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Genuine travel experiences designed for you

2013-14


Contents About Tucan Travel Tailor-made Welcome The Tailor-made Concept Accommodation FAQ Learn More About Tucan Travel

Polar 4-5 6 7 27 27

Central America Introduction Countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua & Panama Example Tours Magic of Mexico Guatemalan Discovery Costa Rican Adventure Cuban Salsa

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Example Tours Ecuador & Galapagos Highlights of Peru Pure Patagonia Buenos Aires to Rio

Example Tours Around Spitsbergen Classic Antarctica

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Middle East Introduction Countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco & Turkey

South America Introduction Countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay & Venezuela

Introduction Countries: Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland & Spitsbergen (Norway)

Example Tours Turkey's Delight Crossing the Red Sea

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Asia Introduction Countries: Bhutan, Borneo, Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Thailand & Vietnam Example Tours Burma Uncovered Land of Maharajahs Highlights of Indochina Introduction to Kerala Borneo Explored Road to China

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Welcome

Tailor-

Welcome to Tucan Travel, the award-winning adventure travel company. We are a passionate adventure operator with more than 25 years of experience designing itineraries for clients all over the world. Wherever you are looking to travel, we have the passion, knowledge and experience to design the itinerary that is perfect for you. This brochure is designed to give you a taste of the many fabulous different experiences we can offer you on your perfect adventure. We understand that everyone has different budgets and tastes, indeed my own have changed over the years, and are thus able to cater to your exact requirements.

Calling on 25 years' experience running more than 400 group tours, a wide selection of private tours, independent travel packages and expedition cruises, in all going to o more than 65 countries around the world, we're confident we can design you the adventure of a lifetime. Matt Gannan CEO & Adventure Traveller

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We want you to have a genuine travel experience

Adventure travel is no longer the exclusive realm of backpackers. All the regions we travel to offer the opportunity of a genuine travel experience in a manner that perfectly suits you. From staying in luxury hotels to privately-run boutique properties with local character, Tucan Travel can advise you on and design the perfect itinerary. The choice really is yours! Our mission is to help you experience the world in an authentic and exciting way. Whether you’re a seasoned overseas traveller or making your ‘international debut’, our tailor-made tours offer a safe way to explore far-flung destinations. Our friendly, approachable staff and local guides have extensive regional knowledge and our expertise will ensure your travel experience is one you'll remember for a lifetime.

High quality and great value Our aim is to give you the best possible holiday. We have set high standards for our itineraries and we take great care to ensure that all of the ingredients are right, not just the price. Many of the excursions in our tailor-made tours are the result of years of careful research to get the perfect balance between quality and value.


Welcome

-made Be inspired

Our recent accolades

Begin your next adventure by browsing through some of the exciting suggested itineraries to help inspire your perfect travel experience. Our website also offers vast inspiration.

British Travel Awards 2012 Nominated in three categories

Once you know where you want to go and what you want to see there, it’s time to decide on your travel style and the standard of accommodation you’d like to stay in along the way.

Have it all put together After telling us when you would like to travel, we can now present you with a suggested itinerary, complete with all your travel and accommodation arrangements as well as a package price. We can also make any changes to an itinerary so that it fits exactly with what you are looking for. Once an itinerary is agreed, we will set to work in booking it for you. You will be asked to pay a deposit, and the full balance will be due 60 days prior to departure.

Enjoy the adventure

British Travel Awards 2011 Nominated in nine categories World Travel Awards 2010 & 2011 Nominated, Best South America Tour Operator British Travel Awards 2010 Shortlisted in eight categories Wanderlust Travel Awards 2010 Highly Commended, Tour Operator of the Year British Travel Awards 2009 Winner, Small Tour Operator of the Year E-travelblackboard Readers’ Choice 2009 Winner, Best Tour Operator to Asia

Your financial protection When you book a tour with us you can be assured that your adventure is financially protected.

With all the arrangements in place, all that is left for you to do is get ready to enjoy your very own adventure of a lifetime, just the way you want.

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Introduction

Ecuador

The Tailor-made Experience Concept

Transport

Our tailor-made tours provide the perfect adventure for all manner of groups and individuals. Whether you are looking to take your family on a different kind of holiday, go on the honeymoon you’ll never forget or do something different with friends, or even offer a group of employees or colleagues a genuinely rewarding incentive, our tailor-made tours are perfect for you, because ultimately they are designed by you.

We take pride in offering you safe, comfortable and reliable transport. We use varied modes of transport, which means you can choose from everything from private cars, minivans and taxis to coaches, economy-class flights and trains. In the jungle your experience can be added to travelling on a motorised canoe and boat journeys taken when visiting the Mekong Delta, Halong Bay, the Ballestas Islands or Lake Titicaca.

Staff

Meals

The whole idea of tailor-made is that our travel professionals and local experts do all the hard work, so you can concentrate on looking forward to and enjoying your holiday. Before you go, we arrange every detail of your trip, from convenient flights and accommodation to private transfers and tours. All to a consistently high standard.

You will find some but not all meals included in the example itineraries. Where meals are included they are done so to highlight what is just as much a travel experience as it is a meal, such as a steak dinner in Argentina that includes a tango show. Where meals are not included it is because we want to offer you the freedom to explore the many fabulous local restaurants according to your own tastes and budget. You will find a full list of the meals included in our example tailor-made tours on the dossier page of our website.

When you are on your holiday, our exceptional local guides are on hand. They organise your excursions and transfers, sort out any problems that may arise and do their utmost to accommodate any last-minute changes.

Prices The prices shown on each tailor-made tour example itinerary are per person and based on our comfort-level accommodation. Prices will vary depending on the itinerary you design and the level of accommodation you select. Additionally, during peak season or local holidays many service providers may increase their prices, which will affect the cost of your tour. If our advertised hotels are unavailable, an alternative hotel of a similar standard will be arranged and you will be notified of any changes. Some example itineraries include domestic and regional flights that can be arranged for you at an additional cost.

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But remember, this is your holiday and we can include or exclude meals according to your requirements.

Excursions The excursions included in the example itineraries are done so to show you some of the highlights of your chosen destination. But these are by no means set in stone. As this is your holiday, you can state your preferences with us and we will include or exclude any excursion according to your wishes. Excursions can operate on a pooled service offering prices that are more competitive, or exclusively for your group.


Introduction

Galápagos

Accommodation Tailor-made choice On a tailor-made tour you can choose from a wide range of hotels offering various standards of comfort. To assist you with your hotel selection and enable you to assess the various accommodation types by Western standards, we have classed our hotels as Comfort, Superior, Deluxe and Boutique. You can then choose which level of accommodation you would like to stay in each of the places you visit. When designing you tour with our consultants you will need to inform them on the standard of hotel you want as well as specify what room type you require.

Comfort hotel

Deluxe hotel

Comfort hotels are generally the equivalent of a three-star hotel. Comfort hotels may include amenities such as cable television, swimming pools, restaurants, lifts, internet access, room service, hair dryers and English-speaking reception staff. Comfort hotels represent a more economical option, while still catering to your basic needs to ensure a perfect holiday. While they won't be as opulent as other classes of hotels you can be sure that you will have an ensuite bathroom and clean and comfortable bedding.

Deluxe hotels are generally the equivalent of a five-star hotel. They offer amenities such as cable television, swimming pools, restaurants, lifts, internet access, room service, hair dryers and multilingual reception staff. Additionally there will be a doorman-service or valet parking, concierge desk and porterage service. There may be a personalised greeting for each guest with fresh flowers or a present in the room, personal care products and a turndown service in the evening may also be offered.

Superior hotel

Boutique hotel

Superior hotels are generally the equivalent of a four-star hotel. They offer amenities such as cable television, swimming pools, restaurants, lifts, internet access, room service, hair dryers and English-speaking reception staff. Additionally, hotel rooms and facilities will have a more luxurious ambience and modern feel. A Superior hotel may also take the form of a lodge that offers the same amenities you would expect from this standard of hotel.

Boutique hotels are generally not chain-affiliated and focus on offering their services in a comfortable, intimate, and welcoming setting. They will be stylish in appearance and provide amenities, such as swimming pools, restaurants, lifts, internet access, room service, hair dryers and English-speaking reception staff. A Boutique hotel may also take the form of a lodge, chalet or tented accommodation, which will be at the same standard as hotels.

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Central America

Introduction Central America is the place to discover atmospheric colonial cities and explore wondrous temples belonging to ancient civilizations. From basking on the idyllic, white-sand Caribbean beaches, shopping in colourful highland markets, dancing the night away in rural cantinas and delving into the wild green forests rich with wildlife, an adventure in Central America is as rewarding as they come.

Belize

Honduras With Mexico to one side and the relaxing waters of the Caribbean on the other, this small English-speaking country in the heart of Central America combines amazing broad sand beaches and offshore island paradises with lush rainforests that are home to a myriad of bird and animal species.

Costa Rica

With stunningly-preserved ancient temples set deep in the forest and beautiful islands just off its Caribbean coast, the less-often visited Honduras offers so much to travellers keen to look a little further, not least of all some of the best and most affordable diving opportunities in the world.

Mexico Have your binoculars at the ready. Gorgeous Costa Rica has a huge array of natural habitats in a small area - from rainforests to cloud forests, mangroves to active volcanoes and both Caribbean and PaciďŹ c beaches - and amazing diversity of the bird and animal life that resides there.

Cuba

This regional giant has stamped its cultural mark on the world with its mouth-watering food, vibrant music and colourful customs. Travelling in Mexico means journeying through diversity; from beach to volcano, Aztec culture to Mayan, canyons to rich forests, there is so much to explore.

Nicaragua Cuba conjures up ideas of adventure like no other nation in the region. With its communist background and isolation from the modern world, its dilapidated colonial cities and the sound of infectious salsa rhythms, as well as idyllic beaches, cigars and delicious mojitos, Cuba is yours to be explored.

Guatemala

Charming colonial towns abound in Nicaragua. So too do spectacular active volcanoes and broad sandy beaches. The largest lake in the region, Lake Nicaragua, is the backdrop for one of the most characteristic and colourful colonial towns in Central America, the wonderful Granada.

Panama If you like the idea of a holiday in a country with beaches on two oceans, a wealth of beautiful scenery from rainforests to active volcanoes, rich local culture on display in everything from traditional dress to ornate churches, not to mention mysterious Mayan ruins, you can’t look past Guatemala.

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As home to the grand feat of modern engineering that is the Panama Canal, spectacular beaches, wildlife-rich forests and tranquil islands, few realise that Panama also has an amazing region of highlands, where coffee and oranges widely grow and which offer a welcome contrast to the sultry coast.


Central America 15

Travel Highlights 1

Palenque (Mayan site)

2

Chichén Itzá (Mayan city)

3

Caye Caulker (Tropical island)

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Lake Atitlán

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Tikal (Mayan site)

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Scuba diving off Roatán Island

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Active volcano climbing

8

Copán (Mayan site)

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Horse riding on Ometepe Island

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Traditional market at Lake Nicaragua

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Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

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Manuel Antonio National Park

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Panama Canal

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Archipiélago Bocas del Toro

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Las Terrazas coffee plantation

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Boat trip along the Rio Toa

17

Sierra de los Organos Mountains

Havana

CUBA

17

16

2

MEXICO Mexico City 3

1

5

Belize City

BELIZE GUATEMALA

4

6

HONDURAS 8

Guatemala City 7

Tegucigalpa

NICARAGUA Managua 10

9

COSTA RICA

Southbound adventure

San Jose

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Panama City

PANAMA

Why not combine your Central American adventure with a taste of South America? We have over 25 years experience throughout the continent. See page 12.

Be inspired Whether your ideal adventure holiday is exploring some of the most idyllic islands and beaches on the planet while also dipping your toes into the rich local culture and customs found there, or your priorities are more the other way round, there is an abundance on offer for you in Central America. Throw in wildlife rich forest and plenty of mystical ruins, and you have an experience you’ll not soon forget.

The Ancient Maya

Traditional Markets

A highlight of any adventure in Central America is wandering through the enigmatic and ancient Mayan ruin sites that are scattered throughout Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Usually set deep in the jungle, many of the sites are still in excellent condition despite being over a thousand years old, and offer some of the finest archaeological palaces, observatories, temple-pyramids and ceremonial sites on offer anywhere in the world. Well known for their architecture, and comparatively advanced mathematical and astronomical systems, many Mayan cities changed and developed over the centuries and not all were of the same size and style, which makes visiting a variety of them a must.

The myriad of markets to be found in Central America, with their colour, clamour and culture, each provide a bustling microcosm of the greater region in which it is found. From the busy seafood markets hawking fresh produce along either the Pacific or Caribbean coast to the colourful indigenous markets in the highlands, where the customs and the items on offer are much the same today as they have been for centuries, there are few better places to get your finger on the pulse of life in the region. So whether you are looking for souvenirs, a local delicacy, or simply to expose yourself to the sights, sounds and smells, there is very little you won’t find in the many markets of Central America.

Rich and Abundant Wildlife

Natural Wonders

With such diverse landscapes Central America is home to a rich variety of flora and makes the region a must-do for nature lovers. In terms of plants, there are some 1,500 species of orchids alone. The list of animals is equally impressive, with elusive jaguars roaming the forests and wonderful birds like scarlet macaws soaring majestically above the canopy. Toucans, howler monkeys and tapir are also among the stars of Central America’s animal kingdom, while brightly coloured poison dart frogs can be found in various lurid colours. And that’s just on land. With miles of Pacific and Caribbean coastline to choose from there is whole wealth of marine biodiversity to spoil the casual snorkeler as much as divers.

Where soft, white sand meets warm, gentle water and life around you continues at a languid pace, the beaches in Central America really are as gorgeous as you could imagine. But as amazing as they are, there is much more on offer. From the coast, the rich and steamy rainforests, alive with the sound of monkeys and bird song, spreads its way inland, regularly interrupted by large and temperamental volcanoes that leak molten lava. Rainforest gives way to cloud forests, where mist and fog permeate the canopy. Elsewhere lowlands rise to become highlands, where the air is cooler and coffee thrives, and throughout all this are lakes and rivers teeming with energy and life.

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Central America

Mexico

Magic of Mexico

Guatemalan Discovery

from $

from $

2200

11 days • Mexico City to Cancun • Code: TMMM From the buzzing metropolis of Mexico City to the white sand MEXICO Mérida Cancún beaches of Cancún, this tour offers Campeche Chichén Itzá a comprehensive overview of Mexico Puebla Mexico’s highlights. Discover the City Palenque colonial town of Puebla, peruse the Oaxaca San Cristóbal colonial architecture at Oaxaca, enjoy stunning views from the Zapotec site of Monte Alban, visit indigenous villages around San Cristobal de las Casas, hear the hoots of monkeys in the jungle around Palenque and explore the World Heritage site of Chichén Itzá. Day 1-5 Mexico City - Oaxaca - San Cristobal - The day after you arrive in Mexico City you will be picked up by your tour guide and whisked away to the colonial city of Puebla, stopping off at the pyramid of Choluda with a church on top. With more than 70 churches and 1000 colonial buildings in Puebla, it is a cultural paradise and your tour will take you to the zócalco, the monument Cathedral and Rosary Chapel. After an overnight stay at Oaxaca to visit the ancient Monte Alban you will head to Mitla, ‘The city of the dead’ and on through the Sierra Madre mountains to Tehuantepec. Journeying through subtropical landscapes you will reach the highlands of Chiapas where you will take a boat through the impressive Sumidero canyon with cliffs towering over 1,000 metres over you. From there you will visit San Cristobal de las Casas, a stunning colonial city with cobbled streets, shady plazas and a handicrafts market on the grounds of the Santo Domingo Church. Day 6-11 Palenque - Cancun - Head back down into the sultry jungle and visit the exquisite network of waterfalls and turquoise pools that is Agua Azul on the way to the Mayan ruins at Palenque. Visit the magical archaeological Mayan masterpiece built in lush tropical forest. You can admire the famous Temple of Inscriptions and explore the unique palace with its observatory tower and the Temple of the Cross with its spectacular view over the whole site. After touring the less discovered city of Campeche, including a visit of the fortifications, you will continue on to Uxmal, once an important Mayan trading site and one of the best restored Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. An afternoon transfer will take you to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan where you will enjoy a walking tour and then spend the evening people-watching in the zócalo. If you happen to be there on a Sunday evening, the square comes alive as the locals dress up in traditional clothes and bands and orchestras hold free concerts. On your final day of the tour, you will depart Merida early for Chichen Itza, the biggest and most visited Mayan site in Central America before ending the trip in Cancun, a resort famous for its beautiful beaches and nightlife. Or if time allows spend a few more days on the beach.

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1330 including domestic flights

9 days • Guatemala City to Guatemala City • Code: TGGD This terrific introduction to the steamy heart of Central America takes in one of the region’s biggest and bestpreserved lost Mayan cities, Tikal, as well as lush forest and stunning lakes. The contemporary culture of this vibrant region is equally fascinating and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet local people, buy wonderful handcrafts at vibrant markets, explore beautiful colonial towns and discover the stunning landscapes around them.

Tikal Flores

GUATEMALA Lake Atitlan

Guatemala City Antigua

Day 1-4 Guatemala City - Tikal National Park - Begin this fabulous exposé of Central America with a night in the Guatemalan capital, Guatemala City. The following morning fly north to Flores from where you will be transferred to a jungle lodge deep in the simply fabulous Tikal National Park. This is home to one of the most important Maya ruins in Central America and the entire park is over 570 square kilometers of preserved forest. The genuinely stunning ruins of this ancient city has been completely mapped and at its height covered an area greater than 16 square kilometres, with more than 3000 structures. Today the main centre covers an area of approximately two and a half square kilometres. As you wander the site, you will see several tall mounds which are temples that have not yet been excavated, and you will have the opportunity to climb some of the tallest Mayan temples. Around Tikal there is a lot of animal life, and if you’re lucky, you will have the chance to spot the noisy howler monkeys, and exotic birds, such as the iconic toucan. After an escorted tour of the ruins you will have two free days to explore the region and partake in other exciting activities in the forest. Day 5-9 Lake Atitlan - Antigua - Guatemala City - After flying back to Guatemala city you will be transferred back out into the countryside as you make your way to Lake Atitlan, situated in the Guatemalan Highlands, before a boat ride takes you to your bungalow in Santiago on the shore of the lake. Spend the next two days exploring this beautiful area at the foot of the impressive San Pedro Volcano. Your time here will be spent on boat excursions out on to the lake, going for walks in the nearby forests or simply relaxing lakeside. Leaving Lake Atitlan you will head on to the gorgeous colonial town of Antigua. The locals can be seen throughout the cobbled streets and plazas of the city in their traditional attire. You will have a free afternoon here to explore the markets and experience the music, architecture and art of the country. After a night in Antigua you will return to Guatemala City where your tour ends.

These are some of our suggested itineraries,


Central America

Costa Rica

Costa Rican Adventure

Cuban Salsa

from $

from $

2630

12 days • San Jose to San Jose • Code: TCRA The greenest country in the world, Costa Rica’s beauty is astounding to all who visit. It really does offer something for everyone with an abundance of wildlife in luscious rainforests that make this country a nature lover’s paradise while adrenaline seekers can enjoy many of the eco-friendly extreme activities before relaxing on a deserted beach.

Rainforest Rio San Carlo

Sarapiqui

Arenal Volcano

Tortuguero NP

Monteverde Cloud Forest

San José

COSTA RICA

Day 1-3 San Jose - Tortuguero - After a day exploring the country’s capital city, you will drive along a scenic route to Tortuguero National Park where you can enjoy hikes, relax on the beach, a boat tour of the backwater canals, or visit the aquarium. In the evenings you will be able to take an optional night hike on one of the jungle paths and depending on the season, observe the nesting of the sea turtles on the beach. Day 4-6 Sarapiqui - Rainforest Rio San Carlos - At Sarapiqui you will walk Tirimbina Reserve’s suspension beach to a former cacao-tree plantation and you will learn the secrets of transforming cacao fruit into chocolate. Watching the chocolate-making process first hand you will have the opportunity to taste the organic rainforest treat. From there you will travel to the Rainforest Rio San Carlos and stroll through the tropical forest or explore the hidden estuaries and lagoons by canoe. Day 7-8 Arenal Volcano - Until recently Arenal Volcano was the most active volcano in the country and you can still enjoy the hot springs of Ecotermales in the evening and soothing sounds of waterfalls and natural pools against the backdrop of the starry sky in the evening. During the day you will have the chance to explore the volcano, hiking through the forest and over lava fields. After the hike you will drive around Arenal Lake to Rincon de la Vieja Volcano where you will stay the night. Day 9-12 Rincon de la Vieja - Monteverde Cloud Forest - San Jose - A hearty breakfast will be good preparation for a day of hikes through the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. You will begin with a hike through wet forest crossing mountain rivers ending at the Blue Lake, nourished by a spectacular turquoise blue waterfall that invites you for a refreshing swim. End your day at the park watching bubbling mud pools, pits of boiling hot water, vapor geysers and fumaroles. From there, travel to Monteverde Cloud forest and walk in the clouds, hiking through lush forest and walkways deep within the canopy. Back in San Jose there may be time to enjoy some last minute shopping before your flight home. Or you can always extend your stay with a few extra days relaxing on the beach.

contact us to design your perfect adventure

1940 including domestic flights

9 days • Havana to Havana • Code: TCCS Enjoy a fascinating tour covering the most important highlights of this iconic island. Starting in the Havana capital Havana, with its nostalgic CUBA Camaguey 1950s flair and its unique colonial Trinidad architecture, then on to the famous Santiago tobacco plantations of Pinar del Rio and further on in to central Cuba. Through the mountains of the Sierra Escambray and the green sugar cane fields to the eastern parts of Cuba and Santiago, a melting pot of cultures and music. Day 1-5 Havana - Trinidad - They say that Havana’s lights can be seen from Florida’s southern coast and during your time in Cuba’s magnificent capital you will grow to understand why the city is such a popular destination. A tour of Havana will take you through the 19th and 20th centuries peeling back the many layers the city has to offer. From Havana you will enjoy a day trip to the Pinar del Rio province visiting tobacco farmers, the Mogote Valley and the prehistoric Cueva de los Indios by boat. Leave Havana and travel to Cienfuegos taking a walking tour past the French inspired colonial buildings and on to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cobbled streets, pastel coloured houses and palaces and plazas aplenty. From Trinidad you might get the chance to swim in natural pools below water cascades and enjoy a rustic lunch at Finca Gallega. Spend your evening in Trinidad dancing among locals to traditional live music in the town centre. Day 6-9 Camaguay - Santiago - Havana - You will drive through the mountains to the Sierra Escambray until you reach Sancti Spiritus, an undiscovered town to many travellers. Here you will visit the Yayabo Bridge and lunch at the Meson de la Plaza. Before continuing your journey to Camaguey, where you can visit Nicolas Guillen’s home, the national poet of Cuba. Spend the afternoon in Bayamo, the site where national hero Manuel Cespedes started the fight for freedom from the Spanish crown and where the Cuban national anthem ‘La Bayamesa’ was composed. From there you will journey on to El Cobre and visit the basilica for the Cuban saint Virgin de la Caridad arriving in the late afternoon at Santiago de Cuba. Here you will have plenty of time to explore the historic city centre by foot, taking in some of the sites and enjoying the lively music and traditional dancing. A ferry ride to El Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage site offers breathtaking views of the bay. On your last day you will transfer to Havana if you are flying home. However after getting under Cuba’s skin, you may prefer to extend your stay in Cuba.

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South America

Introduction This fascinating continent is bursting with rich local traditions and an abundance of outdoor adventure. Explore ancient ruins in stunning settings, interact with warm locals in rural villages and lose yourself in pulsating capital cities. From steamy jungles and beaches in the north through beautifully sparse deserts and soaring peaks all the way south to the windswept steppes of Patagonia, this is a land full of real adventure.

Argentina

Ecuador From the desolate beauty of Patagonia to the seductive sound of tango in vibrant Buenos Aires, Argentina is a country that seems to have it all. Experience all this and so much more as you travel through this land of guachos and football and fine food and wine.

Bolivia

Travelling through Ecuador can take you from the tropical cloud forest of the Amazon Jungle to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. The colourful crafts market of Otavalo and the colonial city of Quito ensure there is plenty to see and do here.

Paraguay Explore the very heart of South America and discover Bolivia's extremely varied and often rugged landscapes and diverse climate. Here you will journey from the world's highest cities and descend to its largest (and most surreal) salt flats.

Brazil

Paraguay is particularly known for its wild and vast Gran Chaco region. Here you can see gauchos herding cattle in traditional dress. There are also many waterfalls and national parks and the ruins of a Jesuit mission at Trinidad are not to be missed.

Peru Discover Brazil's white-sand coastline, meet diverse people and enjoy fantastic local foods. The vast Pantanal wetlands offer the chance to see an amazing array of wildlife including hundreds of bird species and even the world’s largest rodent, the capybara.

Chile

Peru offers a remarkable variety of experiences, encompassing Amazon rainforest, desert coastlines and the Andes. From wandering the ruins of mystical Machu Picchu, to flying over the mysterious Nazca Lines, Peru really has it all.

Uruguay Stretching half the length of the continent, Chile is a land of rugged natural beauty and vibrant modern cities. Travel from the volcanic peaks in the Atacama Desert and along the awe-inspiring Andes mountain range to vast vineyards outside the capital, Santiago.

Colombia

Sandwiched between two of the continent's giants, Uruguay is a small country packed with beautiful colonial towns and distinctive cultural charm. From its lively and cosmopolitan capital to laid-back beaches, this country offers much to explore.

Venezuela Vastly under-explored, here the Andes mountains run from north to south down the length of the country. Warmed year-round by the equatorial sun, the mountains are green and lush providing fertile land for farming and of course Colombian coffee beans.

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There are myriad natural highlights in this fascinating country. Along with its tropical beaches, lush national parks, idyllic colonial towns and majestic mountains, Venezuela boasts the Los Llanos wetlands, and of course the world’s highest Angel Falls.


South America Caracas

VENEZUELA

2

COLOMBIA

Travel Highlights

1

Bogotá 4

1

Angel Falls

2

Los Llanos wetlands

3

Tayrona National Park

4

Tropical Bird Park

5

Galápagos Islands

6

Cotopaxi National Park

7

Huacachina Oasis

8

Machu Picchu

9

Uyuni Salt Flats

10

Potosi Gold Mine

11

Iguazu Falls

12

Rio Carnval

Quito 5

6

3

ECUADOR

BRAZIL

PERU Lima 8 7

Brasilia

BOLIVIA La Paz 10

9

13

PARAGUAY Asunción

12

11

ARGENTINA Santiago

14

Buenos Aires

17 13

Pantanal Wetlands

14

Tango dancing in Buenos Aires

15

Depart on a cruise to Antarctica

16

Torres del Paine National Park

17

Wine tasting

CHILE

The Polar Connection Why not combine your South American adventure with an expedition to Antarctica. Cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, the southern most town of Argentina. See page 17.

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Be inspired There is so much on offer on this fabulous continent to inspire an adventure you'll never forget. With everything from well-known highlights, such as spectacular Machu Picchu and sultry Rio de Janeiro, to stunning natural wonders like the Amazon Jungle or the Galápagos Islands, as well as the rich local cultures you'll experience along the way, the difficulty will be deciding which bits to leave out.

Galápagos Islands

Amazon

Located 972 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands truly are a paradise on Earth. The rugged volcanic archipelago is home to a remarkable diversity and concentration of wildlife, much of which can be found nowhere else. Many of the species originated in distant locations and then adapted to the unique conditions of the islands, and it was this momentous discovery that inspired Darwin’s famous theory of evolution. Until recently the animals have had very little contact with humans so visitors can enjoy close encounters with utterly fearless creatures in their natural habitat. Take a cruise in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Galápagos National Park.

Covering approximately 5.5 million square kilometres over nine countries, the Amazon holds one in ten of the planet’s species and is therefore the biggest and most bio-diverse collection of plants, birds and animals on Earth. The life force of the jungle is the mighty Amazon River, which begins as a trickle high up in the Peruvian Andes before spilling out into the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil some 6,400 kilometres later. Whether you want to explore the rainforest or just relax in a hammock and amid some of the purest air in the world, the Amazon offers an unparalleled adventure experience. You can visit the Amazon jungle on a tour in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, or on a cruise in Brazil.

Patagonia

Machu Picchu

At the very bottom of South America, nestled between the imposing Andes mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, lies Patagonia, the most southerly inhabited region of the world. Patagonia offers dramatic mountain scenery, vast glacier fields and unique wildlife in abundance. Experience the untouched beauty of the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel and explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions near the end of the world - Tierra del Fuego. Discover channels, deep fjords, towering mountains, islands and forests and enjoy numerous shore landings in otherwise inaccessible reaches of South America. You can visit Patagonia on a tour or cruise in Argentina and Chile.

Set deep in the Andes mountains of Peru, Machu Picchu is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. Known as the Lost City of the Incas, the citadel was once completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population and watered by natural springs. Located high above the Urubamba River, the cloud-shrouded ruins include palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation that will take your breath away. To experience the wonders of Machu Picchu you can hike the spectacular Inca Trail or Lares Trek, or enjoy a scenic train and bus ride from Cuzco.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 13


South America

Peru

Ecuador & Galápagos

Highlights of Peru

from $

from $

5380 including domestic flights

14 days • Quito to Guayaquil • Code: TEEG This fabulous introduction to charming Ecuador and the natural Otavalo ECUADOR wonder that is the Galápagos Islands Quito Galápagos Islands will take you from the high Andes San Cristóbal through Ecuador’s coastal regions Baños and over to the islands that gave Guayaquil birth to one of science’s greatest discovery. Ecuador has a huge array Cuenca of geographical diversity packed in to a small country and you will see the best of it. Then flying out to the Galápagos you will get up close and personal with the inhabitants of one of the world’s most spectacular biodiversities. Day 1-8 Quito - Baños - Cuenca - Begin your adventure high in the Andes in Quito with its stunning mountain backdrop. You will have a full day here to explore the city’s colonial heritage as well as a trip to the nearby monument marking the location of the equator. From Quito it is a short day trip out to the town of Otavalo, where you will wander one of the largest and most vibrant indigenous markets in South America. For the next four days you will be immersed in Ecuador’s stunning Andean region. Travel through Equador’s active volcanic range on the way to the spa town of Baños, set below high peaks and just above a deep, lush river valley. In Riobamba you will take the memorable and hair-raising train ride through rugged scenery and down the famous ‘Devil’s Nose’ railway switchback. With cobblestone streets and terracotta-roofed buildings, Cuenca doesn’t have the feel of the country’s third-largest city. Stroll the main squares and leafy streets and enjoy the last of the cool climate before flying down to the coast and the port city of Guayaquil. Day 9-13 Guayaquil - Galápagos Islands - Guayaquil - Guayaquil is the biggest city in Ecuador and is a natural port on the banks of the Guayas River. It is a vibrant, bustling city with strong heritage that can be seen as you wander the streets. From Guayaquil you are only a flight away from the wonders of the Galápagos Islands. Your first port is the island of San Cristóbal, part of what is known as the Eastern Islands. Here you will board your cruise vessel which will be your home for the next four nights as you cruise among the wildlife-rich islands in luxury. View for yourself the unique species of wildlife that were the inspiration for Darwin’s startling theory and contributed to science’s understanding of life. You will also often have the chance to make land and walk over stunning volcanic formations, hike through rich forests teeming with indigenous birdlife and of course swim and snorkel in the beautifully warm water. All good things must come to an end however and for you it will mean flying back to Guayaquil and the real world to end the adventure you’ll remember for a lifetime.

14 | tucantravel Tailor-made

2710 including domestic flights

14 days • Lima to Lima • Code: TSPH From World Heritage Sites to natural wonders, Andean peaks to diverse islands, a tailor-made Peru Highlights tour ensures you enjoy the best that Peru has to offer. By the end of your trip it won’t be the altitude that leaves you giddy but your passion for this friendly and flourishing country.

Machu Picchu Sacred Valley Cuzco

Lima

PERU

Paracas Ballestas Islands

Nazca

Lake Titicaca

Colca Canyon

Puno

Day 1-5 Lima - Nazca - After some Arequipa time in Peru’s capital you will ride a short stretch of the Panamericana highway to Paracas National Park which hosts some of the best wildlife the region has to offer. Millions of different species of birds live here year round and it is the departure point for boat excursions to the Ballestas Islands. On your day trip to the islands you can see sea lion colonies and the three-pronged candelabra, a geolygraph etched on into the hillside using stones to mark the edges. The etchings on the ground are similar to the Nazca Lines, which are found a short drive from the park and are best seen by plane - an optional activity available to you on day 5 on your trip. Day 6-9 Arequipa - Puno - You will have a half day city tour including a visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery to show you around Arequipa, lying deep in the Andean mountains with an afternoon to do some shopping and extra sightseeing before a morning transfer to Colca Canyon. The following day you will start a two day package which includes spectacular panoramic views of the valley and river. Your second day in the canyon will take you to Mirador Cruz del Condor. At 1200 metres deep here, you are almost guaranteed to spot several condors. From Colca Canyon you will travel to Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake to visit the Uros Indians and Taquile Island where you will have the chance to sample the local cuisine. Day 10-14 Cusco - Machu Picchu - Lima - With nearly three whole days in Cusco and the surrounding area there is plenty of time to explore the ancient capital of the Incas. From here you will visit an indigenous market to grab some great souvenirs and see the ruins of Pisac, perched on a hilltop with mind-blowing views of snow-capped mountains. You will take the Orient Express Vistadome to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu. Here you will have a guided tour around the ruins, the opportunity to climb to the top of Huayna Picchu which towers above the ruins before returning to Cusco for a final night. On your final day in Peru you will fly from Cusco back to Lima for your connecting flight home. Alternatively why not add a few more days to further explore what was once the capital of Spanish South America.

These are some of our suggested itineraries,


South America

Patagonia

Pure Patagonia

Buenos Aires to Rio

from $

from $

3990 including domestic flights

13 days • Buenos Aires to Santiago • Code: TPCP Travel the whole length of stunning Patagonia on this enthralling trip to visit the windswept plains, forests, mountains, wildlife, and glaciers which make up this truly fascinating region. Witness deep blue lakes, grand forests, towering mountain peaks, immense glaciers and a vast array of marine life on this adventure you’ll never forget.

Buenos Aires

CHILE Santiago

ARGENTINA

Day 1-6 Buenos Aires - Ushuaia Argentina’s stunning capital, Buenos Aires is often referred to as the ‘Paris El Calafate of the South’ and three amazing nights Torres del Paine NP Puerto Natales here will start your adventure in style. You will have time to take a full tour of this historic city, visiting its busy port Ushuaia area of La Boca and wandering the leafy boulevards and plazas, where you can experience spontaneous tango performances. From the capital, fly south to Ushuaia, the ‘end of the world’. While in the most southerly inhabited town on the planet you can enjoy a city walk and visit the museum that is dedicated to its extreme southern location. While in Ushuaia you will transfer out to the stunning Tierra del Fuego National Park. While here you will get to enjoy a catamaran cruise up the Beagle Channel where seals lazing in the sun and playful penguins dive in and out of the water punctuating the spectacular scenery of the shores either side of you. Day 7-13 El Calafate - Torres del Paine - Santiago - On an exciting excursion out on to the Perito Moreno Glacier you will get the chance to trek across the vast mounds of ice. Leaving Argentina to cross the Andes for Chile, your next stop will be Puerto Natales, your base to explore the stunning Torres del Paine National Park. Torres del Paine is named after three massive granite towers that rise out of the earth and offer an unforgettable backdrop to an already-striking region. Here you will spend a night camping and during the day you will have the chance to visit splendid waterfalls and lakes as well as an excursion to the impressive Grey Glacier. Leaving the park you will head to Puerto Natales for a night and a day at your leisure during which you could visit some of the many other glaciers that dominate this spectacular region. From Puerto Natales you will head north to Santiago, Chile’s grand capital. Introduce yourself to this intriguing city with a half day tour before your tour ends the next day.

contact us to design your perfect adventure

2520 including domestic flights

11 days • Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro • Code: TABR From Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, two of South America’s most dynamic and exciting cities, on this tour you will be seduced by the sultry sights and sounds that define this distinct region. In addition to the tango, let yourself be captivated by the many other highlights in the Argentine capital. Then after journeying through the colonial charms of Uruguay, it’s on to the sunny beaches and bustling streets of Rio, and the infectious rhythms of Brazil’s lively samba music and dance.

Rio de Janeiro

Foz du Iguaçu

BRAZIL URUGUAY Buenos Aires Montevideo

ARGENTINA

Day 1-7 Buenos Aires - Montevideo - The beautiful capital city of Argentina is known as the “Paris of South America” due to its lovely green parks, plazas and wide boulevards. For a great evening, see a tango show in the city where the dance originated and you shouldn’t leave Buenos Aires before trying one of the best steaks in the world. There is a wealth of activities to occupy your time here. Take a half-day tour of the city, exploring the neighbourhoods where the style of tango originated. You could visit other highlights, including the Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its pantheonsize tombs and one in particular: that of Eva ‘Evita’ Peron, the central Plaza de Mayo with the presidential Casa Rosita ‘Pink House’ and Puerto Madero. Leaving the capital and Argentina behind, you will board a ferry to Cross the Rio Plata and into Uruguay. Your first stop will be the charming old Spanish town of Colonia. Following a night on a working traditional ‘estancia’ out in the pampas, you will move on to the capital Montevideo with its historical plazas and modern cultural flair. Day 8-11 Iguazu - Rio de Janeiro - This time flying you will cross in to Brazil and the fabulous Foz du Iguaçu. From here you will have the chance to behold the simply breath-taking panorama that is the mighty Iguazu Falls. Heading north from the falls, follow the rhythms of samba as you fly to Famous Rio. Over the next few days you can enjoy a full-day tour of the city, taking in all the iconic sights of the city. Take the cable car up to the stunning Sugar Loaf mountain, then stand under the mighty Christ the Redeemer statue as it looks out over the city from the heights of Corcovado. You will also go on a half-day tour to lift the lid on the real Rio and visit the local favelas or ‘shantytowns’ for an insight into the lives of many Rio inhabitants. In the afternoons you can either hit the shops or flop on the beach, and in the evenings be treated to a samba show over a succulent steak.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 15


Polar

The Arctic From jagged mountains to sweeping tundras, massive ice caps to deep fjords, this is a world of exhilarating scenery. Discover this rugged region on an Expedition Cruise during the northern summer and see large concentrations of sea birds as well as solitary polar bears roaming rugged coastlines, while massive whales breach frozen seas and lazy walrus lie alongside playful seals on distant beaches.

M/V Plancius GREENLAND

2

3

Spitsbergen Longyearbyen

GREENLAND SEA

5

M/V Plancius started her life in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy. Ice-strengthened, refit, redecorated and fully equipped for polar Expedition Cruises, the MV Plancius is comfortable and nicely appointed, but is not a luxury liner. With both bow and stern thrusters the ship can manoeuvre in and out of the most interesting places safely. The large, open deck spaces offer excellent wildlife watching and two starboard gangways guarantee smooth zodiac operations. Voyages in The Arctic are exploratory and educational, spending as much time ashore as possible to maximise your experience of this spectacular region and rich and varied wildlife.

Scoresby Sund

When you’re not on the shore itself, the decks of the Plancius offer one of the best vantage points from which you can observe the thrilling behavior of whales and playful antics of dolphins at sea. The height makes it easier to spot seals and walrus as they laze about on the rocks and ice floes as you make your exciting voyage along the rugged coastline.

4 8

6 Akureyri

Cabin Guide

NORWEGIAN SEA

ICELAND 7

Quad Cabins: four berths with private facilities 1

NORWAY

Twin Porthole: triple berths with private facilities Twin Window: two lower, single berths with private facilities Superior: twin single or double bed and private facilities including shower Deluxe: twin single or queen bed and private facilities including shower

16 | tucantravel Tailor-made


Polar

Travel Highlights 1

Aurora Borealis

2

Moffen Island

3

Polar bear and walrus spotting

4

Arctic landings

5

Remains of Inuit settlements

6

Whale-watching

7

Scuba diving

8

Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord

9

Depart to Antarctica

10

Whale-watching

11

Antarctic landings

12

Wildlife at King George Island

13

Bird-watching at South Orkney Islands

14

Elephant seals at Cuverville Island

15

Hot springs at Deception Island

16

Paradise Bay

17

Falkland Islands

Antarctica Almost totally covered in ice, this vast, frozen land is the coldest, driest and windiest place on Earth. Despite these inhospitable conditions, Antarctica is home to an amazing variety of wildlife. Its immense glaciers and rocky shorelines harbour seals, penguins and sea birds of all kinds. While at sea, Orca, blue, humpback and minke whales search for krill among scattered and stunningly-sculpted icebergs.

The Ushuaia

Falkland Islands

ARGENTINA CHILE

Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia has been refurbished to accommodate passengers in comfortable twin cabins and suites. This ice-strengthened polar vessel provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy for a chance to see its adventure headquarters. The full complement of inatable landing craft ensures superb landings and amazing wildlife viewing opportunities along otherwise inaccessible coastline.

17

9

Ushuaia

DRAKE PASSAGE

Gerlache Strait Paradise Bay Gerlache Strait Alexander Island

14 16

Our expert captain, ofďŹ cers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extemely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine and the bar is well stocked with carefully selected beers, wines and spirits.

SCOTIA SEA

King George Island Livingston Island Deception Island Curverville Island 15

South Shetland Islands

12

10 South Orkney Islands 13

11

South Georgia Islands

Cabin Guide A Cabins: Twin exterior cabins on upper deck, private facilities, two berths. B Cabins: Twin ex. cabins, shared facilities, two berths.

WEDDELL SEA ANTARCTICA

C Cabins: Twin interior inside cabins on lower deck, shared facilities, two berths. Superior: Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck, private facilities, two lower berths. Suites: Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck, private facilities, two lower berths, lounge, TV and DVD.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 17


Polar

Spitsbergen

Around Spitsbergen from $

5370

10 days • Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen • Code: CAO02 With its rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, ice caps and glaciers, Spitsbergen is a true High Arctic archipelago less than 600 miles from the North Pole. Its abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers but now travellers are discovering the huge Arctic seabird colonies and enjoying the chance to see species like walrus, reindeer, Arctic fox and of course, the elusive polar bear. Day 1 Arrive Longyearbyen - Today is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities, so you will have free time to relax and see some of the sights. Longyearbyen is the capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Day 3 Krossfjorden - 14th of July Glacier - Ny-Ålesund - Heading north along the west coast, we arrive in the morning in Krossfjorden, where we take to the zodiacs for an exhilarating cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. There is a good chance of spotting Arctic foxes patrolling the base of the cliffs in case a hapless chick falls from its nest, and bearded seals, who cruise this scenic fjord. In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund. Day 4 Liefdefjoden - Andøya - Monaco Glacier - Depending on the weather we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the five kilometre long face of the impressive Monaco glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and on previous voyages polar bears have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

The Details: Accommodation: 1 night in hotel, 9 nights onboard M/V Plancius. Meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners. Excursions: Escorted walks, shore landings by Zodiacstyle boats. Transport: M/V Plancius. Group: Maximum 114 passengers. Staff: Naturalist guides, local guides. Code: CAO02 - Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen Start tour Thu 12 Jul 12 Sat 21 Jul 12 Mon 30 Jul 12* Tue 02 Jul 13 Thu 11 Jul 13 Sat 20 Jul 13 Mon 29 Jul 13*

End tour Sun 22 Jul 12 Tue 31 Jul 12 Thu 09 Aug 12 Fri 12 Jul 13 Sun 21 Jul 13 Tue 30 Jul 13 Thu 08 Aug 13

Quad Twin P Twin W $5,370 $6,900 $7,190 $5,370 $6,900 $7,190 $5,370 $6,900 $7,190 $5,660 $7,270 $7,560 $5,660 $7,270 $7,560 $5,660 $7,270 $7,560 $5,660 $7,270 $7,560

Deluxe $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $8,070 $8,070 $8,070 $8,070

Superior $8,500 $8,500 $8,500 $8,940 $8,940 $8,940 $8,940

*This voyage includes hiking. Prices are per person based on twin/quad share. Please ask for single and triple prices or if you are single but would like to share with another traveller.

Day 5 Phippsoya - Today we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsoya in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Polar bears inhabit this region, along with ivory gulls. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings and perhaps seeing a Ross’s gull, before we turn south again. Day 6-7 Laagöya - Sorg Fjord - Alkefjellet/Augustabukta/Torrelneset - We will visit Laagöya today. At Sorg Fjord we may find another herd of walruses. The following day we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our Zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait we’ll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls and walruses. Near Torrelneset we will explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet. Day 8-9 Barentsoya - Diskobukta - Hornsund - In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese. Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of kitttiwakes, together with black guillemots and piratical glaucous gulls. We start the next day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 metres while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name ‘Spitsbergen’ - pointed mountains - to the island. Day 10 - Ahlstrandhalvøya - Recherchefjorden - Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons (the Beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Belugas were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed. We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsberge. It is home to ringed and bearded seals, seabird colonies and surprisingly rich vegetation.

18 | tucantravel Tailor-made

Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Ny Alesund

Edgeøya Longyearbyen

G R E E N L A N D S E A

These are some of our suggested itineraries,


Polar

Antarctica

Classic Antarctica from $

4740

11 days • Ushuaia to Ushuaia • Code: RATC For over two centuries, the remote White Continent has attracted scientists and explorers and now this frozen land has opened its doors to adventure travellers. Journey from the fascinating archipelago of Tierra del Fuego to the Antarctic Peninsula and be totally mesmerized by unique wildlife, majestic icebergs and superb scenery. Sightings of large penguin colonies, magnificent whales, and breathtaking icebergs will make each day more incredible than the last. Day 1-8 Ushuaia - South Shetland Islands - Antarctic Peninsula - Begin this once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the most southern inhabited city on the planet. After a visit to the Tierra del Fuego National Park and an excursion on the Beagle Channel, you will board your specially-converted expedition vessel as you head for the ‘Great White Continent’. The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island and the chance to swim in the hot springs of Pendulum Cove is truly amazing. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island. As you get your first glimpse of the Antarctic Peninsula you will be filled with the kind of excitement once only the realm of early explorers. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range. Navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and here you will be able to step on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins. Day 9-11 Drake Passage - Ushuaia - We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. Join lecturers and naturalists on deck as you search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia, and the end of an adventure you’ll not soon forget.

The Details: Accommodation: 10 nights in twin share cabins. Meals: All meals while onboard. Excursions: Escorted walks, shore landings by Zodiacstyle boats. Transport: Ice strengthened research vessel, the Ushuaia, Zodiac style boats. Group: Maximum 84 passengers. Staff: 4 expedition staff/lecturers plus ships crew of around 30. Code: RATC - Ushuaia to Ushuaia - 11 days Start tour End tour Sat 10 Nov 12* Tue 20 Nov 12 Mon 19 Nov 12# Sun 09 Dec 12 Sat 08 Dec 12~ Thu 20 Dec 12 Wed 19 Dec 12 Sun 30 Dec 12 Sat 29 Dec 12 Wed 09 Jan 13 Tue 08 Jan 13* Fri 18 Jan 13 Thu 17 Jan 13 Mon 28 Jan 13 Tue 12 Feb 13 Sat 23 Feb 13 Fri 22 Feb 13< Wed 06 Mar 13 Tue 05 Mar 13 Sat 16 Mar 13 Fri 15 Mar 13* Mon 25 Mar 13 Sun 24 Mar 13* Wed 03 Apr 13

C Cabin $4,740 $9,930 $5,780 $6,610 $6,610 $5,950 $6,610 $6,610 $6,450 $5,260 $4,740 $4,740

B Cabin $6,130 $12,860 $7,480 $8,110 $8,110 $7,310 $8,110 $8,110 $8,130 $6,800 $6,130 $6,130

A Cabin $7,640 $16,040 $9,320 $10,160 $10,160 $9,150 $10,160 $10,160 $10,160 $8,480 $7,640 $7,640

Superior Suite $8,080 $8,490 $16,970 $17,840 $9,860 $10,360 $10,730 $11,280 $10,730 $11,280 $9,670 $10,150 $10,730 $11,280 $10,730 $11,280 $10,750 $11,290 $8,970 $9,420 $8,080 $8,490 $8,080 $8,490

CHILE ARGENTINA Ushuaia

DRAKE PASSAGE

King George Island Livingston Island Deception Island Curverville Island Gerlache Strait Paradise Bay

South Shetland Islands

Adelaide Island

* This departure is 11 days and spends one less day in Antarctica. # This departure is 21 days and visits The Falkland Islands and St Georgia Island. ~ This departure is 13 days and visits the Weddell Sea.

ANTARCTICA

WEDDELL SEA

< This departure is 12 days and visits the Polar Circle. Prices are per person based on twin share. Please ask for single and triple prices or if you are single but would like to share with another traveller.

contact us to design your perfect adventure

tucantravel Tailor-made | 19


Middle East

Introduction Welcome to the Middle East, a region that is saturated in historical treasures and rich in modern-day cultural charm. Whether you are wending your way through hidden alleyways in a Moroccan souk, sailing down the Nile River in Egypt, or approaching Petra on the back of a camel, you’re bound to discover something fascinating at every turn.

Egypt

Morocco

Any first adventure to Egypt will be the beginning of a life-long love affair with this fascinating country. This land of magnificent civilisations of the ancient past and of new beginnings since the Arab Spring in recent times, is as famous for its archaeological treasures as it is for its warm hospitality and cultural charm. Whether it be standing in awe at the majestic Pyramids flanked by the mysterious Sphinx or looking up at the colossal statues at Abu Simbel, or languidly floating down the Nile on a traditional felucca sailing boat watching life act out around you in a way unchanged for centuries, you will find something here that captures your heart.

Lying on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts and warmed by the North African sun, Morocco is your chance to explore a rich heritage of nomadic Berbers, Roman conquerors, Muslim Arabs and French colonialists, all of whom have left behind a trove of cultural treasures. An adventure here can begin out in the vast Saharan desert camping out under the stars, before crossing the great Atlas Mountains and earning a new appreciation for the spice bazaars of the cities after travelling through the desert on camel back, just as traders have done throughout antiquity. Later lose yourself in the medieval medina of Fez before finding yourself again in the cosmopolitan coastal town of Casablanca.

Jordan

Turkey

Any visit to Jordan is like a journey back in time. Although it is a young state, the country has a long and intricate history spanning thousands of years. Land locked with the exception of a small shore on the surreal Dead Sea, the territory has come under the influence of most of the major empires of history, including the Romans, Greeks, Turks, Arabs and Crusader forces, who have all left their mark on the landscape that you can still witness today. From ruined Roman cities to Crusader castles and of course the mysterious Nabataean rose-red lost city of Petra that was immortalised by Indiana Jones, experience the diverse archaeological heritage that is begging to be uncovered and explored.

Straddling two continents and long referred to as the point where east meets west, Turkey offers a fascinating blend of European and Asian cultures. Steeped in both Christian and Islamic history and bursting with modern energy, Turkey is home to some of the world’s most fascinating geographic and historic sites, such as the Greco-Roman ruins at Ephesus, the ‘cotton castles’ at Pamukkale, the surreal fairy chimneys of Cappadoccia and the poignant battlefields of Gallipoli. However, modern Turkey is as intriguing as anything from its timeless past and how better to see this than sitting on the shore of the Bosphorus sipping chai, and watching amazing Istanbul live and breathe around you.

20 | tucantravel Tailor-made


Middle East

4

2

Ankara M 18

Rabat

E D

14

3

I T

MOROCCO 17

16

E R R A N E A N

TURKEY

1

S E A 7

15

Amman

10

JORDAN

5

Cairo

6

8

9 13

EGYPT

11 12

Travel Highlights 1

Cappadocia fairy chimneys

7

Explore Crusader castles

13

Scuba dive in the Red Sea

2

Bazaars and mosques of Istanbul

8

Marvel at Wadi Rum desert scenery

14

Visit the tanneries in Fez

3

Ephesus Roman ruins

9

Stay overnight in a Bedouin camp

15

Trek the Atlas Mountains

4

Cruise the Bosphorus Straights

10

Experience the ancient pyramids

16

Explore the kasbahs in Marrakech

5

Visit the ancient site of Petra

11

Cruise the Nile

17

Relax on the beach in Essaouira

Float in the Dead Sea

12

Visit the Valley of the Kings

18

Explore the maze-like medinas

6

Turkey's Delights

Crossing the Red Sea

from $

from $

1250 including domestic flights

9 days • Istanbul to Istanbul • Code: TTTD With one of the richest history’s in the world, everywhere you turn you will see remnants of the past. Starting off in Istanbul in Europe, your tour will take you into the Orient, Middle East and Africa as you experience the many cultures that Turkey has to offer.

1460

10 days • Cairo to Amman • Code: TECR

Istanbul

TURKEY Ankara Izmir Ephesus

Cappadocia

Pamukkale

Day 1-5 Istanbul - Cappadocia - Ephesus - Originally Constantinople, Istanbul is reaped in millennia of history as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Use your time here to explore the old city and sample some of the culture that has led this city to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2010. A guided tour of the old city will take in some of the highlights, including the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, St. Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Before leaving Istanbul you will enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants of the area. Once you are in Cappadocia you may have the opportunity to take a hot-air balloon ride over the valley, while those who prefer to plant their feet firmly on the ground will have a variety of trails to explore. You will be flying to Izmir before being transferred to Selçuk, a small town close to the archeological site of Ephesus with a large museum, aquaduct and citadel. You can walk to Ephesus here from your accommodation in Selçuk and learn about the site's fascinating history. You will also have an afternoon free to visit some of the other notable sites in the area including the Cave of the Seven Sleepers at the House of the Virgin Mary, a site of pilgrimage where it is believed the Virgin Mary spent her final days. Day 6-9 Pamukkale - Istanubul - From Selçuk you will continue on to Pamukkale, an ancient Turkish spa, and enjoy the hot springs and travertines that have been used for centuries. Minerals from below the earth’s surface have caused the hot springs to turn white and are heavily protected as UNESCO world heritage sites preventing you from walking on the ground with shoes on. Flying from Pamukkale to Istanbul, you will have a final day in the city to do some last minute sightseeing or shopping. With so much to see your day will be packed with important landmarks and architectural wonders while sipping a Turkish tea and eating baclava.

Cross from Africa to Asia over the Red Sea and relax in Dahab’s chilled-out hippy centre and later hear the latest Middle Eastern pop music pouring out of the nightclubs in Amman. But not before heading out in to the desert to witness the magical ancient Nabataean city of Petra in Jordan, with its temples and tombs carved out of rose red rock.

Amman

JORDAN Petra

Cairo Suez

Wadi Rum St. Catherines

EGYPT

Aqaba Dahab

Day 1-4 Cairo - Dahab - On arrival in Cairo you will be thrown headfirst into the hustle and bustle of this wonderful city. As you wander the streets your senses will be assaulted on all levels with cars tooting, donkeys braying and the call to prayer; the mix of smells like the aroma from cooking pots and the scent of apple tobacco; the delicious taste of mint tea as you sit in a shaded café to relax; and the endless river of life that you can watch roll past you, women haggling in the bazaars, men talking whilst enjoying a shisha pipe, cars vying for space on the crowded roads, camels ambling serenely along and children playing in the back streets. Enjoy our day in Cairo before boarding a bus to cross the Red Sea and head to the Asian continent for Dahab. Meaning ‘gold’ in Arabic, Dahab is a beautiful town famous for its diving and snorkelling and you’ll have time here to relax or enjoy the many optional activities available. Day 5-10 Wadi Rum - Petra - Amman - Leaving Dahab make your way to Nuweiba and board a ferry to the port town of Aqaba in Jordan. After spending the morning in Aqaba, head out to the spectacular desert area of Wadi Rum. That night you will get the chance to spend the night in a Bedouin-style camp. Wadi Musa will be your base for your next adventure: the great lost city of Petra. Explore this magnificent site, which is made up of stone structures carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an ancient Arab civilisation. On the way from Petra to Jordan’s capital Amman, you will visit the impressive Crusade-era castle of Shobak. The modern yet conservative Amman is a good base to visit the surreal Dead Sea or important sites in the judeochristian tradition such as the place where Jesus was said to have been baptised.

These are some of our suggested itineraries, contact us to design your perfect adventure

tucantravel Tailor-made | 21


Asia

Introduction An adventure in Asia could take you from soaring mountains to broad white sand beaches, bustling ancient capitals to remote tribal villages, sacred temples to breath-taking monuments, all within a week or two. With more time to spare, you can get right under the skin of this fascinating region and discover the real Asia.

Bhutan

Cambodia

India

This Himalayan kingdom is really unlike any other country. Where traditional dress is still universally worn, any travel in Bhutan is as much a trip back in time as a journey to another world. This country has fought to protect its unique culture and customs and it is a privilege to experience it.

Journey to this delightful country and learn of its epic history that is movingly inscribed in its ancient temples and modern war memorials. An adventure in Cambodia offers you the chance to explore this history, and embrace the rich, fascinating culture of this pearl of South East Asia.

Travelling in India means to be immersed in the sensory extremes of this varied sub-continent. India is home to a rich diversity in everything from geography and climate to culture and cuisine. India has an abundance of natural wonders and monuments providing a whole world of exciting travel experiences.

Borneo

China

Japan

With huge swathes of untamed rainforest and a shoreline boasting gorgeous beaches, the island of Borneo is the essence of adventure travel. One of only two natural habitats for the distinctive orangutan, the world’s third-largest island is also one of the best places to experience the region’s wildlife.

Any tour through China is like travelling through the many centuries of history that have shaped this hugely important and historic country and its people, while simultaneously looking to the future and witnessing the rapid rate at which the modern face of China and Hong Kong is changing.

Known as the “Land of the Rising Sun”, Japan is a country where the past meets the future. The culture stretches back centuries yet it also leads the way to the future. Bullet trains take you between some of the world’s busiest cities and across regularly beautiful and terrifically varied landscape.

Burma

Indonesia

Laos

Years of international isolation have long cast a shroud over this mysterious nation. Today the door is slowly opening to travellers and there is host of travel rewards lying within. Any tour in Burma means the chance to witness the country’s unique people, culture and landscape.

With thousands of miles of serene beaches, spectacular volcanoes and jungles, a rich flora and fauna and even richer cultural traditions, the large archipelago of Indonesia has something to offer every kind of traveller and more than enough to feed any appetite for adventure.

Not nearly as well-known as the countries that surround it, Laos has so much to offer the traveller that ventures a little further. This laid-back country boasts well preserved towns deep in lush jungle settings as well as stunning rivers and intriguing cave complexes, not mentioning the food and the people.

22 | tucantravel Tailor-made


Asia Ulaan Baatar

1

MONGOLIA

JAPAN 3

Travel Highlights 1

Trans-Mongolian railway from Russia

2

Traditional ger camp

3

Great wall of China

4

Annapurna Trek

5

Taj Mahal

6

Elephant Ride

7

Angkor Wat

8

Cameron Highlands

9

Junk boat ride on Halong Bay

10

Torii gate of the Shinto shrine

11

Borobudur Temple

12

Shopping on Orchard Road

13 14

Tokyo

2

Beijing

10

CHINA Tibet

NEPAL

Delhi 13

4

Kathmandu Thimphu BHUTAN

5

INDIA

16

BURMA

LAOS

Hanoi 9

Vientiane

Naypyidaw 15

VIETNAM THAILAND

6

Bangkok

7

CAMBODIA Phnom Penh

Palaces of Jaipur

SRI LANKA Colombo

Shwedagon Pagoda

16

Tiger Leaping Gorge

17

Temple of the Tooth

Tarakan

8

Visit the Orangutans

15

14

17

Borneo

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA

12

SINGAPORE

INDONESIA

Jakarta 11

Let your imagination wander The next few pages are intended to get your mind wandering and your feet itching as you discover the many possibilities for adventure that are on offer in what is one of the most culturally rich and ethnically diverse continents on Earth. Regardless how much or little time you have, the following itineraries are there to help inspire ideas to create the perfect travel experience especially for you.

Malaysia

Russia

Tibet

Often considered a microcosm of this hugely diverse continent, the country of Malaysia reflects the several different Asian peoples that live here while at the same time creating its own distinctive culture. Its landscape is equally varied which you'll soon discover on your visit here.

Russia, the world’s largest country, spans the entire width of Asia and pushes west into Europe too. What better way to experience the vast scale of this country than to immerse yourself in the local culture as you trundle through the varied and open landscape aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express?

This mysterious Himalayan region, with its ancient spiritual allure has attracted adventurous travellers for centuries. Now it is your turn to visit this small part of the globe they call the 'Roof of the World', where for so long life went in near complete isolation from the world around it.

Mongolia

Singapore

Thailand

Introducing Mongolia, an untamed and rugged yet wildly beautiful country landlocked between mighty Russia and China. Travel the same steppés that in days gone by hosted Genghis Khan's hordes and which today are home to nomadic farmers and their iconic ger camps.

Singapore may be small in size but it has much to offer travellers. On top of the things that make this microstate unique, such as its transport systems, business districts and massive shopping centres, there are also numerous markets, food courts and even beaches waiting to be uncovered.

Synonymous with gorgeous food, unbelievably tranquil beaches, tropical forests and a hugely vibrant local culture, Thailand is one of the few countries that live up to such high expectations. As you travel in Thailand you will be repeatedly spoilt with highlights wherever you go in this fabulous country.

Nepal

Sri Lanka

Vietnam

The small Himalayan country of Nepal lies squeezed between the world’s two most populated countries. Despite appearing comparatively small, the country is rich with adventure opportunities and travel experiences, while offering some of the world's most spectacular trekking.

From endless white sandy beaches to UNESCO World Heritage sites, wildlife, religious iconography and ancient cultures, this jewel of the Indian Ocean really has it all. Throughout it all you will encounter huge statues of the Buddha and ancient cities wherever you travel on the Island of Sri Lanka.

Any visit to Vietnam brings alive this fascinating country of tremendous contrast. Travel from stunning Halong Bay to bustling cities and World Heritage sites, while delving into the country’s colourful culture showcased by its infectiously warm people and delicious and varied cuisine.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 23


Asia

Burma

Burma Uncovered

Land of Maharajahs

from $

from $

1300 including domestic flights

13 days • Yangon to Yangon • Code: TBBU After years of international isolation, the extremely beautiful and equally fascinating country of Burma is once again opening its doors to visitors, and this tour will lift the veil on this extraordinary country. Journey from the former capital of Yangon and see golden pagodas, ancient temples and beautiful countryside while visiting other important sites; all the while immersing yourself in fabulous culture and tradition.

10 days • Delhi to Delhi • Code: TILM

BURMA Bagan

Mandalay Heho Nyaung Shwe

Nyaung Shwe

Day 1-5 Yangon - Mandalay - On your Yangon first morning after arriving in Yangon you will visit Shwedagon, where you will be taken on a guided tour of the small streets that surround the huge golden pagoda of the same name and enjoy a traditional breakfast. While here there are markets to peruse and alleys to wander. After a free day to explore more of the country’s former capital catch an overnight bus as you head for Mandalay. After a free day here to relax, the next day go on a bike ride through the city before cycling on to the quiet town of Amarapura, stopping to eat local treats and visit colourful markets along the way. In Amarapura there is an old monastery to visit and a gold workshop too. Day 6-13 Bagan - Nyaung Shwe - Yangon - After a free day in Mandalay, catch an overnight train to the spectacular and other worldly ancient city of Bagan. Arriving early in the morning, you will get to watch the sun rise over the many majestic temples that make up this stunning complex. The rest of the day you will be guided around the site and given a full account of its fascinating history. The following day you can explore the temples with the freedom and accessibility that a bicycle offers. Flying out of Bagan your next stop is Heho from where you will drive through the mountains to the picturesque Inle Lake. Take a boat trip out on the lake and make for the intriguing ruins of Indein, which has the appearance of a ‘pagoda forest’. That night you will sleep aboard the boat. Spend the next day on the lake visiting floating gardens and see the local fishermen that paddle their small boats using their legs. After visiting a cheroot factory where local cigars are made, you will head to the small town of Nyaung Shwe that is on the lake’s edge. Here you can visit the remnants of a former palace that was home to the local prince. From here it is back to the city of Yangon where you will have a day free to explore some more sights or markets, to pick up any souvenirs you missed last time round.

24 | tucantravel Tailor-made

1100

Let your senses be tantalised and your spirit lifted as you embrace the colourful mosaic of cultures and religions that India embodies. Delhi can be chaotic and dazzling in its intensity, while the tranquillity of the Taj Mahal will entrance you during the tour. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt at Ranthambore National Park as you search for elusive tigers, and then discover the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, whose streets represent the ancient Hindu map of the universe.

Delhi

Jaipur

Agra

INDIA Ranthambore NP

Day 1-5 Delhi - Jaipur - After arriving in India’s bustling and rapidly modernising capital city, head out to the stunning region of Rajasthan, the ‘Land of the Kings’. First stop is the city of Shekhawati famous for its intricate frescoes and ornate mansions. Later you will move on to Mandawa where you will get a real insight into rural life in the region with a camel ride out to surrounding villages, and even spend the night in a village-style resort with luxuriously-fitted mud huts. Next stop on your memorable journey is Jaipur, the jewel of Rajasthan. Known as the ‘Pink City’ it is home to a huge number of impressive forts and opulent palaces. You will tour the city’s highlights and get to understand more of the royal bloodlines that lived here as well as enjoy time to haggle in the lively bazaars and find terrific locally-made souvenirs. Day 6-10 Ranthambore - Agra - Delhi - Ranthambore National Park is India’s largest tiger reserve and is one of the best parks in the country to see these majestic predators in their natural habitat. You will go on a game drive where you will have every chance of spotting the mighty cats, as well as much more local wildlife besides. Then your big game experience gets the perfect addition with a night in luxury tents within the park. The next morning you will visit the Ranthambore Fort that today is home to packs of curious monkeys. After Ranthambore move on through the towns of Karauli and Bharatpur visiting more forts and palaces - one of which is well off the tourist trail and a more memorable experience for it - even staying a night in a former maharajah’s residence. After visiting one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world, your next stop is Agra, home to the one and only Taj Mahal. Your first visit to what is one of the world’s most beautiful structures, one built as a homage to love no less, will be to see the sun rise up behind the towering marble dome and protruding minarets. Spend the whole morning wandering the immaculately kept grounds and the stunning, if overshadowed slightly by its more famous neighbour, Agra Fort. Leaving Agra you will head back to Delhi where you will be transferred to the airport.

These are some of our suggested itineraries,


Asia

Thailand

Highlights of Indochina

Introduction to Kerala

from $

from $

2890 including domestic flights

16 Days • Hanoi to Luang Prabang • Code: TAHV Journey through the delightful countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and learn of their turbulent histories that are movingly inscribed in their ancient temples and modern war memorials. From the scenic coastal shores of Vietnam, along the mighty Mekong River with its vibrant energy, into the hills with their ethnic communities and to the laid back towns of Laos. Any visit to Indochina brings alive these country’s colourful cultures showcased by their infectiously warm people and delicious and varied cuisine.

9 days • Kochi to Kochi • Code: TIIK

VIETNAM LAOS Hanoi

Halong Bay

Luang Prabang

Vientiane Hoi An Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

CAMBODIA Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh Mekong Delta

Day 1-5 Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoi An - Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital is where the elegance of old Asia blends with the new. You will visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake and ride in a cyclo. Spend time cruising Halong Bay on a traditional junk; swimming, kayaking and taking in the marvel of the thousands of limestone karsts. After a night at sea, travel to Hoi An, a quaint riverside town renowned for its silk and diverse architecture and tailors shops. Day 6-8 Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Saigon as the city is still known, is Vietnam’s largest city. It is a fast-paced metropolis full of contrasts, with street vendors selling fruit and vegetables next to glitzy bars and boutiques. The French left their mark with some fine colonial buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. A drive out to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you get the chance to explore the maze of tunnels, a display of mantraps and the remains of an American tank. Enjoy a relaxing day’s cruise around the Mekong Delta in a converted rice barge. Day 9-12 Siem Reap - Angkor Wat - Phnom Penh - Fly to Siem Reap, the hub to visit the Angkor temples of Bayon, Ta Prohm and the magnificent Angkor Wat. A flight to Phnom Penh to visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, as well as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Day 13-16 Fly to Vientiane - Luang Prabang - Vientiane, the quietest Asian capital. Visit the historical sites of Wat Sisaket and Hor Pha Keo, which houses a fine collection of Lao art, the Victory Monument and That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Fly to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, dotted with golden temples that are home to saffron robed monks. Rise early for the silent morning procession of monks collecting alms and enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong to the holy caves of Pak Ou.

contact us to design your perfect adventure

1110

Strewn with rivers, lagoons and meandering backwaters, covered in coconut groves and flanked by sunny, palm fringed beaches, Kerala truly is a small slice of paradise. Explore local fishing villages, where colourful boats laze in the harbour against a backdrop of Chinese fishing nets; unwind aboard your private traditional houseboat made from a converted rice barge as you sail through the uniquely quiet backwaters, and discover a world of exotic spices.

Kochi

Thekkady Marari Beach

INDIA

Day 1-4 Kochi - Thekkady - Kochi is set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas and has one of the best natural harbours in the world. You will have two nights here in a heritage hotel in Fort Cochin, giving you plenty of time to explore what is one of the most fascinating towns in India. Enjoy a tour of the fort and witness the elaborate makeup and costumes of a traditional Kathakali dancing show. Head out of Kochi and up into the foothills of the Western Ghats mountain range of southern India and the town of Thekkady, which is known for its rich green coffee and tea plantations that spread across the hills. Here you can visit the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, the best-known park in south India and one of the largest in the whole country. Be on the lookout for elephant, sambhar, wild pig, flying squirrel and over 260 species of bird life. Day 5-9 Kerala backwaters - Marari Beach - Kochi - Heading back down to the coast, make for the starting point of your houseboat cruise through Kerala’s intricate maze of waterways and lagoons. This is an incredibly idyllic way of experiencing this unique part of the world, relaxing on deck as the world floats by with a cool drink in your hand. Spend the night on board the deluxe air-conditioned, one-bedroom houseboat. Visit an old heritage home deep in Kerala’s backwaters that is run by a young man working hard to preserve his family’s traditional way of life. Spend your time wandering the paddy fields or simply marvel at the toddy tappers that nimbly climb the palms to harvest ingredients for palm wine. Mararikulam is a village just south of Kochi with a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach. The beach is not hugely touristy and you will get to see the local fishermen bringing in the night’s catch if you visit the beach in the early morning. Marari is an excellent place to soak up the sun and enjoy the gorgeous warm waters of the Arabian Sea and you’ll enjoy two nights in a homestay near the beach. After Marari you will transfer back to Kochi to catch any onward flight.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 25


Asia

Borneo

Borneo Explored

Road to China

from $

from $

2400 including domestic flights

2460 including domestic flights

11 days • Mulu to Kuching • Code: TBSE With three countries sharing the island, Borneo is booming with tropical rainforests and vibrant animals including some of the most endangered in the world. The three countries on the island each have cultures waiting to be discovered.

11 Days • Beijing to Shanghai • Code: TCRC

Turtle Island

MALAYSIA Mulu

Day 1-6 Mulu - Bintulu Beach - After Bintulu a short plane ride from Miri, you will arrive at the World Heritage Site of Mulu Sibu where you will spend the first few days of your tour. Here you will explore Mulu’s Kuching extensive cave system, swim in the crystal clear water filtered through rocks for hundreds of years and picnic beside the river enjoying being close to nature. You will be able to walk through Deer Cave, the world’s largest cave passage containing its own unique ecosystem including hills and valleys before heading over to Bintulu Beach. Here you will be sleeping in an authentic long house, drinking rice wine and enjoying traditional Malay food like Tatau, a rich seafood dish served with noodles in a friendly and small local community. For many this is the highlight of their trip. Optional activities here include fishing, collecting jungle foods and going to rice fields to learn and understand the Malay way of life. Day 6-7 Bintulu Beach - Sibu - A day of river travel in unusual authentic boats will take you to Sibu, a Malay town with a Chinese feel to it. Visit the pagoda, the night market and enjoy traditional delicacies local to the area. Day 8 Turtle Island - Tonight you will sleep on Turtle Island (Oct-Feb tours will visit Bako Park instead) During the day you will be free to explore the beautiful island, visiting the turtle hatchery, exploring the rainforest and relaxing on the sandy beaches. Despite sharing the island with others, it will be so deserted it is possible you will not see another person until dinner in the evening. After dark, you will watch turtles lay eggs on the shore or be released into the water. Day 9-11 Kuching - Leaving Turtle Island, you will spend two nights at Kuching. Here you will visit the Semenggoh orangutan centre, a home for orphaned, injured or rescued orangutans with the aim to reintroduce them into the wild just outside of the city. At feeding time you may catch a glimpse of several of these endangered and human-like creatures. With a wide range of optional activities in Kuching, there will be plenty of excitement from wildlife river cruises, river kayaking, bike riding or shopping.

26 | tucantravel Tailor-made

Any China tour is like travelling through the centuries, while witnessing the modern face of China. Some of China’s best highlights are the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and the Yangste River plus much more. On a China tour you will also want to explore exciting Beijing and Shanghai.

Great Wall

Beijing

CHINA Xi’an

Shanghai

Day 1-4 Arrive Beijing - Great Wall The capital of China is packed with Yangtze River Three Gorges exhilarating sights to visit; the enormous Tiananmen Square and the enigmatic Yichang Chongqing Forbidden City, a “city within a city” will take much of a day, is followed by a rickshaw ride through the maze of hutongs to the Drum Tower. To the idyllic Temple of Heaven before driving out to the not-to-be-missed Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, this includes riding up in a chair-lift to walk along this feat of engineering before an exciting toboggan ride down the hill afterwards. An excursion to the Summer Palace and Kunming Lake before travelling to Xi’an. Day 5-9 Xi’an - Flight to Chongqing - Visit one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century; Emperor Qin's celebrated Terracotta Warriors, made up of 7,000 life-sized soldiers standing in military formation. A peaceful bicycle ride along the city walls of Xi’an before a visit to the nearby Moslem quarter and onto the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the enduring symbol of Xi'an, which was built in the year 652. Board a boat at Chongqing for a beguiling three day cruise down the mighty Yangtze River through the cradle of China, while giving you the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable on your way to the Three Gorges Dam. Day 10-11 Yichang - Shanghai - To the ever growing city of Shanghai to take a city tour that takes in the stunning Oriental Pearl TV tower up to the highest viewing platform to get a bird's eye view of this metropolis, the Jade Buddha Temple and the charming Yuyuan Gardens as well as the famous Bund with its colonial buildings. You will also visit the famous Shanghai Museum and Duolun Road to see the colourful local cultures including a silk shop. You’ll have time to stroll along the extensive walking mall that stretches from one end of the city to the other; this area is renowned for its colourful lights after nightfall.

These are some of our suggested itineraries, contact us to design your perfect adventure


Frequently Asked Questions

Brazil

Frequently Asked Questions Do I need vaccinations?

Do I need visas?

We recommend that you visit your doctor or local travel health centre at least eight weeks before you travel because depending on your itinerary, you may need a course of vaccinations rather than just one jab. A health professional can give you specific advice according to your medical needs and itinerary.

Visa requirements vary for different nationalities depending on the countries you will be visiting. We provide a guide to visas on our website but this is by no means definitive and you should either use a visa service or contact a country’s consulate or embassy for the latest information.

Do I need travel insurance?

Will the altitude affect me?

You are required to purchase comprehensive travel insurance before travelling with us and provide details of your insurance to your tour leader at the beginning of your tour. Please remember that there are many adventure activities available which may not be covered by basic insurance. Make sure that your travel insurance covers general medical expenses, hospitalisations and medical evacuations. Also ensure that you are covered for travel at high altitudes if necessary for your tour.

Altitude sickness is caused by the lack of oxygen which can begin to affect people at altitudes of 2500-3500 metres (8,200-11,500 feet) and sometimes at lower altitudes. No one understands why some people are affected worse than others, and age, levels of fitness and strength is no indication of how well you will fare. We recommend that you speak to a travel health professional about your itinerary before you depart if you are in any doubt or would like to consider medication.

Learn more about Tucan Travel Subscribe to our newsletter Want to keep up to date with unusual activities, amazing places, once-in-a lifetime experiences you can have with Tucan Travel? Why not subscribe to our monthly newsletter on our website! We’ll send you the latest travel news, competitions, new and exciting tours, special offers, destination updates, late space deals, blog and video updates and much more.

Join our online community Join us on Facebook or create your own group for your tour and link to our profile. You can also follow us on Twitter and check out our blog or view our videos on YouTube.

Visit our website Visit our website to make sure you are fully prepared for your holiday and know what to expect on your tour with us. You can search for tour and destination information using the quick search, advanced search or Google powered site search. We are constantly updating our website with new information as it becomes available. If we make any changes or have last minute news that you should know about, we will put it on the website right away.

tucantravel Tailor-made | 27


We are a specialist adventure tour operator with hundreds of high quality, affordable and exciting adventures to worldwide destinations. Along with over 470 group tours to 70 countries we now design personal tailor-made tours speciďŹ cally for you and your budget. United Kingdom 316 Uxbridge Road, Acton, London W3 9QP Tel: (+44) 020 8896 1600 Fax: 8896 1400 Toll Free: 0800 804 8435 (inside UK only) Email: uksales@tucantravel.com Skype: tucan.bex.uk Australia 217 Alison Road, P.O. Box 806, Randwick, Sydney NSW 2031 Tel: (+61) 02 9326 6633 Fax: 9326 5993 Toll Free: 1300 769 249 (inside Australia only) Email: ozsales@tucantravel.com Skype: tucan.bex.au Tucan Travel Pty Ltd Licence No: 2TA4884 ABN: 77 085 587 659 Money Direct/Smart Money/E-Nett: TUCAN

Your Tucan Travel Specialist:

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