the way you’ll stop for day hikes, enjoy the respite of slower waters, and keep your eyes out for riparian wildlife. During your helicopter transfer over the thunderous Turnback Canyon you’ll have a chance to see all that you have accomplished. Come experience for yourself why our expedition down the Alsek is continually lauded as one of the most epic river trips in the world. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ALK in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Haines, Alaska with time to freshen up before our pre-trip meeting at the charming Victorianera Hotel Halsingland.

stop for several day hikes, and enjoy a thrilling helicopter lift to the confluence of the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers.

Day 2: This morning we’ll drive up the Chilkat River Valley, crossing into British Columbia in Canada’s Yukon Territory. After lunch we’ll put our rafts in on the Dezadeash River, heading towards the confluence with the Alsek River.

Day 10: We’ll continue down the river through deep forested canyons toward the coast. The climate becomes more maritime as we get closer to the Gulf of Alaska and the glaciers more numerous. We may possibly hike at Walker Glacier.

Days 3–5: For the next few days we’ll raft through Class II rapids, passing large bedrock islands. We’ll camp near Lowell Glacier to see awesome icebergs, mountain goats, and wildflower-filled meadows.

Days 11–12: We’ll continue to float towards Alsek Bay, spotting many different species of birds. We’ll watch and listen as giant chunks of ice calve into the water from the seven-mile face of the Alsek glacier.

Day 6: The snout of the Lowell Glacier is surreal as large icebergs calve off and float down the river. The Alsek picks up speed dramatically here, passing through narrow canyons. By afternoon we’ll encounter thrilling whitewater!

Day 13: After floating into the flat, forested plains beyond Alsek Bay, we arrive at the Dry Bay Fishing Company outpost where a small aircraft will meet us for our charter flight to Yakutat and our scheduled flights to Juneau.

Days 7–9: Over the next few days we’ll pass through small rapids,

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E urope A las k a & N orth A mer i ca Glacier Bay National Park Gustavus Chichagof Island

JUNEAU Hoonah

Alask a Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Wildlife viewing, hiking, kayaking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Lodges, camping 7-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $4,095

Photo ©Lynn Bystrom

Alaska

NEW Alaska by Water, Land & Air • Take in the best sites of Southeast Alaska by catamaran, kayak, tram, helicopter, foot, and plane! • Enjoy a two-night camping excursion to Chichagof Island to see incredible marine wildlife • Take a thrilling helicopter ride, land on a glacier, strap on your crampons, and hike on its icy surface We set our anchor in Southeast Alaska in 1972, and we haven’t left since. Set amidst glaciers, mountains, and fjords, it offers the finest wildlife viewing in North America, bar none. Our newest itinerary in the Southeast features Glacier Bay National Park where you’ll learn about the area’s complex geology, visit a traditional Tlingit community, and observe incredible marine wildlife including resident humpback whales. Best of all, relish diverse ways of seeing this special place: cruise aboard a high-speed catamaran, kayak the shores of Chichagof Island, enjoy a scenic plane ride above the park, ride a tram to the top of a mountain, and take a thrilling helicopter ride to hike on top of a glacier. Talk about a getaway! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code WLA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in the sleepy bush town of Gustavus, Alaska, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. You’ll meet your guide and fellow travelers at one of our favorite lodges for orientation and a welcome dinner. Day 2: Today we’ll enjoy a full day high-speed catamaran cruise into the farthest reaches of Glacier Bay National Park, the densest convergence of tidewater glaciers in the world! Our personal park ranger will explain the complex geology of this fantastic landscape. Day 3: A visit to Hoonah awaits! Hoonah is the home of the indigenous Tlingit community. Here we’ll learn how the traditional Tlingit lived off the land and see some of their wooden carvings. Tonight we’ll boat to our private camp on Chichagof Island. Day 4: Today we’ll board sea kayaks and get up close to some of the incredible marine life that lives off the shores of Chichagof Island.

Be prepared to see humpback whales, sea lions, otters, seals, and beautiful birds! Tonight we’ll camp again in style. Day 5: We’ll kayak along the shore this morning to meet our charter boat back to Gustavus for lunch. Later we’ll fly over scenic Glacier Bay and the St. Elias World Heritage Site—the largest in the world! We’ll arrive in Juneau in time for a tram ride and alpine hike. Day 6: This morning we’ll spend some time learning the proper use of mountaineering gear before boarding helicopters that land us right on a glacier! We’ll hike for two miles while getting to know the environment. Have your camera handy! Our farewell dinner is back in Juneau. Day 7: Today you are free to depart Juneau at any time. If you’re not in a rush, we recommend exploring the town for an extra day or stopping in Sitka for a few nights on your way home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

Reid Glacier

Glacier Bay National Park

Muir Inlet

Fingers Bay

Gustavus JUNEAU

Alask a Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Kayaking, wildlife viewing, beach walking Trip Level Easy Lodging Expedition yacht 6-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $3,940

Photo ©Laura M. Parent

Alaska

Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure • Enjoy a unique, intimate, and completely personalized view of Glacier Bay • Cruise past glaciers, uninhabited coves, and fjords aboard our fully refurbished and customized historic WWII ship • Kayak and hike through remote wilderness only accessible by boat, looking for bears, moose, and whales Channel the spirit of the first explorers on this intimate, one-of-akind Glacier Bay adventure. Sailing aboard a small, beautifully refurbished historic ship, you’ll cruise through peaceful coves and chiseled fjords of awe-inspiring grandeur. As you kayak along the cliffs and hike alongside sparkling glaciers, you’ll enjoy some of the world’s best wildlife viewing, from black bears to humpback whales to a huge variety of bird life. MTS pioneered kayaking in these waters in the 1970s, and our seasoned guides and captain provide a superior experience because they know where wildlife is most active. Come aboard the Sea Wolf for your very own Alaska expedition (you may even be tempted to charter the whole ship!). FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code AKB in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Board the ship at Bartlett Cove and enter Glacier Bay National Park. Cruise up to Geikie Inlet for your first kayak paddle. Watch for black bears and wolverines as you explore this waterfall-laden fjord. Continue on to your evening anchorage at Reid Glacier. Day 2: This morning we hike down the beach to the face of Reid Glacier where you’ll learn about glaciers and geology as you hunt for ice worms. On your walk back, watch for arctic terns, ptarmigan, and other shore and seabirds. Next, it’s on to Tarr Inlet where the Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers cascade into the water. Paddle along the sheer cliff, home to nesting kittiwakes and puffins, and watch from a safe distance as Marjorie Glacier calves. Day 3: Spend the morning wildlife watching along the cliffs of Composite Island and hike up Gloomy Knob for amazing views of Glacier Bay. After lunch, we enjoy a

paddle on Sebree Cove to a beach where bears are often seen. Day 4: This morning you’ll visit Muir Inlet, the spectacular east arm of Glacier Bay. Hike near McBride Glacier and paddle up to Riggs Glacier, keeping eyes open for bears, wolves, and moose. Day 5: Begin with a morning kayak at wildlife-rich North Sandy Cove. Paddle to Puffin Island to observe the vertical intertidal zone, home to sponges, sea urchins, and countless other species. Later, head to South Marble Island to view a large Stellar sea lion haul out. Then cruise to Fingers Bay for one last kayak paddle while keeping a lookout for sea otters and their young. Day 6: Enjoy a morning of humpback whale watching at Icy Strait. This afternoon we dock at Bartlett Cove where a taxi will take you to the airport for your flight to Juneau.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

ALBERTA

Copperstain Mountain

Banff National Park

Mount Sir Donald

Yoho National Park

British Columbia

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

USA

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate

Canada

Heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies • Hike alpine ridges and valleys accessible only by helicopter each day and relax in snug alpine lodges by night • Explore scenic Banff and Yoho National Parks complete with a tour of Grizzly Bear Refuge • Enjoy an exclusive visit to the Burgess Shale, one of the world’s best-preserved fossil beds There is nothing like heli-hiking in the high alpine of the Canadian Rockies to give you both a taste for adventure and the relaxation of a mountain getaway! We designed this exclusive itinerary to take in the far-flung splendors of Banff and Yoho National Parks, far from the crowds. Each day you’ll wake up in

Lodging Lodges

a charming mountain lodge, fuel up with a hearty breakfast, and enjoy 360 degrees of gorgeous views.

8-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug

You’ll trek through spectacular alpine forests, on the shores of turquoise lakes, through flower-studded

Land Cost From $4,895

meadows, and alongside hanging glaciers. When you’re done, a helicopter will whisk you off to another valley. After eight days you probably won’t want to hike any other way! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CAN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©Ken Bélanger, MTS Photo File, Bradley L. Grant, MTS Photo File

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Meet your guides and settle into our hotel situated just outside of Banff’s bustle but still an easy walk to the shops and amenities of Main Street. Tonight we’ll enjoy a cocktail alfresco to go over the details of the trip before dinner. Day 2: Take a short morning transfer to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Surrounded by the Valley of the Ten Peaks, this stunning location hosts some of the world’s best hiking. At the end of the day, enjoy views of glaciers from your lodge’s rooftop hot tub. Day 3: Walk to Lake Louise and explore above the treeline for a close look at the six glaciers that feed into the lake. Enjoy lunch at a charming historic teahouse before hiking near the Alberta-British Columbia border. Days 4–5: We’ll spend the next two days fueling up with hearty breakfasts, filling our packs with delicious lunches, and getting lifted by helicopter to hike along alpine ridges, through meadows, and along mighty glaciers. Wherever we land, we will surely be the only people around. At the end of the day an outdoor hot tub, and cocktail hour awaits at the lodge!

Day 6: We’ll board a gondola for a 4,133-foot vertical ride to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. After some hiking visit Grizzly Bear Refuge for a guided tour. This afternoon we transfer to Yoho National Park, a paradise of waterfalls, glaciers, and hiking trails. Day 7: Our hike today leads us over Yoho Pass and into the Emerald Valley where we will visit the Burgess Shale, one of the best preserved fossil beds in the world! Tonight our farewell dinner offers unforgettable views of the surrounding peaks. Day 8: The morning is yours for a leisurely breakfast or one last small hike. After breakfast we return to Banff and drop you off at our Day 1 hotel or another Banff hotel of your choice. Private shuttle companies have multiple daily departures to the Calgary International Airport.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E urope A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

National Parks

Of America

America’s Greatest Treasures At Mountain Travel Sobek, we’ve always felt that one of the best ways

invite you to explore America’s treasure chest in the company of

to preserve and protect the world’s many wild and beautiful places is

expert guides, whose knowledge and enthusiasm will bring your

by increasing awareness of just what makes these places so special.

national park adventures to life.

Although our interests fan out across the globe, there are plenty of

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a

such places right here in our own backyard. America’s national

historic bill that established the National Wilderness Preservation

parks are among our greatest treasures, and are a living link between

System and set aside millions of acres of wild lands for the use

ourselves and the natural and human history of North America. We

and benefit of the American People. Explore these pristine lands through our brand new programs.

These weekend excursions are the perfect way to re-energize and experience America’s backyard through 5 different national parks: Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Death Valley, and Rocky Mountain. The difference in the experience comes from our incredibly knowledgeable guides who take you off the beaten path, away from the crowds and show you hidden gems that are often overlooked. See page 41 or call for details.

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Photos on this page ©Kiska Media, Krzysztof Wiktor, MTS Photo File

NEW Weekend Getaways

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Photos. left to right: ©MTS Photo File, Dean Pennala

California

California

John Muir Trail Northbound to Yosemite National Park

John Muir Trail Southbound to Mount Whitney

Photos on this page ©Kiska Media, Krzysztof Wiktor, MTS Photo File

• Hike one of National Geographic Adventure’s picks for “top ten trails on the planet” • Enjoy expert guiding, fresh-cooked meals, and full mule support (only from MTS!) • Cross the pristine Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness Areas to Yosemite National Park

• Hike the challenging southbound trail with full mule support—an exclusive MTS adventure! • Summit Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States at 14,505 feet • Experience the journey Outside Magazine named the “North America Trip of the Year”

Follow in the footsteps of the renowned naturalist on this memorable

Tracing the spine of the Sierra Nevada, the John Muir Trail is nearly

trek into the wild Sierra. Less strenuous than our southbound trek,

as iconic as the celebrated naturalist himself. Our exclusive expedition

this challenging, remote, and stunningly beautiful expedition takes

on the southbound portion of the trail is truly epic—perhaps the most

you on a 103-mile journey through one of the most scenic mountain

challenging trek we offer and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular.

ranges in the world. With mules carrying the bulk of your belongings,

Though the terrain is rugged, the camping is not. You’ll enjoy full

you’ll cross the protected Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness

mule support, and our professional guides will do all the cooking for

Areas, ending in breathtaking Yosemite National Park. Our highly

you (far beyond your average camp fare!). Carrying only a daypack,

experienced mountaineer guides will regale you along the way with

you’ll tackle one lofty pass after another, ending by summiting famous

stories and facts about the flora and fauna, as well as cook delicious

Mount Whitney. As you pass through verdant meadows and along

meals for you each night. You may enjoy it so much that you’ll be

countless glacier-fed lakes, you’ll see why Travel + Leisure called

inspired to try our southbound adventure next!

this journey one of the “50 Great American Adventures.”

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JMN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JMT in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Activities Hiking

Activities Hiking

Trip Level Strenuous

Lodging Camping, hotels Land Cost From $4,895

13-Day Trip Departs Jul

Trip Level Ultimate Challenge

Lodging Camping, hotels

17-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug

Land Cost From $6,295 For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E urope A las k a & N orth A mer i ca UTAH Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument

Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park

Las Vegas

Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Lodges 6-Day Trip Departs May, Jun, Sep, Oct Land Cost From $2,995

Photo ©Frederic Prochasson

Arizona, Utah

Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon • In this comprehensive and diverse tour you’ll hike and explore the Southwest’s three crown jewels, led by MTS’s expert naturalists • Discover 200 million years of history at Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument • Relax after each day’s adventure in a comfortable lodge set in a stunning location When it comes to jaw-dropping nature experiences, America’s National Parks are hard to beat. MTS has a long history in the parks, and this itinerary might just be our grand slam! Our six-day, action-packed adventure begins at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a quiet oasis of green forests and flower-filled meadows— a stark contrast to the red abyss of the canyon below. We then enter Bryce Canyon’s fairy-tale amphitheater of spires, columns, and pink hoodoos before our grand finale in Zion National Park, known as “Yosemite dressed in red!” Along the way you can consult the expertise of our professional naturalist guides and relax in our wellappointed inns and hotels. The best part of all? It’s not that far away! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ZIO in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas and meet your MTS guide. We’ll enjoy a scenic ride through breathtaking deserts and high meadows before reaching the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. After lunch we’ll set off for a short hike along the Transept Trail to the historic Grand Canyon Lodge, our home for the next two nights. Day 2: After breakfast we’ll dip below the rim on the North Kaibab Trail. Trip members of all abilities will enjoy this trail by choosing one of three turn-around points, each perfect for different levels of fitness. We’ll then return to the lodge for a well deserved drink on the patio before dining with a view of the setting sun. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll drive to Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park and hike along the Rim Trail to Sunset Point, slowly descending into a surreal maze of pink hoodoos, spires, and rock windows. Our hike ends at the luxurious Stone Canyon Inn, where we’ll enjoy the sunset with dinner tonight.

Day 4: After breakfast in our serene surroundings, we’ll head to Kodachrome Basin to see its multicolored “sand pipe” formations, then continue to Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument for an optional shady hike into a slot canyon. Later we’ll visit Grosvenor Arch, a huge double arch that sits high on a cliff face. Day 5: Enjoy an optional sunrise hike on the Peekaboo Loop, our favorite hike within Bryce—ideal for photos! We’ll return to the Inn for breakfast and then head to Zion National Park. The afternoon is free to hike one of the park’s trails, shop in Springdale, or visit the local museum. Day 6: After an early breakfast we’ll enter Zion National Park for a challenging ascent to Angel’s Landing, a classic five-mile hike that leads to one of the most breathtaking views in the entire Southwest. After a picnic lunch in town we’ll depart for the airport in Las Vegas.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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A las k a & N orth A mer i ca

Arizona

Colorado

Towering red walls, enormous sandstone monoliths, and serene riverbanks

Spend a weekend exploring scenic wonders and amazing wildlife at one

will inspire you. Our expert guides will lead you to the tranquil Emerald

of America’s most magnificent national parks. Wildlife commonly spotted

Pools, through the lofty walls of the Narrows, and to the soaring heights

includes elk, moose, bighorn sheep, numerous varieties of songbirds, along

of Angel’s Landing, whose spectacular vistas were thought by early settlers

with smaller mammals like fox, coyotes, marmots and badgers. After each

to be reserved for angels alone. At each day’s end, relax on your porch

day of hiking, relax at the spa or watch the sun set behind the peaks of the

beneath the crimson cliffs before enjoying your lodge’s delicious cuisine.

Rocky Mountains before enjoying a fine dinner.

4 days • Land Cost from $1,950

4 days • Land Cost from $1,950

CALIFORNIA

UTAH

Experience the land of great extremes that is Death Valley, where the

Bryce’s mysterious landscape draws us along its winding trails into the

tallest peaks in the country surround the lowest depths. Though home to

heart of Utah’s “Grand Staircase.” From the rustic elegance of our lodge,

the highest recorded summer temperature in America, autumn transforms

we emerge into pine forests atop a sweeping amphitheater defined by rows

the valley into a mild climate for our hiking adventure. Our guides lead

of surreal rock pinnacles painted in swaths of fiery orange, crimson, and

us through unexpectedly diverse landscapes and curious forms of life. A

rose. Every turn in the trail brings new insight, as our expert guides share

weekend hike through this extraordinary land will widen your perspectives.

their knowledge of the park’s natural wonders and intriguing history.

4 days • Land Cost from $1,950

4 days • Land Cost from $1,950

Photos ©Doug Lemke, Steve Mees, Danny Warren, MTS Photo File

NEW Zion National Park

NEW Rocky Mountain Nati0nal Park

NEW Death Valley National Park

NEW Bryce Canyon National Park

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Land/Sea Travel

Idaho Salmon

Middle Fork Salmon River

Stanley

Idaho BOISE

Middle Fork of the Salmon River Whitewater Adventure • Experience one of the world’s greatest rivers, with more than 100 rapids over 100 miles. This adventure is big fun for all! • Enjoy a different boating activity each day along with fishing, hiking, and swimming • Camp in style with tents, delicious meals, and hot showers all set up for you!

Activities Rafting, hiking, fishing

Rated by the National Geographic book, Journeys of a Lifetime, as one of the “Top Three Whitewater

Trip Level Easy

Rafting Trips in the World,” our rafting adventure down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River offers countless

Lodging Deluxe camping

thrills packaged in a deluxe camping experience—ideal for amateurs and pros alike! The Middle Fork is the

6-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $1,895

heartbeat of Idaho’s River of No Return Wilderness and home to more than 100 unforgettable rapids in 100 miles. Every day you can choose between an oar boat, a paddle boat, or an inflatable kayak as you coast past abandoned Shoshone pit dwellings and old Gold Rush prospector homesteads. No need to be an expert. Our seasoned guides not only know the river like the back of their hands, but they make camping a breeze.

Photos, clockwise from top left: ©Chad Case/MTS (2), Quincy Dein, Chad Case/MTS

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Meet in Stanley, Idaho, then transfer to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Meet your river guides for a safety briefing and orientation, and then put in at Boundary Creek on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Today you’ll ride your first rapids of the trip and arrive at a comfortable campsite by late afternoon. Day 2: After a hot breakfast at camp you’ll get on the river for an exciting start of your day with Class III rapids. After lunch you might stop at the Indian Creek Guard Station to learn about the history of the area’s native inhabitants, the Shoshone tribe. Then it’s back to rafting towards camp, arriving just in time for happy hour. Day 3: The water calms down today, making this a good opportunity for fly-fishing off one of the oar boats or you can choose to take a refreshing swim. You may also stop at the hot springs at Sunflower or Loon Creek. At your leisure, take a hike up the cliff to see Sheepeater pictographs. Day 4: Some of the Middle Fork’s most thrilling rapids await on the river today. As you continue down river, keep a lookout for wildlife including bighorn sheep grazing along the shore and river otters. You might

even catch glimpses of eagles and black bears. This afternoon you’ll pass by Kaufman’s Cave, the former home of a gold prospector. Day 5: Impassable Canyon draws you in with its dramatic granite cliffs. While you’re soaking in your surroundings you will also experience serious whitewater. This afternoon you can hike up to Veil Falls, a beautiful icy-cold waterfall, to cool off before riding back down the river. Once at camp, you’ll be rewarded with a special farewell dinner and maybe even some champagne to enjoy by the campfire. Day 6: Last but not least! Although you will only ride the river for half a day, you’ll experience the biggest rapids of the trip yet. After a thrilling morning you’ll reach the confluence of the Middle Fork and the main Salmon River, leave your boats, and bid goodbye to Salmon.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Kathmandu

ASIA

Myanmar

Highlights China....................................................... p46–48 NEW Tibet’s Spiritual Heartland.................p. 48 Japan............................................................. p.50 S0utheast Asia......................................... p.53–55 The Himalaya.......................................... p.58–61 India..............................................................p.62

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Nepal

“This was my 4th trip with Mountain Travel Sobek. Every time, I enjoy the camaraderie of the group as much as the trip itself...Kudos to you all at Mountain Travel Sobek.” Brigitta Ammann • San Francisco, CA

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Asia

Custom Travel

In Asia

Experience and Access Our love affair with Asia began in 1969, when we became the first

Travelers find these options to be best when there’s a trip that interests

company to organize a trek to Nepal. Our curiosity led us to Bhutan in

them, but prefer to travel with their own group or on their own schedule.

1974, six years before the country formally opened its doors to tourists. Before long, there were more firsts: Vietnam, Borneo and more recently North Korea. We have solidified our reputation with the help of local offices, long-standing relationships, and our loyal expert guides.

Endless Possibilities

If you’ve always wanted to create your own bucket list journey, our team can create something truly one of a kind. With decades of experience and a truly worldwide network of experts, let us share our knowledge to develop a unique, customized adventure hand-tailored to your specifications. All you have to do is enjoy.

Our insider access and expertise, coupled with imagination creates endless possibilities for any country and region you have ever dreamed of visiting. From simple to multi-country itineraries, our regional specialists know Asia like it’s their second home. Whether you are soaking in the quiet of a traditional Buddhist monastery in Bhutan, trekking in full sight of Everest, listening to the howling winds along the Silk Road, meeting

Photos on this spread: ©Bigstock, MTS Photo File

local vendors in an Indian spice market or marveling at the mystical beauty of Ha Long Bay, Asia is simply intoxicating. No matter where you want to go, MTS will always find the absolute best in the area.

Private and Custom Experiences Any of our scheduled journeys to Asia can be enjoyed as a private trip, giving you a meticulously crafted itinerary that’s ready to book.

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Europe

Asia

from Beijing

to Beijing

Guiyang Kaili Longsheng Guilin

CHINA

Yangshuo

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges, homestays 11-Day Trip Departs May, Jun, Aug Land Cost From $3,695

Photo ©MTS Photo File

China

Real China: Villages of the Southwest • This active journey includes hiking among magical landscapes and biking near charming Yangshuo • Discover the cultures and crafts of southwest China’s rural villages, designed for those who want to see the authentic traditional China • Immerse yourself in the culture with two overnight stays with local families Southwest China’s provinces of Guizhou and Guangxi are alive with vibrant villages and diverse people who continue to embrace a traditional, bucolic way of life. Traversing along misty mountains, green valleys, bamboo groves, and terraced rice paddies, we’ll enjoy hiking and biking while engaging in genuine, personal encounters with the locals—the kind of quality experience you can only get with MTS! Two families welcome you overnight in their homes, including a night with the Baisha Miao people where villagers still live according to the customs and dress code of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Come be a student of this unforgettable region and get to know all of the different landscapes and cultures that contribute to its diversity and texture. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CHI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 46

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Guiyang, China. Transfer to Old Han Village where you’ll watch a traditional “Ground Opera.” Tonight you are free to explore the market. Day 2: Today we’ll drive to Kaili. We’ll stop at Shidong to hike the rice paddies to Xiaohe, a village with enchanting wooden houses. Day 3: We’ll visit several ethnic villages today—Man Dong, Shi Qiao, Chong’an, and Kaili—meet the people, learn more about their folk arts, and see their way of life. Day 4: Today we’ll hike through rice paddies and rolling hills to Xijiang. Later we’ll meet our host families for the night in Paika where we’ll learn how to make and play traditional Lusheng pipes. Day 5: Enjoy a long hike from Datang to Taojiang today, exploring Mount Leigong’s flora and fauna along the way. Overnight in Rongjiang. Day 6: Take a morning transfer to Congjiang to visit the Baisha Miao

people who still retain old dress codes. We’ll hike through picturesque villages leading to Zhaoxing. Day 7: The day begins with a visit to Chengyang Qiao’s covered bridge. After lunch at Sanjiang we’ll see Longsheng’s stunning rice terraces. Day 8: Enjoy a charming hike through rice paddies, following the trails used by the farmers to connect villages of the Zhuang and Yao minorities. Day 9: We’ll continue hiking along trails through the terraced farmland, passing villagers and their traditional homes. We’ll spend the rest of the day in Yangshuo. Day 10: Take a morning hike up Moon Hill for a bird’s-eye view of surrounding peaks before returning to Yangshuo for a cooking class. Later, choose between biking through nearby villages or rafting on the Yulong River. Day 11: After breakfast we’ll transfer to the Guilin Airport for our flights to Beijing and then home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Asia

to/from Beijing

Pamir Mountains

Kashgar Karakul

China

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking, cultural touring Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels, camping 15-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $4,695

Photo ©iStockPhoto

China

Camels, Mountains and Villages • Trek into the Pamir Mountains of China’s Xinjiang province on this MTS exclusive itinerary • Enjoy challenging days of trekking and camping, fully supported by camels and their drivers • Be among the first outsiders to interact with the fascinating nomadic peoples of the Pamirs In the mountains and grasslands of China’s remote Xinjiang province, one hears the echoes of the ancient Silk Road. These are home to a wonderful kaleidoscope of ethnicities who still adhere to traditional ways of life. On this unique itinerary you’ll be among the first outsiders to meet and interact with the fascinating nomads and shepherds who live here. Enjoy challenging treks with the full support of camels and their drivers to transport your belongings as you travel from one remote camp to another. Along the way, you’ll develop real connections with the local people and learn about the intricate history of this cultural crossroads. This is a one-of-a-kind expedition you’ll remember for the rest of your life. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CXT in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Beijing and transfer to your hotel for a good night’s sleep. Day 2: Fly to Kashgar and transfer to the hotel for a welcome dinner. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll enjoy a leisurely day taking in the sites, including Id Kah Mosque. Day 4: We’ll drive through the Pamir Mountains to Karakul Lake to meet our Kyrgyz hosts in their yurt. Day 5: Our trek begins! We’ll pass several Kyrgyz shepherd villages en route to Tokkuzbullak. Day 6: We’ll trek along mountains, glaciers, rivers and grasslands on the way to our camp in Tashningaldi, a market crossroads. Day 7: We’ll climb along glaciers, grasslands, and rivers above treeline today, possibly viewing yaks, sheep, foxes, and even wolves. Day 8: Our trek brings us over a glacial pass to camp in Jan-Bulak with stunning views of the Karakorum Mountains.

Day 9: Today is free to relax, explore, and immerse ourselves in Kyrgyz shepherd life around camp. Day 10: Cross a glacial pass on our way to Qiqeklik, a remote shepherd village. Tonight we’ll taste their local meat and dairy-based cuisine. Day 11: We’ll descend to Lengger, viewing unspoiled scenery of the Pamir Mountains. Day 12: Our descent continues to Xindi where we’ll say goodbye to our camels and drivers and return to Kashgar. A celebratory dinner marks the end of our big trek! Day 13: We’ll explore the Sunday market, then visit Old Town and enjoy lunch in a Uyghur (pronounced Weeger) home. Farewell dinner tonight. Day 14: Fly to Beijing. The rest of the day is free to explore. Day 15: Say goodbye to your travel companions and head to the airport for flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

Qinghai Lake

Xining Lanzhou Tongren Xiahe

China Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, yurt, homestay 11-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $3,695

Photo ©Occidor/Fototeca 9x12

China

NEW Tibet’s Spiritual Heartland • Discover the spiritual heartland of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the few places where monks are free to observe their ancient traditions • Visit ancient monasteries and mosques and learn about traditional art forms such as thangka painting • Through interactions at schools, in villages, and at monasteries, learn about the deep spiritual traditions of Amdo Tibetans China’s provinces of Qinghai and Gansu—centrally located on the old Silk Road and part of the Tibetan homeland—are home to the region’s most famous temples and holy sites, many of which have been left untouched. On this extraordinary journey, you’ll learn about Tibetan Buddhism, witness the nomadic life of pilgrims, marvel at age-old monasteries and inspiring landscapes, and get an intimate glimpse into Tibetan life through an organized homestay. Immerse yourself in this ancient spiritual heartland, embrace the warmth of its hospitable people, and open your eyes to a beauty you’ve never experienced before. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CTP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Lanzhou, China. Meet your guide, transfer to the hotel, and freshen up before visiting the celebrated Gansu Museum. Welcome dinner tonight. Day 2: We’ll visit Binglingsi Temple, a series of grottoes and Buddhist statues. Later we’ll drive to Xiahe, visiting Linxia Mosque and the Hui market along the way. Day 3: Visit Labrang Monastery, one of the six great monasteries of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, and then make your way to Tongren to hike and explore Rongwo Monastery. Tonight we’ll get to watch a traditional Tibetan Guozhuang dance. Day 4: Today we’ll visit Tongren’s Gomar Gompa Monastery and Kalachakra Pagoda. We’ll travel to a Tibetan village where we’ll meet children at a school. Local families will host us overnight. Day 5: We’ll transfer to Kanbula National Forest and see the red cloud landforms sculpted by erosion.

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We’ll hike in this sacred birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism. Day 6: Today we’ll visit Quinghai Lake, the largest in China, where we’ll hike to our hotel. The spectacular lake offers lots of attractions, including bike excursions. Day 7: Birds Island is our destination today where we’ll hike among wild geese, cormorants, and rare blacknecked cranes. Day 8: In the morning we’ll transfer to Gangcha County where we’ll stop and hike in the highlands. We’ll overnight in a local yurt in Gangcha. Day 9: Transfer to Sand Island and hike in its fine sand dunes. We’ll then return to Xining City. Day 10: After a relaxing morning we’ll visit the Dongguan Mosque and the local market on our way to Kumbum Monastery. This evening we’ll return to Xining for our farewell dinner at a local hotspot. Day 11: Say farewell to your fellow travelers and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.

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Asia

Khustain Nuuru National Park Karakorum Ongii Khiid

Terelj National Park Ulaanbaatar

Mongolia Gobi Desert

Dalanzadgad Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural encounters, camel rides Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges, gers 14-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©Bigstock

Mongolia

Horses, Camels and Nomads • Walk among one of the last remaining nomadic horse cultures in the world where “man and horse share the same soul” • Witness Mongolia’s famous Naadam Festival featuring archery, wrestling, and horse racing • Experience the overwhelming solitude of true big sky country with eagles soaring overhead in blue skies that stretch beyond the horizon While once a pivotal point on the ancient Silk Road, Mongolia has managed to remain rather unspoiled by Western tourism. As such, travelers here get to enjoy genuine encounters with the locals. Very little has changed over the centuries: horses are integral to the nomadic culture, shamanic traditions endure, and Buddhist monasteries remain the heartbeat of spiritual tradition. On this fabulous adventure you’ll see legendary places like the Gobi Desert and Genghis Khan’s capital of Karakorum. You’ll hike, ride horses and camels through magical landscapes, attend the famous Naadam festival, overnight in a ger, and learn how to make regional dishes. Tapping into your inner nomad will leave you feeling both free and authentically connected. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MNG in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. You’ll meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest or explore.

Day 8: Take an optional sunrise hike up the dunes. After breakfast we’ll meet a camel breeder’s family and ride camels along the dunes.

Day 2: We’ll kick off our adventure with a guided tour of the “world’s coldest capital.” Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9: We’ll spend the day hiking at the famous “flaming cliffs” of Bayanzag, known for its fossil beds.

Day 3: After seeing the Buddhist monastery of Gandan Khiid, we’ll visit Khustain Nuruu National Park to learn about the endangered Przewalski’s horse. Overnight in a ger. Day 4: On the way to Karakorum, Genghis Khan’s impressive capital, we’ll stop to visit a local family for the Mongolian version of tea and donuts. Day 5: Today we’ll take part in the exciting regional Naadam festival for horse racing, wrestling, and archery. Day 6: Visit Ongi Khiid Monastery, one of 17th century Mongolia’s largest Buddhist compounds. Day 7: We’ll hike the green Eagle Valley Canyon and then visit the “singing” sand dunes of Khongor Els.

Day 10: Take an early morning flight to Ulaanbaatar. We’ll then drive to Terelj National Park for a hike. Day 11: We’ll climb the stairs of the Chinggis Khaan statue before driving to Tuul Riverside Lodge for lunch and an afternoon archery demo. Day 12: Riding on horseback, we’ll visit a local family, and later enjoy a traditional barbecue of mutton and vegetables. Day 13: A hike through forests and meadows brings us to Tsetse Gun. After our picnic we’ll descend to the monastery of Manzushir. Day 14: Bid your companions farewell and transfer to the airport for flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Asia

JAPAN Yabuhara

TOKYO Tsumago

Magome

Kyoto Nara Mount Koya

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Japan

Walking Japan • Experience the ancient, imperial city of Kyoto and the electric energy of modern Tokyo • Walk in the footsteps of shoguns as you follow ancient trade routes with your local guide • Relax in traditional Japanese inns and enjoy exquisite, multi-course meals—only with MTS Walking through the Japanese countryside can inspire the inner tranquility in anyone. Beginning in the old imperial city of Kyoto and ending in modern Tokyo, our itinerary follows the Nakasendo, a network

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

of ancient trade routes once used by shogun, samurai, and merchants to travel from Kyoto to the provincial

Trip Level Moderate

towns of the Kiso Valley. Traveling by way of temples, shrines, and hamlets, you’ll take in ethereal

Lodging Hotels, traditional ryokan inns, temple lodging

landscapes of cherry blossoms, lush gardens, and misty forests. You’ll enjoy the generosity of Japanese

11-Day Trip Departs Mar, Apr, Sep–Nov Land Cost From $5,495

hospitality in a shukubo (temple lodging) and family-run inns, the serenity of soaking in volcanic hot springs, and the contrasts between old and new in this magical land. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JAP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©Judy Bellah, T Kekaha (2), Bigstock

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8/1/14 2:36:19 PM


Asia

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Meet your group and guide at our hotel in the ancient city of Kyoto. Tonight we will convene for a welcome dinner at a restaurant in the city center. Day 2: Today we will explore the imperial city of Kyoto, including visits to the extraordinary zen temple of Kinkaku-ji and the rock garden at Ryoan-ji. This afternoon we’ll head to the idyllic setting of Arashiyama. The afternoon is free to explore. Day 3: Take a short train ride to Nara where we’ll see the 8th century Kasuga Taisha Shrine and walk to Mount Wakakusa for a view of the city. After lunch we’ll visit the bronze Buddhas of Todai-ji Temple. Day 4: The scenic Nankai railway brings us to sacred Mount Koya, home to 100 monasteries. We’ll visit Kongobu-ji Temple before arriving at an elegant shukubo for the night. Day 5: We have an early morning Buddhist service at the temple followed by a visit to Okuno-in cemetery. We’ll train to Kiso Valley and explore the small mountain villages linking Kyoto and Edo. Day 6: This morning we’ll explore the small post-town of Magome and its handicrafts before taking a short hike to the charming village of Tsumago-juku over Magome Pass.

Day 7: Our walk continues on to Nojiri via empty country lanes that wander along rice fields and village gardens. Transfer to Koma-no-yu Ryokan to soak in hot springs and stay the night. Day 8: Take a short train ride to the post-town of Yabuhara, then climb to Torii Pass for views over the Kiso Valley. This afternoon we’ll arrive in Narai-juku, one of the best-preserved villages of the valley. Day 9: After breakfast we’ll enjoy a short walk to Hirasawa where we’ll stop in one of its renowned workshops and meet local artisans before transferring to Tokyo. Day 10: We have an action-packed day discovering Tokyo, including the elegant Ginza shopping district, the gardens of the Imperial Palace, the Grand Meiji Shrine, and a walk down Omote-Sando street to Shibuya. Farewell dinner tonight. Day 11: Say “sayonara” to Japan as you transfer to Narita International Airport for homebound flights. For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

Chongjin

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel China

North Korea Baekdu Mountain Mount Myohyang PYONGYANG Panmunjom

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy Lodging Hotels 11-Day Trip Departs Apr, Sep Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©Scott Stallard

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

North Korea Adventure • Get behind the one remaining iron curtain and go back in time to glimpse the last bastion of Cold War communism • Through our special relationships and our trip leader we have unprecedented access to interacting with locals • Visit Mount Paekdu and Kumgangsan, remote and sacred areas generally accessible only to locals After decades of being closed to the West, North Korea has finally opened its doors to foreign travelers. Visiting this last stronghold of the Cold War is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. While our itinerary highlights the sites of Pyongyang and Panmunjom, it stretches much farther into beautiful and remote wilderness areas like Mount Paekdu (September departure) and Kumgangsan (April departure). We’ve designed our trip around the May Day celebrations (April departure), a public holiday in North Korea, and the chance to see the Mass Games (September departure) in Kim Sung Il Square. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the locals at every turn and see their way of life, offering you as genuine a glimpse of this emerging nation as they come. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code NOK in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS NOTE: Itinerary reflects the September departure. Call for details about the April departure.

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, China. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel for an orientation and welcome dinner. Day 2: Fly to Pyongyang, North Korea. Our guides will show us the Arch of Triumph before heading to our hotel on an island in the Taedong River. Day 3: Our tour of Pyongyang begins at the Grand People’s Study House Library. We’ll then see the Korean Art Gallery and Pyongyang Folk Village. Visiting a secondary school and a hospital will lend insight into the DPRK’s public facilities. Day 4: This morning we’ll drive to Mt. Myohyang to see the International Friendship Exhibition. Later, we’ll hike the Mapok Valley, passing waterfalls and unusual rocks. Day 5: We’ll visit an ancient Buddhist temple and the Ryongmun and Paengryong Caves. Later, we’ll roll

with the locals at the Golden Lane Bowling Center. Day 6: Today we visit the major monuments of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kim Il Sung Square. Day 7: Fly to Mt. Paekdu to take a funicular to its dormant volcano and a cable car down to its lake. Later, we’ll see the birthplace of Kim Jong Il. Day 8: We depart for Chongjin after a visit to the statues of Samjiyon Grand Monument. Day 9: After visiting revolutionary sites, we’ll fly back to Pyongyang to see the Mansudae Grand Monument and visit the Embroidery Institute. Day 10: Drive to the ancient city of Kaesong to visit its age-old monuments. We’ll see the DMZ at Panmunjom before heading back for a special farewell dinner. Day 11: Fly to Beijing for your homeward-bound connections.

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8/1/14 2:36:31 PM


Asia Land/Sea Travel Air Travel Muang La

Nong Khiaw

Luang Prabang

Laos

Thailand Pakse Champasak

Activities Cultural journey, hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges 11-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Nov Land Cost From $3,995

Photo ©Namart Pieamsuwan

Laos

Hidden Laos • Enjoy hidden sites that few tourists visit, hand-picked by MTS’s adventure experts • Discover ancient temples including 5th century Vat Phou which precedes Cambodia’s Angkor Wat by 700 years • Visit an elephant rehabilitation center to experience the emotional and social intelligence of one of nature’s most magnificent creatures Nestled between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos offers a simpler, less hurried pace than its neighbors. Off the tourist route, deep in its northern hills, diverse ethnic groups live in small riparian villages, preserving their art forms and living traditional lifestyles. In addition to exploring Laos’ ancient Khmer temples and hidden sites, you’ll immerse yourself in the culture of Khmu and Tá Deng hill tribes on a trek where you’re unlikely to see any other westerners. Cruising down rivers, riding elephants up mountains, and trekking through the jungle, you’ll be able to enjoy all this delightful country has to offer whether you are traveling to Southeast Asia for the first time or returning for a new perspective. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code LAO in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand and fly to Pakse, Laos. Transfer to Ban Khiat Ngong. The rest of the day is free to unwind at the resort. Day 2: We’ll ferry across the Mekong River for our half-day trek. We’ll hike through a tropical forest to an archeological site, then ride an elephant up Phou Asa Mountain. Day 3: A boat will bring us to the islands Don Det and Don Khong. We’ll then boat along the Mekong River to see the nearly extinct Irrawaddy dolphins. Day 4: Travel north to visit Vat Phou Champasak (“Mountain Temple”) to appreciate the architecture of its shrines and terraces. Day 5: Today we’ll visit the historic temples and colonial buildings of Luang Prabang. Later, the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center will teach us about Laos’ rich diversity. Day 6: After watching the morning rituals of Buddhist monks, we’ll visit the Phosi Market. Later we’ll learn

about traditional weaving and head to Kuangsi Waterfalls for a swim! Day 7: Our drive to Muang La will bring us through rural landscapes and small villages. There will be time to relax in the lodge spa or explore before dinner. Day 8: We’ll trek through a lush jungle to small villages to learn about their way of life, then make a pilgrimage to the hidden temple of Wat Hoytinphabath. Day 9: We’re off to Muang Khua to explore town and observe the rural Lao way of life. Later we’ll cruise to Nong Khiaw, stopping at the isolated village of Muang Ngoi. Day 10: On our way back to Luang Prabang we’ll stop at the junction of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers to visit the Pak Ou Caves. Our farewell dinner is tonight. Day 11: Say your goodbyes before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

HANOI

Vietnam

Luang Prabang

Hue

LAOS THAILAND

Pakse Siem Reap

BANGKOK

Cambodia

Air Travel

Ho Chi Minh City

Activities Cultural touring, boat trips Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels, traditional junk boat 15-Day Trip Departs Feb, Nov, Dec Land Cost From $5,495 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam

Treasures of Indochine • Explore Southeast Asia’s gems (3 countries!) on this comprehensive and exclusive-to-MTS itinerary • Experience 3 World Heritage Sites with our guides who will show you how to avoid the crowds • Explore the untouched 4,000 Islands region of the Mekong River and catch sight of the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin The historic cities, dense jungles, steep limestone hills, lush river valleys, mysterious caves, and spectacular coastlines of Southeast Asia are otherworldly. This unique survey journey encompasses our favorite places in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in one comprehensive itinerary—a one-of-a-kind adventure! As you skip across the Indochina Peninsula, you’ll have the chance to visit all of the major UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the mystical ruins of Angkor Wat, the Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang, and the dragon-like islands of Halong Bay. Seamlessly guided from one country to another, in the comfort of well-appointed hotels and with intricate art and architecture at every turn, you’ll take it all in without missing a beat. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code TOI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and transfer to your hotel. Day 2: Board a morning flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, with time to unwind once you reach the hotel. Day 3: We’ll tour Wat Xieng Thong Temple and then cruise the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. Later, we’ll stroll the night market. Day 4: Fly to Pakse, Laos and then head to Champasak to visit the ancient temples of Wat Phou. Day 5: Cruise out to the islands of Don Det and Don Khong, then visit some famous waterfalls. Day 6: We’ll fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia today to explore the unforgettable temple complex of Angkor Wat, including Ta Prohm. Day 7: Today we’ll visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, and Baphuon, the “city of women.” Day 8: Sunrise at Angkor Wat is a highlight of the tour! We’ll then fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Day 9: A half-day tour of vibrant Saigon kicks off the day, taking in the sites and market, before flying to the ancient capital of Hue. Day 10: After exploring town and the Imperial Palace, we’ll take a dragon boat trip to Minh Mang Mausoleum. Tonight, enjoy a cooking class! Day 11: Fly to Hanoi where we’ll explore the vibrant Old Town. Later, we’ll enjoy a folk performance of water puppets. Day 12: Our tour of Hanoi continues with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s tomb, One Pillar Pagoda, and the “Hanoi Hilton” Prison. Day 13: We’ll drive to Halong Bay and cruise its spectacular islands, go swimming, and visit a fishing village. Day 14: Greet the day with some tai ji exercise before boating back to Halong Bay for one last cruise. Farewell dinner in Hanoi. Day 15: Transfer to airport for your homeward-bound flight.

8/1/14 2:36:38 PM


Asia Kengtung

Pindaya Bagan

Mae Sae Inle Lake

Chiang Rai from Bangkok

Myanmar

Thailand

YANGON to Bangkok

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels 12-Day Trip Departs Nov, Dec Land Cost From $3,995

Photo ©Corinne Edwards

Myanmar

Hidden Myanmar • This journey showcases the very best that Burma has to offer—bustling Yangon, Inle Lake, pagoda studded plains, and timeless remote villages • Explore the Kengtung region, until recently closed to the outside world, only with MTS! • Visit sacred Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines four past Buddhas, attracting monks worldwide After years of being closed off to the rest of the world, Myanmar is just starting to open its doors to visitors. While the city of Yangon vibrates with activity, enchanting hill tribe villages surrounding sacred pagodas, ancient Buddhist temples, and elaborate monasteries have been largely unchanged by modern life. This immersive cultural experience will bring you up close and personal with the locals. Hiking from village to village you’ll experience their slow-paced lifestyle and learn about their trades and crafts. You’ll explore the floating gardens of Inle Lake, soak in hot springs, and ride in a flatbottomed canoe. With time in Yangon, you’ll get to see the best of new Myanmar and old Burma before it changes forever. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MYA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. Transfer to your hotel to relax or step out and explore. Day 2: Fly to Chiang Rai where an MTS representative will escort you over the border to Myanmar. We’ll enjoy a scenic drive to Kengtung. Day 3: This morning we’ll take in Kengtung’s many sites. Later, we’ll soak in nearby hot springs and visit a few hill tribe villages. Day 4: After visiting the energetic market day at Kat Tauk, we’ll trek through the steep tracks that link several hill tribe villages. Day 5: Enjoy a free morning to relax or explore. We’ll then fly to Heho and drive to Inle Lake, known for its floating villages, where we’ll have time to explore. Day 6: Today we’ll visit a market, a pagoda, and a monastery and floating gardens in Inle Lake. We’ll then canoe among the lake’s villages. Day 7: A visit to Pindaya’s celebrated Buddhist caves is followed by a walk

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to Singaung village to learn about its bamboo umbrella industry. Day 8: Enjoy a leisurely morning. Later we’ll fly to Bagan where we can unwind at our hotel’s nature spa, enjoy the pool, or stroll the gardens. Day 9: By bicycle we’ll explore some of Bagan’s many temples: Htilominlo, Tharabar Gate, Phayar Thonesu, Myingaba Gubyaukgyi, and Ananda. Day 10: Today we’ll visit Schwezigon Pagoda and the Kyaukgu Umin cave temple before cruising the river back to Bagan. Flight to Yangon, the former capital. Day 11: We’ll observe the stunning contrasts between old and new as we take in the sights in the bustling metropolis of Yangon. Festive farewell dinner tonight! Day 12: After breakfast we’ll head to the airport for our flight to Bangkok. Fly home or consider one of our trip extensions in Southeast Asia!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

Sepilok Forest Reserve Kota Kinabalu

Sandakan

Kinabatangan River

Danum Valley

Gomantong Caves

Sabah (MalaysiAN Borneo)

Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, wildlife viewing Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels, eco-camp, lodges 11-Day Trip Departs May, Aug Land Cost From $5,595

Photo ©Stéphane Bidouze

Borneo, Indonesia

Wild Borneo • Discover an incredible range of rare and endangered wildlife in Borneo’s lush rainforests • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and on exciting night hikes, and unwind in comfortable eco-lodges at midday • Visit the famed stilt villages of the sea gypsies, the Bajau Laut, and learn about their nomadic way of life The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from its lush rainforests to its pristine beaches, but it also hosts a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. Based out of relaxed and well-appointed eco-lodges, our itinerary focuses on the island’s best wildlife viewing locations: Kinabatangan River, the Danum Valley rainforest, and tropical Pom Pom Island. And our pace couldn’t be any easier. Every day begins and ends with safaris by foot and by boat, and midday is free to relax and explore. Along the way you’ll encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran rhino, and our expert guides will explain the conservation efforts being made for their protection. These unique creatures are not to be missed! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BOR in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Sandakan, Borneo. Meet your guide and transfer to your tropical rainforest retreat to relax and get acclimated. Meet for a welcome dinner and orientation tonight. Day 2: Today we’ll explore the Sepilok Forest Reserve by foot. We’ll visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the Sun Bear Center for a private tour and then head to the Rainforest Discovery Center. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll head to our resort on the Kinabatangan River. A river cruise at dusk reveals abundant wildlife for our viewing. Day 4: We’ll enjoy an early morning river cruise to explore the renowned Gomantong Caves, famous for their unusual birdlife, orangutans, and red leaf langurs. Day 5: Today we’ll travel to the Danum Valley, a Class I Virgin Primary Rainforest, renowned for its rare and endangered wildlife. Later we’ll search for nocturnal creatures on a night hike.

Day 6: A fabulous day begins with a morning canopy walk followed by a hike to a spectacular waterfall for a dip. End with a nighttime safari. Day 7: Spend the day exploring this pristine rainforest, and search for orangutans, gibbons and more. Take a swim in the Danum River. Day 8: A speed boat ride brings us to Pom Pom Island where we’ll spend the day relaxing, snorkeling, or diving. Day 9: Today is spent exploring Tun Sakaran Marine Park, snorkeling its pristine reefs and visiting traditional Bajau Laut villages. Day 10: Transfer to the airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu. Tonight we’ll explore the waterfront markets and enjoy a farewell feast. Day 11: Head to the airport for your homeward-bound flights, or consider a trip extension to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and/or Cambodia.

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8/1/14 2:36:46 PM


Asia to/from Denpasar (Bali)

Komodo

FLORES ISLAND

Maumere

Ruteng

Labuan Bajo

Bajawa

Indonesia Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, snorkeling, sailing, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, homestay, rustic lodges 14-Day Trip Departs Apr, Sep Land Cost From $3,395 Photo ©iStockPhoto

East indonesia

East Indonesia’s Volcanoes, Villages and Dragons • Explore the islands of East Nusa Tenggara with MTS— rated among the Ten Best Trips of 2014 by Smarter Traveler • See otherworldly marine and terrestrial wildlife, including the Komodo dragon, while hiking and snorkeling • Visit islands not frequented by tourists and spend time with indigenous villagers who maintain their traditional way of life with little impact from the outside world The island of Flores is East Indonesia’s version of paradise. Untouched and off the beaten path, it offers miles of gorgeous coastline, 15 conical volcanoes, and an amazing array of exotic marine wildlife to enjoy. Flores is also home to the Ngada people who are known for their beautiful weavings. As we hike through pristine forests and grasslands, we will pass Ngada villages and their unique traditional structures, stopping along the way to meet the people and learn about their way of life. We’ll stay in comfortable eco-lodges, luxurious hotels, and even have a homestay in a traditional village. Punctuated with a two-day sailing trip to visit the notorious Komodo Dragon, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code EIN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Denpasar, Bali. An MTS representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Day 2: Fly to Maumere, Flores. Transfer to the hotel to relax before our welcome dinner on the beach. Day 3: Today we’ll visit the three colorful, volcanic crater lakes of Kelimutu. We’ll check into our ecolodge, then stroll the highlands and explore the village of Moni. Day 4: We’ll drive the spectacular coastline to Bajawa, stopping to shop at the local village craft markets. Day 5: A day in the Ngada region offers us the chance to meet traditional villagers. Later, we’ll head to Malange Hot Springs for a soak.

Day 8: Walk through a rainforest to Santarenda whose villagers will host us overnight in their homes and treat us to traditional singing and dancing. Day 9: Hike out from the village and transfer to Labuan Bajo to enjoy our boutique hotel in the hills. Day 10: Today is a free day to relax, explore the city, and spend some time kayaking or snorkeling. Day 11: Our two-day sailboat excursion begins, offering time to snorkel and relax. We’ll stop at Rincca for our first view of the notorious Komodo dragons! Day 12: We’ll walk a well-marked trail on the island of Komodo, looking for dragons and other incredible wildlife.

Day 6: On the way to Ruteng we’ll pass volcanoes, farmland, and villages before exploring the town and its local market.

Day 13: Return to Labuan Bajo. Our hotel offers excellent food and a spa where we can unwind before our farewell dinner.

Day 7: After a leisurely transfer to Denge, we’ll check into our lodges and take a scenic warm-up hike.

Day 14: We’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Denpasar, Bali and then home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Asia

Pangboche

Mount Everest

Everest Lodge to Lodge

Namche KATHMANDU

Ama Dablam

Lukla

Nepal

Nepal

Tengboche

Air Travel Hiking

• Trek the iconic expedition that’s been our cornerstone for 45 years—exclusive to MTS • See legendary Himalayan peaks and overnight at some of the region’s best mountain lodges • Get an insider’s perspective as you explore ancient monasteries and traditional villages Our fondness for this itinerary runs deep...and as far back as 1969 when MTS was the first outfitter to lead commercial treks in Nepal. This iconic trip showcases the Khumbu’s high mountain villages, the serenity

Activities Trekking, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Lodges, hotels 14-Day Trip Departs Apr, May, Sep–Dec Land Cost From $3,995

of the ancient Buddhist monasteries, and the warm hospitality of the Sherpa people. Hiking past colorful rhododendron, terraced fields, small hamlets, and some of the planet’s most epic peaks cannot help but put one’s life into perspective, and our lodge-to-lodge adventure is an easy way to take it all in. From the celebrated Tengboche Monastery we will soak in views of Everest, the Titan among titans, as well as a panoply of other iconic peaks. Come see why this land is worshipped by mystics and explorers alike. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code EVE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©Cathy Ann Taylor, Aurora Photos, Jock Montgomery

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8/1/14 2:36:53 PM


Asia

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal where you will be briefed and escorted to the hotel. Dinner is on your own to get a taste of the region.

Day 8: After crossing the Imja Drangka River, we will gradually ascend to Lhabarma where majestic views of the beloved Ama Dablam ridge appear proudly before us.

Day 2: This morning we tour Bhaktapur, an ancient citystate which has preserved its old character and charm. The afternoon is yours to experience Kathmandu’s sites, shrines and markets.

Day 9: Our trail today is quiet and blissful, bringing us past panoramic vistas and charming, old stone houses. The afternoon is free to unwind or explore Tashinga.

Day 3: Enjoy a spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Lukla. Time permitting, we can take a warm-up hike up to Kharka.

Day 10: We’ll walk by the villages of Khumjung, up a shallow valley and mountain bowl, to arrive at the best bakery in the region! We’ll visit the Edmund Hillary School and the the monastery of Khumjung.

Day 4: The trail departs from Lukla and descends down 1,500 feet to the Dudh Kosi. We will meet the legendary Sherpa people along the way.

Day 11: Our journey brings us back to Lukla along the Dudh Kosi, retracing our steps from Day 4 and appreciating them in a new light.

Day 5: Our trek leads us to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and the charming market town of Namche Bazaar for our first glimpse of Everest.

Day 12: Weather permitting, we’ll bid a fond farewell to the Khumbu and fly back to Kathmandu.

Day 6: Learn about the culture, geography, geology, and wildlife of the region at Sagarmatha National Park Visitors Center. Day 7: Today we embark on one of the most beautiful walks on earth into the Dudh Kosi Gorge, leading us through a fir forest to the famous Tengboche Monastery.

Day 13: If time allows, we’ll tour the Hindu shrines and ghats at Pashupatinath and the large Tibetan Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath. The afternoon is free to spend as you choose before our farewell dinner tonight.

More Options for the Nepal Himalaya In addition to our classic, flagship Everest Lodge to Lodge journey, we have these great options available:

Everest Base Camp Trek Our ultimate trek to the base of the world’s most iconic peak.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Trek the verdant Annapurna Himal to a shimmering, glacier-ringed alpine basin.

Annapurna Lodge to Lodge Easy trekking plus great wildlife viewing in Chitwan National Park.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Day 14: Depart Kathmandu a different person from when you arrived.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

Land/Sea Travel

Bhutan THIMPHU Paro Haa Valley

Activities Hiking, cultural touring Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, camping 11-Day Trip Departs Apr, Oct, Nov Land Cost From $4,595

Photo ©Jan Butchofsky-Houser / Houserstock

Bhutan

Bhutan Trek & Cultural Discovery • Explore Bhutan’s gems with the only company to offer this journey for the short-on-time traveler • Trek three days on our route with unforgettable views of iconic Chomolhari and its sister Himalayan peaks • Discover the beautiful and isolated Haa Valley We were instantly enamored with Bhutan when we first pioneered trekking here in the 1980s. Everything from its ancient monasteries and temples to its tea houses and folk art is steeped in timeless tradition. This itinerary offers a fantastic survey of the country’s finest sites. You’ll have a chance to enjoy the cultural attractions of Thimphu and the Paro Valley, experience a challenging three-day camping trek to great mountain passes of the Himalaya, and visit the isolated Haa Valley. With a stunning backdrop of verdant valleys and snowy summits that is sure to raise your notion of beauty to new heights, it easy to see why Bhutan’s “gross national happiness” is so contagious. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BHS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. Transfer to your hotel for a good night’s sleep. Consider arriving a day early to explore the city. Day 2: Enjoy a spectacular flight to Paro, Bhutan, as you soar over the peaks of the Himalaya! Transfer to Thimphu where you are free to rest or explore. Day 3: Enjoy our first steep hike to the famous Buddhist monasteries of Cheri Goemba and Tango Goemba. Later we’ll visit Tashichho Dzong. Day 4: This morning we’ll tour the celebrated School of Arts and Crafts, Textile Museum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, and Folk Heritage Museum. This afternoon, visit the National Museum in Paro. Day 5: A steep, two-hour hike brings us to the famous Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”). This afternoon we’re free to explore Paro. Day 6: Today we’ll journey to the beautiful and isolated Haa Valley.

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Once there, we’ll visit the 8th century Lhakhang Karpo, the “temple of the white dove.” Day 7: Our camping trek begins uphill through blue pine forest and farmland. On our way to Saga La, we’ll walk along streams and through forests and meadows. Day 8: Climb to Saga La and then continue up the steep path through dwarf rhododendron. Tonight’s camp at Ningula offers views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drakye. Day 9: A steep climb over mountain passes yields outstanding views of Paro and the Haa Valley. At Chele La we’ll board our bus back to Paro. Day 10: We’ll take a morning flight from Paro to Bangkok. The rest of the day is free to explore this exciting city. Day 11: Bid farewell to your travel companions and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flight or an optional trip extension through Southeast Asia!

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Asia Chomolhari Jangothang Shana Zampa Drugkyel Dzong

THIMPHU Paro

Bhutan Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking Trip Level Ultimate Challenge Lodging Hotels, camping 15-Day Trip Departs Apr, Oct, Nov Land Cost From $5,595

Photo ©Cathy Ann Taylor

Bhutan

The Chomolhari Trek • Explore the sacred Chomolhari with the first company to pioneer treks in Bhutan • Trek over challenging terrain through the most remote, pristine landscapes of the Himalaya • Immerse yourself in the richness of the culture visiting superbly preserved museums, dzongs, and goembas Trekking Bhutan’s sacred Chomolhari is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This sacred peak of the Himalaya is one of the last isolated bastions of the mountain kingdom that has still been largely unexplored by tourists. This “ultimate challenge” itinerary offers 10 days of serious trekking amid some of the Himalaya’s most spectacular peaks. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of time to explore ancient monasteries and temples, including the “Tiger’s Nest” of Taktsang, and delve into the cultural richness of the country’s farmers and traditional folk arts. Our expert guides and porters will teach you all there is to know, leaving you with a full understanding of why the Bhutanese are some of the happiest people on Earth! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BCT in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. Transfer to your hotel. Day 2: Fly to Paro, Bhutan. Meet your guide and drive to Thimphu where you’ll have time to explore and relax. Day 3: A steep hike takes us to the famous Buddhist monasteries of Cheri and Tango Goembas. Day 4: Our morning tour visits the School of Arts and Crafts, Textile Museum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, and Folk Heritage Museum. This afternoon we’ll visit Paro’s National Museum. Day 5: Hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”) above the Paro Valley. Day 6: We’ll visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, then trek along the Paro River past fields and farmhouses on our way to camp. Day 7: We’ll trek through lush forests and rocky terrain to camp at Soi Thangthangkha. Day 8: The trail opens to spectacular

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views of snowcapped ridges, then heads down near the base of Chomolhari. Day 9: Today is free to explore the area and walk to a nearby glacier or get some well deserved rest at camp. Day 10: A steep hike to Bhonte La. Yak herding families will meet us at camp to show us their unique crafts. Day 11: A gentle uphill trail leads us above Soi Yaksa Valley then to Thombu La for incredible views of the surrounding peaks. Day 12: We’ll climb to a ridge above Paro Valley, and then descend into Shana for our last night of camping. Day 13: Return to the trailhead at Drukgyel Dzong where we’ll bid farewell to our crew and ponies. Day 14: Board a morning flight from Paro to Bangkok. The day is free to explore this vibrant city. Day 15: Fly home today or consider extending your trip with any of our extensions into Southeast Asia!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Europe

Asia

DELHI

Pushkar Jodhpur Jaisalmer

Jaipur Luni

Udaipur

India Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels, deluxe desert camps 15-Day Trip Departs Oct, Nov Land Cost From $5,695

Photo ©Angelo Giampiccolo

India

Rajasthan’s Pushkar Festival • Dive into the tribal Pushkar camel fair and its companion religious festival, not offered by most tour companies • Experience Jaisalmer, an intact 1,000-year-old fort so remote that you feel as if you are on the edge of the world • Stay in centuries-old converted palaces so enchanting that our trip members rank them among the highlights of the trip Rajasthan is India’s largest state, and its ancient palaces and fortifications stand as proud symbols of prosperity. For millennia Rajasthan has served as a center of trade for the region’s diverse people, a tradition that continues today with the famous Pushkar Fair, the largest camel trading fair in India. You’ll have the opportunity to witness the electric energy of this yearly event as artisans, vendors, and buyers of all walks of life come to haggle over prices. You’ll travel like a nomad to see the fine architecture of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Udaipur while sleeping like a king in the former palaces of the Maharajas. With guided tours and authentic personal encounters with its people, Royal Rajasthan is a feast of riches. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code RAJ in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, India, and transfer to your hotel for a good night’s rest. Day 2: After our drive to Jaipur, we’ll visit the market to see the variety of handmade offerings. Day 3: We’ll ride an elephant to Amber Fort, then tour “the Pink City” of Jaipur this afternoon. Day 4: Take a morning drive to Pushkar where we’ll check into deluxe tents and revel in the electric energy of this desert festival. Day 5: We’ll have the whole day to wander Pushkar and photograph the desert livestock and their colorfully dressed owners. Day 6: After a morning drive to Jodhpur, we’ll enjoy an afternoon tour of the city and an evening walk through the medieval market. Day 7: The road brings us to the “golden city” of Jaisalmer where we’ll visit Bada Bagh. Watch the sun set over Jaisalmer Fort.

Day 8: We’ll visit the old town of Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer Fort’s havelis and stone carvings. The rest of the day is free to explore. Day 9: After arriving in Gajner we’ll check out the fort of Bikaner. Day 10: This morning we’ll visit a camel breeding farm and Karni Mata Temple. Tonight we’ll sleep in deluxe tents in the Thar Desert. Day 11: Today we’ll take a short jeep safari to explore the desert. In the afternoon we’ll continue on to Luni. Day 12: Spend the day driving to Udaipur, stopping en route to visit Ranakpur’s Jain temples. Day 13: Visit the City Palace and Jagdish Temple of Udaipur. Later, we’ll enjoy a cruise on Pichola Lake. Day 14: We’ll catch a flight to Delhi early so we can explore the old city and visit Raj Ghat and Jama Masjid before our farewell dinner. Day 15: Say goodbye to India, and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Asia

Custom Travel Private and Custom Experiences With the India Experts

Treasures of North India

India is a vast and immensely varied land, with myriad customs,

Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Agra. Tour

religions, and philosophies, often defying easy comprehension

the enchanting palaces and forts of the

or understanding. Our incomparable guides know India intimately

maharajahs including a spectacular sunrise

and will give you an insider’s look at the real India that you simply

visit to the one-and-only Taj Mahal.

can’t find elsewhere. Befitting a land of such diversity, we offer you endless possibilities

Photos on this page: ©F9 Photos, Shutterstock, MTS Photo File

In India Visit the best known cities and sites of India:

Splendors of Central India Experience the contrasting cultures of central

to customize an experience that reaches every corner of India from

India. Explore the rock-cut cave temples of

incredibly remote destinations such as Nagaland and Manipur to

Ellora and Ajanta—both UNESCO World

South India’s undeveloped and emerging Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Heritage sites—and visit the Portuguese-

Explore these newer destinations while still including the must see

influenced colonial town of Goa.

Taj Mahal and Rajasthan on your itinerary. For additional options to make your India adventure unique, consider our private India tours. Though any of these can be taken as a standalone journey, they were designed to fit the needs of travelers who wished to see more than one region of India, and can be combined to create an incomparable top-to-bottom exploration of this magnificent country. A sampling of our

Images of South India Explore South India from coast to coast, from the spice trade of the Malabar Coast to colonial Coromandel. Enjoy incredible game viewing at wildlife preserves and visits to ancient temples.

private India journeys is shown at right. www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Europe

Asia

Uzbekistan Dashoguz Khiva

TUR K MENistan

Tashkent

Bukhara Ashgabat

Samarkand Mary

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 12-Day Trip Departs May, Sep Land Cost From $5,095

Photo ©iStockPhoto

Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Great Silk Road Adventure • Explore the epicenter of the great northern Silk Road’s difficult to reach trade route between Europe and Asia • Visit 14th century mosques, the caravansaries of Bukhara, and the marbled city of Ashgabat, an oasis in the middle of nowhere • Wander Turkmenistan’s legendary Sunday bazaar—one of the largest and best in the world! The independent republics of Central Asia boast a natural beauty and grandeur that have been recognized by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane! Still a pivotal center of trade, much as it was in Marco Polo’s time, locals are quick to welcome foreign visitors. Off the tourist routes and remotely situated, our “Great Silk Road Adventure” highlights the khanates with time in Bukhara, Khiva, Samarkand, and Ashgabat. You’ll visit centuriesold mosques, fortresses, madrassas (schools), and ancient bazaars that are as important today as they were thousands of years ago. Unique architecture, rich history, local cuisine, and warm hospitality abound, making this the perfect departure for history buffs. Join MTS on the Silk Road! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CEN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 64

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2015_05_ppr_asia_jul30.indd 64 PB www.MTSOBEK.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Meet your guide and transfer to the hotel and unwind. Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and orientation. Day 2: After breakfast we’ll drive to Samarkand, stopping for a picnic near the legendary gate of Tamerlane. Day 3: Today we’ll enjoy a guided visit of Samarkand with visits to Guri Emir, Registan Square, Shah-iZinda, Bibi Khanum, and a traditional spice market. Day 4: Transfer to Shakhrisabz where we’ll visit the birthplace of Tamerlane. We’ll then head to Bukhara to browse its famous crafts. Day 5: By foot we’ll explore the bustling old quarter of Bukhara and its historic buildings, see a cooking demonstration, and enjoy a folklore performance tonight. Day 6: This morning we’ll set out for Turkmenistan, stopping to visit old Merv, once the biggest city in Central Asia, before ending the day in Mary.

Day 7: Fly to Ashgabat on the southern edge of the Kara-Kum desert. We’ll visit the ruins of Nissa, tour the city, and shop in the famous Sunday bazaar. Day 8: Ashgabat offers another day of discovery as we visit old Nissa, Turkmenbashynyn Ruhy Metjidi, and the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. Day 9: We’ll fly to Dashoguz, then transfer to Koneurgench, the ancient capital of the Khwarezm-Shahs. Our journey returns to Uzbekistan and then Khiva. Day 10: On a walking tour of old Khiva we’ll visit fortress, mosques, madrassas, and minarets. Enjoy dinner hosted by a local family and then a return flight to Tashkent. Day 11: After breakfast we’ll explore both old and new Tashkent. Our trip concludes with a farewell dinner and a cultural show. Day 12: We’ll say goodbye to our traveling companions and head to the airport for flights home.

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8/1/14 2:37:32 PM


Asia Tabriz

Zanjan

Ir an

TEHRAN

Isfahan Yazd Shiraz Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 15-Day Trip Departs Apr, May, Sep Land Cost From $6,395

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Iran

Treasures of Persia • Bask in legendary Persian hospitality and the warmth of its people through the personal relationships of our guides • Marvel at the Crown Jewels Museum, with its mind boggling variety, located in Iran’s Central Bank • Enjoy three MTS exclusives: the only shrine shared by both Judaism and Islam, Saint Stephanos Monastery, and Soltaniyeh For thousands of years before it was known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world called this land of enchantment “Persia.” The warmth of the Persian people is legendary, and visitors are considered a gift from God. Home to some of the world’s most renowned and best preserved archaeological sites, Iran is a veritable treasure trove of art and history. Starting and ending in Tehran, we’ll explore the cities of Shiraz, Yazd, and Isfahan where you’ll learn about the country’s rich, textured past while visiting ancient ruins, palaces, mosques, and world-class museums. With the knowledge and experience of our local guide who has led trips here for over 20 years, you’ll be one of the few lucky travelers to discover this exotic and unfamiliar destination. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code IRN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Explore Tehran’s Laleh Park and Museum of Contemporary Art. Day 2: We’ll visit the old city gates before heading to the National Museum of Iran. Day 3: See the ruins of the Arg-e Alishah Mosque and the celebrated Saint Stephanos Monastery. Day 4: We’ll explore the volcanic village of Kandovan, then drive through the cities of eastern Azerbaijan on the way to Zanjan. Day 5: Our day begins touring the 14th century Soltaniyeh and the mausoleum of Shazde-Hussain. Board an afternoon flight to Shiraz. Day 6: Shiraz opens its doors to us as we visit its magnificent Eram Garden, the tomb of Hafiz, the old city, and its colorful bazaar. Day 7: Travel to Persepolis, exploring its palaces, halls, and tombs. Day 8: Today we’ll drive to Yazd, visiting the ancient gardens of Pasargadae and stopping at the Grand Mosque of Abarqu.

Day 9: We’ll see Yazd’s “Tower of Silence,” Mirchakhmaq Square, the prison of Alexander the Great, and the 12-Imam Mosque. Day 10: While walking around Isfahan, we’ll visit the city’s ancient citadel, a Seljuk mosque, and a Safavid house. Day 11: Tour Isfahan by foot, taking in Vank Cathedral, Chehel-Sotoun Palace, and a carpet show. Day 12: Spend another day touring Isfahan, including the Hasht Behesht Palace, Naqshe-Jahan Square, and Sheikh Lotfollah. Day 13: En route back to Tehran we’ll see a Dervish house, a Sufi tomb, a ceramic workshop, and explore the village of Abyaneh. This afternoon we’ll go to the tomb of Imam Khomeini. Day 14: Tour Sa’dabad Palace and visit Reza Abbasi Museum. Day 15: Carry the warmth of Persian hospitality with you on your flight home!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Camino de Santiago

EUROPE

Dolomites

Highlights Camino de Santiago......................................p.68 Tour du Mont Blanc...................................... p.74 Treasures of Turkey . .................................... p.81 England Coast to Coast................................p.82 Hiking Iceland’s Eastern Fjords................... p.85 NEW TRIPS.............................................p.86–87

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Pyrenees

“The guides...were fantastic, the group, the food, the wine, the hiking...It was all exceptional and exceeded my expectations in every way. It was first class all the way!” Susan Bratton • Charlotte, NC

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E ur o pe Fr ance

Bilbao Pamplona

Isaba

Gavarnie

Montserrat Barcelona

Spain Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels, paradores 9-Day Trip Departs Jul–Sep Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©Christopher Bettencourt

France, Spain

Across the Pyrenees

Photos on facing page: ©Pönitz Hartmut/Fototeca 9x12, Patitucci Photo, Christopher Bettencourt

• Traverse from Bilbao to Barcelona, including stunning Montserrat, on the most comprehensive trek of the mountains available • Hike on remote trails, passing 1,500 foot waterfalls, and return daily to exceptionally upscale accommodations • Enjoy custom guided tours of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Gaudi Museum in Barcelona MTS Senior Guide, professional mountaineer, and published historian Erik Perez leads us on another exciting adventure through the iconic Pyrenees! This natural border between Spain and France and the heartland of Basque country is a hiker’s paradise. Marvel at towering rugged peaks, enormous waterfalls, and high meadows as you traverse challenging and breathtaking terrain. Every day you’ll learn about the culture, architecture, and natural surroundings of this region as you trek through the ancient mountain kingdoms of Aragón and Catalonia. Our picturesque country inns and luxurious paradores ensure that each day ends on a high note. With guided visits of both Pamplona and Barcelona, you are guaranteed not to miss a beat! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PVP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bilbao, Spain. After meeting your guide for a short trip briefing, visit the futuristic, iconic Guggenheim Museum. Take a walking tour of Pamplona in the afternoon.

Day 6: After transferring to Benasque we continue to Puerto de La Besurta. We’ll hike below Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, to the Valle de Aran. Enjoy a free evening to explore town.

Day 2: This morning we’ll hike in Ordesa National Park—home of Monte Perdido, the Pyrenees’ third highest peak—then hike the Cola de Caballo back to our hotel in Torla.

Day 7: Today’s hike is through Catalonia! After a 90-minute transfer we’ll hike from a meadow below the Puerto de la Bonaigua up to Lagos de Gerver, then drive to Montserrat, the sacred mountain of the Catalans!

Day 3: Today the trail brings us through forests along the Ara River to San Nicolas de Bujaruelo. We’ll cross Bujaruelo Pass into France, and then descend into Gavarnie, famous for its majestic waterfalls. Day 4: From Gavarnie, cross back into Spain via the Circo de Pineta, ending at the Parador Nacional de Bielsa in the province of Aragón. Day 5: We’ll hike from the parador today, traversing to the Balcon de Pineta and Lago Helado de Marboré, hiking along the high peaks of Pico Marboré and Monte Perdido.

Day 8: Take a cable train from Montserrat and hike below the impressive sandstone pinnacles of Cavall Bernat. We’ll descend to Montserrat Monastery and then transfer to Barcelona for a tour of the Gaudi highlights. Our festive farewell dinner is tonight! Day 9: Bid “adios” to Spain and transfer on your own to the Barcelona airport for your flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France)

Finisterre Lugo

Bilbao Astorga

Burgos

Pamplona

Carrión de los Condes Santiago de Compostela

MADRID

Spain Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Spain

The Camino de Santiago • Experience one of the world’s most epic pilgrimages via the famed Camino Francès route • Enjoy guided visits to historic towns including Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre • Get the most out of your trip with full coach support and insights from our expert local guide Hiking the old pilgrim trails to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela is a challenging quest that has enticed travelers for centuries. Eager to have you fully experience it without any added worry, we’ve included extra

Activities Hiking

perks that you won’t always find with other companies: the expertise of our local guide (an accomplished

Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous

historian), full coach support, incredible meals, wine with dinner, tickets, transfers, and comfortable

Lodging Lodges, paradores

accommodations. What’s more, we’ve peppered your journey with informative afternoon guided tours of

11-Day Trip Departs Apr, May, Sep, Oct Land Cost From $5,695

charming cities and towns along El Camino, including Pamplona, Burgos, and León. Whether you seek illumination or just want to enjoy the thrill of hiking this famous path, this is certain to be the adventure of a lifetime.

Photos, left to right: ©Anne Wood, Patxi Uriz/ Fototeca 9x12, Christopher Bettencourt

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E ur o pe

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Meet your guide at the Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, the cultural capital of Basque country. We’ll transfer to the scenic village of Saint-JeanPied-de-Port by way of San Sebastian.

Day 7: Our walk starts in Hospital de Órbigo with its old Roman bridge. Passing through small villages, we continue along country roads and walking paths to the hilltop city of Astorga.

Day 2: Our pilgrimage begins at La Virgen de Biakorri. We’ll hike through meadows and beech forests to reach the pass of Roncesvalles before crossing into Spain.

Day 8: Today we’ll enter Galicia and climb to the old Celtic village of O Cebreiro where pilgrims must throw one stone in the Cruceiro for good luck. The day ends in the historic city of Lugo.

Day 3: We’ll continue along El Camino through meadows and forests to the charming town of Zubiri, then a transfer brings us to the ancient Roman city of Pamplona, famous for the “running of the bulls.” Day 4: Today we’ll enjoy a relatively flat trail and mild ascent as we head to the Meseta, the high plains of Central Spain. Early this afternoon we’ll arrive in the city of Burgos for a guided walking tour. Day 5: Enjoy a hike through grasslands and fields of sunflowers to the Carrion de los Condes where we’ll take a guided visit of the monasterio and stay the night. Day 6: The Camino offers a long, flat walk today through fields and grasslands. After lunch in the medieval city of Mansilla de la Mulas, we’ll head to León for a guided tour.

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Day 9: After breakfast we’ll transfer to Pedrouzo for the last stage of our hike along the great El Camino to the Cathedral de Santiago in Santiago de Compostela, shrouded in centuries of legends. Day 10: The day begins with a tour of Santiago followed by a guided excursion to Finisterre (“the end of the Earth”), an important site for pilgrims on the El Camino. The afternoon is free to explore before a farewell dinner tonight.

More Options in Spain In addition to our classic Camino de Santiago journey, we have these great options available:

Across the Pyrenees The most comprehensive trek from Bilbao to Barcelona. See p. 67 for details.

Hiking the Picos de Europa An incomparable mountain trek through one of Spain’s best-kept secrets. See p. 70 for details.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Day 11: Now that our pilgrimage is over, we must say “adios”! After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport for departures home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe

Oviedo

Ribadasella Covadonga Picos de Europa

Spain Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels, paradores 8-Day Trip Departs Aug Land Cost From $3,995

Photo ©Christopher Bettencourt

Spain

Hiking the Picos de Europa • Hike the Picos de Europa, a hidden gem, on this MTS exclusive trek • Enjoy dramatic views of stunning, lunar-like limestone spires, deep gorges, narrow canyons, and flowery meadows • Explore ancient hill villages only accessible by foot and taste local delights such as Rosa’s Cabrales cheese, unique to this region Northern Spain’s quiet Picos de Europa range is known for its superb climbing, incomparable beauty, and Spanish resistance lore. Our exclusive itinerary offers challenging hikes (shorter options available) along rocky trails, through narrow canyons and grassy meadows, beneath dramatic limestone spires, and through sleepy villages steeped in Celtic culture. Along the way we’ll take in the regional sites of the Basilica of Covadonga, the Santa Cueva, and the Paleolithic art in the cave of Tito Bustillo. Comfortable hotels, a historic parador, and a cool glass of Asturian cidra offer welcome respite after long days on the trail. Filled with its own distinct legends and culture, the Picos de Europa is a peak experience you won’t want to miss! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SHH in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Oviedo, Spain. Meet your guide and transfer to our historic parador in Cangas de Onís. This afternoon we’ll visit the neoRomanesque Basilica of Covadonga and the Santa Cueva. Welcome dinner tonight.

Day 5: Today’s long but memorable hike is filled with rocky spires, narrow canyons, and snowy peaks! We’ll climb above the treeline to Naranjo de Bulnes for lunch, hike up to Horcados Rojos, and then descend to the Aliva meadows.

Day 2: This morning we’ll drive to Soto de Sajambre to begin our hike up to Collado El Frade. After lunch we’ll descend into a valley between the two large massifs of the Picos de Europa to Valdeón.

Day 6: We have two hiking options today. One is an easy hike in the south valley of the Picos with a cable car ride home. The other takes us up to the Collado Jermoso with an optional ascent of Pico de la Padiorna.

Day 3: A loop hike from the hotel brings us up a steep trail, through a beech forest and a meadow, and into a cirque. We’ll lunch in Hoyo de los Lagos and then climb to the Horcada de la Chavida or take a shorter route down to the hotel. Day 4: We’ll hike into the Cares River Gorge via an easy trail with peaks soaring high above us. After lunch in Poncebos, take an optional shuttle to Sotres or ascend La Canal del Tejo to enjoy its amazing views.

Day 7: An easy morning hike through the Duje River Valley back to Sotres for lunch. Then, transfer to the coastal town of Ribadesella to visit the famous cave of Tito Bustillo and see its Paleolithic art! The afternoon is free to explore before our farewell seafood dinner tonight. Day 8: After breakfast we’ll transfer to the Asturias airport for our homeward bound flights.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:39:55 PM


E ur o pe Switzerland Geneva Saas-Fee Zermatt Monte Rosa Valtournenche Macugnaga

Italy Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels 9-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©SIME/eStockPhoto

Italy, Switzerland

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

The Alps’ Monte Rosa Circuit • Circumnavigate majestic Monte Rosa, Europe’s secondhighest peak, with MTS’s senior alpine guides • This is one of our most challenging treks, rewarding hikers with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Alps • Relax along the way in charming, family-run hotels, and cap your journey with Zermatt, renowned for its gemütlichkeit Monte Rosa, “the Pink Mountain,” is the second-highest peak in Western Europe and the Alps! This MTS alpine adventure draws on the talents of senior hiking guides Laurent Langoisseur, Stéphane Berger, and Beatrice Mugnier—the best of the best! Starting in SaasFee and finishing in Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, you’ll hike a nearly complete circuit of the massif. We’ll take in views of Monte Rosa and hike beneath cascading glaciers, through ancient hamlets, and among wildflower-studded alpine meadows as we travel through the Swiss canton of Valais and Italy’s Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta regions, enjoying the warm alpine hospitality of family-run inns and hotels throughout. This is the stuff of fairytales! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MRA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland. Meet your guide and transfer to the resort town of Saas-Fee. Feel free to explore town before tonight’s orientation and welcome dinner. Day 2: We’ll spend the day acclimating to the altitude with a few warm-up hike options around Saas Valley, rich in alpine flora and fauna. Day 3: The Walser Trail lead us up over rocky outcroppings to the Monte Moro Pass and into Italy where we’ll see Monte Rosa. After lunch we’ll explore the town of Staffa/Macugnaga. Day 4: The trail starts at Borca today and leads us to “Fairies’ Lake,” among marvelous woods, brooks, waterfalls, and up a mule path. After lunch we’ll descend to Alagna Valsesia. Day 5: A gondola brings us to Alpe di Pianalunga where we’ll hike up through fields of wildflowers, skirt Sasso del Diavolo, then arrive at the

Colle d’Olen. Visit the Walser Cultural Center after lunch. Day 6: Today we’ll hike on a steep, uphill mule path from Gressoney Valley, climbing uphill through green pastures, wildflowers, farmhouses, and scree fields to Colle del Pinter. Day 7: We start with a slow hike up to Col de Nana with likely sightings of chamois or ibex. We’ll descend slightly from the pass and skirt the mountains to Colle di Croux and down to Valtournenche. Day 8: Our hike begins high in the Plateau Rosa, a spectacular vista in the midst of the Monte Rosa massif. A local guide will lead us down the Theodul Glacier to Trockner Stegg. Tram down to Zermatt and explore before our farewell dinner. Day 9: Bid your fellow travelers “arrivederci” before departing for the Geneva airport for flights home.

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe Cortina d’Ampezzo

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Corvara

Italy

Venice Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, mountain inn 9-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul, Sep Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©Patitucci Photo

Italy

Hiking the Best of the Dolomites • Hike amid spectacular pillars, steeples, and pinnacles in Italy’s northern Alps on the most comprehensive tour available • Relax in well-appointed local hotels after a day of hiking, including a night in a mountain inn, under the stars, away from city lights • Our local guides are true foodies and always find the latest in Italian-Austrian fusion cuisine Italy’s Dolomite Mountains can’t help but impress with their stunning pinnacles, pillars, spires, and rock faces that seem to change color at different points throughout the day. Our itinerary is the most comprehensive view of this magnificent range available and covers both the Western and Eastern Dolomites. Every day offers moderate hikes (with some more challenging options) leading you past forests, surreal rock formations, glacial lakes, and war monuments—vestiges from the First World War. At lunch a charming rifugio and hearty mountain fare await. Every afternoon leaves you time to explore town or soak in the comfortable accommodations of a mountain inn or fourstar hotel. Come experience the breadth of Italy’s northern Alps! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code IDO in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Italy. Meet your guide and transfer to your fourstar hotel in Cortina in time for lunch. There’s time to explore town before dinner tonight. Day 2: Today we’ll hike the Alpe di Sennes, including a spectacular range of habitats, two natural parks—Dolomiti D’Ampezzo and Fanes-Sennes-Braies—and the spectacular Croda Rossa. Day 3: The day’s trek brings us around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Monte Paterno. We’ll see rocky spires and needles, a stony amphitheatre, and WWI fortifications. Free afternoon in Cortina. Day 4: Departing from Fiames, we’ll hike through the woods, crossing the Ponte Outo, and pass colorful larch trees and WWI plaques en route to our charming inn in Malga Fanes. Day 5: The Altopiano di Fanes offers magnificent panoramas of the Western Dolomites. From San Cassiano we’ll take a chairlift to Piz

Sorega and hike a ridge to lunch, then down to Corvara. Take a longer route or enjoy the spa back at the hotel. Day 6: Today we’ll traverse the Sella massif. We’ll zigzag toward the Forcella Pordoi, then trek along a rocky, exposed trail. Hike downhill after lunch along Lago Boè and through the woods to Corvara. Day 7: Transfer to San Cassiano, the starting point of our hike. We’ll walk uphill past quaint hamlets and farm houses and through a pine forest towards Santa Croce Sanctuary. We’ll lunch at a traditional farmhouse, and hike down to San Leonardo. Transfer to Corvara. Day 8: From Passo Gardena we’ll pass beneath the sheer pinnacles of Pizzes da Cir up to the Forcella Ciampai Pass. After lunch a panoramic trail returns us to Corvara. Day 9: Depart early for the Venice airport. Bid your group “arrivederci” or stay for a few days to enjoy Venice.

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E ur o pe Land/Sea Travel Hiking Geneva Vanoise National Park

Megève

italy Larche

Fr ance Nice

Mercantour National Park

Menton

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels 14-Day Trip Departs Jun Land Cost From $5,995

Photo ©MTS Photo File

France, Italy, Switzerland

Hiking the GR5 • Trek the famous GR5, a comprehensive journey through snow-capped Alps culminating at the azure Mediterranean • Be impressed by the variety of scenery as it dramatically changes from rocky limestone, to waterfalls, to provencal, to coastal • This epic and challenging trek through three secluded pristine national parks rewards you with a true accomplishment The historic Grand Randonnée 5, or GR5, has been used by soldiers and traders for thousands of years. MTS is one of the few adventure travel companies to guide you along this ancient route, and our expert guides cast an entirely new perspective on the Alps! Beginning in the storied alpine heights of the Mont Blanc massif, you’ll wind through remote valleys, cross sun-dappled meadows thick with wildflowers, and explore three renowned national parks of the French Alps. While these are strenuous hikes, there is plenty of respite and reward! Comfortable hotels throughout the trip are welcome after a long day of hiking—not to mention a celebratory swim in the azure waters of the Mediterranean at the end of this epic trek! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MBM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland. Transfer to Combloux, a charming alpine village. Stroll town before our welcome dinner.

Day 8: We’ll hike in both France and Italy today, climbing to Col Blanchet, circling Tête des Toillies, and descending into Barcelonnette.

Day 2: A warm-up hike takes us over the grassy slopes of Le Mont de Vorès with views of the Mont Blanc range.

Day 9: Relax today and enjoy a picturesque ride to the charming village of St.-Martin de Vésubie.

Day 3: We’ll hike the ridge of Le Mont des Acrays toward the base of the Pierra Menta, and then we’ll descend into the Tarentaise Valley.

Day 10: Today we’ll hike forested Mercantour National Park with possible sightings of ermine, ibex, eagles, and chamois.

Day 4: Spend today in Vanoise National Park, passing pinnacles, sinkholes, jagged peaks, and crimson-veined blocks of marble.

Day 11: We’ll traverse the scenic southern end of Mercantour, passing World War I remnants.

Day 5: Hike the rolling hills of Le Ritord, home to Beaufort cheese. There are possible ibex sightings on the descent to Le Plan d’Amont. Day 6: Continue past streams and alpine meadows to the Vallée Etroite for a short transfer to Montgenevre. Day 7: Today we’ll hike into Queyras National Park where we’ll see diverse wildflowers, stunning rock formations, and quaint hamlets.

Day 12: Continuing along the GR5 to Sospel, we pass remnants of the Great War and enjoying the fragrance of the Mediterranean! Day 13: After hiking to the Grand Mont, we’ll descend to Castellar, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Day 14: After one last delicious French breakfast, transfer to Nice for your homeward bound flights.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Switzerland Geneva

Les Houches Mont Blanc

italy Chamonix Courmayeur

Fr ance

France, Italy, Switzerland

The Tour du Mont Blanc • Trek the classic 10-day circuit of the Mont Blanc massif—a “must-do” for every hiker • Explore an earthly paradise spanning three countries, three cultures, and three cuisines • Enjoy mountain hospitality, hearty alpine fare, and the expertise of dedicated MTS guides Leading trips to the Alps for over four decades has given us more than our fair share of bias, but the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of our favorite itineraries. Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest and most iconic

Activities Hiking

peak, and its idyllic views can inspire even the most jaded traveler. Travelling through France, Italy, and

Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous

Switzerland, you’ll wander up ancient trails through tall forests and grassy meadows, past enormous

Lodging Inns, hotels

waterfalls and glaciers, and through charming hamlets in the shadow of some of the most awe-inspiring

12-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep Land Cost From $4,795

peaks in the world. While undoubtedly one of our more rigorous treks, the Tour du Mont Blanc never ceases to charm with days full of clinking cowbells, colorful wildflowers, mountain wildlife, and genuine alpine hospitality.

Photos, clockwise from top left: ©MTS Photo File, Arden & Bob Travers, Claudia Castaldi

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E ur o pe

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland and transfer to the mountain town of Chamonix, France. Explore town or rest before an orientation and group dinner.

Day 7: Today we may glimpse deer and chamois as we trek to Rifugio Bonnatti, with unforgettable views, and descend into La Vachey.

Day 2: Today’s hike takes us to the Grand Balcon. We’ll enjoy great views of the Mer de Glace glacier and take the romantic cog railway back to Chamonix.

Day 8: Trek up the spectacular Glacier de Pre-de-Bar to the meeting of the French, Italian, and Swiss borders. We’ll enter Switzerland and transfer to Champex.

Day 3: We’ll travel beneath the Aiguilles Rouges along the Petit Balcon to Merlet where views of Mont Blanc’s north face await. The trek continues to Coupeau and down into the village of Les Houches.

Day 9: We’ll travel the Bovine Route to a forest high above the Rhône Valley—a fabulous view! An easy descent brings us to the Col de Forclaz.

Day 4: A forest climb leads us to the hanging glaciers of the Bionnassay and Mont Blanc. We’ll continue past quaint alpine hamlets to the picturesque town of Les Contamines. Day 5: Today we climb the old Roman road to the Col du Bonhomme and Croix du Bonhomme. Our descent to Les Chapieux will provide us with possible sightings of ibex and marmot. Day 6: An easy hike from the Vallée des Glaciers over the Col de la Seigne delivers breathtaking views! This afternoon we descend into Italy and transfer to Courmayeur.

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Day 10: An old smuggler’s trail leads us to the French border for a fantastic view of the Mont Blanc massif. Descend this afternoon to the Vallorcine Valley and then Argentière. Day 11: From Le Col De Montets we hike to Les Cheserys, enjoying views of glaciers and the Mont Blanc range. We’ll descend to Chamonix for a festive farewell dinner in town.

More Options for Mont Blanc In addition to our classic, flagship Tour du Mont Blanc journey, we have these great options available: Tour du Mont Blanc Express The classic Mont Blanc route, but in just 6 days!

Mont Blanc Private Adventure Custom day hikes around Mont Blanc—based in Chamonix.

Hiking the Haute Route: Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn Spectacular vistas on this trek of the challenging and less-traveled Haute Route! See p. 76 for details.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Day 12: Bid Mont Blanc a fond “au revoir” before a morning transfer to the Geneva airport.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Switzerland Geneva Zermatt Chamonix

Fr ance

Arolla

Matterhorn

Verbier

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels, mountain hut 12-Day Trip Departs Aug Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©Vaclav Volrab

France, Switzerland

Hiking the Haute Route: Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn • Trek the challenging, renowned, and less-travelled Haute Route with the Alps specialists (since 1970!) • Traverse ten high passes in ten days for incomparable eye-popping views—a trekker’s paradise • Superb leaders, local hospitality, and shared accomplishment make this an MTS classic No one knows the Alps like MTS. With over four decades of experience leading trips here, we have cultivated a regular following of trip members who come back to try a different trip in the Alps with us each year. The Haute Route, or “High Road,” is one of our more challenging itineraries. It’s designed for serious trekkers who love the thrill of summiting ten passes in ten days and the comfort of warm, alpine hospitality at night. The Haute Route connects Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn on one of the most spectacular hikes in all the Alps. Our professional guides are the best in the Alps, all qualified by the prestigious Companie des Guides. Their knowledge and skills make them indispensable companions on your adventure. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code HHR in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland, and take a group transfer to the resort town of Chamonix, France. There’s time to rest or explore town before orientation. Day 2: Starting from the funicular to Planpraz, we’ll hike to the Col du Brévent and then to Cornu Lake. Dinner is on your own. Day 3: A funicular will shuttle us to the Col de Balme. After traversing above the treeline we’ll descend along the Trient Glacier to our hotel. Day 4: Today is a challenging hike to the Fenêtre d’Arpette. After lunch at the pass we’ll descend through forests to Champex and transfer to Verbier for the night. Day 5: We hike to Col Termin today, before descending to our rustic mountain hut at the lovely Lac de Louvie for the night. Day 6: We’ll cross Le Gr and Desert today, scrambling over large boulder and scree fields and up and down steep cliffs. Ibex sightings possible!

Day 7: After trekking through rocky terrain today to the Pas de la Chevre, we’re rewarded with breathtaking views before our descent into Arolla. Day 8: It’s an easy day today from Cotter to the Col de Torrent with stunning views of Mont Blanc. The day ends in the village of Grimentz. Day 9: Today we’ll hike through thick forests up to the Col de Forcletta, and then descend along babbling brooks into the hamlet of Gruben. Day 10: Our last big challenge offers superb views as we cross Augstbordpass (9,550') and descend into Mattervispa. After our long descent, board our bus to Zermatt. Day 11: Today is a light day of hiking above Zermatt for great views of the Matterhorn. You’ll have a free evening to explore town. Day 12: After breakfast we’ll bid each other “adieux” before transferring to Geneva for flights home.

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E ur o pe

Bled

Italy

LJUBLJANA

Montemaggiore

Slovenia Zagreb

Motovun Venice Rovinj

Croatia Land/Sea Travel

Activities Touring, hiking, small boat cruising Trip Level Easy Lodging Hotels, lodges 9-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul, Sep Land Cost From $4,595

Photo ©SIME/eStockPhoto

Croatia, Italy, Slovenia

Istria to Venice • Focusing on an emerging gourmet destination, this trip is designed to tickle the palates of food lovers • Experience the best sites of three countries in one comprehensive tour • Enjoy active walking tours through orchards and vineyards by day, sampling delights along the way, and sumptuous meals in the evening Food lovers, beware! Traveling with MTS on this unique itinerary might just raise your taste buds to the next level! Our culinary and cultural voyage traces Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, Slovenia’s Julian Alps, and Italy’s Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. In addition to seeing some of the best sites in these three countries, you’ll also experience its spectacular landscapes on moderate hikes. This is the Mediterranean as you’ve never seen it before, far from the crowds but in the thick of rich historical sites, national parks, and delicious regional delicacies. You’ll go wine tasting, learn how to hunt for truffles, and taste olive oil. With luxurious hotels waiting for you at the end of the day, what more could you ask for? FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ISV in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. Transfer to the medieval village of Bale on the beautiful Istrian Peninsula. After check-in we’ll explore Rovinj and its cobblestoned alleys. Day 2: We’re off to the coastal village of Fazana for a ferry to the Brioni Islands where we’ll taste olive oil, the regional specialty, with a local producer before returning to Bale. Day 3: We’ll board a boat today, passing small inlets and secluded bays, as we enter Lim Fjord. Next, we’ll visit Porec, known for its mussels, before heading to Motovun, famous for its truffles. Day 4: Today’s hike follows the truffle route where we’ll learn how to spot these elusive mushrooms and taste them with the local red wine! We’ll finish by visiting the Renaissance city of Groznjan. Day 5: Our journey continues to Slovenia where we’ll explore the subterranean Skocjan Caves. We’ll

explore the capital city, Ljubljana, and end the day at alpine Lake Bled. Day 6: Today’s hike is into the Blejski Vintgar Gorge, walking on bridges above its whirlpools. Swim in Triglav National Park’s Bohinj Lake before returning to the hotel. Day 7: Our journey through the Julian Alps continues to the emerald Soca River Valley where we’ll climb Vrsic Pas and descend into a flower-laden valley. We’ll finish the day visiting a WWI museum in Kobarid. Day 8: The best chef in Slovenia will be cooking our breakfast after which we’ll move on into the Italian province of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Climb to Montemaggiore for outstanding views, and then enjoy a regional wine tasting. Day 9: The Grand Finale: the historic triangle of Castelfranco, Vicenza, and Venice. We’ll explore Venice’s famous canals before departing to the airport for our flights home.

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe

AustriA Triglav National Park

Velika Planina Bled Bohinj

Kobarid

Slovenia

LJUBLJANA

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels 10-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep Land Cost From $3,995

Photo ©Luka Poznic

Slovenia

Hiking the Julian Alps • Experience Slovenia before the crowds discover it—from the stunning Julian Alps to Ljubljana, a classic, old world European capital • Dedicated native guides inspire spontaneous interactions with locals such as sampling homemade schnapps in alpine huts • Surprisingly green landscapes full of natural beauty and well-maintained hiking trails make this a trekker’s dream Slovenia is hands down Europe’s best-kept secret. Small yet majestic, dreamy and unspoiled, everything from its vibrant capital of Ljubljana to its serene countryside, picturesque medieval villages, and breathtaking mountain views seems locked in a bygone era. This challenging trip takes in the wonders of western Slovenia’s alpine scenery, from the awe-inspiring Julian Alps to the glowing turquoise Soca River, to the fairytale castle on Lake Bled. Along the way, we’ll sleep in well-appointed, charming hotels with spa amenities and sample Slovenia’s luscious red wines! There is no better time than the present to explore one of Europe’s last undiscovered jewels. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SLO in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Take time to explore this hip, up-andcoming city by foot before meeting your guide for orientation and a welcome dinner.

Day 6: We’ll set out early, high above Bohinj, walking up through a pine forest. Passing shepherds’ cottages and green meadows, we’ll reach the valley of Seven Triglav Lakes.

Day 2: We’ll head north to the Great Highlands, hiking through shepherd country, green meadows, and beneath soaring peaks. After lunch we’ll head to the Logarska Valley.

Day 7: Today we’ll climb Brdo Mountain for great views of Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak. We’ll picnic at the grassy top of Brdo and then return to Bohinj via picturesque Lake Bled.

Day 3: Logarska’s pastoral charm is enchanting! We’ll hike up to Okreselj to get under the amphitheatre of mountains. Following a fairy tale trail along a stream, we’ll arrive at Rinka waterfall.

Day 8: A picnic lunch beside a charming glacial lake awaits us on our hike to Sleme, before our drive from Vrsic Pass to Kobarid in the Soca Valley.

Day 4: Today we’ll climb Olševa, high above the Logarska Valley, to visit the Potocka Zijalka cave, famous for its archeological finds from the Stone Age. A farmhouse welcomes us for homemade, regional delicacies!

Day 9: Stunning views from Planina Pretovc of the Soca River Valley, majestic cliffs, and villages below are the reward for our hike up Krn Mountain, one of the Julian Alps’ highest peaks.

Day 5: Our journey continues into the Slovenian Alps through green fields, blossoming meadows, and past wooden alpine houses to Jezersko.

Day 10: Before heading to Ljubljana for our flights home, we’ll enjoy a short walk to the hidden waterfall of Kozjek!

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E ur o pe Bosnia and Herzegovina Maglic

Bobotov Kuk

SARAJEVO Sutjeska National Park Durmitor National Park

Montenegro Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels 10-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug Land Cost From $3,795

Photo © Andrei Badau

Bosnia and herzegovina, Montenegro

Hiking the Dinaric Alps • Experience insider’s access with MTS, the first North American travel company to open doors to Bosnia and Montenegro • Witness east meets west, from the ancient Silk Road to the modern history of Sarajevo and the former Yugoslavia • Hike amid lush valleys, forests and peaks of Sutjeska and Durmitor National Parks, and raft the Tara River, Europe’s deepest canyon—all untouched by mass tourism The Dinaric Alps are a sight to behold and one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. This range of stunning limestone peaks, spanning some 400 miles and six countries along the Adriatic Sea, harbors abundant, verdant valleys, primeval forests, clear rivers, and pristine lakes. We were the first North American travel company to offer safe hiking trips to Bosnia and Montenegro, earning us the title, “the vanguard of American tour companies,” by The New York Times. On this challenging trek through the Balkans you’ll open your eyes to a Europe that’s entirely off the beaten path while learning about the region’s turbulent history, cultures, and spectacular national parks. This is an ideal adventure for the Europhile who thinks they’ve seen it all! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BHM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Sarajevo, Bosnia. After meeting your guide at the airport you’ll head to the hotel, have lunch, and enjoy a tour of the major historical sites in town. Day 2: Today we’ll hike in the Bjelasnica Mountains amid green pastures, evergreen trees, streams, and limestones. We’ll visit Lukomir and meet its semi-nomadic villagers. Enjoy a very special traditional meal tonight.

Day 6: Today we’ll enjoy a scenic and vigorous hike up to Savin Kuk (7,586'), one of the most beautiful and most photographed peaks of Durmitor. Views from the peak will be memorable. Day 7: Softly sloping, deeply green, and named for its fascinating oblique prutovi (wands), Prutas Peak is an amazing site—and our destination for today. After our 5-hour round-trip hike we’ll return to Zabljak for dinner.

Day 3: Hike through Sutjeska National Park to the tranquil lake of Donje Bare where we’ll walk through beech forests and mountainous terrain on our way up Ugljesin Peak.

Day 8: Our last day of hiking ends with a climb to Bobotov Kuk, Montenegro’s highest peak. Views expand at the top with a possible glimpse of the Adriatic!

Day 4: The trail leads up challenging goatherder trails today to the iconic Maglic, Bosnia’s highest peak. Cool off with a dip in the emerald green Trnovacko Lake!

Day 9: Today we leave the park by way of the deep Piva River Canyon into Tara Canyon, the largest canyon in Europe, where we’ll raft rapids before returning to Sarajevo.

Day 5: Transfer to the remote, scenic town of Zabljak, Montenegro, and enjoy an afternoon walk around the mirrored lakes of Crno and Zminje.

Day 10: After breakfast we’ll bid each other farewell and transfer to the airport for our flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe

Croatia Split Brac Island

Peljesac Peninsula

Hvar Island Korcula Island

Dubrovnik

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 8-Day Trip Departs Jun, July, Sep Land Cost From $4,995

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Croatia

Hiking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands • Travel from island to island while taking in the best of the Dalmatian archipelago from an insider’s perspective • Enjoy beautiful local hotels, and savor fabulous regional food and wine • Visit ancient Split, with world-famous Diocletian’s Palace, and magnificent Dubrovnik’s historic walled city The draw of Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands is undeniable. The crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, sunny skies, magical seaport towns, rocky coastlines, fields of lavender, vineyards, and mouthwatering cuisine… well, it’s just a slice of heaven! Our itinerary is designed for those who want to enjoy hiking with minimal elevation gains while taking in all of the sites and breathtaking scenery along the way. Skipping from island to island, you’ll have a chance to visit the exquisite waterfalls at Krka National Park, soak in the unspoiled beauty of Brac, and visit historic monasteries and ruins. Every day you’ll relax in the comfort of small, boutique hotels and taste the delicacies of the region. Bookended with guided tours of the Split and Dubrovnik, you’ll see all of the highlights of the Dalmatian Islands and still have room for dessert! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CRM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Split, Croatia. You’ll meet your guide in our hotel and depart together to explore the historical city of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight we’ll sample the local fare during our welcome dinner. Day 2: Today we’ll visit the exquisite waterfalls and emerald lagoons of Krka National Park. This afternoon we’ll continue to the Roman city of Split before catching a ferry to the island of Brac to spend the night. Day 3: Our walk hugs the rugged coast of Brac. We’ll pass shady pines and vineyards and visit the 16th century Blaca Hermitage. For lunch, an open-fire feast awaits followed by a hike to the top of Mt. Vidova. End with a boat shuttle to Hvar. Day 4: A hike above the village of Milna awaits after a gourmet breakfast. We’ll visit the ghost village of Malo Grablje, passing fields of lavender and vineyards along the

way. After lunch we’ll enjoy wine tasting in Jesla. Day 5: Take a private boat shuttle to Korcula, an ancient trading port. Hike along the coast through olive groves and up a mountain ridge, sampling the local herb brandies of Pupnat along the way. Transfer to Orebic on the Peljesac Peninsula. Day 6: We’ll depart for Mt. Ilija, the highest mountain in Dalmatia. We’ll start in vineyards, passing an old monastery, and climb uphill through pine forests to a rocky finale. Take an excursion this afternoon to Ston on the way to Dubrovnik. Day 7: This morning we’ll enjoy a guided tour of old town Dubrovnik, a haven of the shipbuilding industry and former stopping point along the Spice Route. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. Day 8: Bid farewell to our sunny paradise on the Adriatic and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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E ur o pe Istanbul

ANKARA

Turkey Cappadocia Izmir Ephesus Goçek

Antalya Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Touring, cruising, hiking, swimming, kayaking Trip Level Easy Lodging Hotels, gulet yacht 14-Day Trip Departs May, Sep, Oct Land Cost From $6,195 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Turkey

Treasures of Turkey • Our most comprehensive Turkey itinerary includes a six-day cruise aboard a luxury gulet along the celebrated Turquoise Coast • Journey through history as you explore the ancient sites of Ephesus, Myra, Xanthos, Cappadocia, Istanbul, and the Mediterranean • Experience the epitome of East meets West in Turkey’s culture, cuisine, color, textiles, markets, and mosaics Experience the best of Turkey both by land and by sea on this fabulous journey through the past! As the cultural and historical crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s ancient ruins offer an in-depth glimpse of history. Our MTS guides have degrees in art history and archaeology and are the ideal travel companions to guide you! Our adventure kicks off with a two-day exploration of Istanbul’s greatest attractions—Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the spice market. We’ll then have the opportunity to live aboard a traditional Turkish gulet that will cruise us down the coast to visit the ancient cities of Ephesus, Myra, and Xanthos. See all that Turkey has to offer in style! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code TUH in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey. You’ll have time to explore the Old City before meeting your guide for a traditional welcome dinner.

Day 8: We’ll go ashore to visit the ruins of Myra. We’ll then sail to ancient Simena and then on to Kas for a walk around town.

Day 2: A ferry ride on the Bosphorus brings us past ornate Ottoman palaces to the Old City where we’ll visit the famous spice market and mosque of Rustem Pasha.

Day 9: A short cruise brings us to the village of Kalkan, then drive to Xanthos to explore its many ruins.

Day 3: We’ll visit the ancient monuments of Istanbul today including Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. Day 4: Our morning flight takes us to beautiful and unusual Cappadocia. Later, we’ll hike up to Uchisar Castle. Day 5: Visit the Göreme Valley and its reconstructed Dark Church. After lunch we’ll visit a pottery workshop. Day 6: Transfer to historical Konya where we’ll enjoy a private performance of whirling dervishes. Day 7: Today we drive to the coastal city of Antalya, visit the Aspendos Theatre, and continue to Demre to board our Turkish gulet.

Day 10: We’ll anchor and hike through a forest to visit the Levissi ghost town, and take a small hike on Ship Island. Day 11: This morning the gulet takes us to Lydae where we’ll hike to the Bay of Goçek, a special spot to Antony and Cleopatra. Day 12: We’ll disembark our gulet in Goçek and transfer to Kusadasi, stopping at the Temple of Artemis. Day 13: Spend the morning exploring Ephesus. This afternoon we’ll fly back to Istanbul. Day 14: “Gule Gule” (Go happily) as you leave for the airport for flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe

North Sea

St. Bees Penrith Grasmere

Irish Sea

Richmond

Robin Hood’s Bay

York

England Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Hiking Trip Level Strenuous Lodging Hotels, inns 16-Day Trip Departs Jul–Sep Land Cost From $5,695

Photo ©Stevie Christie

England

England Coast to Coast • Hike one of the best long distance routes in the world— a bucket list trip for all serious hikers • Trek with the only North American travel company to walk the full 192-mile journey from west to east • Enjoy optional van support to help you along this epic journey There are few treks as satisfying to serious hikers as England’s classic “Coast-to-Coast” trail, considered by many to be one of the top ten hikes in the world! MTS is the only North American adventure travel company to follow all 192 miles of the original “West-to-East” route scouted by Alfred Wainwright who first blazed the trail in the 1970s. Beginning at the Irish Sea and ending at the North Sea, you’ll cross three national parks: the Lake District (where England’s highest mountains are found), the rolling green hills and river valleys of the Yorkshire Dales (of James Herriot fame), and the dramatic landscapes of the North Yorkshire Moors. At the end of each day’s hike a charming, storybook village and warm English hospitality await! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ECC in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Penrith, England. Meet your guide at the train station, then head to the hotel for orientation.

Day 9: Enjoy a memorable walk through meadows and enchanting stone villages to the village of Reeth.

Day 2: Our 192-mile hike begins with a dip of the toe in the Irish Sea at St. Bees!

Day 10: We’ll pass lovely villages and streams on our way to Richmond and its 11th-century castle.

Day 3: Our route today crosses lakeshore, forest, and mountainside from Ennerdale Water to Borrowdale.

Day 11: Today is a relatively flat hike to the charming village of Bolton on Swale en route to Danby Wiske.

Day 4: We’ll climb three peaks before descending into Grasmere, best known for its association with William Wordsworth.

Day 12: Trek back through the Yorkshire Dales towards North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Day 5: Ascend the rolling fells of the Lake District before descending into the lovely Patterdale Valley.

Day 13: Journey along the Cleveland Hills before hiking the crags and boulders of the Wainstones and the scarp cliffs of Hasty Bank.

Day 6: Hike up the old Roman road of High Street, then continue to the high point of Kidsty Pike.

Day 14: Today we’ll follow an old trade route through Eskdale and on to Grosmont in the Esk Valley.

Day 7: Today we’ll pass ancient stone circles, burial mounds, and prehistoric settlements.

Day 15: We’ll reach Robin Hood’s Bay today and bathe our feet in the North Sea—an MTS grand finale ritual!

Day 8: Hike through Pennine Chain before descending into scenic Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Day 16: Transfer to the rail station in York, then continue to London for departing flights.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:40:52 PM


E ur o pe Malin Head Sligo Clew Bay

Ireland Cliffs of Moher

Mizen Head

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels 12-Day Trip Departs Jun, Aug Land Cost From $5,695

Photo ©Jacek Kadaj

Ireland

Ireland North to South • Hike the best 70 miles of Ireland’s famous Malin to Mizen Trail. We’re the only North American company to offer the North to South coastal route • Spend full days among the country’s most iconic sights, jaw-dropping landscapes, and quaint fishing villages • Our resident guides provide spontaneous opportunities to experience authentic pub life, live traditional Irish music, and a culture of camaraderie Ireland’s legendary “Malin to Mizen” trail runs the length of the country from Malin Head in County Donegal to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southerly point. The full route spans some 400 miles, but MTS has identified the most beautiful 70 miles to create an approachable itinerary you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll walk along clifftops and white sand beaches and take in Ireland’s most iconic sites: the Giant’s Causeway, Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal Town, Croagh Patrick, Connemara, the Aran Islands, Galway City, the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, and the Lakes of Killarney. With warm Irish hospitality and a pint waiting for you at the end of each day, you may never want to go home! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code IRL in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Ireland. Meet your guide and transfer to Derry. Go for a warm-up hike in Malin Head, climbing rugged hills and past windswept cliffs. Day 2: Today we’ll walk along clifftops and beaches to reach the Giant’s Causeway, a dramatic landscape of 40,000 basalt columns projecting into the ocean. Day 3: We’ll hike to the iconic summit of Mount Errigal, part of Glenveagh National Park, where we’ll have tea in a castle. Transfer to Donegal. Day 4: Today we scale the Slieve League, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe! On the way, visit a famous pilgrimage site. Day 5: We’ll pass W.B. Yeat’s grave, then climb the limestone hill of Knocknarea to reach a legendary 180-foot-high cairn! Day 6: We’ll follow the path less traveled to Croagh Patrick, one of the holiest spots in all of Ireland. Tonight is free to explore Westport.

Day 7: Today we’ll hike along Ireland’s only fjord and visit the fairytale castle of Kylemore Abbey. Day 8: Our walk takes us to the rocky outcrops of the Aran Islands, home to Dún Aonghusa, one of Europe’s most important archeological sites. Day 9: Walking along the Cliffs of Moher today we may see humpback whales or basking sharks. We’ll spend the evening in Dingle, a bastion of Irish music! Day 10: From Ventry Bay we’ll trace the base of Mount Eagle, and then follow the jagged coast around Slea Head, passing standing stones and beehive huts. Day 11: A cable car transfers us to Dursey Island where we’ll hike, taking in its incredible seabirds, standing stones, and ancient monastery. Day 12: Our hike finishes at Mizen Head today, famous for its wildflowers, marine life, and seabirds. Transfer to Cork City before returning to Dublin for home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe Outer Hebrides Ullapool

Inverness

Scotland Skye

Cairngorms National Park Fort Augustus

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Lodges, inns 9-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul, Sep Land Cost From $4,695

Photo ©Stevie Christie

Scotland

Hiking Wild Scotland • Experience the raw wildness of the Outer Hebrides and the gorgeous, windswept terrain of Cairngorms National Park • A dream destination for photographers! See vibrantly changing colors in one of the most beautiful areas in the world • Stay in charming inns and receive an insider’s welcome, from distilleries to traditional weavers, thanks to our resident Scottish guides To visit Scotland is to step back in time. Its rolling highlands, isolated beaches, dramatic crags, pristine lochs, and brooding skies make it one of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe. Our exclusive itinerary covers the best of the country’s wildest, most beautiful, and most far-flung corners. You’ll traverse the Highlands and Outer Hebrides along varied terrain, enjoying a perfect balance of heartpumping hikes, sightseeing excursions, and time to relax. Along the way you’ll visit Cairngorms National Park, see the Callanish Standing Stones, pay homage to famous Loch Ness, enjoy a tasting at a renowned whisky distillery, and watch a Harris Tweed weaver at work. So sip on a wee dram and watch your magical adventure unfold! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SCL in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Scotland. Meet your guide and group in Inverness and transfer to Loch Ness. This afternoon we’ll check into the hotel and meet for orientation and a welcome dinner. Day 2: This morning we’ll ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides. After lunch, enjoy an easy coastal walk to see the Callanish Standing Stones, the broch, and Blackhouse Village. Day 3: Today we’ll explore the stunning scenery of North Harris, visiting amazing beaches and the famous cliff of Sron Ulladale. Great mountain and seaside views abound! Day 4: We’ll begin with a walk at beautiful Luskentyre Beach and visit a local Harris Tweed weaver. We’ll continue to Toe Head and then complete the circuit of Harris via the “Golden Road.” Day 5: A late morning ferry brings us to the Isle of Skye where we’ll explore the Trotternish Peninsula, hike at the

Quiraing rock pinnacles, and transfer to the southern end of Loch Ness. Day 6: Transfer to Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms to begin a three-day hike through the Spey Valley. We’ll follow a trail through pine forests to beautiful Loch Garten, then to Loch Mallachie, before reaching Boat of Garten. This afternoon we’ll enjoy an optional whisky distillery tour! Day 7: Enjoy a leisurely morning on your own before hopping the steam train to Aviemore for an easy hike to Loch an Eilean. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant. Day 8: Today we’ll climb to the high plateau of the Cairngorms for outstanding views in all directions. We’ll return to Boat of Garten for a memorable farewell dinner. Day 9: After breakfast we’ll transfer back to Inverness for onward air or rail transfers.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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E ur o pe Seydisfördur Húsavik Egilsstadir

Iceland Skaftafell National Park

Höfn

Vik-í-Myrdal Reykjavik Land/Sea Travel STOCKHOLM Air Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, huts or camping, guesthouse 10-Day Trip Departs Jun–Aug Land Cost From $5,495

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Iceland

Hiking Iceland’s Eastern Fjords • Trek Iceland’s remote, remarkable eastern fjords with MTS—the exclusive North American operator • Hike the famed Víknaslódir trail where you’ll be overwhelmed by the raw beauty of mountains, lava fields, glaciers, icebergs, and magnificent waterfalls • Contemplate black sand beaches, soak in sublime geothermal hot springs, and luxuriate in the famed Blue Lagoon To visit Iceland is to witness nature in its rawest form. Our hiking adventure follows the Víknaslódir trail, one of National Geographic Adventure’s “25 Most Beautiful Treks in the World.” You’ll hike in the foothills of volcanic mountains, see lively lava fields and boulder fields, walk along gigantic glaciers, cruise among black and blue icebergs, take a scenic flight over the highlands, and experience the wildlife of verdant fjords. With two free afternoons in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, you’ll get a complete picture of this supernatural land. Unwind in both simple mountain huts and comfortable modern hotels, and we’ll make sure you board the plane home totally relaxed with a soak in geothermal hot springs! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code ICE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik. Meet your guide at the airport, transfer to your hotel, and explore town. Meet for a welcome dinner tonight. Day 2: We’ll take an awe-inspiring flight over the Icelandic highlands to Egilsstadir for our three-day hutto-hut adventure. Our first hike is to Lodmundarfjördur. Day 3: Today we’ll visit the old chapel at the foot of magnificent Lodmundarfjördur and walk along the seashore to Húsavík (House Bay). Hut accommodations tonight. Day 4: Hike from the foot of Mount Hvitserkur to Breidavík (Wide Bay), with its coastal marshes, black sand beaches, and curious seals. Hut accommodations tonight. Day 5: We’ll continue our hike across colorful rhyolite mountains to Borgarfjördur Eystri, a picturesque inlet facing the open sea. We’ll spend tonight at a simple guesthouse. Day 6: Today we hike the Dyrfjöll Mountains, passing a glacial river and

brilliant green meadows. Transfer to Lake Lagarfljót for a night in a modern hotel. Day 7: Begin at Hengifoss Waterfall for a short walk and lunch. Transfer to the picturesque harbor of Djúpivogur for a walk along a bay, fjords, and a lagoon known for wild swans. Day 8: We’ll cruise among the icebergs of Jökulsárlón lagoon, bound for Skaftafell National Park. A short hike takes us to Svartifoss (the Black Waterfall) and the Eldhraun lava field. Day 9: Take a morning stroll on the beach of Vik before transferring to Skógafoss waterfall and Skógar Museum. Arrive in Reykjavik in time to explore before dinner. Day 10: We’ll end our adventure in style at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa! Soak in its steamy mineral waters on our way to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E ur o pe

E ur o pe

France

Greenland

The Rhone River Valley in southern France is quintessential Provence—

Explore one of the world’s last frontiers—an isolated wilderness of granite

wooded hills, picturesque villages, Roman monuments, and some of the

and ice found only in Greenland. Boat through glittering ice fjords lined with

world’s most celebrated vineyards. Discover the region’s beauty, culture,

crackling glaciers and filled with drift ice. Visit Inuit settlements and hike

and irresistible charm as you sail and stroll along this famous waterway.

to high passes for panoramic views in every direction. Sleep in a secluded

Explore the medieval ramparts of Avignon, wander the Renaissance

fjord-side hut, and stargaze under the Arctic sky. In this striking landscape,

courtyards of Lyon, and visit Beaune, the wine capital of the Côte d’Or.

reachable only by boat, you’ll be traveling where few others have ventured.

8 days • Land Cost from $3,795

11 days • Land Cost from $5,495

France

Sweden

South-central France harbors a secret—an Eden-like landscape of rivers

Discover the idyllic islands and fjords of Sweden’s Bohuslän coast on this

and lakes, thick forests, and dramatic pinnacles. Join us on a journey to the

great new adventure. Beginning in Gustafsberg, you’ll paddle through one of

hidden corners of the Massif Central, from ancient villages undiscovered by

the most remote regions in the world. Explore the coves of Nordströmmarna,

tourists to high plateaus carpeted with wildflowers. In the company of our

famous for its bird life, and navigate the maze of islands off the coast of

most popular Alps guides, you’ll enjoy spectacularly scenic hikes each day.

Orust. Cap off your days with comfortable lodging and delicious fresh local

With plenty of time for leisure, this itinerary will leave you truly enchanted.

seafood. See why this is one of Europe’s most exciting new destinations.

8 days • Land Cost from $4,995

10 days • Land Cost from $5,395

NEW Hiking Hidden France

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NEW Eastern Greenland Ice & Mountains

NEW West Coast Hiking & Kayaking

Photo ©Per Karlsson/DanitaDelimont.com, MTS Photo File (3)

NEW Cruise & Walk Along the Rhone River

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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8/1/14 2:41:10 PM


E ur o pe

ATHENS

Greece

Pireaus

Tinos

Mykonos Naxos Iraklia Land/Sea Travel

Activities Kayaking, swimming, hiking, horseback riding Trip Level Moderate Lodging Inns, hotels 11-Day Trip Departs May, Jun, Sep, Oct Land Cost From $5,595 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Greece

NEW Small Cyclades Crossing: Tinos & Mykonos • Join the only North American adventure travel company to offer active trips to the secluded Small Cyclades! • Kayak and snorkel between hidden beaches, explore ancient ruins, and enjoy delicious regional specialties • In the cradle of civilization, take in custom guided visits of Athens as well as the sacred and mythical Delos Greece’s Cyclades Islands (pronounced “kih-kla-dez”) are the stuff of legends. Remote and adorned with secluded beaches, azure waters, ancient ruins, white cubist houses, pine forests, and olive groves, you’ll enjoy island life at a relaxed pace far from the crowds! MTS

Photo ©Per Karlsson/DanitaDelimont.com, MTS Photo File (3)

is the only North American adventure travel company to get you there, and our itinerary is packed with fun. Boating from island to island, you’ll kayak, hike, swim, go horseback riding on a beach, learn traditional Greek cuisine, and take in guided visits of Athens and Delos. After slow-paced days taking in the spectacular scenery, ancient history and regional delicacies, you can toast to a fabulous sunset over a glass of ouzo. Fantastikós! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code GRI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Athens, Greece and transfer to our hotel. This evening we’ll take a walking tour of old Athens before our welcome dinner at a traditional Greek tavern. Day 2: After breakfast we’ll depart the port of Piraeus by boat to the Cyclades. We’ll lunch on the island of Naxos, and then continue to Iraklia and its beautiful white beaches. Day 3: Today we board our kayaks and head for Schinoussa, famous for its luxury yachts and excellent seafood. We’ll settle into our rooms before leaving to enjoy a delicious seafood dinner. Day 4: We’ll kayak to Koufonissi today with time to settle into the hotel, take a swim, or wander its ancient Minoan ruins. Day 5: Board the ferry for our journey back to Tinos via Naxos. Enjoy dinner and overnight in Tinos. Day 6: Today we explore Tinos with a pilgrimage to the miraculous icon at

Our Lady Church, a cooking class in Tripotamos, and a visit to the marble sculptures of Pyrgos. Day 7: We’ll hike from the village of Falatados to a monastery overlooking the Aegean and then head to Volax, known for its traditional baskets. Enjoy a swim this afternoon. Day 8: A short ferry brings us to Mykonos where we’ll sample regional wines and other local delicacies off the beaten path. Day 9: Transfer by ferry to Delos, the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and visit its ancient ruins. Take an optional evening horseback ride along the beach at Fokos. Day 10: Return to Athens by ferry in time for a guided visit of the ancient city, the Acropolis, and the Parthenon. Our farewell dinner is tonight in Athens. Day 11: Bid “antío” to your fellow travelers and Greece and transfer to the airport for flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Region THE GALÁPAGOS Region

CONTENTS Highlights Small............................................................ What. Yacht Cruising in Galápagos...............p.89 p.00 Galápagos What............................................................. Wildlife Adventure Cruise.......... p.00 p.90 What. Sample ............................................................ Galápagos Itinerary................... p.91–92 p.00 NEW What..Galápagos ........................................................... & Machu Picchu................p.00 p.93 What............................................................. p.00 What............................................................. p.00

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“How could you ever beat the incredible To make pumpkin purée from a sugar pumpkin: start flora and fauna of Galápagos, with the most with a small-medium sugar pumpkin, cut out the stem and knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide possible... scrape out the insides, discard (save the seeds, of course). I loved everything about the trip!” Cut the pumpkin in half and lay cut side down. Meriel~Gregory • Atlanta, Jane Doe • Peoria,GA IL

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T he Ga l á pa g os

Small Yachts The Most Active, Comprehensive Galápagos Itineraries

Amenities Onboard

Everyone loves to relax aboard a deluxe yacht in these sunny equatorial

• Intimate experience with only 12–16 passengers

climes, but to really get to know the Galápagos you have to get out into

• Lounge deck with reclining chairs for unparalleled sunset viewing

them. Our itineraries feature ample activities to energize the journey, from kayaking and snorkeling to hiking, beachcombing, and wildlife

• Ample common areas including large dining/bar area with large picture windows

viewing galore. With so many islands to visit, our Galápagos experts

• Swimming and diving platform to enjoy the warm Galápagos waters

will help you select the itinerary that best suits your needs and interests.

• En suite private baths with hot water showers and A/C in every cabin

Private Departures and Custom Experiences

The Best Yachts in the Islands

Photos on this srpead: ©BlueOrange Studio, Pete Oxford/DanitaDelimont.com, MTS Photo File

The Best Way to Experience the Galápagos

Without a doubt, the best way to explore the Galápagos is aboard a small,

You and your family, group of friends or colleagues can share a unique,

deluxe yacht, which can anchor closer to land and get into small coves

intimate experience cruising Darwin’s playground aboard your own

that big ships can’t reach. We’ve hand selected the best yachts available,

private yacht. Our charter voyages use the same high quality yachts

ensuring that every trip member enjoys the ideal balance of comforts

and top-notch naturalist guides that our journeys are famous for!

and superior, intimate access to the best the islands have to offer.

You can reserve one of our regular trip departures just for your family

Each of these “floating oases” features a friendly, highly attentive crew,

or group, or schedule your own dates. Because of high demand,

including a chef who prepares delicious, healthy and satisfying meals.

especially during holiday periods we recommend planning your private Galapagos charter 6–12 months in advance.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E u r ope

T he Ga l á pa g os

Darwin Genovesa

Fernandina

Marchena Santiago Bartolome Baltra

Isabela

San Cristóbal

Santa Cruz

Santa Fe Floreana

Española

Activities Adventure cruising, hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking Trip Level Easy Lodging Yacht 11-Day Trip Departs Year-round Land Cost From $5,195

Ecuador

Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise • Visit the Enchanted Isles with the top experts in Galápagos small-group travel, renowned for their attention to detail • Explore the islands from the comfort of a private yacht, anchored right at nature’s doorstep • Hike, swim, snorkel, kayak and relax while our dedicated in-country staff sees to your every need • See incredible wildlife up close including sea lions, sea turtles, giant tortoises, rays and more Get up close and personal to mysterious creatures like the giant tortoise, the Sally Lightfoot crab, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and the flightless cormorant on this active adventure in the Galápagos! Seeing the Enchanted Islands from intimate yachts is an easy, relaxing and comprehensive way to take it all in! As you cruise from island to island, our Galápagos National Park certified naturalist guides (the best in the business!) offer a fascinating glimpse into this otherworldly paradise. You’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and historic Post Office Bay, snorkel off the dark sand beach of Puerto Egas, and hike amid penguin colonies at Mariela Rocks. Our dedicated in-country staff and yacht crew are there to tend to your every need. All you need do is come aboard! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code G11 in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

8/1/14 2:42:21 PM


T he Ga l á pa g os

SAMPLE Itinerary NOTE: Galápagos National Park regulations require that vessels adhere to a set menu of itineraries, based upon the vessel and departure date. Therefore your actual itinerary may vary from the sample presented here. Ask our Regional Specialist for details.

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. Our representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Day 2: The day is free to explore Quito on your own. You may want to see colonial Quito or tour the famous Otavalo market. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll board our flight to Baltra Island. You’ll be met by your guide who will lead you on a hike in search of giant tortoises. There’s time to explore Puerto Ayora before boarding your home at sea. Day 4: The day begins by observing flamingos and sea turtles on Floreana Island followed by a snorkeling excursion into an underwater crater! Later we’ll visit historic Post Office Bay. Day 5: We’ll start our day on Isabela Island, observing Darwin’s finches, Galápagos doves, penguins, blue-footed boobies, mockingbirds and flightless cormorants. Later we’ll snorkel around the pahoehoe lava flows and visit the penguin colonies of Mariela Rocks. Day 6: This morning you’ll have time to snorkel off the coast of Isabela Island, enjoy the beach at Urbina Bay, or take a wildlife walk. In the afternoon we’ll head to Fernandina Island and Punta Espinosa. Day 7: Isabela Island is a treasure trove of things to see! While here we’ll visit Tagus Cove, famous for its carved graffiti, and Darwin Lake, a salt-water crater lake surrounded by vast lava flows. Itinerary continued on following page.

Photos on this spread: ©Brenda Ernst/MTS, Maria Luisa Lopez Estivill, Eric Rorer/Aurora Photos, MTS Photo File

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T he Ga l á pa g os

Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise SAMPLE Itinerary (Continued from page 91) Day 8: Explore Santiago and snorkel off the dark sandy volcanic beach of Puerto Egas, home to sponges, hermit crabs, shore birds, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, and more. Day 9: Today we’ll swim and snorkel off Santa Cruz to see sea lions, flamingos and great blue herons. Later we’ll cruise to Seymour Island in search of blue-footed boobies and land iguanas. Day 10: After enjoying your breakfast on board, we’ll head to the Baltra Airport for your flight back to Quito. An MTS representative will meet you in Quito and bring you to your hotel. Day 11: Transfer to the airport for homeward flights, or join one of our fabulous trip extensions in Ecuador or Peru (see below)!

Stay A Little Longer Enhance your Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise by extending your journey. It’s easy to build your own dream trip by adding one of our exciting extensions to the incomparable Amazon, the highlands of Ecuador, or Peru’s mountaintop masterpiece, Machu Picchu. Call for details! Photos on this page ©Brenda Ernst/MTS, Heeb/eStockPhoto, MTS Photo File

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T he Ga l á pa g os

ECUADOR Guayaquil Galápagos Islands

PERU Machu Picchu LIMA

Cusco

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cruising, wildlife viewing, snorkeling, kayaking Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels, small deluxe yacht 14-Day Trip Departs Year-round Land Cost From $7,195 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Ecuador, Peru

NEW Galápagos & Machu Picchu • Make the most of your time visiting two of Latin America’s crown jewels, true wonders of the world • Begin with the rich Andean culture and deep history of iconic Cusco and Machu Picchu • Cap your journey on a private yacht, immersing yourself in the tropical paradise and Garden of Eden that is the Galápagos When it comes to visiting South America, the phrase, “too much to see, too little time” applies for most travelers. We’ve attempted to remedy that by designing an itinerary that includes two of the best of our South American adventures, stretching from Peru’s ancient Inca cities of Cusco and Machu Picchu to the enchanting Galápagos Islands! Enjoy guided tours in both of these special places, and experience them in a variety of ways. You’ll hike, snorkel, fly, and travel by train and yacht through spectacular nature, culminating with the rare, endemic wildlife of the Galápagos. Our expert guides and luxurious accommodations are some of the best available. You won’t find this level of quality with any other company! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MGA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Cusco, Peru. After transferring to the hotel, enjoy a three-hour guided tour of the old city and Inca ruins, or unwind in the hotel. Day 2: Tour the spectacular ruins of Puka Pukara, Tambomachay, Kenko, and Sacsayhuaman before continuing to Ollantaytambo in the Urubamba Valley. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll explore more of the Urubamba Valley before boarding our train to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a fabulous guided tour of this “Lost City of the Incas.” Day 4: An early morning guided tour at Machu Picchu offers a quiet view of this mystical city before the park opens to tourists. Choose from optional hikes in every direction. This evening we’ll board a train back to Cusco. Day 5: We’ll fly from Cusco to Lima for a connecting flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador. An MTS representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel.

Day 6: Catch an early flight to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands. We’ll board our well-appointed, private, air-conditioned yacht for a week of exploration, relaxation, and fun. Days 7–12: Every cruise allows us to create our own unique adventure through the islands, including Plazas, North Seymour, Genovesa, Santiago, Bartolomé, Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, Española, and Floreana. Each has its own special highlights. As we snorkel, hike, and sail, you’ll see the islands’ unusual wildlife and spectacular geological formations. Day 13: Return to port and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Guayaquil. The evening is free to enjoy the city on your own. Day 14: Bid “adios” to your fellow travelers and transfer to the airport for your flight home or onto one of our terrific trip extensions!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Cuba

LATIN Region AMERICA Region

Costa Rica

CONTENTS Highlights Patagonia. What. ............................................................ ................................................... p.96–101 p.00 NEW What..Patagonia ........................................................... Multisport Adventure........... p.101 p.00 Peru: What..Machu ........................................................... Picchu and Beyond............ p.104–110 p.00 NEW What..Lares: ........................................................... Peru’s Hidden Gem.....................p.107 p.00 NEW What..Traditions ........................................................... of Guatemala & Chiapas.......p.114 p.00 NEW What..Cuba ........................................................... Cultural Discovery......................... p.00 p.116

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Patagonia

“One cannot get closer and learn more about a country or culture than we did here. The guides were excellent, the logistics were perfect, and our expectations were exceeded in every way.” Kathy & Lou Panetta • Monterey, CA

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Custom Travel

In Latin America

Photos on this spread: ©Christopher Bettencourt, Bill Bachmann/Danita Delimont, Tara Starr-Keddle, MTS Photo File (3)

Experience and Access We became the first U.S. company to lead adventures to Patagonia,

If you’ve always wanted to create your own bucket list journey, our

the now famous Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu, and the first to

team can create something truly one of a kind. With decades of

offer sailing voyages to the Galápagos Islands. Not only do we venture

experience in Latin America, let us share our knowledge to develop

to be innovative, but we strive for excellence. Our trips have received

a unique, customized adventure hand-tailored to your specifications.

numerous accolades including our Andean adventure being selected

All you have to do is enjoy.

as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime.”

Endless Possibilities and Extending Your Journey MTS has become part of the community with our local guides who are born leaders and natural historians—many who have been part of our family for decades. With our insider access we encourage you to go big on your once-in-a-lifetime visit. We offer many trip extension options to add to your adventure including our incredibly popular Amazon River cruises for those traveling to Peru and a shorter visit to Patagonia if you’re in Chile. We can put together a custom itinerary, so you can really see it all.

Private and Custom Experiences Any of our scheduled journeys to Latin America can be enjoyed as a private trip, giving you an outstanding itinerary that’s ready to book. Travelers find these options to be best when there’s a trip that interests them, but prefer to travel with their own group or on their own schedule. www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Lat i n A mer i ca ARGENTINA Punta Arenas

Alberto de Agostini National Park

CHILE Ushuaia

Wulaia Cape Horn Bay Beagle Channel Land/Sea Travel

Activities Small boat cruising, easy side hikes, wildlife viewing Trip Level Easy Lodging Ship 5-Day Trip Departs Jan–Apr, Oct–Dec Land Cost From $2,298 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Argentina, Chile

Cruise Cape Horn and Patagonia • Take a five-day luxury cruise through the wilds of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego • Visit remote Cape Horn, the true “End of the Earth,” and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve • Cruise through stunning Glacier Alley and get up close to Magellanic penguins Sail to the “End of the Earth” on this five-day voyage that’s long on adventure and natural wonders. As you cruise through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel on a luxury expedition ship, you’ll explore two of the most untouched places on the planet: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. You’ll spend a day touring massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley—row upon row of magnificent ice fields. You’ll board Zodiac boats for close-up views of Magellanic penguins and visit mythical Cape Horn at the rugged southernmost tip of South America. As you discover wild and windswept lands of surpassing beauty, traveling where few humans go, the phrase “getting away from it all” has never been more apt. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CRU in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas and board your luxury expedition ship. This evening you’ll depart on your journey through the Strait of Magellan. Day 2: Continue navigating through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay. Walk through subpolar Magellanic forest to a beaver dam and possibly spot elephant seals on the beach. Later, sail to Tuckers Islets and board Zodiac boats to view Magellanic penguins and cormorants. (In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a trip to Brookes Bay where you’ll land for a short walk to a glacier.) Day 3: Navigate the Beagle Channel to Pia Fjord and disembark near Pia Glacier. Take a short hike to a lookout with a spectacular view of the entire massive glacier, stretching from the high mountains to the sea. Continue sailing through majestic “Glacier Alley.”

Day 4: Sail through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to Cape Horn National Park, where you’ll disembark (weather permitting). A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Cape Horn was an important navigation route between the Atlantic and Pacific and is known as the “End of the Earth.” In the afternoon you’ll go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of a large Yamana aboriginal settlement. Walk among the area’s remarkable native vegetation to a lookout point. Day 5: Arrive at Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Disembark at 8 a.m. Transfer to the airport for your homewardbound flight or continue your adventure in South America with one of our terrific post-trip extensions. Call for details.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Lat i n A mer i ca Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate

Argentina CHILE

Torres del Paine National Park

Punta Arenas Ushuaia

Cape Horn Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Adventure cruising, hiking Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Ship, hotels 12-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Oct–Dec Land Cost From $7,995 Photo ©Dmitry Pichugin

Argentina, Chile

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

Patagonia Explorer • See the very best of Patagonia on the only cruise ship allowed to sail where the Atlantic and Pacific meet • Enjoy rare access to remote Chilean fjords and mythical Cape Horn, where opportunities to see glaciers and incredible wildlife abound • Hike in stunning Torres del Paine National Park and view the famed Perito Moreno Glacier From towering fjords, to needle-sharp granite peaks, to glaciers so intensely blue they seem to glow from within, Patagonia is blessed with an incredible wealth of natural beauty. Our itinerary is the most all-encompassing tour on offer and the ultimate way to discover Patagonia’s best. With over 40 years of experience in the region, we’ve crafted this adventure to minimize driving and maximize your time in the wilderness. You’ll cruise the spectacular, wildlife-rich Chilean fjords all the way to Cape Horn, gaze upon the renowned Perito Moreno Glacier, and take easy (or challenging, if you prefer) treks through the ice-clad pinnacles of Torres del Paine. Earth and ice, sea and sky: Patagonia’s wonders await, so join us! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PAE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan. You’ll be met and escorted to your hotel.

famous Cape. This afternoon, go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, site of a large aboriginal settlement.

Day 2: Morning tour of Punta Arenas. This afternoon we’ll transfer to the port and board the 132-passenger Via Australis. We’ll depart on your cruise adventure this evening.

Day 6: We cruise to the bustling town of Ushuaia, Argentina and disembark for our transfer to Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa on the shore of Beagle Channel. Later, hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park, known for its plant and bird life.

Day 3: Arrive at Ainsworth Bay where you’ll view the impressive Marinelli Glacier and hike through stunning subpolar forest. Later, sail to Tuckers Islets and enjoy a Zodiac cruise to a Magellanic penguin colony. Day 4: Cruise the inner fjords and disembark at Pia Glacier on the Beagle Channel. Visit the observation point for excellent views of the Darwin Range. Next, sail through the Beagle Channel and into spectacular “Glacier Avenue.” Day 5: Navigating through the Beagle and Murray Channels, you’ll disembark at Cape Horn National Park (weather permitting). Visit Horn Island for a panoramic view of the

Day 7: Drive to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. Here you’ll enjoy a full-day excursion to the renowned and very active Perito Moreno Glacier. Weather permitting, take an easy hike on the glacier (optional). Day 8: Drive across the border into Chile and on to Torres del Paine National Park. Days 9–11: Enjoy day hikes through the ice-clad peaks and granite needles of Torres del Paine, passing scenic lakes and waterfalls. Day 12: Return to Punta Arenas and board your flight to Santiago.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Argentina Los Glaciares National Park

Chile

El Calafate

Torres del Paine National Park Punta Arenas Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking

Argentina, Chile

Hiker’s Patagonia • Trek iconic Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks on the most comprehensive Patagonia trek available, guided by the Patagonia experts • Stay in charming accommodations, from remote lodges to a traditional estancia • Cap off your trip with two days in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, city of the tango Patagonia’s jagged peaks and majestic glaciers rise dramatically above the horizon, thousands of feet above the Chilean and Argentinian steppes. MTS pioneered commercial trekking here in the 1970s and has

Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous

designed this one-of-a-kind adventure to take in the splendor of Patagonia’s two most scenic parks: Torres

Lodging Lodges, cabins, or estancias

del Paine in Chile and Los Glaciares in Argentina. Every day you’ll hike through breathtaking beauty, taking

14-Day Trip Departs Jan–Apr, Nov, Dec Land Cost From $5,395

in views of pristine glacial lakes, iconic snowcapped peaks, and swaying grasses of the desert steppes. At night the charm and comfort of luxurious hotels, a traditional estancia, cozy cabins, and a remote mountain lodge await. With two final days to explore Buenos Aires, you may never want to leave. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code HIK in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©MTS Photo File, Tara Starr-Keddle (2)

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile. Your leader will meet you at the airport and bring you to the hotel for a briefing and a welcome dinner.

Day 8: Today we have a full day excursion to Los Glaciares National Park to see the renowned Perito Moreno Glacier and its enormous calving chunks of ice.

Day 2: Today we’ll drive to Paine National Park for breathtaking views and a chance to see guanacos up close. End the day at our charming hosteria.

Day 9: A morning drive takes us along Lago Viedma to the little town of El Chaltén, our base for the following days’ excursions into the park.

Day 3: Cross a suspension bridge and hike along the Ascension River and beech forests before reaching majestic slopes and boulders below Torres del Paine.

Days 10–11: Long day hikes into the park’s interior will treat us to commanding views of the celebrated peaks of Fitzroy (11,072') and Cerro Torre (10,280'). Hikes may include visits to Laguna Torre, Laguna Capri and Laguna de los Tres, Piedras Blancas, and Piedra del Fraile.

Day 4: Hike along Lago Nordenskjold to Los Cuernos beneath the jagged Cuernos del Paine massif. Sleep peacefully in cozy cabins set next to a waterfall. Day 5: The spectacular cirque of the French Valley is on the menu for today’s hike! Tonight we’ll sleep in a charming hikers’ lodge on the shore of Lago Pehoé. Day 6: Take an early hike to the face of the Grey Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. Day 7: Cross the border into Argentina to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. This charming lake town is yours to explore tonight.

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Day 12: Enjoy one last early morning hike in Los Glaciares National Park! This afternoon we’ll return to El Chaltén for a farewell dinner. Day 13: An early morning flight takes us to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Transfer to our hotel in the city’s stylish Recoleta district. Day 14: Today day is free for shopping and sightseeing in Buenos Aires, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An evening transfer brings you to the airport for

More Great Options in Patagonia In addition to our classic, flagship Hiker’s Patagonia journey, we have these great options available:

Patagonia by Air, Land, and Water The ultimate multi-activity and wildlife adventure in virgin Patagonia!

Hidden Patagonia A blend of fun, adventure, and exploration of Patagonia’s colorful history, culture, flora, and fauna.

Patagonia’s Bahía Bustamante & Iguazu Experience the wildlife wonderland that is “Atlantic Patagonia,” plus the thundering spectacle of famed Iguazu Falls in one great trip!

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

departing flights.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca Torres del Paine National Park

Argentina

Puerto Natales

Chile

Punta Arenas

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Camping, hotels 11-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Dec Land Cost From $4,795

Photo ©Tara Starr-Keddle

Chile

Trekking the Paine Circuit • Experience one of the world’s top 10 treks with the company that knows it best • Hike the full circuit including the famed “W” route” not frequented by other hikers • See the beauty of true untamed wilderness with all the icons of Torres del Paine—only accessible by foot with support by our porters With its near-vertical spires soaring high above the plains, Chile’s Torres del Paine massif is a scenic marvel, a place where every serious mountain lover must go. What better way to experience it than on a nine-day circuit of the massif itself? Few companies operate the full circuit, but we’ve been doing it since we pioneered the route in the 1980s, and we know every nook and cranny. Hiking past glacier-fed lakes and spectacular viewpoints, you’ll enjoy the remote interior of the park. Though it’s a challenging trek, you’ll have full support throughout, including porters to carry your gear (something other operators can’t offer). Join the Patagonia experts for a truly exhilarating wilderness adventure. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PAI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive this morning in Punta Arenas. Your trip leader will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for a pre-trip briefing. Day 2: Drive across the plains of Patagonia to Paine National Park, stopping for lunch near Lost Hope Sound and arriving at your hotel in early evening. Day 3: Get an early start for your all-day hike to the Torres del Paine, remarkable granite towers rising 8,000 feet above the plains. Cross the Ascension River via suspension bridge and hike to an amazing viewpoint. Return to the hotel after lunch. Day 4: Hike past the Paine towers towards the peak of Almirante Nieto. Cross the foothills of Cerro Paine and arrive at Seron Camp. Day 5: It’s a long day of mostly flat hiking, skirting Lago Paine. Enjoy incredible views of the Paine Massif along the way. Porters will arrive to

carry our communal camping gear for the next three days. Camp at Lago Dickson. Day 6: Today we trek towards Paine Pass along the Río de los Perros. Camp near Lago de los Perros. Day 7: Hike to Paine Pass, enjoying views of the Patagonia Ice Cap and Grey Glacier. Camp at Lago Grey. Day 8: Visit Grey Glacier today with the opportunity to see it calve into Lago Grey. Camp at Lago Pehoe. Day 9: Explore the French Valley, one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. Return straight to camp or continue to the viewpoint above Camp Britanico. Day 10: Take a catamaran across the lake, enjoying fantastic views of the Paine Grande. Drive to the waterfalls of Salto Grande and then your hotel in Puerto Natales. Day 11: Return to Punta Arenas and board your afternoon flight home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Lat i n A mer i ca from Buenos Aires Nahuel Huapi

Bariloche

to Buenos Aires

ARGE NTINA

Perito Moreno Glacier

El Calafate Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, kayaking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels 11-Day Trip Departs Jan–Apr, Oct–Dec Land Cost From $5,295

Photo ©Londie Padelsky/Larry Ulrich Stock

Argentina

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

NEW Patagonia Multisport Adventure

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to your hotel in the Recoleta district. Enjoy a walking tour of the traditional neighborhoods.

• Trek, kayak, horseback ride, and sail through the Lake District and Los Glaciares National Park • Hike the famed Perito Moreno Glacier and breathe in the rugged beauty of the Fitz Roy massif • This complete north to south experience lets you enjoy cozy mountain lodges, one of the finest traditional estancias, and a luxurious Buenos Aires hotel

Day 2: Visit beautiful Recoleta Cemetery before flying to Bariloche. Transfer to your hotel on Nahuel Huapi Lake.

The dazzling glacial waters and cathedral-like peaks of Patagonia beg to be experienced up close. If you like the idea of earning your Malbec and barbecue with a range of outdoor activities, this trip is for you. In Argentina’s verdant Lake District you’ll explore the striking Nahuel Huapi and Gutierrez lakes by kayak, catamaran, and on foot. In Los Glaciares you’ll get arresting views of legendary Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on moderate 6-hour treks. You’ll sail across Lago Argentino for an unforgettable walk on the Perito Moreno Glacier and ride horses through the Andean foothills at a traditional estancia. With our 40+ years of expertise in the region, you’ll be in excellent hands, so join us and discover the real Patagonia. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PNS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Day 3: Meet your kayaking guide at Gutierrez Lake. Paddle the shores, stopping for lunch on a pristine beach. Take a hike to the magnificent forest of Llao Llao Hill. Day 4: Drive to Villa La Angostura on the northern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and trek along the Quetrihue Peninsula to the Arrayanes Forest. This afternoon we’ll board a catamaran and sail back to the village. Day 5: Fly to El Calafate and transfer to El Chaltén. Day 6: Trek towards Cerro Torre, enjoying views of the legendary spires and hanging glaciers. Day 7: Today you’ll hike into the Río Electrico Valley with views of the

Marconi and Piedras Blancas glaciers. After a picnic lunch at Poincenot, continue on to Laguna Capri to gaze at the incredible Fitz Roy massif. A strenuous optional hike is available from Poincenot to Laguna de los Tres. Day 8: Drive to Estancia La Leona for a hike through a petrified forest. After a stop in Calafate to visit the Ice Museum, continue to your lodgings at Estancia Nibepo Aike in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park. Day 9: Sail by catamaran across Lago Argentino for your unforgettable ice trek on Perito Moreno Glacier. Return to the ranch for an easy horseback ride and a traditional lamb barbecue. Day 10: Drive back to El Calafate for your afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. Farewell dinner at our favorite restaurant. Day 11: Enjoy a free morning to explore before catching afternoon flights home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca Chile Argentina Valparaiso Aconcagua Uco Valley Mendoza SANTIAGO Maipo Valley

BUENOS AIRES Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, biking Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Lodges, hotels 10-Day Trip Departs Jan–Apr, Oct–Dec Land Cost From $4,795

Photo ©Pawel Opaska

Argentina

Summits & Wines of the Central Andes • Get first hand experience with renowned winemakers and stay at private properties among the iconic vineyards of Chile and Argentina • Taste the world’s finest Malbecs and world class cuisine in South America’s top winemaking regions • Discover the culture of bustling Santiago, cross the Andes, and enjoy the glamour of Buenos Aires Chile and Argentina are known for their world-class wines and magnificent mountains. Get a taste of both on this well-rounded adventure, spotlighting the scenic and culinary delights of each country. Explore the charming foodie paradise of Valparaiso, hike the dramatic Maipo Valley (Chile’s cradle of winemaking), and see the landmarks of Santiago. Then it’s across the Andes for views of Mt. Aconcagua, South America’s highest peak. Enjoy tastings at famed Mendoza wineries, hike the foothills of the Cordon del Plata, and indulge in a traditional Gaucho barbecue. With tours of Buenos Aires’ vivid neighborhoods and a tango lesson at a local milonga, this itinerary is the perfect mix of activity, leisure, and fun. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SUM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 102

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Santiago and transfer to the Casablanca Valley. Enjoy lunch and visit your first winery. The evening is yours to explore.

views of Mt. Aconcagua, the “summit of the Americas.” Picnic lunch and afternoon transfer to Mendoza. Dinner at your wine lodge.

Day 2: Visit Valparaiso, Chile’s historic main seaport, for a guided walking tour of its hilly streets.

Day 7: This morning, visit two emblematic wineries, Catena Zapata and Achaval Ferrer. Back to Mendoza for an historic overview. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 3: Head towards Maipo Valley, the cradle of Chilean winemaking. Visit Haras de Pirque winery, known for fine wines and thoroughbreds. Day 4: Today, hike the Maipo canyon to El Morado National Monument. Picnic beneath vertical cliffs with views of hanging glaciers. Day 5: Morning transfer to Santiago, Chile’s bustling capital, where you’ll take a guided walking tour of the city’s main historic and cultural landmarks. Evening on your own. Day 6: Depart early on one of the world’s most scenic roads, crossing the Andes into Argentina. Stop at Aconcagua Provincial Park for an hour of easy hiking and astonishing

Day 8: Take a scenic drive to an estancia at the foot of the Cordon del Plata mountains. Enjoy a moderate hike and amazing views of the Uco Valley. (Horseback riding optional.) Return to the estancia for a traditional Gaucho-style barbecue. Day 9: Fly to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Explore the city’s traditional neighborhoods on foot, stopping at a local milonga for a tango lesson. Farewell dinner in San Telmo. Day 10: Morning walking tour of Recoleta Cemetery and Palermo. Afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Lat i n A mer i ca Ibarra Otavalo QUITO

Ecuador Cotopaxi

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels 10-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Jun, Sep, Dec Land Cost From $4,695

Photo ©Santiago Cornejo

Ecuador

Andes & Haciendas • Explore the spectacular Northern Sierra and ride the historic Ecuadorean Railroad • Visit the Condor Huasi Rescue Project and hike on Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano • Experience remnants of Spanish colonial influence and stay at world-renowned Hacienda Zuleta, featured in National Geographic Discover the beauty and culture of Ecuador’s fertile highlands on this all-new itinerary. As you travel from one luxurious hacienda to another, you’ll hike through lush valleys teeming with birdlife, take a thrilling ride on one of the world’s most spectacular railways, and meet endangered condors at the Condor Huasi Project. Take a short but challenging hike on Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano on the planet. Your journey ends with a full-day guided tour of colonial Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Come with us on an Andean adventure that takes natural and cultural exploration to new heights (15,748 feet, in fact). FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code AHE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Quito and transfer to your hotel.

local musicians and artists of the Huarmi Maqui project.

Day 2: Head north to visit a sundial located precisely on the equator. Continue to the village of Pesillo and begin a 3-hour hike through the high Andean grasslands. We overnight at Hacienda Zuleta, a working hacienda rated by Outside Magazine as “one of the world’s Top Ten finds.”

Day 6: Hike towards El Chaupi and through the páramo highlands to the town of Pastocalle. Enjoy views of some of Ecuador’s lushest valleys and the impressive, volcanic Cotopaxi and Illinizas mountains. Overnight at Hacienda Santa Ana.

Day 3: Learn about the hacienda’s Condor Huasi project which helps reintroduce captive condors into the wild. Next, discover ancient Caranqui pyramids, dating from 850 a.d. Day 4: Drive to Cochacaraqui Magdalena and hike past fertile fields to Ibarra. After lunch we’ll drive through Andean valleys alongside lakes, rivers, and indigenous Otavaleño houses to Hacienda Piman. Day 5: Enjoy a scenic ride on the historic Ecuadorean Railway from Ibarra to Salinas de Ibarra. Later we’ll visit the town of Peguche to meet

Day 7: Explore Cotopaxi National Park, home of the world’s highest active volcano. Walk around Limpiopungo Lake to acclimatize before starting a short but challenging hike towards the refugio where climbers stay before summiting the peak. This afternoon we’ll drive to Quito. Day 8: Enjoy a guided tour of Quito, a colonial jewel and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the wellpreserved historic center, have lunch by the world’s only inhabited crater, and visit the Ethnographic Museum. Day 9: Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Aguas Calientes Llactapata Collpapampa

Machu Picchu

Peru

Machu Picchu Inn to Inn

Marcoccasa Tarawasi to/from Lima

Cusco

Peru

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, mountain lodges

• A true trekker’s route: Machu Picchu via the high Andes’ stunning Cordillera Vilcabamba • Trek in MTS style with hand-selected guides and MTS-dedicated high altitude mountain lodges • This complete MTS journey includes pre-and-post-trek nights in Cusco and two nights at Machu Picchu The mystical ruins and misty peaks of Machu Picchu have lured humankind for centuries. MTS has been leading trips here for over 40 years, and our Inn-to-Inn itinerary was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “Tours of a Lifetime.” Designed to dodge the crowds, you’ll enjoy the challenge of

10-Day Trip Departs Mar–Dec

a high-altitude trek with the full support of our staff and the comfort of well-appointed lodges. After days

Land Cost From $4,995

of hiking amidst sparkling glaciers, azure lakes, dreamy cloud forests, and ancient Inca ruins, the path finally opens to Machu Picchu where you’ll spend one entire day and two nights. Beginning and ending the trip in the former Inca capital of Cusco, you’ll experience the best of Peru’s most famous sites.

All photos ©Bigstock, MTS Photo File

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FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MII in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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8/1/14 2:43:49 PM


Lat i n A mer i ca

More Options in Peru

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive this morning in Lima and board a connecting flight to Cusco. Your guide will meet you outside the baggage claim in Cusco for the transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we’ll enjoy a guided walk of the city.

Day 6: The trail continues downhill to the Santa Teresa River Valley through lush coffee plantations and tropical fruit orchards. This afternoon we’ll climb uphill to Lucma Lodge, a tropical hideaway in the forest.

In addition to our flagship Machu Picchu Inn to Inn journey, we have these great options available:

Day 2: On the way to our lodge we’ll visit the granite ruins at Tarawasi in Limatambo and then ascend a winding track to Marcoccasa for our warm-up hike. Arrive for dinner tonight at the lodge.

Day 7: The day begins uphill towards Llactapata Pass where we’ll see the newly restored Llactapata ruins. Then, we’ll descend to the Urubamba River before boarding a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.

A true high-altitude Andes experience—choose from 5, 7, and 10-day options! See p. 107 f0r details

Day 3: Choose to spend the day resting up or join the group for a half-day hike to a glacial lake for a swim and a spectacular view of the Vilcabamba Range. The afternoon is yours to relax. Day 4: Our journey to Machu Picchu begins with a hike up the Río Blanco Valley, enjoying views of glacial moraines and the Vilcabamba Range. From here we’ll descend to our next lodge and relax in its Jacuzzi. Day 5: After breakfast we’ll hike downhill toward the Salkantay River to the Collpapampa Valley. We’ll arrive at our next lodge for a Pachamanca-style lunch and leisurely afternoon in the cloud forest.

Lares: Peru’s Hidden Gem

Andean Explorer

Day 8: The entire day is yours to spend at Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Our knowledgeable guides will help us understand the significance of the many temples, sanctuaries, and parks found here.

Machu Picchu, plus an in-depth exploration of Cusco and the famed sites of the Sacred Valley. See p. 108 for details.

Day 9: The morning is free to roam Aguas Calientes or simply relax at the hotel. After lunch we’ll take the afternoon train back to Cusco where you can explore or do some last minute shopping.

Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 10: Transfer to the Cusco airport for the short flight to Lima. Enjoy the day visiting Lima before our transfer to the airport tonight.

A high mountain adventure to rival even the mighty Himalaya.

Trekking in the Carabaya Explore a remote and untouristed mountain paradise with MTS Star Guide Sergio Fitch-Watkins.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca Aguas Calientes Llactapata Collpapampa

Machu Picchu

Marcoccasa Tarawasi to/from Lima

Cusco

Peru

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, lodges 7-Day Trip Departs Mar–Dec Land Cost From $3,090

Photo ©Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz

Peru

Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express • Enjoy all the challenges and rewards of our Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn adventure in just seven days • Enjoy the flexibility of picking your own dates and planning your own pre- and post-trip excursions • This trip features Huayna Picchu, with its spectacular views overlooking Machu Picchu If you love the idea of our challenging multi-day trek to Machu Picchu but want flexibility in terms of dates and pre- and post-trip activities, this is the trip for you. This streamlined adventure offers the same epic views of sacred Mt. Salkantay, the same dramatic but rarely traveled route through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and the same feeling of accomplishment. Cap off each amazing day of hiking with a blissful night in a luxurious mountain lodge. Take in vistas of Machu Picchu other travelers rarely see, and enjoy a full morning of exploration at the legendary sanctuary itself. Join us for an Andean journey you’ll cherish forever. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MLP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Plan to arrive one or two days early. Today you’ll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Salkantay Lodge, stopping to visit the ruins of Tarawasi. At Maroccasa, begin a mild four-hour trek to Soraypampa. The afternoon is yours to enjoy unimpeded views of Mt. Salkantay from the lodge. Day 2: Relax at the lodge or take a half-day hike to a high glacial lake. This afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy the outdoor Jacuzzi. Meet this evening for a trip briefing. Day 3: Begin your four-day trek with a hike up the Río Blanco Valley. You’ll reach the trip’s highest point today (15,340'), taking in views of the Vilcabamba Range before descending to Wayra Lodge. Day 4: After a leisurely breakfast, begin hiking downhill to the lush Collpapampa Valley. On arrival at Collpa Lodge, you’ll be met with a traditional Pachamanca-style dinner.

Day 5: Continue downhill through the fertile Santa Teresa River Valley. After lunch along the river it’s a short climb to Lucma Lodge. Arrive in time to explore the village and meet the locals. Day 6: Hike uphill towards Llactapata Pass for a rarely-glimpsed view of Machu Picchu in the distance. Explore the newly restored Llactapata Ruins and begin your descent to the Urubamba River. Board the train for a scenic ride to the village of Aguas Calientes, gateway to Machu Picchu. Overnight at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Day 7: Spend the morning exploring mythical Machu Picchu on a twohour guided tour with four hours on your own. Return to Aguas Calientes and take the train to Ollantaytambo, continuing by vehicle through the Sacred Valley to Cusco.

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Lat i n A mer i ca Peru

Patacancha Quiswarani

Machu Picchu

to/from Lima

Ankasmarca

Ollantaytambo

Pisac Cusco

Chinchero Land/Sea Travel Air Travel Hiking

Activities Trekking Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Hotels, mountain lodges 10-Day Trip Departs Apr–Oct Land Cost From $3,695 (10-day)

Short on time? Call and ask about 5- and 7-day versions of this trek! Photo ©Alejandro Muller

Peru

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

NEW Lares: Peru’s Hidden Gem

NOTE: Itinerary reflects the 10-day version of this trip. Call for details about our 5- and 7-day Lares itineraries.

• This completely new program is a true Andes high altitude experience in one of the most spectacular and remote regions of Peru • Meet locals who are the closest living descendants of the Incas who often still wear traditional dress • Stay on the trail in new luxury lodges, and complete your journey with visits to both the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Day 1: After your arrival, spend the day relaxing and acclimating to the high altitude. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast before an exciting guided walking tour of Cusco. Day 3: Depart Cusco to explore Chinchero and its 16th century colonial church. Hike some gentle trails with views of snowcapped peaks, terraced hillsides, and culminating at the Urubamba River.

Just north of Cusco lies a little-traveled region of tranquil lakes and rugged peaks where farmers grow crops as they have for centuries and children in brightly colored ponchos herd llamas through lush green valleys. Join us on treks through the villages and landscapes

Day 4: Visit the town of Pisac and continue to Ayarcancha where you’ll hike up Challwaccasa Pass while enjoying stunning views of the peaks. Continue hiking to the fascinating archeological site of Pisac and visit its famous Market

of Lares where you’ll discover traditional Andean life by day and stay in stylish, comfortable lodges at night. You’ll also see the best of the Sacred Valley from the ancient ruins at Pisac to fascinating Ollantaytambo, a well-preserved Inca town with some of South America’s oldest occupied dwellings. End your adventure with a visit to iconic, mysterious Machu Picchu. It’s a remarkable journey back in time and a whole new way to experience the land of the Incas. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code LAR in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 5: For today’s spectacular hike you’ll go to Ancasmarca, located where the higher end of the Sacred Valley and the cloud forest communities of Lares meet.

Day 6: Today, hike from Quiswarani to Abra Huchuyccasa Pass with views of distant mountain ranges and turquoise lakes. Day 7: Visit Huacawasi, a famous weavers’ village, where people still wear colorful traditional clothing. During this hike we’ll immerse in local community life and witness breathtaking mountain views. Day 8: Drive to Pallata and hike to Pumarca, a rarely visited Incan archeological site. Continue through Incan agricultural terraces and an old Incan trail back to Ollantaytambo where you’ll explore the town’s magnificent ruins. Take an afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, a town near Machu Picchu. Day 9: After breakfast we’ll visit the legendary Machu Picchu Sanctuary for a guided tour. Day 10: The morning is free to explore Cusco one last time before your departing flight.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Peru Peru Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo Chinchero Pisac

to/from Lima

Cusco

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Touring, easy day hikes, one optional moderate hike

The Andean Explorer: Discover the Realm of the Incas • Join for the best, most complete introduction to Inca history with visits to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu • Experience an in-depth cultural immersion into one of history’s greatest empires at a relaxed pace • Spend two days and nights exploring the wonders of mystical Machu Picchu (only with MTS!) This is one of our most unique and comprehensive inn-to-inn itineraries in Peru, designed for those who are short on time but still want to see it all. In eight action-packed days you will take in the best of Peru,

Trip Level Easy to Moderate

from the Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu, via moderate hiking and scenic train rides. You’ll stroll the

Lodging Hotels, lodges

ancient back streets of Cusco and enjoy awe-inspiring hikes through fertile valleys and highland plateaus

8-Day Trip Departs Mar–Dec Land Cost From $4,495

to the ruins of Inca fortresses and out-of-the-way villages. Our adventure hits a high point as we ride the picturesque train up the narrowing gorge of the Urubamba River and spend a half day hiking up the classic Inca Trail to the lost citadel and cloud forest of Machu Picchu. Here you’ll marvel not only at the famous

Photos, left to right: ©MTS Photo File, Neale Cousland, Joel Shawn, Bartosz Hadyniak

ruins themselves, but also at the thought of the sophisticated, long-vanished civilization that created it. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code AND in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Peru and take a connecting flight to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Transfer to the five-star Hotel Monasterio. Cusco is known for its ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and charming, cobblestone streets. Choose from many fine restaurants for dinner and stroll the central square where colorful Quechuan handicrafts are offered for sale. Day 2: Visit the Inca ruins of Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay, and the impressive stonework and ruins of Pisac, one of the largest fortress-city complexes in ancient America. Day 3: Enjoy a scenic drive to the highland market town of Chinchero (12,398'), discover the impressive circular terraces at the agricultural station of Moray, and hike to the salt pans of Salinas and down into the Sacred Valley. Day 4: Observe the native Quechua way of life in Huilloc where crops are sown and textiles woven with the same simple hand tools that have been used for centuries. We’ll also hike the original Inca path to Ollantaytambo, one of the best-preserved sites of the Incas.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 5: We’ll take the classic train up the narrowing gorge of the Urubamba River and spend a half day hiking to the lost citadel and cloud forest of Machu Picchu where awe-inspiring vistas abound! There’s an optional bus transfer for those who do not wish to hike. Day 6: Take in the morning light at Machu Picchu with a highly informative walking tour that visits the main structures of the site. Enjoy a festive farewell dinner tonight at the hotel. Day 7: The morning is free to relax, return to Machu Picchu, or take short hikes in the immediate vicinity. After lunch we’ll catch the train to Cusco and transfer to the hotel for a free evening to explore the city. Day 8: Fly back to Lima and transfer to a hotel where dayrooms are available for your convenience. Explore Lima with one last captivating afternoon tour before homeward-bound flights this evening. For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Both photos ©MTS Photo File

Peru

Brazil

Amazon River Discovery

Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon

• Explore the incredible biodiverse waters and jungles of the Amazon aboard a luxury ship with world-class cuisine • Cruise through breathtaking tributaries and see spectacular wildlife, including rare pink dolphins, in the world’s largest rainforest • Discover the traditions and way of life of isolated and extremely remote indigenous communities

• Expedition cruising in the Brazilian Amazon—the greatest rainforest wilderness on earth • Visit with native deep forest dwellers and learn about their traditions and forest skills • Watch and listen for exotic birds and mammals in this wildlife cornucopia Traversing any part of the vast Amazon rainforest is one of the best

There are many ways to explore the world’s mightiest river, but none

ways to feel like a real explorer, and we’ll show it to you as no other

is more special than a cruise aboard the M/V Aqua or the M/V Aria.

tour operator can! On this expedition aboard the river cruiser Tucano,

These luxury expedition vessels are like floating five-star hotels that

you’ll explore the Central Amazon Ecological Corridor, the largest of

can take you deep within the Amazon jungle. On skiff excursions

the Amazon reserves and home to some of its most pristine tracts of

with expert local guides, you’ll visit local indigenous communities

rainforest. You’ll see pink river dolphins, a veritable kaleidoscope of

and flooded forests, spot wildlife on a “blackwater” river, watch the

colorful birds, seemingly prehistoric rainforest trees lavishly draped

sun rise over the birthplace of the Amazon, and try your hand at

with vines and carpeted with orchids, and monkeys chattering and

fishing for piranha. Keep your camera ready: you’ll have a chance to

cavorting in the canopy overhead. You’ll swim at deserted beaches in

see both pink and gray freshwater dolphins and up to 13 species of

water as pure and clean as rainwater, hike in forests where the only

monkeys! Wrapping up with a visit to a Manatee Rescue Center, this

tracks are your own, and explore the river’s edge from our launches,

journey is the perfect mix of nature, adventure, and creature comforts.

including evening excursions to watch for nocturnal species!

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code AQU in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code AMZ in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Activities River cruising, wildlife viewing Lodging Ship

Trip Level Easy

5-Day Trip Departs Year-round

Land Cost From $4,220

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Activities Small boat cruising, wildlife viewing Lodging Ship

Trip Level Easy

8-Day Trip Departs Year-round

Land Cost From $3,700

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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8/1/14 2:44:14 PM


Lat i n A mer i ca Portobelo Gatun Lake

PANAMA CITY

Panama Panama Canal

Contadora Pearl Islands Darien National Park Land/Sea Travel

Activities Cruising, snorkeling, Zodiac rides. optional kayaking Trip Level Easy Lodging Ship 7-Day Trip Departs Apr, May, Nov Land Cost From $3,950

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Panama

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

Journey Between the Seas

Day 1: In Panama City, board your 24-passenger luxury yacht Discovery and sail the Pacific waters to Contadora. Meet your expedition leaders, crew, and fellow travelers.

• Sail the Panama Canal on an intimate luxury yacht and get rare views of the surprisingly abundant wildlife • Explore the region on historic trains and go deep into the Darien Jungle to experience the culture of the Embera tribe • Kayak among mangroves and snorkel the pristine waters of the Pearl Islands

Day 2: Visit the Darien Jungle for encounters with Embera communities whose pre-Columbian traditions have remained unchanged for 600 years.

Sailing the Panama Canal is one of life’s iconic journeys. Not only is the canal an engineering marvel and a vital artery for trade, it

Day 3: Today you’ll snorkel, swim, and kayak in the pristine waters of the Pearl Islands.

passes through areas steeped in cultural and natural heritage. Our unique cross-continental journey lets you check this epic adventure off your bucket list in style. Sailing aboard a small luxury yacht, you’ll meet the Embera natives of the Darien Jungle whose traditions have remained unchanged for 600 years. You’ll swim and snorkel the unspoiled waters of the Pearl Islands, explore Gatun Lake (considered the world’s best place to view monkeys in the wild), and tour 16th century Spanish forts and quaint colonial towns. And, of course, you’ll get an up-close view of the astonishing canal itself. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JBS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 4: Arrive this morning at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the operation of the canal up close. Your ship will navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the canal. Spend the night in Gatun Lake along the canal. Day 5: Explore Gatun Lake’s Barro Colorado Island where an abundance of local wildlife took refuge when

the lake was created. You’ll cruise with your guide on small craft past lush rainforests and spot monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, exotic birds, and other native animals. Reboard the Discovery this afternoon and exit the Panama Canal. Day 6: Today you’ll experience the magnificent Chagres River, used by conquistadors and U.S. prospectors to transport gold. Enjoy a guided tour of historic, 16th century Fort San Lorenzo. Later, continue cruising to Colon. Day 7: After a farewell breakfast, disembark and travel by vehicle to Portobelo, founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World. Explore the Spanish fortifications and the Church of San Felipe, home of the much-venerated wooden image known as the “Black Christ.” In the afternoon, board the Panama Canal Railway train for a picturesque one-hour journey across the isthmus to Panama City.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Tortuguero National Park Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica

Pura Vida in Costa Rica Río Pacuare SAN JOSÉ

Costa Rica Land/Sea Travel

• Raft, kayak, hike, and zip-line your way through Costa Rica’s most iconic locations with incomparable wildlife sightings daily • Spend two magical nights in the rainforest at our award-winning eco-lodge, the winner of National Geographic’s Geotourism Award • Explore 2,000 acres of Tortuguero’s protected rainforest with most areas only accessible by water

Activities Kayaking, rafting (Class III/IV), hiking, ziplining, wildlife viewing

Perfect for anyone, from nature buffs to families, our Costa Rica Multisport Adventure is the essence

Trip Level Easy to Moderate

discovery. You’ll spend mornings zip-lining through a nature preserve, paddling the jungle waterways of

Lodging Hotels, lodges

Tortuguero National Park, meeting howler monkeys and exotic birds, and enjoying a fun-filled ride down

9-Day Trip Departs Year-round

the breathtaking Río Pacuare. After hiking the trails along Arenal Volcano, you can soak in its hot mineral

Land Cost From $3,295 Photos, left to right: ©MTS Photo File, Devon Stephens, MTS Photo File (2)

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of pura vida, “the pure life.” Every day is action-packed with both invigorating thrills and slow-paced

waters. Afternoons are all about relaxing, and our comfortable eco-lodges offer plenty of things to do from swimming and hiking to educational exploration. Come get a taste of pura vida! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CRA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica. An MTS representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to the elegant Hotel Bougainvillea. Day 2: This morning we’ll kayak the lively Río Suerte into Tortuguero National Park. The afternoon is free to enjoy the pool, walk on the beach or nature trails, or a visit the Caribbean Conservation Center. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll paddle through the narrow waterways of Tortuguero National Park looking for wildlife. This afternoon we can paddle areas accessible only by kayak or simply relax by the pool. Day 4: The day begins with a boat tour, followed by breakfast and a transfer to the beautiful, endangered Pacuare River where we’ll paddle downstream to our jungle lodge. The river’s gorges shelter many animals, including sloths, otters, anteaters, and an incredible variety of birds. Day 5: Enjoy a full day in paradise! Take an optional early morning birdwatching hike with your guides, enjoy a zip-line tour through the forest, plant a native tree at a reserve, or rappel down the face of a waterfall!

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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Day 6: Today we’ll raft the whitewater of the lush Pacuare River Gorge, home to abundant waterfalls, exotic birds, and wildlife. We’ll spend the afternoon visiting Arenal Volcano, later taking a relaxing soak in the hot mineral pools of Eco Termales. Day 7: Arenal Volcano calls us back to hike its lush forests, home to howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans. Relax this afternoon at the lodge before our peaceful twilight river safari and traditional dinner with the hospitable Hidalgo family. Day 8: Enjoy a day paddling in calm lake waters while soaking in the beauty and energy of the volcano. After lunch we’ll say goodbye to the mountain and drive back to San Jose. Farewell dinner tonight. Day 9: After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Lat i n A mer i ca México San Cristobal

Huehuetenango

Guatemala Chichicastenango Atitlán Antigua

GUATEMALA CITY

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking, kayaking, cultural encounters, cooking class Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 12-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Nov Land Cost From $4,295

Photo ©Jim Kane

Guatemala, México

NEW Highland Traditions of Guatemala & Chiapas • MTS is the only company to offer this unique cross-border itinerary as you hike from village to village and kayak • Meet weavers, chocolate makers, and other artisans to learn about ancient Mayan traditions while exploring colonial capitol settlements • Experience San Cristobal de las Casas’s vibrant market with a local chef and get a hands-on cooking lesson In the highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas, native traditions are alive and well. Immerse yourself in the local way of life on this one-of-a-kind cultural exploration. You’ll learn about the ancient art of weaving on the shores of gorgeous Lake Atitlán and infuse your senses at one of Central America’s largest produce markets. You’ll visit colorful churches that blend Catholic and Mayan beliefs, meet local artisans and folk heroes, and travel to indigenous villages that follow centuries-old traditions. With in-depth tours of colonial Antigua and San Cristobal as well as plenty of activities, from horseback rides, to cloud forest treks, to hands-on cooking lessons, our trip shows you the true heart and soul of this captivating region. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code GCH in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 114

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua where we’ll visit an artisan chocolate maker. Day 2: Take a morning walking tour of colonial Antigua. Continue to the indigenous village of Santiago Zamora for a traditional meal of Pepián prepared by your local hosts. Day 3: Transfer from Antigua to stunning Lake Atitlán. Take a private boat to Santa Cruz for a village-tovillage trek. Day 4: After an early morning kayak excursion, travel to San Juan Laguna to meet the head of the local weavers cooperative. Day 5: Head into the highlands to visit Almolonga’s famous produce market. After a quick stop in Quetzaltenango, visit the iconic church in San Andrés Xecul. Day 6: Drive to Chichicastenango to visit the church of Santo Tomás, known for its blend of Catholicism and Mayan beliefs. We’ll then hike to the sacred site of Pascal Nebaj.

Day 7: Enjoy a morning horseback ride in the Cuchumatanes foothills. The afternoon is free to relax or join a botanical hike. Day 8: Drive 6 hours to San Cristobal, México, for the next four nights. Day 9: Take a walking tour of colonial San Cristobal, including the Pellitzín Collection of Maya textiles. Later, meet local folk hero Sergio Castro. Day 10: Drive to San Juan Chamula where centuries-old traditions are still upheld. Take a short trek to Zincantán for lunch with a local family. Day 11: Tour San Cristobal’s open market with a local chef followed by a hands-on cooking class. Later, spot birds in the Huitepec cloud forest reserve. This evening enjoy a celebration dinner at Na Bolom, a living cultural museum. Day 12: Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight, or continue on our 3-day extension to Yaxchilán and Palenque. Call for details.

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Nicaragua MANAGUA Granada Zapatera National Park

Río San Juan El Castillo Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Easy touring, kayaking, hiking, birding Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels, eco-lodges 9-Day Trip Departs Feb, Mar, Aug, Dec Land Cost From $3,395 Photo ©Harry Kikstra

Nicaragua

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

Volcanoes, Lakes & Rainforests

Day 1: Arrive in Managua and transfer to the Apoyo eco-lodge on the banks of Apoyo Lagoon, a 500-foot-deep caldera lake.

• Explore Central America’s hottest emerging ecodestination accompanied by expert naturalist guides • Watch for incredibly diverse wildlife as you kayak through multiple islets and hike forest-clad volcanoes • Stay in historic colonial Granada with horse-drawn carriages and be transported to a time unchanged by modernity With some 40 volcanoes, vast freshwater caldera lakes, and the second largest rainforest in the Americas, Nicaragua is the next great ecodestination. Discover the country’s many habitats as you kayak through a 300-island archipelago on Lake Nicaragua, hike through verdant cloud forest on Volcan Mombacho, and marvel at pre-Columbian artifacts on an island volcano. Spot monkeys, macaws, and other jungle wildlife in the diversity hotspots of Río San Juan and the Indio-Maiz Biological Reserve. Visit vibrant markets and artisan studios in the pueblo blanco of Catarina, and explore the lovely colonial town of Granada. This active adventure is great for families, so let our expert local guides introduce you to the hidden wonders of Nicaragua. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code NIC in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Day 2: Enjoy a morning hike in the cloud forest of Volcan Mombacho. Choose from a short wildlife hike or four miles on the Jaguar Trail which offers spectacular views. Later, visit the charming village of Catarina for lunch and a tour of the artisan markets. Day 3: Join an early morning birding hike (optional). After breakfast, drive to Granada, Central America’s oldest colonial city, on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Check into your historic hotel and head to the lake for a kayak paddle through a beautiful archipelago of more than 300 islands. The afternoon is free to explore. Day 4: Go by boat to Zapatera National Park, an extinct volcano in the center of Lake Nicaragua. Explore the pre-Columbian archaeological

site of Isla de Muerto. Take an optional hike to Laguna Zapatera or the summit of Zapatera Volcano. Lunch on a private beach. Afternoon free to swim or relax. Day 5: Travel by plane (or land) to San Carlos. Here, we’ll take small boats into the rainforests of the Río San Juan, a Conservation International Mega-Diversity Hotspot for wildlife. Days 6–7: Explore the area via kayak, canoe, inner tube, motorized boat, and/or on foot. Tour the old Spanish fort of El Castillo and take a jungle trek into the Indio-Maiz Biological Reserve, home to 600 bird species and 200 species of mammals. Day 8: Optional morning birding walk. Transfer to San Carlos for your flight (or drive) to Managua. Visit active Masaya volcano and the Masaya handicraft market, time permitting. Farewell dinner in Managua. Day 9: Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.

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Lat i n A mer i ca

HAVANA

Cuba

Cojimar

Las Terrazas

Viñales

Pinar del Río

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural exploration Trip Level Easy Lodging Hotels

Cuba

NEW Cuba Cultural Discovery • Visit Cuba by one of the few legal ways with MTS’s rare people-to-people license • Exchange ideas with local Cubans at less touristed gems such as Viñales, lush with fragrant tobacco fields, or Muraleando, a burgeoning arts community • Learn about Cuban history and contemporary culture as you explore the UNESCO Heritage Sites of Old Havana and Las Terrazas Though just 94 miles from the tip of Florida, Cuba has long been an enigma. But now, the mysteries of this island nation are yours to unravel. Our license lets you travel directly from the U.S. for a person-to-person exploration deep into Cuba’s heart. Accompanied by star MTS guide Sergio Fitch-Watkins, you’ll meet

9-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec

locals from all walks of life: artists and teachers, farmers and cigar makers, economists and historians. You’ll

Land Cost From $4,895

of Las Terrazas. You’ll see how aging barrios have been transformed by public art in Muraleando and

learn about Cuba’s cooperatives, from the urban gardens of Alamar to the groundbreaking eco-community “Fusterlandia.” And you’ll get a first-hand view of the emerging Cuba from those who know it best.

Photos, left to right: ©Ellen Rooney/Fototeca 9x12, Reinhard Schmid/Fototeca 9x12, John Woodworth, Ellen Rooney/Fototeca 9x12

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Lat i n A mer i ca

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Miami. Day 2: Fly to Havana, Cuba. You’ll be met by your Englishspeaking Cuban guide and taken directly to Old Havana where you’ll be introduced to the major historic sites and browse the Used Booksellers Market alongside locals. Day 3: This morning we’ll visit with the curator of Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba retreat, Finca Vigía, and meet with residents of the Alamar barrio, known for its cooperative urban gardens. After lunch in the fishing village of Cojimar, visit the vibrant artists’ enclave of Muraleando. Next, join a local expert for a discussion of current economic trends. Dinner at a paladar (homestyle restaurant). Day 4: Meet with university administrators and students at the University of Havana to discuss Cuba’s higher education system followed by a stroll down colorful Callejón de Hamel. After lunch we’ll meet the artists at a contemporary studio. Day 5: Today we’ll travel to the Sierra del Rosario mountains and explore Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Visit a medical clinic, learn about

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Cuba’s coffee culture, and meet a local landscape painter. Dinner and overnight in the town of Viñales in Pinar del Río Province. Day 6: Discover the Valley of Viñales, known for its tobacco fields and dramatic karst hills. You’ll meet with owners of a local farm and visit with the proprietors of the Caridad Botanical Gardens. After a farmhouse lunch, explore the region’s subterranean rivers and caves with a local expert. Day 7: Travel to Pinar Del Río and tour a small cigar factory. This afternoon we’ll transfer back to Havana and explore Fusterlandia, a neighborhood transformed by José Fuster, the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Day 8: Visit the elaborate Colón Cemetery and the upscale Miramar district. Explore the artisans’ market on the Malecón before your farewell dinner at Chef Iván Justo’s paladar. Day 9: Board your charter flight back to Miami.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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THE PACIFIC

Abel Tasman National Park

Queen Charlotte Sound

Pancake Rocks

Blenheim

New Zealand Fox Glacier Mount Aspiring National Park Queenstown Land/Sea Travel

Activities Kayaking, hiking, heli-hiking, rafting

New Zealand

New Zealand’s Wild West Coast • Experience the splendor of the South Island on this MTS custom-designed adventure • Raft, kayak, hike, jetboat, and helicopter your way through unspoiled wilderness • Hike Franz Josef Glacier and the Queen Charlotte Track and stay at the famed Furneaux Lodge The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is a treasure trove of pristine and diverse wilderness areas. From its mountains and glaciers down to its forests, rivers and fjords, every corner offers a multitude of activities to enjoy at a pace that still lets you fully enjoy your surroundings. This unique itinerary was

Trip Level Moderate

specially designed by one of our local expert guides to see all of the West Coast’s best places in all of the

Lodging Hotels, lodges

best ways. You’ll take a hike on Franz Joseph Glacier with crampons, explore the remote Te Wahipounamu

11-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Dec Land Cost From $5,895

World Heritage Area by jetboat and helicopter, hike the famous Queen Charlotte Track, go whitewater rafting in Buller Gorge, and kayak the unspoiled Okarito Lagoon. Come live every active traveler’s dream! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PWC in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©Ian Trafford/Tourism New Zealand, MTS Photo File (3)

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T H E P a c ifi c

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Blenheim, New Zealand. An MTS representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you directly to our first winery visit. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner tonight. Day 2: Stroll the town of Picton before boarding a boat that takes us to Ship Cove for our lush coastal hike on the Queen Charlotte Track. Day 3: This morning we’ll explore Punga Cove before boating back to Picton to hike the coastline around Endeavour Inlet. Later we’ll stroll around Nelson, known for its beaches, forests, and mountains. Day 4: Our morning paddle by sea kayak takes us to Abel Tasman National Park’s Tonga Island and its flourishing seal colony. We’ll find a sandy beach for our picnic lunch, then head back to our hotel in Nelson. Day 5: Today we head to Murchison in the Wairau Valley. After donning our wetsuits, we’ll put in for our exciting Class III-IV whitewater rafting trip through the granite Buller Gorge. Day 6: Our coastline hike offers impressive views. We’ll stop at Pancake Rocks before continuing on to Hokitika and its amazing river gorge, cute town, and wild beach.

Day 7: Paddling the Okarito Lagoon, we’ll enjoy the flora, fauna, and scenic grandeur of New Zealand’s largest unmodified coastal wetland. An afternoon hike takes us on a lush rainforest trail above the ocean. Day 8: We’ll hike on the famous eight-milelong Fox Glacier, outfitted with crampons designed to maneuver around crevasses and ice ridges. Then enjoy an afternoon walk around Lake Matheson. Day 9: Ready yourself for a spectacular helicopter flight into Mount Aspiring National Park! Once dropped off, Hike along the Wilkin River through rainforest before an exhilarating jetboat ride back to Makarora. Day 10: Today we’ll hike up Mount Aspiring National Park’s Matukituki Valley to the Rob Roy Glacier and discover why this region was chosen as the setting for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Day 11: Journey to Queenstown for one last stroll before flying back to Auckland to connect with your homeward flights. Better yet: stay and join one of our trip extensions—call for details! For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E urope

T H E P a c ifi c Daintree River National Park

Austr alia

Cairns

Alice Springs Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Great Barrier Reef

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Sydney

Activities Kayaking, snorkeling, hiking Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges, safari tents 11-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep Land Cost From $5,495 Photo ©MTS Photo File

Australia

NEW Wonders of Australia • Handcrafted to show off Australia’s great variety, this unique itinerary highlights both active and cultural and experiences • Sail and snorkel the extraordinary Great Barrier Reef in two different locations, accompanied by professional marine experts • Explore the world’s oldest rainforest and hear Dreamtime legends from indigenous guides from two different tribes From the striking crimson rocks of the Outback, to the shimmering harbors of Sydney, to the world’s largest coral reef, Australia holds marvels without measure. Get a true taste of the “Land Down Under” on this action-packed adventure. Snorkel with sea turtles and bright tropical fish in the Great Barrier Reef. Paddle sea kayaks along the ancient Daintree Rainforest. Learn about Dreamtime legends and cultural traditions from indigenous guides. Ride a camel at sunrise past the sacred monolith of Uluru. Explore magnificent Kings Canyon and the mysterious domes of Kata Tjuta. And discover the vibrant city of Sydney, from its trendy neighborhoods to its famous beaches. Come with MTS on a journey as varied and exciting as Australia itself. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PWA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Cairns. An MTS representative will transfer you to your hotel. This afternoon is free to explore the beaches. Enjoy an Aussie welcome feast for dinner. Day 2: Sail to the Great Barrier Reef for a day of snorkeling with marine biologists onboard to teach you about this amazing ecosystem. Day 3: Travel to Mossman Gorge for a private rainforest walk. Your indigenous guide will share dreamtime legends and traditional uses of the forest. Visit a crocodile farm and explore Daintree Rainforest, Earth’s oldest rainforest. Day 4: Wake early for a sunrise sea kayak along the coast. Day 5: After a morning at the beach and exploring Cairns, fly to Alice Springs in the Red Centre. Day 6: Explore the famous Outback town of Alice Springs. Then, head for magnificent Kings Canyon where you’ll walk past tropical pools and

beehive rock formations. Overnight in safari tents on a cattle ranch. Day 7: Today you’ll visit famous Uluru (Ayers Rock). Stay at a hotel near its base, watching the monolith change color as the sun sets. Day 8: Watch the desert come to life at sunrise while riding a camel (optional) with Uluru as your backdrop. Then, travel to Kata Tjuta to see its spectacular domes and walk through the Valley of the Winds. Day 9: This morning we fly to Sydney and transfer to our hotel. You’ll have the option of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge before your sunset cruise on the harbor. Day 10: Enjoy a day tour of Sydney including the Opera House and the famed Rocks District. If there’s time, head to renowned Bondi Beach. Finish with a tour of some of Sydney’s trendy new neighborhoods. Day 11: Transfer to the Sydney Airport for your homeward flight.

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T H E P a c ifi c Yasawa Islands M am anuca Islands

Nadi

taveuni

Viti Levu

Sigatoka Natadola

Luva River Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, snorkeling, rafting Trip Level Moderate Lodging Resorts, safari tents 12-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep, Dec Land Cost From $4,495

Photo ©Patryk Kosmider

Fiji

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS

NEW Fiji Discovery • This cultural journey showcases the real Fiji, its people and its ecosystems, the highlands and the Yasawa Islands • Sail on a 50-foot yacht through the Mamanuca Islands and explore Eden-like Taveuni • Enjoy sunrise hikes, night fishing, and deluxe permanent camps nestled in shady groves on pristine beaches Relaxation takes many forms, and few places offer more enjoyable ways to unwind than Fiji. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are dunes to climb and whitewater rapids to tame. If the undersea world is calling, simply drop below the turquoise waves to snorkel with dolphins and manta rays. Cruise like a jetsetter through the Mamanuca Islands on a 50-foot sailing yacht, or channel “Blue Lagoon” with a swim beneath the waterfalls on the garden isle of Taveuni. Tune out the modern world as you learn traditional Fijian dances in the untraveled Yasawa archipelago, or literally go back in time at the international dateline. The choices are endless, but the cares are few, so join us and experience true R&R, Fiji style. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PDF in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Day 1: Arrive at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing at Natadola Beach. Finish the day with a traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony. Day 2: Cruise the Mamanuca Islands, snorkeling at the reefs and pausing to visit Castaway Island where the Tom Hanks movie was filmed. Day 3: Board your 50-foot cruising yacht where the crew will entertain you on your leisurely sail through the Mamanuca Islands. Days 4-6: Transfer to Denarau Marina for a boat ride through the breathtaking Yasawa Islands. Spend the next three days exploring this unspoiled paradise of white sands and crystal-clear waters, sleeping in large safari tents just yards from the ocean. Each day includes new adventures like sunrise hikes, night fishing, snorkeling with manta rays, mingling with local villagers, and learning the meke, a traditional Fijian war dance. Relax by the beach

bonfire or gaze up at the stars in the evenings. At the end of the third day, take the inter-island ferry back to the mainland. Day 7: Head to Pacific Harbor, the adventure capital of Fiji, stopping to hike the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. This afternoon is free to enjoy the resort. Day 8: Travel to the Luva River for a full day of whitewater rafting on Class II and III rapids. Days 9–11: Spend three days exploring Fiji’s third-largest island, Taveuni, known as the “Garden Island” for its lush rainforests. Follow a stunning coastal trail to swim beneath Lavena Falls, take a short hike through the forest to the famous Bouma Falls, slip down a natural waterslide at Waitavala, and become a time traveler at the international dateline. On your last day, fly back to the mainland for your farewell dinner. Day 12: Transfer this afternoon to Nadi International Airport for your homeward flight.

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E urope

T H E P a c ifi c Yasawa Islands

Viti Levu

Nadi

Takalana Bay

Sigatoka

Pacific Harbour

Natadola Luva River Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking, snorkeling, rafting Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Resorts, safari tents 7-Day Trip Departs Jun–Sep, Dec Land Cost From $3,495

Photo ©Chris McLennan/Tourism Fiji

Fiji

NEW Fiji Escape • Get off the grid with three days of relaxation in the unspoiled Yasawa archipelago • Snorkel with manta rays, spot spinner dolphins, and kayak through crystal-clear waters • Hike to sweeping mountain vistas with scenic waterfalls and go whitewater rafting on Class II and III rapids On the sandy shores of Fiji, life moves at a different rhythm. Leave your watch at home, and escape to a paradise where rolling waves and shell-pink sunrises set the agenda. Start your adventure with an exciting day of whitewater rafting on the Luva River. Watch for spinner dolphins at Takalana Bay and bodysurf at beautiful Natadola Beach. Then, go totally off the grid with three days in the unspoiled Yasawa Islands, where you’ll snorkel with manta rays, mingle with the villagers, learn the traditional meke dance, and sleep in safari-style tents right on the beach, with no more pressing concerns than whether to relax by the bonfire or gaze at the stars. Join us and surrender to “island time.” You may never put your watch back on again. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code PFE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive at the airport where you’ll be met and transferred to Pacific Harbor, the adventure capital of Fiji. On the way, stop to hike the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. This afternoon is yours to enjoy the resort. Day 2: Travel to the Luva River for a full day of whitewater rafting on Class II and III rapids. You’ll also take a side hike to Wainuta Falls and a local village. Day 3: Head to picturesque Takalana Bay for a half-day boat ride and snorkel at Moon Reef, keeping your eyes open for the resident pod of spinner dolphins. Enjoy an afternoon hike to a waterfall and take in the sunset over the bay. Overnight at Takalana.

Days 5–7: Transfer to Denarau Marina for a boat ride through the breathtaking Yasawa Islands. Explore this tropical paradise of white sands and crystal waters, sleeping in large safari tents just yards from the ocean. Each day includes new adventures like sunrise hikes, ocean kayaking, night fishing, and snorkeling with manta rays. You’ll learn the meke (a traditional Fijian war dance), play games with local village children, and discover how to use traditional Fijian tools. Relax by the beach bonfire or gaze up at the stars in the evening. At the end of the third fun-filled day, take the inter-island ferry back to the mainland and transfer to Nadi International Airport for your homeward flight.

Day 4: Slowly make your way to Nadi, stopping to swim, take a stroll on Natadola Beach, or do some bodysurfing in the waves. Overnight in Nadi.

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T H E P a c ifi c

Custom Travel

In the Pacific

Experience and Access The far reaches of the serene Pacific are an otherworldly paradise.

If you’ve always wanted to create your own bucket list journey, our

Our adventurous spirit continues here leading us to the newly formed

team can create something truly one of a kind. From simple to complex

country of Timor-Leste, positioned northeast of Australia, where we

itineraries in hard to reach remote locales, let us share our knowledge

were one of the first to offer a ground breaking journey that was selected

to develop a unique, customized adventure hand-tailored to your

as a National Geographic “Trip of a Lifetime.” The Pacific offers a

specifications. All you have to do is enjoy.

balance of idyllic paradise, active adventure, and welcoming people.

Endless Possibilities Whatever your idea of the perfect Pacific getaway may be, we’ve got you covered. In Fiji you’ll enjoy kayaking glassy waters of brilliant turquoise, landing on pristine white sand beaches to enjoy snorkeling, beachcombing, or just relaxing in the sun. In New Zealand, you’ll Photos on this page: ©Adrian Fogg, Marcella Miriello, MTS Photo File

discover a cornucopia of active adventure in a pristine land that is renowned as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World.’ Australia holds a trove of unique landscapes, unusual wildlife found nowhere else, and a wealth of human history.

Private and Custom Experiences Any of our scheduled journeys to the Pacific can be enjoyed as a private trip, giving you a meticulously crafted itinerary that’s ready to book. Travelers find these options to be best when there’s a trip that interests them, but prefer to travel with their own group or on their own schedule.

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South Georgia Island

POLAR REGIONS

Spitsbergen

Highlights Antarctic Expedition................................... p.126 Antarctica Fly & Cruise................................p.128 Spitsbergen Explorer...................................p.129

Paulet Island Antarctic Peninsula

“I’ve been to many unusual or exotic destinations, but this one raised the bar for both the professionalism of the guides and the excitement of participation in such a remote and pristine location.”

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P o l a r Re g i o n s

Polar Voyages with MTS MTS Curated

Land of the Ice Bear

The polar regions are perhaps the most unusual travel destinations

The Arctic differs from Antarctica on almost every level. An ocean

to be found, so it’s no wonder why adventurers list it as a must-do

rather than a continent, it is blanketed by thick sheets of ice and

on their bucket lists. There is simply no better way to experience the

defined by the northern boundaries of North America and Eurasia.

hidden treasures of the polar wilderness than by sailing aboard a highly

Unlike Antarctica, which has no indigenous inhabitants, the Arctic

maneuverable, ice-strengthened vessel of the caliber that carries MTS

has a long history of inhabitation by native peoples who continue

trip members to the ends of the earth.

many of their traditional lifestyles. While both poles share several

We carefully select each expedition ship for its comfort and size,

species of whales and seabirds, the Arctic is home to unique animals

which carries relatively few passengers with a maximum of 68–96

not found in the southern climes: reindeer, walrus, narwhal, and of

trip members. On an MTS curated polar voyage you won’t get lost

course, the iconic polar bear.

in a crowd of hundreds jostling to get ashore, you’ll spend less time waiting for a Zodiac and more time soaking in the magic of these rare paradises. In addition to our nimble and lightning fast Zodiacs, Photos on this spread: ©Bud Beck, iStockPhoto, MTS Photo File

select voyages have sea kayaking and overnight camping options for more ways to enjoy this once in a lifetime journey.

The Seventh Continent Antarctica is the last unspoiled wilderness on earth, and its indescribable beauty often leaves visitors speechless. The only continent that has been nearly free of human contact since the beginning of time, it has been set aside by an international treaty as a scientific preserve. The Antarctic’s nutrient rich waters attract thousands of penguins, seals, seabirds, and whales. Whatever your expectations of Antarctica might be, this transcendent and moving land is guaranteed to exceed them.

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P o l a r Re g i o n s

to/from Ushuaia

Deception Island

Antarctica Lemaire Channel

Antarctic Circle

Antarctica Land/Sea Travel

Antarctic Expedition • MTS curated expeditions assure the best possible polar experience • Special expedition ships provide the most active experience, allowing you to get up close to phenomenal wildlife • See indescribably spectacular ice formations and soaring mountains in the world’s most vast and pristine wilderness Antarctica is one of the most exciting and spectacular destinations in the world, the last frontier of raw

Activities Cruising, wildlife viewing, walking, Zodiac cruising

wilderness. During the short austral summer, the Antarctic’s nutrient-rich waters attract thousands of

Trip Level Easy

penguins, seals, seabirds, and whales who come here to breed and raise their young. While crossing the

Lodging Expedition ship

Drake Passage on our well-appointed, state-of-the-art expedition ships, you’ll enjoy educational lectures,

11-Day Trip Departs Jan–Mar, Dec

slideshows, and presentations to prepare you for a personal encounter with nature as you explore the

Land Cost From $6,795

islands, bays, and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. Come visit this frozen paradise now while it is still pure, wild, and entirely unspoiled.

Photos, left to right: ©David Sinclair, Mogens Trolle, David Sinclair

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P o l a r Re g i o n s

Ask about Camping & Sea Kayaking Options For This Adventure!

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Our ship departs Ushuaia’s harbor. Once on board we’ll get together for a trip briefing as well as a safety and lifeboat drill. Days 2–3: We’ll sail across 620 miles of the Drake Passage and over the Antarctic Convergence, a hotbed of seabird and whale activity. During the voyage numerous lectures, movies, and presentations will prepare us for what we’ll experience. Days 4–8: Over the next four days we will explore the islands, bays, and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula, venturing ashore by Zodiac or kayak for wildlife viewing or hikes whenever possible. Our goal is to give you the best possible active experience based on prevailing wind, weather, and ice conditions, so every expedition is a unique experience. Landing sites vary, but our favorite places include the following: Half Moon Island—stunning mountains and various bird and seal colonies • Deception Island—one of the few flooded volcanic calderas in the world accessible by ship • Whaler’s Bay—visit abandoned

whaling facilities, hike up volcanic slopes, and bathe in steaming thermal waters • Bailey Head—home to more than 100,000 chinstrap penguins • Paradise Harbor—hike or go Zodiac cruising to see nesting seabirds, whales, and natural ice sculptures • Cuverville Island—home to the largest penguin colony as well as significant populations of giant petrels, kelp gulls, and Antarctic terns • Lemaire Channel—an expedition highlight where we’ll spot minke whales, humpbacks, orcas, and seals. Visit our website for a more detailed itinerary. Days 9–10: We’ll return via the Drake Passage to Ushuaia, having walked in the path of the great Antarctic adventurers: Cook, Ross, Scott, and Shackleton. Day 11: Arrival back in Ushuaia is likely in the early morning. After one last breakfast on board the ship, we’ll bid a fond farewell and transfer to the airport for departing flights.

More Great Options in Antarctica In addition to our classic, flagship Antarctic Expedition journey, we have these great options available:

Antarctic Circle Voyage Journey below the Antarctic Circle for spectacular scenery and wildlife!

Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands Follow in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance legend!

Regal Antarctica Follow the penguins in the Falkland Islands and the Weddell Sea.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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E u r ope

P o l a r Re g i o n s to/from Punta Arenas

King George Island

Deception Island Lemaire Channel Antarctic Circle

Antarctica Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cruising, wildlife viewing, Zodiac cruising Trip Level Easy Lodging Expedition ship, hotel 8-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Dec Land Cost From $9,995

Ask about Camping & Sea Kayaking Options For This Adventure! Photo ©Jonathan Chester

Antarctica

Antarctica Fly & Cruise • Maximize your time by skipping the Drake Passage and flying to the Antarctic Peninsula • Discover the otherworldly beauty of Antarctica from the comfort of your well-appointed expedition vessel • Enjoy the full Antarctic experience of icebergs, whales, penguins, seals, and Zodiac excursions Few places on earth make a deeper or more lasting impression than Antarctica. Its utter remoteness and wild beauty make it feel like another world. This trip lets you make the most of your unforgettable time here by trading the multi-day Drake Passage crossing for a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas. Once aboard your expedition ship you’ll visit narrow straits of jaw-dropping majesty and gaze at vast glaciers of incandescent blue. On Zodiac excursions you’ll cruise past towering icebergs that look like a giant’s chess set, walk among huge colonies of gentoo and chinstrap penguins, and attract the curious eyes of seals and whales. If your time is limited but your desire is strong, come with us on one of life’s most epic adventures. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code FLY in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer to the Hotel Cabo de Hornos. Meet your expedition leader for a briefing followed by a welcome dinner in one of the oldest buildings in Patagonia. Day 2: Fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island (about two hours). Tour the areas where the Chilean and Russian bases are located, and then embark by Zodiac boats to board your expedition vessel. Days 3–6: Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing along ice-filled fjords and between spectacular icebergs, you’ll enjoy the company of seabirds, penguins, seals, and whales. On Zodiac expeditions you’ll get up close to wildlife as well as landing onshore (conditions permitting). Landing sites vary based on weather and other conditions, but we have some favorites. Deception Island is one of the few volcanic calderas

where large ships can sail and anchor. Here we can explore abandoned whaling stations, view volcanic lakes, and even swim in thermal waters. Nearby is Bailey Head, home to over 100,000 chinstrap penguins. At Paradise Bay we can make a landing on the Antarctic continent itself! A steep hike at Orne Island offers a 360-degree view of Gerlache Strait. Cuverville Island is home to a large gentoo penguin colony. Here we can cruise among large icebergs, watching for humpback whales and curious leopard seals. Lemaire Channel is a narrow, breathtaking channel with mountain walls climbing thousands of feet (nicknamed “Kodak Alley”). Day 7: Return to King George Island and disembark. Head to the aerodrome and board your flight to Punta Arenas. Transfer to the Hotel Cabo de Hornos. Day 8: Breakfast at the hotel. Taxi to the airport for your homeward flight.

www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

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P o l a r Re g i o n s Phippsoya

Krossfjorden Hinlopen Strait Longyearbyen

Spitsbergen Land/Sea Travel

Activities Cruising, wildlife viewing, walking, Zodiac cruising Trip Level Easy Lodging Expedition ship 11-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul Land Cost From $5,095

Photo ©Mike Morley

Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen Explorer • Cruise the spectacular fjords of the Svalbard Archipelago on a well-appointed expedition ship • Sail to the edge of the polar pack ice, crossing 80 degrees north latitude! • Take advantage of long daylight hours to spot polar bears, walrus, and other wildlife Discover the realm of the polar bear, a savagely beautiful land of ice and snow, glassy fjords, and expansive tundra. On this exciting adventure you’ll cruise the Svalbard Archipelago aboard a comfortable, ice-strengthened expedition vessel, getting as close as 621 miles from the North Pole! As you explore the cliffs and waterways by ship and Zodiac (or sea kayak, if you choose), watch for polar bears hunting along the ice edge and herds of walrus sunning themselves beneath massive glaciers. You’ll see nesting puffins, flocks of kittiwakes, and perhaps a cunning Arctic fox or pod of beluga. No two trips are alike, but each one offers rare opportunities to experience the wild and wonderful Arctic. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code SVA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Fly from Oslo to Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Spitsbergen. Board your ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, in late afternoon and set sail into Isfjorden. Note: specific sites visited on this cruise are dependent on ice and weather conditions, and the itinerary will be adjusted accordingly. Days 2–3: Anchor off the shores of Krossfjorden and board Zodiacs to cruise the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. Look for puffins, kittiwakes, and murres. You’ll also see Lilliehook Glacier at the head of the fjord. Next, we’ll round the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen to Smeerenburgfjorden which still bears remnants of its 400-year whaling history. Days 4–5: Continue north and east into the ice, heading for 80 degrees north. All hands will be on the lookout for bears along the ice edge, plus bearded seals, ringed seals, and walrus hauled out on the ice. At 81 degrees north, Phippsoya, one of

the Seven Islands, offers prime polar bear viewing. Days 6–8: Head south into the strait separating Svalbard’s two main islands, Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. The cliffs at Alkefjellet in Hinlopen Strait are home to hundreds of thousands of nesting birds. At Murchison Fjord we’ll cruise through the waterways and hike to spectacular viewpoints. Day 9: Sailing towards Liefdefjorden and Monaco Glacier, keep an eye out for beluga whales. Monaco Glacier is a fantastic backdrop for a Zodiac cruise followed by a hike on the tundra. Day 10: Alkehornet, at the mouth of Isfjord, offers stunning views and excellent tundra walks. Arctic fox and reindeer are often spotted here. Towering above the beach is a sheer, pyramid-shaped cliff covered with swooping, crying birds. Day 11: Return to Longyearbyen. Disembark after breakfast.

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Calendar & Trip Planner

2015 Departures only—for 2014 and 2016 departures please visit www.mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (1-888-687-6235)

2015 Calendar & Travel Planner Key to Activities A = C = D = E = H = K = M =

Adventure Cruising Cultural Journey Dog Sledding Expedition Cruising Hiking Kayaking Multisport

R = S = To = T = W =

Rafting Safari Touring Trekking Wildlife & Natural History

Key to Trip levels

Key to lodgings

E = Easy E–M = Easy to moderate M = Moderate M–S = Moderate to strenuous S = Strenuous U = Ultimate Challenge

C = Camping, including deluxe camps H = Hotel, inn, lodge, or similar accommodation S = Shipboard T = Train

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• • • • • • • 12 E C S,W • • 13 M C S,W • • • 14 M C S,W • • • • • • • 15 E C,H,S C,S,W • • • • • 16 E-M C,H H,S,W • • • • • • • • • 17 U C,H T,S,W • • • • • • 18 M C,H C,S,W • • • • 19 M-S H H,S,W • • • • • • • 20 M H C,H,S • • 22 M C,H H,S,W • • • • 23 E-M C,H C,K,S • • • • • • 24 M C,H A,C,To • • • • • 25 M C,H A,H,To,W • • 26 M C,H A,C • • • • • 27 M C,H C,H

Southeast Alaska Kayaking & Wildlife Adventure Southeast Alaska Wildlife Explorer FF Alaska: Rafting & Hiking the Alsek River Alaska by Water, Land & Air NEW! FF Alaska: Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure Heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies California: John Muir Trail—Northbound to Yosemite Nat’l. Park California: John Muir Trail—Southbound to Mt. Whitney Arizona, Utah: Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon Zion National Park Weekend Hiking Adventure NEW! Rocky Mountain National Park Weekend Adventure NEW! Death Valley National Park Weekend Adventure NEW! Bryce Canyon National Park Weekend Adventure NEW! FF Idaho: Middle Fork of the Salmon River Whitewater Adventure

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BUL BUI BUS BUW UTS TKM KEA URG SAX ZIM NAM MOJ MAD SUD MOC

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ALASKA & NORTH AMERICA

Real China: Villages of the Southwest China: Camels, Mountains and Villages China: Exploring Xinjiang’s Ancient Cities China: Tibet’s Spiritual Heartland NEW! Mongolia: Horses, Camels and Nomads

Enter the Trip Code in the Search Box at the top of our website at www. mtsobek. com to get complete information, including detailed itineraries, departure dates, and photo galleries.

FF = Family Friendly

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST Botswana Flying Safari Classic Botswana Safari NEW! Botswana Green Season Safari NEW! Botswana Culture & Wildlife NEW! Ultimate Tanzania Safari Tanzania: Climb Kilimanjaro Undiscovered Kenya NEW! Primate Encounters in Rwanda and Uganda Best of South Africa NEW! Classic Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari Ultimate Namibia Sailing the Secret Isles of Mozambique NEW! Madagascar Discovery NEW! Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan Morocco Camel Trek

About Searching By Trip Code

11 15 16 11 14

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Calendar & Trip Planner

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Ecuador: Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise Ecuador, Peru: Galápagos & Machu Picchu NEW!

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• • • S H H • • • M-S H H • S H H • • S H H • • • M H H • S H H • • • • M-S H H • S H H • • • E H A,H,To • • • S H H • • M-S H H • • • E-M H H • • • E H,S A,H,K,To • • • S H H • • M H H • • M H H • • • M-S C,H H • E S A,C,To • • M H H • • M-S C,H A,H • • • E-M H H,K • • • M H H,K LODGING

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France, Spain: Across the Pyrenees Spain: The Camino de Santiago Spain: Hiking the Picos de Europa Italy, Switzerland: The Alps’ Monte Rosa Circuit Italy: Hiking the Best of the Dolomites France, Italy, Switzerland: Hiking the GR5 France, Italy, Switzerland: The Tour du Mont Blanc France, Switzerland: Hiking the Haute Route: Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn Croatia, Italy, Slovenia: Istria to Venice Slovenia: Hiking the Julian Alps Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro: Hiking the Dinaric Alps Hiking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands Treasures of Turkey England Coast-to-Coast Ireland North to South Hiking Wild Scotland Hiking Iceland’s Eastern Fjords FF France: Cruise & Walk Along the Rhone River NEW! Hiking Hidden France NEW! Eastern Greenland Ice & Mountains NEW! Sweden: West Coast Hiking & Kayaking NEW! Greece: Small Cyclades Crossing—Tinos & Mikonos NEW!

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• • • • • C,H • • C • • • C,H • • • C,To • • C,H • • H,W • • A,C,H • • • • • • T,C • • • • T,C • • • • T,C,W • • T,C • • • C,H,To • • • T • • C,To • • C,To • • C,To • • • C,To • • C,H,To • C,W • • C,T • • C,T • • C,W • • • C,To

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Walking Japan North Korea Adventure Hidden Laos Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam: Treasures of Indochine Hidden Myanmar Wild Borneo East Indonesia’s Volcanoes, Villages and Dragons Nepal: Everest Lodge-to-Lodge Nepal: Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal: Annapurna Lodge to Lodge Nepal: The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Bhutan Trek & Cultural Discovery Bhutan: The Chomolhari Trek Festivals of Bhutan India: Rajasthan’s Pushkar Festival Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan: Great Silk Road Adventure Iran: Treasures of Persia Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet: Himalayan Passages India: Save the Tiger Nepal: Hidden Valley of Tsum India: Nubra Valley—Trekking in Ladakh’s Valley of Flowers India’s Northeast Frontier—Nagaland and Assam Iran: Treasures of Persia

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Calendar & Trip Planner

2015 Departures only—for 2014 and 2016 departures please visit www.mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (1-888-687-6235)

> Continued from previous page # DAYS

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Key to Trip levels

Key to lodgings

E = Easy E–M = Easy to moderate M = Moderate M–S = Moderate to strenuous S = Strenuous U = Ultimate Challenge

C = Camping, including deluxe camps H = Hotel, inn, lodge, or similar accommodation S = Shipboard T = Train FF = Family Friendly

# DAYS

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Antarctic Expedition Antarctica Fly & Cruise The Arctic: Spitsbergen Explorer

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POLAR REGIONS

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New Zealand’s Wild West Coast Wonders of Australia NEW! Fiji Discovery NEW! Fiji Escape NEW!

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PWC PWA PDF PFE

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S H,S H H C,H H H H H H H H H H H S C,H C,H C,H S S H H H H H H H H H

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96 E 97 E-M 98 M-S web E-M 100 M-S web M 101 M 102 E-M web E-M web E-M 103 M 104 M-S 106 M-S 107 M-S 108 E-M 110 E web M,S web S web S 110 E 111 E 112 E-M web E-M web E-M web E web E web E 114 E-M 115 E-M 116 E

LODGING

CRU PAE HIK 6TP PAI 6PH PNS SUM NPL 6WA AHE MII MLP LAR AND AQU INC CAR BLA AMZ JBS CRA CHP OAX MXC YUC BPC GCH NIC CUB

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Argentina, Chile: Cruise Cape Horn and Patagonia FF Argentina, Chile: Patagonia Explorer Argentina, Chile: Hiker’s Patagonia FF Argentina, Chile: Patagonia Private Adventure Chile: Trekking the Paine Circuit Chile: Hiking Paine Argentina: Patagonia Multisport Adventure NEW! Argentina: Summits & Wines of the Central Andes NEW! Argentina: Bariloche Plus the Lakes & Mountains of Patagonia FF Argentina: Hiking the Vineyards of Mendoza FF Ecuador: Andes & Haciendas (New Itinerary for 2015) Peru: Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Peru: Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express Lares: Peru’s Hidden Gem NEW! FF Peru: Andean Explorer—Discover the Realm of the Incas FF Peru: Amazon River Discovery Peru: Inca Trail & Beyond Peru: Trekking the Carabaya Peru: Trekking the Cordillera Blanca Brazil: Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon Panama: Journey Between the Seas FF FF Pura Vida in Costa Rica FF México: Chiapas Wildlife Adventure México: Oaxaca Explorer México: Colonial México FF México: Exploring the Yucatan Peninsula FF México: Baja—From the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez Guatemala, México: Highland Traditions of Guatemala & Chiapas NEW! FF Nicaragua: Volcanoes, Lakes & Rainforest Cuba Cultural Discovery

Page

LATIN AMERICA

11 8 11

About Searching By Trip Code Enter the Trip Code in the Search Box at the top of our website at www. mtsobek. com to get complete information, including detailed itineraries, departure dates, and photo galleries.

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T he H ome te a m

The Home Team An Office Full of Adventure Experts Front row, left to right: Natalee Sheperd, Adventure Coordinator • Alicia Zablocki,

“I took my first Mountain Travel trip in 1977.

Director of Latin America Programs • Edwin D’Haens, Director of Polar Programs •

Since that time I’ve taken at least 32 others. As

John Baston, Special Operations in Alaska and North America • T Kekaha, Regional Specialist • Lauren De Remer, Adventure Coordinator • Julia Hendershot,

long as MTS continues to have the best leadership,

Adventure Coordinator • Corinne Edwards, Adventure Coordinator.

itineraries, and as long as I can walk, I will continue

Back row, left to right: Justin Huff, Director of Africa and Middle East Programs •

to travel with you. Thirty plus years of great trips,

Gayle Price, Documents Specialist • Laura M. Parent, Regional Specialist • Jim

WOW! Thanks”

Kennick, CFO • Kevin Callaghan, President & CEO • Anne Wood, Director of Europe Programs • Alan Taylor, Sales and Service Manager • Tanya Rinaldi,

Christina Bernero-Taft • Cincinnati, OH

Director of Pacific Programs Not shown: Monte Andreasen, Christopher Bettencourt, Danilo Bonilla, Debbie Driggers,

Keep Up With MTS Around the World

Frank Nguyen, Gisele Camozzi, Julie McCormack, Tara Starr-Keddle, Paul Vesper

The best way to keep up with all we’re up to here at MTS is to join us in the field on any one of our more than 150 adventures. But in the meantime, you can follow MTS online.

©2014 Mountain Travel Sobek • Printed in the United States Art Direction, Design, Photo Editing, and Production: Christopher Bettencourt

For details, itineraries, and more visit www.mtsobek.com

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Wh at You Nee d to K n o w It’s Easy to Sign Up! Call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (687-6235) and reserve your spot. You can also book online at www.mtsobek.com. If you have a favorite travel agent, we are happy to work with them, but he or she must make the booking directly with Mountain Travel Sobek. Bookings made by a client cannot be picked up retroactively for travel agent commission. Note: Terms and conditions are subject to change.

Payment Schedule

Based on Land/Cruise Cost*, per person Regular Trip Departures (1), (2) At time of reservation................................$400 65 days prior to trip departure............ Balance (1) Gorilla trips require a non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of each gorilla permit ($750 per permit). (2) The Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express trip requires a $500 non-refundable deposit at time of booking.

Galápagos, Greece, Turkey, John Muir Trail, Patagonia Explorer, Cuba, France: Rhone River Cruise & Walk, and Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure Trip Departures At time of reservation..........................................................$400 120 days prior to trip departure.......................................$1,200 90 days prior to trip departure...................................... Balance Scheduled Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya At time of reservation..........................................................$400 105 days prior to trip departure.................................... Balance Custom Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya At time of reservation...................... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 105 days prior to trip departure.................................... Balance Antarctica and Arctic Cruise Departures

At time of reservation........................................ $1,500–$2,500 (varies based on ship and trip departure—see detailed itinerary)

120 days prior to trip departure..................................... Balance Private Adventures, Custom Adventures and Special Trip Departures

At time of reservation ......$800 or 25% of Land/Cruise Cost, whichever is greater 120 days prior to trip departure...... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 90 days prior to trip departure...................................... Balance

Extensions & Extra Services (including extra hotel nights)

At time of reservation...................................................... $100 (4) (non-refundable)

The balance will be added to the cost of your trip, and payment will follow the applicable schedule above. Requests made 29 days or less prior to trip departure are subject to a $100 late booking fee. Once booked, each change is subject to a $50 change fee. (4) Some exceptions apply and deposits may be higher.

Immediately after we receive your deposit, you will be emailed or faxed a Booking Verification Form that must be completed and emailed or faxed to us within 48 hours. You will then receive detailed pre-trip information with a clothing and equipment list, visa kit (if required), invoice, insurance information, medical certificate, trip Participation Information Form (including a Release From Liability agreement that you must sign and return to us), and other information needed to prepare for your trip. Rendezvous instructions and final trip details will be sent about three weeks prior to trip departure.

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What Your Trip Includes

The Land and/or Cruise Cost* for most trips includes: Expert leadership • Accommodations in hotels, inns, or lodges in cities and villages, or aboard boat or ship • Field arrangements, including camp and cook staffs, tents, kitchen and dining tents (on most trips), group camping and commissary equipment, necessary trip equipment (e.g. sea kayaks, rafts, personal flotation devices, etc.) • Meals as noted in the trip itinerary • Sightseeing as noted in the trip itinerary • Group airport transfers • Ground transportation and support vehicles • Additional guides and porters if needed • Entrance fees and permits • Basic medical and evacuation insurance. *Note—“Land/Cruise Cost” is defined as including the cost of the trip. Internal airfare, park fees, permits, single supplements, and taxes may be included in the price, or broken out separately. Unless otherwise noted, payment and cancellation policies apply to the total Land/Cruise Cost, inclusive of internal airfare, park fees, permits, and taxes, even when broken out separately. Travel agent commission is calculated from base Land/Cruise Cost only and excludes tier charges. Each trip varies slightly, so please call and speak with one of our Regional Specialists or ask for a detailed trip itinerary for the specifics (you can also download itineraries at www.mtsobek.com). International airfare, optional gratuities, and personal items are not included.

Tier Pricing

Group adventure travel works best with a small group of people. In order to operate these small groups, our trips are priced according to the number of full-price travelers on the trip. Mountain Travel Sobek staff, trip doctors, and other discounted travelers are excluded from the count for this purpose. Not all trips have tier pricing, but for those trips that do your statements will reflect the highest tier price (the smallest group size we can operate) until final payment is due. If the price drops due to an increase in group size before your trip departs, you will be refunded the difference.

Solo Travelers

Accommodations (hotels, tents, and cruise cabins) are priced on a double occupancy basis. If you prefer single accommodations, you may, where available, arrange for them with payment of a single supplement fee, which is listed in the trip itinerary. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try our best to find you a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, we charge a “forced” single supplement fee, which varies by trip and ranges from half to the same fee as the “requested” single supplement, and is listed in the trip itinerary. Shared accommodations are guaranteed on some trips. On a few trips, single accommodations are not available.

Cancellations & Refunds

Based on Land/Cruise Cost*, per person At the time we receive written notice that you must cancel your trip, the following fees will apply (all dates are from departure date): Regular Trip Departures (1), (2), (3) From time of reservation until 90 days prior to trip departure.................................................................. $150 89 to 61 days prior to trip departure...................................$400 60 to 46 days prior to trip departure............50% of Land Cost 45 days or less prior to trip departure...........100% of Land Cost

Galápagos, Greece, Turkey, John Muir Trail, Patagonia Explorer, Cuba, France: Rhone River Cruise & Walk, and Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure Trip Departures From time of reservation until 120 days prior to trip departure.....................................................$400 119 to 90 days prior to trip departure............................. 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 89 to 60 days prior to trip departure..............................50% of Land/Cruise Cost 59 days or less prior to trip departure...............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Scheduled Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya From time of reservation until 96 days prior to trip departure.................................... Loss of first deposit 95 days or less prior to trip departure.............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Custom Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya From time of reservation until 96 days prior to trip departure.......................... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 95 days or less prior to trip departure.............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Antarctica & Arctic Cruise Trip Departures From time of reservation until 120 days prior to trip departure............................................ Loss of deposit 119 days or less prior to trip departure............................100% of Cruise Cost Private Adventures, Custom Adventures and Special Trip Departures From time of reservation until 90 days prior to trip departure...............$800 or 25% of Land/Cruise Cost, whichever is greater 89-60 day prior to trip departure....50% of Land/Cruise Cost 59 days or less.................................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Extensions & Extra Services (including extra hotel nights) At time of reservation until 60 days prior to trip departure................................................. $100 (5) 59 to 30 days......................................................................50% of Extension Cost 29 days or less.................................................................100% of Extension Cost (5) Some exceptions apply and cancellation fees may be higher.

No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips, or trek arrangements for any reason whatsoever. Land/Cruise Cost is quoted as a package and credits are not given for services not used. (Note—Extra hotel nights cancelled within 60 days of trip departure are subject to 100% of the hotel cost or $35, whichever is greater.) Cancellation and refund policy applies to entire Land/Cruise cost of trip, including trip cost, internal airfare, park fees, permits, and taxes. We recommend you purchase the optional Passenger Cancellation/Interruption Protection Program to protect yourself in case of an unexpected medical emergency. Refunds in excess of $500 will be remitted by check.

(1) Gorilla trips require a non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of each gorilla permit ($750 per permit). (2) The Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express trip requires a $500 non-refundable deposit at time of booking. (3) All Botswana, Congo, South Africa, and Zimbabwe trips incur a 100% cancellation fee at 60 days or less prior to departure

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Wh at You Nee d to K n o w Insurance

For your protection, we offer an optional supplementary insurance package called the Passenger Cancellation/ Interruption Protection Program. It combines trip cancellation and interruption coverage (for covered reasons only), baggage loss protection, and medical coverage along with additional emergency evacuation coverage. For complete terms and conditions go to www.mtsobek.com/faq#insurance. We include the cost of this optional insurance coverage as an item on your invoice. It is effective the day we receive your designated payment for the insurance or the day your final balance is paid. Please note that deposits are not applied toward your insurance premium. If you do not wish this optional insurance coverage, you need only notify Mountain Travel Sobek in writing by time of final payment and we will remove the charge from the invoice. Note: A basic medical expense and evacuation insurance plan is included in the Land Cost of your Mountain Travel Sobek trip. However, we strongly recommend you purchase the optional Passenger Cancellation/Interruption Protection Plan outlined above to ensure protection from trip cancellation fees for covered reasons and to increase your medical and evacuation coverage.

Transfers

You may transfer to another trip without a fee up to 90 days before trip departure on most trips. If you transfer from one trip to another within 89 days of trip departure, however, you are subject to the usual Cancellation Fees outlined above (appropriate to the date you notify us in writing of your wish to transfer). No transfers are allowed on: Galápagos, Turkey, Patagonia Explorer, Mountains to Sea: Denali & Kenai Fjords, Antarctica, and Arctic cruises; John Muir Trail, Private Adventures, Custom Adventures, or Special Departures. For Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express departures you are subject to the following transfer fees: 60 or more days prior to departure...................................$250 59 to 30 days prior to departure..................................$25% of Land Cost 29 days or less prior to departure.................................50% of Land Cost

Cancelled Trips

Mountain Travel Sobek reserves the right to cancel any trip due to inadequate sign-up or other cause that makes the trip unfeasible for us to operate, but we will inform you at least 45 days prior to trip departure. In such a case, a full refund of Land/Cruise Cost is given, but Mountain Travel Sobek is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members preparing for the trip (e.g. non-refundable “Advance Purchase” air tickets, visa fees if applicable, clothing, equipment, medical expenses). Do not purchase your air tickets before speaking with your Adventure Coordinator.

Delays & Cost Increases

The cost of delays is not included if any trip is delayed due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which Mountain Travel Sobek or its third party operators cannot make provision. Land/Cruise Costs are subject to increase without prior notice, even after you have signed up on the trip. We often publish our prices more than a year in advance. Between that time and the time of the trip’s actual departure, we are occasionally faced with significant cost increases that we cannot absorb (i.e. international currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or increases in cost of services). We regret this situation, and we do everything we can to avoid raising prices, but sometimes it is unavoidable. We will do our best to limit such increases and will notify you at least two months before trip departure.

Airlines

The airlines are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passage contract in use by the airlines concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and such purchasers of these tours and/or passenger. Such conveyance, etc. is subject to the laws of the countries involved. Airlines used vary in degree of safety and risk. Many air carriers have an unknown safety and maintenance record. Mountain Travel Sobek is not liable for incidents involving airline safety, cancellations, service, risk, delays, etc.; or incidents that result in injury, delay or death. Please read the conditions on the back of your airline tickets.

Medical & Health

It is vital that persons with medical problems make them known to us well before trip departure. The trip leader has the right to disqualify anyone at any time during the trip if he or she feels the trip member is physically or mentally incapable or if a trip member’s continued participation will jeopardize the individual involved or the group. Refunds are not given under such circumstances. Hospital facilities are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Mountain Travel Sobek assumes no liability regarding provision of medical care. Trip members will receive appropriate health information and a Medical Certificate to be filled out and returned to us. You will need to provide us with your accurate and complete medical history for the last three years, as well as any special dietary needs. If you are age 65 or older at time of travel or a participant on any of our “Ultimate Challenge” trips or a participant on one of our high altitude treks, your physician must complete and sign the applicable section of the Medical History and Certificate. Once you have been confirmed on a trip, normal cancellation fees apply if your doctor does not approve the Medical Certificate. We can send you this form prior to making your reservation so your doctor can preapprove you.

Photography

Mountain Travel Sobek may take photographs and/or video of its trips, and trip participants grant Mountain Travel Sobek permission to do so and for it to use same for promotional or commercial use without payment of any compensation to participant.

Trip Alteration

Mountain Travel Sobek reserves the right to change hotels or other features of the trip if Mountain Travel Sobek believes it will enhance the safety, comfort, or enjoyment of the trip.

Responsibilities of Trip Members

Trip members have certain responsibilities to Mountain Travel Sobek and to other trip members. Trip members are responsible for understanding the conditions implied in the Trip Itinerary and selecting a trip in consultation with Mountain Travel Sobek that is appropriate to their interests and abilities, and for preparing for the trip by studying the Trip Itinerary and supplemental trip information sent by Mountain Travel Sobek. Screening for fitness (for trips rated “Strenuous” or “Ultimate Challenge”) is made by our Regional Specialists at the time of booking. At the trip leader’s discretion, a member may be removed from the trip, without the right of refund, if the leader feels that the person’s further participation may be detrimental to the individual or to other trip members.

Limitations of Liability

Except for certain equipment in Alaska, Idaho, Portugal, and Patagonia, Mountain Travel, Mountain Travel Sobek, Alaska Discovery, Inc., its and their owners, directors, officers, employees, and affiliates (collectively “Mountain Travel Sobek”) does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, ownership or control over hotels or other lodging facilities, airline, vessel, bus, van, or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional or included excursions or equipment used thereon, food service, or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Mountain Travel Sobek is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, or of any third party. Without limitation, Mountain Travel Sobek is not responsible for any injury, loss or damage to person or property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, force majeur, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, or the threat thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely, dangers associated with or bites from animals, pests or insects, marine life or vegetation of any sort, dangers incident to recreational activities such as scuba diving, zip lining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rafting, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, etc., sanitation problems, food poisoning, lack of access to or quality of medical care, difficulty in evacuation in case of a medical or other emergency, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof or for any other cause beyond the direct control of Mountain Travel Sobek. In addition, participants release Mountain Travel Sobek from its own negligence and assume all risk thereof. On advancement of deposit to Mountain Travel Sobek, the depositor therefore agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions, and the arbitration clause below. These are partial conditions. Your participation is contingent on your signature on the full list of terms specified in the four-page Participant Information Form, which you can find on our website at www.mtsobek. com/pdf/participant_info.pdf (or call us at 1-888-687-6235 and request a copy). Additionally, some independent contractors may require participants to sign their liability release or indemnity form.

Binding Arbitration

Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to these Terms and Conditions, to any literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in San Francisco, California, according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) California law and without regard to the California Arbitration Act. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable.

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Mountain Travel Sobek

1266 66th Street, Suite 4 Emeryville, CA 94608-1117 1 888 MTSOBEK (687-6235) +1 510 594 6000 +1 510 594 6001 FAX info@mtsobek.com Follow Us On

The Original Adventure Travel Company Since 1969

©2014 Mountain Travel Sobek Cover photo: ©Jon Arnold/DanitaDelimont.com

Praise for MTS

Printed in the USA on paper containing pre- and postconsumer recycled content

Our trip members say it best!

“I love your company. In travel, if I get poor treatment, I never go back and if I get great treatment I never look to change. I

am hooked on MTS

“This trip was so

far beyond our

for future adventures and certainly am an advocate

expectations. At the end of the first day, after

for you with my fellow travelers.”

a spontaneous swim with more than 3 dozen dolphins

Bob Jackson • Alto, MI

and having had a baby sea lion lick her toe, our 10-yearold daughter said “Mummy, this is the best day of

“I want to compliment

and

salute MTS for providing a thorough experience for me. I only wish I had more time to have added additional excursions in Ecuador. I would

look to them for another adventure journey.”

recommend MTS as well as

Sharon Socol • Coral Gables, FL

my life.” It was all gravy from that point and just

kept getting better. Thank you.” Alison MacKenzie-Armes • Toronto, Ontario

“This was the best

experience I have ever had in my life. I loved everything about it and have no complaints. Thank you for making this trip so awesome!” Monica Brase • Indianapolis, IN

“The accommodations, activities, and service were

all superb. It was wonderful to have all the hard work done for us, and just basically show up ready for a vacation!

“Top class company—

Especially since we were a family of 6, with widely differing

I will definitely book another trip with MTS,

and Mountain Travel Sobek in general.”

Dan Steinberg • New York, NY

interests. We’d highly

recommend this trip,

and recommend them highly to others.”

Gwen & Daniel Morales • Windsor, CT

The World’s Greatest Adventures 2015_01_cover_jul30.indd 1

Mountain Travel Sobek • The Original Adventure Travel Company Since 1969 • 2015

CST2014882-10 Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute endorsement by the state of California

Mountain Travel Sobek 2015

Scheduled Small Group Adventures, Private Itineraries & Custom Journeys Africa & The Middle East Alaska & North America Asia Europe The Galápagos Latin America The Pacific Polar Regions www.MTSOBEK.com | 1-888-687-6235

8/1/14 2:28:53 PM

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