For 36 years INCA has been delivering some of the most outstanding adventure and learning experiences in the world. We love what we do, which is helping travel dreams come true. Come explore with just a handful of like-minded travelers and experience unique flora and fauna, dramatic landscapes, historic sites and different cultures on an intimate scale.
THE COMPANY WE KEEP
Our Philosophy and Style
We have long been one of the leading companies offering small, intimate adventures because we hold ourselves (and our trips) to especially high standards of quality and safety.
Wherever we travel we are downright fussy about our guides, itineraries, accommodations and transportation in order to give you the best possible experience.
A Bit of History
INCA (formerly Inca Floats, Inc.) began in the 1970’s as a family adventure when Bill Roberson, a scientist and professor, and his two daughters, Kim and Marika, traveled to Peru and the Galápagos Islands. They had such an adventurous, silly and educational time that they couldn’t wait to share it with their friends. And so a company was born.
In 1996 Inca Floats became INCA, International Nature & Cultural Adventures, to reflect our new adventures outside of South America. INCA is now more than the Roberson family supplying, guiding, and cooking as on our early treks. We have grown at home and abroad with dedicated, talented staff here in Emeryville and in each of our destinations. Along the way we have continued our devotion to making each trip enriching—as hassle-free and as comfortable as possible for each of our travelers—without sacrificing any of the adventure while doing it.
Our Exclusive Associates
Providing trouble-free, enjoyable adventures requires constant attention to details where it counts—at the trip location. So we carefully select some of the most important people on your trip—our overseas partners, who work exclusively for INCA travelers. Our thoughtful and caring friends in Ecuador, Peru, Galápagos, and Turkey do it all—from getting roses for your sweetheart to tracking down missing luggage to finding a doctor. They’re on call, 24 hours a day, just to take care of you.
Adventure with a Conscience
We are proud to be one of the first adventure travel companies whose corporate mission statement expresses principles of ecotourism. We are committed to increasing the awareness of human responsibility toward the environment; to working with conservation organizations to protect the animals, plants and artifacts of the special places we visit; and to supporting the local economies by employing local associates who share our vision. As an INCA traveler you participate in sustainable pleasure in the wonders of our world.
TRAVELING INCA STYLE
At INCA we are discerning, particular (actually downright fussy), and have a passion for perfecting the details. We cherish adding the personal touches and the unexpected treats. We see ourselves as being in the business of “delivering dreams.” Our travelers tell us that we do it well frequently exceeding their expectations. We like to hear that, but we don’t dare let it go to our heads. We know we have to keep our attention on every detail, big and small.
We believe that putting dream adventures together is a lot like making a fine necklace. Elegance and beauty come from selecting the best pearls for the adventure and stringing them strongly, and artfully, together. In remote and challenging parts of the world the string is always tenuous. That keeps us on our toes, ready to round up any pearls that try to escape. Once we have done that, we feel good about being trusted with your travel dreams.
Our destinations are not your usual tourist attractions and travelers who choose INCA are, likewise, not your usual group travelers. They are educated, independent folks who travel with open minds, a sense of adventure and an insatiable curiosity about the world. They want to interact with local people and learn about how they live. They are like-minded in their interests and enthusiasm for the trip, welcoming the lasting friendships they form with fellow INCA travelers. They want to soak up as many experiences as they can. We are flattered when they tell us that our adventure was the greatest trip they have ever taken—that it changed their lives.
We take care of the logistics so you can be free to focus on fun. We know you enjoy your privacy and want some control over how busy you will be on your vacation. So we craft our itineraries to include more of the things you travel so far to experience and we schedule excursions so that contact with other travelers is minimized. Our itineraries include strolls through the most historic areas, walks along the beach, and hikes to remote sites in the Galápagos, at Machu Picchu, in Cappadocia and along the Turquoise coast (the hikes are not overly strenuous, but they are active enough to keep you from losing everything you’ve gained in the gym). Yet all our itineraries have options built in for you to skip a planned outing, to go off on your own or simply do nothing at all. In spite of our enthusiasm to show you everything, we never forget this is your vacation!
Where Will I Stay?
Wherever you venture with us you’ll stay at the finest accommodations to be found along the way. Keep in mind that when you travel to fascinating, remote areas, accommodations may be remote and charming, as are The Royal Palm Resort on Santa Cruz Island and Kapawi Lodge in the Amazon jungle. At the other end of the spectrum are La Mirage in the Ecuadorian Countryside and The Four Seasons Hotel-Istanbul, with beds so soft, service so caring and dining so fine, your only question will be “Can I stay forever?”
How Will I Dine?
We, like our travelers, enjoy dining well. We know that food is an important part of any travel experience, from new taste sensations to surprising twists on old favorites. We dine at a variety of restaurants, both a la carte and at sumptuous buffets. We sample local cuisine in small, intimate restaurants and enjoy picnics of local specialties in the countryside. In the cities, we enjoy the finest international cuisine to be found. And while sailing, the chefs work magic in their tiny galleys, turning out dishes that delight.
Making your Inside Passage Dreams Come True
Southeast Alaska, the playground of brown bears and humpback whales, entices adventurers with its diverse wildlife, striking snow-capped peaks, dense forests and abundant marine life. Come experience the magic of Southeast Alaska on an active, intimate and educational adventure, INCA style. Hike to remote hot springs, spot grizzlies on shore and kayak in isolated bays: you discover Alaska’s remarkable beauty every day.
Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage is a paradise, best appreciated while traveling in comfort with a small group of like-minded travelers—travelers who know that deep connections with nature are best achieved at a pace that gently awakens and overtakes your senses. Our Southeast Alaska adventures are just that kind of experience.
The long summer days start with richly-hued sunrises and end with sunsets that wash the sky, trees and mountains with soft, rich hues. The mirror-calm waters are disturbed only by feeding fish, a late returning puffin or a humpback whale taking air. You may be on deck with a steaming mug, sipping a fine vintage or gliding in a kayak through the glass. Aromas of breakfast or the roasting salmon that you caught may drift by—the silence broken by the cry of an eagle from a nearby spruce.
This is pure Alaskan magic in the INCA style.
Making your Polar Penguin Dreams Come True
It is like nowhere you have ever been before. Cathedral-sized icebergs line the horizon, parading out to sea. Mountains seem to leap from the ocean to bump their heads on a cobalt-blue sky. Again and again amid this splendor, you sight an incredible array of bird and marine life. Come join us on an exploration of this pure, remote frontier, arguably the earth’s “best show!”
Intrigue and Exploration
Antarctica has intrigued scientists and beckoned explorers for generations. So special and unique is the Great White Continent that in 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was drafted to preserve the region for peaceful and scientific purposes only.
Although discovered in 1820, only early in this century did the rest of the world learn about the awesome beauty, extraordinary wildlife, and powerful natural forces of the Seventh Continent from such intrepid adventurers as Amundsen, Scott, and Shackleton who penetrated its frozen vastness. Their grueling, sometimes tragic expeditions to explore the final continent and to stand at its pole, were tests of human endurance. Now, just decades later, a traveler can follow if not in their footsteps, at least in their wake.
Sea of Cortez
Making your Baja Dreams Come True
The World’s Aquarium. Just south of California lies an inland sea that is rightfully labeled one of the richest marine environments on the globe. Known as the Gulf of California, Sea of Cortez, or Sea of Cortés, and bordered by the arid Baja California Peninsula and Mexican mainland, life in the Sea of Cortez flourishes like nowhere else on earth.
Over 3,000 plant species have been identified in the desert, some of which grow nowhere else on earth, and in the sea, over 6,000 animal species have been identified in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the 100-foot-long Blue whale to the quiet beauty of bountiful reefs, the Sea of Cortez is, in a word, indescribable.
Follow the wind over the waters to the shores of Isla Espiritu Santo where white sand beaches lie untouched in the desert sun. Swim with sea lions and watch for Moorish idols and butterfly fish as you cool off on a snorkeling adventure. Wander among Cardón cactus and Palo Adán trees with your Naturalist, then set off in search for whales and other marine mammals. Converse with fishermen and their families in an isolated village. Enjoy a mule ride into the arroyos with a local ranchero. From the deck of your yacht, watch for pods of dolphins (sometimes numbering in the thousands) and Fin, Sperm, Blue and Pilot whales that call these waters home.
This is pure Baja magic in the INCA style.
Making your Galápagos Dreams Come True
Come swim with playful sea lion pups, try to keep up with a penguin chasing a fishy dessert, tromp among giant tortoises in tall green grass, and quietly mosey past a motley crew of marine iguanas.
Long ago, maybe upon first learning of the Galápagos Islands and their curious animals, you made a decision that someday you would visit the “Islas Encantadas.” Since that time it has only been a question of when you would fulfill this contract with yourself. And of selecting the length and style of trip most suitable for you. We are here to help you make that selection.
Since 1976 we have been delivering the “Galápagos Dream” to our travelers. In Quito, Ecuador, just one block from the Hilton Colon-Quito, our exclusive and dedicated Ecuadorian associates are on hand to serve you. These years of experience and attention to detail enable INCA to provide the highest levels of natural history experience and creature comforts that can be found on any trip to “Darwin’s Islands” and the exciting Ecuador mainland.
Galápagos Eastern and Western crusing routes
Blue-footed Booby pair: male on left with smaller pupils and smaller body size, female on right with larger pupils and larger body size. Foot color varies by individual. (Wes Walker)
At INCA we know that each Galápagos visitor has certain trip expectations and comfort requirements, as well as time and budget constraints. We know that no two people are alike. We offer a range of experiences from eleven to twenty days in length, and our adventures are enjoyed on luxurious yachts in comfort.
Our unique itineraries on the yachts Integrity and Reina Silvia bring you to more islands and visitor sites than any other small yachts in the Islands.
On our standard trips we start with an overnight stay on the island of Santa Cruz. We visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to explore for giant tortoises in the wild, see giant lava sink holes and walk in lava tubes, and tour the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, all before boarding the yacht. This allows us to spend an entire extra day exploring the outlying islands. We think there is no better way to visit these enchanting isles.
We cruise the Islands on two unique cruising routes. The Western Route focuses on the western, younger islands, and the Eastern Route focuses on the eastern, older islands. You may see the islands visited on each route on Our Galápagos Cruising Routes web page.
We have also crafted itineraries that combine our Galápagos Adventures with the Amazon Jungle, with the Ecuadorian Countryside, and with Peru and Machu Picchu. These are adventures that, through the years, have received the highest marks from our discerning clients.
Making your “End of the Earth” Dreams Come True
Rugged, windswept and wild, Patagonia entices. Come hike mountain trails, watch glaciers disgorging chunks of ice into lakes, and look for guanaco at Torres del Paine National Park. Cruise the Straits of Magellan and the glacial fjords of Tierra del Fuego. And relax in style at Explora Lodge, a unique outpost of elegance in the remote wilderness.
Some of the world’s wildest landscapes and most remote villages are in Patagonia, where the Andes stretch south toward Antarctica. This is a land shaped by water, wind and ice, past and present. Glaciers calve into mountain lakes and narrow fjords, waterfalls fill the air with their murmurs and roars, and winds shape trees to their will. Probably the most famous landmark is the Torres del Paine—great ice-capped granite spires that surge from the golden pampas below.
People have held on in this rugged country by harvesting the bounty of the rich seas and forests, ranching the pampas grasses, and supplying ships that cruise the Straits—once loads of fortune-seekers, now loads of wilderness lovers.
Making your Peru Dreams Come True
Little in life is as moving as sitting quietly, watching the warm curtain of morning light pushing clouds away from two venerable Picchus—Machu and Huaynu. As the outlines of ancient structures loom in and out of the mist, you can slowly discern the silent ruins of a “lost city”—Machu Picchu.
You will feel the warmth of the Andean surise as you seach for wild orchids and discover secret hideaways in the ruins of Machu Picchu. At the remnants of Ollantaytambo, you will ponder the foundations of the ancient Inca Empire and begin to understand their significance.
We became irretrievably hooked on Peru in the early 1970’s and since 1976 we’ve been delivering travelers’ Peruvian dreams with active, educational adventures. Knowledgeable guides will teach you about the pre-Incan, Incan and post-Columbian cultures. From modern towns to Incan villages, you’ll experience natural history, fine accommodations and local cuisine in comfort and style.
Hike remote and pristine mountain trails where our Hemingway-style safari camp awaits you, visit ancient ruins and private museum collections. You will walk cobblestone streets, climb worn stone steps and explore the tranquil churches of Cuzco. One evening as you will dine on typical dishes, you will listen to indigenous music and watch Andean folk dancers. And you can bargain for folklorico in our favorite Indian market in Chinchero. Experience the essence of Peru in INCA style.
Making your Turkey Dreams Come True
After decades of exploring the far reaches of the earth, we were delighted to experience the allure of Turkey. At INCA, we believe Turkey is one of the world’s great travel destinations.
We love Turkey, and our travelers do too, for its complex history, splendid scenery and unsurpassed hospitality. Turkey’s ruins rival those of Machu Picchu, its people are warm and welcoming and Istanbul is a mezmerizing metropolis where old meets new, and East meets West. It’s the ideal location for a natural history and cultural adventure and our knowledgeable guides expertly lift Turkey’s veil to reveal its magic and magnetism.
Our travelers get to know Turkey intimately by strolling through ruins, ballooning in Cappadocia, hiking in the countryside and exploring the Turquoise Coast from a gulet (a Turkish yacht). Like all of our small group adventures, the focus is on learning and having a good time. This is INCA style at its best!
We save Istanbul for last, after our senses have had time to get in touch with this complex land. It lives up to its reputation–exotic, old, and mysterious, yet sophisticated, modern, and dynamic. While exploring the city on foot, we luxuriate at the Four Seasons Hotel just minutes from the Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.