Karin Betts

Karin Betts is one of our most versatile Trip Leaders and has been traveling the world since before she could walk. Her parents moved to Southeast Asia when she was just six weeks old, and with her first decade of life in Indonesia, Karin's earliest memories are of house geckoes, papaya and a pet slow loris. After earning a degree in International Studies from Vassar and living abroad in Israel and India as a Watson Fellow (including a stint on an Israeli ostrich farm!), she started leading trips in 1995 and has been part of the WT team since 1998. Though Southeast Asia is her specialty, Karin has also guided trips to the rainforests of Sri Lanka and the hill tribes of Yunnan, through the lemur reserves of Madagascar and the wilds of southern Africa, and over the divide in the Canadian Rockies. Ever-enthusiastic, Karin notes, "it's a gift to be part of making people's vacations the most fascinating, magical, and rewarding experiences they can be. And to do this in some of the world's most extraordinary areas is worth each and every second." More recently Karin has been on adventure in the forests of Borneo. Her favorite highlight there? "Night walks in the Danum Valley on the lookout for the lesser mouse-deer, the smallest known hoofed mammal and, more importantly, a beloved character in Indonesian and Malay folktales." When not on the road, Karin lives in the San Francisco Bay area and enjoys, among other passions, "yoga, cooking and eating! And when I travel on my own, I like to visit art biennials around the world." She speaks Indonesian and Malay.

Upcoming Trips:

The Arc of the Sacred Symposium: Sacred Sites of Java and Bali , January 25-February 8, 2015
Borneo Expedition, September 28-October 10, 2015
Borneo Expedition, April 18-30, 2016

Client Testimonials:


Karin was fabulous. She chose wonderful hikes and adventures. Shari C., Menlo Park, CA
Adventure in the Canadian Rockies
Karin was an excellent leader. I had a wonderful trip! Sue T., Malden Bridge, NY
Adventure in the Canadian Rockies
Karin was an excellent guide with a great sense of humour. Miko and Nobuko K., Pittsfield, MA
Adventure in the Canadian Rockies
Karin's vibrant spirit combined with her love of Madagascar, its people, and nature was contagious. Isaac A., Martinez, CA
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path