Top 30 Adventure Travel Companies

My picks for top adventure travel companies in the world

Adventure travel is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry, and there are some amazing companies that offer outstanding itineraries to just about every corner of the globe. We've compiled a list of some of the very best to help you sort through the options and choose the one that fits your needs most closely. So, whether you're  biking in Morocco, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, or rafting through the Grand Canyon here are brief sampling of the experiences that these companies have to offer. Each company's website lists specific adventure travel trips, with detailed itineraries, pricing and images that give a taste of the adventures waiting for you.

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    Quick List Access to Specialty Adventure and Sports Travel Companies?

    Couple hiking in remote area and looking at map
    ••• Paul Bradbury/OJO Images/Getty Images

    If you want to zero in on specific adventure travel styles, visit the links below this paragraph. Keep in mind that most of the 20-plus adventure travel companies in the master list have impressive trips covering all aspects of adventure travel.

    Are you looking for Dream Bicycle Trips & Adventures?

    Are you looking for adrenalin-charged Multisport Trips?

    Are you looking for Best Rafting Trips Worldwide?

    Are you looking for sources for great Family Adventure Travel Trips?

    Are you looking for entertaining Learning Vacations around the world?

    Are you looking for Women's Adventure Travel?

    Are you looking for Extreme Adventures?

    If you want to look at all the top companies, keep scrolling down this page.

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    G Adventures Open Up the World

    Visiting a monastary in Bhutan with GAP Adventures
    ••• Visiting a monastary in Bhutan with GAP Adventures. Gap Adventures

    G Adventures has been one of the top adventure travel companies for more than 25 years, offering so many unique and affordable trips that they are often the first choice for those looking for a grand adventure without killing their bank account. The company offers ore than 1200 itineraries to all seven continents. Be sure to check out the "Travel Deals" section of their website where you'll find great discounts on fascinating trips.

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    Geographic Expeditions Adventurous Trips

    Geographic Expeditions
    ••• Camel Trekking. Geographic Expeditions

    Geographic Expeditions offers a portfolio of overland tours, treks, walks, and expeditionary voyages to the world's most astonishing places, ranging from journeys in China, Nepal, and Vietnam to Mongolia and Ghana.

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    Austin Adventures in Germany
    ••• Austin Adventures adventure trip to Germany. Austin Adventures

    If you're looking for adventure travel trips designed for the entire family, then look no further than ​Austin Adventures. Multi-Sport trips – bike, hike, climb, paddle, ride – are a specialty for this company, which also leads trips to such scenic places as Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and Bryce, Zion and Yosemite National Parks.

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    Tusker Trail - The Best for Kilimanjaro and Beyond

    Tusker Trail on Kilimanjaro
    ••• Tusker Trail is the leading Kilimanjaro trekking company. Tusker Trail

    Tusker Trail is probably the leading company for trekking Kilimanjaro in Africa, and yet it still manages to offer some of the best adventure travel experiences in other parts of the world as well. Trips include treks to Everest Base Camp, a unique horseback adventure through Mongolia, and an excursion into the high mountains of Peru. Tusker offers small-group experiences with unmatched service and support. 

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    Ecotourism and Nature Trips With International Expeditions

    International Expeditions offers small-group eco-tours and nature travel trips to exotic locations including the Amazon, Egypt, the Galapagos, India, ​and Kenya during the annual Great Migration. the company offers in-depth itineraries designed to explore the soul of a region through behind-the-scenes access to places and experiences. The group leaders are naturalists or historians – and sometimes both – which results in a much more enjoyable and educational experience for clients. 

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    Exploring Nature With Natural Habitat Adventures

    ••• Watching polar bears with Natural Habitat Adventures. Steve Morello/Natural Habitat Adventures

    Natural Habitat Adventures trips focus on nature scenes around the globe. Travelers get to see some of the world's most intriguing animals, including mountain gorillas in Africa, wild tigers in India's lesser-visited parks, and beluga whales in a remote region of Canada.

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    Riding an elephant in Thailand
    ••• Riding an elephant in Thailand. Intrepid Photography Competition 2007, Bathtime, Thailand - Wendy Broekx

    Intrepid Travel is another leader in the adventure travel market. The company focuses on taking travelers off the beaten track to more than 90 destinations around the globe. On these generally small-group trips, you’ll travel in ways similar to the local people, respecting their culture and the environment. The groups take mostly public transportation, stay and eat in small-scale locally-owned establishments, and immerse yourself in the local culture in some very creative ways.

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    Mountain Travel Sobek

    polar bear siting during Mountain Travel Sobek trip
    ••• Seeing a polar bear during a Mountain Travel Sobek High Arctic Explorer trip. Mountain Travel Sobek

    Mountain Travel Sobek pioneered the concept of small-group adventure travel more than 40 years ago and has been exploring the world in imaginative ways ever since. The itineraries are designed for travelers who are looking to discover the planet's fantastic diversity of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife in new and immersive ways. Some of the company's trips are so unique that you won't find them anywhere else. 

    

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    National Geographic Expeditions - National Geographic Adventures

    A wild guanaco surveys Patagonia
    ••• A wild guanaco surveys Patagonia. National Geographic

    National Geographic Expeditions is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society. The company offers trips that combine adventure travel and the types of exploration that Nat Geo is so famous for, often providing unique experiences that can't be found anywhere else. The trips are designed to draws upon the expertise of the explorers, scholars and Society-sponsored researcher from around the globe. Many of the adventures are led by National Geographic experts in specific fields, such as archaeologists, naturalists, historians, and photographers.

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    Classic Journeys Specializes in Soft Adventure Trips

    Riding camels in Morocco during a Classic Journeys walking trip
    ••• Riding camels in Morocco during a Classic Journeys walking trip. Classic Journeys

    Classic Journeys specializes in boutique, small-group, soft-adventure travel. The company operates three types of trips: cultural walking adventures, family journeys, and culinary tours. Any Classic Journeys trip can be transformed into a private journey as well, further opening up the possibilities for those who can afford that option. 

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    Watching lions while on safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa
    ••• Watching lions while on a safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa. © Lois Friedland

    REI Adventures offers great active travel trips, such as canoeing on a lake here in the U.S., cycling in Vietnam, or sea kayaking and hiking in Croatia. And, these are just a few of the 90+ weekend-to-multiweek trips offered by the company, which is part of the REI retail chain that has more than 145 stores in the U.S. chock-full of gear, equipment, and clothing for adventure travelers.

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    Sacred Rides Takes Mountain Biking Very Seriously

    Sacred Rides mountain biking tours
    ••• Sacred Rides leads mountain biking tours all over the world. Sacred Rides

    Mountain biking has grown into a popular mode of transportation for adventure travelers, and few companies offer better travel experiences than Sacred Rides. The company has itineraries designed for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders alike, with tours taking bikers to Nepal, Peru, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and more. Whether you're just learning to ride or have years of experience, Sacred Rides can take you to places you never thought possible. 

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    River Rafting & Other Adventure Vacations with ROW Adventures

    ROW Adventures offers river-rafting trips and adventurous vacations as diverse as snorkeling with sea lions and turtles in the Galapagos Islands and camel trekking in Algeria. Some of ROW's trips have been included in National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s “Tours of a Lifetime” and Outside Magazine’s Top Ten New Trips as well. 

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    OARS Whitewater Rafting and Adventure Tours

    OARS Alaska whitewater rafting
    ••• OARS Whitewater Rafting in Alaska. OARS

    Want to experience some of the best whitewater rafting on the planet? OARS has you covered with trips to some of the most exotic places around the globe. The company offers more than 90 trips to help you find your best adventure both on and off the water. 

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    Travoca Antarctica tours
    ••• Travoca leads trips to Antarctica. Travoca

    Travcoa is one of the leading providers of luxury escorted tours, luxury custom vacations, and private jet trips. Some of the destinations include Antarctica, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, India and China, and such exotic locales as Bhutan, Easter Island, Lapland, and Madagascar. The escorted tours are limited to 18 persons, but the average is about 12, making the group trips not overly large. 

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    ••• Carry bikes across the river on a BikeHike Adventures trip. BikeHike Adventures

    BikeHike Adventures specializes in multi-sport trips for those of us addicted to exploring the outdoors. The company’s itineraries combine a range of activities from biking, hiking and rafting to sea kayaking, rock climbing and zip-lining.

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    Road Scholar - with its tagline "Adventures in Lifelong Learning" - is a reinvented version of Elderhostel. The for-profit Elderhostel created Road Scholar to encourage younger travelers to experience educational adventures in their own way as well.

    The trips still incorporate the insightful additions to trips that have attracted senior travelers since 1975. But, don't assume these are all tame excursions where you look out a bus window. Options range from study cruises in the Galapagos Islands to hiking in Patagonia.

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    Butterfield & Robinson Morocco
    ••• Butterfield & Robinson in Morocco. Butterfield & Robinson

    This Canadian company has focused on luxury-oriented biking and walking trips since 1966. B&R is a leader in designing vacations in providing experiences that are on the cutting edge of trendy. Check out the hiking and biking trips in Vietnam and Peru or visiting the Galapagos Island by Sea. B&R arranges special treats such as private musical performances and learning to cook regional specialties from local chefs. The company also plans outstanding "bespoke" (custom) vacations too.

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    Abercrombie & Kent

    Luxury trips are Abercrombie & Kent's hallmark. The company can take travelers to remote locations such as Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, or to more traditional places France and Italy. If you want a comfortable, luxurious experience mixed with your adventure, and have the money to spare, A&K will be right for you. 

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    Great Beyond Creates Adventures for Small Groups

    Trekking in China's Taklimakan Desert with Wandrian Adventures
    ••• Trekking and camping in China's Taklimakan Desert with Wandrian Adventures. Wandrian Adventures

    Great Beyond Adventures focuses on combining adventure, education, and culture into one-of-a-kind small-group travel package. The trips are customized and eco-sensitive, making them a great option for the traveler looking for the personal touch. 

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    ••• Biking with Backroads. Backroads

    Backroads Travel itineraries include biking, walking, hiking, multipart and more. The company offers trips designed for all tastes, ages, and abilities, and can deftly switch from physical activity to cultural immersion. Destinations range from Europe to the U.S. and Canada to Asia and Africa, and beyond. 

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    Myths and Mountains

    Myths and Mountains vacations are a blend of both entertainment and education. Some of the unique itineraries include Trekking the Old East-West Trade Route in Bhutan and The Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca Experience in Peru. The company specializes in hand-crafted experiences that are centered around the personal interests of individual travelers. 

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    Country Walkers

    Country Walkers is a well-established company with an array of trips to areas that are just becoming popular, as well as the expected itineraries to Europe and throughout North America. They have good in-country connections in exotic places and offer walking itineraries in such places as Bhutan, Croatia, and Chile.  This company offers self-guided hiking adventures in Italy, Spain, England and Switzerland as well, with accommodations in 3- and 4-star hotels as well as agritourism farmhouses.

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    If heli-skiing or heli-hiking are on your adventure-travel radar, check out the variety of trips offered by Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). In the winter this company offers heli-ski for advanced intermediates to expert skiers and snowboarders. In the summer, the heli-hiking trips for novices to experienced hikers and for families. CMH also has mountaineering trips.

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    Smithsonian Journeys offers trips that are designed to blend history and culture into a unique mix that only the experts at the Smithsonian Museum could concoct. The company offers trips to dozens of destinations on all seven continents and even the Arctic. With more than 45 years of experience, their travel experts can't be beaten and continue to come up with itineraries that fresh and exciting. 

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    If you're looking for a company that combines adventure travel with making a difference to developing communities, check out Elevate Destinations. Travelers on these trips want to give back -- whether it's in donations or service, and the get opportunities to visit the places that they are having an impact on. 

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    The Women's Travel Club offers a variety of adventurous trips to exotic locales and sophisticated cities. The trips include special experiences, such as visiting a mosque with other women or evening walks in places where a single female might not normally want to walk alone. Destinations include Rwanda, Ireland, Belize, and Peru.

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    prayer flags in Bhutan
    ••• Seeing prayer flags in Bhutan while on a custom trip with Village Tours and Treks. © Jen Robertson

    Images of hikers trekking through lush green valleys and along trails etched into the steep Himalayas are luring adventure travelers to Bhutan. The Bhutan Travel Bureau has been bringing visitors there for over 25 years, creating custom tours for travelers seeking adventure and culture. Itineraries can blend trekking, whitewater rafting, immersions into the local cultures, visits during festivals and even homestays in villages.

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    Greenloons Web Site Lists Family & Eco-Sensitve Travelers Trips

    A family looks at birds during a Greenloons ecotourism vacation
    ••• A family looks at birds during a Greenloons ecotourism vacation. Greenloons

    Started by a mom who couldn't find eco-sensitive trips for her family, Greenloons has been around since 2010. The Web site lists hundreds of trips to ecotourism destinations, plus trips and places where eco-conscious travelers can volunteer as well.