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Escorted vs. Independent Tours: What are they and which is better?

There are two common travel styles to consider when planning a trip to any Latin American destination; Escorted Tours or Independent Tour – but what are they exactly and how does the travel style of each impact your trip? Let’s find out…

What is an Escorted Tour?

Escorted tours are just that, you have a dedicated tour leader that travels with you throughout your entire journey, in addition to local city guides. For first time travellers, having a private English-speaking guide gives them reassurance alleviating the stress of navigating an unfamiliar landscape.

We run three small group escorted tours, ‘Essence of South America’, ‘South American Voyager’ and ‘Galapagos and Machu Picchu’. These tours have regular departures throughout the year and include all international and domestic flights from Australia or New Zealand. Escorted Tours, especially small group tours can have the advantage of spending more time at each attraction while travelling with other like-minded travellers.

What is an Independent Tour?

Rather than being escorted by the same tour leader throughout your entire journey, you will be met by local guides in each destination. Our independent tours have selected departure dates and can be modified according to your needs and interests. Essentially, you could cut and paste different parts of our itineraries to create your ideal itinerary.

Some travellers prefer these types of tours because they are more flexible. They can move between destinations and attractions at their own pace and without being limited by a group.

Tailor-made itineraries

Do you have an itinerary in mind with specific destinations or activities you would like to partake? These types of itineraries are called ‘tailor-made’, meaning they are custom made for you and are designed according to your specific interests, budget and travel preferences.

Generally, you won’t have a dedicated guide throughout your journey, but you will be met by local guides in each destination. Tell us your Latin American Wishlist and we will customise and design your perfect trip for you.

So which tour type is best? To answer that, it’s a matter of personal preference and previous experience travelling to any destination, not just Latin America. Some like the security of travelling in numbers and the familiarity of an escorted tour. Others prefer the autonomy that independent tours offer, because they can go at their own pace between attractions. There is no wrong or right answer because it is all a matter of taste!

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