Seeking an extreme adventure for your next trip? Why not push your boundaries by going skydiving over Mt. Everest, desert trekking in Namibia, kayaking on the White Nile, or your choice of any one of a number of amazing expeditions. If you've been looking for a unique travel experience that will not only take you to the far ends of the Earth, but push your boundaries a bit in the process, we're here to help. We've compiled a list of companies that offer a surprising range of trips and vacations that require equal parts stamina, determination, and sheer guts, while promising life-changing rewards along the way.
High 'n Wild is an Australian company that leads daily treks into that country's Blue Mountains. While there, travelers can choose to go rock climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, and more. There is even an option to work on your "bush craft skills," which is the ability to survive in wild and remote places.
The company has been around since 1989 and is one of the leaders in travel to the Blue Mountains, which is one of Australia's premiere wilderness areas. If you've ever wanted to experience a BIG adventure while Down Under, High n' Wild is the company to travel with. They'll even go so far as to loan you a waterproof camera for use on a canyoneering trips absolutely free, ensuring that your camera or smartphone remains completely safe and dry.
The Epic Tomato adventure travel experiences fall into five 'terrain' categories (jungle, desert, mountain, polar, and rivers) and are designed to embrace a new emerging definition of 'luxury' adventure. These excursions offer the authenticity of an earned experience and the chance to witness something truly unique about a destination that often goes overlooked when traveling with others. The company even offers a series of "Epic Weekends" for those in need of a bit of adventure, but don't have a lot of spare time for an extended getaway.
One of the Epic Tomato's premiere itineraries takes travelers to the Antarctic where they spend 18 days traveling on skis across the frozen continent. While there, they'll have the opportunity to explore places that few humans ever get a chance to see and even make first ascents on several snowcapped peaks.
Adventurers willing to push some boundaries should take a look at Abercrombie & Kent's portfolio of unique options. Several of these extreme itineraries have even been named "Tour of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler in the past, including "Norway - On the Trail of the Polar Bear (2009)" and "Egypt - Traces of Lost Civilizations (2010)." The company offers luxury and private excursions to some remote corners of the globe that are sure to enchant travelers while providing them with plenty of amenities to keep them comfortable along the way too.
A&K's itineraries aren't cheap, but they are some of the best in the business. For instance, the company's Southern Africa Safari by River & Rail will set you back $14,495, but it take just 18 guests on a 13 day excursion by boat and train through some of the most amazing landscapes the African continent has to offer.
The leading expedition company on Kilimanjaro, Tusker Trail also offers unique journeys to other fantastic destinations as well. For instance, the company's Mongolia Trek takes travelers across the Altai Mountains on horseback, while other itineraries lead clients to Nepal, Bhutan, Patagonia, Peru, and beyond.
Despite traveling in expedition style, the food is exceptional, and Tusker's guides are always top notch. Plus, group sizes are generally kept small and the activities are a great blend of adventure, culture, and history. The Tusker catalog of trips may not be as deep as some of the companies on this list, but each itinerary that they offer is exceptionally well done.
Looking for a true mountain adventure? Want to push yourself to the absolute extreme? Himalayan Experience (aka Himex) may be the company you've been searching for. This isn't just an adventure travel company but is instead a full-blown mountaineering guide service that can take you to the summit of some of the world's most challenging peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Manaslu, four of the highest peaks on the planet. These expeditions are not for the inexperienced, or faint of heart, but they are truly an epic adventure that will stick with you long after you've gone home.
Mountain Travel Sobek is another adventure travel company that has been a pioneer in the industry for decades. In fact, many consider it to be the first true adventure travel company, period. Each year, Sobek offers some of the most unique and amazing travel experiences around, with an occasional one-time trip that simply can't be found anywhere else. The company has partnered with such organizations as National Geographic, The North Face, and The New York Times to create one of a kind adventures for travelers looking for truly great experiences in just about every corner of the globe. For instance, there are few other outfitters that offer excursions to Papua New Guinea, yet MTS provides travelers with that opportunity, not to mention many, many others.
G Adventures has a number of "active" and "expedition" level trips that will push travelers to their personal limits. Options include trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, or hiking, biking and rafting in China. One of the true leaders in adventure travel, the company has been taking clients to remote sections of the planet for more than 25 years.
G is well known for its affordable, small group trips to more than 100 destinations around the world. But, the company particularly specializes in excursions to Peru and treks along the Inca Trail, having helped pioneer the rise in popularity for that four-day hike. If you're looking for a classic trek on just about every continent, chances are G Adventures has you covered.
Geographic Expeditions has a portfolio of adventurous overland tours, treks, walks, and expeditionary voyages to the world's most astonishing places. GeoEx was the first American company to negotiate protocols for groundbreaking journeys in China, Nepal, Vietnam, Bhutan, Iran, Central Asia, and the former Soviet Union for instance, and it continues to open up new destinations all the time. If you want to visit a specific destination, but can't seem to find anyone who offers itineraries there, give GeoEx a shot. Chances are, they can make that trip a reality. For example, the company offers organized excursions to Iran, a place that few other outfitters have access to.
Hastings Overland Shows the Wild Side of British Columbia
Overlanding is a travel experience that is continues to grow in popularity, sending adventurous and independent travelers on an experience that is more about the journey than the destination. Vancouver-based Hastings Overland takes all of the guesswork out of planning an overlanding trip, offering travelers the ability to rent a fully-stocked Jeep Wrangler for use on and off-road throughout British Columbia. The Jeep is equipped with a rooftop tent, a camp stove, refrigerated cooler, and more. Additionally, Hasting's dedicated and knowledgeable staff will help clients craft the perfect itinerary based on their needs and interests, which can either be followed to the letter or completely changed on the fly depending on a travelers mood. That's the beauty of an overlanding trip, as flexibility and freedom are at its core.
Hastings' original office in British Columbia has been so successful, that the company has expanded to San Diego too. This allows travelers to get the same great service and overlanding experience, but in a completely new environment that offers trips to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and a wide variety of other locales too.
Flash Pack Offers Adventures for Solo Travelers
Going on a grand adventure can be a bit intimidating when you're going it alone. But Flash Pack is a company that specializes in making solo travelers feel right at home, while sending them on a trip that will leave a lasting impression. Options include hiking in the deserts of Jordan, trekking in Patagonia, and climbing volcanoes in Bali. With itineraries to six continents and an ever-expanding menu of unique and beautiful trips to choose from, Flash Pack is pushing the envelope when it comes to blending adventure and comfort, while still managing to make it completely inviting for first-time travelers and experienced veterans alike.
If you want to zero in on a specific style of adventure travel, visit our list of the Best Adventure Travel Companies to discover more than 30 different outfitters that offer impressive options to visit nearly every corner of our planet.