Far Horizons’ History
Founded by a Maya archaeologist in 1982, Far Horizons specializes in upscale, educational tours throughout the world. For the first decade, our trips tended to highlight the archaeology of the Maya World, but as the years have passed our destinations have expanded to include most of the world.
People often ask what separates Far Horizons from other tour companies. With over 35 years in the travel business and extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations, we are able to provide our clients with unparalleled individual attention, starting with the first phone call or email until you return home, a happy and enriched traveler. The yachts and other vessels we charter offer exclusivity and luxury, and we never combine our groups with other organizations. Traveling with a maximum of only 14 participants allows us to stay in elegant stylish hotels and dine on creative cuisine in distinctive restaurants that do not cater to tour groups. For your enjoyment, you can spread out in the buses we use, relish large rooms even if you are a single, and savor close-up attention from our study leaders who are with you from the first day of the tour until the last – 24/7. With our 85% return rate, we are proud that our learning vacations offer a rich educational experience, the camaraderie with fellow travelers who share like interests, and of course, a healthy dose of fun.
As a tour company that benefits from the cultural and natural riches of our destinations, we are aware that funding for science is an ongoing challenge. From the first Far Horizons trip in 1983 we have had a policy of donating to archaeological and other scientific projects. Upon registering for a tour, our clients are asked to write a separate check to a specific project that we designate (normally a 501 (c) 3 that is tax deductible) and we also include other contributions within the cost of the tour. This has created a bond with the academic community that has allowed us to organize private entrée events that are specially arranged only for Far Horizons’ groups.
The adventure, education, camaraderie of like minded travelers and a new understanding of the world’s cultures, both past and present, have given us an 85% return rate of intellectually curious travelers who return to explore with Far Horizons again and again.
A Message From Our Founding Director…
Can you believe it has been almost 35 years since the birth of Far Horizons! I remember clearly and fondly our first “adventure” trip in 1983 when I was driver, guide, baggage handler, study leader, and tour manager! What glorious memories I have of those first trips – camping in the rainforest at Ceibal (and trying to sleep while the howler monkeys roared incessantly over our heads), floating down the mighty Usumacinta River in inflatable rafts, and walking through the uncut Lacandon forest to see the astonishing murals in Bonampak. How magical to be the only people there!
In those early years, unflappable Far Horizons explorers faced challenges such as oh, remember the bathrooms in that memorable (!) hotel in southern Belize on our first trip? Or, how about when the engine of one of our mighty GMC Suburban vans blew up while we were deep in the jungle trying to reach Rio Bec? After recruiting a 1932 logging truck (along with all the men of the village) to get us back to our hotel, we found a lobster dinner awaiting us…at 2 a.m.! Then there was the time that we found the fer-de-lance snake in the middle of our cluster of tents at Piedras Negras. We all zipped our tent flaps more carefully and decided that we didn’t really have to get up to go to the bathroom that night. And the wonders of the trip into the cave of Naj Tunich when one of our trucks slid into a ditch and a Maya family took us in for the night…all 20 of us! We had no food as it was awaiting us at the camp site, but our wonderful study leader had packed canned rum and coke (no kidding!), our sustenance for the night. We awoke the next morning to the smell of fresh tortillas over the fire and hot coffee prepared by our hosts. And after pulling out the truck (that’s another story), we drove to the camp where home-made pasta and pina coladas were awaiting.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to appreciate luxury (as have the Far Horizons travelers still taking our journeys all these years later) but won’t entirely give up the adventure. As our frequent travelers know, our trips proudly reflect this winning combination as well as including a PhD specialist who reveals the secrets and solves the mysteries of the sites we explore. Be sure and read about the renowned (and frequently legendary) scholars who lead our trips here.
The members of the Far Horizons staff take pride in our knowledge of each of our destinations. Our years of experience, proven logistical capabilities, and exceptional knowledge of the most remote areas and cultures make Far Horizons the ideal travel company to assist you in your journey. Our contacts among the peoples of our destinations, and the scientists who work in each of them, make each of our unique trips a very special and memorable experience.
Contact us today and savor for yourself a journey into the heart of history!
Mary Dell Lucas, Founding Director
Far Horizons specializes in upscale, educational tours throughout the world, each led by a renowned scholar who reveals the secrets and solves the mysteries of the sites we explore. Our small groups experience a wide range of journeys to countries where the boundaries of archaeological and historical knowledge are being tested and pushed ever outward.
We believe that to truly understand an area of the world, it is important not to be just an “observer” of another culture; we must be as much of a participant within that culture as is possible within the confines of the trip. We must explore how the people live today, the challenges they face, their traditions, their goals and their political environment. We limit the size of Far Horizons’ groups to enable participants, wherever possible, to dine in celebrated restaurants and spend overnights in small, bed and breakfast-type accommodations that depict the ambience of the country. Frequently these establishments are housed in charming, restored historic buildings. During a Far Horizons trip, we dine on the local delicacies, drink traditional beverages, learn a bit of the languages, and travel to areas rarely visited by tourists. Our study leaders, local guides and tour managers are picked for their expertise in a given area and for their congeniality as traveling companions. This is a vacation after all!