arrive on La Gomera: Thursday, January 9, 2020
depart from Tenerife: Friday, January 24, 2020
cost estimate per-person (USD)
airfare to Tenerife North
$1350 from Las Vegas, $900 from Calgary, or $800 from New York
hotels (for 15 nights)
$970 (double occupancy), or $1380 (single)
$500 for 12 dinners and 5 lunches at restaurants
$200, plus $130 gas (based on 2 people sharing)
$1700 (6 to 9 hikers)
subtotal (based on airfare from Las Vegas) $4720 per person (double occupancy)
$5130 per person (single room, but sharing a car)
medical/car/trip insurances, plus meals & accommodation before & after this trip
Your airfare will depend on the airline you choose and when you purchase. The accuracy of our estimates for accommodation and rental car will depend on ever-fluctuating exchange rates. Our scout fee will not change.
You’ll pay for your accommodation through us, but you’ll pay only what we’re charged. All other costs—airfare, rental car, meals, etc.—you’ll pay directly. That’s what makes this trip affordable: There’s no markup on any of your expenses.
Tell us you’re interested. We’ll send questions about your hiking experience and fitness level. If you and we agree you can comfortably handle the hiking in the Canary Islands, please send us $1700 per person via e-mail transfer to secure space. This scout-fee is due Wednesday, July 10, 2019. The sooner you commit, the sooner we can establish a full group of eight or nine hikers, giving everyone ample time to confidently reserve flights. Bear in mind, connections from mainland Europe to Tenerife are limited. Yet Tenerife is a popular European getaway destination. So we must all book early to ensure we can meet our scheduling needs. Plus, the sooner we have a committed group, the more seats will be available on inter-island flights, which each of us must reserve for ourselves.
On La Gomera, accommodation ideally suited to our group is quite limited. And the hotel we've chosen requires full payment six months in advance to secure our reservation. Our hotels on La Palma and Tenereife require a deposit three months prior to our arrival. That’s why we ask you to send us half your accommodation payment for La Gomera by July 10, 2019. In late September, we'll tell you the total accommodation balance that will be due in early October.
We’ll keep you posted as hikers commit to joining us. Your accommodation deposit and scout fee are refundable if your group falls short of six hikers on July 12, 2019.
As of July 13, 2019, your scout fee is no longer refundable. If you cancel on or after that date, we will—on your behalf—try to obtain a refund for your accommodation payment. Whether or not we're successful will depend entirely on the goodwill of the hoteliers. A full refund is unlikely. Even a partial refund is uncertain. So you should assume the cost of your accommodation is also non-refundable as of July 13, 2019.
You are responsible for booking and paying for your international flights. You’ll find that fares from Canada or the USA to the Canary Islands are reasonable. From Las Vegas (LAS), total travel time is 19.5 hours, including flight changes in a US city and Madrid (MAD). The round-trip cost is $1350 to $1400. From Calgary (YYC), total flight time with KLM via Amsterdam (AMS) is just over 18 hours, and the round-trip cost is $900. From New York City, travel time is 11.5 hours, with one stop in Madrid (MAD). The round-trip cost is $800.
Be sure you depart North America by January 7, so you arrive on Tenerife by January 8. On January 9, you’ll catch a short, inter-island flight to meet us on La Gomera. Our time together ends the evening of January 23 on Tenerife, so you can fly home from there on January 24.
You are responsible for booking and paying for your three, inter-island flights. As soon as we have a committed group of at least six hikers, we’ll tell you specifically which flights to reserve with Binter, the local airline (www.bintercanarias.com/eng).
We recommend you allow a full day to rest after arriving on Tenerife (TFN) and before ying to La Gomera (GMZ), where our group will convene. From Tenerife’s north airport, near the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it’s a ten-minute taxi ride to San Cristóbal de La Laguna, where we recommend you stop over.
Flight time from Tenerife (TFN) to La Gomera (GMZ) is 30 minutes. The cost is approximately $75 to $100 per person. You’ll need to arrive on Gomera no later than 10 a.m., on either January 9. The airport is on the south side of the island, near Playa de Santiago. You’ll rent a car at the airport, then drive about one hour to Valle Gran Rey, on the west side of the island, where we’ll greet you at our hotel.
Your other option for inter-island travel is Fred Olsen Ferries (www. fredolsen.es/en), which has a good reputation. But travel time is longer on the water than in the air, and the logistics (port locations, rental- car pick-up / drop-off, etc.) aren’t as convenient as when you fly. Based on all the seamless, flying/driving transitions we've experienced, we recommend you fly.
If you’re comfortable and confident driving throughout North America, you should have no trouble on the Canary Islands. It’s essential, however, that you or your partner be confident and capable behind the wheel of a manual-shift car.
In 2020, approximate rental costs will be $350 for 3-door car, $390 for 5-door car. Once you send us your Scout Fee deposit, we’ll email you the details (dates, pick-up time, drop-off time) for your rental-car reservations on each island.
We've rented from CICAR (Canary Islands Car, www. cicar.com) on five of the Canaries' principal islands. Their agents have always been friendly, helpful and efficient. And CICAR’s rates are all-inclusive. Their rentals include full insurance (comprehensive, vehicle theft, third-party liability, USD $4 million total coverage) with zero deductible, unlimited mileage, and all taxes. They don’t charge you for having a second driver on the contract. And they don’t penalize you for changing your reservation. If two couples want to share one vehicle, CICAR offers an Opal Zafira that, from personal experience, we can assure you has adequate room for four adults plus all their luggage.
Other rental-car companies serve the Canary Islands, but we have no experience with them, thus cannot recommend them. Plus, CICAR gave us no reason to consider switching. Our impression is that the other companies are smaller, less pervasive, and offer less generous and transparent contracts.
We’ve reserved accommodation for seven people, for 16 nights. We’ll have apartments with kitchens or kitchenettes for 12 nights. Having your own kitchen allows you to take a break from restaurants, save a little money, and prepare your own meal comprising more vegetables than restaurants typically serve. The accommodation cost for 16 nights will total about $1940 per couple, or $1380 for a single. The average per-night cost for a couple is $121. The average per-night cost for a single is $86.
Among northern Europeans, the Canaries are such a popular winter destination that all the islands’ best accommodation is booked far in advance. Huge tour companies are granted priority, and many reserve large blocks of rooms, or entire properties, for months. We began seeking reservations last winter, in person, while we were still in the Canaries. But the intense competition for lodging allows hoteliers to demand non-refundable deposits. So we must pay our La Gomera hotel bill six months in advance.
Your actual costs will depend on current restaurant prices, as well as on what and how much you order. Because we’ll be staying in apartments for eight days, we’ll arrange time for everyone to shop at nearby stores for lunch and dinner groceries.
All our hotels provide lavish buffet breakfasts every morning.
Most days we’ll prepare our own lunches from ingredients we buy at nearby stores. On a couple of our rest days, you might want to go out for lunch. For example, we know a cafe in Santa Cruz de la Palma that serves a generous, delicious lunch—mixed-green salad, grilled fillet of fresh fish, and papas arrugadas (roasted potatoes) for just $13.
Our estimated total cost includes six restaurant dinners. The per-meal cost will average $25 per person, plus drinks and the standard 5% tip. A couple restaurant meals might cost $35. You’ll always have the option of cooking dinner in your apartment kitchen, so we’ve not added this “same-as-back-home” cost to our trip-expense estimate.
We require you to buy emergency hospital and medical insurance to cover you while you’re in the Canary Islands. Should an insurance company ask if you’ll be climbing or mountaineering while you’re there, you can honestly say “no.”
We also recommend you buy trip-interruption/cancellation insurance. For a small fee, it covers an emergency return to your home country. Your need to return could be due to a foreign affairs office traveler-safety advisory, for example. Or it could be due to a family emergency—if you are the primary caregiver. A reliable travel- insurance company is Allianz Global Assistance (800-461-1079 / www. allianz-assistance.ca/en). Ask them for details. Another good option is World Nomads (www.worldnomads.com).
Bear in mind, if fewer than six people commit to our group trip, we’ll have to cancel it. No insurance policy covers that. So if you purchase your airfare before we confirm your group has at least six hikers, you must be confident you’d want to continue with your own vacation in the Canaries for the same dates. We cannot refund your airfare.