Women's Adventure Travel: Gutsy Group Trips for Women

Why girls-only adventure trips are taking off

Women's adventure travel is a growing subset of adventure travel. Many women—single or married—like the camaraderie of all female group trips."Because women in any culture relish the freedom to experience new things away from limiting, societal expectations," says Susan Eckert, president of AdventureWomen. "We have a unique sense of discovery, an unabashed curiosity, the easy ability to laugh at ourselves and the capacity to create a non-competitive environment of support and encouragement for each other. Under these circumstances, women feel free to challenge themselves…"

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    Call of the Wild

    On a Call of the Wild women-only trip backpacking in Yosemite National Park
    ••• On a Call of the Wild women-only trip backpacking in Yosemite National Park. Call of the Wild

    Call of the Wild offers a year-round choice of adventure trips, including backpacking, hiking, trekking, snowshoeing and skiing. Adventure trips include easy to moderate day hikes such as discovering Death Valley, trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or exploring New Zealand.

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    The Women's Travel Group bills itself as a tour group for women of all ages who are interested in traveling solo (with a no-single surcharge guarantee, to boot). Trips span a variety of genres, including cooking in Tuscany, safaris in Tanzania, and a 10-day trip to China and Mongolia. Most itineraries include at least one activity that is specifically geared toward women, such as speakers or shopping at a local, woman-owned coop. 

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    Adventures in Good Company, which was started in 1999, offers active vacations to destinations nearby and far-flung, including hiking in the Adirondacks, kayaking in Belize, and island-hopping in Greece. Good news for mindful travelers: The sustainability focused company contributes 15 percent of its profits to non-profit organizations, works with local operators, and practices a leave-no-trace principles on all trips. 

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    Rafting the Colorado River on a trip with AdventureWomen
    ••• Rafting the Colorado River on a trip with AdventureWomen. (c) Susan L Eckert, AdventureWomen Inc.

    AdventureWomen, which has been offering trips designed for women since 1982, has a wide selection of trips for females age 30 and older. The trips range from Big Sky and Yellowstone Hiking, to Baja Sea Kayaking and Iceland Horseback Riding—and they're popular. Some 70 percent of travelers return to the group for another tour. 

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    This 40-year-old tour company was one of the pioneers of adventure travel trips for women, and it's no wonder: packages span a variety of skill sets and interests, including beginner wilderness journeys and hiking vacations that end in comfy lodges. Locations and activities include sea kayaking in the Yucatan, multi-sport trips to Guatemala, and hiking in the Everest region.

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    The Women's Wilderness Institute offers more than 50 courses that teach solid skills for exploring the backcountry and the wilderness.  The outdoor adventures and backcountry trips in the Rocky Mountains and southwestern deserts and rivers are for women and teen girls.

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    More Specialty Adventure Tour Groups

    Interested in more specialized tour groups? Adventure travel groups span a number of activities and interests, including: