All you need to know about the tour styles designed for over 50s
When the time came to start our Viva Expedition business, we knew we wanted to do things a little differently. After years of rough-n-ready tour guiding all over South America, we realised that there was a major gap in the tourism services offered: there was simply no-one offering fun and adventurous tours specifically aimed at the over 50s. And that’s how Our Story got off the ground and how Viva was born. Fortunate enough to have years of experience under our collective belt, we created a wide array of travel options that we knew would suit the ‘no-longer-20 crowd’ as we love to call them, tours that would offer just as much adventure and excitement as the run-of-the-mill commercial tours yet with added comforts and specialised itineraries that took heed of the needs and desires of a slightly older crowd.
All our South America tours are designed with the over-50s in mind, which doesn’t mean they won’t suit younger guests, naturally, but it does mean that we focus on a wide array of experiences – a lovely mix of activities that cater to a more mature crowd – and offer plenty of security, comfort and luxury to boot. All offer amazing value-for-money experiences with each distinct option tailored to meet the needs of discerning travellers.
This is why our tours of South America are on a league of their own.
One of the main aspects of travelling, for the over-50s, is the desire and need of a more personalised service, which is the main reason we keep our group tours small and intimate. This allows our expert guides to really focus on each and every guest. Small group tours are an absolute blast: they’re fully-guided for extra safety yet allow for enough free-time so you can meander on your own too. Plus, they bring together a bunch of like-minded people, strangers who’ll soon be good friends, to share the journey of a lifetime.
On our small group tours, we love to hone in on more remote destinations in South America, the kind that are difficult or time-consuming to reach independently. We have the best guides in the business (yes, even if we do say so ourselves!) who’ll offer the kind of insider experience that’ll see you explore hidden spots you won’t find in guide-books. What’s more, you actually have two options here: small group overland tours aboard our trusted all-terrain, specially-built truck (ideal for adventurous souls) or small group discovery tours, which use every mode of transport in South America (train, plane, boat, coach and private vehicle) whilst guiding you to the very best highlights, all over the continent.
Alongside slightly achier joints compliments of time-passing, comes a most distinct lack of desire to compromise and, in this case, we hear you loud and clear. This is what makes custom-made tours an absolute no-brainer for the over 50s because, to be honest, what could be better than to have a South America tour specifically designed to cater only to your needs and wishes? Complete independence and flexibility are the main calling cards of tailor-made tours, where every day on the itinerary is designed with your specific wishes in mind – no need to endure yet another souvenir shopping stop if you loathe them (although in South America, we bet you won’t) or another hike, or another museum stop or another ‘whatever it is’ that just doesn’t interest you. This is your South America adventure, after all, one you’ve probably been dreaming for years. No need for compromise!
Tailor-made tours combine the best of independent travel (the emphasis being on independence) with the safety and comfort of a fully-guided and fully-inclusive tour if that’s what you want. Whether travelling solo, as a couple, family or, perhaps, a group of friends, you decide just how much logistical support you want us to provide. Only accommodation and transport? Or the whole roast beef and three veg affair? You got it. Exactly what you want, when you want it and wherever you wish to go.
Cruising used to be the domain of older folks with a hip replacement and inflated wallet but boy, how times have changed. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that small ship cruising still entices the over-50s with abandon. And why not? You can explore the remotest depths of the wild Amazon rainforest but still have a blissfully air-conditioned luxury yacht take you there, you can meander around the uninhabited islands of the Galapagos aboard a comfortable ‘home at sea’, or reach out-there fjords and glaciers in Patagonia without ever needing to put on a pair of crampons. Then there’s the ultimate small ship cruise experience of all: Antarctica, the most coveted and exclusive cruising hub of all. For obvious reasons, cruising is still a more expensive travel experience yet given the comforts it offers, it is still immensely rewarding.
The benefits of small ship cruising, as opposed to ocean-liner cruising, is that you get the intimacy and high-value service large cruise ships simply cannot provide. Moreover, smaller ships can explore rivers and inlets, taking you closer to shore and minimising transfer-ashore time. If that’s not enough, there’s a ton of exciting adventures awaiting you at every turn: canoe and walking excursions in the Amazon, amazing snorkelling and island exploring in the Galapagos, ice-walking and kayaking in Patagonia and sensational Zodiac expeditions in Antarctica, where you can waddle along with penguins, soak up the sun with sea lions and watch majestic whales up close.
Love the sound of all these amazing experiences yet wish to be a little more adventurous? Then you really need to meet Esperanza.
We can’t even begin to tell you how much consideration went into the refurbishing of our mighty expedition vehicle. Esperanza was designed specifically to cater for the needs over the over 50s, incorporating a fabulous on-board toilet (proudly the first South America commercial overland truck to boast one of these), central heating, generous legroom between seats (1 metre!), onboard filtered drinking water and panoramic windows so everyone can enjoy the spectacular landscapes of South America. All of this, in some of the harshest and remotest corners of the continent.
Expedition Tours tug at the heartstrings of adventurous souls, those who want to scream down the Route 40, explore the wilds of Patagonia, the snow-capped peaks of the southern Andes and visit some of the best national parks in the region that are way off the tourist trail. Esperanza – and our super competent driver & guide team – will show you a side of South America not many get to see and will serve up all this wild beauty with plenty of comforts to boot. We choose gorgeous eco-lodges, guest houses and estancias for our accommodation and include a myriad of fantastic local eateries where you can indulge your taste buds on authentic gaucho fare. You can set off on hikes or take advantage of the array of activities on offer along the way, all the while having the peace of mind that comes from having your own private 4WD expedition truck at your beck and call. Check out this interview with our star tour leader, Mel, and see what more you can expect from these unique overland tours.