Tag Archives: active travel

Active Adventures and Austin Adventures Unite to Create Global Adventure Travel Company

The merger between Active Adventures of Queensland, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Billings, Montana will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

BILLINGS, MT — United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Austin Adventures of Montana and Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers. 

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merged adventure travel company.

“It’s about precious time together – creating lifetime memories, being inspired, and connecting with the people and environment around us. It’s about feeling you can trust the company you are on that journey with that all the little details will be taken care of to create the best experience possible.”

“To expand our offerings to our loyal customers, it was critical we find a like-minded brand to join forces with. Just like us, Austin Adventures was born out of a deep passion for sharing authentic, curated, and inspirational adventure experiences with their guests.” 

What does the merger mean for travelers? More choice of destinations, dates, and trip styles:

  • 100+ adventure trips available across the globe
  • More departure dates available throughout the year
  • More life-changing experiences – to be able to share with family and friends
  • Two customer service teams in different time zones, providing extended hours to help adventurers find the best trip to suit them

Each brand brings its own specialties and experiences that form an expanded, unified collection of adventure opportunities across the globe. Now, Austin Adventures’ tours will be available for booking on Active Adventures’ website, adding adventures in the USA, Canada, and Central America for both brands, including specific family departures. Active Adventures’ unique hiking, biking, and kayaking experiences in New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Himalayas, and Africa will be available via the Austin Adventures’ website. 

Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures, stressed that the homework has been done to make sure the match was a natural fit and would create new opportunities for each company’s loyal guests. “We were founded in different countries, yet our companies have very similar stories. Each business is like a family – now we’ve just created one bigger family!”

Shared features:

  • Skilled local guides who have in-depth knowledge of every destination and years (if not decades) of experience
  • Small group sizes – average of 12-18 travelers per trip with two guides.
  • One-of-a-kind experiences, away from the crowds
  • All-inclusive, multi-day, fully guided, multi-activity adventures in the most stunning adventure travel destinations around the world
  • Authentic, personalized service – taking care of every detail, so guests can just relax and enjoy their vacation
  • Hand-picked accommodations in amazing locations
  • Great food and memorable meals are part of the adventure and experience

The two brands have come together as one global team across New Zealand and the USA, with operational bases around the globe.

“We share the same commitment to putting our guests at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to sharing many more special experiences with our guests and partners,” says van Lieshout.

With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive small group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal, and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand- picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining, and activities showcasing the best of each region. Each of their 100+ trips are crafted to perfection, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically, but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com.

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Autumn Fun in Moab: Zip Lining, River Rafting and Hummer Tours

Hummer tours are on Moab Adventure Center’s short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah.

Moab Adventure Center, a division of Western River Expeditions, has a short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah. This region becomes an artist’s dream world when fringed by the Colorado River’s yellow cottonwoods along the Colorado River and the golden aspens of the LaSal Mountains.
 
After the summer rush, daytime temperatures in September and October cool down to around the mid-70s to mid-80s. Fewer people around means more elbow room to be had on every adventure in not just one but two National Parks – Arches and Canyonlands.
 
Here are seven suggested adventures that continue through the end of November, with the exception of rafting which concludes the end of October.

  1. Fall River Rafting Adventures are full or half days, some served up with a BBQ lunch on a world-renowned stretch of the Colorado River, winding through scenes made famous by dozens of popular movies. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-river-rafting
     
  2. Horseback Adventures come with cowboy-trained quarter horses. A professional wrangler leads the way on trails made famous by John Wayne himself.  Rides are three hours in the mornings and 90 minutes in the afternoons. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-horseback-riding
     
  3. Hummer Tours are conducted in style and comfort aboard the world’s most serious 4×4. Spectacular backcountry opens up in the hands of professional guides who help visitors explore seldom-seen, awe-inspiring Moab overlooks. Tours are two, three and four hours including a sunset safari. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-hummer-tours
     
  4. Zipline Tours are always a thrill, but how about skimming over sheer sandstone cliffs and canyons on Moab’s only zip line? The Raven’s Rim Moab zip line tour begins with a spine-tingling ride to the top of the cliff faces overlooking Moab, swooping like a bird of prey landing on each of six gaps.  https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-zip-line
     
  5. Hot Air Ballooning can be likened to riding a magical carpet for 3.5 hours over the astounding red rock landscape of Moab. It’s an unbelievable way to experience the sights of Moab in the quiet of the early morning. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/hot-air-balloon-rides-moab-utah
     
  6. Arches National Park Tours are stunning, morning or evening. Arches National Park Tours showcase the more accessible of more than 2,000 arches, the highest concentration on the planet, after which the park is named. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours
     
  7. Mountain Bike Tours requests a commitment of 4.5 hours to experience why Moab has become the undisputed mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether beginner or advanced the Moab Adventure Center offers professionally guided mountain biking tours on all of Moab’s classic rides.     https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-mountain-biking 

America’s red rock playground, Moab, Utah, home of two national parks that are coveted icons to explore in post-pandemic lockdowns, has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity this summer.

This influx means that visitors should “nail down your accommodations and your preferred guided excursions as soon as possible and certainly before you arrive in Moab,” said Cort Wright, manager of the Moab Adventure Center. This is the go-to outfitter for securing pre-set backcountry and national park access and tours. Moab Adventure Center specializes in all there is to do in Moab and bundles assorted activities and lodging to maximize enjoyment of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding Colorado River country.
 
“Arrangements made in advance help deliver the peace and privacy you expect when surrounded by this natural playground,” Wright said. In fact, for early bird planners, Moab Adventure Center is offering excursions in 2022 at 2021 rates when booked this season. (www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-lodging)
 
The company has seen growing demand unleashed by the desire to return to nature and outdoor recreation. Compared to their record 2019 season, programs have seen phenomenal growth through the end of July 2021, including Moab Zipline Adventure, Arches National Park Sunset Discovery, The Ultimate Moab Canyoneering AdventureMoab Hummer Tours, and Full-Day Colorado River Rafting Adventure.

 “Making reservations well in advance of arrival helps assure that we can gear up to accommodate your specific adventure requests,” Wright said. “Now is the perfect time to plan for a fall escape to Moab. Everyone loves autumn in Moab. Just about every trip operates right through the end of October and all land-based tours through mid-November.” 
 
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs. Visit https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/.

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Bike and Camp the White Rim Trail in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park with Escape Adventures

Escape Adventures guests spend most of this 4-day mountain biking and camping tour on Utah’s 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park,  riding the famous off-road route, while detouring to admire secret passages, hidden slot canyons, natural rock arches, and ancient Puebloan ruins.

(Las Vegas, NV) — Utah’s 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, comes on like a natural rollercoaster, looping in and out of a multi-colored array of spires, arches, buttes, and mesas carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers. A primitive trail framed by blooming cacti below and snow-capped mountains above, the White Rim Trail loops around and below the Island in the Sky mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Escape Adventures guests spend most of this 4-day mountain biking and camping tour riding the famous off-road route, while detouring to admire secret passages, hidden slot canyons, natural rock arches, and ancient Puebloan ruins.

“The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a very rewarding and scenic mountain bike ride,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “While enjoying the beauty of the nature that surrounds us, we will also appreciate the modern amenities like our custom support truck, gourmet meals, top-of-the-line camping equipment, and attentive guides.”

This multi-day odyssey through some of the most gorgeous terrain imaginable loops around the Island in the Sky mesa top within Canyonlands. Riders will definitely want to take plenty of pictures of along the way as they’ll pass an array of stop-offs and scenic overlooks, admiring both the Colorado River and the Green River far below. The ride mostly involves casual doubletrack, enjoyable for most people, from novice riders to families. (Check out the video.) 

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, meals (except where noted on itineraries), snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included.

Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear (if on a camping tour) unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Day 1-2: Meet in Moab. Ride Schafer Trail to Airport, ride to Murphy’s Hogback via White Crack.

Day 3-4: Ride to Potato Bottom with slot canyon side hike. Ride along Green River up Mineral Bottom. Shuttle back to Moab.

The trip, including first-class camping, starts at $999 per person. E-bikes are available upon request. Tours run March-May and September-October. For more info, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/utah-white-rim-mountain-bike-tour/ or contact Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953. 

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has shaped and lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. With programs in 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type – from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels. https://escapeadventures.com/

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Holiday River Expeditions Invites Adventurers Back to the River In Their Own Private Travel Pod

To take any lingering fears away from being out and about in Nature with family and friends together, Holiday River Expeditions has retooled its offerings by encouraging “pod” travel, or teaming up with a small group of friends and family who share pandemic protocol wave lengths.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – “Take me to the river” takes on whole new meaning this season as the lock-down weary seek Houdini-like strategies to free themselves from the shackles of the pandemic’s captivity.
 
Holiday River Expeditions for over 50 years has been freeing people’s souls on river rafting adventures and they hope that in 2021 the same opportunities abound.
 
To take any lingering fears away from being out and about in Nature with family and friends together, this trail-blazing company has retooled its offerings. Primarily, they have made it easier to travel in confidence by encouraging “pod” travel, or teaming up with a small group of friends and family who share pandemic protocol wave lengths.
 
When Holiday River Expeditions began running its 2020 trips it was quickly evident that adjustments needed to be made for guests to feel more secure joining a trip. One of those adjustments was allowing for and encouraging smaller, private trips. On most trips the company has lowered its required minimums in order to schedule an exclusive group trip. The smaller group minimums have allowed guests to travel with just their family members, or close friends with whom they’ve already created a pod or travel bubble.
 
The new 12-person minimum for private rafting charters in 2021 apply to:

Holiday River Expeditions has also changed minimum requirements for its mountain biking itineraries to just 8 people for a small group, private charter backcountry trip. This applies to: 

Considered by enthusiasts to be Utah’s ultimate multi-day mountain bike trip, The Maze, deep inside Canyonlands National Park, is naturally a small group trip with a maximum capacity of just 7 guests.  Private charters can be arranged on two available dates; May 18-21 and September 7-10, 2021.
 
For more details, please see https://www.bikeraft.com/what-your-2021-trip-will-look-like-2/ and https://www.bikeraft.com/custom-charter-trips/.
 
Other Covid related adjustments and protocols the company has adopted and will carry into 2021 include: 

  • a 4 to 1 guest to guide ratio (to increase social distancing while in a raft),
  • decreased capacity in vehicle transportation with masks required,
  • a mandatory “Statement of Good Health” a week before departure,
  • temperatures taken at meeting point,
  • meal service change from buffet to served, with guides wearing masks and gloves during preparation and service,
  • always-available sanitizer,
  • additional PSA’s to create a “culture of care” that addresses comfort zones. 

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2021 catalog call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto: http://www.bikeraft.com/.
 
Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, so uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Urges Congress to Pass ‘Connecting America’s Active Transportation System’ Act

Biking the 109-mile long Mickelson Trail, a centerpiece of Wilderness Voyageurs’ South Dakota bike tour, is one of 30 rail-trails to have been named to the Hall of Fame by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

A new bill in Congress will, if passed, enable communities across America to connect their trails, sidewalks and bikeways to the places that people want to go – by bike or walking – within and between communities.

But our U.S. Representatives need to hear from us to make it happen.

Tell the Congressmembers to support trails, walking and biking by signing on in support of the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act.

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Jared Huffman (Calif.-2), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.-3) and Chris Pappas (N.H.-1), will provide $500 million in direct funding annually to help communities and regions across the country build connected active-transportation systems to ensure people can get where they want to go safely by foot, bike or wheelchair.

This proposal, coupled with increases in funding for Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program, would provide critical resources for communities to build safe, convenient and accessible places for people to walk, bike and roll.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s top policy priority is to create this game-changing opportunity to build a trail and active transportation system to serve the nation.

“Our research has found that wise investments in connecting trails, sidewalks, bikeways and other active transportation systems are creating returns of more than $34 billion in health, environmental and economic benefits around the country,” said Kevin Mills, Rails-to-Trails Vice President of Policy. “And that return could even be quadrupled as more communities have the opportunity to connect their active transportation systems.

“People across the country want to be able to safely walk and bike where they need to go. The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act is a major leap forward because it would reshape federal transportation law to recognize that communities nationwide need safe, connected trail and active-transportation networks.

“Urge your representative to sign on to the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act.”

See more at railstotrails.org.

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Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, Designed for Active Travelers, Sets Spring Departures

Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland – Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands. Vagabond Adventure Tours  an award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel.

Vagabond Adventure Tours are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour (Vagabond Adventure Tours,https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/) departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.

Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4×4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”

The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-northern-ireland-tour/) offers spring departures April 7 and 21.

“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.

For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online; https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/special-offers/.

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: info@vagabond.ie.

Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way since 2002. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

 

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Grasshopper Adventures Introduces Tour Exploring Thailand by Bike from Bangkok to Phuket

(Bangkok, Thailand) — Grasshopper Adventures is introducing a 10-day tour cycling the Gulf of Thailand, Khao Sok National Park, and the Andaman Coast. Five days are spent riding along the Gulf of Thailand on deserted blacktop and concrete roads through sleepy villages and coconut groves, followed by three days of riding through Khao Sok National Park to the Andaman Coast and down to Phuket.

“This is a cycling holiday in the true sense of the term,” said Grasshopper Adventures President Adam Platt-Hepworth. “We’ll enjoy the satisfaction of riding the majority of the distance from Hua Hin down to Phuket, whilst taking in places that most visitors to Thailand don’t get to see.”

On the gulf side of Thailand, guests will ride on mostly flat terrain and quiet backroads, with the exception of two short highway sections. In the hinterland, there are some more sustained hills, but these are rarely longer than 2 km and nothing that could be described as steep. Guests will share the road with some traffic through Khao Sok National Park due to the absence of backroads and from Khao Lak to Phuket.

Tour Highlights Include:

  • Visiting the sleepy beach town of Pranburi
  • Biking through Sam Roi Yod National Park and hiking to Phraya Nakhon Cave
  • Overnighting at a family-owned lodge on the beach in Chumphon
  • Cycling through rubber plantations and past limestone cliffs
  • Soaking in hot springs and indulging in delicious Thai cuisine
  • Riding over the bridge to Phuket Island and overnighting on the beach

The trip totals 574 km by bike and starts at $2,350 USD. Multiple departure dates are available throughout the year. For more information, visit here or call 844-874-3720.

Grasshopper Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in Bangkok. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan & Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com

 

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Grasshopper Adventures Unveils Cycling Tour of China’s Yunnan Province

Grasshopper Adventures unveiling a new 14-day bike tour exploring the Yunnan Province of China.

(Bangkok, Thailand) — Grasshopper Adventures unveiling a new 14-day bike tour exploring the Yunnan Province of China. Intrepid riders will cycle through the ancient towns of the Tea Horse Trail, a network of paths winding through the mountains, from mystical Shangri-La to the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang. The tour covers 510 km by bike, starts at $4,900 USD, and is scheduled for June 10-23, 2019.

“Our guests will ride through one of the highest gorges in the world, carved out over millennia by the Yangtze River and surrounded by the dramatic Jade Dragon and Haba Snow Mountains,” said Grasshopper Adventures President Adam Platt-Hepworth. “Along the way, they’ll visit ancient villages with captivating rituals and traditions seemingly unchanged by the test of time.”

The two-week adventure begins in the foothills bordering Tibet, with the dramatic backdrop of Yunnan Province. This is a land of mysticism, spirituality and jaw-dropping landscapes where ancient cultures meet the modern world.  Guests will ride from China’s alpine utopia of Shangri-La through the stunning landscape of Tiger Leaping Gorge, to the ancient Bai Kingdom city of Dali. The majority of the riding is on small roads through villages with minimal traffic.

Tour Highlights:

Visiting the world’s largest prayer wheel and the stunning Songzanlin Monastery

Exploring the mythical utopia of Shangri-La

Riding through Tiger Leaping Gorge

Discovering the ancient Bai Kingdom city of Dali

Exploring the picturesque backstreets of Lijiang

Touring Jian Chuan with its quaint canals and bridge

Cycling to the historic town of Shaxi

For more info, visit https://www.grasshopperadventures.com/en/scheduled-tours/spiritual-shangri-la.html.

Grasshopper Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in Bangkok. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan & Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com

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Moab Adventure Center Offers Active Itineraries to Explore Region’s Red Rock Wonders

Moab Adventure Center offers active itineraries to explore to explore the Region’s Red Rock wonders
Moab Adventure Center offers active itineraries to explore to explore the Region’s Red Rock wonders

MOAB, UT– The red rock playground better known as Moab, UT, has scaled the heights to become one of the country’s most sought-after destinations for active vacations.

When first-time visitors to the region choose to experience all that Moab has to offer, more bang for the buck comes with advance planning and using local guides who know the territory best, suggests Jamie Pearce, Manager of the award-winning Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Pearce and her staff highly recommend choosing one of their three time-driven, guide-assisted adventure packages to fully enjoy this small town surrounded by two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands, and the mystique of the Colorado River.

Moab Signature Multisport Package is a short escape offering the most popular Moab adventures over two days: a Colorado River rafting trip, a two-hour Hummer Safari into the adjacent backcountry plus an exploration of Arches National Park on a professionally guided hike. The rate is $212 for adults and $154 for ages 5-15. Moab lodging (on your own) is available at a variety of motels, campgrounds and lodges.  See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/packages/hummer-raft-hike.php. This package can be upgraded to include a full-day rafting trip with lunch and a special sunset Hummer safari for just $35 more per person. Offered Mar. 15 through Oct. 21.

Southwest Sampler spans four days and three nights. Guests spend two nights at Moab’s quirky and stylish Gonzo Inn near shopping and restaurants, just a short walk from the Moab Adventure Center while hiking and touring Arches National Park capped by an off-road sunset Hummer Safari.  Two days of rafting the Colorado River follow, including one night of star gazing while camping riverside. The rate (including all-inclusive camping) is $625 for adults and $525 for ages 5-15. Offered May-September.
See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/packages/southwest.php

Westwater Multi-Sport Moab Package engages guests over four days and three nights as they raft legendary Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River that National Geographic named “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip.” On this Utah rafting and multi-sport adventure guests experience different thrills every day with all the comforts of home each night. Included is Moab’s breathtaking backcountry on an exhilarating Hummer Safari; an optional horseback ride in Utah’s famous Castle Valley brings to life scenes from countless movies and commercials filmed in the Moab area. The overnight host is Red Cliffs Lodge on the banks of the Colorado. Offered May-September the rate is $685 for adults and $635 for youth ages 12-15. See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/packages/westwater.php

Recognized nationally as a mecca for outdoor recreation and spectacular scenery, National Geographic named Moab #1 among America’s 10 Best Mountain Bike Towns. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-mountain-biking-towns/. Moab was included in Matador Network’s Top 10 in a 2016 ranking of “America’s 20 Coolest Outdoor Towns for Adventure.” https://matadornetwork.com/trips/americas-20-coolest-towns-outdoor-adventure/. Smarter Travel’s 2016 ranking of the “10 Best Outdoor Towns in America” slotted Moab in its honored Top 10.
https://www.smartertravel.com/2016/05/10/10-best-outdoor-towns-in-america/

To speed things up so people can slow themselves down, the region now has scheduled daily air service from Denver, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT.

The Moab Adventure Center website suggests other activities and info on lodging and where to eat in Moab. The Center recommends, due to its popularity over spring and summer weekends, to have lodging reservations in hand before coming to the region. Pocket Guide Moab: Last Minute Itineraries for the Undecided Traveler is also a good resource to the area.

For more details see:
What to See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/sightseeing/
What to Do: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/activities/
Where to Stay: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/lodging/

Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (www.westernriver.com) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or send an email from http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/contact/. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing and souvenirs.

 

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8 Fit Trips for 2017

Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda  (photo: Gondwana EcoTours)
Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda (photo: Gondwana EcoTours)

With the arrival of the New Year, many will make resolutions to get fit or take a trip. From biking to hiking to paddling and yoga, here are eight active adventures around the world that will help you accomplish both. 

  1. Ride an Ironman bike course:With tour operators Ride & Seek and Big Island Bike Tours, ride the roads of Hawaii’s grueling and windy Ironman bike course, through coffee plantations and up the world’s largest active volcano, 13,677-foot Mauna Loa. You’ll also get to soak away any soreness in the heated tide pools of Kapoho.
  2. Snorkel and kayak Thailand: On an Adventure Life trip, snorkel the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, home to abundant coral and marine life, and spend a day exploring the uninhabited islands of Angthong Marine Park by kayak. There’s also plenty of time to relax on the idyllic beaches of Koh Samui.
  3. Trek with gorillas in Rwanda:Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda, home to hundreds of species of birds and numerous waterfalls. You’ll also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and watch for elephants and buffalo.
  4. Ski steep and deep in Montana:Rent a cabin in the Moonlight Basin community and ski the steep, open terrain of Montana’s Big Sky resort. You’ll have access to 5,800 acres and 4,350 feet of vertical, and with a private guide from Moonlight can ski the famed North Summit Snowfield and areas normally closed to the public. Other activities include guided Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on winter trails.
  5. Hike and photograph Northwest Argentina:With Travel Vision Journeys, hike and photograph a variety of landscapes in Northwest Argentina, including the Gorge of Arrows, Seven Colors Mountain, the Enchanted Valley in Los Cardones National Park and the Salinas Grandes salt flat. Along the way, you’ll also sample some of the country’s finest wines from high-altitude vineyards.
  6. Fly fish Bolivia:Where the Amazon jungle meets the Andes, wade a freestone stream and walk its banks on a Frontiers tour of Bolivia. You’ll be casting for golden dorado, as well as pirapitinga, yatorana and surubi in remote national park and indigenous territory.
  7. Yoga at a Wyoming ranch retreat:At Red Reflet Ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, take a yoga class with serene views of green pastures, ponds and red rock formations. There’s also a climbing wall, hiking, mountain biking and, of course, horseback and cattle activities.
  8. Cycle an alpine road in Romania:On Ciclismo Classico’s Grand Tour of Transylvania, climb 15 miles up the winding Transfagarasan alpine road – the second-highest paved road in Romania – to Balea Lake at 6,562 feet in elevation. You’ll also pass through medieval cities, stay in a restored castle and visit a fortified church.

 

For more travel features visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures