A pioneer of travel to remote and challenging destinations since 1982, Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx) crafts wanderlust-fueled journeys to the world's most astonishing places. We're driven by our love of travel, our fascination with the destinations we're privileged to visit, and our delight in sharing them with you. We pour our in-country expertise and passion for eyes-open travel into intelligently designing Group Trips and Custom Trips—cultural tours, treks, safaris, cruises, and journeys by train—to the widest array of destinations. You can count on us for engaging and enriching experiences, innovative itineraries, top-notch leaders and lodgings, and the highest quality safety net.
The seed for Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx), was planted on the Tibetan side of Mount Everest by a group of trekkers in 1981. Huddled in a cold tent at about 16,500 feet and thrilled to be there—at the time, fewer than 300 Westerners had been permitted in Tibet and this group of 15 was the first American contingent ever allowed into the Tibetan backcountry—they cajoled a spunky Jo Sanders, the trek’s master permit-wheedler, into starting her own adventure travel company specializing in travel to recently forbidden parts of Tibet and China.
A Travel Company is Born
A year and many adventures later, Jo had InnerAsia, the company's first name, off the ground. Her collection of supporters and advisors grew from that group in the tent to include the likes of Al Read, a pioneer in the adventure travel business, and George Doubleday, who had a vision of what adventure travel would become. When medical issues forced Jo to turn over the reins to Al and George, she knew her seedling was in good hands. George made strategically magnificent hires (among them Jean-Paul Tennant, Shana Chrystie, Brent Olson, and Scott Montgomery, all still with us) and amiably established Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx) as one of the planet’s great travel companies.
Blazing Trails in Adventure Travel
Along the way, we pioneered adventure travel to places that most of us had only dreamed about and forged bright new ways to experience them. The Kangshung Face of Everest, far western China, South Georgia Island, the length and breadth of Bhutan, the mountains of northern Myanmar (Burma), Kilimanjaro’s Western Breach, Snow leopard haunts in Ladakh, new corners of Patagonia, etc.
Our list of groundbreaking journeys includes:
- Kangshung Face of Everest trek: first American guided trek (1982)
- Turugart Pass: first American guided border crossing between the former Soviet Union and China (1986)
- Northern Silk Road traverse across China: first American group (1987)
- Namjagbarwa, Tibet: first American guided trek (1987)
- Snow Lake, Pakistan: first American guided trek (1989)
- Southern Patagonia Icecap: first American guided crossing (1989)
- Mount Kailas (Tibet) to Western Nepal: first American guided trek (1991)
- Burma: the first American guided tour (1991)
- Chukotka, Russia: first American guided tour (1992)
- Dolpo region of Nepal: first American guided trek (1992)
- Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos: first American company to legally operate trips in Vietnam since the Vietnam War, and first American guided tour in Cambodia and Laos (1992)
- Mustang region of Nepal: first American guided trek (1993)
- Laya region of Bhutan: six first ascents of peaks over 6000 meters (1993)
- Iran: first American group to return to Iran after the overthrow of the Shah (1993)
- Western Mongolia and Siberia: first American guided border crossing into Tanna Tuva (1994)
- Rakhine State, Northern Burma: first American guided tour (1996)
- Gelandong Peak, Tibet: first ascent of peak (1996)
- Gangkhar Puensuum, Bhutan: first guided trek to what is now the highest unclimbed mountain in the world (1998)
- Musandam Peninsula, Oman: first American guided tour (1998)
- Alborz Mountains, Iran: first American guided trek (1998)
- Yemen: first American guided tour (1998)
- Iran-Turkmenistan border crossing: first American guided tour (1999)
- Syria: first American guided tour (1999)
- Lebanon: first American guided tour (1999)
- South Georgia: first guided traverse of Shackleton route (2000)
- Libya: first American guided tour (2004)
- North Korea: first American guided tour (2007)
- Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan: first American guided trek (2007)
- Central Bhutan: first American guided trek (2014)
- India-Myanmar border crossing: first American guided crossing since World War II (2016)
Today, based from San Francisco's beautiful Presidio, our staff of about 50 continues to lovingly craft and smartly run trips—from treks and safaris to cultural tours, cruises, and rail journeys—to all seven continents.
With more than 35 years of experience under our belts, we’re still convinced the world is brimming with new travel gems, still in love with travel and convinced of its worth. Our solidity and success a source of pride, we’re still chomping at the bit, still deeply charmed by our well-peopled planet, and tickled at how far we’ve come from that little tent in Tibet.
A Trustworthy Copilot
“Geographic Expeditions understands completely more than the logistics of travel—they understand the poetry and magic of travel,” wrote GeoEx traveler Tom B. “I am always deeply impressed by their rich and respectful approach to exploring the world, their superb professionals, and their genuine commitment to the highest quality experience.” We’re proud not only of reviews like this, but also that GeoEx ranks among the world’s top travel companies and is featured as trusted experts by Condé Nast Traveler, Outside, AFAR, Travel + Leisure, and others.