Profile photo for Jessemin Sheyda-Losick

Jessemin Sheyda-Losick

I'm working to make travel better for both destinations and travelers. My work focuses on five areas:
1. Advising travel companies (tour operators, travel tech companies, etc.) on how to improve the impact of their programs
2. Advising destinations (ministries of tourism, travel business leaders, and other local stakeholders) on how to leverage tourism resources to achieve community and conservation goals.
3. Designing and leading innovative travel experiences across Latin America, Africa, and Asia for a variety of clients.
4. Leading the board of a small nonprofit foundation devoted to raising resources for communities impacted by travel.
5. Connecting travelers with locals over coffee or drinks via a travel startup I co-founded: Joey Travel.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Places I know well: Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, New York City

Activities: I design adventure travel experiences that connect travelers with locals in off the beaten path destinations. I also focus on the intersection of travel and philanthropy in emerging destinations. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"My first trip abroad was an immersive, two-month study abroad in the Dominican Republic when I was 17 years old - it was a transformative experience and I have been hooked on travel ever since.

On a professional level, I started working for an adventure travel company immediately after college, leading volunteers on adventures in and around Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica. There, I saw the power of travel to transform both destinations and travelers, and for the last 13+ years I've been working to increase the positive impact of travel around the world. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I can't choose just one...
- Riding a Soviet helicopter past 7,000 meter peaks en route to the Inylchek Glacier in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
- Relaxing in hammocks and hanging with locals on a slow boat down the Amazon to the white sand beach of Alter do Chao, Brazil.
- Enjoying cocktails and political conversation with my Airbnb hosts in Viñales, Cuba - on my honeymoon
- Dhow sailing over turquoise waters to Ilha do Mozambique"

Inca terraces in the Sacred Valley - Pisac, Peru
Best Adventures in the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is one of the most culturally rich regions in South America — and also one of the most adventurous. A little known secret is that the Sacred Valley is emerging as a great adventure sports destination. From rafting to rock climbing, the Sacred Valley offers numerous ways to get your adrenaline fix in a stunning environment.

Huchuy Qosqo
Best Day Hikes in the Sacred Valley near Cusco

Peru is famous for the Inca Trail and other multi-day hikes, but if you are short on time, there are plenty of excellent day hikes throughout the Sacred Valley. These hikes are a great way to visit some of the rural communities and lesser-visited ruins throughout the Valley.

Urubamba village and river valley
Cultural Highlights of the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is one of Peru’s most popular destinations. Once the cultural and spiritual heartland of the Inca, it is chock-full of ancient ruins, picturesque villages and stone footpaths. Machu Picchu may be the main attraction, yet one could spend days exploring the cultural highlights and ancient ruins of the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River.

Sunrise over Lake Titicaca
Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca Kayaking Adventure - 9 Days

Head to the Inca capital of Cusco to explore the colorful textile markets and small towns of the Sacred Valley. Spend a day exploring the ancient Machu Picchu ruins. Then, travel to Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is one of the truly iconic destinations of South America, on par with the Amazon, Iguazu Falls, and the Galapagos. Situated in the heart of the Andes, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and universally touted as the highest navigable lake in the world.