Best Travel Company – Outside
“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 >
Top Travel Experts – Condé Nast Traveler
While Brent Olson graces this list for Bhutan, Vassi Koutsaftis for Tibet, and Brady Binstadt for Guatemala, we have several distinguished alumni in this group. Why? Because we strive to bring the very best expertise with our staff and our guides.
But most importantly: our travelers are loyal—76 percent of them are referrals or repeat clients. And they’re pleased—our post-trip questionnaires reveal a 96 percent satisfaction rate. This is the greatest recognition that we could hope for.