Where are our Groups on Christmas Day?

With Groups all over the world and travellers at different points on their adventures, it is always nice to hear about what the groups get up to and what our amazing Tour Leaders are doing to mark special occasions. We have asked a selection of Tucan Travel’s Tour Leaders what they have planned for Christmas Day and their answers have astounded us.

Nienke will be in Peru on Christmas Day,

“We are doing Secret Santa – but we will be on the Inca Trail on Xmas day so we are holding off until Boxing Day when the entire group (including those taking the train to Machu Picchu and those on the Lares Trek) will be on top of Machu Picchu. We’re not doing the “draw a name out of a hat” thing, but we are just putting gender cards in a box so that everyone can buy something nice for a man or woman from the group.”

Neil will be searching for the resplendant quetzal in Costa Rica,

“I will be spending Christmas this year with my group in Costa Rica. We will enjoy cocktails in the hot springs in La Fortuna on the evening  of the 23rd, then a full day of adrenalin activities on the 24th. Costa Ricans mainly celebrate on the 24th so we will  enjoy a big local dinner at one of my favourite ‘Tico’ restaurants, followed by fireworks in the main square nearby. On the 25th, we travel to Santa Elena where we will go ziplining before enjoying another local dinner. The 26th will be spent in search of the elusive Resplendant Quetzal, a beautiful bird only found in certain areas of Central America. We saw them last week so I have high hope for this next group!! Feliz navidad a todos!!”

Amanda will be spending Christmas at an orphanage in Sucre,

“I know the owner of the orphanage. We are going there to play games with the kids for an hour or so. It’s best not to bring things. No presents. The orphanage is small so there is not a lot of room for clutter. I have just said to my passengers that entertaining the kids will be a great gift and they are excited. It’s fun to be around kids at Christmas and nicer to give than receive”

Keelin will be dining with ambassadors is in Kuala Lumpur,

“For Chrismas day I will be in Kuala Lumpur. I am planning to take my group to one of the ministers  ‘open houses’. This is traditional in Malaysia on Christmas day and there will be free food 🙂 I will also book a Christmas dinner and do a ‘secret santa’ in the evening and then go to Traders hotel with the group (where you can see amazing views of the Petrona’s towers in the evening.”

Brian will enjoy a western style dinner in Vientienne,

“I will be drawing Secret Santa starting in Ho Chi Minh City, and we have to give the presents before reaching Hanoi as most of the group will not continue on to Laos. Then we are doing Christmas dinner in the capital of Laos. I’m still working on a western Christmas dinner. Wish me luck on that one.”

Our trucks in Africa will be in Livingstone together,

We are planning on doing the sunset cruise in Livingstone both groups together. After we may have a barbecue for lunch.”

Erin and Jen are in Torres del Paine National Park,

Erin – “I’ll be spending my Christmas in my favorite national park in the world-Torres De Paine in Chile!  Christmas Eve my “Villarrica” group and I will be tackling part of the legendary W circuit-the French Valley before retiring to camp for Secret Santa’s and a home-away from home Christmas!  Christmas Day we’ll visit the Grey glacier area to kayak among icebergs, hike along the beach or boat along the lake to try and catch the glacier calving. All in all, it sounds like a solid way to spend the holidays.”

Jen – “I’ll be in the Beautiful Torres del Paine camping and trekking. Planning to have a Secret Santa, and maybe sneak a few chocolate Santas in the tent entrances. Also there’s a cooking area at the campsite so we can make mulled wine and maybe get another flask together so we can all have some on the hiking trail with views of lakes, valleys, mountains and glaciers. I think we’ll be just fine”

Mike and his group are in Cuzco,

“We’ll  be spending Christmas in Cuzco. Some of the group are celebrating it on the Inca Trail, the rest of the group, all new arrivals, is going to Machu Picchu early the next morning. A good dinner at my favourite restaurant in Cuzco is the plan.”

Bec is bringing a piñata to the party,

“We are in a new hotel in Granada this time and on the 24th everything will be closed so I’m going to suggest that I cook that night if I can use the hotels kitchen.  Then we’ll have a smashing dinner out on the 25th.  I normally buy everyone something so that they have something to open on Christmas day.  And of course I’ll be finding a Santa piñata!!!  Hahaha!”

Katy will be in Vang Vieng,

“I am in Vang Vieng over Christmas. The group will probably go tubing down the river (as it is most popular). I plan to do a Secret Santa and try and find somewhere that may do a Christmas dinner.”

Alvaro is in the Pantanal,

“We will be in the Pantanal in Brasil. We will have a delicious Christmas barbecue with lots of meat on the farm we stay on. There is plenty of wildlife there with horses, Caymans and Macaws everywhere.”

Bob is in the beautiful Japanese town of Takayama,

“The old city is very well preserved and I will be taking my group for a bike ride (unless it is snowing!!) through the lovely city and then stopping at a sake brewery for some tastings!!! The evening meal will be at a lovely family run restaurant that I have been visiting for nearly 10 years. Dad (and youngest son) tends the bar, Mum is the waitress and the oldest son is the chef. A very nice place and somewhere different for Christmas Eve. The next day is a travel day unfortunately and we head to down to Kyoto. All being well though, we will arrive in Kyoto around lunch time so we will go out to see the sights.  In the evening we will go Geisha “stalking” – just kidding. We visit the old areas of Kyoto and hopefully catch a glimpse of a Geisha. Normally this is sushi night on tour, so will have to see if the group is up for a very different xmas dinner.”

Beth will be floating down the Napo River,

“After spending the day floating down the Napo River in inner tubes and visiting an indiginous village in the jungle of Ecuador, our group will return to our jungle lodge in Misahualli, Ecuador to participate in our Secret Santa and have a Christmas feast, jungle style.”

Beebal is taking is group out in to the desert on an overnight safari in India,

“On Christmas Eve, our group will go on a camel safari where they will spent that night in the sand dunes – we will have warm tea coffee with snacks when they arrive and in the evening we have organised some drinks on the house. There will be a snake charmer performance (no snakes involve) this dance is called Kalbalia dance and the local tribal ladies do the dancing around the camp fire. There will also be a good mutton curry for a  local style dinner. The following day, I will take the group to the village. We will send some small gifts for the village kids and my passengers will give the gifts to the children in the village.”

Browse Tucan Travel’s Group Tours or start planning your tour for next Christmas here.
About the Author: Jess is Communications Coordinator for Tucan Travel. She has travelled independently and on group tours through Central America, Africa, North America, Israel and Europe. You can find her on  or read her other contributions here.
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