Being Here Now
The Art & Practice of Travel PhotographyTM

Physical Activity & Service Levels for Our Tours
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Porter on the trail

Photography "has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them." Elliott Erwitt

CameraTreks journeys are fully-planned photographic excursions. Our trips involve hands-on interaction with people from other cultures and long hours of active photography and exploration. There is a fair amount of personal free time built into each trip (usually in the evenings) as well as opportunities to vary from the schedule when feasible, desirable and legally possible.


Our service and physical comfort level usually falls in the modest but very comfortable range providing everything needed by travelers who want decent levels of sleeping accommodations, meals and sanitation. However there can be exceptions. An example is our trip to Upper Mustang on the north slope of the central Himalaya where we get the best available in lodgings, meals and sanitation – all of which are often below what westerners have come to expect at home. Personal safety of our participants is always a foremost concern and we skimp on nothing in this regard. All our trips are quite safe with the caveat that mountain trekking and photography go hand-in-hand except they ought not be done in tandem on narrow cliff trails!


All trips include, at a minimum, both a CameraTreks photographer and at least one local guide or in-country photographer. Both are familiar with our trip locations and special sites. All of a trip's formal activities and ground transport are included in your fees. Some trips also include most meals and in-country flights where required for our activities.


Travel to all our destinations is best approached with an open mind and a high degree of tolerance for unexpected delays, changes of schedule and the many oddities that make journeys memorable. Leave most of your cultural norms at home when you sign onto a Camera Treks excursion. And remember one of the basic rules of travel: a smile goes a long way in international understanding!


As is the case with all travel, we recommend Insurance to cover you in the event of trip cancellation. We also recommend medical coverage that is in effect for whatever location we are traveling to. In some cases we REQUIRE basic medical insurance (Cuba) and/or a Medical Evacuation policy (Himalayas). We will ask to see your papers for any coverage we require. If this request happens once you land at our excursion and you do not have the required coverage you will not be allowed to join us for the trip!



Level of Physical Activity


The nature of our travels for photographers means there is lots of walking involved. Participants must be in good health and be able to walk, stand and often stay out most of the day without returning to our accommodations. Our journeys usually divide the day into two parts: several hours of activity after breakfast and before lunch and post-lunch to before dinner. In some instances we also have activities planned after dinner. None of our trips require any special physical skills or training other than good physical conditioning for trips labeled as Strenuous.


Easy physical activities include street photography, museum visits, fairly easy walking terrain, vehicle drives, and similar general tourist activity. Still, our days tend to be long with lots of walking (and, maybe, standing) on each side of lunch.


Moderately Active physical activities may include archaeological ruins with steep access, ladder usage, and rest stops. For our urban trips the environs may include steep streets and hills and/or many steps for sites, restaurants and lodgings. These sorts of activities may exist in both the morning and afternoon sessions of the trip on multiple days. Participants need not be in peak physical condition but do need to be able to sustain several hours of walking in both the mornings and afternoons.


Strenuous activity levels require experienced travelers who are in very good physical and mental condition with the ability to walk/scramble both up and down in fairly steep terrain. On these types of trips the level of activity in a single morning may involve an Easy hour followed by an arduous, Strenuous hour of exertion – or no Easy activity at all except for rest breaks. The trip may be undertaken, partially or wholly, at elevations higher than many travelers are used to. An example is our trip to Upper Mustang on the north slope of the Nepal Himalaya. On this trip we are almost always at elevations of 9,000 to 14,000 feet (circa 2700 to 4300 meters) with daily temperatures varying from 30F to 65F (circa -1C to 19C).


Special Activities. If special activities or equipment are needed on any of our trips this requirement will be prominently highlighted. An example is New Guinea where we drive from the highlands down to the coast to spend a few days swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving from a boat. Although the dive location for scuba may not require a certification (C-Card), CameraTreks will not permit you to dive without a valid, generally-accepted certificate (PADI, NAUI, SSI, BSAC, CMAS, SDI.)





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