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Exhibitor in Focus: HighLives Travel

How did your company start out?

Bibiana Tellez-Garside, founder of HighLives Travel: My first solo travel adventure was in the mid 90’s on an exchange programme to Australia, having lived in Bolivia all my life and had only once visited the US as a teenager. My experience away from home for a year was an eye opener, not only to the reality of how Bolivia was seen by the world but also to see how enriching it was to learn about new cultures. After my year abroad, I worked in Bolivia as a tour leader while studying at university, and soon after graduating I worked for various travel companies promoting Bolivia as a travel destination and welcoming visitors to the country, and later travelled extensively throughout Latin America.
After several years working in financial publishing in London I quit to found HighLives Travel in 2009 with the aim of returning to my passion for helping people to visit Latin America.  Now in its seventh year, I’m proud to say that HighLives has established itself in helping our customers experience the real Latin America, follow their passions and return with lifelong memories. 

Our team has grown and now includes Rose, who has worked in the travel industry for 20 years, part of which was spent living in Patagonia; Elfie, who has a particular passion for ethical and sustainable travel and has journeyed extensively throughout Latin America; and Ben, who is a frequent visitor to South America and uses his experience to develop new and exciting tours for HighLives.

What tours do you offer?

We are Latin America specialists and we use our local knowledge, contacts and expertise to develop unique tours that offer true insight into the customer’s chosen country - its culture, communities and natural world.
Our tours are completely bespoke and we make sure that customers get the most for their money by providing all the little extras that make a huge difference to their holiday.
We offer tailor made tours to anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean and we also offer high-end small group tours to off the beaten track locations.

What makes your company unique?

We have in-depth local know-how as our experienced team, led by Bolivian-born founder Bibiana Tellez-Garside, have travelled extensively to every destination we offer.
On our tours you will be accompanied by knowledgeable local guides and will be offered private transport with trusted drivers. We look beyond impersonal hotels and focus on private, high-end, smaller accommodations with character and charm. We can provide full assistance with flights and all customers are assigned a dedicated member of staff in the UK to oversee all correspondence and issues. 

What new countries and itineraries will you be offering in 2016?
This year, HighLives Travel are adding the brand new destinations of Costa Rica, Cuba and Guyana to our portfolio of tailor made products, having experienced increasing demand for these destinations throughout 2015. We have developed five new Costa Rica tours, three new Cuba tours and a specialist tour of Guyana. All our tours focus on giving customers an adventurous experience and getting off the usual tourist trail.

Our brand new itineraries include:

Secrets of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Rejuvenation
Costa Rica Family Wildlife Holiday
Explore Cuba
Uncharted Guyana
Bespoke Brazil Honeymoon
Patagonia and the End of the World
Rio to Santiago: Vineyards, Mountains and Waterfalls

Recommend an incredible place to stay.

El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is an inspired natural immersion retreat in the charming highlands of Costa Rica's central volcanic range and one of our favourite accommodation options in Costa Rica. Featuring emerald landscapes & waterfalls, farm-to-table cuisine, a luxurious spa, and an exhilarating eco-adventure park, it showcases the diversity of Costa Rica’s cloud forest mountains. Located just 90 minutes away from the San José International Airport (SJO), El Silencio is perfect for dream honeymoons, weddings, family holidays, and wellness holidays. It offers a unique setting that lets you fully reconnect with nature and experience a sense of ultimate tranquillity.

To find out more about HighLives Travel, visit their website here, or meet them at Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show on stand AC35.