Grand Canyon

Quick Facts

Region: North America

Population:
311,591,917

Religion:

There is no official religion, but between 60% to 76% of the population claim to be Christians, with over half of them Protestants and a quarter of them Catholics. Most of the world's religions are represented with the significant ones including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Language:

There is no official natonal language, but English is the unofficial national language with 82% of the population claiming it as their native tongue. Spanish is the second most common lanuage and is spoken by 12% of the population.

Area (sq. km):
9,826,630 square meters

Time:

The United States spans six primary time zones. From east to west they are Eastern Time (GMT minus 5 hrs), Central Time Zone (GMT minus 6 hrs), Mountain Time Zone (GMT minus 7 hrs), Pacific Time Zone (GMT minus 8 hrs), Alaska Time Zone (GMT minus 9 hrs) and Hawaii Time Zone (GMT minus 10 hours). The Canadian Rockies are in the Mountain Time Zone. In most of USA including most of Alaska, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am. local time on the second Sunday in March. On the first Sunday in November areas on Daylight Saving Time return to Standard Time at 2 am. During Daylight Saving Time, turn your clocks ahead one hour. Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

When To Travel

There is a wide range of climates in this vast country. Alaska is subarctic. The Marine westcoast is temperate, but most of California is considered Mediterranean. As we move east we encounter semi-arid steppe in the north and desert in the south, but of course the Rockies provide true alpine climate. Towards the east coast, the northern half is humid contnental and the southern half is humid subtropical. The southern tip of Florida and the island of Hawaii are both considered tropical.

All our tours in USA are outdoors-oriented and generally run in the warmer months of June, July, August and September. A couple of hotel trips run in May and as late as October. The only tour that runs year-round is our 7-day 'Canyons 7 Indian Lands' tour, which also stays in hotel.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

The international dialling code for USA is +1.

Electricity:

If you are bringing along any plug-in appliances you should take an international adapter with you. The electrical supply in USA is 110 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). Two-pronged flat blade plugs (same as USA) and three-pronged ones with the added ground are both used in USA. Most sockets can accommodate both types of plugs.

Food:

The wide range of food available in the USA reflects the influences of the country's influx of immigrants. There is widespread fresh food available thoughout the country, but unfortunately the prevailing image of American cuisine is one of fast foods and take-aways. The ubiquitous 'diner' can still be found on the highways and throughout the country especially in the Midwest, although you'd need to look a bit harder for them in the bigger cities. There you can find all those items that constitute 'Cusine Americana' - namely burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, french fries, buffalo wings, apple pie, pizzas and tacos. Even today, certain regions are famous for certain dishes. New England is renowned for seafood and notably clambake and clam chowder, New York is famous for bagels, the Midwest is known for its love of barbecues and Chicago-style hot dogs, Texas for its steaks and the Deep South is forever linked with Creole and Cajun cuisines.

Transport:

All of our private vehicles are designed to ensure safety and comfort. Features include: - Ford ‘High-tops’ featuring raised ceilings for more headroom - ‘Captain’s Seats’ with head and arm rests - Space for 15+ people, but maximum group size is 13 - Open centre aisle floor plan, making it easier when getting in and out at those many photo opportunities - No barrier between front and passenger area for easy communication - Large windows for excellent visibility - iPod connectors and charging sockets - Air-conditioning - Custom-built trailer for bags and camping gear (if required) - The size of our vehicles allows us to reach more remote destinations not accessible to larger vehicles

Visa: The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, if certain requirements are met. Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program. You will be required to complete an online visa waiver prior to travelling (at a cost of US$14). This can be done at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945) - Henry Miller Coast to Coast (1956) - Jan Morris On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac Travels with Charley (1962) - John Steinbeck Blue Highways (1982) - William Least Heat-Moon On the Rez (2000) - Ian Frazer The Great Gatsby (1925) - F.Scott Fitzgerald The Grapes of Wrath (1939) - John Steinbeck The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D.Salinger The Call of the Wild (1903) - Jack London