Quality Tour Companies
Traveling by tour group, but in a culturally-sensitive fashion
Most contrarian travelers shun the tour group experience except when they’re forced into it–as on a local adventure tour. But there are times when going on a group tour can make sense, especially if the planning process seems too daunting or if your schedule is really tight. Here are some independent-minded tour companies that get it right.
Culturally Sensitive Travel Tour Companies
Intrepid Travel’s tag line is “Real Life Experiences” and people who book with them come back convinced. The company’s tours stay in locally-owned guesthouses, they eat where the locals eat, and they take local transportation. So not only is the price right, but you can travel like an independent traveler would, but with a built-in set of companions and guidance along the way. Most of your money goes into the local economy, so you can leave feeling like you’ve done some good.
G Adventures (formerly G.A.P. Adventures) also wins raves from travelers for its responsible travel ethos, the small size of its groups, and the focus on authentic experience. It has also won a slew of awards for its sustainable tourism practices. “We strive to show you the real world, by taking you off the beaten track, to the heart of the destination, and to meet the locals who call it home.”
Djoser organizes trips that are about as close to independent travel as you can get on a tour. “Due to the active nature of our trips, our small groups, the level of flexibility required, and our focus on genuine cultural experiences, we attract an open-minded, hearty sort of traveler. Many of our most loyal travelers are former independent travelers who never considered group travel prior to discovering Djoser.”
Adventure Life is the frontrunner in leading small group, close-to-the-ground tours in Latin America, from Central America down to Patagonia. They are committed to traveling in a way that has a positive impact on the local community and they support locally owned hotels and restaurants. In some countries, such as Costa Rica, they offer more varied choices than any other company. One nice bonus: plenty of free time!