Escapte to the unknown
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Whether it is trekking through the jungles of Uganda to view gorillas in their natural habitat, engaging with the friendly wildlife such as playful sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises of the Galapagos Islands, navigating by Zodiac around turquoise blue ice sculptures in Antarctica or flying over the Himalayas to get a view of Mount Everest, Ingenious Travel can help you choose the right expedition trip. Never in history has it been easier to reach near and far-flung places.
Expedition travel may mean voyaging on a well-appointed ship, equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs, in the company of local guides, learned experts, artists, and fellow travelers keen to make the most of the experience.
You can travel to Antarctica! Here’s how!
A common question I hear from people whose excitement is palpable after they’ve learned how accessible Antarctica can be, is: “How do I even get there?” That answer might not immediately seem straightforward. Maybe some of us have heard of researchers flying on military aircraft from New Zealand, or month long sailing adventures from South Africa or Australia. But the easiest way to get to Antarctica is simple. All you need to do is reach Buenos Aires, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Both are cosmopolitan cities with international airports and regular service to the rest of the world.
The majority of Antarctic voyages depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, a three-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Buenos Aires. Throughout the summer, the Port of Ushuaia embarks and disembarks expedition vessels bound for the southern wilderness as seamlessly as any harbor in the Virgin Islands, the Mediterranean, or Alaska.
Voyages departing from Ushuaia, Argentina access Antarctica by sea. They traverse the infamous Drake Passage, a 600-mile (1,000 kilometer) body of water that separates South America from the Antarctic Peninsula. Depending upon conditions, this crossing often takes a day and a half at sea and is a prime opportunity to view iconic wildlife such as the great wandering albatross.
Alternatively, travelers preferring to skip the Drake Passage can fly out of Punta Arenas, Chile directly to an airstrip on an island adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula. From there, they’ll board the expedition ship and be standing face to face with glaciers and penguins just a few hours after departing Punta Arenas.
The best time to visit Antarctica is from late spring to early fall, which in the southern hemisphere is from October to March. The first voyages of the season reach Antarctica in late spring (end of October or early November) when the sea ice opens up just enough to allow ships into the pristine glacial landscapes. Voyages operate continually from late October, until the summer comes to an end, and the wonderfully powerful Antarctic autumn begins to arrive by the middle of March.
Itinerary Inspiration: 8 Night Cruise to Antarctica
The Galápagos Islands, located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, remained a closely-guarded natural secret for millions of years. Over that time, the archipelago evolved into a home for an all-star cast of plants and animals. Sometime in the 1800s, some swashbuckling pirates and intrepid explorers started arriving in the Galápagos Islands. The most famous early visitor was Charles Darwin, a young naturalist who spent 19 days studying the islands’ flora and fauna in 1835. In 1859, Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which introduced his theory of evolution — and the Galápagos Islands — to the world.
Since then, word of these islands and their magnificent beauty has steadily grown. In 1959, the Galápagos became Ecuador’s first national park, and in 1978, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, more than 275,000 people visit the Galápagos every year to see those incredible animals and landscapes for themselves.
The first decision you have to make about visiting the Galápagos Islands is also the most difficult. Do you want to stay in a hotel on one of the three inhabited islands, exploring other islands and areas via day-trip boat rides? Or, do you want to be based on a live-aboard boat, which provides accommodations and transportation from island to island?
When to Travel
There’s no bad time to visit the Galápagos Islands. No matter when you go, the adventure is sure to be unique and wonderful.
June through December are the cooler and drier months. Even though this is the dry season, a garúa (or light, misty rain) is still possible, particularly in December. Skies can be cloudy and gray.
January through May are the warmer and wetter months, but the rain creates brilliantly clear blue skies between showers — great for photography.
March and April tend to be the hottest and wettest months, while August tends to be the coolest time.
Meanwhile, water temperatures vary throughout the year because of the powerful ocean currents in the archipelago. In the cool and dry season (June through December), the colder currents dominate and the water temperature dips low. A wet suit (likely provided by your boat or hotel) may be required while snorkeling during these months. However, the upside is that the cold current brings in huge quantities of plankton, which attract hungry marine life.
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Whether it is trekking through the jungles of Uganda to to view gorillas in their natural habitat, or photographing African wildlife such as lions, zebras, giraffes and elephants around the Serengeti or viewing the spectacular Victoria waterfall from a helicopter, Ingenious Travel can help you choose the right African safari trip. Never in history has it been easier to reach near and far-flung places.
Every African experience is unique; a true memory to treasure but you know what really makes these tours great? A great partner! Ingenious Travel is that partner. With 13 years of experience, a solid continental network of partners on the ground & itineraries built for the thrill; we consistently deliver magical life experiences, one safari at a time.
Ready for your Ingenious Trip to begin?
Let’s chat and see if we are a good fit! Click below to schedule your complimentary consultation