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active 11 hours ago

Leo Cuesta

I'm the founder and president of Uncharted Earth, an adventure travel company that specializes in lesser known and relatively undeveloped travel destinations. We seek out unspoiled nature destinations and authentic experiences to give our customers exceptional adventures that go way beyond typical tours.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Mountains, rainforests, tropical islands and volcanoes; hiking, snorkeling, diving, climbing, kayaking and mountain biking. Anything active in a beautiful and unspoiled nature setting. We also specialize in interacting with indigenous people and immersing people in traditional culture. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I've always loved nature-based travel. As a kid I couldn't wait to escape the city to spend weekends at my dad's farm or longer vacations in the mountains or by the sea. I'm a professional dive master and also love to go climbing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking --- pretty much any active endeavor done in nature. In my mid twenties I decided to make a career out of my passion for nature and adventure. I went to business school then worked for adventure travel companies in the US and Colombia before setting up my own adventure travel company. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"In 2011 I had a new company and also a new dog that I adopted. I wanted to explore some very remote islands in the Philippines, accessible only by very long rides in a small boat, braving big waves in the Pacific. I couldn't find anyone to leave my dog with so I had to bring him with me. It was a fantastic trip to some of the most spectacular islands in the Philippines that few people have ever been to, and I had my big white fluffy dog with me riding huge waves, exploring caves, camping on pristine beaches and snorkeling coral reefs. You can read about the adventure here: http://www.uncharted-earth.com/en/community/travel-stories/babuyan-islands-reconned/ "

Leo is part of the following groups: Philippines Travel Agents
The Batad rice terraces with local Ifugao men
The Cordillera: Banaue, Batad & Sagada - 6 Days

Trek through the Philippines' Cordillera and marvel at its natural and cultural heritage. Discover famous rice terraces, quaint villages, sacred waterfalls and rivers, extensive cave systems, and the hanging coffins of Echo Valley.

Discover the tropical beauty of Palawan
Palawan: Adventure in Paradise - 6 Days

Palawan's exotic geography and diverse vegetation are exceptional in a country that already has its fair share of awe-inspiring sights. This six-day adventure will have you snorkeling, seeking out wildlife, riding an underground river, and kayaking the El Nido islands. Discover why Palawan is in a league of its own when it comes to tropical destinations.

Explore the waterfalls of Estrella Falls, Palawan
Secrets of Palawan - 6 Days

Go deep into the Philippines' "last frontier" to discover beaches, rainforests, and waterfalls that few travelers explore. See endemic cockatoos in their natural habitat, snorkel coral reefs, and meet the indigenous Batak people. This is a unique trip that takes you away from crowds and lets you experience Palawan's nature at its best.

Hike through UNESCO protected rice terraces of the Ifugao
Ifugao Village Trek - 5 Days

Immerse yourself in the land and culture of the Ifugao on this five-day itinerary. Trek from Banaue stopping at four different native Ifugao communities along the way. You will hike deep into the Ifugao region to places most tourists don't see, trekking through ancient rice terraces and forested mountains.

Early morning view over the Maligcong
Mountain Province Trek: Maligcong & Sadanga - 6 Days

Be among the first visitors to the remote Mountain Province in the beautiful Philippine Cordillera. This six-day itinerary will have you hiking through centuries-old rice terraces and mountainous landscapes, breaking bread with locals in traditional villages along the way.

Trek through Utah's many National Parks
Utah's National Parks - 8 Days

Discover the highlights of Utah and southwestern Colorado's National Parks and Monuments on this eight-day itinerary. Perfectly combining natural landscapes with cultural histories, you will hike and drive from Mesa Verde to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon, ending in Zion National Park.

Recent trip reviews for Leo

JoyB · Philippines - Jan 8 - Jan 23, 2019

Traveler: Sara H. - Local specialist: Leo Cuesta

I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first trip to the Philippines and my first experience with kimkim. The trip more than met my expectations and frankly, I was blown away. Leo from Uncharted Earth kept in touch, answered my questions, and made and adjusted arrangements quickly and graciously. He sent photos, bios and cell numbers for everyone I would be guided by in the Philippines so I knew who was supposed to be meeting me. While in the Manila area the guides, Don-Don, EJ and Jhon... read more

I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first trip to the Philippines and my first experience with kimkim. The trip more than met my expectations and frankly, I was blown away. Leo from Uncharted Earth kept in touch, answered my questions, and made and adjusted arrangements quickly and graciously. He sent photos, bios and cell numbers for everyone I would be guided by in the Philippines so I knew who was supposed to be meeting me. While in the Manila area the guides, Don-Don, EJ and Jhon were fun, friendly and knowledgeable. They helped me try new foods and I had a great time seeing the sights. I seriously underestimated the effects of heat and humidity and they adjusted accordingly, cheering me on and helping me out at Taal Volcano, Laguna Waterfalls and the boat ride down the rapids. We also saw historical buildings in the area. All must-see excursions. The Bayleaf hotel was also nice while in Manila. Ana Santos from Uncharted Earth was always available throughout my tour modifying travel plans and getting another driver for me when plans changed at the last minute; a flight was cancelled so that she had to fix my stay at the hotel and transportation. The only time I had problems the hotel was supposed to arrange transportation; I called Ana and she fixed that, too. While in Donsol, Donsol Eco Tours and Elysia Hotel were wonderful, adjusting for the change in flights cheerfully, the food was grand and I highly recommend the firefly boat ride, Krishna was a great guide. I would highly recommend Donsol Eco Tours and the Elysia Hotel for anyone seeing the area. While in Palawan, Stephen Tuboc showed me the sights and arranged my island hopping schedule so that I missed the crowds at each stop, the boat crew provided an amazing meal, as good as any restaurant, right there on the beach- heaven. They even managed our time so that I got to see a magical little enclosed lagoon all by myself. Truly a mind-blowing day. The Atremaru hotel was also wonderful, peaceful and felt like you were really living in the jungle. I would highly recommend Stephen as a guide, really knowledgeable. Everywhere I went the scenery was amazing, food was wonderful and I’m sure it was because Uncharted Earth did such a good job selecting the tours and lodgings. If I’ve forgotten anyone, I apologize. Two huge thumbs up.

Leo Cuesta profile photo
Leo Cuesta, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for the detailed review Sara, my team and I are all very happy that you had such a wonderful time with us! You were a great guest and we hope to go on another adventure with you in the future!

Law Family Tour · Philippines - Dec 27 - Dec 30, 2018

Traveler: Carina L. - Local specialist: Leo Cuesta

Our trip was wonderful..Our drivers Ana and John were excelkent .Friendly and amazing druving skills and patient with our regular stops. They were wonderful to accomodate another person in our tour at the last minute.Marvin our guide was good and found great restaurants fir lunch Hillside Inn in Batad and Misty Inn in Sagada were both charming and served delicious food.
The terraced rice fields and Echo Valley were amazing and despite the long drive well worth it.Abother trip off my bucket list.Thanks Leo for your help and advice
Carina Law

Leo Cuesta profile photo
Leo Cuesta, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Carina, thank you for your feedback and I'm glad you had a wonderful trip! It was a pleasure for my team to show you a bit of our country.

We also do tours in Colombia, another amazing country. You might want to consider that for your next vacation!

Thank you for traveling with us and we hope to take you on another adventure in the future!

Active · Philippines - Aug 8 - Aug 12, 2018

Traveler: Blair M. - Local specialist: Leo Cuesta

Johnas was WONDERFUL. Thank you for a wonderful trip. Everything was handled expertly.

Leo Cuesta profile photo
Leo Cuesta, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for your review Blair, I'm glad you had a great trip despite the less than perfect weather! Thanks for choosing to travel with us and we hope to go on another adventure with you in the future (we also do trips in Colombia, you might want to consider that for your next vacation)!