Grand Canyon Winter Tours - Tips To Getting The Right Trip
The Grand Canyon is a awesome place to visit. Especially if you take a tour form Las Vegas or Tusayan, AZ. Learn which trip is for you. Read this insightful article now.
Many Grand Canyon tours start from Las Vegas, but other folks come from somewhere in Arizona, like Phoenix, Flagstaff or Sedona. If you'll be coming from AZ, you'll probably head for the South Rim. Vegas-based travelers can choose either the South or the West Rim.
South Rim Trips
Most visitors in AZ will make the drive to Tusayan, Arizona, which is just a hop skip away from the entrance to the South Rim. It's from there where you'll take a helicopter or airplane ride. There are two kinds of helicopter tours. The cheapest is a 30-minute-flight and the other is a deluxe 50-minute flight. The "30" takes you from the South Rim to the North Rim and back. The "50" does that two as well as everything up to Park's easternmost border. The plane tour follows a route that's similar to the 50-minute chopper tour, but its less expensive. The big difference between the plane and the heli is altitude. The plane flies higher, which results in some visitors opting for the heli.
A lot of people think of the South Rim as the "real" Grand Canyon, and Vegas-based folks can go there too. I personally find the airplane flight the ultimate way to get from LV to the SR because it only takes 60 minutes (versus a 5.5-hour bus ride). Plus you get up to two hours inside the National Park via luxury bus. FYI - You can upgrade bus and airplane tours to include a 30-minute South Rim helicopter ride.
West Rim Trips
The West Rim is only 120 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, thus making WR tours incredibly popular. Choices include plane, helicopter, bus and rafting (in-season) tours. Plane tours arrive at the canyon in under 30 minutes; helicopters in about 45 minutes; and buses take about 2.5 hours to get there and give you up to 3 hours for sightseeing at the rim.
Bus tours are scheduled daily (they start around 7 a.m.) and optional rafting trips down the Colorado and/or chopper rides to the canyon bottom can be added. Plane tours land on the top, but you can also add the rafting trip and/or the chopper flight. Special note: The West Rim is the only place where helicopters are allowed to land on the bottom, so this is one of those truly special things to do.
Deals & RSVP
Tours to the Grand Canyon are in high-demand and so I suggest you purchase your tickets at least a week ahead of time. Several things can happen if you try to book your tour 24 hours prior to the day you want: 1. you'll pay through the nose; or 2. you won't get the tour you want. What's the moral of the story? Save money by booking in advance.
Yes, there are deals out there, but remember, your time is valuable so don't knock yourself out. In my opinion, booking direct on the tour operator's website is the safest and best way to buy tickets and get the lowest prices. If you come across a deal that's too good to be true, well, it's too good to be true. I try hard to avoid these. Thus once you find the right online tour site, you should be able to save up to 30 percent on retail. The key thing to remember here is to complete the transaction online. That way you'll lock in that great Internet rate. Do that and all that's left is to kick back and get pumped up for your trip of a lifetime!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Travel reviewer Justine Moriarity is an authority on Grand Canyon tours. She advises looking at these money-saving articles on canyon excursions as well as this page that rates the top tour companies: http://grandcanyoncheap.com/