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 a beloved character in Indonesian and Malay folktales.” Karin was also a member of our Arc of the Sacred Symposium in 2015 and led the Sacred Sites of Java and Bali trip. 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/Malay.
Karin is an outstanding guide and a natural leader. She is very knowledgeable about Borneo, speaks the Malay language, and has both an inquisitive mind and passion for her work.
Karin was one of the best guides we have ever had. We thoroughly enjoyed being with her.
What a gem! Karin's ability to see and meet the needs of individuals and the situation is unparalleled in my experience.
Karin's vibrant spirit combined with her love of Madagascar, its people, and nature was contagious.
Karin was fabulous. She chose wonderful hikes and adventures.
Karin was an excellent leader. I had a wonderful trip!
Karin was an excellent guide with a great sense of humour.