Explora vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - 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 — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Enjoyed

5.0 January 2016
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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Tour Explora Company Reviews

Tours 2 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 0 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
Service Level N/A Standard
Regions
  • South America
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • Eco Travel
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Chile Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established 1989 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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        About Explora

        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.

        About Signature Collection by Gate 1

        A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

        What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

        These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

        They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

        The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

        Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

        Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

        While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

        Top Destinations

        They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

        Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

        Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

        Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

        Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

        All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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