A few kind words from our valued travelers:
"Vannetta Perry, a professional and enthusiastic tour guide. I was blessed to take a trip to Ghana, West Africa, planned and guided by Ms. Perry. Her in-depth planning and her knowledge about the area made for a great trip. She helped us to be aware of the local people and their culture, and she helped us understand environmental issues of the area. She was cognizant and quickly reactive to safety issues. She was sensitive to the needs of our group and quickly responded to those needs. She was tireless in her efforts to make our trip as comfortable and as perfect as possible. Because of her, my first trip to Ghana West Africa was a truly memorable and wonderful experience."
"Vanetta Perry is a wonderful tour guide. I was able to travel with her and a small group to Ghana in 2002. Vanetta made all the arrangements for us, housing, activities, meals, transportation, etc. Things ran very smoothly on our trip. The only arrangement we had to make was our flights and Vanetta even assisted with that.
Vanetta has an easy way of making your day brighter. Her smile, and laugh are contagious. She knows when to actively lead a group, and when to let the travelers explore on their own giving enough space for everyone to access the country and culture in ways that are meaningful to that traveler.
She has a large store of local knowledge and is a teacher at heart. While teaching us about the cultures in Ghana, Vanetta was able to enrich our knowledge without sounding like a bored teacher. Her enthusiasm for places she travels is contagious! She makes you want to spend time with the locals, getting to know the area from their point of view. She finds local guides who are expert at teaching about their cultures and sharing the beauty of their county with the travelers.
I look forward to being able to travel again with Vanetta."
"I've traveled to over 40 countries and was very fortunate to be able to book a private trip to the Yucatan and Cuba with Vannetta Perry and Soulful Traveling. Vannetta was extremely helpful in drawing out what type of experiences I wanted and offering suggestions and website links for me to research. From there we planned the itinerary together leaving room for flexibility, allowing time for spontaneous adventures along the way.
On the day of departure, I was greeted by Vannetta's cheery smile and zest for life. I knew it was going to be a fantastic journey. When going on such an adventure it's important to understand that not everything goes to plan 100% of the time and being okay with the ebb and flow. Yes, there were some flight delays, which just gave us more time to talk about the things to come. But the next morning we woke in Cancun to a sunny new day.
My first request was to meet a Tarot card reader for breakfast in Playa del Carmen before sailing to Cozumel. I figured it would be a fun way to start the summer, little did I realize how accurate she was going to be. I'd planned to spend a week in Cozumel to decompress and get into vacation mode. Here I spent most of my days wandering along the promenade, exploring markets, and relaxing. I met up with Vannetta again in the late afternoons where she showed me some of the local sites, restaurants, and even a hidden Karaoke bar.
Back to the mainland, we explored some of the more rural parts of the Yucatan. As I live on a farm in New Mexico, I was interested in learning more about sustainable living in the area. Vannetta arranged for us to spend a few nights at a local goat farm! I was introduced to cenotes, the system of underground lakes. I was fascinated with some of the architecture and farming practices that I was introduced to. We explored more cenotes and sustainable farms, as well as the ruins of Ek Balam. Plus the local tacos were amazing!
Then, it was off to Havana! As Vannetta has traveled to Cuba many times, she was extremely helpful in showing me how to buy and use Internet cards to call and send photos home to my family. She had several places that were on a "must-see your first time in Cuba" that were all worth every minute. We also had plenty of downtime meandering the old streets, popping in shops and restaurants, or sitting in a park and reading about Cuba's fascinating history. My highlights were sitting at cafes drinking rum and listening to Cuban music, Hemingway's Finca Vigía, the little-known Museo de los Orishas that introduced me to the fascinating African influence in the religious practices of Santería, and the Dr. Seuss-like art of Fusterlandia.
My last days were spent in Viñales. Now, if you want a real cultural experience take a collectivo taxi. But perhaps just once, and not on such a long journey. However, it made its first stop near Viñales at a tobacco farm. (Nothing planned there on the taxi driver's part I'm sure.) The upside was an incredibly informative presentation on the Cuban tobacco process, along with samples of local rum. YUM! We walked through the fields to the drying barn and then watched the local guajiro, Cuban farmer, roll out cigars, which we smoked with our rum. Now, Viñales is a blip on the map, but the geological karst formations coming into the valley are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was a small village, which was a welcome relief after the hectic pace of Havana. Here, we spent time visiting a local school and sharing some math strategies, manipulatives, and games. The botanical garden, primitive as it may appear, was one of my highlights.
I highly recommend the custom-tailored travel that Soulful Traveling provides. Should you be fortunate enough to join one of Vannetta's trips, take advantage of it with your journal and camera in hand."
Cozumel, Yucatan, and Cuba Traveler
"It is my pleasure to write this review for Vannetta Perry of Soulful Traveling. I had the experience of a lifetime when I went with a group of teachers led by Vannetta to Brazil in June of 2001. This trip was a traveling classroom experience studying air quality and ecosystems. All of the participants were working on our master’s degrees at the time.
We traveled all over Brazil for over a month, taking air quality samples in Sao Paolo, learning how to survive in the Amazon jungle and even piranha fishing on the Rio Negro. What a whirlwind adventure! Under Vannetta’s direction this trip couldn’t have gone any better or been as much fun!
Traveling abroad can be difficult, there are many things to consider. You need to have your passport, in our case we needed shots and malaria medication, and all of your necessities but with the realization to pack lite as you would be walking a lot and had to carry your belongings with you. Vannetta made all these tasks easy as she is an experienced world traveler and tour guide. She gave us a list of everything we would need or want, and an up to the minute itinerary for our entire trip.
Vannetta knew some of us were novice travelers and made us feel safe and secure everywhere we went. She made sure to take us places where we would learn about many facets of Brazilian life, from eating salty beans in Rio de Janeiro to having an exciting boat ride experience on the Rio Negro or visiting the opera in Manuas.
Every little town we went to in the Pantanal or big cities like Sao Paolo, Vannetta had connections with many people and even spoke very well with them in their native tongue Portuguese! This kind of networking is essential when traveling.
It was quite intimidating to be in a big country like Brazil. The language, culture, climate, season, and money differences could have been a lot more challenging for me but Vannetta knew what she was doing and made it an anxiety free experience.
I wholeheartedly believe that if you are planning an experience of a lifetime, Vannetta Perry is the person you want as your tour guide."
"My husband and I had the privilege of traveling with Vannetta. This was one of our first trips abroad and we were very apprehensive. Vannetta was the perfect professional. She helped make the trip one that we will remember for a lifetime. Things were planned to allow us to immerse ourselves into the culture, and experience life not as a tourist, but as a world traveler. I would highly recommend Vanetta as someone who will work with you and share her passion for people and culture, and provide you with an experience that will leave you only wanting to travel more and learn more. Because of Vannetta’s passion and guidance my husband and I have now visited six countries, and dream of our next trip."
Jan and Matt, Teachers
Vannetta is an outstanding tour director. In every way, her leadership abilities conveyed a sense of confidence that placed me immediately at ease. Vannetta’s warmth and approachability gave me a sense of fitting right in with our group. She navigated our entire tour efficiently and resourcefully resulting in a week of learning and enjoyment that I will remember always.
There is something very special about Vannetta Perry. She has proven to be an able and gifted leader as a travel guide.
Her passion about travel is obvious. As well, she is personable, approachable, and even-keeled. Most importantly, Vannetta is knowledgeable about the places she travels. She will entertain you with stories and history; explain the landscape, the culture, the language; and share books to enhance your travel experience. When there is time to interact with the local citizens, Vannetta will guide you in how best to do that. She plans well, creates wonderful itineraries, and keeps the travel experience lively. When everyone settles down for the evening, it is likely that Vannetta will be enjoying the company of her travelers, as stories are shared and she gets to know them better.
If it was possible, I would have her accompany me on every trip I ever take. So if you have the chance know that Vannetta Perry is a cut above and should be the standard for all travel guides. Take advantage of her professionalism, expertise, and welcoming personality – you will not be disappointed.
Read two very special reviews: