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Top Trip Memories
  • Joining family members in Africa for wildlife viewing on safari .
  • Experiencing the Dalmatian or Turkish coasts on a small luxury yacht.
  • Gaining deeper insights into the indigenous cultures of Botswana and Namibia via one-on-one contact. 
  • Taking private cooking lessons in Tuscany with a small group of friends. 
  • Exploring ancient Egyptian archaeological sites at your own desired pace.
  • Learning how to throw a boomerang in Australia’s outback under the tutelage of a native. 
  • Trekking through the Himalayas of Nepal with an experienced Sherpa guide.
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Tour Tips
  • If you have strong preferences about where to go, what to see, and what to do on a trip, then a private guided tour may be right for you. 
  • Many mostly high-end tour companies specialize in private guided tours, so you may want to check out their offerings first. 
  • While you can generally expect to pay more for a private guided tour than a regular guided group tour, you can help establish the budget as well as the itinerary when you customize your own trip. 
  • If you feel you’re being overly pushed in a direction you don’t want to go – be it the destination, the types of activities, budget, or other considerations – you may want to shop around. 
  • A “private” guided tour doesn’t (necessarily) mean solo travel with a guide; many families and small groups of friends line up private tours so they can form their own group. 
  • Tour companies that arrange private guided tours often offer “sample” tours that you can use as models for inspiration – or, if that itinerary appeals to you, simply choose it.  
  • If you’re traveling to different countries or large regions within a country, you may be matched with more than one local guide, to take best advantage of their varied expertise.
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Private Guided Tours Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.9 out of 5

98%

recommend

615 Reviews

Excellent 555 Great 26 Average 6 Disappointing 3 Terrible 6

Rating Details

Value
4.9 Guide
4.9 Activities
4.9 Lodging
4.9 Transportation
4.9 Meals
4.9
Tour Reviews

You'll have a trip of a lifetime traveling with Myths and Mountains!

Bhutan: Fall Festivals, Families and Nature

5.0 August 2017 Myths and Mountains Recommend: Yes (Our favorite memories are) attending the Nimlong Festival, being present at the temple when the Master returned from 6 years of meditation on the mountain; walking into the temple where we received prayers and blessings to see a tray that had been prepared for each of us with our photos and placed next to the altar; Kinley and Pema (!!), visiting the READ Center and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with a little girl there; seeing READ in action; walking on a trail through the rice fields, seeing the women bent over working; watching monks create the masterpiece mandala and then destroying it; the Thai massage on our last night in Bhutan; the absolute beauty, peace and serenity of the country; sitting quietly and hearing only bird song or the bells of a prayer wheel - too many highlights to list!

(Our favorite hotel was) Nak-Sel Resort and Spa - absolutely beautiful, spacious, lovely setting and spa facilities.

Jen (at Myths) took the time to talk with me about spending a day in Thailand, suggesting tour ideas, highlights (and low lights to avoid), warnings about the heat and crowds, etc. It really helped me focus in on what I wanted and then to enjoy my day there thoroughly. Toni painted a picture of Bhutan and the itinerary there. The information about what to expect, cultural norms, food and lodging, the map of Bhutan, the packing list were all very helpful.

(Our guide) Kinley was wonderful - such a sweetheart and he and Pema are a great act together. They worked very hard to make sure that we were all well cared for, go everywhere we needed to go and on time and with the proper dress and gear. I know there were a few glitches, there always are, and we never knew anything was wrong. We may have missed a thing or two because they were closed or inaccessible. That goes both ways in that we were able to return to one of the temples where the Master returned to great pomp and ceremony because of Kinley's diligence and that had to be covered by letting something else go. Kinley was one of the best guides I've experienced in my travels; he was very caring when I got sick and took great care of everyone. He has a very soft spot in his heart for Toni and Myths and Mountains and that showed in all his actions.

You'll have a trip of a lifetime traveling with Myths and Mountains!
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(Our guide) Kinley was incredible!

Bhutan: Fall Festivals, Families and Nature

5.0 August 2017 Myths and Mountains Recommend: Yes All of the information (from Myths and Mountains) was very helpful from the packing list to the essential country information. Jen was helpful with everything!

(Our favorite memory was) watching the mandala being made, the various rituals (especially the Dued), the visit to Mebar-tso Lake, Nimalung Festival and Taktsang pilgrimage.

(Our guide) Kinley was incredible! He is so knowledgeable about all things Bhutan, so patient, kind, considerate and thoughtful. Plus, he has a great sense of humor. He is an excellent communicator and was always so helpful with everything from start to finish. I cannot say enough about him. He is a true gem!
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Everyone at MM were very helpful and responsive.

Bhutan: Fall Festivals, Families and Nature

5.0 August 2017 Myths and Mountains Recommend: Yes Loved our tour guide and driver in Bhutan, Kin-le and Bema. Great access to cultural experiences, that I felt would be normally difficult to experience. (Favorite hotel was) Druk. Nice hotel with good food. Good location. (Favorite guide was) Kin-le. Very knowledgeable, has great connections to get us access to special activities. Read more

Planning the trip with the consultant at this travel agency went smoothly.

Inca Trail Trek

4.0 July 2017 Lost World Adventures Recommend: Yes " However, I think the our consultant needed to spend a little more time understanding our age/physical ability. He recommended 2 days touring Machu Picchu. However, we got there by 10 am the first day and had seen all we needed by the end of the day. Since we were not hikers, we were not going to hike to the Sun Gate, nor were we going to climb Huana Picchu. So, we spent a pleasant day relaxing in Aguas Caliente, but wasted the cost of admission for 2 for the second day.

All of the accommodations were fine and most of the local tour guides were excellent. Our guides in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco were excellent. Unfortunately I was very ill in Lake Titicaca and could not go on the tour, but the local tour guide helped us find a doctor, called my husband several times to make sure I was ok, and came to the hotel to check on me. She was very helpful in my time of need.

Our Lima tour guide was curt and not very good and the guide who rode with us for over 8 hours for the Nazca lines tour fell asleep most of the time and was NOT very informative.

Our consultant did not respond to an email when I had a medical emergency in Peru. However, the person monitoring the chat line was able to make our travel changes for a price that I believe is excessive. Changing 1 flight out of 3 on our return trip cost me $100 from the travel company for the change fee. I think considering the cost for the trip, they could have done that for free since I also had to pay the travel company and the tour company. Given my condition in the morning I was unable to leave the hotel room and travel for an hour to the airport. It took some time for the prescribed drugs to take effect so I had to leave later. The hotel was extremely helpful and accommodating, including allowing us to check out from our room very late."
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Their service was outstanding.

Inca Trail Trek

5.0 July 2017 Lost World Adventures Recommend: Yes "This Peru travel agency planned and booked a custom trip for me and my wife to Peru in October 2015. The trip included a short stay in Lima, and almost a week in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Their service was outstanding. The planning for the trip was perfect, and we relied entirely on them as we had not been to Peru before. They also went beyond the call of duty by getting a reservation at a good hotel in Lima even though there was a huge convention of the world bank in town at the time. They persisted until they found a cancellation. they even booked two good restaurants for us in Lima. The guides they provided were also excellent, including one who was truly outstanding.

I never would have located this company except through Zicasso. Two years ago we made a trip to Brazil and we looked and looked for a travel agency of this kind and never did find one. I would highly recommend using Zicasso to find the appropriate agency if you are traveling somewhere that you have not previously been to, or if you do not have an agency you are satisfied with."
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Private Guided Tours Trips & Tour Advice

If you aren't interested in a group guided tour, you can still travel with a guide on your own. A number of tour operators will fix you up with a private guide or guides for the duration of your trip. Your tour could either be customized to your liking, or you could choose one of the standard itineraries offered by the operator, so that you don't have to think about where to stay, how long to be gone, when to fly, or any other travel logistics. Private guided tours are, of course, typically more expensive than group tours, but you never have to worry about getting lost in the crowd.

A private guided tour can prove to be one of your most memorable and satisfying travel experiences. You – or your smallish group of like-minded family and friends – have the use of your own guide(s) to introduce you to and immerse you in far-off locales and cultures that you might not feel comfortable navigating on your own. 

A good private tour company and guide should confer with you and your companions as to your preferences on what to see and do, what your energy level is, and how much free rein you’d like during the trip. On a private guided tour, you aren’t just one member of a group, but the star of the show. 

Personalized Service 

Most tour agencies that offer private guided tours are eager to work with you in pre-planning trips according to your individual preferences. For instance, if you and your family have always wanted to see the Great Migration of wildebeest in Tanzania’s Serengeti, they’ll work to make it happen. If you’re traveling with young children, they’ll take that into account. 

But it’s fine, too, to say, “I’ve heard about river boats in France but how can I cruise through Bordeaux with just my family?” The tour company might well suggest a luxury barge trip on a vessel complete with your own private chef, then make all the arrangements so that all you have to do is show up. 

Whatever kind of private guided tour you choose – an African safari, a cook’s tour of Tuscany, a trek through the Himalayas, or perhaps that barge trip through Bordeaux -- your guide will be, for the most part, at your beck and call. But you may well choose to let your guide lead the way, to take best advantage of his or her expertise. Either way, the service should be tailored to your wants and needs. 

Added Flexibility

Regular guided group tours – where most participants typically don’t know each other before the trip – can be a wonderful way to make new friends, and are often very budget-friendly. A possible downside, though, is that you generally won’t have any control over who you’re traveling with, exactly where you’re going and when, at what pace you’re traveling, or, in many cases, the size of the group. 

With private guided tours, on the other hand, you get all the benefits of regular guided group tours – not having to wrestle with logistics or hassle with transportation, gaining the insights and access that good local guides can provide, knowing what the total trip will cost in advance, and more -– with none of the potential drawbacks. It all adds up to more flexibility for you and, if you’re not going solo, your own small group of friends or family. 

Other Things to Keep in Mind

In some parts of the world, guides are expected to eat separately from the tour group, so if you’d like to invite your private guide to dine with you, ask politely -- but don’t be offended if he or she has to decline. 

Even with family members and groups of friends, disagreements can erupt while traveling. Try to work out any potential problem areas before you start your trip, because to take best advantage of a private guided tour, you won’t want to give your guide constantly conflicting signals.   

Private guided tours can be ideal for family travel, since children can be themselves and guides can tailor activities to them and give them more individual attention than in a larger group tour. 

Private guided tours are also good for specialty travel, such as birding trips, photo tours, or wine tasting expeditions in which you have intense interest in one activity and want to spend the bulk of your time on it.

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