Explora vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
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
5.0 January 2016
We liked everything about our visit! We have traveled to many places on our planet and Torres del Paine is one of the most spectacularly beautiful. We were there for eight days in 2009 and we enjoyed our visit so much we returned in 2011. We stayed at the Explora both trips. Our room was so nice with such a wonderful view! The food was delicious and the staff were without exception very attentive to every detail. Actually, because we enjoyed our stay at this Explora so much we have also stayed at the Explora on Rapi Nui and in the Atacama. We enjoyed those visits also, but their views were not as spectacular as at Torres.Read more
Tour Explora Company Reviews
5.0 November 2018
Japan Cultural Odyssey
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!Read more
Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews
5.0 July 2018
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.Read more
5.0 July 2017
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).Read more
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.
|Tours||2 Trips||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 0||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Chile||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
Founded in 1993, Explora was born out of the passion to showcase the natural beauty of South America, visiting remote and isolated locations on hikes and rides.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Explora is the way they directly incorporate lodging. Owning hotels and camps, they operate as an all inclusive experience, providing a truly relaxing and easy way to plan an unforgettable South America active travel vacation.
South America is a dream destination for many hikers and trekkers - and Explora combines the best of active outdoor travel with premium accommodation, cultural nuances and cuisine. Their unique expertise in some of South America’s most remote and stunning hiking routes make them the perfect choice for adventurous travelers.
Each destinations itinerary is carefully tailored to showcase exactly what makes the particular region stand out.
Who Travels With Them?
Their trips are especially well suited to adventurous travelers. All ages are welcome, however these tours are active and physically challenging, so there is expectation of physical fitness.
Where Do They Operate?
Explora is all about showcasing the best of South America. In particular they focus on the regions of Patagonia and Atacama in Chile, Easter Island, The Sacred Valley in Peru, Uyuni in Bolivia, Salta and El Chalten in Argentina.
How Does it Work?
They own and operate hotels in Chile, and Peru and exclusive camps in Argentina. From these home bases you can join guided multi-day hikes and rides, of varying physical difficulty level. You’ll often stay in local camps along the way, meeting locals in extremely remote regions.
Most of their tours are hiking based, though some bike and boat explorations are also offered. They also feature special horseback riding excursions in Patagonia, which allow you to take in the rich equine history of the region, led by a guide and a traditional “gaucho”.
Why Travel With Them?
If you’re looking for a different kind of hiking experience, that highlights the ability to get out into remote and isolated areas, and gaining a nuanced insight into the cultures and traditions of South America, Explora could be for you. The idea behind Explora is to get in touch with nature on a different level than other tour companies provide.
They also have a strong commitment to sustainability, running a conservation program alongside their tourism business. They operate several programs for travelers to learn more about being responsible and are strict about the “leave no trace” policy during their wilderness expeditions.
Their unique approach is designed to give you the best possible experience, meet fellow travelers as friends, and see a different side of South America led by expert local guides.
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.
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.