The Best Adventure Travel Companies for Small Groups

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From travel industry veterans to newer start-ups, there’s a host of small group travel companies ready to whisk you (and a handful of other like-minded individuals) away for the adventure of your choosing. We rounded up our top small group adventure travel companies, from one specializing in action-packed, budget-conscious itineraries to another best described as an “adult study abroad.”

The 7 Best Adventure Travel Companies for Small Groups in 2022

  • Best Overall:G Adventures
  • Best for Budget:Contiki
  • Best for Luxury:Modern Adventure
  • Best for Foodies:Camp Yoshi
  • Best for Adult Study Abroad:Sojrn
  • Best for Social Impact:Wilderness Inquiry
  • Best for Social Impact, Runner Up:Local Guest
  • Our Top Picks
  • G Adventures
  • Contiki
  • Modern Adventure
  • Camp Yoshi
  • Sojrn
  • Wilderness Inquiry
  • Local Guest
  • See More (4)

Best Overall : G Adventures

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This established small group adventure company has been running tours around the world since 1990. It offers a variety of tours for all travel styles and a commitment to socially responsible and sustainable travel practices, making it our top pick for small group adventure travel.

As one of the more established adventure travel companies on the market, G Adventures boasts thousands of itineraries around the world for all types of travelers. G Adventures runs small-group tours, safaris, and expeditions year-round, from long-weekend jaunts along California’s iconic Highway 1 to weeks-long journeys through the country’s National Parks and abroad.

One way to search for the itinerary that best fits your travel vibe is to peruse its travel styles. For example, its 18-to-30-Somethings age group itineraries span trips from South America to Asia. Travels blend culture and active pursuits with the freedom to go your own way in between. The Cuba trip involves 16 days of salsa dancing, snorkeling, and exploring most parts of the island nation, including Havana, Viñales, and the Afro-Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba.

For wildlife fans, G Adventures’ Jane Goodall Collection has 20 itineraries curated in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute to ensure travelers experience wildlife in a responsible manner. You can also find wellness and marine-themed itineraries, in addition to rail tours.

Best for Budget : Contiki


Budget-conscious, social, action-seeking travelers can traverse the world without overspending with a travel company that’s been in the game for decades.

Contiki has been in the budget-minded, adventure travel game since 1962. Its itineraries center around travelers ages 18 to 35, with regular itineraries categorized by trip type or destination.

Travelers can search by trip type, which covers festivals, ski adventures, hiking, and trekking journeys. Search also by trip length, which ranges from a few days up to two weeks. Contiki also has a best-selling trips list as well as a composite list of trips under $2,000 to make your search process as easy as possible.

There are 266 trips set all across the globe, with destinations that cover Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. The company’s travel itineraries might include a week in Egypt where you’ll travel by boats and trains and explore the Great Pyramids, experience the energy of Cairo city, and float down the Nile River in a felucca (a traditional, wooden sailing boat.) More than 60 percent of its guests join a trip solo, according to Contiki. So whether you’re traveling with a group or opting to explore alone, you’ll be joined by like-minded travelers.

Trips also come with a flexible deposit policy, a pay-over-time option, and no rebooking fees when made 45 days from departure. Note that the average trip size is 45 people, which tends to be larger than other group adventure travel companies.

Best for Luxury : Modern Adventure

Modern Adventure

Tastemakers, from world-renowned chefs to influential designers, helped design intimate upscale trips to create luxurious travel experiences for small groups.

Modern Adventure designs experiential, small group travel itineraries in collaboration with notable experts and tastemakers, including artists, chefs, and travel journalists. The company has garnered particular attention for its culinary and culture-forward trips, and in 2021 it announced a partnership with Outside magazine to curate trips to Northern Patagonia in Chile, and Vanoise National park in the French Alps.

Other awe-seeking itineraries by Modern Adventure include a backpacking trip to Alaska’s Denali wilderness. It’s limited to just seven travelers and traverses up to six wilderness miles a day through Denali National Park, with up to 2,000 feet in elevation gain. Expert guides prepare all meals and help travelers set up one or two-person expedition tents. Expect to take in tundra, glaciers, large boulders, and glacial lakes.

And as a certified B-Corporation and Climate Neutral company, travelers can join trips knowing that they are partaking in social and environmental best practices.

Best for Foodies : Camp Yoshi

Camp Yoshi

Co-founded by a professional chef, camping goes stylish in stunning natural U.S.- and Mexico-based settings when you travel with this new adventure travel company.

Camp Yoshi was founded in 2020 by a professional chef who was inspired by Oregon’s restorative outdoor spaces. Its trips blend good food and like-minded people with some of the most stunning natural settings in the U.S. As a small and growing business, travel destinations and departure dates run lean and include nature-filled trips to Utah, Colorado, and Mexico’s Baja Sur region. In February 2023, Camp Yoshi heads to Puerto Rico for five days, where travelers will embark on a hiking river adventure, hit the beach, and experience a traditional pig roast. Most trips run for four days and include camping equipment or lodging, meals, drinks, and transportation from the meeting point.

The organization encourages travelers to ditch their cell phones for a bit to connect with each other and reconnect with nature. All walks of life are welcome on trips, and while Camp Yoshi was founded to invite the Black community into more outdoor spaces, the organization is inclusive of all adventure-curious individuals.

Best for Adult Study Abroad : Sojrn

Live and work in Tuscany and learn about wine

Month-long themed curriculums in dynamic cities around the world offer travelers a truly immersive group travel experience.

In American culture, the thought of taking a month-long trip isn’t as common as it is in Europe or Australia, for example. Thus, a four-week-themed trip with travel company Sojrn is an adventure in itself, even if you aren’t trekking up a mountain or setting up camp outdoors. Sojrn’s trips are best suited for professionals who can take their work with them on the road (for those who can’t take a month of PTO).

Travelers can select from “Chapters” in Barcelona to dig into art and architecture, learn about wine varietals in Tuscany, focus on mental wellness in Bali, and practice Spanish in Colombia. Each Chapter includes accommodations, workspace, and a local host to guide you through your time in each designated city.

Best for Social Impact : Wilderness Inquiry

Wilderness Inquiry

This U.S.-based non-profit has been organizing outdoor trips for travelers to experience each city and country’s lands.

Wilderness Inquiry is a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization born out of a desire to connect people from all walks of life to the outdoors, with particular consideration for underserved populations including women, BIPOC-identifying individuals, and people with mobility and sensory challenges. The organization has led adventure trips since the 1970s to remote lands like Yukon’s Big Salmon River in Canada and Alaska’s Porcupine River.

Today, Wilderness Inquiry offers group travel itineraries to international locales like Iceland and Uganda for individuals of all fitness levels. An all-inclusive trip to Uganda for example includes 10 days of gorilla tracking and wild game spotting (think: elephants, buffalo, and more) led by local guides and experienced drivers. In Iceland, explore the country’s coasts, glaciers, and waterfalls over 11 days, and stay in a mix of hotels, guest houses, and bed and breakfasts. Note that rates for domestic and international trips do not include transportation costs.

Best for Social Impact , Runner Up : Local Guest

Local Guest

Courtesy of Local Guest

Those seeking a cultural immersion in Puerto Rico should gather their travel companions and liaise with this new travel company for community-minded experiences.

If you’ve already got a travel crew in mind and want to ensure your travel dollars go directly to the communities in Puerto Rico, reach out to San Juan-based Local Guest. This women-powered organization creates sustainable and community-based experiences for individuals. It also creates custom itineraries for larger groups—such as those organizing a corporate retreat or a reunion. Local Guest says it can be as hands-on or off as desired: You can decide whether you’d like them to book and manage your activities, or if you’d prefer a guide to help navigate the U.S. territory’s more remote areas.

The organization recently introduce programming in El Yunque Rainforest in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, which will include mindful hikes, forest bathing, yoga, and more. Other activities with Local Guests include caving and kayaking in one of Puerto Rico’s largest rivers, Rio La Plata. Culinary, arts, nightlife, and voluntourism activities are also offered.

Final Verdict

No matter where in the world you wish to travel, there’s a small group adventure travel company that suits your needs and budget. While small group adventure companies span legacy names and start-up outfits, industry veteran G Adventures is our top pick for 2022. If you’re looking for a trip that mimics the all-inclusive vibe of a resort experience, Modern Adventures will cater to and pamper you. Camp Yoshi is ideal for those who live to eat as the foodie experience is unmatched.


We looked into dozens of small group adventure travel companies and evaluated each on breadth and depth of itineraries, quality guest experience, and unique partnerships. Special consideration was given to trips and offerings that have updated protocols and safety measures. We also evaluated customer reviews and gave additional consideration to companies that have environmentally and socially-conscious policies.

Adventure travel definition

Examples of Adventure travel in a sentence

Adventure travel, by its very nature, may carry greater risks than other holidays.

Adventure travel will be restricted to those areas deemed safe according to CDC and State of West Virginia guidelines.

Adventure travel appears to have developed out of the broader, wider growth of traditional outdoor and wilderness recreation during the 20th century.

Adventure travel is divided into two categories, hard and soft adventure.

Potential additional expenditure pressures totalling £3.70m (net) have been identified, and mitigation plans are currently being developed.

Mountenering club „Dimitar Ilievski – Murato“ and Adventure travel company “Arkadia” Bitola, is organizer of the ultra trail race „PELISTER ULTRA-TRAIL® 2020”.

Adventure travel Adventure travel is a newly developed and fast-growing sector within the tourism industry (Sorensen 1993; Loverseed 1997; Fluker and Turner 2000 in Sung 2004, p.

Adventure travel that often is used as an alternative to adventure tourism, is by Addison (1999) defined as‘ any activity trip close to nature that is undertaken by someone who departs from known surroundings to encounter unfamiliar places and people, with the purpose of exploration, study, business, recreation, sport or sightseeing and tourism’ (Addison, 1999, p.

Adventure travel is inherently prone to complications and alterations.

Adventure travel, by its very nature, may carry greater risks than other types of holidays.

Related to Adventure travel

Air Travel means travel by an airline/aircraft for the purpose of flying therein as a passenger.

Universal Digital Loop Carrier (UDLC means the DLC system that has a CO terminal channel bank that is connected to the CO switches on the analog side.

Airport lounge means a business location:

Airline means any air transport enterprise offering or operating an international air service.

Host means the computer equipment on which the Software is installed, which is owned and operated by SailPoint or its subcontractors.

Digital Cross Connect System or “DCS” is a function which provides automated Cross Connection of Digital Signal Level 0 (DS0) or higher transmission bit rate digital channels within physical interface facilities. Types of DCS include but are not limited to DCS 1/0s, DCS 3/1s, and DCS 3/3s, where the nomenclature 1/0 denotes interfaces typically at the DS1 rate or greater with Cross Connection typically at the DS0 rate. This same nomenclature, at the appropriate rate substitution, extends to the other types of DCS specifically cited as 3/1 and 3/3. Types of DCS that cross connect Synchronous Transport Signal level 1 (STS-1 s) or other Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) signals (e.g., STS-3) are also DCS, although not denoted by this same type of nomenclature. DCS may provide the functionality of more than one of the aforementioned DCS types (e.g., DCS 3/3/1 which combines functionality of DCS 3/3 and DCS 3/1). For such DCS, the requirements will be, at least, the aggregation of requirements on the “component” DCS. In locations where automated Cross Connection capability does not exist, DCS will be defined as the combination of the functionality provided by a Digital Signal Cross Connect (DSX) or Light Guide Cross Connect (LGX) patch panels and D4 channel banks or other DS0 and above multiplexing equipment used to provide the function of a manual Cross Connection. Interconnection is between a DSX or LGX to a Switch, another Cross Connection, or other service platform device.

Instructor means any person employed by the college to conduct classes.

Shadow tray means a device attached to the radiation head to support auxiliary beam blocking material.

Travel training means providing instruction, as appropriate, to children with significant cognitive disabilities, and any other children with disabilities who require this instruction, to enable them to:

international flight means all flights other than Domestic Flights.

Online Training means prerecorded training delivered virtually e.g. SAP e-learning.

Drug store means a place whose principal business is, the

School nurse means a registered professional nurse with Maine Department of Education certification for school nursing.

Transient lodging means a room or a suite of rooms.

Tourist means a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state, or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture.

Double Phase Aerosol Air Freshener means an aerosol air freshener with the liquid contents in two or more distinct phases that requires the product container be shaken before use to mix the phases, producing an emulsion.

Tourism promotion means activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.

Single Phase Aerosol Air Freshener means an aerosol air freshener with the liquid contents in a single homogeneous phase and which does not require that the product container be shaken before use.

Travel Companion means an individual, other than an Immediate Family Member, who accompanied the Covered Person on the trip where the emergency occurred.

Retail marijuana store means an entity licensed to purchase marijuana from marijuana cultivation facilities and marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.

bouquet of channels means an assortment of distinct Zee Group Channels, offered together as a group or as a bundle and all its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Diversional Therapist means a person who provides, facilitates and co-ordinates group and individual leisure and recreational activities. This person must be a graduate from an approved university course which includes: An Associate Diploma and Diploma of Applied Science (Diversional Therapy); Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Leisure and Health); Bachelor of Applied Science (Diversional Therapy); Diploma or Bachelor of Health Sciences (Leisure and Health); an Associate Diploma course in Diversional Therapy; or who has such other qualifications deemed to be equivalent (such as a Four-year degree, Master’s Degree or PhD).

Homemaker services means the professionally directed or supervised simple household maintenance or management services provided by trained homemakers or individuals to families in their own homes.

Game ticket or “ticket” means an acceptable evidence of Play, which is a ticket produced in a manner that meets the specifications defined in the rules of each Selling Lottery and Rule 31 (Play Validation) and is a physical representation of the Play or Plays sold to the player or is a properly and validly registered ticketless transaction Play.

The Different Types of Adventure Travel

Lois Friedland is a co-author of “Frommer’s 500 Adrenaline Adventures,” and a freelance travel writer who has visited 55 countries.

Adventure travel is one of the fastest segments of the travel market, drawing in more and more people on a yearly basis. But what exactly is adventure travel and what can you expect out of an adventure trip? That is completely up to you, because “adventure” has a different meaning for every individual traveler.

That said, in its purest form, this type of travel generally offers some classic experiences and activities that truly help to define its style. If you’re planning on taking your first adventure travel trip, here are some of the activities you can expect to be a part of the itinerary.


trekking in Nepal

Traveling on foot through remote locations has always been at the core of adventure travel. Whether that means backpacking along the Appalachian Trail, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or simply heading out for a backcountry adventure on a local trail, this is a great way to explore any destination. Travelers have always enjoyed walking tours and pretty much no matter where you want to go, you’ll likely find some options for hiking and trekking there. Often these trips involve camping overnight along the way too, adding yet another adventurous element to the equation.

Cycling/Mountain Biking

Cycling adventure tours

Cycling trips are another popular method of transportation and category for adventure travel. Rather than exploring a destination on foot, travelers climb aboard a bike instead. This allows them to cover more ground at a faster pace, while still feeling connected with the landscape, culture, and people there. Mountain biking offers a similar experience, but allows access to more remote, off the beaten path, destinations, while introducing a more challenging aspect to the riding as well.

Travelers will find options to ride just about anywhere these days, ranging from French wine country to the entire length of Africa.


paddling the greek isles

Canoeing and kayaking trips are another popular way to experience a destination, granting travelers access to lakes, rivers, and even oceans. This type of travel can be as serene as paddling the Greek Isles or as wild as taking on some of the top whitewater destinations on the planet. One word of caution however, travelers should have some experience paddling before embarking on these types of journeys as they can be strenuous and dangerous depending on the nature of the water involved. Flat water is generally safe, but whitewater can be treacherous. Both can be fun if you are well prepared.


climbing in the Alps

While not often viewed as a form of adventure travel, mountaineering and climbing expeditions still fall under the same very broad umbrella. These types of trips typically require more skill and experience than simply trekking in the mountains and tend to be more technical too. That means requiring the use of ropes, ice axes, crampons, and other specialized equipment to reach the top of a mountain. A climb to the top of Kilimanjaro is mostly non-technical, and falls under the trekking category, while an expedition to Mt. Everest is squarely in the more challenging mountaineering realm. Altitude can often play a bigger role in this type of adventure too, which can literally take place on every continent.

Take caution however; you should only embark on a mountaineering trip if you have the necessary skills and experience to do so and are traveling with a certified mountain guide.




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