Your Safety Is Our Utmost Concern
Explore Amazing Places specializes in travel to locations throughout Central and South America. Your safety is our priority. We recommend familiarizing yourself with any and all travel advisories listed by US Department of State .
We have been leading tours for nearly 2 decades to these locations. In addition, we have lived extensively throughout some of these same locations. In hoping to balance the information listed by news agencies and the US Department of State, we have compiled information from US citizens currently living abroad in Central and South America. We recommend reading these first-hand accounts from individuals who enjoy the beauty and culture of life outside of the United States.
From Explore Amazing Places Owner - John Korte
I only have my experience to go on. As a person who has traveled throughout Mexico, Central and South America, on pretty much a full-time basis for the past 11 years, I personally have never seen, been around, run into, or even thought I might be in the presence of the gang or cartel element. We have brought over 900 travelers to Guatemala and over 100 to Ecuador and, as you know, we send out Feedback Questionnaires to all our travelers and to a person, of all those who responded, not one felt they were unsafe at any time on our tours. Additionally, every single respondent reported that there was no time on the trip that they ever even felt threatened. I can only say: “read the testimonials on our website”.
Anita, our partner Jeremy, and I live and travel continuously throughout these countries; we know the people; we know the places; we use common sense as to where and when to travel; we keep in daily communications with Programa Nacional de Asistencia al Turista who provides us with updates on road conditions, and any activities which could be a potential issue for our groups; we also keep in touch with our transportation providers whose job it is to provide us with daily information as to travel conditions and any issues in the areas we travel.
Several folks from one of or groups visited a “health nurse” who turned out to be an alarmist. We have had over 900 travelers with us in the past 17 years. 95% of them have chosen not to be immunized because:
We do not go into areas where there is any significant incidence of disease. For example in Tikal - it is not th rainy season therefore few if any mosquitoes. Additionally, we take our groups there and we have never had a case of malaria. I personally go many times per year, have never taken malaria meds, and do not have malaria. We are there during mid day and mosquitoes are out at dawn and dusk. Even though we have never had an incident there and we rarely even see a mosquito, we always recommend folks wear long sleeves, and long pants, and bring along a small (airline size and packaging) repellent.
All the restaurants and hotels we go to are upscale and we have been into every kitchen inspecting cleanliness, food handling, and all other aspects of food prep. We have never had an incident of hepatitis or typhoid fever. We are not eating in villages, we only frequent restaurants where the fruits and vegetables are sterilized and all other food is cooked at proper temperatures. Although every hotel we stay at and restaurants we go to have filtered water (which we drink), we still provide bottled water every day during your stay here.
How people do get sick (usually diarrhea and or loose stomach) from unclean hands, Things you touch are more apt to get you sick than what you eat or drink when traveling with us. It is because we cannot control what you touch (we can control what you eat and drink). This is why we highly recommend everybody bring those little bottles of hand cleaner or disinfectant and use it frequently. When we have the occasional bout with stomach we get the best of meds from the pharmacy here and it is knocked out in 24 hours or less.
Again, we have had food writers come with us, doctors, nurses, health care providers of every type, and none have gone away with any concerns, and certainly no diseases. In fact, the food writer - Thayer Wine who writes freelance, did an article about the food and our trip in the newspaper, Tennessean.