Travel with a ‘Cause’

Standard
Give

Giving is a gift

Traveling can be simple and it can be about personal growth, new sites, smells and foods and people.  Sometimes it’s just getting away and turning off the cell for a bit, hiking uphill and downhill, day after day outside, replenishing the reservoir, soul food, foreign languages.

During this season of giving thanks I am reminded that travel is also about learning and about finding  ’causes’ that pull at heart strings and speak to compassion and a love for humanity and for the wild things and wild places and wild animals all over the world.  These places and people and things need our support and the return is soul food and spirit nourishing.  Who doesn’t need that?

Join us in the support of a cause that’s important to you. Here are few that have caught our attention.

Hope2OneLife –  http://hope2onelife.org/

Iqra Fundhttp://www.iqrafund.org/

ExpedtionKonyhttp://expeditionkony.com/

Atlas Cultural foundationhttp://atlasculturalfoundation.org/

Team Rubiconhttp://teamrubiconusa.org

http://townhallseattle.org/himalayan-cataract-project-fundraiserrestoring-sight-one-treatment-at-a-time/

Communicate with us about the ’causes’ you care about.

Ready to cross your next trip off your bucket list? We offer a complimentary 30-minute “Dream Destination” consult to talk you through the logistics of an amazing, safe and unforgettable trip… and you’ll get one insider travel tip to move your planning forward! Call (406) 223-2595 or email travel@bellatreks.com to set up your consult today.

Traveler’s Tale- Chile’s Coast Walk | A Real Gem

Standard

“From Papudo to Zapallar, Chile’s extraordinary coast walk is a real gem.

The cobble-stone trail is a stone masons masterpiece of mosaic and rock architecture.

Emerald greens with hillsides of pink & purple flowering vines cascade down like waterfalls.

The Pacific ocean vast and deep, rugged coast-line with sandy alcoves & turquoise blue water.

This place is beyond peaceful, and is beloved by local poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda.”

~Louise, Bella Trekker 2012


You’ve been dreaming of this trip for years… now is the time to make it happen. We offer a “Dream Destination” consult to talk you through the logistics of an amazing, safe and unforgettable trip… and you’ll get one insider travel tip to move your planning forward! Call (406) 223-2595 or email travel@bellatreks.com to set up your consult today. Give us a try!


Gear We Love: Rite in the Rain Notebooks

Standard

Rite in the rain notebooks are the best for travel. They come in several sizes and shapes, the paper is waterproof, ink and pencil do not smear, they are waterproof, sturdy and handy.  They are produced in Tacoma, Washington and the product was first developed  to combat damp and soggy environments:

“The hassle of soggy and illegible paperwork has plagued outdoor professionals for decades. Our founder Jerry Darling developed the early version of Rite in the Rain paper to address that problem for the Pacific Northwest logging industry in the 1920’s and our product has been evolving ever since.”

Rite in the Rain’s motto is  “Outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people” and they are made in the USA!

We love these little books.  They come in various sizes and are a travelers best friend – useful for travel logs, keeping important phone numbers with you, trying to communicate through pictures with locals when you don’t speak the language.  You get the point.  http://www.riteintherain.com/

 

Epic Andes – New Itinerary by Bella Treks

Standard

Thinking of a way to experience the heart and soul of the Andes mountains in South America in one fell swoop?  Check out this fantastically awesome itinerary designed by Bella Treks.  Would be a perfect honeymoon!

Epic Andes – Setting the Travel Experience Higher.

16-18 days (depending on excursions selected).

1. Fly in/out of metropolitan Santiago, Chile – enjoy the sights, food and people of this bustling metro area

2. Travel to Patagonia. Hike the Aysen Glacier Trail (AGT) – enjoy the luxury of hiking with just a day pack – backcountry experience – sweeping vistas, sea level trail, glacier education, lifetime memories

3. Visit the Atacama Desert – High desert basin – salt flats, volcanoes, lagoons with exotic flora and fauna.  Hot springs, stargazing, amazing photographic opportunities.  Stay at the Explora, a luxury lodge.

4. Pacific Coast Tour – Explore the beautiful coastal city of Valparaiso, wander through vineyards and enjoy local wine, hike along the coast,  sit on the beach and watch the ocean

Do all or parts – a Southern Hemisphere journey of a lifetime. 

Price starts at $5000 per person double occupancy US.

You’ve been dreaming of this trip for years… now is the time to make it happen. Call (406) 223-2595 or email travel@bellatreks.com to set up your trip today.

Living your Passion series

Standard
slideshowtitle

Presentation

Living your Passion series presents
Bella Treks: Worldly Adventures and Travel Advice
June 6 at 7pm
At the Bozeman Public Library
Join Felicia Ennis, owner/operator and cultural explorer of Bella Treks in the large community room for a lighthearted slideshow and discussion about world travel. She will include professional tips and advice for planning and executing your own bucket list adventures.
Bella Treks’ team creates customized travel itineraries that match goals and dreams without taxing budgets or safety. More travel info can be found online at bellatreks.com.
See you there!

Not just for ‘City Slickers’ – Montana Dude Ranches

Standard

Calling all dudes, tenderfoots, and greenhorns. A glamping (glamorous camping) we will go!

According to Wikipedia: “Guest ranches arose in response to the romantization of the American West that began to occur in the late 19th century.  And the Western adventures of famous figures, like Theodore Roosevelt, were made available to paying guests from cities of the East, called  “Dudes” in the West. Some guest ranch visitors expected a somewhat edited and more luxurious version of the “cowboy” life.  The automobile and the appearance of Western films all increased popular interest in the west.”

Today guest ranches aka dude ranches vary greatly in style and in creature comforts.

Here are a few highlights of three respected guest ranches found in western Montana.

Paws-Up: www.pawsup.com

  • Luxury accommodations and food
  • 37,000-acre working ranch
  • Home to over three hundred head of elk and a couple hundred head of Black Angus cows
  • Trail riding, chuck wagons and cattle drives,
  • Spa, Wilderness adventures, Rappelling
  • Fly-fishing on Blackfoot River, Sporting clays shooting
  • Whitewater rafting, ATV riding
  • Programmed activities for kids
  • Private luxury homes, luxury tents

Ranch at Rock Creek: www.theranchatrockcreek.com

  • Target-shooting
  • Paintball, Archery
  • More than 50 head of horses
  • Experienced crew of wranglers
  • Little Grizzlies Kids Club for Children ages 4 – 12
  • Four miles of private access and pristine river frontage on Rock Creek with one of the Montana’s highest fish counts and seven species of fish
  • The Silver Dollar Saloon, located adjacent to the Granite Lodge and Spa, provides a comfortable, authentically Western environment

Bar W Ranch: http://www.thebarw.com/

  • Open year round
  • 3,000 acres available for horseback riding and all kinds of outdoor activities.
  • Indoor and outdoor arenas
  • Down-home cooking
  • Winter activities and sleigh rides

Which one is right for you and your family? Give us a call and we can help you sort through the details and options.
406-223-2595 or email travel@bellatreks.com

Travelers Tales: Choquequirao to El Maizan by Traveling Mel

Standard

Mel joined Bella Treks for an amazing trip to Peru this past April.  We hiked all the way from the ruins of Choquequirao to Machu Picchu.  See more about this trip on our Bella Treks Website. She captures the experience well on her blog www.travelingmel.com. Visit her there to see some excellent photos of our journey.

Bella Treks Peru Trip Travel Consulting Choquequirao El Maizan Machu Picchu

Traveling along the trail to see the rock llamas.

Choquequirao to El Maizan by Traveling Mel

First off, Henry said I should tell you how to pronounce “Choquequirao.” It took me a little practice–the quechua words are tricky. Show-kay-ca-row (that “row” rhymes with “cow.”) I don’t know if that helps, but there you go.

It seemed that the campsites in this little slice of the Andes kept getting better and better. We woke up on the edge of terrace overlooking mountains and river. After breakfast we hiked back up to Choquequirao to check out the llamas.

Choquequirao was one of the last bastions of resistance and refuge of the Son of the Sun (the “Inca”), Manco Inca Yupanqui, who fled Cusco after his siege of the city failed in 1535. It’s unlikely the Spanish ever made it up there.

Of course, getting to the llamas requires a bit of a decent. It is Peru, after all, and everything is up or down an incredibly steep slope. From the main plaza we followed a little path to a set of rock steps that dropped several hundred feet into the canyon. Apparently the Incans had much smaller feet that I do, so I could fit about half of my foot on each step.

We descended along the edge of the terraces, checking out the llamas as we climbed down. There were about 24 of them, each as tall as a person. There may be more; only about 30 percent of Choquequirao has had its jungle removed. (Sidenote: How does one estimate the amount of undiscovered ruin?)

Rock llama Choquequirao Peru Hike Bella Treks Travel and Consulting

Rock Llamas

After oohing and aahing at the llamas and the view, we climbed back up the steps and onto a less-steep side trail. At the plaza we found Wilbert standing in the trees at the top of a (say it with me) incredible steep aqueduct. “Is that the trail?,” I asked incredulously. Of course it was, and off we went 1500 feet up to a little pass.

After a tough previous day, I snapped into shape. The rest of the trip was steep and hard, but wasn’t such a big deal anymore. The flowers along the pass were tremendous, the mountains were big, and after a bit we dropped down 5,000 feet to the Rio Blanco. The first thing we did was take off our boots and soak our feet in the cold water while sitting on warm rocks in the sun. Then Ross put a ton of mayo on his lunch thinking it was some sort of mango sauce. Hee hee.

After lunch we climbed 3,000 feet or so to our campsite. Some places were so steep and gravely that you slid back a bit with each step. As we closed in on the little farm that was to be our camp, I got to practice my cow herding skills and push several vacas up the trail.

After settling into the El Maizal farm, Domingo made us the most delicious popcorn and tea. Famers grow corn all over the Andes at high elevations. The mountains are so steep (are you sick of hearing that?) that little farms have to be highly terraced–just like in Inca times.

Peru Choquequirao Trek Bella Treks Travel and Consulting

This was Wilberts Idea

Some of us took showers in a FREEZING outdoor shower. It was a step up from the hose with a water bottle nozzle we saw a couple nights before, but somewhat primitive. I wasn’t expecting to shower at all during the trek, so it was all luxury for me.

All the screaming I did in the shower must have attracted mosquitoes, because I was covered in bites after that. I had been smug while sweating in long pants while the rest of the group wore shorts and got massacred by the tiny insects. Not so much anymore.

As was becoming my habit, I was asleep by 9 pm and up around 4 am. Not the best schedule, but I did get a lot of early morning reading in. Fireflies were dotting the darkness like tiny, mobile stars. The baryard animals were asleep and pretty soon, so was I.