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Historic Parks of the American Southwest

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

You’re always looking to get to the bottom of things—and there’s no better way to see the Grand Canyon than by staring up at it from deep within its heart. Welcome to a place where everything’s larger than life—big sky, big ruins and grand canyons. Whether by 4x4 or on foot, our handpicked tour guides will connect you to the vast expanses of the American Southwest. From cliff-top panoramas to the culture and legacy of Native American traditions, this region is sure to leave a sizeable impression.

  • Exploring breathtaking national parks and monuments
  • Experiencing the ruins of Mesa Verde and ancient cliff dwellings
  • Traversing Monument Valley by 4x4 with an expert Navajo guide.
Duration: 12 days
Start/Finish City: Las Vegas to Las Vegas
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
Say hello to your world.

Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Historic Parks of the American Southwest (NUSWD)

Day 1 Las Vegas

Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities so check in and enjoy the city. In the late afternoon, meet the tour leader and fellow group members to go over the details of the trip.

Day 2 Las Vegas/Zion National Park (B,L)

Transfer to Zion National Park with its variety of trails for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. We spend the next 2 days on various day hikes through the Park.

From the expansive valley floors to the creamy sandstone of towering cliffs rising 2,000 ft (600 m), Zion is a wonderland of visual imagery. The monolithic stone sculptures, lush forests and roaring rivers are breathtaking, and the first-time visitor will be amazed by the diverse array of colors including magenta, azure, vermilion, and cyan.

Hike: Riverside Walk (Temple of Sinawava): Easy. Minor drop-offs. Paved trail follows the Virgin River along the bottom of a narrow canyon. Hanging gardens of wildflowers in spring and summer. Trailside exhibits. 2 miles, 1 to 1 ½ hour, 57 ft elevation gain.

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Approximate Distance: 155 miles (250 km)

Day 3 Zion National Park (B,L)

We spend the day exploring the great outdoors hiking the Zion Canyon area. Depending on group condition and interest, the guide will propose different hikes.

Comprising more than 147,000 acres (59,500 hectares), the park covers a wide range of elevations from 3,700 ft (1,130 m) to 8,726 ft (2,630 m) above sea level. The terrain runs from desert to forest, with a dramatic river canyon known as the Narrows. The weather and temperature in the area is just as diverse, reaching over 100 F (38 C) in the summer, while the higher elevations are often snow-capped during the winter months.

Hike Middle Emerald Pool: 2 miles, 2 hours, 150 ft elevation gain. Moderate with steep drop-offs. Loop trail to lower and middle pools. Swimming, wading, or bathing is prohibited in all pools in order to protect the aquatic wildlife and preserve this fragile area.
Watchman Trail: 2 miles, 2 hours, 368 ft elevation gain. Moderate with minor drop-offs. Ends at viewpoint of lower Zion Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and town of Springdale.
Angles Landing: 5 miles, 4 hours, 1488 ft elevation gain. Strenuous with steep drop-offs and narrow trail. Not for anyone fearful of heights. Ends at summit high above Zion Canyon. Last 0.5 mi (0.8 km) follows a steep, narrow ridge; chains have been added.

Day 4 Bryce Canyon National Park (B,L)

Transfer to Bryce Canyon where we hike past the fascinating hoodoos and learn about the captivating history of the area.

Bryce Canyon National Park does not contain one main canyon, but rather a dozen smaller ravines eroded into the east side of a ridge at the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southwest Utah. This erosion has resulted in thousands of bizarre and fragile rock formations in many subtle shades of pink, white, yellow and red. The Park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon farmer who was the first modern-day settler in the region. The park is located about 270 miles (435 km) northeast of Las Vegas.

The main ridge forms part of the Pink Cliffs, which are the highest and most geologically recent of a series of escarpments known as the Grand Staircase stretching across south Utah, formed by erosion and uplift of differently colored sandstone rock layers. The cliffs are named according to the dominant rock color: Chocolate (running northwards, from the Grand Canyon), Vermilion (visible most spectacularly around Lees Ferry, AZ), White (which surround Zion Canyon), Gray and Pink. Most of the Grand Staircase is now contained within the new Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument.

Water was initially responsible for creating the rock shapes in Bryce. Rain and melting snow flowing down the Pink Cliffs towards the Paria River formed ridges, or fins, which subsequently eroded into the spires, pinnacles and other shapes (collectively known as 'Hoodoos') which are left standing. In time these too will erode, and the whole process will move westwards as more of the cliff is gradually worn away.

Hike Queens Garden: 1.8 miles round trip. This is the least difficult trail into the canyon. Using your imagination you may even see Queen Victoria at the end of a short spur trail.
Rim Trail: 0 to11 miles round trip. Outstanding views of hoodoos from above. Trail is paved and fairly level between Sunset and Sunrise Points.


Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours
Approximate Distance: 87 miles (140 km)

Day 5 Capitol Reef/Canyonlands/Moab (B,L)

Day on the road traveling through the scenic Escalante Staircase area arriving in Canyonlands later in the afternoon. This park contain countless canyons, arches, spires, buttes and a myriad of other spectacular rock formations. The Grand Canyon may be deeper and more dramatic, but Canyonlands has more variety, both in the geological formations and the possibilities to explore them. It certainly offers greater solitude and isolation. We enjoy the sunset at Dead Horse Point. On the road, stop by Capitol Reef National Park created to protect a grand and colorful geologic feature, as well as the unique natural and cultural history found in the area.

Hike Goosenecks: less than 1 mile, 50 ft elevation gain, views of Sulphur Creek Canyon; panoramas and / or Sunset Point: less than 1 mile, 50 ft elevation gain, panoramic views of cliffs & domes; dramatic lighting at day’s end

Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours
Approximate Distance: 280 miles (450 km)

Day 6 Arches National Park/Moab (B,L)

Today we spend the day in Arches National Park, hiking to the base of the stupendous Delicate Arch as well as other viewpoints like Double Arch or Sand Dune Arch. Arches National Park is of course famous for the red sandstone arches that occur there in great profusion. There are over 1000 of them ranging in size. The Windows Section contains a major concentration of arches and other formations, which have self-explanatory names such as Double Arch, Cove Arch and Balanced Rock. We return back to our hotel in Moab for the night.

Hike Delicate Arch Viewpoint: less than 1 mile, 10 to 15 minutes, In addition to the short accessible trail, another (moderately strenuous) hiking trail climbs one-half mile toward Delicate Arch and ends at the rim of a steep canyon that separates the viewpoint from the arch.
Double Arch: 0.5 mile round trip, 15 to 30 minutes, a relatively flat, sandy trail leads to the base of two giant arch spans which are joined at one end.
Sand Dune Arch: 0.4 mile round trip, 15 to 30 minutes, trail leads through deep sand to a secluded arch among sandstone fins.

Estimated Travel Time: 1 hours
Approximate Distance: 32 miles (50 km)

Day 7 Mesa Verde (B,L)

We take a scenic trip to Mesa Verde National Park which contains the largest and most important archeological preserve of Native American culture in the USA. The Ancestral Pueblo peoples populated this area from 500 AD to 1300 AD. They originally occupied the tops of the mesas, which provided some natural protection from their enemies. As their culture developed, they learned to build elaborate fortified communal dwellings on sheltered niches in the cliffs. The ruins of many such ancient cliff-side cities are preserved at Mesa Verde National Park. These ancient cities were abandoned around 1300 AD when a prolonged drought devastated the area. It is believed that the Pueblo and Hopi tribes presently living in Arizona and New Mexico are descendants of this culture. We will enjoy short hikes in this park, taking in fantastic viewpoints.

Hike Spruce Canyon Trail: 2.4 miles, round-trip, easy.

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Approximate Distance: 140 miles (225 km)

Day 8 Monument Valley (B,L)

This morning, we join a ranger-guided tour which will elaborate the rich history found in Mesa Verde area. In the afternoon, we take the road to Monument Valley where we explore in 4X4 vehicles with a local Navajo guide, one of the most beautiful parks in the Southwest, famous for its sandstone buttes. Monument Valley lies entirely within the Navajo Reservation on the Utah/Arizona border near the southeastern corner of Utah. The state line passes through the most famous landmarks, which are concentrated near the small town of Goulding. The Monument Valley area and the Navajo reservation provide some excellent opportunities to explore Native American culture and to learn about the Navajo peoples. We can even observe some traditional Navajo craftsmanship and purchase hand-made items.

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours
Approximate Distance: 168 miles (270 km)

Day 9 Betatakin/Grand Canyon National Park (B)

Today we visit the Navajo National Monument and depending on group physical condition we will either take a park ranger guided hike of the Betatakin (Bitát'ahkin in Navajo) cliff dwellings or an easy 20-minute walk to a viewpoint with great panorama of the cliff dwellings. The
Navajo National Monument preserves three of the most intact cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblo peoples. The monument is high on the Shonto plateau, overlooking the Tsegi Canyon system in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona.

If the group chooses the short hike, we propose to stop on the road to te Grand Canyon around Page to see the great Horseshoe Bend viewpoint. This is another of Mother Nature's little tricks in a whole world of sandstone and slick rock, tricks that result in some of the most interesting formations in the West. It is also possible in the same area to participate in an optional Antelope Canyon tour. Antelope Canyon is one of the most breathtaking and tranquil places on earth. Gently carved from the Navajo sandstone over the course of countless millenniums, the slot canyons are majestic and narrow passages, with just enough space for a small group to walk the sandy floor with occasional shafts of sunlight shining down from above.

Later in the day we visit the south rim of the canyon for a first impression. The Grand Canyon stretches before us to the further rim, and as far as we can see on either side. The land at our feet drops almost straight down for over 3,280 ft (1,000 m) and then several thousand feet more into the serpentine canyons below. This vast gorge is filled with rocky buttes, sheer limestone cliffs, and deep canyons all arrayed in a rainbow of colors. Words cannot describe it, it is one of the most magnificent sights on earth.

Hike Betatkin: It is a strenuous 5-mile round-trip hike takes 3 to 5 hours. Begins at 7,300 ft. elevation; loses and regains 700 ft. Participants need to be in good shape to enjoy this hike.

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours
Approximate Distance: 168 miles (270 km)

Day 10 Grand Canyon National Park (B,L)

Today we take a spectacular hike to the heart of the canyon at Indian Garden and the Plateau Point trail. Optional activities, such as a helicopter flight or Imax Grand Canyon experience are also available. Most visitors only see the canyon from lookout points on the South Rim, but to really experience its natural beauty, we need to descend into it.

Hike Bright Angel Trail: to Indian Garden (4.6 miles one way) or Plateau Point (6.1 miles one way). This hike is difficult because of elevation, sun and heat. It is always possible to turn back.

Estimated Travel Time: 1 hour
Approximate Distance: 44 miles (70 km)

Day 11 Las Vegas

Early morning free time in Grand Canyon before transferring to the city of lights, Las Vegas. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to explore this one of a kind city, take in a show or we can try our hand at the casino.

Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours
Approximate Distance: 299 miles (480 km)

Day 12 Depart Las Vegas


What's Included

Entrance fees to all National Parks with hiking and walking excursions - Ranger guided tour of the Mesa Verde ruins - Navajo guide and tour by 4x4 vehicle in Monument Valley - Ranger guided hike of the Navajo National Monument including Betatakin cliff dwellings

Highlights

Exploring breathtaking national parks and monuments, Experiencing the ruins of Mesa Verde and ancient cliff dwellings, Traversing Monument Valley by 4x4 with an expert Navajo guide.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.

2) This tour focuses on natural and cultural wonders and the great outdoors of the American Southwest, so be prepared for a fair bit of walking and hiking. While the hikes are not difficult, you can choose not to participate if you are so inclined. The pace of the hikes must be based on the fitness level of the entire group, however, if you are looking for more challenging hikes, this can be arranged on an optional basis with your CEO locally.

3) Please note that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 and in Canada, 19 (with Alberta and Quebec at 18). Many bars and clubs will ask for ID at the door, therefore listening to live music in certain bars or spending a night out in Las Vegas or New Orleans is not possible when you are under the legal age, even if you don't plan on consuming alcohol. Drinking laws in both countries are strictly enforced and our CEOs are unable to help those under age obtain alcohol of any kind.

While this should not stop those under legal drinking age from booking a tour, it is important to note that if a traveller is under-age there are certain optional nighttime activities that they may not legally be able to participate in. When trying to book the right trip, we recommend that travellers under legal drinking age take this into consideration when booking a tour that visits several big cities.

Group Leader Description

Please note that the tour leader will, in most cases, be driving the touring vehicle on this tour.

All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our expert group tour leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Group leaders are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 12, Avg 8

Meals Included

9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches

Meals

Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD285-375 for meals not included.

Transport

Van, minibus, 4X4 vehicles, walking

About our Transportation

The vans used can hold up to 15 passengers and in most cases, the CEO does the driving. We recommend that travelers rotate seats every driving day to get the maximum of scenery and comfort.

Local Flights

There are no local flights on this tour.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotels/motels (11 nts)

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops on tour.

About Accommodation

Some areas traveled to on this tour are somewhat remote and while accommodation is in clean and comfortable hotels or motels, they may not have all of the amenities you would be used to in larger cities. When visiting National and State parks, accommodations are located just outside or close to park entrances.

The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, etc. You'll often enjoy air-conditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities. Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region and please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.

Joining Hotel

Golden Nugget Hotel
129 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV, USA 89101
Phone: (702) 385-7111

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is not included in this tour, however it is very easy to arrange a taxi upon arrival at the Las Vegas airport to our joining hotel. A welcome letter will be posted or given to you at check-in instructing on the time and place of your welcome meeting. Should you not receive this, please ask the front desk at the hotel.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel


EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (San Francisco)
During office hours (Weekdays, 8:30am-5:30pm PST)
From outside the USA: +1 707-538-8395
From within the USA: 707 538 8395

After hours emergency number
From outside the USA: +1 707-495-9488 (Jessica)
From within the USA: 707-495-9488 (Jessica)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operator, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Finishing Point Hotel

Golden Nugget Hotel
129 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV, USA 89101
Phone: (702) 385-7111

Finishing Point Instructions

From the hotel you can get to the airport via taxi (please ask the front desk to call).

What to Take

We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 5-10 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Medium size soft suitcases, rolling bag or backpack are recommended (no XXL ones please!). You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. It can be very warm in the summer, but nights can still be cool, so layering is suggested. We also recommend a raincoat or water resistant jacket and a comfortable pair of hiking shoes.

Checklist

• Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• USD cash
• Credit or debit cards (see personal spending money)
• Discovery Adventures vouchers and trip details
• Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
• Camera and memory cards/film and rechargeable batteries
• Reading/writing material
• Binoculars
• Cover for backpacks/bags
• Fleece top
• Windproof/waterproof jacket
• Small towel and swim wear
• 4 shirts/t-shirts
• Sun hat
• hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
• 1 pair of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers
• 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
• Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
• Sport sandals
• Sunblock
• Insect repellent
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch or alarm clock
• Water bottle
• Flashlight
• First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

Detailed Trip Notes

Geography
Southwest Utah and the canyons are known as Color Country; this ranges from hot, relatively low areas around Cedar City to forested mountains 10,000 ft (3,050 mt)high, and is characterized by the many shades of color and forms of the exposed rocks. Here is found the world-famous Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, but there are many other variegated cliffs, canyons, domes and sand dunes that also deserve exploration.
The southeast of Utah is Canyon Country; the rocks also have a great variety of formations and colors, although they are more red in shade. The dominant features are large and small canyons, but there are many other erosional formations such as rock arches, as found in the Arches and Natural Bridges Parks. Most of the spectacular and unusual scenery is concentrated around the Green, San Juan and Colorado rivers and their tributaries, which have been steadily eroding the surrounding rock layers for millions of years. This area is part of the Colorado Plateau, a huge uplifted oval of land centered on the junction of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado which is locally known as the Four Corners region. The landscape has been altered more recently by the construction of Glen Canyon Dam across the Colorado River - this flooded a large area of desert, obliterating the scenic but little-known Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell which has become one of the Southwest's major recreational attractions.

Climate
Usually hot and sunny during the summer months. It is difficult to plan activities around Death Valley and the Canyons at lunch time, as the heat is unbearable. We propose early morning visits and hikes and late afternoon activities.

Language
English spoken and written. This is the United States!

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances and Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in specific banks. Check with your bank. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash, travellers cheques and cards is best. Euros and Pounds are relatively easy to exchange only in larger city centers. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

The currency in the United States is the USD, while banks and currency exchange are available in Las Vegas and larger towns, they may not be available in more remote locations. We suggest you bring USD with you or exchange while in the city of Las Vegas.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 15-18%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO met and exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are approximate and subject to change at any time.

Although you wont have much time for optional activities, you could take the extra day in Grand Canyon to partake in these adventures: (if there is availability)
Helicopter flight: from $234 USD
Antelope Canyon tour: $32 USD
Mule ride down the Canyon from $123 USD
Rafting from $115 USD

Las Vegas activities
As there are so many things to do in Las Vegas we suggest you check the Las Vegas tourist information web site to give you all the rates for all shows and features.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.