Re-Opening the World to Travel

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Travel wanderlust is at an all-time high for many that cannot wait to explore the world again. It is important that everyone remembers to travel with respect. As a travel advisor checking and rechecking the protocols and requirements is an essential part of what we offer you. Making certain you know what is open, knowing social distancing and facemask requirements, just to name a few. It goes without saying that we prepare travel responsibly and respectfully. Knowing the protocols and regulations is important and adhering to them is equally important. By adhering to the protocols put in place to protect you at the hotels, airline, on activities we are working to make sure you have “A Safe Escape” travel experience. Working with you and with destination companies also requires you as the traveler to be responsible and demonstrate the respect for traveling. Traveling is a privilege! Reality today is it is at its lowest point ever. But the numbers are rising and folks are beginning to travel again. Depending on where, you may have to be tested so plan ahead to arrange time for testing and results as wait times can hinder your plans.
Good news, countries are slowly re-opening for travel. In many cases a recent (within 72 hours to 10 days) negative COVID-19 test is all they are requiring to enter into those countries. We continue to follow those openings so that you can travel again. We can provide you with each country opening dates if they have been published and their entry requirements for travel. We strongly recommend securing travel protection for your trip just for added security of you travel investment and certainly private customized travel, so you are not lumped on a bus with many others.
I have been following destinations closer to US so that you don’t have extremely long flights and the Central and South America Region along with Caribbean are at the top of my watch list.
Did you know that many of the Caribbean islands have re-opened to travel already? Deals prevail as well with great incentives to travel now as well as booking for 2021 if you just are quite ready to travel.
Here is just one example – Turks and Caicos just about 1.5 hours from Atlanta is open. To travel there they have a travel authorization online form to complete plus a negative COVID19 test. You are required to also secure travel protection which we can assist with. This destination is inherently safe given its spacious stretches of beach on Providenciales and its sister islands, including Parrot Cay, Salt Cay, South Caicos and Grand Turk, among others.

EcuadoFrigate Birdr has re-opened for tourism with 10 days negative COVID-19 test for a trip to visit the mainland and 3 days if you want to go to the Galapagos. From the Amazon to the amazing eco system of the Galapagos you can spend all your time outdoors and away from crowds. Hiking the many trails, bird watching, nature watching is ideal to this part of the world.
ColoZipaquirra 2mbia is to re-open September 21 and the first international flights allowed are to Cartagena. Required a negative test for entry and a from to complete with you itinerary along with proof of Travel Protection coverage specifically for health coverage.
IMG_6783Costa Rica which is 3-4-hour flight has re-opened to certain US states to travel too and is adding more states each week. They too require a negative test and proof of health coverage. There are so many accommodations options away from the major cities that allow you to social distance plus do outdoor activities. They are coming into their best travel weather season so you can likely travel there as soon as November if you want to.

Panama will re-open October 12 – we are still waiting oEmbera men playing instrumentsn their guidelines besides needing a COVID-19 negative test 96 hours prior to arrival,  but are excited to see this remarkable destination re-open so you can see the Panama Canal up close and personal and enjoy many outdoor activities conducive to social distancing.

Although the list of openings is fluid and changing, we do see a trend to more and more opening through the 4th quarter of this year. What is for certain is now is the time to start planning that future vacation. With any trip we must re-emphasis that you need to secure travel protection coverage to protect both your trip investment as well as any health setbacks or service setbacks that could impact your trip.

We understand that each person is in a different place in terms of ability, desire, and willingness to travel. If you are not quite ready to go international but want an adventure, we can arrange US self drives, rail vacations, Disney World and Universal Florida packages, Villa Rentals and other close to home options. By the way, now is the time to book your holiday space especially for villas. Disney and Universal is also perfect now as they limit the number of guests allowed in so no lines…… Hotels & Airlines are being very flexible with changes and cancellations as they know with this pandemic that situations can change at the last minute and in most cases no fees for the changes. In the end please choose and do responsibly and with the utmost care for yourself and others. The team at Condor Tours & Travel is available to answer questions and help you look towards your future travel plans. www.condortoursandtravel.com or info@condortt.com or 770-339-9961.

Beyond The Galapagos Islands

Known as the land of fire and ice, Ecuador is located in the northwestern part of South America and is approximately the size of Nevada. Peru is to the south and Colombia lies at its northern border while two parallel mountain ranges of the Andes cross the country from north to south. The country contains diverse geography such as volcanoes, wet lowlands, central highlands, coastal plains, and valleys. The highest point is Mount Chimborazo, which stands at 6,272 meters above sea level and Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano, stands at 5,897 meters. The central highlands, also known as The Sierra, is home to almost half the population and many of the country’s oldest and most important cities. In stark contrast, the coastal plain is a hilly, lowland area with few inhabitants and in the far north is tropical rainforest while dry forest lays in the south.

Since 2000 the country has seen steady growth in tourism and between 2011 and 2015 the country had almost six million visitors, which has resulted in a billion dollar industry for this South American country. With arrivals at record levels, lodging companies and other tourist-based businesses have received several international awards, such as The World’s Best Green Destination for 2014, South America’s Leading Destination for 2014: Quito, The World’s Best Green Hotel: Finch Bay Eco Hotel, and The Best Adventure Destination for 2014: Cuenca. Furthermore, starting in 2014, the Ministry of Tourism’s main objective is to position Ecuador as a destination for high-end tourism and, in 2015, made a big push by being the first to advertise tourism during the Super Bowl.

Some of the countries most attractive tourist destinations are Limpiopungo Lake, the Rivas Refuge, The Chimborazo Forest Reserve, Cuenca, and most famously the Galapagos Islands. The Chimborazo Forest Reserve is a sanctuary for a wide variety of flora and fauna and spans across 145,000 acres. Shadowing over the countryside are Carihuairazo Mountain and Chimborazo Mountain. Many experienced mountaineers have attempted to climb Chimborazo and some have succeeded but tombstones honor those lost on the mountain. The Galapagos Islands lie on the equator and approximately 1,000km west of Ecuador. The island is comprised of atolls that are the tips of massive volcanoes that protrude from the ocean’s surface. These atolls mark where two tectonic plates meet and many of the volcanoes are still active. These destinations show the diversity of Ecuador’s terrain but there are many other different places to visit in this country.

Condor Tours and Travel is offering a travel package that highlights places such as El Porvenir, the Ecological Reserve of Hacienda Santa Rita, Condor Machai, and Cotopaxi National Park. The first day of touring starts with an early breakfast then departure to the city of Quito where visitors will witness Alameda Park, the Basilica, Independence Square, La Compana Church, and San Francisco Plaza. On the second day, visitors will tour Andean villages, meet the indigenous peoples of Ecuador, and shop in the Otavalo market. Other destinations include volcanoes and pristine rainforest. Another travel package tours the Guapulo Sanctuary, Imbabura, Guayllabamba Valley, San Pablo, and Cotacachi Village. Many more travel packages can be found on Condor Tours and Travels’s website and what can be seen from each package is that they all explore different aspects of the diverse, rich country.