“My god, Iran is one of the most magical places I’ve ever traveled to, with some of the friendliest people on the planet,” says Joe Staiano, founder of Meaningful Trip, a Seattle-based tour company, after visiting Iran last May.
His experience motivated him to organize this year’s “Founder’s Trip” around a single departure of a 13-day tour through Iran, May 3-15, 2015.
“Iran offers 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the history of Persepolis, amazing museums, world-famous gardens such as Eram Gardens, tantalizing Persian cuisine, and some of the warmest and most hospitable people on the planet,” he says.
The tour visits Shiraz, Presepolis, Esfahan, Yazd, Kerman and Tehran, and features a village homestay, cooking class and a unique overnight in a desert caravanserai.
“As founder, I personally vet all local tour operator partners. I check for safety, safety of routes and locations along the itinerary, quality of transport, cleanliness of hotels, I was in Iran in May of 2014. I found it to be one of the safest countries I have ever visited. (and I have been to 80 countries).”
About 2,500 Americans visit Iran in a year, but all have to be part of an authorized tour. Two other US tour companies include MIR Corp and Caravan Serai, which offer two-week tours for around $4,500 – 6,000.
“Americans must first get an ‘Authorization Number’ issues from the tour agency. Then, they can apply for visitor Visa. Meaningful Trip will help facilitate this ‘Authorization Number’,” Staiano says.
This is Meaningful Trip’s first organized program into Iran, and is limited to 14 participants.
The tour price of $2,595 includes accommodations in four-star lodging, most meals, English-speaking female guide, entry fees.
Complete trip itinerary and details can be found at: www.meaningfultrip.com/trips_destinations_travel-resources/iran-magic-persia/
Meaningful Trip is a pioneer in responsible travel with 20 years experience – operating trips to India, Nepal, Colombia, Baja Mexico, Vietnam, Turkey. A portion of each trip goes to support women’s empowerment, poverty, health, education and hunger programs. Meaningful Trip is one of only six USA tour operators to sign ECPAT’s Code of Conduct to help fight trafficking and exploitation of children.
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