Introducing: Custom Tours to Argentina

August 14,2012

PatagoniaAt Global Basecamps, we don’t blink when we call ourselves travel specialists; we are well-traveled all around the world, and consider ourselves real experts on our featured destinations. But our commitment to extreme local knowledge and unparalleled customer service keeps our “Featured Destination” list at a manageable fifteen countries, until now. Global Basecamps has spent years planning successful, cultural, exciting and unique trips to Argentina. Beginning last week however, we quietly added Argentina to our list of Featured Destinations, bringing the count up to sixteen.

From Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina is a cavalcade of dramatic landscapes. The romantic capital city is the most European city outside of Europe, with a modern, eclectic collection of industries and people. Every week, Buenos Aires makes a published Top 10 List of one type or another. Most Colorful Cities, Best Cities For Singles, Most Cultural Cities, Most Beautiful Cities, etc. There is no overstating the importance of including Buenos Aires on your list of places to see in South America.

MendozaOur custom tours through Argentina would be sadly limited if we kept you in Buenos Aires. If you consider yourself a wine-lover, Mendoza should be on your list of destinations here. We are honestly concerned we’ll never hear back from our clients once they learn about this place. A seemingly quiet, sleepy town, this modern, fun city comes alive at night when its bars and cafes open its doors and begin pouring drinks. The atmosphere is laid back, the avenues are wide and the comforts are plenty. It is also the base of operations for Argentina’s booming wine industry, and a great place from which to explore its world famous vineyards.

El Calafate acts as a gateway to a gallery of Argentina’s nature. Patagonia is a slideshow of peacefully quiet meadows, untouched rivers and clear night skies. The jagged peaks of Torres del Paine will leave you dumbstruck. The Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate is the largest advancing glacier in the world, and a ton of hiking and trekking around its mass is a popular activity. El Calafate itself is a charming village transformed by tourism into a bustling town with travelers from all over the world come to sample some of Argentina’s pleasures.

If Buenos Aires is the South America’s Paris, Bariloche is its Switzerland. Outdoor sport abounds in this Lake District city. During winter, snow coverage on its soaring mountains is perfect for skiing and snowboarding, while the summer sees hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders arrive in droves. Still not convinced? Bariloche is also Argentina’s chocolate capital. We’ll just leave it at that.

Iguazu FallsThere seems to be no end to Argentina’s natural wonders, and each is more epic than the last. Iguazu Falls is a long collection of around 275 separate waterfalls that drove Eleanor Roosevelt to exclaim “Poor Niagara!” when she saw them. Comparable to the other great falls of the world, Iguazu fails to win any titles because of its fragmented nature, but its huge scale is certainly one of the natural wonders of South America.

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Sustainable Travel In Light of Lonesome George

July 31,2012

Lonesome GeorgeThe news broke a few weeks ago, but it will always be relevant. Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinto Island Tortoise and a recognized symbol of the Galapagos, died on June 24th, 2012. If you have ever been to the Galapagos Islands, there is a good chance you saw him. Discovered in 1971, he grew slower and more lackadaisical as the years came and went, but he was still a wonder. The last of his species, he was a living reminder of the dangers that accompany a human presence.

We’d like to take this week to acknowledge the species of the Galapagos that are still in critical danger of extinction. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, we know of thirteen vertebrate species that are now extinct, and of those, humans have witnessed seven of them cross the threshold into non-existence.

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Off the Beaten Path in Tanzania

July 18,2012

There are few places left on the planet that remain perfect examples of the term “off the beaten path.” Tourism is nearly everywhere in the 21st century, and even the travel specialists at Global Basecamps find it more and more difficult to define these locations. This week, we’d like to define “OTBP” in Tanzania.

There is a reason Tanzania is one of the premier destinations for a quintessential African safari. There are world famous national parks here that are synonymous with wildebeest migrations and Big 5 sightings, and with good reason; don’t let anyone tell you that Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara aren’t hands down the best parks for wildlife viewing in Tanzania. This “Northern Circuit” is popular worldwide, and sees tons of travelers annually.

We don’t want to discourage you from experiencing these destinations; they are magnificent and we love them ourselves! Our Tanzania National Park Safari specifically highlights these parks should they call to you. However, if you have the time and the inclination, there are many parks around Tanzania that deserve your attention and your travel, and on average receive far less of both.

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Best of Basecamps: Awasi

July 06,2012

Awasi SuiteChile’s Atacama Desert is home to salt flats, snowy peaks, unique desert culture, hot springs, and even a few luxury resorts, but if you didn’t stay at this particular luxury resort during your last visit here, you didn’t do it right. This week we’d like to feature one of our favorite hotel properties in the world, Awasi. Hidden away in one of the most secluded corners on the planet, you wouldn’t expect to find world-class gourmet food, perfectly personalized service, and jaw dropping accommodations, but lo and behold, it’s all there.

We won’t act like the main attraction to Awasi isn’t the Atacama Desert itself, because it is. One cannot deny the awesomeness of the mountains surrounding it, nor the vastness of the empty, arid desert. This geological nook is home to much of Chile’s ancestral heritage, thanks to the water springs that dot the landscape, and any trip to South America should include this place whether you are backpacking or going Awasi-style. Like any other desert, temperatures here fluctuate between night and day, but daytime temperatures are nearly always perfect (72°-82° year round). Named a desert thanks to its low rainfall, water still makes an impactful presence here, as thermal pools, geysers and marshes burst their way through the dry ground, giving life to Atacama’s strangely varied flora and fauna.

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Surf Credits Give Back to Surf Tourism Destinations

June 18,2012

Surf CreditsWe are always excited to introduce a new opportunity to give back to the travel destinations we love, and as Californians, we are personally all surfers at heart, whether we surf or not!

A new initiative was launched at the Volcom Fiji Pro this month that will help surfers give back to surf tourism destinations. Surf Credits is a groundbreaking partnership between 3 non-profits, the San Diego State University Center for Surf Research, the Surf Resource Network, and iJourneyGreen. Here's how it works. You go to the Surf Credits website, select a destination you want to support, then select a non-profit organization working that destination you want to support. Go to the check out and buy one or more $25 tax deductible surf credits. 83% goes to the non-profits in destinations and related research. In return for the Surf Credit you get discount coupons.

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