Charlie Strader is the founder and president of Explorations, Inc. His degree in Bachelor's Degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida and his many travel experiences led him to the position of general manager of a speciality travel company in the 1980’s. In 1992, he formed Explorations to better focus on client services and life goals. You may contact him using Skype at “charliestrader”.
Charlie is a believer in the philosophy of "Think globally, Act locally". As such, he has held leadership positions (President/Director/Treasurer) for many years in the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society, the Bonita Springs Historical Society, and Conservation Bonita. He has also been involved in many local environmental and preservation issues. His travel philosophy is embodied in the words of the poet, Samuel Rogers: "Now travel, and foreign travel more particularly, restores to us in a great degree what we have lost. At every step the slightest circumstance amuses and interests. All is new and strange. We surrender ourselves and feel once again as children.”
We believe that our trips help provide much needed income to peoples struggling in remote places and that such tourism also promotes preservation of natural resources and cultural traditions that may otherwise be lost under the pressures of the modern world. The best souvenirs are memories, but besides photos, we hope people will also bring back locally made crafts. The guides will help identify any materials from endangered species to be avoided.
We are committed to providing quality adventure travel experiences and excellent personal service. By means of informal education and well paced travel, our goal is to facilitate a better understanding of the natural world and of cultures past and present.
Explorations of distant places not only teaches us more about different cultures, we may also learn more about ourselves. As expressed by John Steinbeck in his travelogue, Travels with Charley: "Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put into process; a new factor takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. [...] We find ... that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."
The business philosophy of Explorations is simple - it is to offer quality travel services at a fair price.
Because we honestly care about customer service and client satisfaction, we do not strive to be the “cheapest” tour operator to our destinations. On the other hand, because of the type of marketing we do and long-term, international business relationships, you will find we are far from the most expensive tour provider.
We consider ourselves more than just a booking agent, we are a travel consultant and act as an advocate for you. Our goal is to ensure that you have a smooth and quality trip experience.
Our area of travel expertise is comprehensive tours to select destinations for individuals, couples, and groups. We do not attempt to provide travel throughout the world, rather focus on specific areas for which we can provide first-hand knowledge. Being the largest tour operator is not in our goals, rather we focus on being the best in what we do.
Our most popular tours have been to Peru, (mostly for the Amazon and Cuzco area), Cuba, Costa Rica, and throughout the Maya World in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. We also organize group travel to Panama and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.
Most of our tour itineraries highlight both the natural world and local cultures. For private groups (organizations, schools, alumni travel, and other affinity group trips), we tailor itineraries to suit particular interests, with travel specializing in ornithology, botany, anthropology, archaeology, photography, culinary, adventure, sports, volunteerism, ecology, sustainability, educational curriculums, research field schools, service learning, etc.
Some of the features and aspects that make our explorations such a great travel value include:
• Knowledgeable and professional guides!
• Well-paced and in-depth tour itineraries!
• "Off the beaten path" discoveries and cultural interactions!
• Small group size and opportunities for personal exploration and reflection!
• Great prices with no hidden costs!
• A strong focus on environmental and cultural education!
• High level of personal service and client satisfaction!
• Concern for local people and the environment with a portion of proceeds returning to areas visited!
We pride ourselves on providing you with excellent personal service, including accurate travel information to help you decide if a trip is right for you. We hope you can participate in one of our fun and educational adventures!