Thursday September 29th 2022, 6:30 pm EST on Zoom

Pack of llama roaming in the Andes mountians
Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek. Image by REI Adventures

South America has it all: stunning landscapes, archaeological wonders, captivating cities, biodiverse rainforests, endemic wildlife, vast river systems, ancient glaciers, and vibrant cultures—not to mention delicious food and drinks. Who doesn’t love fresh ceviche washed back with a pisco sour?

You’re invited to join us for the first of our two-part edition of Passports: Journey through South America on September 29th at 6:30 pm EST. During this virtual event, we will have an open, engaging conversation with our Extraordinary Journeys destination specialists. Be romanced while you learn about the best of Ecuador and Peru, including an overview of the destinations and first-hand insight from our in-house Ecuadorian expert, Belén Tovar, and South America Specialist Emily Cottingham who will share where to travel and when. You’ll walk away from this insightful evening feeling inspired and informed about all that these two magical South American destinations have to offer.

What should you know before planning a trip? What is the best way to travel to and within these countries? When should you go?  Where are the most rewarding sites and which ancient land will most inspire? You ask, we’re here to answer, so have your questions ready!

Meet our South America Specialists

Emily Cottingham’s thirst for adventure began at a young age while travelling with her family. With over 50 countries visited, she is a natural explorer. Emily took a yearlong expedition across the southern hemisphere, where she focused extensively on South America, making her our expert on the region. She can’t wait to help fellow travelers fall in love with South America. **

“I prefer more immersive and off-the-beaten-path experiences where I get to know the people and do something adventurous and unique. I love collaborating with companies that have a focus on conservation and local communities.” 

Belén Tovar was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. Her passion for travel was seeded by her mother—an enthusiastic traveler who showed her three kids wonderful places in Ecuador and around South America. Belen has worked in the tourism industry since she was 17, when she joined a large Ecuadorian tour operator. She studied sustainable business and puts her vast experience, inquisitive nature, and passion into building South American experiences.

“The Galapagos Islands are always changing and evolving, with the unique wildlife not disturbed by human presence. The islands remind us how fragile the entire ecosystem is, and simultaneously, how completely magical the world is.”

From Galapagos to Machu Picchu

ECUADOR is an incredible destination for those seeking out wildlife and biodiversity and is home to spectacular topography—from the Pacific Coast to the Sierra Highlands. With a vibrant culture and proudly guarded pre-Incan roots we’ll show you how to navigate your way through the hub of Quito, where you’ll discover the best-preserved historic centre in South America, around the country’s many volcanoes, travel deep within the Amazon, sail around the Galápagos Islands where you can walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin.

Blue footed booby resting on Santa Cruz Island.

PERU is a place where culture and history abound. Unmissable highlights include the iconic Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, vibrant Cusco, the glorious and much revered Sacred Valley, and awe-inspiring Lake Titicaca. For the adventurer, hiking the Salkantay Trail is the trek of a lifetime. For the history buffs exploring the Nazca Desert and its famous geoglyphs is a must. Experiencing the spectacular biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon is unparalleled for any wildlife lover. And of course, starting your trip  in Lima— the capital city known for exceptional cuisine—is a gastronimist’s most exquisite dream. 

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