If “Morocco” does not evoke thoughts of green-living and eco-travel, if the the arid hills of Northern Africa are not on your list of destinations for your around the world ecotour, and if you don’t think a traditional Moroccan kasbah somewhere between the Atlas Mountains and coastal Agadir can teach us how to live our lives more harmoniously with our environment, let Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge change your perspective. When the travel specialists here at Global Basecamps were researching travel opportunities in Morocco, we were giddy to find a local property that so closely matched our company ethos of sustainable travel.
When it opened in 2009, the Atlas Kasbah was the first ecolodge in the Argan Biosphere Reserve. The dreamchild of a married couple with two Master’s Degrees in Sustainable Development between them, this beautiful hotel has garnered recognition and awards from the Ministry of Tourism of Morocco, the King Mohammed VI Foundation for the Environment, the International Network of Responsible Tourism, and Aujourd'hui le Maroc in its short history. Referring to the endeavor of running this lodge as a “project” more than a “business,” the owners’ goals for three years have been respecting the environment, use of traditional architectural techniques and, above all, the strengthening of local Berber communities.
There was a buzz around the office here at Global Basecamps last week. As a San Diego-based company, we are so happy to get word from Japan Airlines that they will be debuting the first non-stop flights from San Diego and Boston to Tokyo. According to Japan Airlines’ press release, “JAL will begin serving the eighth most populous U.S. city, also the city with the largest Asian community currently without a direct flight to Asia, with four flights a week from December 2012 and daily from March 2013 to/from Narita [Airport].” Surely, many Southern Californians will welcome this news as an opportunity to skip a commute to LAX for any direct flights to the Asian capital.
Japan Airlines definitely had the Japanese business sector in mind when they created this route, as San Diego is the home to research institutions, universities and is closer to Tijuana, Mexico, where many Japanese companies conduct business, but this doesn’t mean that western travelers can’t take advantage of the new daily flights for their next ecotour! Not only will this make travel to Japan easier for Southern Californians, but Tokyo’s Narita Airport is also one of the major hubs for travel in Asia. That ecotour in Vietnam could only be one airport transfer away!
The churning and international youth culture of modern Japan lives, as always, beside a calming and proud cultural history unique to its islands. Tokyo is no different. Always an exciting mix of tradition and the future, Tokyo offers ancient temples amidst its modern streets, and keeps ancient traditions while embodying the 21st century.
In its nightclubs Tokyo is at its futuristic best, and the city is definitively among the world’s top destinations for night club and dance music lovers. Anyone on a Japanese cultural tour should think about stopping by one of these locations while in Tokyo. The following are only a few examples of what travelers might expect when venturing into Tokyo nights:
Womb opened in 2000 and has since expanded to organizing music festivals and party cruises in Tokyo Bay. The club itself is a nightly (and most afternoons and early mornings) three story music show, light show, food and drink destination with the biggest disco ball you will ever see.
Below are four great trip planning tools that can help you budget, plan overland travel, search for the best events worldwide, and provide helpful packing tips.
Eardex -AirTreks recent blog post introduced us to this great travel budget tool. Eardex, or the Earth Index, provides information on the cost of living around the world. Eardex shows the cost of living in different towns, cities, regions, and countries by listing local prices of popular products and services, such as the price of hotels, eating out, and public transportation. Eardex users provide the data used to find these local prices and the service is free. Eardex is useful to all types of travelers, whether you’re a backpacker, expat, or luxury traveler the tool allows you to accurately budget your daily expenses.
We’re introducing a new series on the Global Basecamps’ blog highlighting travel experiences that we feel are bucket list worthy. This week we’ll be highlighting the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s best wildlife and nature destinations. A Galapagos cruise is a truly once in a lifetime experience, where you’ll discover the island’s fascinating volcanic geology, unique flora and fauna, and breathtaking wildlife.
When to Visit
The Galapagos Islands are a great destination to visit year round. Peak tourist season is from December through mid January and mid June to early September. From December to May the water and outside temperature are warmer, though there is more rain during this period. You will experience light, short rains almost daily. The warmer water temperatures make swimming, snorkeling, and diving more comfortable, though there are fewer fish to see during these months. Sea lion mating season also falls during this time and in March and April you can see many newborn sea lions. February to April is a beautiful time of year to visit the islands, as all the flowers are in bloom creating a colorful landscape.
From June to November the water and temperatures are much cooler. This attracts more fish and birds. It can sometimes be cloudy or windy during this time of year, though there is little rain. This is a great time of year for diving; you can see more fish and penguins. Keep in mind the ocean is not as clam during these months. The ideal time of year to visit depends on your specific travel goals. With warm weather from December to May and more wildlife viewing from June to November both are great times of year to visit.
Galapagos Tour Options
There are a variety of Galapagos cruise options ranging from budget to luxury, and lasting from three to eight days. The cruises include all meals and excursions. Our first class yachts have no more than twenty guests and multiple decks with spacious rooms.