A slew of newly designed “experiential” vacation itineraries to exotic locations like Brazil, Botswana and Sri Lanka are now officially open for bookings. The trips are a partnership between National Geographic and the tour firm G Adventures. Departures begin Jan. 5.
National Geographic and G Adventures, the two companies say, have similar core values, “an aligned sense of social responsibility and a shared belief in the positive impact that travel can have on the world.” With trips lasting from seven to 21 days and most priced between $1,500 and $5,000 per person, National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures promises to deliver experiences that range from educational and thought-provoking to awe-inspiring and truly wild.
All of the tours are designed to offer fun, hands-on exploration and meaningful encounters to travelers who appreciate having more free time and choices, but seek the structure and security that comes with traveling in a group.
Each National Geographic Journey tour will be led by a knowledgeable local guide — known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO) — from G Adventures; most groups will be limited to 16 guests or fewer. During these tours, travelers will have the opportunity to connect with local people and cultures while discovering places where National Geographic’s explorers and storytellers have shaped history.
Here are a few sample trips (prices do not include air fare):
Brazil Journey: On a journey that combines architecture and gastronomy with natural wonders, travelers will encounter the thunder of Iguaçu Falls and observe wildlife alongside a local biologist, discover the diverse flavors of São Paulo and get to know the UNESCO World Heritage site of Paraty. Next year is an especially exciting time to visit Brazil as it is poised to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Nine days; priced from $2,699.
Botswana Safari Experience: Botswana is one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 20 must-see places to visit in 2016. On this journey, travelers will hear indigenous storytellers spin folk tales by an evening fire, drift in a houseboat through the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Okavango Delta and see the many elephants of Chobe National Park.10 days; priced from $5,199.
Discover Sri Lanka: Travelers will delve into the ancient empires of Sri Lanka as well as its wilderness and its modern-day culture. Explore the history of ayurvedic healing with a local practitioner who will show which herbs and spices help cure common ailments. Ride along with a forest ranger by jeep in Wilpattu National Park to look for leopards and learn about conservation efforts. 12 days; priced from $2,299.
Explore Costa Rica: Travelers will get special access to the Monteverde Institute, a research center supported by National Geographic, and have a chance to participate in the center’s reforestation efforts. Get to know the idyllic community of San Miguel de Sarapiquí on a tour of Mi Cafecito, a G Adventures-supported coffee co-op that has helped bring economic benefits to this region through tourism. Meet with researchers on a visit to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, co-founded by National Geographic grantee Archie Carr, to learn about the four species of sea turtles found in Tortuguero and the threats they face. 14 days; priced from $2,099.
“We are so excited to be working with G Adventures on this fantastic lineup of trips around the world,” says Lynn Cutter, executive vice president of National Geographic Travel. “They are different from anything else that is currently being offered: a combination of compelling itineraries, free time and options, and incredible value — along with the security and expertise of traveling with National Geographic.”