Eric Sheets, founder of Latin Excursions, has been named as one of Wendy Perrin’s Top Travel Specialists in Condé Nast Traveler – a distinction that only 133 consultants from around the world have been awarded this year. Sheets is being recognized specifically for his expertise in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Colombia, and Panama. He has been amongst Travel + Leisure’s A-List for seven years in a row, but this is the first time he is being honored by Condé Nast Traveler, in Perrin’s 13th annual collection.
Latin Excursions’ approach to travel is to offer something that is authentic and meaningful, transformative experiences that resonate with local life in each destination. Sheets puts special emphasis on avoiding routine tourist programs and on selecting engaging guides, who animate each destination with personal stories and unparalleled destination knowledge. To him, luxury travel goes beyond five-star accommodations and seamless logistics; it is about crafting memorable journeys, unique to each traveler, that could not be found online or in guidebooks.
Sheets spent three years of his young life in Panama and declares it a “small country with big intentions.” It has a special place in his heart, and he believes that its notable biodiversity and contagiously charming people are all too often overlooked. Colombia has been off the tourist map for years and is finally making an impressive resurgence.
Sheets credits the exceedingly welcoming locals and also the mélange of activities: from horseback riding in the cloud forests of the Coffee Region and jungle hiking outside of Santa Marta to exploring the public works of progressive Medellin or salsa dancing in fanciful Cartagena.
The Galápagos has been a special place to Sheets ever since he first visited the islands with his father, back in 1982, and he is particularly keen on sending travelers there for the intimate encounters with exotic wildlife. Personally, he recommends a combination of land and sea-based exploration, and he also suggests becoming acquainted with the unique gastronomic experiences, historic haciendas, and Amazon eco-lodges in mainland Ecuador.
Condé Nast Traveler’s travel planners have been scrupulously tested by both the magazine’s editors and its readers. More than 10,000 agents and tour operators have tried to make the list, and only a fraction have been successful in distinguishing themselves as not only destination gurus, but also as specialists who enable insider access and who offer top value. Representation as a Condé Nast Traveler expert is not just for the title; it also serves the purpose of establishing a network of professionals who may gather periodically to swap stories and best practices. Sheets is eager about the promising possibilities and extremely proud that his passion and diligence have been recognized by one of the world’s leading travel magazines.