Engaging Cultures Travel vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Saw many beautiful sights

5.0 January 2017
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had a 3 day tour into the southern part of Tunisia with our knowledgeable and sensitive tour guide, Mohammed. We saw many beautiful sights, learning the secret of the wealth of the Sahara desert, experienced home cooked breakfast complete with real stone baked bread, organic raw honey, olive oil and sweet mint tea inside a unique cave home in the dessert. We also visited the site of the Star Wars movie and an ancient granary village. Not to mention dessert hot springs and oasis!! Tunisia holds many beautiful sites to treasure!
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Tour Engaging Cultures Travel Company Reviews

Amazing Experience!!

5.0 November 2016
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on the Olive Harvest and brought our 2 daughters, ages 4.5 years and 2 years old. It was an amazing experience!! And our kids loved it too! Everything from picking the olives, to collecting them in a bucket, to the bread dipped in fresh pressed olive oil and zataar snack with tea, to preparing the olives and eating a freshly prepared Jordanian meal, we all enjoyed our time! We have prepared the olives at our home and are waiting for them to ripen so we can enjoy them again!
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Tour Engaging Cultures Travel Company Reviews

Great Deals

5.0 November 2016
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Very organized, great deals, and friendly and polite staff.

Tour Engaging Cultures Travel Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Really superb trip--highly recommended!

5.0 July 2017
TT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).

But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.

Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.

The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.

There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.

Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.

And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."

Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)

I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.

I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
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Tours 2 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 195 $ 399
Operator Type None Group Tour Operator
Size None Global Operator
Trip Types
    • Group Tours
    • Private Guided Trips
    Service Level N/A Standard
    Regions
      • Central America & Caribbean
      • South America
      • Australia & Pacific
      • Asia
      • Africa
      Known For
        • 50+
        • 18 - 35
        • Solo & Singles Travel
        • Eco Travel
        • Volunteering
        Headquarters N/A San Diego, California
        Year Established N/A 2004
        Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
        Tour Languages English
        Top Trips
        Similar Companies
          Countries
          About Engaging Cultures Travel

          Engaging Cultures Travel specializes in organizing trips to Jordan and Tunisia. 

           

          What Makes Them Stand Out?

           

          “Forget the Tourist Fluff” is Engaging Cultures’ motto. Engaging Cultures Travel offer exclusive experiences that give their guests insider perspectives and are customized to meet traveler needs. Engaging Cultures Travel is a socially conscious tour operator who strive to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together through unique travel experiences. 

           

          Who Travels With Them?

           

          Those looking to experience the heart of the middle east, dig deeper than the standard tourist itineraries and get off the beaten path, and those looking to understand and experience the wonderful culture. Love food? There’s a tour focused on cooking experiences, or one where you get to play a part in the local olive harvest. Or is Eco Travel more your thing? Jordan Eco Tour, staying in sustainable accommodations along your way is just the thing. Or if none of the tours already listed is quite right, Engaging Cultures Travel will customize a trip for you that is.

          Where Do They Operate?

          They specialize in the Middle East - specifically they run tours in Jordan, Tunisia, Palestine and Israel.

          Why Travel With Them?

          Engaging Cultures Travel is all about traveling deeper - forming a real connection with a place and its’ people, rather than simply ‘checking a place off a list’. Instead of the usual hotel and restaurant accommodations, Engaging Cultures Travel arranges home-stays, cooking classes, and tours with the locals to fully immerse travelers in local customs and traditions. Go home with a story that no-one else has, and a real understanding of local life in some of these stunning parts of the world.




          About Discover Corps

          San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

          What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

          They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

          With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

          Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

          Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

          These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

          The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

          Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

          Top Destinations

          Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

          Discover Corps Travel Style

          Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

          Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

          If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

          Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

          “Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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