Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
Who hasn’t dreamed of having unique, once-in-a-lifetime adventures around the world?
Just picture yourself visiting destinations with stunning landscapes, in close quarters with nature and the other incredible things the place has to offer. The wind running through your hair, adrenaline running through your veins as you see a scene that takes your breath away. For many, this is the dream.
But it doesn’t just have to be a dream! There are adventure travel tour companies that can take you on these types of experiences worldwide, from trips for families to frozen adventures around Antarctica.
But of course, there are lots of options to choose from…so many that it can be hard to decide which company to go with and what tour itinerary to settle on.
With this in mind, I’ve done a lot of research to find what the 5 best companies were for adventure travel tours. In other words, if this is the type of travel you’re looking for, then you’ll certainly find the right company and tour for you.
But before we get to the companies, there’s one thing we have to talk about first…
Table of Contents
- 1 Is it worth going on a tour with an adventure travel company? Or should I just travel by myself?
- 2 What are the best companies for adventure travel tours overseas?
- 3 How do I choose the right tour company for adventure travel?
- 4 Comparison of the best adventure travel tour companies
- 5 How do you choose where to go on your tour? And what to consider before choosing your tour itinerary?
Is it worth going on a tour with an adventure travel company? Or should I just travel by myself?
To give you an answer, we first need to look at all the pros and cons of traveling with these types of adventure tour companies.
There are also a few other points to consider. For example, if it’s better for you to organize a trip like this by yourself, and if this is worth it in terms of finances and planning.
We say this because it isn’t always easy to find the best prices for adventure excursions individually. Beyond this, trip planning itself can take a lot of time and energy.
Not everyone wants to deal with this, nor do they all have the experience to organize it all. So, we need to consider if it’s worth it or not.
To make your decision easier, we created a table with the pros and cons of going on an organized tour with an adventure travel company. This way, you can decide if this is the best decision for you or if you’re better doing your trip independently.
|Pros of traveling with adventure company||Cons of traveling with adventure tour company|
|You can get the most from each place you visit since all your excursions/visits will be done with a specialized guide who knows what things to see and what to skip.||You’ll have less independence to do what you want to in each place, which won’t happen if you’re traveling alone.|
|It’s easy to meet new people and make friends.||Socializing while on your own can be harder.|
|You won’t always have to be worried about bureaucratic issues or the planning of your trip.||You won’t have as much liberty to create an itinerary since you’ll have to stay with the group.|
|You won’t always have to be worried about bureaucratic issues or the planning of your trip.||It’s almost always more expensive to go with a tour than travelling on your own.|
|You’ll be able to get to hard-to-reach-places like many countries in Central Asia (we’re looking at you, Turkmenistan!) and throughout Africa more easily with a tour than by yourself (and in some cases, a tour will be the only way to visit!).||You’ll have to keep your finances in mind your whole trip.|
|You’ll feel very safe since you’ll always be with other people/the guide.||You might not feel quite as safe if you’re traveling without a group or a guide.|
After taking a look at this table, it should be easier to decide if you really should travel with an adventure tour company overseas, or if you are better off heading out on your own.
What are the best companies for adventure travel tours overseas?
Here, I’ve separated out the 5 tour companies that, in my opinion, are the best when it comes to adventure travel. All of them have good reputation and excellent reviews, but off course you need to know a bit more about them before you decide an organized group tour with them.
The best tour companies for adventure travel are:
- G Adventures
- Intrepid Travel
- Travel Talks
- Encounters Travel
- Tucan Travel
We’ll go into a bit more details about each one, share their histories, and show what they have to offer. This is the best way for you to understand how they work and what makes each one of them different.
1. G Adventures
G Adventures is another great option for anyone looking for international adventure tour travel companies. Created in 1990 by Bruce Boon Tip, the travel company prioritizes sustainable travel with safety.
The original aim was to make it so everyone so could have incredible experiences worldwide like Bruce had on his own backpacking trips.
Since then, the company has grown a lot and today has 28 offices spread around the globe with more than 700 itinerary options for all types of travelers. Like Intrepid, G Adventures also focuses on small group tours so everyone can get the most from their trip while still being able to socialize.
Among the biggest benefits of G Adventures is the customer service, which works 24/7. But the greatest differentiator is, without a doubt, the company’s focus on sustainability and our responsibility to the environment.
A trip with G Adventures will certainly be full of adventures, but you’ll also learn a lot about conservation efforts and what we can do to protect our planet as humans. Definitely a type of trip that’ll help you grow in many ways.
You can choose from excursions and tours around the entire world, from sailing trips about paradisiacal islands to train tours around Asia, India, or Europe.
A few of the tours you’ll find with G Adventures include:
- National Geographic Journeys – in partnership with NatGeo, G Adventures has organized a series of excursions and tours that let travelers explore the most interesting corners of our world with as much comfort and time as you’d like
- Active Tours – tours made just for adventurous travelers! From biking to hiking to whitewater rafting and more…if you like to keep moving and work up a sweat, these tours are made just for you.
- Wellness Travel – These are focused trips for those seeking a balance between body, mind and soul. Filled with activities that fuel this quest, the trip can be made in South America, Central America, Europe or Asia, always with inspiring landscapes to help.
- Marine Tours – perfect for anyone who loves water. You can choose between cruises, sailing, or other grand adventures like boat trips down the Amazon or the Mekong River. Close contact with wildlife will always be a part of these trips, whether that be the innumerable species in the Amazon rainforest, or the turtles of the Galapagos.
Intrepid Travel has been offering excursions and adventure travel tours since 1998 when they were created by Darrell and Manch in Melbourne, Australia. Specialized in small group tours, today the company has more than 1,500 employees and has more than 1,000 options for tours and trips.
The biggest differentiator for Intrepid Travel is, without a doubt, their promise of “real life experiences.” In other words, with them you won’t just see a new place, but will be immersed in local culture through genuine experiences with the natives, typical food, and an understanding of what life is actually like there.
Beyond this, Intrepid’s tours are always done in small groups of usually no more than 12 so that the guides can pay attention to everyone while still creating a social atmosphere.
Another benefit of the small group style tours is that you don’t have to have a group arranged ahead of time since you’ll be put in a travel environment where you’ll meet new people.
Plus, Intrepid also has adventure tours for families. These were created with the needs and limitations of each family member in mind so everyone can enjoy their experience. The company has tours and trips across literally every continent, as well as polar trips, which include Antarctica, Greenland and the North Pole. There are several options for you to venture out and get to know any part of the world.
A few of the tours you’ll find with Intrepid Travel include:
- 18-29s Adventures – tours and excursions made for travelers aged 18-29 to meet new people, party, and make the most of every moment in the best years of their lives. This type of tour for young travelers can be done in the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.
- Intrepid Family Tours – a form of adventure travel that offers comfort and challenge for the entire family at once. You can choose from tours across all the continents, except for Oceania, in more than 50 countries.
- Polar Tours – these tours include grand adventures in the North Pole, Antartica, and Greenland, all done safely and sustainably. Get ready to visit the coldest and most fascinating places on our planet!
3. Travel Talk
Travel Talk is one of the fastest growing companies in the field of tours and excursions in the world. One of its main differentials is that it operates with its own tours, this means that when you buy a travel package you will be acquiring a service totally thought and developed by Travel Talk, no third party companies in between.
All tours and excursions are carefully planned to provide the best experience possible, in addition, one of the main points of attention of Travel Talk is the safety of its customers and employees. The company has strict safety protocols following the guidelines of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
In addition to being extremely well known in the tourism industry, most customer reviews fully recommend the service provided. The main compliments made are about the exceptional service with attentive guides and the affordable prices with several flexible payment methods.
Some of Travel Talk’s featured tours are:
- The Best of Vietnam and Cambodia – Experience the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on this 15-day tour through the unparalleled culture, landscapes, stories and food of this region. This tour includes a boat ride on Halong Bay, visits to the famous floating markets, lessons on Cambodian traditions and a visit to one of the world’s most famous religious complexes, the Temples of Angkor Wat.
- Amazing Egypt – This tour is perfect for those who love history and ancient legends. There are 10 days of tours and visits through the history of ancient Egypt. Besides the traditional visits to the pyramids, this package includes tours of the Great Lighthouse and the Great Library, and walks through the bustling streets of Cairo.
- Spain and Portugal explored – If you are an adventurer and have always wanted to explore Europe, this package is for you. This is an 11 day walking tour of the most famous cities, towns and beaches in the region. On this tour you will see many historical and cultural sites, as well as indescribable landscapes and a nightlife you can’t miss.
Vivalá is a company with a differentiated concept, because they seek to join volunteering, nature and community in sustainable tourism expeditions throughout Brazil. These excursions can certainly provide unforgettable experiences!
For them, sustainable tourism is capable of promoting significant improvements in Brazilian communities. Therefore, using the Volunteerism method, you will join tourism and volunteering in a single trip and get to know Brazilian communities rich in culture and history.
How does it all work? First you will receive an online training to understand your duties as a volunteer. During this training you will understand how the action will take place, what to pack, about the culture of the community visited, and local biodiversity. After the training, you will be ready to embark on a unique excursion.
Vivalá prides itself on empowering small entrepreneurs, which means that with your participation you will help leverage the businesses of several local families, get to know local Brazilian cultures, experience truly sustainable tourism, and create passionate memories.
A few of the tours you’ll find with Vivalá include:
- Amazon Expedition – Tapajós River – Meet the riverside community on the banks of the Tapajós River through Vivalá volunteering. The expedition includes meals, accommodation, transportation, a local guide and a Vivalá facilitator, travel insurance and tours in the region.
- Expedition Amazon – Rio Negro – An expedition in the largest tropical rainforest in the world, getting to know the riverside community on the banks of the Rio Negro through volunteering and exploring the local nature in depth. The package includes meals, accommodation, tours and local guides.
With an easy-to-use website, Encounters Travel divides its guided tours into several categories, even having a category for booking last-minute trips.
It is a company with more than 50 years in the market and offers several innovative trips for people who want to leave the standard destinations that the vast majority of people choose to visit, being ideal for adventurers.
Focusing on the each client’s comfort, the tour groups are limited to 20 travelers, so that no one is excluded and everyone can interact with each other! For those who don’t like to travel in group, there are private tour options as well, which can be a little more expensive, but it is up to you and your priorities.
If you are interested in any destination offered by Encounters Travel, but you want some change in the trip’s itinerary, it is possible to customize it according to your needs, as long as your group agree.
6. Tucan Travel
Tucan Travel is experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic and is not offering tours momentarily. As another option for a company offering guided small group adventure tours, take a look at Travel Talks below.
Tucan Travel is an adventure travel company with lots of experience. Founded in 1987, Tucan has options for tours in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Tucan Travel invites people who travel solo to join their groups so they everyone can add to each other’s knowledge and experience. As the company likes to remind us, a solo trip doesn’t have to be a lonely trip. This means that you can meet and befriend people from around the world, giving you another chance to learn more about other cultures.
The biggest differentiator of Tucan Travel are the unique experiences that the company offers, which ranges from historic visits to extraordinary places like museums, UNESCO world heritage sites, and religious temples, to festivals worldwide where you can try art, music, and local food for yourself.
Tucan Travel even offers trips custom trips for people who want to have an experience created just for them. This isn’t only one of the main benefits of traveling with Tucan, but also one of the safest ways (in all senses) to see the world.
A few of the tours you’ll find with Tucan Travel include:
- The Northern Lights – a trip where you will quite literally chase the northern lights in Iceland. Perhaps an chilly experience, but certainly one you’ll remember forever.
- Wildlife Spotting – these are the tours for you if you’d like to see wildlife up close and personal. Among the options are seeing the Big Five in Africa and visiting the natural habitat of the Gorillas in Uganda.
- History & Culture Trips – these types of trips focus on anything that involves history. From ancient constructions to some of the most famous museums in the world. You could travel from Croatia to Hungary exploring the region. Or have a unique experience in South America on the way from Lima to Rio de Janeiro. The options are limitless.
How do I choose the right tour company for adventure travel?
After reading about the 5 companies and understanding more about how they work and what services they offer, many people are unsure of which one is best. But the truth is that there isn’t a best adventure travel tour company. It all depends on your preferences and what type of trip you want to do.
If you’d like to adventure out with friends in small groups, Intrepid or G Adventures could be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for a personalized adventure, then Tucan Travel could be the one.
It’s also worth mentioning that your choice might change with what you want. Maybe you’re interested in one type of tour today, but you want something more personalized next year, for example. In this case, you can go with two different companies. Each one could be the right choice for that moment in your life.
I created a table below that may also help with your decision.
Comparison of the best adventure travel tour companies
|G Adventures||Intrepid Travel||Travel Talk||Vivalá||Encounters Travel||Tucan Travel|
|Years in business||29 years||22 years||20 years||8 years||12 years||33 years|
|Promote solo traveling||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Trips for young solo travelers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
How do you choose where to go on your tour? And what to consider before choosing your tour itinerary?
Choosing your destination, like choosing your adventure travel tour company, is highly personal. As you can see, there are options for all tastes. From those for people who want to travel alone and meet new people, to families who want to adventure into the world together.
However, there are some questions to ask yourself that should help when you are choosing where to go and what tour to do. Those questions are:
- Why are you traveling? To meet new people? To explore hard-to-get-to destinations? To get in contact with nature? To “find” yourself?
- Who do you want to travel with?
- What type of culture are you most interested in?
- What type of adventure are you looking for?
- What is the ideal temperature for your trip? Can you handle extreme cold or heat?
- Do you prefer ocean or mountains?
- And how about cities? Do you want your adventure trip to include cities?
- What is the level of physical effort that you can and want to do during your trip? (by the way, all the companies above show the level of physical effort necessary for each of their available excursions)
By answering the questions above, you should have of good idea of what type of destination or adventure tour would be right for you. And, of course, you can add as many questions as you like until you’re ready to start planning. It’s a great exercise to choose where to go!
What did you think about these 5 international adventure tour companies? Each one of them is a bit different and has its pros and cons, as shown in the table.
Either way, no matter what company or what tour you choose, you’ll have a great trip without the usual stress of organizing an entire trip on your own.
If you have any other questions about this article, the companies mentioned, picking a tour, or just traveling in general, just leave them in the comments area below and I promise to get back to you
Planning your next trip?
Then don’t forget travel insurance! You don’t want to get stuck paying a ton of money and ruining your trip if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. WorldNomads is ideal for adventurous travelers, backpackers, or anyone looking to be protected during their trip. They cover almost every single activity you can image! Plus, you can have a 5% discount with the coupon code comfort5.
Already reserved your hotel or hostel? If not, we recommend Booking.com. They have a huge selection of hotels and hostels all over the world. Plus, in most cases, you can cancel your reservation up to a few days before the check-in date without any costs!
Still haven’t booked your plane ticket and want to save big? Take a look at Kayak and Momondo. They are flight aggregator that combine several other ticket search websites to make it easier for you to compare prices and make sure you are getting the best deal.
And finally, will you need to rent a car during your trip? Then check out Rentalcar.com to search and compare car rental companies from all over the world in a single website. Then, you can find the cheapest price for the best car!