• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

The Red Centre

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Picture courtesy of Australia Tourism. Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day. A short itinerary incorporating Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and Alice Springs

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The Red Centre

Uluru/Ayers Rock was originally named by the Pitjantjatjara people and subsequently by surveyor William Gosse in 1873, but it is only since 1993 that the feature was officially given its dual name.  It is, none the less, not only one of the major attractions of the Red Centre and Northern Territories, but of the whole vast continent of Australia.

Day 1: Alice Springs

Day 2: Glen Helen

Day 3: Kings Canyon

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)

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Description

 

Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day. This itinerary offers a four wheel drive self drive itinerary following the Mereenie Loop Road…

Day 1: Alice Springs
Pick up your 4WD and spend the first night in Alice Springs itself. This little town nestles at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, and formed a vital link in the laying of the Telegraph line from the new lands of Australia to England. A visit to the Telegraph Station gives an impression of the original settlement, before the centre of the town grew on its current site. Visit the School of the Air and the Flying Doctor base.
Alice Springs 1 night

Day 2: Alice Springs to Glen Helen
Today’s drive takes you through the West MacDonnells to Glen Helen – a drive of a little over 100km as the crow flies. Along the way, you may linger at the many chasms, gorges and creeks clearly marked from the main road.
Glen Helen 1 night

Day 3: Kings Canyon
Your entire journey today will be on the gravel road, joining the Mereenie Loop Road. The scenery will change dramatically from the rugged hills of the West MacDonnells to the flatter scrub of the desert. Gosse Bluff should not be missed; allegedly a crater formed by a meteorite crashing to ground and with spiritual significance for the indigenous people. Arrive at Kings Canyon in time for an evening walk in the base of the canyon.
Kings Canyon 1 night

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Rise early to walk along the canyon rim – about 6 km of spectacular scenery but not for the faint hearted as the first stage involves a steep climb. Today’s drive takes you to Uluru. You will be rewarded with your first sight of the Rock itself – inspirational, eerie, quiet – decide for yourself. Two nights at Ayers Rock Resort will give you time to visit Uluru at dawn and dusk, visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), take part in the Sounds of Silence dinner, or sunrise breakfast. Finally, drop your car at Ayers Rock Airport before continuing your adventure…
Two nights Uluru (Ayers Rock)

All photographs: Tourism Australia Copyright

Canoeing on Katherine Gorge      Kings Canyon

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Little Gems

The true spirit of the outback is the ice cold ‘stubbie’ thrust in your hand as a welcome to Glen Helen – before you’ve even checked in!

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Client Feedback

 

Well, where do we start? The itinerary you devised for us could not have been better. Everything worked out so well and the accommodation was great, although when you said that Glen Helen was rather basic, you were not wrong! We were glad it was only the one night, but the staff were friendly and helpful enough and the food was good. It all added to the ‘experience’! So, all in all, we couldn’t fault any of the accommodation you booked for us. All the flights (all nine of them!) worked out fine, the worst delay was San Francisco to Honolulu where we were delayed by only around 50 minutes! Ayers Rock was a fantastic spectacle. 43 degrees and billions of flies! It’s a not-to-be-missed sight, one of those ‘icon’ destinations.

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Peru – Condors, Culture and Countryside

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Picture courtesy of M. Buckman. There is so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu, and on this itinerary idea you will explore many of Peru’s highlights, culminating in your discovery of the stunning city of Machu Picchu.

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Summary

On the 24th July 1911, Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu and on any visit to Peru, this is one of the major highlights.  However, there is so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu and on this itinerary idea, you will explore many of Peru’s highlights, culminating in your own discovery of the stunning city of Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Lima
Day 2: Arequipa
Day 4: Colca Canyon
Day 6: Puno
Day 8: Cusco
Day 10: Sacred Valley
Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Day 12: Cusco
Day 14: Depart Cusco
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Description

The country of Peru is located on the western side of the South American continent, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes and into the Amazon Basin, and from its border with Ecuador in the north to Chile and Bolivia in the South.  It is a country steeped in history, probably the best known of which is the Inca Empire.  No trip to Peru would be complete without a visit to the lost city of Machu Picchu, but take time to explore other highlights of this fascinating country first and one very quickly realises that there is a lot more to Peru than meets the eye.

Day 1: Lima
Arrive in Lima. Take a tour of Peru’s capital city before transferring to your overnight hotel.
Lima 1 night

Day 2: Arequipa
Fly south to Arequipa for a 2 night stay. Located in the southern Peruvian highlands, Arequipa is set in beautiful countryside surrounded by snow capped mountains. Your stay here includes a city tour which begins with the extraordinary architecture of the Convent of Santa Catalina, opened to the public in 1970 after more than 400 years of religious cloistered life. Visit the Plaza de Armas or Main Square, the Cathedral, Church of La Compañia with all its colonial jewels and its chapel Sixitina, then cross the city along the Chili River before visiting the Carmen Alto viewpoint to enjoy beautiful views of Arequipa´s valley.
Arequipa 2 nights

Day 4: Colca Canyon
Today you will embark on a 3 day/2 night private tour to the remarkable Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest canyon. During your tour you will journey deep into the Andes where you will have the opportunity to view the majestic flight of the condors. With spectacular scenery the area is also home to llamas and Vicuñas, the national animal of Peru. Visit small remote towns and villages that still maintain their ancestral traditions.Your base for 2 nights is the town of Chivay.
Chivay 2 nights

Day 6: Puno
This morning travel by private transfer to the city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca for a 2 night stay. On your full day here you will take an excursion to the Uros and Taquile Islands in Lake Titicaca. The Uros Islands are made of reeds and rise six meters above the lake level. They are anchored by logs and connected to each other by ropes. The inhabitants live basically by fishing, hunting and making handicrafts to sell to visitors. Continue to the Taquile island. Offering a spectacular view from its hills, Taquile is an important textile centre. Taquileños still follow a traditional life style, making a living from their textile activities.
Puna 2 nights

Day 8: Cusco
Today you will take a guided bus transfer from Puno to Cusco. This 9 hour journey includes lunch and stops off enroute at many places of interest including Andahuaylillas Church, with its superb murals, the remarkable Raqchi Inca archaeological complex and the village of Pucara, famous for its pottery. Your full day will include and half day tour or the city, considered by many to be the Archaeological Capital of the Americas, and the nearby ruins.  There is an alternative mode of transport here – by rail.

Cusco 2 nights

Day 10: Sacred Valley
Today you will take a full day tour in the Sacred Valley of the Incas before checking in to you hotel in village of Yucay, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley 1 night

Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Rise early and transfer to Ollantaytambo railway station to board the tourist train through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the fabulous mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniards. For centuries it was buried in the jungle until found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The Holy City of Machu Picchu represents an extraordinary example of architecture and engineering. Upon arrival at the station at Aguas Calientas, buses wait to transfer you to the top of the ruins.
Aguas Calientes 1 night

Day 12: Cusco
Morning at leisure, before catching the afternoon train back to Cusco.  On arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel for a further 2 night stay
Cusco 2 nights

Day 14: Depart Cusco
Transfer to Cusco airport for the start of your return journey to the UK or continue your adventure…

Possible Extensions
The above itinerary is just one suggestion for Peru – it may be amended to suit your particular interests. If time allows, there are numerous ways to extend your trip including..

The Nazca Lines
Travel South of Lima to Ica. From here take a flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines. These drawings made in the sand over 2,000 years ago by the Nazca people are only visible from the air. You will see gigantic geometrical lines resembling a landing field and over 32 figures including a monkey, a spider, a condor, a reptile, a fish, a bird… Continue to the Paracas Peninsular where you may take a cruise out to the Ballestas islands; sea lions, penguins and more than 60 species of sea birds and wild life.

Peruvian Rainforest
Complete your Peru experience with a few days in the Amazon rainforest. There are number of exciting options available, from a luxury cruise into remote estuaries of the Peruvian rainforest to an exhilerating camping expedition through the remote and pristine Manu Biosphere Reserve, or a relaxing stay in a rainforest lodge where rainforest walks, bird watching and canoeing are amongst the acitivities on offer.

Call us for more details and ideas on your tailor made trip …

JA bus

Credit Jenny Appleton

 

JA crocodile

Credit Jenny Appleton

 

JA horseriding

Credit Jenny Appleton

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Little Gems

Machu Picchu is a very special place. We suggest including a second entry ticket to the ruins giving you the opportunity to explore at your own pace and without the crowds of day trippers that will arrive in the middle of the morning.
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Client Feedback

‘We loved Cusco and really could have spent an extra night there, but the highlight of the holiday, without a doubt, was our visit to Machu Picchu.  STUNNING!’
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New England in the Fall

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Photo courtesy of Visit the USA. Always a winner – New England has so much to offer, from city breaks to fall colours, excellent shopping, skiing and so much more. See the beautiful fall colours on this drive around New England.

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New England

Always a winner – New England has so much to offer, from city breaks to fall colours, excellent shopping, skiing and so much more

Day 1: Boston

Day 4: Kennebunkport
Day 5: White Mountains (New Hampshire)
Day 7: Stowe (Vermont)
Day 9: Wilmington (Vermont)
Day 11: Mystic (Connecticut)
Day 13: Cape Cod (Massachusetts)
Day 14: Depart Boston
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Description

Always a winner – New England has so much to offer, from city breaks to fall colours, excellent shopping, skiing and so much more

Day 1: Boston
Fly to the vibrant city of Boston. Aptly named the “walking city”, history and culture is everywhere. Explore the Freedom Trail, a walking trail linking some of the most important sites in the history of Boston and America. Shop at Quincy Market, take a dinner cruise on Boston Harbour, cross the river to visit Cambridge and Harvard University, or take a whale watching cruise.
Boston 3 nights

Day 4: Kennebunkport
Pick up your hire car then travel up the coast to Maine. En route visit the towns of Salem and Rockport then on to Kennebunkport for an overnight stay.
If time allows you may consider continuing further round the delightful and rugged Maine coast through Rockland and on to Bar Harbor. Surrounded by Acadia National Park, here you can take a whale watching cruise or enjoy spectacular scenery and mountain trails in the park.
Kennebunkport 1 night

Day 5: White Mountains (New Hampshire)
Drive inland today to the White Mountains – the rooftop of New England; a landscape dotted with historic villages and enchanting covered bridges. Visit the dramatic Franconia Notch, a narrow gorge cut by a wild stream which runs through the granite rocks. The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway gives a breathtaking view of Franconia Notch and the surrounding mountains. Take the Cog Railway up Mount Washington. Explore the famous and scenic Kancamagus Highway
White Mountains 2 nights

Day 7: Stowe (Vermont)
Today cross the New Hampshire border into Vermont. The route takes you through some of New England’s most beautiful scenery. The pretty village of Stowe is your base to explore the area.  The Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory is near here and a great visit for children of all ages(!)
Stowe 2 nights

Day 9: Wilmington (Vermont)
Drive through the spectacular scenery of the Green Mountains along Highway 100, with its dense forests – home for bears, moose, wild turkey and deer. Stay in Wilmington where you are well placed for visiting the attractive town of Williamstown in the Berkshires.
Wilmington 2 nights

Day 11: Mystic (Connecticut)
South through Massachusetts and into Connecticut and the historic fishing village of Mystic, home to the last surviving whaling vessel. The surrounding villages have several sea Captain’s homes, lighthouses and lobster shacks as well as speciality restaurants. From here you can visit New York City for the day; there is a regular train service.
Mystic 2 nights

Day 13: Cape Cod (Massachusetts)
Depart Mystic for Cape Cod, stopping off at Newport, Rhode Island which is Famous for its late 19th century Gilded Age mansions. Built by America’s aristocracy, these treasure houses are full of gilt, marble paintings and antiques. Explore the beaches and picturesque fishing ports of Cape Cod or take the 45-minute ferry ride over to Martha’s Vineyard or to the old whaling port of Nantucket. Hyannis Port is the main town with a much-visited museum and memorial to John F Kennedy and Falmouth is the picture perfect village. Enjoy a whale watch boat trip from Barnstable or Provincetown.
Cape Cod 2 nights

Day 14: Depart Boston
Drive back to Boston taking time to explore Plimoth Plantation, a living museum depicting Pilgrim life in 1627. Drop off you car at the airport in time for your evening overnight flight back to the UK.

New England - NE foliage

Photo courtesy of Visit the USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Gems

Shearer Hill Farm’s baked apples for breakfast have to be one of the greatest delights of this itinerary – you have to try them!!
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[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

‘We’ve been back a couple of weeks now but just thought I’d write to say how

much we enjoyed our trip to New England. Really enjoyed Boston and all of
the other places we visited. We saw lots of spectacular ‘fall’ colour
throughout the trip – although some of the locals were saying autumn had
come early this year. Also enjoyed some very warm (75F) and sunny weather
when we got to Cape Cod, a nice end to the trip. Of the places we stayed we
really enjoyed the Adair Country Inn, Shearer Hill Farm and the Platinum
Pebble – great places and superb hosts at all.  Everything went seamlessly
with the arrangements throughout the trip – all very much appreciated.

Starting to think about next year!

Many thanks & best regards

John & Donna Savage’
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