Awards & Media Mentions

In The Press

We're very proud of the recognition that we receive from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic, Outside magazine, and others. Below are some of our most recent accolades.

How to Navigate the Biggest Market in Marrakech Like a Pro – AFAR, 2017

Starla Estrada, GeoEx’s Managing Director for Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East, shares her best tips for bartering like a pro at the open-air market in Marrakech. Her eight recommendations will enable you to maneuver the biggest markets with ease.

Don George Talks About The Land He Loves And The Work He Loves – ontravel.com, 2017

Acclaimed travel writer and beloved GeoEx Japan trip leader, Don George, enthusiastically talks about the most recent trip he lead for us to the island of Shikoku. If you're feeling inspired, you can join Don George on our Japan: Tip-to-Toe epic journey this Fall. 

Trump's Cuba Travel Policy Leaves Heads Scratching – Forbes, 2017

As the specifics of the new Cuba policy regulations are worked out, we continue to look ahead over the long term. GeoEx Cuba specialist Jennine Cohen says, "As we have successfully operated trips on and off since 2000, we have adhered to [the US government's] changing policies and enforcement over time and will continue to do so."

What Does Trump’s Latest Policy Mean for Travel to Cuba? – AFAR, 2017

GeoEx Cuba expert Jennine Cohen weighs-in on what the latest administration's policy changes mean for the future of travel to Cuba.

GeoEx: Visit the World’s Most Astonishing Places – Reward Expert, 2017

An enlightening article about the GeoEx history and inspiration behind why we do what we do, what our current offerings are, and the top five destination suggestions for this year’s summer vacation.

11 Unique Safari Experiences Around The World – AFAR, 2017

When Africa is hard to reach, unique safari experiences can be found in other destinations, like finding orangutans in the jungles of Borneo, tracking the ever-alluring Bengal tiger in India, and spotting grizzlies, moose, and caribou in the wilds of Alaska. This great roundup of non-Africa safaris features three of GeoEx's wildlife adventures.

Traveling Off The Beaten Path With Jennine Cohen – The Janis Best Show, 2017

Listen to GeoEx's Jennine Cohen talk about all things travel: including how she got into the industry, what she does to stay healthy while traveling in remote places, and more.

Unsuspecting luxury is found at camps in Namibia where Adam Graham goes in search of the elusive desert-adapted lion. With intentionally vague directions by Dr. Flip Stander, director of Desert Lion Conservation, given to his guide, Adam eventually finds himself "practically within petting distance" of three mystical beasts. Survival in the harsh desert becomes all too real.

GeoEx's "logistical magician" Kate Doty is part of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council. Her connections, expertise, and passion for transformative travel have led her to arranging incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences. A few highlights of the experiences she has organized over the years: a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a personal meeting with Ai Wei Wei, a private New Year's Eve dinner under the stars at the Giza pyramids, and sleeping on top of Mount Nyiragongo (the largest active lava lake in the world) in Virunga National Park in the DRC.

A great roundup by journalist Ann Abel on finding luxury in unexpected places. While edgier than most, our Tribal Crossroads of India & Myanmar trip is featured for its welcomed surprise of luxury.

Sharing our deep connection to and love for Bhutan is a privilege we have had for the past three decades. Last month, reporter Ann Abel joined us as we once again delved into the rich history and beauty of The Land of the Thunder Dragon—quite possibly the happiest place on earth.

Anderson Cooper co-hosted "Live With Kelly" and raved about his travels in Myanmar. As a self-proclaimed “worst vacationer,” he took a trip to Southeast Asia and loved every bit of what we deftly curated for him.

Live With Kelly – ABC, 2017

As co-host on "Live with Kelly," Anderson Cooper fondly remembers his travels to Myanmar with GeoEx, possibly the longest vacation he's ever taken, where he fed and washed elephants at a sanctuary and enjoyed his sassy guide.

Double Sighting – Druk Air’s Tashi Delek, 2017

Longtime GeoEx traveler, Karen Greenspan, writes about her auspicious day of sacred dances and festivals in Bhutan: “We humans are biologically wired to be moved to empathy by watching dance. How did the ancient Buddhist masters know?”

The Top 21 Trips to Take in 2017 – Robb Report, 2017

Irene Rawlings recommends venturing into the wilds and hidden corners of Japan on GeoEx's Japan: Tip-to-Toe journey, "which explores the Kamikochi Valley, the Japanese Alps, and the 436-foot-tall Nachi Falls."

Michaela Trimble looks at the trend toward transformational travel: "travel motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development, and a deeper communion with nature and culture." GeoEx's Jennine Cohen, one of the industry leaders she interviewed, explains that she sees this shift already happening at GeoEx.

Among the destinations "that look especially fetching right now," travel writer Christopher Reynolds includes Cambodia, Peru, South Korea, Tanzania, and the stunning, little-explored caves Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam—all places to which GeoEx is adept at taking travelers.

The Wild Philanthropists – Robb Report, 2017

Sophy Roberts explores a new trend in conservation-oriented philanthropy and "a new breed of specialists who help broker deals and, equally important, create the travel experiences to expose potential donors to off-the-radar opportunities." She notes GeoEx (and Kate Doty) as an example.

Noting that "some of the world’s most impressive natural wonders are disappearing with every passing day," Michaela Trimble lists nine ways for travelers to get involved with travel companies and destinations where conservation is a central focus. She includes GeoEx and highlights two of our journeys: one to meet gorillas of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and another to visit Chile's future Patagonia National Park, an enormous conservation effort undertaken by Conservación Patagónica.

Anne Abel asks high-end travel companies which destinations are on their expertise radar for 2017: “Antarctica is freshly compelling, says Urs Hoffman, GeoEx’s managing director for the polar regions, thanks to a new protected area in the Ross Sea, which will be the world’s largest protected marine area when it comes into force in late 2017.”

Recalling a trip earlier this year, Anne Abel includes Cuba in her top ten indelible travel experiences of 2016. She writes "...GeoEx is savvy enough to build in 'white space'—time for guests to enjoy their own cultural interests, be they art, Afro-Cuban jazz or baseball." She also highlights a two-day cave trek in Vietnam, which imparted a feeling of "dumbstruck awe at this strangely majestic underworld and full-on wonder about what else might be hidden within this planet of ours. That, and feeling like a badass." GeoEx recently announced a new Vietnam trip that includes such a two-day spelunking experience.

Our Japan secret weapon, acclaimed travel writer and GeoEx leader, Don George, takes travelers to the oft less frequented areas for the most authentic trip.

Insider: Finding the heart of Japan in Kyoto – San Francisco Chronicle, 2016

See what makes award-winning travel writer and GeoEx trip leader, Don George, fall in love with Kyoto again and again.

Three GeoEx Travel Specialists Chosen – Condé Nast Traveler, 2016 

Condé Nast Traveler has selected three Top Travel Specialists from GeoEx: Brent Olson, Kate Doty, and Vassi Koutsaftis. GeoEx is one of only two companies to have three experts chosen. "We are proud and honored that three of our people are included in Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious and highly competitive list. Our value at GeoEx stems from our employees' deep knowledge, in-country connections, and orientation towards providing the highest levels of service to our guests. Kate, Vassi, and Brent are excellent examples!"

Navigating Patagonia – Departures, 2016

With the assistance of GeoEx destination experts Kate Doty, Jennine Cohen, and Becca Glatz, journalist Jessica Flint explored the wild region of Patagonia for 17 days for Departures magazine. She writes: “Figuring out Patagonia’s complex logistics requires the help of an outfitter...The company is an ideal choice for an out-there destination because of its risk-management program, with security and emergency assistance built into every trip.”

Kristina Tuohey, GeoEx Managing Director for Asia, gives tips on our top selling destinations in the region.

Bill Springer includes "Trekking in the Shadow of Everest" to this round-up of once-in-a-lifetime adventures. We pride ourselves in designing custom treks where you can take in the Himalaya on a trek crafted according to your interests, time frame, and experience.

Back from Cuba, Ann Abel captures the essence of‬ this intriguing and evolving nation—and the insider experience you get while traveling with GeoEx. She writes: "Given the staggering growth in people-to-people trips, it’s safe to stay those locals are in high demand. GeoEx snapped up the cream of the crop."

Jennine Cohen, a GeoEx Cuba expert, says, "Right now there is very limited availability on flights to Cuba. Once commercial airlines routes are opened up, our travelers will have many more options along with more convenient flight times and better connections from key cities."

A guided small-group trip to Cuba with GeoEx is the perfect “experience over objects” gift for anyone this holiday.

With intel from our America's expert, Jennine Cohen, three of our South America trips make the list: Flavors of Colombia, Untamed Patagonia, and Connecting to Cuba's Living History.

Destination expert Linda de la Torre chimes in on what you need to know before traveling to Iran.

African Adventures – Porter, 2015

Led by GeoEx, Sophy Roberts meets tenacious women across Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are making a major difference in the continent and their passion to share it with the rest of the world.

Top Travel Specialists – Condé Nast Traveler, 2015

Condé Nast Traveler has once again included three of our destination gurus in their collection of Top Travel Specialists: Kate Doty (Private Jet Trips), Vassi Koutsaftis (Tibet), and Brent Olson (Bhutan).

Do Millennials Use Travel Agents and Tour Guides? – Condé Nast Traveler, 2015

Jennine Cohen, GeoEx Managing Director, has observed that most millennial clients only have one week to go on vacation and they’re interested in the insider access that a trip planner or tour guide can provide.

We're proud that our anonymous staff surveys have landed us on the Best Places to Work list for the past five years.

“Our [research and development] consists of sending our people out into the field,” CEO JP Tennant says. “It’s probably not shocking at all that they love that.”

Pakistan – Marin Magazine, 2015

Vassi Kout­saftis, one of GeoEx's best cultural guides, shares his experiences while leading a small-group trip through Pakistan's Hunza Valley.

Go Big in Brazil – AFAR, 2015

AFAR recommends "trading the office fluorescents for 10 days beneath Brazil’s brilliant skies with GeoEx," whose Premier Access team offers the most exclusive private journeys.

Forces of Nature – Travel + Leisure, 2015

Sophy Roberts reports on pioneers in the Democratic Republic of Congo who, by inviting the world in, are helping to save one of the planet’s most extraordinary ecosystems.

GeoEx trips to Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Japan, and Malaysia's Borneo all make the list for extreme getaways.

How to Be a 21st-Century Explorer – How To Spend It, 2015

Sophy Roberts travels through the ever-challenging Democratic Republic of the Congo with expert planning by Kate Doty, GeoEx's Managing Director for Premier Access.

Kate Doty designs an extraordinary 10-night journey through the Tanzanian side of the Mara-Serengeti.

A New Day Is Dawning in Cuba – Travel + Leisure, 2015

Gary Shteyngart and photographer Frederic Lagrange head to Cuba on a GeoEx Group Trip and experience a culture that is hanging in the balance.

Jennine Cohen, GeoEx Managing Director for the Americas, and a GeoEx guest share the latest about Cuba travel.

Jennine Cohen is interviewed at our offices in San Francisco about things to keep in mind when traveling in Cuba.

Travel to Cuba: What You Need to Know – Travel + Leisure, 2015

GeoEx Cuba expert Jennine Cohen offers insight into Cuba's upcoming changes and challenges.

GeoEx Cuba specialist Jennine Cohen says as more and more tourists arrive “it’s rooms rather than demand that’s limiting growth, a challenge that she expects will worsen in coming years as Cuba’s weighty regulations hold up private development.”

Myanmar's Moment – Andrew Solomon, 2014

With arrangements deftly curated by GeoEx, Andrew Solomon explores of a country on the brink of change.

The Editor's Itinerary – Condé Nast Traveler, 2014

Our Arts & Isles of Indonesia journey has been selected by Condé Nast Traveler as an Editor's Itinerary. Follow in the steps of this editor—a discerning traveler—to explore the cultural and natural beauty of Bali, the Raja Ampat Islands, and Central Java. 

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...As one client said: 'I'll never travel with any other leader.'"

Tour of a Lifetime – National Geographic Traveler, 2014

We’re thrilled that our Mystical West Africa trip was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's Tours of a Lifetime. According to executive editor Norie Quintos, these trips “go beyond destination to add meaning and context…They open the mind to new possibilities, new connections, new ways of thinking—all critically important given the world’s complex issues.”

Best Places to Work – Outside, 2014

We're proud that our anonymous staff surveys have landed us on the Best Places to Work list consecutively for the past four years. "When you’re planning a trip to a remote, challenging destination, whom do you call? GeoEx...These travel pioneers are smitten with adventure—a lifestyle they encourage back home in the company’s California-based offices," reports Outside magazine. 

Outside magazine named Indonesia: Secrets of the Archipelago as the Best Splurge for 2014. On this trip you'll sail in tremendous comfort and style aboard a sublime yacht, get a rare look at some of the most beautiful and remote of the archipelago’s thousands of islands, and get a chance to meet their cheery and welcoming people.

8 Things We're Going to Do as Soon as We're Able to Go to Cuba – Yahoo, 2014

With President Obama's recent announcement of easing sanctions in Cuba, the excitement is growing about the possibilities of travel to this once-forbidden Island Nation. While the future is still uncertain, GeoEx has–and will continue to–operate tours with our People-to-People license.

The 2014 Travel Vanguard: 22 Ways Travel is Changing – AFAR, 2014

Edward Norton has spent over 10 years working with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, an organization that works to protect the land and culture of the Maasai in Kenya, and he designed a trip around it just for GeoEx supporting this cause. Camp Ya Kanzi, an eco-lodge in the area, is a highlight for their dedication to the preservation of the Maasai.

Best Adventure Travel Destinations 2014 – Travel + Leisure, 2014

Patagonia was chosen as the Rising Star destination and for good reason. See for yourself as you walk beside the stunningly blue lakes of Torres del Paine and the Fitz Roys, hike the little-visited Aysen Glacier, and sail around Cape Horn to remote Tierra del Fuego. All-the-while staying at luxury estancias serving fabulous food and wine.

Vassi Kout­saftis gives his experienced, expert advice on being able to haggle like a pro in Morocco, Egypt, and beyond. His tips will inspire you to try it out the next you're at a market or bazaar. You might find you actually enjoy it.

Sudan – Marin Magazine, 2014

Vassi Kout­saftis recounts his (mis)adventures in Sudan while on a GeoEx scouting trip to this oft-overlooked destination full of surprises.

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: Brent Olson, Kate Doty, and Vassi Koutsaftis. “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

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 Traveler, 2012

For Iran: 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. This has been 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.

Definitive Guide to Adventure Travel – Travel + Leisure, 2012

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. 

Iran – Marin Magazine, 2012

While leading a small-group trip, Vassi Kout­saftis receives a warm, "hospitable welcome" everywhere he goes in Iran.

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