The Top 30 Adventure Travel Companies in the World

The top adventure travel companies in the world

Adventure travel is one of the most popular segments of the travel industry, and in recent years there has been tremendous growth with more companies getting into the market. Today, it can be more challenging than ever to decide who to travel with when setting out to some remote and wild corner of the globe.

On the flip side, there are also more and more incredible companies offering new and unique ways to explore the world around us. Most are looking to be more eco-friendly, others cater to solo or female travelers, while some create itineraries that appeal to specific age groups. Now, more than ever before, adventure travelers are finding options that have been tailored specifically for them.

To help you decide which travel companies are right for you we've compiled a list of some of the very best in the business. So, whether you're biking in Morocco, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, or rafting through the Grand Canyon here is a brief sampling of some 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.

  • 01 of 30
    Paro Taktsang
    Nagarjun Kandukuru / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    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 that won't put a hurt on the bank account. The company offers more than 1200 unique itineraries to all seven continents. Be sure to check out the "Travel Deals" section of the G Adventures website where you'll often find great discounts on some dream trips and last minute departures. You'll also find a number of affordable itineraries aimed specifically at younger travelers too. 

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    Camel trek
    Kristin Piljay / Getty Images

    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. The company primarily appeals to a more upscale, luxury traveler, but it also offers some itineraries and options that simply aren't found anywhere else. 

  • 03 of 30
    Eltz Castle
    Mareen Fischinger / Getty Images

    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, Bryce, Zion, and Yosemite National Parks. In fact, guided journeys to U.S. National Parks are some of Austin Adventures' top itineraries. 

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    A team of hikers approach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at sunrise after trekking six hours through the night.
    R. Tyler Gross/Getty Images

    Tusker Trail is one of the leading companies for trekking Kilimanjaro in Africa, and yet it still manages to offer some of the best adventure travel experiences to other parts of the world too. 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 and a few surprise luxuries along the way. Once you experience a Tusker trek, it's hard to travel with anyone else. 

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  • 05 of 30
    Flash Pack Adventure Travel

    Flash Pack

    If you're looking for truly unique and exciting adventure travel opportunities, look no further than Flash Pack. The company leads small group tours to some of the best destinations on the planet and manages to add a nice dash of unexpected flavor to all of the company's trips. Solo travelers are welcomed here with open arms, with most of the trips designed for adventurers 35 to 50 years old. Be warned however, once you take a Flash Pack trip, all other options just aren't the same. 

  • 06 of 30
    Kenya Great Migration
    Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography / Getty Images

    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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    Polar bear tour
    Juan-Carlos Munoz / Getty Images

    Natural Habitat Adventures' itineraries focus on nature scenes around the globe. Travelers get to see some of the world's most intriguing wildlife, including mountain gorillas in Africa, wild tigers in India's lesser-visited parks, and beluga whales in a remote region of Canada. If you love spotting some of the planet's most amazing creatures in their natural environment, chances are you'll find an itinerary to love here. 

  • 08 of 30
    Intrepid Travel
    Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

    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 as yo go. The groups take mostly public transportation, stay and eat in small-scale, locally-owned establishments, and immerse themselves in the local culture in some highly creative ways.

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  • 09 of 30
    Seeing a polar bear during a Mountain Travel Sobek High Arctic Explorer trip
    Courtesy of Mountain Travel Sobek

    Mountain Travel Sobek pioneered the concept of small-group adventure travel 50 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, which is tough to do in the increasingly competitive adventure travel space. If you're the kind of traveler who has "been there, done that," chance are MTS will still have a few surprises for you. 

  • 10 of 30
    Mongol Rally

    The Adventurists 

    It becomes a bit cliche to say that an adventure travel company offers experiences that no other company does, but when it comes to the Adventurists this is an undisputed fact. These aren't simple itineraries that you browse through and then pick one for a relaxed vacation. On the contrary in fact, as these are true adventures designed to push you out of your comfort zone and push you to your limits. Classic Adventurist travel options include the Mongol Rally, which sends participants off on a tans-continental race starting in London and ending in Mongolia or the Ice Run which involves riding motorcycles around Lake Baikal in Russia in the dead of winter. These excursions aren't for everyone, but those who do embark on them won't ever go home the same person they were when they left. 

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    Guanaco
    David Thyberg / Getty Images

    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. These excursions are designed to draw upon the expertise of the explorers, scholars, and Society-sponsored researchers that have made National Geographic a bastion for exploration for more than 100 years. Many of these adventures are even led by National Geographic experts in specific fields, such as archaeologists, naturalists, historians, and photography. 

  • 12 of 30
    Riding camels in Morocco
    Courtesy of 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. If you're looking for a great adventure by day, and a comfy bed, delicious meal, and a bit of pampering at night, you'll find what you're looking for here. 

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  • 13 of 30
    Lions on a safari
    © Lois Friedland

    REI Adventures offers great active travel trips, such as canoeing on a remote mountain lake in the U.S., cycling in Vietnam, or sea kayaking and hiking in Croatia. And, these are just a few of the 100+ trips available, some only a weekend in length, while others stretch across several weeks. The company is part of the REI retail chain, which has more than 150 stores across the U.S. that specialize in selling a variety of gear, equipment, and clothing for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

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    Sacred Rides
    Courtesy of 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 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 for the very first time or have years of experience, Sacred Rides can take you to places you never thought possible. 

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    ROW Adventures
    Courtesy of 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. Don't let the name fool you, ROW has a lot more to offer than just whitewater rafting. 

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    BikeHike Adventures
    Courtesy of 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. If you're looking for an active outdoor experience, BikeHike will certainly have you covered. The company offers trips to nearly every corner of the globe, with a nice mix of adventure and a few luxuries along the way. 

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    Road Scholar
    Courtesy of Road Scholar

    Road Scholar - with its tagline "Adventures in Lifelong Learning" - is a reinvented version of Elderhostel, which created the program to encourage younger travelers to experience educational adventures in their own way.

    Each of the Road Scholar itineraries still incorporates 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 as a foreign landscape whizzes by. Options range from study cruises in the Galapagos Islands to hiking in Patagonia, with plenty of other itineraries to choose from as well. 

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    Butterfield & Robinson in Morocco
    Courtesy of Butterfield & Robinson

    This Canadian company has focused on luxury-oriented biking and walking trips since 1966. B&R is a leader in designing adventure vacations and providing experiences that are on the cutting edge of trendy. Check out its hiking and biking trips in Vietnam and Peru for example or book a visit to the Galapagos Islands by sea.

    B&R arranges special treats such as private musical performances and cooking classes focused on regional specialties from local chefs. The company also plans outstanding "bespoke" vacations too for those who want to build their own itinerary from the ground up.

  • 19 of 30
    O.A.R.S. - Whitewater Rafting
    Courtesy of O.A.R.S. - Whitewater Rafting

    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. International destinations include Chile, Fiji, Botswana, Cuba, and more. 

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    Abercrombie & Kent

    Mongolia camels
    Courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent's

    Luxury trips are Abercrombie & Kent's speciality. The company can take travelers to remote locations around the globe, including places like Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, or to more traditional destinations like France and Italy. If you want a comfortable, luxurious experience mixed with your adventure, and have the money to spare, A&K will be a great fit for you. Some of the travel options are truly unique and the company can help customers design an experience for each traveler too. 

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    Wandrian Adventures
    Courtesy of 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. The company's planet-friendly approach to adventure travel resonates well with those who want to travel the globe, but do so in a way that has little lasting impact on the places we go. 

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    Biking in Belgium
    © Santiago Urquijo / Getty Images

    Backroads Travel itineraries include biking, walking, hiking, multisport and more. The company offers trips designed for all tastes, ages, and abilities, and can deftly switch from physical activity to cultural immersion in no time at all. Destinations range from Europe to the U.S. and Canada to Asia and Africa, and beyond. The company has even been operating in Cuba for sometime, making access to the Caribbean island a real possibility for travelers from the U.S. 

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    Vietnam banana boat
    Courtesy of Myths and Mountains

    Myths and Mountains vacations are a blend of both entertainment and education, with an emphasis on visiting destinations found in Asia. Some of the unique itineraries include Trekking the Old East-West Trade Route in Bhutan and exploring ancient monasteries and mountain passes in Nepal. The company specializes in hand-crafted experiences that are centered around the personal interests of individual travelers, which means no two tours are ever completely alike. 

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    CMH Revelstoke
    Courtesy of CMH

    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 it switches to heli-hiking trips for novices to experienced hikers, as well as for families. CMH specializes in taking adventurous travelers into remote wilderness areas by helicopter, giving them a bird's eye view of the truly wild backcountry that is just out the door. 

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    Country Walkers
    Courtesy of Country Walkers

    Country Walkers is a well-established company with an array of trips to areas that are just emerging on the adventure travel radar, as well as some traditional itineraries to Europe and throughout North America. They have good in-country connections in exotic places around the globe and offer walking itineraries in such places as Bhutan, Croatia, and Chile. The company even offers self-guided hiking adventures in Italy, Spain, England, and Switzerland, with accommodations in 3- and 4-star hotels for those looking to travel a bit more independently. 

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    Italian Lake District
    © Marco Bottigelli / Getty Images

    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 50 years of experience, the travel experts at Smithsonian can't be beat and continue to come up with new itineraries that are fresh and exciting all the time. 

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    Travoca
    Courtesy of Travoca

    Travcoa is one of the leading providers of luxury escorted tours, custom vacations, and private jet trips in the world. Some of the destinations include Antarctica, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, India and China, with such exotic locales as Bhutan, Easter Island, Lapland, and Madagascar on the list. The escorted tours are limited to 18 persons, but the average is about 12. The well heeled traveler is likely to find something of interest in the company's extensive catalog, which has some fantastic trips that aren't found anywhere else.  

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    Elevate Destinations
    Courtesy of Elevate Destinations

    If you're looking for a company that combines adventure travel with making a difference for developing communities, check out Elevate Destinations. Travelers on these trips want to give back – whether it's in donations or service – and enjoy opportunities to visit places that they can have a positive impact on. This is a style of travel that is starting to grow in popularity, and Elevate is on the forefront of the movement, which combines community support and conservation. 

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    GREENLOONS
    Courtesy of 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 options for itineraries and places where eco-conscious travelers can volunteer as well. If you love to travel, but are also environmentally conscious about your impact on the planet, Greenloons can help you find the right trip to help persevere the Earth. 

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    Wild Frontiers Travel

    Wild Frontiers

    Another travel company that specializes in making solo travelers feel right at home, Wild Frontiers offers some fantastic adventures to truly remote places. With options to travel through Europe, Asia, India, Latin America, Africa, and the Antarctic, you'll find plenty of great trips to add to your bucket list. There are even options for family excursions, culinary tours, luxury and honeymoon escapes, and much more. This is adventure travel perfected, with plenty of amazing experiences to be had.