Specialties

Regions: Latin America
Travel Types: Luxury Travel, Adventure Travel, Expedition Travel, Family & Multi-Generational Travel, Romance & Honeymoon Travel, Small Ship Travel
Special Interests: History & Culture, Eco-Tourism, Hiking & Walking, Nature & Wildlife

Destinations Visited

Latin America: Ecuador (17x), Galapagos Islands (14x), Peru (20x), Chile (9x), Argentina (9x), Brazil (4x), Bolivia, Uruguay, Colombia (2x), Costa Rica (3x), Guatemala, Panama, Mexico (12x)
Africa: Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Morocco
Additional countries: Australia, France, Canada (7x)

Why I’m a Travel Consultant

My passion for travel has taken me many places, and allowed me to learn about life and this big great world in the process. Having the opportunity to share that knowledge and experience with others is a joy. Connecting with my clients and learning more about them enables me to suggest destinations, accommodations and experiences that best suit their style. I approach each trip as a puzzle, and feel a great sense of satisfaction when I’m able to fit the various pieces together into a comprehensive and thoughtful whole that is customized to suit each unique traveler. There is no greater satisfaction than helping someone have their own experience of a lifetime!

Education

BS in Education & Earth Science, University of Kansas

Career History

During college I worked in both front desk and reservations roles for two major hotel chains. My primary travel experience before joining the Travel Beyond team in 2013 was as a Sr. Adventure Director at Natural Habitat Adventures, where I spent 14 years overseeing operations for group trips throughout Latin America, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii.

Professional Awards & Accomplishments

  • Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2021-2022
  • Luxury Travel Advisor Trendsetter 2016
  • Int’l Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) – Board Secretary

Most Memorable Travel Experience

In 2001 I took my first trip to Latin America, visiting the Galapagos Islands and Peru. I instantly fell in love with the friendly people, vibrant culture, varied nature, and unique wildlife. That trip inspired the direction of my career. I have since made my way around the region many times over, and also ventured to other exotic parts of the world; but it’s these two places that feel as comfortable as home and bring me back time and again. I was even married on the shore of Tortuga Bay in the Galapagos and honeymooned in Peru. My dear friends there feel as close as family. With each visit I uncover new layers and find familiar delight in the old ones. If I could only travel to two places for the rest of my days, it would without question be these.

My Most Recent Trip

In July 2021 I returned to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I spent a week on the mainland enjoying the historic city of Quito, exploring the rainforest at Mashpi Lodge and Reserve, and staying at the dreamy Hacienda La Danesa where I learned about beekeeping and made my own chocolate bars (Ecuador has the world’s best chocolate, hands down!). I also spent a week in the Galapagos including an action-packed 3-night cruise aboard the Cormorant, and a stay at the luxurious Pikaia Lodge. My trip was topped off with a visit to beautiful Montemar Villas in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island where I reunited with dear friends, spent time among the giant tortoises, and was spoiled with delicious chef-prepared meals and snacks. (You can read about my Montemar experience here.) I never tire of this special country or these beautiful islands, and already can’t wait to return.

Recommended Right Now

Patagonia National Park is only 3 years old, and was donated to Chile by Kris & Doug Tomkins after they purchased parcels from local landowners with the intention of re-wilding. After removing fences and turning this into an open habitat, this remote expanse has allowed wildlife including pumas, condors and rheas to return and thrive. Explora has recently taken over the park’s only lodge, and with just 10 charming rooms this will continue to be an exclusive destination free from crowds. This off-the-beaten-path lodge can be linked with Torres del Paine National Park by small aircraft, pairing two of the world’s most exciting and awe-inspiring mountain destinations with ease.

Favorite Properties

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel- Peru

This hotel has topped my list of world favorites for over a decade. Set along the river on the outskirts of Aguas Calientes, Peru at the base of the Machu Picchu ruins, this lodge is full of character and offers cozy accommodations in individual casitas amidst a jungle-like atmosphere surrounded by over 300 species of orchids and numerous nature trails. Truly a fabulous experience in itself.

Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa- Peru

Sol y Luna is located in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas between Cusco and Machu Picchu. This lodge offers upscale accommodations in individual casitas, surrounded by colorful gardens and flanked by the Andes Mountains. The Deluxe and Premium Casitas are a special treat, with spacious bedrooms, natural finishes, and impressive luxury baths.

Hacienda Zuleta- Ecuador

Located north of Quito, Hacienda Zuleta is a country home and working farm belonging to the family of a former Ecuadorian president. A stay here provides guests with a lovely combination of highland culture, nature and wildlife. A range of excursions including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and visits/activities with the nearby community are included with a stay here, along with delicious home cooked meals. This is easily my favorite lodge on Ecuador’s mainland.

Montemar- Ecuador

Nestled in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, and aptly described as “eco-luxury”, this property includes modern amenities, special touches, and friendly service. An extensive menu of excursions and experiences is offered to create a tailor-made stay. Enjoy island visits, active adventures, wildlife, chef-prepared meals, and the chance to live like a local at this sustainable off-grid property complete with a bountiful organic farm. Montemar offers two villas (one with 2-bedrooms and one with 4-bedrooms), which makes this an especially appealing option for families.

Awasi Iguazu- Argentina

Tucked into the forest about 15 minutes from the famed falls, Awasi Iguazu elevates a visit to this region to another level. With just 14 tastefully decorated cozy villas, each with a private plunge pool and assigned a private guide and 4WD vehicle, this is truly a unique and exclusive way to explore the Iguazu area and beyond.

Awasi Patagonia- Chile

Located on the outskirts of Torres del Paine National Park, this lodge provides cozy accommodations surrounded by some of the most remote and pristine landscapes in the world. Each spacious guest villa has a designated guide, so activities each day are private and totally customized. The attention to detail and level of service at this lodge are unrivaled. This is the most exclusive way to visit the crown jewel of Chilean Patagonia.

Uyuni Airstream- Bolivia

For adventurers, this unique experience can’t be beat. Set in the heart of Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, these comfortable campers are decked out with cozy beds, heat and AC, and bathrooms with hot water showers. Bicycles are available for exploring the salt, which stretches in every direction for miles and miles. An on-site chef prepares meals to order, and sunset fireside cocktails are a special highlight.