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Home  > Play >  Travel

Take Off With Top Adventure Tour Companies
by Kari Bodnarchuk

Have you ever wanted to go hiking in the Himalayas, dog sledding in Alaska or gorilla spotting in Uganda?

More Travel Stories:
Selecting an Adventure Outfitter
Buying a Mountain Bike
Trips for the Discerning Adventurer
Backcountry Bliss

Years ago, it might have taken 20 pack mules and a few months to get you there. But since the number and variety of adventure tours have grown exponentially in recent years, you can now book a trip and get there faster than you can load up those mules.

Trips to the world's most adventurous regions come with a range of options to suit your style, calendar and comfort level-from rugged and rustic to gentle and luxurious. Here are several top tour operators to whisk you away on that big adventure.

Sierra Club, 85 Second St., Second Floor, San Francisco, Calif. 94105; 415-977-5630. Huge selection of intriguing wilderness outings, including backpacking, hiking, biking, rafting, canoeing, sea kayaking and sailing adventures.

Sample Trips: Cycling through Ireland, hiking the Silk Road in China, spending Christmas in Belize and exploring Mongolia in the summer.

Destinations: Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Basin.

American Wilderness Experience, 2820 Wilderness Place, Boulder, Colo.; 800-444-0099. Offbeat and unusual trips in style (i.e. high comfort and good food), in line with the company's motto, "The Civilized Way to Rough It!"

Sample Trips: Llama trekking in Wyoming, whale watching in Baja, cattle drives in Colorado and dog sledding in Alaska, as well as inn-to-inn excursions, horseback riding tours, fishing trips, ranch vacations, covered wagon journeys, and backpacking adventures.

Destinations: United States, Peru, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, the Virgin Islands and others.

Overseas Adventure Travel, 625 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138; 800-221-0814: Offers "soft adventure," typically for those who want to travel in comfort to and around exotic destinations.

Sample Trips: Expedition cruises to the Arctic, and rainforest treks and rafting trips along the Amazon. Adventures led by local archeologists, naturalists, explorers and biologists.

Destinations: Seven continents and just about everywhere in between.

Canadian Himalayan Expeditions, 2 Toronto Street, Ste. 302, Toronto, Ont. M5C 2B6, Canada; 800-563-TREK (8735). Specializes in trekking, climbing and adventure tours in Nepal, Tibet, India and Pakistan (with additional trips to Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia).

Sample Trips: Trekking to Everest or Annapurna base camps, jeep riding along the Silk Road in Ladakh and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Destinations: Himalayas, East Africa and Southeast Asia.

Adventure Women (formerly Rainbow Adventures), 15033 Kelly Canyon Rd., Bozeman, Mt. 59715; 800-804-8686. Specializes in worldwide adventure travel for women over 30.

Sample Trips: Sailing the British Virgin Islands, spotting gorillas in Uganda, horseback riding in the glacial highlands of Iceland and exploring women's contributions to the archeology, anthropology and art of New Mexico.

Destinations: Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Eldertreks, 597 Markham St., Toronto, Ont. M6G 2L7 Canada; 800-741-7956. Specializes in walking, hiking and river adventures for people over 50, with a focus on cultural and natural aspects of a region.

Sample Trips: Exploring the Mekong River, rainforests and Khmer ruins in Laos; sailing by tall ship around British Columbia's forested Queen Charlotte Islands (land of the Haida Indian nation) and discovering the wonders of Morocco, with an option to camp with the Berber nomads of the Sahara.

Destinations: Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific.

Related Stories
• Prevent Break-ins While Traveling
• Get Organized For Your Vacation

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Related Stories
• Prevent Break-ins While Traveling
• Get Organized For Your Vacation

Web Links
• Sierra Club
• American Wilderness Experience
• Overseas Adventure Travel
• Canadian Himalayan Expeditions
• Adventure Women

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