Andre Robles is the founder and CEO of Voyagers Vacation Company. From humble beginnings, Voyagers has expanded out of its country of origin (Ecuador) to also supply adventure-packed tours across Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.
Andre kindly answered a couple of inquiries beneath.
What’s your qualifications, and how did it guide to Voyagers Travel Company?
I am a Jersey boy, grew up on the East coast. My mom is from Ecuador, so I had the prospect to visit several decades in a row as a kid, as well as other South American international locations. My moms and dads beloved to vacation, camp and just do awesome things outside.
When I was 16, we had the likelihood to move to Ecuador for a pair years, I developed this kind of powerful ties with the neighborhood family and built several close friends. I graduated from Morris County College or university and acquired a tourism occupation supply in Ecuador. I resolved to test again on outdated good friends and considered it would be a 1-12 months or even 2-yr fling. It is about 20 many years and nevertheless counting, I are living half the year in Ecuador and 50 percent the 12 months in the US – my wife and kids vacation with me almost everywhere (semi-nomads).
Right after 3 several years with a large Galapagos Cruise firm and loads of freelance function with regional operators in Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and even in Central America… I resolved to open a area of interest travel consultancy concentrated on experiential travel. This is how Voyagers Journey Company begun. Last year we retained a crew of 30 folks, in between journey consultants and operations staff… immediately after the hit of Covid19 we are down to 7 entire-time staff… we occasionally rehire previous group customers on a freelance foundation and hope to convey them again when this is over.
Our mission is to supply exceptional luxurious ordeals for tourists that want to stop by South The us. We supply excellent specials and are ready to recommend extra rustic points if we imagine it will boost the knowledge of a man or woman. We operate with community suppliers and tiny entrepreneur venues like boutique hotels, small yachts, personal transportation, jungle lodges and regional food restaurants… and anything that surrounds this. Our journeys are custom-made and not cookie-cutter group departures.
How did you expand your amount of excursions to the wide assortment you have now?
In 2019 we ended up doing work with over 3000 guests for each year. These were being divided into teams of 5- 6 people. Every team of good friends or spouse and children desired a little something different, so will have to of our offers ended up a person-off… we essentially had to curate our favorite itineraries in buy to only involve the best in our internet site, we have hundreds of other examples.
We also vacation consistently all over the area, we get continuous invites and are hosted by our prime suppliers, of training course when we take a look at them we do photograph shoots, produce weblogs, give them reviews and information to strengthen. It is a acquire-gain problem, if we imagine we cannot send out visitors to a provider, we will not take a freebie. This volume of awareness is translated into our present on our web-site. We have been in company given that 2003, so virtually 20 several years of personalized journey organizing is in our textbooks.
What are some of the most popular or one of a kind excursions that you at the moment offer?
The Galapagos Islands is 1 of our most loved places, it is these kinds of an remarkable position total of energy. A visitor can do so a lot of matters in 1 7 days. Hike alongside marine iguanas and big tortoises swim with sea lions, kayak all over ocean rocks to pay a visit to penguin rookeries, if they have a license they can dive with hammerhead sharks… it has often been our best location given that our team customers would go at the very least two times a calendar year, I have been to the islands over 30 occasions.
Until finally March 2020, our most well-liked plans in Galapagos ended up:
- Galapagos Lodge based mostly excursions (tailor made scheduling with lots of variants), below is a sample 8 working day tour application
This system could vary by adding diving day tours, visits to the highlands on Santa Cruz, instead of Kicker rock and the 1st working day we could incorporate a sport fishing journey, and so forth. Hotel based mostly journeys are particularly common with families.
Another resort-dependent Galapagos excursion I like a whole lot is this 5-day application based on 1 island (San Cristobal), I like the truth that it contains a take a look at to Española Island on a day trip.
In regards to Cruising around the Galapagos, our bestselling yachts and expedition cruises have been by far:
- 100 passenger Galapagos Legend (5 itinerary selections which we put together a large amount with dive or working day tour extensions)
- Galapagos Seaman Journey a 16 visitor catamaran that offers unbelievable worth and constitution selections for groups (4 distinct itineraries)
Other common systems were being our Ecuador and Peru combos – verify right here
At the existing time, we start off 2021 with some large variations. We are getting numerous requests for Hotel based mostly visits and shall yacht charters in Galapagos, little resort buyouts in metropolitan areas like Quito, Lima and Cuzco and longer stays in each and every locale – 5 days Quito city package (usually remaining in the historic downtown). Due to the worldwide pandemic, we have lessened deposit amounts to 10% of the journey price, and these are now life span deposits that allow for day variations with no cancellation penalties.
What kinds of men and women are normally captivated to your tours?
We have a large selection of tourists becoming a member of us. Our typical visitor wants to have a vacation personalized manufactured for them and are looking for a neighborhood pro that understands there line of believed, normally an ex-pat (our workforce is built up of area Ecuadoreans, Peruvians, US ex-pats, Uk ex-pats, German ex-pats and we have nearby operations employees centered in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia apart from the bigger Ecuador office). Typical ages of our visitors range in between 30 – 52-yr-olds, but we do have tons of families and seniors. Given that we focus only on South The united states, we can custom made approach their vacations dependent on their tastes.
Our visitors research for genuine experiences, scaled-down hotels are conscious of sustainable tourism techniques and take pleasure in conference locals, being near to distinctive wildlife and of training course are ready to compromise some ease and comfort for a special encounter, i.e. assembly the Shuar tribe in the Ecuador Amazon, Exploring the Uyuni salt flats and going overland into Chile, Hiking the Inca trails to Machu Picchu amongst other once in a life span adventures.
How do you assure that your tours do not induce any damaging impression on the setting and people of each and every spot?
Our organizing personnel and guides are experienced to handle expectations, and our visitors get briefed on what is suitable, sustainable and great tactics. This is performed in a delicate way in purchase to deliver an knowing qualifications much more than an imposition. At the starting of every single journey or just before coming into get in touch with with native tribes or fragile environs, a briefing is also provided.
It is critical to remember that pretty much all our friends presently have an awesome conservation frame of mind and respect for the cultures they will visit. We have had a couple of groups that with TLC and in-depth detailing have improved their conduct – this is our largest reward, creating a conservation advocate and opening peoples being familiar with of the other particular person no matter of cultural and racial background.
How really should folks prepare for a tour in South The us?
Very first of all, master a bit of Spanish, even a number of text.
Hi or Good day = Hola casual. Buenos Dias, Buenas Tardes, Buenas Noches official.
And so forth.
Fully grasp that despite the fact that some issues are not as contemporary, there is no third environment mentality and people today are a lot more educated and examined than you would think about.
Recognize that people today like to dwell and do not live to get the job done. This is still a gem in phrases of way of living. In some cases this means conference instances may possibly be flexible, particularly on an island in Galapagos.
Do you have any nuts stories or ordeals from your time conducting excursions in locations like the Amazon Rainforest?
Absolutely. Some of our most well-known Amazon tour packages are in Peru. We have been going to a tiny village that had just opened up to tourism, do not get me wrong they had been in speak to with civilization and all but just had completed creating a gorgeous lodge and started out having on company on a standard basis. We had a group of pals that experienced described: “we want to knowledge the Amazon as locals…“ This back again in 2004 at the pretty starting of our functions was not translated that properly.
The initially breakfast was incredibly community: Zuri worms, freshly chewed chicha (manioc root beer, but chewed and spat out by neighborhood women)… no bread, no espresso and no next option that working day.
The good news is, by lunch, the difficulty was solved by joining the kitchen area personnel and just letting them know the guests would like to eat some thing nearer to what they buy when they go into town at Puerto Maldonado.
Locals also have pet Koati or monkey in their rooms, slumber with no a mattress and in some areas do not use a toilet…
So the text “I want to encounter it like a community native… “ do not suggest this pretty much.
What forms of tours do you carry out in Argentina?
We in fact carry out several tours in Argentina, we have community adventures that include cooking your personal steak in Buenos Aires at a chef´s property to climbing all over Tierra del Fuego nationwide park in the southernmost town of Ushuaia. One of our most preferred itineraries will involve a prolonged go to to Patagonia discovering glaciers, mountain landscapes, islands with penguins and extra in this article.
Thank you Andre for your time!
You can comply with up with Andre Robles at https://www.voyagers.journey