Culture Xplorers
Honors and Awards

Outside Magazine – Basque Country Bonds featured in World’s Tastiest Adventures (2013)

cx_press_outside_magazineWe couldn’t be happier that Outside Magazine honored our Basque Country Bonds as one of their six favorite eating & hiking adventures worldwide in their food-focused March 2013 issue. Writer Stephanie Pearson zoomed in on three of our trip’s high points, writing: “You’ll hike, meet local farmers, and, if you’re lucky, eat and drink with the male members of Gaztelubide, San Sebastian’s most prominent txoko….”

Other peak experiences couldn’t be mentioned in the article due to space constraints, but we can highlight them here! Amongst our very favorites: spending an unforgettable day with our friend Pello, a Basque engineer turned heritage pig breeder, first foraging at the Tolosa market, followed by a delicious home-hosted afternoon at his family’s historic homestead.

Departures Magazine Philanthropic Travel (2012)

Departures MagazineCulture Xplorers “Trips with a purpose give back in more ways than one” as featured in an online article by Departures Magazine:  “The Chinese philosophy of Tao teaches the principle of Te, or the virtue of being the best we can be. Travel companies are now following the mantra, reflecting a deep belief that we are our best and truest selves when helping others. Philanthropic trips connect travelers with communities and have gained momentum over the past decade as vacationers combine aid work with far-flung experiences…” Read more >

National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours Of A Lifetime Honoree (2012)

National Geographic TravelerNational Geographic Traveler named Culture Xplorers’ Argentina True North trip as one of their 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2012. This marks the 5th time one of our iconic journeys has received this high distinction. It is both gratifying and humbling to be recognized by National Geographic as amongst the most immersive, sustainable and connected ways to experience the world. An except follows:

“With a reputation for revealing destinations through the eyes of locals (such as craftspeople, home cooks, and market vendors), the outfitter homes in on the northwest Argentine provinces of Salta and Jujuy, land of gaucho culture, sloping vineyards, verdant Andes foothills, and spectacularly striated canyons punctuated by towering cardón cactuses.” — Margaret Loftus

National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours Of A Lifetime Honoree (2009)

National Geographic Traveler named Culture Xplorers’ Epicurean Mundo Maya as one of 50 Tours of a Lifetime. Our trip was given this honor for providing travelers the most singular, authentic and sustainable experiences offered in organized travel. An excerpt follows.

“The spicy Mayan turkey stew kakik and jocon with green tomato sauce are just some of the dishes you’ll taste on this gastronomical odessy through Copan, Honduras and Antigua, Guatemala. Sit down to a private dinner concocted by culinary rising star Jose Luis, visit a shade-grown coffee farm, and – in an Iron Chef style twist – get behind the counter of a market stall to try your hand at making tamales.” – Peggy Loftus, NG Traveler

National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours Of A Lifetime Honoree (2008)

National Geographic Traveler named Culture Xplorers’ Oaxaca Up Close: Day of the Dead Celebration as one of 50 Tours of a Lifetime. Our trip was given this honor for providing travelers the authentic experiences one would have if visiting well-connected, adventurous local friends. The journey offers insider’s access and active participation in one of Mexico’s most colorful and significant cultural traditions. An excerpt follows.

“Share the region’s iconic black mole and traditional pan de muertos with locals and join the pilgrimage to the pantheon of Xoxcotlan, where Oaxacans go to communicate with the souls of the departed.” – Peggy Loftus, NG Traveler

Conde Naste Traveler The Dream List – 40 Trips Of A Lifetime (2007)

Conde Nast Traveler named Culture Xplorers to their prestigious Dream List of one-of-a-kind experiences that can only be delivered by expert insiders. Two excerpts follow.

From intro text: “These are some of the world most sought-after travel experiences – those that take you behind the scenes, allowing privileged access to people, places, and events that are off limits to the ordinary traveler”.

From Magic Carpet Ride: “Enter the closely guarded workshop of Antigua’s most celebrated alfombra family. Alfombras are street carpets made of dyed sawdust, flowers, and pine needles that are laid along the route of the religious processions during Holy Week celebrations here”. – Conde Nast Traveler

Travel & Leisure 40 Trips To Change Your Life (2007)

Travel + Leisure scoured the globe for trips that change the lives of both the travelers and the communities with which they come into contact. They highlighted forty such transformative experiences in their November 2007 on-line issue. An excerpt follows.

“Spend time between Lima, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu learning from culinary masters. You will make ceviche, or chopped fish with lime juice and spices, and cook pachamanca, or a meat dish, in an earthen oven-all while benefiting local artisans and organic farmers. American Jim Kane leads Culture Xplorers, which aims for a total immersion experience that includes studying under some of Lima’s finest modern chefs, witnessing millennia-old weaving techniques in the Sacred Valley, and bargaining for cocoa in Cuzco.” – Ben Skinner, Travel + Leisure

Transitions Abroad Best Of Class (2007)

Transitions Abroad magazine has been the guide to working, living, learning and volunteering overseas for nearly 30 years. In their March/April 2007 issue, they honored 100 companies they consider to be the “best in Class” for lifelong learning. An excerpt follows.

“On Culture Xplorers’ Immersive Guatemala you can experience hands-on exploration of Guatemala’s rich cultural traditions. From colonial Antigua to the beautiful Lake Atitlan, you will meet master weavers, farmers, coffee roasters, and fine artists.”

Budget Travel 25 Places You’ve Never Heard Of (2006)

Transitions Abroad magazine has been the guide to working, living, learning and volunteering overseas for nearly 30 years. In their March/April 2007 issue, they honored 100 companies they consider to be the “best in Class” for lifelong learning. An excerpt follows.

“On Culture Xplorers’ Immersive Guatemala you can experience hands-on exploration of Guatemala’s rich cultural traditions. From colonial Antigua to the beautiful Lake Atitlan, you will meet master weavers, farmers, coffee roasters, and fine artists.”

Read the full article

National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours Of A Lifetime Honoree (2006)

National Geographic Traveler named Culture Xplorers’ annual CX Weavers Awards journey as one of 50 Tours of a Lifetime. Our trip was given this honor for providing travelers the authentic experiences one would have if visiting well-connected, adventurous local friends. At the same time, the journey represents the very best of sustainable travel, exemplified by our annual awards celebration honoring the indigenous weavers of the Sacred Valley. An excerpt follows.

“The journey from Lima to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco and the Virgen del Carmen celebration is punctuated by frequent visits with craftspeople, many of whom are friends with Culture Xplorers founder Jim Kane. But for Ben Goodman, the trip highlight was attending the annual CX-sponsored Weavers Awards in Chinchero, where indigenous weavers from across the Sacred Valley are recognized and awarded cash prizes for their work. ‘Such a collaboration between two distant cultures is rare’ he says. ‘It gave me an opportunity to become part of this living community’.

Frommers Online

“With Culture Xplorers, it’s not about how far, long or remote you go in your travel experience, it’s about how deep you go into the lives and the customs of the people who inhabit the land where you go. Offering immersion trips to Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Guatemala (with Bolivia coming soon), the four-year old Philadelphia tour provider brings travelers and natives together with four key components in mind: people, traditions, celebration and impact. Trips are often scheduled around indigenous festivals and times of year when economic activities like harvesting or basket weaving are most prevalent. Inspiring, interesting and fun, Culture Xplorers might change the way you travel in the future.” – Jason Sheftell, Frommer’s Online

Read the full article

The Globe And Mail

Canada’s leading newspaper spoke with Jim Kane, founder of Culture Xplorers, about his culturally sensitive approach to photography while abroad.

Read the full article