A note from your tour director

Welcome, and thanks for giving us a closer look! Here at Detour, I’m trying to do something special. I’ve thought a lot about how to make your trip more authentic and memorable. You can expect a Detour to be…

A Kuna woman in a hammock sewing a mola

Molas are a distinctive handicraft sewn from layers of colorful fabric. They’re an iconic symbol of Panamanian culture. Authentic molas are produced by the Kuna Indians, though there are mass-produced knockoffs that don’t look nearly as good.

Intimate

A Detour is all about people – you and the people I surround you with. The groups are small enough that you’ll have my attention. If there’s a big hotel with lots of busy staff and a small B&B run by somebody cool, we’ll be at the B&B. If it’s a big tourist attraction versus something more personal, maybe off the beaten path, we go for the more personal. I’m choosy with our drivers and local guides, too. And Detour travelers tend to be engaging people with active heads and hearts! So you know you’ll always be in good company.

Fascinating

I’m committed to sharing the local culture with you as authentically as possible. Detour’s small groups can visit places and do things that bigger groups can’t. You’ll benefit from my network of local family and friends, who tip me off about available experiences or help me create them. I’m also happy for you to explore some on your own and just call on me for backup if needed. Last but not least, I try to build our itineraries around local events or festivals, when you can enjoy the destination at its very best.

Smooth

When you’re traveling abroad, you want to make the most of it. That can be challenging in an unfamiliar place, and of course it’s even harder if you don’t speak the language. For our tour activities, I take care of all the planning and coordination. I minimize your transportation time for all group activities.  I’m happy to help you make arrangements for any solo activities. And when you’re on your own, you’ll have a cell you can use to reach me in a pinch. So you get to stress less and experience more.

Showcase of Argentinian empanadas

Delicious empanadas and tartas (vegetable pies) are standard fare in Buenos Aires. When I took this picture, we were on the way to the Tango Queer Festival and needed something we could eat on the go.

Sensual

No, not that kind of sensual! Sensual means I look for the ways you can best experience the richest sights, sounds, and tastes of the area. Maybe that’s a hands-on cooking class, a picnic on the beach, or a fun performance. And I take particular care with the places you’ll eat. Wherever we go, I’ve already sampled the food. If a restaurant was forgettable, I won’t spend your time on it. If the food disagreed with my gringo digestion, I’ll spare you that unforgettable sensory experience. But when I find something good enough to remember – that’s where you’re going.

Principled

It’s important where your money goes after it leaves your hands. I’m a stand up guy, and this is a stand up company. I do right by people. I pay decently and leave decent tips. I’m considerate of the people/places we visit. I’m up front with you about what to expect. I give business to others who share similar values. And so on. I also donate a share of Detour’s proceeds to some amazing nonprofits who make the world a better place. So in all things, you know I’ll be looking out not just for myself, but for you and everyone else as well.

You can learn more about what I’m trying to do from the FAQ. If all this sounds good to you, you’re probably my kind of tour-goer! I hope to see you on an upcoming trip.

Yours,

Matt with Sabrita's smiley sun mascot

Sabritas is Frito-Lay’s Mexican brand. My friends Rafa, Miguel and I ran into him in one of Guadalajara’s central plazas. They made me take a picture with him. In the background, you can see the huge screen erected so pedestrians could watch the World Cup matches.

Matt Smith
Founder & Tour Director