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Why traveling on a small group tour is so special

Enjoy SA Expeditions’ trademark levels of comfort and attention to detail at a more affordable price, while journeying through some of the world’s most dazzling wonders with a handful of like-minded travelers.

SA Expeditions has developed a reputation for its bespoke, high-end tours to South America, the poles, Africa, and Asia. We’ve got longstanding relationships with hotels, tour guides, and other suppliers in all the destinations we visit. And our Destination Experts, with their wealth of first-hand travel experience in the world’s most exotic locations, are truly a cut above.

When it comes to planning itineraries, choosing hotels, and seeking out authentic experiences, we know what works and what doesn’t. Typically, we use this knowledge to craft unique, tailor-made itineraries for private group tours. But we’ve also used our vast know-how to put together small group itineraries to popular destinations, with set departure dates. Read on to find out what makes our small group tours so special…

What can I expect on an SA Expeditions small group tour?

Hikers hiking the Inca trail in the Sacrey Valley Peru
Hike with new travel companions on the Inca trail.

Max of eight people: We don’t allow more than eight people on our group tours. Most other companies that advertise small group tours use the term to refer to groups of 12 to 16 people, so we should really market ours as “super-small group tours”. Keeping things so tiny makes the entire experience intimate, authentic, and spontaneous. Traveling in one small vehicle is a massive bonus: not only is it more comfortable, but it also makes it easier for your driver to make impromptu stops or detours.

Fixed itinerary and departure dates: By offering set departure dates (our small group tours typically start every other weekend) and standardized itineraries, we are able to pass on significant cost savings to you. If you want a bespoke adventure that’s designed to meet your exact needs, one of our Destination Experts would love to assist – tailor-made trip design is what we’re most famous for, but it does come at a premium.

Expert guides and exclusive lodgings: SA Expeditions prides itself on offering enlightening travel experiences at the upper end of the market. And our small group tours are no different. We use the same expert local guides who’ve been wowing our private travelers for decades, and all of the lodgings on our small group tours have a four-star rating. You might be able to find a cheaper small group tour, but we guarantee you won’t find a better value-for-money experience anywhere.

Dedicated personal assistance: In the lead-up to your adventure you’ll have a dedicated Destination Expert to help with any queries you may have. Hellen Gamarra has a decades-long passion for sharing the wonders of South America with the world and, as the one who designed all of our small group tours, she’s the perfect person to answer your questions. The support doesn’t stop once you start your trip: all SA Expeditions guests have access to 24-hour emergency assistance for the duration of their adventure.

SA Expeditions Destination Expert Hellen Gamarra
Destination Expert, Hellen Gamarra will help you every step of the way.

Travel that enlightens: We’re passionate believers in the incredible power of travel as a force for good: both in terms of the value we add to the supply chain, and in the way we broaden the horizons of our guests. We’ve stayed true to this ethos with our small group tours. Despite visiting some of the most popular destinations in South America, our small group tours are designed to be thoughtful, sustainable, and surprising. You will be moved by the experience.

What isn’t included on an SA Expeditions small group tour?

International flights: Our small group tours start and end in South America. We’ll gladly assist with advising which international flights to book, but these will be at your expense.

Some dinners: All breakfasts and lunches are included, but we’ve deliberately left some dinners off. This was done not to save costs, but rather to ramp up the authenticity of the experience. Dinners in the four-star hotels we work with are typically set menu affairs that can get a bit predictable. We want you to experience more than this, and your expert guide would love to assist with dinner recommendations in each destination – he or she will even join you if you want.

Food served on SA Expeditions Great Inca Trail trek Peru
You won’t go hungry! Even on treks, we make sure our travelers our well-fueled with rich, hearty meals.

Start dates are set: To enjoy the incredible value of our small group tours, you have to leave on one of our set departure dates.

Itineraries are set: Our small group tours have to be booked in their entirety without customization. That said, there are select optional add-ons available, which your Destination Expert can tell you more about.

Where can I go on a small group tour with SA Expeditions?

Our two most popular small group tours visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley in Peru, and the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. For the truly adventurous, our 20-day small group trek along the Great Inca Trail (the ancient Inca highway that traverses the spine of the Andes) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

7-Day Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu Exclusive:

This experience is all about immersing yourself in the world of the Incas. From your base in the Sacred Valley – the agricultural heartland of an empire that once stretched from Argentina to Colombia – you’ll learn about ancient local customs and explore the archeological sites of Moray, Maras, and Ollantaytambo. The adventure culminates with a private guided tour of the magical Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. From there you’ll make your way to mesmerizing Cuzco with its fascinating mix of Spanish and Incan culture.

7-Day Galapagos Highlights Expedition:

Take in the sights and sounds of vibrant and historical Quito, before heading to the natural wonders of the Galapagos archipelago for five days of excursions in pursuit of wildlife and breathtaking scenery. You’ll explore, snorkel, and swim, then close each day relaxing from the comfort of your boutique island accommodations. This island-based adventure to Charles Darwin’s laboratory of evolution includes two day trips on a luxurious yacht, accompanied by your dedicated expert guide.

Holistic yoga class at the Galapagos Islands Ecuador
The Galapagos’ tropical air creates perfect opportunity for a serene, outdoor yoga session.

Experience it for yourself

If you’re enticed by the prospect of a luxury, guided trademark SA Expeditions experience at a more agreeable price point, our small group tours might be for you. Check out departure dates and itineraries here or speak to a Destination Expert about your current wish list.

Traveler looking over city aeriel view of Cusco Peru

Other ways of traveling with SA Expeditions

Don’t think a small group tour is right for you? Our team of Destination Experts would love to craft a custom adventure for you…

Custom, private tours: One of our Destination Experts will craft a unique itinerary for you and your family/group. You choose when and where the trip starts and ends, and what you’ll do and where you’ll stay. You’ll be accompanied by a local, expert guide every step of the way. Read this blog for more info.

Custom, solo tours: Traveling alone is one of life’s great pleasures. But it can also be a bit daunting. Maximize the enjoyment with a private tour. A Destination Expert will design a trip that ticks all of your boxes, and our highly qualified guides will bring it to life. Read this article for more info.

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