Our Favorite Destinations

We get asked quite often “what’s your favorite destination?”.  When we respond with “it’s like trying to choose a favorite child!” it’s really not in an effort to avoid the question or keep any of our destinations from feeling jealous – it’s the truth!  All 5 of our current destinations (Thailand, Greece, Costa Rica, Peru, and Spain) have been chosen because we genuinely love them ourselves and are excited when we can share them with our travelers.  I’ll try to explain a little bit about what why all of our destinations have a place in our heart.

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When we first started Detours in 2012 we actually only offered trips to Thailand!  It was the ideal place to start something that was to be built on sharing our favorite places in the world, and a place with a real personal connection.  Although I had lived in a few countries prior to arriving in Thailand in January 2005, it was the first place where I was able to learn a completely new culture, new language and really understand these at a deep level.  Now over 10 years later, it’s still a place that I get excited about sharing with people, from the physical beauty of the landscape to the beautiful culture that surrounds visitors.

Costa Rica quickly became Detours’ second destination and to anyone who has been it’s easy to see why!  If you haven’t been, it’ll only take the first monkey jumping out of the tree beside you, the first cascading waterfall you shower under, or the first sip of wine while soaking in a hot springs pool in the jungle before you’ll learn for yourself.  The natural beauty of Costa Rica cannot be missed, and that’s why we love to immerse ourselves in it.  Our private villa has the luxuries of a private chef to keep us fed, our volcano-side bungalows feed that adventure craving, and our cliff-side oceanview rooms give us the vistas that keep us from ever putting our cameras away.

As our third destination, Greece had a lot to live up to when we launched our inaugural trip in June of 2014 and it has not disappointed.  Where else can you start a trip with ruins of past civilizations, follow that by spending 3 days exploring a stunning island on a private ATV, then sail around the caldera of an extinct volcano at sunset, and finally head over to the gay Mecca of Mykonos for the jet-setting life of a famously gay island as the cherry on the top of the trip?

The thing about our fourth addition to Detours that really blows us away is the diversity of Peru!  Of course Machu Picchu is iconic Peru and is an unforgettable sight to behold.  But Peru definitely doesn’t start and end with Machu Picchu.  Our travelers are always surprised when we go out on a boat to check out penguins in the Ballestas Islands, or when we jump in buggies to climb giant sand dunes for a landscape that takes our breath away.  The food, diversity, unique culture, and jaw-dropping views all contribute to our love of Peru.

Spain is the latest addition to our roster, and is patiently waiting until 2016 to start proving itself to our travelers.  It already hooked us long ago with both Dan and I both spending lots of time all over the country continually finding new ways to love it.  To the horror of my family at home, I keep telling people that I could live here, but how could you not want to live here?!  Our trip stops in the province of Andalucia show off traditional Spain with fortresses, flamenco dancing, and bull fighting, while our stops in Catalonia give us the “siestas and fiestas” coastal atmosphere that it’s famous for.

Whichever destination you’re joining us on next, we are excited to introduce you to these places we love and have no doubt you’ll fall in love with them too.

A New Member Of Our Detours Family

Quite understandably, we receive a lot of interest in becoming a Detours trip leader – or GAL (Global Adventure Leader) as we affectionately call them.  And with the job description it’s easy to understand why!  Who wouldn’t want to be flown to exotic countries tasked with the job of making sure a bunch of guys from around the world have an amazing trip together in paradise?!  Make a bunch of new friends, show them your favorite local sites, introduce them to your local friends, find the best restaurants, the best views, and the little things that’ll put those long lasting smiles on everyone’s faces.  It’s understandable why there is so much passion that comes with this job!

It’s a desirable job, and one that we hire for relatively rarely.  We painstakingly search for the perfect people who are the jack-of-all-trades and the type of people who our Detours travelers will come to call close friends, not just at the end of their trip together, but within minute of meeting.  The type of people who can be a genuine friend to all, a photographer, a storyteller, a problem-solver, an eternal optimist, a passionate explorer, a trusted guide, and a dependable maestro of a diverse group of people in a foreign land.  While it is a desirable position for many people, it takes a very special person to effectively navigate all of these points.

This is why this week’s announcement of a new trip leader joining our Detours family is a big deal!  We are very excited to welcome James to our family and are already completely confident that he will continue providing our travelers with the high level of service that they have come to expect from our family.
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James’ recent story is one that some people will no doubt envy.  While it took guts to leave his corporate job in Toronto, and set off following a dream and a passion through South America, he’ll tell you it is one of the best decisions of his life.  He is a true traveler at heart and is genuinely excited by the people and places he has the opportunity to experience on the road.

He joins Dan who has been leading trips with Detours since early 2014 and quickly made lifelong friends with many of our travelers during his trips in Greece, Costa Rica, and Peru.  Dan has proven to be “that guy” that will backflip off a boat, get giddy when pointing out penguins (he’s a zoologist too), and introduce you to the many local people he meets along his travels.

And last but certainly not least, Shane is our Thailand guy with the infectious smile that never quits, and the determination to make sure nobody runs out of whatever they need to keep them having a blast!  He’s a true adventurer and the type of guy that craves being outdoors surrounded by people, or his little beagle if he’s adventuring close to home.

Whether your upcoming trip is being led by James, Dan, Shane (or me!), all of our trip leaders have that true essence of all that we, and our travelers, look for in a trip leader.  If you’ve met them already you already know what I mean, and if you have yet to be on an adventure, you’ll soon find out.  Learn more about our team here.

Getting Our Green On

It’s an uncomfortable truth. Travel, the very thing that is helping to educate, advance civilizations, and bring the world together, is also a force in harming it with landfill waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and over-development. It got us thinking about how we as an international tour operator can counteract the impact of our travels on the places that we love so much. Recently we decided to take action on some projects that we feel will assist in relieving the pressure of tourism on our gorgeous green earth.
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PLASTIC BOTTLES
Consider a 15-person DETOURS trip in one of our several destinations with undrinkable tap water. Each person will inevitably purchase at least 3 bottles of drinking water per day. Factor that into a 12 day trip and the surprising truth is that each group will power through 540 plastic bottles of water per trip! From now on, all DETOURS travelers will receive a stainless steel, recyclable, BPA-free (and stylish-we think!) bottle, and every group will be equipped with a state-of-the-art SteriPEN which is scientifically proven to make any bottle of water drinkable in 48 seconds. This eliminates the need for any plastic bottles on our trips and we forecast over 5000 plastic bottles saved from landfills in the next 12 months alone.

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FORESTS
Trees are nature’s air purifiers, sucking harmful greenhouse gas emissions out of the air. More trees equals cleaner air, and we like the sound of that! That’s why, through Community Forests International, we now fund the planting of a new tree for every DETOURS traveler. We’ll keep the DETOURS forests in Canada and Africa growing with each trip registration on any of our trips.
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WASTE-FREE WORKING
We like to think we’ve always run quite a “green” office up here in Canada and we’re continuing that trend in as many aspects of our office as possible. We’ve done away with the need to print out any papers to join a DETOURS trip. Digitally sign your trip’s legal documents online, and flip through our trip brochure online… no paper, no waste. Our physical office in Canada not only regularly recycles the small amount of paper and plastic we see, but we even compost our lunch leftovers!