August 24, 2016

Asha & Shahed, California

GeoTours Southern Africa – 2016

This is the fifth trip we have taken with Sophie, Suzan and Matt Ebiner.  All have been singularly enjoyable.  The specifics that I note below are really applicable to all the trips that we have taken with them.

  1. Repeat customers:  It is a testimony to Matt’s thoughtful work that there are so many repeat customers in his group.  On this trip there was only one “first timer” and half-way through the trip I asked him if this was his first time with Matt.  His response, “Yes, and it won’t be the last”.
  2. Group harmony:  We have been on trips with as many as 25+ to as few as 10-.  In all cases, the group gels together, people are mindful of each other, on time, sharing and caring.  Mishaps (rare, but yes, they happen) like lost luggage are cheerfully accommodated.
  3. Pace balance:  It is surprising that Matt manages to balance the needs of high energy as well as sedate/contented participants.  People have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy or throw themselves fully into activity.  Participants don’t feel constrained, pushed or rushed.
  4. Special needs:  Matt has been very mindful of our dietary needs (vegetarian) and thoughtful in many other ways.
  5. Itinerary balance:  Natural (desert, dunes, rocks, coastline, wildlfie, rivers, waterfalls), historic, local and cultural features are nicely balanced with an adequate dose of shopping and culinary opportunities.
  6. Cost balance:  All I can say is that his overhead must be zero.  It is always clear on what is included and what is extra.  There is no bait.  Everything is up front on costs and on the itinerary.
  7. Local guides:  Matt has good relationships with local guides, drivers and like his tour participants, many of them are also “repeat providers”.  This makes for a pleasant experience for his participants.

This was our fifth and NOT our last trip with Sophie/Suzan/Matt.

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August 20, 2015

Renee Wright – Hermosa Beach, California

GeoTours Ecuador – 2015

i really enjoyed the trip.  i loved loved loved ecuador.  i loved the people.. i loved the colors, the food.. the mountains.. i could go on and on.  i loved the accommodations in ecuador. they were convenient and had local flair.  my favorite was the ranch.. those quarters were just lovely.. the food was great and the views wonderful.

i loved your organization.. i loved the field trips you organized… you did a great job.

you  can be sure that i will travel with you again. you really are just the kind of organizer that i like.


 

March 28, 2015

Song Seto – Los Angeles, California

GeoTours Guatemala – 2015

GeoTours Guatemala 2015 was one of my best trips.  The people on this trip were equally amazing and respectful – we all got along really well.

The trip from beginning to end was well organized, no single day was the same – it was a mix of adventure and my motive for traveling to Guatemala was for one reason…to eat. There’s so much good food here and I’ve just scratched the surface. Buen Apetito!

GeoTours Guatemala was both beautiful and affordable – the value proposition of this trip was unbelievable. During the 9-days, I felt we had covered a lot of ground in this fairly sizable country and the time of year to visit weather-wise was a perfect match – the hotels we stayed at were superb. The 2nd night waking up to a sensational view on Lake Atitlan was a natural wonder. To the day trip to Tikal – to catch the sky turn into sherbert and hear the howler monkeys go bananas! Highly recommended, I would go again!


March 27, 2015

Rudy Berru – Venice, California

GeoTours Guatemala – 2015

Guatemala was my third trip with GeoTours, and as with previous trips I was not disappointed.  This tour covered much of the country, including Tikal, the highlight for me.  There was plenty of activity from kayaking to rappelling, hiking, and zip-lining.  The food in Guatemala was great and the people in the group were all enjoyable.   There were unexpected adventures with Matt making on-the-spot decisions, such as arranging a pick-up truck taxi and going into Mexico City by metro during a long layover on the way home.   As usual GeoTours offered a great itinerary.  I’m looking forward to my next GeoTours trip.


November 5, 2014

S.M. Shahed – Palos Verdes, California

GeoTours Morocco – 2014

We have been to three trips with Matt, Susan and yes Sophie too.  We are already signed for a fourth.  In all cases we could spend time describing the charms of Peru, the fresh clean beauty of Iceland or the uniquely lively bazars of Morocco.  But that would be missing the point.  The main point is that all the trips are very thoughtfully and carefully arranged.  The amount of background work that Matt and Susan must have to do to make these trips as smooth and enjoyable as they are must really be something.  These are not “cookie cutter” tours.  There is always a healthy dose of local cultural exposure.

In an earlier comment I had written about how Matt works hard to have “no surprises”, how the itinerary is comfortable in amenities and pace but (thankfully) not five star sterilized, how the group gels together, how we all get a healthy exposure to local cultural practices and features.  All very enjoyable.  I want to add a new feature …

The local guides must have been carefully chosen … I was amazed when in Morocco, I lost my passport wallet in the tour bus (I did not know that I had dropped it there).  The bus crew did not even open it for fear of violating privacy.  When Matt called (all cell phones handy all the time) to try to ask if they had found something in the bus, they searched, found it and delivered it within two hours.  Such reliable local service does not come easy.


November 3, 2014

Torie Chavez – Gardena, California

GeoTours Morocco – 2014

The Morocco trip was beyond amazing.  The itinerary was incredible, the pace perfect, the accommodations awesome, and your expert guidance excellent! It was such an exotic trip and exceeded all my expectations. I’ve been traveling with Geotours since the beginning and will continue to do so.  Every trip, to every location I can count on being an extraordinary experience, and excellently executed. I love so many things about traveling with Geotours, but I think my  favorite thing about traveling with Geotours is the enthusiasm and passion that Matt and Suzan have about traveling and their generosity in sharing that with those of us lucky enough to be on a trip with them. I am forever grateful for the  cultures I’ve been exposed to, the camaraderie of the people I’ve travelled with, the jaw dropping sights I’ve seen, the experiences such as riding a camel in the Sahara amongst others, and the memories created.  A million thanks to Geotours for being such an excellent company and like no other. I look forward to all the future trips I know I will take.


April 10, 2014

Ruth Martin del Campo – Culver City, CA

GeoTours Ireland 2012

Ireland – my favorite trip so far! Everything was great!! Great itinerary, fun group, best bus driver, comfy B&Bs!! Ireland is beautiful, people are friendly, and food is DELICIOUS!! Thanks Matt for such a great trip, Susan for recommending such awesome pubs and yummy restaurants and Sophia for making us smile with your songs and witty comments. Looking forward to more trips with you!


April 2, 2014

Ana Saavedra – Canyon Country, CA

GeoTours Costa Rica 2014

Costa Rica 2014 was amazing!  We visited great places, hotels were very nice, loved everything about this trip including the group.  Thanks GeoTours for an unforgettable trip.


September 1, 2013

Andy Ott – Rolling Hills Estates, CA

GeoTours Kenya-Tanzania 2012

East Africa trip was amazing. The combination of local tour guides and Matt’s knowledge of cultural geography and Geology is an incredible combination for ALL his trips. Not only was the animal viewing spectacular but the cultural experiences with the locals were truly exceptional. Thank you Matt and Suzan!


August 24, 2013

John Keyantash – Long Beach, CA

GeoTours Iceland 2013

The Iceland trip was a home run. Superb itinerary (the waterfalls and glaciers were epic!) and just the right duration. After this trip I feel like I really understand what this magical country is all about. My mind will think back on the sights and experiences of this trip for the rest of this year.


August 24, 2013

S.M. Shahed – Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

GeoTours Peru 2013

We (my wife and I) have been on two tours with Sophie, Susan and Matt. Peru and Iceland. I can sing lyrical praises about the tours, but I thought I would take the time and write an assessment that will help you make decisions about your own vacation plans …

The Balance: Great balance between group time and personal time. Allows everyone to pace things to their own capability/interests. Great balance between comfort and cost … no five star hotels … which also means reasonable costs and good chance to exposure to things other than indistinguishable chain restaurants, hotels and the like.

The Plan: Well thought out itinerary seeking out the well-traveled and the not so well traveled but perhaps even more valuable spots. This is because Matt has taken the time to research, previsit, make the right contacts, make the right assessments about costs … and much more. He always offered options within his planned itinerary. We felt guided, not herded.

The Information: Matt bends over backwards to make sure that there are no surprises. This is what it is likely to cost, this is what the weather is likely to be, here are the do’s and don’ts, how and what to tip, what is included in the tour cost and what is not, this is how long it is likely to take, laundry opportunities, shopping opportunities, ATMs, banks … major itinerary as well as mundane necessities. Daily updates on what we are going to do, what to expect.

The Flexibility: Within overall constraints, making the best use of sunshine, listening to the local folks who know and sharing that information with us … just wonderful.

The Group: It is amazing how nicely the group gelled together both times with not just respect for each other but with genuine caring. I think that it has to do with the fact that the formation of the group is “self-selecting”. Word of mouth, by people who have traveled with Matt, sharing their pleasant experience … gathers together people seeking same kinds of experience as well as displaying/sharing the same kinds of attitudes. This is not a corporation which advertises world-wide and seeks to maximize sales. This made our traveling experience pleasant and personal and it gave us new friends. The size of the group also is great and should be mentioned as a part of the “balance” that Matt is able to strike.

The Caring: Making sure that no one falls behind or gets lost. Trying to get all individual needs are met (our vegetarianism, for instance), helpful suggestions many individualized.


August 15, 2013

Steve Boesen – Copenhagen, Denmark

GeoTours Iceland 2013

Wow, what an amazing trip to Iceland!!!  Thank you Matt and the Ebiner family for putting on a stunning tour!


August 10, 2013

Emily Marshall – Bellevue, Washington

GeoTours Peru 2013

Thank you for a fabulous trip to Peru!  Really enjoyed the itinerary you put together, the people and the amazing adventures we had.


July 24, 2013

Geeta Gupta – Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

GeoTours Peru 2013

One of the best tours I have taken. Matt is an incredible tour leader – flexible, always smiling, positive, helpful, and informative but not “in-your-face” intrusive.