Want to find out a bit more about Adventure Life? Check out some of these great publications that have written articles about our tours. Browse through these brief summaries or click on the links below to read the full articles!
Machu Picchu, the mystical Lost City of the Inca, which seems to hang in midair between the clouds above and a rushing river below, is the reason most travelers, myself included, head to Peru...
...Our Adventure Life tour leader, Boris Bonnett, is a Cusco native who earned a college degree more than a decade ago in tourism. He is extremely well versed in the region that is his home and its rich history...
...WHEN YOU GO: Adventure Life, based in Montana. The company specializes in small groups and eco friendly travel in Latin America and Antarctica.
Usually independent travelers, they toured with Montana-based Adventure Life Journeys, joining seven other travelers to experience the nine-day Easter Festival and much more.
After a 45-minute ride from Guatemala City, my husband and I passed through an intricate wrought-iron door into Hotel Aurora. Its plain façade belied the lovely courtyard brimming with aromatic roses, chrysanthemums and bougainvillea circling a stone fountain.
Usually independent travelers, we decided to tour with Montana-based Adventure Life Journeys. Joining seven other travelers, we experienced the nine-day "Easter Festival," ChiChicastenango and Solola Markets, Lake Atitlan, a macademia plantation, indigenous markets, villages and Maximon (a Mayan deity). We journeyed on tuk tuks (open air taxis), a flatbed truck, lancha (motorboat), van and chicken bus...
As the audience for adventure travel becomes more sophisticated, the call for trips that truly abandon the beaten path or explore popular destinations in new ways is growing louder. Each year, many adventure providers introduce new trips to help meet this demand. After checking in with hundreds of outfitters from around the world and getting a sneak peek at what's cooking in their trip laboratories, here are my picks for the best new adventure trips of 2008.
The forgotten kingdoms of Peru
When most travelers think of Peru, the Incan ruin of Machu Picchu is often the first—and only—destination that comes to mind. But what most never realize, even after visiting Machu Picchu and other well-known Incan ruins, is that Peru is home to countless other fascinating sites, including those built by other civilizations that pre-date the Incas by a thousand years. That's why Latin American specialists Adventure Life is launching a new trip that covers the full spectrum of Peruvian ruins, including those in the seldom-visited northern part of the country.
'The Inca were only the last in a long line of sophisticated pre-Columbian cultures in Peru,' says Adventure Life founder Brian Morgan. 'From the 1st to the 15th-century A.D., [northern Peru] was home to some of South America's most prominent cultures—the Moche, Lambayeque, Chimu, and Chachapaoyas. Like the Inca, they were exquisite craftsmen and excelled in the skills of ceramics, agriculture, architecture, metallurgy, and warfare, but their temples and arts were completely unique from the Inca...'
Not your typical port: Passengers aboard and Adventure Life cruise can spend the night ice-camping on the Antarctic Peninsula's Paradise Bay.
It's not secret that taking a cruise has never been the vacation for serious adrenaline addicts. Granted, it can be exhilarating to snag an unclaimed lounge chair on the pool deck after 10 a.m., but for most thrill-seekers, traditional cruises seem unbearably tame. Well, times are changing. In the past few years, ships of all sizes have launched itineraries designed to appeal to even the most adventurous travelers. Far-flung ports, challenging wilderness excursions and heart-revving life-list experiences that have replaced duty-free shopping and drive-by bus tours. The payoff? Incredible memories, a deep sense of accomplishment and -- after a full-day of calorie-burning -- guilt free returns visits to the buffet table...
...A 12-day Adventure Life voyage carries 49-passengers from the mountain-rigged city of Ushuaia in southern Argentina across the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula -- where summer highs top out at 50 degrees and the sun can shine for 20 hours a day. Guests board inflatable boats to see Gentoo penguins, ocras and the Wendell seals; paddle sea kayaks through a maze of ice floes; and scale glaciers using crampons and ice-axes. They can also ski the white wilderness or do the full Shackleton: and overnight ice-camping excursion.
...I'm on a nine-day, action-packed tour of Costa Rica with a fittingly named outfitter: Adventure Life. There's a lot packed into those that phrase, "Adventure Life." If we already lived an adventure life, would we need to pay a tour company to give us more of the same somewhere else? The phrase certainly sounds more interesting than our actual life: sleep, eat, work, sleep. Somehow "Treadmill Life" just doesn't have the same cachet. We sign on with Adventure Life so we can stop being softies for a while and remember what it is to get a natural rush...
...One of the newest entrants into the South Pacific cruise market is Adventure Life VOYAGES, a Missoula, Montana-based company that is among the leaders in land based tours to Central and South America. The experts at Adventure Life have selected a few choice expedition cruise vessels and paired them with enticing itineraries to some of the far-flung corners of the globe..."
Adventure Life specializes in family adventures and custom tours throughout Latin America. It adheres to small group travel not only as a benefit to travelers, but also on principle as a way to minimize its "footprint" on the places and cultures they visit. Optional homestays expand cross-cultural awareness, and partnerships with local guides and family-owned ecolodges contribute to local economies. Connected with such organizations as the International Ecotourism Society and Leave No Trace, Adventure Life is further committed to environmental protection. Indeed, guests of the Pure Patagonia Base Camp Trek stay in Torres del Paine National Park's eco-camp, equipped with composting toilets and igloo-shaped tents that are built to minimize environmental impact. Led by a Patagonian guide and crew, the 8-day hike to glaciers, lakes and rainforests starts and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Sailing the historic Northwest Passage in a polar-class icebreaker
Since the Age of Discovery began in the sixteenth century, explorers have been braving the frigid weather and powerful sea ice of Canada’s northern reaches in search of a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean...
...Adventure Life of Missoula, Montana organizes expedition cruises to places almost no one else can get to, and one of them is the Canadian Arctic. Icebreakers and shallow-draft vessels can take you through the very waterways which explorers searched for centuries....
...Adventure Life’s Canadian Arctic cruise aboard the polar-class icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov offers you the opportunity to be one of the very few intrepid souls who have navigated the Northwest Passage. Like AL’s other expedition cruises, the voyage includes presentations on the wildlife, geology, glaciers and human history of the High Arctic from naturalists, historians and scientists....
Smaller cruise ships can deliver an unforgettable experience.
When Steve Brown wanted to thank his employees for buying into his company, he decided to forego a standard cruise, instead choosing a ship and ports less traveled. "I wanted something unique, an incentive experience that gave us the chance to relax, celebrate, get outdoors and do some team-building," says Brown, who operates the Trout Lodge fish hatchery in Washington State. So he hit the Internet and landed at Adventure Life, a Montana-based company that specializes in off-the-beaten-path tours for small groups.
"He came to us about our Patagonia trip for his group – seven owners and spouses who were going to Chile on business anyway," says Johnathan Brunger, Adventure Life’s adventure coordinator. The big draw, adds Brunger, was the four-day cruise’s mix of adventure and spectacular sightseeing with posh digs and gourmet food, a combination Brown felt would prove a good fit for his group. Did it work? In his post-trip evaluation, Brown was ecstatic: "It spoiled my wife and me to an extent that we would never go on a big-ship cruise again." ...
...Photographer Pauline Lubens booked her trip through Adventure Life -- a fine choice, she says, for travelers who want their entire vacation booked ahead of time and don't want to fend for themselves in Quito, Ecuador. Her trip was on the Seaman, a small "tourist"-class yacht with eight cabins and bund beds, for a maximum of 16 passengers...
Have you ever thought about taking the Inca Trail less traveled in Peru? My friend, Mary and I were excited to take the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but then we found an alternative trail that would take us around to modern Incan communities and magnificent views of the snow-capped Andes.
Adventure Life put together a wonderful tour that took us to Cusco and the Sacred Valley and then on a four-day trek along the Cachiccata Trail. Our vacation concluded with our visit to Machu Picchu for two days...
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, Ecuador — The dark shape darted straight at our masks, veering away at the last possible moment. Here it came again. And again — turning, swerving and passing us just out of reach. A sleek young sea lion was playing with us! When we finally returned to the beach, he followed us to the water's edge, looking wistful over losing his playmates. To our utter delight, 500 years of human contact haven't been long enough for the creatures of the Galapagos Islands to evolve a fear of humans...
*The Roses have traveled all over the world and have an excellent website with excellent travel tales, advice and adventures to share. Visit: The Rambling Roses to learn more.
Even though born and raised in Havre, Brian Morgan knows what it is like to feel trapped by the urban environment. People want to get out of it, he says – which is exactly why he thinks his business, Adventure Life Journeys, is taking off.
...type "adventure" and "Chile" into your favorite Web search engine and you'll come up with spots such as Adventure Life - http://www.adventure-life.com/chile/chile.php - which touts treks through the wilds of Patagonia, coastal cruises and camping trips in the Atacama Desert...
The next Costa Rica, some call Guatemala. And for good reason. Like its long-popular Central American sibling to the south, Guatemala is home to soaring volcanoes, idyllic lakes and steamy rain forests full of monkeys, crocodiles and toucans. Unlike Costa Rica, it also harbors some of the world's most spectacular ruins, remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization, as well as a vibrant modern-day Mayan culture. With the country stablizing, U.S. adventure companies such as Adventure Life that have long offered trips to Costa Rica are beginning to add Guatemala to their mix.
Adventure Life. The Montana-based company is offering easy-rated trips this year to Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala. Example: Ecuadorian Amazon, a seven-night trip that includes a rain forest lodge stay with jungle explorations.
"Central America is still a new destination for many Americans, however, and even in Costa Rica independent vacations can be difficult, particularly if you're driving, because of the poor roads. So tours make sense. ....various smaller tour companies have sprung up to meet the demand for more specialized trips..."
..."Itineraries in Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala are offered by Adventure Life Journeys, based in Missoula, Mont., which specializes in trips to Latin America. A 12-day tour departing April 2 visits Guatemala during Semana Santa, the holy week before Easter, when processions and huge puppets parade along streets decorated with dyed sawdust and flowers. Visits to Chichicastenango's colorful market, Lake Atitlán and Tikal are included, along with several days in the colonial city of Antigua, where much of the pageantry is centered. The trip includes stays in comfortable hotels and lodges (with breakfasts), along with in-country transportation except the flight between Guatemala City and Flores, near Tikal. A nine-day trip in Belize (with a side trip to Tikal), includes two nights at Glover's Reef, a coral atoll, or Ambergris Caye, with snorkeling, sea kayaking or windsurfing available, then three nights at a jungle lodge inland, with excursions along the river and to a Maya ruin. Information: (800) 344-6118 or www.adventure-life.com."
Stay up late with biologists and half-ton leatherbacks. For a few nights at a private reserve, go to www.adventure-life.com.
Costa Rica Turtles and Rainforest:
"We set out from our lodge in the early morning and, after a two-hour trek through the jungle, we arrived at the entrance to a beautiful, hourglass-shaped cave with a small stream flowing from its mouth. Locals referred to this cavern as Actun Tunichil Muknal, which means the Cave of the Stone Sepulchre, and we had come to probe some of the mysteries and secrets of the Mayan civilization. …"
Belize Rainforest and Ruins:
"...What's special? Six hundreds miles from the shores of Ecuador lie the storybook islands of the Galapagos, where Darwin first chronicled the evolutionary origins of the species. These volcanic islands at first appear barren and uninhabited until a 180-kilogram giant tortoise lumbers past and blue-footed boobies ponder their human visitors. In nearby bays, playful sea lions are said to nibble on snorkelers' flippers.
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos are a stage on which the Earth's evolutionary forces play out unencumbered by the hectic pace of life in the world's more inhabited climes. But travelers on the "Adventure Life" Galapagos 10-day luxury yacht tour can enjoy the mystical islands in relaxed style aboard the double-sailed schooner Diamante..."
Galapagos Islands tours:
"…A travel agency with experience in adventure trips can steer you to good boats. I found mine, the Sulidae, on line at http://www.adventure-life.com/galapagos/yachts/index.php, which also lists plusher boats. My seven-day, nine-island trip cost about $1,950 in a shared cabin last spring.…"
Turtles and Rainforest tour:
Vigorous hikes are highlighted by bright-red frogs, armies of leaf-cutter ants and flame-colored heliconias dripping from the trees. We drink sweet water from streams and splash through rivers amid mahogany tree so tall we can't see the tops and so wide we hide behind the roots. Our guides toss ropes over a roaring waterfall; I'm too afraid to rappel down on my own, but I make it with the help of new friends! Over the next few days we gallop horses across banana plantations, and Francisco climbs trees while I admire from below. We laze on hammocks, drink wine, watch wildlife, wake to birdsong and live by candlelight. We get all the adventure and romancy we dreamed of! "
Beaches and Rainforest tour: