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Who doesn’t need to escape the daily grind from time to time? Busy lives with work deadlines, family schedules, and social commitments can, over time, make each day blend into the next until one day it’s a surprise that another year has passed. When the day-to-day becomes drudgery, it’s time for an extreme getaway that challenges mind and body, reminding the average person that average is overrated. From treks to Mount Everest Base Camp to wild river tours through the Grand Canyon, these 25 adventure vacations will provide the adrenaline rush extreme travelers live for.
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Country Walkers has been creating immersive, authentic, and active guided walking adventures all over the world for more than 35 years. Their explorations get the mind engaged, the blood pumping, and the five senses energized by the magnificent natural wonders that surround them. Guests will enjoy the warm and welcoming spirit of many countries and their friendly locals thanks to this on-the-ground approach to exploring each of the areas. Country Walkers offers an array of all-inclusive walking packages for any level of walker from easy to challenging. Walks are provided on nearly every continent across the globe, so there’s always one nearby.
426 Industrial Avenue, Suite 120, Williston, VT, Phone: 800-234-6900
© Basecamp Boulder
Basecamp Boulder is a modern, newly renovated hotel designed with the adventurous traveler in mind. Located in downtown Boulder, it offers unique upscale accommodations with an array of elegant amenities at budget-friendly prices. Amenities include an indoor hot tub, indoor dry sauna, fitness center, 24-hour business center, and onsite laundry service. They’ve also created and developed the Basecamp Area Guide for visitors to get the low-down on all Boulder has to offer, from local hot spots to outdoor activities. This informative list contains nearly 60 detailed descriptions of various restaurants, theatres, museums, bars, national preserves, state parks, trailheads, mountains, and outdoor recreational facilities and services.
2020 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO, Phone: 303-449-7550
3.Vista Verde Guest Ranch
© Vista Verde Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Guest Ranch is located just north of Steamboat Springs nestled among the splendor of the Rocky Mountains. This luxury dude ranch features log cabins and lodge rooms that have a rustic-chic vibe. The ranch offers a diverse collection of seasonal activities from horseback riding, hiking, fly-fishing, and rafting during spring and summer to skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and fat-tire biking during fall and winter. A plethora of activities are offered all year round such as photography lessons, culinary classes, and spa treatments. Vista Verde’s delectable cowboy cuisine is a highlight of the ranch experience, providing dishes that are both authentic and distinctive, prepared by professionally trained chefs.
58000 Cowboy Way, Clark, CO, Phone: 970-879-3858
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Arctic Kingdom is a pioneer of the Canadian Arctic, offering legendary land-based Arctic experiences for over 17 years. Through collaborations with the indigenous Inuit, who have called the Arctic home for thousands of years, they have created an array of unique adventures. Arctic Kingdom features one-of-a-kind trips that include exploring the pristine wilderness and providing intimate wildlife encounters. An exclusive polar bear photography tour and a Northern Lights experience settled deep within the Canadian wilderness in a remote, rustic lodge are just two of their popular adventures. The Narwhal Tour is another highlight in the northern area of Baffin Island, where the sea ice opens up to reveal marine mammals and other wildlife.
PO Box 6117, Iqaluit NU X0A, Canada, Phone: 888-737-6818
5.Grand Geneva Resort
© Grand Geneva Resort
Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or an hour from Milwaukee, the Grand Geneva Resort offers a quick escape to the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. Guests can take advantage of the natural beauty with the resort’s world-class recreation program. In the summer months, adventurers can hike or mountain bike the resort’s 8.5 miles of pristine trails, play golf, horseback ride, or participate in mountain bike races or disc golf tournaments. In the winter months, The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva boasts over 30 acres of downhill ski runs as well as a variety of snow sports for all ages, like ice skating and sledding.
7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI, Phone: 800-558-3417
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Recognized by National Geographic, Outside Magazine, and Travel + Leisure as a leader in outdoor adventures, Adventure Life customizes itineraries for every adventurer to plan their dream excursion. Their team of experts make the wildest of destinations accessible to every traveler, with detailed itineraries tailored to specific dreams. Explore the ancient sites of Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat, experience the concrete jungle of Shanghai, or charter a small ship to navigate the coast of Alaska. Adventure Life plans every detail to allow guests to enjoy every aspect of their journey without the worry of planning.
712 W Spruce Street, 1, Missoula, MT, Phone: 406-541-2677
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© Volcanoes Safaris
Volcanoes Safaris is a luxury lodge company established in 1997 that works in Uganda and Rwanda and is the leader in reviving chimpanzee and gorilla tourism in the region. They started their business by setting up simple camps in the areas near the gorilla parks. Today, they operate the luxury Virunga Lodge in Rwanda near a gorilla park and active volcanoes, Mount Gahinga Lodge, which introduces the Batwa culture and offers hiking in Uganda, Bwindi, the Jungle Gorilla Lodge in Uganda, and the Kvambura Gorge Lodge in Uganda. Volcanoes Safaris offers unique alternative to the traditional African safaris, an eco-adventure in full comfort of their luxury accommodation. Phone: 212-967-5895
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Visitors can experience New Orleans from a different perspective when they venture through the waterways of this iconic Southern city. Kayaking through New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods, travelers learn about homes dating back to the late 1700s as well as native communities that pre-date European settlement. Guests will learn about the eco challenges facing southern Louisiana on an adventure through Bayou St. John. It’s a great way to explore Louisiana’s diverse ecosystems. Kayak-iti-Yat offers a variety of tours ranging from a couple of hours to day-long excursions that give adventurers the opportunity to observe Louisiana’s rich wildlife, local community, and deep history. Read more
3494 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA, Phone: 985-778-5034
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Home to some of the world’s best canyoneering, rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking, Arizona invites adventurers of all ages to experience its unique terrain. 360 Adventures encourages visitors of all skill levels to experience Arizona with their expert guides, customized itineraries, and reliable equipment. In this way, guests can make the most of their trip without the worry of planning out the details. Whether it’s hiking the Grand Canyon, biking Sedona’s famous red rocks, or climbing Phoenix’s favorite landmarks, 360 Adventures expert guides ensure every visitor has an enjoyable experience. Guests can also rest assured that their safety is always a top priority.
Phoenix, AZ, Phone: 480-722-0360
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10.Appalachian Trail Adventures and Summit Lodge
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Travelers who’ve never been on a Vermont vacation would do well to choose Appalachian Trail Adventures as their introduction to the Green Mountain State. Guided custom small-group hiking, caving, and kayaking adventures can be arranged for half-day or full-day experiences. At ATA, guests can choose weeklong themed adventures like the Hiking and Yoga Vacation, Hiking and Spa Vacation, Healthful Living Vacation, or Kayaking Vacation, to name a few. The Summit Lodge, with its country inn vibe, provides a menu of spa therapies, while the Foundry Restaurant caters to guests’ individual needs and tastes. Chefs have master’s degrees in clinical nutrition, making this a great choice for everyone from athletes to dieters.
200 Summit Road, Killington, VT, Phone: 888-855-8655
More Adventure ideas: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Africa, Norway, Finland
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Travelling to exotic destinations is exciting, but many things can go wrong. Using professionals such as Exotic Voyages makes all the difference between having the time of your life and having a nightmare, or at least time wasted on endless details. Exotic Voyages is a high-end tour operator that specializes in organizing trips to less-travelled destinations in Southeast Asia, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. If Thailand is your dream destination, they will take all the boring details off your hands such as looking for a hotel in Bangkok or organizing a bus to Phuket or a boat to Koh Chang. They offer private and custom adventures and will help you plan your trip, tell you about the must-see places and how to avoid the crowds of backpackers, and let you visit Thailand the way ordinary tourists do not. They will show you magnificent temples that are not in your guidebook, organize a ride on an elephant, and tell you about special festivals and celebrations. All you have to do is enjoy yourself and take photos.
244 Madison Avenue, New York City, NY 10016, Phone: 888-497-0068
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Greenloons is a top ecotourism travel company, offering an array of international travel experiences with a focus on ethical regional tourism and sustainable, eco-friendly travel practices. The company, which is based out of Bethesda, Maryland, strives to connect travelers with meaningful, exciting vacations while helping to lower carbon footprints and empower international communities in popular tourism spots. Vacation booking services are offered, with all eco-tourism information provided to customers without hidden fees. Custom group tours to exciting locations such as Patagonia, Mauritius, Iceland, and Vietnam are also offered, along with sustainability consulting services for international tourism businesses. Phone: 877-570-7373
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Travelers yearning for an off-the-beaten-path experience will want to consider Intrepid Travel. This tour organization specializes in small group tours with the best and most knowledgeable local guides. No ticking off the guidebook at the usual sights here. Travelers can select tours by specific geographic area across seven continents or by type of tour, from small ship adventure cruising to polar expeditions. These personalized tours let guests dive below the surface of a destination to discover what the culture, geography, and people are really all about – it’s real life. Guests also choose their level of creature comforts, from basic to an experience with fewer rough edges.
Level 7, 567 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Phone: 510-285-0640
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Fatpacking is a unique weight-loss-focused excursion program that offers one-to-two-week adventure vacations designed to unplug participants from the grid and help facilitate weight loss and fitness. Backpacking excursions travel to a variety of national parks and wilderness locations around the United States, from the Florida Everglades to the Superstition Wilderness of Arizona. Though the company cannot promise a designated amount of weight loss on trips, backpacking throughout excursions may serve as a fitness jumpstart and build lean muscle while burning fat rather than water weight. Trips are bookended by hotel stays, though participants can receive discounts if they live near the trailhead location and do not require a hotel stay.
9 Third St, Hull, MA 02045, Phone: (781) 773-1115
15.320 Guest Ranch
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Established in 1898 as a typical Montana homestead, 320 Guest Ranch is today a rustic home away from home for nature enthusiasts who are exploring the magnificent unspoiled Montana landscape. This upscale lodge is located between the Yellowstone’s west entrance and Big Sky Ski Resort, and it offers quaint log cabins with traditional pine paneling, large picture windows overlooking the surrounding Gallatin National Forest, private bathrooms, and Wi-Fi. Some cabins have fireplaces, decks, and kitchens. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, sleigh rides in the winter, fishing in a trout pond, a hot tub, a steakhouse, a bar, and modern event spaces. Miles of hiking and biking trails, whitewater rafting, skiing, horseback riding, and much more are just outside the door.
205 Buffalo Horn Creek Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730, Phone: 406-995-4283
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Mountaineers seeking to ascend the highest summit can choose from a variety of guided tours hosted by Mountain Trip. Founded in Alaska and based in Telluride, Colorado, Mountain Trip offers climbers the ideal travel experience throughout some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain ranges, including in Colorado and Alaska along with Africa, Asia, South America, and Antarctica. Packages cater to a range of skill levels offering activities like skiing, rock climbing, ice climbing, and trekking. This guide company has three goals – bring everyone back safely, ensure everyone has a great experience, and get every climber to the summit with high quality personalized service.
135 West Colorado Avenue #2A, Telluride, CO, Phone: 970-369-1153
17.National Geographic Adventures
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Any seasoned traveler has certainly heard of their magazine, but National Geographic also organizes themed vacations to exotic destinations around the world. Photographers looking to improve their skills can take a guided tour with a National Geographic photographer in places like Japan or New York. Jetsetters looking for a taste of the high life can explore the world by private plane in a VIP-style luxury getaway. The Classic Train Tour covers landscapes in places like India or Russia aboard a train carriage fit for royalty. The National Geographic Adventures themed tours will surely satisfy any adventurer’s wanderlust.
1145 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-857-7000
More adventure ideas: Guatemala, Mongolia, Latvia, Egypt, Lithuania, Havana, Maldives, Sri Lanka
18.Natural Habitat Adventures
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Deemed The World's #1 Adventure Travel Outfitter by Outside magazine, Natural Habitat Adventures specializes in nature travel, operating journeys to locations like the Sahara and the Alaskan wilderness. Natural Habitat Adventures works with top scientists and staff from The World Wildlife Fund to create unique itineraries to remote wildlife reserves and parks away from the crowds and tourist traps. Groups average nine guests in order to maintain a feeling of seclusion and to avoid disturbing the wildlife. Travelers can also join specialty trips with world-renowned photographers and naturalist guides as well as go on hiking and kayaking adventures.
833 W South Boulder Road, Louisville, CO, Phone: 303-449-3711
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Adventurers with their sights set on Scandinavia can rely on Nature Travels to provide the trip of a lifetime to the lakes, mountains, forests, and archipelago islands of Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Vacation packages range from guided to self-guided tours during the winter and summer months. Their tours include both family-accessible tours as well as challenging expeditions into the wilderness. Nature Travels commits themselves to the principles of ecotourism and believes strongly in the protection and conservation of the environment. Lovers of the Great Outdoors can choose from exciting adventures like timber rafting on a self-built log raft, dogsledding, cross-country skiing, and beyond on a nature-friendly vacation.
Sanford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY, UK, Phone: +44-19-29-50-30-80
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MIR Corporation is an award-winning tour company offering luxury excursions throughout top Russian and Eastern European destinations such as the Silk Route and the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Seattle-based company, which has been in operation since 1986, is named for the Russian word for "world peace" and has been featured in international publications such as Luxury Travel and National Geographic Traveler. 35 destination excursions travel throughout Russia, Siberia, Tibet, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, and other Central Asian locations, with world-class air travel and accommodations secured by the company's full-service guest service departments. Private adventures are offered for individuals, couples, families, and small groups, with custom excursions available upon request. Phone: 800-424-7289
21.Wildland Trekking Company
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Hikers looking to experience the best of the Great Outdoors can rely on Wildland Trekking Company for unforgettable trekking vacations to the world’s most magnificent places. This adventure-touring company exceeds expectations and has received rave reviews almost unanimously from previous guests. From family-friendly hikes to challenging treks, their backpacking tours cater to a range of skill levels and come with certified wilderness experts to guide the journey. Their trips take place all year round in mountain ranges across the United States as well as global destinations like Iceland, Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, the Alps, and Ecuador.
4025 East Huntington, Suite 150, Flagstaff, AZ, Phone: 800-715-4453
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Explore the wonders of the West Coast, Canada, and Alaska with immersive experiences curated by experts of each region. Evergreen Escapes offers unique tours blending natural wonders, boutique wineries, and urban adventures into small-group tours from Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco as well as custom itineraries throughout the Western United States. With responsibility and sustainability at the core of their mission, each tour focuses on the local culture, history, agriculture, wines, and microbrews of the region, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the true nature of the West Coast. With custom-crafted tours, travelers can create their own adventure with the guidance of local experts.
2305 SE 9th Avenue, Portland, OR, Phone: 866-203-7603
23.Western River Expeditions
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Thrill-seekers looking to witness the wilderness of the Wild West should look no further than Western River Expeditions, offering unforgettable rafting trips along the rivers of Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, and Costa Rica. Guests leave civilization behind, flowing through unspoiled landscapes while taking on the rapids of the world’s top-rated rivers. Whitewater rafting tours accommodate individual travelers, families, and groups alike. These one-of-a-kind adventure vacations range from 2 to 9 days and include exciting activities like fishing, relaxation in hot springs, hikes to waterfalls, and explorations of wildlife. This is the ultimate Wild West outdoor experience for every adventure traveler.
7258 Racquet Club Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, Phone: 866-904-1163
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Dog lovers and adventurers alike can experience nature unlike ever before at the Wintergreen Dogsledding Lodge. These top-notch tours take travelers into the Minnesota wilderness while mushing across the snows behind a full team of huskies. Vacation packages welcome different kinds of guests, whether singles, couples, families, or groups. The more adventurous can opt for tent camping on overnight excursions while those who prefer the comfort of sleeping in a bed and warming themselves by the fire can sign up for the lodge-based trips. Accompanied by expert naturalist guides, Wintergreen runs full-day trips with guided dog sledding for all experience levels.
1101 Ring Rock Road, Ely, MN, Phone: 218-365-6022
25.Callahan Country & Journeyman Lodge
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Travelers searching for a human connection will find it here at Journeyman Lodge. This rustic-chic accommodation is unplugged and off the grid. Getting to the lodge is part of the adventure, as visitors must cross 8.5 miles of untracked, alpine terrain on this non-motorized mountain to get there. This is the place for customizable self-propelled, backcountry adventures or to immerse oneself in solitude and nature. Evenings, after a handcrafted meal by the lodge chef, guests gather around a fieldstone fireplace for conversation, unwind in a wood-fired sauna, or take up a game of billiards in the game lounge. There is as much social or alone time as each guest prefers.
Callaghan Road, Whistler, British Columbia, CA, Phone: 604-902-5864
25 Perfect Adventure Vacations
- Country Walkers, Photo: Courtesy of Alextype - Fotolia.com
- Basecamp Boulder, Photo: Basecamp Boulder
- Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Photo: Vista Verde Guest Ranch
- Arctic Kingdom, Photo: Courtesy of Jillian - Fotolia.com
- Grand Geneva Resort, Photo: Grand Geneva Resort
- Adventure Life, Photo: Courtesy of LMspencer - Fotolia.com
- Volcanoes Safaris, Photo: Volcanoes Safaris
- Kayak-iti-Yat, Photo: Courtesy of milosz_g - Fotolia.com
- 360 Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of reisegraf.ch - Fotolia.com
- Appalachian Trail Adventures and Summit Lodge, Photo: Courtesy of Margaret - Fotolia.com
- Exotic Voyages, Photo: Courtesy of luengo_ua - Fotolia.com
- Greenloons, Photo: Courtesy of PUTSADA - Fotolia.com
- Intrepid Travel, Photo: Courtesy of soft_light - Fotolia.com
- Fatpacking, Photo: Courtesy of Catherine CLAVERY- Fotolia.com
- 320 Guest Ranch, Photo: Courtesy of alexa - Fotolia.com
- Mountain Trip, Photo: Courtesy of Remains - Fotolia.com
- National Geographic Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Erdbeer - Fotolia.com
- Natural Habitat Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of WitR - Fotolia.com
- Nature Travels, Photo: Courtesy of GooDAura - Fotolia.com
- MIR Corporation, Photo: Courtesy of Lionel Taieb - Fotolia.com
- Wildland Trekking Company, Photo: Courtesy of JFL Photography - Fotolia.com
- Evergreen Escapes, Photo: Courtesy of Irina Schmidt - Fotolia.com
- Western River Expeditions, Photo: Courtesy of photolifepnw - Fotolia.com
- Wintergreen, Photo: Courtesy of Kseniia - Fotolia.com
- Callahan Country & Journeyman Lodge, Photo: Courtesy of michelangeloop - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Simona - Fotolia.com
Adrenaline junkies can take to the skies at Verbier Summits, an English-speaking and all-inclusive paragliding school located in the stunning Swiss Alps. This organization offers beginner to advance paragliding courses and fly-guide vacations. In one holiday, guests can complete their courses while staying at beautiful, fully renovated lodgings overlooking the ice-peaked Alps. Friendly instructors offer certification courses in paragliding and tandem for all different experience levels. Visitors enjoy easy access to the resort via Geneva Airport. Ideal location, luxury accommodations, and breathtaking views make this an unforgettable opportunity to earn a license to fly in paragliding paradise.
Place Blanche, Route de Verbier 77, 1936 Verbier, Switzerland, Phone: +41-7-97-10-91-32
For divers who appreciate the expert advice of experienced industry influencers, Dive Worldwide is the choice. Knowledgeable about nearly all the top dive locations in the world, they can guide guests to the world’s premier luxury diving resorts, or dial it back to the best dive spots for the budget diver who expects a personalized service. As insiders, they’re familiar with the underwater world from, the South Pacific to the Caribbean and everywhere in between. This specialist dive tour operator can ensure an unforgettable experience no matter what the diver’s experience level or budget. From liveaboard vacations to family holidays, they know where to have fun.
Long Barn South, Sutton Manor Farm, Bishop’s Sutton, Alresford, UK, Phone: +44-19-62-30-20-87
Moorings provides seafaring travelers with the ultimate luxury on their fleet of yachts. Guests can choose to charter and sail themselves with eleven of their closest friends, or go for a crewed yachting experience for ten with a captain and onboard chef. Even if the traveler is short on friends with an enthusiasm for yachting, it’s still possible for one or two guests to go on a crewed yacht charter with private quarters. Yachting vacations are available in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Bahamas, and Belize as well as to a few exotic and faraway places. Premium power catamarans are also available for charter with or without a professional skipper.
93 North Park Place Boulevard, Clearwater, FL, Phone: 888-952-8420
Peaks 'n Swells Surf Camp
Everybody's going surfin’ in the unique vacation packages offered by Peaks ‘n Swells Surf Camp. This family-owned business based in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica offers “totally awesome” all-inclusive surf camps with family classes and girls-only instruction, along with classic and custom surf camps. Peaks ‘n Swells vacations comes with everything from surf classes with top-notch surf instructors to a full week’s accommodations and meals. In between hitting the waves, guests can enjoy yoga instruction, massage therapy, and delicious chef-cooked meals, which are all included in the program fee. Lessons are supplemented with theory and technique instruction between sessions.
500 Metros Norte De La Escuela, Montezuma, Costa Rica, Phone: +60-49-67-21-17