Hear From Previous Travelers

Accolades and Previous Groups…

Woo-hoo! Praise and appreciation for Behind the Scenes tours and tour leaders!

I want to tell you how very much I enjoyed our great trip to Bolivia and Peru, and it is all thanks to your superb contacts and organization. The trip met my wildest expectations – beyond how positive I thought it would be. I cherish my memories and know they will grow as time goes on. It was a joy traveling with you. Your great positive attitude and laid-back but still alert manner kept the trip relaxed and at the same time, moving right along… I would highly recommend this trip and others you lead to anyone.

J.H. – Pennsylvania

The 2018 Ghana trip was truly excellent and if I could, I would repeat it in exactly the same way. Very good selection of places to visit, excellent local guides, and it was great to have the opportunity to meet local artists and craftsmen plus a couple of 'hands-on' workshops. I enjoyed it very much and I learned a lot of new things! I give the tour 10/10, and I really cannot think of any criticism or suggestions for improvement.

Maria F. – Australia

I swear that Cynthia knows everybody in Cusco – from fabulous hoteliers, to wonderful restaurateurs, to doctors and taxi drivers–not forgetting jewelry and yarn shops (a kilo and half of alpaca for $30, anybody?)… With Nilda and Cynthia, our group visited four villages, each of which does a unique variation of traditional weaving and knitting. And yeah, Machu Picchu was wonderful, but it’s the villages and the people that I’ll never forget, and that I never would have experienced with your everyday, garden-variety tour.

Roxanne M.

Cynthia, I want to thank you for a fabulous trip! Turkey has got under my skin; I fell in love with the country and can’t stop thinking about it. It really was a tour of a lifetime. I loved the whole thing, especially the kindness and generosity of the Turkish people and hotels we stayed in, which were truly special. I am organizing my photos – a big job – and savoring the memories. I found a Middle Eastern market and am cooking some Turkish food but can’t find enough variety of olives. I was very inspired by the wonderful people everywhere we went. Thanks for putting together a fabulous trip!

Celeste N. – New Mexico

Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip. It was fantastic. I just got home from Peru last night and I’m just brimming with happiness over the whole thing. My mom and I had a wonderful time. You do an amazing job, and you make it seem like you’re just traveling along with us, though I clearly see how much planning is involved on your part. Thank you!

MaryJane M MJ. Mucklestone – Maine

It was the trip of a lifetime, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the effort and energy you put into each and every day we were in Peru. My expectations for the tour were sky-high, and they were exceeded by at least 100%. I'm planning to do it again, and am working on getting some other people to come with me. My llama baby is growing like a weed…

Susan W. – Ontario, Canada

Cynthia and Claudia of Behind the Scenes Adventures were leading the tour, and couldn’t have been more helpful. The whole experience has left me wanting more! – Throughout our trip we were housed well, dined well, and informed well of the history and the many places and their cultures.  I had a wonderful time and learnt so much about the cultures! Thank you, Cynthia and Claudia.

Zoreh W. – California

Because of Cynthia’s personal knowledge of Peru and Bolivia and their people, everywhere we went she was greeted as an old and best friend and consequently, so were we… Cynthia’s warm personality, friendliness, and most of all, her sense of humor, made us all feel welcome and an important part of the group. There wasn’t a meal without laughter! As a member of our small, intimate group I felt as if I had rubbed elbows with the “real” people of Peru and Bolivia and to me, that’s what adventure is all about. Many thanks, dear Cynthia, for a true adventure.”

Myra F. – Washington

The Samakes’ “behind-the-scenes” adventures are perfect for meeting the people and for experiencing the realities of another country first-hand. Cynthia is a joy to travel with. She plans well in advance to see/visit points of your interest but remains flexible enough to change en route should some unexpected “must-see” event arise. She is fun to be with and skilled enough to make all things work out well. Barou is an invaluable source of knowledge, customs and language in these “near home” countries. Additionally, Barou’s family and friend connections, insight and general sense of adventure make touring with them a pleasure. These two trips are among the most memorable we have undertaken.  

J. & B. Roth – California

My trip to Mali has taken some time to process; I know this because a day hasn’t passed when my thoughts haven’t turned to some aspect of the trip or sensation of the experience. From the complex and fascinating music, to the elegance of the women and men in their traditional clothing (while most of the village children were unkempt little waifs), to the stunning and sculpturally pleasing adobe architecture, to the wonderful variety of bazin, indigo, bogolan and celebration cloth, and to the many other crafts created with such skill and passion, the country is obviously a hothouse for creative energies. Thanks to all of you for making this adventure such a pleasant experience and companionable trip.

Diane G. – Ontario, Canada

You may have heard us praise the tours we've taken with Cynthia. We have been with her to Oaxaca, Mali, and Bolivia. Cynthia is an exceptional group leader, loads of fun, charming, and knowledgeable. There are several differences with Cynthia's tours from traveling with a large tour organization. Lodging is normally in locally owned/operated places, often modest, even small B&Bs. Cynthia chooses the restaurant, and you may order whatever you like from the menu – unless you're at a friend's home or enjoying a picnic lunch in the countryside. She has a planned itinerary, but she is quite flexible and very willing to take advantage of spur of the moment opportunities. If you are flexible, and you can laugh at inconveniences and enjoy indulgences, you'll love her trips. You will meet, visit, and often dine with prominent artisans. Her friends and contacts in the places we visited were extensive and exceptional. We have developed an interest in textiles (even Dave!) and we love the festivals.

Joyce and Dave C. – Southern CA

79 Tour Groups and Counting

Over the past 25 years, we have had the privilege of taking 79 groups of adventurous travelers all across the globe. While it would take a lot of space to show you all those groups, we want you to see what our small tour groups look like. Travelers from 18 to 85 have joined Behind the Scenes Adventures tours and at this point, over half have joined up for multiple tours. They often mention the ‘behind the scenes” activities, the personalized experiences of meeting local folks, the amazing guides and drivers, and the hands-on workshops as reasons to join a second or third time around.

We feel very lucky to have met so many wonderful people!
If you can picture yourself traveling with one of our groups, we would love
to have you join us.