iCare Travel is the inspiration of social change enthusiast and long-time explorer Noel Sutter. Travel and social change have been passions for Noel since her early childhood. She carried these passions with her to college, earning a social science degree (Anthropology emphasis) from studies at Reed College, Harvard University, the University of Colorado, and schools in Germany and Spain.
Noel once saw a survey that later became a driving force for the creation of iCare Travel.
In her 25 years of criss-crossing the globe, Noel had never seen a shortage of people in need. And she already knew that quality time spent with others—especially with loved ones—was a source of happiness.
It is from these thoughts that Noel began building her vision of iCare Travel. With help from nonprofit sector colleagues and friends, Noel developed an innovative approach to vacationing where the traveler could “make a difference” in a way the traveler chose, as he or she visited an exotic, developing-world destination. In 2009, the iCare Travel Foundation was established, and “Wish Lists” were created for certain popular destinations. Partnerships were formed with carefully chosen in-country travel and hospitality professionals in order to provide exceptional, value-conscious vacation experiences. Henceforth, iCare Travel came into fruition.
What does this mean for you?
Simply put, it means there has been much legwork done to ensure that your travel experience is extraordinary.
Special Thanks to our “inner circle” of Partners & Associates
- Judi Morales Gibson worked for seven years as vice president and sales manager at a women’s adventure travel company in Carmel, California. Read more…
Judi knows the “ins and outs” of operating a niche travel company, and we are pleased to have the benefit of her understanding of what makes a memorable vacation in the eyes of the traveler.
- Tour operator Dave Swartwout of Native American Journeys works with us to provide gracious and well-informed Native American guides for our American Southwest trips. Read more…
Dave has over ten years experience organizing tours in the high Southwest desert. His understanding of the nuances of Native American culture helps us to detect when Navajos are joking!
- Wendy Wason is our multi-lingual tour guide and second-generation travel specialist. Wendy grew up in both France and the East Coast, as her father’s work as director of tours…
for American Express required frequent leaps over the Atlantic Ocean. For 20 years, Wendy has been guiding groups from France, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia, and Japan. She loves to educate and tell stories about the American Southwest.
- The Sacred Mountains Foundation is a nonprofit organization on the Navajo Reservation established in 1997, dedicated to improving the lives of Navajos in ways that respect Navajo tradition. Read more…
We are grateful to Executive Director and friend Paul Tohlakai (head of one of the original Navajo clans) for sharing his knowledge and wisdom with us.
- Terrill Spencer is a Navajo guide and long-time friend to Noel Sutter. Terrill enjoys singing Navajo songs while giving tours on horseback. Read more…
When travelers ask him “Where did the Anasazi Indians disappear to?” he likes to tell a story about a big silver ship that came down from the sky… and afterwards… that was the last anyone ever saw of the Anasazi.
We would also like to thank our international travel company and nonprofit Partners and Associates.
Recent awards received by Partners and Associates ~
- Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Tour Operator”
- National Geographic Ashoka Changemakers Award, Winner, “Best example of Geotourism in the World”
- Diversion “Most Liked Travel Tour Company”
- National Geographic Traveler “50 Tours of a Lifetime”
- World Travel and Tourism Council, one of three best examples of “Ecotourism Investing in People in the World”
- Defensoria National de los Habitantes, Winner, “Improving the Quality of Life of Costa Ricans”
- Geographic Adventure “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
- Condé Nast Traveler Hot List (Arenas Del Mar, Costa Rica)
iCare Travel is located in Larkspur, Marin County, California, USA — 9 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and surrounded by Marin County’s redwoods.