Rising Gas Prices Makes this Summer a Smart Time to Consider Eco Tourism Vacations Galapagos Island Cruises Among the Top Choices

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Some travelers are leaving their cars at home this summer and choosing to take an energy-efficient vacation to an eco-destination.

There’s more than one way to respond to rising gas prices. Some travelers are leaving their cars at home this summer and choosing to take an energy-efficient vacation to an eco-destination. For ecologically-minded travelers, Southern Explorations arranges trips to the Galapagos Islands and six Central and South American countries in locales that embrace sustainability. These tours are designed to minimize tourism’s environmental impact by traveling to areas less visited, by keeping groups small and by supporting locally owned and operated lodgings with sound eco-practices.

As costs of the cross-country road trip continue to escalate, eco-tours in locations like the Galapagos Islands start to look like a smarter vacation alternative. North America’s summer months are an ideal time to experience many of the regions that Southern Explorations visits. These include the highland destinations of Peru such as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands and the Andean areas of Ecuador and Bolivia.

For travelers who prefer to vacation when most others are back at work, exotic Costa Rica and the wilds of Patagonia make good choices. Most of the Costa Rica trips include time at one or more of the country’s pristine beaches coupled with explorations of volcanoes and the tropical rain forests. Patagonia may be reached either from the Chilean or Argentine side, the latter being the more affordable route. Southern Explorations has doubled its Patagonia offerings this year as interest in the region has skyrocketed. Most of these trips combine active daytime activity and relaxing accommodations in tranquil settings.

Families may consider this year’s vacation choice midst the energy-crisis a teaching opportunity to show their children places that rely on ecotourism for their livelihood. South America is full of hands-on learning experiences. Whether it’s tropical rainforests explored from the tree-tops or exotic wildlife viewed in their natural habitat, these healthy outdoor vacations stand in stark contrast to our automobile-reliant mechanized world and the passive entertainments offered by television and computer terminals.

Southern Explorations has responded to the increasing interest in South America as a family destination by designing trips aimed at children’s high standards for excitement. These trips have flexible itineraries, safe surroundings, family-friendly accommodations, short drives and always available vehicle and guide support to accommodate last-minute situations. Our native guides are immensely knowledgeable about the history, science and culture of these regions, able to answer most every question a child may ask. Any of our itineraries may be modified to create a private trip that fits individual needs and interests, an especially useful alternative for families.

Two new family trips have been added this year, the Costa Rica Family Adventure, an 9-day partially self-guided tour filled with tree-tops, trams, zip-lines and suspension bridges with ample time to relax at exotic beaches and thermally warmed pools. The 9-day Patagonia Family Adventure itinerary is centered in and around Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and is suited to children ages 5 to 15. Of special interest here are the Magellanic penguins, and horseback riding on the pampas.

From the Galapagos Islands to the Inca Trail, Southern Explorations arranges trips to fit most budgets and over a hundred trip options both for small group travel and trips for private groups. If you’d like to leave your car at home on this year’s vacation, we’d love to help you plan your trip. Questions are welcomed by phone at 1 877 784-5400 toll free or in Seattle 206 784-8111. Visit us on the web at http://www.southernexplorations.com.


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Ian Lurie
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