Family enjoying their tour in the Galapagos Islands
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Which is the Best Travel Agency for Adventure Travel in South America?

User Avatar Author: Isabel Espinoza
5 years ago - February 7, 2019

Reading time: 13 mins

Each Journey is a Unique Adventure

There’s a pretty basic idea we need to grasp before we begin: a sales agent is not always a destination expert. Henry Miller, the great American author, used to say about traveling, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” It is a new and exciting way to see the world, and its most precious spots. Following this logic, the most important question we need to ask ourselves when hitting the road is, “What motivates us to travel?” Whether it is the sensation of feeling a new world bustling around us or the longing to admire, discover, and learn, any answer to this particular question is valid!

Panoramic view from Mashpi Lodge's Dragonfly Gondola Lift

Panoramic view from Mashpi Lodge’s Dragonfly Gondola Lift

On the flipside, we can find travel agencies, and their sales agents, who make each of these destinations available to us and facilitate the very act of traveling. In this case, our main question also applies, albeit with a slight variation:

What motivates us to sell?

If you pose this question to the person on the other end of the line and they can’t give you an answer, feel free to hang up the phone and start looking to book your trip with someone else.

At Metrojourneys, we’ve always believed that we should never look at a trip as just a number, nor should we ever look at a sale as a part of a “quota to fill.” A trip is an experience, and in order to build it in a way that reflects our travelers’ interests, we must understand the process, share in the emotion, and create a bridge between hope and reality.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Carolina Witt

Carolina Witt – one of our destination experts – enjoying a fantastic view in the Galapagos Islands!

For us, a package is not simply a product; just as a destination expert is never just a salesperson. We’ve been fortunate to put together a team of people who share our clients’ motivation along with their yearning to discover and learn. What’s more? Our team consists of people who have experienced each of the destinations we offer and who want to share their experience with folks who dream about going to each one.

This is why, with so much pride, we can say that we don’t have sales agents. At Metrojourneys we only have Destination Experts.

Perspective and Experience is Everything (especially when it comes to planning your trip)

1. It’s not about a salesperson’s mindset, it’s about having a traveler’s spirit

From an ethical standpoint, selling something that you don’t enjoy or don’t know is akin to tricking a buyer. After all, how do you know that a destination has what a traveler is looking for if you’ve never been there yourself? Placing your trip in the hands of a sales representative whose knowledge is only based on what he or she has read about the destination may not be the best decision. If that’s the case, the information you need about a place that you hope to visit is only a Google search away.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Carmen Elena Velasco

Carmen Elena Velasco, one of Metrojourney’s destination experts, at Casa Gangotena’s rooftop terrace in Quito.

What makes the difference between your run-of-the-mill sales agent and a Destination Expert at Metrojourneys is the honest recommendation that only someone who has experienced that destination firsthand can give you. The folks who work at Metrojourneys are passionate travelers who have been able to combine their enthusiasm with their job. Additionally, part of their training process involves traveling to visit and familiarize themselves with the products and lodgings we offer in Colombia and Peru, in addition to verifying their excellent quality, so that they can have a clear idea of what their travelers can look forward to.

2. It’s about offering a perspective that is both professional and personal, cosmopolitan and local

Another aspect that distinguishes us from other travel agencies is that the people you’ll find at the other end of your chat window live in (or very close to) the destinations you hope to visit. Our destination experts can offer you a local’s fresh perspective because they are local people! You’ll always receive up-to-date and detailed information, solid advice, and practical guides to get around like a pro during your stay, not to mention the best recommendations for enjoying and getting the most out of your time and investment.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Ximena Landeta

Ximena Landeta, Ecuadorian by birth, is one of our Destination Experts. Here you can see her with the impressive Chimborazo volcano as a backdrop!

Conversely, being experienced travelers, they also have a very clear idea of how overwhelming it can be when you’re planning your trip to some unfamiliar place. Destination Experts understand this and have armed themselves with knowledge so that they can take you by the hand and guide you through this daunting, but gratifying, process. If you have any questions, don’t worry — we have answers!

3. It’s about mixing professional skills with personal talents

Besides relying on their experience, our Destination Experts have comprehensive academic backgrounds that help them perfectly complement the range of skills required to plan a trip to perfection. Our team boasts true professionals in areas such as Hospitality and Tourism, Business Administration, Marketing, and International Relations, among others.

Alexandra Larrea in Russia

Alexandra Larrea, one of Metrojourneys’ Destination Experts, studied Business Administration!

For example…

As is the case with our Destination Experts who have studied Hospitality and Tourism, Business Administration and Marketing, their professions have helped them focus much more on the quality of the service they offer for each component of the traveler’s journey.

As is the case with those who have studied International Relations, in the hearts of each of our Experts who studied this profession, you can find a profound understanding of other cultures and interests. Also, they are never satisfied until their travelers are satisfied.

The Right Stuff: What Makes Us the Best Travel Agency is Our Team

When choosing our Destination Experts, we stick to a rigorous selection process. Something that each of our experts shares is their attention to detail and their considerateness. The way we see it, your trip doesn’t begin the moment you board the plane, rather, it begins the moment you get in touch with us. Quality is not a feature exclusive to accommodations and services, it also pertains to the attention that our Experts offer each person with whom they have the opportunity to chat, regardless of whether or not they decide to travel with us.

Another one of the most important aspects that we take into consideration when choosing our experts is their ability to analyze and organize. At Metrojourneys, we understand how precious and important each and every one of the trips we put together for our clients is. For this reason, first and foremost, we always aim to understand our traveler (their needs, likes, and interests) before offering them a package. This set of skills helps us offer exactly what it is you are looking to experience.

In Their Own Words…

Why did I become a destination expert?

“Personally, I’ve always liked traveling. Discovering new landscapes and cultures, interacting with a new setting, is simply fascinating. When the opportunity to become a destination expert presented itself, I took it without a second thought. Also, with Metrojourneys, I have the chance to stick to my principles: I could never sell something that I don’t truly love! It seems to me that this is what we owe our travelers. They place all of their trust in us while we put together their trip; our responsibility is to offer them informed and carefully considered recommendations that adhere to what they’re looking for.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Sharian Lopez

Sharian Lopez, one of our destination experts, is really passionate about climate change and environmental responsibility!

South America is a highly underrated destination. For this reason, part of what I most enjoy about doing my job is showing people the magic that they can experience in this corner of the world. We have extraordinary beaches, lush valleys, impressive deserts and mountains, and jungles that are just as astonishing. There is a bit of everything for everyone!

Another reason why I became a destination expert at Metrojourneys is because of the heart of this company. First, for those of us who work here, we are not considered simply a resource, we are human beings. Our greatest strength is found in our differences, in those things that make us unique. Second, every day, without exception, we learn new things, whether about our destinations or our passengers. Third, the focus on environmental conservation and responsible tourism and how these affect surrounding communities makes this company incomparable.”

– Sharian Lopez

What has been the most gratifying moment in your job here at Metrojourneys?

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Ximena Landeta

For Ximena Landeta, Southamerica is teeming with great destinations to visit!

“Without a doubt, one of the things that most fills me with satisfaction is to achieve goals with my team. It is the purest demonstration that we are making people happy by helping them plan their dream vacation! We always pour all of our effort, care, and dedication into our job. This makes every “thank you” we receive all the more worthwhile.”

– Ximena Landeta

What has been the most demanding moment of organizing a trip?

“I’ll always remember this experience because, in fact, it was the first tour that I organized for an older couple that wanted to travel to the Galapagos. I was in touch with them every day! They wanted to take advantage of every minute in the islands, so I committed to making their experience something memorable. Their itinerary was a combination of activities on land and at sea. It was challenging to organize, but it was totally worth it! When they returned from their trip, they sent me a really nice note in which they thanked me for all of my effort and attention. There is no greater satisfaction than that!”

– Felipe Meneses

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Felipe Meneses

Felipe Meneses, destination expert, strongly believes that experiencing the local culture is very important when traveling!

What is a day in the life of a Destination Expert like?

“When I arrive at the office and turn on my computer, I review the news. I like to stay informed about what is happening, not just in my country, but around the world. This way, I can have a greater understanding of the context in which my travelers find themselves.

Afterward, I review all of the emails and chats in my inbox. A large part of the day revolves around my clients and their requests. Long conversations with my travelers are also something that I enjoy a lot because I get to learn more about them and get them the information they need. Planning a trip is like building a house… It is a process; it takes time, but it is very gratifying. I truly feel that it is time well invested.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Soledad Yepez

Soledad Yepez enjoys being a destination expert due to the strong connection she can build with her travelers through the understanding of their needs.

Another thing that I love about receiving calls from clients, is that the excitement they feel for traveling and discovering is very contagious.”

– Soledad Yepez

What is your greatest motivation when putting together a package?

“When putting together a package, the first thing I think is that it is the perfect opportunity for people to not only get to know a city, but to also experience the best the region has to offer. When traveling through South America, you feel like an astronaut. There are so many worlds to discover! The landscape, the culture, and the gastronomy can be quite different, even traveling just a few hours away. It is really impressive!

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Carmen Elena Velasco

Creating unforgettable memories is one of the most important aspects of a trip according to Carmen Elena Velasco – destination expert.

When speaking with my travelers, I always try to inspire them with the love I feel for these destinations. My main motivation is to be able to share the excitement of the experience.”

– Carmen Elena Velasco

What do you think is the advantage of traveling with Metrojourneys?

“For me, the advantage to traveling with Metrojourneys is that we are an Ecuadorian company based in Ecuador. We know the region intimately and this allows us to help our travelers combine and organize all of their ideas from a local, expert, and realistic perspective.

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Carolina Witt

According to Carolina Witt, destination expert, the key difference that Metrojourneys sets is that its employees knows each one of the destinations by heart.

Also, our responsibility with travel is from start to finish. We have many years of experience! We’ve seen and resolved a lot of situations throughout this period; being here, at the destination or nearby, we can offer timely and immediate support with any issue.”

– Carolina Witt

What was your experience like with your first client at Metrojourneys?

Metrojourneys Destination Experts: Alexandra Larrea

One of Alexandra Larrea’s many passions is customizing experiences for her travelers.

“My first client at Metrojourneys was a family with young children. I remember that this motivated me a lot. A family trip is, without a doubt, a special moment. What the parents most wanted was for their children to enjoy the destination; that they find it interesting and that it may awaken their curiosity. When personalizing their package, I felt like a fairy godmother, carefully choosing each accommodation and activity to make them happy. When they returned home, they thanked me so much for my work. That felt incredible!”

– Alexandra Larrea

How important is it to rely on a destination expert when planning your trip?

“It is the most important thing! The opinion of an expert, someone with firsthand knowledge of the location and a deep understanding of the culture, will help you choose the best activities, the best way to organize your time and enjoy the destination. Also, you won’t only visit a destination, you’ll truly experience it!”

– David Vinueza

Top 3 questions to ask your travel agency according to our Destination Experts

1. “Why should I book my trip with you instead of a different agency?”

This is a fundamental question when you’re just starting to plan a trip with a travel agency. The people in which you will trust your experience should have a clear understanding of what sets their company apart and what makes what they offer unique and valuable.

Excursion to Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Excursion to Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos


2. “Why should I purchase a package instead of booking everything on my own?”

When purchasing a tour package, you’re confiding the logistics of your trip and every overwhelming and tiny detail to a destination expert who relies on their planning experience and can modify everything according to your interests. When booking separate flights, hotel accommodations, and activities, apart from the headache of keeping track of everything, you’ll need to find the way to make everything connect perfectly in your itinerary without losing valuable time at your destination.

Mashpi Lodge rooftop celebration

Mashpi Lodge rooftop celebration

3. “Have you traveled to the destinations you offer?”

How can we talk about the quality of a service or how fantastic a destination is if we’ve never experienced it? We can’t and we mustn’t. Part of our responsibility when selling a package is to be absolutely certain that what we are offering will satisfy the traveler’s expectations.

Destination expert in Mashpi Lodge

Destination expert in Mashpi Lodge

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