7 days
Duration
Alaska
Location
3/10
Physicality
Gondwana Ecotours
Operator
$2,545
base price per person

Explore Alaska’s Northern Lights

Husky dog sled in the morning breeze and hunt for Northern Lights at sunset. Spending seven days ‘Aurora hunting’ in the Alaskan wilderness, you will stay at a lodge with amazing views of mountains and snow-covered spruce forests.

And don’t worry! If the natural phenomena appear while you’re asleep, a guide will wake you up so you don’t miss it. This adventure will also take you on walks with reindeer, lunches with locals, hikes to hot springs in the incredible landscape and much more…

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Fairbanks

A taxi will pick you up at Fairbanks’ airport and take you to Sophie Station Suites, five minutes away. The hotel has spacious rooms and within a few minutes walking distance, you will find grocery and department stores. In the evening you’ll meet your guides in the lobby at 8pm and get photography tips.
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Day 2: Hunt Northern Lights and Explore Hiking Trails

In the morning we explore Fairbanks’s city. After lunch, we head to A Taste of Alaska Lodge with amazing views of mountains and snow-covered spruce forests. The lodge is situated on 280 acres of woodland in central Alaska and has comfortable rooms and plenty of local food and drink. There is also a large heated tent (a yurt) outside the lodge where you can witness Northern Lights. On a clear day, you can also see the Alaska Mountain Range and all the way to Denali. After we settle in, you can explore the hiking trails that surround the lodge or grab a hot cocoa and relax in your new home base. Following dinner, you can come ‘hunt’ for the Northern Lights with us or stay in the warmth of the lodge. Your guide will alert you if the Aurora appears.
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Day 3: Visit Reindeer Ranch and Hunt Northern Lights

In the morning, you can explore the landscape on a hike around the area and snowshoe. After lunch, we visit a family with a reindeer ranch, walk through a beautiful birch forest and eat homemade cookies with tea. After dinner, we go for another Aurora hunt.
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Day 4: Visit Hot Springs and Cultural Centre

Today, we explore the Morris Thompson Cultural Center with world-class exhibits of Alaska’s seasons and traditional native art, music and dance. In the afternoon, we go to the remote and beautiful Chena Hot Springs. You can soak in the steaming waters surrounded by snow, visit an ice sculpture museum and sip an apple martini in a carved glass from the Ice Bar. The drive home from the Hot Springs also provides a wonderful opportunity to search for the Northern Lights and spot moose.
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Day 5: Dog Sledding and Curling Lesson with Locals

Today, you’ll hop on a dog sled for a ride through the forest in the morning breeze and learn about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline’s history and functions. Back at the lodge, we curl with local players before dinning at one of their favourite eateries. Later, we hunt for the Northern Lights.
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Day 6: Visit an Off-the-Grid Homestead and the Museum of the North

After breakfast, we visit rescued sled-dogs and farm animals at a local homestead. You can learn about the Walsh’s off-the-grid lifestyle as you explore their property and enjoy homemade breads, jams, and cheeses from the farm. After lunch, we visit the Museum of the North before hunting for the beautiful lights in the sky again.
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Day 7: Departure

After a final Alaskan-sized breakfast, a shuttle will take you back to the airport.

Overview

Trip Dates
17 – 23 September 2018
30 September – 6 October 2018
19 – 25 October 2018
24 – 30 November 2018
1 – 7 December 2018
29 December 2018 – 4 January 2019
11 – 17 February 2019
25 February – 3 March 2019
9 – 15 March 2019
18 – 24 March 2019
Trip Highlights Dog-sled in Alaskan wilderness
 Witness Northern Lights
 Explore ice-museum and ice-bar
Discover how locals live in the Interior of Alaska
 Soak in mineral-rich hot-springs under the night-sky
Included 6 nights, 7 days accommodation in lodge
A dog-sledding excursion
Personal wake-up service when the Aurora is active
Entry into Chena Hot Springs and Ice Sculpture Museum & the Museum of the North
Breakfast
Airport transfers
Transportation in Alaska
Expert Guides
Reindeer expedition
Curling lesson from local players
Not Included Flights to/from destination Drinks and food (except breakfast)
Price $2,545 per person   $500 Single Supplement

Why Choose Gondwana Ecotours?

‘Gondwana’ was part of the Pangea supercontinent, when all the continents were together and the world was one. Gondwana Ecotours aims to bring people from different continents closer together one trip at a time.

Low-Impact Travel

Gondwana ecotours leave a small impression on the environment because of the small group size and the activities. They carbon offset your airfare — good for your conscience and good for our planet.

Unique Lodging

Feel the heart of the destination by staying at locally-owned and eco-friendly hotels whenever possible.

Donations To Causes

A portion of the proceeds goes to a local non-profit or organization associated with your ecotour.

Local Guides & Trip Leaders

Enjoy the unsurpassable experience of local guides who share their country, culture, and customs while a Gondwana Trip Leader takes care of your travel details.

Ecotourism and Responsible Travel

Gondwana believes that travel is an opportunity for personal and collective fulfillment, building connections and driving creativity. Achieving these goals requires responsibility, sustainability and respect throughout planning and implementation. Gondwana’s Seven Key Sustainability Principles guide them towards those goals.

1. Recognize That Travel Has Substantial Impacts

Gondwana recognizes that travel has substantial impacts on the environment, the ecosystems that we visit, as well as the local communities, economies and development. They further recognize their role in understanding and affecting those impacts and seek always to improve both our understanding and our impact.

That’s why they examine all elements of their trips and operations for their impact on the environment, culture, society, economy and development and how we affect all the forms of capital that we interact with (natural, human, physical, and economic).

2. Goods, Products & Services We Use Don’t Begin Or End With Us

All of the goods, products and services used along the way don’t begin or end with us. They required energy and resources to produce and deliver, and usually enter the waste stream. For these reasons, Gondwana “reduce, reuse and recycle” in that order. For impacts we can’t mitigate they purchase carbon offsets to make every trip carbon neutral.

3. Sustainability Starts With You

Sustainability starts with you. Finding balance in ourselves is difficult but often a prerequisite for other forms of success. That’s why Gondwana offers programs on health and wellness including workshops and activities to support good nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and more. Additionally, Gondwana strives to always serve gourmet, fresh, local and organic meals and have top of the line spa treatments available – our short cut to relaxation. They hope to send every client home feeling rejuvenated and with new tools to maintain that balance in their day-to-day life.

4. Respect & Empower Local Communities

Tourism plays a substantial role in local communities. Responsible tourism includes local stakeholders in decisions and processes that will affect their lives and is always respectful of local custom and culture. To fulfill and promote this principle, Gondwana provide opportunities to engage and interact with stakeholders in the community: students, small farmers, and more.

5. Preserve Ecosystems For Future Generations

Stewardship and responsibility are especially important when visiting sensitive ecosystems. Gondwana’s objective is to preserve all of the sites they visit for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations. To do that they engage in conservation through educational opportunities, trip activities, and actions they take as a company. They also always look for ways to give back to the destinations they visit through support for local causes.

6. Be Tolerant & Embrace Diversity

Diversity is essential to healthy systems. In all Gondwana’s actions and activities they seek to be always tolerant and embrace diversity – diversity of experience, perspective, interests and abilities. They provide ADA accessible options on their trips and do their best to accommodate every special request and need.

7. Always Improve & Seek Better Understanding

Sustainability is defined by complexity. Gondwana seeks to always improve their understanding and their impact. To that end they keep an open dialogue and invite you to join the conversation!

Read about Gondwana’s accolades in the Press

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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 6 reviews
Suzanne Bedke
May 11, 2016

Aurora Borealis has been on my Bucket List for some time and after emailing Jared I choose to go with Gondwana to Fairbanks for the Northern Lights ecotour end of September 2016…..and let me tell you it was excellent in all regards……lodging, food choices, activities (especially enjoyed walking with reindeer!), transportation, and our exceptional guide Patricia….I can’t commend her enough. AND WE SAW THE AURORA on 3 nights!!

Mikki Tenazas
July 27, 2016

Had the best time ever chasing the Northern Lights. The guides were very knowledgeable, and the tour very flexible. There was a lot of variety in the activities, with the highlights being the dog sledding, walking with reindeer, and of course, the Northern Lights. We were very lucky to have enjoyed for 2 straight nights, and with pretty strong activity. Would definitely love to go on a tour with Gondwana again!

Kristen Roman
August 4, 2016

Absolutely amazing! This wasn’t a tour, it was an unforgettable experience. Our guides, Patricia, Jake and Jen were knowledgeable, patient, and entirely invested in making our week everything we hoped it would be and more. The sights seen, education gained, and most of all the connections and friendships made combined to create the trip of a lifetime for me and my son. Thank you Gondwana!

Doug Watson
September 28, 2016

Just got back from a northern lights tour with Gondwana Ecotours. Great itinerary. lots of fun activities. Knowledgeable staff and personable guides combined with the amazing Aurora made for an unforgettable trip. Many thanks to a wonderful staff and a great group of folks that we met on the tour. I highly recommend this company. Small groups. They are very dedicated to all having a great experience.

Barbara McDonald
October 8, 2016

I had more laughs and fun in 5 short days than I can remember on any other trip. Everything we did was new and even at my age I was not pressured to do more than I felt I could. Never had I dreamed of riding in a dogsled or petting and walking with reindeer! This was a trip I saw advertised and acted on almost immediately. In the days in between considered backing down but am certainly glad I did not. Will certainly not forget the lovely people and great food I had on the trip. Thanks for the great organization Jared.

Emily York
December 5, 2016

I had the most amazing time during my trip to Alaska with Gondwana! The entire trip was so well planned that I never felt like I had too much or too little down time, and even so, it was very flexible. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable about everything Alaska! I have gone on different trips with different tour groups and this was by far my favorite company to travel with. I will definitely be looking at other trips to travel with Gondwana, and recommend them to anybody looking to have an unforgettable time during their travels.

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