Best Adventure-Travel Outfitters 2010
Published: June 2012
Offers camping trips that combine breathtaking scenery with nitty-gritty wilderness survival education.
Its small groups use local transportation and guides to maximize authenticity and reduce expense.
Myths & Mountains
Leads Asian and South American trips that connect with local cultures in creative ways.
Offers a vast range of trips, including a line called WT Expeditions: rugged, one-off explorations dreamed up as the particular passions of individual guides.
Ninety percent of their trip leaders are natives of the destinations they guide in, providing real cultural immersion.
Their philosophy is that you can get as much of an adrenaline rush from chatting with a shepherd on a remote hillside as from shooting Class Three rapids through the rain forest.
Promotes carbon-neutral activities and donates five percent of each trip’s revenues to local communities.
Offers remarkable experiences for clients who are willing to endure the very occasional bumpy road or night in a tent.
Off the Beaten Path
Creates in-depth journeys across the American West, thanks to cofounder and conservationist Bill Bryan’s extensive community ties.
Offers private custom tours with in-country offices, guides, vehicles, and 24/7 emergency support.
Off the Grid
Guides moonlight as serious athletes and serve up untracked powder and all-but-undiscovered surf breaks.
Sails a fleet of eight ships to some of the world’s most remote destinations, from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Operates two polar-class icebreaker ships—one nuclear powered, and both equipped with helicopters and Zodiacs—that make it the go-to outfit for getting to the remotest ice-bound spots.
Leads guided expeditions from its three remote luxury adventure lodges into the surrounding terrain.
Offers treks with access to Andean regions of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Focuses on Mexico’s cultural and natural heritage.
Journeys by Design
Owner Will Jones spent 25 years in six African countries before returning to the U.K. to open a shop dealing exclusively with the continent he knows best.
Offers in-depth, culturally rooted trips to Patagonia, the Pantanal, and the Amazon basin.
Takes you camel and horse trekking in remote, mountainous western Mongolia, with many nights spent in traditional felt tents with wood-burning stoves.
River & Ocean
Specializes in trailblazing kayak journeys in remote polar settings.
Offers a huge range of trips to some of the most exotic fishing spots on six continents.
Mountain Travel Sobek
Whether climbing mountains or rafting on white water, few outfitters can rival the adventure chops and experience of this 40-year-old firm.
A pioneer in commercial river guiding that brings rafters and kayakers onto otherwise inaccessible waters.
Rod & Gun Resources
Has surprisingly luxurious tented camps and villas in remote fishing destinations from Alaska to the Amazon.
Sweetwater Travel Company
Excels at guiding first-time fly-fishing anglers.
The plugged-in, South Africa–based luxury outfitter (formerly known as CC Africa) owns 46 lodges and camps across Africa and India.
Abercrombie & Kent
Runs tours on every continent and in more than 100 countries. But their signature trip remains the lavish tented African safari.
Cox & Kings
Founded in 1758 to provision British army regiments, it manages a global portfolio of tours with the savvy born of a far-flung empire.
Ker & Downey
Aims to provide life-changing experiences through environmental conservation and social philanthropy.
Welcomes guests to Africa with an extraordinary level of service and in-country expertise.
Trekking, Walking & Biking
Specializes in multi-sport tours through the American West and beyond, with luxurious amenities and top-notch guides.
Offers tours that combine cultural encounters with high-intensity cycling.
Butterfield & Robinson
Will have you bicycling and hiking by day, and indulging in serious food and wine in the evenings.
Offers gentle walks and a focus on interaction with locals (such as lessons with schoolchildren in India or lunch with villagers in Costa Rica).