Le Tren Bleu

Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Boom (Tomorrowland: Belgium), Paris

July 15-25, 2024

Le Tren Bleu

Optional Extension to Dolomites, Italy + Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Boom (Tomorrowland: Belgium), Paris

July 15-25, 2024

Papua New Guinea

August 16-26, 2024

South Pacific Island Hopper

Tonga, Samoa, & American Samoa

August 26 – Sept 1, 2024

Bhutan

September 23-26, 2024

Easter Island

November 30 – December 5, 2024

Central Africa

Chad, Niger, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Central African Republic

Winter 2024-2025

Tomorrowland Winter

Alpe d’Huez, France

March 18-22, 2025

Zermatt

March 23-28, 2025

In May of 2010, Calvin started The Monsoon Diaries as his personal travel blog to document his own travels and where he would post daily updates to let the world (and his mom) know he was okay. As his readership expanded, a large humble following of good people asked if they could join on his adventures. It has since grown into a community of like-minded travelers who join along on group trips that have been characterized by their spontaneity, affordability, and a desire to explore less-visited destinations.

So what began with a informal trip for a few friends blossomed into the popular travel style known as monsooning, recognized for it’s unconventional approach to travel and its ability to connect travelers who share a passion for exploration and adventure. It has been featured on BBC, TED, The Huffington Post, USA Today, National Geographic, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Rachel Maddow. And about every month Calvin himself, and some of his most dedicated repeat monsooners, will lead scores of international young-at-heart travelers on their adventures around the world.

Take a look at any of the offered trips below and sign up even if you’re just curious about travel; we will take care of the rest.

Le Tren Bleu

Dolomites, Italy (Optional Extension

Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Tomorrowland: Belgium, Paris

July 15-25, 2024

Le Tren Bleu

Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Tomorrowland: Belgium, Paris

July 15-25, 2024

Le Tren Bleu

Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Tomorrowland: Belgium, Paris

July 15-25, 2024

Amsterdam

Bruges

Brussels

Boom, Belgium

Paris, France

Le Tren Bleu

July 15-25, 2024

After successfully obtaining 12 tickets for our group for the 20th anniversary of Tomorrowland, and joining 2 other friend groups to make it a whopping 36+ of us, we might as well make a whole adventure around it instead of going to Europe for just one event and weekend! Based on an itinerary I went on alone back in January 2016 (while having regretted not taking anyone else along with me), we’ll enjoy Europe on the train, starting in Amsterdam and ending in Paris.

Join us in exploring Amsterdam for 2 days, and take the train to one of my favorite cities in Europe, the “Venice of the North” in Bruges. Then continue onwards to Belgium where you can explore to your heart’s content as we enjoy Tomorrowland (if you want us to help you find a ticket to this otherwise sold out festival, we have experience and can probably help!). Then after the festival, continue onwards with us to Paris to finish things off in the city of lights as they begin to host the Olympic Games.

*Price does NOT include Tomorrowland tickets; if you want us to help you find a ticket to this otherwise sold out festival, we have experience and can probably help!

  • July 9-12: Northern Spain/Basque?
  • July 12-15: Dolomites
  • July 15-17: Amsterdam
  • July 17-18: Bruges
  • July 18-23: Brussels + Tomorrowland
  • July 23-25: Paris
WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go! You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*.

The world won’t wait for you.

 
OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 50% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Stripe, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Arrive no later than the night before in Tunis, Tunisia unless you plan to layover somewhere else.

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Yes. You will need to arrange visas beforehand at your local Libyan Embassy.

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance.

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 50% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit. FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer. TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance. LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events. TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs. TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • Twin shared accommodation
  • All trains and transportation to complete the tour
  • All walking tours
  • Assistance in acquiring Tomorrowland admission from reseller’s market
  • Trains and flight in between VCE airport and AMS airport if signing up for the whole trip

Price exclusive of:

  • Tomorrowland ticket
  • Admission fees to museums or sites
  • Visas if necessary (US, UK, and EU passports do not need visas)
  • Single Supplement/private room without roommates (July 12-25: $590, July 15-25: $490 USD)
  • International flights to and from Europe
  • Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks or any optional activities
  • Travel Insurance

Interested in joining us for Europe?

12 + 1 =

Papua New Guinea

Mount Hagen Festival & Bougainville Tour

Aug 13-26, 2024

Port Moresby

Mount Hagen

Goroka Road

Lae

Buka, Bougainville

Arawa

Buin

Pokpok Island

Kieta

Papua New Guinea

Aug 13-26, 2024

For our Papua New Guinea tour, our partners at YPT will be making the most out of one of the most remote parts of Earth and partaking in the festival celebrations allowing you to see the traditional Papua New Guinean life in all its feathered glory. The Mt. Hagen Festival, which goes on for three days, consists of hundreds of tribes from all over the island showcasing their tribe’s traditional dresses and dancing.

During the tour, we will stop by the capital, Port Moresby where you will meet our local guide and fellow travelers over drinks at the Yacht Club, before heading deeper into the jungle.

The majority of tourists partaking in the celebrations enter Mount Hagen, watch the show, and depart. We want to give you a better taste of PNG. We will head deeper into the highlands, visiting the cities of Goroka and Lae. We’ll break bread with the locals over a Pig Mumu feast and participate in lesser-known festivals. Thus breaking away from the resorts and experience the real Papua New Guinea!

For Group B, you will have the chance to explore one of our new favorite secret – the island of Bougainville. Bougainville is extremely distinct from mainland Papua, with its own cultures and languages. Here you’ll continue with us deeper into the thick jungle seeking not only abandoned tanks and cannons but also the pride of WWII relics hunter: the plane wreck of Admiral Yamamoto. Bougainville is a pristine part of the world with peaceful lodges and incredible snorkeling, which we will certainly partake in!

One of the major highlights of our Group B tour is to be the first group of foreigners to visit the micronation of the Twin Kingdom of Me’ekamui and Papaala. The Kingdom rules over a single village where the locals have access to their own currency and defense force. The king wears an actual crown of gold.

Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to see one of the least explored parts of the world!

Tuesday 13th August – Port Moresby

  • Arrive at your convenience into Port Moresby – the capital city of Papua New Guinea which is well connected with flights from Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
  • Pre-tour meeting will be held at the lobby of our hotel at 4:00pm to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers and MD/YPT guide.
  • Head out for a group dinner and drinks at the new Waterfront Boardwalk.
  • Overnight in Port Moresby

Wednesday 14th August – Mount Hagen

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Early morning transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Mt. Hagen with PNG Airlines departing at 8:30am and arriving in Mt. Hagen at 9:30am.
  • Upon arrival, we will meet our local guides and transfer to our hotel for check in.

Afternoon

  • After check-in, you will go on a guided city tour to Mt Hagen main market and visit the fresh produce market where you can see all kinds of tribal artefacts unique to the interior of the New Guinea highlands. Here we’ll also grab lunch.
  • Afterwards we head out into the surrounding mountains for more sightseeing where you’ll encounter different kinds of wildlife, much of it unique to PNG, such as multiple species of birds, highland echidnas and cassowaries.
  • Return to Mt Hagen for dinner, drinks and overnight at Kuri Lodge.

Thursday 15th August – Mount Hagen

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel and begin making our way deeper into the highlands to join the villagers as they begin preparing for the celebration for our arrival.
  • The locals will prepare Pig Mumu – Pig Mumu involves the slaughtering of a pig, which is then prepared and cooked in a hole covered by hot rocks with yam and corn. While we wait for it to cook, the villagers will introduce us to different customs and traditional skills such as fire making and archery.

Afternoon

  • After a massive feast, we will go for a trek to the nearby waterfall where we can swim and enjoy the refreshing cool water.
  • Return back to Mt. Hagen for dinner and drinks at Kaibar – local hole in the wall kind of restaurant
  • Overnight in Mt. Hagen at Kuri Lodge.

Friday 16th August – Mount Hagen

Morning

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Begin our drive one hour out to the Luglamp community.
  • Here you’ll have the chance to mingle with villagers of this community on their school’s cultural day. It is a much lesser-known festival organized by students, teachers and the administrators of the community. Contrary to the Mount Hagen Festival, we will be the only foreigners at this event.
  • Return back to Mt. Hagen

Afternoon

  • Lunch at a local restaurant in Mount Hagen
  • Tour around a local coffee plantation – Mount Hagen is renowned around most of the world for the high quality coffee beans produced here on site.
  • Return to the city for dinner and drinks at the Highlander Hotel
  • Overnight back at Kuri Lodge.

Saturday 17th August – Mount Hagen Festival #1

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Today’s the big day! We head to the local football field which converts into the site hosting the Mount Hagen Festival. We’ll arrive early to ensure you can meet each of the members of the tribes preparing their costumes to get more of an insight of the event.
  • You may choose to participate in the games, and opt to have the locals prepare your dressings and make up. (extra charge)

Afternoon

  • We’ll grab some delicious various snacks and meals prepared outside on the grounds by the locals
  • You will have a unique opportunity to meet the Huli Wigmen – a tribe that wears extremely elaborate headdresses made from their own hair and other materials sourced locally.
  • Once the show completes we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.
  • Overnight in Mt. Hagen at Kuri Lodge.

Sunday 18th August – Mount Hagen Festival #2

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Day 2 at the festival – today you’ll have a chance to spectate the Waipa also known as the “big jump” dance which is a mass dance only found in PNG, quite an incredible sight and definitely the highlight.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at Banz Cafe, just beside the show.
  • Night out in Mt Hagen to celebrate the end of the festival and tour, we will go for dinner and drinks partying PNG style!
  • Overnight in Mt. Hagen at Kuri Lodge.

Monday 19th August –Mt Hagen – Simbu – Goroka Road

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • We’ll begin our long days drive through Simbu province to reach Goroka on our private bus to explore more of the highlands regions. We’ll be stopping on the way for multiple photo opportunities. Goroka is the site of the other big festival in PNG and its oldest one.

Afternoon

  • Lunch will be halfway at Mt Wilheam Hotel in Simbu Province.
  • We’ll meet the Mindima Skeleton Tribes – Legend has it that the ancestors of this tribe were tormented by the presence of a monster in a cave and full of bones. So to attack the monster they disguised themselves as bones which was a success according to the locals.
  • We’ll greet the tribal chief of Nintul village and visit the Snake village.
  • Arrive late afternoon in Goroka, check into our lodge for dinner and overnight sleep.

Tuesday 20th August – Lae

Morning

  • Breakfast at lodge
  • Stop by the J.K McCarthy Museum – in the city which is made up of several rooms showcasing everything from WWII relics and traditional PNG objects. A highlight of the exhibition is a collection of photos showing PNG as it was when it had its first contact with Australians during the 1930s.
  • We make our way towards to the beautiful coastal town of Lae – the capital of Morobe Province. On our way we’ll pass incredible sceneries through the thick of the jungle and up the mountains.
  • Once through the mountains, we’ll be driving down Shaggy Ridge and through Ramu Valley. Some of the fiercest combat between the Australian and Japanese forces happened here during World War II.
  • We’ll stop by Markham Valley village

Afternoon

  • We’ll take a break here to stretch our legs and enjoy a picnic within the wilderness of Ramu Valley.
  • Arrive later afternoon in Lae – Lae is one of the busiest cities of Papua New Guinea and an important trade centre. This city is not connected to the highland provinces so most freight comes by boat.
  • We’ll partake in a city tour which will include a visit of the WWII cemetery, explore the the shipwreck of the Myoko Maru, and a Japanese War Memorial.
  • Dinner, drinks and overnight at Morobe Hotel in Lae

Wednesday 21st August – Port Moresby – Buka

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Board an early flight departing Lae back to Port Moresby.
  • Group A members conclude the tour.
  • Group B members continue the tour onwards to Bougainville as we depart on our next flight to Buka.

Afternoon

  • Once arriving at Buka Airport we’ll be greeted by our local Bougainville team and escorted to our accommodation at Masalang Village
  • Explore the village and visit a small business that produce traditional clay pots.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Board our bus to Kubu to visit the parliament house and access a gorgeous viewpoint allowing us to observe the whole of Buka passage, a strait filled with shipwrecks of WWII.
  • On our way back to Buka we will stop to explore the ruins of Japanese WWII bunkers in Hahela.
  • Dinner and overnight in Masalang Village

Thursday 22nd August – Buka – Arawa

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart by bus to a historical site located next to the police station in Buka Town. This site is known as the mass graveyard for the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during the Bougainville civil war. Our local guide will share facts of what happened during those troubled times.
  • Board an iconic banana boat and cross the Buka passage to Kokopau.

Afternoon

  • Jump in our 4WDs and embark on a 4 hour journey to Arawa with stops along the highway for photo opportunities and lunch
  • Before we arrive in Arawa we visit the decommissioned Panguna Mine – this mine used to be the largest open cut mine in the world with a total width of 2 kilometres and a depth of 430 metres. Farmers protested for the mines closure in 1989 which sparked the secessionist movement in Bougainville and the civil war. It’s common to see locals visiting the mine and panning for gold. Here you’ll explore the abandoned installations of this monstrous monument to careless exploitation.
  • Continue driving to the Siwai Region until we reach Panakei Lodge
  • Dinner, drinks and overnight at Panakei Lodge

Friday 23rd August – Siwai Region

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • We begin our WWII relic hunting tour! Bougainville was a the centre of the Pacific Campaign and where the Australian and American forces were locked in a brutal fight against the Japanese. During our relic hunt, we’ll see an Australian tank, cannons, artillery and a small museum, where a local exposes the artefacts he finds regularly.
  • Explore a few nearby villages where the locals receive very few tourists each year and are very eager to show off their performances and local welcoming rituals.

Afternoon

  • The village prepares an absolute feast of local delicacies for us. Bougainvillians eat mostly yam, root vegetables and chicken. We might have the opportunity to try other very special delicacies.
  • Tour highlight – As part of the preparation of our Bougainville tour, MD/YPT will prepare your visas to visit the micronation of the Twin Kingdom of Me’ekamui and Papaala. During the civil war of Bougainville, and after the takeover of Panguna Man, the leader of the rebellion group, Francis Ona, owned half of the island and proclaimed himself as Kim of Me’ekamui. However, on the other side of the island, another man known as King David Peii II proclaimed himself King of Papaala. Upon Francis Ona’s passing, King David Peii II then combined both kingdoms of the island into a Twin Kingdom. We plan to be the very first tourists to set foot in this fascinating micronation.
  • Head to the Hurai Guesthouse for dinner and drinks. Located right under a Digicel satellite tower, this guesthouse probably has the best network signal on the island.
  • Overnight at Hurai Guesthouse.

Saturday 24th August – Buin Region

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Begin the drive south towards the region of Buin.
  • We’ll take our 4WD as far as possible but eventually we’ll need to get out and explore by foot for roughly two hours until we reach the wreck of Admiral Yamamoto. Admiral Yamamoto was the leader of the Japanese Army who planned the attack against Pearl Harbor –  thus declaring war against the US. Yamamoto was flying to inspect his troops within a certain region of PNG. His flight itinerary was intercepted by the Allies and a surprise attack caused Yamamoto’s plane to crash into the remote jungle.

Afternoon

  • After successfully exploring Yamamoto’s wreck,  we’ll continue our drive south towards the coast and to stop for lunch.
  • Explore Japanese War Relics such as bunkers and artillery cannons. From here it’s possible to see the islands belonging to the Solomon Islands. It’s common for the locals to take their boats across to enter the Solomon Islands which share a similar culture with Bougainville. Most agree that Bougainvillians feel more like Solomon Islanders than Papua New Guineans.
  • We return to Arawa, which used to be the capital and take a boat to cross to Pokpok Island, stopping on the road to buy some refreshments!
  • Check into the Uruna Resort to drop our luggage before we head out for an afternoon of island hopping.
  • At this moment, there is nothing more heavenly than Uruna Resort. This will be the nicest accommodation arranged during your tour. We’ll be based on a pristine island without a single other tourist in sight. The ocean is crystal clear, our surrounding is incredibly peaceful, what perfect way to relax.
  • Fresh seafood for dinner, and our little own party on the island!
  • Overnight at Uruna Beach Resort

Sunday 25th August – Pokpok Island – Arawa

Morning

  • Breakfast at resort
  • Continue island hopping where we can swim, snorkel and fish in untouched waters.
  • Board a banana boat and travel to a cliff over the sea called “Eberia”. “Eberia” literally translates as ‘’this way‟ in the local language and according to local folklore is rumoured to be the gateway to the Underworld. It is a truly unique and spooky sight. We’ll stop and explore the abandoned Arovo Island Resort. Its services were disrupted by the civil war.

Afternoon

  • Continue by banana boat to Pidia village, if you are familiar with the movie ”Mr. Pip”, staring Hugh Laurie, which tells the story of a girl in Pidia village going through the events of the Bougainville civil war. It happened here!
  • On our way back on the mainland, we’ll stop by a WWII memorial by the town of Kieta where a Japanese Zero plane and a Japanese tank are exposed.
  • We stop by Arawa market to meet the locals and shop for souvenirs – most of this city was destroyed from the civil war.
  • Visit Topiniang village where villagers will welcome us to stay and eat with them. They will show us their flower gardens as well as a living bridge made up of vines from a Ficus tree. The most intrepid of us will get to cross this bridge which goes over a mountain stream and takes us to pools and caves for us to explore.
  • Back in the village of Topinang, we will see women weaving a traditional fan called Biruko and relax in the afternoon by the beach.
  • The villagers will send us off with our own personal ‘singsing’ and a night of storytelling
  • Dinner and overnight at a homestay in the village.

Monday 26th August – Kieta

  • After an early breakfast, we transfer to Kieta Airport to catch our morning flight back to Port Moresby.
  • Tour concludes with airport drop-off arranged according to your flight details – MD/YPT is also able to arrange post-tour accommodation or advice for flights.

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Mount Hagen Festival only

Aug 13-21, 2024
$3100/per person
  • For only the Mount Hagen Festival!
  • Prices will increase after June 1st 2023
  • You can ensure a lower price by submitting a 40% down payment before then and pay the rest when the trip begins

Bougainville

Aug 21-26, 2024
$1600/per person
  • Bougainville only!
  • Go hiking in the jungle of Bougainville, encountering rare wildlife and the plane wreck of Admiral Yamamoto
  • Prices will increase after June 1st 2023
  • You can ensure a lower price by submitting a 40% down payment before then and pay the rest when the trip begins

Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation in Mt. Hagen and Port Moresby
  • Flight from Mt. Hagen from Port Moresby
  • Flight from Lae to Port Moresby
  • Meals in Bougainville
  • Show admission tickets
  • Micronation visa
  • Local guide and MD/YPT guide

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa (we can provide support if needed)
  • International flights to and from Papua New Guinea
  • Meals and drinks in Port Moresby and the Highlands
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guide
  • Single supplement

Interested in joining us for Papua New Guinea?

12 + 12 =

The South Pacific Island Hopper

Australia, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa

August 26-Sept 1, 2024

Sydney

Nuku'alofa

Apia, Samoa

American Samoa

The South Pacific Island Hopper

August 26-Sept 1, 2024

After my trip to Papua New Guinea and on my way back home to NYC, join me on another epic adventure as we explore the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures of Tonga, American Samoa, and Samoa.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of these South Pacific gems, from snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to sampling delicious local cuisine. Let’s create unforgettable memories together and embrace the true essence of travel. Get ready to explore the uncharted territories of Tonga, American Samoa, and Samoa with The Monsoon Diaries. Traveling Far, Together.

  • August 25 or before: Arrive in Sydney
  • August 26: Fly to Nuku’alofa, Tonga
  • August 26-27: Tonga
  • August 27: Fly to Auckland, NZ
  • August 28: Fly to Apia, Samoa
  • April 28-30: Apia, Samoa
  • August 30/29: Fly to Pago Pago, American Samoa (this crosses the international date line so we gain an extra day; we go back in time!)
  • August 29-30: Pago Pago, American Samoa
  • August 30/31: Return home

 

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation on a twin-share basis
  • Flights within the itinerary
  • Admission fees

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa (we can provide support if needed)
  • International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Meals and drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Day tours and guides
  • Tips for the local guide
  • Single supplement

Interested in joining us for the South Pacific Island Hopper?

6 + 4 =

Bhutan

Sept 23-26, 2024

Paro

Thimphu

Punakha

Tiger’s Nest

Bhutan

Sept 23-26, 2024

Upon an invitation by Letti who came on my recent The Gulf of Guinea trip, to join her friends on a September trip to Bhutan…how could I say no?

So I’m tagging along in the same spirit of when I was invited to my first Yacht Week, because I’m never one to give an excuse not to go something when invited. Join us for 4 days in Bhutan hitting up all the highlights: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and the legendary hike to Tiger’s Nest.

September 23: Paro – Thimphu | Treasures of the Capital

  • Arrive in Paro and drive to Thimphu.
  • En route, stop at Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to 14th – century saint and engineer Thangtong Gyalpo.
  • After arriving in Thimphu, visit Memorial Chorten, a stupa built to in the memory of the 3rd king.
  • Later, visit Great Buddha Dordenma, an enormous statue of Shakyamuni Buddha located on a hilltop near Thimphu.
  • Drive to Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
  • End your day with a visit to majestic Tashichhoedzong. If your trip coincides with the weekend then we will take you to Thimphu’s famed Weekend Market. Overnight in Thimphu.

September 24: Thimphu – Punakha – Paro | The New and the Old Capital

  • Drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan via Dochula Pass and enjoy the stunning views of Bhutan Himalayas.
  • In Punakha, visit majestic Punakha Dzong and take a walk to the longest suspension bridge of the country located behind the fortress.
  • Visit Chimi Lhakhang (The Temple of Divine Madman), a monastery built in honour of an eccentric lama, Drukpa Kunley.
  • Afterwards, drive to Paro.
  • Overnight in Paro.

September 25: Tiger’s Nest |The Emblem of Bhutan

  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
  • Later, visit a farmhouse and observe the way of life inside a rural Bhutanese household.
  • End your day with a game of archery and dress up in traditional Bhutanese attire.
  • Overnight in Paro.

September 26: Farewell

  • Drive to Paro Airport to fly home.

 

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

 
OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

With exception of tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all foreign nationals are required to obtain a visa prior to traveling to Bhutan. The current fees for a visa are USD $40. Once you confirm your trip, send us a scan of your passport. Visa is issued by Tourism Council of Bhutan once full payment of your vacation has been received. We will send you the copy of your visa via email which you will have to produce at the airport along with your valid passport on arrival.

Citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives can obtain route permit upon arrival at the port of entry; however, they are required to carry their passports or a state issued valid Voter’s Card.

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation on a twin-share basis
  • Three Star Accommodation
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport for Local Transfers
  • Camping Equipment and Porter Services for Treks
  • Taxes and Charges
  • Sustainable Development Fees
  • Entry Fees for all Tourist Sites

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa (we can provide support if needed)
  • International flights to and from Bhutan
  • Personal expenses, meals, and drinks
  • Tips for local guides
  • Single supplement ($200 USD extra)

Interested in joining us for Bhutan?

2 + 5 =

Easter Island

November 30 – December 5, 2024

Easter Island

Easter Island

November 30 – December 5, 2024

Embark on our November adventure to discover the mystical wonders of Easter Island, a captivating destination that we’ll explore at leisure for 5 days right after Thanksgiving. With pleasant weather of that time adding to the allure, now is the ideal time to experience the awe-inspiring Moai statues, immerse in the island’s rich history, and embrace the spirit of adventure.

At The Monsoon Diaries, we believe in traveling far, together, and we invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey to unlock the secrets of Easter Island.

  • November 29: Depart for Santiago
  • November 30: Arrive in Santiago, transfer to LA841 for a morning flight to IPC airport
  • November 30-December 5: Explore Easter Island at our leisure
  • December 5: Depart Easter Island for home

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

 
OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Arrive no later to Santiago, Chile than 7:00am on Saturday November 30th and depart anytime on or after December 5th.

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your passport! USA passport holders do not need a visa.

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation on a twin-share basis
  • Walking Tours 
  • Admission Fees

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa (we can provide support if needed)
  • International flights to and from Easter Island/Chile
  • Personal expenses, meals, and drinks
  • Tips for local guides
  • Optional day tours and treks
  • Single supplement ($400 USD extra)

Interested in joining us for Easter Island?

4 + 12 =

Central Africa

Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Winter 2024-2025

Niamey, Niger

N'Djamena, Chad

Burundi

DRC

ROC

Central African Republic

Central Africa

Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Winter 2024-2025

Join us on an exhilarating expedition through the heart of Central Africa!

In January 2025, The Monsoon Diaries invites you on a captivating adventure, exploring the hidden gems of Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, DRC, ROC, and Burundi. With Addis Ababa as our base for layovers between these enchanting countries, embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey that will leave you in awe. Discover diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and thrilling encounters as we traverse the unexplored corners of Central Africa.

Pack your sense of adventure and get ready to travel far, together with The Monsoon Diaries!

  • Jan 3: Arrive in N’Djamena, Chad
  • Jan 3-5: Chad
  • Jan 5: Fly to Niamey, Niger
  • Jan 5-6: Niger
  • Jan 6: Fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Jan 6-7: Overnight in Addis Ababa
  • Jan 7: Fly to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Jan 7-8: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Jan 8: Boat crossing to Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo (ROC)
  • Jan 8-10: Republic of the Congo
  • Jan 10: Fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Jan 10-11: Overnight in Addis Ababa
  • Jan 12: Fly to Bujumbura, Burundi 
  • Jan 12-13: Burundi
  • Jan 13: Fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Jan 13-14: Overnight in Addis Ababa
  • Jan 14: Fly to Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR)
  • Jan 14-15: Central African Republic
  • Jan 15: Return home

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

 
OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Arrive no later to Santiago, Chile than 7:00am on Saturday November 30th and depart anytime on or after December 5th.

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Yes! We will advise you on visa support once you sign up.

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • All 7 international flights within the itinerary and between all countries from Chad to CAR to complete the itinerary, including the layovers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • All lodgings on a twin-share basis
  • All lodgings at 5 star Skylight Hotel inside the Terminal of Addis Ababa International Airport
  • Admission Fees
  • Boat ride between Kinshasha and Brazzaville

Price exclusive of:

  • Visas (prices differ depending on passport nationality, so unable to calculate ahead of time; we can provide support if needed)
  • Letters of Invitation (prices differ depending on passport nationality, so unable to calculate ahead of time)
  • International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Personal expenses, meals, and drinks
  • Tips for local guides
  • Local guides and day trips
  • Optional extra day tours and treks
  • Single supplement ($800 USD extra)

Interested in joining us for Central Africa?

6 + 15 =

Zermatt, Switzerland

March 23-28, 2025

Tomorrowland Winter 2025

Alpe d’Huez, France

March 18-22, 2025

Zermatt, Switzerland

March 23-28, 2025

Tomorrowland Winter 2025

Alpe d’Huez, France

March 18-22, 2025

Zermatt, Switzerland

March 23-28, 2025

Tomorrowland Winter 2025

Alpe d’Huez, France

March 18-22, 2025

Zermatt

Alpe d'Huez

The Alps

Alpe d’Huez, France

March 18-22, 2025

Zermatt, Switzerland

March 23-28, 2025

Embark on our biannual snow-filled journey with The Monsoon Diaries! As an encore to our international success at the winter wonderland of Hokkaido last year, the band is getting back together at Zermatt, Switzerland where the snow trails are world-class, culinary adventures abound, and the aprés take place at our on-site saunas, salt grottos, and steam baths.

A mountain village surrounded by the highest peaks of the Swiss Alps, Zermatt has upheld its ban on cars and combustion vehicles since the 1960s; the only way to arrive is by train, taxi, or helicopter. This is the Venice of the Alps. We then take over with our style of monsooning that ensures you will have access to rentals, luxury accommodations, and freedom to explore on your own, allowing you to fully embrace the adrenaline rush and joy of winter sports with a crew of reliable friends who will always follow through.

And since we’ll be in the area, consider an optional extension to Tomorrowland Winter nearby in the French Alps from March 18-21! Although we have exclusive access to early tickets, spots are limited due to availability of tickets for this usually sold out premier music festival, so please inquire as early as possible.

Join us on this unforgettable adventure, where exhilaration meets natural beauty, and create memories that will fill your heart for a lifetime. Travel Far, Together with The Monsoon Diaries!

March 18 or before

  • GROUP A/TOMORROWLAND: Arrive at Alpe d’Huez, after landing in Paris, Lyon, or Geneva

March 18-21

  • Ski, snowboard, or winter apres in the daytime among the legendary French Alps
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Tomorrowland festivities in the evenings!

March 22

  • GROUP A/TOMORROWLAND: Check out of our lodgings in Alpe d’Huez
  • Either depart for home if this is the end of your journey or transfer and arrival in Switzerland, via either Geneva, Zurich, or a train from anywhere in Europe including Paris.
  • Likely layover and overnight in Geneva, Lyon, or Paris

March 23-28

  • GROUP A+B: Arrive into Zermatt by train
  • Check into our luxury chalet lodgings in the pedestrian-only town
  • Ski/Snowboard to your heart’s content for the next 4 days; Zermatt is on the IKON pass or you can purchase a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 day pass, which means you don’t have to ski/snowboard everyday!
  • Board Zermatt’s Gornergrat train, a cog railway choo-choo’ing its way up the steep mountainside through tunnels, over bridges and across ravines with beautiful views of the landscape and the majesty of the mountain range, and let its grandeur overwhelm you from the top. The panoramic views in every direction on the train is a must-see.
  • Stroll through Zermatt’s pedestrian-only village, filled with bars, restaurants, boutiques, souvenir shops, bakeries and shops selling Swiss cakes and chocolates.
  • Although we have free breakfasts, enjoy another breakfast at Fuchs Bakery, producing freshly baked croissants, sweets, and other goods with locally sourced ingredients.
  • If interested in the lifestyle of those who first staked a home here, pay a visit to Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum
  • Dinner with a view at 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, the highest hotel and restaurant in the Swiss Alps. Its restaurant, Vis-à-Vis, offers Swiss-centric meals made with local ingredients, including salmon trout, fondue, and pork cordon bleu.

March 28 and after

  • Check out of our lodgings
  • Continue exploring the rest of Switzerland or stay longer in Zermatt!

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

 
What if I don't ski or snowboard?

Not a problem! There are plenty of activities you can do in Zermatt without skiing or snowboarding including hiking, exploring the pedestrian-only village of Zermatt, riding the tourist train for epic Swiss Alps views, and treating yourself with various spa treatments.

OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones via our partners at G1G

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Tomorrowland Winter

March 18-22 (4 nights and 5 days)
$1300/pax
  • The entire 4 nights and 5 days experiencing Tomorrowland: Winter including 4 nights of lodging, complimentary shuttle service to the festival every evening and back, festival tickets for 4 days, and a 4 day lift ticket to ski/snowboard during the day!
  • You don’t have to ski or snowboard if you just want to join for the company
  • Prices will increase after it approaches a sell out point or November 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm EST, whichever is earlier. They may increase even further the longer you wait

  • You can secure the lower price by submitting a 40% down payment before then and pay the rest when the trip begins

Zermatt

March 23-28 (5 nights, 6 days)
$1950/pax
  • The entire 5 nights and 6 days in Zermatt
  • You don’t have to ski or snowboard if you just want to join for the company!
  • Prices will increase after the first 12 deposits or after November 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm EST, whichever is earlier. They may increase even further the longer you wait

  • You can secure the lower price by submitting a 40% down payment before then and pay the rest when the trip begins

Zermatt Lift Tickets (non IKON pass)

per day
$75-100/pax
  • The average price for lift access to Zermatt: anywhere from $75 for 12 hours to $100 for full day to as low as $75/day if getting a 5 day consective pass
  •  

Rentals

per day
$45-80/pax
  • The average price for rentals in Europe range from $45/day for economy up to $80/day for premium

Price inclusive of:

  • WHOLE TRIP: Transportation between Tomorrowland: Winter and Zermatt, Switzerland
  • TOMORROWLAND WINTER: 4 day lift tickets
  • TOMORROWLAND WINTER: 4 day festival access to the world’s top DJs and lineup
  • TOMORROWLAND WINTER: Complimentary shuttle service between lodging and the festival
  • TOMORROWLAND WINTER: 4 nights accommodations
  • ZERMATT: 5 nights of “Ski in, ski out” accommodations (2 people per bedroom) in a luxury chalet and hotel: only a 4 minute walk from the main gondola!
  • ZERMATT: Skylight loft with 6 bedrooms (6 double beds) fitting 12 people, 5 bathrooms, a fireplace, kitchen, and communal dining table (see gallery photos!)
  • ZERMATT: Included and complimentary all-access at the premises to on-site spa that has a full gym, massage services on demand, distiller sauna, salt grotto room, steam room, ice room, health food bar, conservatory, indoor pool, and outdoor whirlpool
  • ZERMATT: Lodgings also include an on-site restaurant & cozy lounge bar
  • Daily breakfast
  • Coordinating and booking ski passes for those not on the IKON pass
  • Coordinating and booking ski/snowboard gear rentals if needed
  • Coordinating and booking ski/snowboard lessons if needed
  • Coordinating transportation to and from Zermatt

Price exclusive of:

  • Flights to and from Europe
  • Transportation costs to and from Zermatt
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Train or bus service between anywhere in Europe and Zermatt
  • Lift tickets
  • Massage services (average cost $150 for 50min)
  • Ski/snowboard rentals
  • Alcohol, meals, drinks and personal spending
  • All optional day trips and activities
  • Ski/snowboard lessons

Interested in joining us for Tomorrowland Winter or Zermatt?

15 + 12 =

The South Pacific Island Hopper: Auckland Base

New Caledonia, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Niue, Walls & Fortuna, Cook Islands, Samoa, American Samoa

August 2025

Sydney

Noumea, New Caledonia

Voh, New Caledonia (flyover)

Fiji

Pago Pago

Wallis Island

Niue

Cooks Islands

Marquesas Islands

The South Pacific Island Hopper

Fall 2024

TBD

TBD

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, or Venmo.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We have expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime. So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones with our partners (with options for medical coverage included!) at G1G Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.  

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.  

TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation on a twin-share basis
  • Flights within the itinerary
  • Admission fees

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa (we can provide support if needed)
  • International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Meals and drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Day tours and guides
  • Tips for the local guide
  • Single supplement

Interested in joining us for the South Pacific Island Hopper?

9 + 4 =

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