March 28, 2017

Arizona Planning: How To Book Antelope Canyon Tour?

We are going to Arizona soon. Antelope Canyon in Page town is one of the natural wonder that has always been on my list to go see. But this Canyon is not something that you can do it yourself type of thing. It's located in the Navajo Parks & Recreation and requires tour company to take you there into the Canyon. In other words, you can't just drive straight to the park and enter the Canyon on your own, you must book a guided tour.

Upper Vs Low Antelope Canyon
There are two parts of the Antelope Canyon. The Upper Canyon is probably the most popular one as any first time visitors will likely attend this tour. Hence the tour is more expensive and more crowded than the Lower Antelope Canyon. My advice is, don't get too hung up on the comparison of the two. If it's your first time visiting the Antelope Canyon, go for the Upper Canyon and if you still have time, see if you could do the Lower Canyon as well. It’s all about how much time you have, your priorities, and what is your budget. We’ll talk about the cost of the tour later in the article.

Timing
Another common question that visitors have is “when” is a good time of the day to go see the Antelope Canyon. It is suggested that the Upper Canyon is best seen from 10am-12:30pm of the day because of the "Light Beams” that reflect into the canyon. Check out the photo below.

Courtesy of Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
Tour Cost
As mentioned, a guided tour is required to see the Antelope Canyon. Currently, you will find the price of the tours offered are around $48/adult plus $8/person for the park's permit fee. Personally, I don’t mind paying for fees to support preserving nature, but I really don’t like it when a tour company tries to make extra money by charging more for those that want to go see the Canyon during the so-called “Prime Time/Hours” - in this case, if you want to enter the canyon around 10am-12:30pm to see the "Light Beams", you will pay extra around $10 more.

There’s also another type of tour that includes photography. This tour, however, requires that you have a very good camera and tripod. This tour obviously costs much more because the guide will take you into the Canyon and show you how to take great pictures of the Antelope Canyon.

Reservation
Each tour company has limited capacity of how many visitors they take into the Canyon during available time slot per day. You certainly can try walking in to the tour company upon arrival in Page for the next available tour. During peak season, you can possibly wait for several hours or risk not being able to see the Canyon because the tour is sold out on that day. My advice is, if Antelope Canyon is on your must do/see list, you might as well make reservation with the tour company either online or on the phone. The nice thing about some tour company is that they do offer 100% refund for cancellation made during their allowed time. See recommended tours below.

Recommended Tour Company

UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON

Below are the approved tour company with my side notes based on my personal experience trying to book the tour with them.

Adventurous Antelope Canyon PhotoTours
Website: www.navajoantelopecanyon.com
Phone: 928-380-1874
Payment: Your credit card is NOT charged during online reservation. It’s mainly for holding the reservation. Pay with cash upon arrival; otherwise 5% fee for debit/credit card payment.
Cancellation: 72 hours prior to receive 100% refund.
Note: They offer several tours that go by the tour numbers that range from photo tour to just sightseeing tour. If you just want to just enter the Antelope Canyon, then look at the Tour #9 or 10 under “Sightseer” menu. I have to say, their website is poorly designed. There’s no way to tell if the tour is sold out or not. Therefore, you just need to reserve then you should receive confirmation email. But to be safe, re-confirm with the tour company just to make sure. The price for this tour company for both prime and non-prime time include the $8 park's permit fee. So it’s quite reasonable compared to the other company.

Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
Website: www.navajotours.com
Phone: 928-698-3384
Note: This is another poorly designed website. One page says the cost is $40/adult but on the reservation page, it is $48/adult. The only good thing about this site is that their scheduler does indicate the time that the tour is available, but no where to be found about the cancellation policy. I tried to call them but no answers. You can try as you may have better luck than I did.

Antelope Canyon Tours
Website: www.antelopecanyon.com
Phone: 928-645-9102
Cancellation Policy: They have various applicable cancellation fees depending on what type of cancellation you will make. See their FAQ page.
Note: The website is easier to navigate and more professional, but I don’t like their cancellation policy.

Grand Circle Adventures
Website: www.antelopeslotcanyon.com
Phone: 928-645-5594
Payment: Credit card will be charged right away upon making online reservation.
Cancellation Policy: 24 hours prior to receive 100% refund.
Note: The website is professional and they have a very generous cancellation policy. I also had the opportunity to talk to them on the phone. The girl was very professional and helpful. The tour cost does not include the $8 park permit fee.

Overland Canyon Tours (Canyon X)
Website: www.overlandcanyon.com
Phone: 928-608-4072
Note: This website is rather confusing. I didn’t get to look at it much so I really don’t have much opinions about this tour company.

Tse Bighanilini Tours    
No Website
Phone: 928-698-3285 and 928-310-9458

LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

These are the approved tour operators for the Lower Antelope Canyon. As I said earlier, this tour is less busy and cheaper than the Upper Canyon’s tour. If you end up doing both the upper and lower tours, make sure to keep your receipt that you already paid for the park’s permit fee for one of the tours and then all you have to do is, pay for the touring fee only for the second tour.

Dixie Ellis
Website: https://antelopelowercanyon.com
Phone: 928-640-1761

Ken’s Tours
Website: www.lowerantelope.com  
Phone: 928-606-2168 and 928-640-0032

Lower Antelope Canyon Tours     
No Website.
Phone: 928-640-1761

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1 comment:

  1. Hi folks, FYI, Overland Canyon Tours is no longer in business. Canyon X (aka Antelope Canyon X [it's part of the same drainage system]) is now toured by Taadidiin Tours. For more information visit http://www.antelopecanyon-x.com/ Otherwise, great info! Take care.

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