Anchorage to Mexico City Trip Notes

Anchorage to Mexico City

Last Modified: 18 May 2016
Anchorage to Mexico City
Trip code: SDOA
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2016
Experience the best of North America and Mexico with this gem of a trip, which takes in the best of both of these vastly different regions. There’s time to keep it cool among the glaciers and mountains up in Alaska and Canada, as well as plenty of opportunities to bask in the heat and history of the southwest US and Mexico. A real joy for lovers of the great outdoors, this Anchorage to Mexico City tour is packed with national parks, forest-engulfed mountain country, baron deserts and even a couple of nights in the wilds of Las Vegas thrown in for good measure. The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley are also on the menu, so rest assured the thirst for a great American experience will be well and truly quenched. So climb aboard an old, converted US school bus and set off on one of the world’s greatest road trips.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Why we love itMeals introductionVisas
MapMealsWhat to take
ItineraryTransportClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersHealth
Physical ratingGroup leaderTravel insurance
Included activitiesSafetyA couple of rules
Important notesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersJoining point instructionsFeedback
Style
Basix
Themes
Overland
Why we love it
- Experience an overnight bush camp deep in the Alaskan wilderness Visit the unbelievable Athabasca
- Visit Anchorage Museum to learn about Alaska's history
- Try to spot a grizzly bear in Denali National Park
- Explore the historical gold mining town of Dawson
- Hike around the scenic landscape of Jasper National Park
- Be awed by the natural beauty of the south west's spectacular national parks
- Say "yee-haw" at the home of the rodeo, Jackson Hole
- Discover the fascinating traditions of Mormonism in Salt Lake City
- Place a bet in Las Vegas
- Visit Tequila, the home of Mexico's signature spirit
- Dance away the evening in Mexico City
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Anchorage
Border information: If you are joining in Anchorage, you will most likely enter the USA at Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport (IATA code: ANC).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day is free to explore Anchorage and its stunning surroundings. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Anchorage before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Anchorage.

In Anchorage we will stay in private rooms in a centrally-located hostel.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 2-3 Seward/Kenai Fjords National Park
Today our journey begins with a short drive to the town of Seward, possibly via a short detour to the Portage Glacier.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day you will have free time to explore Seward and take part in optional activities such as a boat trip to the nearby Kenai Fjords National Park.

In Seward we will camp at a woodland campsite near the shore.
Included Activities
  • Kenai Fjords scenic cruise
    Optional Activities
    • Exit Glacier Hike - USD30
      Accommodation
      Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
      Day 4-6 Denali National Park
      Today we will drive to Denali National Park, the home of Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

      Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

      On the following day we will have an included trip into Denali National Park. We will take a shuttle bus through the park to the area of Toklat River, where we will be able to freely explore and enjoy some excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

      On the following day we will have a free day to further explore the National Park or take part in some of the many optional activities available here.

      In Denali National Park we will camp in a well-equipped campsite.
      Included Activities
      • Guided tour of Denali National Park
        Optional Activities
        • Whitewater rafting (2 hrs) - USD89
        • Mt. McKinley scenic flight - USD350
          Accommodation
          Camping (with facilities) (3 nt)
          Day 7-8 Denali Highway
          Today we have a short and scenic drive to our lodge along the Denali Highway, located in an area popular with wildlife spotters and fishermen.

          Tonight we will stay in rooms at a basic Alaskan lodge - these could be dormitory or private rooms, depending on their availability and our group size.

          Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

          On the following day we will head out along the river on motorised canoes to an area deep in the Alaskan wilderness, where we will be able to head out on a trek to a nearby glaicer, explore the surrounding wilderness, and then wild camp for the night.
          Accommodation
          Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
          Day 9-10 Wrangell-St Elias National Park
          Today we will canoe back downstream from our wilderness camp to our lodge to rejoin our overland bus. We will then drive to the historic remote outpost of McCarthy, once a thriving copper mining town and the gateway town to the stunning Wrangell-St Elias National Park.

          Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

          On the following day we will have free time to explore Wrangell-St Elias National Park and the historic towns of McCarthy and Kennicott. We will have the chance to take part in an abundance of optional activities such as hiking, historic mine tours, scenic flights, glacier walks and ice climbing.

          In McCarthy we will camp in a very basic campsite.
          Optional Activities
          • Historic mine tour - USD25
          • Ice climbing - USD140
            Accommodation
            Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
            Day 11 Tok
            Today we will have a scenic drive day towards the Canadian border, arriving at the small town of Tok.

            In Tok we will stay in a well-equipped campsite.

            Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
            Accommodation
            Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
            Day 12-13 Dawson
            Border information: Exit the USA at Polar Creek, enter Canada at Little Gold Creek.

            Today we will travel along the spectacular 'Top of the World Highway' to cross into Canada at North America's northernmost border. We will drive into the famous Klondike area of Canada's Yukon province and the city of Dawson, once a hive of activity for gold prospectors.

            Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

            On the following day we will have free time to explore the area and take part in optional activities such as taking a tour of the old gold mines, trekking up the nearby Midnight Dome, or taking in a can-can show at the Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall!

            In Dawson we will camp in a well-equipped campsite just across the Yukon River from the town.
            Included Activities
            • Guided tour around Dawson City
              Optional Activities
              • Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino Cabaret - USD5
                Accommodation
                Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                Day 14 Whitehorse
                Today we will drive to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon territory. En route we will stop for a tour of one of the incredible original mobile mining rigs near Dawson, Dredge No. 4.

                In Whitehorse we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.

                Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

                Accommodation
                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                Day 15 Watson Lake
                Today we will drive into the province of British Columbia and the small town of Watson Lake. On arrival we will have an included visit to the fascinating Sign Post Forest, and in the evening we have the chance to go on an optional visit to see the show at the fantastic Northern Lights Centre.

                In Watson Lake we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.

                Estimate Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

                Accommodation
                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                Day 16-17 Stewart/Hyder
                Today we will drive south through the beautiful countryside of British Columbia to the town of Stewart.

                Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

                On the following day we will have an included day trip over the border to Alaska and the 'ghost town' of Hyder. Here we will visit the Fish Creek Observation Site where we will hopefully spot Alaskan brown grizzlies or black bears fishing for salmon. We will also visit the huge Salmon Glacier before returning to Stewart for the night.

                In Stewart we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.
                Included Activities
                • Tour of Misty Fjords National Park
                  Accommodation
                  Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                  Day 18 Hazelton
                  Today we will drive to the town of Hazelton and have an included tour of the historical Ksan Indian Village to learn all about the life and history of the Gitxsan people. After our visit we will continue our drive towards the Rocky Mountains and stay at the area of François Lake.

                  In François Lake we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.

                  Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours (including our visit to the Ksan Historic Village).
                  Included Activities
                  • 'Ksan Historical Village
                    Accommodation
                    Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                    Day 19-21 Jasper National Park
                    Today we will continue our drive into the Canadian Rockies and to the town of Jasper.

                    Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

                    On the following day we will have a free day to explore the stunning Jasper National Park or take part in optional activities such as hiking, rafting, biking, or taking the Skytram up the near Whistlers' Mountain.

                    In Jasper we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.
                    Optional Activities
                    • Bike rental - CAD30
                    • Jasper Tramway - CAD40
                      Accommodation
                      Camping (with facilities) (3 nt)
                      Day 22-24 Banff National Park
                      If we have not our spare day anywhere else on the trip, then we will have two full days to freely explore the town of Banff, the spectacular National Park, and take part in the myriad of optional activities available here.
                      Included Activities
                      • Visit to Lake Louise
                        Optional Activities
                        • Horse Riding (per hour) - USD50
                        • Banff hot springs - USD8
                        • Sulphur Mountain gondola - USD40
                          Accommodation
                          Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nt)
                          Day 25-26 Glacier National Park
                          Border information: Exit Canada at Chief Mountain, enter USA at Chief Mountain.

                          Today we will have a full day drive over the US border into the state of Montana and arrive at the eastern side of Glacier National Park, stopping en route at the fascinating Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a cliff that aboriginal people used for hunting for almost 6000 years.

                          Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

                          On the following day we will free time to fully explore the pristine ecosystem of Glacier National Park and take some optional treks or scenic drives up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass and other scenic points.

                          In Glacier National Park we will camp in a campsite near the spectacular St. Mary's Lake.
                          Included Activities
                          • Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
                            Accommodation
                            Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                            Day 27-28 Yellowstone National Park
                            Today we have a full day drive south into the state of Wyoming and to the famous Yellowstone National Park, home to magnificent landscapes, fantastic treks, and the incredible Old Faithful geyser.

                            Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

                            On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore Yellowstone National Park and take part in optional treks and other activities.

                            In Yellowstone National Park we will camp at a campsite in the Madison area of the park.
                            Optional Activities
                            • Whitewater rafting - USD70
                            • Horse riding - USD30
                              Accommodation
                              Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                              Day 29 Jackson Hole/Grand Teton National Park
                              Today we will drive south through the stunning Grand Teton National Park and take a stop at the spectacular Jenny Lake, where we'll have some free time to explore the lake and possibly take a short boat trip. We will then continue to the beautiful town of Jackson Hole.

                              In Jackson Hole we will camp at a campsite surrounded by mountains and on the banks of a small river.

                              Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.
                              Optional Activities
                              • River rafting - USD70
                                Accommodation
                                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                Day 30 Salt Lake City
                                Today we will drive to Utah's state capital of Salt Lake City, where we will have time for quick free exploration of the city centre and its famous Temple Square. We will then head to the nearby Antelope Island State Park, known for its abundant population of American bison and pronghorns.

                                In Antelope Island we will camp at a basic campsite with few facilities.

                                Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
                                Optional Activities
                                • Salt Lake City Tabernacle - Free
                                  Accommodation
                                  Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                  Day 31-33 Moab/Arches National Park/Canyonlands National Park
                                  Today we will have a full day drive to the town of Moab, perfectly located next to the rugged wildernesses of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

                                  Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

                                  We will spend the next two days exploring and trekking in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, and taking part in some optional activities in and around Moab.

                                  In Moab we will camp in a well equipped campsite.
                                  Included Activities
                                  • Arches National Park
                                  • Canyonlands National Park
                                    Optional Activities
                                    • Colorado River Rafting Full Day Moab - USD85
                                    • Mountain biking - USD95
                                    • Colorado River Rafting PM Half Day Moab - USD65
                                    • Mountain biking - Klondike Bluffs - USD95
                                    • Colorado River Rafting AM Half Day Moab - USD54
                                    • Mountain biking - Courthouse Loop - USD95
                                      Accommodation
                                      Camping (with facilities) (3 nt)
                                      Day 34 Monument Valley
                                      Today we will drive to the incredible Monument Valley, the iconic landscape symbolic of the American West. On arrival we will head out on an included jeep tour of the Monument Valley Tribal Park, seeing the stunning rock formations up close and learning about the local Navajo culture.

                                      In Monument Valley we will spend the night in a traditional Navajo ‘Hogan’ (an igloo-shaped dwelling of wood and earth where 6-8 people sleep together on the ground in a circle.

                                      Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
                                      Optional Activities
                                      • Horse riding - USD65
                                      • Navajo-guided jeep tour (2.5 hrs) - USD55
                                        Accommodation
                                        Hogan (1 nt)
                                        Day 35 Lake Powell
                                        Today we will continue our drive to the beautiful town of Page near the stunning Lake Powell.

                                        In Page we will camp in a well-equipped campsite.

                                        Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
                                        Optional Activities
                                        • Kayak Rental - USD55
                                          Accommodation
                                          Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                          Day 36 Kodachrome Basin State Park
                                          Today we will drive to the wonderful Kodachrome Basin State Park, where we will have free time on arrival to explore the beautiful landscape.

                                          In Kodachrome Basin State Park we will camp in a scenic campsite.

                                          Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
                                          Accommodation
                                          Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                          Day 37 Bryce Canyon National Park/Zion National Park
                                          Today we will drive to the incredible Bryce Canyon National Park, where we will have a few hours here to take some optional treks to its hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion). Following this, we will take a very scenic drive to the stunning Zion National Park.

                                          In Zion National Park we will camp at a well-equipped campsite just outside the park.

                                          Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (in total).
                                          Optional Activities
                                          • River tubing - USD15
                                          • Canyoning - USD75
                                            Accommodation
                                            Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                            Day 38-39 Las Vegas
                                            This morning we will have free time to explore, trek or take scenic drives through the spectacular deserts and rock formations on Zion National Park. In the afternoon we will drive to the bustling and energetic city of Las Vegas.

                                            Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

                                            On the following day we will have free time to fully explore the fascinating city of Las Vegas and enjoy its world-famous all-night entertainment options, including its casinos and shows!

                                            In Las Vegas we will stay in a local hotel.
                                            Optional Activities
                                            • Helicopter flight - USD70
                                              Accommodation
                                              Hotel (2 nt)
                                              Day 40-41 Grand Canyon National Park
                                              Today we will continue south into the state of Arizona and to one of the most spectacular highlights of the USA - the world-famous Grand Canyon. On arrival we will head up to one of the stunning viewpoints over the Grand Canyon for sunset.

                                              Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

                                              On the following day we will have free time to explore the Grand Canyon area and take optional treks and scenic helicopter flights over the canyon. The entrance to the Grand Canyon is included on the trip, but as there are many options once inside the National Park the day will be free to explore in your own way.

                                              At the Grand Canyon we will camp at a well-equipped campsite in the Grand Canyon Village.
                                              Optional Activities
                                              • Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD244
                                              • IMAX movie - USD15
                                                Accommodation
                                                Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                                                Day 42 Phoenix
                                                Today we start to drive south through Arizona to the area near Phoenix.

                                                In the Phoenix area we will most likely stay in a rustic campsite to the north of the city, where we may have the opportunity to take some short horse rides.

                                                Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                                Day 43 Nogales
                                                Today we will drive south to the border town of Nogales.

                                                In Nogales we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

                                                Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                                Day 44-45 Guaymas/Mazatlan
                                                Border information: Exit USA at Nogales, enter Mexico at Nogales.

                                                Today we will cross the border into Mexico, and over the next two days we will drive south along the Pacific coast, staying close to the towns of Guaymas and Mazatlan en route.

                                                In Guaymas and Mazatlan we will camp in well-equipped campsites.

                                                Estimated Drive Time - 8-11 hours each day.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                                                Day 46-47 Sayulita
                                                Today we will drive to the surfing town of Sayulita on Pacific coast and enjoy some free time on arrival.

                                                Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

                                                On the following day we will have free time to explore the Playa Los Muertos beach and possibly try your hand at surfing!

                                                In Sayulita we will camp in the grounds of a beach guesthouse.
                                                Optional Activities
                                                • Surfing - USD20
                                                  Accommodation
                                                  Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                                                  Day 48 Tequila
                                                  Today we will drive to the town of Tequila, where we will have time for an optional visit to the town's famous distilleries (either today or on the following morning).

                                                  In Tequila we will stay in a basic hotel.

                                                  Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

                                                  Optional Activities
                                                  • Cuerva Tequila Distillery - USD12
                                                    Accommodation
                                                    Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                                                    Day 49-50 Angahuan
                                                    Today we drive to the town of Angahuan. This village is inhabited by the Purepecha people, who have been indigenous to the area since one thousand years before the Spanish invasion. Angahuan is the gateway to the Paricutín volcano, the only volcano in the world to have been born in modern times.

                                                    Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

                                                    On the following day we will have free time to explore the village of Angahuan or to go for optional walks around the area of the Paricutín volcano. The creation of the volcano in 1943 buried two nearby villages, and it's still possible to see the spire of the cathedral of San Juan Parangaricutiro sticking up from the lava field.

                                                    In Angahuan we will camp at a campsite near to the volcano.
                                                    Optional Activities
                                                    • Paricutin volano trek - USD35
                                                      Accommodation
                                                      Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
                                                      Day 51-52 Mexico City
                                                      Today we will have a full day drive to the massive and chaotic Mexican capital of Mexico City.

                                                      In Mexico City we will stay in a good hotel in the central district of Bellas Artes.

                                                      Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.
                                                      Optional Activities
                                                      • Mexico City - Mariachis in Garibaldi Square (entry is free, price to hire a band for 2-3 songs) - USD8
                                                      • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals - Free
                                                      • Mexico City - Museum of Anthropology - USD6
                                                        Accommodation
                                                        Hotel (1 nt)
                                                        Itinerary disclaimer
                                                        We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip. Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.

                                                        OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                                                        Physical rating

                                                        In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.

                                                        Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.
                                                        Included activities
                                                        Kenai Fjords scenic cruise
                                                        Guided tour of Denali National Park
                                                        Guided tour around Dawson City
                                                        Tour of Misty Fjords National Park
                                                        'Ksan Historical Village
                                                        Visit to Lake Louise
                                                        Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
                                                        Arches National Park
                                                        Canyonlands National Park
                                                        Important notes
                                                        1. This trip is run by our experienced overland partner Dragoman
                                                        2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

                                                        Group size
                                                        Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
                                                        Your fellow travellers
                                                        GROUP TRAVEL
                                                        As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                                                        SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                                                        Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                                                        Accommodation
                                                        Bush camp (no facilities) (1nt), Camping (with basic facilities) (1nt), Camping (with facilities) (42nt), Hogan (1nt), Hostel (3nt), Hotel (3nt)
                                                        The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hostels or hotels. Where it's not practical to camp (ie: in towns and cities), we use hostel or hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants. The frequency and regularity of hostel and hotel stops depends on the route and area.

                                                        Campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. On some of our trips we are able to stay in villages or local homestays, which allows us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.

                                                        Please note that camping is participatory, which means you will be expected to set-up and pack down your own tent.
                                                        Meals introduction
                                                        On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger - you're part of the crew. You are expected to pitch in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. As part of your trip you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting water and firewood, sweeping out the truck, loading the back locker, etc. You will be divided into smaller units of 3-4 people and take it in turns to cook for the whole group according to a rota system. When it is your turn to cook you will have to plan the meal, shop for the ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and then prepare the meal for the whole group. The secret to cooking for 20+ people in a basic camping kitchen is to keep it simple!

                                                        If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting. An example of a typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, fruit and cereal as well as tea and coffee. When time allows it will also be possible to serve something hot such as eggs or pancakes. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some local cooking. Generally our passengers find the more they put into a trip, the more they benefit from it.
                                                        Meals
                                                        No meals included
                                                        Transport
                                                        Overland vehicle

                                                        There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.
                                                        Money matters
                                                        On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and all included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases.This Kitty price indicated on the trip notes below is indicative only. Please refer to the 'Check availability' page on the website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.

                                                        Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.

                                                        You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.

                                                        If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.

                                                        Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.

                                                        KITTY CHANGES:
                                                        We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.

                                                        With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.

                                                        Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

                                                        It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars is the most readily changeable currency.

                                                        VERY IMPORTANT:
                                                        USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

                                                        SPENDING MONEY
                                                        When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                                        If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

                                                        The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                                                        Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                                                        At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
                                                        Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
                                                        Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
                                                        In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                                                        Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

                                                        Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

                                                        Please allow USD25 for international departure tax from Mexico. This is sometimes included in your international airfare.

                                                        Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                                                        EMERGENCY FUNDS
                                                        Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                                                        Group leader
                                                        On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.

                                                        While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman trips use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.

                                                        We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders

                                                        On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.
                                                        Safety
                                                        Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                                                        We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                                                        Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                                                        For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                                                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                                                        TRAVEL ADVISORY:
                                                        Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:

                                                        http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/

                                                        PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                                                        While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                                        The vehicle has fully lockable doors and windows, which is an obvious advantage, but it will probably be necessary to guard it at times and everyone should be prepared to share in this responsibility.

                                                        In most areas there is very little to fear from the point of view of violence. But in all areas 'tourists' are a tempting target for pickpockets and con-men. Always be aware of this and be especially careful when leaving banks or money-changers, in any crowded areas, etc. NEVER leave things lying around - they will almost certainly get stolen. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always be security conscious and to take all necessary precautions. Great inconvenience and distress can be caused by having your documents or possessions stolen.

                                                        A few of our past group members have had the unhappy experience of having their belongings stolen before the trip starts. Beware of carrying your passport and other valuables around with you in cities. We strongly suggest you deposit your valuables in your hotel safe on arrival.

                                                        UNFENCED CAMP SITES:
                                                        On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.

                                                        BALCONIES:
                                                        Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
                                                        Joining point
                                                        Alaska Backpackers Inn
                                                        327 Eagle Street
                                                        Anchorage
                                                        AK
                                                        99501
                                                        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                                                        Joining point description
                                                        Alaska Backpackers Inn has on-site laundry facilities, full kitchen facilities and free wireless internet access. Private rooms offer cable TV and micro fridges. There is also a dining room, reading room and day room stocked with books and games.
                                                        Joining point instructions
                                                        FROM THE AIRPORT
                                                        Cabs from the airport operate 24/7 and will cost around US$20 to take you into Anchorage.
                                                        Buses: Take the 7A and get off at the downtown transfer station. The hostel is 15-20 minutes walking distance away from it.
                                                        Finish point
                                                        Hotel Isabel
                                                        Isabel la Catolica No. 63, Centro Historico
                                                        Mexico City
                                                        MEXICO
                                                        Emergency contact
                                                        Dragoman have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left home and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

                                                        If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.

                                                        Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

                                                        For further contact details please use the following page:

                                                        For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                                        While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                                                        We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                                                        You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                                                        Dragoman: +44 (0) 1728 86222
                                                        Visas
                                                        Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                                        USA TOURIST VISA:
                                                        Australia: No - ESTA required
                                                        Belgium: No - ESTA required
                                                        Canada: No - not required
                                                        Germany: No - ESTA required
                                                        Ireland: No - ESTA required
                                                        Netherlands: No - ESTA required
                                                        New Zealand: No - ESTA required
                                                        South Africa: Yes - in advance
                                                        Switzerland: No - ESTA required
                                                        UK: No - ESTA required

                                                        Entrance requirements to the USA have changed in recent years so please read the following instructions carefully, even if you have travelled to the USA before.

                                                        Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program (meaning a visa isn't required) however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel.

                                                        Many citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries can travel to the USA without a visa for a 90 day stay, if they meet certain requirements. Travellers from all Visa Waiver Program countries must present a machine-readable, biometric passport (which meets US requirements) at the port of entry to enter without a visa, otherwise a US visa is required. You can get further information from the US Department of State website:
                                                        - http://travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors.html

                                                        Also please note, all travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

                                                        All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$14.00 fee paid by credit or debit card. You should apply for your visa waiver authorisation at least 1 week prior to travel to avoid any last minute delays. You will require your passport details and your address in the US (you can use the starting point hotel/hostel address).

                                                        Please note that if there is any discrepancy between the name on your ESTA, your passport, your tickets and even your frequent flyer membership, you may be detained at Immigration and subject to a secondary inspection which could take a few hours. If you have recently changed your name, please check that your details have been updated everywhere.

                                                        If you are from a country eligible for the visa waiver program but are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 1 March 2011, you will not longer be eligible for the visa waiver program and will instead need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html

                                                        CANADA
                                                        Most nationalities except South Africans do not need a visa for Canada, but will need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). See http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp for details and to apply. There is a fee of CA$7 for this service. Travellers will need an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada.

                                                        As always, please check your individual requirements with your local embassy/consulate or a visa service.

                                                        MEXICO:
                                                        Australia: Not required
                                                        Belgium: Not required
                                                        Canada: Not required
                                                        Germany: Not required
                                                        Ireland: Not required
                                                        Netherlands: Not required
                                                        New Zealand: Not required
                                                        South Africa: Yes - in advance
                                                        Switzerland: Not required
                                                        United Kingdom: Not required
                                                        USA: Not required
                                                        What to take
                                                        What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                                                        Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                                                        Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                                                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                                                        LOCKER SPACE:
                                                        The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than: length 15 inches, height 9.5 inches and depth 26.5 inches. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.

                                                        CAMPING EQUIPMENT / MATTRESS:
                                                        A sleeping bag (we recommend a 3–4 season). It can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. If you're travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter the weather. Pillows are NOT provided so please bring a travel pillow along.

                                                        We don't provide a mattress so please bring your own (a Thermarest / inflatable mattress is recommended).

                                                        A simple plastic bag / waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.

                                                        CLOTHING:
                                                        You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.

                                                        CLOSED-IN SHOES:
                                                        As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

                                                        BATTERIES/POWER:
                                                        Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.

                                                        WATER BOTTLE:
                                                        Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
                                                        Climate and seasonal information
                                                        LEGAL DRINKING AGE:
                                                        Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19. Our leaders are not able to help underage passengers buy alcohol.

                                                        HURRICANE SEASON:
                                                        Please note hurricane season is June to November when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors situations as they arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.
                                                        Health
                                                        All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                                                        You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                                                        DENGUE FEVER:
                                                        Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
                                                        Travel insurance
                                                        Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                                        When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                                        If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                                                        A couple of rules
                                                        Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
                                                        Responsible Travel
                                                        We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                                                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                                                        Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

                                                        The Intrepid Foundation
                                                        Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                                                        The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                                                        http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                                                        Feedback
                                                        After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                                                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback