Tour of a Lifetime –National Geographic Traveler, 2014
As part of its 30th year anniversary, National Geographic Traveler has chosen Tours of a Lifetime trips that celebrate tours that, according to executive editor Norie Quintos, “go beyond destination to add meaning and context…They open the mind to open the mind to new possibilities, new connections, new ways of thinking—all critically important given the world’s complex issues.” We’re thrilled that our Mystical West Africa trip was honored with this award. Venture off the tourist track with this contrast of cities and villages, beaches and markets, and voodoo ceremonies and rain forest canopies.
Best Cultural Guide – Outside, 2014
Outside magazine named Vassi Koutsaftis best cultural guide, listing his turf as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Outside writes: "He's been guiding GeoEx clients to remote and dangerous areas, like Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, for the past 29 years. 'Vassi is famed for his engaging personality, his mountaineering skills, his geographical, cultural, and historical knowledge, his sense of humor, and his ability to talk his group out of any difficulty with soldiers and border officials,' says Don George, editor of GeoEx’s travel blog, Wanderlust. As one client said: 'I'll never travel with any other leader.'"
Best Splurge – Outside, 2014
Outside magazine described our Indonesia: Secrets of the Archipelago as the best splurge, offering "a one-of-a-kind experience with personalized attention that gets you far from civilization." You'll sail aboard an elegant teakwood schooner through the Komodo archipelago, stopping to swim, hike and explore remote islands.
The Most Travel Experts – Condé Nast Traveler, 2013
Condé Nast Traveler has selected more Top Travel Specialists from GeoEx than from any other adventure travel company. “This acknowledgement underscores the depth and breadth of our travel-planning experts,” says our CEO, Jean-Paul Tennant. “We are honored and thrilled that Condé Nast has recognized our regional expertise as well as our extraordinary program of custom-designed travel planning. This affirms the success of our model: cultivating passionate and knowledgeable regional experts who work closely with travelers to craft journeys that fulfill their dreams.”
Best Travel Company – Outside, 2012
“For starters, GeoEx has consistently taken travelers to remote regions of the world,” Outside writes, “from Everest’s north side to Patagonia’s glaciers to the far reaches of Papua New Guinea.” The magazine also singles out the company’s emphasis on safety and its pioneering relationships with nonprofits and NGOs. “But the primary reason more than half the company’s clients come back for more,” Outside says, is “its outstanding guides” – from 20-year veteran Vassi Koutsaftis, who is heading a trailblazing trek to the north face of K2 this year, to famed Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, who leads meditation trips in Bhutan, to mountaineer Dave Hahn, who guides the company’s expeditions to South Georgia Island.
To choose the Best Travel Company, Outside asked a global network of correspondents to evaluate adventure travel companies based on “the quality of a company’s guides, the authenticity and diversity of its trips, its level of service, philanthropic credibility, safety record, and, most important, clients’ reviews and experiences.” The result? “Geographic Expeditions stood above the rest.”
Trip of a Lifetime – National Geographic
For Iran: Behind the Headlines: Since GeoEx first dipped its toe in Iran 19 years ago, its tour business here has remained brisk despite the news stories coming out of Tehran. Returning clients regularly remark on “the warmth expressed by people on the streets,” says Jim Sano, the company’s president. This was the most popular Middle Eastern trip last year; it’s a carefully curated survey of the capital, Tehran; ancient Hamadan; the blue mosque and bazaar of Tabriz; the green gardens of Shiraz; and the elegant and ornate architecture of Esfahan. Guests are typically the only Westerners in Mashad, Iran’s most important Shiite pilgrimage site. See our Iran Trips >
Definitive Guide to Adventure Travel – Travel + Leisure
This trailblazer explores the remote corners of every continent using guides with extensive on-the-ground networks, such as San Francisco–based Vassi Koutsaftis, who has been leading trips into Burma, Tibet, and Nepal for 25 years. Newly added: a small selection of family trips. T+L Trip Pick: Shikoku and the Naoshima Islands of Japan Take a soba-making class, trace the old Shingon Buddhist pilgrimage route, and sleep at a ryokan. See our Japan Trips >