You may be pondering where to go on your next vacation, since it's getting close to summertime in the northern hemisphere. Let's take a look at what your interests are and see what places you might consider.
Over the years, I've been asked many times if it is safe to travel to South America. I had one American guy who was planning a family multisport trip, but he had read that somebody was killed in Peru, so he decided that he didn't want to travel there or to Ecuador, Chile, Argentina or Brazil because they were too close to Peru and it wasn't safe.
I recently read an article in "Travel Weekly" where a travel consultant said:
Many people are eager to travel to South America again and are looking for information about when that will be possible. We will try to keep this post updated with the latest information we get from our local operators in each country.
When the worst of this pandemic is over and people start traveling internationally again, they will want to make sure that they can do it safely. Besides thinking about airports and airplanes, they should probably also consider some things about the destinations that they are traveling to. So here are some things that they might consider:
Galapagos cruises on catamarans were introduced a number of years ago as a way to offer a more stable ride on the small yachts that average about 16 passengers, since one of the common fears was that some people would get seasick otherwise.
Recently, some new catamarans were introduced with next generation technology to make sailings even smoother and they also offer some other enhanced amenities to improve the visitor experience.
Many people never consider buying any form of travel insurance and many just figure it is an unjustified expense. Young people subconsciously feel they are invulnerable, but a lot of older people realize that they or their close relatives are living a more fragile existence and that the chances of some health crisis popping up are greatly increased, so they do consider getting insurance, in case they need to cancel their trip.
But there is one type of travel insurance that is increasingly becoming more important in this day and age....
Have you or are you considering doing a tour or cruise to the Galapagos Islands? Have you already started looking at all of the options? There's a lot of them, aren't there? I just looked at the number of companies that exhibit at the South American trade show that I attend every year and I counted 28 that offer options to the Galapagos Islands. And that is just the number of companies who are willing to pay to meet with travel agents from all over the world! There are many other small companies that offer tours and cruises that other companies operate or they just have 1 small boat or hotel, so it is not worth it for them to pay to try to appeal to a worldwide audience.
One of our operators in Ecuador has just opened up a new facility called Magic Galapagos. Located in the quiet and cool highlands of Santa Cruz Island, this very special safari-style camp is available exclusively to their clients. With just six raised, walk-in, en-suite safari tents and four tree houses, guests feel that they have their own private hideaway. The only crowds they will see are the millions of stars in the night sky, the only noises they hear will be the gentle breezes and the measured passage of giant tortoises.
What is the best Galapagos cruise or tour? Well that's a very subjective topic. For instance if you look at hotel ratings on Tripadvisor, sometimes 3* hotels are rated higher than 5* hotels. But people who normally stay in 3* hotels because of price couldn't compare it to a 5* hotel. So maybe the 3* they stayed in was excellent, compared to other 3* hotels they've stayed in, but if someone who normally stays in 5* hotels went there, they might not rate it as high. I would think that the same would apply to the 69 boats that are authorized to operate there.
But there are other things to consider besides looks.....
In the old days, when there were not many people living on the Galapagos Islands, doing a cruise was the only way to see them, so there were not a lot of choices. Now there are 4 inhabited islands with accommodations on them, so there are more Galapagos tour options available.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time