This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.
Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.
Responsible tourism: Costa Rica activity vacation
It is paramount that guests are encouraged to use and buy local products.
Internally our partners encourage reusing, recycling and generally doing their best to reduce the overall impact our operation has on the environment. Our colleagues participate in the Certification in Sustainable Tourism (CST) program which rates businesses on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.
Advising travelers to reduce impact: In every welcome packet that we give to our clients, we put out brochures with environmental information.
Office practice Our Environmental Policies are to turn off the computer when not using in long periods, also the monitor is programmed to turn off after 15 minutes of inactive movement and after 60 minutes is programmed to the mode Stand by, our wallpaper is black for saving energy, the last one to leave the office has to check that everything is turned off.
For our tours, our guides after every journey bring a bag with all the recycling to the nearest hotel that has a recycling plan and recycling disposals. In our facility we recycle materials and reuse some of them too. We print on both sides of the paper. Every recycled material is given to the Municipalidad de Corredores de San José. The toners of ink we use are given to Grupo Ecológico.
In our facility we use fluorescent light bulbs, we maximize energy by opening doors and windows, our walls are painted with light colors. We don’t use air conditioning or fans. We have the policy to turn off the tap when we’re soaping. For the toilets we implement a plastic bottle filled with sand in the toilet tank so it doesn’t use so much water.
We work with our local tour agents and we focus on delivering unique services while supporting sustainable practices. This includes providing the client with opportunities to interact with local communities whenever possible. Family run restaurants and businesses are included in client itineraries and our guests are encouraged to use and buy local products.
Our local partners actively support a variety of philanthropic projects including supporting local schools, running its own reforestation project, encouraging and financing small local business ventures as well as other well known programmes run by local foundations. They also have the Rainforest Alliance Verified Seal.
We employ local guides from National Parks. Our guides purchase clients groceries from local markets. We use accommodations that are also certificated with the Certification for Sustainable Tourism so we guarantee they have same standards and policies.
Our local partners charity donations are mostly made to the local community of Orotina. The last donation was to the community of La Trinidad, we donated Christmas gifts and products for the party. We also include on our itineraries visit to local schools, orphanages and we donated school materials, food, cribs, etc. Also we do social work involving our staff, on December 2009 we organized a Christmas Party for poor children of the community of Galan & Lanas.