Amazing Active destinations for adventure vacations
Our hiking trips and adventure vacations take place in some of the most dramatically beautiful and interesting places on the planet. From the proud peaks of Patagonia, the European Alps, the Himalayas and New Zealand to the strange and wonderful world of the Galapagos Islands, the volcanoes and jungles of Ecuador to the colours and culture of Peru – join us for the trip of a lifetime.
You won’t find a country that packs more untouched, dramatic and diverse scenery into a small space than New Zealand. The light here is special somehow, making the fiords, glaciers, rainforest, volcanoes, beech forests and rugged coastlines crisper, brighter and more spectacular than you'd ever expect.
You'll find yourself surrounded by some of the best scenery on the planet with few signs of civilisation and no one else around. As an independent nation that lies across the Tasman Sea from Australia, New Zealand is home to only 4.5 million people. About a third of them reside in Auckland city and the rest are spread out around 2 main islands, which together are about half the size of California, leaving vast tracts nearly uninhabited.
Kiwis are welcoming, resourceful and as friendly as they come. They'll charm you with their accent, wave as you pass by on a country road and often stop for a chat. With no snakes, land predators like big cats or bears, or any other nasty critters, New Zealand is a haven for hikers. We have, however, got lambs frolicking in the paddocks, Tui birds calling in the forests and fur seals lazing in the sun on the rocky shores.
An extensive network of hiking and biking trails and almost 1000 backcountry huts mean the options for exploring the wilderness can be overwhelming. Luckily, we've spent years 'tramping' (the Kiwi term for hiking) in the mountains, biking the trails and paddling the calm waters to hand pick the places we go. Some spots, such as the Milford Track, are deservedly world renowned, while other amazing locations are virtually undiscovered. Off the trail, our towns are charming and unique and since Kiwis love their creature comforts, you'll never be too far from a beautifully made cup of coffee. Sweet as!
The Galapagos Islands, otherwise known as the Enchanted Isles, are a fascinating place where swimming with seals and tropical fish in the same area is a common occurrence - it's the mixture of warm and cold currents here that create such a rich environment for the wildlife to enjoy. You'll find yourself meeting giant tortoises and learning a great deal about Darwin's theory of evolution as this is where his theories came from. You'll go home with a lifetime of memories. The Galapagos Islands are located 800 kilometres (500 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, often described as a mini-South America due to the fact it is packed with variety, with its volcanos, waterfalls and lush jungle.
Hiking in Peru is a truly exciting experience, especially on the old Inca routes where the anticipation builds as you make your way through the mountains ever closer to the moment you discover Machu Picchu. This fascinating historical site seemingly comes out of nowhere and you'll ponder with wonder how on earth it was ever uncovered at all. Peru is also home to the stunning city of Cuzco, where cathedrals surround ancient cobbled spares and boutique shops and market stalls line the streets. You can lose yourself for hours in the winding backstreets and spend your day haggling over colourful cloths, shoes and brightly coloured clothing. Your exploring could take you down south to the Amazon jungle where a bounty of treasures awaits - sloths in the trees, night hikes to spot stick insects that are usually only spotted by the finely tuned eyes of your specialist guide, and boat rides out at dusk to watch out for the sneaky cayman. Travelling on to Lake Titicaca to kayak on the highest lake in the world and visit the island people that call it home is an absolute must.
The mindblowing scenery of Patagonia with its dark granite peaks towering in the sky, icy blue glaciers and wonderful friendly people make it a perfect place to visit. Hiking the W-trek is a challenging yet rewarding experience as incredible views greet you around every corner and sociable refugios with cosy beds wait for you each night. Taking some time to gaze up at the stars on nightfall will provide you with a real treat as you ponder what lies beyond and take in the clear view of the stars in a part of the world where there is very little light pollution.
Grandeur is a word that almost understates the Nepalese Himalayas. The mountains here are on quite a different scale to anywhere else – these are the true skyscrapers. Nepal rises from virtually sea level at its southern border to 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at the top of Mt. Everest and showcases extraordinary diversity in terms of greenery and wildlife. Here, ancient trade routes will take you deep into the Himalayas, past villages and farms, where you'll stare in wonder up at the world's highest mountains.
Trekking in the Himalayas brings with it dramatic cultures and landscapes in equal measure. Travellers to Nepal are welcomed by the cheerful, open and warm nature of the Nepali people, who are an eclectic mix of 103 ethnic and religious groups ranging from the Buddhist and Sherpa to Tamang and various Hindu castes. There are over 90 languages spoken in Nepal, so to get beneath the surface, a knowledgeable guiding team by your side will make your stay in Nepal's villages a fantastic experience.
Big mountains and an exotic culture mean that trekking in the Himalayas comes with challenges and personal achievement, as well as more than its share of stunning sights. People journey here to test themselves on two of the most iconic treks around, to Everest Base Camp and the sublime Annapurna Sanctuary. Whichever you choose, our seasoned Kiwi trip leaders, alongside our team of knowledgeable local guides and porters, will be there with you every step of the way to inspire, navigate, teach you the local language, interpret the environment, and share the culture with you. Kiwis are amongst the most respected westerners in Nepal, thanks to Sir Edmund Hillary, who is famous for being the first to successfully summit Mt. Everest, but is better known locally for his lifelong dedication to charity work in Nepal.
Whether this is your first trekking trip or you're an old hand, be ready for the Himalayas to inspire you.
Our Europe adventure tours are unique, packed with activities and led by local guides who are the best in the business, hands down. Join us in the most dramatic parts of Italy, France and Switzerland to experience their rich culture, history and cuisine.
If you're keen to hike the Mont Blanc circuit, experience the charm of the Italian lakes District actively, or get into the back country grandeur of the Italian Dolomites, then we'll take you there on an authentic, active tour that digs a little deeper than other adventure tours in Europe. We mix cultural exploration with our signature blend of hiking, sea kayaking and biking to get to the heart of Europe's most spectacular scenery.