Inside Scoop: The Land of Charles Darwin

Bun­dled up to pro­tect against the chilly fall weath­er, we were all greet­ed with smiles and warm hugs from our Ecuado­ri­an friends, Hen­ry Sisa and Chris­t­ian Valen­cia. This was an excit­ing moment, one of those rare occa­sions when you final­ly meet friends you rarely get to see in per­son. They had made the trek to our office in Cal­i­for­nia to spend some qual­i­ty time with our Trav­el team. They came bear­ing gifts from their native Ecuador — fruity choco­lates, bright­ly col­ored scarves, straw sun hats, and more — all sou­venirs from a coun­try they have ded­i­cat­ed their lives to shar­ing with oth­ers.

Both cer­ti­fied tour lead­ers and nat­u­ral­ist guides with over a decade of trav­el indus­try expe­ri­ence, Hen­ry and Chris­t­ian are the founders of Adven­ture Jour­neys, a 100% local­ly-owned and oper­at­ed tour oper­a­tion based out of Quito, Ecuador, and San­ta Cruz Island in the Gala­pa­gos. As we warmed up over cof­fee, Hen­ry and Chris­t­ian gave us a unique glimpse into the unpar­al­leled beau­ty and eco­log­i­cal diver­si­ty of the Ama­zon rain­for­est and the Gala­pa­gos Islands.

Some­times called “The Coun­try of Four Worlds,” Ecuador is unique in that it is com­prised of four dis­tinct cli­mate zones: The Ama­zon Rain­for­est, Andes Moun­tains, Pacif­ic Coast, and Gala­pa­gos Islands. This South Amer­i­can nation boasts the world’s high­est bio­di­ver­si­ty per square mile, includ­ing hun­dreds of endem­ic species that can be found nowhere else on the plan­et.

Why Adven­ture Jour­neys?

With Adven­ture Jour­neys, you get more than just a trip to Ecuador or the Gala­pa­gos. Hen­ry and Chris­t­ian craft a once-in-a-life­time adven­ture that takes you through the high­lights of a fas­ci­nat­ing coun­try and the pris­tine islands made famous by Charles Dar­win. You will snorkel with sea lions and tor­tois­es, trek and bike along vol­canic trails and water­falls, and raft through remote areas of the Ama­zon rain­for­est. Spend time spot­ting wild hors­es, con­dors, and fox­es, and meet­ing the peo­ple of the coun­try by strolling through col­or­ful local mar­kets.

As we often say in our office, “the jour­ney is the des­ti­na­tion.” Hen­ry, Chris­t­ian, and the entire Adven­ture Jour­neys team live and breathe this mot­to. Dur­ing our time togeth­er, they shared sto­ries of the count­less friends from around the world they have made through their guid­ing expe­di­tions, many of whom now return annu­al­ly. To them, each trav­el­er is spe­cial, and they work tire­less­ly to ensure our guests have tru­ly unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences.

As we waved good­bye, our lit­tle group grew qui­et as we replayed in our thoughts the amaz­ing sto­ries of unfor­get­table land­scapes and adven­tures. Soon after, we sub­mit­ted vaca­tion requests and checked flight avail­abil­i­ty for what will cer­tain­ly be our next adven­ture.

We’ll See You There.