My name is Ivan Ricoy, founder of Genuine Andalusia. I am an enthusiastic and optimistic 37 year old Spanish native who grew up in El Puerto de Santa María, a small Andalusian town close to the Atlantic and surrounded by Sherry vineyards.
Since I was little, I have been thrilled by exploring the different regions of Andalusia.
My curiosity and thirst for knowledge, languages and discoveries led me to live, study and work also in France, Germany and the U.K. While living abroad, I understood how important and enriching it is to travel and to experience other cultures. This led me to gradually reorientate my career towards the travel and culture sector.
I had worked as a full-time Telecom Engineer for 9 years, so I first decided to go part time at work in order to have the time to reeducate myself in the travel and culture field. After two intense years combining work and Uni I got a Master’s in Culture Management.
I then kept combining my part time post as an Engineer with some voluntary work in the culture sector. At the same time, I would participate very actively in some cultural exchange platforms for travelers.
Meeting people traveling through Andalusia and sharing with them my favorite places and local knowledge became a real passion for me. I met wonderful folk who left some really nice reviews.
Finally, I took the decision to fully commit to my dream. So I upgraded my driver’s license to a professional one and employed myself as a Full Time Private Tour Organizer and Guide. I currently have my own company. We are based in Jerez de la Frontera and we offer private tours to individuals, small groups and families visiting South West Spain, who prefer to keep a local and respectful perspective away from mass tourism. I also work for specialized tour operators and travel agents needing an educated local expert in Andalusia.
We truly believe that sharing with people the most beautiful and authentic sides of this region and its culture generates understanding and contributes to making a better world.