Adventure travel today can mean anything from glacier climbing in New Zealand to leisurely walks through Scotland to kite surfing in Costa Rica. There are different levels of adventure travel (slow hiking versus rock climbing), different size groups (a dozen per group or one-on-one attention) and different providers (customized, luxury trips to classic tent camping). For first-time adventure travelers, it's important to remember that you can start small -- like learning how to hike or mountain bike -- and eventually work your way to become a full-fledge adventure hobbyist.
iExplore (tel. 800/iExplor; www.iexplore.com) is a seven-year-old company that can make all the arrangements for your adventure trip by acting as both a tour provider for certain trips and as a travel agent that directs you to local tour providers in locations where iExplore does not currently lead their own tours. A seven-day land-only trip to Uruguay departing led by iExplore tour guides costs $2,095. The trip includes privately guided tours with a multi-lingual guide, accommodations at small four and five star hotels (a budget trip can be also be arranged), and a departure date of your choice. Although the itinerary can be customized, this trip starts in Montevideo before stopping in Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Este and Isla de Lobos. On the way you'll see ecological reserves, colonial churches, wildlife and South American beaches.
The Away.com Network (www.away.com) is a active travel site listing information on adventure travel through partnership with its sister sites Gorp.com (gorptravel.away.com), which focuses on vacation packages to adventure spots in America's National Parks and other global hotspots, and Outside Online (outside.away.com), the website for Outside magazine. From Away.com, we found several adventure trips for photographers to hikers and trekkers. A seven-day hiking and trekking trip to Provence with accommodations at bed and breakfasts and inns for moderate hikers (meaning some inclines but no serious or dangerous climbs) is available in April, May, June, August, September and October costs approximately $1,975 without airfare. The operator for this trip is Cross Country International (tel. 800/828-8768; www.walkingvacations.com), which specializes in horseback riding expeditions as well as walking tours. You can purchased the trip either through Gorp.com or directly from the provider. Surfing around Gorp.com will reveal other adventures, like archeological digs, sailing trips through Turkey, and family trips to Patagonia.
Travelzoo.com (www.travelzoo.com) now lists adventure travel specials with direct links to adventure travel suppliers. Looking under the Sports and Adventure section we found trips to Kenya, a nine-day self-drive tour to Namibia, and a three-day hike in the Grand Canyon. Seven-day, five-night trips to Egypt leave between February and May and start at $1,399. Additional costs include an Egyptian Visa for $25 and departure fees and security costs. The trip is provided and managed by Duso World Travel (tel. 877/387-6246; www.duso2go.com/index.htm) and includes round-trip airfare out of New York and five nights at the Cairo Sofitel with breakfast. The "Egypt Your Way" trip makes excursions available on an a la carte basis so you can decide how expensive or inexpensive you want to keep structure your trip. A visit to the Giza Pyramids costs $50, the Egyptian Museum costs $95, and a day-trip with flight to Abu Simbel $350. Hotel upgrades are also available.
Talk with fellow Frommer's readers on our Adventure Travel Message Board today.