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Home > Adventure + luxury? Believe it!

Adventure + luxury? Believe it!

07/10/2013 - 08:35
Adventure and luxury

Think ‘luxury’ and ‘adventure travel’ are oxymorons? Hardly. Small group trips can be fascinating, exploratory yet quite comfortable at the same time. On even our most luxurious tours you won’t be resting at the Ritz or sunbathing on the Royal Caribbean, but you will enjoy a higher standard of locally owned accommodation—like a refurbished 19th Century riad in Morocco. The key to our kind of travel is moving in small groups, and doing our best to eat, drink and enjoy like locals.

Many of our itineraries follow the same trajectories. What separates Royal Rajasthan from Home of the Kings, for example, is the standard of accommodation, and the included activities. Both trips are 12 days long. Both visit the Taj Mahal, take in vibrant Jaipur and visit rural and romantic Udaipur. On Royal Rajasthan, however, you’ll stay in a hotel that was once the Royal House of Marwar and boasts a fine restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

Our Walking in the French and Swiss Alps tour is a good example of a higher standard of accommodation. In Chamonix, France you can enjoy a view of Mont Blanc from your hotel and relax by the fire. Later on, in Zermatt, Switzerland, you’ll spend three nights in rustic splendor with the Matterhorn’s jagged peak in full view. 

Traveling with the locals is part of the fun: you see what they see, share some stories and laughs, experience the same jolts, bumps and grinding of gears, buy treats that hawkers sell through the windows, pee behind the bus in the middle of nowhere and other great fun. But if sitting elbow-to-chicken sticks in your craw, we offer tours that opt for the private van over the chicken bus, and the short flight over the nightlong train (although sleeper trains can be pretty cool, too). 

Premier Vietnam includes a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang, whereas Adventurous Angkor involves an overnight bus. It’s probably a better bus than the one I took from Copacabana to Uyuni in the dead of winter, but still…less time on trains and buses and more time getting to know a country’s culture, hot spots and landscapes is not a bad thing at all.

Local expertise
A third benefit to more luxurious small group tours is expertise. Instead of a local Costa Rican with a lot of charm and a smidge of knowledge serving as your guide in the Cloud Forest, we arrange for a qualified naturalist to accompany you, ensuring that flora and fauna truly come alive.

Unique, carefully chosen accommodation, comfortable transportation and knowledgeable guides. These things put a new twist on luxury. It’s not pampering and it doesn’t remove you from the local people and the culture—the very reasons you travel in the first place! In fact you would be hard pressed to find a reason not to try luxury adventure travel.

If you’re tempted, please give us a call. You can’t beat the encyclopedic knowledge of our Adventure Specialists, who always somehow manage to match travelers and tour styles perfectly.

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