Instituto Cervantes in New York, USA- excellent teachers, many different levels and variety of courses offered, great facilities. Highly recommended.
Intensa in San Jose, Costa Rica- generous and kind teachers, poor facilities and materials, not very well organized. Avoid attending during the summer months where the class sizes triple and quadruple.
Spanish Institute of Puebla in Puebla, Mexico- qualified teachers, well structured program including cultural excursions and conversation partners. Has a sister school in Merida, Mexico. Recommended.
Spanish Institute of Merida in Yucatan, Mexico- smaller than its sister school in Puebla. Program feels include intensive classroom and conversation courses (6 hours per day) and 2 excursions (Chitzen-Itza and Uxmal). Best from October to January/February when the weather is nicer.
China Institute in New York City- highly recommend the intensive summer program. Mixed results with the regular/evening courses.
Berlitz in Tokyo, Japan- great one on one program with different teachers rotating in and out. Recommended.
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) in Chennai India- I participated in the Heart of Yoga program in February 2011 and the intensive meditation program (antaranga sadhana) in March 2011. Highly respected, amazing teachers, life changing experience.
Yogaworks in New York- I did my yoga teacher training with YW in New York with teachers from LA and NY. Strong emphasis on alignment and proper sequencing, more asana based than philosophy and theory as with most western yoga schools. Offers good variety of classes for different levels, many locations throughout NY and the rest of U.S.
Ishta Yoga in New York- my first yoga classes in the U.S. were with teachers in the Ishta tradition at Be Yoga. Under Alan Finger’s direction they now have two locations in NYC. Wonderful teachers and friendly staff.
TRAVEL/ TOUR COMPANIES:
Saron in Siem Reap, Cambodia- one of the best tour guides I have ever met, with an incredible back story. Highly recommend him for Angkor Wat.
Costa Rica Expeditions– well organized and easy to work with. They planned a wonderful 2 week holiday for me and my brother based on what we wanted to see and do. To read about the 2 week holiday, go here.
Pinta Gold in Hanoi, Vietnam- terrible experience with this tour company based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Do not take their boat to Halong Bay!
Kerala Adventures in India- for full service car + driver tour of Kerala. I have used them and have also recommended them to friends. I worked with Mr. John Thomas out of Trivandrum and he was great, his brother works out of Kochi.
Glancy David- a driver in based out of Kochi in Kerala, India. Highly recommended. Contact me for details.
National Geographic Linblad Expeditions– Fantastic 10 day Galapagos tour with certified naturalists, extremely professional and well organized. They also offer photo expeditions a few times a year with a National Geographic photographer and other photo experts. Choice of two ships, either the Islander (48 passengers) or the Endeavour (96 passengers). Highly recommended!
Gadventures– Formerly known as GAPadventures. Highly recommend the “End of the Earth” Patagonia trip (very basic accommodations)
Socompa– Wonderful tour operator for in/around Salta and Jujuy area of Argentina. I trusted them for nearly two weeks and had a fantastic time.
Tuscany Car Tours– I used them for private transfers and tours around Tuscany. Filippo and his guys are reliable, informative, and professional.
Florence, Italy: House in Florence
Chennai, India: I used two different rental services with mixed experiences. Contact me if you want details.