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Patagonia Private

Patagonia Private

DURATION

12 DAYS

WHEN

Nov to Mar

DESTINATION

Argentina-Chile

TYPE

PRIVATE

Patagonia

KING PENGUINS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO + AUSTRALIS SHIP TO CAPE HORN + TORRES DEL PAINE FROM EXPLORA HOTEL

The greatest natural marvels and upscale services of Patagonia.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Cross Tierra del Fuego to encounter King Penguins, birdwatch, and spend quality time with Gauchos.
  • Cruise the Magellan Straight, the Beagle Channel, and the fjords of the Darwin Mountain Range to the enigmatic Cape Horn.
  • Visit the biggest colony of Magellanic Penguins in the World
  • Spend four nights and days at the award-winning Explora Hotel, right in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park (The best location by far)
  • All excursions and activities are included.  The itinerary is flexible and adapts to your interests.
  • The best accommodations, transport, and guidance in Patagonia, guaranteed.

If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.

– John Hemingway

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 

Arrive in Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas today. The flight from Santiago is simply beautiful: You will fly right over the Southern Patagonian Ice eld, the 3rd largest freshwater reserve on the planet composed of 220 miles of ice (17,000 cubic miles), forming one of the most dramatic landscapes on earth. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the Cabo de Hornos hotel, located in Punta Arenas Main Square. The rest of the day is yours to recover from the international flights. You can visit the interesting museums (great for learning the history of the now-extinct Patagonia Natives), and enjoy walks along the streets of this, the southernmost former city on the planet.

Overnight: Hotel Cabo de Hornos. No Meals.

Day 2

Free morning in Punta Arenas – Board Australis

After breakfast, you will have some free time to explore Punta Arenas before boarding your first class ship, the M/V Stella Australis.

Check in at 1398 Costanera del Estrecho Ave. (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your Australis cruise departure.

Board the vessel at 6 PM. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night you cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as you enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Overnight: M/V Stella Australis. B, L, D and Open Bar.

Day 3 

Ainsworth Bay – Tuckers Islets

By dawn, the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. You go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving our Ainsworth Bay tour behind, you sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, you board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor.

Overnight Stella Australis. B, L, D and Open Bar

Day 4

Pia Glacier – Glacier Alley

Overnight you sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel, and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning you are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour. After disembarking you take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

Back on board the ship, you continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain, and France.

Overnight Stella Australis. B, L, D, and Open Bar.

Day 5

To UNESCO Cape Horn, the legendary “end of the world”, and Wulaia Bay

During the morning you cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, you shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition — and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland — Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the “End of the Earth.” The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005.

In the afternoon you navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where human history is just as compelling as the natural environment.  This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station — which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area — passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of di culty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these, you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.

Overnight: O/N Stella Australis. B, L, D and Open Bar.

Day 6

Disembark-Tour The Estancia-Rio Grande City

Early in the morning, you will say goodbye to Stella Australis and disembark at Ushuaia, Argentina. Meet your Argentinian Guide and drive to Estancia Las Hijas. Enjoy a delicious lunch and a tour of the Estancia. If you desire you can birdwatch. After this, you will drive to Rio Grande City and check in at Grande Hotel.

Overnight: Grande Hotel. B, L.

Day 7

King Penguin Park – Tierra del Fuego

After breakfast, you will drive to the Chilean Border, then you will arrive at the King Penguin Park, a private reserve wherein 2011, a king penguin colony established itself; this is the only one found outside of South Georgia and Antarctica. You will enjoy close sightings of this species, arguably the most beautiful penguin on earth. You will enjoy lunch at Porvenir. Check-in in your hotel.

Overnight Hotel Cabo de Hornos. B, L.

Day 8

Torres del Paine National Park – Explora

You will be picked up and travel to UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Torres del Paine National Park. This is a drive-on comfortable van, that will be broken up by lunch, and panoramic stops.

Torres del Paine is one of the world’s most spectacular national parks. It is an unrivaled landscape of jagged peaks, impossibly blue lakes, iceberg-loaded rivers, and pampas filled with guanacos. It has the highest density of Andean condors and South American pumas in the world. Its unique microclimate creates high temperatures up to 82 F, but part of its beauty is that one can experience the four seasons every day.

Once in the park, you will travel to its heart, where the award-winning Explora hotel is located. Explora, our home for the next four nights, is recognized as one of the best expedition hotels in the world, by far the finest in the area, and a winner of so many awards it would be hard to mention them all here. Food is great and services are exceptional. Staying at Explora is a true highlight of the expedition. Please check the accommodations sections of this booklet for more details.

You will arrive in time to enjoy, and photograph, one of the greatest sunsets you have ever seen.

Overnight Explora Patagonia. B, L, D, and Open Bar

Day 9, 10 & 11

Torres del Paine – Explora Base

Torres del Paine is big, the activities are plenty, and its weather is unpredictable. That is why we suggest four nights and days in the park for a complete and memorable experience.

Also, and for the same reasons, we have selected Explora hotel, the only upscale property located in the middle of the park. With Explora we have secured the shortest drives to each destination, thus maximizing the time to explore and enjoy. Also, Explora is right in front of Pehoe Lake and the Paine Horns. Sunsets and Sunrises are spectacular.

During your days at Explora Torres del Paine, you will have a varied menú of small-group activities to choose from (No more tan 6 participants), all guided by well trained Explora local guides: From birdwatching, soft walking, horseback riding (The horse operation is top class) hiking, and even demanding hiking (You may even choose to climb to the base of the Paine Towers). It doesn’t matter what your level of fitness is, you will find the right excursions to explore the highlights of the park, at your pace.

You have included, every day, two half day excursions or one full day. All activities are planned daily based on the weather conditions and the guests interests. The hotel also has an indoors pool (With incredible vistas), hot tubs, lecture rooms (Daily lectures are offered) and a great lounge with several fireplaces.

All meals are included, and you will be amazed at the quality of them. They are served paired with an assortment of Chilean wines (included), and you will also have access to the open bar. Your days at Torres del Paine using Explora as your base will remain in your memory as some of the most beautiful and rewarding of your life.

Overnight Explora Patagonia. B, L, D and Open Bar

Day 12

Drive to Punta Arenas and fly back to the US

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic drive from Torres del Paine back to Punta Arenas, and then fly to Santiago de Chile and connect with your flight back home.

B, L.

Lodgings

Explora Hotel

On the shores of Lake Pehoe and beside the Salto Chico waterfall, right in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park, it has breathtaking views of the Paine ridge and the granite towers. Its construction is based around essential luxuries, allowing the traveler to inhabit the remote location in its essence without distractions. Explora Patagonia has won several architecture and tourism awards since 1996.

The Ship: M/V Stella Australis

Built in 2010, the M.V. Stella Australis has 100 outside-facing cabins and was made specifically to cruise the spectacular Patagonian waterways. All cabins are the same size and feature a large window, an ensuite bathroom, and individual temperature controls. Cabins are available on three levels: Category A on the second level, Category AA on the third level, and Category AAA on the fourth level. Facilities aboard include an open deck, three lounges, a library, a game room, an exercise room, a single seating dining room, and an infirmary. 

Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Chaparri Ecolodge is located in the dry forests of northern Peru. It provides a tranquil escape in a spectacular landscape of the foothills of the Andes, with excellent wildlife viewing. It is a communal award-winning project. Even though basic, the sta is truly warm. The 6 Rooms available are clean, feature en suite bathrooms, solar hot water, and electricity. Food is served on a simple terrace. A stream pool and hammocks are available. No AC (One night stay).

When to go

The best ideal opportunity to visit Chilean Patagonia is November to early Walk (mid-year in the southern side of the equator). Despite the fact that you’ll contend with hefty groups during this pinnacle season, the climate is ideal for investigating Torres del Paine Public Park and Tierra del Fuego. September, October, and November (spring) welcome brilliant sprouts, while Walk, April, and May (fall) introduce pre-winter tints. The two seasons experience gentle temperatures and fewer groups. Try not to visit in June and August (winter), when most attractions close and Southern Chilean Patagonia purges out. Anyways, make sure to pack layers and a tough coat to protect yourself from Patagonia’s crisp all-year winds.

Recommended Expeditions

Madagascar Private

Madagascar Private

DURATION

11 DAYS

PRICING

QUOTE

WHEN

Apr to Oct

DESTINATION

Madagascar

TYPE

PRIVATE

Madagascar

Set like a jewel in the western Indian Ocean, the Island of Madagascar holds the world record for endemic species. New Paths Expeditions is proud to bring to you the opportunity to explore it following the most complete itinerary offered today – you will visit the center, south, west, east, and north of the Island – guaranteeing the greatest possible sightings of the most iconic, and some of the most elusive, wildlife species of Madagascar.

This expedition has been crafted in detail and will genuinely amaze wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

On this page, you will find our most preferred itinerary, one that we have tailored through our 20 years of experience on the Island. The itinerary may be customized to fit your interests, needs, and time.
Call us not at 888 832 7280, or contact the destination specialist at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • 90% of the Madagascar flora and fauna are endemic.
  • Visit 9 protected areas (national and private) encompassing the most complete Madagascar itinerary available today.
  • Observe over 20 species of Lemurs in their natural hábitat.
  • Superb bird watching with plenty of native species.
  • The biggest diversity of chameleons on earth.
  • Private Flights.
  • Outstanding wildlife photography.
  • Enjoy the intimacy of a truly small group of like-minded, experienced travelers.
  • Escorted by a New Local Master Guide.
  • Ideal expedition pacing using the best possible accommodations and first-class transport.

The most complete itinerary to explore the Island of endemics, Madagascar. One of the greatest wildlife expeditions on earth. A wildlife photographer’s dream!

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

THE FOLLOWING ITINERARY IS OUR PREFERRED ONE, BUT IT CAN BE MODIFIED TO FIT YOUR NEEDS AND INTERESTS. CONTACT A SPECIALIST NOW. CLICK HERE

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 

Arrive Antananarivo (Tana)

Upon your arrival in Tana (Antananarivo) you will be met by your Expedition Leader and taken to the Palissandre Hotel. You will be able to rest and relax after your journey at this centrally located hotel, which is considered the best in town and has beautiful views of the city center, a comfortable restaurant, bars, and even a spa among other amenities.

Overnight at Palissandre Hotel (D).

Day 2

Antananarivo, Lemurs’ Park, and Birding for endemics

After a good breakfast, a full day of sightseeing awaits you in Tana and the surrounding areas. The beginning of the day includes a pre-departure briefing by your Senior Leader and Local Naturalist Guide. Then you will continue with a drive around the city, where you will be introduced to the points of greatest interest, and will also have a chance to see how Malagasies live in nearby villages. There are plenty of photo opportunities for you during the panoramic excursion.

You will then reach the Lemurs’ Park, which is approximately 12 miles outside Tana. This important and well-managed project is a private park where orphan lemurs are raised for an eventual release back to the wild. The park is a lush botanical setting and provides great sightings of multiple lemur species. After lunch and some rest, you will depart towards the Tsarasaotra Bird Sanctuary. Right in Tana, it is home to dozens of different species, including multiple endemics. The park provides a quiet and beautiful retreat from the city proper.

Overnight at Palissandre Hotel (B, L, D).

Day 3 

Tana to Berenty Reserve

Today you will leave Tana on a morning flight to Fort Dauphin. Once you land, you will have a 4-hour drive over some rather challenging roads in order to get to the Berenty Reserve. You will undoubtedly be greeted once you arrive by some of the ring-tailed lemurs, which are plentiful here; some of these may well be mothers carrying their adorable young on their backs. After arriving and checking in, enjoy some free time with your Leader and Guide to photographing the multiple lemurs that roam the lodge grounds. A talk by your Local Naturalist follows. You will enjoy dinner before embarking on a night excursion in the forest.

The Berenty Reserve not only is home to 6 species of these unique primates but also to a large colony of Madagascan flying fox. Strolling through the reserve will provide you with panoramic landscapes of ancient tamarind trees and riverine forest. The rather bizarre, but extremely interesting Spiny Forest is also to be found on the reserve. Over 100 bird species can be seen here, and many of them nest at the reserve as well. You will be staying at the Berenty Lodge, which provides simple clean, and comfortable chalets with air conditioning, but so designed and arranged that you never lose sight of the fact that you are right in the center of a Madagascar forest. Lemurs will be, literally, everywhere! The simple but comfortable main lodge at Berenty has a tea garden, restaurant, and bar, and the Malagasy food served is quite good.

Overnight at Berenty Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 4

Complete Exploration of Berenty Reserve Ecosystems

A full day exploring the two ecosystems that Berenty offers. The morning’s nature hikes will provide you with plenty of opportunities to see lemurs. It is guaranteed that you will see Verreaux’s sifakas (dancing lemur) dancing from tree to tree and peering at you from around the trunks. It’s also likely that you will be able to spot some of the rarer red-fronted brown lemurs, which are also a diurnal species. At any time during your hike, you may hear the loud and distinctive calls of one of the couas, birds native to Madagascar.

The daytime is also a good time to look for chameleons, those gentle and amusing jesters of Madagascar, the Madagascan flying fox, a species of bat which hangs from the trees as they await the coming of the night to go in search of fruit, and also an impressive number of unique insects and plants.

Evening and nighttime hikes will enable you to see the animals which only come out during the hours of darkness. This is the time when the white-footed sportive lemur and the diminutive grey mouse lemur, with its large eyes and ears, may be sighted as they come out to hunt for food. An optional visit to the Ethnographic Museum and Textile Collection is also included.

Overnight at Berenty Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 5

Kirindy Village

After an optional early birding tour, visit the Berenty museum then transfer to Ifotaka airstrip for a charter flight to Morondava (about 3h30 flight). Upon arrival, late lunch at Palissandre Cote Ouest. Then, drive to Baobab avenue for sunset, before driving ahead to Kirindy (60 Km/2h).

Overnight at Relais Du Kirindy (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kirindy, Marofandilia

Most of the day will be devoted to exploring the Kirindy Forest; a private nature reserve. The Kirindy is a dry, deciduous forest and is part of one of the most severely threatened ecosystems on Madagascar. This forest is in one of the more out-of-the-way places in Madagascar and receives fewer visitors than most areas. It abounds in all sorts of life, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Seven species of lemur make this forest their home, and it also provides sanctuary for the giant jumping rat. The fossa, Madagascar’s largest mammalian predator, is also found in Kirindy, and searching for it will be one of the day’s priorities. One of the more spectacular ground birds of Madagascar, the giant coua is also found here. This bird has bright blue skin around its eyes and a white throat shading into a roseate breast. Approximately 2 feet long, it is the largest member of the cuckoo family.

Overnight at Relais Du Kirindy (B, L, D).

Day 7

Antananarivo

After an early breakfast, drive back to Baobab avenue for photos. Lunch at Palissandre Cote Ouest, then transfer to Morondava airport for your flight back to Tana with Tsaradia’s regular flight.

Overnight at Palissandre Hotel & Spa (B, L).

Day 8

Tana, King’s Palace

Tana has 12 sacred hills around it, and the day excursion will take you to Ambohimanga Hill, the site of the ruins of the Palace of King Andriaanampoinimerina, built for him by his father, Andriamasinavalona. It is a humble but much interesting palace, that will allow you to understand the unique history of this fascinating country. We will also drive around farming fields, spend time with locals, and enjoy a simple but delicious lunch in a local cottage with great views of the valley.

Overnight at Palissandre Hotel & Spa (B, L, D).

Day 9

Chameleons and The Cloud Forest of Madagascar

Drive 3 hours to Andasibe, along the way stop at Peyreiras Reserve, where you will be able to observe and photograph a great number of the endemic reptiles and amphibians of Madagascar.

Arrive in Berenty and lodge at the beautiful Eulophiella Hotel, at night time enjoy walking the forest.

Overnight at Eulophiella Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 10

Andasibe National Park

Your Senior Leader will take you on an exploration of the Andasibe National Park. Even though you will certainly meet lemurs of all kinds here – the bamboo lemur, the brown lemur, and the black & white lemur, the main objective of the day will be to spot the indri indri, the largest lemur of them all. The trails to spot the indri are beautiful, and other than the lemurs, they provide great birding opportunities, superb reptile sightings, and magnificent botanizing. After lunch visit to the Vakona Private Reserve, a section of the property dedicated to providing shelter to lemurs that were displaced by the loss of their habitat, mainly by mining activities.

Overnight at Eulophiella Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 11

Tana

After breakfast, we will drive to Tana, then you will be taken to Palissandre Hotel. Enjoy a farewell dinner with Valiha music. You may decide to fly tonight, or the next day. Your hotel overnight is included.

Overnight at Palissandre Hotel & Spa (B, L).

Day 12

Fly home

Today, after breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly back to the U.S, or continue with the Nosy Be Extension.

Lodgings

Palissandre Hotel & Spa

Located on a hillside, in the center of Antananarivo, Palissandre is a 4-star hotel and is a perfect base to discover Antananarivo. It features an outdoor pool, a spa, and a restaurant with a terrace offering panoramic city views. Free WiFi access is available. The rooms are particularly small (16m2) and are equipped with a TV, telephone, mini-bar and air conditioning. You can enjoy city and pool views from the room. The restaurant serves local and French cuisine. Guests can enjoy drinks, cocktails, and snacks.

Berenty Lodge

Built-in harmony with the environment, but without renouncing comfort, Berenty Lodge rooms feature air conditioning, ceiling fans, and hot running water. The Berenty not only provides you with good lodging but gives you the chance to observe Lemurs right outside your door and very close access to two distinct types of forest.

Croix Du Sud Hotel

A modern and comfortable small hotel, the Croix du Sud supplies you with clean rooms that include a TV, air conditioning, ceiling fans and hot running water. All rooms look to a small central garden. WiFi is available in the lobby.

Relais De Plateaux

This small hotel has been selected due to its close to the airport location. Rooms are comfortable, with air conditioning, hot running water, minibar, kettle for tea or coffee, and a hairdryer. A full-service restaurant and dining room are in the hotel, as well as a bar. Rooms also come with a minibar, kettle for tea or coffee, and hairdryer.

Relais Du Kirindy

The Kirindy Forest has very limited accommodations and this new hotel is a gamechanger. Accommodation consists of 20 simple, neat, en-suite bungalows, constructed out of wood and other natural materials. Windows are netted with gauze. The lodge has a spacious, open-air restaurant where meals served incorporate Malagasy and European-styled dishes and a swimming pool. It’s by far the best option in Kirindy, the most threatened habitat of Madagascar.

Eulophiella Lodge

Eulophiella Lodge is close to Andasibe National Park. The setting is beautiful, with grounds interspersed with palms, windy stone paths, and little wooden bridges, and each of the bungalows are spaced out for privacy. Eulophiella Lodge provides all the peace and tranquillity you could want when exploring the Madagascan rainforest.

When to go

The best time to visit Madagascar is from April to October. This dry season brings fewer rain showers, meaning optimal conditions for observing animals, hiking and participating in water sports activities. Although accommodation rates are higher at this time, properties will be easier to access due to the country’s roads being clear. Temperatures will also be more comfortable than they are during the wet season.

 

QUESTIONS?

Talk to our specialist! We have 20 years of experience leading natural history expeditions in Madagascar.

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Southern India Private

Southern India Private

DURATION

14 DAYS

WHEN

Sep-Mar

DESTINATION

India

TYPE

SMALL GROUP SAFARI

Southern India

Discover the backwaters, tea plantations, spice markets, incredible temples, and the wildlife in the National Parks in search of tigers, elephants, and more in this amazing trip, get yourself ready as you experience the highlights of Southern India. Our expedition is designed to let you experience it all, the diverse wildlife and the unique local culture.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • 4 National Parks
  • More wildlife
  • Less driving on bad roads
  • 3 Small plane flights
  • The most beautiful drives are included
  • Window seats guaranteed during drives
  • The best lodging available
  • Gorilla, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys
  • Close contact with local culture
  • Multiple private boat excursions
  • The best naturalist guides
  • NPE Senior Leader with you
  • Rwanda Extension with Gorillas and Golden Monkeys
  • The best pricing in the market

Travel far enough, you meet yourself.

– David Mitchell

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

DAY 1

Arrive in Bangalore

Upon your arrival at Bangalore airport, our tour representative will welcome you at the airport arrival lounge & transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight at Gold Finch (Meals Aloft)

Day 2

Bangalore – Mysore

After breakfast drive to Mysore (3 hrs.)

Mysore is the third-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India, and it served as the capital city of the Mysore Princely Kingdom (Kingdom of Mysore) for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. Mysore is noted for its palaces, including Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city is host to large numbers of visitors.

The city also lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban), and the garment known as the Mysore silk sari.

Late afternoon visit to Mysore Palace, which is one of the finest Royal Palaces in India. Mysore Palace is a magnificent and beautiful building. It is especially impressive when its façade is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The interior of the Palace is equally extraordinary with its spacious halls, called Mantaps, paintings, and overall architectural beauty.

Mysore Palace is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture; the domes and the outside construction show

Muslim influence, but the interior of the Palace is a fine example of Hindu architecture. Together, it is a delightful aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim artistic styles.

Although the present palace is only a little over a century old, there is clear evidence showing that a royal structure existed at the present location even before the two Yadu dynasty princes, Yaduraya and Krishnaraya, came to Mysore in 1399 A.D.

Overnight at Royal Orchid Metropole (B, L, D)

Day 3

Mysore – Kabini (Nagarhole)

Early morning excursion to Ranganathithu bird sanctuary. Ranganathittu covers an area of fewer than 1 sq. km, but has a very high density of bird populations, making this a premium viewing site. The most common birds in the sanctuary are painted storks, spoonbills, white ibises, egrets, herons, and partridges. Most of the birds stay on tiny islands within the river and can be approached by boat.
The Kaven River, which runs through the sanctuary, is also home to a few crocodiles.
Later drive to Nagarhole National Park (2 hrs.)
Nagarhole is the perfect getaway for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike; a place rich in forests, little streams, undulating valleys, and fascinating waterfalls. Nagarhole is a haven for many wild animals and is one of the last safe asylums for Asian elephants. Visiting Nagarhole would undoubtedly be an ethereal experience – a trip to paradise and back, and one never to be forgotten.
The misty Brahmagiri Mountains form a perfect backdrop to the natural sounds of the jungle and the murmuring of the streams and rivers. The snake-like river that winds through the forests is the source of the name of the reserve; ‘Naga’ signifying snake and ‘Hole’ meaning river, it is derived from the Kannada language of the region. Nagarhole is a place of never-ending enchantment, due to the extensive number of species found there including four-horned antelope, panther, warblers, hornbills, spotted deer, mouse deer, pangolin, gaur, and giant flying squirrel among many others.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 4

Nagarhole

Morning Jungle Safari in the park via shared jeep or canter. Later enjoy a short coracle ride on the Kabini River. A coracle is a small, maneuverable country boat that is ideal for game viewing in this park.

Night Trails: As night descends upon the Kabini landscape, a whole world of nocturnal life emerges. Those of you not lured by after-dinner television can explore nature around the resort at night, armed only with flashlights and a spirit of adventure. Naturalists will escort you around the areas just outside the resort, and close to the Kabini’s shoreline. This is where you will encounter the fascinating nocturnal world of beetles, spiders, owls, moths, lizards, and even plants as you partake in this unusual nighttime expedition.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 5

Nagarhole

Morning Nature Walk: A guided Nature Walk is one of the best ways to explore the treasures of nature. A naturalist will unravel the beauty of birds, insects, trees, and wildflowers on this expedition. The walk would take you along the banks of the Kabini river, and then through the scrub and fields along the nearby village roads.

During the afternoon, you will cruise through the serene backwaters of the Kabini River on a motorboat, viewing sleepy crocodiles and chirpy birds, busy with their morning catch. You will have the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife, including elephants, coming to the river for a bath or a drink.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kabini – Bandipur National Park

After your leisurely breakfast, we will drive to Bandipur National Park (2 hrs.)

Serai-Bandipur, unlike any other resort in the region, is situated very close to the Bandipur National Park. Because Serai- Bandipur rubs shoulders with the Bandipur National Park, it provides an experience quite unlike anything you’ve ever

experienced. It isn’t uncommon to hear the calls of wild animals and the trumpeting of elephants as they pass by the resort.

Among other things, the Serai -Bandipur offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the magnificent Nilgiris Mountains. Look out of your bedroom window, and you’ll be presented with a perpetually changing view of the Nilgiris. Bandipur National Park teems with wildlife and provides a safe haven to a wide variety of animals, including the four-horned antelope, gaur, Asiatic elephant, leopard, sloth bear, black napped hare, black leopard, and a host of bird species like the barbet, babbler, warbler, and the Indian peafowl.

Upon arrival in Bandipur, check in to the hotel. Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 7

Bandipur National Park

Morning and afternoon shared jeep/canter in search of the wildlife in this beautiful park. You will have the option to hire a bicycle from the resort to go on cycle trails around the resort and enjoy bird watching. For those who enjoy staying up a bit later, there is stargazing in the evening under the clear skies.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 8

Bandipur – Wayanad

After an early morning Safari and a delicious breakfast, drive to Wayanad (2 hrs.)

The Tranquil Resort comprises 400 acres of private coffee and spice plantation nestled in the lush forest of Wayanad; this is an exotic location in Kerala. The name says it all, the Tranquil Resort is a small private estate that offers a luxurious homelike experience surrounded by an environment of exquisite ecological beauty and unending relaxation.

The elegant suites & tree villas enjoy a panoramic overview of the coffee plantation. This resort offers you your own personal and private sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life. In addition to simply relaxing, you can also enjoy leisurely walks and bird watching in and around the plantation. The main cropping season for coffee and areca nut is between mid-January – mid-March, and at this time, the plantation buzzes with activity.

In addition to a pool and Ayurvedic massages, the Tranquil Resort also offers nature walks. You can choose from 12 different routes ranging from “Braveheart” to “Teaser” walks. Guests are provided with walk maps and the routes are well marked out with signboards.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 9

Wayanad

Full day free to enjoy activities in and around Wayanad.

Afternoon activities include a coffee plantation visit. Wayanad has a successful spice cultivation program, and visiting those who grow spices in the area is now a part of the district’s development plan. The idea of the spice tour was conceived as an alternative source of income for small scale farmers and planters in Wayanad. Spice tours are also arranged to provide an introduction to the spice growers’ lifestyle to travelers.

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 10

Wayanad – Cochin

After breakfast drive to Kochi (7 hrs.)

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

In the evening visit Kathakali Dance theatre for a live performance of the famous Kathakali dance show. Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala, and the impressive facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves that will leave one spellbound.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 11

Cochin

Morning sightseeing tour of Cochin city visiting Bolghatty Palace, St Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue (remains closed on Friday & Saturday), Dutch Palace (Mattancherry) (remains closed on Friday).

You will also get to see the iconic Chinese fishing nets, Cheenavala, that is unique to this city. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, not in China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood using these massive nets, with a whole stretch of the coast along with Fort Kochi and Vypeen being dotted with them.

Your tour concludes with a visit to Fort Cochin – a small community in itself. Since it is a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in the south of India, Kochi Fort of Kerala is one of the most significant towns in the state. One can see a unique blend of Dutch and Portuguese influences in Fort Cochin, due to the colonial occupation of Cochin for many years

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 12

Cochin – Houseboat

After breakfast drive to Alleppey (1 hr.) to board Houseboat, on arrival check-in at Houseboat.

Sail along with the meandering network of Kerala backwaters, witness the exceptional water world, and experience its countless gems. Just before sunset, the Houseboat ties up for the night & dinner is served onboard.

Overnight onboard Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 13

Houseboat – Kumarakom

Following breakfast on board, drive to Kumarakom (1 1⁄2 hrs.). On arrival in Kumarakom, check-in at the hotel, Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort (B, L, D)

Day 14

Kumarakom & fly home

After breakfast on time transfer to Cochin airport to connect flight for onward destination.

(B)

Lodgings

Goldfinch Hotel – Bangalore

Goldfinch Hotel Bangalore is centrally located in Bangalore. This boutique hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Free Wi-Fi is available. Fully air-conditioned, rooms at Goldfinch are fitted with flat-screen cable/satellite TV, sofa, and work desk. Tea/coffee making facilities and a mini-bar are also included. Free bottled water is provided. Kebab Studio and Banjara Restaurant feature all-day dining and a buffet of international dishes. The hotel’s sports bar offers drinks and big-screen viewing for sports enthusiasts.

Royal Orchid Metropole – Mysore

Royal Orchid Metropole offers modern amenities in a heritage building, featuring 4-star accommodations in a former Maharajah’s residence. It features an outdoor pool and fitness center. Spacious rooms at Metropole feature wooden four-poster beds and private balconies with views of tropical greenery. Rooms have dining and seating areas. Metropole Royal Orchid has a well-equipped business center and a tour desk that helps with travel arrangements. Shikari serves a range of barbecued dishes and local specialties, accompanied by views of the hotel’s tropical gardens. Room service is available.

The Serai – Kabini

This 4-star resort sits on the banks of the Kabini River. It features an outdoor pool and a hot tub and is well-located for wildlife watching. The Serai Kabini offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms and villas which feature views of the Kabini River from either private or shared patios. The private bathrooms all include a hairdryer and free toiletries. A free breakfast is served each day at the Wild Grass restaurant, which also serves Indian, Western, and Chinese cuisine. Room service is also available. Guests can use the free weights or cardio equipment at the fitness center or relax at the resort’s spa with a massage treatment. The staff at the 24-hour front desk can provide dry cleaning and laundry facilities.

Tranquil Resort – Wayanad

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric teapot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

Eighth Bastion  – Kochi

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric tea pot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

When to go

The best time to visit most of India is during the cool, dry season, between November and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ideal at this time of year, and temperatures in Goa and central India remain comfortable.

The heat of the south is never less than intense but it becomes stifling in May and June. Aim to be in Tamil Nadu and Kerala between January and March.

However, from March onwards, the Himalayas grow more accessible for hikers. The trekking season reaches its peak in August and September while the rest of the Subcontinent is being soaked by the rains.

By September, the monsoon has largely receded from the north, but it takes another couple of months before the clouds disappear altogether from the far south. The east coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and the south of Kerala, get a second drenching between October and December, when the “northwest” or “retreating” monsoon sweeps in from the Bay of Bengal. By December, however, most of the Subcontinent enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Papua New Guinea Private

Papua New Guinea Private

DURATION

14 DAYS

WHEN

Apr to Oct

DESTINATION

Papua NG

TYPE

PRIVATE

Papua New Guinea

New Paths Expeditions has 19 years of exploring the remote corners of Papua New Guinea and we have used our vast experience to craft the ideal itinerary, one that will expose you to the natural and cultural wonders of the land of the unexpected.

An expedition to PNG is a true trip to the stone age.

We navigate the Sepik River remote headwaters on board a very comfortable 16 person ship to encounter the Crocodile men.

We will spend time at the Karawari River in search of the Twelve wired Bird of Paradise.

Then it is to the Tari Highlands to meet the Huli Wigmen and birdwatch at the amazing Tari Gap.

Then it is to Mount Hagen to participate at the Mount Hagen Sing Sing, the biggest and greatest tribal gathering in the world. This is an experience that will change your life forever.

SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EXPEDITION

  • Port Moresby complete tour
  • Pre-Hagen Sing Sing (Intimate and with fewer tourists)
  • The Mount Hagen Sing Sing (The biggest tribal even on Earth)
  • Tari Gap for Birds of Paradise and other wildlife
  • Huli Wigmen
  • Crocodile Men of the Sepik Headwaters
  • Enjoy birding in search of Birds of Paradise
  • Sepik Spirit Navigation
  • Upper Karawari River & Lodge and more
  • Amazing private flights

Exploring PNG is traveling to the stone age, and to enjoy one of the most magnificent wildlife anywhere

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

A 14 DAY EXPEDITION TO MEET CROCODILE PEOPLE, THE HULI WIGMEN, SEARCH FOR BIRDS OF PARADISE, JOIN THE BIGGEST TRIBAL GATHERING IN THE WORLD, AND MUCH MORE FROM US$ 10850 EXCLUDING FLIGHTS

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 

Arrive in Port Moresby

Arrive today in Port Moresby. After clearing immigration and customs and exiting the arrival lounge, you will meet our representatives and check-in at the Airways Hotel, the best hotel in Papua New Guinea, located just 5 minutes from the airport.

Use the rest of the day to rest and recover from your flight. Later, join your Senior Expedition Leader for a cocktail, a complete expedition briefing, and orientation followed by dinner at the hotel’s poolside restaurant.

Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing (D)

Day 2

Charter Flight to Karawari – Embark Sepik Spirit

Transfer from your hotel to Jackson’s airport for your flight to Mt Hagen. At Mount Hagen, connect with your private chartered flight to Karawari, an amazing morning flight over the highlands that later descends to the tropical rain forest of the Karawari River. Upon landing, we embark on jet boats for travel to the junction of the Karawari and Krosmary Rivers, where we plan to arrive in time for lunch on board the Sepik Spirit. This river cruiser will be our home for the next 3 days and nights. Inspired by the spirit houses of the native tribes, this is a small, intimate, and unique-looking ship, and the only one that allows for exploration of these very remote waterways.

Overnight at Sepik Spirit (B, L, D)

Day 3 & 4

Explore the Head Waters of the Sepik River

We will use these two days to explore, on our jet boats, the remote villages found on the headwaters of the Sepik River. Among the people we meet will be the Crocodile People, who were formerly cannibals. These people scar themselves in a ceremonial process to honor their totem, the crocodile, and also their ancestors. We will even be invited into the most sacred of their places – their spirit houses. If you are an art lover, you will also find traditional art to add to your collection.

Needless to say, birdwatching is fantastic both on the river and in the areas surrounding the clan villages, and we will hopefully see more birds of paradise.

Overnight at Sepik Spirit (B, L, D)

Day 5 & 6

Explore the Nature and Cultures of Karawari

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Karawari Lodge. Karawari Lodge, poised on the ridge overlooking the river and jungle-clad Sepik Basin, is a world entirely unique. The real fascinations here are the people and how they live with the land and how it molds their lives. They still live as they have for generations – rituals, sing- sings, storytelling, food gathering, and preparation. With Karawari’s carefully planned cultural program, daily visits in riverboats are made to selected villages allowing one the opportunity to be able to observe village life and customs, participate in typical daily activities and see traditional ceremonies. We will visit remote jungle waterways where we will find huge lichen and vine – festooned trees, masses of brilliant flame flowers, and a profusion of orchids. The soft dawn glimmers on these waterways and the vast plain erupts with a myriad of birds – the raucous jungle music. Dug-out canoes glide close by the river banks – stilt villages suddenly spring insight along the flowing waters. Here we will see the man and the environment as it has been for thousands of years. We also have the possibility to birdwatch for the Twelve Wired Bird of Paradise!

Overnight at Karawari Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 7 

Chartered flight to Tari – Home of the Huli

Among the highlights of this expedition are the small aircraft flights that will allow us to observe the mountains and forests of Papua New Guinea from the air. After breakfast, we will embark on our first flight towards the Tari Highlands, the territory of the Huli Wigmen.

Depending on the weather, we will either land at Ambua Lodge or at Tari Town. The latter landing will necessitate a drive of 1 1⁄2 hours to the lodge.

The Ambua Lodge is located at 7,000 feet in the Tari Gap region and borders on pristine mid-montane rainforest grading into the valley grasslands. Spring-like temperatures are the norm, as well as magnificent views of the Tari Valley. The forest canopy, a dense mass of interlocking tree tops spreads out like a green carpet with the occasional splash of bright color to provide an exhilarating setting for venturing along the graded nature trails. You’ll have the fun of crossing traditional vine bridges and discovering secluded waterfalls. Your guide will instruct you in the ways the Huli people utilize the abundant natural resources, as well as pointing out the variety of plants and animals in the forest.

The nature walk will also increase your chances of seeing up to 13 species of birds of paradise found in the vicinity of the lodge. Birds of paradise mostly display during the late afternoon, so you may be lucky enough to see the King-of-Saxony, Stephanie’s astrapia, ribbontail astrapia, and sicklebill birds of paradise during this time period.

Overnight at Ambua Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 8 & 9

Tari, Land of the Huli and Birds of Paradise

The great Tari Basin, with its surrounding mountain slopes, is the home of the Huli clans, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Southern Highlands, and one of the most culturally intact in PNG. Only discovered by the outside world in 1935, the Huli were one of the last indigenous tribes to come under government control. Fierce in warfare and merciless to opposing clans, the Huli dig huge trenches with wooden paddles to delineate clan boundaries, control the movement of pigs, and as secret passageways for warriors during clan battles.

Renowned for their elaborate wigs decorated with everlasting flowers and bird of paradise feathers, the Huli will provide you with a unique and unforgettable cultural experience, and a journey back in time. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with these proud people and experience their traditional way of life, which is still governed by their belief in ancestral spirits and sorcery.

Our two days at the lodge will be filled with early birding excursions, both at the lodge and the Tari Gap, then visits to the Huli Wigmen until it’s time for lunch, when we will return to Ambua. Afternoons can involve nature walks, birding, or more interactions with Huli men and women. And of course, you will always be able to enjoy the amazing views and gardens of Ambua Lodge.

Overnight at Ambua Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 10

To the Highlands on a Private Flight – Nature Walk

Early morning breakfast and check out for your room. Transfer to the airport in time for your charter flight to Mt. Hagen over vast tracts of highlands grasslands, besides some of the tallest mountains in the country. This is a spectacular flight. Mount Hagen town is in the upper Waghi Valley – some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world. Once in Mount Hagen, enjoy a scenic drive up the mountains to the beautiful Rondon Ridge Lodge. The views and nature that surround it are simply amazing. An afternoon guided nature walk and birding tour will enable you to explore the area surrounding the Lodge grounds in search of Birds of Paradise.

Overnight at Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)

Day 11

Pre-Show Sing Sing

In preparation to the Mount Hagen Sing Sing (Show), this gathering is attended by over 100 men and women from more than 10 tribes scattered across the highlands and mainland coastal areas. While this sing sing is relatively small in comparison to others, we will be more than compensated not only by the beautiful setting, including the stunning village location, but also by the absence of crowds of tourists; this is a meaningful, friendlier, and intimate experience for all of us.

We will be able to watch the participants prepare their bilas, or traditional dress, paint their faces and bodies, and embellish themselves with bird of paradise feathers. The group will be able to mingle with the performers and take their pictures. Once the dancing begins, we will really be able to appreciate these preparations and take part in the festivities.

Overnight at Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)

Day 12

Mount Hagen Sing Sing – Back to Port Moresby

This is one of the greatest experiences of your life. After breakfast, you will be transferred from the lodge to the showground in Mount Hagen. Today you will spend the full day at the Mount Hagen Show – world-famous for its color, culture, and vibrancy. It is a truly spectacular event where 60 to 100 tribes (Thousands of participants, all dressed in traditional customs and body paintings). The diversity of the coastal, lowland and highlands sing sing groups at the Hagen show reflects the incredible diversity of Papua New Guinea’s landscape – an unforgettable experience to all the senses, and a photographer’s dream. After the show experience, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight from Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby. Upon arrival, transfer to your modern and very comfortable hotel, located just 5 minutes away from the airport.

Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing (B, L)

Day 13

Explore Port Moresby

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the National Parliament Building, built in the style of a Spirit House. The National Museum will be our next stop where we will be able to see and appreciate the superb collection of artifacts collected from the country’s 800 different tribes.

Port Moresby’s beautiful Nature Park is a wonderful introduction to the flora and fauna of this island paradise. Not only will you meet some of the country’s wildlife such as cassowaries and tree kangaroos, but you will also be introduced to the park’s excellent and extensive orchid collection. Enjoy lunch at the gardens before visiting Hanuabada (“big village”) to see the collection of ramshackle houses built on stilts.

Once back at the hotel and after time to relax, enjoy a cocktail and farewell dinner.

Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing  (B, L, D)

Day 14

Fly Back Home

Transfer from your hotel to Jackson’s airport for your international flight. (B)

Lodgings

Airways Hotel – Port Moresby

This is the best hotel in all of Papua New Guinea. Located just 5 minutes from the airport, it not only has modern facilities but also lovely surrounding vistas. We have blocked rooms in the Bacchus Wing on the ground floor, and these are comfortable rooms with air conditioning, a safety deposit box, and modern bathrooms with all the needed amenities. The restaurants and bars on the hotel’s upper floor provide great views and the best food in the country. The Airways includes a gym and shops where fine and tribal art objects, as well as souvenirs, are available. WiFi is available in the guest rooms and lobby, but it can be slow or fail altogether temporarily.

Ambua Lodge – Tari Gap

Located at 7,000 feet in the middle of the cloud forest, Ambua Lodge not only offers beautiful common areas and fantastic food but is rightfully considered to be the best accommodation in the Tari area. The lodge staff is composed mainly of local people and is known for providing warm and friendly service. The rooms are simple, but come with electricity, electric blankets, and hot running water. There could be temporary power outages, but these do not interfere with the enjoyment of the stay, and generally service is restored quickly. The lodge gardens are simply beautiful, and the grounds and nearby nature walks provide excellent birding opportunities.

Mount Hagen – Rondon Ridge

Rondon Ridge is located 7,100ft above sea level on the fringes of the Kubor mountain range. With panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley down below, it is a great location for an exploration of the Highlands.

The lodge is a 40-minute drive from Mt Hagen town and features 24 rooms with modern en-suite bathrooms. Electricity is generated from the lodge’s own hydroelectric power plant which harnesses the power of a nearby mountain stream. There is also a bright and spacious restaurant and lounge area overlooking the forest.

Sepik Spirit – Sepik River

The Sepik Spirit is the best, and the only ship that navigates the headwaters of the Sepik River. This is a comfortable ship designed to look like a tribal spirit house and features artistic, handcrafted woodwork made by the local tribes. Air conditioning is available in all the guest rooms and the common areas. Rooms have comfortable beds, large windows, and ensuite bathrooms with hot running water. The food aboard the ship is good and the lounge cozy and relaxing. The Sepik Spirit is equipped with jet boats for exploration (please be aware that jet boat engines are loud and vibrate, so if you have sensitive ears, please include earplugs in your luggage).

Karawari Lodge – Karawari 

Perched high on the banks of the remote Karawari River, and built to resemble a spirit house, the Karawari Lodge includes an impressive collection of tribal art as well as providing beautiful vistas, especially the unforgettable, color-saturated sunsets. The lodge rooms are basic, with fans and mosquito nets. Electricity is spotty, and although it is a beautiful property, because of the rusticity of the rooms, we are staying here only one night. However, your stay will be unforgettable in a good way.

When to go

The best time to go to Papua New Guinea is from Apr-Oct, when the rains ease off somewhat. It’s never dry here though, so be prepared with lightweight waterproofs, and keep an open mind should rain stop play. Most festivals take place during the dry season, so check dates if there are any you are particularly interested in. This is also the best time to take on the Kokoda Track. Small ship cruises tend to take place at the end of the dry season, while scuba divers will enjoy good visibility and warm water all year round.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS ITINERARY

Let us know your travel requirements below and one of our specialists will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Recommended Expeditions

Colombia Private

Colombia Private

DURATION

12 DAYS

WHEN

Dec to Mar

DESTINATION

Colombia

TYPE

PRIVATE

Colombia

Colombia – a country associated with color, beauty, tropical warmth, and endless bounty. The natural riches found within its borders aren’t found here by chance, however. It’s Colombia’s rugged, broken and unique geography that makes it one of the world’s most diverse countries, a literal treasure trove of biological evolution, where this same geography has created many restricted-range species, found across Colombia’s 5 main geographical regions – Andean, Pacific, the Caribbean, Llanos (plains) and Amazon.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Explore Bogota in full, including the Gold Museum, Botero Museum and a welcome dinner at Cerro Monserrate, overlooking the city, during sunset.
  • Travel deep, by plane and 4×4, to the heart of the Colombian Llanos in search of South American mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds by boat, 4×4 and on horse (Optional).
  • Return to Bogota for a deeper immersion in the Colombian culture. Gourmet coffee tasting included.
  • Climb to the recently-opened-to-travelers Santa Marta Highlands for superb panoramas, a coffee plantation experience, and to bird watch at one of the most important habitats on earth.
  • Travel down to the Caribbean coast, to the beautiful Tayrona National Park, for more impressive birding, and to interact with the Kogi tribe. Leisure time on this remote piece of paradise is included.
  • Spend three amazing days in colonial Cartagena, one of the greatest UNESCO sites in South America.
  • 4-Day extension to the Colombian & Peruvian Amazon for superb wildlife encounters.

Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 

Arrive in Bogota.

Arrive in Bogota (8530 ft). Transfer to the hotel. Early check-in guaranteed. Rest. 2 PM Detailed brie ng and geographic orientation by your Leader. Visit the impressive Gold Museum. Visit Cerro Monserrate for sunset photographs. Early welcome dinner.

Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (Dinner) NOTE: If you wish to arrive a day early, your room will be ready and paid for, but extra transfer charges may apply.

Day 2

Fly to Yopal & Wildlife observation in Llanos Savannah.

Early AM commercial flight to Yopal. Full morning 4×4 transfer with packed breakfast to the lodge, in route we will penetrate very remote territories in the Llanos savannah with wildlife that can be spotted at any time. Lunch at the lodge. PM: Boat ride (2-3 hrs), and Safari. Sunset over Llanos + introductory talk. Dinner at the lodge.

Overnight at Juan Solito Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 3 

The Llanos Wildlife.

4×4 Wildlife search excursion (Horseback riding available if desired). Typical lunch at the lodge. PM: at leisure to relax. Nighttime wildlife excursion. Dinner at the lodge followed by folklore show.

Overnight at Juan Solito Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 4

Birding & Visit to La Aurora original farmhouse

Possible fishing if wished. Lunch at the lodge. Early PM: Transfer to Yopal and flight to Bogota. Transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (B, L)

Day 5

Bogota City Tour

Bogota city tour; Botero Museum, Plaza de Bolivar, and La Candelaria walking tour. Upscale coffee sampling included. PM: short rest time followed by a visit to Usaquen township for arts, crafts, and local culture. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6

Fly to Santa Marta – Birding time at Mica on route to the lodge

Morning transfer to the airport. Fly to Santa Marta and transfer to the Lodge (5 hrs). This drive climbs from sea level to over 7217 ft asl up a winding mountain road. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch at a co ee plantation, and to learn all about Colombian coffee. Check-in and rest at the lodge. PM: Late birding for endemics in the reserve. Dinner.

Overnight at El Dorado Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 7

Cuchilla de San Lorenzo

Drive up to the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo gap, for more birdwatching, nature walks, and outstanding views. Lunch at the lodge. PM: Leisure birding around the lodge or enjoy a nature walk and panorama photography. Dinner.

Overnight at El Dorado Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 8

To a Remote Corner of the Caribbean

AM: Optional early AM birding for those interested. After a leisure breakfast, drive down to the coast, arriving at our beach and jungle hotel for lunch. Evening at leisure to enjoy the beautiful setting. Short lecture followed by dinner.

Overnight at Villa Maria (B, L, D)

Day 9

Tayrona National Park and the Kogi Tribe

At 7.30 AM, transfer to Tayrona National Park for morning birding. Return to the hotel for lunch and then visit a Kogi settlement and interact with this fascinating human group. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight at Villa Maria (B, L, D)

Day 10

The Caribbean Coast and Cartagena

7 AM: Transfer to Cartagena along the coast highway (5 hrs). Lunch. PM: City tour part 1. Free time to explore and photograph Cartagena.

Overnight at Tcherassi Hotel & Spa (B, L, D)

Day 11

Cartagena

Complete Cartagena tour including Barrio Manga, Popa Monastery, Saint Philip Castle, The Vaults. Farewell dinner in a cozy upscale restaurant.

Overnight at Tcherassi Hotel & Spa (B, L, D)

Day 12

Fly Home

Time to further explore Cartagena until your transfer to the airport to catch the flight back to the US (B)

Lodgings

Bogota: The B.O.G. Hotel

A new and very stylish luxury hotel located in the heart of Bogota’s Chico sector and between the Zona ‘T’ and Zona ‘Rosa’ nightlife districts which o er the very best regarding restaurants, bars, and shopping centers.

Your comfortable room offers a wide space including a work desk, hydro-massage shower, 500 thread count bedding, and subtle details that help create the perfect balance to live the B.O.G. Hotel experience. Wi wireless is available from the commodity of your room.

La Aurora: Juan Solito Lodge

This lodge, part of a working ranch and private wildlife reserve, o ers very basic accommodations given its location at over 5 hours from the nearest city (Yopal). There is no hot water here, but temperatures dictate that nobody complains about the lukewarm showers. Bathrooms are private, and furniture is basic. Everything is very clean. Mosquito nets are provided for each bed. Food is full board.

Due to its remote location, no wi-fi is available.

Santa Marta: El Dorado Lodge

This is Colombia’s most beautiful location for a lodge. We have selected rooms, which are small and basic, but clean and with great views. Rooms are in a wood cabin type building with amazing views over the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the Caribbean Sea can be seen on a clear day. The rooms are cool, given the lodge’s altitude.

They also have “The Kogihabs” their new constructions with morning panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada itself. Even though we love the Kogihabs, they are located at about a 15 minutes inclined walk from the main house of the lodge. Because of this, we have only blocked 4 of the Kogihabs. Please let us know if you would like to enjoy the beautiful Kogihabs (If you are a hiker, this rooms would be perfect for you)

Free wi-fi access is available in the social parts of the Lodge, though service could fail.

Tayrona: Villa Maria Lodge

Villa Maria combines natural beauty with the comfort of a luxurious resort and the intimacy of your personal country retreat. Surrounded by lush jungle overlooking the Caribbean ocean. A 5-minute walk through a jungle path takes you to the virgin, white sand beach. All rooms are quite beautiful, with AC. This is the best hotel close to Tayrona National Park, and we have selected ocean view rooms for all our guests. Wi is available, though, due to the remoteness of the lodge, service could fail. Please also note that the beach, even though particularly beautiful, may provide choppy waters.


When to go

The best time for the country as a whole is between December and March as it rains the least during these months, especially in the Andean regions. The rainy season hits the Andes between May to July and October to December when heavy rains can fall on a daily basis though they’re usually followed by bright sunshine. Elsewhere, the Caribbean coast experiences its heaviest rainfall in September and October, and is relatively dry for the rest of the year while the lowlands experience little variation with a tropical climate.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

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