Praise for Wilderness Travel

By MJ Welchner
This item appears on page 26 of the February 2019 issue.

Over the years, I have traveled to more than 100 countries. In 2018, I decided to visit Bolivia and Lake Titicaca for the first time. I chose to go with Wilderness Travel (Berkeley, CA; 800/368-2794,

I had known of the company for years, but, not being a hiker, I had never used them. This was not a trek but a tour, "Bolivia!," Aug. 30-Sept. 12, 2018, and Wilderness Travel's was the most interesting one I found.

I paid $5,995 plus a single supplement of $690. The price included internal air, 12 nights at hotels and estancias and all meals except one lunch and two dinners. (It did not include the optional night out on the salt flats.)

Having been to the Tibetan plateau some years back and Bogotá fairly recently, I figured I could handle the 12,000- to 13,000-foot-high Altiplano and then the national park at 15,000-17,000 feet. As it turned out, that wasn't true.

I had very bad asthma almost from the start of the high altitudes, but I continued on for some great lifetime experiences, including a gritty, down-to-earth tour of a working silver mine in Potosí and seeing the Milky Way from Salar de Uyuni (the great salt flats) at 12,000-13,000 feet.

When it came time to go to the national park, however, the tour leader and I agreed that I would be best off going back to La Paz, rejoining the group a few days later.

I didn't have trip insurance, so they were clear with me that I'd be responsible for the hotel and my meals until I rejoined the group. I figured there would be several other expenses for me to cover as well, but I knew this was the right decision.

Now I'll get to the real purpose of writing this note. Wilderness Travel went above and beyond any expectations I had in their handling of this sudden change. They got me a reduced rate at the hotel, provided super-convenient airport transportation and saw to it that I was OK. After three nights, I rejoined the other eight group members and went with them to Lake Titicaca.

I can only say the very best about Wilderness Travel and the tour leader, Kevin Floerke. I'm happy I went on this adventure, and I would certainly travel with them again… but not above 10,000 feet.

I just wanted to share what a class company this is.

Hartville, OH