Journeys Within is excited to announce that we are partnering with Knowmad Adventures – a boutique travel agency specializing in active, authentic and sustainable travel to South America and Antarctica, with destinations including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Easter Island and the Galapagos.
Jordan Harvey, one of Knowmad’s co-founders, has been listed as a fellow Condé Nast Traveler Specialist and Travel + Leisure A-List Winner. We recommend Knowmad to our guests because they embrace a similar philosophy to our own – the belief that ‘travel makes us better people’ and that having incredible guides transforms a trip into a life-changing experience.
Knowmad creates customized itineraries and can arrange tours that focus on family travel, adventure travel, honeymoons, treks, luxury travel, visiting the highlights or incorporate a mix of all of the above. They take pride in providing connections to the local community with every unique experience, married with incredible accommodations.
We recently had the chance to ask Knowmad co-founder Tara Harvey a few questions about the company. Her answers are below…
Journeys Within: Tell us your story. When did you start Knowmad Adventures and what is your focus?
My husband Jordan and I started Knowmad Adventures 8 years ago. We hopped on a flight right after we got married and rented a cabin heated only by a wood-burning stove on a farm in Northern Patagonia, Chile. From there we explored the country, building trips that we envisioned family and friends would love. It was an incredible adventure!
A year later we landed back in Minneapolis, where we’re both from and are now based, and today we’ve grown to a team of 7 operating more than 500 authentic, custom trips annually to Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Antarctica.
Call or email a Knowmad Trip Specialist to create your South America trip today: 1-877-616-8747 or email@example.com.
JW: When is the ideal time of year to visit and plan a trip to South America?
Patagonia & Chile or Argentina: If your journey to Chile or Argentina includes Patagonia, you’ll want to go during our winter and their summer (November through March).
Central Chile and Argentina (the vineyards, Buenos Aires & Santiago) have a climate similar to the Mediterranean and can be traveled to year round.
Easter Island, a Polynesian island off the coast of Chile, and Northern Chile and Argentina (the Atacama Desert, Salta, Iguazu Falls) are also great year-round destinations.
We recommend planning your trip to Chile or Argentina at least 6 to 8 months out for the most accommodation choices, and during the high, holiday season as much as one year in advance.
Machu Picchu & Peru: Travelers can visit Peru any time of year. Dry season starts in the second half of April and lasts until November. Daytime temps throughout the year are consistently moderate in the areas of Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, however nighttime temperatures are cooler during the dry season and can drop below freezing. June, July and August are the most visited months and the weather is pleasant, however it is more crowded. Our favorite time to visit is the ‘shoulder season’ coming just before and just following the rainy season (the second half of April, May, October, November) when the weather is fairly dry and visits aren’t at their peak.
We recommend planning your trip to Peru at least 4 to 8 months in advance. If looking to travel during the high season (May through August and the holidays) or hike the Inca Trail, we recommend 8 to 12 months in advance for the most choices and permit availability.
The Galapagos Islands & Ecuador: As Ecuador is located on the Equator, there is little seasonal differentiation and it is a great year-round destination. Although there is a slightly wetter season and a slightly drier season, there is little predictability and these variations differ from region to region, as Ecuador is so geographically diverse. There is never a bad time to visit the Galapagos. Talk to a Knowmad Trip Specialist for details on the best time of year to snorkel or dive, to see the bird’s mating rituals or sea turtles nesting.
We recommend planning your trip to Ecuador & the Galapagos at least 4 to 8 months out for the most accommodation or cruise choices. If looking to travel during the holidays or if working with a strict travel window, we recommend 8 to 12 months.
Antarctica: October to March is the only permitted time to travel to Antarctica. With that being said, the best time to plan your Antarctica travels is dependent on the wildlife you want to see, as penguins, sea birds, whales, and seals have specific time periods in which they mate, birth or are in the region to feed.
Plan your trip to Antarctica at least 6 to 8 months out, and during the holiday season as much as one year in advance.
Please note that Knowmad has planned trips with as little as 1 week of notice as well, so if you’re looking at planning a last-minute trip, please reach out and your Trip Specialist can check availability in the region where you are looking at traveling.
JW: What itinerary would you recommend for a traveler’s first trip to South America?
Peru is a great country to start with for your first visit to South America, offering a variety of landscapes and cultures, and it’s under a 7-hour flight from Atlanta. Our Classic Machu Picchu trip idea has you getting off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley, visiting vibrant traditional villages and markets and returning to charming accommodations as you journey through ancient ruins, ending at the famed Machu Picchu. There are a multitude of options to customize the itinerary with culinary experiences, active excursions such as stand up paddle boarding, trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting and camping, or luxury hacienda stays, and more!
Classic Machu Picchu Trip Idea Highlights:
- Experience a variety of vibrant indigenous Andean cultures
- Ride the rails in an historic train along the ancient Inca Trail
- Explore the famed Lost City of Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate
- Wander the legendary Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo
- Meander the stone streets and bustling markets of Cusco
- Get off the beaten path, discover the ancient ways of Amaru villagers, and bargain for colorful, hand-woven textiles in colorful Pisac market
- Lunch in a centuries-old hacienda while relaxing in the Sacred Valley
Extension ideas include the Amazon, Lake Titicaca, or even combine your trip to Peru with the Galapagos Islands.
JW: What type of travelers do you typically work with?
We work with independent-minded travelers looking for unique, custom, and private travel experiences in South America. Since we’re experts in the regions we operate (vs. specializing in one travel style worldwide) we’re able to maximize your time by planning a trip that is tailored specifically to your interests and dates. We offer:
- Same or better pricing
- Stress-free planning process
- Pre-departure information and local on-the-ground support
- Door-to-door trip planning services; Knowmad will navigate seasonality of a the destination, logistics in transportation, and coordinate your accommodations and excursions for a holistic, seamless South American itinerary
Don’t take our word for it though! See what our travelers and the press have to say about us:
“Harvey and his wife were living on a dairy farm in Patagonia when they founded Knowmad Adventures, and their friends – artists, chefs, architects, and photographers – became their network of insider contacts. The result? Many of the vineyards, haciendas and estates available to their clients aren’t typically open to the public.” – Travel + Leisure
“Quite simply the best trip we’ve ever taken. Destinations astounded, logistics and planning flawless, and your intimate knowledge and relationships made for a trip that was personal every inch of the way.” – Deanna and Rachel, Santa Barbara, CA
“Harvey focuses on customized travel to areas off the beaten path.” – Condé Nast Traveler
“The Knowmad team put together the trip of a life time for us. Everything was perfect, from the guides to the accommodations to the activities, and your extensive knowledge of the area and personal relationships with the people we met in Chile were invaluable. We can’t recommend Knowmad highly enough.” – Ben and Sarah, New York, NY
JW: What is your trip planning process like?
The process is easy. First is a quick call or email exchange that allows us to learn a bit about you and your group (custom trips can be for one or many people). If you have a general idea of where you want to visit that’s great, or if you don’t know when or where you’d like to travel we will discuss options.
We will learn about how physically active you want to be, how long you may travel, what activities interest you most, and some general info about your travel style and preferences. With this information we create a ‘skeleton’ or bare-bones trip flow or two that we send for you to look over, or we suggest a sample itinerary. After sharing with your travel partners we can collaborate on changes, or you may like the general outline of the trip.
From there we will create a detailed custom trip proposal with all suggested activities and lodging provided, as well as exact costing and inclusions. We can collaborate on any desired changes, or you may choose to confirm your trip. This process and detailed custom proposal is free and there is no obligation to confirm your trip.
We are the leader in custom travel to South America, and not only is this process easy, but it results in you having your perfect trip, one that is as dynamic and unique as you are.
Knowmad Adventures – 1-877-616-8747 or firstname.lastname@example.org
JW: Are their any other favorite itineraries or excursions you want to share with us?
This is such a hard question to answer! It’s our job to be innovative with trips and we’re constantly seeking out new excursion options, foodie experiences, tucked away boutique hotels, and off the beaten path destinations.
Stand up paddle boarding paired with a Pachamanca feast on the shores of a high altitude lake in Peru has been a recent favorite excursion of mine. We’ve also come up with a variety of itineraries that explore the Galapagos Islands in a land-based way vs. on a cruise.
Combining Chile and Argentina by way of Patagonia like this luxury Chile and Argentina adventure trip does is a stunning way to experience the contracting cultures and landscapes of both sides of the Andes. Ice hiking on centuries old glacier, galloping up sand dunes in the Atacama Desert, wine tasting with the owner of a vineyard in Mendoza – you name it! They’re all favorites!
Let the Journey Begin – Call Knowmad at 1-877-616-8747
Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first and sometimes the easiest way to get started is to simply give us a call 1-877-616-8747. You’re likely to get company owners Tara or Jordan Harvey on the phone, and we’re happy to chat travel at absolutely no obligation to you. Or send us a quick email at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you shortly.