KarmaQuest is based in Half Moon Bay, California. Owners Karma Lama and Wendy Brewer Lama bring together decades of experience and contacts in the fields of Himalayan adventure travel and ecotourism.
Karma has beeen operating treks and expeditions in the Himalaya since the early 1980s. He has climbed Lhotse and Lengpo Gang in Nepal, and has led countless teams to the summit of Island Peak (Imja Tse), a popular trekking peak in Khumbu (Nepal).
Wendy lived and worked in Nepal from 1984 to 1999. As an ecotourism planner with The Mountain Institute, she helped communities, park staff and trekking agencies in Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan to manage the impacts of tourism and to promote improved local livelihoods and conservation of natural and cultural resources through community-based ecotourism.
Wendy has worked with WWF in Sichuan China, helping the Wanglang Panda Reserve and Baima communities to develop ecotourism that supports conservation of the Giant Panda. She has also advised community-based ecotourism programs in Kyrgyzstan, working with women's groups and tour operators that now host KarmaQuest trips. Most recently she advised the UNESCO Cultural and Ecotourism in Mountain Regions of Central and South Asia program. She has taught university courses and international training in community-based ecotourism. Wendy studied Geography and Anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara, and has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University. She is as at home with the Tibetan Buddhist culture of the Himalaya as she is on the coast of California.
KarmaQuest trips visit sites where Wendy and Karma and their conservation and community-service partners have helped nurture ecotourism development, allowing travelers to learn first-hand about the host culture and lifestyle. Such visits break down cross-cultural barriers and enable both hosts and guests to make new international friendships. Local home-stay operators, village nature guides, tour operators and conservation groups benefit from KarmaQuest visits from direct payment for services and from KarmaQuest and client donations, supporting local conservation initiatives and social service outreach programs with much needed revenue. Lectures and field studies with local experts and professionals enhance the learning experiences.
KarmaQuest has twice received recognition from majorindustry media including Outside Magazine's Trip of the Year Asia, and Trip of a Lifetime for its innovate trips and commitment to responsible travel ethics.
KarmaQuest presently operates custom-designed FIT and scheduled group trips to Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand. Trips feature ecotourism and educational-oriented travel that contributes to community conservation initiatives; trekking, mountaineering, and adventure travel; and specialty, nature and cultural trips suited to specific client interests.
KarmaQuest also organizes and operates accredited university study trips, working closely with university professors to design curriculae and organize field learning exercises.
Your travels with KarmaQuest promise to reap the benefits of Wendy and Karma’s extensive knowledge of the region, their personal contacts and friendships. You’ll come away with insights into another way of life and new cross-cultural friendships that develop over a cup of hot tea, hiking together on the trail, or sharing folk dance steps. Practice up!