Madagascan Discoverer

Start: Antananarivo Finish: Antananarivo

Visiting: Antananarivo, Andasibe, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Morondava, Bekopaka, Kirindy, Avenue of the Baobabs, Antsirabe, Ranomafana, Ranomafana National Park, Ranohira, Anja, Isalo National Park, Ifaty, Perinet National Park


Duration: 14 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $4110

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Tour Overview

Madagascar is home to countless endemic species of flora and fauna and has some truly incredible scenery. We visit the primary forest at Andasibe, where we hope to see the rare Indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, as well as some of Madagascar’s unusual nocturnal wildlife. We also visit thousand-year-old trees at sunset at the famous Alley of Baobabs. A real highlight of the trip is the time spent trekking in the Tsingy of Bemaraha - home to unique wildlife and magnificent scenery.

Highlights

  • iconWalk amongst the pinnacles of the Grands Tsingy of Bemaraha
  • iconThe chance to see lemurs in their natural habitat
  • iconIncredible wildlife in the Andasibe National Park
  • iconSunset visit to the 'Alley of Baobabs'
  • iconIsalo National Park, with its amazing rock formations, spectacular canyons and natural swimming holes

Places You'll See

Countries:
Madagascan Discoverer
Madagascan Discoverer
Madagascan Discoverer
Madagascan Discoverer
Madagascan Discoverer
Madagascan Discoverer

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Antananarivo; overnight.

Location: Antananarivo

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Residence Lapasoa or similar

Meals: No Meals

There are no included activities today so you are free to arrive at any time. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 2 : Morning city tour in Antananarivo; afternoon drive to Andasibe; guided night walk.

Location: Antananarivo, Andasibe

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sahatandra River Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast

This morning we will embark on a short city tour of Tana by bus. With its bustling markets and ancient town on a hill with freestone churches and ancient royal places, it is unique among the world’s other capitals. Built around Anosy Lake, Tana offers much of interest set against a backdrop of terracing with outstanding views from the Queen's Palace. We will arrive in Andasibe around 3pm and we will then visit the Vondron’olona Miaro Mitia Ala Reserve. This is a community run reserve where you are able to see several species of lemurs and birds. The reserve is an untouched paradise for endemic animals and plants. There are groups of Indris which we hope to see here in their natural habitat, and their white-headed relatives, the Diademed sifakas, jump between the tree tops.  For reptiles and amphibian lovers, the reserve offers countless frogs along its crystal clear river and several amazing chameleons can be found in the forest. In the early evening we take a twilight/nocturnal walk, looking out for the nocturnal species of lemur as the torchlights pass by their eyes. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 3 : Morning trek in Andasibe National Park; return to Antananarivo.

Location: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Antananarivo

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Au Bois Vert Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today we will explore the park and go in search of wildlife on a 4 hour walk in Andasibe National Park, also known as Perinet. The park is home to the teddy bear-like Indri, the largest of Madagascar's lemur species, as well as other forms of flora and fauna and a wide array of bird life. Listening to the piercing yet melancholy cry of the Indri in the morning is an evocative sound and for those who are prepared to follow them through the thick rainforest, the reward is often a close-up view of these beautiful creatures. A group of five Diademed sifaka have recently been re-introduced to Andasibe from Mantadia, and if we are lucky, we may spot one of these unusual creatures. In the afternoon we return to Madagascar’s capital, known simply as 'Tana' to the locals.  *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 4 : Fly to Morondava; visit Alley of Baobabs.

Location: Morondava

Meals: breakfast

We depart early today to catch a flight west to the coastal town of Morondava, known for having one of the finest climates in Madagascar. This afternoon, we will pick up the 4WD vehicles and then visit the famous ‘Alley of Baobabs’. We then we drive to Kirindy dry forest reserve where we spend the night. Accommodation: Gite de Kirindy or similar *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 5 : Drive to Bekopaka, with a visit to Kirindy dry forest reserve.

Location: Bekopaka, Kirindy

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Olympe de Bemaraha or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today we visit the Kirindy Reserve, which is home to the giant jumping rat, seven lemur species, and the Fossa. Then we travel approximately 9 hours on a dirt road to Bekopaka. We travel past baobab forests, desert, and local villages, and cross the Tsiribihina river by local ferry boat. The western landscape is arid but has a beauty all of its own. Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha or similar *Standard Hotel *

icon Day 6 : Morning trekking in Grands Tsingy; afternoon return to Bekopaka.

Location: Bekopaka

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Renala au Sable d’Or or similar

Meals: Breakfast

We depart early this morning to the amazing Grands Tsingy. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, the area has unique geography, well-preserved mangrove forests. The Grands Tsingy is famed for its pinnacles, a forest of limestone pillars; some of its needles are several hundred metres high! The karst landscape and deciduous forest are a refuge for rare and endangered species and in the park there are over 11 species of lemur, 90 species of bird and 50 types of reptile, some of which we might be lucky to spot on our hike. In the afternoon we will head back to Bekopaka and relax at the hotel or enjoy a swim at the hotel pool. Please note that while our time in this area is a real highlight for most, this is a demanding walk and those suffering from vertigo and claustrophobia may find parts of the walk challenging. In some places we will go through caves and narrow chasms; harnesses are used for the more challenging parts of the climb for safety reasons. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 7 : 4WD to Morondava; sunset at 'Alley of Baobabs'.

Location: Morondava, Avenue of the Baobabs

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Renala au Sable d’Or or similar

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we will head back south by 4WD vehicles to Morondava by road and ferry. The journey will take us approximately 12 hours. We will pass by the Sakalava tribe tombs along the way – specially known for the very unusual paintings and carvings that decorate the outside of each tomb. We will stop at the famous ‘Alley of Baobabs’ again where we plan to spend sunset. This is the best time to see these amazing trees as the colours at this time of day are spectacular, making for a perfect photo opportunity. After sunset we spend the night in Morondava. Accommodation: Renala au Sable d’Or or similar *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 8 : Drive to Antsirabe.

Location: Antsirabe

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Chambres du Voyageur or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today is a long travel day through the fascinating scenery of Betsiriry Plateau, some plains of savannah, and intercepted by some villages. We arrive at our destination by early evening. Antsirabe is at an altitude of 1500m and has a cooler climate. The warm springs and thermal baths here were a real draw in the 19th century. Accommodation: Chambres du Voyageur or similar *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 9 : Drive to Ranomafana.

Location: Ranomafana

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Centrest Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast

This morning we depart early. We will do a short rickshaw tour along Independence Avenue then do a sightseeing tour of Antsirabe, including a visit to some craft centres. From here we continue to drive to Ranomafana. Parc National de Ranomafana (approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitude in the park ranges from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. Accommodation: Centrest Hotel or similar *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 10 : Morning visit Ranomafana N.P.; afternoon visit Ranomafana village.

Location: Ranomafana National Park, Ranomafana

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Centrest Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today we spend the morning (approximately 5 hrs) exploring Ranomafana National Park. We hope to spot Golden bamboo lemurs who are unique to this park, as well seeing other lemurs such as the Eastern woolly lemurs, the Red bellied lemurs, the Grey bamboo lemurs, and the Red-fronted brown lemurs. This park is also home to other mammals including tenrecs, bats and some of the carnivores such as mongoose and the Malagasy striped civet. In the afternoon, we will visit the Ranomafana Village, where we will see typical Tanala tribe houses as well as the public thermal bath. The evening is spent on a night walk along the roads in the hope of spotting some of the nocturnal lemurs, chameleons and other animals. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 11 : Drive to Ranohira, visiting Anja N.P. en route.

Location: Ranohira, Anja

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Isalo Ranch or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today we drive to Ranohira. The scenery changes dramatically as we head to the small town of Ranohira, a journey of approximately 11 hours. We stop in Ambalavao to visit Anja National Park along the way - a small reserve where several families of Ring-tailed lemurs can be seen in the wild. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 12 : Full day trek in Isalo N.P.

Location: Isalo National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Isalo Ranch or similar

Meals: Breakfast

We spend the day exploring Isalo National Park. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases often described as Eden. During our time here we will go walking in the magnificent Canyon des Makis in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux's Sifaka. We also visit the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot within an arid landscape, where we can swim and relax. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park, the combination of coloured eroded rock forms, strange plants and enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Madagascar. (Please note that Isalo is a big national park and there will be a certain amount of driving involved today. Driving to the Canyon des Makis takes around 1.5 - 2 hours). *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 13 : To west coast and beaches; overnight in Ifaty beach.

Location: Ifaty

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel de la Plage or similar

Meals: Breakfast

We drive to Tulear, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south, and we pass both the 'Mahafaly tombs' and the 'Antandroy tombs', briefly observing their ornate decorations. Antandroy and Mahafaly are reputed to be the most impressive of all Malagasy tombs, with the Antandroy tombs being large and brightly painted, relating to the life story and wishes of the deceased. They are also topped with zebu skulls which were sacrificed during the funeral festivity - a ceremony of great significance. Mahafaly tombs are characterised by their wooden sculptures known as 'Aloalo', relating to the life of the deceased and their unfulfilled dreams, as well as their rank within the clan. After a brief stop in Tulear, we continue past the coastal town of Ifaty to Ifaty beach where we spend the night. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 14 : Free time for relaxation or optional activities at Ifaty beach.

Location: Ifaty

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel de la Plage or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Today we have a free day. Running all the way around the south-west Malagasy coastline, Ifaty beach lies on one of the world's largest barrier reefs and is an excellent venue for scuba diving. Between late June and early September, whales can be observed off Ifaty's beautiful white beaches and the offshore islet of Nosy Ve is a terrific place for snorkelling. Protected by coral reefs, the beach and waters beyond the hotel offer a welcome place to rest. *Standard Hotel*

icon Day 15 : Fly to Antananarivo and end.

Location: Antananarivo

Meals: Breakfast

Today we transfer to Tulear airport for our flight to Antananarivo which will arrive in the afternoon. Depending on the flight schedule, you may have free time to explore Antananarivo on your own. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport in the late evening for the very early flight the next morning. We will have access to day-use rooms before the flight. Please note that flight delays on the internal flight are not uncommon – we strongly advise not to book your international flights to depart before midnight.

What's Included

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    All transport and listed activities

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    All breakfasts

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    All accommodation

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    Tour leader/support staff throughout

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    Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's Not Included

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    Travel insurance

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    Single accommodation (available on request)

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    Visas or vaccinations

Food

Food standards in Madagascar can vary and are probably not of the same standard you are used to at home. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost £4-6 while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost £9-12 . Please allow approximately £250 for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rum’s which are widely sold and very reasonably priced. Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited (i.e. omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple: eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (e.g spread, peanut butter etc).

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Reviews

Read all 29 reviews
MADAGASCAN DISCOVERER
A varied trip with excellent scenery and loads of lemurs. You learn a lot about the people and culture of this island. I was a little nervous because of the ....more A varied trip with excellent scenery and loads of lemurs.

You learn a lot about the people and culture of this island.

I was a little nervous because of the journey times but very pleased I went.

You'll see no other country like it.

; ....less
Madagascar wonderful adventure
our guide Armel was fantastic he showed us so much on our journey through Madagascar, he was so proud of his country and wanted us to experience as much ....more our guide Armel was fantastic he showed us so much on our journey through Madagascar, he was so proud of his country and wanted us to experience as much as we could in the short time we had in each placeThe experience from start to finish was amazing, we got to see the variety of scenery, culture, wildlife and so much more.

I would highly recommend going to see this part of the world 🌍; ....less
MADAGASCAN DISCOVERER
An amazing holiday full of colour and interest. An amazing holiday full of colour and interest.

;
Madagascar
"Madagascan Discoverer" was a truly wonderful, very enjoyable, multi-faceted trip with a really excellent guide, Rija. I am writing this review to inform future customers about 1 less-than-good aspect ....more "Madagascan Discoverer" was a truly wonderful, very enjoyable, multi-faceted trip with a really excellent guide, Rija.

I am writing this review to inform future customers about 1 less-than-good aspect because it might be a safety issue for some people booking this holiday.

In addition, Exodus has failed to respond to the comments I made in my on-line post-holiday evaluation about this, so I do not know if Exodus has read the evaluation and is going to do anything to improve the situation.

My criticism relates to the harnesses provided for the walk in the Grands Tsingy.

Mine was too big for me, even when the smallest harness the company had was adjusted to the smallest possible size.

This same problem also affected another person in the group.

Both of us are slimmer than most other British adults.

Fortunately, neither of us fell and came to any harm.

If we had fallen and had had to rely on the harnesses to keep us safe, there would have been the potential for an accident or injury.

If you are slim or if you have children who are intending to do the Via Ferrata in the Grands Tsingy, please consider bringing your or their own harness(es) that fits you/them.

A harness that does not fit the wearer is of little use.

I climb regularly and know how important this piece of equipment is and how a proper fit is necessary for safety.

This deficiency on the part of Exodus is made worse because I had actually queried with Exodus BEFORE the trip whether I should bring my own harness to Madagascar.

The reply that the Exodus rep gave me was that we would not be doing Via Ferrata and there was no need for the harness.

This reveals that the Exodus representative does not know her product: we definitely did a Via Ferrata and we used climbing equipment.

Other than this failing, and one or two things which were beyond the control of Exodus, the holiday was very good, hugely interesting and varied and I had a great time.

I fully recommend this holiday and in particular, commend Rija for her excellent guiding.

; ....less
Discovering Madagascar
This is an exciting adventure trip that enables you to take in the sights and sounds of this unique island. We were lucky enough to have Sol as our Tour ....more This is an exciting adventure trip that enables you to take in the sights and sounds of this unique island.

We were lucky enough to have Sol as our Tour Leader and we felt that we were treated like VIPs throughout the trip.

Sol always went the extra mile to ensure our comfort and enjoyment at all times, even when things didn't quite go to plan.

He was lots of fun and we enjoyed listening to his knowledge of the history and wildlife of Madagascar.

We were challenged by the Air Madagascar strike which meant that some of our trip had to be slightly altered.

However, we felt that both Exodus and Sol did their very best to minimise disruption to our trip and hey, we got to see an extra 1000km of Madagascar at grass roots level that we weren't expecting to see (thank you to Nerina for expert driving).

It goes without saying that this is an underdeveloped country where the roads are poor/non-existent so flexibility and understanding is key.

There are lots of benefits to this though as we were able to have plenty of opportunity to meet the local villagers and enjoy the children who at most wanted 'bonbons' but usually just wanted their picture to be taken.

In all the national parks we were lucky enough to see lemurs and other wildlife.

We saw 12 different species of lemur, fossas, reptiles, birds and insects, all in their own habitat.

One of our highlights was trekking and climbing in Grand Tsingy which is achievable for anyone who is physically fit and doesn't have a fear of heights.

The view from the top of the limestone pinnacles is absolutely spectacular.

We were impressed with the food which although centred around chicken, fish, zebu or vegetarian, was always well presented, tasty and quite creative.

We certainly never went hungry with a 3 course meal on offer for lunch and dinner every day, even for our picnic in Isalo National Park.

Our accommodation was also of a good standard, always clean and the rooms were large.

I especially liked the forest lodges near Andasibe, Grand Tsingy, and in Morondava and Ifaty, both right on the beach.

In many places we were often the only group there so great to have the place to ourselves (although sad to see that tourism is a little on the quiet side for Madagascans).

There are a few long journeys and always early starts so worth taking some cereal bars or snacks for the journey, although Sol always made sure we had stops for water and snacks where possible.

In summary this trip is not a holiday but rather a fantastic adventure to an interesting and inspiring island.

See it before it changes too much!; ....less
An Incredible Adventure!
Not so much a holiday, more an adventure of discovery! An island of contrasts, Madagascar is the gift that gives on giving – from the leaping lemurs in the rainforest ....more Not so much a holiday, more an adventure of discovery! An island of contrasts, Madagascar is the gift that gives on giving – from the leaping lemurs in the rainforest to the giant baobabs of Morondava and the sandy beaches of Ifaty, there was always something new and exciting to experience and look forward to.

As many have commented, the trip is dominated by long drives on poor roads, but the rewards at the end of each journey are exceptional and worth every mile.

But don’t sleep through the drives as you’d miss the breathtaking ever-changing landscapes of Madagascar, from rainforest to stunning highlands, paddy fields, white sandy beaches, boulder-strewn deserts, spiny forests, rivers and of course the fascinating towns and villages of this incredible island – not forgetting the resourceful and welcoming Malagasy people.

We were exceptionally lucky with our weather and wildlife spotting and the whole trip ran very smoothly due mainly to Sol, our superb guide, who made it all happen with charm and efficiency.

If you want five-star accommodation and haute cuisine, this is not the trip for you.

You’ll get a comfy bed and (generally) hot water at the end of each dusty day, a limited but well-cooked menu of zebu/chicken/fish for cheap lunches and dinners and the opportunity to experience the Malagasy culture at first hand, including the children who will wave from the side of the road, press you for ‘bon bons’ and delight in seeing themselves on the back of a camera.

The unique wildlife and cultural melting pot make Madagascar an exceptional destination, and this varied and illuminating trip was better than I expected, such that it will take me some time to process the whole experience.

I was also fortunate enough to be with lots of fun, like-minded people in the group who really added to my enjoyment of the trip.

; ....less
Memorable Madagascar
This trip gives you a glimpse of an incredibly varied country rich with unique wildlife and landscapes. Yes the roads maybe a bit bumpy :) but you soon forget that ....more This trip gives you a glimpse of an incredibly varied country rich with unique wildlife and landscapes.

Yes the roads maybe a bit bumpy :) but you soon forget that when every day you see so many endemic lemurs, sifakas, chameleons and, if you are lucky, a fossa.

The tour leader Rija is the best that I have ever met on an Exodus trip.

Her vast knowledge and infectious passion made the trip even more special and memorable.

; ....less
Go with an open mind
Madagascar doesn't fail to delight. From the rain-forests to the spiny-forests and the beaches to the highlands there is something to interest everyone. Each of these unique environments harbour their ....more Madagascar doesn't fail to delight.

From the rain-forests to the spiny-forests and the beaches to the highlands there is something to interest everyone.

Each of these unique environments harbour their own specialised family of wildlife and the smallest of insects is as fascinating as the the largest of lemurs.

It truly is a special place.

; ....less
Madagascan Discoverer (2017)
A busy and interesting trip that covers a lot of ground, sights and emotions in 2 weeks - I'm still absorbing the experience almost 2 weeks later!Early starts and some ....more A busy and interesting trip that covers a lot of ground, sights and emotions in 2 weeks - I'm still absorbing the experience almost 2 weeks later!Early starts and some long days of travel, mainly in a comfortable bus or 4x4s - all part of the adventure and the only way to see so much in such a short time.

The drivers (Dama: bus driver) and 4x4 drivers were excellent and negotiated sometimes difficult terrain with expertise.

I loved the first week; the second week had some great highlights, but a lot of bus travel, which was broken up as much as possible by visits to villages, tombs and local craft areas.

The hotels were generally good - a couple were better than expected which was a bonus.

Food catered for all diets - meat, fish and vegetarian.

Not much variety, but all decent quality.

We never went hungry.

Loved the opportunities to interact with local people and learn more about their culture.

The people were mostly welcoming and friendly, although it's impossible to escape the poverty.

Most children asked for sweets, pens or 'gifts' - if you take gifts such as pencils etc ask your guide for advice on distributing them as he will know where they will be of most value.

Expect a lot of street sellers in some places.

So lucky to share the experience with a brilliant group of people.

; ....less
MADAGASCAN DISCOVERER
I did the "Madagascar Discovery" tour and I thought it was a great experience. I did the "Madagascar Discovery" tour and I thought it was a great experience.

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Dates & Availability

Sunday Jul 04, 2021

Nights

14

Available

4

$4457.95

Sunday Jul 25, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4248.92

Sunday Aug 29, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4248.92

Sunday Sep 12, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4388.27

Sunday Sep 26, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4388.27

Sunday Oct 03, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4388.27

Sunday Oct 10, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4388.27

Sunday Oct 17, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

$4388.27

Sunday Jun 19, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4179.24

Sunday Jul 03, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4527.62

Sunday Aug 14, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4318.59

Sunday Aug 28, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4109.56

Sunday Sep 11, 2022

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14

Available

8

$4109.56

Sunday Oct 02, 2022

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14

Available

8

$4457.95

Sunday Oct 09, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4457.95

Sunday Oct 16, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

$4457.95