McPhail Travel & Discovery Tours 2018/2019 Small Group Tours Announced
Escorted or Guided Tour
Having travelled on several different coach tours we felt that there had to be a better way to introduce people to a country using a more personal, relaxed and in-depth approach.
We didn’t like feeling like we were being herded about, saw far too many churches and temples, had to have our bags out to be picked up a crazy early hour, and lined up with 40 other people for the washroom during highway “coffee” stops. What kind of holiday was that? Small-group travel is the most authentic and thrilling way to explore the world, and we’ve tailored our journeys around that philosophy.
Here’s what’s planned for the upcoming year, including winter 2019. All groups are limited to 20 people or less and some are already filling up.
July 21 to 28, 2018 - Escorted by Nette Bacaling
It's the ultimate Alaska experience – a vacation combining an unforgettable 3-day cruise voyage with 7 nights exploring Alaska by land. You'll venture deep into the Yukon and back in time to 1898, when gold was discovered in a tributary of the Klondike River. Follow in the footsteps of the “Sourdoughs” to seldom-visited Whitehorse, rugged capital of the Yukon Territory. Walk the boardwalk of rough-and-tumble Dawson City, with its false-front buildings, unpaved streets and Klondike Gold Rush heritage. Ride the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a civil engineering landmark, through breathtakingly beautiful terrain to the White Pass summit. Your explorations continue in Denali National Park and Preserve, one of Earth's most magnificent places.
October 21st to November 3rd, 2018 – Escorted by Paulette Kelly
Nature and culture are on the forefront of this 15-day trip across two countries – South Africa and Swaziland– where you’ll get the best of what this dynamic region has to offer. Discover why Cape Town is consistently named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, before flying to Durban which is the gateway to several national parks and historic sites. En route to Johannesburg, scan the horizon of Kruger National Park for the “big five”, spend time in the Jane Goodall chimpanzee sanctuary and drive the legendary Panorama Route.
Nicaragua - A Jewel Revealed
Once a war-torn country, Nicaragua has recovered from this period and is now a diamond in the rough offering nature reserves rich in flora and fauna, an interesting history both ancient and the more recent, the revolution period of the Sandinistas along with Spanish colonial cities and warm, friendly people. It has been compared to what Costa Rica was like 30 years ago when that country was beginning its quest to increase tourism.
Beautiful national reserves, exotic wildlife, colonial history and architecture and the more recent history of the civil war in the 1970's are all discovered on this amazing tour.
Western Cuba – The Heart of Cuba including Havana
This tour has something for everyone. History buffs will be intrigued by Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos – all centres that were part of the hub of wealth and commerce during colonial times. For those enjoying nature and the outdoors, we stay in a mountainous biosphere reserve, the tobacco region of Viñales with its stunning landscape, and in a quiet resort overlooking the Caribbean. In addition to these extraordinary locations, we will take you to meet farmers, artists, naturalists and ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their communities.
Costa Rica in Depth
One of the most amazing things about Costa Rica in spite of the booming tourism, there are still plenty of places to visit off the beaten path. This tour not only explores rainforests, volcanoes and the flora and fauna that flourish in Costa Rica – but also puts you in touch with ordinary people during visits to a farm, an orphanage, and a research station. We’ve changed our tour slightly and now visit relatively undiscovered areas in the south including the small fishing village of Dominical and stay in the Savegre River Valley which is a haven for birdwatchers and hikers, providing quick access to the Los Quetzales National Park.
Colombia tends to be an underrated travel destination, which just means there are more untouched parts of this beautiful country for you to explore. If you have two weeks to spare, there’s no better way to experience Colombia than to jump in with both feet and experience the national parks, beaches and cities firsthand. Be a part of the revitalization of this warm, welcoming country and come back with more stories than you’ll ever have time to tell.
An island of dramatic contrasts, Iceland is a landscape forged by fire and ice. Steaming lava fields and hot pools reflect its volcanic nature, while massive glaciers continue to sculpt the mountains and valleys, leaving thundering waterfalls and plunging fjords. Travel the “Golden Circle” where many natural scenic wonders are located. Stay overnight in a local fishing village to enjoy a scenic bay cruise. Soak in the Blue Lagoon, enjoy a hike in the National Parks and stroll along coastal lava fields while admiring natural wildlife. Discover the spectacular landscapes and proud people of this small island nation during this fascinating journey.
As with all of our tours, it is rich in content and value, while at the same time slowing down the pace often spending 2 or 3 nights in each area. Don’t like early morning starts? We never start our day before 9:00 am unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s your vacation!
We invite you to immerse yourself in these destinations to explore new cultures in a way you’d never manage to on your own.