With nearly 30 years of global travel expertise, the caliber of REI Adventures’ local guides has always set apart the company from others in the industry. To honor those who received some of the highest praise from guests, the company has named six international experts as “Top Guides,” an annual recognition that honors the best of the best.
“The relationship between our guides and guests is extraordinary,” says Cynthia Dunbar, REI Adventures general manager. “With more than 170 unique itineraries around the globe, we regularly hear heart-warming stories of how our local guides’ hospitality create an atmosphere of discovery and fun as they masterfully share their country’s beauty and cultural richness during hikes, bike rides or paddling trips. Our guests arrive home with deep appreciation for a destination and new friendships that last a lifetime.”
REI Adventures’ Top Guides are determined from independent customer reviews, which are available on the travel company’s website. The travel leader also gives significant consideration to guides who best represent REI’s values and brand, and partner with the co-op in strengthening the company’s travel offerings around the world.
The six guides receiving a 2015 REI Adventures Top Guide award are:
- Tim Dice from Arizona – Backpacking Joshua Tree National Park, Grand Canyon Havasupai Backpacking, Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking,Rocky Mountain Backpacking–East Inlet, Rocky Mountain Backpacking–North Inlet, Superstition Mountains Backpacking, Zion and Bryce Signature Camping
- Noah John from Tanzania – Mount Kilimanjaro Climb–Lemosho Route,Mount Kilimanjaro Climb–Marangu Route
- Pedro Alves Martins from Portugal – Portugal Coastal Hiking, Portugal and Spain Cycling
- Felipe Meneses from Ecuador – Galapagos Islands and Otavalo Highlands Multisport, Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands Family Adventure,Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu Multisport
- Fernando Silva from Peru – Machu Picchu Lodge Trek–Salkantay, Machu Picchu Lodge Trek–Sacred Valley and Lares
- Anna Zika from Greece – Greek Island Hopper, Greek Islands Family Adventure
Trip reviews from REI Adventures guests reveal the life-changing nature of their travel and how guides make a lasting impression. Comments about this year’s winners include:
“Tim was awesome! He was very knowledgeable about the Canyon, the outdoors/backcountry and had a great sense of humor! During the challenging last 1 1/2 miles up the Bright Angel Trail, Tim continued to motivate us until the end! Awesome guide!”
“Noah was the key to our trip. Tremendous leadership, steady patience, good humor, positive attitude, very encouraging at all times.”
“Pedro is a superb leader. Extremely knowledgeable and completely attentive and engaging with the group. I can see why this trip [Portugal Coastal Hiking] is sold out for most of the dates…Word must have gotten out about the incredible guides who are obviously enthusiastic about Portugal and introducing others to this beautiful country.”
“Felipe – great guide. Always had great stories or information about where we were. Perfected the amount of information to dispense on logistics to keep us informed. Very good at managing logistics of keeping the group moving and challenged well without ever being too much.”
“He [Fernando] is so knowledgeable about everything, especially his insight into the Quechuan culture and religion and local people. He has all the skills that you want in a guide and don’t really appreciate until you have a guide with all these skills.”
“Anna was wonderful in every way. She interacted with both children and adults very well, introduced us to the richness of Greek culture, handled details with equanimity and grace, and was fun to be with. Could not have been better!”
About REI Adventures
Award-winning REI Adventures has been a global leader in worldwide guided active adventure trips since 1987. As the travel business for national specialty outdoor retailer REI, the company offers unique itineraries focused on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventure including: hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and more. Guests experience iconic destinations as guides take them off the “beaten path,” and provide opportunities to explore a destination, get to know the local people, their culture, the flora and fauna and discover things they would not be able to duplicate on their own or with another travel company. REI members receive a special discount price on most trips. For more information, full itineraries and trip reviews provided by guests, visit http://www.rei.com/adventures.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 5.5 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 143 stores in 35 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 expertly crafted itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.