Top 30 Adventure Travel Companies

Top adventure travel companies in the world

Adventure travel is one of the most popular 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 aligns most closely to your needs.

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.

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    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 without killing their 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 company's website where you'll often find great discounts on some dream trips.

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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.

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    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, and Bryce, Zion, and Yosemite National Parks.

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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 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 and a few surprise luxuries along the way. 

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  • 05 of 29
    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.

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    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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    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 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, which is tough to do in the increasingly competitive adventure travel space. 

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  • 09 of 29
    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. The trips are designed to draw upon the expertise of the explorers, scholars and Society-sponsored researchers 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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    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. 

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    Lions on a safari
    © Lois Friedland

    REI Adventures offers great active travel trips, such as canoeing on a remote 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 150 stores in the U.S. that specialize in selling 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 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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    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. 

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    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. 

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    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, 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. The well heeled traveler is likely to find something of interest in the company's extensive catalog. 

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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 have you covered. 

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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. The for-profit Elderhostel created Road Scholar to encourage younger travelers to experience educational adventures in their own way.

    Each of the Road Scholar itineraries  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 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 vacations in providing experiences that are on the cutting edge of trendy. Check out its hiking and biking trips in Vietnam and Peru for example or visiting the Galapagos Islands 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" vacations too.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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    Vietnam banana boat
    Courtesy of 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
    Courtesy of 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. The company even offers self-guided hiking adventures in Italy, Spain, England, and Switzerland, with accommodations in 3- and 4-star hotels as well as agritourism farmhouses.

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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. 

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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 45 years of experience, their travel experts can't be beaten and continue to come up with new itineraries that are fresh and exciting. 

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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 the places that they are having an impact on. 

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    Courtesy of Women's Travel Club Canada

    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 be caught out alone. Destinations include Rwanda, Ireland, Belize, and Peru.

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    Prayer flag BHUTAN
    Jacob Maentz / Getty Images

    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. This is one of the best options for visiting the Himalayan kingdom. 

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    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 trips and places where eco-conscious travelers can volunteer as well.