Condé Nast Traveler Winners – Again! What Sets Knowmad Apart

top travel specialists

Jordan Harvey (with specialities in Chile and Argentina) and Renee Davies (with specialities in Ecuador & The Galapagos and Peru) have earned spots on the Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist 2021 list for the 7th and 2nd year running, respectively. It’s the perfect time to collaborate with our award-winning specialists to create the trip you’ve been dreaming about. Catch up with Jordan and Renee and find out what sets Knowmad apart.

What sets Knowmad Apart

Knowmad Adventures Top Travel Specialists

Jordan and Renee caught up with Condé Nast Traveler to talk all things South America travel. They share what sets them apart, a 2020 victory, and one of their all time favorite experiences.


Cn Traveler: What sets your offerings apart from those of other travel specialists?

JORDAN: We create unique, one-of-a-kind trips for today’s active discerning traveler. Each travel experience that we build is based on the same three principles: cultural sustainability (facilitating positive and beneficial cross-cultural exchange), active travel (encouraging travelers to keep an open mind and to actively experience their environment) and authenticity (giving people a real and accurate view of life in another country in contrast to a bus tour or a ‘cultural show’).

At the end of the day, we simply know our destinations so deeply and get to know our travelers, so we’re pairing them with experiences from a deep well of options.

RENEE: [Take the Galápagos & Ecuador for example], because of my unique knowledge of the region and my strong relationships, I can do true 100% private and custom travel in the Galápagos & Ecuador. While a generalist may just sell a 7-night/8-day cruise on their favorite luxury vessel to any traveler that comes looking for a Galápagos trip, I know that this is not the best fit for every individual travel style. My ability to listen and get to know each traveler, paired with my unique in-depth knowledge of all of the visitor sites in the Galápagos that form the countless cruise itineraries, the dozens of different vessels from 12-100 passengers, as well as the sites best done by cruise versus land and how to combine the two, mean I can truly craft the best unique itinerary to each traveler. This simply is not possible without that in-depth knowledge of the islands, so other specialists just fall back on selling the same experience to every traveler.

Head to our main Trip Ideas page to learn more about Knowmad’s custom trip planning process. 


Cn Traveler: Let’s talk small 2020 victories, What did you pull off this year that you’re proud of?

RENEE: I had some loyal travelers of ours traveling to the Galápagos in early 2020. These are not luxury travelers, so they were staying at more modest hotels in the Galápagos. They are active, like private and flexible experiences and so were doing a land-based trip.

Shortly before departing they had seen Galápagos Safari Camp, a luxury safari-style lodge in the Galápagos, advertised in our newsletter. Specifically, they saw a photo of their lovely observation deck. They emailed me to see if it was possible for them to have a meal there. Of course, Safari Camp is reserved only for their guests staying there. However, due to our close relationship with the owners, they agreed to make an exception and allow our travelers to come for a drink on the observation deck and dinner in their restaurant.

They also provided the transportation to/from their hotel to Safari Camp and were able to do so at a fairly low cost, that I was able to in turn provide dinner and transportation for this evening as a free gift from Knowmad to these loyal, past travelers of ours. This is a small victory, but it meant a lot to these travelers to get to experience dinner and drinks at this luxury lodge and it’s certainly not something they could have done on their own. Being able to do it simply as a free gift from Knowmad was the cherry on top.

See Renee’s profile and read the full interview on the Condé Nast Traveler website.

Cn Traveler: What is one of your all-time favorite experiences you’ve been able to pull off for guests?

JORDAN: We had a VIP family that due to time constraints had only one day in Ushuaia, but they got excited about everything you can do there. So, in the end we organized a day that involved a helicopter fly over of the Darwin Range, a private zodiac to a remote island to walk amongst the penguins when nobody else was there and a couple hours learning about king crab fishing while pulling pots and then having a fresh crab meal with the fishermen. They loved it and had a diverse Ushuaia experience in just a day before cruising the fjords over to Chile. This day is only possible with imagination, connections and logistical fortitude.

See Jordan’s profile and read the full interview on the Condé Nast Traveler website.


Hear from the Experts

Sit down with Knowmad’s award-winning travel experts and learn about Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, Peru, and Patagonia. They share recommendations, questions to consider when planning your own trip, and lessons from their own experiences.


Exploring Ecuador: Galapagos islands cruises & mainland travel

Renee covers everything from where to go in mainland Ecuador, how long to stay in each place, and how to pick between cruise or land based travel in the Galapagos as well as choosing the best cruise for you.


Machu Picchu & Beyond: Making the Most of Your Travels in Peru

Home to ancient civilizations, vast archaeological marvels in unbelievable settings, vibrant indigenous cultures, and natural wonders spanning from unspoiled Amazon rainforest to towering Andean peaks, Peru inspires awe at every turn.

Patagonia Unbridled: Journey Through Southern Chile & Argentina

Jaw-dropping images of the region’s incredible natural beauty from a variety of expeditions, and practical advice from Jordan on traveling through this vast area of wilderness and cultural intrigue.

The Trip Specialists at Knowmad will help you navigate itineraries, and seasonal differences, coordinating South America travel for a holistic, seamless and safe experience, all at a guaranteed best value. If you’re interested in crafting a custom trip to South America, reach out today at 612-315-2894 or [email protected]. 

Hasta Pronto, Knowmad Adventurers

Knowmad AdventuresKnowmad Adventures works closely with independent-minded travelers creating innovative trips to South America. Our specialists in Patagonia, ChileMachu Picchu, PeruArgentina, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Antarctica are eager to collaborate and create a trip as unique and authentic as you are, and our experienced South American operations team guarantees you get an insider’s perspective, superior values, and a flawlessly-operated trip.