New and organizing a trip for friends!

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New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby allywally24 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:37 pm

Dear G Adventures Watering Hole Members,

I am looking to organize a trip for a close group of friends that are either just graduated from University or just started their careers! Therefore money is a bit of an issue. I think our price range should be anywhere between $6,000-$8,000 CDA, including flights. We are a group of 8-12 people looking to travel for up to 7 days in August 2013. Now if this doesn't sound impossible already, some of the people will be flying from Toronto, Canada, while the others will be flying from Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. So logistically and financially this would be a tricky trip to organize. That's why I am asking for some help from you guys!

We are looking for an adventure! Luxury is not a necessity for us. We want to see beautiful sights and explore a different part of the world. Because of our countries of residence and price range, I was looking at trips to the Caribbean, South America, or Central America. I will be grateful for any feedback and suggestions that you guys can provide even if it will be telling me that we won't be able to find a trip for that price range.

Sincerely,

Allan
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Re: New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby ballu » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:44 pm

Have you considered contacting G Adventures about their private group tours?

http://www.gadventures.com/custom/group/
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Re: New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby Janice08 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:06 pm

You can do it if you keep your eye out for cheap flights. From Calgary you can get to Central America for about $700 if you get the right flight. I suspect it would be similar for a mid week flight from Toronto. I live close enough to the US border to sometimes get flights from that side. Often they can be up to $100 less. I have no idea about the cost of flights from the Caribbean.

For example, I spent a week in Leon, Nicaragua in the beginning of December for under $500/person for two people once we got there. For that we had private transportation from the Airport to Leon ($60), and a public bus back to Managua ($2.50 each), 7 nights accommodation ($30/night) in a private room in a hostel complete with breakfast. Hostel rooms started at $6/night. For lunch and dinner, meal prices ranged from $2.50 to $10. For things to do, we took a cooking class, went volcano boarding, did an overnight trekk (sleeping on top of a volcano) and spent a day at the beach including renting kayaks to go into the nature reserve. We spent our last night closer to the airport and had a guided tour of another volcano that we could drive to the top of and went to a tourist market. All of that, including buying souveniers came out of the $500. With a group you could probably get better rates on transportation and hostel stays.

My next trip is to Guatemala and other than it being Easter week which will up the prices significantly, our budget will be similar. Although Costa Rica is a great country it is significantly more expensive (activities and food) than the rest of Central America.

Have fun wherever you end up going. G Adventures may be able to help you out with a group trip. They do offer budget trips to Central America, so as Ballu said its worth looking into, but if they can't help you in your price range it is doable on your own. A little Spanish goes a long way in Central America but you don't have to be fluent.
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Re: New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby allywally24 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:05 pm

ballu wrote:Have you considered contacting G Adventures about their private group tours?

http://www.gadventures.com/custom/group/


I have considered contacting G Adventures about their private group tours but I'm not exactly sure about the number of friends coming on this trip. The group is still growing and therefore the our price range should be as well. I posted in this forum to get some ideas of places that we can visit so that I can have a better idea of what I was looking for when I messaged them. Thanks though ballu!
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Re: New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby allywally24 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:27 pm

Janice08 wrote:You can do it if you keep your eye out for cheap flights. From Calgary you can get to Central America for about $700 if you get the right flight. I suspect it would be similar for a mid week flight from Toronto. I live close enough to the US border to sometimes get flights from that side. Often they can be up to $100 less. I have no idea about the cost of flights from the Caribbean.

For example, I spent a week in Leon, Nicaragua in the beginning of December for under $500/person for two people once we got there. For that we had private transportation from the Airport to Leon ($60), and a public bus back to Managua ($2.50 each), 7 nights accommodation ($30/night) in a private room in a hostel complete with breakfast. Hostel rooms started at $6/night. For lunch and dinner, meal prices ranged from $2.50 to $10. For things to do, we took a cooking class, went volcano boarding, did an overnight trekk (sleeping on top of a volcano) and spent a day at the beach including renting kayaks to go into the nature reserve. We spent our last night closer to the airport and had a guided tour of another volcano that we could drive to the top of and went to a tourist market. All of that, including buying souveniers came out of the $500. With a group you could probably get better rates on transportation and hostel stays.

My next trip is to Guatemala and other than it being Easter week which will up the prices significantly, our budget will be similar. Although Costa Rica is a great country it is significantly more expensive (activities and food) than the rest of Central America.

Have fun wherever you end up going. G Adventures may be able to help you out with a group trip. They do offer budget trips to Central America, so as Ballu said its worth looking into, but if they can't help you in your price range it is doable on your own. A little Spanish goes a long way in Central America but you don't have to be fluent.


Hi Janice08,

Thanks for tip about trying to get a flight through the U.S. or Calgary! I will be certain to look into that when I'm organizing the flights from Toronto. I haven't considered Nicaragua before but that trip sounds amazing and it will definitely be on my radar from now on. The overnight trek and kayaking sounds like something we would thoroughly enjoy. Did G Adventures plan your Nicaragua trip? I was thinking about having maybe 4 days of the trip organized by G Adventures and the other 2-3 days, depending on flights, free for us to roam and be spontaneous.

We are now a group of 12 people that are going to be going on this trip and there may even be more or us. When I get a more concrete number of people and a more definite price range I will be sure to contact G Adventures about their private group tours. Central America and South America are definitely more intriguing than the Caribbean since most of us live or have lived there most of our lives. We also have some people in the group that are fluent in Spanish so we should be more than fine.

Cheers,

Allan
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Re: New and organizing a trip for friends!

Postby Janice08 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:21 pm

We didn't do the trip with G Adventures as they didn't have what we wanted - something different and inexpensive as we were also on a budget. I have been on a few lower priced trips with G Adventures though and they do a good job. It is nice to have someone around to work out the details and problem solve for you but doing it on your own adds to the adventure.

We did the trek through an organization called Quetzaltrekkers.org. They are a non-profit group run by volunteers that donates all their profits to helping kids in Leon. We did the the El Hoyo trek that included the volcano boarding. It was worth the $70 including transportation, food and water, camping gear and 2 guides. Their trekks are 1 - 3 days in length and are about $30 - $35/day.

For the kayaking, we had made arrangements for a tour but the tour operator (not quetzaltrekkers) backed out last minute. One of the other people at the hostel told us how to get there so we hopped on the bus and did it on our own. The beach is at Las Peñitas, which is about 20 km from Leon. We rented kayaks from the hotel Barca de Oro for $12/each (up to 6 hours). You can also go surfing in the area as well. There are several hostels/hotels on the beach if you wanted to spend a day or two there.

If you do end up going to Leon, let me know if I can answer any of your questions. Wherever you go I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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