1 of 41

T+L has surveyed the field to create the ultimate directory of adventure trips around the globe, each listed with a top outfitter.


Wave-battered headlands ripped past us, shrouded in fog, as
the tiny plane banked and turned, weaving along the ramparts of the rugged
coast. Abruptly, the pilot steered into a bay where the receding tide had laid
bare a broad patch of sand. Down we floated and stepped out to find ourselves
in a valley of riotous green. There were no houses, no roads. Only the tallest
peaks even had names. At that moment I knew that I had been transported, not
only to another place in the world, but to another way of living in it.

My first trip to Alaska, a dozen years ago, cemented a
long-gestating passion for adventure travel. And in the years since, that
passion has spread around the globe. Never have there been so many people who
want to see and experience the farthest corners of the world, and never have
there been so many adventure-tour companies, of such high caliber, offering
such a wide range of destinations and activities. We’re living in a golden age
of adventure.

Adventure isn’t just about escaping into the wild, of
course. It’s about engaging and committing yourself no matter what you’re
doing. “People today have the mind-set of wanting to master things,” says Keith
Walden of Virtuoso, a network of luxury travel agencies. “They want to go and
dive in and learn and be hands-on.”

For a truly profound experience, adventure travelers should
plan on spending at least a week. One needn’t endure rough living conditions;
some of the wildest landscapes on earth can be enjoyed in luxury tented camps
or sumptuous lodges like those operated by Explora, in remote corners of South
America. One of the company’s guided excursions heads across the Bolivian
altiplano, one of the world’s most rugged environments.

Travelers pursuing personal transformation are increasingly
looking for trips that include immersion in a foreign culture or a chance to
volunteer on behalf of a worthy cause. Journey Mexico, for instance, focuses on
Mexico’s cultural and natural heritage and brings guests on trips that involve
weighing, tagging, and releasing endangered sea turtles on the coastline of
Baja California.

Then again, if it’s a profoundly life-changing experience
you’re after, there’s nothing like a really long journey in a truly remote
region. Wilderness Travel conducts 29-day treks on the Tibetan Plateau, which
kick off in Kathmandu and ascend to a base camp within 8,000 feet of Everest’s
summit. Along the way, guests explore the ancient monasteries of the Lhasa
valley.

While the ongoing financial meltdown may have temporarily
taken the wind out of adventure travel’s sails, the state of uncertainty only
makes the quest for adventure all the more relevant. As I write in my new book,
Extreme Fear, times of crisis
have a way of deepening our sense of connection and purpose. After all, as far
as we may travel, the real destination lies inside.

*All rates are per person and include lodging; airfare not included.

World's Top Adventure Trips

T+L has surveyed the field to create the ultimate directory of adventure trips around the globe, each listed with a top outfitter.


Wave-battered headlands ripped past us, shrouded in fog, as
the tiny plane banked and turned, weaving along the ramparts of the rugged
coast. Abruptly, the pilot steered into a bay where the receding tide had laid
bare a broad patch of sand. Down we floated and stepped out to find ourselves
in a valley of riotous green. There were no houses, no roads. Only the tallest
peaks even had names. At that moment I knew that I had been transported, not
only to another place in the world, but to another way of living in it.

My first trip to Alaska, a dozen years ago, cemented a
long-gestating passion for adventure travel. And in the years since, that
passion has spread around the globe. Never have there been so many people who
want to see and experience the farthest corners of the world, and never have
there been so many adventure-tour companies, of such high caliber, offering
such a wide range of destinations and activities. We’re living in a golden age
of adventure.

Adventure isn’t just about escaping into the wild, of
course. It’s about engaging and committing yourself no matter what you’re
doing. “People today have the mind-set of wanting to master things,” says Keith
Walden of Virtuoso, a network of luxury travel agencies. “They want to go and
dive in and learn and be hands-on.”

For a truly profound experience, adventure travelers should
plan on spending at least a week. One needn’t endure rough living conditions;
some of the wildest landscapes on earth can be enjoyed in luxury tented camps
or sumptuous lodges like those operated by Explora, in remote corners of South
America. One of the company’s guided excursions heads across the Bolivian
altiplano, one of the world’s most rugged environments.

Travelers pursuing personal transformation are increasingly
looking for trips that include immersion in a foreign culture or a chance to
volunteer on behalf of a worthy cause. Journey Mexico, for instance, focuses on
Mexico’s cultural and natural heritage and brings guests on trips that involve
weighing, tagging, and releasing endangered sea turtles on the coastline of
Baja California.

Then again, if it’s a profoundly life-changing experience
you’re after, there’s nothing like a really long journey in a truly remote
region. Wilderness Travel conducts 29-day treks on the Tibetan Plateau, which
kick off in Kathmandu and ascend to a base camp within 8,000 feet of Everest’s
summit. Along the way, guests explore the ancient monasteries of the Lhasa
valley.

While the ongoing financial meltdown may have temporarily
taken the wind out of adventure travel’s sails, the state of uncertainty only
makes the quest for adventure all the more relevant. As I write in my new book,
Extreme Fear, times of crisis
have a way of deepening our sense of connection and purpose. After all, as far
as we may travel, the real destination lies inside.

*All rates are per person and include lodging; airfare not included.

Dennis Coello

World's Top Adventure Trips

Did you enjoy this article?

Share it.

Explore More