Antigua, GUATEMALA – On November 13, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler magazine announced that Viaventure Central America’s co-founder and company director Becky Harris was named a 2012 Top Travel Specialist for Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This was no small feat, as Harris was selected from more than a thousand tour operators.
According to Condé Nast Traveler, Top Travel Specialists “represent the best blend of destination knowledge, insider connections, user-friendliness, and value for your dollar,” and were chosen by both magazine readers and editors. (The full list of travel specialists will appear in the publication’s December 2012 issue.) Here’s what Condé Nast Traveler had to say about Harris:
“Harris, who is based in Guatemala, will help you unearth these three countries’ best-kept secrets (perhaps through a helicopter tour to a desert island) and, just as important, will keep you away from the areas thick with cruise ship crowds. Her roster of guides includes archaeologists and scientists, with whom you might locate tagged manatees off the coast in Belize, or, in Guatemala, helicopter deep into the jungle to visit the archaeological site El Mirador.”
Harris founded Viaventure in 2001, along with partners James Goller and Beat Brunschwiler. The company specializes in creating unique travel experiences in Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras, and over the years has earned a reputation for its innovative itineraries and seamless delivery of top-notch services. “Our goal is to create trips of a lifetime,” says Harris. “We figure out what makes our clients tick, what gets them excited, and what will keep them happy—then we design a trip that matches their needs. Often, we’ll throw in something new to gently push their boundaries so they try something different and exciting. That’s how you make a memorable trip that clients go home and brag about to their friends.”
A mechanical engineer in her former life, Harris, who is British, traveled from Peru up to Canada before deciding to launch Viaventure in Central America. “I just loved this area,” she says. “So much of it is off the beaten path. It makes for great dinner party conversation. It’s exhilarating. It’s diverse. There are so many thematic ways to experience it, too—you can focus on wildlife, archaeology, textiles, food, scuba diving, sailing, colonial history, Mayan culture. The list is endless—and we want to keep it that way. It’s one of the reasons why Viaventure is so committed to supporting and preserving the communities and natural areas where we travel.”
Based in Antigua, Guatemala, Viaventure has a full-time staff of 28 that hails from across the globe. “My team works incredibly hard,” says Harris. “Whether it’s our office staff, our amazing guides, or our drivers in the field, they all care about the people who travel with us. It’s ultimately our staff that makes the Viaventure difference.”