Unusually, V!VA is headquartered in Quito, Ecuador. With a diverse editorial staff, V!VA Travel Guides is reinventing the traditional travel guide from the ground up, working with local editors to ensure ongoing accuracy of information.

V!VA ensures the authenticity of its content in a number of ways. All field writers who contribute to V!VA Travel Guides either live in the country they write about, have spent months traveling in and getting to know the area, or are closely trained and instructed by V!VA editors through a series of travel writing workshops, or "Boot Camps", which take place on the ground and thoroughly prepare writers to effectively cover the country they are in. Here, screened, would-be travel writers the opportunity to learn how to write reviews and have on the ground practice in the country that they will write about, before going on assignment.

V!VA believes that traveling can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences and that cultural connections made while traveling can make the world a better place. V!VA believes that the collective wisdom of travelers and professional writers and editors can provide the most helpful information for planning a unique and unforgettable trip.

VIVA’s mission is to inspire travelers and enable a superior travel experience by providing more up-to-date, trustworthy and relevant information than currently available through traditional printed guidebooks.

Printed guidebooks were the golden standard for obtaining trustworthy travel information before the age of the Internet. Although they remain the most useful tools for detailed trip planning, they suffer from three primary weaknesses:

1) Printed guidebooks are chronically out-of-date, as the updating cycle for most is 3 to 5 years.

2) They suffer from a single author bias and fail to effectively integrate the experiences and recommendations of diverse travelers.

3) Their content isn’t freely available on the Internet. One must purchase a hefty, often expensive paper book.

VIVA is building a better travel guide by solving the above problems. We combine the power of user-generated content, social networking and web 2.0 technologies with the traditional printed travel guidebook to enable travelers to plan and experience the best trips possible, catered to individual tastes.

VIVA invites you to participate in the creation of a better travel guide. Open a free account on our website and get started sharing insight and opinions with other travelers about the most spectacular places to visit on the planet, then see your words in print!