#adventure travel company
A comprehensive ranking of the world’s top outfitters—surveyed, sorted, and scored.
By Costas Christ and Claire Martin
For the second time in as many years, we’ve conducted an unprecedented survey of adventure travel companies, based on the idea that a traveler’s most important decision is not always where to go but who to go with. For the 2009 edition, we spoke to more guide services—and their clients—than ever before (248 in all). We contacted companies that lead 85,000 people a year and those that cater to a hundred. We surveyed paddling outfitters, trekking guides, safari specialists, and the ones that do it all. We evaluated companies that will take you places you’ve only dreamed of (the Tibetan Plateau, the Serengeti on foot) and those that specialize in your own backyard (the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons).
And after asking them the tough questions (Have you tested your risk management strategies? Are your guides trained to “leave no trace”?), we scored each one using criteria synonymous with National Geographic—environmental awareness, reliable service, local knowledge. Because in a time when travel dollars are stretched, it’s essential that an outfitter deliver the trip of a lifetime, the first time. These are the world’s leading travel specialists. Each offers a unique way to explore the planet. The only question now is: Who will you go with? See top companies in each category, as published in the magazine >>
We’ve created the ultimate trip-planning tool: a comprehensive listing the world’s 200 top-ranking outfitters—complete with comments from readers like you—that’s searchable by destination, activity, price, and scores. Start your search >>
HOW WE DID IT: The Methodology