One of the most important developments in tourism over the last decade has been the slow but inevitable movement towards sustainable travel practices. Sustainable tourism best practices forms the core value of Big Five. We believe in and are committed to nurturing that code of responsibility by developing sustainable itineraries and working with partners who share our corporate philosophy. Beyond the hyperbole, there are real issues that have to be addressed if we are to insure that future generations will have the same opportunities to explore this remarkable planet. The essential goals of sustainable tourism are:
Natural Nicaragua 10 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Nicaragua has only recently come on the radar as an emerging destination for a wealth of nature-based activities that range from forest hikes to encounter a variety of wildlife, to swimming and scuba diving, to kayaking, ash boarding and paragliding. Add to this the culturally and historically vibrant cities such as Leon and Granada, and the thriving coffee plantations, and Nicaragua offers a great place for a getaway.
Trekking Adventure in Ecuador’s Andes 7 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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In this high-altitude adventure, discover the traditional Indian village of Peguche and the family of artists there who specialize in crafting traditional musical instruments. Enjoy Otavalo’s indigenous food market to sample some exotic fruits in a market atmosphere. Walk the rim of the volcanic caldera. Take a photography lesson with a recognized photographer. Explore the Andes on foot during a three-day trek between mountain lodges for an amazing hiking adventure.
Custom Chile & Bolivia Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $5,000
Chile has a vast repertoire of adventure settings from icy Patagonia to far off Easter Island to dramatic Atacama Desert. Bolivia shares Lake Titicaca with Peru, and one-third of Bolivia’s terrain is spread across the Andean mountains. Bolivia became one of the furthest points of the Inca Empire. Both countries offer a wealth of culture and cosmopolitan cities, and both should be on your must-see list.
Australia Active 16 Days Precious Journeys® College Edition Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $9,970
Explore Australia’s remarkable landscapes during trekking adventures in both the ancient Flinders Range and in the Scenic Rim region outside Brisbane. Join in active conservation projects to help conserve to valuable species - the koala and the Tiger Quoll. Experience sophisticated Sydney and take the Sydney Bridge climb challenge and scale stairs and catwalks never previously opened to the public for stunning panoramic views of the city and harbor. This journey is just the right mix of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast.
President’s Picks: Botswana & South Africa 14 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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"Botswana is truly the last frontier, a pristine safari destination, with a mission to protect the pinnacle of sustainable tourism. This adventure goes beyond conventional safaris, introducing state-of-the-art facial recognition software as the means of identifying and tracking animals. This extraordinary Botswana safari takes place in and around the filming locations used by National Geographic’s Dereck and Beverly Joubert. You end your journey in South Africa's Winelands and with a photographic workshop in Cape Town."
Adventure Botswana 11 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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Explore the varied landscapes and environments of Botswana that encompasses Savuti Channel, the Okavango Delta and the dramatic Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Encounter large herds of zebra, wildebeest, elephant and other wildlife. Enjoy outstanding bird watching. Take in the iconic Victoria Falls and explore the range of adventure activities available.
Guatemala, Colombia & Argentina: Graffiti Art Experience 16 Days Precious Journeys® College Edition Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $9,376
Graffiti encompasses writing and drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, chiseled or painted illicitly on walls and other surfaces, usually within public view. The can be simple written words or elaborate wall paintings. The use of graffiti has existed since ancient times. Examples date back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. The term graffiti originally referred to the inscriptions and drawings found on the walls of ancient sepulchres or ruins in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. This unique and fascinating journey explores facets, framework and meaning of graffiti today in Latin America as seen through the eyes of artists in these countries. Specialist guides provide context, both historical and modern, to help you discover this compelling art movement.
President’s Picks: South Africa 10 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $9,000
“Change is the name of the game in Africa and this is especially true in South Africa. As a second generation native, I have witnessed everything from government changes to the rise of leaders such as Nelson Mandela. Through it all, South Africa has always carried a special place for me because of its dynamic blend of the modern metropolis of Jo’burg and small cosmopolitan Cape Town with the quintessential safari experience. And, it serves as a gateway to the entire continent. Some things never get old.”
President’s Picks: Adventure Australia 13 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $13,000
“I have been traveling to Australia for more than a decade now, and it keeps drawing me back again and again because I discover more to enjoy single every time. The country is vast and has so many facets, so many nooks and crannies as yet unexplored by travelers that the opportunities to find something unique, something off the beaten track are almost endless. This journey fits in well with our other adventures in this country in terms of Big Five being fully sustainable in Australia.”
President’s Picks: Morocco 11 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $7,700
“The long drives that are involved in traveling in Morocco have always bothered me; especially when they yielded disappointment. Over last 10 years of travel to Morocco, repeatedly searching for new places and exciting opportunities, I can say “success.” Finally, I have found the Morocco no one else knows – even the carpet salesmen. And it begins with original Van Gogh art in Marrakech and culminates in the Agafay Desert. I invite to discover unexplored Morocco.”
Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands 14 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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On this adventure, you will explore the lush cloud forest of Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve and travel into the highlands of Ecuador to the historic Hacienda Zuleta. Explore the Tulipe Archaeological Site, originally built by the Yumbo people between 800 and 1660 CE. Enjoy a five-night cruise of the Galapagos Islands aboard the M/C Athala II, and encounters the endemic wildlife from iguanas to seals both on the volcanic islands and in surrounding waters. Savor an island stay at a safari camp and see one of the few Scalesia forests that remain almost intact. This is a spectacular journey for nature lovers.
President’s Pick: Colombia & Guatemala 11 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $8,250
“I am a self-admitted history buff, and can’t get enough of it. In much of Latin America, the Incas and Mayans occupied so much of the space, it was difficult to see beyond. I wanted to examine the empires that came before, after, and in between these groups. Enter Colombia, a destination we helped launch in North America almost 10 years ago. Being a pioneer to this area is one my proudest moments. With Guatemala as one of our core products for so long, we were constantly looking for ways to combine Colombia with Guatemala as a way to complete the bridge between the Mayans and early Colombian empires before the Incas came to power. We had access to glamping equipment in Guatemala, which allowed us to offer our guests something more. This allowed them to stay overnight at an ancient site to really feel the Mayan spirit that is imbedded in the ruins, making this a much more compelling experience. I am proud to say Big Five was one off the first combine these two countries, and now I invite you to join us in being a part of history.”
President’s Pick: Chile’s Patagonia & Mapuche Culture 11 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel
Starting Price: $6,600
“Everywhere I look when I see itineraries for Chile, I keep seeing the same four or five locations over and over. For quite some time, I felt that something more existed, an experience or interaction that not only showed me something new about Chile, it also met a personal requirement of mine regarding sustainability. Enter the Mapuche communities, one of the oldest indigenous cultures in a country. There is tremendous history in Chile dating back to the Incas and beyond that reaches beyond Chile’s tourist locations that everyone already visits. I am delighted to be able to take our guests off the track to see the real Chile.”
Namibia & Botswana 14 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $18,200
Conservancies are the future of Africa and Botswana and Namibia are on the leading edge of this movement. From the intentional cap on the number of visitors through pricing in Botswana, to the constitutional amendment for sustainability in Namibia, southern Africa is facing a new frontier for remote safaris. The open ranges of northern Namibia, where the real Namibia can be found, to northern Botswana’s Selinda Spillway, where you witness the lesser-known zebra migration, this safari offers you a different view, an authentic experience.
Classic Australia & New Zealand 29 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $29,000
This distinctive Australia and New Zealand exploration takes you into Australia's cities from iconic, sophisticated Sydney to Melbourne with its mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture, trams and boutique shops. Enjoy a jaunt to Kangaroo Island to discover the vast wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park. New Zealand's stunning islands encompass the South Island's beautiful Christchurch and continue to Queenstown, where you savor a hot air balloon with views of the Southern Alps. North Island's Rotorua is a thermal wonderland is one of New Zealand's most colorful volcanic areas. Stay in some of the most exclusive and luxurious lodges in the South Pacific that offer adventures ranging from star gazing, to jet boat journeys, to trekking and wildlife viewing.
President’s Pick: Private Conservancies in Tanzania 11 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $14,850
“When a country struggles for tourism the way many in Africa have in the last 18 months, there is something special that comes out of that journey – innovation. Over the last decade, the resistance to poaching and the need to preserve indigenous cultures became so strong that the notion of community-based conservancies was born. It was pioneered in countries like Namibia and Kenya. That same idea spread like wildfire into Tanzania, where the commitment to the conservancy model of safaris is now thriving. We hope that the cliché of the mass of tourist buses surrounding animals and Maasai villages that are more like gift shops become a thing of the past. This safari is an example of what the future of safaris in Tanzania will look like in the years to come. Why wait for the future when it can be your present.”
Luxury Peru Adventure for Hikers 20 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $19,990
Hikers explore the Andean landscapes of Peru during a dramatic lodge-to-lodge adventure that encompasses treks in altitudes of 3,868m/12,690 ft to 4,636m/15,213 ft. As you end your mountain trek, you will savor a distant but spectacular view of the mountain fortress of Machu Picchu from the southeast. Then experience this ancient Incan fortress. You also explore the classic colonial cities of Lima and Cusco and enjoy a scenic flight over the famous Nasca and Palpa Lines. This is a luxury hiking journey for active adventurers seeking an unrivaled, high altitude experience of the Peruvian Andes.
Australia’s Abundant Adventures 15 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Australia’s adventurous personality shines in this journey that takes in breathtaking lands, unique flora and fauna, and adventure activities from diving the Great Barrier Reef to climbing Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. Explore Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast, with its white sand beaches, dramatic wilderness and breathtaking vistas. Enjoy the cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney, and so much more. Experience Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake, from Pumphouse Point, where explore by canoe or hike the internationally known Overland Track hiking trail in the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Wilderness.
Guatemala’s Jungles, Jaguars & Peanut Butter 8 Days Precious Journeys® Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $4,370
From making chocolate and peanut butter, to climbing a volcano, to ziplining in the rainforest, this amazing family adventure encompasses some of the best experiences Guatemala has to offer. Go on a jaguar footprint scavenger hunt, and wander the stone monuments of the Mayan city of Tikal. This is a journey your family will long remember.
South Africa’s Unique Lodges 11 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $11,350
South Africa is home to a variety of outstanding and unique lodges and tented camps. This adventure offers three very distinctive properties that give travelers experiences ranging from the classic African safari in search of the 'big five' in Sabi Sands, to the rare and unique fynbos plant kingdom of Grootbos, with its remarkable whale watching opportunities, to grass lands of the Kalahari, home to the traditional San people.