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Mark Beken

Mark Beken Andes Sml

Having explored Latin America for more than three decades, Mark has a deep knowledge of and limitless passion for the continent’s wild places and is a staunch defender of its natural resources and indigenous communities.

After an Oxford education in Classics and a subsequent career in London book publishing, he has for the last twenty years designed innovative experiences for high net-worth individuals at some of the UK’s leading luxury travel companies.

In his travels, he has successfully traversed the Bolivian Amazon, climbed remote Andean peaks and travelled to places in South America so little explored that he has had the privilege of naming them. A keen photographer, his love for the natural world has seen him swim with giant otters in Guyana, help catalogue orchids in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil and track orcas in the Galapagos. 

Mark has always sought to break with the standard travel narrative, whether that means searching out the rare and overlooked, or finding new and inspiring ways to enhance a client’s experience. It is his passion for defending South America’s vanishing ecosystems and traditions, and his constant quest to make travel better, that led him to join The Explorations Company.

Mark's Personal Favourites

Foraging for wild morel mushrooms in the wilds of Patagonia while condors wheel overhead (and then cooking and eating them afterwards); swimming with one of the local giant river otters at Karanambu Ranch in Guyana; Rosalia Chay’s cochinita pibil at her home in Yaxuna in the Yucatan; venturing far from the beaten path to explore the vast and remote landscapes of the Bolivian altiplano; heading out with Lucas from Fazenda Barranco Alto to search for jaguars, tapirs and giant anteaters in the Pantanal; skiing through the moss-festooned forests of Chillan Volcano; snorkelling among inquisitive sea lions and marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands; the views from your breakfast table over Lake Atitlan at Casa Palopo; VIP seats for the Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama derby at the Maracana Stadium; exploring the Purepecha culture of Patzcuaro with Didier from Real de La Aduana; the first view of snow-capped Salcantay on the trek from Mollepata to Soray in Peru; being on the lookout for agami herons while silently paddling through the wetlands at Lamanai Lodge; great conversation, food and singing old gaucho songs at Estancia Los Patos in the Argentine pampas; driving past little known Inca ruins and plunging through thick cloudforest on the extraordinary road from Sorata to Guanay in Bolivia; feasting on raw clams and red wine with the captain and crew of a fishing boat on Chiloe Island; searching out rare orchids in the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil; climbing the great northern acropolis at Yaxha for a sundowner and a view across jungles, lakes and temples.


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Explore with The Explorations Company

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Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...

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