WELCOME TO SOUTHWIND ADVENTURES
Now more than ever, we need the connection to ourselves, our world and others that travel affords. We must escape the mundane and rediscover the extraordinary. We need to experience the smiles, the mutual curiosity and the delight in sharing experiences that connects us as humans. We need to remember that no matter who we are; no matter where we find ourselves — face-to-face with a penguin chick in Patagonia, sipping tea with an artist in Ecuador's Lake District or treading a stone-paved Inca path to Peru's Machu Picchu — beneath surface differences, we are not really strangers at all.
Our commitment to you as a traveler is to enhance your self-discovery and personal enrichment through safe and rewarding active natural history and cultural journeys to the Andes, Amazon & Galápagos. We are confident that your Southwind adventure will be deeply satisfying, emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically; and to exceed your expectations while fostering your best possible travel experience remains our utmost priority.
TRAVEL WITH GRACE, ENTHUSIASM AND COURAGE
Subscribe to receive Southwind's e-newsletter, the Chaski News, including featured adventures, new destinations, and special offers. (Click Here)
Three Elements Of The Southwind Experience
Nothing inspires like the pure beauty of wild places - the awe-inspiring power of Iguazu's 275 falls; the snow-clad Andes reflected in Lake Titicaca's waters; the primeval mystery of the Amazon rainforest. With the Andes running 4,000 miles, north to south, creating the spine of South America, and the Amazon River coursing 4,000 miles from west to east, this continent is so geographically magnificent that nature is the first vital component to any Southwind adventure.
As a bi-culturally owned business (Peruvian & American) cross cultural interaction is the second essential ingredient in the Southwind travel experience. All of our programs emphasize contact with local people - whether weavers, farmers, inn-keepers or folks on the street; and all trips are led by experienced, professional, native guides who provide insight into local lifestyles, attitudes and beliefs. These leaders are present not only to see that everything goes smoothly and all details are attended to, but also to share their perceptions and aid guests in better understanding the native culture.
Finally, all of our tours contain a physical component - be it a slow-paced walk in the Galápagos Islands or a stroll through the Ecuadorean countryside, biking past quaint Andean villages, or trekking beneath towering Patagonian peaks. Whether the endeavor is easy or strenuous, the importance is in getting out, actively participating and experiencing life, up close and personal.
What Distinguishes SWA?
By concentrating solely on the Andes, Amazon & Galápagos since 1990, Southwind consistently provides the highest quality in first-class travel services. Our focus is pure and our expertise unrivaled. We carefully design each program using personal experience, input from our in-country staff and feedback from returning guests. We diligently select the finest hotels, hosterías, expedition vessels and haciendas - each offering outstanding amenities and value as well as local character. We partner with the most capable in-country operators and we work with trip leaders who share our travel ethos, love of wild places and respect for traditional cultures.
We are passionate about crafting the vacation of a lifetime and ensuring your trip is an unforgettable, unique experience. Half our guests elect to customize their adventure - whether by reserving one of our classic tours for a private group, starting a new departure on their own dates, adding an extension to an existing itinerary or simply arriving a couple days early for independent explorations. By customizing, you reap the rewards of our extensive knowledge, long-term relationships and considerable experience in the regions we travel.
We want your travel experience to be the best possible, so we use a collection of distinctive hotels throughout our trips. They are the finest accommodations in each of our destinations. Whether enveloping you in luxury, opening the door to a special cultural encounter or offering you a breathtaking view of a natural wonder, all were chosen with the highest quality of standards, charm and your pleasure in mind. If your trip involves wilderness camping, we've taken it up a notch with top-of-the-line tents, outstanding meals, a full camp staff to attend to chores and added amenities like portable sun showers and fresh fruit.
Outstanding personal service and attention to detail epitomize Southwind's exceptional value. For us, your trip begins the moment you search our website and does not end until after you return home, and our job is not complete unless you are thoroughly satisfied. We provide hassle-free planning and expertly handle all your trip logistics - from accommodations and meals to transportation, guides and entrance fees - so all you need do is open yourself to new experiences, visual wonders and great friendships. We assure you that your travel experience will be superior and authentic.
Southwind Adventures provides guests with the highest levels of personal service, quality and value in their travels. We operate our trips in a responsible and professional manner, respecting nature and local cultures while sharing the benefits of ecotourism with our host countries. We offer programs that are safe, congenial and educational, rewarding our guests with authentic experiences that open heart, mind and spirit to the wonders of South America.
We believe that a memorable Southwind adventure is only feasible if you are on the right trip and are well prepared for your journey. We know our guests by name and we remember your preferences. Our staff of professional travel consultants is dedicated to helping you select the perfect adventure and we have experienced the trip you are considering ourselves so we can offer personal advice based on first-hand experience. Our detailed Trip Profiles feature day-by-day itineraries describing exactly what to expect - from the sights that will be seen to the elevations and distances that will be encountered. Our comprehensive Pre-Departure Packets include maps, training tips, accurate information on health and security, packing suggestions, cross-cultural advice and suggested readings to insure that each guest gets the most out of their trip.
"I just re-read the final documents and they are extremely accurate. Only someone with intimate, up-to-date knowledge of what was happening could have prepared them. I think the close relationship, and constant communication between SWA and your partners is one key to your outstanding service. To me, that hands-on attention to relationship building and consistent holding of high standards is crucial."
By actually participating in the adventures we design, and by listening to feedback from returning travelers, we are continually improving our trips -- adding a quiet meal in a typical restaurant or a private visit to an intriguing but relatively unknown archaeological dig, or substituting a hotel stay for at an exclusive, family-owned estancia. We have partnered with the most capable in-country operators, and without exception, we work with experienced, bilingual resident guides who are among the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic professionals in their region. Our guides offer you an insider's perspective, showing you hidden corners of their country that you might never discover on your own.
"Bottom line is that the trip far exceeded my expectations. The accommodations and food were excellent. Best of all you employ or contract with outstanding individuals - Percy, Washington, and Ofelia in Lima."
Like-Minded Traveling Companions:
Southwind programs consistently attract thoughtful world travelers who are repelled by the idea of being herded from site to site. They are innately inquisitive and relish the idea of personal participation in their vacation. Our guests have ranged in age from 7 to 77 with most being in their mid-thirties to mid-fifties. They are individuals from all walks of life who follow a healthy, active lifestyle and who are responsible, well-informed citizens with a sense of adventure and a strong interest in and respect for nature and local cultures. If you are a single traveler, contact us to find out which departures have small groups forming that you can join.
You will find the prices of our adventures to be very competitive with those of other first-class tour operators who have been in the business for 15 years or longer. But it is the something extra that comes from outstanding personal service, attention to detail and a quality experience that exemplifies Southwind's exceptional value. It is the hassle-free planning of having all of your trip logistics, accommodations, meals, transportation and the best local guides taken care of. It is the peace of mind derived from having experts oversee the details that will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable journey. It is the security of knowing that you'll receive what is promised in our literature, and the opportunity to relax because all you need do is open yourself to new destinations and enjoying life and your travel companions. Finally, it is the sense of satisfaction and the great memories you get from having received the richest travel experience possible - start to finish.
"This was the best trip I've ever taken. I can't say enough about what a wonderful experience I had. Southwind should be commended for providing full value to its clients."
We believe that tour operators have an obligation to conduct their business in a conscientious, responsible and sustainable manner insuring that their presence in a region has the most positive effect possible. Our philosophy and business practices have embraced the concept of ecotravel since our inception. Our travel style focuses on keeping our groups small - typically 4-12 guests - assuring that our programs have a minimal impact upon the people we encounter as well as on the wilderness areas we explore. Our small group size also allows each trip member to receive personal attention from their native guides, their in-country staff and from our experienced US team. We respect and strive to preserve the cultural integrity of the locals we meet, and we educate both residents and visitors with regards to practicing minimum impact travel. We are actively involved in regional and local conservation efforts, and we maximize the economic benefit of our tours to our host countries.
"Southwind only does South American trips, and lots of them. Therefore, they have the best connections and get tons of attention from their suppliers down there. We've used them several times and everything is always perfect. I really feel a company that specializes is the best bet."