Looking for the journey of a lifetime?

In partnership with the International Folk Art Market, BJ Adventures provides travelers with a Passport to Folk Art — trips that provide a unique opportunity to meet and connect with master folk artists in their home countries. See how these artisans are creating a better future for their communities through folk art and experience their rich histories and traditions firsthand. Each trip provides a donation to the International Folk Art Market, so it’s a win/win! A maximum of 10 to 12 travelers are allowed on each trip.

All Passport to Folk Art Trips are Fully Inclusive of:

  • All accommodations

  • Meals and beverages

  • Transportation

  • Sightseeing and transfers

  • English-speaking guides and entrance fees

  • Gratuities

You as the Traveler Need Only to Pay For:

  • International airline tickets (BJ Adventures can help you with these)

  • Travel insurance (required)

  • Personal expenses such as airport taxes, visas, camera fees, specialty beverages, etc.

  • $500 Donation to the International Folk Art Market

Passport to Folk Art: Egypt - November 11 – 21, 2020
Including Cairo, Abu Simbel and a 4-Night Nile River Cruise from Aswan to Luxor
With an optional Add-On to Jordan to see Petra & Wadi Run

$7,990 per Person, Sharing; $1,890 Single Supplement
Based on 10 travelers, or a surcharge will apply

Egypt holds a special place in many a traveler’s imagination, with its legendary tombs, temples, and pyramids and splendid, storied past. Take these magnificent monuments and more from imagination to reality on the 2020 Passport to Folk Art: Egypt trip. Travelers will …

  • Navigate through 7000 years of Egypt’s stories seeing stunning artifacts at a private early morning visit to the newly opened Grand Egyptian Museum.

  • Be awed by the 13th century B.C. UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel, visiting the iconic twin temples that were originally carved out of the mountainside.

  • Enjoy a private evening dinner cruise along the Nile River aboard an elegant, traditional Egyptian felucca.

  • Meet Market artist, Ahmed Kamal of the Tent Makers of Cairo, in his home town. Kamal will take you on a tour of one of the oldest thoroughfares in Cairo – Shari Khayyamiya. There, you will witness, up close and personal, the ancient craft of Suwan, where portable tents are made from beautiful cloth patterns, an art form that has been carried on for hundreds of years.

  • Board the elegant Sanctuary Sun Boat IV for a 4-night cruise along the Nile, visiting Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatshepsut, Kom Ombo and Karnak Temple – just to name a few.

  • Stay at Egypt’s elegant “first boutique hotel” Villa Belle Époque, and the 5-star luxury Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, in a 19th century Victorian palace on the banks of the river Nile.

  • Have the honor of dining with Dr. Zahi Hawass, one of the world’s most famous archeologists and Egypt’s former Minister of Antiquities. For more than thirty years he has been raising awareness of archaeology and the preservation of Egypt’s precious heritage (based on his availability)

  • And, of course, no trip to Egypt would be complete without a visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx!

Passport to Folk Art: Morocco - Dates TBA for May 2021
Including Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes, Atlas Mountains, and Marrakech

  • Arrive in Tangier, Europe’s gateway to Africa which has guarded the Strait of Gibraltar for centuries. With a storied past, its blend of cultures and influences is unique from the rest of Morocco.

  • Wander the narrow, blue-washed lanes of Chefchaouen, the “blue pearl” of the Rif Mountains.

  • Walk the labyrinth of the ancient and amazing Fes Medina and Mellah (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), experiencing the aromas of spices and a bustling maze of alleyways that overflow with beautiful Berber wares.

  • Visit International Folk Art Market artist Amina Yabis and the women’s craft association, Cherries Button Cooperative she founded to see first hand how hand-woven buttons have provided economic opportunities for their community.

  • View imposing Roman ruins: the House of Orpheus, the Forum, the Triumphal Arch of Caracalla, and more in Volubilis.

  • Take an enchanting drive through the striking countryside of the Atlas Mountains to the dramatically different Moroccan desert. Pass through cedar forests to the Oued Gigou Valley and then to stay at Sir Richard Branson’s magical Kasbah Tamadot, a special retreat nestled in the High Atlas Mountains.

  • Experience the mosques, palaces and lavish gardens of beautiful, bustling Marrakech.

Optional add-ons include an amazing overnight experience in the desert or a night in the richly cultural Tunis!

Passport to Folk Art: Uzbekistan - October 2021
Including Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Nukus and Margilan

$7,840 Per Person, Sharing, $975 Single Supplement
Based on 10 travelers, or a surcharge will apply

  • Journey back in time at the old quarter of Tashkent, Khast-Imam Square to see one of the oldest surviving Koran’s before visiting embroiderer Madina Kasimbaeva with her dark red “Palak” designs, Muhayo Alieyava’s Bibi-Hanum for contemporary apparel with Uzbek textiles, the Museum of Applied Arts and ceramicist Akbar Rakhimov.

Visit the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis of Samarkand, A UNESCO World Heritage Center, where elaborately decorated buildings that date to the 1300s reflect the development of the monumental art and architecture of the Timurid dynasty, and Valentina Romanenko, a famous textile designer known for her rich blends of silk, painting and embroidery.

  • Sightsee around the beautiful Registan Square and its imposing madrasahs, before making paper with local artists. Visit the biggest mosque in Samarkand - Bibi-Khanum and the colorful and frenetic Siob Market that is nearby.

  • Find an antique ikat or embroidery at the Urgut Market before meeting ceramists at the Urgut Ceramic School.

Continue on the Silk Road with a stop in Shafirkan en route to Bukhara before visiting famous embroiderer Farkhod Ramazoznov. Pack in more of the beautiful artisan traditions of Bukhara by visiting a silk weaving workshop, the Bukhara Gold Embroidery Factory, the Museum of Blacksmith’s Art, and much more!

  • Explore the historic walled city of Khiva visiting woodcarvers, carpet weavers and UNESCO silk weavers and the Museum of Igor Savitskiy, where wondrous works of art from the Karakaplak people are housed.

  • Along the way, enjoy unique Uzbek dining experiences and (including making pilav with locals) while staying in charming inns and hotels that are beautifully appointed with traditional Uzbek decor.

What Former Passport to Folk Art Travelers Have to Say …

... At the end of my of 3 years of retirement (with more to come), I am celebrating some of the most amazing travel experiences I have ever had! From Cuba to Indonesia to Nepal and Bhutan I have met IFAM artists who on their home turfs met and entertained us in great style and hospitality! ... Jean and Ahdina, these experiences could not have happened without your care and planning! ... So thanks so much to you guys at BJ Adventures!
I am hooked!
— Janis Mendelsohn
... Kudos to BJ Adventures for arranging this trip. Ahdina and Jean, you are terrific! We were clearly the beneficiaries of your knowledge of Morocco and insider tips. Everything was so well thought out and organized that this was truly an easy vacation for both of us.
Thank you, thank you!
— Judith Benkendorf & Helen Travers
We toured historic sites, part of the Silk Road, mosques and madrassas, forts and other museums, but the highlight was meeting with many of the fine folk artists that come to Santa Fe for the Folk Art Market in the summer. We saw their workshops, ate in their homes, met their families, saw how they are using the money they make in Santa Fe to expand their production, hire other folk artists, build schools to train artists, and build a better life for themselves and their communities. It was over the top interesting, and of course, we bought amazing works of art.
— Cathy Allen, IFAM Board Member
Traveling with BJ Adventures on a folk art trip to Colombia was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. I’ve traveled a lot, to many countries, and for varying reasons (archaeological digs, art collections, just plain tourism, etc.), but this trip was an adventure. We saw great folk art and much more. Jean adapted to varying delays and problems with incredible ease. Her choice of a Colombian tour leader was excellent and added greatly to the trip. I’ve asked Jean to plan another trip to Colombia for me!
— Trish Foschi

To sign up for any of these trips, or to request a detailed brochure, contact:

Jean Zunkel
E   jean.zunkel@bjadventures.com
T   +1.505.466.2289
M  +1.505.310.5110

Ahdina Zunkel
E   ahdina@bjadventures.com
T   +1.505.466.2289
M  +1.505.670.5199


Header Photo: Simon Matzinger; Gallery Photos: Oziel GómezMustafa ezz, Roxanne Shewchuk, Tomáš Malčo, Samlro, IFAM, Carl Ottersen, Ekrem Canli, Davide Mauro.