Which G Adventures tours do you recommend? Where should I go? And which style of tour should I take? What can I expect on a G Adventures tour? Which G Adventures tours have you taken?
These are questions we get often, and the answers vary dramatically depending upon your travel goals, style, available time and budget. We've taken fourteen G Adventures tours over the last nine years as part of their Wanderers program. These tours have been all around the world, in destinations as unique as Iran and Haiti, as well as to adventure and adrenaline-driven destinations like Antarctica, Tanzania and New Zealand.
Below are our recommended G Adventures tours that we've taken, organized by region. Below that is information about why choose a G Adventures small group tour and the different types and styles of tours available. If you have a question on G Adventures tours or if you wonder if they might be the right travel style and match for you, just drop us a line.
If you are new to small group tours, take a look at this article on how to get the most from your tour.
Recommended G Adventures Tours in South America and the Caribbean
We've taken and can recommend the following G Adventures tours in Colombia, Brazil and Haiti. These tours combine a bit of adventure, culture and history, local cuisine, active elements like hiking and some independent time to do what you want.
This journey covers the highlights of Colombia in just nine days, from the capital of Bogota to the coffee region in Armenia, Medillin and its urban revival, and finally to end in the Caribbean city of Cartagena with its colonial old town and nearby beaches. For more on what to expect on this tour read these 25 highlights from our Colombia Journey tour and travels.
Colombia - Lost City Trekking
Trek the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) at Teyuna through the jungles and hills of the of Sierra Nevada Mountains in northern Colombia. Your indigenous guide will not only lead you on the trail, but he will also share of his culture, traditions and beliefs along the way. For all you need to know for the Lost City trek, including a day-by-day description, what to pack, and how to organize your own trek read our Lost City Trek Guide.
Wonders of Brazil
It's hard to know where to start with a country as big and diverse as Brazil. That's where the Wonders of Brazil tour provides a great overview with white sand beaches and islands, UNESCO Portuguese colonial towns, urban playgrounds, inland wetlands and wildlife, waterfalls and so much more. From Rio de Janeiro to the Pantanal, with stops in Ilha Grande, Paraty, Iguazu Falls, and Bonito in-between this tour has a good balance of adventure (e.g., snorkeling, hiking, swimming) with relaxation, history and culture. For more on what to expect on this tour read these 18 highlights from our Wonders of Brazil tour and travels in Brazil.
Highlights of Haiti
Haiti is certainly not your typical Caribbean destination, but our travels there with the Highlights of Haiti tour showed different side of the country -- including its re-emergence and an understanding of fascinating Haitian culture, landscape and cuisine. Read more on what we enjoyed about our tour in Haiti and what surprised us.
Recommended G Adventures Africa Tours
When many people think about traveling in Africa they first think of safaris and wild animals. There is certainly no shortage of safari opportunities in many eastern and southern African countries and we definitely recommend seeking this out for your first visit. However, there's a lot more to do and see on this continent -- from exploring the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia to tracking lemurs in Madagascar to gorilla trekking in Uganda to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Taking a small group tour means that you can focus on the experience at hand instead of worrying about logistics, transport breaking down, having a trusted guide and more. Here are a few of the remarkable and recommended G Adventures tours we've taken in Africa.
Highlights of Madagascar
Most people are attracted to Madagascar for its lemurs and wildlife, but that's just the beginning on what the country has to offer in terms of culture, landscapes and unique experiences. For more on what to expect on the Highlights of Madagascar tour check out our favorite 25 experiences from Madagascar and how your travels with G Adventures in Madagascar can support conservation and local communities.
Ethiopia is a fascinating country filled with a long history, rich culture, beautiful natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine. It's one of those countries that keeps surprising you by its incredible sights like the Lalibela rock-hewn churches, Simien Mountains or Gondar castles. And the G Adventures Discover Ethiopia Tour really does cover it all, and with excellent local guides to provide context and interpretation. Learn more with our article on why travel to Ethiopia and what might surprise you.
Tanzania Adventure: Climbing Kilimanjaro (Marangu Route) & Serengeti Safari
The three weeks we spent in Tanzania with G Adventures -- Mount Kilimanjaro (Marangu Route) + Safari + Zanzibar -- really had it all. It included climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, tracking animals on safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and relaxing on a beach in Zanzibar. Read this for more on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and the lessons learned.
Note: When we traveled in Tanzania all three experiences were under the umbrella of one tour called Tanzania Encompassed that lasted almost three weeks. This was a great way to explore Tanzania in all its dimensions, so consider working with a G Adventures agent to try and work this tour together with a Zanzibar tour (see below).
Zanzibar Independent Adventure - Upgraded
A great way to relax and come down in Zanzibar after the adventure of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and going on safari in the Serengeti. Explore Stone Town and then enjoy a few days on a white sand beach to really get away from it all.
Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda
To get up close and look into the eye of a mountain gorilla is an awe-inspiring and humbling experience. Truly. It's hard to explain that feeling. And you're almost guaranteed to spot them on this G Adventures Culture and Wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda tour. The tour we took was the Uganda & Gorillas Overland which is a camping 18-to-30something style. However, if you are older or don't camp then we recommend this Classic Culture and Wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda tour. Or, we've heard that the gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda is pretty amazing as a National Geographic Journey. No matter which gorilla tour option you choose, you can't go wrong. Read more about the gorilla trekking experience and all you need to know to prepare for it.
Recommended G Adventures Asia Tours
Asia is vast and diverse with so many countries, cultures and cuisines to explore. We've been fortunate to experience India, Japan and Bali on G Adventures tours where we've had great local tour leaders (CEOs) who provided us not only with background on history and sights, but who also served as a connection to local culture and people. Here are a few of the G Adventures tours in Asia that we've taken and recommend.
Northern India by Rail
When travelers consider northern India, thoughts run to the Golden Triangle, the popular India tourist circuit of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. While we appreciate the appeal of sights like the Taj Mahal, there is much more to experience in northern India — without the crowds, scams and hustle of being on the tourist path. That's where this northern India tour delivers with exploration of Amritsar and the Golden Temple, Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj, Shimla and the hills and villages of Himachal Pradesh in-between. Read our 20 highlights from our northern India by Rail tour and the pros and cons of taking a tour in India.
For a relatively small island, Bali can pack in a lot of activities in just a week: volcano-climbing at dawn, scuba diving in coral reefs, cooking traditional Balinese cuisine, visiting Balinese Hindu temples, taking in a traditional Kecak performance, hanging with monkeys, enjoying a few Balinese massages, relaxing at the beach, and much more. Read our highlights from this Classic Bali Tour.
Japan speaks traditional and modern. Geishas, white faces, bold colors. Pokemon and Hello Kitty. Fashion and custom, twisting and temporal. Propriety, formality, and the ultimate in organization to sustain a population stitched into a societal fabric spread across islands. Speed and light. Moments and tableau. Lost in Translation, loneliness amidst a sea of humanity. Bright lights, big city. That's what you begin to uncover and explore with this G Adventures Japan tour. For more on what to expect and experience on this tour read: Japan First Impressions.
Recommended G Adventures Middle East Tours
The Middle East is fascinating -- with a history that goes back millennia, incredible ancient sights, hospitable cultures and incredible cuisines. However, the Middle East can also be complicated so it's good to have a local to help put context and understanding around complex issues. A G Adventures small group tour in the Middle East does just that.
Iran - Discover Persia
As Americans, we knew that there is an Iran that goes beyond what you see in the news. And our experience on the Discover Persia tour really showed and shared this fascinating, beautiful, and complex country. From incredible Persian architecture and design in places like Shiraz and Isfahan to ancient historic UNESCO sites like Persepolis to bustling bazaars and cities, Iran surprises. Not to mention, the hospitality of its people is deservedly famous. Here's all you need to know about traveling to Iran, including visas (especially for Americans), what to expect when you're there, and what you'll see.
Recommended G Adventures Antarctica and Pacific Tours
The first tour we ever took with G Adventures was to Antarctica almost ten years ago and it introduced us to the values, ethos and quality of their tours, guides and attention to environment, culture and positive social impact. Since then we've enjoyed exploring the Australia and New Zealand on tours that included a good balance of outdoor adventure, culture and history, food and wine, and some down time as well.
Quest for the Antarctic Circle
This was the first tour we ever took with G Adventures. Even though we found a last minute discount on this tour, traveling to Antarctica is never inexpensive. However, we highly recommend that you choose an Antarctica tour that goes south of the Antarctic circle -- it might be longer and a bit more expensive, but you can thank us later. The light and colors of the glaciers, sea and ice feel like another planet. Mother Nature is truly remarkable and humbling. More on what you'll experience when you go south of the Antarctic Circle.
Explore Australia is National Geographic Journeys tour with some really unique experiences that you can't get anywhere else, including the visit with Dr. Jamie Seymour, the world's leading toxinologist researching poisonous animals. The tour also includes classic Australian sights like Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne and more. In addition, this tour includes a Planeterra Project with a local aboriginal organization near Cannes. Read our 24 highlights from this Explore Australia tour.
New Zealand Encompassed
Before going on the New Zealand Encompassed tour we had dreamed about this country for years. The three weeks we spent exploring both the North and South Islands really showed us the beauty of New Zealand through its nature, beaches, mountains, lakes, glaciers and more. If adrenaline is your thing -- surfing, white water rafting, bungee jumping, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and more -- then this is the tour for you. Plus, we were able to learn about Maori culture with a local community leader and experience. Read more on why you shouldn't skip New Zealand's North Island.
Why choose a G Adventures tour?
Here are the features and approaches that we appreciate and value most from G Adventures tours:
- Shared values that travel can be a force for good, the social enterprise model and Planeterra Foundation. This means running tours that are respectful of local people, culture, environment and economy. In addition, the partnership with the Planeterra Foundation connects G tours and travelers to local community organizations around the world, providing unique and meaningful local experiences. In fact, you can check out all tours with a Planeterra project here.
- Expertise of a local guide to provide insight and expertise. Not only does this provide context to understand what you are seeing, but some of our guides have also opened up experiences that would not have been possible if we were our own.
- Focus on keeping tourism money local and in the communities. This means that G Adventures works with locally owned accommodation, restaurants, transportation, activities, etc. instead of foreign or big international companies. This not only benefits the local communities and economies, but also provides a more personal and better experience for travelers.
- Getting to know other like-minded travelers. We're still friends with some people we've met on G Adventures trips years later.
- Free time and independence. When many people think “tour” they think that every moment of their day will be planned and they will be running around constantly. Not so with G Adventures tours. While some days on the tour will have organized and included activities, there is usually ample free or independent time so that travelers can choose to do what interests them most.
- Logistics and coordination. All the difficult juggling of logistics and itinerary is taken care of efficiently so you can experience and see a lot in a relatively short period of time.
How to choose the right G Adventures tour style
Not every G Adventures tours are the same as there are different quality levels of tours, as well as different styles of tours. So how do you know which tour type is right and a good fit for you?
We've taken a variety of G Adventure tour styles and types over the years – from Classic and National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures tours, as well as Active and 18-to-Thirtysomethings tours. There are even G Adventures Wellness tours now focused on the journey within, as well as the journey in the destination. So here's a bit of breakdown as to what you might expect and how to choose the tour type that's best for you.
Classic G Adventures tours
If we're being completely honest, Classic Tours are our favorite type of G Adventures tour. Why? Because the tour groups are usually a diverse set of ages, nationalities and backgrounds, from 20-somethings just starting out with travel to mid-career professionals to active 70-year old retirees. Accommodation is usually pretty nice (think 3* hotels and guest houses) and located centrally. Transportation is usually a private bus, and often flights are included where it makes sense. While there are usually a few activities included in the tour, you have a lot of options to choose which activities you want to do (or not do) during the free or independent time.
National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures
A few years ago G Adventures partnered with National Geographic to create a tour style that included the higher end accommodation, transport (including flights), guides and activities of G's Comfort Tours with the research and conservation focus from National Geographic. What makes these National Geographic Journeys cool and unique is the opportunity to connect with a National Geographic Fellow (or similar) and really go deep into the wildlife, culture, or nature of a place. Usually these experiences are only offered and available through these National Geographic Journeys (i.e., you can't book them on TripAdvisor).
G Adventures 18-to-Thirtysomething Tours
Previously called YOLO tours, the G Adventures 18-to-30 Something tours are geared more towards younger travelers and are more of a backpacking style. Hence, the age limit on who can sign up for one of these tours. These tours are the cheapest of G Adventures' offerings and include basic accommodation like hostels or simple guest houses, and often only includes overland travel (i.e., no flights).
We don't have any experience with G Adventures family tours as we don't have children. But, I do know from personal experience how travel and immersing oneself into new cultures as a child can be an incredible education. These family tours have interactive activities, accommodation, transport and other logistics that are specifically suited for families, especially those with younger children.