2019 is here and it's time to start making plans for where to go and what to do in the year ahead. If you're looking for an amazing new adventure travel experience we've compiled some of the most unique, unusual, and wildest trips to embark on over the next 12 months. Forget the usual destinations and itineraries, these journeys will send you to far-flung corners of the globe where you'll get to see and do things that most others only dream about.
Get Away From it All in a Remote Corner of Chile
For its 50th anniversary, Mountain Travel Sobek is taking the wraps off of 60 new adventure itineraries for 2019 and one of the most intriguing is a journey through a remote region of Chile. The trip takes backpackers to a place called Isle Navarino, where they’ll spend 9 days trekking the seldom visited Los Dientes de Navarino trail. The route wanders along spectacular beaches, up mountain passes, and over untracked snowfields, offering views of the legendary Beagle Channel along the way. The island is so remote and unexplored that travelers are unlikely to see any other humans or even man-made structures the entire time they are there. If you think you’ve already seen everything that Patagonia has to offer, think again. This excursion will give you an entirely new look at this popular adventure destination.
Ride A Bike From the Arctic to the Panama Canal
While cycling tours continue to grow in popularity, no one offers bike adventures that come anywhere close to what TDA Global Cycling is organizing. For 2019, the company is looking for riders to join its North American Epic tour, which covers more than 9000 miles from northern Canada to the Panama Canal. The journey begins in the remote town of Tuktoyaktuk in the Canadian arctic and finishes five months later in Panama City, Panama. In between, riders will cross not on Canada and Panama, but also the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica too. In other words, you’ll be riding a bike across the length of the entire North American constant, which makes it easy to understand why this particular trip has definitely earned the label “epic.”
Delve Deep into the Amazon with Jules Verne
The Amazon River Basin has always been a mysterious and intriguing place, enticing explorers and adventurers with tales of lost cities, hidden gold, and ancient tribes that remain uncontacted even in the 21st century. Thanks to adventure travel company Jules Verne, you can visit this wild, remote, and beautiful part of the world. The Amazing Amazonia tour takes travelers up the Amazon River aboard a comfortable river boat designed to traverse the untamed rainforest in style. Along the way you’ll encounter pink and gray river dolphins, dozens of colorful bird species, and a stunning array of other wildlife. The 10-day journey provides a surprisingly comprehensive look at the Peruvian rainforest, showing a side of the country that is radically different than the well-worn path to Machu Picchu and the Andes Mountains.
Race Across Mongolia on Horse Back
If you're looking for grand adventures to truly push you to your limits, then The Adventurists can help. This company's excursions aren't just about organizing trips for tourists to foreign lands, but are focused on creating unique experiences for real adventurers. For instance, the Mongol Rally is an overland road trip that sends drivers across Europe and Asia in a tiny car, while the Rickshaw Run is a race across Thailand in the titular vehicles. But perhaps the most intriguing of all is the Mongol Derby, which is billed as the longest and toughest race horse in the world. The Derby sends you off on a wild adventure covering 1000 km across the Mongolian Steppe on horseback, passing through a series of checkpoints while en route. This is a true adventure that isn't for those looking for a guided tour, but instead want to leave the well-worn path behind and chart their own course.
Go For a Run Around the Tallest Mountain in Africa
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is definitely a must-do for any adventure traveler, but if you’ve already knocked off a trek to the highest point in Africa, then perhaps circumnavigating it on foot is your next big challenge. The Kilimanjaro Stage Run gives trail runners the chance to see the mountain –– and the surrounding countryside –– in a way that most foreigners never get to experience. Over the course of six days, partipants in the run will cover more than 160 miles, completely on foot, passing through remote villages seldom visited by westerners. The run is led by none other than Simon Mtuy, a world-class marathon runner who created the KSR as a way to bring more visitors to his home country. The trip isn’t for the feint of heart however, as it requires good physical conditioning and the ability to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. The rewards are numerous and potentially life-changing however, making this a journey that will stay with you long after you’ve gone back home.
Explore Mysterious and Intriguing Oman
Oman isn't on the bucket-list for most travelers, which makes it all the more appealing to adventurers looking to get as far away from the large tourist crowds as possible. For 2019, Flash Pack is taking travelers into this little-known realm where they'll get the chance to experience the history and culture of a place that is both accommodating and mysterious at the same time. Highlights include trekking along Oman's famous Balcony Walk, which overlooks a massive canyon, and taking a 4x4 deep into the desert where only the nomads roam. In true Flash Pack style, there will be a few surprises along the way as well, including spending the night in a bedouin camp and taking a dip in a hidden water pool located deepen the desert.
Chase the Legendary Snow Leopard in Kyrgyzstan
If you prefer your grand adventures also give you a chance to give something back, than Biosphere Expeditions has plenty of opportunities to consider. One of the best is the option to visit the Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan where travelers can assist researchers with the conservation of the elusive and beautiful snow leopard, a species that is critically endangered, but is looking to make a rebound. On this excursion you’ll assist in surveying the numbers of snow leopards in the area, as well as their prey animals, which helps to get a sense of how healthy the population of these big cats truly is. In addition to potentially spotting these “mountain ghosts,” travelers will also spend nearly two weeks in one of the most spectacularly beautiful, untouched, and remote regions on Earth. The Tien Shan is a place that few outsiders ever see, but those that do don’t go home unchanged.
Take a Grand Rafting Excursion Through the American West
150 years ago American explorer John Wesley Powell set out with a group of dedicated men to explore the west by boat The epic journey was filled with all kinds of challenges and hardships, setting a new standard for exploration at the time. This year, Holiday River Expeditions will recreate the experience by leading an 18-day journey that follows in Powell’s footsteps. The one-time-only river rafting excursion will send a few adventurous individuals off through the Wyoming and Utah wilderness, tracing the same route that the explorer and his men used on their historic journey. The trip runs from July 5 - July 22, covering 300+ miles while en route. If you’re looking to untap your inner explorer this year, this just might be the trip that you’ve been looking for.
Ski to the North Pole
For most travelers, the idea of spending two to three weeks skiing across the Arctic Ocean to reach the North Pole sounds like anything but a vacation. But for the truly adventurous, reaching this remote destination is a true test of endurance and determination, not to mention a great addition to any adventure resume.
The Adventure Consultants can make a North Pole expedition a reality with a "last degree" journey that starts at roughly the 89th latitude and continues all the way to the top of the world. This fully-supported adventure is unlike any other, and while not cheap, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a place that few humans ever get the chance to explore. The weather will be cold and you'll be cross-country skiing for hours each day, but the payoff is incredible solitude in the land of the polar bear where only the most hardy and adventuresome ever dare to tread.
Climb Mt. Everest –– In The Winter
Climbing Mt. Everest has always been a bucket-list experience for any seasoned adventurer, but with increased traffic on the mountain it has also gotten crowded in recent years. If standing on the highest point on the planet sounds like something you want to do, but you don’t want to deal with the busy spring climbing season in Nepal, a company called Seven Summit Treks is here to help. The expedition organizer based in Kathmandu is planning the first commercial Everest trip to take place in the winter. The team will be small –– no more than 6 or 8 people –– and extensive mountaineering experience will be required, but this is an opportunity to climb the world’s most famous mountain when there is almost no one else there. Winter summits of Everest are rare and difficult, but a Seven Summit Treks hopes to make it a real possibity for well-heeled travelers looking for the ultimate challenge.
Bonus Adventure –– Visit Rapid City, South Dakota!
Rapid City, South Dakota is a fantastic adventure destination all year round, offering plenty of things for visitors to do. Options include visiting Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and Mt. Rushmore. The area is also home to miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, which are also perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. Add in excellent camping, rock climbing, and fishing, not to mention fantastic paddling excursions, and you start to understand why this region earned TripSavvy's nod for Where to Go in 2019 in the Outdoor Adventure category.