Toucan in rain forest with tree and foliage on Tucan Travel tour
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Tucan Travel

4.3 | Great
  • 92% Recommend
Service Level
  • Budget
Type
  • Global Operator
Established
  • 1987
Headquarters
  • Acton, London, United Kingdom
Trips
  • 250

1,040
Tucan Travel Reviews & Ratings 92% Recommend

4.3 out of 5
Excellent 902 Great 445 Average 130 Disappointing 60 Terrible 54
Value:
4.3 Guide:
4.3 Activities:
4.3 Lodging:
4.3 Transportation:
4.3 Meals:
4.3

Tour Reviews

S

Recommends

Amazing South America Honeymoon July 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
For our Honeymoon we did a custom tour of South America (from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina to Brazil) with Tucan. We ended our Honeymoon with the Tucan Rio Carnival Beach Experience (about a month overseas). I cannot recommend Tucan Travel enough!

It was our first time travelling overseas for a significant amount of time and in countries that don’t speak English, and I was a little anxious about what to expect. But I didn’t need to worry about a single thing!
Our entire holiday, travelling from city to city and across countries was seamless, allowing us to sit back and enjoy ourselves and take in the spectacular culture and scenery. One example, instead of us having to lug around our suitcases, Tucan arranged for us to leave our big suitcases at our hotel in Cusco (Andean Wings Boutique Hotel) so that we could travel to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) with only an overnight bag. When we arrived back to Cusco, our suitcases were waiting for us safe and sound. This was all done so smoothly and professionally, I was very impressed. The local guides helped us with the border crossings (where to line up, and looking after our bags). I felt safe the whole trip with Tucan – coming from someone that worries easily, this is saying something!

For the local tours, we had wonderful informative tour guides who would collect us from our hotel (and return us) for fantastic and awe-inspiring experiences. The hotel staff and local guides gave the best restaurant recommendations and the included breakfasts where we were staying made getting up early to make the most of our day easy. The hotels were all in the perfect position, right in the best parts of the cities so we could walk to local restaurants and attractions in our spare time and really make the most of every minute we were spending in these amazing countries. In Rio, our hotel was right on the beach front at Copacabana, central to the beach parties and may blocos! Most of the hotels gave us little surprises for our honeymoon (complimentary pisco sour, rose petals, chocolates, desserts). We were astounded at this special touch and it really made our Honeymoon unforgettable!

I highly recommend the Tucan Rio Beach Carnival Package – I think it is the best and only way to experience Carnival. At our hotel we were staying with a great group of fellow Tucan travellers who had booked the same package. It was fantastic being able to enjoy the blocos, Sambadrome and beach parties with a group. Our Tucan guide Scott showed us how to use the Rio metro and gave us lots of tips, especially for avoiding pick pockets. The Carnival package was a definite highlight of the trip - it was a wonderful week full of both relaxing on the beach, and drinking at night with some great people. I will definitely be travelling with Tucan again!
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GK

Recommends

Who can? Tucan! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Traveled with Tucan to Colombia, had such an amazing time! Apart from the country being beautiful, the itinerary itself was diverse and varied, the locals friendly and the guide was super enthusiastic and knowledgeable who treated us like guests to his country as opposed to customers on his tour.
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Tour Tucan Travel Company Reviews

HC

Recommends

Good value for money! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I've been on two Tucan tours (one overland in Africa, one budget in SE Asia) and can't fault Tucan. Good value for money, any customer service issues are quickly sorted and the tour of Africa resulted in me meeting some of the most brilliant people ever! They definitely excel at Overland Tours and I'll be booking another one soon.
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Tour Tucan Travel Company Reviews

J

Recommends

Loved the trip! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Can't recommend Tucan enough - just returned from the South America flyer tour -a brilliant couple of weeks with the best guide ever! Wilson, you are a legend!

Tour Tucan Travel Company Reviews

K

Recommends

Nancy was a very enthusiastic positive tour December 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Nancy was a very enthusiastic positive tour leader. She ensured that everyone was able to achieve their goals on the trip

Tour Tucan Travel Company Reviews

Stride Review

Founded in 1987, Tucan Travel specializes in adventurous, immersive travel experiences.

What Makes Tucan Travel Stand Out?

They are all about going beyond the resort style of travel for adventure trips that let you experience another side of the country you’re visiting. They offer no pretense either, clearly stating that their style of adventure travel is not for those seeking a chill beach vacation.

The four main travel styles you can choose from include Adventure Tours, Overland Tours, Budget Expeditions (specifically geared toward 18-35 year olds), and Add Ons, short side trips. Tour leaders are known as “Adventure Specialists” and will be alongside everyone in your group, encouraging you to to try the fried scorpions.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Tucan Travel?

Travelers who gravitate to Tucan will be budget minded and looking for fun, new experiences - and maybe a classic site or two thrown in for good measure. Unlike some of the companies Tucan is commonly compared with, they do not have an age cap, though travelers do tend to be on the younger end.

Think young professionals less interested in an ongoing party, but still not quite at the “cultural attractions and museums” stage. Tucan fits comfortably in the middle, offering inexpensive tours with interesting itineraries. For those younger travelers seeking a youthful group, Tucan does have group trips specifically for 18-30 year olds.

Most Tucan trips are active, engaging, and exciting, with many local touches. Travelers with Tucan enjoy taking risks and experiencing a destination from the inside out. The price of Tucan tours is designed to be very affordable, however the tours aren’t all inclusive. You’ll be on your own for some meals, and there is a lot of free time available. Also keep in mind Tucan encourages travelers who want, to go off on their own and rejoin the tour later on.

Solo travelers are very welcome, and encouraged! Tucan tours are a great way to make new friends, and most tours don’t require a single supplement if you are willing to share with a same-sex roommate.

Tucan Travel Style

Tucan tours are separated into 3 broad buckets: Worldwide Adventures, Adventures for 20s to 30s, and Tailor Made Travel.

Worldwide Adventures with Tucan are tours intended for a wide audience - the age range is from 18-65. Groups are very small, between 4-19 people. Accommodations are in comfortable, locally owned hotels or guest houses. Like all Tucan tours they are budget conscious.

Adventures for 20s to 30s are perfect for young adults between 18-39 years old after an adventure. These tours can be super high energy and are typically low cost. Accommodations range from camp sights to 2-3 star budget hotels and hostels. Transportation will include local public transport systems such as public buses and trains or overland vehicles.

A note on Overland Travel: Overland tours are a very specific kind of travel, so make sure you know what you’re getting into! These journeys are self sustaining bus rides. Travelers all pitch in at various times to help with cooking, cleaning, and camp setup or breakdown tasks. Prepare for a rustic, outdoorsy venture. It’s a unique way to travel, but certainly not for everybody!

Tailor Made Travel is great for those travelers seeking a more customized experience than a pre-set itinerary can provide. Tucan travel experts will design a trip to your specifications and provide a quote. Suggested for families, couples, and small friend groups.

Why Choose a Tour with Tucan Travel?

Tucan lays on the adventure travel idea pretty think throughout their tour styles. Adventure travel means many things, and Tucan takes a wide view. If you have an adventurous spirit, are one of the first to try the strange street food, volunteer to have the tarantula crawl on you, and love meeting locals these tours will be for you.

You’ll meet young, like-minded travelers, and those that are young at heart. Guides are enthusiastic and experienced, ready for anything and ready to make sure your trip fulfills all your expectations. They emphasise the community aspect of group travel and encourage solo travelers to join their groups (and don’t require a single supplement).

Independent travelers who are feeling really unsure about a group tour may find exactly what they’re looking for in a Tucan tour. Tucan actively encourages travelers who join their group tours to go off and explore. You can even choose to spend longer on your own and rejoin the Tucan group at the next destination!  

Visit Tucan Travel site >

From Tucan Travel

Tucan, Toucan, Tucán, Tucano; what's in a name?

When Tucan Travel was formed in 1987, co-founders Pip and Liliana Tyler named their company Tucan Travel because, as they were Latin American specialists principally operating tours in South America and Central America, it made sense to use the local spelling.

Here at Tucan Travel, we often get people thinking that our name is spelled Toucan Travel. The name 'tucan' actually derives from the Latin American (Spanish) spelling 'tucán' or Brazilian (Portuguese) spelling 'tucano'.

Tucan Travel is named after the distinctive South American toucan bird with a large brightly coloured beak The toucan comes from the neotropics - the tropical regions of the Americas. They are bright, striking birds renowned for their large, colourful bills. Some large species of toucans have bills that are at least half as long as their body, but they are very light and strong so don’t weigh the birds down.

There has been a lot of scientific debate about the function of the toucan's distinctive bill. Some argue that it is necessary for recognition, while others believe its function is wholly practical in the process of gathering food and seeds. There are also claims that the bill is necessary for defence, while some scientists believe that it could be a mechanism to intimidate smaller birds so that they can more easily plunder their nests.

You may see toucans in Mexico and Central America, particularly in jungle areas and tropical ruin sites such as Tikal in Guatemala. In South America, you will find them in the Amazon Jungle (our tours visit areas of the Amazon in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil), in parts of northern Argentina and all across Brazil.

The toucan family includes around 40 species, the most popular being the keel-billed toucan. Related species include mountain toucans, aracaris, and toucanets. Scientists speculate that there could even be species of the toucan that have not yet been documented as there are areas of rainforest which remain unexplored.

Toucans are very intelligent, social birds and are very noisy in groups. Their bodies are heavy with short wings and their first and fourth toes are inverted. Toucans prefer to hop between branches rather than fly. They are usually found in pairs or small flocks, and they do not migrate.

Toucans are frugivorous (fruit-eating), but will also eat bird eggs and small prey such as rodents and insects. Toucans swallow fruit whole and then regurgitate the seeds. Toucans have a good lifespan and can live for about 20 years.

Privately owned & passionate about adventure travel

Travel addicts Pip and Liliana Tyler founded one of the first ever South American adventure tour companies in 1987 and named their business Tucan Travel, after the famous South American bird with its traditional Spanish spelling. As their reputation for offering excellent adventurous public transport tours spread and demand increased, the Tylers decided to expand and joined forces with fellow tour operator Matt Gannan in 1997, and with his fleet of expedition vehicles the company started pioneering many of the first overlanding routes in South America.

The directors’ formidable combined knowledge and ongoing passion for adventure travel drove Tucan Travel’s expansion to worldwide destinations in the early 2000s and in 2003 Budget Expeditions was developed as an independent youth brand for 18 to 35s. In 2008 the youth brand was amalgamated back under the parent brand as a travel style. Tucan Travel now offers more than 470 adventures in 72 countries across  destinations including Europe, Asia and Russia, East and Southern Africa, Latin America and Antarctica.

Although Pip and Liliana Tyler fully retired in June 2014, we are proud to still be independently owned by Matt Gannan and staffed by equally enthusiastic adventure travellers at our offices in London, Sydney, and Cuzco, at our operations base in Bangkok, as well as our tour leaders and drivers on the road. When you’re researching who to travel with and only the best will do, look no further than Tucan Travel!

We can proudly guarantee the high standard of our tours because in 95% of destinations we operate them ourselves and do not sub-contract to other operators. On occasions where we use local guides, they are trained and supported by us and are expected to adhere to the top quality service our clients have come to expect. Staffed by a team of avid travellers, the company shares and encourages its clients’ exploratory spirit and the desire to see the world in an authentic way.

Tucan Travel owns a fleet of comfortable, modern Mercedes Benz custom-built vehicles which comply with European emissions standards and are well equipped to deal with the demands of the varied terrain on tour. The company is committed to offering exciting and adventurous itineraries while encouraging responsible travel practices on the road and in its offices. We offer our clients the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions of our tours and pledge to reduce our company emissions by managing our energy efficiently and offsetting business travel

Taking part in the 'Adventure of a Lifetime'

We are delighted that you are considering enjoying a Group Tour with Tucan Travel. In order to ensure that you have the best possible experience, we would like to draw your attention to some aspects of our group tours to make sure that you are fully aware of the nature of the travel which you will be participating in.

Our tours are designed to let you get under the skin of a destination, so you receive an authentic experience. If you enjoy meeting and interacting with local people and are willing to occasionally encounter basic infrastructure and facilities in order to experience the path less travelled, then our group tours will be just what you’re looking for.

On your tour, you may encounter some long travel days. These are usually unavoidable but please be assured our itineraries have been designed with the benefit of our clients in mind in order to maximise your free time in each destination. Please also note that when travelling way from the beaten track in these more remote areas, you may find that road conditions can be rougher than you may be used to at home.

Our tours are of a modular nature meaning that our smaller tours fit together to form longer tours with the longest being 199 days in length. During this time, some passengers may join or leave your tour at different times. One of the advantages of this system is that we can offer you greater flexibility. We have carefully chosen departure dates to allow you to combine tours. This flexibility means you can get the best experience out of the time you have and see as much of your chosen country - or continent - as you want to.

We kindly request that our clients bring along a positive attitude and an open mind. These are most certainly invaluable when travelling in a group. Despite the very best intentions and planning, things can and do go wrong and occasionally we encounter problems beyond our control, such as delayed public transport and adverse weather conditions, in such situations we ask for your patience and we will endeavor to keep as close to your scheduled itinerary as possible.

The accommodation we use are generally locally owned and are chosen for their proximity to local attractions, their cleanliness and customer service. However, in some of our more remote destinations you may encounter basic facilities and on occasion you may not have the luxury of hot water, laundry facilities, local shops or amenities. Our guides and leaders will do their best to forewarn you if this should occur.

Participation in our tours requires a certain level of fitness. The tours are fast paced, packing in plenty of sights into short periods of time. It is also sometimes necessary for all our clients to carry their own luggages. This includes being able to lift your possessions on and off various forms of transport and carrying them up and down flights of stairs in train stations and hotels where there may be no lift available.

Due to the nature of our group tours, we don't allow children under the age of 12 to join them. This is just in case the children are unable to keep up with the rest of the group. The accommodation, transport or excursions offered may not be suitable for children under this age. For children aged between 12 and 18, we ask that each child is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Please note: No children under the age of 13 are able to do the Inca Trail Trek. A minimum age of 16 is accepted on group tours to China. There is no minimum age for our Tailor-made tours.

As some of our tours operate at high altitudes or in malarial zones, we would recommend you consult with your doctor prior to travel. If you have any pre existing medical conditions, travel in these regions may be difficult. Furthermore, we recommend consulting with your doctor at least 6 weeks before your departure date regardless of your present health.

During our Overland Tours and Budget Expeditions you will be required to participate in the successful running of the group. This means that to ensure the happy continuation of the tour you will all be expected to help the tour leader and driver with the setting up of camping equipment, the cooking of meals, pitching of tents, washing up and packing up the vehicle when leaving a campsite facility. It may also be necessary to stop off at a supermarket on the way to your next destination to pick up supplies. Here you will have some time to do your own personal shopping.

We sincerely hope that we have given you a good insight into what travelling on a group tour may be like. We highly recommend that you read the Pre-departure Information Booklet, Tour Dossier and Travel Style description, for more detailed information specific to your tour. You should also read section 9 of our booking conditions if you are in any doubt about the above information.

** If after reading this information, you don't think this particular tour is right for you, remember Tucan Travel has a large range of tours, products and services which can be tailor-made to suit your requirements. Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices to discuss alternative travel styles or if you require more information.

Tweets by TucanTravel


Associations:

Association of Independent Tour Operators, Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Ltd, Association of British Travel Agents

Awards:

British Travel Awards

    • 2014 Bronze - Best Small Escorted Adventure Holiday Company
    • 2012 Winner - Best Escorted Experience Tours Operator
    • 2009 Winner - Best Small Tour Operator of the Year
    • 2008 Silver - Best Tour Operator to Central/South America

 

My Adventure Travel Expo

    • 2014 Winner - Best International Tour Operator

 

e-travelblackboard Readers' Choice Awards 

    • 2009 Winner - Best Tour Operator to Asia
22 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,949

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Teotihuacán ruins
  • Guided tour of Monte Albán ruins
  • San Cristóbal village tour
  • Guided tour of Palenque ruins
  • Guided tour of Chichén Itzá
  • Caye Caulker
  • Guided tour of Tikal ruins
  • Rio Dulce boat tour to Livingston
More
13 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,089

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Teotihuacán ruins
  • Guided tour of Monte Albán ruins
  • San Cristóbal village tour
  • Guided tour of Palenque ruins
  • Guided tour of Chichén Itzá
More
22 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,574

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Chichén Itzá
  • Guided tour of Palenque ruins
  • San Cristóbal village tour
  • Rio Dulce boat tour to Livingston
  • Guided tour of Tikal ruins
  • Caye Caulker
More
15 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,709

Highlights

  • Visit to Chichicastenango markets
  • Copan Ruins entrance and guide
  • Roatán Island
More
 

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