The Global Basecamps Blog

Global Basecamps' Bucket List Volume 1: The Galapagos Islands

3.4.2012

by ali

We’re introducing a new series on the Global Basecamps’ blog highlighting travel experiences that we feel are bucket list worthy. This week we’ll be highlighting the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s best wildlife and nature destinations. A Galapagos cruise is a truly once in a lifetime experience, where you’ll discover the island’s fascinating volcanic geology, unique flora and fauna, and breathtaking wildlife.

When to Visit

The Galapagos Islands are a great destination to visit year round. Peak tourist season is from December through mid January and mid June to early September. From December to May the water and outside temperature are warmer, though there is more rain during this period. You will experience light, short rains almost daily. The warmer water temperatures make swimming, snorkeling, and diving more comfortable, though there are fewer fish to see during these months. Sea lion mating season also falls during this time and in March and April you can see many newborn sea lions. February to April is a beautiful time of year to visit the islands, as all the flowers are in bloom creating a colorful landscape.

Isabela Island

From June to November the water and temperatures are much cooler. This attracts more fish and birds. It can sometimes be cloudy or windy during this time of year, though there is little rain. This is a great time of year for diving; you can see more fish and penguins. Keep in mind the ocean is not as clam during these months. The ideal time of year to visit depends on your specific travel goals. With warm weather from December to May and more wildlife viewing from June to November both are great times of year to visit.

Galapagos Tour Options

There are a variety of Galapagos cruise options ranging from budget to luxury, and lasting from three to eight days. The cruises include all meals and excursions. Our first class yachts have no more than twenty guests and multiple decks with spacious rooms.

Read More

5 Off the Beaten Path Ski Destinations

12.13.2011

by ali

With the cost of lift tickets rising each year at popular North America ski resorts and crowds continuing to grow, a ski or snowboard vacation can include its fair share of headaches. Look off the beaten path for some unique ski resorts and take advantage of fewer crowds in these quaint mountain towns.

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen, Japan

Japan’s ski industry has been steadily growing, with places such as Hokkaido becoming a popular stop on Japan tours. Myoko Kogenis one of Japan’s oldest skiing areas, but is typically less crowded than other skiing destinations. Located on the slopes of Mt. Myoko, Myoko Kogen offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan. The mountain town is popular for more than just mountain sports, including delicious food, unique restaurants and bars, and onsen hot springs which are perfect for relaxing after a long day on the slopes!

Oukaimeden, Morocco

Skiing doesn’t typically come to mind when planning a Morocco eco tour. Oukaimeden Resort is one of the few places it is possible to ski in Morocco. It is Africa’s highest ski resort and has lifts that cater to all levels. Oukaimeden is about an hour drive south of Marrakech, located high in the Atlas Mountains. The resort has 1 chair lift, with 5 runs to take you back down again. The best time to go skiing in the Atlas Mountains is typically in January and February. The resort has ski rentals, ski schools, unique restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Enjoy the sun, sand, and snow in Morocco!

Read More

Global Basecamps Photo of the Month: Taormina, Sicily

11.22.2011

by ali

Photo By Shanti Zinzi September 2011

"This is a view from the streets of Taormina, Sicily, adjacent to the gorgeous pebbly beach of Isola Bella, a marine reserve known as 'The Pearl of the Ionian Sea'. Snorkelers and divers will find Isola Bella's clear waters home to moray eels, starfish, sea horses, octopus, stonefish and several other small, colorful sea creatures.

Read More

Staying in a Ryokan

11.15.2011

by ali

Ryokan

Staying in a ryokan is a highlight for a lot of travelers on Japan tours. It can be daunting to some, as it is a very traditional experience leaving many non-Japanese confused by the customs common at a ryokan. This guide will give travelers some information on what to expect when staying at a ryokan and tips on how to best enjoy the experience.

What is a ryokan?

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that allows travelers to experience the elements of Japanese culture and customs, including staying in a room with tatami (straw mat) flooring, changing into a typical yukata (robe) following an onsen hot-spring bath, and sleeping on a futon on the tatami floor. Staying at ryokans is the perfect way to experience something new and to be immersed in the Japanese culture. Our quick how-to guide below will help determine if a ryokan stay would be right for you.

Step 1: Find the right ryokan for you.

Ryokans, like hotels, come in all shapes and sizes. There are budget no-frills ryokans, mid-range ryokans, and very high-end ryokans. Choosing one depends on your budget, and what kind of experience you're looking for. With ryokans, you will normally get what you pay for. The most luxurious, traditional ryokans can be extremely pricey (but the good ones are really worthwhile!). At the same time, there are some really good and economical ryokans. The experience will differ though.

Read More

Ecuador Eco Tours

11.8.2011

by ali

Bird Watching

Mainland Ecuador can often be quickly bypassed or rushed through in lieu of a Galapagos cruise. However, the mainland offers a diverse mix of sites and eco tours including the colonial capital of Quito, Mindo Cloud Forest, tropical rainforests, many national parks, and the colorful culture of Otavalo, among many other attractions. Below are a few popular destinations and Ecuador eco tours.

Quito

Quito is the second-highest capital in the world. The city is spread across an Andean valley and has an abundance of unique colonial buildings. Much of the UNESCO World Heritage listed site of centro histórico, or old town, has been restored, though it still reflects the indigenous culture and history of the region. A walk through old town will take you past picturesque plazas and cathedrals, with snow covered peaks in the background. A 20 minute from Quito’s old town, you’ll find Quito’s new town, full of trendy cafes, international restaurants, unique bars, and boutique hotels. Step just outside the city and you’ll find primary Andean forest. Hacienda Rumiloma is an excellent addition to any Ecuador travel itinerary. The hotel gives travelers a view of Quito not many get to see. The hacienda is located on about one hundred acres of primary Andean forest next to the Volcano Pichincha. The land behind the lodge has several trails, a small river, many grazing llamas, and native birds. Just minutes away from the capitol, Hacienda Rumiloma is an incredible accommodation option in Quito.

Read More

Ask An Expert

Categories

see all

Subscribe to Email Updates